31 October 2011

Thriller Night


Scary and frightful day and evening? Yes me too.

I wanted to blog this morning then in the afternoon, and now at 11.30pm I am gutted and really wish I had an Ipad.

There has been a slight reduction with my blogging obsession and I think this way ......

Sorry have to cut off and tell you that I can hear my housemates singing Elton John's 'don't go breaking my heart'. And let me tell you it's breaking my heart, headphones are going in.

Going back to my point about blogging -  I have found three to four recipes a week work better than 2 a day. This way I don't write crap and the recipe's that do go up can be of better quality.

This is the playlist I had been listening to today while cooking. I know it is probably too late to play this now but maybe on your next fright night?

'Thriller' By Michael Jackson
'Cry Little Sister' By G Tom Mac
'Claudia's Aleegro Agitato' By Jonathon Sheffer
'Scent Of Death' By Jonathon Sheffer
'The Hunters Prelude' By Anton Coppola
'Love Song For A Vampire' By Annie Lennox
'Introduction To Edward Scissorhands' By Shirley Walker
'Storytime to Edwatd Scissorhands' By Shirley Walker
'I Put A Spell On You' By Nina Simone
'Rod Hanged/ Night Stalking (Nightmare on Elm Street)' By Charles Bernstein
'Terror In The Tub (Nightmare on Elm Street' By Charles Bernstein
'Tubular Bells' By Mike Oldfield
'Thirteen O Clock' By Various Artists from The Labyrinth Soundtrack
'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' By Nerf Herder

Lots of cooking and baking covered today, check out the recipes in this category so you can get ideas for next Halloween.

27 October 2011

Spicy Onion and Yoghurt Pasta

Another pasta dish worth blogging about! This time with yoghurt and no sign of pesto and tomatoes. Let me know what you think of this combination - would you try it?

This is my 'Cutting Korma's Playlist' from my chicken korma last week.

'Chura Liya' By Bally Sagoo
'Addictive' By Truth Hurts Featuring Rakim
'Jogi' By Panjabi MC
'Get Ur Freak On' Missy Elliot
'Sunshowers' By M.I.A
'Me Against The Music' By Britney Spears Featuring Madonna and Juggy D
'Beware' By Punjabi MC Featuring Jay -Z
'Hindu Sad Diamonds' By Nicole Kidman, John Leguizamo and Alka Yagnik
'Indian Flute' By Timbaland, Magoo, Sebastian and Rajé Shwari

Feeds 2: each person 100g dried pasta.


200g pasta (any shape you like)
100ml natural yoghurt
200g fresh spinach
Half a red onion
1 tsp turmeric
1 small red chilli
1 garlic clove crushed
Small chunk of ginger grated (about a teaspoon)
Vegetable oil (1 tbsp)

: Fry the onions, garlic and spices in vegetable oil until soft - leave off the heat.
: Boil salted water and cook pasta.
: Once pasta is cooked,  drain it and keep on a low heat.
: Add the spinach and chopped red chilli.
: Now the onion mixture can be stirred in.
: Pour yoghurt and stir through, the heat can be turned off.

< Season and serve with coriander.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Get Your Freak On' By Missy Elliot.

Earthy Spiced Brownies

♬ Still on Diwali Tunes..

 'Aarti' By Sadhna Sargam
'Deepavali Manayi Suhani' By Asha Bhosle
'Aai Ab Kai Sal Diwali' By Lata Mangeshkar
'Lakhon Tare' By Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
'Raghupati Raghav' By Alka Yagnik and Shankar Mahadevan

Celebrate day 2 of Diwali and offer these to friends and family: the clove and cinnamon marry perfectly and these are heavenly eaten straight out the oven!

Makes 16 in a medium roasting or brownie tray.


300g dark chocolate (70% minimum cocoa solids)
250g dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
60g plain flour
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp ground cloves
1tsp ground cinnamon
20g chopped brazil nuts
50g cocoa powder
250g unsalted butter


Preheat oven 80°c, line a medium roasting dish or a brownie tray with greaseproof paper.

: Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl over boiling water.
: Whisk the sugar and eggs.
: Pour the melted chocolate and butter in the egg mixture.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, cocoa, cloves, cinnamon over the top.
: Fold in the nuts, stir until all combined and pour in the dish.
: Increase temperature to 180°c and bake for 22 minutes.

< Great to eat warm or refrigerate, and once ready to serve bring up to room temperature.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Aarti' By Sadhna Sargham

26 October 2011


Diwali Tunes...

'Aarti' By Sadhna Sargam
'Deepavali Manayi Suhani' By Asha Bhosle
'Aai Ab Kai Sal Diwali' By Lata Mangeshkar
'Lakhon Tare' By Lata Mangeshkar and Mukesh
'Raghupati Raghav' By Alka Yagnik and Shankar Mahadevan


I made all these vegetarian dishes at work today to celebrate the festival of light. Right now I can hear fireworks outside my window and am slightly gutted I am not with my family.

Here is what's on display starting from the top of the page...

Sweet potato with phanch phoran

▶ Masala wedges
- Par boil potatoes and then tip in a roasting dish with vegetable oil, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp chili powder, salt, 1 garlic clove and 1 tsp garam masala. Bake for half an hour until golden and crispy.

▶ Curried chick peas

▶ Saag (curried spinach)
- Fry half an onion with 1 crushed garlic clove - empty a 450g bag of fresh spinach and watch it reduce. Keep on a low heat and add 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tsp turmeric, salt and fresh ginger and a bit of lime juice. This could end up tasting like wet spinach so keep on checking on it and flavour as you go.

▶ Tomato, onion and fine bean coconut curry.
- Quite random this recipe but it tasted amazing, that's always the way don't you think?
Fry half an onion in vegetable oil with 1 crushed garlic clove - wait for onions to brown. Cut vine tomatoes in half and place down in the frying pan. Add a handful of fine beans and half a can of coconut milk. The next step is to add 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground coriander,  1 tsp ground cumin and 1 tsp turmeric.

All these dishes took me an hour and half in total, and this was when I was also watching a toddler and three boys were running around the kitchen.

Shattered. But will still bake! After all at Diwali you have to exchange sweets.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Deepavali Manayi Suhani' By Asha Bhosle

25 October 2011

Biscuit and Yoghurt Pots

'New York A New Mix Odyssey 2' By Armand Van Helden

I am illin it and feelin it so needed a quick treat and upbeat album to keep me going, the rest of the week is going to be incredibly busy with Diwali tomorrow and Halloween over the weekend.

This pudding is cheap, really quick to put together and can look very fancy.

You need empty dessert containers from cheesecakes or mousses, you know the ones you might keep for some strange reason? Well now you can put them to use! 

Serves 2 (2 digestives per person)


4 digestives
Low fat black cherry yoghurt
Fruit of your choice
Lemon curd or honey.
20g butter
1 tsp caster sugar


: Crush the digestives with your hands or in a blender.
: Rub in the butter and sugar.
: Press down in the containers and put a teaspoon of lemon curd or honey on top.
: Spoon a generous amount of yoghurt in each container.
: Top with fruit and refrigerate.

The container at the front of the photo looks like it has more biscuit than yoghurt - this is not the case! I should have positioned them better, I wish I could take another photo but both are gone!

Next Time:
I will make loads of these for the next party I cater for and use a variety of fruits and yoghurts.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Shake That Ass' By Armand Van Helden and Team Facelift.

Enjoy the rest of your day and let me know if you give this a try.x

23 October 2011

Spinach and Cheddar Muffins

Savoury over sweet? 

You decide....

After my pasta bake I kept the oven and my rock playlist on, and also checked out FreeSol's new video 'Role Model', this features Justin Timberlake and he is rapping. Am I out of the loop again or is this new territory for Justin? I had to listen to it about three times before I went back to rock.

Meanwhile I decided to stuff the the idea of a Sunday sweet cake and made savoury muffins.

