Sunday, 25 September 2016

Exploring the wildlife in Leek

Hey guys,



This is a non-food related post if you are only here for the food! I always think of Sundays as lazy days, meant for PJs and watching films (day of rest) and forget that places are still open on Sundays. So when I do something on this day that involves getting dressed, it's all still very surreal to me. 

Me and Matt visited Peak Wildlife Park in Leek and got to see the lovely animals, including penguins, lemurs and wallabies. 

My favourite were the lemurs, they are so cute and I went slightly overboard on the amount of photos I took of the animals






There were other visitors feeding the penguins and other animals. It costs £75 to hang out with the penguins for an hour?! We paid to get into the park and that was it. 







There were some cute meerkats that were obviously used to the public. Meerkats are not endangered (woo!)



We also got to wonder round these wallaby enclosure. Unfortunately they didn't want to say hi but hopefully when we visit Australia in 2017, we will get to see some more of them.


The birds were the final animal before finishing with a cup of tea. There were peacocks, waldrap ibis and long necked cranes





We loved our visit to the park. If you have kids (or not like us!) then you should visit if you are in the Leek (Staffordshire) area

Hope you enjoyed my animal photoshoot and have a good week

Love Kate xx

Friday, 23 September 2016

3 Ingredient Raita

Hey guys,





It's fridayyyyy!!!! Time for more food

So if you are having curry tonight and fancy saving those calories on a dip or want to make a dip to go with your bhajis then this is will save you a lot of time and effort. I love spicy food and to me spicier the better. 

This dip is super quick to make and only needs 3 ingredients. It goes great with onion bhajis, rice, salad or crisps.

Raita

Ingredients:
1/2 cucumber
Fat free Greek Yogurt
Mint


Method

1. Chop the cucumber into small pieces. If you don't like your dip chunky, you can always grate it. I like a bit of bite to my dip

2. Add as much Greek yogurt as you want to make it substantial.

3. Add mint
Fresh mint is better. I never have this to hand, so dry mint is perfectly acceptable. Add a few tsps and mix together.

Note: I haven't given measurements of mint and yogurt as it depends on how much you need and personal choice. 



I hope you enjoy this as much as me and my family do.

Love Kate xx

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Really Quick Apple and Blackberry Crumble



Hey!

It getting chillier, it's staying darker for longer and getting darker earlier, the sleeves on the tops are getting longer and the food is stodgier.

When it starts to get cold, I just want comfort food not salads! Who ever made friends with salad?? This Apple and Blackberry Crumple is so easy and quick to make. So if you want to make a quick pudding or are looking for something to serve the in laws, this is the perfect dish.
You will have more willpower than me if you can stop at one serving


I'm ever so lucky to live in the countryside and we were able to pick the blackberries locally. However if you do not have this luxury, then you can chuck in blueberries, rhubarb, pear, strawberries or just apple.



Apple and Blackberry Crumble


Ingredients
160g plain flour
60g caster sugar
60g butter, room temp and in small pieces
1 large cooking apple
30g unsalted butter
30g demerara sugar
2 cups or 115g of blackberries
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Place plain flour, caster sugar and 60g butter in a bowl. Mix together with fingers to make breadcrumbs (crunchy topping). 

2. Peel and core the apple and chop into 2cm pieces. 

3. Add 30g butter and 30g demerara sugar into a medium sized pan, melting together for 3 minutes and forming a caramel (keep stirring)

4. Add apple, blackberries and cinnamon and cook for 3 minutes. 


Matt assisting me with the crumble making


5. Spray a casserole dish or small loaf tin with frylight or grease with butter. 
Add fruit mix to the dish
Evenly spread the crumble topping over the fruit

6. Place in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top has turned golden brown. 

Serve with custard, cream or ice cream!

Enjoy and let me know what you put in your crumble.

Kate xx




Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hair Care Routine

Hey guys,

So to accomplish the perfection that is me, I have to take care of both my insides and my outsides. What you eat influences everything such as your skin, your appearance, mood and your hair! So I thought I would give you a small post about how I take care of my hair. I think it's important to give it that extra boost and this may not be something people are interested in but it has taken me many months to get my routine down for my hair. 


Food and hair:

The main component of your hair is Keratin, a type of protein that gives hair strength. So what better way to replenish it then by having lots of protein in your diet.
I choose: Eggs, steak, beans, broccoli 

Carbohydrates give your hair that natural shine and without them, your hair is going to start looking dull and lifeless so grab a bowl of pasta! Also those who opt for no carb diets may experience hair loss (yikes!)
I choose: porridge oats, pasta and brown bread.

Zinc is an element that prevents itchy scalps.
I choose: Cereals, beef and eggs


Hair Care

I only wash my hair every 3-4 days depending on activity and laziness. I do work a lot and sometimes it can be the last thing on my mind. This varies depending on each person; some people wash their once a week and others every day. Hair is such a personal choice! I trained my hair and pushed through the grease and now looking back I'm so glad as my current hair routine takes so long but is so worth it!!

