Food. Travel. Recipes.

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