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Food Diary the good, the bad and the ugly!

Everyone who knows me will testify that I LOVE food, not only eating it but also to the amusement/irritation of some, photographing it which is why I've decided to document the good, the bad and the ugly of what fuels my body on a daily basis. Light & kit-wise I try to use only available natural window light & shoot with my Lumix GX8 coupled with either my 20mm F1.7 pancake lens or 42.5mm nocticron f1.2.

Most will also know that generally I eat fairly healthily although my motto has always been everything in moderation so nothing is off the menu. If I fancy it, I'll eat it.

Dippy.

Welcome! My first post just HAS to be my all time favourite, fresh dippy eggs with toasted rye. These ones were courtesy of my daughter's boyfriend's family.

In our house they HAVE to be boiled for 5 minutes to ensure a soft centre but no bogey-esque white bits! How about you?

Back to Basics.

As much as I adore avocado & eggs, sometimes I just want to be less hipster ;) with a fuss free, avocado free breakfast.

Toast with PROPER butter always does the trick, add to that a glass of orange juice and a mug of coffee and I'm good to go.

Plain, simple but still delicious! What's your favourite toast topper?

Chocolate Heaven.

It's Easter, and the time of year to live chocolate, eat chocolate and dream chocolate! I love to make things pretty so use my vintage teacups to display eggs in. The problem with this though is that they're always there calling my name and in easy reach!

By the time I've written this sentence I can guarantee at least one of the teacups will be empty from my sheer gluttony & inability to say no.

I can whole heartedly recommend the gold ones (Galaxy Golden Eggs) .... a smooth velvety taste sensation mmmmmmm.

Have a much chocolate filled Easter everyone!

Nutribullet Goodness.

I love my Nutribullet and on days like this when I need a boost after the excesses of yesterday's Easter chocolate it's perfect for whizzing up a quick, filling but healthy smoothie. Frozen raspberries & pineapple, milk and beetroot powder which not only adds to the depth of colour but adds a lovely natural sweetness.

A handful of almonds and some superfood goji berries and I feel ready for another round of Easter eggs ...

Damned Bank Holidays!

I don't know if it's the chocolate that's made me lethargic but I just couldn't sum up the energy to cook tonight. With both my eldest and middle offspring being away I've treated myself and my son to a takeaway. The above is what I presume to be a "healthier" option ... plain boiled rice and stir fried vegetables with ginger and spring onion. Quite greasy but the chocolate will soak all that up ;)

It's A Veggie Kinda Day.

My son went off to his school trip at an ungodly hour this morning so after getting back from taking him and putting the dustbins out in the dark I crawled back into bed to catch up on some much needed Z's.

I woke up at 11-30 so breakfast & lunch were rolled into one with a plate of Quorn sausages, avocado and sweetcorn topped with my favourite Cholula hot sauce which gave me a great kick start!

Comfort food.

Sometimes all you need is a bowl of white carbs to make the world look like a better place and to make you feel that life will be ok! I looked in the freezer for the obligatory ice cream but we were all out so pasta was my next go to.

My daughter's favourite is with melted butter however for me grate some lovely Stilton over al dente pasta and I'm happy* lady.

*happier

How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning.

Sunny side up with lightly toasted granary bread and grilled bacon. I'm not mad keen on orange juice but I needed a vitamin C hit.

A hot cup Twinings green tea and I was set up until lunchtime hunger kicked in!

Unwrapped.

Couldn't resist #thatisall

Gone in 60 Seconds.

Footy today (crucial game for NCFC) so freshly laid dippy eggs, wholemeal toast and green tea was my choice for breakfast.

Probability of a pie passing my lips? ... a good 90% although had they still be selling Delia's pies it'd be a definite 100%.

Come on You Yellowwwwwws!

Paprika Kick.

Ahhhhh lazy school holiday breakfasts, what would I do without my trusty eggs, filling and tasty. I sprinkled on a little paprika as we've run out of our favourite Cholula hot sauce. Perfect!

Lunch On The Run.

Having driven Zac to the orthodontist then dropped him to meet his sister in Norwich for lunch, I grabbed a quick sandwich and pack of ready salted to eat on the run.

Needs must.

Cocktails & Mocktails.

Being Korean I've always suffered from the dreaded Asian flush. After only a sip of alcohol I go LOBSTER red, feel like my eyes and face are burning up and come out in a rash.

As a young teen this was not a good look and to this day I still don't drink which means I'm resigned to a life of mocktails. This one is ginger beer, cranberry and of course crushed fresh mint.

Eggs Of All Kind.

I know I know, not the healthiest breakfast but I was in a rush to get out of the door. A quick peer into the bread bin came up with a solitary stale crumpet so these foil covered beauties were my only other option ... you know how it is ...

Bitesize.

One of my favourite sweet treats are these toffee crisp bites but they HAVE to be chilled. Thanks for these ones go to my middle daughter and her boy friend although my waistline isn't all that thankful #muffintop

Do do do do doooooo I'm Lovin It.

Tomorrow I'll start eating healthier, promise. I always eat the fries first, the selects accompanied by the BBQ dip then the drink.

