Sunday, 10 December 2017


So we have moved into a new house! Exciting stuff but it does come with some issues such as getting used to a new oven. Baking can be such an exact science so it's very important to get accustomed with the workings of a new oven before working on more challenging bakes. For the first cake of our new home I went back to thee classic bake, the Victoria sponge. I'm pleased to report that our new oven is a gem and the sponges came out great so I spread one with jam and whipped cream before sandwiching them together for a little treat after dinner.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017


Yes, I'm well aware that I've spoken about my visits to Mandrac several times already but as it is one of my most favorite places in the world and we did visit it for a third time when we visited Lopud in September that I think it's perfectible acceptable to talk about it for another time, especially when the food was once again utterly delicious. No surprises here, this isn't the day that Mandrac mess up and the food was awful, it's just me showing you some more of the amazing food that was served up too us on our final night on Lopud.

Friday, 1 December 2017


One day on holiday we decided to take a short ferry ride over to the adjacent island of Sipan to go and have a little wander and check out the sites. After hitting the island and exploring the south side we took the bus over to the westerly port of Luka to hit the beach and enjoy a couple of beers. After a hard days swimming in the crystal clear ocean and sunbathing we headed back round to the port and sat down at Konoba Tauris, looking for a bite to eat.

Saturday, 11 November 2017


Time for dinner at the pretty little konoba known as La Villa which stands out against the other restaurants along the Lopud sea front with it's beautiful terrace decorated with green vines which twist and turn all around the walls and roof. It's a gorgeous place to sit down and enjoy dinner but does the food match up to the setting?

Saturday, 4 November 2017


Don't be fooled by the name! Restoran Dubrovnik is not actually on the mainland of Croatia but is actually another restaurant (or "konoba" to use the local lingo) on the beautiful island of Lopud, just under one hours ferry ride away from Dubrovnik. Restoran Dubrovnik is one that always pops out when you google up about the island. They seem to have the biggest social media profile as well as featuring quite highly on sites such as Tripadvisor. We did stop by when we visited last year after a day at Sunj beach for a quick lunch but this year we decided we would take a relaxing dinner there to really take the time to sample what they had on offer!

Sunday, 29 October 2017


The weather on Lopud is on the whole, gloriously clear and warm however on our trip to the island this year we unfortunately had one day were the storm clouds did roll over and it rained for near enough one whole day. Luckily for us we didn't have to wander too far to find something to eat in the rain as it gave us another opportunity to sample the delights of Mandrac just below our apartment at Villa Biramisa.

Saturday, 28 October 2017


After a long month of difficult times coupled with holidaying in Croatia as well as moving into a brand new home I am finally back ready to share some of my latest dining experiences and some brand new recipes. What better way to start this next chapter than with a return to an old friend. Last year we visited Mandrac on Lopud and instantly fell in love with the amazing setting, friendly laid back staff and most importantly, the incredible food. Would they be able to work the same magic 12 months later when we visited again this September?

Saturday, 9 September 2017


You may of noticed I've been a little quiet recently. Sadly, earlier this month I lost my dear Dad after a struggle with his ill health. His smile has now returned to my mum in the big pub in the sky. We are all obviously very saddened by this and right now my focus is looking after him, my family and myself. Dad however would not want me to quit the things I love and so with a holiday coming up I've decided to come back refreshed and ready to blog in October. Until then there are many recipes and review for you to enjoy and I'll catch up with you soon! 

Monday, 28 August 2017


So it's bank holiday Sunday and I'm far too chilled out to be cooking up a big Sunday roast. I need something that's simple, quick and tasty and these Texan potato cubes are the perfect side to whip up under these circumstances. It's just diced potato, onion and peppers roasted in garlic, paprika, Old Bay seasoning and my old friend liquid smoke. In just under an hour you have a delicious tray of super special spuds and what makes these taters so simple to make is that you just chuck everything into a bowl, mix and transfer to a roasting tray. It really is that easy.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


I've dabbled in baking bread in the past but I still get very scared as it can go horribly wrong if you mess with the yeast or don't work the dough properly. Not the case with this tear and share loaf which was totes delicious. These fluffy little buns connected together like a bee hive have a hint of parsley running through the crumb as well as a burst of garlic which is added both in the dough and brushed on top with some butter. Finish with poppy seeds for crunch and you have the perfect set of buns for sharing at dinner time! 

