17 December 2012

Fruity Vibe Cupcakes

'The World's Greatest' by R. Kelly

Myself and a few friends did a dance to 'Vibe' in front of everyone at my primary school in Wolverhampton, possibly one of the most embarrassing moments of my childhood. I remember everyone looking at us like 'what the f@% was that?!'. We got a small cheer in the end and a pair of scary eyes by the head teacher. Even the cute nursery classes who sat at the front looked a bit disturbed and probably learnt the F word because they didn't know what else to think about our performance! Don't worry I will not be making a video with a preview anytime soon.

On a fake spring day in bitter East London I made a batch of cupcakes because I was bored, in the mix went..

Rose water
Chocolate chips
Orange zest

 ▶ Recipe for 12 cupcakes:

125g unsalted butter
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 orange
Half teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 tsp rose water
50g dried cranberries
75g chocolate chips
1 Bramley cooking apple, grated.

150g Mascarpone
60g soft butter
80g icing sugar

Green sprinkles and cherries to decorate.


Preheat oven 180°c. 
Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with pretty cases.
: Beat butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
: Add eggs, rose water then stir in flour.
: Tip in chocolate, cranberries, cinnamon and grated apple. 
Zest orange and fold this in mixture.
: Bake for 25 minutes until well risen and golden brown.
: Leave to cool.

: Mix mascarpone with butter and icing sugar, leave in the fridge for twenty minutes before using to cover cakes. 

You might think these cakes would taste TOO sweet, however an apple does wonders for a sponge! They tasted damn good and not too sweet at all.

: Decorate and enjoy.x

ê Fave songs

'She's Got That Vibe'
'Thoia Thoing

11 December 2012

Christmas Samosas

'The Best Of BBC Radio 1's Live Lounge' by Various Artists

On video - 'Halo' by Florence & The Machine

Well well another GREAT video might I add, really pleased with this one, I hope you like it as much as I do.

Here is a recipe for short crust pastry:
From BBC Good Food. Everywhere else online and in my cook books were getting way too technical. This one is clear, simple and not fussy.

350g organic plain flour
225g cold unsalted butter
Jar of mincemeat
2-3tbsp water
100g caster sugar


Preheat oven 170°c.
Rub all the butter into the flour.
Mix in sugar and a pinch of fine sea salt.
Add a tablespoon of water at a time until you form a dough. At this point I tipped everything out on a table and started working into the dough.
Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes then take out and grab small handfuls and roll out into circles, making sure you don't roll too thin.
Cut down the middle of one circle and spoon mincemeat in one corner, pinch to seal and form a triangle. Brush with egg or milk if you want a golden look.

Place on greaseproof paper and bake for 30 minutes, leave to cool until hard to touch. If some have opened or leaked out the sides during baking - don't stress. Try again. The first two I made opened and I rolled the pastry out too thin, I gave it a second shot and they turned out amazing.

I only made five and had loads of pastry left over, so I put that back in the fridge for more experimenting. I might be bragging on about glorified pastry in a triangle shape, but they sound and look fun! Also so much better to hold these than an actual mince pie, imagine dipping one of these in custard..yummy.


6 December 2012

Brownie Cup

♬ 'BANG!...The Greatest Hits Of Frankie Goes To Hollywood'

My brownies mean business, I mean they are so delicious words cannot describe how good they taste. Delicious is an understatement. 
Next time when you make a batch of brownies add two tablespoons of the mixture into wafer cups with a dollop of cranberry sauce in between each spoon. Bake for 25 minutes, then leave out for 20 minutes and whip up some cream and top with edible glitter and dried cranberries.

Mita's Boom Brownies

Recipe has been adapted by many sources, trust me I've made my fair batch of brownies, this recipe is a winner. P.s lots of mixing involved here.

The baking tray size is ESSENTIAL. A roasting tin 34 x 25cm (13 x 10in) lined with greaseproof paper.