How do you eat yours?

Porridge.

Love it or hate it porridge is good for you and most importantly as it's slow release, it keeps the snacking at bay for longer. That's got to be great news.

To regular Aldi porridge oats I added a couple of teaspoons of beetroot powder, a generous sprinkle of chia seeds and some flaked almonds to give it some bite. The beetroot powder gives it a gentle natural sweetness, fresh cold milk poured over the top and I'm ready to tuck in!

Froth.

Who doesn't love a good coffee? Coffee snobs would turn their noses up at the coffee I love though. It tends to be more milk than coffee and I always have to ask for half shot (strong coffee does funny things to me and makes me faint)

What I enjoy probably nearly as much as the coffee is seeing the talented baristas create their works of art on top of my latte. This image doesn't demonstrate these skills perfectly but a frothy heart never fails to make me smile.

Udon.

What can I say, a hot spicy Tom Yum ramen is all you need. A rummage in the fridge produced tofu and some past their best mushrooms ... I chucked them in regardless and they were surprisingly tasty. I'd usually add a handful of something green (spinach, kale, mangetout) for a hit of colour & vits.

Cleansing.

I love a good builders cuppa (milk no sugar) but generally it's a herbal green tea that fills my cup. I'm not a fan of the fruit teas, why do they always smell SO much better than they taste?

Current favourite is a Korean brown rice green tea (should be available from Asian supermarkets) I've no idea if it's better for you than regular green tea but lacks that bitter taste some green teas have especially when left a little too long to steep

Catch Ups.

Catch ups wouldn't be catch ups (loved hearing about your Amsterdam shenanigans Katie) without coffee and a bite to eat. This was at the Dandy Horse in Norwich, a bike shop/cafe, serving fabulous coffee, cake and the best filled bagels in the city. My choice was The New York Deli, cream cheese, pastrami and gherkin, highly recommended!

Sunny Side Up ... And A Satsuma!

A hit of vitamin C without having to drink a whole glass of orange juice! I'm not keen on fruit but could eat veg until it comes of my ears and of course the obligatory hipster avocado.

Shakshuka.

One of my favourites my daughter makes for us is Shakshuka, shakshuka is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, and onions, often spiced with cumin. It is believed to have a Jewish Libyan origin Original made in Libya, North Africa. To this one she added some stir fried quorn pieces

Delicious!

Boil Boil.

Who else has a saucepan purely for boiling eggs? Surely can't be just me ... I've had this one YEARS as you can see by the state of it.

Recently laziness has kicked in and instead of cooking poached eggs then having to wash the pan I've started to cook dippy eggs, peeling and serving over toast spread with sliced avocado. No butter required.

Et Voila!

Annnnnnnnnd the finished article

Note to self - sand down and re oil the work top!

Pizza Dough In The Making.

There's something so relaxing about kneading dough or is it more that you can take your frustrations out on it ...

I wanted to prep this so it had time to prove before the "I'm starving" crew got back from school and college. Everyone likes different toppings so I made the bases then let everyone pile on what they fancied.

Friday Night.

I'm not usually sanctimonious but I hate those shop bought cardboard style pizza bases. The dough for this base only took about five minutes to make plus the proving time, I mean how easy is that?

We whizzed up a tin of tomatoes to make a super quick tomato sauce then my topping of choice to kick start the weekend was mozzarella, basil, parma ham and olives, a perfect start to my weekend!

Cleanse Time.

After eating my bodyweight in white carbs last night this morning I'm bloated.com so starting the day with a pot of green tea which apparently helps to speed up your metabolism!

Morning Cuppa.

Nettle? Green? Camomile?

I couldn't decide so made all three, this way I don't have to get up from my computer to make more, indecisiveness does have a silver lining ...

Bits And Pieces.

A "bits and pieces" lunch is one of my children's favourites and this was leftovers from a picnic we took out yesterday. Plain, simple but still very delicious and more importantly quick!

Black Rice.

It was a case of what's in the fridge and freezer for this meal that my daughter cooked and I have to say she really came up trumps!

Black rice cooked in vegetable stock served with stir fried Quorn "chicken" pieces, leeks, tender stem broccoli, sweetcorn, mushrooms and mangetout.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.

Brunch.

I give myself one day off a week to get out, meet friends, photograph and to just "be" One of my favourite places to brunch in my local city of Norwich has got to be The Bicycle Shop on St Benedicts.

Along with the always fantastic freshly cooked food I adore the mismatched crockery and randomness of it's interior.

Click the link above to visit their Facebook page.

Falafel Lover.

This is from Moorish Falafel, the absolute best falafel haunt in Norwich and also in the famous & fabulous Norwich Lanes. If you haven't yet taken a visit I'd get there pronto.

My recommendation? Definitely the Moorish Pitta, 3 of their delicious falafels, served stuffed into a pitta along with hummus, the house salad and lettuce.

Extra tip? Go for ALL the sauces!

Tabasco Hit.

I seem to have grown a pot belly and a rather uncomfortable muffin top so with this in mind I've been trying to avoid white carbs, I have to say 95% unsuccessfully!

(I'm a total sucker for pasta and my budget at present doesn't stretch to expensive gluten free).