(All products I use are drugstore!!)

I use L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Clay hair mask on my roots when first stepping into the shower. I put a palm sized amount on my roots and leave it or 10 minutes whilst I de-hair other body parts...

Now I could fork out and buy expensive shampoo and conditioner. However I never have done and what I use does the job. 
I use Dove Intensive Repair shampoo, through all of my hair and wash it out. Next I apply Dove Conditioner to the ends of my hair up to about my ears and leave it for a few minutes. I think this works for me as my roots do not go as greasy. 



















Step out the shower, dry off, walk around for 20 minutes, look at my phone and having a brew.

Brush my hair and apply a few squirts of Aussie 3 Miracle Oil into my hair and apply it to the ends of my hair. I do not apply it to the roots (no thank you) and then blow dry my hair.



I straighten my hair almost everyday if I'm not at work. So I apply Charles Worthington heat protect spray. Honestly, this stuff lasts for ages and is really good for giving your hair that extra shine. I've been using it for years.

After straightening I apply hairspray for extra hold and ta-da it produces the beauty that you see below. 




Let me know what you think and what food helps your hair look amazing.

Love Kate xx



Wednesday, 7 September 2016

GBBO on Great British Bake Off

My Great Big British Opinion (GBBO) on The Great Big British Bake off (GBBO)



Hey guys,


So it's the third week of British Bake Off and it's my absolutely favourite programme in the world apart from Gilmore girls. I cannot understand any person that says it annoys them, they don't get it or they have never watched it. Buffoons. 

I will obviously do a bake, something healthy-ish and settle down - PJs on, cup of tea in hand, baked good somewhere nearby and relax as I watch a piece of joy. This is my great big British opinion on the bakers! 

Image result for Val great british bake off
My favourite: Val


She just keeps booting them out one, by one. Although not the best baker, I feel that I can relate to her. She just keeps going, no matter how bad the bake goes and sometimes that's all you can do. I love how cheery she is and she is just having fun, no stress with her.













Image result for Andrew great british bake off
Andrew (Mum's nickname: Ginge) is my second favourite and I'm rooting for him secretly. I'm sure when Val unfortunately goes he will become my new favourite. Andy secretly has wit and is really actually quite good. He reminds me of my boyfriend (not in looks), combining engineering and baking together. 





Image result for Selasi great british bake off

Selasi: This cool cucumber talks the talk and can also bake. However I think he lacks the drama that Bake Off needs. I don't want a dream boat cooking me my lemon drizzle, I need bin gate!
















Image result for Rav great british bake off
Rav: We haven't seen much of him yet. Very average but I think we all know what he is going through. Not at the top but not at the bottom, playing it safe. He seems to stress a lot and I get that. Rav should ask Selasi for some tips on playing it cool






Image result for Benjamina Great british bake off


Benjamina: Obviously her parents really wanted a boy! I'm neither a lover or a hater. She just flys under the radar... Maybe bread week will be her time to shine or maybe Val will kick her to the curb














Image result for Tom Great british bake off
Tom: AA no so anonymous. We enjoy his ambitious attempts to impress Mary by adding alcohol to every cake. I also get the idea that he knows what he is doing but is building up to impressing us. He's a slow burner. 














Image result for Michael Great british bake off
Tom: I just want to adopt him.

















Image result for Kate Great british bake off

Kate: If you handed her a plate she would spin it on her head whilst baking, she can do it all! Someone get her to say a curse word when her signature bake falls apart














Image result for Candice Great british bake off
Candice: She is like Marmite, she either love her or hate. I think she has amazing lip colour. My mum thinks she is overrated. She is pretty though I can't concentrate on her baking because her lips are that good!









Image result for Jane Great british bake off

Jane: Didn't deserve star baker in the first week and I have never forgave. 


















I hope your enjoy GBBO and let's hope it's an amazing series. 


Love Kate

xx

Monday, 5 September 2016

Ginger, Coriander and Tomato Salsa


Hey guys,

This a really simple recipe that that I found (not my own) earlier this evening to go with some homemade burgers at the very last minute. I love salsa with nachos or on a sandwich, but with a beef burger it is the perfect combination. Fresh salsa doesn't look like the store bought ones as it's not been blended but it's a lot tastier and cheaper. 

I think the best salsa I ever had was a pineapple salsa that was with a pork burger. I will definitely try recreating it in the future. I paired this with homemade spicy beef burgers but you could have it with a salad, nachos or as a dip with crisps. It's so easy!




Ginger, Coriander and Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:
3 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
Ginger
Fresh Coriander
1/4 tsp sweetener
1 tbsp cider vinegar

1. Chop and de-seed the tomatoes so they are in small pieces. 
2. Chop the red onion and mix with the tomatoes.
3. Add sweetener, cider vinegar, 1 tsp of ginger and 1tbsp of fresh coriander and mix. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

Notes: If you want to add less/more ginger or coriander do so! It's all about personal taste.


