Sunday, 30 June 2013

radish, borlotti bean, feta and watercress salad with hazelnut dressing (I grew something!)

 Something you should know about me -I cannot grow a single thing to save my life.
......But I grew something!

Radishes. I managed to grow six radishes! They may have been small but they were still grown from seedlings and neglected by myself for six weeks and grew into something edible.

I tried to grow pak choi last year, I really don't know what happened because the plants never popped their heads out the soil once. I also grow carrots and I thought I had actually achieved something. Their green bushy leaves were poking out the soil just asking to be plucked from the ground and eaten. I pulled up the carrot and..... carrot fly had got'em all.......

 There's so much I want to say this post but it's almost 9 O'clock, I'm tired and sadly I've got school tomorrow and an English controlled assessment (yes, another one!). 
Firstly if you looked at the salad ingredients and thought 'whaat? That sounds... um disgusting .... strange'. Think again! 

Firstly, aren't raw borlotti beans just beautiful. I means it's like a little fairy wiggled it's way into the pod and held an infant paint class with purple paint..... as I said it's getting too late for me to be writing this! I was really upset when I blanched them though and the beans turned grey, luckily they still taste great. 

The beans add some butch-ness to the salad (a butch salad?) well you know a kinda texture contract to the watercress and radishes (home grown, I grew them!) which give a peppery flavour. Then you get the nutty hazelnut taste (which is amazing with them borlotti beans) but suddenly the feta and vinegar walk in and they're like, "woah, the party don't start till I walk in!"

sorry about all the photos in this post (the recipe's at the bottom!).

Also next Sunday I'll be going on a school trip til the following Thursday. I am so excited since my passions are: food, fashion, art and food. Paris sounds like my home. The hotel's 'modest' the teacher said but we'll be in the centre of Paris which will be great and I'll be changing 3 or 4 times a day to make sure I wear all my summer clothes in the three days we're there. My summer holiday is in Scotland so I'm not feeling too positive about my play suit up there. 
Also google reader's closing.... TOMORROW! Make sure you remember to follow me on my bloglovin, quickly press the link before it's too late! 

radish, borlotti bean, feta and watercress salad with hazelnut dressing(serves 2-3)

  • 6 radishes
  • 200 grams of borlotti beans or 300 grams including pods
  • 1 small bag of watercress
  • 75 grams of feta
  • 30 grams of hazelnuts
  • 1 glove of garlic
  • 3 table spoons of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of vinegar (I used damson flavoured) 

  1. depod the beans into a pan, cover in water and simmer for 10 minutes, once done rinse in cold water and leave to the side
  2. wash the radishes, top and tail them, slice them finely and leave them in the bath with the beans
  3. roast the hazelnuts (I did this on a skillet on the hob) And whizz in a food processor until ground with the garlic clove
  4. add oil and vinegar to the ground hazelnuts and garlic
  5. drain the beans and radishes, add to a bowl, toss with the water cress, add the dressing and crumble the feta over the top, Lovely!

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Mango, Strawberry and Lime Smoothie

Look at the colour of that, That is a healthy thing of beauty! 

Tomorrow is sports day and I prayed for rain but looks like it's not coming, I was also scheduled to be ill. Too ill to go into school and do sport.... I'm allergic to exercise you see...... (well I'm not really and last year I was really sporty but I haven't done sport for like 6 months!
Any hoooo, I was going to be very ill tomorrow but it looks like my friend has got through to the national swimming event and any sports day event could potential cause her to pull a muscle. She is CRAAAAZY! She gets up at 5 am everyday and goes swimming until 8 and every evening too..... what a wierdo...

So now I'm doing her events (even though surely doing exercise would help her fitness!? No?... okay, I'll shut up then....). So instead of high jump alone (requiring little effort, inside and generally just banter) I now have to do 1500 metres, 800 metres, 200 metres, long jump, high jump and relay (IN FRONT OF THE WHOLE SCHOOL). I shall walk them all with pride. And humiliation as I get lapped.... 
So for sports day I'm gonna need loads of energy.... there fore SUGAR, right? Cake, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, cake, cupcakes, cake.... cake?

