Food. Travel. Recipes.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

my summer soundtrack

A perfect accompaniment to lazing on a beach, kicking back relaxing in a park or in the hustle and bustle of a humid city is that perfect summer soundtrack.  A collection of music that epitomises the season, the sultry, relaxed, sunny vibe that summer gives off. I love how various songs can be a soundtrack to a moment, a season, a time period, a person, a friendship, a romance. Music is so important and for me hearing the first few notes of a song that has been faithfully stored on your iTunes for years can bring you back, in an instant, to a life altering moment. 

Here is my shortlist (with new and old faithful tunes):

The Black Keys - Ever Lasting Light

Plasticines - Barcelona 

The Drums - Let's Go Surfing

Vampire Weekend - A-Punk

Norah Jones - Chasing Pirates

Har Mar Superstar - Almond Joy

Beck, Jay-Z & Pharrell - Frontin' On Debra

Solange - Stillness Is The Move

Eliza Doolittle - Pack Up

Crowded House - Weather With You 

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Universally Speaking

Vampire Weekend - Holiday

Rilo Kiley - Silver Lining

Darwin Deez - Radar Detector

Miles Davis - So What

Basement Jaxx - Raindrops

Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Can't Stop

Aaliyah - Back and Forth

Donnell Jones feat. Left-Eye - You Know What's Up

The Stranglers - Peaches

Ella Fitzgerald - Blue Skies

The Chemical Brothers - The State We're In

Kelis - 4th of July

Bran Van 3000 - Drinking in L.A (probably out of all of these, my favourite summer song)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

exciting salads

So this caught my eye in Jamie's America a few days ago and I couldn't believe I hadn't taken notice of it before. It's a real, fresh summery salad with some of my favourite foods in it. Watermelon, lime, seeds, spinach (which was my addition to it), goats cheese and mint. The flavours tasted amazing together, the crunchiness of the seeds with the soft cheese and crunchy, watery melon. It's so easy as well and just makes salad that bit more exciting!

I heart chickpeas

So along with all the ingredients mentioned with that pasta (chorizo, tomatoes, crème fraîche), chickpeas are another ingredient that I really love and that goes so well in so many recipes. I found this recipe in Jamie's America cookbook (a recipe book that does come across as having pretty tricky recipes, but there are some that on a closer look are actually not that hard) One of my favourites is Jamie's chicken chickpea stew. A recipe where the chicken drumsticks and thighs are marinated in a light lemony, garlic marinade and the stew is full of tomatoes, chickpeas and tinned peppers which makes a rich, oily stew. It's so summery and lovely to enjoy with a glass of cold white wine.

a bit of spice and all things nice

So this is a very yummy pasta from the lovely Rosie Lovell's Spooning with Rosie. It's a very different sort of pasta but it has some of the best ingredients; chorizo, crème fraîche, cherry tomatoes and butternut squash.

The vegetable ingredients are roasted before with a sprinkling of chilli flakes then everything is mixed together with the pasta, crème fraîche, some balsamic vinegar and chorizo. Unfortunately, me and my housemate found it a tad too spicy so I will be laying off those chilli flakes next time but the chorizo was gorgeous along with the colours and flavours of the other ingredients.

afternoon tea anyone?

So this is a cake I made for my Pop's birthday; a Victoria Sponge made from Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess (a staple in any cooks kitchen!), which was recommended by my mother. It made a beautiful sponge and I whipped up some cream and had some raspberries for the middle. It was a bit of a hit, if I do say so myself.

Nigella chucks everything into a food processor and since I was at home, it was easy enough for me.

The recipe goes a little something like this (I've found it on another website, but it is from Nigella)

225g unsalted butter, very soft
225g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs
200g self raising flour
25g cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
3-4 tbsp milk

2 x 21cm sandwich tins about 5cm deep, buttered

For the filling, Nigella suggests:
1 punnet raspberries or fruit to match your jam
125ml double cream

Preheat the oven to 180C.

The recipe asks for all the ingredients to be put in the food processor EXCEPT FOR the milk. You process everything until it reaches a smooth batter then pulse whilst adding the milk through the funnel until the cake reaches a slightly runnier consistency (but not too runny!).

Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 25 minutes until the cakes are springy and spongy to the touch.

Then whip the double cream until thick and pour onto the bottom half of the sponge then arrange the raspberries on top and place the other half of the sponge on top. Dust with icing sugar and add a couple of raspberries and blackberries for decoration.

A light, summery, very English cake sure to be a show-stopping hit with the family!

Friday, 28 May 2010

hangover breakfasts

Last weekend was a very good one, aside from the great Vintage Fair I went to, I spent Friday to Saturday at a hotel for a friend of a friend's birthday, we relaxed in the spa and then went out for drinks and dancing. I had such a fun time but unfortunately after quite a bit of drinking, I woke the next day with an awful hangover. One hangover cure I found was definitely the amazing breakfast I had with one of my best friends and her boyfriend. We went to a Spanish bar around 10 minutes from my house and I had beautiful poached eggs on crumpets with Hollandaise sauce on the top, tomatoes and a good helping of their homemade tomato sauce, which tasted so sweet. I was so very happy with this breakfast, it cheered me up out of my hangover no end. I would definately recommend a Spanish esque breakfast to rid yourself of a mean hangover!

Love FF x 

walnut, cinnamon and coffee loaf

So a couple of days ago, I had a real craving for coffee cake, that deep, almost luxurious taste of rich coffee in spongy surroundings. However, I don't have a proper cake tin but I have a loaf tin, unfortunately my cookbooks were actually not of much use this time looking for a coffee loaf cake so I researched online and found a lovely recipe for walnut, cinnamon and coffee loaf. A really rich tasting cake with deep flavours coming from the cinnamon and coffee really make it an indulgent slice of sweetness to have with a cup of Earl Grey.

The recipe specifies a coffee icing, but I left that out - I thought the loaf looked lovely coming out of the oven with some pieces of walnut placed on top instead of an almost sickly sweet icing.

Cooking Time
55 minutes

Ingredients (serves 10)
Melted butter, to grease
70g (2/3 cup) walnut halves
125g butter, chopped
215g (1 cup) caster sugar
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
2 tsp instant coffee
300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly whisked

Preheat oven to 160°C. Brush an 11 x 21cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang.

Place the walnuts on a baking tray. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Reserve half the walnuts. Coarsely chop remaining walnuts.

Combine butter, sugar, milk & coffee in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes or until butter melts and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Combine flour and cinnamon in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the butter mixture, chopped walnuts and eggs, and use a wooden spoon to stir until just combined.

Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle with the remaining walnuts. Bake in oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Turn onto wire rack to cool.

Serve with a cup of tea (Earl Grey preferably) and enjoy!

Love FF x

courgette, chickpea and mint soup à la Rosie

I haven't updated for quite a while, exams and revision! But I have still been busy in the kitchen and taking photos of meals, with a definite means to be putting them up sometime on the blog, just exactly when is another matter!

I made this soup a week or so back for me and my housemate, we had lovely crunchy toasted bread on the side and I think we were both avoiding some kind of revision!

This is a really gorgeous flavoursome soup from the one and only Rosie Lovell, I still love dipping in and out of Spooning with Rosie and reading her blog. Lots of inspiration and ideas!

I kind of modified the recipe slightly, in that I used less courgettes, but it was still lovely!


2 courgettes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)

1 litre vegetable stock

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)

a handful of fresh mint leaves (I used dried but still gave a lovely refreshing taste)

black pepper

1/2 lemon

Trim the courgettes, slice them lengthways in half then chop them into chunks. Heat the oil in large saucepan and drop the pieces in, frying and sweating them for a few minutes. Add the roughly chopped garlic cloves and fry for a few more minutes. Then pour over the vegetable stock and leave to simmer. Add the chickpeas and a sprinkling of dried mint/handful of mint leaves. Simmer for half an hour. Remove from the heat to cool slightly and then blend, but blend gently so that you leave chunks of courgette and the soup is not of a watery consistency. Season with black pepper and squeeze in the lemon juice.

