California Girl living in London, working model, practicing wife to a Pie Loving Husband, trying not to eat myself out of the day job. 

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Morphy Richards

Thursday
Dec182014

Fresh bread at your finger tips. Who knew?

 

If you’ve ever tried to make your own bread or pastry, you’ll know it’s a messy time consuming process. With all the kneading and raising time, it’s not surprising that most of us buy from abakery or local grocer. It is the only real modern life option. 
So, when Panasonic got in touch about reviewing their Bread Maker, I wondered if it would become on of those kitchen appliances destined for the back of the pantry, but the lure of being able to make healthy clean loafs of bread meant I had to try. Besides, the Pie loving husband has been banging on about a bread machine for years now. He has absolutely no interest in going gluten free or giving up pastry. It's where he draws the line. I’ve never seen this man of mine get so exited about anything domestic before. I should have saved it for Christmas. Needless to say, the first two loaves we made where a multi seed granary and admittedly, wonderful. 
More importantly, its given me the freedom to experiment with healthy loafs and gluten free baking in a whole new lease, without spending my day covered in flour, checking the raise, and it gives me complete control over the ingredients making this kind of baking much healthier. 
Admittedly, I have struggled to find a gluten free recipe that I was willing to recommend to you. I’ve tried a few the manual recommends and a few I’ve found online without much success, but this Panasonic Bread Maker does some fabulous rye and seed loafs and the classic bread recipes come out delicious. So, if you’re not strictly gluten free. It’s a perfect machine. 
‘With a comprehensive selection of pre-programmed recipes including rapid-bake and gluten-free options, there is a specialty mode which allows you to use different grains and flours such as spelt and rye. This marvelous, easy to use machine even makes jam or compote. And a real boon is the yeast dispenser, it drops the yeast into the mix at the optimum moment to ensure your loaves are perfect every time, plus you can also add additional ingredients via the raisin and nut dispenser. But we’re not finished yet.
Unique to this machine, the non-stick bread pan and kneading blade are coated with diamond particles, which make them twice as durable and scratch proof as conventional ones. With three loaf sizes to choose from and a crust-control feature, you can even wake up to a fresh loaf by using the delay timer.’
Well, we’ve had it for about a month and have been using it bi-weekly and I have to admit waking up on a Saturday to a fresh loaf in the kitchen is a lovely thing. So, if you have the space and love the smell of fresh bread running though your home, it’s worth the investment.  
My Favourite Rye and Whole meal with Nuts and Seeds
 
Ingredients
250g Rye Flour
250g Wholemeal Flour
2 tsp sugar or honey
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
380ml
2 tsp fast action easy blend yeast
For extra tastiness add:
1tbsp linseeds
1tbsp pumpkin seeds
1tbsp sesame seeds
1tbsp millet seeds
1tbsp walnuts, chopped
 
Method
1.       Before making the bread, roast the nuts and seeds to enhance their nutty flavour.  Sprinkle with a little salt and leave to cool. 
2.       Place water, vinegar, oil, eggs, salt and sugar into the bread pan first. 
3.       Add the flour, seeds and yeast and set your bread maker to the gluten free setting with the dark crust. 6 on this Panasonic Bread Maker.

 Sponsoured Post

 

Thursday
Dec112014

Christmas Cookie boxes for Clients... cuz I'm sweet like that. 

I may have made a rod for my own back, but last year I sent homemade cookie boxes to key clients as a little Christmas pressie and it went down a treat. So, like a crazy person, I am going to carry on the tradition this year. No, they’re not all super healthy, gluten, sugar and a dairy free wonders bars but I really believe life and health is all about balance and these biscuits are simply delicious. Besides, the key to staying on track is not to being completely restrictive. So, sometimes it’s okay just to have the cookie. Life’s too short. I wont tell, if you don’t. 
Here are the recipes I will be baking this year:
The perfect combination of sweet and salt, these cookies are incredibly morish and delicious with a cup of tea. This recipe works well with most nut butters and is part of Patience Brewster's digital cookie exchange. She is an artist and designer who has encourage us to get baking and share our recipes online. The great thing about this cookie exchange is that everyone is invited! So, if you have a stunning cookie recipe, get sharing. 
 
By far, the best Gluten Free brownie recipe on the web! This rich, fudgy brownie recipe is a fail safe and I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like it. To make them a little more decadent for Christmas, I am adding 200g of glace cherries pushed into the batter sporadically right before popping them in the oven. 
Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies from Gimme Some Oven:
These chewy ginger molasses cookies are soft, sweet, and unbelievably good. Besides, ginger is good for pregnancy... there, a 'healthy' justification to the indulgence. 
Christmas Sugar Cookies from Pastry Affair:
What kind of Christmas box would I be sending if I didn’t make at least one kind of sugar cookies? Don’t tell the other health foodies. 
What treats are you making this festive season?