I hope you enjoy making this as it's so quick and easy. Please let me know how you get on and what you have salsa with. 

Love Kate xx

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Autumn Days: Attempt at Tomato Soup



Hey guys


I've been a bad bad blogger, so for that I can only apologise and provide with you a shiny new recipe. I have been distracted by work, life and my dooming deadline of my research proposal in 2 weeks time (help?!). However busy life gets food will always be my number one priority. I speak to friends, colleagues and family who tell me that when they get stressed, upset or busy they don't have time to cook. When I lived on my own, I would often eat a bowl of cereal for dinner rather than cooking a full blown meal when I got home at 8pm. I think now I have come to realise that preparation is key, but that is easier said than done always.

This is my little bit of prep for the week as I'm working 4 days this week and making lunch at 6am is not ideal or appealing. Roasted Tomato soup is a classic and was the only soup I would ever order if it was on the menu and easy to heat up at work, simple and fuss free!

I am also souper (...) proud as this was my first time attempting to make soup. 


Roasted Tomato Soup

Ingredients:
- 1 large onion
- 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 litres of veg stock
- 900g tomatoes (about 12 large beef tomatoes)
- Oregano
- basil
- fat free natural yogurt (garnish)



Notes - If you chose to add more veg to this simple recipe, just roast them in the oven with the tomatoes but they may need a bit longer.

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spay a baking tray with frylight and add tomatoes, spraying them with frylight and sprinkling with oregano. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until skin is peeling off and they are starting to go a black around the edges.
2. Meanwhile, add onion and garlic to a large pan and add 300ml of the veg stock. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Chop the cooked tomatoes and add to the pan with the remaining veg stock. 
4. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
5. Add basil, salt and pepper to taste. 
6. Blitz it either using a food processor or hand blender. 



Enjoy!

love Kate
xx


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Trip to Corfu

Hey guys,

It's been 2 weeks since I came back from Corfu and with the weather been mostly rain for the past few weeks, I'm feeling holidays blues big time! It's back to the grind of work and having to wear a coat in July. I went to Corfu, one of the Greek Islands knowing a little about the food they served there and that was partly the reason I chose to go there. I had dreams of hummus, feta and lamb in the sunshine.



I went with my parents, my brother Sean and his girlfriend Sarah and my boyfriend Matt. We stayed in this secluded villa in the mountains near Nissaki. Our balcony overlooked the sea and you could see boats and Albania, it was beautiful to walk out to in the morning. I much prefer renting a villa with family or friends and having the privacy and ability to chose what we wanted to eat, especially with so many people comes so many different food preferences.



One day, we explored the centre of Corfu including the old town and the new town. I won't spoil it for you if you ever choose to visit, but you need to visit the forts as they are so fascinating and different to the history we have in the UK. Although free to explore, I would have rather have payed a euro so they could display some facts about the forts. The towns are what you imagine Greece to look like, especially if you divert away from the busy main streets and explore the back lanes. Me and Matt explored on our own and came across an amazing herb shop that we would probably find difficult to locate again. The lady who ran it spoke English and Greek, as do most of the people who live there and told us she made all the herbs herself. She gave me the most amazing recipe for tzatziki that was a hit with the family. We also went for crepes and smoothies at the Earth Cafe, they are really friendly so go visit them and they have an open kitchen to watch them prepare your food.






My parents have recently been learning to sail back home and were keen to rent a boat in Corfu. We had the boat for the whole day and whilst the guys took it in turn at the wheel, the rest of us sunbathed and relaxed. We got to go swimming at different beaches and jump off the boat. Although I won't be sailing any time soon, it's the best way to see the Island.


It was also my mum's birthday whilst we were out there. My dad booked a restaurant called the Agni Taverna. We arrived by speed boat which my mum loved/hated as she thought it was going too fast but she felt very special and spoilt. The food there was so good and everyone's looked amazing, I can recommend the scallops and risotto.







My whole holiday was so good and I can only tell you about you a few dishes that I tried that I want to recreate: baked feta cheese, stifado, saganaki, stuffed peppers... My last day, however was one of the most exciting. I love trying new things, so Matt and I went to the local beach to try watersports. Matt was a natural at waterskiing and everyone was impressed at how quickly he picked it up, I was only a little bit jealous. I was next to try wakeboarding and was a little bit nervous, especially when they attached my feet to the board and I couldn't even lift it. It didn't help when the instructor asked me why I chose the most difficult sport for my first time (before I'm an idiot??!)
However I awarded myself the most improved award at the end because I finally did at least a minute of wakeboarding by the end and have never felt so proud.




A lovely taverna we stumbled across coming down from visiting the Monastery. They served amazing Greek pizza, everyone had food envy

Drinking cocktails with mum and Sarah, are we drunk or is the quality of the camera that bad?



We all had a great holiday and I would love to go to Athens one day. Hope you enjoyed my little holiday review.

love Katie xx