5 medium eggs - room temperature
400g sugar (I used 200g caster and 200g granulated)
300g organic chocolate (mix flavours - I used 200g dark and 100g milk)
250g unsalted butter - good quality, no supermarket brand please!
Pinch of fine sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
200g organic plain flour

Cranberry sauce (optional)
Balloon whisk


Preheat oven to 180°c /350°F.
: Melt chocolate and butter in bowl over simmering hot water.
: Meanwhile whisk eggs, sugar, essence until creamy and the mixture covers back of a spoon.
: Pour in chocolate mixture and slowly whisk in big circular motions, like your king of the world.
: Stir through flour and salt.
: Depending on how many wafer cups you are making use a tablespoon to fill them half way, I found two tablespoons were fine as long as each cup is half full. In between each one add a teaspoon of cranberry sauce.
 If you are making a small number, say up to 5, pour the rest of the mixture into the baking tray. If you are making more cups, be warned the tray brownies might not be as thick!
: In the baking tray add small dollops of cranberry sauce and swirl into the mixture with a fork. This of course is optional, if you want to keep them plain then just leave them be!
: Bake for 25 minutes, 30 minutes maximum. The cups will take 25 minutes on the top shelf, any more you will be tasting rock chocolate cake! The other tray shouldn't wobble massively, we want the mixture to be cooked but still slightly gooey. Touch the top to check - be careful.
 Take out and leave cups to rest then whip up some cream and get decorating. With the tray brownies let them cool a bit then with a bread knife cut into generous blocks of heaven.

Sorry no video today which could be a blessing, energy has completely depleted and my eyes would be telling a different story. Getting a bit sentimental on you...
Life is tough and always will be, even for those with loads of money and many more with a few pounds. The question is are you a defeatist? Will you hang up your coat after one, two, or ten rejections/setbacks? 
Tap into your uniqueness and keep going. Struggle is an essential ingredient in a fighters life.

Next up...cherries baby!!

ê 'The Power Of Love'

5 December 2012

Guilty Pleasures

♬ 'Where I Wanna Be' by Donell Jones



30 November 2012

Chilli Cabbage and Duck Salad



'Only By The Night' by Kings Of Leon

Finally! Another glorious salad worth making a video about, I might be ranting on about cavolo nero in this clip. The tangy bitter mother of cabbage deserves a lot of praise! Talking a lot more on these videos mean I am typing less which is great, this way you get to see my excitement instead of an exclamation mark at the end of every sentence! See what I mean.

I simply fried the cabbage lightly with a small green chilli, the duck was roasting while I was humming in the kitchen. I literally just had a call from a friend who said 'mate that tuna salad looks well good'. Which sounds great for pescetarians, so omit the duck from the above and flake over a can of tuna if you want.

Have a great weekend.xx

Song on video
ê 'Crawl'

29 November 2012

Curry vol-au-vents

'The Suburbs' by Arcade Fire

Listen everyone I might have gone a bit crazy in this video, words are splurging out and sometimes I am stuck for words. I don't even think I made sense at the end! You will have to excuse this one, remember practise makes perfect! Which definitely reflects in my pastry making! My first attempt at puff pastry turned out fine, but I think I made the circles too wide and thin. Next time thicker rolling which will enable a higher rise vol-au-vent. Either way it turned out lovely!

I think for today's post I will refrain from typing up the pastry recipe, only until I have perfected it! The chicken and veg curry can be found here.

Since I am still left with a massive block of puff pastry, I'm thinking it's a pie night.

Until then see you soon!?
I'm really not sure what possessed me to say that at the end of the video. Someone fast forward to Friday already!

Favourite Song
ê 'The Suburbs'

28 November 2012

Butternut Squash Salad

'Annie Mac Presents 2012' by Various Artists

Another video with my massive finger getting in the way, however this was done in less than half an hour which is a record for me! 
Right if you want to make this salad keep on reading, if it doesn't tickle your fancy - sorry! I'm working on other salad combinations and wanting to present them in a quirky Mita stylee this coming week.

Recipe for two hungry squash and bacon lovers:


1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed or chopped in the same shape.
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
5 radishes
Small red pepper chopped.
150g bag of rocket, spinach and watercress.
Olive oil
Sea salt
3 thick rashers of unsmoked bacon.


Preheat oven to 200°c, grease small tray and place chopped squash with rosemary leaves in a graceful way and season. I've whacked the heat up for the oven to perform it's magic a bit quicker for the squash. Place on the middle top shelf.
: Bake for 30 minutes until squash is tender.
: Fry bacon until slightly crispy then chop up and dry on kitchen roll.
: In a large salad bowl add chopped radishes, pepper, bag of leaves. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and mix with hands,
: Taste.
: Once squash is done add this to the bowl, also get the bacon involved.
: Serve with a burger, pie or eat on it's own.

