Food: 5 Quick & Easy Pasta Recipes

I’ve mentioned it many, many times, but pasta is a go-to dish for us – as I’m sure it is for a lot of household. I mean, what’s not to love?! Endless combinations, quick to cook, child-friendly. It’s the perfect after-work dinner and it’s no wonder we rely on it quite so much!

That said, we’ve spent the last year or so trying to branch out a little from our usual pasta dishes. We had a couple of go-tos – pesto pasta, carbonara, mac’n’cheese. None overly healthy, all lacking vegetables. That’s certainly changed now, here’s just five of our favourite quick and easy pasta recipes.

Fennel Pasta

This is something completely different, however the crunch of the fennel, the aniseed flavour, saltiness from parmesan and silky smooth pasta are a wonderful combination. You can find my recipe here.

Carbonara

A classic Carbonara is my ultimate pasta dish. A thick, rich and creamy sauce made entirely from egg (no cream in sight!), filled with plenty of cheese, freshly cracked black pepper and crispy bacon. It’s utterly delicious and I aim to always, always keep the necessary ingredients in our kitchen.

My recipe is simple – cook the pasta according to pack instructions, and fry cubed bacon in a little butter. Beat an egg in a mug (1 egg for two people, for one person just use the yolk, for a richer carbonara for two use two egg yolks) and add a handful of parmesan. Sometimes I also add a sprinkling of cheddar for extra richness. Beat together. Sowly add 4-5 tablespoons of the hot pasta water to the egg mixture, beating constantly – this should melt the cheese. Once the pasta is done drain (reserving a little water) and add to the bacon pan with a lot of black pepper. Remove from the heat and toss together, then gradually add the egg mixture. Toss constantly, adding a little pasta water if it starts to scramble. Serve immediately with extra parmesan.

Mushroom & Lentil Tomato-Free Bolognese

A traditional meat Bolognese is delicious, I can’t deny it, but it really needs a good hour or two simmering time to make the flavours really sing. This vegan version is quicker, once the lentils are added it needs just 20 or so minutes for them to soften.

Simply follow my recipe for Tomato-Free Bolognese, but add diced mushrooms to the onion/celery/carrot mixture. Instead of the mince, add in red lentils, then just simmer until these are cooked.

Courgette & Pea Summer Pasta with Lemon & Feta

This is my favourite pasta dish for the summer. It’s light, it’s fresh, it’s ready in just 15 minutes. It’s packed full of green veg, yet the use of the feta keeps the comfort food element that’s so important in pasta dishes. Full recipe here.

Caramelised Onion & Goat’s Cheese Pasta

This is the comforting, I-need-cheesy-carbs dish. The dish you want to curl up on the sofa with, fork in hand, blanket over feet and watch a girly film with. This is the dish I turn to if I want to cook a pasta dish that will make me feel instantly better. You can see my full recipe here, but in essence it is softened red onions, caramelised with thyme, honey and balsamic vinegar, stirred into pasta with soft goat’s cheese and plenty of seasoning. Served on a bed of rocket and scattered with walnuts it both tastes wonderful and looks impressive.

And with that, I know what I’m having for dinner tonight. Pasta. Now I just need to decide which recipe to use…

Are you a pasta fan? What’s your go-to recipe?

Food: Favourite Blogger Recipes

Despite my extensive collection of cookbooks, I’m all too guilty of Googling for a recipe or some dinner inspiration. It’s something I’m trying to change, and one of the ways I’m combating this is that when I do Google, I try to use a blogger’s recipe rather than from a standard recipe site.

This has two benefits – one in that I’n boosting their views (always good to give something back to the community I guess, especially as I *try* to go for smaller bloggers), and two in that it’s giving me some (much needed) photography inspiration. And I’ve found some damn good dishes too…

These are just the ones I have personally tried and loved. Some of them I might have edited slightly, then posted the results on my own blog, some of them I love just how much they are.

Miss Pond’s Squash & Sausage Pasta – link

Now this is super-yum. I generally leave out the feta unless we have it for other recipes (mainly because having it unaccounted for in the fridge leads to me baking it with honey and slathering it on bread), but the combo of spicier sausages and squash is a winner. So, so tasty!

