Sunday, 29 September 2013

Supper in the Suburbs

I hope you’re sitting down: I’ve got some news.

At the beginning October I will be moving the blog from Kitchen Goddess (in training!) hosted by blogger to Supper in the Suburbs, hosted by Wordpress.

The decision to move wasn’t an easy one – I’ve been told that it’s rather unusual to move from blogger to Wordpress as blogger has so many more features but I feel for me and the blog it makes much more sense to strip down and keep things simple.

Many of you will know that I started this blog whilst I was in the second year of university. I loved cooking but wasn’t particularly skilled or accomplished. I tried creating beginner friendly recipes that wouldn’t break the bank and wouldn’t lead to you piling on the pounds.

As the months and years went on my own personal circumstances have changed. I went from a naive student to a confident finalist before moving back home having graduated. Returning to my parent’s home meant unlimited stocks in the kitchen cupboards along with a fair few challenges like finding the time to take over the kitchen (and who was responsible for clearing up the mess). I also began studying the LPC in London which meant meals out became just as frequent as meals in.

3 years after I first started writing I now work as a Corporate Paralegal in the City and in just another 3 months I will finally embark on my training contract – this training contract will be the last hurdle between me and fully-qualified solicitor status. I’ve also just moved to Southgate in North London with my partner Jon, and for the first time I have a kitchen all to myself!

 Bearing all of this in mind I felt it was finally time to move blog. I’ll be taking all of my old posts with me but I’ll now be blogging under the name ‘Supper in the Suburbs.

I’ll be sharing plenty of recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner, sweat treats, weekend baking, edible gifts and more as well as sharing my tips for entertaining friends and family, keeping kitchen in order and stocking the cupboards.

It’s been a fun three years and I’ve met lots of wonderful people but it’s important to remember this isn’t goodbye! You can all come and chat to me over at the new blog and I’ll be keeping the same twitter and instagram accounts so hopefully the move won’t be too painful for you guys.

If you follow me over to my new home please do drop by and say hi so I know you’re still with me.

Hopefully the next few years will bring new blogging challenges but will also help both the blog and I to continue to grow!

See you all soon!

Emmyw (Kitchen Goddess – no longer in training!)

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Tenderstem and Tofu Sesame Stir Fry

Tenderstem Broccoli and Tofu Sesame Stir Fry
Well that was a lot of alliteration for one blog post title!!! My family of primary school teachers would be very proud – but they’re all too busy focussing on school work now that it’s the beginning of term!
My parents have been home from their holiday for just over a week now and so the two weeks Mr KG and I have spent “playing house” have come to an end.
Playing house with Mr KG has been lots of fun – and as I pointed out in my last post – he’s certainly had me cooking up a storm in the kitchen. I see it as all good practice for when we finally make the big move together. We’ve shared the house chores, we’ve menu planned and managed to buy our food on a budget! So all in all it’s looking good – we may well survive living together yet!

This was one of my favourite recipes from the two weeks together. Despite being a LT vegetarian, Mr KG has never really been a big lover of tofu. I’ve tried all sorts including marinating it myself for DAYS but he still said it lacked much flavour. (Lacked much flavour?! An insult if ever I heard one.) Vegetarian brands Quorn and Cauldron have both got better with their tofu offerings and you can now buy pre-marinated and smoked tofu.
For this recipe we used the marinated tofu but we’ve also used the smoked and I can assure you both tastes just as good.

Friday, 30 August 2013

Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Sauce

Home made Spinach and Ricotta Pasta Sauce

You will not believe how much time I have spent in the kitchen these last two weeks!

Now, some of you may have already picked up that despite living with my parents still, I do most of the cooking in the house. To be frank, Dad has just got lazy in his old age and when he gets in from work wants to do nothing more than sit down. Mum, bless her, doesn’t think she can cook so tries running in the other direction at the mention of moving into the kitchen. So, almost every day the cooking of the evening meal falls on to me.

Since they’ve gone on holiday, the word ‘almost’ has disappeared...

Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining! Cooking for Mr KG every night for two weeks straight has meant I’ve been a bit more creative as I can’t fall back on many of the recipes I’d cook for my parents. (He’s veggie and has some rather random food allergies like sweetcorn!)