Well you don't have to be a genius to realise no is the answer to that. So to give ma self some energy I got some good sugar in the form of fructose! Fruit sugar! Sounds appealing......
Quick, delicious, healthy, filling, summery, creamy and just darn beautiful in every single way (especially colour). Also because it's summer here in the Uk we get lots of great tasting fruit like Scottish strawberries (nothing will beat them, and Scottish raspberries (equally good if not better), cherries and loads of other fruity fruits!
Also this literally took less than 3 minutes to make so is a great breakfast alternative if your in a bit of a rush because it's portable. Portable food is great, walking, talking and eating!

mango, strawberry and lime smoothie(serves 1)

  • 1 ripe mango
  • 100 grams of clean and washed strawberries 
  • 3 table spoons of creme friache 
  • a squeeze of lime juice (not too much)
  1. peel the mango flesh and cut out the nice juicy parts from around the stone
  2. hull or slice the tops off the strawberries
  3. blitz all the ingredients....
  4. that's it... :D

just a few other things to add (sorry!, I really hope you've been looking at my instagram because I forgot to tell you about my Dad's father's day cake with I put on. It was dark chocolate and fig and wasn't too sweet but you could really taste the figgyness (now that is an awesome word). It was a saved disaster too. 
It was suppose to be a loaf cake but I made it in a bundt tin instead (just to be a la'al bit different) but then I couldn't get it out the tin and then made a crack in the top of it when picking it up.....  
So I covered it in cream cheese butter cream which was just in harmony with that chocolatey figgyness (we should all know that figs and cheese are just like da best). And covered the top in English cherries and melted dark chocolate!
Also on my instagram which I forgot to tell you about is my new rayban glasses! They are nerd glasses but I feel I can wear them because I am a real and true nerds (not like those people who feel they need to wear a top with it written on to prove it, do you get them in other countries or just England?).
Thirdly (I'm sorry this is also on my instagram and pinterest) is a new sensation me and my friends are sure is gonna get in the urban dictionary. YOHOL. You might have heard YOLO (you only live once) which is a phrase commonly associated with hipsters.
I don't get them they don't want to be mainstream but by being a hipster they are becoming mainstream, I mean come on obvious paradox there guys.
So anyway, YOLO is now too mainstream so the new phrase I invented is YOHOL, you only have one life. It's gonna be big...
FINAAAAALLY! I finished my tea dress too, hers a picture (I'm REALLY not very photogenic) 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Sweet Potato and Paprika Chips

Gaaaah!, I will never enjoy Shakespeare ever again. I know he is supposedly the greatest playwright of all time, wrote loads'a plays, hundreds of sonnets and speeches, etc, but after 4 hours of writing on Hamlet I am no longer feeling the love.

If this is year 10, I don't wanna even think about year 11! Four hours on 'the ways in which parental relationships are presented in Hamlet and a selection of poems' is possibly the most draining and depressing thing I have done all this year (ONLY 4 WEEKS LEFT HOWEVER. 1.) Hamlet is a sad and depressing tragedy in which everyone except basically two characters die, 2.) It means over thinking EVERY little detail (note how I wrote 'EVERY' in capitals to emphasise it's importance, grab your attention and convey my message in an effective way) and 3.) it requires effort. 
But after today there shall be no more Hamlet, HU-ZAR! (just three science ISAs to go...) 
To celebrate this most awesome and truly joyous occasion we had chips for tea! 

I'm really sorry if you are American and being confuzzled by the fact I am saying 'chips' when you are seeing fries, I just don't see how these could be fries. Fries are the match stick size greasy yellow cardboard things from McDonalds, most certainly NOT these crispy, flavoursome, healthy and oh-so-good chips. Would you call these fries or not? Or are they chunky fries? Please let me know and enjoy!

Sweet Potato and Paprika Chips(serves 4)

  • 1.5 kg of sweet potatoes 
  • 3 tablespoons of oil (I like to use rapeseed)
  • 1 big or 2 small garlic gloves
  • 2 teaspoons of paprika
  • salt and pepper

  1. preheat the oven to 180oC/ 400oF/ gas mark 6
  2. peel the potatoes and chop into chunky chips (or chunky fries!)
  3. crush or very finely chop the garlic, add to the oil and paprika in a bowl, add a very good grind of both salt and pepper
  4. place the chips onto a baking sheet and cover in the mix, spread out evenly
  5. place in the oven for 30 minutes, take out and toss and turn them over to make sure they all cook evenly before leaving for another 20 minutes
  6. ENJOY!