This morning I swapped my regular dippy egg toast soldiers with fingers of avocado, gave the eggs a little flourish of paprika then a good shake of Tabasco and I have to say it tasted GOOOOOOOOOD! Give it a go.

A whole Lorra Pho Loving.

Catch ups are ALWAYS better over food and today's one was at a fabulous new Pho pop up at The Alley, Norwich. In my eagerness to get said Pho in my cake hole I somehow managed to totally forget that we'd arranged to meet elsewhere beforehand only prompted by a call saying "are you far away?" ... oops.

We went for the 12 Hour Organic Beef Pho and the Free Range Chicken Pho. I chose to add a generous squeeze of fresh lime and a good smattering of chilli sauce which gave it a great hot kick.

Simple fresh ingredients but a taste sensation. Definitely the way to go! Well done George, in the words of Arnie, I'll be back! See links to both The Alley and the creator of the Pho pop up's Instagram below.

Froth.

Although milky, I was in need of a caffeine boost and this one prior to lunch hit the spot. For me, it's latte all the way.

Bon Appetito!

Gooooood morning weekend!

On the menu today, scrambled eggs with a side of Parma ham and my trusty avocado all washed down with a mug of Korean brown rice green tea.

I don't know about you but scrambled eggs, cooked either in the pan or heaven forbid (cough cough) ... in the microwave, they HAVE to still be slightly soft. Solid, grey scrambled just doesn't cut the mustard!

Cake Cake Cake!!

These slices of cake (Lemon & Poppy seed and Victoria Sponge topped with mascarpone & strawberries) were ENORMOUS but every last crumb was devoured! If you haven't yet visited No33 on Exchange Street in Norwich yet then it's well worth a visit. Not only do they have some of the best proper homemade cakes in the city but the brunches are also to die for along with a fabulous lunch menu!

Family run and using quality ingredients what more could you want?

Tip - If you're going for brunch on a Sunday get there early or be prepared for queues!

A Table Full Of Colour.

With both my girls away and Zac refusing my offer of a steaming bowl of veggie ramen I went ahead and made one for myself.

Veg stock, shitake mushrooms, fresh chillies, white pepper, egg noodles and garlic topped with a soft boiled egg, mangetout, crispy seaweed, a handful of coriander and a generous squeeze of lime! All fresh ingredients from Aldi.

Ahhhhhhhhhh, comfort food is the best.

Cwwoffeeeee.

Oh how I love you latte.

Hot, frothy, comforting and totally tasty.

Breakfast Bacon Sarnie Anyone?

I really should get back to healthier ways with porridge but sometimes all you need is a bacon sarnie ... or four.

Aldi Loving Household.

Ok so Aldi isn't the nicest shopping experience in any shape or form however since the store arrived in my local town which already houses a large Morrison and Tesco I've managed to at least halve my weekly grocery bill!

The quality is on a par, if not better than the other stores and I'd be a fool not to give them my money. Sometimes the choice isn't as varied but the positive from that is it takes me less time to get round. Take out the choice, cut your shopping time!

Mish Mash.

It's the end of the week and the fridge and cupboards are looking pretty bare. A little rummage produced a couple of wrinkly green peppers, a red chilli, and some eggs. I ALWAYS have a large sack of Korean sticky rice on the shelf so just combined all the above sad looking ingredients in a frying pan with sesame oil and garlic before throwing in the cooked rice.

I'm not a big soy sauce fan so I only add a little then leave the crew to add more to taste.

Celebrating the weekend with a fluffy bacon, baby spinach, cheddar and chilli brunch omelette. A sprinkle of tabasco took it from tasty to super tasty!

Straight From The Bag.

I generally try to bypass the local bakery but when I do get lured in, I tend to go for the pies and savouries rather than the sweet cakes. This time the pizza wouldn't stop winking at me.

Cheers To The Weekend!

One of our favourite tipples is Prosecco with a dash of delicious elderflower or pomegranate cordial. TV on, pj's on then it's time to pile onto the sofa.

Slow Release.

Take one massive bowl of porridge, top with soft brown sugar, flaked almonds, whole almonds and milk. Guzzle down.

Hunger staved until lunchtime.

Gone.

I don't care if it's Heinz or not but soup HAS to be piping hot which is why taking a photo HAD to wait until AFTER I'd eaten, crusty homemade (not by me) granary bread, lashings of butter and homemade curried veg soup (again not by me).

If you're ever in Diss, Norfolk pop into this brilliant little vegetarian cafe for FANTASTIC homemade fare!

It's All About The 'Slaw.

Colourful food makes me happy! This healthier version of mayonnaise laden coleslaw is super simple but uber tasty! Just thinly slice red & white cabbage along with a "hoooooge" (I'm from Norfolk OK) bunch of chopped fresh coriander.

Squeeze in the juice of a couple of lemons, a very generous glug of cider vinegar plus a drizzle of olive oil.

I also like to add halved olives and finely sliced fresh chillies or jalepenos. Pan fried salmon makes a perfect accompaniment. Give it a go!

Oh Hi Afternoon Slump.

Caffeine hit I needed you.