Serve with toasted, buttery crusty bread, preferably sitting outside in a sunshine filled garden!

Love FF x

Monday, 10 May 2010

a day of nice food

Seeing as I'm in the midst of French oral examinations, I figured I need a day of good food to get me through. Today's plan is to be learning my oral presentation, in between that will be nice and quite healthy food to get me through and get my brain ticking! 

Breakfast - porridge oats with a handful of blueberries and strawberries and a drizzle of golden syrup. 

(Porridge oats release energy slowly, so will keep you fuller for longer meaning you can study longer! - add some fruit to the mix for a good vitamin and natural sugar hit)

Lunch - omelette with cherry tomatoes marinated in garlic, apple, goats cheese, spinach and crispy bacon. 

(Slightly on the not so healthy side however eggs are a good source of choline which is an important nutrient in regulating the brain. Plus apples, cherry tomatoes and spinach are all nutritious foods. Garlic of course is considered as having medicinal properties (for curing the common cold etc), goats cheese and bacon are not so healthy but grilling the bacon lowers the fat amount and both can be the little treats of the meal, just grill 1 bacon rasher and cut into small pieces and drop about 4 blobs of goats cheese over the cooking omelette - use about a quarter of the goats cheese roll, I'm talking about a small one!) Finish with a sprinkling of basil. 

Dinner will be moroccan vegetable cous cous with skinless chicken and halloumi cheese. Photo will be posted later.

Love FF x 

birthday party cupcakes

One of my housemates had her belated birthday party on Friday night. I baked some cupcakes for it, taken from The Hummingbird Bakery cookbook

They went down very well and still had some left the next day for a sugary hangover fix :-)

vanilla cupcakes with green/pink icing covered in hundreds and thousands 

chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing covered with white chocolate chips and silver balls

vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese and coconut icing (definitely the favourites!)

Love FF x 

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

messy muffins

Have just put in a batch of white chocolate chip and cranberry muffins, got a bit messy as usual when I pour the mixture into the cases as it goes all over the tin! 

muffins de-messed and oven ready ^

Sophie Dahl's lovely cookery programme is on tonight, which I am looking forward to. Last weeks was great, she made a very delicious looking roasted tomato soup with double baked cheese and chive potatoes which I am hoping to make soon, just when I always want the soup I realise I'll have to wait for the tomatoes and onions to roast and then make something else because I'm too hungry and impatient to wait!

I'm loving listening to Eliza Doolittle at the moment, her music is so plinky plonky, sweet and summery with a bit of London attitude thrown in there for good measure. The Skinny Genes video is adorable as well, I really like the way she is styled in this and how the outfits pop with the other colours in the video. 

So I'm going to enjoy a bit of the doolittle before the muffins are ready.

Love FF x 

Monday, 19 April 2010

every morning should start with blueberry risen pancakes

I have taken and modified this recipe from the lovely "Spooning with Rosie" by Rosie Lovell. I have just found her blog today as well which I've now added to my sidebar. It's a lovely blog with pictures of the meals she makes and places she goes.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, so I always try and make it special to start the day on a high, I had never made pancakes before this either so that was a bit of a trial and I was very pleased with the outcome.


1 medium egg

130g self raising flour

50g caster sugar

a pinch of salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

150ml full fat milk (I used semi-skimmed and they still turn out fine, but full fat would probably be better)

2 tablespoons butter

150g blueberries (or enough to dot 5 or 6 in each small pancake)

(I've taken these instructions from Rosie's recipe, so not claiming it is my own apart from a couple of my minute modifications!)

Beat the egg in a mixing bowl, add half the flour, the sugar, the salt and baking powder and beat with a whisk. This will form an elastic batter. Then add the milk, making sure the batter isn't lumpy and is of a light and smooth consistency. Then add the remaining flour. It may need a little water to loosen it further. The mixture should be entirely lumpless. Set aside for an hour as it makes for a better pancake.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large bottomed frying pan so it is silky with fat but not to the point of deep frying. Allow the butter to melt and become hot and slippy when the pan is tilted.