Saturday, 26 August 2017


What are "Speggy Merbles" I hear you cry? Well that's our affectionate nickname for spaghetti and meatballs of course. We love Quorn meatballs in our house and frying them up with some garlic, onions and roasted red peppers before simmering them in a herby tomato sauce is one of the simplest and quickest mid-meek meals to rustle up when you can't be bothered spending hours in the kitchen. Those merbles and sauce have to be served with a good helping of spaghetti though. Having merbles without the speggy is quite frankly; criminal! 

Sunday, 20 August 2017


One of the most comforting meals you can have in my eyes is a vegetarian lasagne but it can appear like a bit of a faff to make one especially after you have had another long hard day at work. That is just not true with my lully vegetarian lasagne. OK, it does require a bit of work but that is only really in the preparation of the yummy Quorn mince, tomato and pepper filling and the cheesy white sauce. Once it's layered up and in the oven all you need to do is sit back, relax and wait for this lully little treat to bake. Result!

Saturday, 19 August 2017


A few years ago we went on holiday to Morocco and it was there that I fell in love with one of their most famous dishes, the tagine. Named after the clay pot in which they are traditionally cooked in, there are many regional variations of this slow cooked stew but in my recipe I have taken some of the more classic tagine spices such as cumin, turmeric and cinnamon and used them to flavour a delicious vegetarian broth crammed full with chickpeas and an array of vibrant vegetables to create a truly wonderful meat free feast. 

Saturday, 12 August 2017


I have tried to make falafel's in the past but they always turned into a big mushy mess. I just never seemed to be able to get the consistency of the uncooked chickpea based mixture right so they just dissolved as soon as they hit the pan. Not so with the minty falafels I've managed to perfect here, they were spot on! Made with carrot, onion, cumin and mint, they are absolutely delightful and (if you have a food processor!) they are super simple to make. So much so you'll be whipping these middle eastern bad boys up all the time!

Thursday, 10 August 2017


Baking bread can be quite a daunting and laborious task. All that kneading and proofing and then there is always the fear of your yeast failing so you end up with dodgy bread that's as tough as cardboard. This recipe for a delicious garlic and coriander flatbread removes all of these worries. You still need to rest the dough overnight but once you have then all you need to do is roll out your dough, pop it in the oven and finish with garlic butter for a delightfully thin and crispy accompaniment to many a meal.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017


Everyone loves curry night! Getting a takeaway on a Friday is the ultimate in lazy weekend treats. I love creamy curries and my absolute favorite is a scrummy butter chicken. Dipping your naan bread into that yummy sauce, it's naughty but oh so nice! Butter chicken is not the best thing to have really if your trying to shed a few pounds though so it was great when we created this low calorie version a few years ago as it meant I could enjoy this coconut milk based version without any of the guilt. Hurrah!

Tuesday, 8 August 2017


When we bought a red cabbage last week I spent ages trying to find a fancy recipe to jazz it up but all I could find were Christmassy type recipes. Right now it's August but I thought you know what, let make it anyway because great flavour isn't concerned with what time of the year it is. This recipe braises the cabbage and an apple in a stock that is flavored with star anise and cloves for a bit of spice and golden syrup and sherry vinegar for a bit of sweetness. It's a marriage of flavors that really is super!

Tuesday, 1 August 2017


I love a good old chocolate orange. In fact, I'd go as far as to say it's my favorite flavored chocolate and so to be able to transfer those flavors to a cake to me sounds like heaven. I totally did it with this gorgeous looking chocolate orange bundt cake. A delicious light and fluffy sponge smothered with a glossy chocolate icing all flavored with big juicy fresh orange juice and zest to give it that amazing classic chocolate orange flavour combination that not only tastes yummy but looks divine!

Saturday, 29 July 2017


Sometimes I see a foodie trend pop up regularly in magazines and on TV which I'm not really quite sure will work. Courgettes being used to make cakes was one of them. I just didn't like the sound of it at all but last weekend I bit the bullet and decided to give it a go as I had been quite curious about how it would taste. I'm so glad I did as it transpired that it would actually taste most delicious especially when flavored with ground pistachio and plenty of zingy lemon both in the cake and the lemon curd icing on top!

