Beef Chilli Burritos

We have been very busy in the past few of weeks with the end of term so haven’t posted in a while, but we are back and with a great Beef Chilli Burrito recipe! As we have previously said we are both huge fans of burritos so we decided to make some of our own, which certainly didn’t disappoint! What is great about these Burritos is that if you have any left over Beef Chilli mixture is that you can either freeze it for burritos another day, or have it with rice as a regular Chilli con Carne.



For the Beef Chilli:
– 500g of lean beef mince
– 3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
– 1 onion
– 1 leek
– 1 red chilli
– 1 clove of garlic
– 1 tsp of Schwartz Spicy Season-All
– 1 tsp of Paprika
– 1 tsp of Chilli Powder
– Salt and Pepper to season
– 1 can of mixed organic beans
– 1 beef OXO cube
– Lea & Perrins Worchester Sauce
– Heinz Firecracker Ketchup
– 1 jar of spicy tomato pasta sauce

For the Burritos:
– 1 Red Pepper
– Uncle Bens Mexican Rice
– Baby Spinach
– Grated Cheese
– Wholemeal Wraps


To start, slice the the bacon into thin strips, along with the onion and the leek. Add to a large saucepan or casserole dish with some finely chopped red chilli and garlic. Fry these off with some olive oil for a few minutes until the mixture is cooked thoroughly. Add the beef mince, along with a beef OXO cube, the season-all spice, paprika, chilli powder, and a generous drizzle of Lea & Perrins. Cook off the beef until it completely changes colour from pink to completely brown. Next, add the spicy tomato pasta sauce, a generous squirt of Firecracker Ketchup (or other hot sauce), mixed organic beans, and a tiny bit of boiling water to loosen up the mixture. Boil off the chilli mixture on a high heat until it is thick and glossy. Taste and season if necessary with salt, chilli flakes and pepper. If you have time, make the chilli a few hours before you plan to eat it as leaving it to rest and mix in adds additional flavour, plus, if you are cooking with friends, it means you have more time to spend with them rather than spending all your time in the kitchen!


When you are ready to prepare your burritos return your pot of chilli to the hob and gently warm through on a medium heat. Meanwhile cut slices of red pepper, about 1-1.5cm in width, to a baking tray with some olive oil. Roast these in a pre-heated oven at 200 for about 20 minutes with a little olive oil and salt, or wat until the peppers often and begin to char a little around the edges. While the peppers are roasting and the chilli is heating you can prepare your rice. Of course you can make your own spicy rice, but in our instance, it is easy to use a pack of Uncle Ben’s Mexican Rice, as it is much easier! It only takes a couple of minutes in the microwave – a bit of a cheat, but definitely worth it for the time it saves!


When your rice is ready, your peppers are cooked and your chilli is back to temperature you are ready to start assembling your burritos. As it is quite a saucy mixture you don’t really need salsa, sour cream or guacamole, but they would certainly make a lovely addition. Lay out one large tortilla onto a plate (TOP TIP: the bigger the wrap the easier it is to roll), with all your ingredients ready to fill. First lay a few baby spinach leaves in a thin line towards the bottom of the tortilla, leaving a space either side so that you can fold the edges in later. Add the peppers, rice, chilli and grated cheese on top of the spinach leaves, ensuring there is plenty of excess space left on the wrap and being careful not to overfill. Fold the bottom up and the two sides in to encase the mixture so it will not fall out. At this point you should be able to roll the burrito into its familiar shape quite easily and your burrito is now ready to eat.

