30 November 2013

Spelt Bread

Now if you're like me and you can't eat wheat but LOVE fresh bread you need this spelt bread in your life. It's just as easy as usual bread but never annoys my moody stomach. This is what you need:
  • 500g spelt flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon quick yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Firstly, shove all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir then stick in the oil and warm water, stir it with a wooden spoon until the dough is together enough to knead on a floured work surface. Keep kneading until it's lovely and smooth, then bung it back in the bowl, cover it in a tea towel and leave to rising somewhere warm for about an hour.

Once the dough is roughly twice the size, knead again for a few minutes and pack it into an oiled loaf tin. Leave it to rise under a tea towel again for 30 minutes or so and get it straight into a preheated oven for 40 minutes. By this time it'll smell super delicious and you'll have to get it out and try to leave it to cool before tucking in.
This spelt bread is particularly good still warm and with the lemon curd I wrote about, see the post here.

29 November 2013

Lemon Curd

This is a recipe given to me by my mum, mamma Smeeeff is total domestic goddess and when I had to stop eating wheat she manage to bust out a total wheat free Christmas dinner - hero. So here's the pro's dairy free lemon curd. Here's what you need:
  • 4 unwaxed lemons (juice and zest)
  • 200g sugar
  • 100g Vitalite
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
This recipe only makes around two jars but they are two jars of heaven! Lemon curd is one of those things that I could (and often do) just eat from the jar with a spoon... dangerous. So here's how you make these jars of deliciousness. Start by zesting the lemons, if you don't have a zester just use a cheese grater, you know that side of the grater that you have no idea what you'd use it for? It's that one you need here! And a good way to get the most juice out of your lemon is to roll it on the side, then slice it in half and jam a fork in each half as you squeeze the juice out. 

So put all the zest and juice into a mixing bowl with the sugar and Vitalite and put the bowl on top of a saucepan with boiling water. Stir this mixture until the butter has melted, in a separate bowl whisk the eggs with the extra egg yolk and add this into the lemony mix and whisk gently. Leave to cook and thicken for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, you'll know it's ready when it's thick enough to leave a thick coat on the back of the spoon.

Take the mixing bowl off the hot water and set it aside to cool, then you just need to pour it into two sterilized jars, seal it and store it in the fridge until you can't handle it any more and decide to scoff it! It'll go really well on top of some toast, I'll be sharing a great recipe for spelt bread in the next few days and these two go together perfectly!
If you've never sterilized a jar it's a doddle, just wash them in warm soapy water and put the jars and the lids upside down on a baking tray and leave them in the oven at 160C until they are dry, them boom! Sterile.

17 November 2013

Bacon and Feta Muffins

These savoury muffins are perfect for eating warm out of the oven with baked beans or scoffing cold on the go. Here are the things you need:
And if you can't figure it out from that photograph, here's the list:
  • 2 x eggs
  • 60g x Doves self raising flour
  • 60g x rye four
  • 110g x Vitalite
  • 1/3 cup of soya milk
  • 4 rashers of bacon
  • 1 x onion
  • 50g x feta
  • 20 x olives
  • handful of broccoli
First, preheat your oven to 200C then in a frying pan snip the bacon into small chunks and fry them until it smells awesome and add in the onion - make sure it's finely chopped. Set aside to cool when the onions start to turn translucent. In a big mixing bowl, whisk your eggs and chuck in the self raising flour and rye flour. Give this a good mix and add the Vitalite and soya milk (or just normal butter and milk if you're not into the dairy free version) keep mixing until it's a smooth batter.

Now it's a simple as throwing in the rest of the ingredients, olives, broccoli, bacon, onions and crumble the feta. Finally just oil a deep muffin tin, this recipe makes 8 muffins and stuff the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the look like this:
Like I said at the start of this post they are perfect as part of a dinner or just a snack by themselves like the photograph above, enjoy!

