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Urban Burger – Exeter

9 Aug

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It was the last Sunday of grad week. I’d frequented the grad ball the previous night. It was 2pm Sunday and I had not eaten anything yet. Hunger was raging.

 

I was craving some carby, salty yet healthy-ish food (yes I am a weird hungover) and thought a great bet would be a relatively new restaurant to Exeter – Urban Burger. I’d been before which…  was a weird experience. Ollie and I were the only ones in the restaurant, which I know didn’t set the ambiance off, however we were surrounded by very clichéd fake 90’s graffiti decor, whilst smooth jazz echoed through the restaurant. We didn’t hang about. Nonetheless  the food was pretty good! We both agreed a takeaway would be better – especially with a great 15% discount on eat-in prices.

 

I opted for the ‘Aphrodite’ (God knows about the name) wrap hit the spot –  Grilled Halloumi, rocket, tomato, red onion, hummus, grilled peppers, courgette, aubergine, Tzatziki. deee-lish.

 

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Strawberries & Cream Victoria Sandwich

14 Jul

IMG_20130714_150517[1]Strawberries are in season at the moment and along with the brilliant weather we seem to be experiencing here in the UK (even Wild West Wales is hot and dry, amazingly) they are in abundance and for once not about £4 for a punnet of tasteless watery stawbs.

Tesco got on the Wimbledon bandwagon and were selling punnets of British strawberries with ‘free’ pots of double cream.

Cream is such a treat (I once knew someone who ate a whole pot for their dinner, with nothing else out of guilt) and a perfect combination is with freshly whipped cream, in a classic Victoria sponge eaten outside with a glass of homemade (I need to get my mums recipe for this up!) elderflower cordial. How sophisticated eh!

 

 

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The cake was made from the River Cottage’s recipe
Ingredients:
175g self raising flour
pinch of salt
175g unsalted butter, softened and cubed
175g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 med pot of double cream
punnet of strawberries, washed
2 X 20cm sandwich tins

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180C. Beat the butter to a cream, then add the sugar and beat until very light and creamy (this is the secret to a great sponge!)
2. Add the eggs, a little at a time in conjunction with a spoon or two of the flour to prevent curdling, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add the vanilla extract if using.
3. Sift in the rest of the flour and carefully fold it in. Divide the mixture evenly between the two sandwich tins and bake for around 25mins or until springy when gently pushed.
4. When cooked, leave in the tins for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
5. When the cake is cooled, whip the cream until stiff, slice the strawberries and spread the cream over one layer, and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Top with the other layer and arrange strawberry halves on top. Dust with icing sugar!IMG_20130714_150431[1]

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Posh egg ‘McMuffin’ with emmental, beetroot, honey mustard and rocket

18 May

My take on Mc Donalds famous ‘McMuffin’
I LOVE MC DONALDS BREAKFASTS – actually better than their lunchy/dinnery/midnight snack or what ever you want to call it burger/wrap menu…

Basically looked in the fridge, saw what needed to be eaten (emmental… beetroot… rocket…) and with a dollop of honey and chilli mustard, perfect quick and cheap brunch treat. I keep my muffins in the freezer so they don’t go all stale and also because I hate buying a packet and feeling guilty about wasting food so I eat a muffin a day (or two) which is just annoying! First world problems hey, shameless. Image

Serves one,
Ingredients:
1 wholemeal (trying to be healthy!) muffin, sliced
slice of beetroot
handful of rocket
a few slices of emmental (it’s not very strong so for flavour purposes have a chunky slice –  going to try it with good old British cheddar next time, think it will be better!)
1 large egg
half a teaspoon mustard
splash of olive oil
rock salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:
1. Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil and fry your egg
2. Spread the mustard on one half of the muffin, and arrange your cheese slices on the other side, pop under the grill until melted/toasted.
3. Add your beetroot slice to the mustard-covered muffin, then the egg, rocket, salt and pepper and finally Imagepop on the cheese muffin hat and eat!!

Place Garibaldi, giant (raspberry and lychee cream filled!) Macarons and people watching in the sun. Ahhhh.

13 May

Since finishing working in Nice, I have pretty much been on ‘holiday’ here, before I leave in a few weeks to go back to the wet and cold of the UK. I have been making the most of my time, dividing it up between eating ice cream, going to cafes and people watching, drinking wine, eating patisserie, going to the beach… tough life really isn’t it?

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So anyway, I was recommended by a French friend a place called Deli Bo – a trendy hipster hangout serving lunches, coffees and AMAZING patisseries! I subsequently headed there, picked up a Lychee and Rasberry Giant Macaron and headed to one of the many cafes in Place Garibaldi (my fave place to chill, attempt to read my French magazines, and people watch) to eat it, away from the waiters gaze of course, along with a noisette (a bargain of a coffee – an espresso with a bit of frothy milk – no more than 2 Euros in any French cafe.)