Wikihow provides a more detailed description of how to roll a burrito if you would like extra tips!  –


These burritos are deceptively filling, so one may be enough for you but one thing is for sure they would go perfect with a nice mojito or ice cold beer (‘Pacifico Clara Beer is great!’ – Nick)

Song of the Day:
A Great Big Pile of Leaves – We Don’t Need Our Heads

Spicy Chicken Penne with Stuffed Courgettes

We have been meaning to cook something from the Simply Italian Cookbook for a while now, I (Emily) bought Nick for Valentines Day and the stuffed courgettes recipe (Zucchine Ripiene) particularly caught our eye. However, like with most things we make from cookbooks, we adapted the recipe slightly to add our own little spin to it! They worked as a perfect accompaniment to the Spicy Chicken Penne pasta that we made for dinner last night. Pasta can often be a bit heavy and potentially a bit boring, so these courgettes are really good for adding a little lightness and excitement to your dish! They would also work perfectly as a starter at a dinner party as a slightly different alternative to stuffed peppers or mushrooms.



For the Spicy Chicken Penne (Serves 4) –

– 2 Large Chicken Breasts
– 2 Small White Onions
– 1 Leek
– 1 Red Pepper
– A generous handful of Spinach
– 1 clove of Garlic
– 2 tsp of Chilli Flakes
– Salt and Pepper
– 1 tsp of Schwartz Spicy Season-All
– Approx 300g of Penne
– 1 Chicken Stock Cube
– 500g of Spicy Tomato Sauce

N.B – For the sauce we cheated and used a jar of ASDA Spicy Tomato Pasta Sauce but you could very easily make your own with some chopped tomatoes, garlic, fresh chilli and Italian herbs.

Obviously making pasta is pretty easy and is a go to choice for students, but hopefully with these tips and tricks we can make this midweek meal a tad more exciting! To start, chop up the chicken breast into small chunks and add to a frying pan already on a medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Meanwhile, slice your onion, finely chop your garlic, and cut your leek into thin circles. Add these to the pan once the chicken is sealed, and season with salt, pepper and the spices. While this is cooking away place some medium strips of red pepper on a baking tray with a light splash of olive oil to an oven at 200 for about 20 minutes. We decided to oven roast the peppers, instead of frying them like usual, to bring out their natural sweetness, which gives the pasta something a bit special. (As we were cooking these with the stuffed courgettes we added them at the same time.)


Bring a saucepan of boiling water to the boil for your penne. Before adding the pasta, dissolve a chicken stock cube in the water. This adds some extra flavour to the dish, as it is absorbed by the dried pasta as it cooks. The pasta will take about 10 minutes or so to cook but really it is more of a case of cooking it to taste. When the vegetables and chicken are fully cooked add your sauce along with the spinach, which will only take a minute or two to wilt. While it is doing so, you can drain your cooked pasta but make sure you keep some of the starchy water (about a cups worth) to add to the sauce to make the pasta extra glossy. Stir the pasta and starchy water into the chicken, vegetables and sauce. By this point the peppers will be ready to take out of the oven – cut them up into small chunks and stir into the pasta. You are now ready to serve!


For the Stuffed Courgettes (Serves 2):

– 2 Courgettes
– 1 Tiger Bread Roll (although you can just use 2 or 3 slices of bread instead)
– 2 Rashers of Smoked Bacon (our own addition)
– 1tsp Chilli Flakes (our own addition)
– A few finely chopped Spinach Leaves (the recipe recommends fresh herbs but we didn’t have any so this was a great substitute)
– Salt and Pepper
– 30g of Parmesan

N.B. The Chiappa sisters’ recipe also includes a clove of garlic and an egg to bind the breadcrumbs – we forgot to add these when we made them but you may want to. To get the full recipe you can get the recipe book on Amazon for only £7.99!


Slice two courgettes length ways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon to allow room for the filling. Bring a saucepan to the boil and add the courgettes for 2 minutes so they soften slightly. Fry off some finely sliced bacon in a pan for a few minutes ready to add to the breadcrumb mixture later. Meanwhile, tear up the bread roll and turn to breadcrumbs in a blender. If you have a pack of pre-made breadcrumbs obviously that would be even easier! Stir in the parmesan, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, spinach and bacon so it is fully combined throughout the mixture.