One of the best things to have come out of all of this cooking however, is my ability to knock together something incredibly simple and tasty with basic ingredients.

Best served simply with fresh pasta and garlic bread

Spinach and Ricotta is a classic flavour combination and frequently appears on veggie friendly menus. Ready-made packets of ravioli in the supermarkets are often stuffed to bursting with it and if that’s not enough, 9 times out of 10 there will be a tub of gelatinous spinach and ricotta sauce to go with it. I’ve also seen a twist on lasagne made purely with spinach and ricotta before and let’s not to forget it’s also the obvious filling for cannelloni!

We’ve all tried these supermarket made pasta dishes and I think we can all say that although they are quick and easy they are incredibly bland. Tell me, why do we subject ourselves to tasteless food in the name on convenience!? There really is no good excuse for it!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Cupcakes (Plus GBBO S4 Ep1)

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes topped with a sticky and sweet Passion Fruit Curd
This (ok, almost last) week saw the first episode of the Great British Bake Off back on our screens and for the first time EVER I actually managed to catch the episode as it went out live on TV. No more iplayer for me!

Two things really stood out for me from the first episode - #1 they all need to calm down and stop trying to chop their own fingers off, it really won’t help them! And #2 passion fruit seems to be the in thing.

Now I may have only made the second observation because I am currently OBSESSED with passion fruit, but still, I’m going to go with it.

The Angel Cakes were all drizzled in the delicious, sticky and sweet pulp of the passion fruit and my did they look heavenly! I was very impressed with how they all turned out actually, considering Angel Cake just isn’t that popular this side of the pond. It’s definitely something I’ll have to try.

The selection of cupcakes at my party.
Even so, this wasn’t the only time passion fruit cropped up in the episode. During the Signature Bake round, Howard made a gluten free passion-fruit and coconut sandwich cake out of rice-flour and xantham gum. It sounded so out there and whacky I don’t think anyone expected it to work but Mary and Paul LOVED it! Another win for the passion fruit.

Then in the Showstopper Bake round Ali cooked a Chocolate, Raspberry and Passion fruit Engagement Cake. Now I think his concept was actually pretty good. The nerves just got the better of him and he executed it pretty poorly. (Ali, don’t worry, you’re still secretly one of my favourites).

Again, yay for passion fruit!

As much as I love passion fruit though, and I really was happy to see it being featured in cakes on the show, it kind of ruined my plan to bake these delicious Dark Chocolate and Passion Fruit Cupcakes if ever I find myself on the show.

If this week’s episode of GBBO did inspire you to try baking with passion fruit and you’re not brave enough to use rice flour like Howard (and you want more success with your finished product than Ali had) then why not give these cupcakes a go!

The sweet and zingy passion fruit curd is paired beautifully with the dark chocolate which makes the overall flavour of the cake much more, well-rounded.

Although it’s tempting to make these cakes with milk chocolate in an attempt to make them more popular with a wider range of guests, the dark chocolate really is essential and many people who usually steer away from the bitter taste of dark chocolate will undoubtedly love it when paired with the sweet exotic fruit.
Another great thing about these cakes is they’re incredibly easy to make and look stunning when finished. Simply follow your usual method of making cupcakes, grab yourself a piping bag complete with a Wilton 1M tip and you’re good to go!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Lavender and Honey Cakes

Lavender and Honey Cupcakes made from locally produced ingredients.

I am one lucky girl. Now I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging, but I have so much to be grateful for and today I’m going to share them with you. Last weekend my parents threw me a party to celebrate getting a distinction in the LPC and my new job.

I’m thankful not just for the party with copious amount of Champagne, but for the opportunities and support they gave me growing up so that I could get to where I am today and reach my full potential.
I’m also grateful for where I live surrounded by friends, family and the countryside!

Wandering through Hitchin Lavender Fields, Ickleford
For the party I decided to make cakes and I’m lucky enough to live somewhere where I can easily source local ingredients. Just a short drive away we have lavender fields, pick your own fruit farms and local honey producers. I wanted to make the most of all of these things before we move to

London and our only green space becomes an inner city allotment.