Half Baked Harvest’s Chicken & Orzo One-Pan – link

This is one we made only the other week. Super simple and, although it can take a while, it doesn’t take a huge amount of chopping and hands-on time. The next time we made this we’ll probably leave out the lemon slices as they were a tad bitter for our tastes – and I’ll be trying other versions too. I’m thinking a combo of mushrooms and parmesan would work so nicely with the chicken and orzo! The best thing about this recipe? It uses a small amount of wine, so the rest of the bottle needs drinking…

Rhyme & Ribbons Lentil & Mushroom Bolognese – link

You know me, I loveeee a Bolognese. Amanda was the person who first inspired me to make a vegan mix out of mushrooms and lentils and I love her for it. This is the perfect dish to have in the freezer as it defrosts easily in the pan with a bit of water, and it’s also great to take to work and heat in the microwave.

You can see my recipe for a Tomato Free Bolognese here.

Little Miss Katy’s Potato Skin Crisps – link

Okay, so this recipe is super dangerous – because you’ll never be able to throw potato peelings away again. We don’t tend to make the dip, just adding plenty of spice to the potato and devouring whilst still hot enough to burn our fingers. It’s a Sunday afternoon staple for us as we prepare our roast.

Image credit: Katy

Amy Elizabeth’s Fesenjan – link

Fesenjan was the favourite thing that I cooked in 2017, and having already made my first batch a few weeks ago it’s safe to say it’s still a dish I love. Amy Liz’s was the first recipe that I tried and, whilst I’ve edited it since (my version is here) it’s still a classic. It’s slightly safer in it’s spicing so would be the way to go if you hadn’t eaten any of the flavours before.

Cookie & Kate’s Satay Quinoa Salad – link

This is one of my go-to lunches – it makes a *tonne* of the stuff, it lasts really well in the fridge and it’s just so damn tasty. I have edited the recipe slightly (mine is here), but the original is still super tasty. The dressing is one you really have to make to your own tastes – I like a zingy kick from the lime personally.

Lottie Huckle’s Porridge – link

Okay, so I don’t get the chance to do her level of toppings on the regular morning (read: ever, because I’m always far too hangry to go that far) but I’ve taken her method of cooking my oats to heart. A long soak (I do tend to do around 20 minutes in boiling water), a slow simmer. My porridge is 100x better!

Image credit: Lottie

This post was harder to write than I thought it would be – there’s just so many food bloggers and recipes that I’ve loved recently!

Do you have any favourite food bloggers whose recipes you can recommend?

Food: Blogger Recipes I’ve Loved Lately

Recently I’ve been cooking a fair few new meals. I’ve gone off using Pinterest to find meal inspiration a little, I’ve found it very difficult to find new recipes lately (the same ones seem to continuely come up in searches). What I have noticed, however, is that many of my favourite bloggers seem to be creating some yummy looking recipes. Here’s just an handful of the ones I’ve tried out lately!
 photo Roasted Nesting Chicken 5_zps46tmec6m.jpg photo Roasted Nesting Chicken 3_zpsjlncv6eh.jpg photo Roasted Nesting Chicken 6_zps0j2znite.jpg

Nested Roast Chicken – The Londoner (link)

Oh my, this was delicious! By far some of the yummiest potatoes I have ever eaten, we ate the whole lot despite cooking way too much. We just couldn’t stop! The chicken skin was crispy, the meat moist and perfumed with the lemon. The potatoes were sweet from the honey and both salty and herby from the seasoning. They were crunchy and chewy, yet some were also melting soft. Served with some simple green vegetables this was such a delightful Sunday supper – and gave us enough chicken for three further meals (two of soup, one of stir-fry).

I have a fabulous idea to turn this into a bit more of a student friendly dish (not that I’m a student anymore, though I guess I’ll still be living with one!). Less of a huge portion, shorter cooking time, less fresh ingredients. Keep your eyes peeled for this one, I’m going to enjoy developing the recipe…!

Noodle Stir-Fry – Pinch of Yum (link & photo credit)

Inspired by Lindsay’s 15 Minute Lo Mein recipe (or, more specifically, the yummy sauce), I just had to use one of her photos as ours certainly did not look nearly as appetising. Seriously girl, how to do you get a plate of noodles to look so darn good?! My comforting bowl, delicious as it was, just didn’t do her recipe justice. We skipped the mushrooms (my fiance is a shroom-hater, I’m praying for a few evenings alone next year so I can indulge in risotto!), and added lime and ginger to the sauce, simply because it was there.
 photo Spiced Sweetcorn Pancakes 4_zpscnuttmko.jpg photo Spiced Sweetcorn Pancakes 7_zpsmofv6mdb.jpg