After the courgettes have been in the boiling water for 2 minutes, take them out and remove the excess water with kitchen roll or a tea towel. Add to a baking tray and sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t all go onto the courgettes as we found it a bit of a military operation just getting the breadcrumbs on the courgettes themselves!) Bake in the oven at 200 for 20 minutes, so that the breadcrumbs are golden and crispy.


Song of the Day:
Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place

Spicy Veggie Bean Burgers

veggie burger editedThis is the first time I have ever made burgers and I decided to make Spicy Bean Burgers for my friends Michael and Leonie, as well as Nick and I. After researching a general recipe for veggie burgers I crafted my own combination of spices, vegetables and kidney beans. The main thing that was difficult with the burgers was getting the right consistency, as initially they appeared more like refried beans. However, after adding flour, breadcrumbs and potatoes to the mixture it thickened up a bit while remaining lovely and moist. I chose a spice blend of paprika, chilli powder, cumin, fresh chilli and garlic, but while they were full of flavour they were not too spicy.

11056992_10206371514235048_1201184492_n Ingredients:
Makes 6 large burgers.

– 2 cans of kidney beans
– Half a Courgette
– Half a Sweet Pointed Pepper
– 1 Onion
– Paprika (2 tsp)
– Chilli Powder (1tsp)
– Cumin (1tsp)
– Salt & Pepper
– 1 clove of Garlic
– 1 Red Chilli
– Tomato Puree
– Flour to bind
– Mashed Potato (about 2 potatoes worth)
– Breadcrumbs to thicken
– Brioche bun, Salsa, Spinach, Onion Rings and Chips to serve

N.B – You can adapt both the spices and the amount of them according to how spicy you like it.


Firstly, finely chop the onion, courgette, peppers, garlic and red chilli. Fry them off in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil for about 5 minutes and then allow to cool. Meanwhile, drain the beans and add about 3/4s of them to a blender. leaving some of them to one side. Blend the beans with the spices and tomato puree so they are broken up and are fully combined. Add the remaining beans to a mixing bowl and roughly mash them, but only so they are broken up into slightly smaller pieces.


Add the blended mixture, mashed potato and cooked vegetables to the crushed beans. Stir to ensure everything is spread evenly throughout the mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This will be a relatively wet mixture so you will need to thicken the mixture with some flour and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle enough flour and breadcrumbs so that the mixture can be moulded into rough burger shapes. I found that the mixture stuck to your hands when you shaped the burgers so dust them with some additional flour and add some to your hands as well to avoid this happening.


Preheat a frying pan on a medium to high heat with a generous drizzle of olive oil. When the oil has heated up add the patties and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until crispy and golden brown. I recommend moving the burgers around in the pan with spatula to ensure they do not stick to the pan. Avoid flipping them too early as the mixture is still relatively fragile. If you are cooking these one at a time it is a good idea to add the burgers to a baking tray, cover them in foil, and put them in the oven to keep warm.


To serve, spread some salsa to a toasted brioche bun and add the burger along with a few baby spinach leaves. I accompanied the burger with some crispy onion rings (I used shop bought ones but you can of course make your own) and some homemade paprika-spiced wedges.

Song of the Day:
Death Cab For Cutie – Why You’d Want To Live Here

– Emily

Turtle Bay, Southampton – 27/02/15

As mentioned before in a previous post, we LOVE the happy-hour cocktails in Turtle Bay, the Caribbean bar and restaurant chain. However, we had never actually eaten there, despite repeatedly saying that one day we would. Well that day came, and we finally decided to have some lunch . We are originally planning to go to our potential favourite, Wagamamas, but walking past Turtle Bay we were invited in by the smokey pulled pork and hot sauce aroma. Turtle Bay’s ethos is to allow their customers to enjoy the relaxed attitude of Caribbean dining with friends and family. The restaurant itself has a really nice vibe to it. There is an excellent beach-hut style cocktail bar in the centre and an indoor veranda of restaurant seating. Pair this with the open kitchen, attentive staff, and Caribbean street-market styling, it makes for a relaxed and fun atmosphere.


