Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Raw Cookies

I really fancied something sweet to eat today, but I couldn't decide what. I'd eaten loads of fruit already, and I'm trying to eat healthily at the moment and cutting back on a lot of things like chocolate, biscuits and baked goods. I'm also trying to increase my raw intake as well. It was while I was thinking about this that inspiration hit me - Kristen's Heavenly Cookies!

I remember a while back (a year or more?), everyone was blogging about these super delicious cookies, and I remember trying them and falling in love! I hadn't made them in a while though, so I logged into an old email account, eager to find the recipe (it was originally featured on one of Kristen's Raw newsletters) and make these cookies. I was gutted to find out that for some reason, all of my old emails had disappeared! Luckily, after emailing Kristen she extremely kindly emailed me the recipe again, so I was able to make these gorgeous raw cookies.

Words fail me at describing how tasty these are! And super healthy too. I made a smaller batch, just enough for 4-5 cookies, and I made them using cashew butter. While I was making them, my eye caught sight of a bag of hazelnuts I had in the cupboard, so I decided to have a go at making my own raw treats. Mine are the coconut covered ones on the left. Both sets were extremely easy to make (and so quick too!) so dig out that newsletter and make yourself a batch of Heavenly Cookies!

Emmas Raw Hazelnut Cookies:

30g Hazelnuts
30g Sultanas
1 tsp nut butter
Drop (just a drop!) of olive oil
1 dessert spoon light agave

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until combined. You might have to keep pushing the mixture down as I did. Roll into balls, and then you could also roll in coconut but that's purely optional, I just happen to love the taste and look of coconut! I then put them on a plate and popped them in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes to firm up.

The only thing these cookies were missing were the presence of some raw chocolate - is there any better combination than hazelnut and chocolate?!

Friday, 28 August 2009

An apple a day...

Do you know what the best thing to eat on a morning to wake you up is? .... Apples, apparently. According to the trivia question on my shampoo, anyways! They're supposed to be even better to wake you up than coffee! So I've decided to incorporate them into my morning breakfasts as I sometimes struggle to feel fully awake in a morning, but I've always been wary about caffeine.

So when I saw CCV's recipe for banana butter. I thought it would be the perfect thing to accompany my morning apple and I couldn't wait to try it out!

I wasn't disappointed, and I'm sure this is one recipe I'll be making often! As a further ode to the lovely CCV, I decided to eat my apple this morning...

...with chopsticks! Yum!

Make sure to stop by CCV's blog, because she's got another fantastic giveaway going on at the minute, and it's not too late to enter!

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Blondies

Today has been one of those lazy Sundays where it's been nice to just do not very much! Especially after the busy week I had. I had a drive out to an oriental supermarket, and had to make an emergency stop at a garage to have my brakes tested! When I got back home, I went onto the UKTV Food website to try and find some recipes by the lovely Ching-He Huang (whose new series I am addicted to!) and I stumbled across a series I hadn't seen before called Rachel Allen: Bake.

Of course, loving anything to do with baking, I had to have a look at the recipes! There was a recipe for a cheesecake which looked amazing, but my eye was drawn to these...

Peanut Butter & White Chocolate Blondies

I love white chocolate, and I love peanut butter so this dessert was too tempting. It was really simple and quick to make too, and I had all the ingredients already on hand which is a bonus! The photo above is when they were still warm from the oven, I topped them with a scoop of clotted cream ice cream and they were so gooey and delicious - this recipe is definitely one of my new favourites! Click here to see the original recipe, or read on below.

125g plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
100g Butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
150g crunchy peanut butter
175g light brown sugar
1 Egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g white chocolate, chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/gas 3. Butter the sides of a 20 x 20cm square cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

2. Sift the flour and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and peanut butter together until very soft. Add the sugar, egg and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder and the chopped chocolate and mix to form a dough.

4. Place the dough into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes, or until golden brown and almost firm in the centre.

5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin, before removing and cutting into squares.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Czechoslovakian Black Chillies

After what seemed like an age, my Czechoslovakian black chilli plant is bursting with chillies, and flowers. This is my first year growing chillies, and to be honest I was a little apprehensive as to how they would turn out. I didn't know if they'd be actually black, or just very very dark green but they really are black! And the flowers a lovely purple too. Very gothic!

Friday, 31 July 2009

My garden

Last Saturday, I spent the day in my garden doing some long overdue weeding. My boyfriend and I have bought a house but were not living in it while we're having work done to it. Thistles and dandelions had taken over! Seriously, the thistles had grown to about 5 foot tall, so I really had my work cut out! I started to feel bad taking them all out though; my garden was literally overrun with bees, wasps, and butterflies - all of which I love. In fact, I soon forgot all about weeding and instead focused on trying to take some photos of them!

You can see more similar photos on my flickr.

