Monday, 31 August 2015


31 AUGUST 2015

Despite spending the majority of the bank holiday weekend indoors for various reasons (the torrential rain being one of them!), I did manage to get out in the garden briefly with my mum on Saturday afternoon to pick some of the fruits I've noticed ripening over the last few weeks. It's a bit of a jungle at the bottom of our garden. We've got two apple trees and forest of brambles that have crept over from our neighbour's garden - annoying as they are, the blackberries they've produced are beautifully sweet. 

It might seem a little childish, but there's something so exciting about eating fruits that you've literally just picked. So, to make the most of our spoils, I whipped up a little batch of blackberry and apple breakfast muffins. I used the same recipe as for these healthy blueberry and apple breakfast muffins, but just changed the fruit and swapped the wholemeal flour for a mixture of spelt and rye to give a little more richness to the flavour.

 Give them a try, oh and let me know how you get on! x

Thursday, 20 August 2015


21 AUGUST 2015

No, I'm not talking about animals, I'm talking about probably the best meal I've ever eaten, courtesy of Two Cats Kitchen

Previously a pop-up restaurant, Two Cats Kitchen now has a permanent home in the heart of Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter. Tucked away down a quaint little alley on Warstone Lane you wouldn't even know it was there, but as the foodies are starting to get wind of this place, tables are becoming increasingly difficult to get your hungry little paws on.

Being the incredibly fortunate girl that I am, my gorgeous boy managed to get us a table (thank you to the couple that cancelled) to celebrate 6 years of pure purgatory in each other's company - I'm only kidding it's been beautiful really. 

The cuisine is called New Baltic. I'd never even heard of it before, and even the owners acknowledge that to describe it this way naively assumes that people would understand what Old Baltic cuisine is. I don't.  

I can't really do the description justice if I'm honest with you, but it feels to me that they've taken what would be considered as the  traditional Baltic/Russian dishes as a baseline and brought them into the 21st century with some very clever, yet subtle, techniques.

Basically, it was immense, and the service was impeccable. They knew every little detail of the 7 course tasting menu and it was clear that not only is food their livelihood, but their absolute passion. 

I'm not going to bore you with the details of every dish, but here's a whole load of pictures I took - they really don't do the quality of this food justice. You've got to try this place! 

Sunday, 9 August 2015


09 AUGUST 2015

Today was my beautiful mum's birthday, and for a change the British weather decided to behave exactly as it should in August and the sun shone beautifully to accompany the cake I'd made - a naked summer fruits cake.

Obviously a little patience with the fruit arranging is required here, but otherwise this recipe really couldn't be easier. I used the recipe for the sponge from Mary Berry's, Baking Bible, and it goes like this...


225g softened, unsalted butter
225g self-raising flour
225g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs


Grease and line two 20cm baking tins and pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees celsius, gas mark 4.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with  mixer until completely combined and a smooth batter is formed. You can do this bit by hand if you don't have an electric whisk, but it's best to start with the butter and sugar, then move onto the eggs and then flour and baking powder to maintain a smooth mix. 

Pour the mixture into the prepared tins and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown and spraining back when prodded with a finger. Leave to cool completely before decorating.

To make this cake naked, you'll need some fruit and double cream. Whisk your cream until spreadable rather than stiff. Spread a thin layer of this cream on the base half of your cake. 

Cut the tops off  some strawberries and halve them lengthways. Line these up around the edge of your base cake. Pipe the rest of the cream into the middle of the cake. Top this with raspberries and blueberries and the top half of the cake. Fill in any obvious gaps around the edges with any remaining cream. 

Arrange the remaining fruit on the top and dust with icing sugar to serve. Enjoy - with tea obviously!

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