Here is a link to Turtle Bay’s food and drink menu!



Nick: Tobago Tea is certainly my favourite cocktail. A tasty (and rather strong!) mix of Rum, tequila, vodka, gin, triple sec, fresh lemon and mango, topped up with a splash lemonade. Its certainly a tropical and refreshing cocktail, probably a tad more relevant on a hot Summer’s day rather than in mid February! The further down you drink it, the more fruity it gets, as the mango juice tends to sit nearer to the bottom. A great choice for those who aren’t keen or large or bitty fruit swimming around in their well earned drink!


Emily: Nick certainly didn’t need much persuasion for having a cocktail after how much we enjoyed them in Las Iguanas the other week. The second cocktail we had was the Passion Rum Punch, which I go back for time and time again. Presented in a metallic, bevelled cup with a slice of passionfruit on the top, it really stands out against the other cocktails! A combination of dark rum, Passoa (a passionfruit liqueur), passionfruit pulp and a drop of lemonade. It is certainly one to choose if you like a fruity and sweet cocktail – well worth the £6.95 for two!



Nick: I decided to, after much deliberation, to go for the ‘Street Burger’. This is essentially an American style beef burger but with a Caribbean twist. This consisted of a spiced jerk pulled pork (another favourite of mine), lettuce, a sweet onion chutney, and a spicy herb mayo. This came with both a ‘Caribbean slaw’, which was surprisingly delicious with its mix of red onion, cabbage, carrot, raisins and mayo, and a small bowl of regular salted fries. The burger was spicy, smokey and filling, and is probably one of the best I’ve had in the UK. This was perfectly juxtaposed by the light and fresh slaw, making for a well balanced and tasty lunch. The only thing I will say is next time I will probably go for jerk spiced or sweet potato fries as the ones I had seemed plain and a bit McDonalds-esque in comparison to the rest of the food.


Emily: The choice of what to have was not a difficult one for me as I have had my eye of the Chicken Flatbread for some time. I suppose this could be considered as the Caribbean’s answer to a pizza and it went perfectly with the cheesy jerk fries that I had on the side. The flatbread was topped with jerk chicken, fresh tomatoes, red onion chutney (which was especially sweet and delicious), fresh rocket and, as I am a bit wuss when it comes to spice, I had the Bajan hot sauce on the side. What I particularly enjoyed about this dish was the mixture of sweet and spicy, so that every mouthful was perfectly balanced. It is also worth noting that the ‘Lunch ‘n’ Lighter’ part of the menu is extremely good value for money with the generous portions only costing £6.95.


So in terms of our final verdict on Turtle Bay we would definitely recommend to those looking for something a bit different for lunch and maybe a cocktail or two. This is an extremely popular bar and restaurant so if you plan on going at a busy time we would recommend booking in advance. There are a number of Turtle Bays dotted across the country so if there is one near you we suggest you check it out!

Song of the Day:
Paul Simon – Graceland

Bacon, Sundried Tomato, Onion and Garlic Soda Bread

I have wanted to make my own bread for a long time now but have never actually got round to it. While I don’t really eat bread all that often I do love flavoured breads, e.g. tomato and basil, chilli, cheese, etc. My taste for these kinds of breads came from my Saturday job working at The Barn Restaurant in Rainham, Kent as bread and butter for the table meant a lot more than just a white bread roll. I decided to start of with soda bread as it is one of the quickest and easiest to make. I got a basic recipe that I could add my own flavourings to off of my friend Joe, who now works at Paul Ainsworth at Number 6 in Padstow – I certainly make the most of the perks of having friends that are chefs! I chose to add bacon, sundried tomatoes, onion and garlic to my dough.



