31 March 2011

Spaghetti with Spinach and Leek

Album ‘The Score’ by The Fugees

I was tempted tonight to buy something ready made. The smell of chips while I was cycling is dangerous.
Do you ever get that? Especially when you run at night? I’m glad there are no late night bakeries around here; I would become a tubby customer.

It’s hard to cook every night of the week; a take out might pop up on a Friday or Saturday because you might feel shattered or you need a break.

BUT you should know by now I try and avoid take away.
Eating at a local restaurant for gossip and social gathering YES.

I love the classic fish and chips, but waiting for a special occasion.

Instead I made a comforting dish with:
One chopped leek
200g spinach
Half tsp cumin seeds
Half tsp fenugreek seeds
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
Chopped parsley
2 tbsp double cream
Wholemeal spaghetti

Start boiling spaghetti.
In another pan fry the leeks, garlic and seeds with olive oil.
Then add the spinach and powders.
Pour in the cream and simmer for 3 minutes.
Sprinkle some parsley in the sauce

Once spaghetti is done mix in.
Grate some cheese.

ooh la la la (I had to get that in)

30 March 2011

BOOM Cheesecake

That's right. No running to the shops for a packet of digestives, better home baked :)

Cake bit:

350g plain wholemeal flour

teaspoon of cinnamon

teaspoon of ground ginger

half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

130g butter

1 large egg

150g caster sugar

teaspoon of vanilla essence

100ml milk

combine flour,butter, cinnamon, ground ginger, bc and sugar, rub in.

add the egg, essence and milk and make into a dough refrigerate for 10 minutes roll out and put on baking tray.

put in oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes. Leave out to cool. Then crumble this mixture with your hands.

Add 100g melted butter, I know it sounds deadly but the texture is going to be amazing.

press down into a tin with removable base.

Refrigerate for one hour.

Cheese bit:

300g full fat Philadelphia

250g mascarpone

6 raspberries squashed

tablespoon of double cream

whisk all the above and spoon on biscuit base.

Chill for 3 hours.

Serve with raspberries.

I feel like a mozzarella ball. xx

29 March 2011

Cheesecake thoughts

Katy Perry was getting a bit much, it's getting late and I am thinking about what treats to take into NSPCC tomorrow.

Gosh if I'm not thinking about food, I'm sleeping. This could be a problem.

I've switched to the soundtrack from Fantastic Mr Fox.

Just researching about the classic cheesecake.

Looking through my cookbooks and goodfood.com these are my thoughts:
what biscuit base is best?
Soft cheese mixed with mascarpone could be too heavy
why do I want to turn everything chocolate flavoured?
I hate repairing my bike puncture

Once I attempted a banoffee pie for my friend Kitty and the biscuit base didn't set, actually nothing did. But bless her she was over the moon to receive it and she never told me how it tasted. That was a total mess, but tomorrow I will be precise and patient and make a beautiful formed cheesecake.

I will bake my own biscuits in the morning.

Goodnight and check the recipe tomorrow, actually I know you will. I will text you to remind you.

Beans secret cider cellar
Kristofferson's theme
Let her dance xxx

27 March 2011

Wholemeal Chocolate Eclairs

My nephew inspired me to try these, I'm sure at his age he might be gutted I used wholemeal flour but he would still eat them! The recipe is a mixture from a few websites as some called for sugar, cream, more butter, I was seriously confused! Choux pastry has its' puffiness from the high amount of water, so I simply went to youtube and saw how it was done.


250ml water
150g organic butter
6 large eggs
225g wholemeal plain flour
Pinch of salt

300ml organic double cream
80g G&B 70% cocoa chocolate
100g caster sugar 100ml water
25g butter


Oven on 170°c.

Line baking tray with baking paper and sprinkle some flour. You will need two unless you make mini eclairs.

In a pan add the water and butter, let this come to a boil then quickly tip the flour, and stir with a wooden spoon until it's a dough.
Pour in the eggs a little at a time and stir in until combined, sprinkle a bit of salt.