 

Thursday
Dec042014

Roasted Butternut Squash, Shallots, Thyme, Walnuts topped with Goat Cheese


Playing with flavor combinations result in a wonderfully warm winter salad. 
Roasted Butternut Squash, Shallots, Thyme, Walnuts topped with Goat Cheese
Serves 6
Kitchen time 45 minutes
Ingredients: 
1 medium butternut squash, pealed and cubed 
400g shallots, pealed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
50g walnuts
125g Goat Cheese
Fresh Thyme, roughly chopped
70g Rocket
Salt and pepper
Method: 
1. Pre heat oven to 175°C/350°F. Prepare your butternut squash and shallots, toss in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Thinly scatter over a large baking tray. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the butternut is soft and the edges begin to crisp. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
2. Roast walnuts on a fresh baking tray in the oven until they start to brown and smell toasted, 5-10 minutes max. Be careful, as nuts seem to burn very quickly. 
3. Once all your veg is prepared and slightly cooled, plate up. On a layer of washed rocket, scatter the butternut and roasted shallots. With a teaspoon, scoop chunks of goat cheese on each plate and add the roasted walnuts. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, olive oil and good quality balsamic vinegar, and serve. 

 

Thursday
Nov272014

Hassle-free Marinated Shrimp & Artichoke Appetizer 

For hassle-free holiday recipes to get you through entertaining this holiday season stress free, it is all about forward preparation. If a dish can be made before hand, it will free you to have a glass of wine with your guest and actually enjoy hosting. I’m always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes to have to hand for just such occasion. 
This Marinated Shrimp and Artichoke Appetizer came to me through a friend who swears by it’s a failsafe wow kind of dish. I made if for an every Thanksgiving Feast over the weekend and despite my reservations, it went down a storm. It’s light and tangy. So won’t weigh down the tummy before the main event. Best of all it is made the day before. So after you put on your lippy and poured the bubbles, simply spoon individual portions onto a bed of rocket and serve. 
Marinated Shrimp & Artichoke Appetizer 

Serves 8
Prep time: 15min (plus 8 hours marinating)

Ingredients:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp spring onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2/3 tbsp mixed herb
2/3 tbsp garlic
1 lb large shimp, cooked
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can large olives, drained
1 (14oz) artichoke hearts, quartered
1 (4 oz) feta, cubbed
small handful of fresh basil leaves
Method:
1. Whish together balsamic vinegar, parsley, spring onions, olive oil, mixed herbs and garlic. Strip in cooked shrimp and the rest of the ingredients.  Cover and allow to marinate for 8-24 hours.
2. Stir in the basil right before serving with a slotted spoon. 

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

PS If you have a mo, please pop along and vote for the Model Foodie for the UK Blog Awards #UKBA15. The public vote ends Dec 10 and, it goes without saying your suport would be greatly apprecaited. 

Wednesday
Nov192014

Hoxton Leeks with Caramelised Onions

A really nice alternative to cheesy leeks, this dish was inspired by a side I had at Hubbard and Bell last week. Their version was slightly more creamy but mine is just as tasty and still has a lovely la dente crunch sweetened by soft caramelised onion which help balances the falvours. 
These leeks would make an excellent side to steak or game or even to add something a bit different to your traditional Thanksgiving feast. 
Hoxton Leeks with Caramelised Onions

Serves 4
Total cook time: 45minutes
Ingredients:
400g leeks, trimmed and cut lengthways into strips
1 large onion, thinly sliced
A few sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
Heavy pinch of salt
1 tsp dried herbs
A tsp of honey
Grated Parmesan, optional topping
Method:
1. First caramelise the onions, by sautéing the onions over a low heat with 2 tbsp of olive oil, allowing them to sweat out. Sprinkle with salt, which draws out the water and helps sweeten the onions. Stir ever couple of minutes.
2. Keep your pan on a low heat and allow the onions time to slowly brown, adding the dried herbs and the honey halfway through the browning process. Don’t worry, as long as you cook them slowly and stir frequently they wont burn. 
3. Once your onions begin to turn that lovely honey colour, start preparing your leeks. Blanch leeks for about a minute in boiling water. In a separate pan, heat a tbsp of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the thymes and leeks and immediately turn the heat down to low. Sauté for no more than 15minutes, the leeks should just begin to colour. 
Plate up: top the sauté leeks with the caramelised onions. If desired, sprinkle with a little grated Parmesan and serve. 

 

PS If you have a mo, please pop along and vote for the Model Foodie for the UK Blog Awards #UKBA15. The public vote ends Dec 10 and, it goes without saying your suport would be greatly apprecaited.