Saturday, 4 April 2015


I'm an impatient person, so generally having to wait for anything causes me to grumble. Having to wait for a table at MeatCure? No problem.
Stepping into MeatCure the décor is the first thing to wow – a perfect mix of school canteen meets industrial cool. Although instead of being surrounded by school children you’re surrounded by adults in a state of burger euphoria.  The staff are delightful; welcoming, efficient and clearly loving what they do. The wait flies by thanks to an impressive array of craft beers to choose from. 
As our burgers arrived, we fell silent. It wasn't just a comfortable silence between friends; it was an understanding that this burger deserved our wholehearted attention. 

I opted for 'Taxi Driver', the newest burger on the block. Not only was I treated to a succulent, extremely high quality beef patty there was also a layer of beef brisket. That's right - beef on beef. As if this wasn’t enough there’s also double jack cheese, an incredible mix of pickles, all sandwiched in-between one of the best brioche buns I’ve tasted. If you're going to have a burger you may as well go all out. Am I right? 
MeatCure know what they’re doing. Haute cuisine it’s not. It's much better than that. There are juices from the beef running down arms and tarragon mayo smeared around mouths. It's real food. Unpretentious and messy food. It will leave you full yet craving your next fix. Meatcure, it was a pleasure.

Friday, 21 November 2014

An Ode to Kinfolk

Devouring the pages of a cookbook is one of my favorite pastimes. It gives me a sense of food entwined wanderlust. None more so than The Kinfolk Table. I want to meet the people, explore their cities, eat their food and bask in their beautiful homes. 
The Kinfolk Table is a celebration of your home, your food and the people you love. It honors food in a way that isn't often seen these days. It isn't  pretentious, a fad diet or the latest trend. It is simple and honest. 

It's easy to get extremely envious whilst reading Kinfolk, the images are simply beautiful. The people are hip. The kitchens are to die for and the food will tease you at every given opportunity. However the Kinfolk attitude is something that we can all adapt to and something I am going to strive to do more often. 

To me there is something so endearing about an individual being so enthusiastic by their food that they simply cant resist devouring a sample then and there, standing over the worktop counter, using their fingers for cutlery. Forgetting everything else at the moment other than the delicious morsel of food they are enjoying. Where else can you do that other than your own home?

Just yesterday my  fiancé and I made steak sandwiches for our tea. We made a mess, a complete and utter mess, all for a sandwich! That mess was the fruit of our labour and completely worth it. Onion peelings on the floor, breadcrumbs scattered over our worktops, buttery knives left askew leaving delicious streaks of butter everywhere. We were chatting and laughing at the mess we had created, our eyes never leaving the pan in which the steak was cooking. The minuet it was ready, we tipped it out onto a wooden board and immediately sliced a piece off. Our fingers were tinged from the heat of the meat, the juices were running down our hands, savoring and enjoying how delicious the mouthful was. Heightening our excitement at the meal ahead of us. That to me is better than any meal served up in a restaurant. 

Cooking shouldn't be a chore. The act of eating a meal shouldn't just be a necessity. A dinner party shouldn't be something for you to stress about in the days prior. 
It should be celebrated and enjoyed. 

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Festive Pasty

I apologise (halfheartedly) if you think its too early to start thinking festively, but these pasties are so good you could eat them in the middle of a heatwave and it wouldn't matter one little bit. They are everything a festive treat should be. Sticky, sweet, full of cinnamon and extremely naughty. 

For the pastry:
350g plain flour
180g butter
Pinch of salt

For the filling:
60g butter
60g brown sugar
2 apples
10 pitted dates
2 tbsp cinnamon
80g cranberries 
40g pecans 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Add the flour and salt to a mixing bowl. Take the butter from the fridge and chop it into cubes. Try to handle the butter as little as possible. You want to try and keep it as cold as you can. Add the butter to the mixing bowl and start to rub it into the flour using your fingertips. Keep going until all the butter and flour are combined and resemble fine breadcrumbs. This can be a laborious task but its a necessity to ensure the perfect pastry. Start to slowly add the water a tablespoon at a time until a firm dough forms. Once you have your dough divide it into 6 equal portions, wrap the portions in clingfilm and store in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minuets. 

Now its time for the filling!
Soak the dates in some boiling water for about 10 minuets. Whilst they are soaking add everything else in a pan over a medium heat. Add the dates and stir so everything combines. The mix should take about 20 minuets to be gorgeously soft and gooey. 

Take your pastry from the fridge and roll out into a 15cm circle. Add about 2 tablespoons of mixture in the center then fold into a semicircle, leave about a centimeter around the edge so you can crimp them tight. You don't want any delicious mixture to seep out! Egg wash your pasties before you pop them in the oven (I like to add a pinch of cinnamon to the egg wash!) Place them on a baking tray and place in the oven for 40 mins. 
These can be eaten straight from the oven or you can wait until they've cooled down. If you're greedily opting for 'straight from the oven' (my personal favorite) The please be careful as the filling will be molten!
I would love to know what you guys think of my recipe :)

Saturday, 8 November 2014

One Pan Wonder Granola

Nothing disheartens me more than when I wake up in the morning and remember I've greedily eaten the last of my granola the previous day. Alas, this one pan 15 minute recipe will save the morning.
Now I can't promise miracles, there is still some waiting. Just a lot less! So bare with me.

