Posts Categorised: Food

My New Bike And A Lemon Drizzle Floral Cake …

Bike Flowers

How has your weekend been so far ? There are two reasons for this post.  Bear with me …

One is to show you my new bike. I am beyond excited about it as I’ve wanted one for ages. Everyone else in the family has one so I have felt a bit left out when they’ve all cycled off for a little road trip. Not anymore !

Bike Flowers 2

I haven’t stopped since I got it  – cycling is the new running. One of my the stipulations was a basket on the front so that I can pop to the shops or visit my family with cake…. more on that in a minute…

Bike 3

On this trip I was on the way back from the local garden centre ( far more appealing than night clubs these days ) and stopped off to take a few photos. The bike is designed by Victoria Pendleton and I chose the mint green as this colour would always be my first choice as its subtle and inspired by times gone by.

It has seven gears by the handle at are really easy to change too. Whoop ! You might have guessed that I’m a bit in love with it ? You’d be right.

The second reason for the post is that the flowers in the front were to dress a lemon drizzle cake that I made and wanted to blog.

Lemon Cake-1

I left half for my Mum with the edible flowers and we took half for a long journey. It’s something that I had wanted to try out for ages and it was fun decorating with the pansies, violas and marigold petals. The lavender was just for extra aroma, although lavender and lemon works well together as a cake too. If you’d like the recipe then leave me a comment and I will get it over to you in two shakes of a lambs tail ! I hope you like it ?

Have a good one …

Lucy x

Vegetarian Curry Recipes

Vegetarian-Curry-e1437076687657

I’m not sure if I have ever mentioned my Dad here on my blog ?

As well as being a screen and stage writer – and my inspiration in so many ways, he is also an incredible curry cook. He worked very hard when I was little at honing his talent, by spending time with authentic chefs and trying out every type of curry you can imagine. As a result, we sure know our onions when it comes to a good Ruby Murray – and I’m really excited to share a few of his recipes with you.

Aloo-Tarka-Dhal-Saag-Chana-Chat-e1437076724992

 

Because I’m a vegetarian, he has come up with some nice, quite simple ones that are meat free and bursting with colour.

You can add as little or as much chilli powder ( or fresh chillies ) as you like – and don’t forget your coriander,  lemons and of course natural yoghurt mixed with some mint to cool things down too. Goes without saying that you will probably want to do some rice with the dishes.

Onion-Bhaji-Recipe-e1437076740998

Onion Bhaji

Ingredients

2 large Onions

1 mug Gram Flour ( Chickpea Flour )

Salt to taste

1 egg

Handful coriander leaves

Pinch Chilli Powder

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon paprika

Method

Mix the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is formed. Don’t feel tempted to add water as the onions will provide a natural liquid if allowed to stand for an hour before frying.

To cook – ladle individual bhajis into a frying pan of hot oil. When they are golden brown, remove and serve. A squeeze of lemon all over is always nice and maybe a dash of natural yoghurt.

All ready to serve.

Tarka-Dhal-Recipe-e1437077559826

Aloo Tarka Dhal ( Potato and Garlic Dhal )

Ingredients

1 mug of rinsed red lentils ( Masoori dhal )

12 small potatoes

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 large bay leaf

4 cloves

4 green cardomans

1″ cinnamon stick

8 garlic cloves

8 onions

Vegetable ghee

Pinch of salt

Method

Pre boil the potatoes then put to one side. Simmer the lentils with the turmeric powder, large bay leaf, cloves, green cardamons, cinnamon stick and sea salt. Remove any residue from the lentils and once soft but ( but not dry ) remove the excess water and put to one side.

Slice the garlic cloves and finely dice an equal amount of onions. Fry them together in vegetable ghee until golden brown and then add the lentils mixture and potatoes.

Ready to serve.