Dot 5 or 6 blueberries in 3 corners of the saucepan. Pour a small amount of batter over each collection of blueberries to form three small pancakes in the pan. Allow them to really brown and go golden on the bottom. They will be ready to turn when the top side is beginning to firm and is bubbling. Flip each one over with a heatproof spatula and brown the other side. They should rise a little and each side should take just over a minute.

Dust some icing sugar over the top for a delicious morning treat.

Love FF x

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

what I've been eating lately...

Goats cheese and blueberry salad with a balsamic and honey dressing. 

Panini with balsamic and Worcestershire sauce soaked tomatoes with parmesan cheese and pesto. 

Pizza toscana at Vapiano - an Italian self serve style restaurant that I went to when I was in London, Great Portland Street, just off of Oxford Street. 

Easter baking extravaganza with some lovely friends. (incl. D sisters)

At the Easter Baking extravaganza - made by one of the girls there.

My favourite dish to make - risotto - this one with courgette, parmesan and lemon. 

Nigella's Millionaire Shortbread. (That me and my sister made) 

My sister's concoction of a bagel with cheese, tomato, pear and garlic oil - amazing.

Reese's peanut butter cups - I love these. 

Brannigans crisps - a memory of my childhood that my sister found at a shop in her university town and brought back. 

Love FF x

beautiful kitchenwares

   I've been daydreaming a lot about my perfect grown up kitchen, one with all the right appliances to use with any recipes, but not high-tech ones, oldy worldly-esque appliances. With arranged flowers in a watering can on the side and one of those deep deep white bath looking sinks. Sophie Dahl's kitchen on her programme makes me a tad green with envy. She has such a beautiful kitchen, even the food products she buys have lovely little patterned packaging. With that in mind I thought I'd post a few photos of some kitchenwares I really would like in the future, in my cuisine de mes rêves.

Vintage Lyons Green Label Tea Tin - Ebay - Buy Now £8.99

Vintage 1960s Orange Ringways Tea Storage Tin - Ebay 

Vintage Huntley & Palmers Biscuit Tin Olde England

- Ebay - Buy Now £8.99 

Vintage c1930 Cup and Saucer and Tea Plate Trio

- Love Miss Daisy Vintage - £15 

Cake Tin - Paperchase - £7

Regency Cake Stand - Urban Outfitters - £40 

Le Creuset Blue Traditional Stove Top Whistling Kettle

- Ebay

Love FF x

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Vintage china and tea sets

For quite a while now I've been in love with vintage china-esque tea sets, especially flowery ones. Then I watched Sophie Dahl's cookery show last night (which was very lovely by the way) and she had the most amazing, beautiful kitchen and house. It looked like the cutest little place, with an outside area she could relax in and a lovely little kitchen with a cabinet full of mismatched flowery china tea cups and plates.

I've seen a lovely one (above) on one of my new favourite websites, Love Miss Daisy.

I just long for the day of having my own house, with a beautiful old fashioned style kitchen of my own, with a rustic farmhouse table, flowery china tea cups and a lovely whistling kettle brewing on the stove!

Love FF x

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Orgasmic Rocky Road Crunch Bars (Nigella Christmas Style)

These rocky road bars are absolutely delish, courtesy of a recipe from Nigella's Christmas Cookbook - Nigella Christmas: Food, Family, Friends, Festivities. My mum made these bars at Christmas, and I was debating which recipe to use as I wanted to make some and then I remembered this one and remembered it being a winner! It's an extremely easy recipe, so although I have had quite a few compliments on the bars, "orgasmic" being one, I can't take credit for it as the recipe and process of making it is that easy!

Here is Nigella's recipe (again, not claiming it's my own! especially as I've copied and pasted this one from a website!) :

Makes around 24 bars


250g/9oz dark chocolate, chopped
150g/5oz milk chocolate, chopped
175g/6oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
4 tbsp golden syrup
200g/7oz amaretti biscuits (I used rich tea as I couldn't find any amaretti biscuits in my local supermarket, but amaretti would be much much better!)
150g/5oz shelled Brazil nuts
150g/5oz red glacé cherries
125g/4oz mini marshmallows
1 tbsp icing sugar


1. Place the dark and milk chocolate pieces into a heavy-based pan. Add the butter and golden syrup and cook over a low heat to melt and combine.