9 November 2013

Mexican Meatball Soup

I've managed to totally fall in love with everything Mexican without even visiting... I blame things like the Day of the Dead and Frida Kahlo, it just all looks so amazingly colourful. But my favourite things about Mexico are of course edible, tequila - whether it be in a shot or in a frozen margarita, burritos and now my favourite Mexican food, meatball soup. I tried the recipe a month or so ago (see my instagrammed photo here) but it's too good not to share so I've made it again to share will you. It's the perfect comfort food for a cold evening.
You will need, for the meatballs:
  • 300g minced beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • handful of corriander
  • lime juice
  • hot sauce
  • teaspoon of cumin
  • salt
  • pepper
And for the soup:
  •  2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • cheese, tortilla chips and coriander to serve
The meatball is are so super easy to make, just mix crush the garlic into a bowl then add all of the meatball ingredients and mix them together, the best way to do this is to get your hands right in there. When it's all lovely and smushy, shape the meat into little meatballs that are small enough to eat in one bite and brown them in a hot frying pan. Set the meatballs aside on some kitchen paper and get started on the soup. 

So in a large saucepan, heat the oil, add the diced onion and crushed garlic, fry until the onion goes translucent and smells amazing. Then chop the two chillies (I left the seeds out but if you're a mentalist for spice then chuck them in too) and get them in the pan, fry them for a couple of minutes and finally whack the tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and let it simmer away for 20 minutes. Pop the meatballs in the soup and simmer some more then get the soup into some bowls, top with some grated cheese and coriander and enjoy with some tortilla chips. Now this usually does me for three portions so dinner for two and left overs for lunch the following day.

30 October 2013

Rye Bread

You can't beat the smell of a hearty loaf of bread baking in the oven, or let's face it we all love a gadget so it's probably in the break maker. But since going wheat free I've struggled to get a good, fluffy loaf until I tried a 100% rye bread. Now rye bread is heavy, dense and filling so it's great for open sandwiches and dunking in some soup on a rainy and wintry day. 
Here's how I make mine, you'll need:
  • 500g rye flour
  • 10g salt
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 350ml warm water
I love proving to people that baking is so super easy and this is perfect for that. First, stick all the dry ingredients in a bowl and give it a good stir, then add the warm water. I make my warm water but adding some boiled water to cold but you could use a microwave like a normal person (I don't have one). So now you need to really mix the water into the flour mix until it looks like a dough and here's the best bit.... Put it straight on to an oiled baking tray, that's right, NO KNEADING!

This bread is bread as a round loaf or as individual rolls, today I've gone for a loaf. The loaf needs to prove (or rise) for around 35 minutes in a warm place, I just bung mine on top of a radiator. Then bake the loaf in a preheated oven at 250c for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200c for another 20-30 minutes until it's smells awesome and looks lovely and crunchy. Then simply cool on a wire rack and try your very best to not to devour it in a oner...

27 October 2013

Banana and Pumpkin Bread

I'm still not bored of pumpkin, are you? If you are, I'm sorry but not sorry enough to stop, especially as I found tins of pumpkin purée in my local Tesco. So this weekend I thought I'd make use of those browning bananas in my kitchen because they are perfect for banana bread and how could I make that better? Why with pumpkin obviously. This recipe is a cup measured recipe, which in my book is the best type as long as you've got measuring cups, I was given these babes from a very good friend of mine and they have made cooking a total dream. Now I'm all I need are some equally adorable measuring spoons...
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of rye flour
  • 1 cup plain flour (Doves Farm of course)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2/3 cup of pumpkin purée
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 50g seeds (I used pumpkin and sunflower but use whatever you prefer)
  • sprinkling of oats and sugar for the top
This is another recipe that is amazingly simple and yet oh so tasty. First, get yourself ready, oil a loaf tin and pre-heat the oven to 180C. Now mash the two bananas in a mixing bowl with a fork, then mash in the sugar and oil. Sprinkle in the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and both types of flour and give it a good mix until all of the dry ingredients become wet. Then get the pumpkin purée, chocolate chips and seeds in the bowl and keep stirring so that the mix is goes an orange colour and the chocolate and seeds are evenly mixed through the batter.

