Wednesday, 27 November 2013

You've just been Paella-ed

One of the big TV cooking shows this summer was 'Save with Jamie' from The Naked Chef himself... Mr Jamie Oliver. An approach to show you how you can cook some awesome meals using left overs, clever frozen foods and some help from the spice & herb cupboard.

Using this as part of my inspiration and wanting to get rid of some left over roast chicken, I decided to create my cheap but delicious Paella. There is nothing fancy about this dish but the mixture of ingredients pack a punch. You can of course pimp it out and add in some fresh plump mussels, prawns with their shells on, whole squid, you name it. The world is your oyster as they say. I made over the top, extra special version for New Year's Eve just gone and it went down a treat. Thats the beauty of this humble dish, you can dress it up and dress it down to suit your budget and the occasion.

This little dish uses a lot of cheaper ingredients- frozen seafood, left over green beans, left over roast chicken and a mixture of paella rice and arborio rice. Basically what ever was hanging around in my fridge, freezer and cupboard.

The chorizo sausages came from the BBC Good Food Show and were the basis of my inspiration for the dish.

To make this loveable cuddle of a dish that warms those tootsies on these cold nights -for 2 hungry- you will need:

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3 rashers bacon
3 chorizo sausage or about 120g of the air dried stuff ( I always get more than I need as Shh, I like to have a little munch along the way)
200g paella rice
glass white wine
1tbsp tomato puree
1tsp paprika
500ml chicken stock
1 red pepper
handful green beans or frozen peas
couple handfuls of frozen mixed seafood.
lemon juice

Start by sautéing the onions and garlic until soft.

Then add the chorizo meatballs (chunks depending on what type you are using) and bacon.

once the onions are soft and the meatballs are releasing that wonderful golden colour add in your paella rice and give it a good stir. You want your rice to be covered in all that delicious oil.

Then add your stock and wine, bit at a time.

Whilst doing this you can also mix in your tomato puree and paprika.

Dice your pepper and chuck it in with the simmering mix.

The mixture should be bubbling gently on a medium low heat.

After about 15 minutes of the rice mixture simmering (make sure you stir every so often so it docent stick to the bottom) add your chicken, seafood and halved beans.

Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through.

Look at that- heaven. I  just love the colour that chorizo adds to dishes, a sort of golden hue of love.

At this point I like to add some of this

This little fellow adds that punch of flavour with out taking anything away from the dish.  It adds that 'Je ne sais quoi' to dishes that is often missing something.

Once all ready, add some lemon juice- bottled stuff is fine and season to taste.

Then plate up and relish that warmth inside your belly. This really is Winter's new best foodie friend.

Enjoy xxxx

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Happy Birthday to youuuuuu

This weekend was my sister Eve's Birthday and in honour of this momentous occasion I made a Chocolate Cake.

One of Eve's weakness's are Cadbury's Twirl Bites, so they couldn't not feature.  I also love framing the cake with fingers and you can't not have a birthday cake with out sprinkles!!!

Please excuse the cake tin lid as a plate, I had to transport to the restaurant and this tin works perfectly. 

Happy Birthday Eve xxxxx


The recipe I used for the sponge is the Hummingbird Bakery Brooklyn Blackout sponge recipe and the icing is the Hummingbird Bakery Chocolate Frosting.

For the sponge you will need the following:

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
260g caster sugar
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
45g cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
170g plain flour
160 ml whole milk


1. Put the butter and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or a handheld electric whisk) and cream until light and fluffy.

2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula after each addition.

3. Turn the mixer down down to slow speed and beat in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder,
baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed.

4. Add half the flour, then all the milk, and finish with the remaining flour. Mix well until everything is well combined.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tins and smooth over with a palette knife.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20- 25 mins.

7. Leave the cakes to cool slightly in the tins before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Chocolate Buttercream:

300g icing sugar, sifted
100g unsalted butter, at room temperature
40g cocoa powder, sifted
40ml whole milk

1. Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

2. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Add the milk to the butter mixture a couple of tablespoons at a time. 

3. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

BBC Good Food Show- I MET MARY BERRY!!!!!!

Sorry for the silence over the last few days, I have been hit by the dreaded sore throat that has been doing the rounds which hasn't been ideal. Annyyyway at the weekend it was the BBC Good Food Show at Kensington Olympia, my Mummy came to London and along with my three sisters we had a lovely girly day out.  I was in absolute foodie heaven. Think Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood, the Contestants of GBBO and a lot of yummy tasters.

Annabel, Mummy and Lettie

Love a bit of the Meringue Girls- pretty meringue kisses

Love a bit of free choccie, especially Green and Blacks

Too excited to see Mary and Paul have a bake off (sorry for the interesting photo Annabel!) Yummy recipes to hopefully follow!!

Prawn Curry from the Blue Elephant and Pork Belly from Roast pop ups for lunch.

loooooooook at that crackling, just look at it!!! 

Toby, Christine, Ali from GBBO and I

Actual highlight of my day. 

Smoked garlic from The Garlic Farm, Isle of White

I love myself a bit of blue cheese I do...

Browsing the stands

Bread and pastry heaven.


Such a fun day, would definitely recommend a visit next year, it's foodie heaven. 


Saturday, 16 November 2013


The other day after having spent a good few hours day, browsing Pinterest I came across this bad boy- Oreo Cheesecake. Instantly I was like, right I am going to make this. I've never really trusted pinterest recipes and find a lot of them are American and I am not the greatest at converting/ attempting to work out which ingredients they use. So I thought I would construct my own recipe. 

Think layers of crushed Oreo's, baked cheesecake with Oreo's filling topped with a white and milk chocolate ganache. I think Mary Berry would be pretty happy with those distinct layers, even if I do say so myself. 

I even managed to convert Ted, who on numerous occasions has told me how much he doesn't like cheesecake. I believe that is 1-nil to meeee! woo. 

To make this delicious delight you will need the following:

  • 3 packs of Oreo's
  • 25g unsalted butter (melted)
  • 600g full fat cream cheese
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150g natural yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g plain flour
  • 150g milk chocolate
  • 75g white chocolate
  • 300ml double cream
First bash up 2 packets of Oreo's until they have a sandy consistency. Mix with the melted butter and put into your tin (I used a springform tin). Push the biscuits into an even layer into the base of the cake tin and chill until needed. 

In a bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar until creamy.

Mix the eggs in one at a time and then the natural yogurt, flour and vanilla until well combined. 

Then lightly breakup your remaining Oreo's and fold into the mixture.

Yum scrums- try hard not to eat the whole of the raw mixture in one!

Next pour the mix on top of your chilled biscuit layer and pop in the oven for 40- 45 mins at 180c. 

When it is golden brown and has a very slight wobble take it out and leave to cool completely in the tin on the side. Do not put in the fridge as this will ruin the consistency from rapid cooling.

While the cake is cooling happily in its tin, make the 2 ganaches. 

In a bain marie, gently heat the cream until it is piping hot but not bubbling.

Break up the chocolate and put into 2 separate bowls, pour over half the cream into each and stir until the chocolate has melted and become smooth. 

Once your cheesecake has cooled pour the milk chocolate mixture over the entire top and spread evenly. Then drizzle your white chocolate mixture in to a pattern of your choice. I got a little distracted carried away when pouring mine.

Pop into the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or even better over night.

This cheese cake will serve approx. 10-12 people, but ya know sometimes one slice isn't enough.

Not going to lie, I did do a little jig round the kitchen in excitement when I took it out of the tin.

Now if you excuse me I'm going to have a slice or 3 of this....

Hope you all have a fab weekend filled with yummy food. I'm off to the BBC Good Food Show at Olympia, Cant. Freaking. Wait.

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