What No Avocado?

As you will have realised, I ADORE eggs, any time of day but most frequently for breakfast. I'd run out of both Tabasco and Cholula sauce so quickly mixed up a heaped teaspoon of Korean kochujang (a hot pepper paste) with some cider vinegar, a little sesame oil and a splash of light soy sauce.

A good drizzle over my cheery eggs and I was good to go!

Lunchtime Special.

Yessssssss! I love a lunch time menu and this one didn't disappoint. Shoyu Ramen (soy sauce base, house made chashu, boiled egg, fresh leek and nori) was my choice at Shiki Japanese restaurant in Norwich.

If like me you love fresh Japanese food, you'll love Shiki! (bookings are advisable as it's always busy)

Coffee, Cake AND Edible Flowers?

I've been meaning to drop by pop up cafe Milk and Moss on St Benedicts for ages since seeing their beautiful cakes on their Instagram page.

I struggle not to let "normal" looking cake pass my lips let alone these beauties which are all homemade and frequently topped with the most gorgeous edible flowers. I really am a sucker for pretty food!

Visit their website at the link I've included below.

Lightly Toasted.

How do you like your toast? One of my daughters likes it on the verge of burnt, me? Well it's got to be lightly toasted, just showing signs of being sun kissed. Add to that a good spreading of butter and some grilled bacon and I'm happy.

Love A Sausage ... Oh Matron.

Sometimes you just NEED a fat laden, calorie laden meal with not a vegetable in sight!

There are four fish and chip shops in my little local town of Diss but there's one on Fair Green we always frequent, the chips are the perfection, crispy and dry on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Add to that the smiley and friendly service and it's definitely a winner!

Ella's Foccacia.

Els (my middle daughter) makes a very mean focaccia and what better than the smell of freshly baked bread in the house. She has a tendency to decide to make it in the evening which means I just HAVE to taste a slice or 3 laden with butter before bed.

Fun Gums.

Anyone remember these? They're way too easy to eat and if they're sitting on the side I'm afraid I have little self control.

Gyoza Love.

We love this plain and simple meal of steamed then lightly fried dumplings served with plain sticky rice and a chilli/vinegar dipping sauce. Always hits the spot.

Mmmmmmmmmmm Crumpet.

I don't know how you toast yours but mine have to be toasted twice then smothered in butter and a thin layer of Marmite.

Loadsa Peas.

I somehow seem to have accumulated a glut of packs of peas in the freezer so the only thing for it was to make a huge batch of pea and ham soup. With my eldest daughter coming home for the long Bank Holiday weekend I knew she'd help me make a dent in it and the rest I'll freeze!

Take Out.

Sorry I've been lax on updating this blog, I've been away a lot and have been like a dog chasing it's tail but never catching it when back home! Seriously, just where does time go?

Anyway ... apparently the average human body is 50-65% water, in the recent months I have to say, mine is probably at least 65% Starbucks latte!

Starbucks, if you're reading, please bring back the pretty cups, they brightened up my journeys!

Pistacio Loving.

How easy are these to munch through? Perfect for a quiet night in ... or in my case, a quiet ten minutes in #goneintheblinkofaneye

Tossed.

Don't get me wrong, I love chowing down on some good old junk food but these salads from Tossed at the motorway services for food on the run are a lifesaver when all I crave is something fresh and healthy. Quite often Tossed is closed and the only others choices available are of the fried high in saturated fats variety ...

Plain And Simple.

One of the pluses of working away is finding hidden B&B gems. This one on Studland Bay, Dorset was one of such. Homemade bread, cakes, a fabulous array of fresh fruit and drinks all in a beautiful self contained area of the owner's house and WORKING wifi is always a must!

See the following links for my favourites so far!

Crumbly Deliciousness!

This was waiting for me at my B&B when I returned from a full on day of work, raspberry-eeee, rhubarby crumbly homemade heaven on side plate.

Did not last long!

Homemade Bread & Farm Fresh Eggs.

I loved this B&B based on a farm just outside of Corsham in Wiltshire. This self contained gem was perfect.

I noticed from Tripadvisor reviews that some guests were surprised that they had to cook their own breakfasts however I didn't mind it at all. The fridge was stocked on arrival with what I call "proper" butchers sausages & bacon, fresh farm eggs and everything else you could want for breakfast.

A Little Overdone.

A touch overdone for me but still some runnyness to dip into.

Morri Special.

This was surprisingly tasty, it hit the spot and was "cheap as chips" Good effort Morrisons!

I Tried A Baked Egg ...

As an egg lover and having seen them atop of pizzas I thought I'd give it a go ... note to self, don't try it again! I found it tricky to be able to get the whites cooked but keep the yolk lovely and runny. I also decided that I wasn't a fan of parma ham on pizza but I'll know for next time! You live and learn.

A Breakfast Which Wasn't Cooked By Me.

I went to stay with my eldest daughter in London, kicked back, had naps and let her wait on me hand & foot .... payback time muahahahahaaaaaa.

As those of you who've visit my food diary on a regular basis, you'll know I'm a huge fan of breakfast and this one didn't disappoint! When I'm away for work I always make the effort to get a big breakfast down me as more often than not we're too busy to take any breaks throughout the day.