Obviously this dish doesn't show off my crazy creative skills, purely because this salad is about combining flavours which are beautiful together, ingredients that people might not normally think go well together. Sometimes I refuse to cover up a salads flavour with dressing. This salad doesn't need it - trust me.
 The pungent rosemary loves getting on top of butternut squash, it was delicious.


ê On video - 'Shining Star' by Nneka (Joe Goddard Remix)

27 November 2012

The Salad Diaries

♬'Pacha Ibiza Albums' by Various Artists

Here I am letting you know about this weeks video theme, bye bye cake - hello salads!

Stay tuned this week.x

23 November 2012

Quorn Stuffed Aubergines

November's Playlist

'Night Light' by Jessie Ware
'Is Your Love Big Enough' by Lianne La Havas
'Pelican' by The Maccabees
'Hard Times' by Plan B
'What's Love Got To Do With It?' by Tina Turner
'Let Me Love You' by Ne-Yo
'Sleaze' by Knife Party, Mistajam
'I Want You Back' by Jackson 5
'Sweet Nothing' by Florence Welch and Calvin Harris
'Anything Could Happen' by Ellie Goulding
'Hometown Glory' cover by James Arthur
'Starships' cover by Conor Maynard
'Remember The Time' by Michael Jackson

This week I worked in a kitchen with a very talented chef in Angel, an experience I'm glad I took on as it showed me working in the kitchen is not the place for this Patel. My hands were battered, cold, burnt of chilli, nothing glamorous about my appearance, and I am all about looking good. The past few days have consisted of hand cream smothered on every two minutes, sweating out chilli during hot yoga and not looking at knives in the same way ever again. OK, maybe a slight over exaggeration about chopping a whole tub of chillies! However I stupidly rubbed my eye in yoga the next day and felt the pain. 
I love to try an area in the food industry and learn from it, most definitely learnt a big lesson here. The best line of the day was when I was stirring soup and told, "Lorraine Pascale stirs like that, a proper chef stirs like they are king of the world". A great insight into a life of a chef compared to what I see and perceive as 'chefs' on TV. Arguably TV cooks and chefs maybe have to strip down how they come across to make skills and meals look easy for us to try at home. Anyway the dream of one day being a TV cook/presenter is still at the forefront of my mind, just so a fresh new somebody other than Jamie and Gordon can take over channel four. That will be me once I get the ball rolling with even more experience and training.

"Positivity can encourage creativity"
I made this up myself, I quite like it.

Right enough about my crazy week and onto the scrummy dish which has been focused and sort of not focused on at the top of the page.

There comes a time when meat has to take a step back and something else has to takes it's place. I present to you (drum roll please) Quorn stuffed aubergines with a simple sauce infused with basil, oregano and garlic. So simple, so easy. so healthy. Quorn has great appeal, as well as looking like real mince once cooked, it's actually very low in fat!
The last time I made stuffed aubergines was back at school in year 9 for food technology. Back then I had no clue about food styling so the dish tasted amazing because I followed a recipe from the only cooking book in the house, unfortunately mine looked awful. The recipe was cheese stuffed aubergines and the final dish looked like aubergine vomit, no colour, and no consideration taken into presentation. I think I got a C grade for that project whereas my best friend who is now an army medical corp received an A*. Every time he beat me in food tech and I just wanted to scream and cry at the same time. He taught me about perfection so I still love him. 
Don't be scared, this is not a recipe for disaster!
 Quorn with aubergine and fresh tomatoes make a lovely thick sauce worthy of an A* and a commendation. 

 ▶ Recipe for 2 


1 large aubergine
Quorn mince (for two people use 150g)
1 large garlic clove
Fresh basil leaves
Dried oregano
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 can of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
Drop of Tabasco


: Preheat oven to 180°c, cut aubergine length way and scoop out flesh.
: Dice aubergine chunks and fry with olive oil and crushed garlic for 2 minutes.
: Meanwhile rub olive oil on aubergine skins, season and wrap in foil. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until soft.
: Add Quorn to aubergine mixture, let this go brown and tip in can of tomatoes. With the same can fill it half way with water and add to mixture.
: Add puree and simmer on slow heat for 15 minutes.
Stir through chopped basil leaves and 1 tsp oregano, season and taste.
: Taste again after 5 minutes to see if you need more seasoning, add Tabasco if you like.
: Take aubergine skins out of the oven and scoop in mixture.
: Done!


