Tuesday 27 July 2021


I have been meat free since my early teens and have never really missed meat in any shape or form in the years that have passed since. 

However I have always had very, very fond memory of my mum's bolognese, the sort of dish that evokes childhood memories and a sense of nostalgia that is hard to replicate when you have sworn off mince for good.

I was therefore instantly intrigued by the sound of this vegetarian friendly bolognese, which uses pulsed Shitaki mushrooms and cauliflower plus plenty of spices and herbs to create an incredibly mince like texture which also delivers the warmth and depth of a bolognese with not a fake meat product in sight.

I truly wasn't sure what to expect here but the end result was pretty impressive, I really felt like I was having a bolognese, just a lot lighter and without any animals harmed and can't wait to make this for a crowd - I reckon even the biggest carnivores I know would struggle to not love this dish.

A total game changer of a recipe that let's me recreate one of my most treasured childhood and that should be part of everyone's cooking repertoire, trust me!

Serves 2


  • 300g shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower ), broken into florets
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil,
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • ⅓ cup tomato puree
  • Salt
  • 450g ricatoni
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 3 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
  • ½ lemon


  • Pulse mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. 
  • Transfer to a small bowl. 
  • Wipe out food processor bowl.
  • Working in 3 batches, pulse cauliflower in food processor until pieces are about the size of a grain of rice (some smaller and some larger ones are fine), transferring to a medium bowl as you go.
  • Heat ¼ cup oil and 2 Tbsp. butter in a large frying pan. 
  • Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4–6 minutes. 
  • Add onion and 2 Tbsp. oil to pot. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is very soft and golden brown, 6–8 minutes. 
  • Add garlic, chilli, and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is softened and mixture is very fragrant, about 3 minutes. 
  • Add tomato puree and cook, stirring constantly, until paste is slightly darkened, about 2 minutes. 
  • Add cauliflower and cook, yes, still stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is cooked down slightly and begins to stick to bottom of pot, 6–8 minutes. 
  • Season with salt, then keep warm over low heat.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until almost al dente, about 1 minute less than package directions.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer pasta to pot with sauce. 
  • Add 1 cup Parmesan, remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, and 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. 
  • Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and sauce is clinging to pasta, about 3 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat and stir in parsley. 
  • Taste and adjust seasoning with salt. 
  • Finely zest lemon over pasta and toss once more.
  • Divide pasta among bowls AND ENJOY!

Wednesday 21 July 2021


My burrata obsession is showing no signs of ending any time soon so I simply HAD to try burrata in a baked form and as a pizza topping and boy it did not disappoint! 

Indeed this wasn't just any pizza, it was a vegetarian's dream - topped with a gooey mix of parmesan, mozzarella and of course burrata, pan fried mushrooms and asparagus, chilli flakes and as most interesting final touch after the pizza had baked away in the oven, a most fragrant rocket, sun-dried tomato and pine nut sort of salad topping that gave a wonderful contrasting texture and flavour dimension to the dish.

You can buy ready made dough but I found this recipe pretty idiot proof and fast to prep during the day, ready for the most delicious to be made by hand for dinner!

Far from your average margarita, a pretty statement worthy pizza that will wow a crowd!

Serves 2 


Pizza Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon oil

  • 6 tablespoons olive divided
  • 220g mushrooms
  • 1 small bunch asparagus ends trimmed and then cut into 3rds or 4ths
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli flake
  • Good pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil chopped
  • 1 clove small garlic minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 4-8 ounces burrata cheese
  • 2 cups fresh rocket
  • 2 tablespoons oil packed sun-dried tomatoes oil drained and reserved
  • 1 tablespoons 
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts


For the Dough:
  • In a large bowl, combine water, yeast and honey. 
  • Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. 
  • Add in the flour and olive oil stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but is still sticky. 
  • Using your hands, on a floured surface, form the dough into a ball and work the additional 1/2 cup flour into the dough if needed. 
  • You can also do all the mixing and kneading in your stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. 
  • Now rub the same bowl with olive oil, then place the dough inside, turning to coat. 
  • Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