With two jars of local honey in the cupboard, I already knew that honey cakes would be on the menu but I wanted to add a twist.

Mr KG (another person I’m incredibly thankful for having n my life after 8 and a half years together)  and I decided to spend our Saturday walking through the local lavender fields spotting bumblebees and butterflies amongst the flowers. They opened for the first time this year and for just £4 per adult – with kids going free – you can pick as much of their 15 varieties of lavender as you like! They even give you a bag to carry it home in and scissors to do the cutting.

Floral fancies - Lavender infused Honey Cakes
They don’t just make their money by letting locals come and cut their own. The lavender is also used in a number of food and beauty products which you can buy in their barn shop. They also produce essential oils (which I may have to stock up on!)

After browsing around the barn I came across their lavender honey and it suddenly occurred to me that lavender and honey cakes were the twist I was looking for! We’d seen in the hours we’d spent wandering the fields just how much the bumble bees loved the lavender so I was sure that my family would love the cakes too.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Law Student Does Lunch - where to eat in the Holborn area

City Snacks
This post is probably overdue and a little premature all at the same tie.

I finished law school back in May and took my exams in June. It feels like it was an age ago already which probably means I’m doing too much. No long hot summer for me!

Law school was one of my favourite periods of education; I always knew I wanted to practice law and as much as I loved my law degree (I really did), Law school was so much more practical and I felt like I was getting one step closer to my dream.
Exam results came out just a week ago and I can now proudly stay I’ve not only taken that step closer but I passed with DISTINCTION!!! I got a distinction in every single module so it almost makes up for just missing out on a first in my undergrad degree.

The nine months I spent at law school weren’t just great because I found my thing – they were also great because it was my first real taste of living/working in London.
Ok, so I still commuted from Hertfordshire, but I spent 5 days a week there! I had a fab time meeting new people, meeting uni friends for dinner, trying out awesome new bars and having some amazing nights out.

I also spent an awful lot of time checking out the food scene. If I wasn’t meeting friends for dinner, I was trying out various street food vendors and I spent plenty of time checking out the various places to grab lunch within walking distance of my law school.
Holborn has some great places to eat if you’re willing to take yourself off of the main road and down the back streets – they’re not scary I promise!

I did manage to get a few of my foodie visits turned into reviews but I couldn’t try all of these places without properly sharing what I found, so after maybe the 5th or so lunch eaten out I decided I had to put them on a map and so the Lawyer Does Lunch Map was born!

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Crumble Topped Ocean Pie

Hey folks, what’s up? It’s been a week since my last post on these EXTREMELY cute mini vanilla doughnuts and boy has a lot happened!

Every now and then you get one of those crazy weeks where it all seems to kick off.
Highlights of my week include a mini-school reunion with best friends from primary/secondary school/sixth form!!! A curry with Mr KG and our friend who has been working out in South Sudan for the last 4 months – he just headed back out there yesterday so it’ll be a while until we see him again. I also got my law school results – I passed with Distinction :D every single exams I got a distinction in so I’m a VERY happy girl. Shame no-one is planning to go to graduation, what with us all out working.

Then there was the not so good part of the week – I’ve been complaining of strange aches and pains most of the week. On Friday this turned into excruciating pains in my stomach as well as arms and legs. In the evening it hurt so much it was making me feel sick! So for the last couple of days I’ve been laid flat out either on a sun lounger, sofa or bed. It is seriously boring being ill and not much fun being in pain!!!
It has meant though that I’ve been able to catch up with lots of blog posts from you lovely guys!


This evening I’m thinking about getting back in the kitchen – or perhaps should I say instructing my Mum in the kitchen. It’s probably not a great idea I get stuck in with the food prep being ill and my Mum could do with a bit of practice. There’s still no news on our flat but hopefully we’ll have all the paperwork signed in the next week or two. Keep your fingers crossed for us!!! In the meantime I’ve got to teach Mum how to cook (or just get more confident) in the kitchen.
This recipe is one we cooked together a week or so ago. We’ve had it quite a few times and each time she’s helped out a little bit more. I reckon she’ll be able to whip this up for her and Dad in no time now!