2. Place the amaretti biscuits into a freezer bag and bash with a rolling pin to make crumbs of various sizes.

3. Place the Brazil nuts into another freezer bag and bash in the same way.

4. Take the pan of melted chocolate mixture off the heat and add the crushed biscuits and nuts.

5. Add the glacé cherries and mini marshmallows. Fold the mixture carefully to coat all of the solid ingredients with the syrupy chocolate mixture.

6. Pour the mixture into a 25cm/10in x 30cm/12in greased and lined baking tray and smooth the surface as much as possible (although it will look bumpy).

7. Refrigerate for two hours, or until firm enough to cut. Dust with icing sugar.

8. Remove the block of rocky road from the tray and cut into 24 rectangles.


Love FF x

The Delicious Miss Dahl

I'm quite excited because there's a new cookery programme on BBC2 tonight at 8.30pm called "The Delicious Miss Dahl". Sophie Dahl cooks up some delicious recipes and the first episode is called "Selfish" - about the delights of cooking whatever you want, just for one. (Kind of perfect for me in a way! I absolutely love being able to be selfish and cook whatever I want, just for me!)

However, I'm not always selfish when cooking as I also very much agree with her in how she thinks romance is linked to food. I think it really is and I have little ideas and stories in my head how certain recipes would go with certain romantical moments. Or even how some recipes fit perfectly with certain situations, not just romantic ones. I really relate to the idea of cooking out of love for others, like friends but also a loved one like a boyfriend or partner but then I can easily slip to selfish cooking, as I explained above, both are just so joyful!

Love FF x

Nigella's Potato and Mushroom Gratin (with lemon chicken)

So as I mentioned before, a favourite cookbook in my house at home is "Nigella Express". My mum has made some of the soups from the book, all of which are lovely and very easy to make! Nigella may use fancy ingredients, and sometimes the recipes are not that healthy, but they are lovely warming recipes to make for friends or for a dinner party and they're usually something quick to rustle up.

I have never made a gratin so I wanted to give it a go and I'm very glad I used this recipe because it was quite quick! There was a lot of chopping but after that it was very easy. I wish that I had taken a photo of the gratin all nicely cooked out of the oven in the dish I made it in but I just was excited to eat it so had spooned it onto our plates before I realised! So it looks quite messy in the picture sitting next to the rocket and the chicken, but it was lovely and well worth making if you want to make a quick dish that will look quite impressive! Another great thing about the gratin, is that it uses just full fat milk and not cream, so it isn't as fatty as a gratin could be!

Again this is Nigella's recipe, so I am not claiming it is my own! :


3 average-sized baking potatoes ( 750g) - thinly sliced

350ml full-fat milk

3 x 15ml tablespoons white wine

2 x 15ml tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons garlic oil (I didn't have any garlic oil, so crushed two cloves of garlic instead)

250g chestnut mushrooms - finely sliced

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 220c and butter a shallow baking dish or gratin.

Put the sliced potatoes, milk and white wine in a saucepan and bring to the boil, season with salt and pepper to taste and stir occasionally. Then leave at a simmer while you get on with the mushrooms.

Warm the butter and oil (or crushed garlic cloves) in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened for about 3 minutes.

Pour the mushrooms and their garlicky, buttery juices into the pan of potatoes, stir to mix and pour straight into the gratin dish. Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes or until the potatoes and mushrooms are golden and crispy on top.

I also marinated a chicken breast in lemon and finely sliced garlic and cooked in the oven for around 30-40 minutes to go with the gratin and then arranged it on a plate with the gratin and a handful of rocket.


Love FF x

Muesli Bars à la Hummingbird Bakery

So, my housemate made muesli bars and I have said that I will write about her take on the recipe. So we both really enjoyed them but her problem with the recipe is that they came out quite syrupy and didn't hold together too well. These bars are just fridge bars but my housemate said that next time it'll probably be worth cooking them like flapjacks rather than fridge bars so they hold together better. However, even if they may have been a tad too syrupy, it tasted great in the bars along with yummy coconut, cornflakes and dried fruit.

