Sunday Cook | Lasagne

19 Oct 2014

Lasagne is my ultimate comfort food. It was the meal I would always ask for on my birthday growing up and the meal that my mum would always make to welcome me home from Uni. Now, we all know that your own mother's cooking is the best. But! After a few years of trying to perfect my own lasagne recipe, I have to say I'm pretty proud of my version. (If you're reading I still love yours the most Mum, never fear!!)

I hold my hands up to the fact that lasagne is hardly a difficult dish to make, and I don't really have a "recipe" per say. But to be weirdly soppy about food, lasagne signifies home and its comforts to me. My housemate Joe has always said its my signature dish and he encouraged me to blog about it; so here we go!


- 1 pack of 500g beef mince
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
- 2 cartons of chopped tomatoes
- tomato puree
- handful dried mixed herbs
- bunch of fresh basil
- bunch of fresh baby spinach
- lasagne sheets
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- plain flour
- milk
- mature cheddar cheese (as much as you like - go crazy!!)


Firstly, finely chop the onion and two cloves of garlic. Heat some oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion and garlic leaving to soften. Then add the pack of beef mince, separating in the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the mince has browned.

Meanwhile, quarter the chestnut mushrooms and add them to the frying pan. Then stir in the cartons of chopped tomatoes, handful of dried herbs and roughly two tablespoons of tomato puree. Cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Pre-heat the oven to 220C.

In a saucepan, melt the butter on a medium heat. Add a few tablespoonfuls of plain flour and cook until combined, stirring quickly so it doesn't burn. Add a few good glugs of milk, and whisk continuously. Continue to add flour and milk, whisking continuously until you have the desired quantity and thickness of sauce. This is pretty much up to you, it depends how gloopy you like your white sauce and how much of it you want!

You then need to recruit a sous chef (your boyfriend/girlfriend, sister, brother, mother, father, friend, pet..okay maybe not pet!) to grate a shit-load of cheese. Or just a little depends how cheesy you like it. In this house-hold however? We lovee the cheese. Then add this to your pan and whisk until combined.

You're now ready to assemble! Wahoo! Grab a large roasting dish and pour a third of the meat sauce in. Spread it out and then cover in a layer of lasgane sheets. Spread over a third of the cheese sauce and add a layer of baby spinach. Repeat this three times (or as many as you can!) adding more grated cheese to the top.

Pop your masterpiece into the oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbling, golden and delicious! ENJOY. Just not straight away as you may burn your mouth, and I will take no responsibility! You have been warned!! :)

So, I hope you like my rough recipe! Let me know if you try my version :)

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Autumnal Thoughts.

15 Oct 2014

Autumn is most definitely upon us. Scarves are back in my staple wardrobe, ankle boots are on and hand warming coffees are in full force. I'm in total Autumn mood and I'm loving it. Which is odd really, as 80% of the time I'm longing for summer and pretty floaty dresses! It seems that the older I've got the more I've begun to enjoy the crisp autumn mornings of October and November. With this in mind, I've compiled a list dedicated to my new-found love of all things Autumn.

- Cold mornings mean more excuses for a commuter coffee. A beverage in hand seems to be a cult on my morning train.
- The trees hit their peak in autumn with their beautiful leaves. This also means you get to crunch them soon, which is fun regardless of your age. Admit it, we've all made a slight detour to step on a particularly crunchy one!
- Cold evenings mean snuggly evenings in front of the TV with copious amounts of tea and cake. You've got to build up your winter layer of warmth after all...!
- Chunky knit jumpers. That is all.
- The countdown to Christmas officially begins once Autumn hits in my eyes. I've already bought a present, and planned my Christmas baking. Anyone else....?
- Rosy Cheeks. I may be alone on this, but I love that sort of flushed feel and look you get in Autumn when you've been outside. It almost reminds me of being a child again!
- Fireworks! I absolutely love a good firework display - though I HATE fireworks let off from back-gardens, those just terrify me! I always think they'll go wrong and end up flying at a house or person!
- Primark woolly leggings. Anyone else own these? The fleecy pyjama/legging combo that is just the COMFIEST thing ever on a cold day. They're my ultimate lounge day go-to.
- Putting on winter weight in secret, as you're constantly wearing oversized jumpers and big coats. Winning!
- Finally, a slightly strange one. That cold yet warm feeling you get when you're having a stroll in brisk air. Resonate with anyone?? haha

I've just written this list sitting in bed with a massive mug of tea, and I totally feel like I AM Autumn!