Saag-Chana-Chat-e1437077594454

Saag Chana Chat ( Spinach and chickpea curry )

Ingredients

1 tin of rinsed spinach

1 tin of rinsed chickpeas

1 tablespoon of mint sauce ( optional )

1 handful coriander

1 piece of root ginger- diced

Salt to taste

Tablespoon curry powder

1 large finely diced onion

2 cloves garlic – chopped

1 handful chopped coriander leaves

4 medium tomatoes – diced

1 handful Methi leaves ( fenugreek leaves ) if available.

1 teaspoon of garam masala

A squeeze of lemon juice

Drop of water

Ground pepper to taste

Method

Fry the diced onion and both garlic cloves with the diced root ginger in oil until onions are soft and then add the curry powder and further fry for 5 minutes. Add a drop of water if necessary to prevent sticking.

Introduce the chickpeas, spinach, mint, coriander leaves, diced tomatoes, ground pepper and methi leaves.

Cook for 20 minutes on a medium heat and then add the garam masala and the lemon juice.

Mix and serve.

Veg-Curry-Recipe

You could do just one of the dishes or all for a fabulous feast. I can vouch that this is really tasty. I hope you try it and love it too. Let me know if you do or if you would like any extra cooking advice by leaving me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog … will get right back to you.

Have a good day.

Lucy x

Tea For Two With Extra Sprinkles

Cakemart DecsWhat do your kids say when you offer them a little tea party with not only my quaint cups and saucers filled with their favourite fruit juice … but also cake pops and cupcakes and extra sprinkles. No brainer. They said .. ” Yesssss Mum ” ..

PopsSprinkles

I’ve never made cake pops before although have been intrigued as to how you do. Actually, they were quite easy. I did have a book that came with the set so that helped. Funnily enough my girls were really happy to help out as much as possible ! The candy melts are meant to be microwaved but I did it over the hob with a saucepan and a bowl and turned out fine…. the fiddly bit was covering the sponge but we had fun with it.

Cupcakes

We also made some cupcakes that I have to say, were delicious. I’ve tried loads of times to ice cakes with a piping bag and quite frankly made a mess, but this time I used a one hand decorator and it was a doddle. The sprinkles added some lovely colour and a little bit of crunch. I love the bright polka dot cases – they go so well with the multi colour toppings.

Meincupcake spotted,my love for colour, recently, so sent me these delights to try out. I’ve had lots of fun on Instagram over the last few days sharing some pics. Have a look if you like. We also made doughnuts but they are in our bellies on the cutting room floor ;)

Cakemart Cake Pop

After our little ‘ do ” we wrapped up some of extra cake pops in cellophane packs that came with the kit and some striped wash tape and took them round to our neighbours. Here you can see the girls all ready to deliver them in front of our purple front door.  It’s a nice idea for wedding and kids favour bags. I will definitely be using them for future parties. Hopefully we will get more adventurous and make some of the amazing creations on offer in the book.

Cake Pops

Are you a dab hand at baking ? Or like me, keen but still a bit of a novice ? Any tips either way then leave me a comment. I’d love to hear from you …

Lucy x

Smarties Birthday Cake

Smarties and Choc fingers cake!

Last week was Betsey’s 6th Birthday. It was a lovely day – we had a party with 40 little guests. Nervous ? Yes I was. Let’s just say I was on auto pilot but it went really well and she was buzzing !

Last year she had that amazing Wizard of Oz cake from Heidi at Cute Little Cupcakes but as I’ve acquired the Kitchen Aid mixer since then, I couldn’t really justify getting one made  – plus I really wanted to make Betsey proud of her little ol’ mum.

It had to be a bit of a whopper to feed all the kids ( not forgetting us greedy hungry grown ups ) so I used a 14″ x 14″ square tin and multiplied the ingredients of  an 8″ cake by 3.5 to have enough mixture. I used the Brooklyn Blackout cake recipe by Hummingbird Bakery.

