Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Carrot, Chilli and Coconut Soup!

Inspired by one of the soup recipes at Naked Soup and the Biere Halle, I searched online for a similar recipe and stumbled upon this one - carrot, chilli and coconut soup. A great sweet and spicy soup!

Seeing as the cold weather is setting in, there is nothing better than the idea of snuggling up on the couch with a bowl of hot, homemade soup. And instead of relying on the same old boring recipes, it's nice to try a new one that has an interesting mix of flavours.

Carrot soup by itself is already pretty sweet so the addition of the coconut milk really adds to the sweetness factor. The chilli's and chilli powder balance this out by giving it a kick but it's best to add a good amount of salt and pepper so it's not too sweet. Unless you're really into sweet soups in which case ignore what I just said.

As I said, because the cold weather is setting in it's really starting to feel like Christmas (even though it's still like 2 months away) and I'm loving having to wrap up when I go out and drinking copious amounts of tea and snuggling up on the couch watching seasonal movies. I'm currently wrapped up in a blanket watching Love Actually, one of my favourite movies and a great Christmas movie. The only thing not so good about this cold weather is when you're cold inside the flat - it's like an invasion of privacy. The cold weather should not be in my humble abode!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts!

I've been super busy recently and it's not really going to calm down for another week and a half. Two essays and an exam worth 15% due in the next week! Not surprisingly, I'm a bit stressed out at the moment. But that hasn't stopped me from cooking! I think I view cooking as a break from studying but at the same time I'm doing something productive so I don't really feel guilty about it... A girl's gotta eat!

I recently made spinach and feta stuffed chicken breasts. You stuff the chicken with onions, garlic, spinach, ricotta cheese and feta and then you cover the chicken breast in breadcrumps and bake it in the oven. The first night I made it, I made too much of the filling so there was loads left over - enough to have it again the following night! I decided to shake things up a bit the next day so instead of covering it in breadcrumbs, I wrapped the chicken in bacon - yum! I probably should have used parma-ham instead because the bacon didn't really go crispy in the oven which is what I wanted to happen.. but it still tasted good!

Not only was this meal yummy but it is also good for you! 169 calories per chicken breast - not too bad!

There are my two different takes on the same recipe.

If anyone else wants to make this yummy, healthy meal, here is a link to the recipe:

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The George in Oxted!

I've been super busy lately so I'm a bit behind on my blogging.. but I've got lots of posts to come! My family were over from Singapore this past week which was an amazing surprise. They rented a cottage in Ayr which was gorgeous and they stayed there a week before flying down to London to visit Megan and Matt. I went down with them but on a different flight.

When we were there, we went to The George which is in Oxted. It's a gorgeous little inn that was originally built in the 15th century that does classic pub food and delicious fish dishes.

To begin I had the smoked mackerel pate with pickled beetroot ribbons and crisp breads. It was so good. So salty and textured and rich in taste. The only thing wrong with it was that the bread to pate ratio was wrong - not enough bread! It was so beautifully set out as well. Look at that picture - isn't it pretty!

To follow I had that baked cod supreme wrapped in parma ham with creamed potatoes and pea sauce. It was absolutely delicious. No joke, it was amazing. It almost made me wish that I hadn't had the mackerel pate because I was too full to finish all of my cod. The cod was so soft and tender and flaky but it was wrapped up in this crispy salty parma ham and the difference in textures and flavours was so good. On top of that, the pea sauce tasted exactly like the pea soup that we have at home which I absolutely love so that was just an added bonus.

If anyone is ever in Oxted (Surrey) they should definitely go to The George. Every dish that everyone at the table had was delicious (and there were 7 of us so that is saying something). Especially the fish dishes.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

On Having A Boyfriend With OCD by Meggie Royer

I reblogged a picture on tumblr a couple of days ago that was a picture of a poem in a book, called: On Having A Boyfriend With OCD. I've read it over and over again because it is just so beautiful but so sad at the same time, it breaks my heart. I cannot imagine what it must be like to live with that disorder or to love someone who suffers from it. It must be so hard.

The poem is from a book called Survival Songs by Meggie Royer, an American poet. Her poems deal with complicated relationships (including what it feels liket to be replaced or used and abused) and different social issues.
The book is only 68 pages long and it costs about £6 on Amazon so I might get it to see if her other poems are as hauntingly beautiful and sad as this one.