At home, I tend to do a healthier full english, grilling the majority of the ingredients and poaching the eggs, boring I know but hopefully keeps the old ticker less clogged!

Cardboard Bread.

For some reason there seems to be a glut of gluten free bread in the freezer which needs using up, it may look pretty but in my opinion it's like chewing on cardboard. Dry, SO dry! My attempt to make it tastier with grilled bacon and a few slugs of tommy k really didn't do the job.... Anyone want to buy some bread? :)

A Strange But Good Combination.

All my children were either out or away and I didn't fancy cooking per se, I wanted something fresh and light and knew I had LOADS of veg in the fridge and some rice paper rolls in the cupboard.

In making these raw veg Vietnamese rolls I shot myself in the foot as the prep and time involved creating them is really quite arduous (I could've cooked something in half the time) however once all the chopping is done, the process is very straight forward and the results are so pretty.

Inside these I loaded a mix of peppers, avocado, red onion, carrot, blanched green beans & cucumber. The rice wrappers are VERY bland so were crying out for a spicy dipping sauce which I quickly mixed up with Korean gochujang paste, cider vinegar, a dash of soy and a little olive oil.

The sides of olives and crisps were #justbecauseIfanciedthem

Brew.

I'm going to be decidely British now and talk about the weather. I took this on a site visit for one of the Panasonic roadshows in association with the National Trust at the stunning Waddeston Manor.

The weather was being akin to a woman and couldn't make up it's mind what it was doing, one moment heavy rain, the next scorching sun and the next windy with a chill. As you can see when I dressed in the morning, the sun was shining, it was warm enough to get my feet out in flip flops ... I should've known, by the end of my reccy I looked like a drowned rat with sopping wet feet and in need of a warm up with a builders brew!

*searches online for holidays abroad.

A Big Bowl Of Comfort.

For as long as I can remember I've LOVED homemade spag bol, it was always my meal of choice on my Birthdays and I still adore it. That said, I'm as fussy as I ever was about the mince ... one piece of grisle and I'm done. It's GOT to be good quality, lean mince preferably from my fabulous local butcher. A case of quality over quantity.

Fruity.

Got to admit, this breakfast wasn't and still isn't a favourite of mine but I had the berries and bananas left over from when the girls were home. I struggle with eating fruit and find it real chore, it consistently makes me hungrier than I was in the first place and gives me a really acidy stomach. Give me vegetables over fruit any day.

Simplicity At It's Best.

Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, basil, slivers of herb cheddar and a drizzle of olive oil. I don't need to say anything more apart from ...

#Boom

Small Dishes Rock.

My friend and I decided to try the very cool looking Warwick St Social for a bite to eat and a catch up. I ordered the cod cheeks and a side of stem broccoli. For my personal taste I'd have liked a little more flavour especially in the broccoli which although cooked really well was very oily & really quite bland.

The staff were friendly and welcoming although we did have to give them a nudge after a good while waiting for our coffees. All in all though it didn't put me off visiting again.

Love My Soft Boiled.

Perfectly soft boiled eggs, the inevitable avocado, a brioche bun and mug of green tea. What better way to start the day .... I'm sure you'll all come up with lots!

Little Rolls of Deliciousness.

A cupboard staple in our home is a bag of Korean sticky rice, perfect for making sushi which my kids love. This time the cucumber, avocado and pepper got it!

Add into the mix a spicy dipping sauce of Korean kochujang, soy, rice wine vinegar and a touch of sesame oil and you're good to go.

Love It Or Hate It.

A plain and simple breakfast for me this morning, just me the sofa and the dog while Zac and Hols slept in. Why in the school holidays do I wake really early yet in term time I can't wake without an alarm?

5 Minutes Peace.

Although I rarely sit down for more than five minutes at home, I took the opportunity to park my bum with the Asos magazine which had popped through the door (as with the majority of females clothes are a passion of mine) and a bag of treats.

If you haven't experienced the taste sensation of Gnaw chocolate which is produced in my local city of Norwich then I suggest you get your mitts on some sharpish, I mean who doesn't love "scrumptious chocolate nibbles"

A Big Bowl of Spicyness.

Thai food has always been one of my favourites especially the simple Tom Yum soup. To make it into more of a meal I add whatever noodles I have in the cupboard (this time it was udon). A handful of fried off tofu, some straw mushrooms, fresh chilli and a couple wedges of lime later and it was good to go.

Seeing Double.

Not wanting to sound hipster but one of my favourite pitta toppings is good old avocado, not mashed, smashed or smushed just spread atop a freshly lightly toasted pitta or two. I always keep packets of pitta in the freezer and get them out as and when.

Popcorn Chicken.

This has become one of my son's favourites (he turns his nose up at anything remotely healthy looking) and because it was both the weekend and the Summer holidays I afforded him the luxury of pure unadulterated deep fried-ness!

Strips of chicken breast or smaller pieces of chicken thigh dipped in egg, a quick dip in plain flour mixed with a variety of spices then deep fried until golden and crisp. A definite way to Zac's heart!