Scoop two tablespoons in a piping bag, or what I did was scoop in a plastic zip seal bag and snipped the corner.
Pipe the lengths about 5-8cm down and leave lots of space between each one.

Keep in oven for 30 minutes until golden brown.

Take out and leave to cool.

Meanwhile make your sauce by heating water in pan with sugar until thick then add butter and chocolate.
Whip your cream.
Cut your eclairs and spread cream with the tops use a teaspoon to cover them in chocolate sauce.

Chocolate Orange Brownies With Macadamia Nuts

Album on 'The Beginning by Black Eyed Peas'
300g butter

300g (3 blocks G&B Maya gold dark)

200g wholemeal plain flour

100g chopped macadamia nuts

250g dark muscovado sugar

5 large eggs

1tsp almond essence

Melt the butter and chocolate.
In another bowl whisk eggs and sugar.
Fold in the flour and then pour in melted chocolate.

Stir in the nuts and essence.

Put in baking tray Bake for 20 minutes.

When you smell it then its nearly done.

It's best not to poke knife in this mixture, as long as its been in the oven for 20 mins and its not wobbling its done.

I made these for the beautiful Holt ladies.

26 March 2011

Strawberry and Hazelnut Meringue

This delicious meringue was whipped up in 20 minutes, and cooked for 30 minutes.

I just thought I'm always getting the flour out and making basic cake, this time it's all about the eggs.

100g hazelnuts

4 large egg whites room temperature

200g light brown sugar

small chunk of stem ginger chopped

half a tsp ground cinnamon

4 large fresh strawberries sliced.

Put the oven on 200°C and toast the hazelnuts for 10minutes.

Take out and with your palms rub them so the skin flakes off.

Then crush them with your chopping board or large knife. Keep to one side, and let the smell fill your kitchen.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy then add sugar in three goes. Whisk until mixture is light brown, lump free and glossy.

Fold in the hazelnuts and ginger, add cinnamon, and strawberries.

Put in tin with removable base and on the top shelf for 30 minutes. Once the top is golden brown and knife comes out clean its ready.

Be cool, let it cool. I know it smells divine but it will taste better when you don't burn your mouth on it.

I've left it on the kitchen table for housemates, I doubt there will be any left tomorrow. The above was my slice and it tasted amazing.

25 March 2011

Chilled Chicken Burger

Album on ‘Family Jewels by Marina and the Diamonds’

I’m so relaxed today, you know it’s a good day when time just doesn’t matter and you can walk and cycle as slow as you want because you don’t have to be anywhere.

Today I enjoyed delicious pizza with Garry
Spent £3 on a carton of red berry juice which is good for you but tasted like a medicine my Gran used to chase me round the house with. I’ll freeze them into lollies.
Got asked to be in a brownie bake off
Found one pound
Made bread

Made chicken burgers like this:
3 breasts of chicken minced
4 white potatoes
1 ripe avocado
1 beef tomato
1 red onion
Sweet chilli sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 little red chilli
Chilli olive oil
One egg beaten
1 tsp turmeric
1tsp cumin powder
1tsp chilli powder
Coarse sea salt

Leave your bread dough to prove for 45 mins.

Meanwhile cut your potatoes into chips and drizzle olive oil and sprinkle coarse sea salt. Put in the oven second shelf. These will take the longest.

In a bowl add your chicken mince, chopped fresh chilli, crushed garlic, and all the spice powders.
Mix and add the egg.

“Guess what I’m not a robot, a robot”

Divide your bread dough in four buns and put on the top shelf.
Once bread is golden brown and hard at the top take out and admire.

Now start on the chicken, flour your hands and roll
mixture into four balls.
Heat a large frying pan and put each ball in, flattening down gently.
Check on chips.

Prepare what you like on your chicken burger. Be careful not to go overboard.....
Mita “Emily lets have some pineapple on the burgers”
Emily “yeah cool”
Mita “maybe some mushrooms, I love them”
Emily “yeah, not me”
Mita “ooo I could roast some pepper, lets get some lettuce too.
Emily stands there in silence.

