Monday, 29 July 2013

Quick Summer Salmon Salad

I've loved the weather we've had in the UK this summer so far (hope you have too). It's been SO hot though and I've definitely not enjoyed cooking in it at all - the last thing I've wanted to do is turn on the oven or hob!  So I came up with this really quick and easy, light and fresh, full of goodness green summer salmon salad.

And do you know the best thing of all?

I didn't cook a thing!

The method is below, just press play!


A handful of spinach leaves
A handful of iceberg lettuce (so refreshing in the hot weather!)
Some thin ribbons of cucumber
4 spring onions, trimmed
A tin of haricot beans, warmed up in the microwave to soften (1.5 min), drained rinsed in cold water
Garlic infused oil  (white beans in garlic oil go so well wish fish! try it!)
Half a lemon
salt and pepper
Salmon steaks, poached  (I bought 4 for £7.50 where there was an offer on - crazily that's £1.87 per steak, you couldn't buy one in a restaurant for 5 times that!)

The whole dish comes out at less (much much less!) than £3.00.  Each bag of lettuce was only a £1 and the haricot beans were 49p.  The spring onions were from a neighbour, and the lemon was less than 25p.

Can't believe it.  Tasty, healthy, delicious, cool, fresh - go on treat yourself!

Thursday, 18 July 2013

BBQ Salad

A Vegetarian BBQ in a hurry? Can it be done?  Oh yes!

If you live in a flat like me and don't have a garden, having a BBQ can be a bit tricky.  And cooking anything in my tiny kitchen in this weather is just swealtering.  But I wanted something BBQ-esque.  I could smell people having BBQ's in their gardens in the street, and I fancied the flavour of BBQ food all by myself.

That's where my Microwave came to the rescue.  Microwave? I hear you cry.  Oh yes!

I remember when my parents got their first Microwave.  It was probably 1987 ish.  My mum had wanted one for AGES and my Dad wouldn't get her one because he said they were a waste of money, but then we went on holiday and stayed in this house and they had one there and Mum was in heaven.  Dad found that the quality of his dinners improved a bit as she tried out new recipes (my Mum's idea of dinner is beans on toast..)  so I think he knew it would do him good to get her one.

We all own one and they do make our lives easier to some extent, however we use them.  I tend to use mine to quickly cook up frozen veg, to heat up a cold cup of tea, or blast something to defrost.  What do you use your's for?

And when I'm busy and working in the week and I get home late (and could chew on the sofa), I tend to whack a micro-rice in there and mix it with some veggies or tuna.  Job done.

And I'm a big fan of Tilda Micro Rices - I've been a fan of their Coconut rice (OMG it's amazing!)  for some time and their rices are all usually gluten free too.  They recently bought out a BBQ Limited Edition version and Dhruv Baker  who won Masterchef in 2010,  put together some recipes that go with it.  

I saw he'd done a BBQ salad one with Courgettes, Aubergenes and Halloumi that sounded so easy and delicious I had to try it -  OMG it was flipping delicious.  The mint and coriander add a real WOW flavour.


And you don't feel so bad about using some 'micro-rice' when it turns out like this - who cares if it's cheap and chic? It's delicious!!

Try this, and give your microwave some new skills ;)
Angie's recipe doodle

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Ice Cream Memories

My very earliest memory is holding a bowl of ice cream while chasing my brother around the garden of our house on a hot summer's day.  I even remember the bowl it was in.  My mum had this willow pattern set and I remember trying to scrape the little men in the boats off with my spoon.

I guess I must have been 3 or 4 years old.  

Fast forward 30 years and I still love scraping the bowl after tucking into some ice cream! (Who doesn't?!)  

I often remember things place-marked by a bowl of ice cream actually.  I love hot pudding with ice cream melting over the top in the winter, then in the summer I love a nice bowl of ice cream or sorbet to cool down with after a long day at the beach... 

Living in the Cotswolds, Winstones Ice Cream is a hands down favourite which I've been eating since I was little.  A local brand that I've been proud to grow up with and seeing Winstones today and still eating their amazing flavours (that they bring out all the time) always makes me smile.

So of course I was too excited when Ben Vear of Winstones Ice Cream family fame, bought out his new book 'Ice Cream' and other frozen delights this month.  How cool is this guy?  He's young, he's cool and he makes amazing ice cream.  I bet Harry Styles couldn't do that ;)

Watch my Vlog review below for a sneak preview of the delicious pages of ice creaminess.

