Bank Holiday Brunch

At the weekends I love to spoil myself with a cooked breakfast, I feel it helps me relax and begin the weekend in the right frame of mind. As this weekend is Bank Holiday, I think it calls for something a little bit different to my usual hash browns and veggie sausage…. Check out my posh beans on toast. Made with a mix of different types of beans, chopped tin tomatoes and some lovely rustic bread.

Posh Beans on Toast

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Summer Rice Salad

We’ve been shooting new recipes all week, which has been exhausting in this heat and mid week I totally lost my appetite (it’s back now… dinner is cooking as I type). We’ve shot some lovely recipes  including roast chicken, butterfly cakes, pavlova, and even jam.

My favourite shot from the week was a recipe for a summer rice salad, which involved cooking the rice in stock, herbs and mushrooms, then once cooked adding, kidney beans, shredded chicken and raw courgette ribbons. We garnished with lemon zest and basil leaves, keeping the food looking very natural as if just served. The whole look of the shot was to feel summery so I used a lovely lilac washed surface, with rose napkin and a glass of iced lemon water.

Summer Rice Salad


Rustic Food Shoot

Last week I was challenged to shoot a meal for Bonfire night, a Sunday roast with a difference and a Duck which wasn’t served with oranges.  For the Bonfire Night shot I used a warm gel over my light to suggest the warmth of night time bonfire. The roast with a difference I chose a Zesty Roast Chicken recipe from Tesco Real Food website and for the duck… Delia’s Crispy Duck with Morello Cherry Sauce.

Bonfire Night Chilli

Zesty ChickenCrispy Duck



Butternut Squash & Goats Cheese Tagliatelle

My love of butternut squash, sage and goats cheese resulted in me making up this little recipe.

Chop up butternut squash in to 1cm thick chunks, put in a roasting tin with whole garlic cloves, chopped sage, olive oil, salt and pepper.

 Roast on gas mark 6 for 40 mins

 Mix in with cooked tagliatelle and chopped goats cheese. Drizzle with walnut oil and season.

Mini Fruit Tarts

Look at these lovely little tarts covered in blueberries and raspberries.
To make the cream filling whisk 4 egg yolks with 100g caster sugar until pale and think. Then sift in 25g plain flour and whisk well.
In a separate pan bring to the boil 350ml milk and a vanilla pod. Stir the milk into the egg mixture and mix well. Then return the mixture to the saucepan and whisk on a low heat until the mixture thicken and comes to the boil. Put mixture in a piping bag and chill in the fridge. When chilled pipe mixture into the pasty cases and cover in your favourite berries.


Thai Fish Cakes

Chef made these fish cakes for the shoot today, they were so yummy, really nice to have a fish cake that isn’t full of potato. I really liked them and they looked pretty easy to make too. Recipe below. 
500g skinless salmon
2tbsp Thai fish sauce
1tbsp Thai red curry paste
1tsp finely grated lime zest
1tbsp finely chopped coriander
1 egg white
1tsp caster sugar
2 spring onions, finely sliced
2tbsp veg oil
Put the fish, fish sauce, curry paste, lime zest, coriander, egg white and sugar in a blender and whiz until smooth. Put the mix in a bowl and mix in the spring onions.
Divide mix into 16 patties, 3cm thick,  wet hand makes this a little easier.
Fry the patties in batched in a large frying pan. Cook for 5 minutes then flip them over and cook for a further 4 minutes. Then eat…yay!

Spicy Prawns

I’ve been shooting recipes all week, these were yummy so I thought I’d share.

1 medium red chilli, chopped
1tsp paprika
1tsp medium curry powder
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 shallot, diced
2 lemon grassed, chopped
5cm ginger, peeled, chopped
475g large uncooked prawns
Small bunch of coriander, chopped
2 lemons, cut into wedges
Put the chili, paprika, curry powder, garlic, lemon grass, ginger and a little water into a blender and blitz until smooth. Marinade the prawns in the mixture overnight.
To cook pan fry for a couple of minutes each side. Garnish with coriander and lemon.

Vegetable Chilli

 There nothing better than having chilli on a Monday night… comfort food after a long day at work and best of all if you make it on Sunday you just have to come home and heat it up.

I have been developing the recipe for years, changing and adding things and I finally think I’ve got it just right.

Serves 2
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large clove garlic, crushed
8 mushrooms, quartered
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp oregano
Half tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp Worcester sauce
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, slowly fry the onions until brown, add the carrots and cook for 3 mins. Add the peppers and garlic cook for 5 mins. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 4 mins.

Add the tin tomatoes, kidney beans with sauce and all the other remaining ingredients, mix well and let it simmer for about 25 mins until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve with rice or on top of a jacket sweet potato.

Carrot Cake

This Sunday I decided to be a domestic Goddess and bake a cake… this doesn’t happen often so it feels very special when I do, I decided to make the Primrose Bakery carrot cake. It’s really enjoyable and easy cake to make and feels like such an achievement once it goes in the oven. Making it, also made me realise I need more large mixing bowls and a food processor – as I use a lot of grated carrots in my cooking but grating by hand not only makes my arm ache and I always think I’m going to grate my fingers but the little grated bits seem to cover me and the kitchen in the process!

450g grated carrots
260g raisins
4 large free range eggs
260g golden caster sugar
240ml corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp fresh orange zest
240g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
Butter, for greasing tins

Grease and line 2x20cm round cake tins and line a muffin tray with 6 cupcake cases. Preheat oven to gas mark 5.

Combine the carrots and raisins in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar with and electric mixer for several minutes.

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a mixing bowl then slowly add these ingredients to the egg and sugar mix., beating well after each addition. Mix in the carrots and raisins with a wooden spoon.

Fill each cake tin two-thirds full and use the leftover mixture to fill the muffin cases. Bake for 35 mins, until golden brown. Let the cakes cool in there tins for at least 10 mins, then turn out onto wire racks. When completely cool, spread icing on the top on one of the cakes then carefully place the other on top and ice the top of that one. Dust with cinnamon.

Cream Cheese Icing
90g cream cheese, at room temperature
225g icing sugar
65g butter, at room temperature
Zest from 1 orange

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mash and mix with a fork until combined, then beat well with an electric mixer until smooth and pale.