Sweetcorn Fritters – Mamacook (link)

I’ve loved fritter-type things for as long as I can remember. Courgette & Feta ‘Cakes’ is one of my favourite meals in the summer, onion bhajis are my go-to starter when I’m treating myself to an Indian (read about the best ones I’ve ever eaten here). When we picked up a packet of Bacon & Maple Syrup Sausages from Tesco (well worth a try, btw!) we wanted something a bit different to go with them, so we decided to get creative with some sweetcorn fritters. We based in on Mamacooks recipe, but spiced it up a bit lot – they were delicious. Recipe coming soon as I have to share it!

Green Vegetable Pasta – Inspired by Little Miss Katy (link)

Whilst I’ve already posted about my Spring Vegetable Carbonara, it was a few weeks ago that I remember Katy’s recipe for a Mac’n’Cheese with Baby Kale. I loved her idea of making the sauce with cottage cheese (one to remember for lazy evenings!), I just stole her addition of baby Kale into the carbonara. This worked so wonderfully well, as the slight bitter-pepperiness went perfectly with the sweet peas and smoked ham I was using. Yum!
 photo Peanut Butter Bakewell Tart 1_zpsrezho7eu.jpg photo Peanut Butter Bakewell Tart 10_zpsrsy8isye.jpg photo Peanut Butter Bakewell Tart 14_zps3itasjjp.jpg

Peanut Butter Bakewell – Inspired by The Lovecats Inc

Seriously, how goddamn good does Helen’s Triple Layer Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie look?! Oreos, peanut butter, chocolate, all layered up = heaven on a plate. I wanted to make something similar, but a little less torte-like and more traditional English-afternoon-tea style. A recent issue of BBC’s Good Food magazine can to the rescue with a peanutty take on the Bakewell Tart. A few tweaks here and there, and our recipe was perfection. We even enjoyed it for breakfast with yoghurt and a few raspberries – the sign of an irresistible bake!
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Other Recipes I Want to Make Soon (photo credit in links)

This could be a long, long list! However I’ll keep it brief and go with the few recipes that I have literally daydreamed about over the last few days. What can I say, I live to eat! Miss Pond’s Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies look delightfully gooey, and I have a major weakness for this type of brownie. Emma from This Little Piggy Loves Food posts a lot of quick and easy recipes which always sound delicious, her Peashoot Pasta is high on my list of ‘to make’ meals. Much as I’m not a huge fan of the Hummingbird Bakery, Charlotte’s bake of their Carrot Cake looks delicious, and I certainly do love a good carrot cake! But my must-make recipe that recently popped up in my Bloglovin feed? Anna’s Oven Fried Chicken. Her idea of part-freezing to ensure a complete and crunchy coating sounds great, so I’ll definitely be experimenting. So many things to make…

What’s the best thing you’ve cooked recently? Please leave me any links to the favourite recipes you’ve made!

Food: #WhatAStudentEats (Round 2)

Way back in October I posted a #whatastudenteats round-up, and after so long I thought it was time to do another. There’s been a lot of new meals, including some that have become firm favourites. There’s also been a few disasters, a lot of cake and a couple of very yummy burgers.

 photo Eating Lately 2_zpswhykduu4.jpgDuring exam season, what I wanted most of all was comforting meals, meals that if I couldn’t be bothered to cook a side dish would do. Casseroles were a favourite, packed with veg and just needing some greens as an accompainment if I was so inclined. Mushroom risotto was my go-to “I’m really stressed” dinner, and carbonara was a quick “in and out in 20 minutes” meal between library stints. Now I’m done, I’ve been indulging in a few too many desserts (my mum makes the best fruit crumbles, and W’s mum alwaysssss has B&Js in the freezer). And obviously, there was the excess of cheese whilst in France too…
 photo What a Student Eats 10_zpskt6oga3c.jpg

Quick Meals

As I’ve already mentioned, carbonara is my go-to quick meal. However I really upped the veg content (because vitamins) in my recipe, as well as reducing the washing up, with my Springtime Vegetable Recipe. So good, so yum. Other quick meals I came up with involved a take on my Chorizo-Crusted Cod – turns out blitzing toast crusts with chorizo slices and a little parmesan has pretty much the same effect. And it coats a flattened chicken breast amazingly well. Perfect with a crisp green salad as a fakeaway style meal. Oh, and my Vegan Chickpea & Spinach curry went down amazingly well too – ready in 15 minutes, it was a lovely spicy hug in a bowl!