The key with this dish really is the fish. I’ve chosen to use white fish of your choice as the base – think Cod, Pollack, Gurnard or anything else mild and flakey. But it also includes prawns and smoked haddock and this is really where much of the beautiful ocean flavour comes from so please, please, please don’t leave these out! My Mum was never a big prawn lover but she enjoys it in this pie so just give it a go and I’m sure you’ll surprise yourself.
I also love this recipe because it’s another great one for hiding vegetables from my Dad!!! Brocolli, peas, leeks and sweetcorn can all be hidden in the sauce from grumpy old folk and children.


What I love the most about this recipe though is the crumble topping. Mash potato and puff pastry are great ways of topping off a fish pie but this cheesey breadcrumb top is lighter making for a healthier pie and something more suitable for the summer evenings.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Vanilla Mini Doughnuts

Evening all!
I hope you all took my advice on Wednesday and have been enjoying the weather? I’ll be the first to admit I’m not very good in the heat but on an evening like this there is no excuse not to eat al fresco, or have a pint of something yummy and relax outside until the stars rise.

We’ve had another busy weekend, but a weekend busy making the most of the sunshine. On Saturday we spent most of the day at a local park (Fairlands Valley Lakes in Stevenage) with friends. We had a delicious picnic with fresh home-made salads, naughty treats from the delicatessen and iced tea. We also played a game or two of Frisbee as well as bananagrams! To top it off I had an ice-cream – absolute bliss!
Today we’ve been upcycling an old hat stand. It belongs to Mr KG’s parents when they got married and moved in together (30+years ago?) As you can imagine it was a bit dated (pine – eugh!) so we’ve sanded it down, given it an undercoat of primer and managed to get a first coat of white paint on too. Next week we hope it will be sunny again and we can finish off a second white coat before I get to decorate it. That’s right...decorate. When we finally move out our bedroom is going to be Japanese inspired mainly with plum, purple and pink-y tones. We’ve got bedding and a few nik-naks already but for a bit of extra interest in the room we’re having a decorated hat stand. I’ll be painting purple, pink and blue cherry blossoms on it and I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I promise I’ll share a picture...

I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting recently and this recipe was the product of one. Fortunately I made such a large quantity of the mix that I could improve my technique with each batch that I actually baked.

It all came about after a rather depressing day spent suit shopping last weekend. To cheer myself up my Mum took me to Lakeland to treat myself to something cooking-related and I found the most adorable purple silicone mini-doughnut mould. I had to have it!

Much like with the design of my hat stand, I had in my head what I wanted the finished result to look like but getting it to that stage was a bit of a problem. I also knew what I wanted them to taste like and the kind of texture I was after so I spent a lot of time adding a bit of this and then adding a bit more to the batter, tasting as I went along.

I was really please with how they turned out! The texture of the doughnut is firm and cakey but not crumbly. They have a good strong taste of vanilla which makes them extremely moreish and let’s admit. They look seriously cute!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Fruit Ice Cubes

This is an emergency broadcast: It is H-O-T!

Tonight I was going to share with you fun things like how my first full week at work went, or how Mr KG and I may have a flat in London (EEK! More on that soon...) and I was going to share with you the most amazing recipe for Crumble Topped Ocean Pie.

But you know’s just far too hot for all that.

So instead I say stop whatever it is you are doing. Put your feet up and pour yourself a nice cold drink. We’re having a heat wave so let’s make the most of it.

Still if you’re looking for some heat-wave themed inspiration I’ve got just the thing for you...

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Red velvet cupcakes with chocolate dipped strawberry toppers!

Wow has this week been hectic. l've finally completed a full week at my new job and I'm still absolutely loving it. l think I'm slowly learning that if you're not doing something you love then you are going to resent having to go in everyday. This week I've even worked late twice, but you won't here a winge or a moan from me because I'm just so excited to be doing such interesting work! isn't eveything and we all need to find ways to relax. This is going to be quite difficult for me.
Much of this weekend was taken up with flat hunting. l'm in a period of transition right row and can't afford to just sit back and watch the weekends pass me by.
Nonetheless with all this going on I've decided to make Sunday's a day for baking and blogging. For me there is nothing more relaxing than mixing cake batter or icing swirls of buttercream. Who's with me?