To assemble the Pizza:
  • When the dough is ready, start assembling the pizzas. 
  • Preheat the oven to 220 celsius.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and once hot add the mushrooms and asparagus. 
  • Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the veggies are just slightly cooked and softened. 
  • Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. 
  • Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • Once the pizza dough is ready, lightly flour a counter. 
  • Use your hands or a rolling pin to roll the dough out until you have a flattened disk. 
  • Place the pizzas on a greased baking sheet and then use your hands to gently tug, pull and push the pizza dough into your desired shape. 
  • Drizzle at least 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the pizza dough. 
  • Add the chopped basil, garlic and parmesan, spread out evenly over the pizza. 
  • Add the mozzarella cheese and then sprinkle the veggies over the pizza.
  • Break the burrata up over the top.
  • Bake the pizza for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and gooey.
  • Meanwhile add the rocket and sun-dried tomatoes to a bowl and toss with 1-2 tablespoons of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil, toasted pine nuts, 1 tablespoon balsamic and a pinch of salt and pepper, toss well and set aside until ready to use.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and serve the rocket salad over top the pizza, or on the side. 
  • Slice and EAT!

Thursday 15 July 2021


THANK GOD summer appears to be back this weekend and if you need some cooking inspo look no further than this pasta dish that literally screams ITALIAN HOLIDAY, a real bonus as most of us are probably not going to make it anywhere near Sicily, Capri or Sardinia this year. 

Squid ink pasta is not a must but does add a wow factor and most well stocked delis should have it!

A super easy to make dinner that will not fail to impress - best served with an Aperol Spritz on a balmy summer evening.

Serves 2


  • 500g squid ink pasta
  • 400g cooked king prawns
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon garlic cloves (minced)
  • 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Lemon juice and zest from one small lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 tablespoons parsley (finely chopped)
  • Black pepper and salt- to taste
  • 2 fresh burrata balls


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the squid ink pasta and cook according to package instructions until al dente. 
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a large frying pan melt butter over medium heat. 
  • Add the tomatoes to the frying pan. 
  • Season with salt and red chilli flakes
  • Cook until the tomatoes start to pop, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 40-50 seconds.
  • Reduce the heat to low, add 1/4 cup of reserved pasta water, honey , lemon juice and zest. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the sauce thicken slightly.
  • Add the cooked pasta and prawns. 
  • Mix well. If needed , add more pasta water to thin the sauce.
  • Divide the pasta between the bowls and top with burrata.
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday 13 July 2021


Inspired by the scrumptious baked goods I got to enjoy in Yorkshire the other week, I thought I would try my hand at something a little more British inspired than my usual baking and this tray bake twist on the classic sticky toffee pudding was AMAZING!

Disclaimer: the caramel sauce isn't the easiest to perfect and took me two attempts to make, I blame a slightly off double cream, but the rest of the bake is whipped up super fast and won't leave a huge kitchen mess to clean up.

The sponge ends up super moist and is packed with flavourful dates - I don't usually like doughy things but seriously I could not stop eating this! 

Best eaten with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a helping of creme fraiche and equally delicious at room temperature as it is warmed up for a hot second in the microwave.

A new favourite bake!


  • 1 x 250g pack dried, chopped dates
  • 75g softened butter 
  • 175g light muscovado sugar 
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 100g butter
  • 1 x 150ml carton double cream
  • Pinch of sea salt

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. 
  • Lightly butter a 20 x 30cm traybake tin at least 2.5cm deep.
  • Put the dates on a chopping board and roughly chop, then put in a medium pan with 250ml boiling water. Bring to the boil then cook for 2-3 minutes to just soften the dates. 
  • Pour into a large shallow bowl and mash with a fork.
  • Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until light and creamy; gradually add the eggs and beat well. 
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda to the dates – it will foam up – stir well, then add to the cake mixture with the flour, spice and vanilla, and beat with a wooden spoon until combined.
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 25 minutes or until the mixture feels firm to the touch in the centre.
  • Meanwhile put all the sauce ingredients into a medium pan and bring to the boil. 
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until thickened slightly.
  • Let the sauce cool slightly then generously pour over your tray bake, sprinkle on top some flakey sea salt with AND ENJOY!

Thursday 8 July 2021


I had the absolute pleasure to head up to York for the weekend to celebrate the baby shower of one of my longest and dearest friends and decided to make a weekend out of London of it rather than just going north for the day!

I mean let's be honest, it is not going to be the summer of exotic trips and I reached a point at which I was getting sick of being in London. 

Don't get me wrong, I will never not love this city but I was literally doing the same walks, the same weekend activities and the same weekly schedule over and over again and it was slowly but surely driving me a little bit insane.

