Monday 30 September 2013

Announcing event ~Lets cook with Pumpkin

The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word ‘pepon’, meaning ‘large melon’.They are a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers. Pumpkins are round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and deep yellow to orange coloration and they have thick shells which contain pulp and seeds. Pumpkins are usually orange but can sometimes be yellow, white, green or red. Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A and have flowers that are edible. They are very versatile in their uses for cooking. Most parts of the pumpkin are edible, including the fleshy shell, the seeds, the leaves, and even the flowers. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Pumpkins have thick shells which contain pulp and seeds.
The month of October is significant with Halloween and Pumpkins. This event is all about cooking and making recipes with pumpkin and I am inviting all foodies out there to create your pumpkin recipes and link them to this event. In addition I am also allowing linking of pumpkin carvings to be included in the event.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any  vegetarian recipe using Pumpkin as part of the Ingredient   (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2.Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3.Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format:
Your Name: Recipe
Name Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Friday 27 September 2013

Caribbean Rice.

Sweet coconut and kidney bean Caribbean rice will bring taste of tropics to your palate


120g / 4 oz Basmati rice
60g / 2 oz precooked kidney beans
240 ml hot water
60 g / 2 oz freshly grated coconut (plus 1 tablespoon for garnishing)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 small red onion finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander


1. Wash the rice and soak it for 30 minutes in cold water.
2. Add oil in a large pan with a lid and wait for it to heat up.
3. Add the onion and sauté it for 2-3 minutes until it is translucent
4. Drain the rice and add it to the onions, sauté the rice for a couple of minutes until all the grains are coated in oil.
5. Add the coconut, pepper and salt to the rice together with the kidney beans and chillies.Mix the spices into the rice.
6. Add the hot water and bring the rice to boil. Reduce the heat to lowest setting, cover the rice and cook for 25 minutes.(Do not open the pan lid in this time)
7. After 25 minutes, open the lid all the water will be absorbed and rice should be cooked. Fluff up the rice with a fork.
8. Transfer the rice to a serving platter.Garnish the rice with the remaining coconut and fresh coriander.

Caribbean food is really delicious and you can get so many different variety of dishes. Why not check out this post about 10 dishes to eat in the Caribbean.

You may like:
Spanish saffron and paprika Rice

Flavours of Caribbean event by guest hosted by Tina of The spicy pear

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Plantain Fritters

Spicy savory plantain fritters perfect for a tea time treat.


4 green plantains peeled and grated
1 small clove garlic finely crushed
1 small white onion finely sliced
2 green chillies finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
pinch bicarbonate of soda
2 tablespoons plain flour
1-2 teaspoons water
600 ml sunflower oil for frying


1.In a bowl add the grated plantain, onion slices, salt,chilli powder, green chillies, bicarbonate of soda and the flour.
2. Mix the ingredients together, only add enough water so that the mixture  binds together without being too wet.
3. Form small  patties of the mixture and place them on a tray.

4. Heat oil in a large pan, when it is hot turn the heat down to medium nad fry the patties in small batches until golden brown.Do not be tempted to cook on high heat otherwise fritters will be uncooked on the inside.
5. Drain on kitchen paper fry the next batch.
6. Serve hot with chilli sauce or dip of choice.

I love making plantain crisps and this lovely Caribbean pepp
erpot stew both are really delicious.

Submitting to:
Flavours of Caribbean event by guest hosted by Tina of The spicy pear

Monday 23 September 2013

Spiral cookies ~Secret recipe Club Challenge September 23rd

This is my assignment with the Secret Recipe Club.The aim of the club is that you are allocated a blog from which you have to select a recipe and try  it and blog about it.
My assigned blog was white lights on wednesday written by Julie. I really enjoyed looking through Julie's blog and finally decided to bake the spiral cookies as I was visiting a friend and wanted to take a home made present.I followed the recipe as per the original only changes I made were that I accidently used rice flour instead of all purpose flour and only realised this after the cookies were in the oven.I kept my fingers crossed whilst they were baking and to my surprise they looked and tasted great despite the mishap.

Cute little spiral cookies with a nice crunch from the outer sweet coating.


2 cups fine rice flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cups unsifted powdered sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and kept cold
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon strawberry  essence
½ teaspoons (or more) red food coloring
2 tablespoons rice flour
1 multi-colored nonpareil decors