Friday, 14 June 2013

How to felt a no mess pet

Do you have a pet? Well I have 3 dogs ( a rough collie who is extremely handsome, a cocker spaniel who is hyper 24/7 and a scratty black mongrel who I love dearly too), Plato the budgie and one old hardy guinea pig! This is my guinea pig... okay it's not really but I thought it looked quite good.

 I got two male guinea pigs when I finished my SATS, the tests you take when you're 11 years old in year 6. I named them Salt and Pepper as the previous two had also had foodie themed named (cracker and biscuit), typical me I suppose! When we got the  guinea pigs are next door neighbours asked if we'd be willing to take on a third pig, a female one named Angelina. I was planning to decline until she told us it did have a friend but the dog had begun to work out how to open the hutch and they were pretty sure she was on her last legs. That was four years ago. 
Never the less Angelina is still going strong despite the other two guinea pigs dying and being outside 365 days a year through all forms of British weather!

I've got a friend with two guineas too so I thought I'd make her a miniature one for her birthday by felting. Felting (if you haven't given it a go) is great! My Mum described it as 'therapeutic'. All you need is some felting wool and a felting needle which might sound a bit specific but once you've got them the world of felting is endless. All you have to do it stab the felting wool repeatedly with the needle (careful of the needle because it's very sharp)and shape the wool into anything you want.

Making this little pig was really simple, all I did was get lots of felting wool (once it becomes hard it's about half the size) and sprayed it with a little water to get it to stick better. I rolled it into a very thick sausage and started stabbing repeatably. At first it might not look like it's doing much but be patient and soon all the wool fibres will begin to stick to each other and get hard. Once I'd shaped the body and made 2 ears and 4 feet, which you can't really see, by getting a smaller bit of wool and pricking into shape, placing on the head and stabbing the base to stick again. For the eyes and nose you can you wool too but you have to use and tiny, tiny, tiiiny amount so I sewed them on with embroidery thread.

Overall you get a very sweet, very cute and no mess pet! :D

Saturday, 1 June 2013

stem ginger and lemon iced biscuits

Am I feeling summery yet?.....

hhhhhm.... I'm not too sure if I am just yet, spring never did come. If you didn't know already here in the UK has been the coldest spring for 50 years! And am I feeling optimistic for summer? No. OF COURSE! So while I wait for it to get going I thought I'd make some delicious biscuits for all the seasons. I used one of my many new cookie cutters I got for my birthday from my amaaazing Scottish cousins, the button cutter! (I do love a button!)

So to make them suitable for both cold mild and hot weather I thought I'd use some lemon because it's zingy and refreshing but also reminds me of lemonade on baking hot summer days (I don't get many). I also found 2 jars of unopened stem ginger in our cupboards, one had the sell by date of 2010 but I didn't see how they could go off when preserved in syrup (well no one who has eaten one has fallen ill yet). Ginger has a fiery bite to it which warm you up in the chillier months of the year, plus it's just tastes so darn good in just about anything and everything!

Stem Ginger and Lemon Button Biscuits(makes 20 biscuits)

  • 125 grams of butter
  • 75 grams of sugar
  • 3 balls of stem ginger
  • zest of 1 and a half lemons
  • 175 grams of self raising flour
  1. cream together the sugar and butter until pale
  2. finely chop the stem ginger and fold into the mix with the lemon zest
  3. fold in the self raising flour and form a ball of dough
  4. wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill fro 1/2 an hour
  5. preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF/ gas mark 4
  6. roll the dough out to about 1-2 cm thick and place on lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until slightly gold, it doesn't matter if they're still a little soft because they carry on cooking out of the oven
  7. leave to cool and you can leave them uniced if you're feeling a bit lazy but they taste even better when iced!

Lemon icing
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 100 grams of icing sugar
  1. sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice
  2. stir the mix until smooth, if you get lumps it might be better to use a whisk
  3. drizzle or cover the cooled biscuits before leaving to set for about 15 minutes
  4. EAAT! These are really nice served with earl grey tea with a slice or two of lemon