So here’s the thing. I’m not a massive fan of salads – in fact, I’m not really a fan AT ALL. (Great start, I know…) I’m a big kid at heart, I need to be tricked into getting those greens; I’ll eat them, but there’s got to be a lil’ something-something tossed between the leaves to bring me to the table.
This (kind of Wimbledon-inspired!) Strawberry and Gruyere Summer Salad is really easy to make and really hits the spot served up for an al fresco lunch or alongside a barbecue. Fresh, sweet and creamy – with a sour, zingy edge thanks to the added raspberry vinaigrette – the strawberries really steal the show on this one, provided you pick the best the season has to offer. British strawberries really are in their peak season at the moment and these “Red Diamond Strawbs” from my friends at Marks and Spencer are quite possibly the juiciest I’ve ever tasted; their sweet scent filled my car on the short drive back from my local M&S Food and perfumed my fridge and kitchen all weekend! Get them while you can! 🙂
Strawberry and Gruyere Summer Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette (serves 2)
- 150g Strawberries, sliced
- Italian Peppery Leaf Salad (spinach, lettuce, rocket)
- 50g Gruyere Cheese, shaved (use a potato peeler 😉 )
For the Vinaigrette:
- 150g raspberries (I used M&S’s Sapphire Raspberries)
- 25ml balsamic vinegar
- 100ml olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- a handful of basil leaves
- To make the vinaigrette, blitz together the raspberries, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and basil until smooth.
- Assemble your salad, then drizzle the vinaigrette over the top and sprinkle with the shaved gruyere. Easy!
Have a great week! 🍓🍓🍓
*This post contains gifted items from Marks and Spencer, to find out more about what that means click here to read my disclaimer.
Okay, I’m well aware that it hasn’t exactly been “Ice Cream Weather” recently (it’s been so wet and windy here in Wales the past couple of weeks that I’ve had to dig my winter coat back out of storage)… so let’s call this post aspirational, shall we? Mind you, I grew up slurping down Joe’s Icecream cwtched-up in the back of the car with my Mum and Mamgu parked up on the front in Mumbles in the dead of winter so I can’t say the weather’s ever really stopped me, so…
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that making ice cream is difficult – or that you need a special machine to do it – because they’re having you on (and trying to stop you from creating your own never ending supply of the good stuff…). There are a lot of complicated recipes out there that involve creating the custard base with eggs, or stirring the mixture every hour as it freezes (ugh)… but this recipe? It’s EASY. Too easy, in fact. All you need is some double cream and condensed milk, and with some restrained whipping you’ll have yourself a simple ice cream base that freezes like a dream (no need to break your wrist when it comes to scooping!) and can be flavoured any way you like it.
Since the weather’s been a bit… autumnal, I added some marshmallow fluff and toasted marshmallows to mine to make this Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream – which I bet would be absolutely awesome served up between two cookies as a kind of Smores Ice Cream Sarnie. Yum! 😉
Toasted Marshmallow Ice Cream
- 600ml double cream
- 400ml sweetened, condensed milk
- 100g marshmallow fluff
- 200g large marshmallows (plus a few more to serve!)
- This recipe is so easy, it’s practically criminal. To make the ice cream base – grab a mixing bowl and whip up your double cream (whip it good) until it’s nice and thick and forming stiff peaks (if the cream becomes foamy and starts to separate then you’ve whipped too much!).
- Pour in the marshmallow fluff and condensed milk and whip until everything’s combined.
- Next, toast your marshmallows. It’s completely up to you how you do it; you can either pop them in the oven under the grill until they start to brown and bubble, or you can (carefully!) scorch them with a blow torch. Set them aside for a few minutes to cool down – then mix them into your ice cream!
- Pour the ice cream into tubs, then freeze for at least five hours. Serve up in cones, or between a couple of cookies (yum!) or over grilled peaches with a couple of scorched marshmallows and toasted nuts on top. 🙂
Have a great week! ♥
I’m a pasta FIEND, but I hardly ever get to make it at home because Sunny’s not a fan (I know, what the hell did I marry???). My absolute favourite pasta dish is Spaghetti Pomodoro, which most people would label the most boring thing on the menu – but you know what? I love that it’s simple. It’s pasta in its purest form and throws the focus on the quality and flavour of each ingredient. Sweet tomato sauce, spaghetti, fresh basil and mozzarella (…the best bit!). I love it! It’s my go to whenever I’ve got a craving for some fresh pasta.
Last week, Sunny was away with work which meant I had a couple of days to get my pasta fix in. I saw the idea for these fried tomato and mozzarella balls on Pinterest and just had to give them a go and see if they could level up my basic pomodoro. I mean, deep fried mozzarella, amiright? Yuuuuuuuuum.
Spaghetti with Fried Tomato and Mozzarella Balls (serves 2)
For the balls:
- 125g of Mozzarella Pearls
- 220g of Cherry Tomatoes (I used about 20 piccalo tomatoes)
- 1 egg, whisked
- plain flour
- 100g breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper
- Vegetable Oil
- Kebab Skewer
For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 200ml of Tomato Passata
- 1 clove of Garlic, minced
- Tomato Pits, salted
- Fresh Chopped Basil
- 1 tsp of Maple Syrup
- Chopped Basil
- Enough Spaghetti for 2
- (More cheese, if you’re a total glutton like me 😉 )
- Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the pits (set them aside, they’re going to go into the sauce later!). Fill each tomato with a mozzarella pearl and then set them aside.