– 350g plain flour
– 350g self-raising flour
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1 pinch of salt
– 1 pint of milk
– 1 lemon
– 2 rashers of bacon
– 1 small onion
– 1 clove of garlic
– 5 sundried tomatoes

N.B. This is a very adaptable recipe as you can add whatever flavourings you like e.g. cheese, herbs, chilli, pesto etc. I would just advise you to be careful in terms of quantities as you do not want to overpower the dough. 


To start, measure one pint of milk in a jug and add the juice of one lemon to it, being careful to avoid the pips falling into the mixture. You should leave this to curdle for about an hour before you start making your dough. While you are waiting for the milk to curdle it is a good idea to prepare your flavourings as they need to be cool when added to the flour mixture later. Finely dice a small onion, slice 2 back bacon rashers into small pieces and finely chop one clove of garlic. Add these to a pre-heated pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Fry these off for a few minutes so the bacon begins to crisp and the onions soften. To avoid making the dough oily I patted off the excess olive oil with a piece of kitchen roll, before adding them to a bowl to cool down. You will also need to chop the sundried tomatoes into small pieces and once more remove the excess oil with kitchen roll. Leave the flavourings to cool down in the bowl while the milk continues to curdle.


When the hour has passed and the milk is fully curdled you are now ready to prepare your dough. Don’t worry if the milk looks extremely unappetising, that is how it is supposed to look. Before you do anything pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees. Mix together the dry ingredients – the plain flour, the self-raising flour, the bicarbonate of soda and the salt. When these are fully combined, stir in the flavourings so that they are distributed evenly to ensure when they are combined in the dough,  and will be spread equally across the loaf. Gradually stir in the milk mixture to the dry ingredients while stirring with a spoon, but avoid adding the whole amount as the dough may not need the full pint, when I made it I used about 900ml. It should be quite a wet dough but you should still be able to knead it, so only add the last of the milk mixture if it still seems quite dry. You will only need to work the dough for a couple of minutes as you do not want to prevent the rise, which is happening through the chemical processes happening within the dough. Shape the mixture to a loaf shape and add to a baking tray that is lightly dusted with plain flour.


Depending on how you shape your loaf the cooking time will vary, but it should take approximately 30-35 minutes. Do not be alarmed if it takes a bit longer than expected – I had a bit of a freak out when mine wasn’t ready after half an hour but my friend Ryan assured me it is fine to stay in the oven for 45 minutes if necessary. To check the bread is done it should have a nice golden crust and if you tap the bottom it should sound hollow inside.

Serve toasted with butter. Although I have it on good authority from my Dad and my sister, Alice, that it works great for bacon sandwiches. 

Song of the Day:
Saintseneca – Happy Alone

– Emily

Las Iguanas, Brighton – 15/02/15

It is by no means our intentions for this to be an uber coupley blog, but we couldn’t not post about our Valentines Day meal in Las Iguanas. It was the first time we had ventured there (mainly because there isn’t one in our home town), but we know for certain this will not be our last trip to this amazing fusion restaurant. It was a photo on Instagram alone that encouraged us to book a table at the Brighton restaurant, and we were by no means disappointed.

las iguanas

The culinary fusion that Las Iguanas achieves with its merging of Latin American, Spanish, Portuguese and African cuisines provides a unique experience for those that eat there. Mexican-style food such as; burritos, nachos and fajitas, are firm favourites of ours, but Las Iguanas, in our opinion, surpasses its competitors by providing food that is complex in flavour, while remaining authentic of the cuisines it represents. However, it is not merely the food that is impressive, the restaurant itself is vibrant and inviting for those looking in from Jubilee Street. We could hugely imagine being enticed inside by the colourful decor, large bar area or the comfy looking booths at the back, before even looking at the menu itself. The choice to go on the Sunday rather than on Valentines Day itself was a wise choice as not only was it not mobbed by couples, it also had 2 for 1 cocktails all day, which is a huge selling point for us in itself!

