Tag Archives: food

Easter Nest Cupcakes [RECIPE]

I’m particularly confident to share today’s recipe with you because of the enthusiastic positive feedback I’ve received about these cupcakes from my colleagues at work. Easter is coming, and it’s the perfect time of year to bake some Easter-themed goodies. This recipe is a mishmash of inspiration I found online, and I hope you try it out, because it really didn’t take me a long time to put together.

Ingredients for the cupcakes

  • 120g butter/vegetable oil spread
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 120g self-raising flour (seived)
  • half a teaspon of baking powder
  • cupcake cases

Preheat your oven at 190 degrees Celsius or Gas Mark 5. Mix the ingredients together until well mixed. Bake for around 20 minutes, and let them cool completely.

Ingredients for the nests

  • 40g butter/vegetable oil spread
  • 3 tablespoons sugary syrup
  • cornflakes
  • a few shakes of drinking chocolate powder
  • around 180g milk chocolate
  • mini eggs (to decorate) – ideally these would be Cadbury mini eggs, but the Delhaize ones were excellent substitutes

Melt together the butter, syrup, drinking chocolate powder, and milk chocolate (either in a bain-marie or simply in the microwave at short low-heat intervals – mix well as you’re heating them). Mix the cornflakes in the melted mixture (adjust amount accordingly). Put a tablespoon of the cornflake mixture on each cupcake in a nest design, and after it sets a little, pop on a mini egg or two. Adorable and delicious.

Special thanks to Delhaize Luxembourg for providing the excellent ingredients.

Cooking at Vapiano in Luxembourg

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crema di fragole vapiano 1vapiano capPardon my double-triple-multiple-chins in the photo where I’m trying to assemble a delightful Crema di Fragola dessert (it thankfully turned out to be super delicious). Also please pardon the wide-eyed terrified look in the photo where I had put on a chef’s cap (thankfully the pizza I prepared soon thereafter was also tasty).

These photos are from a lovely event that the Vapiano restaurant chain organised for some bloggers in Luxembourg a couple of weeks ago. I’m so pleased that I ended up going – it was a really relaxed evening with yummy food, pleasant company, and even a little bit of pampering involved.

Vapiano is a chain of restaurants (there over 120!!) that makes fresh Italian food – pizza, pasta, salads, etc – and you can even see the food being made. I had never visited a Vapiano restaurant before this event, and it was all a very pleasant surprise. The décor is relaxing, with long wooden tables and little herb plants on every table. I loved it.

We had the opportunity to make our own pizza (I learned how to really “work” the dough – it was fantastic), and desserts (as seen above), and even cocktails (strawberry mojitos!).

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The evening when we went to the Vapiano restaurant (next to the train station) was a “Ladies’ Night”, which involved the possibility of getting our hair done by some lovely professional hairdressers. I ended up going with a chignon – and it looked (and made me feel) absolutely fabulous.

hair at Vapiano

The evening kept getting better till the last second – we were sent home with a delightful goodie bag (I LIVE FOR GOODIE BAGS) with a rosemary plant (which I haven’t killed yet!) and a beautiful thick Vapiano apron.

It was such a wonderful evening, and the best part was that I met some truly beautiful and lovely women from all around the world. Can’t wait to go back for some delicious pasta and cocktails.

(I’m sorry the photos aren’t very good quality – I only had my phone’s camera that evening (I had totally forgotten my DSLR at home, ugh.).)

Sunday Photo Mishmash: Festive Food

It’s been a lovely weekend of festive food with some wonderful people. I took the afternoon off on Friday and spent it with my bestie, Annelise, and we had a DELIGHTFUL lunch at Rising Sun in Marsaxlokk – heavenly octopus spaghetti, above.

Coffee and kannol, below.

Then yesterday I met up with a few beautiful women for a fancy afternoon tea at the Hilton. Pardon the slightly blurry photo, but I’m sure you can still make out the three three-tiered mountains of delicious food (and the Actual Best Hot Chocolate Ever). That last one was As Serious As I’ve Legitimately Ever Been. Seriously. Best ever.

Can’t wait for OH-SO-MUCH-MORE festive food over the next two weeks. Aaaand in two weeks’ time I’ll be munching some Luxembourgish food. Aaaaaaaa.

Maybe I’m not ready for this.

5 Top Eateries in Florence

Florence Top Eateries

I visited Florence last December, and as a total gastro-tourist, I have a few recommendations, if you’re popping over any time soon. This is obviously a (hugely) non-exhaustive list, but any one of these would be a special experience, and come highly recommended.

1. Trattoria Mario (via Rosina) GO HERE. DON’T GO ANYWHERE ELSE IF YOU MUST, BUT GO HERE. It’s a bit crazy and you can’t book and it only opens for lunch and it only takes cash and you’ll probably be seated with other people on the same tiny table, BUT it’s delicious and relatively cheap and all the food is amazing. My suggestions are the Bistecca Fiorentina, the chips as a side (they look strange but they are SO GOOD), some of their house red Chianti wine for drinking, and some vin santo and cantuccini for dessert. PERFECTION.

2. Osteria Cipolla Rossa (via dei Conti) A little on the expensive side, but lovely service and fantastic food.

3. Trattoria 13 Gobbi (via del Porcellana) A little (more) on the expensive side, but ALL SO AMAZING. The wine, the food, the desserts, the service. Food suggestions: the cheesecake for dessert (madoff amazing), and the macaroni in cheesy tomatoey sauce that they give you in a bowl, mmmm. If you’ve already been to Trattoria Mario and want to try just one more place on this list, go here.