I was pleased to see that all my veggies I'm growing were still doing well, in fact I picked a lot of stuff and threw it onto the barbeque that night:

The potatoes were some that just sprang up out of nowhere; I think the man who lived in the house before us was a keen gardener, when I was digging up one of the beds I have my veggies in I found loads of potatoes, but I thought I'd got them all out. They've been springing up all over the place! I'm not complaining now though; they were absolutely delicious. The raspberries were there when I moved in too, I thought they were blackberry brambles but now I have an abundance of raspberries! Unfortunately, soon after taking this picture I accidentally dropped the bag of raspberries and delicate as they are turned into raspberry coulis instead!

I can't wait to get down there this weekend and see what else I can pick!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Onion Bhajis

Adam and I bought a house a few months back, but it needs a lot of work doing to it. We've stripped it back completely to just bare bricks, and that's how it is at the moment. Adam's been down there today, as we've got a few different workmen coming down - they're making the door from the kitchen into the dining room a double door, and then we've got some people there sorting out our drains as well.

Adam works so hard, and I feel guilty for not helping out down at the house more, but at the moment there's not a lot I can do to help, being too girlie for manual labour! Went it gets to the decorating stage, it'll be over to me. So I thought tonight I'd make him a lovely romantic meal as a thank you.

One of our favourite types of food is Indian food, we love curries and anything spicy. So I'm making a curry for dinner, and for starters I'm serving these:

Onion bhajis!

They're one of our favourite starters when we go to a restaurant, and I've always wanted to try to make them at home, but struggled to find the main ingredient; gram flour. I was in the local Tesco picking up some ingredients for dinner though, when I actually found some! They're delicious, and easy to make if you can get gram flour in your local area. Here's the recipe:

Onion Bhajis

2 medium onions, finely sliced
225g/1 cup gram flour
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli powder
1 green chilli
Oil for deep frying
Enough water to form a paste

Combine all the dry ingredients, and add the water a little at a time to form a paste. Stir in the green chillies and onions until thoroughly coated. Heat the oil until hot, and drop spoonfuls of the mixture into it until cooked.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A great giveaway

Don't forget to stop by Chocolate Covered Katies blog to check out her amazing CCV in a box giveaway! We always knew she was absolutely lovely, but this great giveaway is too much!

Wish me luck for my entry in the competition too, all the goodies look amazing, there's some stuff I'd love to try and I've always been obsessed with food from other countries! ^_^

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Easter Nests

This weekend has been absolutely gorgeous in terms of weather, and I've been spending a lot of time outside in the garden, planting and tending my seedlings. I'm growing a lot of fruit and veg this year, and it will be first proper year of attempting to do so, after a bit of a non starter last year!

Picking up my secateurs, I headed out towards my nectarine tree as I wanted to take some cuttings to try and see if they would root. Imagine my suprise when I got there, to find a sweet little birds nest already there, complete with three little eggs!

'Sweet' is about right as well, as these nests are made out of chocolate, and perfect for a treat over Easter!

Chocolate Nests

125g Chocolate
3 Shredded wheat

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water (I found about 125g of chocolate did the big nest in the picture, and four little nests with just one egg). Crunch up shredded wheat and add to the chocolate, and stir. Add in dollops onto greaseproof paper, press a mini egg or some other candy egg (or you could make an egg out of fondant or such like!) and press into the chocolate slightly. Put into the fridge until set.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Just for the fun of it

Today, I decided to make...

...cupcakes! I've never made 'cupcakes' before. I've made buns, but they're not the same, cupcakes are much cuter! And for no reason other than I just felt like it! I just made a basic vanilla sponge recipe, added some white chocolate chips and then I whipped up some cream, food colouring and icing sugar to decorate them with.

Delicious, and so adorable!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Garlic Mushroom Fried Rice

Is it me or does there never seem to be anything in the cupboards at this time of year? It seems that after all the food of the holidays there's nothing left now, and even if there was people are so sick of eating after all the Christmas goodies that they wouldn't eat it anyway!

This was my dilemma the other day when I was trying to find something to have for dinner. My search through the pantry, fridge and freezer seemed fruitless at first, but then I noticed the almost empty, overlooked bag of rice tucked away behind another box of yet to be eaten mince pies. A second look in the fridge reminded me of a half pack of mushrooms and an idea began to form...

Garlic Mushroom Fried Rice

I cooked the rice, and then left it to cool for a while. I heated some oil in a wok, then added three cloves of garlic (crushed) and the mushrooms. I let the mushrooms soften for a couple of minutes, then added the rice and some dark Soy sauce and stir fried it all together. When it was done, I tipped it into a bowl and added some crushed chilli flakes to the top, coz I love everything I eat to be really spicy!

A really simple and quick meal (especially if you had some already cooked, leftover rice), but definitely very tasty!


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