We ate
We laughed
We are stuffed

we forgot the CHEESE and BACON

next burger I blog will be a mammoth cheesy bacon superstar.

23 March 2011

Chai Cupcakes

I hope these go down well, I started to make the standard vanilla cup cake mixture but then added a teaspoon of my mums chai masala.

When I took a bite it tasted like the best tea and cake combo.

Try it and let me know what it tastes like for you.


I'm o.k, I know soon this blog will be flooding with comments and swapsies.

Recipe for 20 cakes:


200g Wholemeal self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
half teaspoon Savita Patel's chai masala
150g muscovado dark sugar
200g soft butter

Icing sugar
Pink colouring
Almond essence


Preheat oven 180°C
Whisk sugar and butter until light brown
Add one egg at a time and keep on whisking
Fold in flour and baking powder
Add essence and chai masala

Fill cases and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Keep your cool, and let them cool too.

Remember these cakes started from a bit of flour, eggs etc and now they are alive and cooking. Just give them some space to get used to their surroundings before they get eaten.

Make your icing sugar all lovely, pink and almond flavoured.

Cakes with tea are nice and a classic.

Have a great evening.x

22 March 2011

Pasta with pesto

No I didn't hand make the pasta OK!

Slight pressure of having a food/recipe blog is that you got to be different and stand out from other recipe blogs.

Not me, I'm just being myself. Whatever I cook or try, if I think it's cool then I take a picture of it on my iPhone and blog about it.

Today I ran 10 miles, I'm doing it every Tuesday and my legs feel like iron. I'm just so hungry when I get in, if I see Sophie at the door (beautiful cat) she looks like a white marshmallow I could happily eat.

I get in looking slightly unattractive and tip some pasta in a pot, fill with water, drizzle oil and let it boil.

Got my mini blender and put in:
pine nuts
Parmesan, not too much you might want to grate some on top.
sunflower seeds
fresh coriander lots and lots
olive oil
2 macadamia nuts
pinch of sesame seeds

blend until it looks like pesto.

drain pasta and stir in.


oh one more thing, today I realised its SO nice when someone is always happy to see you.

21 March 2011


Album on 'Old Skool Club Classics'

This takes 6 hours to set, and will be a perfect mousse texture.

Depending on how many people you are serving use this measure: 1 person = 60g chocolate 2 large eggs

I'm greedy and wanted to try a big batch, I'm paying for it now...big sugar rush. That's why I got the club album on!

250g G&B 70% chocolate

5 large eggs separated

2 tsp light muscovado sugar

melt chocolate in bowl over boiling water, then once this is done stir in the 5 egg yolks. Transfer to another bowl.

Whisk the 5 egg whites in a clean dry bowl, one spot of water and its downhill.

Add sugar and whisk until white peaks.

Then fold in half of egg white mixture with tablespoon in chocolate bowl, quickly whisk in the rest

Fill your containers and leave in the fridge for 6 hours. Enjoy your day or night!

Once ready to serve sprinkle some nuts on or banana chips. OR use G&B other dark flavour chocolates.

It's very rich and good for you IF you use good quality chocolate.

20 March 2011

Don't staple your food pt2

Potato head

Pink fir apple, Charlotte, Marfona, Jersey Royal, Estima, Maris piper they all sound like exotic dancers...maybe not Charlotte.
Anyway they are our favourite potatoes and we buy them not knowing why they have these names when we do what we want to them.

For the small:

Charlotte, Jersey Royal and Pink Fir Apple’s best to steam them, and have in salads.
For the good old Maris piper you can mash, roast, bake and make chips.
Estima and Marfona are best for delicious jackets.
I’m all about sweet potato; you can do whatever you want to this!
My experiences and future tips on how to handle this staple.

