Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer Social

This week I joined the ‘we are social’ club summer special (find us on twitter at @wearesocialclub or here) at one of my favourite café’s, Pepper Crescent (12 Royal Well, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire). 

The evening saw a lip-licking selection of well designed ‘bowl’ food being passed around and enjoyed  -  what I can only describe as a little bit like Tapas for the Brits!  Personally I like trying lots of different types of food and thought this design of eating was brilliant – just the way that eating Tapas in Spain is so much fun with friends.

We enjoyed the food so much so that I was unable to take photos of any of the dishes because we polished off the lot before we got a chance to get our cameras out.  The only thing I managed to snap was the lovely summery pea and bean risotto.  We also had a fantastic burger in a lovely buttery bun, a mini chicken pie and the Brit classic Eton Mess.  Oh, and not forgetting our free Cranberry Kiss drink on arrival.   Did the champagne go to my head? Oh yes. 

Not only was the food fantastic but the entertainment from Canadian singer/songwriter David Ward complimented this relaxing evening perfectly, together with the evening sunshine.

Not been to the #wearesocialclub nights yet?  Then come along, the people, food and atmosphere are great!  The next one is August 30th, and I can’t wait.

You don’t have to wait until 30th August to sample Pepper Crescent café’s delicious food and burgers again – they’re always open and you can find them here.  Their weekly specials menu is infamous.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Fresh summer food

The great thing about summer is that you can eat outdoors.  A simple BBQ and some freshly grown vegetables make a delicious lunch!  And even if you don't have the weather for it, you can have an 'indoor' pretend BBQ - just put the grill on!

Here's my Coco Loco Prawn lunch salad...

(I called it coco loco prawns because it's got a bit of a mexican style to it!)

Here's how I made it:


2 tsp Cajun Spice seasoning
1 pack of King Prawns
1/2 the juice of 1 Lime
1 tablespoon Mayo
cracked black pepper
Some dessicated coconut flakes - if you have some (I didn't).

1 Cucumber (chopped)
1 Avocado (chopped)
About 6 cherry tomatos
1 Orange and 1yellow capsicum / bell pepper (chopped)
A few sugar snap peas from the garden (these don't last very long as they're so sweet I eat them straight off the branch!) Yum.

Oven at 190 degrees or a BBQ real hot!
Thread the Prawns onto the skewers.
Sprinkle each with some cajun spice seasoning and pepper (and coconut flakes if you have any)
drizzle with lime juice
Heat up until nice and brown!

In a seperate bowl mix the other half the lime juice with 1 tablespoon mayo.  Add salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.  Mix up until drizzly looking (technical word 'drizzly').

When the prawns are nice and golden, take off the BBQ or out of the oven and spread on the mayo mixture.  Lick those lips!

In a separate bowl toss together all the salad ingredients with 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar.

To finish off this summer outdoors lunch, this Watermelon and Feta salad is wonder-flippin-ful!


Chop 1 large water melon into cubes
Chop 1/2 a pack of feta into cubes
1 handful of fresh mint.

Mix together in a large bowl.

Try and go without a dressing to make this extra light and healthy, because it doesn't really need it. The feta makes it creamy and the watermelon makes it quenching and sweet and the mint makes both the ingredients have a lovely sweet summery bite to it.

You can drizzle with some honey if you do need some dressing -  or you can mix together a table spoon of olive oil and a table spoon of balsamic vinegar (mixed together) and drizzle over.

Enjoy the taste of these fresh seasonal ingredients just as nature intended!

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Kitchen Crushes 7.0

Hello again kitchen lovers!  It's that time of week again for kitchen day-dreaming! Join me in a little fantasy kitchen crush with these beautiful objects of desire.

I'm in love the storage solution in the first picture here form the design files australia.  Look at those cups hanging neatly on the pegs on the shelf.  The pastel colours are so lovely too, don't you think?

Look at this lovely mirror cut 'Delicious' decoration.  When I finally get my new kitchen, this sign is going to have a big part to play - maybe above the doorway?!

And because we've been blessed with some glorious summer sunshine in the UK for the past week, I couldn't resist this 'Give me Sunshine' tea towel.  It just makes me dream of a lovely clean, white kitchen, drenched in warm sunshine.  Eating a bowl of strawberries and cream, right?  Sharing that same fantasy as me? Good :)

I picked these myself... the bigger ones are always up high!

Both the tea towel and the Delicious sign are from a really awesome website called Lasso The Moon (cute name hey?) where they've got so many more cute things to check out!