I first made these cakes when Wimbledon was in full flow. When the tennis is on it seems inevitable that everyone becomes obsessed with strawberries and cream. I took these two classics and turned them on their head - the cream became buttercream and the strawberries HAD to be dipped in chocolate (it's my favourite way to eat them afterall).
This didn't seem enough though. A vanilla cupcake wasn't going to be immensely transformed just by adding Chocolate Dipper Strawberry Toppers, so instead I chose to pop them on top of a red velvet cupcake. Not only did the red sponge look striking against the light buttercream and vibrant red strawberries, but the cocoa powder in the sponge also tied in with the chocolate the strawberries had been dipped in!
The combination really is inspired. If you too love the strawberry and chocolate combo then you should definitely give it a go.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Parmesan and Herb Crusted Cod with Garlic Vine Tomatoes and Roasted New Potatoes

Parmesan and herb crusted cod served with extra green veg
Happy Wednesday eveyone!
- I'm saying that sarcastically. Can you tell?
On Monday it seems l set myself up for a bit of a fall. With all the best intentions in the world l said that on Wednesdays l would try to keep posting my recently developed recipes.
Low and behold just two days later when l should be writing up my latest post, I'm in the office working late.
I'm not going to complain though, l get paid 1.5x my hourly rate AND there's a special cupboard that gets opened at 6:30 full of sweets, fizzy drinks, biscuits and more!
l need to make the most if it because when l'm a trainee many of these perks will disappear.
A bit of local history
- Check out the inscription -
"Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Association"
I love Smithfields!
BUT less about work. l may have struggled to get pen to paper but I've still had plenty of time to cook!
Some of you will already be familliar with my healthy fish and chips. This is an evolution of that same dish!
The idea is that the flavour of the bread crumbs is ramped up with lashings of parmesan and traditionally ltalian herbs. The health factor comes from the oven roasted vine tomatoes cooked with garlic (which is great for your heart) and olive oil, one of the so called good fats.
No meal would be complete - or should l say balanced - without some carbs so the fish is lovingly served up with new potatoes roasted in the oven.
Have you noticed the real selling point of this meal yet though? It all just goes in the oven.
No pots and pans or complicated techniques!
And that's why this is a fab mid-week meal!

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Italian Turkey Burgers

The leaning tower of Turkey Burgers

Last week I gave you the chance to vote on which recipe you’d like to see on the blog next in a poll on my Facebook page. I’d got a few ideas floating around but I’ve been so busy what with my final exams at law school and looking for a job, I hadn’t quite had the chance to put pen to paper so to speak.

Those of you that voted decided you wanted to see my Italian Turkey Burgers!
I used to make burgers a lot at university and over the last few months I’ve reignited my passion for them. Not only is it slowly but surely becoming BBQ season – the time during which burgers are king – I’ve also recently bought a burger press so I can finally produce professional looking patties.

The patties

What I love most about a burger is that you can flavour it with almost anything!
The meat you choose is your base. I find beef is particularly good with deep flavours. It is stronger than turkey mince so can take the addition of smokey BBQ flavours, as well as salty cheese. Turkey mince on the other hands requires more delicate flavouring.

This burger is very much a “light” burger – not only because it’s made with turkey mince which is leaner than beef mince, but because it is built up in its bun with fresh spinach, succulent beef tomato slices and creamy (low fat) mozzarella as well as sweet caramelised onion rings. Each layer is carefully selected to bring a fresh, summery (and Italian) flavour to the burger.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Goodbye Google Reader – what next?

So it’ll come as no surprise to most of you that Google Reader is no more. This has been a long time in the making and as of today Google Reader has finally gone for good.

When I first found Google Reader I thought it was the best invention in the world!!! So when I was looking for a replacement for it I had a really hard time.
There are a number of different alternatives out there and it really depends how you like to access the blogs you read and whether you’re willing to pay to get the service you want.