I am a sweet over savoury lady but thought I would break out of my comfort baking zone. 

When would you eat a savoury muffin? 
Sweet bakes are known as a guilty pleasure but I think savoury recipes should get more attention.

Let me know what you think.

Recipe for 6 large muffins


300g plain flour
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
20g  caster sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
180ml vegetable oil
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
200g chopped fresh spinach
75g grated mild cheddar cheese (plus extra to put on top)
2 medium eggs
black pepper
50g butter


 Lightly grease a deep 6 hole muffin tray with butter, no need for cases.
Preheat oven 190°c

: Sieve the flour and bicarbonate of soda in a bowl and add sugar.
: Rub in the butter until it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
: Now add the wet ingredients (oil, eggs, yoghurt)
: Add the nutmeg, seasoning and stir well.
: Time for spinach and cheese to get involved.
: Fold in slowly so it still looks lumpy, this batter does not need to be mixed thoroughly.
: Spoon in the muffin tray, a generous amount these are BIG!
: Add a bit more cheese on top.
: This mixture can be divided into 12 so if that's the tray you have then that is not a problem!
: Bake for 25 minutes until slightly brown, they should NOT be hard on top. Aim for a fluffy and rough texture inside.

< Once done these can be eaten hot, and this could be the tricky part because it is not a muffin I would have with a cup of tea - you can serve these with crème fraîche, eat with soup, maybe a mid afternoon snack or try it in your lunchbox.

Next Time:
Caramelised red onion muffins sound nice...

Favourite Song with this recipe:

ê 'The Pretender' By The Foo Fighters

The Fish Factor - Tuna Pasta Bake

♬ Tuna Tunes - some tracks inspired from last night's X Factor and a few other classic rock and roll tracks.

'Are You Gonna Go My Way' By Lenny Kravitz
'Sweet Child O'Mine' By Guns N Roses
'Blaze Of Glory' By Jon Bon Jovi
'The Pretender' By The Foo Fighters
'Stairway to Heaven' By Led Zeppelin
'Livin On A Prayer' By Bon Jovi
'Stop Crying Your Heart Out' By Oasis
'Highway To Hell' By AC DC
'Live and Let Die' By Guns N Roses
'Higher Ground' By The Red Hot Chili Peppers
'Rocks' By Primal Scream
'Purple Rain' By Prince
'I Was Made For Lovin' You Baby' By Kiss
'Smells Like Teen Spirit' By Nirvana

Feeds 2 on a lazy Sunday.


20g sweetcorn
1 can of chopped tomatoes
200g fresh spinach
1 tsp dried thyme
1tsp dried rosemary
300g dried pasta
Half a red onion - chopped.
Olive Oil
Sea salt
Black Pepper
1 can of tuna chunks in brine or spring water - drained.
100g Cheddar cheese
50g Mozzarella


Preheat oven 200°c

: Boil pasta in double the amount of water until 'al dente'.
: Grate cheese and chop spinach.
: Once pasta is done, stir in the rosemary, thyme, onion, spinach and tomatoes with a dash of olive oil. 
: Pour in a baking dish and scatter tuna and sweetcorn on top.
: Finish off with layers of cheese, black pepper and salt.
: Bake for 15 minutes and serve with crusty bread.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Blaze Of Glory' By Jon Bon Jovi

21 October 2011


 My Food & Music Birthday Shoot.

The photographer Lucienne Sencier
The make up artist Amritha Suvarna

A big THANK YOU to everyone involved in this project. 

Expressing my passion for food and music out of the kitchen, and in front of a camera was great. I want this to be an ongoing project so keep a look out! On the day Nathalie burnt 5 eggs and set off the fire alarm before she achieved the perfect fried egg for the cassette!
Big love to her.

More pictures will be on my facebook page and flickr in two weeks, and I mean about 50 more!

 Right now I'm off to eat cake for breakfast.