Too Much Cheese & Wine

Being in France for a few days gave me a cheese passion I didn’t really know I had. Sure, I pretty much always have cheddar and parmesan in, but I never eat a chunk of cheese, wouldn’t really make a cheese sandwich. Now it turns out that I adore Brie, even enjoy a soft blue cheese. I’m still not quite grown up enough for goat’s cheese yet, however…
 photo What a Student Eats 7_zpsd38robmk.jpg photo What a Student Eats 8_zpszlrc7s16.jpg

Veggie Sausages

One of the slightly more disastrous meals, although to be fair to Granose I did enjoy the taste and texture of the Lincolnshire Sausage Mix*. The issue? They were horrendously messy to shape, stuck to whatever I tried to cook them in, and generally looked a bit off-putting. I found them quite dry with the usual mash and gravy, however loved them with a mushroom-lentil-chicken stock mix I came up with. Now that has become a regular on my menu!
 photo What a Student Eats 2_zpsrbyac9hk.jpg photo What a Student Eats 5_zpsiumdryev.jpg photo What a Student Eats 6_zpsj0m40uxz.jpg

A Version of Shakshuka

Oh, how I drool a little over pictures of the classic dish. Unfortunately with a tomato-allergy it’s just not really one for me, however I did discover a little hack which means I can enjoy something similar. Having FINALLY honed my tomato-free baked bean recipe (which I need to photograph and share asap), I decided to spice it up, add a few chorizo slices lurking around, crack in a few eggs, add parmesan and see what happened. The result was the perfect big lunch, and I’m guessing with a good salad would make a pretty acceptable light dinner too.
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Other Highlights

So much good food in the past eight months or so – I went back through my recipe posts and there’s much more than I originally thought. The steak with the seriously garlicky sauce, the leftover roast lamb flatbreads, and too many burgers to be strictly acceptable. There’s been some lovely light fruity breakfasts on warmer mornings, lots of comforting dippy eggs, and many a cheeky fry-up. Oh, and an ice-cream sundae bigger than my face…

You wouldn’t have thought I have to squeeze myself into a figure-hugging graduating dress in less than a fortnight, would you?!

What foodie highlights have you had lately? Any cheap(ish) London recommendations for me?

Food: Round-Up for National Pie Week (& A Sausage Roll Disaster)

I love a good sausage roll, with Gregg’s ones being my ultimate treat on a Saturday afternoon shopping as a teen. I’ve long since graduated onto ‘better’ varieties (there’s a local bakery chain in Northampton that does the best sausage rolls, though flaky pastry isn’t the most elegant of snack choices!). One thing I hadn’t tried, however, is attempting to make my own.

 photo National Pie Week_zpsstzoqbas.jpgUntil now that is! Challenged by Jus’ Rol to create an interesting ‘pie’ to celebrate National Pie Week (the best week in my opinion). I decided on creating my very own ultimate sausage roll. And it was delicious – if a bit ‘deconstructed’…

 photo 2016-03-08 20.05.13_zpsfktsfjx8.jpg photo 2016-03-08 20.05.26_zpsqhudexta.jpgIf you’re interested, to make my sausage ‘roll’ I rolled out 100g puff pastry, spread with 1tsp mustard, and topped with carmelised onions (soften half a sliced onion in a little oil until golden, then add 1/4 tsp sugar and quickly fry until sticky). I then squeezed the meat out of two sausages, rolled a little thinner, placed on top of the onions and attempted to roll the pastry round the filling before baking at 200C for around 20 minutes. Turns out that I hadn’t rolled it quite thin enough, quite wide enough. So the pastry stayed open, then came completely undone in the oven. Learn from my mistakes people! Or eat a very yummy, very messy, pastry slice and sausage meat filling…

(As a sidenote, I think I’ve finally, finallyyyyy perfected my recipe for tomato-free baked beans. I’ll be posting the recipe soon!)

Now we’ve got that disaster out of the way, let’s talk pies.

