Monday, 1 September 2014

When I first tasted this dip, I did the whole "Ooh scrummy-diddly-uptious!" face that women do in yoghurt adverts.  You know the kind.  The take a bite on an empty spoon and then actually swoon, because that yoghurt changed their lives.

Yeah.  It was that good.  It was stupid yoghurt face good.  I will rarely say that about my own recipes, but damn, this stuff is now my crack.  I am in love with it.

I made it because the lovely people at Getting Personal sent me this beautiful serving board and I had a bag of sweet potatoes that needed eating.  You know when an idea just hits you, and you think, I am going to make history.  Potato history.

I won't say it's the best dip ever, because I dislike it when people do that, but I will tell you that since I made this dip, I have had a pot of it consistently in my fridge for midnight snacks, adult grown up dinner parties.

Onto the competition:  You have the chance to win your very own personalised Jamie Oliver serving board, just like this one.  I can vouch that it is proper lush, good quality, and who doesn't like having their named stamped on things?  The winner will receive a board, with words and year of their choice. (Don't worry, you won't get a board with my name on, unless that's your name).

So what do you have to do?  Not much!  Winner will be picked at random, so make sure you get as many entries in as you can!

Sweet potato and Chorizo are one of my favourite flavour combinations.  I think it's impossible to have just one, so all I'm asking for is for you to comment on the blog post with one of yours.

What's one of your favourite flavour combinations?  If I see one I really agree with, I'll make a post around it :)


This is probably one of the easiest recipes I'll ever share.  I should have stamped with with the "quick and easy" logo, because it is really THAT simple.

2 large peeled sweet potato, chopped into chunks
80g Chorizo chopped into chunks (uncooked)
Tablespoon Olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon smoked Paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric

In lieu of chorizo, place 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of  chilli powder and 1/2 onion mixed together.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6.  On a large baking tray, place the chopped potato and chorizo, cover with the olive oil, red wine vinegar, paprika and turmeric.

Place your tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes until everything is cooked and your potato is soft to touch.

Using a food processor, or hand blender, whizz your baked goods up until it forms a smooth paste.

Serve straight away with an array of carrot sticks & toasted pitta fingers, or save for a later date.  It will keep covered in the fridge for about 5 days.

So don't forget to enter the competition to win this awesome personalised chopping board - Closing date is the 8th September, so get entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Friday, 29 August 2014

I've been away from the internet this week (hence the lack of blogs) but to think I'd miss out on my Friday post, you'd be having a laugh!

I've been cooking for myself, like a big grown up adult for about 7 years.  Which sounds bad when you learn that I'm officially in my mid-20s.  (Wtf, when did that happen?)

So it won't surprise you that I still come across words / types of cooking / ingredients and have no idea what they are.  I sometimes watch the Great British Bake off and it confuses me that they know all this stuff and it makes me feel terribly unlearned.

So in my mission to make myself look like a complete unsophisticated arse, I made up a guessing game and then I played it with my family.  We're cool like that.

My brother, who we shall nickname hercules, read out words, and mum & I guessed them.  Points went to the closest guess.

It got a bit heated...  Here we go!

What do we think it is?

Emma: I imagine big science laboratories, with mad scientists screaming "IT'S ALIVE!  MUAHAHA"  So something to do with blending together dishes, but with science, a bit like that guy who becomes half a fly in that film I've never watched all the way through.  Think breads with half a courgette sticking out of it, or ice cream with sausages.
Mum: Ohh yeah, good answer, I think it's like that, but not as dramatic.  Perhaps a mixture of cooking styles and ingredients.  Ohh and flavours!  Put that I said flavours!


Were we right?:

Emma: I'd give myself a point for that one, mainly for courgette stick bread and sausage ice cream.
Mum: Score, That was a pretty good guess!

Emma: 1 point
Mum:  2 points

What do we think it is?

Emma: Italian gangster food,  I'm thinking spaghetti and meatballs eaten on red checker board tablecloths.  I'm feeling bread sticks, sad eyes and sad lowly trumpets.
Mum:  Are you sure you aren't confusing it with Al Capone?
Emma: Possibly, but I have no idea what it actually is.
Mum:  Hmm, well I think it's a term to describe a baking style, I've not heard of it either.