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugars in the bowl of a food processor. Add in the butter pieces. Whisk everything together on medium speed until dough is in a crumb state. Scrape bowl sides as needed. Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture just forms a ball. Be sure not to over mix the dough.
  2. Divide dough in half. Return one half to the food processor; set the other half (vanilla) aside in the fridge. Add your strawberry essence and  food colouring, and 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk until just incorporated.
  3. Roll out each half of the dough between sheets of waxed paper. You want a rectangle about 11″ x 8½″ and ⅛″ thick. Leave the dough between the waxed paper and slide onto a baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, for at least 2 hours.
  4. Remove dough from fridge. Pour nonpareils into a shallow rectangular baking dish.
  5. Peel of the top sheet of waxed paper from both doughs. Brush the vanilla dough very lightly with water. Using the waxed paper, lift the coloured dough and flip it onto the vanilla dough so they are stacked. Using your fingers press to seal the doughs together. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and trim the edges so they are even.
  6. When the dough is just pliable (but still cold), roll up the dough (starting with the long side) like a swiss roll As you begin to roll, curl the edge in with your fingertips so you don’t get any air pockets as you roll the dough into a log. 
  7. After forming the dough into a log, discard waxed paper. Gently lift the dough log on top of the nonpareils in the dish and roll until the log is completely coated with sprinkles. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice.
  8. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. To bake, slice the log into ⅛″ to ¼″ thick cookies and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 15 to 17 minutes,until the cookies are no longer shiny on top and the bottoms of the vanilla portion are golden.
  9. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the cookies to cook slightly , then transfer to a wire rack.

You may like:

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Bombay Aloo (plain potato curry)

Bombay Aloo (plain potato curry)
A simple and easy side dish to serve with an Indian meal.


4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon cumin powder
¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
1 red dried chilli
2 springs fresh coriander finely chopped


1.       Peel the potatoes and cut into 4 wedges lengthwise
2.       Slice each wedge into thin slices approx 5mm thick.
3.       Wash the potato slices and pat dry with a teacloth.
4.       In a large non-stick shallow frying pan with lid add the oil and heat it up.
5.       Once the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and red dried chilli andwait for them to splutter.
6.       Add the potato pieces and toss around in the oil.
7.       Add the salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and chilli powder and toss the potatoes until they are coated with the spices.
8.       Cover the pan and cook the potatoes on a low heat for 20 minutes or until potatoes are thoroughly cooked. Whilst cooking, make sure you toss the potatoes intermittently every few minutes to ensure even cooking.
9.       Once the potatoes are thoroughly cooked, transfer the Bombay Aloo to a serving dish and garnish with the fresh chopped coriander leaves

Serve hot with nan bread or as side dish.

Tip –This curry is a dry curry, if you like to make it so that it has gravy, add 100 ml water mixed with 1 tablespoon tomato puree at step 8 .

You may like:
Peas and Potato Curry

Monday 16 September 2013

Plantain Crisps

Plantain Crisps, savour a delicate sweetness with a crunch in every bite.


4 green plantain (raw)
600 ml sunflower oil for deep frying
Pinch of crushed chilli flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt


1.Wash and peel the plantain and slice thinly in rounds using the fine setting on the mandolin.The thinner the slices the crispier they will turn out.
2. Separate the slices and spread them out on a teacloth.
2. Heat the oil in a large deep pan and allow it to heat up.
3. Fry the plantain slices on medium heat until slightly golden brown and crisp.This is very important as frying them on high heat will result in soft chips rather than crispy crisps.
5. Drain on kitchen paper.
6. Sprinkle the crushed chilli flakes and salt .

Saturday 14 September 2013

Water Melon Pops

Refreshing and delicious water melon pops that make perfect summer coolers.


1/2 watermelon
2 tablespoons icing sugar


1. Cut the water melon into pieces and remove all the seeds.
2. Place the water melon pieces into a blender jug and add the icing sugar.
3. Blend the water melon to form a smooth pulp in the optimum 9400 blender or any other.
4. Pour the watermelon pulp into small glasses and push into the centre of each glass a lolly stick.
5. Freeze the pops for 5-6 hours.
6. To serve the pops, remove the pops from the freezer and dip the glass into some warm water, the heat from the warm water will release the pop.
Eat immediately.

You may like:
Water melon smoothie

I used my tried and trusted  Optimum 9400 Blender to blend my soup. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes ice cream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.

Review ~ Walkers Mighty Light Crisps

My family love potatoes and crisps is one snack that we cannot be without. I strongly believe in healthy eating and there has been many occasions when I have left out “crisps “ from the weekly shopping list due to the fact that they are fried with many additives included in the flavourings. This only resulted in moans from my family as they all love their bag of crisps in their lunch boxes together with their sandwich and fruit. I have tried replacing them with the baked versions too, but this again resulted in complaints and groans from my family. Apparently I have been told that no lunch is complete and satisfying without sandwiching some crisps in between your sandwich for that perfect bite!!!

My crisp dilemma had become a nightmare so when Walkers offered me to sample their NEW Walkers MightyLights ridged crisps I jumped at the chance. The crisps are ridged and have 30% less fat than your average packet of crisp. They are available in 3 flavours Cheese and Onion, Lightly Salted and Roast Chicken. Furthermore the crisps are made from real potato with no artificial colours or preservatives and no MSG, they're perfect for lunch boxes.

Being vegetarians we only sampled the cheese and onion and the lightly salted flavours although Walkers say that the roast chicken flavour is suitable for vegetarians but we chose not try them. The crisps were crisp, with a lovely crunch, the ridges on the crisps meant that they were perfect for dipping into salsas etc for serving at parties. .