For me, the ultimate pie is sold by a local butcher here in Kent; stuffed full of chicken and ham, with a thick and creamy sauce and crisp golden pastry, it’s comfort food at its best. For those of you unable to get to my butchers, I created a super-easy cheat’s version using condensed soup and ready-rolled pastry. Whilst it’s not quite so indulgent, it definitely still hits the spot!

 photo Roast Chicken and Leftovers6_zpsovrjemwl.jpg photo Roast Chicken and Leftovers7_zpspzn87trh.jpgSpeaking of chicken pies, I’ve got a huge amount of other chicken pie recipes in my go-to list. One of my little sister’s favourite meal is my Chicken & Chorizo Pie, and I have to admit it’s the perfect combination of spicy, flavourful and comforting. Will also made some amazinggg Harissa Chicken Pasties…so good!

Then there’s the no-pastry pie. As a mashed potato lover this is always a good option (though pastry would win, every time). I don’t think anything can beat a good cottage/Shepherd’s pie, and I made the absolute ultimate version back in the summer. I admit it took a good three hours (plus the Sunday roasting time) but it was absolutely, completely and utterly worth it. And of course, Jamie’s Fish Pie, packed with veg and lighter than your traditional version, is a firm favourite in my recipe list.

 photo Roast Lamb and Ultimate Shepherds Pie 4_zpsmcceoy4o.jpg photo Roast Lamb and Ultimate Shepherds Pie 6_zpsaotkxtt4.jpg photo 2015-02-01 14.33.16_zpswlgno1lz.jpgBut of course, any pie is always a good shout!

*Post in collaboration with Jus Rol, all opinions are my own as always. I just really, really love pie.

Are you a fan of pies? What’s your favourite pie filling?

Recipe: Chicken Chowder (& Homemade Stock)

Yes, I made stock. Yes, it was the most boring hour of my life. No, I’m not about to do it again in a hurry. This person does not have the time or the patience to stand over a pan skimming scum from my stock. This chowder, however, is definitely worth the time and effort. It doesn’t need much, really just a stir here and there, and I’m willing to bet it would be fine with just a stock cube. Having said that, I did like the intense chicken-y flavour of the stock, and if I wanted to cook something really special I would make it again. The real star of the show here is the Chicken Chowder.

 photo Chicken Chowder9_zpsqvvlab4u.jpgA really simple recipe, this Chicken Chowder is a hug in a bowl. It’s creamy and comforting, slightly spicy and a little sweet, full of interesting textures. It really is a meal in a bowl, and it’s become one of my favourite ways of using up leftover chicken.

Based on Jamie Oliver’s recipe, the quantities below made me four generous servings of this Chicken Chowder. I’ve lightened it up a little by reducing the cream and the bacon, and added a little heat by grating in some fresh chilli at the end.

 photo Chicken Chowder10_zpspq5d8mhi.jpgIngredients

  • Chicken carcass – see last week’s post for my Roast Chicken recipe
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • Half a bunch of fresh parsley
  • 2 onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 sticks of celery
  • 1 large potato (around 250g)
  • Leftover chicken (I used around two handfuls – i.e. a small roasted chicken, minus two lunchtime salads)
  • Small tin of sweetcorn
  • A splash of double cream
  • Cream crackers, to serve – it’s well worth splurging on some nicer ones here, I highly recommend Doria Doriano Crackers* (so moreish!)
  • Red chilli, to serve

To make the stock, simply roughly chop one onion, 2 carrots (peel, but add the peelings too), and 2 celery sticks and throw into a large pan. Break up the chicken carcass and add that, then top with plenty of water. Bring to the boil then simmer for as long as possible, skimming scum off the surface every ten or so minutes. Strain into another saucepan, and then reduce down until you have around a litre of stock.

 photo Chicken Chowder12_zpszkrvinct.jpgFor the chowder, chop the bacon and fry in a little oil until crisp. Remove and set aside. Dice the remaining onion, carrots and celery, then fry in the bacon fat along with the potato (peeled and cubed into 1cm dice) and parley stalks (finely chopped) until soft and caramelised. Keep stirring to stop the veg burning, but try not to rush this stage.

Add the stock to the veg, along with the sweetcorn and chicken. Simmer for 10 minutes until reduced slightly, then whizz with a handblender. Add a splash of cream, season well and serve with parsley leaves, bacon pieces and some crushed crackers. I like to grate some fresh red chilli over at the end for a bit of a kick!
 photo Chicken Chowder11_zpsutwqtjjy.jpgServed with the crackers, this doesn’t need anything else. The contrast in textures and flavours makes this super yummy, and it also freezes really well (though I’d add the cream after reheating!). The perfect use for leftover chicken!