Were we right?:

Emma: Don't laugh, don't laugh, don't laugh.  No.  It appears we...ahem.. cocked up.  Puns are allowed, right?
Mum: -laughs- Oh I knew that!  Oi! you pronounced it wrong! Its pronounce CAPE-ON (still don't get any points, so nerr)


What do we think it is?

Emma: I have a feeling I know what this is.  I think it might be cooking fat, maybe from pigs or something, I've got a feeling it's yellowish in colour,  It also makes me think of musicals.  But I think I might be confusing that with glee.
Mum:  Glee?  Pigs? Hahah, It's an Indian butter, right?


Were we right?:

Emma: I'm going to give myself a point for knowing it's colour and use.
Mum:   Are you just going to keep giving yourself points?
Emma: Most likely.  It's okay for you, you've got most of them right so far!

Emma: 1 point
Mum:  2 points

What do we think it is?

Emma:  I think this is a series of mini delicious on to go restaurants, a little like food trucks but for midgets or vegans or something.  Or maybe it's food that sells from weird vehicles?  Like turnips from portable wheelbarrows (Aren't all wheelbarrows portable Emma?) or sandwiches from go-karts.
Mum: An eating place, I've heard of it before, it's so annoying, did you pronounce it right this time?  Hehe,   It's either that or a wee creature or somewhere nice to eat.  Yeah, that's what I think.


Were we right?

Emma: I'm giving myself a point because aren't snails really just vegans in a travelling restaurants? 
Mum: I think snails eat little insects, and I don't think you can use your other example about midgets in wheelbarrows or whatever you said.  So I don't see a point here Emma.
Emma: Haha midgets in wheelbarrows!?  I never said that!  Anyway, I made up the game, I can make up the awards system.  I get a point for creativity.
Mum: Emma!

Emma: 1 point
Mum:  1 point

What do we think it is?

Emma: Oh I know this, I have this image in my head of a chicken doing the splits.  It's something to do with chickens and open legs.
Mum: OOH, that sounds funny!  It's either a rude nickname for kitchen utensils, which wouldn't surprise me with you, Or it's an old cooking term.  Hmm, maybe to fry something, like a duck.


Were we right?

Emma: Yes.  3 points to me.
Mum: Hey!  Why do you get 3 points for a right answer and I only get two?!  CHEAT!
Emma:  I get 3 because I was so spot on.  Plus I put the image of a chicken doing the splits in your head.  That deserves a point all on it's own.
Mum: I want a disclaimer at the end of this saying that I raised a bloody cheat.

-DISCLAIMER- Mum raised a cheat but is a sore loser.  Cheeky -WINK-

Emma: 3 points
Mum:  0 point

What do we think it is?

Emma: I think it's a biscuit.  A really big delicious buttery biscuit.  Or a cookie, with chocolate chunks.
Mum: I think a plancha sounds like, um, a dish and I'm going to say, a spanish dish or plate -puts on fabulous spanish accent- "Hey, Have some meat off'a ma plancha!"


Were we right?

Emma: No.  it appears I'm so off the mark with this one that I can't even give myself a point for creativity.
Emma: Three?!  I think you'll find it's 2!
Mum: I get a point for doing an accent.
Emma: I'll give you that actually.

Emma: 0 points
Mum:  3 points

What do we think it is?

Emma: I see it a lot in vegan blogs, so I think it's a plant or something.  Something green, and probably very healthy..
Mum: I'm with you, I think it's a herb or something.


Were we right?

Emma: That's scarily spot on for both of us, I'm impressed with our knowledge.
Mum: We did pretty good job there.  This round was very civilised.

Emma: 2 points
Mum:  2 points

What do we think it is?

Emma: It's German, it's gotta be something with big fat sausages, maybe with beer.  Ohh beer flavoured sausages, served by women, wearing those fluffy poofy tops and like overall dresses, what are they called?
Mum: Pinafores.  
Emma: That's my answer.  Beer sausages & pinafores.
Mum: Now you've said that I can't stop picturing a german man in lederhosen.  Hmm, he's getting in a round of drinks in a bar.  That's going off my German language skills, it's something to do with drinks.
Emma: This has become a bit like a psychic reading "He's wearing... lederhosen.... I'm getting a distinct feeling of.. him buying a round of drinks.."


Were we right?