The vanilla ice cream recipe is from Ben's book, and the Simple Peach Syrup over the top is below.  (Then over the top of that I crumbled some gluten free ginger biscuits from Waitrose).

Click here for the FREE recipe card Download 'Simple Peach Ice Cream Syrup'.

Ice Cream by Ben Vear is published by Absolute Press, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing. Hardback, £20. Photography by Mike Cooper.

Enjoy the sunshine, and check this out - Winstones Ice Cream parlour is open until 7pm throughout the summer.  So no excuses not to have an ice cream supper on Rodborough Common.  

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Perfect Picnic Ideas!

Totally inspired by the sunshine, tennis (new Wimbledon Champion Andy Murray! Yay!) and picnic season, this post is a bunch of lovely picnic ideas for you.  First up there's a delicious Bacon and Courgette Slice (which is the best picnic food ever as it's even more delicious cold!).

Yum!  Here you go...

And as a big thank you to all my lovely readers  - You can all Download the FREE recipe card for these Bacon and Courgette Gluten Free Slices here!

Then, there's my new obsession; Five Valley's Cordial's - take it from me, these cordials are incredible, and a great thirst quencer in this weather.  You can use them as a mixer to drinks, or just mix with sparkling water for a refreshing summer drink.  Absolutely delicious and super chic too with flavours like Pomegranate and Rose and Lemon and Mint.  You could also make a refreshing 'Mocktail'- give it a try!  Being a local brand and company makes them extra special too #buylocal :)

And I couldn't help myself, but I went on a bit of an internet shopping spree!  Here's some more picnic inspiration that I'm currently coveting.  Lovely colours about this season!

Top left >  A fab designed Stelton glass water bottle - There's so much in the press at the moment about the nasty chemicals you can ingest through plastic water bottles, so this one will not only be fab for the environment, but it's made from a super natural material and doesn't leach anything into the water.  The snug sleeve keeps drinks super cool too!  Put your Pomegranate and Rose cordial in this and take it to the office.  I do!

Top right >  Pop your picnic in this Oily Rag bag form John Lewis, currently on sale too at the bargain price of under £30!  Yes, and it looks like Catch Kidson too!  Win win!

Bottom left > OMG an Orla Kiely picnic plastic tumbler glass? NO way!

Bottom right > Yes it's time to get those pasty white legs out - put your shorts on, these cute pink 3/4 length ones from Banana Republic are perfect and just long enough to hide the cellulite 'bits' you want to cover! Yay!

Soak up that sunshine folks and see you again soon!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Craft night!

Hey there gang! A little bit of a different blog for you this week - still making stuff - but not of the edible variety!

I know that heaps of you who read my blog also love arty, crafty things so I knew you'd love to hear about the fun night I had making stamps, cards and envelopes at 'Make it Monday' - the super new craft night, at By the Yard in Cheltenham.

I don't know about you, but I love browsing little independent shops and handmade goods on Etsy, Folksy, Craft fairs and shops.   So when I came across a brand new shop from a follower on Twitter, you could say I jumped up and down with joy (just a little bit!).  So, I set off to find this new little independent shop, By the Yard, Cheltenham - and let me tell you, it was like finding an Aladins cave of goodies!  My senses were totally overcome!

I met Bex and Elle, the lovely ladies who run this incredibly creative 'establishment' and have bought their vision to Cheltenham.  Along with the amazing shop - which you must, must, must go and visit - they hold these cool, unique, craft nights called Make it Monday.  So on Monday night, I took my friend Georgina along to the first Make it Monday night where we met a bunch of other lovely ladies.  With the expert instruction and supervision from Bex, we designed and made our own stamps, crafted our own envelopes and made some lovely cards and art!  (Mine was food related, so predictably, I opted for ice creams in my design ... )

I'd seriously had not had this much fun.. (and a lovely relaxing time too I might add) in ages.

I've already bought a lovely unique handmade necklace from By the Yard and I have my eye on some other handmade jewellery, cards, prints and things they stock form independent makers from around the country.

If you like things like this, you'll love the shop - so pop along //  By the Yard, St James Sreet, GL50 1DX Cheltenham, Gloucestershire - (can be found by walking through Cafe Moochoo on the high street or just around the back of The Vine on the corner.)

Follow them on Facebook here or Twitter here > Or see the schedule for future Make it Monday's right here