The batter is now ready to be eaten, wait, no, bake it (although if you do feel the need to lick the spoon, go for it, it does taste good). Pour the orange, pumpkin batter into your oiled loaf tin so that it's even then just sprinkle a few oats and some sugar on the top. Now you just need to get that tasty loaf in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until it's golden. I always do the cocktail stick test, just to be sure - stab the centre of the bread and if the cocktail stick comes out clean, your bread is ready to come out of the oven, cool on a wire rack and be eaten preferably with a good cuppa.

20 October 2013

Pumpkin Pie with a Twist

My obsession with pumpkin is totally out of control during October, but it's so versatile, tasty and a lovely bright colour. After making my pumpkin loaf (see it here) I had some left over pumpkin but I didn't fancy another sweet pumpkin food so instead of a traditional pumpkin pie, I decided to make a beef, potato and pumpkin pie.
Here's what you need:
  • 300g minced beef
  • 1 x onion
  • 3 x carrots
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • Tomato purée
  • 1 x cup or beef stock
  • 250g peeled potatoes
  • 200g peeled pumpkin
  • 1 x knob of butter
First you need to dice the pumpkin and potatoes and boil them in some seasoned water. In a frying pan cook the mince until brown then scoop it out and leave on a plate, try to leave as much a the beef juices in the frying pan because now you're going to cook the chopped onions and carrots for about 5 minutes, add the bay leaves and whack the mince back in. Heat and stir this little mix until the mince is warm again then add a cup of beef stock. Finding a good gluten free beef stock can be troublesome but, fear not, Knorr stock cubes are totally gluten free! Now, add a good squidge of tomato purée, it really isn't too important how much and simmer for 30 minutes, just be careful not to let the bottom stick and burn so stir it every now and again.

Now you're ready to assemble your pie, you can either do one large or individual pies, my ramekins are pretty small so I made three scrummy little pies. Add the mince filling to your ramekins or pie dish, mash the pumpkin and potato with some salt, pepper and a knob of butter and smother it over your mince then bake until golden at 180c.

Serve with peas or in fact any vegetable you love.

13 October 2013

Pumpkin Loaf Revisited

Some of you will have all ready come into contact with my overpowering obsession with pumpkin... Last year I posted a recipe for pumpkin loaf (see it here) but since then I discovered that I have a wheat intolerance, so now I've adapted it this year into a tasty wheat free loaf that's perfect for autumn.
  •  350 g peeled pumpkin
  • 150 g clear honey, plus 2 tsp to glaze
  • 150 g rye flour
  • 150 g Doves Farm self-raising white flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 150 g butter, cut into small pieces and cold
  •   3 tbsp pumpkin seeds  
 Now this is crazy simple, honestly. Preheat you oven to 180C or gas mark 4. Peel and chop your pumpkin, boil it for around 15 minutes, it needs to be lovely, soft and mushy. Once the pumpkin is boiled, drain it and stick it back in the pan, use a potato masher and go to town on it, you want a gooey mush of pumpkin. Then stir in the 150 g of honey - I'm sure golden syrup would work just as well.
In a separate bowl mix together the rye flour, Doves Farm flour, cinnamon and nutmeg, then dice the butter and rub it into the flour mix - it's a pretty messy job but there's no way around it and I quite enjoy getting my hands in there. Keep rubbing the butter into the flour mix until it's all combined and looks like breadcrumbs. All you need to do now is tip all that bright orange, sticky pumpkin into the flour and give it a good old mix with a wooden spoon.

