Jamaican Festival

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

For me this is comfort food, making it perfect for a late Autumn evening. Although I’ve only had festival a handful of times in my life, eating this warm, sugary dough always feels so comforting to me. Festival has only a mild sweetness to it and is often served with savory dishes like ackee and saltfish or a chicken curry. I have used water for the liquid in this recipe but milk is also commonly used for more flavour. The cornmeal is great for a golden outer colour and gives it a nice crunch. In a way, Festival is like the Jamaican version of churros and could also be eaten as a dessert, dipped in melted chocolate or sprinkled with sugar.

Recipe: Jamaican festival (makes 6)

Ingredients

65g plain flour

35g fine cornmeal

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tbsp caster sugar

Pinch of salt

50ml water or milk

Method

  • Heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl and gently pour in the water.
  • Use your fingers to mix everything together until it form a soft dough.
  • Next, split the dough into six equal pieces and roll into finger shapes.
  • Once the oil is hot, add the dough pieces to the pan and turn every 2 minutes until fully cooked and golden brown (roughly 6 mins, depending on the heat and size).
  • Place on a plate with kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil and serve warm.

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Trip to The Lickey Hills

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well. We did have a mini summer in the UK but the weather is currently gloomy and its been a little rainy but the rest of the week looks promising.

I recently went for a walk in the Lickey Hills and had such a lovely day there, following the signs and sticking to the walking trail. It was a nice, warm day as we walked around for a couple of hours, the terrain wasn’t too rough however, there were a few mud puddles to watch out for as we were only wearing trainers. Once we’d finished the trail, we got some sandwiches from the cafe and ate them on a bench whilst we had a little rest.

As we’ve all been spending so much time at home, it’s always such a great idea to get out and spend some time in nature. You are definitely lucky if you have a garden or live near a park, because you don’t have to travel too far for fresh air. Also, spending time outside can be so relaxing for the mind as long as you are safe and comfortable. Many studies have reported that living near green spaces has been linked to a range of health benefits from mental well-being to general fitness.

The pictures don’t really do the Lickey Hills justice, but you get an idea of how beautiful nature can be. Walking outside in nature can be a great chance to clear your mind and be present in the moment. Being outside in a local park allows you to explore new surroundings, meet new people and take a break from every day worries.

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Quinoa with Corn, Kale and Walnuts

Hello everyone, Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

This recipe provides a beautiful array of healthy ingredients that will really nourish the body. Not only that but it also tastes good too! The recipe does require a little effort, so probably something you’ll want to make on the weekend for a hearty lunch. I enjoyed making this dish and it kept me feeling full long after eating. Quinoa is a great source of many minerals compared with other grains. It is also a complete protein source which means it contains all of the 9 essential amino acids, this is necessary for the body because protein is the building blocks of tissue in the body.

Another thing to add is that this recipe is gluten free.

Recipe: Quinoa with corn, kale and walnuts (serves 1)

Ingredients

30g quinoa

20g walnuts, roasted and crushed

1 tsp olive oil

1/4 small onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Sprinkle of salt and chilli flakes

1 lemon, zested

30g kale, roughly chopped

20g sweetcorn

Method

  • Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions and set aside. In the meantime, roast the walnuts for 5 minutes in the oven on gas mark 5 and leave to cool down before crushing.
  • Whilst the quinoa is cooking, start preparing the onion, garlic, lemon, kale and corn.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and once hot add the onion, garlic, salt, chilli and zest. Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
  • Add the kale and corn, cooking until the kale has wilted slightly. No more than 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the roasted walnuts and cooked quinoa. Cook for a further 3 minutes and serve.

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World Baking Day!

Hello everyone, welcome back to my blog and happy World Baking Day to all of my fellow bakers.

I’ve been trying to stick to a strict posting schedule but I think it’s time to switch things up a little and get back to how I used to post, which was a little more spontaneous but still with structure!

Baking is one of my favourite hobbies, and has been for so many years. It’s one of those activities I do that is so relaxing and therapeutic regardless of what it is that I am baking. Years back, I used to love baking sweet things because I had a bit of a sweet tooth (which I probably still do) but as I’m getting older I’m trying to bake things that are slightly healthier and I’m also trying to experiment with a range of different ingredients. I think the food world has become quite innovative depending on what your interests are but it’s great because there’s something for everyone, regardless of your health, diet or lifestyle.

I don’t plan to bake anything today so I thought I’d share a few of my favourite bakes over the years. Enjoy!

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Seasoned Sweet Potato

Hello everyone, I hope your day has been well.

Today is all about sweet potatoes, a favorite carbohydrate of mine. Although there are many different varieties, 9/10 is will taste sweet, hence the name. The subtle, sweet flavour makes them the perfect ingredient for vegetable curries, pies, soups and so much more. Sweet potatoes are a great source of fibre along with a range of other vitamins, such as iron, selenium and calcium but the fibre specifically is known to be beneficial to the immune system. Also, the vitamin C content is apparently raised from cooking. For this recipe, I decided to lightly fry the sweet potato to reduce any moisture on the outer surface and then bake in the oven for a little while so that the seasonings could be infused into the smooth center.

This is a super quick, tasty dish to cook and is a great accompaniment to most meals.

Recipe: Seasoned sweet potato (serves 1)

Ingredients

1 sweet potato, cut into pieces

Paprika

Salt

Sugar

Chilli flakes

Cumin

Oil, for frying

Method

  • Heat some oil in a deep pan.
  • Start preparing the potato by peeling, chopping and set aside in water.
  • Once the oil is hot enough, add all of the sweet potato and fry for 5-7 minutes stirring regularly.
  • After the 7 minutes, transfer the potato to a tray with tissue paper on top to soak up the excess oil.
  • Remove the tissue paper and sprinkle the potatoes with a little paprika, salt, chilli flakes, cumin and sugar.
  • Bake in the oven for up to 10 minutes and serve.

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