Just Needs Some Double Cream.

British Summer right there in a bowl. Although I'm not a massive fruit fan I find myself buying it because it's so photogenic, I guess it's a good thing as I hate wasting food which means I then HAVE to eat it.

Snack Break.

Latte and scampi fries, a totally normal combination yes? ... I imagine you'll all have found yourself in this #nocash situation when you hear those familiar words "sorry we don't take cards under £5"

Yup, it was one of those moments when you look around to see how you can make one coffee up to the magic £5 mark. A packet of scamp fries and two coffees later I made it! (it was a no frills country pub)

Breakfast In Bed.

School holidays are drawing to a close and I'll be back on the Panasonic roadshow next week which means time away from home. With that in mind I treated Zac to a big breakfast in bed which was greeted with an even bigger smile. I'd run out of bacon so just crisped up some parma ham which went down a treat.

Chilli Cheese.

If you're both a cheese and chilli lover like me then you'll love this blend, the chilli pieces were surprisingly and pleasingly HOT and it was a combination that for me worked really well. Those with an aversion to spicy foods, you may want to avoid!

One Lump Or Two?

As friends of mine will know, I'm a closet vintage teacup collector and love to trawl car boots and charity shops to add to my stash. Whilst away for work we stumbled across this cute little teashop in Ashby De La Zouch which not only served in a beautiful crockery but also sold a variety of items. I loved this one mine was served up in and it took all my might not to buy it!

Morning Crumble?

Leftover apple crumble, fresh roses from the garden and double cream, what more could you ask for in a breakfast ...

I'll quite literally eat anything for breakfast and leftovers are always a favourite, mostly savoury (why do pizza and curry taste better the morning after? ... answers on a postcard) but this crumble made by my daughter was delicious (you can tell it was popular as this small bowl was all that was left!)

Just the right proportions of crumble to fruit, if I had it my way it would basically be just crumble mix. To make it go down even better, a scoop of ice cream & a river of cold Ambrosia would have been perfect!

Freezer Clear Out.

I'm not sure if it's just me but I always, without fail seem to cater for an army even though I now only have two mouths to feed which more often than not means there are leftovers.

Growing up my Mum never wasted anything, every last leftover was saved and used to make another meal, this has rubbed off on me, I really dislike food waste. The chilli above was cooled then frozen for those days when I know I'll struggle to cook from scratch.

Brew On The Beach.

I took myself off to Winterton, Norfolk a few weeks ago and sat at the little beach cafe soaking up the last of the gorgeous late Summer sun. A regular brew was my cuppa of choice, milk no sugar.

Straight Out Of The Paper.

What is it about the smell of fish and chips? One thing's for sure, they HAVE to be eaten straight from the paper, my preference? Cod & chips with a sprinkle of salt plus a GENEROUS shake of vinegar. These were some of the tastiest chips I've had in a long time, very apparent they were new potatoes as they had a real sweetness to them.

Big Up To Brunch.

What's not to love about a lazy late breakfast? This little cafe is only a few minutes from me in my local town and they serve the best brunches using local great quality produce. Always a bonus! If you ever visit Diss in Norfolk, make a beeline for The Angel cafe.

Meat.

Ok ok, I know you're all screaming at me right now that the steak is crucified but my son doesn't yet get it being cooked rare or medium rare ... I'm working on it! Give me some bonus points for the veg though?

It's All About The Egg Cup.

Dippy eggs are all good and well but I almost love the crockery as much as I do the eggs and soldiers!

When Life Gives You Fruit.

A totally out of season photograph but the days are finally getting longer, Spring is on it's way and it'll soon be strawberry and nectarine season, wooooooooo!

It's Healthy ... It's Got Fruit On.

So my meringue was a little more caramelised* than I'd have liked but the inside was still lovely and chewy, however the greaseproof paper refused to budge (I think it just adds to the look ... )

*burnt

Croissant For One.

There are croissants and croissants, this was a good one, crisp on the outside, soft and buttery inside. My favourite filling? Just a good spread of proper butter does the trick.

It wasn't until after I'd taken this photograph that I thought I really should have turned the croissant up the other way, turning that frown upside down although this should have been a sign as to how my day was going to turn out!

Throwing It Back To Summer Time.

So finally we're gaining some more light at the end of the day which is making me crave the long warm evenings of Summer, sun on my skin and cooling 99's (with flake of course). BRING.IT.ON .... and quick!

I Heart You.

Whether you like it or not, you can't get away from the fact that Valentines Day is imminent and if you haven't got a special someone to share it with don't you worry. A hit of caffeine will always make you feel a little better but when it's topped with a heart? Well, it's almost enough to make you forget about the lack of love in your life .... almost.

Going Traditional.

As much as I love the flavours, tastes and textures of the vast array of now available foods of the world, sometimes you just have to call upon a good old traditional favourite. Fish, chips and peas is an English classic and for me HAS to be accompanied by a good tangy tartare sauce, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon and multiple shakes of vinegar.

How do you like yours?

When Your Fridge Is Bare..

