Friday, 31 August 2012

Kitchen Crushes 10.0

One day (I'm not sure when, still trying to figure out this with my fairygodmother, so bear with me) but I hope to have a kitchen like this.

It just makes you want to bake, doesn't it?  I firmly believe the kitchen is the heart of every home - and your environment inspires you to make great food.  Looking at this kitchen makes me want to bake a pie ..... what does it make you want to bake?

I'm been super dooper busy this week, but I did get a chance to experiment baking with some gluten free flour.  I wanted to make a roasted vegetable quiche - but it didn't go entirely to plan.  The pastry was way too crumbly, but the inside was gorgeous! 

Vintage Starbucks Tee, demin shorts and leopard pumps? Yes please!  Which reminds me, if you love putting outfits together or you're a wannabe fashion designer, this cool website 'Clothes Box' are holding a competition and the winner will have their design made!  All the deets are here folks.

Friday morning Farmer's Market on the Cheltenham Promenade.  Queues of people buying local produce from local farmers and sellers - organic, healthy and inspiring.  I love the atmosphere here!

My unsuccessful attempt at a gluten free quiche.  The inside was 'dairy free' and made with Alpro Soya Cream instead of double cream and goat cheese instead of regular cheese  - and it worked great! So tasty.  Just need to work on the pastry.  

Super cute and cool, handmade puppy bunting from the talented Lizzie and Peach  - super handmade gifts that are one of a kind.  Just lovely!  This puppy bunting garland will surely appeal to all pooch lovers.

I hope you're all having a great week - hope to catch you for more kitchen and food adventures soon!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Mid West Vegetarian Adventures - with Shelly!

One of the things I love about blogging and the internet is making new blogger friends from around the world.

As you know, I love to travel and one of the greatest things about travelling is discovering new food flavours - enriching your tastebud tapestry.

I met Shelly from Vegetarian Ventures on the Blogging your way 2.0 course this summer.  I really loved her vibe and style on her uber-cool blog Vegetarian Ventures and I loved the look of all her Mid West inspired veggie dishes.  I especially loved how they call mini 'Burgers'  'Sliders' over in the US.

So we came up with an idea to introduce each other to a few of our own country's favourite dishes.

We're going to do a series of recipe swaps over the coming weeks and I'm so excited to show you the results of the first one!  Shelly gave me this amazing recipe to try for her Southwestern Vegetarian Burgers with an incredible avocado mayo slathered on top.

Well, if this first recipe is anything to go by, I'm already salivating at the thought of trying the next few out, because these 'sliders' (Burgers to all the Brit folk) were delicious - a real treat!

These will be my new go-to vegetarian burgers and my vegetarian Dad loved them so much, he gave it a big thumbs up and inhaled 4 of them.

The thing I really liked about them was that they didn't contain Tofu or 'Quorn' as so many vegetarian burgers do.  They are made from fresh, healthy ingredients, and tasted sweet and ...well, southwestern! The avocado mayo is so special too, slathered on top, you will remember the taste sensation for hours afterwards and lick your lips many times.  Add the melted cheese and you're really going to pop.

The only thing I struggled with was obtaining the black beans!  In the US and Australia you can buy ready cooked Black beans in the tin, but I couldn't find any here in the UK - I had to buy them raw from a 'specialty store' and cook them myself.  But once, cooked, drained and rinsed, they should provide many happy vegetarian sliders now that I have a good stock!  In fact, I'm already thinking about making some Mid West inspired quesadillas with them!  YUM.

My Sliders also looked a bit more 'orange' than Shelly's - I think this was because I used a red bell pepper and grated my carrots (I think!)

Here's the original recipe from Shelly's Vegetarian Ventures;

Southwestern Veggie Sliders with Avocado Mayo

3 spring onions, sliced and diced (Shelly's recipe calls for 1 white onion, but I didn't have one, only spring onions so I used these instead - they worked out great!)
10 oz  pre-cooked black beans, drain and thoroughly rinsed
1/2 cup sweetcorn
1 carrot, grated
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 Jar of Ol Del Paso Salsa
olive oil, for cooking
12 Small burger buns
Some grated cheese

For the avocado mayo:

1 ripe avocado
1/2 cup mayo
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon lime juice

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and  bell pepper and saute for another two or so minutes.

Remove from heat and add to a large mixing bowl. Add the corn, carrot, black beans, bread crumbs, and cornmeal. Fold in salsa until everything is combined.

Divide the mixture into 12 equal parts and form patties (burgers). Heat another 2 Tablespoons of olive over medium heat and cook each side of the patty for about (depending on how hot your skillet gets) 2 minutes on each side.

To make the sauce: mash together the avocado, mayo, garlic, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.

Stack the burgers onto toasted buns slther with cheese and then the avocado mayo. Devour,  enjoy and lick the plate clean.

Go check out more awesome recipes for vegetarians on her blog Vegetarian Ventures!

Thank you Shelly!  We raise our empty plates to you J

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Kitchen Crushes 9.0

I'm dreaming of lovely kitchens and hanging out with my friends while slurrping on an iced coffee. Mmmm - Join me?  This bench is awesome.  I would hang out here all day if I could.