What’s your favourite way of using up leftover chicken? Have you ever made a chowder?

 

 

What’s Occuring Wednesday: October Favourites

How is it November already?! I can’t believe it’s less than a month til my 21st, then it will soon be Christmas. Especially with the recent weather! Yes, when it’s bad it’s pretty horrendous, but I went out in a thin cardigan on Saturday. I haven’t worn anything thicker than a trench coat yet…

Having said that, I have been making the post of the darker nights. I spoke a few weeks ago about how they can make me miserable, so I’ve been making sure I have some good old me-time. A candle-lit soak in the bath, candles burning, fresh flowers, some good hot chocolate. I’ve been working my way through a variety of Options sachets, so far I’ve not been impressed with the white chocolate, but loved the orange version. The ginger one comes a close second.

1441238_10152069947758516_1130915187_nI’ve been getting to work on my New Year’s Resolutions too! It may be 10 months late, but I’ve finally made my own bread! I followed James Morton’s recipe (doesn’t he look identical to my boyfriend?!), and it turned out pretty damn good. Served with homemade soup (I’ve made three different soups in 10 days, with another on the menu tomorrow…) it’s so much better than bought bread. I’m less bloated, and it just tastes far nicer. Mine was a little burnt, hence I’ve sneaked a photo of the bread my boyfriend baked a few months ago!

 photo 3e96256d-3aec-4f6a-adc7-f473e558001c_zpsd031a75b.jpgAlso in the kitchen – popcorn. Need I say more?! I had a craving for it a few days ago, but decided to make my own. Best. Decision. Ever. It’s ridiculously easy, so delicious, and can be made quicker than I can walk to the corner shop. My first batch was a mix of salty and sweet, my second included cinnamon. Look forward to plenty of recipes in the coming months! I’ve been loving curling up with a good book. I’ve really enjoyed “Where I Found You” recently, but was distinctly unimpressed by “One Day” – I was expecting so much better, but I actually found it quite badly written. Popcorn and reading – there isn’t a better combination!

 photo c1f3f2b9-db92-4479-b6e8-9a5a2bc6d213_zps094cf7f3.jpgIt’s been a quiet October really. We celebrated our fourth anniversary of being together (over Skype), paid to cook our own steak, I’ve found my favourite budget beauty buy of the year, and I’ve started applying for summer internships. To finish off the month, I found out I’d won the #CurrysStudentHacks with this post, and now have a shiny Chromebook on its way to me – no more lugging my laptop up and down the country every few weeks! And tonight I’m off out dressed up to an awards evening with my boyfriend – expect a post about my lovely dress very shortly!

How was your October?

Review: Flava-It With Meat Lust (& THE Crispiest Wings)

 photo 2014-09-22182550_zps73fc0616.jpgI love chicken wings. If I wasn’t so self-conscious about making a mess they would be my go-to order in Nandos, and I’m desperate to try some of the London-based wing restaurants too (damn you allergy!). When Meat Lust got in touch about sending me over some marinades, a quick check revealed they’d advise against me having them, but would my family like a try. Fine. I was hugely jealous, until I got the parcel and read the packet. Turns out only the Original BBQ flavour contained tomato, with the three other flavours I was sent being Chloe-safe. I was over the moon, my parents not so as I promptly snuck them back to my Surrey hideaway.

 photo 2014-09-22182613_zps30cd5dea.jpg photo 2014-09-22193827_zps8790a955.jpgBuffalo wings* were the first to be tried out, and I think this was my favourite flavour. Not too sweet, not too spicy, but still a flavourful kick. These marinades are super simple. Scatter the powder over the meat (I rubbed it in slightly) and leave for 10 minutes. That’s it. I would recommend leaving for longer if you have time, but 10 minutes is perfectly fine if that’s all you’ve got. Now for crispy wings here’s a tip I’ve stolen from good ole’Jamie Oliver (probably one of my favourite chefs, as I just love his recipes). A tablespoon of medium ground polenta over your wings before they go in the oven, and they will be crispy, with a texture almost as though they have been deep-fried. I’ve recently been using some Maizemeal* from Real Foods (an amazing site for health foods and a whole range of toiletries and other exciting things. I like to browse it on a Sunday afternoon over cake and tea…). Super quality, crunch and flavour, superior to any I’ve bought from a supermarket. Bake the wings for 30 minutes, turn and bake for another 20. Super crispy skin, moist flesh. The may look a little black in my photo, but they weren’t far from burnt. Utter perfection, although the tray was a bugger to clean.