Not sure what your store cupboard and fridge essentials are but whenever mine are getting down to bare bones, I ALWAYS find eggs, a few mushrooms and greens of some kind (usually slightly yellowing!)

In the above photograph I stir fried the greens and mushrooms in a little olive oil, garlic and hot sauce, topped them with soft boiled eggs, a sprinkle of paprika and voila! A healthy meal right there!

Beige Isn't Always Boring.

To me beige usually conjures up thoughts of old people in slacks and ageing photographers with comb overs but this bowl of branflakes with a handful of mixed nuts and topped with ice cold milk really blew that opinion out of the water.

D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S!

Scotch Pancake Love.

When you need something sweet but not sickly sweet, these little circles of loveliness do the trick. For me sometimes just a light dusting of icing sugar or spread of butter is enough but other times they must be stacked high, a handful of berries chucked on top with a scoop or three of ice cream AND a good slug of cream. Perfection!

A Little Cup Of Happiness.

Hello, hola, bonjour! I'm totes aware that I've neglected this blog *slaps own hand* but things have been pretty crazy and updating time has slipped away faster than I can eat a family pack of crisps (FYI, that's FAST!)

Anyhooooo, coffee has been my best friend for a while now (I don't drink or smoke so I'm allowed one vice surely ...) Apart from independent cafes, my grab & go coffee of choice is Starbucks soya latte, not sure why but the Costa equivalent just doesn't cut the mustard.

What's yours?

Best Homemade Ciabatta in Town.

If you STILL haven't visited House cafe in the lanes, Norwich then make sure you do, apart from one of the best quality all day breakfasts in the city, they serve up their own amazing homemade sourdough of which I could eat BUCKETS. Service can be rather slow at times but this in my opinion doesn't detract from the superb food!

Mandu Love.

Whatever the season, whatever the day, whatever the time I can ALWAYS polish off a plate or two of steaming hot mandu. These little golden beauties are Korea's equivalent of Japan's equally delicious gyoza. My favourite filling? It's got to be kimchi and pork! Very simple to make but also very time consuming.

Toast and Butter.

\When I want a simple but still delicious breakfast or snack, one of my go to's is plain buttered toast. The best time to eat it? At night, pyjamas on and curled up on the sofa.

Homemade bread is super easy, I make a large batch of loaves then pop them in the freezer for as and when although they don't usually last very long.

Milk No Sugar .... Usually.

I mostly don't need sugar in my hot drinks but when coffee arrives so strong, my first reaction is to drown it in all the milk I can get my hands on. If this doesn't remedy the crisis then there's nothing else for it but to add a little of the sweet stuff!

Chapchae.

If you know, you KNOW just how irresistible a bowl of this Korean staple is. As with most Asian cooking, the work is in the prep (and this dish is no exception to the rule) the actual time spent cooking is super fast. All the normal ingredients which are vital to Korean cooking, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, chillis, spring onions, soy sauce plus the best type of noodles out there, sweet potato noodles! (Weird really as I have a major dislike of sweet potato).

Coffee O'clock.

I just loved the colours of this image and as luck would have it, everything seemed to work in harmony from the colour of the chair, the floor, the cup and the table! My kind of colour scheme for sure. The only problem was that when this was taken I hadn't even taken a slurp but had managed to spill half of it due to a wonky table leg. First world problems eh.

Sweet Toothed Craving.

What even is coffee without cake? It's like toast without butter, curry without rice or dippy eggs without their soldiers. Unthinkable!

Eggs Galore.

My friend gifted me these beautiful plates as a Birthday present. I used a shallow depth of field to bring the viewer's eye to where I wanted them to focus, that being the egg and plate in the foreground. The bowl of eggs and saucepan in the background just add to the narrative.

Golden Flakes.

I've got to be honest, this is my idea of the worst breakfast ever! WAY sugary and therefore ridiculously sweet. How anyone can enjoy these cereals is beyond my little tastebuds although how pretty do they look with my gold edged bowl and spoon? Every cloud 'n all that.

A Big Bowl Of Colourful.

Mince, what can't you make with it? When my kitchen creativeness goes down the chute I turn to my old trusty ingredient. Chilli, lasagne, bolognaise, burritos, cottage pie, it just keeps on giving and who doesn't have some slightly past their best peppers lounging around in the back of the fridge!

Cocktails, Mocktails.

It's no fun being allergic to alcohol but some delicious mocktails go a little way to making up for it. My favourite? Freshly squeezed lime, ginger beer, cranberry juice, plenty of ice and topped with a sprig of mint. Always go down a treat.

Perfect Scrambled.

As regular readers of my blog know, I'm rather fussy when it comes to scrambled eggs.

My tip of the day? Cook slowly in the microwave, beat regularly and take out BEFORE they look like they're ready. There you have it, no messy saucepan to scrub, definitely a bonus in my eyes.

Berry Prettiness.

Daughter number one made this for her breakfast and although I didn't eat it, I HAD to photograph it, such photogenic gorgeousness couldn't be passed up could it?

Three out of Five Loaves and No Fish.

The smell of freshly baked homemade bread, is there anything better ... apart from eating it straight out of the oven. A thick spread of butter and I'm happy.