Emma: Yes.  I give myself points for knowing it was about beer. 
Mum: If you get a point for that bullshit, I get a point for creating you.
Emma: You can have one point.
Mum: I will have 8 points,  one for each hour of labour, unless you stop cheating.

Emma: 1 point
Mum:  2 points, including one for creating me.

What do we think it is?

Emma: I think this is a rabbit dish, made with lots of stinky cheese, the kind you store in a really tight lunchbox.  Something REALLY FANCY.
Mum: I know this one, it's cheese on toast.


Were we right?

Emma: I said cheese, can I have a point?
Mum: You said it was a rabbit stuffed with stinky lunch-box cheese.
Emma: Fine.  Half a point!
Mum: You are the sore loser!

Me: ½ point
Mum:  2 points

Emma: 9 ½ points
Mum: 14 points

Emma: Damn.
Mum: I think what we can take away from this is that cheaters never win.
Emma: Except that they do because you obviously cheated.
Mum: I didn't cheat!  You did the scoring!
Emma: You & hercules are in on it.  I bet you.
Mum: You cheeky little bugger!  

Have a great weekend guys!  And cheers to my mum for playing / putting up with me.

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Friday, 22 August 2014

Before we begin, I want to share something utterly amazing with you.  The first cake I ever baked on my own, without a box mix or anything.  This is from 9 years ago....

-Cue flashback harp music-

Note that it is lumpy, bumpy and lopsided, and that I have food colouring all over my hands (and face, but you can't see that part) You've probably noticed I haven't exactly mastered icing the sides yet, in fact, I've literally just rubbed excess on there like the badass I am.

This was at a time where adding balls was the pinnacle of making things look classy, and I have exceeded sophistication with this effort.  There are many balls, are varied colours, and to top it off, extra balls, daintily interspersed around two pink sugarcraft elephants.

Finally, you'll see that I've kindly told people what it is AND it's colour, just in case you didn't know.  Some would call it obviousness.  I call it certainty.  There's no doubt about what I'm giving you here.

I loved it, wobbly, lumpy bits and all (Just like you should love YOURSELF.  Deep,).  It wasn't perfect, but damn, it was awesome.

I loved being taught how to bake.  Which is why today, I shall be sharing my ultimate plethora of crap I've learnt along the years.  I'm nice like that.

"Buy an apron.  You probably won't wear it more than once, and it will become more of a dish-rag, but such is life and the universe.  We don't question it"

"No one will know if you lick the spoon.  Or bowl.  Or counters"

"Get out all of your ingredients on the countertop.  Look at them for a while.  Talk to them.  Give them the pep talk.  Huddle in with the oven, and perhaps offer it a bribe.   This is literally the only certain way to cooking victory.  You are at the mercy of a series of small undecipherable instances that are completely out of your control.  Have fun!"

"You will confuse salt with sugar at least once & you will forget to soften your butter and not realise why it's important to do until it's too late."

"Cracking eggs is a skill all in itself."

"Learning to turn on a tap with your arm is an invaluable skill when you have mucky hands.  Practice it at all times."

"We've measured, we've bribed.  We've made our sacrificial offering to the gods,  If all goes to plan, your kitchen will feel as enchanted as a fairy fart.  If not, then deal with the impending doom by eating cake batter.  Batter makes it better."

"The best way to learn is with your hands (cheeky).  Beat eggs with a whisk, fold in flour manually and make butter icing at least once by hand.  Yes, your arm will ache, Yes, you might end up squinting and going a bit mental near the end, but I'll tell you something.  You'll never beat a baker in an arm wrestle."

"I am a full believer in making mistakes to learn from them.  If you add too much flour, or half of it ends up of the floor, just roll with it.  Mistakes don't make a bad baker.  Remember that because you will make a lot of them."

"If things are going well, you might feel the urge to experiment.  Maybe you should throw in some cocoa powder?  Or some garlic paste and maybe half a courgette?  That all sounds great, you're thinking like a true baker now.  Or a crazy person.  (They are kind of the same thing.)  Sometimes it's good to go a bit nuts, but sometimes no harm comes from following a recipe."

"Sit and watch things baking.   Nervously check it, without opening the oven door, for the whole cooking time."

"Hover over people as they try your creation.  Literally stare at them in the face like some sort of demented hawk until they say something nice."

Have a great weekend all!  

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