The Drinks

mango collins 2

With the 2 for 1 offer it was obvious that we would treat ourselves to cocktails. While I (Emily) may have been the driving force behind this decision Nick certainly wasn’t going to complain as he is partial to a ‘girly’ drink now and again! We started with a ‘Mango Collins’ each, which mixed Absolut Mango vodka with triple sec, orange juice and mango juice. To say it barely touched the sides would be an understatement, after our walking round the aquarium in the afternoon. We polished off our first drink rather rapidly. We soon followed it up with a ‘Brazilian Bellini’, which replaced the peach syrup of a traditional bellini with passionfruit syrup and Cachaça. Both of these cocktails were delicious but I must admit they were not quite as good as the cocktails served in the beloved Turtle Bay in Southampton, but then again I am probably a bit biased.




Emily: I love nachos, but I must admit I am a bit fussy as I don’t really like sour cream or guacamole. Luckily for me though, Las Iguanas have a side called ‘Totopos’ which is simply tortilla chips covered in spice with a side of salsa for dipping. So I got all that I wanted from nachos but without the embarrassment of listing the things I didn’t want on them. There was a kick of spice from the tortilla chips, which worked perfectly with the mild yet flavourful salsa. As we often do when we eat out we shared our starters so Nick had half of my Totopos and I had half of his quesadilla. Both of which were extremely delicious and they came out very quickly, which was ideal as we were both hungry.


Nick: I decided that due to my main course choice of a chilli, that a Mexican street food dish was in order, seeing as that is the type of food I enjoy the most. I had the Spicy Chicken Quesadilla. It was a beautifully simple and well presented dish. The chicken was shredded and tender, and the vegetables were soft and delicious. Emily isn’t a fan of the coriander leaf, but I thought that along with the salsa gave the dish a nice fresh kick to juxtapose against the gooey cheese. I shared some of Emily’s ‘Totopos’, which had a lovely warm kick; again, balancing the fresh salsa beautifully.



Emily: For my main it was an easy decision, the spicy chicken, peppers, onion and cheese enchilada which was accompanied by garlic rice and refried black beans. This was certainly the best thing I have had in a restaurant in a very long time and all that was left on my plate was the sprig of coriander (will never be a fan of that!). One thing I was converted to was the refried beans as I must admit when I saw them on the menu I thought I would just leave them on the plate, but when I tried them they were delicious. I would 100% recommend this dish if you go to Las Iguanas and I will certainly have it again when I return.


Nick: While in a way, I wish I had picked Emily’s dish, I still enjoyed this warming chilli; perfect on a cold February day! I love picked onions, and I just wish this dish had more of them to mix in, as the rich and beef can get a bit samey after a while. Yet, thats not to say this dish wasn’t nice. It was warming and tasty, and the beef was lovely and tender. I just wish it was a tad more interesting!


Emily: I was pretty full by the end of the meal but I decided to have something sweet to finish things off. One scoop of vanilla ice cream with Dulche de Leche was ideal for what I wanted. Although I was pretty jealous when Nick’s Churros came out and after I tried one I was even more so, luckily for me he was kind enough to give me one out of the three of his. But I guess we were out for Valentines so he probably felt he had to! I would also say if you aren’t a fan of cinnamon don’t let that put you off the Churros as you could barely taste it and I myself am not keen on it.


Nick: Let’s be real here, Churros are the greatest creation on Earth, and the Las Iguanas ones were some of the best I’ve ever had. The dough was still crisp on the outside, but gooey and warm on the inside. Not too much cinnamon was a good choice by Las Iguanas, as it can overpower the dip. On the subject of the dip, the Dulce de Leche was unbelievably good, and not overly sweet (I am a HUGE caramel fan). We had to use an image from the restaurant for this, as they were all gone before I even considered taking a picture!

So if it wasn’t already clear we are huge fans of Las Iguanas and if you get chance to go you definitely should. Not only is the food and atmosphere fantastic it is also very good value for money. In particular the lunch menu (available until 6.30pm every day) which has starters from £1.90 and mains from £5.00.