I love the espresso maker below it, which is the same zingy green colour - John Lewis do this great one - I really need to get an espresso machine to give me a good boot in the mornings!

Last of all is this really cool idea for shelving in the kitchen - display your magazines!  Like a coffee house, right?  Lay out some magazines for your visitors, or just to flick through to pass the time while you're waiting for the kettle to boil.

I love the plates just hanging out there on the shelf too.

Enjoy the sunshine wherever you are in the world today!  Have a great time - I'm going off to grill some prawns on the BBQ.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Tea and Cake

I wanted to share with you a lovely Lavender bakehouse and coffee shop I have recently discovered in Chalford, Stroud (Gloucestershire).  Not least because their cakes are uber-amazing, but that they do heaps more adorable food and drinks too (and the inside is also beautifully decorated).  Also, artist Damien Hirst has one of his studios nearby.  Talking of which, I don't know whether I was high on the good coffee in this place but I did wonder if a chap sat at one of the tables, with funky glasses on, was the super artist himself.  I guess I'll never know.  And besides, I was far too occupied with this banana cake with creamy centre!

I almost don't want to share with you this gem of a place, but if you twist my arm I'll tell you that it's just off the A419 in Chalford, Stroud.

Friday, 20 July 2012

Kitchen Crushes 6.0

Oh my goodness, can you believe it’s Friday already?  Where did that week go to I wonder?  

Maybe I’ve been lurking on Pinterest too much, developing a crush on all these new finds!

I saw my friend 'Line earlier in the week, she’s getting married in August and we popped to the local craft store to look for wedding favor inspiration.  While she looked around the store, the new Martha Stewart book distracted me.  Well, I was hooked.  I’ve now ordered this book from Amazon and can’t wait for it to arrive.  Then Line and I are going to have a craft night and make some pretty things.

Second in my crushes this week is this pretty bracelet that I found on Etsy here at PetiteCo.  I am so into pastels right now, I think this bracelet would look really nice on my wrist while I whisk up some egg whites to make a pavlova in the sunshine. 

I’d love to get a pink blazer for the summer, but I can’t find one anywhere!  This one was from Zara, but they’ve sold out.  I’ll keep looking.  I love to wear colourful clothes, I think it makes your day happier when you wear colourful clothes. 

I found these cute tumblers via a new follower on Twitter Angel Lifestyle.  The birds inside the cup, the cute pastel colours – what’s not to love about these? You could have a juice in them, or a Latte.  Either way, they’d look great on display in any kitchen!

Courtesy of Joyful Lova via FlickR
Talking of display's in kitchens, I have a bit of a thing for organisation.  I think it comes from living in a cluttered house when I was younger (my father is an ‘artist’ and he’s got a lot of creative clutter!)  So obviously I developed in completely the opposite way (although my car is so untidy I am embarrassed to take passengers. I guess I have to let go somewhere, right?)

So when I saw these picture of Lova’s beautifully organised kitchen shelves on FlickR, it made my heart skip a beat.  These are great ‘go to’ shelves for cooking essentials; the bowls for cereal, the small plates for salads; herbs and spices; and an iPod dock to play some Lionel Richie while you’re cooking in the kitchen (Oh no, you found out my guilty secret love affair with Lionel!).  Lova also has a blog and makes some really pretty crafts here

These would also be my ‘go-to’ essential ‘tools’ too – the pasta spork to serve pasta with, and what I call ‘flippers’ !

As well as the essential organisation here, the colours are so pretty they just inspire you to cook something fresh and healthy, right?

There’s more beautiful photographs of Lova’s home and garden in her Flickr stream and she’s really inspired me to grow more of my own produce to cook with it too – thank you Lova for the inspiration.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.  I am off to the Gloucester Quays Food Festival  - this can only mean one thing; great food and drink! (I'm going to search for some banana bread for my friend Jim). Full report will be on the blog on Monday.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

My 5 favourite healthy summer snacks!

Today my blog friend, Cathy (from the awesome blog Cathy Trails - which is one of my top reads!) is guest posting for you all!  And wow, has she got a really great post for you guys... I am in love with these 5 healthy summer snacks already.  Now, where did I put my fork? YUM - Over to you Cathy!
Cathy Trails

I'm obsessed with Dishes Undressed. What's there NOT to obsess about? The healthy recipes, the alluring food photos, and easy to follow directions makes Dishes Undressed the go-to spot for fresh eats. Therefore, I am honored to guest post on Angela's wonderful food heaven today and so excited to share with you my fave snacks (especially if you're motivated to stay in shape without having to neglect those taste buds!). 