Sunday, 23 July 2017


With the arrival of my 500th blog post last week I thought it would be a great time to go right back to the start and revamp another old classic. With the evenings being warm recently, I decided to pull out an old summer favorite I posted back in May 2014, my chili and mustard potato medley. Essentially it's a potato salad but not a cheap and nasty one you'd get in a supermarket that's smothered in mayonnaise but a proper fresh one full of spicy, tangy flavors and textures that really turn it into something really special.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


So here we are! Over 3 years since I started my little blog and here I am posting my 500th blog post. All I really wanted this post to be about was really just to say a big thank you to anyone who has ever read any of my posts, liked any of them, shared any of my recipes, posted any comments, followed me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, pinned something from my Pinterest board or visited a restaurant and had a great night thanks to reading one of my restaurant reviews! It means so much to me!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


We have visited Host up on Hope Street in Liverpool several times in the past and we had always had a great time. It was slightly surprising then when we realized that it had been quite a while since we had ventured through their doors. That changed one evening when we bought tickets to see a show at the nearby Everyman theatre and having looked at the what seemed to be completely new menu on their website from the one we had last time we came we decided to go and see if their treats were still as good as what we remembered. Off we went on a warm Saturday evening with great expectations!

Saturday, 15 July 2017


Sometimes you need a recipe for a sweet treat that is quick and simple to make when you have a last minute gift making emergency. When I decided to make something as a thank you present for the superstars at my dad's care home which he was leaving this week I needed something that I could rustle up quickly after work ready to take the next day. These no bake chocolate bars were the answer to my prayers. They contain all my favorite things; ginger nut biscuits, chopped pecans and best of all, booze soaked dried fruit. Brilliant!

Thursday, 13 July 2017


Cooking lots of vegetarian food in our house means that I don't often get the chance to make proper meaty treats. However, last weekend when presented with some mince on a brilliantly hot summers day, I decided to have a go at making my own burgers. Me being me though I had to add my own twist to them so I decided to hide a blob of mozzarella in the centre of the patties so that once they were fried and you bit into them, there would be a marvelous melty oozy centre to them. Let me tell you; they were brilliant!

Saturday, 8 July 2017


Who is Rosemary? Well actually she is no one, it just eludes to the fact that this is a cake flavored
with fresh rosemary leaves. See what I did there! Herbs in cakes and desserts have become increasing popular over the years and after I dabbled in a lemon and thyme loaf last year I decided to try and give rosemary a shot in a bake. Well, let me tell you this for certain, it definitely works especially in the rosemary sugar crust sprinkled on top of the cake. Don't be scared people and embrace the herby bakes!

Monday, 3 July 2017


Just after Christmas I bought a load of parsnips in Tesco that were being sold off for cheap and decided to freeze them to use at a later date. That later date arrived a few weeks ago when I used them to make this delicious honey mustard parsnip bake for a Sunday roast one weekend. I took those parsnips, defrosted them and then baked them in a home made white sauce flavored with honey and Dijon mustard which I topped with a crunchy cheese and onion topping. Parsnips have never been more yummy than this!

Sunday, 2 July 2017


Having visited the Gilbert Scott at London St Pancreas before this blog was born and really enjoying it we were glad to see that chef owner Marcus Wareing also looked after Tredwells near to the Cambridge theatre. Close to the Seven Dials which we were visiting to see a show, we took a look at the menu and we were instantly sold so we booked a table and headed down one Friday evening to go check it out.

Saturday, 1 July 2017


Last weekend I had a go at making my very own green pesto (recipe is here if you want to give it a go - it's really good!). This weekend to try and mix things up a little I decided to make a red pesto. Now it may not look particularly red in the the pictures I'll give you that but this version made with roasted red peppers and cherry tomatoes is super delicious and at the end of the day it is the taste that matters the most isn't it? Toss it around some of your favorite pasta and lunch can be yours in no time!

Sunday, 25 June 2017


I'm always looking around for meat free alternatives of my favorite meaty dishes to make so I can enjoy them with the vegetarian at home and recently I've been noticing "pulled pork" made from jack fruit popping up more and more online and in magazines. I really didn't understand how a fruit could taste like pork but upon giving it a try I completely get it. Jack fruit breaks up into little strands to create that pulled pork effect and flavoring it by slow cooking in a homemade BBQ really does work. It's a revelation!

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Searching around the Royal Albert Hall for somewhere to eat we stumbled across Patara's website and were instantly drawn to the promise of "Fine Thai Cuisine". We do love our Thai food and it was great to see that they offered a vegetarian banquet too. So on a warm Thursday evening we headed off to South Kensington, ready to tuck into some meat free delights! We had made reservations for our visit but we needn't of worried as there wasn't anyone in Patara when we rocked up. Great, we had our pick of tables and so we took a seat in corner of the dining room right by the window.