Song of the day:
Adventures – My Marble Hole

Spanish-style Chicken and Chorizo Stew

I can’t take full credit for this dish, as it was in fact inspired by something my Dad and my sister, Alice, cooked as part of their ‘Come Dine With Me’ night while on holiday in Portugal last summer. However, I’ve made a number of adjustments and additions to add my own little spin to the recipe! This Spanish-style casserole is easy to make but is full of flavour and provides a nice alternative to the usual midweek meal.


– Chicken Breasts or Boneless Chicken Thighs
– Chorizo
– Onion
– 1 Clove of Garlic
– Paprika
– Chilli Powder
– Salt and Pepper
– 400ml Chicken Stock
– 1 x Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
– Courgette
– Sweet Pointed Pepper
– Sliced Green Beans
– Baby Spinach
– Rice and/or Garlic Bread to serve

N.B – The quantities of the vegetables, chicken and chorizo can be adjusted according to how many people you are cooking for. The amount of sauce is enough for about 4 people.


To begin, place a large frying plan on a medium heat with a generous drizzle of olive oil. While the pan is heating up, chop the chicken breasts into small chunks and thinly slice a large onion. Add these to the frying pan, then season with one crushed clove of garlic, a sprinkle of paprika, salt, pepper and chilli powder. While this is cooking away, slice the peppers, courgette and chorizo. When the chicken is just cooked, add the chorizo and cook for a couple of minutes until it begins to release its oils and fat. Then, add the vegetables (apart from the spinach) cooking them for 5-10 minutes, thus allowing them to absorb the flavour of the chorizo and spices. When the vegetables are tender add the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes and spinach, which will wilt nicely in the sauce of the stew. Simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes and taste before serving, adding seasoning if necessary.

This is perfect accompanied by rice, garlic bread or a crusty bread roll.


Song of the day:
First Aid Kit – Stay Gold

– Emily

Emily’s Vegetable Soup

With the cold weather we have been having in the UK recently there is nothing better than having nice, warm soup for lunch with some crusty bread. Since I got a blender for Christmas from my grandparents I thought it would be a perfect excuse to make my own soup. So I decided to start off with a simple vegetable soup:10961696_10206141963176415_636045790_n


– 1 large onion
– 1 clove of garlic
– 4 medium sized potatoes
– 2 carrots
– 1 leek
– 1/2 a broccoli (about 10 small florets)
– 1 litre of stock (chicken is preferable but vegetable works too if you’re a vegetarian.
– Salt and pepper
– Mixed herbs

N.B. You will need a blender or food processor of some description for this recipe.


To start, add a drizzle of olive oil to a saucepan and add a finely chopped large onion to it, along with a crushed clove of garlic. Keep on a low heat so the onions soften slowly. While the onion is cooking away prepare 4 medium sized potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 leek and approximately half a broccoli. Ensure that all of the vegetables are kept relatively small and are of a similar size so that they cook at a similar rate. Once they are prepared add them to the pan with the onions, stirring frequently so that they soften but do not burn.


Add a sprinkle of mixed herbs for added flavour, along with some salt and pepper to taste. I found that as time went on the vegetables began to stick a bit so I added some of the stock to loosen up the mixture. After about 10 minutes the vegetables should be relatively tender, if so add one litre of stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Keep simmering away on a low heat and stir frequently until the vegetables are soft enough to break up with a wooden spoon. Leave the soup to cool down before adding it to the blender or blending it by hand. Once the soup is cool blend to a smooth consistency and it is ready to heat and serve.

This soup goes perfectly with a crusty bread roll or some soda bread.


Our Song of the Day:
Choir of Young Believers – Hollow Talk

– Emily

Red Thai Curry

It has been a while since we last posted on here – well over a month but what with the Christmas festivities and exams we have both been very busy! But we will certainly be making more of an effort to post more frequently in the coming weeks so hopefully we still have so readers! But we are returning with a great recipe – Chicken Red Thai Curry, which is a firm favourite of ours.