After spending ALOT of time trying out what’s on offer this is what I’ve found.

The most like Google Reader
If, like me, you don’t do change then is for you! It has been designed so that its layout is almost identical to Google Reader and it works in pretty much the same way. Simply type in the URL of the blog to which you want to subscribe and there you go, all the updates on that blog will appear just like they did on Google Reader.

Here’s what my looks like –

Good for gadgets

I always access my blog subscriptions when I’m comfortably sat on the sofa with my laptop and cup of tea in hand. This really made a difference to which blog reader I chose.
If however you like to access yours on the go (perhaps on your tablet or smartphone) then Feedly is definitely a contender! It doesn’t matter whether you’re and Android or an Apple either. Feedly is available for everyone and for free!

It’s got a really smooth interface and is pretty cool to look at. It’s really easy to customize so you can make it exactly how you want it!
But best of all? To have all of your current blog subscriptions transported onto Feedly all you need to do is sign in with your Good Reader account. Simple or what!

For blog lovers

I almost exclusively follow food blogs, but if you follow a whole variety of different blogs then Bloglovin will probably be good for you. It’s also great for finding new blogs to follow.
One of my favourite features is the ability to “like” a blog post which will help the blog gain popularity.


 The others
There are even more out there though! With just a quick Google search you can find loads of alternatives.

·         AOLReader is the brand spanking new RSS Feed reader from AOL. They’ve pretty much just seen a gap in the Google Reader market and dived straight in but it’s got its fans.

·         DiggReader is always getting quite popular so may be worth exploring

·         Newsblur is dubbed the alternative to Feedly. So if you don’t quite get on with Feedly Newsblur is probably the platform to try next.

·         Flipboard is a magazine style news reader so offers a bit of a change

Given up?
Now...for those of you who have just given up on all this RSS reader nonsense there is a slightly less conventional alternative...

Many of your favourite blogs will have either Twitter Feeds or Facebook Pages where you will be able to not only get updates to the latest posts, but you will also be able to chat with your favourite bloggers!
So, if none of these Google Reader replacements sounds like they’re for you why not just make the most of social media.

To follow the Kitchen Goddess (in training!) blog via social media like my Facebook Page or follow @KitchenGoddess3 on twitter!


So there you have it...there are plenty of ways you can keep following the Kitchen Goddess (in training!) blog as well as all of your other favourites.

Monday, 24 June 2013

[Kikkoman Recipe Challenge] Home-made BBQ Sauce

A big jar of BBQ Sauce made with Kikkoman Soy Sauce

You’ve probably noticed I’ve been a little quiet on the blogging front recently. May and June were taken over by my final Law School exams. I take exams very seriously: I’m not a worrier but when I’m in the exam zone nothing else even registers of my radar; everything gets thrown to the wayside including friends, family and cooking!

My last exam was just over a week ago and I’m slowly getting back into some sort of routine.
I’ve been having interviews for a job between finishing law school and starting my training contract, socialising with friends and I’ve also been doing a variety of creative projects!

For some reason though I’ve found it hard to get myself back in to the kitchen. So, when I heard about the Kikkoman Blogger Challenge I thought it was the perfect way for me to get back into the kitchen and to start experimenting with flavours again.
Kikkoman are experts in all things Soy Sauce. They’re extremely passionate about their products and want to show just how versatile they are, so bloggers like myself have been challenged to use either their Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce, Teriyaki Marinade or Less Salt Soy Sauce, in a recipe. The catch – the recipe can’t be oriental!

BBQ Sauce smothered chicken on the grill!
I’ll be the first to put my hand up and admit that I only ever use soy sauce in the typical oriental recipes such as stir fry’s, sweet and sour sauce, and to serve sushi so I was quite excited about this challenge! I started by tasting the Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce and trying to break down the flavours I could really taste.
Now there’s no denying that Soy Sauce is quite salty, and also tastes a little smoky so I started trying to think of food stuffs where these flavours could really work. It wasn’t long before I came up with the idea of making home-made BBQ Sauce!

