Sunday, 31 August 2014

Photo a Day: August

August - the eighth month of the year, the month my mum celebrates her birthday and also when the Edinburgh Festival takes place.  Did anyone manage to go?  I've always thought it would be fun to not only visit that part of Scotland but to also flit from venue to venue in search of laughs at the Fringe shows.

August saw National Burger Day (27th) and burgers were the topic of the very first #fdbloggers chat that I hosted.  I can't think of anything better than talking about everything "burger" for a whole hour and getting to discuss food with some brilliant bloggers - it was so much fun!

Look up…see that burger?  We went for a rare dinner out to Relish in St Albans and have to say the iPhone photo doesn't do it justice - it was probably one of the best burgers I've ever had…brioche bun though!  Why?!  I'm not a fan of brioche for burger buns…

Monday, 25 August 2014

Beetroot & Red Pepper Soup

Bright, earthy and full of nutrients, this beetroot and roasted red pepper soup is the perfect way to start the autumn months!

My bestie, Loops, spent a couple of years in South Korea and as we both love making and eating food we talked about getting in the kitchen together when she came back.  I'm happy to say that yesterday we finally did it and it was lots of fun (even if I hogged the kitchen…I'm not used to having kitchen guests!) AND we made something using my new favourite ingredient AND it was inspired by a recipe my other bestie, L, sent me from a Swedish newspaper.

This weekend being a typical English bank holiday weekend (rain), this was the perfect recipe to get into that autumn feeling - it's healthy and simple but is really comforting and filling.  This recipe is for about 4 servings so is great to make for dinner and then have enough for lunch the next day or add to your freezer stockpile!

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Red Rice

Another "ingredients" post, this time having a look at red rice.  It's not something that I'd come across until recently when I visited an Asian supermarket in Exeter.  I thought it looked interesting so picked up a bag and it's now the only rice I use!

Besides the red husk, the rice looks pretty much like the white long grain rice you can easily buy in the supermarket and is cooked in exactly the same way.  So what's the big deal with red rice, you ask?

White rice is treated pretty badly to get to the light colour - it's unhusked then polished which results in the smooth white grain you probably use regularly.  The red rice grains have it much easier as they don't get as processed.  The skin is that lovely shade of red because of something called anthocyanins - antioxidants!  It's also higher in protein, fibre and iron than its white cousin.

Once cooked the rice has a more meaty texture and a lovely nutty flavour, not too different to brown rice.  It might not be that easy to find in the supermarket but is worth tracking some down to try yourself!  I've found a few links where you can it online but if you have an Asian supermarket near you, check the rice section!

My absolute favourite way to use this type of rice is with tofu pockets.  The bold texture of the rice mixed with a few simple veg snuggles inside the slightly sweet pockets.  I made quite a few so I could have some for dinner and take the rest in to work for lunch the following day.

Saturday, 16 August 2014


I spend a lot of time making and eating food but thought it was about time that I also paid tribute to the ingredients and produce that make my (our) recipes a success!  I rarely think about where everything comes from, any health benefits, interesting facts or stories, anything behind what goes in my belly...

So my first exploration into food is...

Blackberries - to me they symbolise the start of the end of summer.  These hedgerow fruit are at their finest from now (mid-August) until when the trees start turning golden and we start to add a cardigan to our shoulders to keep off the evening chill.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Chicken and Avocado Causa

This recipe really takes me back to when I first really started blogging.  It all started when I was in London with my mum and sister for mum's 50th birthday.  We found a lovely restaurant tucked away overlooking the Paddington Basin and I had my long time favourite agedashi tofu followed by my first bento box.  I made a comment about how I wish I could make it myself so I could eat it all my time and my sister simply said...

"why don't you?'

...3 little words which were like a wake up call to me.  Why should I only eat my favourite foods when I find a restaurant that makes them?  I'm a perfectly capable and intelligent girl so what's stopping me from making food I love rather than just making average meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner?


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