Thursday, 30 July 2015

Parsnip, Pancetta & Parmesan Tagliatelle

If I was going to make myself in the Sims 4 I would definitely have the 'Foodie' trait. I love me some gooood food. But nothing speaks to my soul more than Italian food. Pizza and pasta, they just sing to me on a deeply spiritual level like nothing else, and fill my belly with love! So here, dear readers, I am to enrich your lives with one of my all time favourite pasta dishes. A plateful of heavenly parsnip, pancetta, parmesan and tagliatelle brought to by the cooking high lord that is Jamie Oliver. This recipe is wonderfully indulgent, definitely for a night off from the diet, but it's also incredibly fast to make! 
It only really takes as long as the tagliatelle takes to cook (plus the bit of prep before hand). Yay!

Thinking back, I think this was the first meal I cooked for my boyfriend Carl out of one of my Mum's recipe books (almost 5 years ago, Christ on a bike!). I recently went hunting for the recipe online and was so happy to find it here
It's actually a really lovely recipe to cook for your significant other; it's just rich enough to feel like your really spoiling them. Then parsnip is a slightly unusual ingredient not often seen outside of a Sunday roast so you get some 'outside the box' points; plus the fact it's so quick leaves with you with plenty of time for other evening activities (... such as just lying horizontal on the sofa in a heavenly food coma?!?)

The recipe is SUPER easy to follow so go check out the link and give it a go! The recipe doesn't say but I found it convenient to prep your ingredients first, then start cooking your tagliatelle and while that's bubbling away get cracking with the parsnip and pancetta, it doesn't take long.
The only other comment on the recipe is that I've never managed to do with a sprig of fresh herb, only because I've never had any to hand. But I have found that a sprinkle from a jar of mixed herbs does the job just fine. Also the measurements are fairly vague on the amount of butter and parmesan to add so it's just personal preference, and how naughty your feeling that day. I've cooked this meal with generous amounts of both and with a more stingy quantity and it was still beautiful both times.
Just writing this post is making me hungry for it! *droooolll*

I'd love to know if anyone does cook up this delectable pasta dish, so leave me a comment to let me know how you get on! And I'd just like to thank the wonderful Jamie Oliver, without whom this beautiful meal would not be in my life and consequentially stopping me from dropping a jeans size!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A Birthday Wishlist

Next month is my birthday! Yaayy! Honestly, noot sure how I feel about turning 23, although I'm not allowed to voice this ageing anxiety as my boyfriend just turned 30! The death glare I get when I say;
"Omg, I can't believe I'm going to be 23!" is entirely terrifying.
I've been told plenty of times that I'm 'picky' and hard to buy for, which I didn't really think was true until I thought back to how many Christmas and Birthdays where I've had to do the fake smile at presents I unfortunately didn't like. Hmm, turns out I have a very hard to pin down taste.
I've learnt this more thoroughly over the last few months when trying to decide on home decoration & d├ęcor with my 'bae'; he say's I like neutral and boring or outright crazy. Also I have a nak for choosing the most expensive stuff ... even when it comes to plant's for the garden! Well, hopefully that just means I have good taste ... right?!?

So a few years ago I got into a habit of sending my parents and my boyfriend a little list each of ideas of things they could get me when such an occasion is looming. They love this because they know whatever they get me I'm going to love, and I tend to go the extra mile for them and find a link to somewhere they can buy the item. Convenience always wins!
I try to add as many things I can think of that I've been lusting after so they have the opportunity to pick and choose so I still get a bit of a surprise. My birthday is just under a month away so I've been jotting down some ideas this week and thought it would be fun to share some of them. If anyone has a friend or family member with a birthday coming up this could be helpful. Basically I want to just rant about what I wish I could buy right now if I wasn't a student, aha!

First up, I really need a mixing bowl! Since I moved out of my parent's last September I've had to be quite creative when it comes to mixing baking ingredients. Saucepans have been very handy ... I think it's time I had a proper bowl in my life. I adore this one I found on Amazon, and it's half price atm. Quick Mum, get in there!! It's a lovely neutral ceramic with just these clean, chic lines around the edge. LOVE. On the baking theme I remembered, on two separate visits to Homesense, literally drooling over these two baking books; Indulgent Cakes & Decorated. If you like decadent cakes, stunning flavours and gain immense satisfaction from beautiful food photography and THE most elegant typography; *siiiiiigh* these books are for you! Every. Single. Page. is essentially cake porn!
On the beauty side of things, something I feel so cheeky asking for are the Zoeva Rose Gold Brush Set. What can I say; they're beautiful, I want them in my life and if someone is up for spoiling me, this would be how! Something much more reasonably priced, but still just as beautiful is the Zoeva Cocoa Blend Eyeshadow Palette. I don't know what it is atm, but I am just so into eyeshadow! I've been using my Naked 2 & 3 palettes in excess the last few months. Even when I'm just popping out to Tesco with Carl for our weekly shop I keep ending up with half the palette's smeared on my lids!
The perfect dramatic smoky eye for picking up your milk on a Monday afternoon - I've got it down!
I'm also on a new hunt for my perfect base. Something light but with good coverage. So I've included some drug store and higher end foundations that I'd love to try - the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum & Bareminerals Complexion Rescue. Adding in bits and bobs that people can pick up or order from Boot's and Amazon is super handy for them.
Yankee Candles are always a lovely gift, I adore getting these for people and they have a size for every budget! When I was in high school, me and my friends would always include one of the Yankee Candle Votives when buying each other presents. So cute! I'm currently a bit in love with the Red Raspberry scent. The fruity candles are right up my alley!

I am sure I will be finding a few more ideas to chuck in the direction of relatives when they ask me, or my Mum who then asks me, the inevitable "what do you want for your birthday??" but I figured these were the most share worthy. For example I'm thinking my Mum will get a kick out of getting me a Banana Case!! I'm anticipating it will be handy for commuting to university in September! As I mentioned in my last post, I hate brown bananas.

Well I hope that, if you happen to have made it this far (comment if you did, I will be amazed!) I hope you enjoyed this! I think I've blown my previous babbling record out of the window here!
What's on your birthday wishlist??

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Banana Bread

Bananas are one of those fruit's I'm a little bit picky about how I like them; just past green, but before any brown splodges appear! Invariably with this narrow window of edibility, some poor bananas slip through and get left in the fruit bowl turning slowly browner and mushier. The answer to what to do with them, that doesn't involve chucking them in the bin; banana bread! Yaay!
I've made several of these over the last few months and used a few recipes, only to have lost the links to them, but I'd thought I'd share the most recent one I've used - the results are delicious!
Really easy to do, this recipe uses 'cups' and all the ingredients can be mixed in one bowl. The cake comes out beautiful and moist, plus I like to add some cinnamon for a bit more flavour. You could also add any chopped nuts of your choice or chocolate chips for a more indulgent treat.