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30 October, 2014

SCORE WITH A SCORE | TIGER


Since I discovered Tiger last year I haven't been able to stop myself from going in there, even if it's just for a quick look. If you haven't heard of Tiger already it is kind of a cross between Ikea and Woolworths with a dash of Paperchase. 

21 October, 2014

LITTLE CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM PIES


Over the last week I've seen so many chicken pie variations springing up on Instagram, food blogs and Facebook.

It's no surprise as Autumn is the perfect time of year for a comforting chicken pie.

I was really inspired by these lovely looking mini pot pies made by Molly and wanted to make something similar with a classic chicken and mushroom filling.

So I decided to make some little pies based off a Waitrose recipe making some tweaks here and there. You can't go wrong with Waitrose!


16 October, 2014

QUICK PROSCIUTTO AND MOZZARELLA SALAD


I don't make this salad very often but when I do, it always seems to be a hit. There aren't too many ingredients but it works well anyway.

It's a quick one. Bish, bash, bosh as Jamie Oliver says.

The original recipe for this salad doesn’t have mozzarella but I added it in because I think it's lovely with the crisp prosciutto.

prosciutto salad


13 October, 2014

THE RAT RACE

the rat race












I’ve always found “the rat race” to be a really silly expression and yet it's something that affects a lot of us. Being tangled in it can be very damaging to our wellbeing and robs us of our peace of mind.

The rat race is “ a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power. ” 

Most of us have probably been there… I certainly have. There have been times when I should have been focusing on myself and I didn’t. Instead of walking down my own path, I was looking around worrying and watching others. 

I believe the only person that can make you truly happy is yourself.  I try as much as I can to be
authentic and honest to myself and those around me.


09 October, 2014

ALL ABOUT AUTUMN

Autumn Tress
Autumn really is a beautiful season. The crisp leaves are now littering the grass and pavements in their dozens. 
Fall leaves on the roadLeaves of the ground

Fall Leaf


















As it gets colder I will definitely be drinking lots of hot chocolate, lighting candles around the house and wrapping up warm.

 Some autumn inspired things...




















1. Deep fried maple leaves 
In Japan they deep fry maple leaves in tempura batter which I think is really resourceful and cool. Image Credit - Kimubert Flickr

2. Beautiful autumn photographs 
Apparently MailOnline posted the same 'beauty of autumn' photos last year but that's alright, they're still lovely.

3.  Christmas mulled fruit tea
I saw this on Lorraine Pascale's Instagram. It's a Christmas tea from Marks and Spencer but spiced apple, cranberry and clementine seems quite autumnal too. 
Image Credit - Lorraine Pascale

4.  Monki Flo Scarf
You need a good scarf when it gets cold and I love this one. It's over 2m long so you'll definitely be wrapped warm in it through autumn.

5. Oversized Reiss Jumper
Like a scarf, you need a good jumper.  This is soft, fluffy and looks so cosy.

6. White Company Fireside Candle
The name says it all. I think this candle would be great for those long Autumn evenings.

What are some of the things you will be doing or buying this autumn?


05 October, 2014

THE BROKEN BUILDING

Take my Lightning but Don't Steal my Thunder








There's a broken building in the middle of Covent Garden at the moment.

It looks very real but it's actually an optical illusion called 'Take my Lightning but Don't Steal my Thunder' by an artist called Alex Chinneck.

I went down to Covent Garden on Friday to take a closer look at the artwork. Lots of people were milling around the structure, stopping to take photos on their phones and closely inspecting it.



It's such a clever piece because it blends in so well with the rest of the architecture around.

Take my Lightning but Don't Steal my Thunder

The top section of the building floats away from the bottom making it seem like something has pulled it apart. 

It's brilliantly placed since Covent Garden is well-known for its street performers/attention seekers and the work itself is very theatrical and striking.

Take my Lightning but Don't Steal my Thunder
SPOILER**That green cart is a counterweight keeping the whole structure together but this doesn't make it any less creative or ingenious!


Take my Lightning but Don't Steal my Thunder







'Take my Lightning but don't Don't steal my Thunder' will be up until the end of October so it's worth seeing it if you can.

Here are some articles about it -

Evening Standard 

Daily Mail

The Independent 

BBC News

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02 October, 2014

SESAME BANG BANG SALAD

Sesame Bang Bang Salad

Remember that nice book I got from HomeSense called 'Cook on a Shoestring'? I flipped through it and found this great looking recipe for a chicken bang bang salad.

As a big fan of Asian cooking I got right on board with this.

Sesame Bang Bang Salad












I really like this recipe because it’s basically a cross between a stir fry and a salad. You can eat it hot or cold which is always a plus.


Sesame Bang Bang Salad












The vegetables stay really fresh and crunchy, even once they’ve been in the wok.
Sliced vegetables
Stir fry vegetables
Toasted Sesame Seeds









You can use leftover chicken, from a roast for example, or oven bake some chicken thighs as I did.

There’s so much colour and I think it’s a lovely looking dish. Make it when you have people round, they’ll be impressed by your skills. 

Ingredients

400g Boneless and skinless chicken thighs
2 Heaped teaspoons of Chinese five-spice
1/2 Cucumber cut into strips and the seeds removed
1 Large carrot cut into flat strips using a vegetable peeler
6 Spring onions cut into strips
300g Rice noodles, cooked as per package instructions or buy fresh
1 Tablespoon of Sesame oil

For the dressing 

1 Teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
3 Tablespoons of sweet chilli sauce
1/2 Teaspoon of chilli flakes
Juice of 1 lime
50ml water

+ Optional

1 teaspoon of toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling

First things first

If you have some leftover cooked chicken shred and use this. Otherwise season chicken thighs with 2 heaped teaspoons of Chinese five spice, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Pop this in the oven for 25 minutes at 190°C/Gas 5 making sure it’s crispy on top and cooked through. Once it’s cooled shred it. Toast 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds in a non-stick pan by stirring over a medium heat until light brown.

Method

1. Cut the cucumber, carrot and spring onions into strips and leave to one side.
2. Heat the peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, sesame seeds, lime juice and chilli flakes in a pan for 5 minutes to make the dressing. Stir on a low heat, adding a small amount of water occasionally to loosen the sauce. 
3. Put a little sesame oil in a hot wok and add the rice noodles, cucumber, spring onions and carrots. Mix well, then add the shredded chicken.
4. Pour over the dressing making sure it evenly coats the salad. 
5. Plate up and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. 

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*Update 

I have decided to add my Sesame Bang Bang Chicken recipe to Lucy at Supergoldennbakes' lovely #cookblogshare.