I make up my own butter icing with cocoa powder, icing sugar, butter and a bit of water and slathered it all in the layer and on the outside to make the smarties and chocolate fingers stick. Which they did.

Smarties and Choc fingers cake

As it’s colourful and amazingly all in one piece with only a few wavy, wonky chocolate fingers ( all applied with love ) .. and I feel a bit proud that I made it myself and didn’t drop it / break it, I thought I would show you !

Thank goodness for the production line of myself, my mum and Andy for slicing and filling all the party bags in 20 minutes …. :)

If you have a recipe that you could recommend for future cakes or your version of this smarties cake then please do leave me a comment under this post. Would love to hear from you.

Lucy x

Kids Christmas Food Inspiration

Melted SnowmenCakesIt has been too long since I last posted. With all the best intentions in the world to keep posting all over Christmas, I have let it slip with so much going on. But today as it was blustery to venture out too much I decided to have a go at making something different to share here.

I have been keen to make these melted snowmen cakes for ages, having seen the idea on Pinterest. So easy to make – apart from sourcing the noses ( I never thought I would like awake wondering what to use – first world problems, eh ? ) I made the cakes today using a simple cake mixture and icing, then adding a marshmallow for the head, coloured icing for the eyes and chocolate chips for the buttons. The nose – starburst ! Although I still call them Opal Fruits. I’m crazy like that.

 

Grinch Christmas Pops

Again I found some inspiration online for a half healthy, colourful festive snack – Grinch Pops.  You could use banana instead but my daughters don’t like them. If nothing else, it’ll make the kids smile.

 

Christmas Cake Characters

I can’t take credit for this wonderful cake, we won it recently, but I just wanted to show it off as it’s a little cutie.

I hope you’re having a great lead up to the big day. One week left …

Are you trying any new recipes or crafting ideas this year ? I would love to hear about them. Leave me a comment under this post or tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

You can also find my Pinterest page here.

Happy Holiday !

Lucy x

Suffolk Food Hall – Local Inspiration

SFH1When my friends or family want to catch up, this is the place we quite often end up meeting up at. It’s equidistant for most of us. Suffolk Food Hall. Because we can eat, the kids can play, then we can shop a little, look at all the plants, eat a bit more and then buy more food to take home.

Suffolk Food Hall has so many home goodies, gifts and yummy food. I want to share one of my favourite places around here – just in case you don’t know about it yet – or love it too and want to share this post with others. SFH2

Yesterday we had a very tasty lunch in the Restaurant. I had fishcakes. In fact, I nearly always have the fishcakes with butter bean mash because it’s so good.

The views out across to the Orwell River and Bridge are spectacular in every season. I love to watch the boats and cattle grazing, whilst we eat. It’s very relaxing. The windows of the Restaurant are huge, so you feel part of the vast land outside.

There’s loads of inspiration in the Home and Garden department, I love their recipe book selection too. Everything seems lovingly sourced.SF3

As we are getting in to gardening and growing veg ( remember my VegTrug post ), I spend quite a bit of time wandering around the plant section, which is brimming with colour and floral aromas. The staff are really helpful.

The best bit for my girls is the big Jumping Pillow. Well, actually, we all quite like it. It’s by the ice cream hut. Needless to say, the two go hand in hand on a sunny day !

Recently, they did a cooking course there for a day. They loved it. Not sure how much chocolate actually made it home but they learnt a lot. There’s all sorts of courses – cake making, kitchen club, art and photography and many different types of cuisine workshops.

If you are a foodie – the Food Hall is somewhere you would need to put some time aside for perusing. It’s 8000 square feet of good quality, local produce.

They can always check out their website if you want to know more.

So, now I have told you about one of my favourite places to visit nearby. It’s only fair that you let us all know yours too ? ;) Please do leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

Lucy x

Recipe – Lemon Posset and Mini Ginger Bics

This is a really easy peasy lemon squeezy dessert to make ( if I can do it, anyone can ) and takes very little time. I have made many times for friends and they have always enjoyed it. It’s one of those recipes that surprises people with its simplicity and the biscuits are small so that you can dip to combine the flavours.