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Sunday Bake | Lemon Meringue Pie

12 Oct 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie is Craig's favourite desert. So I've made it my mission to perfect the recipe. Pastry has always been my downfall, but after many a tart and pie coming out of my oven I think I've finally cracked it.

The last time I made this pie, my pastry leaked and my meringue was basically marshmallow; it wasn't my finest baking hour. This time around, everything seemed to work out okay. Its still not perfect, but third times the charm right?

I used Paul Hollywood's recipe, and if you see a picture of Paul's you'll know why!


for the Pastry:
400g plain flour
1tsp salt
200g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
2tbsp caster sugar
100-125ml ice cold water
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk, for glazing

for the Lemon Curd Filling:
6 large lemons
230g caster sugar
pinch of salt
80g cornflour
12 medium egg yolks
230g unsalted butter, softened

for the Meringue:
6 medium egg whites
280g caster sugar
1tsp cornflour
1tsp lemon juice


Put the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse until it forms small chunks, just under the size of a pea.

Slowly add the water while pulsing the food processor until the pastry holds together when squeezed. Tip the dough onto the work surface and gently knead together. Flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes. Have a cuppa.

Roll out your pastry onto a lightly floured surface to a large round about 3mm thick. Use the pastry to line a 23cm tart tin, leaving the excess pastry hanging over the edge. Prick the base all over with a fork, then chill the pastry case for 30 minutes. Have a snack.

Heat your oven to 180C, line the pastry case with parchment and baking beans and bake blind for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment and baking beans, brush the pastry case with eggwash and return to the oven for a further 5-8 minutes until the pastry case is dry and the edges are just golden. Trim off the rough edges and set the pastry case aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C.

Next finely grate the zest of 2 lemons then mix this with the sugar, salt and cornflour in a saucepan. Squeeze the juice from all 6 lemons, strain into the saucepan and beat into the sugar mixture. Heat gently, stirring often, until thickened. This will take a while, but bear with it!

Take off the heat and beat in the egg yolks, then cook gently again, stirring until thick. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter until melted. Pour the lemon filling into the baked pastry case.

For the meringue, whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they hold soft peaks. Now beat in the sugar, 1tbsp at a time. When all the sugar is incorporated, carry on beating for 3-4 minutes until the meringue is really glossy. Fold in the cornflour and lemon juice.

Spoon the meringue over the lemon filling in the tart - it will look billowy and cloud like!

Bake for about an hour, until the meringue topping is crisp and lightly golden. Leave to cool completely before serving (if you can!), dusted with icing sugar.
(adapted from Paul Hollywood's How To Bake)

This recipe is fairly long-winded, with the three main parts. But, it's totally worth it and looks so impressive. Once you have it mastered, its a great one to whip out for dinner parties or any social occasion!

Let me know if you try it! :)

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The Breakfast Club | London Bridge

7 Oct 2014

An American Breakfast is one of life's many pleasures. The pancakes, the bacon, the maple syrup...ahh gaaad its good. Its currently 10:43pm and I'm SO full from the lasagne I made for tea and I could still stuff my face with a plate of pancakes! I think that says its all.

But backtracking, myself and my sister Katie took a trip to the recently opened branch of The Breakfast Club in London Bridge for brunch a few weeks back! The decor of every Breakfast Club is always really cute and quirky, but this branch really made me feel like I was back in an American Diner. Crazy fried egg lampshade to boot!

