Deliciously Ella: Cookbook Review

My mum knows me too well; she got me a vegan/ gluten-free cook book for my birthday! (running joke between us of my attempts to try to be healthy!)

photo 3For anyone who can’t consume gluten/animal products or is on a gluten-free diet – this is perfect for you!

The first recipes I attempted were her Coconut Thai Curry With Chickpeas and for dessert Sweet Potato Brownies. Yes, I did say a vegetable and chocolate combined!                                                                                       It caught my eye for my obsession with both brownies and sweet potatoes, leaving me very intrigued to taste the two together; I never thought I’d hear of a healthy version of a brownie!

It definitely didn’t make me feel as guilty about nearly eating them all in one go…straight out of the baking tin…..photo (2)

I’m eager to experiment with all her other recipes – a good sign – so will post more if I photo 1 (2)try any other’s out!                                                       p.s She’s number 1 on the UK amazon list at the moment too, which should be persuasive if considering buying her cookbook (as usual – mum knows best!)

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Fallen into the Valentines trap!

I know, I know Valentines is just a consumerism, money-making event nowadays…..but I still couldn’t resist having a bit of fun with it!

I’d bought these cookie cutters at Fortnum&Mason a while ago and Valentines is the perfect time to use them!

I couldn’t think of what else to make – I had tried using them with cookies and gingerbread men, but the dough rose too much, leaving all the shapes unrecognisable!                                                                                                           …So SUGAR COOKIES it was! imageimage

I tried to to make them a bit more interesting, experimenting by crumbling chocolate and nuts on top – worked a treat! While they’re not my favourite baked product, they sure do look cute!

I hope you didn’t try and make too big a deal of today, but that it was filled with love (…and sugary treats – you cannot celebrate valentines unless you have eaten some chocolate!)

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Restaurant review: BILL’S, NORTHCOTE ROAD

Amongst the wide selection of choice on Northcote Road, on saturday it was Bill’s that most caught our eye…and I certainly don’t regret that decision!photo 1 (1)

I decided to try a ‘Bill’s Green Smoothie’ as I’ve been desperate to try some form of green juice since the buzz began. It didn’t disappoint, my only regret was not ordering a large!

photo 2 (1)As for the food, you know you’ve found a good restaurant when you struggle on picking one meal as they all sound so good. In the end I went with the Duck Pie: slowly braised duck leg with carrot, rich gravy and pearl barley, topped with a buttery mash and smoked Dorset cheddar. It had grabbed my attention since the quick browse of the menu outside – so really I would’ve saved time in my ordering! It was my first time hearing of a pie with something other than beef or chicken, so I was eager to try. The meat was plentiful and perfectly braised. My mum went with the Bill’s green chicken curry, which also received a big thumbs up – but she did say it was very spicy! Not only the taste, but even the way they presented the food was aesthetically pleasing! The waitresses were extremely friendly –  we were given a tin of cookies ‘on the house’. We were overwhelmed by their kindness, usually such generosity is unheard of in London!

All in all a 5/5 – the price for food was fairly priced and the service was excellent! Our hungry stomachs were certainly satisfied and I’ll most definitely be popping in there again!

Best way to start the day!

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A good way to tempt me to wake up….offer me American Pancakes!

Hands down breakfast is my favourite meal and this one’s a classic! Good ol’ Nigella Lawson came to our aid in whipping up these bad boys!                                           Whats better is my mum actually got Canadian Maple Syrup, which really does make all the difference. I was a very fussy child, so pancakes were the only way to get some dairy in me, meaning pancakes placed a leading role in my diet throught childhood.     I remember on Shrove Tuesday I could easily eat 8 pancakes(!!), allowing me to experiment with a range of toppings.

But, for American Pancakes I always find myself going back to the same combo: Bacon and Maple Syrup (usually with blueberries also, but we didn’t have any in the house). It’s the mixing of salt and sweet – perfect every time!                                 Today I also added banana, which surprising went well – but – do not have raspberries with maple syrup, unfortunately that pancake didn’t work out…

…Good Morning!

What’s inside my lunchbox today…

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Perhaps it doesn’t look like much of a masterpiece, I’m certainly not claiming it to be. But, my friends always comment on how nice my lunch looks! Although, really I think it’s just down to the fact most people get KFC or a takeaway pizza, which can make anything look healthy!                                                                                                                         Either way, it surprises me they’re so impressed as I always make sure my lunches are super easy and quick to prepare!

So for today…I had a crunchy salad as the bedding and on top went for chicken with celery and walnuts(just trying to make it look fancy) – http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/19/7-walnuts-benefits.aspx – although this article proves they don’t just look pretty! I then decided to make it extra tasty by frying some halloumi to have on top. While it sounds sad…I sure was looking forward to my lunch today!

Any excuse to have dessert…

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Who can resist a red velvet cupcake!?

I thought these are the perfect treats to make for anyone throwing their own Oscar bash – you know RED velvet – like the red carpet?! No? Ignore my bad jokes, I’m just trying to find an excuse to eat these goodies! ….

Baked sweet potato topped with spiced chickpeas

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I have only had two jacket potato’s in my whole life….duh duh duh! I know: shock, horror!

So, I seeked the internets advice on what topping goes best with jacket potato’s. All that came up at first was your classic baked beans or cheese. But I was lucky enough to eventually find this recipe!! Now, excuse my bad presentation – I’ve managed to make this look very sloppy/messy; regardless the taste makes up for it!

The sweet potato in place of an ordinary potato makes a healthy substitute. Combining with the spices and chickpeas beats any school-dinners lunch! This is definitely one I’ll be making again! You can get the recipe here: http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2013/01/spiced-chickpea-smothered-sweet-potato.html

Homemade Granola with berries

Homemade granola

First food post!

I decided to go with breakfast, after all is the most important meal of the day!! The fact you can store this granola for a week makes it’s a go-to choice for the busy mornings. I’d recommend having this with creme fraiche or natural yogurt, while the pecan, strawberries and blueberries provide some added goodness.