If you choose to mash to have on side or topping for pie try some of these:

Add tiny bit of butter and milk.
Season with black pepper
Use chilli oil and chilli flakes
Add dollop of mustard
Add spoon of mayonnaise
Fry some onions until soft and stir in mash
Crush some nuts
Stir in some spinach
Sprinkle some coriander
For roasting or frying use good olive oil or organic butter. Get some herbs involved, rosemary, thyme, basil or coriander. Use some of these to rub on potatoes before they get cooked.
Make it spicy with curry figh paste.

For healthy jackets the toppings are endless. It takes about one hour for a big jacket potato to be thoroughly cooked.
You can rub some coarse salt on the skin to make it crispy.
Keep skin on potatoes when cooking them, your missing out on some good vitamins if you peel this. Kids can be fussy about this, don’t give in! Remember if it’s in front of them and they are starving you shouldn’t hear a word. It’s a good habit to get into.


Honestly I couldn’t live without it. And I’ve started to bake it too. It’s my favourite staple.

Some of my tips about buying/ making bread:

You can buy ready mix bread packets and all you have to do is add water, knead, rest and bake.

Buy wholemeal bread flour if you’re baking it and fast action yeast sachets.
Baking it yourself is time consuming but worth it, there is nothing like the smell and taste of fresh bread, and at least you know what’s going in.

Choose wholemeal or seeded bread and buy it from a baker or the part of the supermarket you run past because you want a doughnut.

Bread contains energy, fibre, protein, calcium, iron and is low in sugar and fat. You have to read and calm down on what you spread on it. Don’t get me wrong I love nutella on toast with banana but as a treat not part of my routine!

I know the ready wrapped variety stays fresh for longer and is useful for sandwiches and toast but so much other crap goes in there. So for a change try buying a fresh loaf from the bakers, and cut up yourself.

My favourites:
Home made garlic bread
Ciabatta with sundried tomatoes and olives
Baguette with houmous and rocket
Naan bread with mustard seeds

Good luck and let me know how your baking goes.

Don't staple your food

Album in background ‘The Con by Tegan and Sara’
What’s your staple food? Are you adding variety to your meals? Or is it just pasta, potato and rice based?

Staple foods are the main bulk of what we eat and are normally accompanied by something else. In the UK they are pasta, rice and potatoes.
They can be very quick to cook and for most of us it provides substance in our meals making us feel full.

Time to read on and hopefully get you to mix things up in your kitchen.


Simple and versatile staple made from wheat flour, water and then into a pasta machine. These days I only buy whole wheat pasta; it takes a bit longer to cook and has a nuttier taste.

Pasta is very quick to cook and can be high in fat if combined with cheese and creamy sauces. It’s nice to eat before bed with a thin sauce because it produces sleep inducing hormones.

When you get in from work and fancy pasta....please don’t reach for the pesto jar.

Try this instead:

On your way back from work go into the supermarket and buy some peas, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and mozzarella.

When you get in and start boiling the pasta you can prepare some of the veg.
So chuck in the broccoli and peas when pasta is nearly done.

Maybe make our own pesto or your own sauce

drizzle olive oil

Instead of cheddar use Parmesan, Gorgonzola or mozzarella. They can be a bit more expensive but better than having cheddar on top of everything all the time. Plus cheddar takes up too much space in a supermarket, it makes me angry.

Add spinach to pasta

Make it spicy by adding some curry figh paste and passata (check lamb and date curry recipe)

Incorporate bacon and chilli

Don’t put all the above in one meal! They are just ideas that I have tried in the past. I know some people cannot be bothered and love a standard pasta and pesto, because it’s quick and effortless. So maybe prepare some of the above the night before so the next day you can just add it in. Let me know what you have conjured up....