Here is the recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook: (again, not claiming that it's my own!)


325g unsalted butter

240ml golden syrup

250g soft light brown sugar

250g rolled oats

200g desiccated coconut

125g apricots

60g dried dates

135g cornflakes

135g sunflower seeds

60g dried cranberries

125g shelled walnuts, chopped

125g raisins

AND - a 33 x 23 x 5cm baking tray, lined with greaseproof paper

Makes around 12 portions

Put the butter, golden syrup and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat and heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.

Put the oats, coconut, apricots, dates, cornflakes, sunflower seeds, cranberries, walnuts and raisins in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is throughly mixed. Pour in the butter mixture and mix throughly until everything is well mixed and the dry ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Press this mixture into the prepared baking tray, using a tablespoon to flatten and compress it. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper, then a tray covered in jam jars or tins to apply pressure on the cake and compress it even more. Leave to cool, the refrigerate overnight. (or alternatively - try it in the oven, on 200c for 20 minutes!)

Happy baking!

Love FF x

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Potato & Mushroom Gratin (Nigella Lawson) and Muesli Bars (The Hummingbird Bakery)

Two upcoming recipes that I will be posting are a potato and mushroom gratin that I made from Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Express", a great cookery book and a staple in my house at home - my mum is always using it when she has friends over to cook for and I think it's great for a quick meal. I cooked that with some garlicky lemon chicken and some rocket. 

Next are (as I've mentioned before) muesli bars which my housemate made from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.

Love FF x 

Sunday, 14 March 2010

New cookery book - Foods Of America

Had a lovely day with my mum for Mother's Day today, having lunch and shopping. She bought me a lovely new cookery book from Marks & Spencer, called the Foods of America. I am pretty interested in American food, there's something about the American diner feel to things, and delicious stodgy foods like maple syrup drizzled pancakes and burgers. I loved Jamie Oliver's America cookery programme; I just love how in one country there are so many diverse cultures, so many different foods and styles. I loved how he didn't just deal with food but with the people of the different cities, their lives and hardships and how food is incorporated into their daily life. I just think food is so special to helping to deal with problems which he showed in the New Orleans episode where he talked about Hurricane Katrina and how many people used to come together to eat big meals to help get by and deal with the problems of what the hurricane left behind. I also love the aspect of fusion foods of America, how there are so many different cultures from all over the world coming together to cook with different styles and ingredients. 

So, hoping to get some recipes out of this one! It also seems great for milkshakes, sauces, dips and cocktails! 

Love FF x

Rosie Lovell's - Raf Daddy's Groundnut Curry

Saturday night dinner for me and my housemate. I used another one of Rosie Lovell's wonderful recipes from Spooning with Rosie .

Rosie used a pumpkin in her recipe but I opted instead for sweet potato, to give the curry a bit more substance so we could just have it almost like a one pot dish instead of with rice.

This is a great recipe for when you're low on food as a lot of things can be found in the cupboard or can be bought relatively cheaply!

Obviously, as usual, this is Rosie's recipe, so I'm not claiming in any way it's my own!

Serves 2 people.


2 sweet potatoes

1 large onion

2 garlic cloves

1 red chilli

2 tablespoons olive oil.

1 teaspoon hot curry powder (I used medium)

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

3 generous tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter

A few handfuls of spinach.

A generous pinch of white granulated sugar.

Black pepper.

Cooking the curry:

First, cut up the sweet potato into small pieces, sort of half the size of a potato wedge.

Slice the onion, garlic and chilli finely. Making sure to peel the onion and garlic and remove the seeds from the chilli. Open the tins of chopped tomatoes.

Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan on a low heat. When the oil is hot, add the sweet potato and onion. Let them sweat and then add the finely chopped garlic and chilli. Mix it around and let it cook for a few minutes.