12 November 2012

Spice Up Your Rice!

'Spiceworld' by Spice Girls
Another smack in the face Monday and all I wanted to do was think back to when I was a teenager dancing to the Spice Girls, you know a time when rent, shopping and worrying about being a single female never crossed your mind at the wondrous age of 13. Sometimes I wish there were magic marshmallow clouds that would take you into the world of sugar and butter. There would be trees growing toffee apples, tree trunks made from choux pastry, fairies made of icing sugar, grass would be chocolate and mint flavoured and there would be only beautiful men dressed in union jack aprons at your beck and call.

No harm in dreaming, that's when magic happens.

Shock. Two blog posts in the space of a few hours, just like 2011 when I was a blogging hit machine! You never know maybe I will blog about an egg tomorrow, it's a possibility.
Well here is my rather exotic looking lunch. Might I add you are staring and don't be fooled by those eyes - yes that is pineapple amongst chicken and rice. Everything I have typed sounds strangely familiar (apart from the day dream) I have a feeling I could be writing the same stuff every now and then. Obviously I have completely rinsed out the words 'amazing and cool', I still love to marinate them with love in every single post.

How amazing does my lunch look? Don't you want to pick it up! Vegetarians if you pretend the chicken is Quorn that would work better. 

 ▶ Get on it.

Ingredients for two spice girls:

Basmatic rice 50g
3 chicken thigh fillets or Quorn chunks.
Small bunch of spring onions.
2 small garlic cloves crushed.
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp chilli powder
Half  a tsp nigella seeds
Pineapple chunks (fresh would be ideal or out of a can if you have to)
Vegetable oil
Fresh coriander


: Wash rice thoroughly and pour twice the amount of water in a pot, stir once then leave on a slow simmer. 
: Meanwhile chop the chicken fillets into chunks and marinade with powders and a teaspoon of oil.
: Leave in the fridge until the rice is nearly done.
: In the last 10 minutes before the rice is cooked, fry the chicken with garlic, nigella seeds and chopped spring onions.
: Once chicken is done, turn off both hobs and combine in a salad bowl.
: Sir through fresh pineapple and chopped coriander.
: Sorted. Done. Hey ho.

The spiced chicken combined with juicy pineapples is a wonderful gathering of flavours smothered in rice, sure to please any chicken and pineapple lover.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Viva Forever'

Bancho Macaroons aka..

♬ 'It's Blitz' by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This album makes me want to get up dance and get creative. Plus Karen O is very cool.

I know what your thinking. One word, four letters. 


Macaroons are without a doubt stylish and beautiful. Basically they look pretty, cost a whole lot more than a pack of cookies and have the appearance of something that should be in a food gallery. It was about time I tested out my magic skills to these beauties with a special bottle of banana essence, gold lustre spray and a filling of milk chocolate ganache, they went as quick as my cakes. Whooooosh! I quickly grabbed a few and took a quick snap before they got consumed. When it came to deciding on a reputable recipe source the most economical, hassle free and simplest is on Delicious Magazine's website. Lorraine Pascal and even my heroine Annie Bell gave recipes that involved way too many piping bags! When making these I did a lot of background reading into what to be aware of. Let me give you a heads up:

1. Don't replace ground almonds. Yes they are expensive but vital in a macaroon recipe. I've seen a few recipes that call for pistachio powder which is an alternative.
2. Draw accurate mini circles on baking paper before you pipe.
3. Leaving them to form a skin before you put them in the oven is very important.
4. Avoid air bubbles in the macaroons by tapping the baking tray.
5. Calm down on the colouring, the macaroons still should look edible and natural.
6. Leave to cool, the cookie shells shouldn't detach from the shells.
7. They are not that difficult to make.

I'm sure there will be other little tips you will acquire yourself when making macaroons, it's all about experimenting.

On the topic of trial and error, all week I have been having some sort of mental 'food block', I've been itching to type about so many recipes, ideas and brainwaves. The truth is I want to write, taste and cook all day until I have reached a crazy level of satisfaction. Dramatic yet true. 

Cakes, cookies, meringues, pastries, breads and anything else which looks so glamourous that you find yourself scared to touch are achievable in your own kitchen. Remember I'm not a trained cook TV star...yet! The other week I mixed marshmallow by hand! Anything is possible - if you want it to be.

Favourite Song:

ê 'Heads Will Roll'