Birthday Songs:

'Dog Days Are Over' By Florence and The Machine
'Powerless' By Nelly Furtado

19 October 2011

Pizza Care

Dinner time and trust me this pizza dough took me most of today to perfect and the photo is not doing this dish any justice, let's just say I'm starting to despise my IPhone4- time to invest in a Canon 7D!

The pizzas I made this afternoon were too thick and I burnt them...

See what I mean?!

Great toppings but the bake and dough not good enough.

My Italian cameraman contacted me as soon as he heard about this and gave me some very helpful hints and tips. It was too late, I did not have sparkling water to add to the dough - sorry Fred.

I just pressed play and got on with what I had.

♬ '4' By Beyoncé 

Last time I made pizza I also had this diva on in the background and with her smashing new video out for 'Love On Top' I couldn't help but be a bit cheesy and get her back on!

Recipe for 4 large pizzas (1st photo). If you want chunky naan bread look a likes (2nd photo) just don't roll them too thin.

500g strong bread flour
1 packet of dried yeast (7g)
100g plain flour
20g caster sugar
300ml warm water

1 large red onion
300g fresh spinach
Red pepper pesto
Flat leaf parsley

: Empty the packet of yeast in the water and add the sugar.
: Combine the flours and make a hole in the centre and add the water bit by bit.
: Start kneading the dough and really go for it for 5 solid minutes.
: If the dough is too sticky add some plain flour to your hands or if it is too dry add more water.
: Transfer dough to a clean bowl and cover the top with cling film.
: Put it in a warm dark room for one hour until it has doubled in size.
: Relax and soak your hands!

: Preheat the oven to 190°c.
9 Once the dough has doubled knock it back again and by this I mean use your hands to push the dough away from you: do this for 2 minutes.
: Divide the dough into 4 buns.
: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the buns out until you have reached a thickness you like.

: Start chopping the spinach, mozzarella, parsley and onion.
: Spread the pesto over the base, add everything else and season.
: Drizzle olive oil and bake for 15 minutes.

< Eat hot and let me know if you try it or know something else that would make a better base.

As for me I learnt so much today but one thing is for sure....

Jamie Oliver's Italian is Gennaro Contaldo.
Mita Patel's Italian is Fred Portelli.

Favourite Song:
ê 'End Of Time' By Beyoncé

18 October 2011

Raspberry and Apple Upside Down Pudding

WOO HOO baking week and typical me is a day late, this definitely makes up for Monday. The next few days will not just be about cakes but other lovely treats straight from the oven.

Why upside down?

Not sure so used to putting things on top of a cake I didn't want to fuss around, this way you tip it over and hey presto, your cake is ready for the taking.

Why apple and raspberry?

That's all the fruit I had, don't worry I still ate more fruit as part of my five a day!

'Let It Bleed' By The Rolling Stones

The cover for this album is very cool it has an antique phonograph with a record changer spindle which is supporting the most random things on a plate.

One of them being a cake which was prepared by then unknown cookery queen DELIA SMITH! 

I can only DREAM for an opportunity like that.

As well as that the album knocked off The Beatles' Abbey Road from the top slot in the UK!

I know I know you just want the recipe...

Get a 20cm square loose tin, line the bottom with baking paper, grease that too and sprinkle a tiny bit of flour and sugar.


200g raspberries
220g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus more to dust
1 tsp baking powder
120g unsalted butter, softened, plus more to grease
2 large eggs
150ml milk
1 large cooking apple, peeled and sliced.


Preheat oven to 180°c

: Scatter raspberries and apple in the tin.
: Whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
: Add the eggs and keep on whisking.
: Sieve the flour and baking powder together in a separate bowl.
: Then pour half the milk in the butter mixture and then half the flour.
: Basically take your time folding the flour and milk in the mixture.
: Pour batter in the tin over the fruits and bake for 40 minutes.

< Once done be gentle, turn the cake tin upside down and peel off the baking paper, eat warm with custard.

Next Time:

Blackberries and rhubarb.

Favourite Songs:

ê 'Gimme Shelter' and 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'