Rice and......
Now we are on the good stuff! This is a staple food for over half the worlds population.
It takes about 20 minutes to cook and in my case about 10 years to master. There are so many types, here are just a few, and we only have about 7 of these in our supermarkets.
Long grain
Red rice
Wild rice
Valencia (paella)
Vialone nano

My mum would have a pot ready of basmati with every meal. So at university I went bit pasta crazy for 3 years!
Now I cook a lot of risotto and paella because I don’t really like rice on the side.
It's a great staple if your cooking for a lot of people, it will fill them up so you don't have to worry about too many side dishes.

add some turmeric to make yellow rice

when rice is nearly done add lime wedge

in a pan fry 2 cloves, 3 cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick then add rice and water.
classic scrambled egg to rice

create a rice salad with rocket, spinach and watercress
put cooked rice in red pepper and roast
Got any other ideas that you have tried? Let me know.

19 March 2011

Iced Fancies

Best mates catch you when your about to fall, and Jenna never lets me down.
Off to Nottinghill today and thought Jen deserved a treat.
Listening to 'Jessie J Who You Are'

Preheat oven 180°C

180g Wholemeal self raising flour

1tsp baking powder

150g light brown muscovado sugar

3 medium eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla essence
180g butter melted

Whisk butter, sugar until fluffy, then add eggs, vanilla essence and mix in flour with baking powder.

Grease square tin and pour batter in spreading it evenly.

Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown

Cool it completely and slice horizontally.

spread jam and sandwich back together.

Meanwhile make your icing sugar, 250g to 2tbsp water. mix until thick. divide mixture into 3 bowls and choose your colourings.

Then cut up the cake into squares, it might be fragile so be gentle with it.

Drizzle colouring over cakes, be creative and messy.

Refrigerate for 1 hour until icing has set and then pack in box with greaseproof paper.

Stripey dress on, already got asked if I just got in from a night out.

Have a great day out.x

18 March 2011

Lamb and Date Curry

Lamb Curry with dates and sweet potatoes.

Recipe for a luxurious curry.


500g lamb chunks
1 medium sweet potato
1 small onion
50g pitted dates
Can of chopped tomatoes
1tsp turmeric
1tsp garam masala
1tsp ground cumin powder
1tsp chilli powder
3 cardamom pods
4 cloves
Half teaspoon of mustard seeds
Chill olive oil
Lemon juice


Don’t use all the paste in this dish; it depends how hot you can handle it, I advise 2tsp. 
In a bowl marinate lamb with 2tsp of paste, lemon juice and add all the powders. Olive oil one of your hands and rub in properly. Put in fridge for:

1. 30 minutes – mild
2. 1 hour – “that’s got a kick”
3. Overnight – “wowza where’s my water and throw in some ice will you”.

Option 2 for me.
Meanwhile chop and prepare veg into a piece of art. 

Heat some chilli oil in a pot with cardamom, mustard seeds, cloves and onions, then add your lamb and fry until its brown, add the whole can of chopped tomatoes and fill can with a third of water and pour in. Leave on a very low heat and add sweet potatoes. Cook for 20 minutes and then add dates. After 5 minutes taste sweet potato and lamb. Once it’s done to your taste, turn off and sprinkle coriander. I love this herb and it’s essential in curry.

Start on your rice. I will blog on perfect rice soon, watch this space.

All done.xx

16 March 2011

Breakfast Rosti

Some say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I agree with a capital A!

After waking up, your body needs essential energy to kick start your day. My good friend Hayley deserved this breakfast, fit for a vegetarian queen.

Recipe for two:


1 grated large potato, skin on.
1 grated small apple, skin on.
1cm chunk of ginger grated.
20g butter
2 large eggs
Small can of baked beans

Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Put the grated potato, apple, and ginger in bowl and squeeze the juice out with your hands.
Don't squeeze too much, the mixture should still be damp.

In a small frying pan add half of the butter and let it sizzle.

Then gather half of the potato mixture in a ball, and flatten in the frying pan.

Let this fry on a low heat for 2 minutes each side.

Then add to baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, and pop in oven for 10minutes.

Meanwhile start poaching the eggs and heating up the beans.
Poaching an egg is not difficult and takes practise. In a small pan fill half with water and let it boil, once water is bubbling, crack egg close to the water and just leave it. After two minutes, take out with a slotted spoon.