PS - if you don't get the caption then you clearly weren't listening in all those primary school assemblies!

All Lined Up.

One of my favourites, super easy and done in minutes, quick griddle and topped with a perfectly poached egg. Sweet, smooth and a hint of salt coming from the Parma Ham.

Breakfast, lunch or tea time perfection.

More Eggs.

You're all no doubt getting sick at the sight of seeing eggs on here, I just can't help it! I clearly need help. Is there such a group as Eggs Anonymous?

Bring Back Summer.

This was absolutely delicious! Pressed ham hock served with a variety of summer pickles. I could've eaten it ten times over!

Love A Spicy Sausage.

Sometimes (mostly in my case) you want more than just standard. I added some gouda, picante gorgonzola and spicy chorizo to my morning omelette and standard it most definitely wasn't!

Datey, Nutty, Seedy, Fruity-ness.

This was again one of my daughters breakfast creations and again one I didn't partake in. It would've been delicious had it purely been the sunflower seeds, coconut shavings and cashews ... Fruit? No! Dates? No!

Bread Loving.

I don't know about you but I'm a huge fan of bread. My all time favourite has to be fresh sourdough, the taste, the texture and the chewiness is stuff of dreams! This sundried tomato, sunflower and pumpkin seed loaf is probably in my top three though.

Sarnie Munchies.

For me a heavenly sandwich has to be made from fresh bread (sourdough if possible) lined with butter and filled with your favourites. This chorizo, cheese, basil and mayo really hit the spot.

Butter Problems.

That moment when the bread splits apart, especially irritating when in a rush to get out of the door! Makes a mockery of my speedy spread and run intentions.

Anyway ... this cranberry loaf would have been amazing with turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce (which wasn't to hand). Don't you just miss Christmas dinner leftovers!

Not Just Any Chutney, Spiced Apple Chutney.

Chutney, basically just another excuse (never ordinarily required) to eat MORE cheese! If I had my way the biscuits and grapes wouldn't even make it to the table!

Comfort Food.

What is it about bread? It's like a massive hug which makes you feel like everything's going to be fine. This stilton and walnut loaf was particularly huggy especially when teamed with even more stilton! Ahhhhhh heaven on a plate.

Keeping Things Simple.

Homemade (not by me) poppy seed pitta breads served simply with extra virgin olive oil and minty raita. Definitely the way to do it.

Bread In A Basket ...

*Holds hands up* I have to admit I can't for the life of me remember what type of bread this was but presuming it contains treacle .... I don't even remember eating this so, .... answers on a postcard!

Lazy Summer Days.

Refreshing and full of vitamins and antioxidants ... berries apparently keep you looking and feeling young. Fact or fiction? Who knows.

Colourful Beauties.

These little colourful canapés were divine. Not a great fan of gnocchi usually but these were baked before being paired with the other ingredients. Both the sundried tomatoes and olives are full of flavour but the blandness of gnocchi meant the combined taste was relatively subtle.

Crumbs Everywhere!

The one thing about bread and toast that taps into my slight OCD tendency is the crumby mess they create. This coupled with my brood's habit of leaving crumbs in the butter leaves me itching to wipe the table before we've even eaten .... yes, I'm weird.

Fish Supper.

When I was younger I hated fish, the look, the smell the "fishiness" but as I've got older my tastes have changed and now enjoy many foods I disliked previously.

This was so delicious, baked with a topping of parmesan, bread crumbs and sun-dried tomatoes then a squish of lemon just before serving.

PS - I know a large percentage of you will be crying out for the fish to be served on an actual plate. Maybe I did it just to annoy you?

Oh Hey Coffee And Chocolate.

Coffee and chocolate combo, I mean what's not to love? This tear and share (share? what even is that?) is a perfect continental-stylie kind of breakfast. A caffeine hit AND chocolatey sweetness, what more could you possibly ask from a breakfast?

Italiano.

You've got to give it to the Italians, they know how to create tasty dishes with the simplest and freshest of ingredients. Packed full of flavour focaccia's always a winner.

Crumble Or Mash.

You can't argue that fish pie is AMAZ|ING (can you?) but there seems to be a divide between what you top yours with? The lovely Helen from The Panasonic Ideas Kitchen made this but when I make it at home it's got to be a mash top, with loads of grated cheese.

I have to admit that this was equally delicious.

Calling All Nutella Fans!

Gooey, chocolatey, hazel nutty filled warm bread rolls, I mean how long would they last in your house? Perfect for a breakfast on the go. Get.in.my.cakehole!

New Plates ....

Well I usually have an eye for detail so not sure what happened here but the foam in-between my new plates totally passed me by. If you hadn't already noticed that's all you'll be able to see now.

Food-wise, this spicy freekah (cue a lot of googling) and chicken salad was the absolute dogs proverbials!

Recipe should be on the Panasonic Idea's Kitchen website so head on over.

Pork And Plums .... Oooooh Matron.

Throwing it back to the beautiful tastes and colours of Autumn with the tastiest pork and plum casserole infused with cinnamon and star anise it really was a cold weather warmer! Serve with rice, mash or another non carb carb of your choice.

Created By
Esther Ling
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