Snack happy and much love to Angela!! 

1. 1 cup mixed berries. I prefer to mix blackberries and blueberries because of the high level of antioxidants! Roughly chop a few dried figs and throw those into the mix. Top with 2 tbsp of whipped cream. A classy yet light summer dessert snack!

2. 1/2 raw zucchini (sliced)  with 2 Tbsp homemade hummus. I know, I know - - it's so much easier to buy the hummus at the store but if you're frugal like me, it's so much more cost-effective to make your own.

3. 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, half banana, small handful of dried blueberries. Why Ezekiel? It's only 80 calories per slice and is super healthy without tasting too healthy (if you know what I mean). Dried blueberries? Why not? It adds a sweet punch to the whole package.

4. Half avocado, 1/2 whole wheat pita bread. So simple and so delightful. Avocados are such a healthy fat, too! Toast up that pita bread, mash up the half avocado with a fork, throw in some red peppers, and voila!

5. Two small organic kiwis. Did you know one kiwi contains more potassium than one banana?

"All pretty images and sources can be found here"

Thank you SO much Cathy for these inspiring ideas! Wow, we are really in for some healthy snacky treats tonight!  Please come back soon!  In the meantime visit Cathy's Blog 'Cathy Trails' here! x

Thai mango prawn noodles

Hello hungry friends!

A long time ago I met a really cool guy in a hostel dorm who showed me how to make this really easy Thai dish.  It's one of those things that's been at the back of my mind for years and only this week did it resurface (as a lot of fluff from the back of the brain sometimes does) when I had a mango and some left over prawns to conjure up some dinner with.

It's great if you like Thai and Asian food but need to follow a gluten free diet because it doesn't require any soy sauce.  And, if you use rice noodles, then it's completely wheat free.

Here's how I made it:


Left over prawns
1 Mango
1 clove garlic
Rice noodles (as many as you like)
Sesame oil (2 tablespoons)
1/2 lemon (juiced)
A good handful of mint (yes, I've still got heaps of mint in the garden!)
A sprinkle of coriander if you have some (I didn't).

Chop the mint, set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the sesame oil in a wok, add the garlic and heat in the oil for a few seconds then add the prawns to 'toast' up a bit.  Set aside.

Get a small saucepan on the heat and add the other half of sesame oil and garlic, add the mango and lemon juice.  Heat until the mango goes a bit pulpy and sticky.  Set aside.

Boil the noodles according to pack instructions.  Drain.

Get your wok and prawns back on the heat and add the noodles.  Stir around until combined.  Add a few splashes of soy sauce if you like for taste.

Add the mango at the last moment, and serve up - sprinkle with mint (and coriander if you have some) and salt and pepper while still hot.

Apart from making food, I also love to doodle - here's a doodle I made.  Inspired by coffee!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Gluten free cookies and workshop announcement

Happy Monday everyone!

How cute are these butterfly bites?  These are my very special gluten free cookies, simple bites of happiness for gluten free bunnies like me.

I have an exciting announcement for all you gluten free fans in the UK.  I am currently planning a gluten free baking workshop with the very lovely and awesome Blue Door Bakery in the West Midlands and I am SO excited to be able to share with you some of these gluten free recipes, amongst Gluten Free Cupcake making and Gluten Free Choc Banana Bread.  Both are recipes I've tweaked over the last few months to get perfect. Dates will be announced soon.

I tried these cookies out on my nieces and they could not tell the difference from a real cookie!  In fact, all that were left of these cookies were crumbs!  So much more healthy for the children too as so many biscuits contain super-shocking-levels of salt, hydrogenated fats and other nasties.  These cookies contain only 5 natural ingredients.  Horrah!

If you'd like to be kept informed of the baking workshop that we're cooking up, send me an email or Tweet @dishesundressed with the hastag #glutenfreebaking.

Now it's time for a coffee with my cookie.  Courtesy of Jimmy's wonderful Iced Coffee - I've found a new friend!!  I love the little moustache the carton gives you when you drink from it.  SO funny.

It's actually given me a wonderful idea for a coffee cake!  Stay tuned.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Pretty Lunch with Quinoa

I love food that's colourful don't you?  I think it tastes better too.

This was my lunch today - a super colourful and sweet beetroot and peach quinoa with feta and mint. Just saying it makes your mouth water, right? (Like what I did there with the colours?)

'POW!' Yes, this lunch blew my socks off.  I wish I had made a big BIG bowl of it and packaged some tiny portions up in tupperware containers and sent some to you all.