Measure out the curry powder and cayenne pepper. Coat the vegetables with them and sweat away for a few minutes. Add the 2 tins of chopped tomatoes. Place the saucepan lid on top and let it simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is cooked. Stir from time to time so there is no sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Skin a ladle of the sauce off the top of the pan and place in a measuring jug along with the peanut butter. Blend this together with a fork and then return the whole sauce to the pan and mix with the curry. Then add a few handfuls of spinach and the sugar. Add some water if it needs loosening. Replace the lid of the pan for a further 3 to 5 minutes to let the spinach wilt. Shower with black pepper.

Enjoy! Thanks again Rosie!

Love FF x

Tuna Steak WITH Gino D'Acampo's Cherry tomato and Anchovy Sauce and French Bean Salad with Mint, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts

It's been a few days since my mad bout of posting lots. But it's the weekend and I'm a student therefore I'm either going out or in the library! Although I should be studying now I think I might update with a few of the meals I've had. This Friday night I cooked tuna steak for me and my housemate along with Gino D'Acampo's Cherry tomato and Anchovy Sauce and French Bean Salad with Mint, Goat Cheese and Pine Nuts.

I saw him make this on This Morning whilst I was bumming about at home, probably before a lecture. (Life of a student eh?!) Also during his cooking segment, there were other people all cooking the same thing at home at the same time as Gino, they had a wall of telly screens so he could watch them and tell them if they're doing the right thing. Thought that was pretty cool and also showed that what these TV chefs make on the telly isn't that hard!

So Gino cooked it with a crispy salmon fillet - whereas I had tuna steak in the freezer and I'm not a massive fan of salmon. The meal again, like Rosie's wasn't too difficult.

This is Gino's recipe - I am copying and pasting it from the website, so in no way am I claiming it is mine!

I am separating the recipe into 3 parts, since there are kind of 3 stages to it although done at the same time.

For 2 people.


200ml olive oil
1⁄2 red onion, finely sliced
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
400g tinned cherry tomatoes
3 tablespoons finely chopped
flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper


Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan and fry the onion until golden. Add the anchovies, cherry tomatoes and parsley, season with salt and pepper and cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for 10 minutes.

French bean salad with mint, goat cheese and pine kernels:

100g French beans (topped)
3 fresh mint leaves
½ garlic clove
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
70g goat cheese
2 tablespoons of dry toasted pine kernels
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium size saucepan, cook the beans in salted boiling water until al dente.

In the meantime finely chop the garlic and the mint together and place in a large bowl. Pour in the oil and lemon juice and mix until well combined.

Drain well the beans and add into the bowl with the dressing.

Season with salt and pepper and toss all together until evenly coated. Place on a serving plate.

Crumble over the goat cheese and scatter with the cooled pine kernels.

2 tuna fillet steaks.

For the timing of the meal overall, I would:

- Fill up a kettle to boil the water for the green beans.

- Place the green beans in a saucepan.

- Chop up the onion for the sauce, open the can of cherry tomatoes, open the tin of anchovies.

- Once the kettle is boiled, pour into the saucepan with the green beans and let them cook.

- Start frying the onion for the sauce.

- Get the grill very hot for the tuna steaks.

- Once the green beans have been cooking for a couple of minutes and the red onion has sweated and you have started adding the other ingredients to the sauce. Then place the tuna steaks under the grill, cooking for 5 minutes either side - or until it's cooked how you want it, here's a good guide for cooking tuna steak.

- Then follow the rest of the directions from Gino's instructions for the sauce and the green bean salad.

Plating up:

- Place the sauce onto a plate, place the tuna steak on top. Arrange the beans next to it.


Love FF x

Thursday, 11 March 2010

My Food Past...

 - scone making with the D sisters at home. 
 - beautiful meal of lamb with moroccan style potatoes - at The Swan in Lamport 
 - the most amazing burger I've ever had in my life - pork, lamb and beef burger. Cork & Bottle, Leicester Square, London 
 - most amazing chocolate pancake cake for my 21st birthday, thanks A! 
 - gelato italiano a Sirmione, Italia (con mia sorella) 
 - pizza con porchetta e parmigiano in Italia

 - jam tart making with one of my best friends from home (one of the D sisters) 

Love FF x