You will need for the Posset:

3 large lemons

600 ml double cream ( I use a light version, just as good )

150g caster sugar

For the bics:

125g butter ( softened )

125g soft brown sugar

180g plain flour

2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1 tsp Golden Syrup

1 tsp ground ginger

1 egg ( yolk )

For the Posset – Pour the double cream and sugar into a saucepan and heat it up slowly. Let it simmer for a minute and then take off the hob. Squeeze the lemons in to a cup and then pour the juice in to the mixture. Stir it all together gently and then pour into 6 cups or ramekins. Put them the fridge for at least 4 hours. For best results, leave overnight.

For the biscuits – warm the oven to 180 C, place some grease proof paper onto a baking sheet and measure out all of the ingredients. Mix the butter and sugar together ( ideally with a mixer ) until paste like. Add the ground ginger, syrup and the egg yolk, mix it all up and then fold in the flour with your hands. Once you have a nice even consistency, flatten the mixture out on the table so that the thickness is about 3mm. Cut out in whatever shapes you wish, if you don’t have cutters, you could cut them into little squares – and place them onto the greaseproof paper. Pop in to the oven for 10 – 12 minutes.

The whole process takes about 45 mins !

Have you made this recipe before ? Any extra tips or questions  – leave me a comment under the post and I will get right back to you. :)

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Images are my own. Feel free to share but please ping a link back to LucyLovesYa.

 

We made Sushi Rolls

IMG_0041One of my New Year Resolutions is to become a better cook. We are pescetarians in this household but rarely eat fish. I do think it’s a challenge to make food tasty sometimes – especially if you’re not a natural chef ! :)

I do try hard to be a domestic goddess but it’s a standing joke in my family that I tend to get distracted when in the kitchen so think documenting my progress ( ! ) on my blog will definitely help improve my culinary skills and confidence in cooking with it. :) I do however make some mean puddings ( if I do say so myself ) and will add some of my recipes in-between other updates !

So, as lovers of all things Japanese, I thought I would make this GoodFood tofu noodle dish and add some extra yummy bits to it. The tofu fell apart but it still tasted amazing.

Read on to see how we made the rolls. The girls were so excited to make their own.

We used:

Bamboo sushi mat

250g Sushi Rice

3 sheets of Nori ( edible seaweed )

1 red pepper, 1/2 large cucumber, 1 small avocado

Umeboshi paste ( although mayonnaise is an alternative if you don’t like )

Japanese Rice Vinegar

Wasabi paste and soy sauce ( for dipping )

Having followed the rice cooking instructions, we then let it cool for 10 minutes. I added a few splashes of the rice vinegar and then mixed it in without mushing the rice too much. We then laid the mat down flat and placed the Nori sheet on top of it, shiny side down. I took a third of the rice and spread it over the sheet, patting to down but not too hard so as not to split the nori sheet – and leaving 1cm at the top ( furthest from you ).

We hollowed out along the middle and then spread a bit of the Umeboshi paste along the middle. Then we placed our avocado, red pepper and cucumber all along the centre. IMG_00441

Next we started rolling the mat from the nearest edge, towards and over the filling. It has to be done quite firmly but not squashing the contents. Once all rolled up, we checked the furthest end had attached properly and gave one last bit of pressure on the roll to make sure it was all held together firmly.

Then, once removed from the mat,  with a sharp knife I carefully cut it into about 8 pieces.

We got 24 out of this altogether. You could add tuna or anything you fancy, really. IMG_00472

I also made some Miso soup and added tofu to this, watercress and spring onion finely chopped.

Any tips greatly appreciated on what I can add in the future to these dishes or fire away if you have any questions … Please leave your comments under this post and I will get back as soon as poss. 

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