After both eggs are done, turn oven off and serve up.

The verdict?

Absolutely scrumptious.

15 March 2011

Orange and Lemon Cake

On a random night, at a random time I baked again..

This moist sponge has a crunchy lemon drizzle, and melted Maya gold chocolate with chopped macadamia nuts.

Recipe for a 23cm cake tin:


180g wholemeal self raising flour
150g light brown muscovado sugar
1 large orange zest and juice
2 medium eggs
180g butter melted
juice of 1 large lemon and 100g granulated sugar, whisk in separate bowl
100g Green and Blacks Maya gold
50g macadamia nuts
1tbsp milk


Preheat oven 180°C
Whisk the sugar,eggs until light brown and runny.
Add the eggs and melted butter, fold this in.
Then add the flour and zest.
Lastly the juice.
Put the batter in the tin.
 Bake for 35minutes until golden and springing back.
Then prick and pour over sugar and lemon juice syrup.
Melt chocolate over boiling water, then add chopped nuts and the milk. 
Stir until glossy.

Get a pot of green tea ready and enjoy a slice or three.....x

 Next Time:
More care into the appearance. Maybe cover with chocolate then top with nuts and orange slices. 

13 March 2011

I love my juicer am to pm.

This beautiful, amazing and colourful machine you see above is my juicer. It was painted by the wonderful team I used to work with at Diesel.
This morning I found it and I got straight into action. Normally my thoughts are:

what cereal do I have? I should add fruit to get one of my 5 a day in.

fry up?

just a bit of toast will do me!

let me make a cuppa and see how hungry I am after.
I love my bed let me sleep in for another two hours...its a sunday after all.

BUT if you have a juicer in storage or on the top shelf get it ready and start your day with a refreshing kick.

This was my breakfast this morning.
3 apples
2 pears
1 orange
1 carrot
all juiced.
And a fruit salad to nibble on.
This month I will be trying out new juices and letting you know how good or bad they are.
I found out it's better to blend raspberries, blueberries and kiwi's.

It's been a super weekend and I've realised if someone has made or painted a gift I love them!
The thought is so sweet and you can tell time has been taken on it just for you. Try doing it for someone you know.

11 March 2011

Butterless Chocolate Muffins


Look at these, don't they look fun?
Here is a recipe to make 12. 
Yes 11 in the picture, because I had to try one!



80g Green and Blacks 70% chocolate grated. Do this now otherwise you will hate me.
200g wholemeal plain flour
1 dessertspoon of nutella
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark muscovado sugar
2 medium eggs
100ml groundnut oil
200ml whole milk
1 tsp almond essence


Preheat oven 200°c.
Get your muffin tray and cases ready.
Beat eggs, oil, until foamy and add milk bit at a time.
Add essence, and nutella.
Then sieve flour, add baking powder and chocolate.
Stir mixture, and make sure it still looks lumpy.
Fill cases using a tablespoon and dessert spoon, fill cases two thirds up. This mixture definitely makes 12 muffins, so add some more to the cases that need it.
Bake for 25minutes.
Take out and leave to cool completely.
Melt white G&B chocolate over heat, and add some smarties.
Really nice with a cup of tea, and friends who just want you to listen.



Dark Orange Brownies with Brazil Nuts

Mmmmm you got to love a brownie. But nuts or no nuts? Chewy or moist? Topping? Serve with cream or ice cream?
There are so many brownie recipes out there and they are all fantastic but it really depends what YOU like. So look at the recipe and take out and replace it with something you want.

This is what I love...BRAZIL NUTS. Full of protein and they have high selenium content. This is an antioxidant and helps reduce risk of cancer and protects against premature aging.