This BBQ Sauce can be used in a number of different ways – smother chicken wings in it and bake in the oven, dollop into a burger bun, dunk in your chips, or even spread it over a pizza base as an alternative to tomato sauce!
Is there any better way to prove just how versatile soy sauce is than by using it in a super versatile sauce?!

Here’s how to do it:

Monday, 17 June 2013

[BBQ Recipe] Honey and Mustard Glazed Chicken

Honey and Mustard Glazed Chicken on the BBQ

The English summer weather is unpredictable to say the least. As I’m writing this, we’ve have torrential rain, glorious sunshine, and a lot of cloud cover over the space of just 7 days.

It’s no surprise that the English folk react so crazily when the cloud breaks and we finally get to see a bit of the sun.

When the sun comes out to play where I live the smell of BBQ’s begins to fill the air. And I must admit my family are no different.
The beauty of a BBQ is that you can cook almost anything on it. This summer I’ve already shown you sizzling summer prawns, char grilled tuna, as well as barbequed courgette and bulgur wheat salad. This particular weekend however we didn’t have any special food in.

Key ingredients for Honey and Mustard Glazed Chicken

The sun had come as a bit of a shock. The weather man had been saying for days we should expect the hottest weekend yet, but Saturday came and went and it remained overcast though a little warmer than usual. With the clouds overhead we assumed there was no point getting the BBQ out, but by Sunday afternoon the sun was shining brightly and it was time for me to raid the cupboards!
We’d got chicken breasts in the fridge that we intended to use later in the week so this was where my inspiration started. I butterflied the breast, making the surface area larger and the fillet thinner so it would cook quicker on the BBQ.

I didn’t just want grilled chicken for dinner though. I wanted to jazz it up a bit!
Out of the cupboard came mustard, honey, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, pepper and garlic – and so my honey and mustard glazed chicken was born!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

[BBQ Recipe] Barbequed Courgette and Bulgur Wheat Salad

Barbequed Courgette and Bulgur Wheat Salad

It can be really difficult to watch your weight when heading to a BBQ with friends and family. There will be a mountain of meat, some sumptuous fish, and if you’re lucky the odd veggie kebab on the BBQ too. The table of sides often isn’t much better with mayonnaise laden potato salads, coleslaw swimming in yet more mayonnaise and sugary condiments.

My Mum and I are often the bringers of “green salad” to these kind of events but the limp lettuce tends to get pushed around the plate. One leaf might make its way into a burger bun if its lucky.
With that in mind I’ve started making a conscious effort to serve up more exciting salads when cooking up a storm around a BBQ.

Before I thought if people weren’t willing to eat a simple green salad, why would they be willing to try a cous-cous or bulgur wheat one? I won’t lie to you, I have had mixed success in this regard. My Nan and Grandad simply won’t touch the stuff, but it turns out the rest of my family are much more willing to try new things.
With that in mind here’s one of my favourites. It’s a warm salad with the courgette grilled and served over the fluffy bed of bulgur wheat at the last minute. This gives it a bit of theatre and people feel like they’re not betraying the BBQ!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry served with chapattis!

They say that owners look like their pets (I’m hoping to be the owner of a pug soon...does this mean I look like a pug?!)

They also say men marry women who look like their mothers (does that mean Mr KG thinks I look like his Mum?!)
But what does the food someone eats or cooks say about them?

Self portrait?
I often think that people who cook exotic food must be reasonably well travelled. There’s a big difference between someone who likes to order the odd Chinese or curry and someone who cooks pasta from scratch, or has an authentic recipe for lamb tagine.
And so I wonder – what do the recipes on this blog say about me?!

Unfortunately I am nowhere near as well travelled as I would like to be. I have been to all of the obvious places in Europe – France, Spain, Germany and Greece. I’ve also been to Prague. But that’s really where the extent of my “travelling” starts and stops.
From a young age I’ve had a desire to go to new places and when I wrote my first ever bucket list when I was 13 it included travelling to India, Japan, Russia and China. These are most definitely still the 4 places I would like to visit the most. Since beginning to learn Mandarin I feel like my dream to visit China is becoming more and more possible. I’d love to fit in a month long tour of China before I start my training contract but I just have to keep on hoping for now – after all a temporary job and a flat with Mr KG are way higher on my list of priorities.