‘Twas delish and so thought I would gloat about how amazing it was with pictures and a blog post here 😀Image

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‘Homemade’ Pappardelle with smoked salmon, basil, cream cheese and lemon

9 May

With the attempt of getting rid of all my store cupboard essential before I move back to the UK I now only have wholemeal penne (due to my health binge a few weeks ago) or lasagne sheets as my pasta choices. I was craving a creamy pasta the other day, and with wholemeal pasta it’s just not the same. My white wine, cream cheese, lemon and basil sauce with smoked salmon just goes with linguine, tagliatelle or other pastas such as pappardelle. I don’t know why this is and I may sound like a massive fussy food snob and I am cringing slightly whilst writing this however it just doesn’t have that luxury feel about it when using other pastas (oh dear Phoebe what have you become…)

So. I went about making ‘home made’ parpadelle. Bit of a student invention but definitely worth keeping in mind – use lasagne sheets! Half cook them, take them out of your saucepan of boiling water onto a chopping board and use a sharp knife to slice them into three lengthways, pop them back to finish cooking (make sure they are not stuck together when you put them back in) – et voila, perfect parpadelle without the silly Tesco Finest/Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference etc etc prices you find it for in the supermarket.

Serves 1 – Image
70g lasagne sheets
60g cream cheese (low fat or full fat)
However much smoked salmon you’d like, cut into strips
A bunch of basil leaves
A few squuezes of lemon juic
1 shallot, chopped
1 tbsp white wine
Olive oil

Method:
1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add a splash of olive oil and add your lasagne sheets. In a frying pan, heat up 1tbsp olive oil and when hot, add your shallots to soften for a few minutes on a medium heat.
2. After about 5 minutes, scoop your lasagne sheets out of the saucepan and transform them into parpadelle. Pop back into the saucepan.
3. Add your white wine to the shallots and let it evaporate slightly. Turn the heat to its lowest setting and add a few squeezes of lemon juice.
4. After your pasta is cooked, drain and add to the saucepan, now add your cream cheese and smoked salmon, thouroughly coating the pasta. Add your basil leaves and a few twists of black pepper.

Enjoy that it’s a lot more luxurious tasting than it actually costs…

p.s I am doing a student marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up to volunteer for various music festivals in the summer, if you could click on this link below you would be doing me a massive favour!
http://www.phansta.com/1140/27/view.html

Feta, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, olive, rocket and lentil salad (so healthy a cake must be eaten afterwards)

6 May

I’ve been eating so many salads recently as the weather has finally become what I like to call ‘beach hot’ (a temperature gauged on if it’s hot enough to go to the beach to sunbathe… thought it was quite good no!?) here in Nice, which is not a bad thing I suppose!

Perfectly balanced with the sweet beetroot salty olives and feta, earthy lentils, fresh rocket and a sharp wholegrain mustard,  olive oil and balsamic dressing (phew what a description). You can alter the quantities as much as you fancy, I’ve just given a rough idea as to how I assembled mine.

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Wholesome and filling enough for a satisfying dinner or a healthy lunch. Super quick to put together, no expensive or obscure ingredients to hunt down, no excuses not to make it. Many people on ‘health’ binges often eat plates and plates of salads, often loaded with creamy dressings, cheeses and bacon, which to be frank is just not going to make much difference, may as well just tuck into that carbonara.

Serves 1:
A tablespoon of crumbled feta
1 small beetroot
2.5 tablespoons cooked brown lentils (or whatever type you have, just not mushy red lentils!)
A few cherry tomatoes
A few handfuls of rocket
3/4 black olives, chopped

Method:
Wash all salady bits and dry well, chop up your olives and beetroot, half your cherry tomatoes, crumble your feta, make your dressing by using 2 tbsp good olive oil combined with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1tsp wholegrain mustard and assemble. Voila.

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p.s I am doing a student marketing campaign to encourage people to sign up to volunteer for various music festivals in the summer, if you could click on this link below you would be doing me a massive favour!
http://www.phansta.com/1140/27/view.html

Olive, chilli, oregano, basil and feta bruschetta

18 Apr

I had half a tin of plum tomatoes to use and half a baguette.

I hate wasting food – I will make a point of using something up. I bought a cabbage a few months ago, literally couldn’t get rid of it – genuinely thought it was growing in the fridge. So I would sneak it into pretty much anything much to Ollie’s amusement – Greek salad with a bit of shredded cabbage?! Why not eh!

Anyway this was one of those cases, storecuboard/fridge stables such as tinned olives, oregano, jarred feta cheese and chilli flakes and a few fresh basil leaves from my plant. (it’s laaaaavely weather here down in Nice so no dying plants for meeee!)

It was delish. Perfect for a quick, summery lunch!

Ingredients:
Half a baguette, sliced (get best quality you can… even if you don’t have a cheap artisan bakery at the end of your road… hehe)
a few black olives, cut into quarters
half a tin of tomatoes
teaspoon of dried oregano
salt and pepper
pinch (or more if feeling wild) chilli
feta cubes (however cheesy you’re feeling)
olive oil (I used basil infused)

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients except for the feta cheese and olive oil (and bread, obviously…) in a bowl.
2. Slice your baguette, drizzle over a little olive oil and pop under the grill for a few minutes.
3. Top  bread with the tomato mixture, sprinkle with the feta cubes then pop under the grill until the cheese starts to look as if it is melting slightly. It should smell deeelliiisshhh

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