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Matina – Bristol (Best £4 lunch I’ve ever had)

18 Jul

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During a weeks work experience in Bristol, I treated myself to the delights of the various food stalls in St Nicholas’s Market every lunch time (oh this girl knows how to party.)

The best so far (and by far) has to be Matina, a relatively new eatery serving Middle Eastern (Kurdish in particular) Naan bread wraps.

And these are proper wraps! A simple menu is perfect – they are so good no other choice is really required. The lunchtime queue speaks for itself. Handmade, fresh naan breads, cooked to order are filled with a choice of grilled marinaded halloumi and grilled Mediterranean veg, along with meat options of chicken and lamb. They are complimented with shredded red cabbage salad, tomatoes, coriander, pickles and spicy tomato sauce along with a fresh mint yogurt dip and humous.

It was so so so so so so tasty.

And at nothing on the menu over £4.50 you get a lot of tasty food for your money!

Head down for fresh, home made produce for a great value fulfilling lunch

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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Zesty prawn linguine

10 Jul

One of my favourite pasta dishes is this combination of prawns, basil, zingy lemon, red chillies, the freshness of rocket, sweet cherry tomatoes and spring onion combined with linguine.

It’s super healthy yet light and satisfying (and takes no time at all). We had this when I took a visit up to Newcastle (furthest North I’ve ever gone, couldn’t get over the fact that there was a Greggs in the airport. Brilliant) to see my friend Jane. This is her boyfriend Andy’s recipe, which can be found on his impressive food blog – http://grubblog.wordpress.com/

Eat when in need of some comfort food or when on a health binge – possibly one of the few recipes that satisfies both.

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Strawberry Cream Tea – one of those things that everyone loves

17 Jun

I finally arrived home in West Wales after over two weeks of dashing (and even flying, seriously) over the country from Exeter, Bristol and Cardiff to London and Newcastle. I’m not going to lie, it mostly involved partying, eating tasty meals, socilaising and lying in bed all morning with friends laughing about the previous nights escapades (tough life, I know.)

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I was very much looking forward to coming back home for a few days and what I was greeted home with was amazing. Mums are great. They bake fresh scones and serve great tea, although my Dad is bound to comment if I don’t include that he was the one who came up with the idea of using deliciously sweet in season strawberries; instead of jam to go with the clotted cream on the scones (it was a great change – definitely recommend it!)

My Mum has a wonderful baking book by Jane Asher, which is where she got the scone recipe from. After trying many others, this is her fave and I wholeheartedly agree.

Serve on a lovely table with some flowers, tea in proper tea cups and saucers, you can’t go wrong.

I’m looking forward to Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith next time (hint hint) 😀

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The last (French) supper

16 Jun

As the title states, I had a lot of stuff to use before I headed back to the not so glorious weather as the Cote d’Azur, but wonderful United Kingdom. Massively misjudging how much stuff I had to take back meant I had to leave the collection of herbs and spices that we had collected. I am probably a bit more frugal than most and I really didn’t want to leave them but paying 10 Euros per kg of excess baggage meant sacrifices had to be made (unfortunately.)

I had some frozen spinach to use, as well as puff pastry, a lemon and feta. I brainstormed and tarts were formed. Yummy and giving me less guilt about wasting food! Perfect hot or cold, for lunch or dinner or even a picnic. And ready in about 20 minutes!

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Spinach & feta tart

Serves 2 or more depending on how big you like your portions

Half a pack of puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle

About 100grams spinach, thawed if frozen

1/2 a pack of feta cheese

Squeeze of lemon juice

Few grates of lemon rind

Pinch of chilli flakes

Garlic clove,  crushed

A little olive oil

Pinch of nutmeg if you have any goes quite nicely!

Method

1. In a bowl, combine the thawed and drained spinach, crumbled feta, lemon juice and rind, garlic with salt and pepper, nutmeg and a glug of olive oil.

2. Arrange your mixture on the rolled out pastry, leaving a pastry border of about an inch or more for those who love their pastry.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for around 20 minutes.

Tomato thyme and feta tart IMG_20130615_075622

Serves the same amount

Half a pack of puff pastry, rolled into a rectangle (or however you like to be honest.. Go wild.)

The other half of the pack of feta

2tsp dried or fresh thyme

Any tomatoes you have, thinly sliced, enough to cover the pastry

Method:

1. Crumble the cheese evenly over the pastry, arrange the tomato slices over the cheese so that there is no gaps between them. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle over the thyme and season with pepper (feta is salty enough! ). Bake for around 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 C.

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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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