50g oats
30g almonds
1 tbsp honey
10g cacao nibs
1 tbsp oil
50g mixed seeds

Simply add all of your ingredients into a pan and cook on a medium heat until the oats start to brown and all of your ingredients start to combine. As always if you're planning on adding any dried fruit I would until the very end as you don't want the fruit to burn.
Once you're happy with the consistency and look of your granola take it off the heat. This should only take about 10/15 mins. Now the waiting. It's time to let your granola cool down. It's painstaking, I know! Busy yourself however you please and you'll be good to go in no time. Serve with ice cold milk and enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Paprika & Chorizo Baked Beans

Homemade baked beans have slowly become a staple in our house. My fiancé who had never entertained the idea of a bean working its way onto his breakfast plate (or any other plate for that matter) before he met me, is now a baked bean fiend! A true testament to how good these really are. 
Whilst its oh so tempting to reach for a trusty can of baked beans to liven up a cooked breakfast or act as a simple meal when you just cant be bothered to cook. I hand on heart promise that making them yourself is 100 times better than a tin will ever be. Plus there are the added health benefits. We all know that tinned beans are laden with more salt and sugar than we should be eating. Make them yourself and you'll see exactly what goes into them!

This particular recipe has a great depth of flavour thanks to the paprika and chorizo, it gives a whole new dimension to the simple baked bean. I tend to enjoy this combination later on in the day for my lunch or dinner. Of course I'm not here to dictate what you have to eat and when. I once ate an entire blackberry & apple crumble for my breakfast. I'm in no place to judge. If you wake up one morning craving this for your brekkie....please, be my guest! 

1.5 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin red kidney beans
1 tin cannellini beans
Chorizo (qty depends on how meaty you want it)
1 onion
1 garlic glove
1 red chilli
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tsp english mustard
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce 
2 tbsp paprika
Olive oil 

Begin by slowly browning the onions in a little olive oil, after a few minuets add the chopped garlic, paprika, chilli and chorizo. After about 5 minuets add the tinned tomatoes along with both the mustard's and worcestershire sauce. Stir this all in and leave on a low heat for about 1 hour. You want the sauce to reduce and thicken. Once you're happy with the consistency of the sauce add in your beans and stir through. The beans should only take 5 minuets to cook through. Please ensure they are piping hot before serving. Its also important to note that some beans will need soaking overnight. Check which type you have before you begin the recipe. I tend to use the ones prepackaged in water to eliminate the need to soak them overnight.
Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

I enjoy eating these with nothing more than a slice of good quality bread and a sprinkling of cheese....because lets face it, what meal isn't enhanced with a bit of cheese! 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Apple & Blackberry Vegan Crumble

I know a lot of people who claim they don't like fruit in puddings. If this sounds like you, stop reading immediately. For me fruit is at its best in a pudding. Particularly stewed fruit. Warm, tangy, really doesn't get any better! I have been craving an apple crumble for a few days now. When I came across some delicious looking blackberries in my local farm shop I knew they would be the perfect accompaniment. 
This recipe is incredibly easy. You'll be tucking into a big bowl of crumble in no time. 

2 small/medium apples
1/2 cup blackberries 
Maple syrup 
Rolled oats
Coconut oil 

Peel and chop the apples, add to a pan along with 1/4 cup of water, 3 tablespoons cinnamon and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minuets, the apples will slowly start to soak up the water. Keep a close eye on the apples as you don't want them to burn! Once most of the water is gone add the blackberries, a teaspoon of coconut oil and a splash more water. Stir for a couple of minuets then add the mixture to an oven proof dish. Leave to one side whilst you prepare the oats. 
In a mixing bowl add 1 cup of oats, 2 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 tablespoon and 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Mix everything together then sprinkle the oats evenly over the stewed fruit mixture. Bake in the oven at 180C for 25/30 mins. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Avocado & Cacao Mousse

This vegan chocolate mousse its unbelievable. It took me a good while to convince myself that what I was eating was actually packed full of goodness and super healthy. Its so rich and creamy its hard to believe its main ingredient is a vegetable!! 
I ate it as a post workout snack, but it would also work really well as an indulgent breakfast or an after dinner treat. 

1 Avocado
1/2 Banana
2 tbsp Maple Syrup 
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tbsp Ginger

Its as simple as popping everything into a food processor and whizzing it altogether until its completely smooth. Pop it into the fridge and leave for about an hour - its best served cold. The next part is the best bit - the toppings!! Its completely up to you what you jazz your mousse up with. In this instance I added chopped pecans and pumpkin seeds. 
Almost any nut/berry/seed will go perfectly.