The lightly salted crisps were not too salty and perfect in taste, the cheese and onion were not as strong as the normal cheese and onion crisps and frankly I preferred the delicate flavour compared to the original pungent cheese and onion crisps. I also found the crisps did not feel too oily to touch and they did not compromise in texture or flavour in anyway. When I packed these crisps in my families lunch boxes, I had no complaints about the taste, the only disappointment was that we all love salt and vinegar so please Walkers introduce this flavour to the range too.

Thank you to walkers for introducing us to these healthier versions of crisps, my family loved them and we will definitely make the change to these healthier option. Mighty Lights are available in shops nationwide and currently retail at approximately £1.80 for a multi-pack of six. These were slightly more expensive than the Walkers originals, but I guess its worth paying a little extra for the health benefits.

This is a sponsored post and all the views and opinions are my own.

Wednesday 4 September 2013

Eggless carrot cake baked in I heart cake silicon mould and a giveaway

Delicious aromatic, spicy rich and moist carrot cake.


150 ml sunflower or vegetable oil
200 g soft light brown sugar
300 g peeled and grated carrots
75 g walnuts, chopped
175 g plain flour
2 eggs or egg replacer
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
A pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 35O°F /180° C.
2. Brush some oil all around the silicon mould making sure bottom and all sides are well oiled
3. In a bowl whisk the oil and sugar, next add the grated carrots and chopped nuts and mix well.
4. Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate, cinnamon, mixed spice and salt in to a bowl. Stir in the egg replacer. Gently fold the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients together. Do not over mix.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared silicon mould smoothing the surface with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for 60 – 75 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

6. Allow the cake to cool in the mould for about 30 minutes, once cooled carefully pull away the mould. (Do not be tempted to un mould the cake whilst its hot as it will break)
7. Once cake is fully cooled place it on a plate and sieve some icing sugar over it.

Serve with cream or ice cream.

You can make a slimming world carrot cake, check the recipe out its equally delicious.

I was sent this I heart cake silicon mould by Mustard .The mould is made from silicone and incorporates a unique petal design which enables you to divide your cake into 6 equal heart-shaped slices as you can see in the photo above.
The mould is fairly large and will make a generous sized cake, I also used it to make jelly and a large flower shaped icecream so that when I de moulded the ice cream  I could serve slices that were heart shaped.The mould retails at £ 15.00 and you can purchase it from Mustard on line.
I would like to thank Mustard for sending me this mould, all the views and opinions in this post are my own.

Mustard have been very generous and they have agreed to bring some romance in to simply. food readers lives They have provided two I heart cake moulds for prizes for two lucky winners.

This competition is open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.

How To Enter:
  • Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
  • Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
  • Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this
  • Closing date – 5th October  2013 6.00pm .

How Rafflecopter works:

  • You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box.
  • Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
  • Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
  • Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
  • For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here. 
  • For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
  • If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday 1 September 2013

Round up ~Lets Cook with Cheese

Thank you to everyone who participated and sent in their delicious entries.Here is the round up of all the entries.

Announcing event ~ Flavours of Carribbean

The Flavours of series has been running strong for a couple of years and I have had many wonderful Blog friends who have guest hosted the events. Today I would like to Introduce Tina of  The Spicy Pear, I met Tina at the FBC5 blog event I attended this summer.I immediately loved her jovial personality and her amazing blog which has a wonderful collection of multinational cuisine.
This month Flavours of series 4 
is making its way to the Caribbean. I can vision sun, sea, sand and tropical shores. Tina is guest hosting Flavours of Caribbean Event so please I would like to request all my lovely foodie friends to drop by her space and check out the event post. Of course it would be even better if you can cook up some Caribbean fare and link it to the event also.

Announcing event ~ Lets cook with Coconut

The coconut palm (also, cocoanut), Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae (palm family). The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which, botanically, is a drupe, not a nut. Coconuts are found throughout the tropic and sub tropic area, it is known for its great versatility as seen in the many domestic, commercial, and industrial uses of its different parts. Coconuts are part of the daily diets of many people. Coconuts are different from any other fruits because they contain a large quantity of "water" and when immature they are known as tender-nuts or jelly-nuts and may be harvested for drinking. When mature, they still contain some water and can be used as seed nuts or processed to give oil from the kernel, charcoal from the hard shell and coir from the fibrous husk.
Source Wikipedia

Coconut can be used in many forms; fresh coconut, coconut milk, coconut water,coconut cream, dried coconut,coconut flakes and coconut flour. This event is about using coconut in your cooking and baking. Create any vegetarian dish using coconut; it must feature as an ingredient in your dish. (Eggs allowed)

I am inviting all foodies to create some dishes using coconut and send them to this event.

To Participate:

1.Prepare any  vegetarian recipe using Coconut as part of the Ingredient   (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2.Please link this event announcement with your entry, this is mandatory.
3.Use of logo is  not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
4. In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format:
Your Name: Recipe
Name Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.

Link recipe name and URL
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