Finally, bung this whole bowl of goodness into a greased loaf tin and bake for about an hour. Like I said in my previous post, you'll know when it's done because it'll smell too good. You really want a golden crust on the top, but try to just peak through the oven door, like a sponge cake you really want to avoid opening the door until it's done. Now, don't worry if it's still a little big wobbly in the centre, it will set as it cools, I promise! So leave the loaf in the tin for 10-15 minutes then carefully turn it out on to a wire cooling tray and try your very best not to scoff it immediately, I won't lie, it's tough. While you're waiting for it to cool, smear more honey on the top of the loaf and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on the top. 

Now, this is super tasty if you eat it warm, or with ice cream - enjoy!

Obviously, if you wanted to make this but didn't want a wheat free version simply switch the rye flour for wholemeal and the Doves Farm self-raising white flour for regular self-raising flour.

The Photographer and the Bunny Ate Some Food

I've returned! And I've been collecting some of my favourite recipes and decided to share them with the internet, be it quick lunches, extravagant puddings or hearty dinners. However, while I was preparing for them and taking a few photographs of the food that I've been getting ready for you, Cupcake (my lovely but very disruptive house rabbit) decided she wanted in on it...
So stay tuned for recipes and undoubtedly some appearances from my troublesome bunny. And yes, I am starting with some of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin.

6 June 2013

Hairdo A Day - One More!

It's back, this time I think it's the last time though.. Hairdo a day - woo! I've been looking at pin curls since I went to a Gatsby party but chickened out and just went for a curls and head band combo:
So, as I was a bit of a wuss that day, I thought I'd give pin curls a proper bash. After sleeping like this (there's about 8 pin curls in my hair here):
I merely unpinned and brushed into waves in the morning. It is the easiest style I have ever tried! I've always wondered how people get those perfect vintage waves and now I know.
Sadly though, it mostly dropped out by lunch, so I'll be trying it on wet hair tonight, follow me on Instagram for an update.

14 May 2013

The return of Hairdo A Day!

You heard me, I had another new hairdo today, that takes me up to 22 days now. So, after sleeping like this:
This morning I quickly pinned my hair into one giant victory roll around my whole head!
Now, it's pretty messy and I really need a new more attempts at this to perfect it but for a first go, I don't think it's so shabby.

8 May 2013

Wonder what I do with me time?

When I'm not stood in front of a mirror pinning, curling or back-combing my hair, I have a real day job that keeps me occupied. I take pretty pictures of shoes for schuh:
And Branch309:
See more of my work on my Tumblr.

3 May 2013

Great Gatsby Help!

I can not express how excited I am about the Great Gatsby films, I mean it just looks like a feast for the eyes (like most Baz Luhrmann films)...
I mean, when the clips of the soundtrack sound like this, it's no wonder I'm stupidly excited!
However, this isn't just an excuse to gush over the film but I am going to a Great Gatsby party and 1920s fashion is not my thing, no matter how much I love it I'm a 50s girl at heart. So, I need your help! Hair and dress inspiration from the 1920s is needed. Tweet me, email me, or leave a comment on here and help me put something together and I'll love you for a long time.

2 May 2013

Hairdo A Day - Done

I've been a big quiet on the hair front but here's what I've been doing:
Day 16 - the photo isn't so clear but it's a headscarf tied like a turban and I loved it.
Day 17 - the tiny plait, now plaits are the one thing I always forget to do. I've had short hair for years and it wasn't until very recently that I remembered how pretty they can be. So here's a little plait that's pinned back.
Day 18 - the day I didn't know what to do and pulled a weird face, also known as the pink ribbon.
Day 19 - flower power part one. What with the sun shining away I figured it was time to go overboard with some flowers.
Day 20 - flower power part two. Now this is a rare occurrence, the fringe is away! A tidy little French plait to get my over grown fringe out of my eyes, decorated with little paper flowers that I found under my bed from my crafting days.
Day 21 - I'm not sure what to call this, I have had Princess Leia and a chick from Sailor Moon (I have no idea what that is either) but I prefer to think of it as 90s Gwen Stefani inspired look.
And with three weeks of hair under my belt I'm done, well, until I discover something fun to do.