Louisiana BBQ was my least favourite flavour, far too sweet for my liking, although it did go pretty well with the pork ribs. Ghost Chilli was exceptionally hot, but really good too. I think I would have loved this flavour had the wings been cooked a little better – the lack of polenta made them a little greasy (sorry dad!). No pictures of these two as I was nearly too ill to eat, let alone photograph my food. But despite my general disease, the food still tasted good. I’ll definitely be picking up a few more of these marinades for next summer! I will say however that the photos on the packets aren’t really representative of what you end up with – they definitely weren’t any sauces produced, but delicious all the same.

Disclaimer: I was sent four marinades to review (one of which has killer tomato in, and has been left with family to trial), but this doesn’t alter my opinions at all. I was also (separately) sent the polenta/maizemeal from Real Foods, and again my opinion is unbiased.

What’s your favourite flavour to marinade meat in? Will you be trying any Meat Lust products?

Student Summer: Basic Recipes

Bit of a cheat post, but I was recently sent a link to this infographic and thought it fitted really well within my Student Summer series. I will be doing more simple step-by-step recipes as the series goes on, but this is seriously useful.

Student Recipes Infographic

Source: Walton Robinson

Click here to print-out the individual recipe cards

 I’d have found something like this really useful when I started to learn how to cook – a bunch of healthy recipes in one place. Cookery books are all very well and good, but have you ever tried to keep some of the smaller ones open whilst chopping and stirring? It’s not hugely easy!

For more student recipes, I really recommend having a look at the Birmingham Student Foodie, Lottie’s Little Kitchen, Handbags & Cupcakes and A Girl Called Jack (not a student, but fabulous budget recipes). And of course, feel free to go through my older posts too!

What recipes would you like to know how to make?

Friday Favourites: Food Blogs

 photo Blogs_zps57407db5.jpgWelcome to the second in this series…of me spreading some blogger love (and also being a little lazy through exams!). Today I’m going to go through some of my favourite food blogs. I’ve read food blogs for years, since way before I discovered Bloglovin’, and so it feels lovely to be able to share some of my absolute go-to blogs if I want a recipe, opinion, or just some inspiration. Remember, one of my favourites has been nominated for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards by me (I mentioned it here, but I genuinely wish I could nominated everything!)

Now, warning, this post may make you hungry…

 photo ThoroughlyEnglish_zpsc91b500f.pngFirst up we have Thoroughly English. I guess you could call this a lifestyle blog, but I started reading because of the lovely recipes, and the amazing photography. Food photography is (in my opinion) one of the hardest to get right and I’d love to improve. Bess’s photos are absolutely lovely, her writing style is so relaxed and I really need to make this Chicken & Sweetcorn Soup soon!

 photo HandbagsampCupcakes_zps4e284611.pngNext up we have Handbags & Cupcakes, which is another blog which could also go in the lifestyle category…but I put it here because I just love her Peanut Butter Brownies, they are delicious and not too bad for you, what’s not to love?! Rachel got highly commended in the Lifestyle (I think!) category last year, and it’d be lovely to see her there or better again this year.

 photo LottiesLittleKitchen_zpsee9952d6.pngNow its the girl who actually inspired me to start blogging, Lottie from Lottie’s Little Kitchen. I found her blog via my boyfriend (they go to the same university) and I have been forever grateful as I really look forward to seeing her recipes every week. Her Herbed Roast Chicken inspired my very first Roast, and it was rather delicious if I say so myself!

 photo KatiesKitchenJournal_zps7eb791c5.pngI’ve not been reading this next blog very often (for just over a week actually) but its fast becoming a favourite. Katie’s Kitchen Journal is another blog with beautiful food photography and one of my favourite layouts – her recipes look awesome too! I really want to try her Courgette and Lime Cake!

 photo PinchofYum_zps63e6dd32.pngFinally I’ve had to include Pinch of Yum, as it has one of my most favourite recipes – I must post my version sometime! I probably unattractively dribbled when I first read the Chicken Bacon Wild Rice Soup post!

Did reading this post make you hungry? Writing it made me a little peckish, so much so I may have treated myself to half a tub of Ben & Jerry’s at the laptop – Peanut Butter Cup is my flavour of choice! Remember to vote for your favourite blogs in the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards!

Who’s your favourite food blogger?