We went for a pitcher of Iced Tea, and huge breakfast's; it had to be done! I opted for the classic All-American, while Katie went for the veggie version. I won't lie, I don't know how anyone can resist the bacon in the Breakfast club; vegetarian or not! haha

Aside from the wondrous bacon and pancakes, the sausage is genuinely one of the best I've ever eaten and the potatoes are SO DAMN GOOD. I also never realised how well potatoes and maple syrup went together! After my very first trip to The Breakfast Club a few years back I became an absolute maple syrup convert.

This has essentially turned into a page of gushing over breakfast foods....and I'm quite okay with that! Breakfast Club if you're reading, I'm more than willing to be employed as an official taste tester!! ;)

Let me know if you're also a pancake lover! :)

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Sunday Bake | Raspberry and Almond Friands

5 Oct 2014

Ohhhh yes. These were always going to be a hit with me. A Bakewell Tart flavoured muffin? Yes please! These are a Mary Berry creation (obviously! Who else?), though I do have to give myself some credit as the original recipe called for blackberries. The possibility of adding raspberries to the almond sponge was too much to resist though!

I'd never eaten a Friand before making these, and I fear I may have now begun a slight obsession. The combination of icing sugar and egg whites makes for a melt in the mouth sponge and the combination of flavours could be endless! I'm thinking some sort of pistachio Friand next!

The recipe is adapted from Mary Berry Cooks:

200g unsalted butter
225g icing sugar
75g plain flour
150 ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
6 egg whites
150g fresh raspberries
25g flaked almonds


1. Firstly, grease a non-stick muffin tray and cut little strips of baking paper to make a handle. This makes your life SO much easier when you're trying to remove them from tray once baked. No body wants to lose a muffin to the tray!! Next, pre-heat the oven to 200C/180Fan/Gas 6.

2. Melt the butter in a small pan, and then remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

3. Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl, and then stir in the ground almonds and extract. Or, just pour it all in if you're feeling lazy - and I mean does anyone really sift icing sugar Mary??

4. Whisk the egg whites until they are foamy, but do not hold soft peaks. It should look slightly like a bubble bath! Add the egg whites and melted butter to the dry ingredients and using a metal spoon (or silicone spatula if you don't have one like me!) fold the mixture together until just combined. Don't overmix, you'll only end up with a chewy texture!

5. Divide the mixture between the muffin holes - the mixture should come up to about 3/4 of the way up each hole. Add two or three raspberries to each one, and then sprinkle (liberally!) with flaked almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm in the centre.

6. Finally dust with icing sugar to serve and ENJOY!

How easy was that?! Best recipe ever!!

Mary states that you can make 20 Friands from this mixture, but I've only ever managed about 14. I think that may be down to me simply over-filling each hole though so perhaps be abit more stingy if you want to make all 20!

Let me know if you attempt these :)

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Long Overdue.

2 Oct 2014

The last month has seen me realize that actually my mood can be very topsy-turvy. I thought I was a very positive person, and don’t get me wrong I’m hardly claiming to have a form of bi-polar! But, my moods are much more changeable than I thought and this month I’ve definitely been in a life rut. Not due to anything in particular, but more the cliché lost 20-year old wading through life saga.

Anyway that’s one reason for my lack of posts.

Another is not having my own laptop. I’ve been borrowing Craig’s ever since I moved out, but at the moment we’re watching the boxset of Downton Abbey from Series One and I mean priorities right?? I joke, (although I do bloody love Downton!) really I just feel mean stealing Craig’s laptop and Downton has taken up a lot of stealing time!

Also, I have been severely lacking imagination. September has been really busy in both my work and personal life so I haven’t really had a chance to get inspired! Or felt inspired by anything around me.

Regardless, I’d much rather write nothing at all than something shoddy that I’m not happy with.

But I’m back, feeling refreshed and ready to get back into my blogging mindset! Whilst away I have done a fair bit of baking so I hope you’re excited for a Sunday Bake post soon! I’m also loving the Autumnal Vibe that Octobers brought in. Considering I’m usually such a Summer girl I’m surprisingly looking forward to the cold and bringing out my jumper collection again!

What have you all been up to since we last spoke?

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