4. Trattoria Nerone (via Faenza) Really great pizza (the Margherita is really great – and only 5EUR – ask them to put a leaf of basil on it as a final flourish because it makes it even better). Overall this place had great food and really good prices. We even visited here twice because of the amazing pizza. Also: great chocolate tart for dessert.

5. Trattoria Enzo e Piero (via Faenza) Not the best service when we went, but the food was really, really good. I had the Pappa al pomodoro, and it started a love affair that will probably last a lifetime.

Bar Bonus: Mostodolce on via Nazionale is an exceptionally cool bar, and has some great beers.

Extra bonus tip: Download the TripAdvisor Florence City app – you’re welcome.

Have a wonderful time in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

 

An Ode to a Burger

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Recently, I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of a new range of premium meat products called Olly’s. The range is made of burgers (chicken and beef burgers, including the most adorable and most delicious mini burgers), chicken fingers, and chicken nuggets. (They also have a massive XXL Angus beef burger which is INSANITY ITSELF.) The best thing about the products is that they don’t only taste good, they’re made with really great high-quality meat, without any added stuff – it’s just yummy, yummy meat.

The reason for this post, however, is due to (what I think is) the star of the whole range. Their chicken burgers. Oh dear God. This burger is all chicken, with one oh-so-special addition: that cornflake crust. Oh my. Just look at the photo above. Pardon my gushing, but this burger is worthy of some gushing. It is the perfect, chunky little slab of chicken-burger goodness, caressed by the freshest, crunchiest, crispiest cornflake coating ever. It reminds me of that best-meal-ever feeling when you eat something at 2 in the morning and it goes down a treat. I’d imagine one of these would be perfect with some sweet potato fries and a glass of white wine, al fresco, obviously. I’m getting a little carried away here…

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know about these new products which are perfect for delicious meals and even barbecues (we cooked some up at a BBQ recently, and everyone GOBBLED them up). Please make sure you have some stocked up next time you invite me over. ;)

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Olly’s – a new range of premium meat products – is available in supermarkets from 15 May – keep an eye out.

Falling Off the Bone

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WARNING: this blog post is not for non-meat eaters. Definitely not.

I’m sure most of you have realised, but I’m not much of a cook – I can bake, but that’s usually it. However, sometimes I venture out of my comfort zone and try out a recipe for dinner (usually for my boyfriend and me to share). A few weeks ago, my boyfriend wanted me to make ribs. I found this recipe (AKA THE BEST RIBS RECIPE, EVER OF LIFE), and we haven’t looked back. I think we’ve had ribs three – or even four? – times since.

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The meat falls off the bone – it’s so worth it, even though the recipe takes about 4 hours to make (including purchasing the ribs, boiling them, and letting them sit in the oven). Hunt’s BBQ sauce is fantastic on them (Bold is a good one!), and I’m craving this again. It’s actually a very simple recipe, and very difficult to mess up. You can get a lot of work done while they’re boiling/in the oven, although by the end of it the smell will drive you crazy and you won’t be able to do anything until you’re able to munch on the amazingness that is this meal.

I made these potatoes to accompany the dish the first time I made these ribs, but I didn’t let the potatoes bake for long enough, so it wasn’t a success (but the buttery mixture was amazing!).

Make these ribs. If you like meat. You’ll thank me. I’m sure of it.

Things I Love Thursday

  • Lots of time spent with my number one person: Dave
  • The Eurovision (semi-final and the final): so much fun
  • Junk food in front of the TV
  • Walks
  • A hearty meal in a fishing village
  • Slow but sure productivity
  • Finishing a few jobs
  • Proofreading, so much proofreading
  • Meeting my best friends at the airport
  • Sweet treats
  • Great emails
  • A fantastic burger

Sunday Photo Mishmash: Spring is here!

 

I made myself lunch a couple of weeks ago. Delicious success.

I made my birthday cake (a rainbow cake) for my birthday (duh…) and it was quite wonderful.

 

Delicious pasta and even more delicious red wine on a sunny Saturday in the countryside with a couple of lovely ladies.

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A hike in Zurrieq on a public holiday.

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Zeppoli! So good.

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Easter holidays for the next two weeks! Which means that there must be quite a bit of Hardcore Studying and lots of Eating-Eating-Eating. Mostly, I’m looking forward to a bit of a rest. Hope everyone is having a great Sunday.

Anti-Cancer Mushroom Soup

Durham Jan 2013, Lush, Venus 094

I made this amazing mushroom soup today. It’s from a site called Stonesoup, and I had been meaning to make this soup for months, especially since I’ve had so much success with her chilli oil (she has recipe videos and everything).

Is it just me, or are homemade soups the tastiest?

And.

Is it just me, or does soup take forever to prepare?

I loved it oh-so-much, but I doubt I’ll make it again if it’s just for a quick meal. Maybe I should make large batches and freeze a few portions?

The taste is heavenly, but my aversion to spending more than two minutes in the kitchen means that stuff-from-scratch is a rarity.

If anyone decides to make this, it really isn’t a difficult recipe at all – just chop up onion + garlic + mushrooms and whirl them around in a pot for a while. That is basically it. Delicious.