In fact, you could really do this and eat it for lunch at work all week - Now there's an idea!

Here's how I made it.

Tinned beetroot (if you have more time you can get fresh and boil them up first) but for quickness, I just used some already jarred ones from the supermarket.
Tinned peaches (in juice, not syrup!) or if you're not in a hurry, fresh peaches will be great!
100g Quinoa (rinsed)
300ml boiling water
Half a slab of Feta cheese
Hand full of mint (mint is still growing like crazy in my window box!)
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Pop the Quinoa in a saucepan with 300ml water and bring to the boil.

When it's boiling simmer until all the water is gone and fluff up Quinoa with a fork.  You know when Quinoa is cooked because it plumps up and the little root becomes visible. 20 mins approx

Chop the beetroot (yes your hands will stain purple!) peaches, feta and mint.

Mix lemon juice, oil and salt and pepper well.

Throw the beetroot, peaches, feta and mint into the quinoa, throw in the dressing too and mix up.

Eat right away.

Healthy, Delicious, quick, it's also GLUTEN FREE and CARBOHYDRATE FREE (Quinoa is NOT wheat like Couscous, Quinoa is a protein - yey)!  These are the secrets to good health.  Go for it!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Kitchen Crushes

Good morning friends!  I hope you're all having a good week.  Can you believe it's July already? No, neither can I.  In the UK we're still waiting for summer to turn up.

I had so much fun choosing this week's Kitchen Crushes.  This week my theme is 'Country Kitchen'.

1. First of all I spotted these cookies on by Les Quatre.  Aren't they super-adorable? I have a friend who I am going to send these to. (They made for a really unique gift.)

2. I'm really trying to make the effort to grow more of my own produce.  There's nothing as organic and healthy as that.  I currently only grow my own herbs (and failing miserably at that - although Mint has become rather abundant!)  I grew some carrots and some potatos at my parent's house when I was little and I'll never forget eating my home-grown juicy potato from the garden.  So this kit that I also found on says that if I plant them now, I can be eating my own salad leaves by autumn - Cool! Let's get growing! Thank you Seed Pantry!

3. Laura Ashley has a sale on.  Such discoveries for me are dangerous shopping situations. I found these adorable glasses in their sale items which area all kinds of lovely I can't find the words to express my 'Oooh'.  So I will just say, 'Oooh'. And you'll know what I mean, right?

4. Look at this cute tweety-pie!  Hand made and designed by Gabriella Buckingham (who I discovered on Twitter) at the fun and colourful, Gabriella hand makes and paints a collection of doorsigns, cards, stationery and much more.  I've got this side wall in my kitchen that this little birdy would look so cute hung up on.  I love her bright and cheery colours, don't you? There's heaps more of her happy designs on her site at notonthehighstreet too, so take a look.

5. Everyone needs a great tea towel!  Rachel Taylor is one of my favourite designers right now.  She's got a new range of tea towels and I've recently featured her oven mitt on my kitchen crushes before.  I can't wait for pay day to come so I can order my new ones!  (She also very kindly featured Dishes Undressed on her blog! Take a look).

Talking of birds, as I write this post there's a little sparrow dancing around in the birdbath outside my window.  He looks so happy :)  (I tried taking a photograph of him but he flew off.)

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Super Chicken Salad

A hero of meals, this easy Super Chicken Salad has been my go-to lunch now for a few days.

When I get hooked on something it lasts a while.

And there is every reason to get hooked on this healthy chicken salad because it's so damn tasty, nutritious and figure friendly.  

I made it like this:

Salad ingredients

Rotisserie chicken from the supermarket (meat taken off)
2 boiled eggs
1/2 an avocado
Baby plum tomatos
A bit of cucumber
Romaine lettuce
some shredded white cabbage
some shredded carrot 

My super lemon herb dressing

1 (not heaped!) dessert spoon mayonnaise
half juice of a lemon
some dried mixed herbs (1 teaspoon)
tiny punch sugar (1/2 teaspoon ish)

Toss all the salad ingredients together

And then toss in the dressing.

Salt and pepper (omit salt if you're trying to be super healthy as salt is a bad guy, ok?)


Next week I'm going to show you how to make a 'Salad bar' that will keep you set up to make super-quick salads all week.  Kitchen organisation is key to good health and tasty meals and I want to share my secrets with you all.  

Until then, have a fantastic weekend!


Ikea - Art of cooking - Make sushi! from Carl Kleiner on Vimeo.

I love sushi.  Sushi is wonderful. Yum Yum Yum.