Sunday, 18 June 2017


I've been getting a bit more adventurous lately when it comes to trying food that I thought I didn't like. I did it with satay when we were in Singapore (I now love the stuff!) and this weekend we decided to make some homemade pesto to see if it's better than the ready made stuff that I don't like. Well I like basil, garlic, lemon, pine nuts and parmesan so why wouldn't I like them all blended together. Turns out homemade pesto is well lush, super easy to make and I'm gutted I've been missing out for so long.

Saturday, 17 June 2017


The discovery of Yuu Kitchen was once again another "using TripAdvisor to find restaurants close to our hotel" jobby. Still having a love affair with Asian food after our trip to Bali/Singapore, I loved the look their fun take on Asian classics, some of which had been given a fresh twist that sounded brilliant. There was only one way to find out if this was true and that was to go and try them for ourselves. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017


This post was actually meant to be a recipe for scones but once again I managed to make a batch of scones which were like bullets and so they went into the bin and these lemon possets were born instead from the lemons and cream that were going to be served with the scones. I looked on the bright side though, out of disaster came the most simplest and yummiest of desserts which you can whip up in no time in the morning and leave to set ready to eat in the evening whilst you crack on with the rest of your day!

Saturday, 10 June 2017


One of the food based highlights of our holiday to Bali recently was our meal at Skai Beach Club and the chef's signature chicken "Too-Too". This was a twist on the traditional Balinese be tutu dish, a fragrant and spicy yellow curry that is absolutely to die for. I've tried to recreate a vegetarian version here using Quorn pieces instead of chicken which I toss into my own slow cooked take on this yummy sauce along with some vegetables, which I'm calling my "BB" curry (see what I did there!).

Sunday, 4 June 2017


Last December we were really lucky to go on a free trip to Amsterdam thanks to a prize that I won at work. We went around St Nicholas Day, a festival to mark the arrival of Sinterklass (Santa Claus!) and all over the capital you could see traditional Speculaas biscuits being baked and sold as part of the celebrations. I adored them so and I vouched to try and recreate them when I got home. 6 months later, I finally got round to doing just that. I'll be honest, they weren't exactly the same but I still think they are still super special!

Saturday, 3 June 2017


I wouldn't normally recommend food which you can pick up in a food court but then again I had never been to Star Cinnamon until recently. We stumbled across Star Cinnamon in the basement of the Bugis Junction shopping centre on our way home from visiting the Gardens By The Bay in Singapore and we couldn't help but be enticed by the wonderful cinnamon buns on display. We just had to try some so we stood and began to make our selections. What a hard choice this was going to be!

Friday, 2 June 2017


On our second day in Singapore we spent most of the day taking in the sights of Gardens By The Bay, a spectacular garden and conservation hub right in the heart of the city centre. An incredible place in the centre of such a modern city calls for incredible food and so a trip to it's very own hawker centre, Satay By The Bay seemed like a no brainer. A more tourist friendly hawker centre compared to those you'll find in the city, would it's food be able to match the wonders of the attractions and scenery of the gardens?

Thursday, 1 June 2017


Chocolate Cookies are great and homemade ones are even better so this weekend I decided to make some whilst I waited for the forecasted thunder storms to arrive. Chocolate cookies are also great for bakers to make when they are skint like I was this weekend as you only need a few ingredients that you should have knocking around in your kitchen. I even had some leftover flaked almonds in my pantry too I decided to add them to my cookie dough for a bit of texture and they made a great companion to the chocolate chunks in the cookies.

Saturday, 27 May 2017


I love making soups. They are a perfect thing to make when you have random bits of vegetables to use up and that is what happened to me when I had some carrots left over from a Sunday roast one week. Not wanting to put too much effort into making my soup though I decided to make a slow cooked carrot and coriander soup in my slow cooker so that I would be able to just lash everything in and leave it to work it's magic so I could spend the day walking around the park in the sun instead of being stuck in the kitchen. 

Sunday, 21 May 2017


Well after our holidays this month I am now officially skint. No money for buying fresh baking ingredients this weekend so I worked with what I had. That is what lead me to create these gorgeous chocolate chip cookies which are laced with the classic flavor combination of chocolate and orange thanks to some leftover birthday chocolate I had sat in the fridge. If you are a keen baker like me you should have all the other ingredients you need in your kitchen which shows that you should never let a lack of funds stop you getting your baking fix.