With the UK well and truly in 'summertime' flow now,  I can't get enough ice in my drinks. I just love crunching on ice, don't you?!

I really must confess though that I'm not keen on the Starbucks or other coffee chain Frappes because they contain colossel amounts of sugar and cream.  Basically it's like drinking a milkshake from that 'well known burger chain'.  But I have to say that they are amazing and for this reason, when I found this alternative to make your own at home - and you can 'manage' how much sugar goes into it and use whatever milk alternative you like (I use Aplro soya) - then it's a win win situation!

And what's the best thing to have with a coffee? Biscuits!  Yes I know biscuits are not good for the waistline, but that doesn't matter if you have this groovy biscuit print from Whimsey and Wonder Art on Folksy Crafts!  This print is totally fat-free! I love it.  But, if you do want some real biscuit treats then this lovely Flamingo tin will be a perfect hiding place, designed by Julia Davey and found here.

And the shoes? Well, I just saw them and my mouth hung open for a while.  Love at first sight, right?  They're from Topshop US - so I think you're in luck if you're in the US, but in the UK our Topshops is now stocking Autumn/Winter wear, so we don't have them *sad face*.  But in my dreams I'm wearing these shoes, slurrping an iced coffee and sitting on a bench by the river.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Groovy Smoothie

I'm so sorry I've not blogged in over a week but I've had a summer cold and starring at a computer screen has been making me feel dizzy.  So I've pretty much been out of action, which has been very frustrating because, those who know me know that I don't respond well to sitting till and doing nothing!

However, I am pleased to report that I am on the mend, with great thanks to my latest 'Cure a Cold' Groovy Smoothie!

Not only does this smoothie soothe a sore throat and packs you full of a multi-vitamin punch, but it's dairy free too.


1 Banana
2 or 3 'rings' of Pineapple (from the tin if you don't have a fresh one handy)
1/4 cup  (or a splash) coconut milk
Half a squeeze of lemon
1/4 cup fresh orange juice if you have some - don't worry if you don't, still tastes as good!

Put all the ingredients into a mixer, on high.

Pour this smoothie over some ice and say smile :)

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kitchen Crushes 8.0

Hope you're all having a great week!

Look what I found!
This kitchen is so adorable, I wish it was my own. It makes me want to get a coffee machine, but I can't decide which one to get.  And I'm supposed to be easing up on my coffee in-take at the moment (which is going very well, although the barista at my local coffee shop is still confused by me ordering so many green teas).

I particularly like the coffee and friends sign - that's what life's about right?

I've got a super craving for a smoothie right now  and I found these two delicious recipes found on the Lakeland website here.  They sound so delicious I'm off to stock up on Papaya, Pineapple and Mangos right this minute! (This is sunshine in a glass isn't it!)

I know it's only summer, but I'm gearing up for Christmas already!  To be cost-effective this year I'm going to try to give all my friends and family some 'homemade' treats.  So when I saw this personalised stamp on the sale, I thought it would be perfect!

The personalised boats are just adorable and remind me of the yachts in Fremantle which I used to pass every day on my morning train journey in Perth. These were also on the site too when I was having a browse of all their awesome sales stock earlier in the week. I've always wanted to learn to sail and watching the Olympic sailing in Weymouth, Dorset has really made me put it back on my 'things-to-do-before-I'm-35' list.  (Yes, my 'things-to-do-before-I'm-30' still has as few things left.)

Have a great week everybody!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Roasted Frittata

Sweet, roasted vegetables, creamy feta cheese, silky egg. Frittatas always win. This is a dinner suitable for Olympic champions!


1/2 Red onion chopped into dice
1 courgette chopped into dice
1 Yellow bell pepper (or capsicum) chopped into dice
A few cherry tomatos, Chopped
Feta cheese crumbled approx half a pack.
Salt and Pepper
Some basil if you have any.

4 large eggs

Some salad leaves
and some honey mustard dressing - you're choice.

Heat some oil or fry-light spray in a pan, add the chopped veg apart from the tomatos.  Fry over a high heat until onions are softened.

Pre heat the grill

Beat the eggs in a separate bowl.  Salt and Pepper to season.

Spread the veg mixture over the base of the frying pan and pour in the egg mixture.  Turn the heat to medium and slowly cook the underside for about 5- 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the top with feta and basil and the cherry tomatos.

Take the frying pan from the heat and place the pan under the pre-heated grill to cook the top of the frittata.

Cook for 8-10 minutes.

When the top has started to go a bit golden and the egg is cooked, take it out and turn out onto a plate.

Slice it in half, serve with some salad leaves and a drizzling of honey mustard dressing and share with someone you fancy.

...put on the telly and watch the Olympics.

Friday, 3 August 2012


Aside from cooking and healthy living - I also love to do yoga.  I started yoga 5 years ago and back then I couldn't even touch my toes.  Now I can get my wrists on the floor and do a number of backbends and balances.  I'm constantly learning and broadening my yoga practise - it gets more exciting each time I go to my favourite class.   I saw this video and thought it was so cute and inspiring, I just had to share it with you :)  Happy weekend xo