22 April 2013

My weekend of hair

Let's catch up with a weekend of hair shall we? So, after ripping apart my giant bow from my previous post (see it here), I managed to salvage the headband for day 12 and a cute, sleek bob.
Then for day 13 I decided to go big again, this time with a scarf for a rare summery day in Glasgow.
For Sunday, aka day 14, I decided to give both me and my hair a well earned day off! So here is my hair pretty much au natural for the first time in two weeks.
And finally, today, day 15, a style I always seem to refer to as the Shove and Pin - shove my hair and and stick pins in until it looks acceptable. It never fails me on a Monday morning when I can't quite focus in the mirror.

18 April 2013

Hairdo A Day - The Big Bow

Yesterday I confessed my love for hair accessories and then went on a spree and attacked one of headbands that I never wear and make it into a giant bow clip and a fabric covered head band.
So this morning, big bow in hand, I did a top knot and gave it a fresh look by adding the massive bow under the bun. Now this bow is bigger than my face and at 7am I thought it looked ridiculous, but I stuck it out and I think I love it now...

17 April 2013

Hairdo A Day - The Side Bun and Curls

I had pretty much forgotten how much a love a good, smooth bun, so it's a good job I found my bun ring for yesterday's (day 9) hairdo. I know that everyone is doing the top knot and high buns but I'm a huge fan of the side bun, it's super pretty - especially with a tiny red bow.
Continuing the hair accessories theme, today (day 10) I went for a curly, Hawaiian look. I blooming love flowers, be they daffodils on my table, daisy chains or a fake flower for my hair, they all put a big smile on my face during this wet weather.
I'm all ready excited because I have the most epic hair accessory for tomorrow!

15 April 2013

Hairdo A Day - Days 7 and 8

I'm not sure if day 7 involved a little bit of cheating because it's not my hair (no matter how much I wish it was) so the long blue wig was in aid of my friend's Under The Sea birthday party, which you may have seen me preparing for on Instagram. In case you can't tell from this quick snap, I am the sea, hence the Titanic on my head (before it met the iceberg of course).
And day 8 was inspired by my favourite woman in the world Christina Hendricks, more specifically her character in Mad Men - Joan! What a total babe with this bouffant hair:
and here's my straighter version - sadly if you saw me at work today you'll know that it flopped pretty early in the day.

12 April 2013

Hairdo A Day - Day 6

Today I've gone for a rolled, scarf do, it's been a style that I've had on pinned on my hair board on Pinterest for some time now so I finally decided to give it a go this morning. I've been put off trying a rolled style in the past because it always seems so tricky, but, stick a scarf in and it's super easy.
See the tutorial I followed here.

11 April 2013

Hairdo A Day - Day 5

After yesterday's full on beehive, today I thought I'd go for the smaller (and easier) half-up beehive. This is a personal favourite because it's so quite and simple for 6:45 in the morning!

10 April 2013

A Hairdo A Day

This weekend I realised that I need to suppress my urge to buy new dresses and also that I've been very lazy with my hair. So, to try and rectify both of these problems I've taken it upon myself to try new hairdo everyday - which should distract me from my wardrobe boredom right? But so far, so good, here's how I'm getting on...

Day one - victory rolls 
Day two - vintage waves
Day two - vintage waves
Day three - one victory roll and waves
Day four - beehive
Needless to say, I'm sure to run out of ideas once I've gotten through everything in my hair bible (Style Me Vintage by Belinda Hay) so please suggest things and most of all, wish me luck.

8 April 2013

Tulips, Boots and Hair - The Best Things.

This weekend I;
Bought tulips to make it feel like spring
Fell in love with these shoes I shot at work (if you love them like I do, get them here)

I nailed victory rolls, again! Woop
I begun crafting my outfit for an under the sea party
And slept in rollers to get the perfect vintage wave