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Our adventure overseas continues now with the second week of our holiday were we ventured over to the vibrant and beautiful city of Singapore. We came armed with our guide book and when we didn't have any luck finding any food in the Little India area of the city we decided to venture to the glorious Marina Bay Sands and it's shopping area where you can find Pizzeria Mozza. Described as having "pizza crusts to die for!" and with our love of pizza we just knew we had to go and visit them to find out for ourselves.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017


These cheese and onion potato cakes came about when I was trying to make a vegetarian version of a fish cake on Good Friday this year. I wanted to make them really special and so with some leftover cheese in the fridge I set about making a delicious potato cake with an amazing melt in the middle cheese filling in the centre that would explode over the plate once you cut through the golden panko breadcrumb coating. They take a little work to make but trust me when I say that it is really worth the effort. Who knew potatoes could be so exciting!


One of the first things I love to do when I arrive in a new holiday destination and I've checked into the hotel is to get on my phone and use my GPS to find all the restaurants nearby. There could be some hidden treasures around that you wont find in any guide book or travel guide. That is how I found out about Warung Kampung. A warung is the name for a small family run cafe/restaurant and this little eatery was just around the corner from our hotel. It was getting some nice little reviews on the internet so one night I decided to take a walk and see if I could get myself some good authentic Balinese grub.

Sunday, 14 May 2017


I initially didn't want to go into the Azul Tiki Bar when we first passed it the previous day whilst walking along the beach in Legian, Bali. I don't know why but maybe I just thought that by having the mantle of being the island's first tiki bar that it was just going to be a bit cheap and nasty. I gave the menu another look the next day though and decided to give them a whirl. Well, they did have barramundi on the menu (which I've always wanted to try!) and there were cocktails ahoy so even if it was bad I could get bladdered on those. Off we trotted to see if my feelings would be correct or if I needed to eat my words.

Saturday, 13 May 2017


Our Bali adventure continued on day two with drinks on the beach during sun downers. I can't think of any better way to finish off a hard day of sun bathing by the pool. How about if there was a yummy meal to be had too? With hungry bellies we headed off down the strip and stumbled upon the SKAI Beach Club. This restaurant is part of the Padman Resort in Legian but we didn't let the fact it's attached to a hotel put us off giving it a try as the menu looked delicious!


So at the beginning of this month I was very lucky to go for two weeks holiday exploring Bali and Singapore. I love Asian food in all its forms so I couldn't wait to try all the delights of these two regions. You might be surprised to see then that for our first meal away we actually ended up in Holy Guacamole, a Mexican bar and grill near our hotel in Legian. Well, when you're still adjusting to a country's time zone, temperature and culture sometimes it's best to stick a little too what you know.


It wasn't the first time that we had visited Grill On The Alley in Manchester when we visited last month however when we received an email that they were offering discounts on table bookings so that people could sample their new menu and with a visit to the city planned, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give them another shot. So, off we popped with our reservation ready to see what delicious new treats they were serving up this springtime.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017


Did you see my Crackin' Cornflake Fried Chicken? Well obviously I had to go ahead and make a vegetarian version for the veggie at home and so out came the trusty Quorn chicken pieces. I wasn't sure that they would work being soaked in buttermilk and then being deep fried in a herb and spice flavored flour and cornflake coating but they worked incredibly well. They were just as good as the cornflake chicken in my opinion and so make a great healthier alternative whilst also being a new way to make those Quorn pieces more exciting!

Saturday, 22 April 2017


I think I've finally cracked it when it comes to making the perfect deep fried chicken. With the most delicious meat I've ever eaten on a chicken thanks to it having been in a bath of buttermilk overnight, I bring you my crackin' cornflake fried chicken. Not only does the crispy coating of the chicken taste delicious thanks to the combination of herbs and spices in the flour mix but there is also the best crunch ever to them thanks to the addition of oodles of crushed cornflakes. Perfect weekend comfort food after a long week in work!

Wednesday, 19 April 2017


I love using frozen peas and sweetcorn at dinner time. They taste great and only take a few minutes to cook. One thing that I'm always  looking for is new ways to serve up vegetables to make them a bit more interesting and so one weekend  I decided to jazz up some frozen peas and sweetcorn by mixing them together in egg based mixture with some fresh spring onion and spicy cayenne pepper. I was surprised at how simple it was to transform them into something incredibly delicious.