On Having A Boyfriend With OCD:
He was always turning the lights on and off, 
opening and closing the door, counting as he went:
thirty-six, thirty-seven, thirty-eight, thirty-nine, forty.
Eventually I had to tell him that if he kept opening the door, 
we'd have a whole bunch of house intruders
before the night was through. He responded by trying to kiss
me once, 
then ended up kissing me twenty-three times, then once more
for an even twenty-four. Then he had to redo two of them
because "our mouths hadn't been quite aligned."
Some nights I'd wake up with the moon soaking the bedsheets, 
listening to the sound of him repeating the word "fuck"
over and over: he'd stubbed his toe on the bathroom doorway
but couldn't stop swearing once he'd started.
I fell back asleep after staring at my pillow
until the floral patterns burned into my eyelids, 
dreamt the two of us went to an opera but instead of beautiful,
tremulous voices rising high into the air, 
two sopranos were singing "fuck"to the tune of La Traviata.
He apologises the next day, says the new medication 
made him feel like shit all the time so he took himself off it;
I responded that it probably made him feel that way
because it was working.
Two days later the ambulance comes and takes him away:
he'd accidentally cut one of his wrists with the steak knife
chopping carrots for stew
but couldn't have just one cut wrist;
he had to have two.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Burger Meats Bun! [Glasgow]

A couple of nights ago I went out to get something to eat before going to see Dracula (which is pretty good by the way, you should go see it). After walking around for a bit we managed to find the basement location of Burger Meats Bun - a really good burger joint. I was actually feeling sort of sick before this but the burger made me feel way better. It was pretty delicious.

We both ordered the Smokin' Bacon. The best Scottish beef on fresh gem lettuce, juicy vine tomatoes, cucumber pickles, home cured and smoked bacon, barwheys, spiced ketchup, their very own burger sauce and braised onions all on a brioche bun. 
It was so juicy and flavourful and tender and the bread was amazing (I've talked before about how much I love brioche). It's not the most attractive thing to eat because you get juices running down your face and your hands but they bring you a roll of kitchen roll to help deal with this and it tastes so good you don't even care. 

They bring out the burgers wrapped up in paper - no plate or anything - which adds to the relaxed, casual feel of the place.

Because the restaurant is in a basement location the lighting wasn't the best so, sorry for the rubbish pictures! Even if it doesn't look that appetising, it was so good! I definitely want to go back again and order their wings, or chips (you can get Thai chilli cheese chips which sound amazing), or donuts and dipping sauce. Or maybe all of the above!

If anyone is ever walking around the city centre of Glasgow, you should definitely stop in to Burger Meats Bun to get an amazing burger.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Date Night with the Flatmate!

A complete disaster happened on Friday. My water bottle managed to spill its entire contents into my backpack, which contained my laptop, which of course got soaked.. and then refused to turn on. If that wasn't bad enough, it happened right before my Anti-discrimination Law seminar so all my notes that I had spent ages working on, I no longer had access to. 

I had to book an appointment with the Apple store in town to try and get it fixed but the earliest appointment they had was today at 4:30. I went along hoping that they would magically be able to salvage my laptop... but no such luck. She said that the insides were completely corroded and had turned green (?!) and it was going to cost £500 to fix it. Great. The only good news was that my hard drive was fine so she managed to get that out of my laptop for me so I still have all my uni work, thankfully! 

Knowing that I would have to pay £500 to get it fixed plus it was going to take a few weeks to do which isn't really helpful seeing as I have uni, I thought that it might be better just to get a new laptop, like a HP or something which you can get for around £300-400 and then transfer all my data from my hard drive on to it. I was whatsapping my dad about it to get his opinion and he very, very kindly said that I could get a new Macbook Air which was so generous of him.
So here I am, typing on my new Macbook Air!!

Throughout the ordeal of going to see if I could fix my laptop, to go to try and find a caddy to hold my hard drive, to looking for cheaper laptops and then back to the Apple store to get a new laptop, Ashleigh was accompanying me trudging around in the rain. Seeing as we were already in town we decided to have dinner out - a little flatmate date night!

We went to Zizi's seeing as Soba was completely full and they gave us a seat on the upper level so we could look out onto the floor beneath and people watch (mainly the long table that you can see in the bottom of the picture). 

Here's a picture of our lovely dinner just to make you all a little hungry. Red pesto, creme fraiche, spicy piccante chicken, spring onions and pasta. Doesn't get much better than that!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Spicy Chicken Riggies!

I had someone over for dinner last night and I wanted to make something quick and easy but yummy. I found this recipe online recently and I thought it was perfect seeing as everything is done in one pot. The pasta even cooks in the sauce! Not only does that make it easier to make but it also limits on the washing up that I have to do afterwards which is always an added bonus. 
There's nothing worse than cooking a great meal and watching the dishes pilling up by the sink and realising with a horrible feeling that you'll have to wash them all by hand at some point in the near future... but that wasn't the case with this dish!

It's not a great picture because it was dark at the time but still.. it was great! I think it's my new favourite pasta dish. I'll definitely be making this on a regular basis. I got confirmation from my guest that it was really yummy and he can't just have been saying that to make me feel good cause he had about 3 bowls of it. So it was definitely a winner! 

Because the pasta cooks in the sauce it really soaks up all the flavour making it so delicious. I just pasta dishes that have a tomato-y cream-y sauce base. Plus the addition of a cup of parmesan just made it so gooey and cheesy. Delicious!

This dish also made me realise that I should always keep tins of chopped tomatoes in the flat because basically every single recipe calls for them and they're just such a great necessity to have.

I made the pasta dish without the chicken basically because I couldn't be bothered spending money on chicken but it was still amazing so I can imagine the addition of chicken would just send it over the edge.

There's the recipe for anyone wanting to make this creamy, gooey, tomato-y goodness.