- Heat up the vegetable oil in a deep saucepan (you’ll know it’s ready for frying when you can drop a small bit of bread into it and see it fizzle). Batter up! Create a bit of an assembly line with the whisked egg, flour and breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Take one of your filled tomatoes and skewer it with one of the kebab skewers (it’ll keep everything together for the next step). First, coat it with a little flour, then dunk it into the whisked egg, and finally coat it with breadcrumbs. Deep fry each ball until golden brown, removing each one from the skewer as you go along.
- To make the sauce, heat up your olive oil in a saucepan on a medium heat. Fry the garlic for a minute (careful not to burn it!) and then pour in both the tomato passata, pits and fresh basil. Pour in 1 tsp of Maple Syrup – sounds ridiculous, right? But trust me, it’ll take away the acidic taste from the tomatoes.
- Simmer for twenty minutes, then season and serve with the fried tomato, fresh basil, mozzarella balls and spaghetti.
Have a magnifique week! 😉
I feel like baking’s been on the back seat for a lot of this year; I’ve been so busy the past few weeks that just getting dinner on the table (/my lap… TV’s just been too good) has been a struggle. I just haven’t had time to batter up and whip up something sweet. Last weekend though, I had a little window and instead of just scrolling or snoozing through it, I decided that I wanted to bake something fuss-free that would perk up my mid-morning cuppa come Monday – and this is what I came up with.
This Strawberry Picnic Cake is one of those bakes that looks super fancy but actually involves barely any effort – if you’re a dab hand with a wooden spoon and can slice a strawb, then you’ve got this. Texture-wise, it’s a cross between a brownie and an angel slice – with a gooey layer of fresh strawberries (and some raspberries thrown in for a sour edge) sandwiched between a soft, pink sponge. Once it’s sliced up and dusted with a little icing sugar, it makes for a cute little lunchbox pick-me-up, or would be the perfect treat to pack in your picnic basket (…along with a little tub of fresh cream, obviously!) – if the weather ever perks up… 🙂
Strawberry Picnic Cake
- 150g Ground Almonds
- 150g Salted Butter
- 100g Caster Sugar
- 150g Self Raising Flour
- 2 eggs (whisked)
- 300g Strawberries (sliced)
- 50g Raspberries
- A few drops of pink food colouring
- Icing Sugar to dust
- Grease and line a deep, rectangular baking tray and set your oven to 180°C.
- Grab a mixing bowl and pour in all the cake ingredients except the strawberries and raspberries – hold those back! Stir everything together to make a thick, lumpy, pink batter.
- Pour half of the batter into your baking dish and spread it out into all the corners. Create a sandwich layer by topping the batter with the strawberries and raspberries, then smooth over the remaining batter.
- Before you pop the cake in the oven, add a neat layer of evenly spaced sliced strawberries on top – one for each slice (I cut nine slices).
- Bake for 30 minutes, then leave to cool before slicing.
- Finish with a dusting of icing sugar and serve with cream. 🙂
Have a lovely week everyone! 💕
I’d never heard of Dak-Galbi until I stumbled across a recipe for it over on Pinterest (…honestly, where did I go to hunt down new recipes before Pinterest came along? Books?) – but as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to add it to my takeaway dupes repertoire. It’s a stir fry of spicy chicken and sweet potato and is basically Korean Pub Food; you’ll usually find it served up and sizzling with alcohol. The marinade is sweet and spicy – thanks to the Gochujang Chilli Paste and Honey – and pairs perfectly with the sweet potato chunks.
I’m pretty sure most Koreans would cry sacrilege at my take on Dak-galbi. I mean, it’s pretty much just the bare bones of the real deal because you just can’t get a lot of Korean ingredients in your average British supermarket – in fact, I’d be surprised if you found any at all! The one essential ingredient – and pretty much the base ingredient for any Korean cooking – I had to order off of Amazon. But as for tteok and perilla leaves? Forget it. Still, my stripped back version makes for a tasty, spicy and colourful midweek stir fry and – aside from marinating time – goes from wok to table in under 20 minutes. Noice! 🙂
Easy Dak-galbi (serves 2)
- 3 tsbp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp gochujang paste (I *think* Waitrose stock it, but if not check amazon!)
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 3 tbsp rice wine
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 sweet potato, diced
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- shredded red cabbage
- grated carrot
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 2 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- First things first, make the marinade. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, gochujang paste, honey, rice wine, curry powder and half of the sesame oil. Stir until smooth. Pour in the chicken and stir until it’s thoroughly coated in the marinade – then leave it to rest for at least one hour.
- Get your wok smoking hot and pour in the rest of the sesame oil. Turn down the heat and chuck in the chicken (hold back the marinade) along with the sweet potato. Cook for ten minutes until the sweet potato has softened and the chicken is mostly cooked; make sure you keep stirring otherwise the honey in the marinade might scorch.
- Next throw in the stir fry vegetables – the spring onions, cabbage, carrot and pepper – as well as the remaining marinade and chilli flakes. Stir fry for five minutes, then serve up with some egg fried rice! 🙂
Happy four day week! 😉 Oh, and hey – if there’s a takeaway favourite of yours that you’d like to see me take on and come up with an easy to follow recipe for then just let me know in the comments!