Oven 180°C
300g butter
300g (2 blocks Green and Blacks 70% dark chocolate, and one block Maya gold dark)
5 large eggs
300g dark muscovado sugar
Two vanilla pods seeds scraped out
75g Brazil nuts chopped with knife don't use machinery, the chunkier the better.
200g wholemeal plain flour

Grease roasting dish or fairly big oven tray and line with greaseproof paper. The size of tin depends on how chunky you like your brownies.
Melt chocolate and butter in bowl over hot water; this could take a while so concentrate on stirring this first.

Once melted, turn off heat.

In a mixing bowl add sugar and eggs, whisk, add vanilla seeds. Make sure all the lumps from the sugar have disappeared. Then fold in the flour, add the chocolate mixture and stir in nuts.

Pour in tray and strictly time for 20mins. Take out and leave, it will keep on cooking. Wait until its completely cool and cut up.

Crazy Carrot Cake

Last night I felt like baking, not just one cake but a few. I started at 11pm and finished at 1am.
It started like this:

I get in switch oven on and turn to 200°C. Radio one is also a bonus it keeps me moving around the kitchen.

Healthy Carrot Cake


3 large eggs
200g Wholemeal self raising flour
Small orange zest and its juice
150g butter at room temperature, pop in the oven in a bowl for a few mins.
200g grated carrots (2 big carrots)
50g chopped walnuts (put them in chopper or blender for 5 seconds)
One chunk of stem ginger chopped finely with a teaspoon of is syrup
Half a teaspoon of ginger powder
1 tsp baking powder
250 g light brown muscovado sugar
50g raisins
Half teaspoon of cinnamon

Get two bowls, motivated attitude, whisk and tablespoon ready!

In one bowl whisk the butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time beat properly until all one colour. Add the zest, juice, carrots, ginger powder, cinnamon, stem ginger and syrup.

In the second bowl sieve the flour and then put the bran bits back in and stir. Add the baking powder, raisins and nuts. Tip these ingredients into the first bowl and stir slowly, scrape everything from the sides.

It’s not going to look nice in the bowl, and should be quite thick.
Pour this into a greased square cake tin with removable base (20cm, 8 inch). If you don’t have the right sizes don’t worry. Just make sure the tin is fairly deep and you can take it out after. Line it with baking paper if you want.
Top shelf oven for 30minutes. Test after 30mins only with a butter knife to see if it comes out clean.
Leave to rest out of the oven. Cover with greaseproof paper and let it sleep.

This morning I did not get my bowl of bran flakes ready, instead I filled it with 280g light Philadelphia, tablespoon icing sugar, half teaspoon of vanilla essence and a squeeze of orange juice. Whisking away I thought I might have put too much orange juice in!
So be careful, maybe one teeny drop. Just BEFORE serving add orange and yellow smarties. Second mistake was adding them too early...well it looks artistic.

7 March 2011


"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so" - Hamlet

This is very true; trust me I'm an active thinker! It's all about listening to your body. Eat when your hungry, sleep when you’re actually sleepy and when you crave chocolate sniff some vanilla essence or just have a tiny bite.

This wonderful book is a must have, at the moment I'm reading it cover to cover and let me tell you it's not your average recipe book.

Jane is a nutritionist and gives you hints on how to look after your body when you’re pushed for time after a stressful day. This has inspired me to re vamp my commodities, throw away the ketchup (you don't realise how tough that was) and walk to Tesco. I was a nutcase and bought pecans, walnuts, cashews, sesame seeds, pine kernels, sunflower seeds, dates and brazil nuts. Little packs of these are as handy as snacks and even sprinkling them on salads or adding in a sandwich. This morning I grilled some cheddar on toast and topped it with chopped brazil nuts, BOOM.

This book made me realise that whatever you experience in the day you want to eat something comforting that might make up for it after. You can try and change your line of thinking and add variety and wholesome options to end your day on a high, and it will benefit your body and mind.

This might not be the case for everyone, but the last thing you want is to get into a trap of sitting in front of the TV and not actually enjoying what you’re eating but focusing on 'my big fat gypsy wedding'.
Tell your friends nuts are awesome and Jane is awesome.
Time for some chai.x