This fragrant and aromatic Thai curry is deceptively easy to prepare, healthy and delicious. It is a great family meal as you can adapt the heat factor according to how spicy you like it. While there maybe some ingredients that you don’t typically have in your cupboard, they are all easy to find in your local supermarket. We have attached below a list of what you need to get as there a few more ingredients than in the dishes we usually make!


– Chicken breasts (optional)
– Red Thai Curry Paste
– Light Soy Sauce
– 1 x Light Coconut Milk
– Fresh Chilli (optional)
– Fresh Ginger
– Garlic
– 150ml of Chicken Stock (this can be substituted for a different type of stock)
– Beansprouts
– Mangetout
– Onion
– Courgette
– Red Pepper
– Leek
– Broccoli
– Rice and naan to serve

N.B. Of course you can adapt this recipe to suit your requirements and tastes – e.g. replacing chicken with a different protein, omitting meat, using different vegetables, etc.

967972_10205988505420067_57681294_n (1)

Serves 3-4 people

To start, heat a frying pan on a medium heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil. While the pan is on the heat slice three medium chicken breasts into small chunks, along with one large onion. Add to the pan, then season with some salt, pepper, a drizzle of light soy sauce, a finely sliced red chilli, a grated 2cm length piece of ginger and a clove of garlic. While this all cooks off chop the vegetable so that they are all a similar size in order for them to cook evenly when you add them to the pan later.When the chicken is sealed off add the vegetables but like with the Salmon Stirfry hold off on the beansprouts for the time being. Cook the vegetables for 5-10 minutes until they are tender, then add the beansprouts and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the stock, coconut milk and two heaped tablespoons of curry paste to the mixture. You can of course increase the amount of curry paste if you like things extra spicy. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer for ten minutes to fully incorporate the flavours into the curry. Before serving taste the curry to ensure that it is suitably flavoured – add more curry paste or soy sauce if necessary.

Serve with rice and a garlic and coriander naan.

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Our Song of the Day:
From Indian Lakes – Am I Alive

White Chocolate, Orange and Cranberry Muffins

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One of Nick and I’s favourite places in our home town is The Deaf Cat and they sell the most incredible Orange and Cranberry muffins. So, as it is Christmas I decided to make a version of my own. After scouring the internet for a decent recipe I found it hard to find a recipe that wasn’t in ‘cups’ but there was a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction that caught my eye and I decided to use that with a few of my own adaptions here and there!

Here is a link to the Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe:

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One of the main adjustments I made to the recipe was adding a bag of white chocolate chips (100g). I thought the chocolate would balance out the tartness of the cranberries nicely. I also replaced the light brown sugar with light muscovado sugar, which if I’m honest was partly because that’s all that I had in the cupboard, but I feel it adds that lovely, rich treacly flavour to the muffins that you wouldn’t usually get from regular brown sugar. Finally I decided to omit the ground cinnamon as I personally am not a fan. I also didn’t add the orange glaze to my muffins as I thought they were delicious just the way they were. The original recipe did look amazing so these are not improvements but my own personal take on the recipe.

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I am not particularly much of a baker other than the usual cupcakes or sponge. Prior to this the most exotic thing i’ve made is a Chocolate Orange Cake (which will no doubt make an appearance on the blog at some point) so I was pleased with how well these turned out. Using the fat-free Greek Yogurt ensured that the muffins remained moist even days after they had been made. The fresh cranberries, white chocolate and orange worked together perfectly to balance the flavours. Having said that, you can easily adapt the recipe and add your own fillings whether that be chocolate chips on their own, blueberries, raspberries or you could even adapt it into a savoury muffin.

Understandably I can by no means take full credit for this recipe as I have adapted it from another blogger! She has some other great recipes so you should definitely check out Sally’s website:

muffins 1Our Song of the day:
Catfish and the Bottlemen – Cocoon

– Emily