I may not be well travelled but I am well eaten – if that’s even a saying! I’ve certainly tried my fair share of curries, some of which were more authentic than others.
Wherever I’ve lived (or Mr KG has lived) we’ve always been in pursuit of a good curry. I’ve also been fortunate enough in the past to have a friend from Bangladesh who’s Mum LOVED to cook us curries for revision sessions back during my A-Levels. Another friend spent a lot of time in Nepal and brought home recipes for authentic Nepalese curries.

Silky coconut curry with butternut squash, red chilli and lentils

One day I hope that I will be able to share a traditional recipe passed down to me on one of my travels, but that might be for a while yet.

Until then, all I can do is share with you a recipe for one of my favourite curries which I cook at home. The idea has come from a variety of dishes I’ve tried both at home and in restaurants so it may well be a twist on a classic, who knows!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

[BBQ Recipe] Char grilled Tuna Steak

Char grilled Tuna Steak

Last week we were fortunate enough to have blue skies all of Sunday. Dad was out in the garden, Mum was sunning herself on a beach somewhere off the south coast and I was revising. BUT, we still managed to find time to have a BBQ that evening.

On Sunday I shared with you my Summer Sizzling Prawns, an incredibly simple way of livening up seafood before popping on the BBQ. Today I’m sharing yet another BBQ fish dish (can you see a theme here?)

Tuna steaks have been a favourite of mine for a while now. Around the age of 16 I started going off the giant mound of blackened burgers and sausages that would invariably be served up at any family BBQ. I’d become more conscious about my weight and quite frankly was bored of the same old processed rubbish. Seafood came to the rescue as I soon realised that you could have fresh, healthy, non-processed food on the BBQ too!

You shall have a fishy on a little dishy...
Nowadays I’ll be the person who rocks up to the BBQ with vegetable kebabs, corn on the ob and some sort of fish to stick on the Barbie. Today it was tuna.
Tuna is so delicious cooked on the BBQ that sometimes I like to simply give it a few mins either side, and serve alongside a salad with a squeeze of lemon. This time, I decided to jazz it up a bit.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Arancini – Crispy (Leftover) Risotto Balls

Cripsy Risotto Balls

Hands up if you have ever cooked a delicious risotto only to realise you had used twice as much rice as you needed to, and you now have enough to feed a small army?
I thought so...

It happens to the best of us. Before the grains of rice have plumped and swollen it’s easy to convince yourself just to add another half a cup or so more and before you know it your pan is overflowing with the stuff.
But fear not! Never again will you have to throw away tasty, leftover risotto! This recipe is incredibly simple to follow, and deliberately so.

It is thought that arancini originates from Sicily, though there are similar recipes elsewhere in Italy. They are often stuffed with a meat sauce or even cheese, but so that you don’t have to buy in any extra ingredients to make these, I’ve decided to give you a basic recipe and method so that you can use any leftover risotto you might have.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

[BBQ Recipe] Sizzling Summer Prawns

Sizzling on the BBQ

Today I got way, way, WAY too excited. For the most part of the day I had been shut away in my little study revising for my upcoming exams. My Mum has gone away for a long weekend (by which I mean 5 whole days) to sun herself by the sea with her two best friends, which left my Dad and I to our own devices.
After being cooped up all day I wanted to get out and enjoying the sunshine and before I knew it I’d inadvertently convinced my Dad to whack on the BBQ.

As soon as he said yes I instantly perked up. We’re having a BBQ! That means one thing and one thing only – COOKING!

I rummaged through our fridge and found various goodies – loads of salad, king prawns and paneer. Not to mention bulgur wheat, chillies and lemons and limes lounging around. We just needed a few little extras so I sent Mr KG and my Dad off to the shops to grab them before they closed for the day.

Garlic, lime, chilli, ginger, coriander and prawns

Without a doubt I got carried away. I was trying to think up fresh, tasty and healthy dishes – and I did just that! The problem was I came up with too many. But, you can’t help but over indulge at a BBQ so we sat outside on the patio just the three of us and enjoyed the goodies I’d cooked up.


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