It's pretty hard to get here in the UK, but everyone eats sushi all the time in Australia because it's so widely available, so fresh and at such good value.  Here in the UK, you can expect to pay about £6 for a medium box of Sushi from Marks and Spencers, but in Australia it's $4.50 which is around £3.

One mistake people make when they think of sushi is 'Oh but I don't eat fish'.  Well that doesn't matter! You can make heaps of lovely vegetarian sushi - just don't put the fish in it!  Try cucumber and some sweet chilli sauce, avocado and mayo, carrot and hummus, or even use tofu.  Don't miss out on the yummy Sushi vego friends!  It's also gluten free too if you omit the soy sauce for dipping.

And if you think it's hard to make, this short video by Carl Kleiner shows you how easy it is.

Quick note on Sushi Rice:  Sushi rice is a 'stickier' Jasmin type of rice.  It's meant to be pulpy and sticky which makes it stick to the sushi roll more.  See below for my sushi rice recipe.  Then all you need to do is buy some Nori (the sea vegetable that wraps the Sushi roll) and some 'horizontally cut' vegetables!

The best way to eat Sushi rolls is to dip them in soy sauce.  If you're gluten free, there are lots of gluten free options available now too - try Tamari, or some sesame oil.  There's lots of different ways you should 'eat' a sushi roll - but just do what feels right for you. Eating with chopsticks makes the whole experience more pleasurable too.

250g sushi rice
325ml water
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 table spoons rice wine vinegar

1. Bring the rice and water to the boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 10 mins.  Remove the pan from the heat and cool.

2. In another pan warm the vinegar and sugar until disolved. add the salt.

3. Leave the sushi rice to cool for 30 minutes, then stir in the sweetened vinegar and pack the into a dish and pop into the fridge for at least an hour covered in clingwrap.

4. Then the rice will be sticky and cooled ready to use to roll your sushi rolls.  If the rice is too warm the n nori melts and goes sticky and goopy.  And you don't want that.

Then roll away my friends.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Zucchini Fritters - Gluten free

I've got to say it's been a dull week.  On all counts.

First of all the British summertime has failed to make any real effort recently and secondly, because the e-course I have been 'attending' for the last month is coming to an end (aw).

But by goodness, the wonder of delicious food makes everything better, especially when you discover something that is so quick and easy.  It's magic.

OK, I'm clearly getting excited, so let me tell you how I made these wonderful bites of zucchini gluten free fritter goodness.

But before I do, I must just clear up the 'what-to-call-a-small-green-marrow-issue'.  In the UK we call a 'Zucchini' a Courgette.  In USA and Australia, you call them Zucchini.  I have no idea why, maybe I should Wikipedia it (I did here).  I prefer to say Zucchini because I think it's snazzier!  Courgette sounds boring, doesn't it?

Zucchini Gluten Free Fritters

1 medium courgettes / zucchini (grated)
3 large spring onions (chopped)
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
zest of 1 lemon (finely grated)
50g chickpea (or gram) flour (<-- it's gluten free that!)
1 tablespoon mixed herbs
1 bunch chopped mint (fresh from my mother's garden..!)
2 eggs beaten (lightly)
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Tzatziki

100g Soya Yogurt (or normal yogurt if you don't have a dairy issue)
1/4 grated cucumber
sprinkling of mint
salt and pepper

Mix together the chickpea (or gram) flour, courgette/zucchini, spring onions, garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Then fold in the eggs until mixture comes together a bit like a pancake batter.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and when it's hot dump an ice-cream scoop sized ball of batter in the pan (I did 2 at a time) and fry on one side for 3 minutes.  Then flip over.  Press down with a flat spoon or fish slice and after another 3 minutes, flip onto the plate.

To make the Tzatziki - stir the grated cucumber and mint into the yogurt and season with pepper.  What is Tzatziki Angie? <-- Well,  I'm glad you asked.  It's a cooling, refreshing Greek dip that's a bit like an Indian riata, I suppose.  In fact it probably is more of a riata that a tzatziki this one because the Greek version calls for dill, lemon juice and a bit of garlic.  Either version is delicious and tastes of Greek sunshine and sunshine holidays.

Dip in and away you go!

They also work wonderfully as vegetarian gluten free burgers.  Yes! Yes they DO! Can you tell how excited I am about this?  I can't wait to make them again, slap on some tomato relish and mayo and a bit of lettuce and put them between some gluten free bread.  Gluten free overload for damn sure.

Healthy, delicious, fast and simple - definitely too good to share!