Even though I was only in York for a bit less than 3 days I got to properly detach myself from the hustle and bustle of London life and enjoy this beautiful city which has surprisingly many hipster friendly spots on offer that can totally hold their own compared to the capital's culinary scene!

It may not be New York (LOL) but York is a lovely little city, filled with the most wonderfully friendly Yorkshire people and for me offered the perfect break from Covid reality. 

I will be back that is for sure and not only to meet my friend's family addition, but also because I left a little bit of my heart in York.


Plan ahead when it come to travelling to York because I did not and ended paying £86 for my return ticket. Book in advance and travel at off peak and you can easily get a return for under £60, or even less with a rail card. 

The LNER trains themselves are super modern, spacious and equipped with board bistro which means the 2 hours and 20 minutes from Kings Cross to York will pass in no time! PS: the station is a manageable 10-15 minute walk from the city centre, even with luggage!


I am going to be honest here. With staycations being the only safe bet when it comes to holidaying this year there wasn't much choice in terms of hotels with availability and the ones that were still free definitely weren't cheap BUT hey a year stuck in ones own 4 walls makes going to a hotel an event so I treated myself a little bit!

The Grange ended up a lovely choice, not quite high end boutique standards, but located in a wonderful old Edwardian and very grand building. 

The room, though on the small size, won me over with its incredibly comfy bed and amazing rain forest shower and altogether The Grange proved as great base for the weekend, the city centre and minster about a 5 minute walk away and the train station about 10, making it super easy to spend a whole weekend exploring York on foot without ever being too far away from that gorgeous bed!


A short walk from the centre you will find Bishopthorpe Road, a quirky high street filled with independent shops, cute restaurants, delis and this lovely brunch spot. 

It really reminded me of London fields and I recommend a nose around the street even if you don't plan to brunch at Robinsons, though you would be stupid not to because the food there is pretty special! 

Indeed, the Aussie inspired menu reminded me of Workshop Coffee, a brunch time favourite during my uni years, long closed, which I frequented just about every weekend and blew a considerable part of my student loan on, and Robinsons thankful also managed to deliver on all taste fronts. 

It was hard to choose what to go for on the well written menu, there was an enticing sounding truffled mushroom on sourdough and incredible looking pancakes stacks but I settled in the end on the corn fritters with perfectly poached eggs, avocado, crispy halloumi and katsundi (a sort of chilli pickle) and WOW It was pretty damn good and only £8.5, which for London standards is more the price of a juice than a whole brunch. 

Make sure to leave some space for the homemade cakes as well - we shared a huge slice of layered sticky toffee cake with dates which was the dreamiest cake I have had in a long time and one that Mary Berry would be proud of. 

Expect to queue at the weekends but make Robinsons a must visit for any weekend spent in York


I adored this small but mighty wine bar and its concept of pairing wines with sharing boards featuring all the nibbles your heart could desire. 

On this occasion I only had a couple of glasses of wine at Pairings and no food but was already very impressed by their wine selection, fair pricing and super friendly service and was quite enviously watching the boards of food go past me! A definite revisit for my next trip and a place I would happily spent a whole evening at!


My friend had planned a sunny picnic as the main event for her baby shower but in typical British fashion it was more actual rain showers than sunny baby shower when it came to the day. 

Luckily she and her partner had thought ahead and had made it a mission to find a covered outdoor dining spot that had space for about 16 people on a Saturday that was also the day of an England match. 

Sounds impossible but they actually fully succeded by stumbling across Döner Summer. I must admit I was a little confused when, upon my arrival in York, my friend told me the baby shower lunch was now taking place in a kebab shop. 

A kebab shop in mind was a grim place one would stumble into in East London at 3 in the morning to somehow line the stomach with food, not exactly a place for a baby shower that also included both their parents. But thankfully Döner Summer turned out to be pretty much the complete opposite of that. 

The outside space is gorgeous - all covered, wooden benches and fairy lights everywhere, even cosy as the heavens opened. Then there was the food! Because this was really not your average kebab shop in that it was FULLY vegan. 

Yes, you heard me right - not one slither of meat gets served here, instead chik'n (a fake meat made from not quite sure what but it tasted good so better not to ask) is used to reimagine classic fast food dishes like fried chicken and the famous German doner kebab. 

Sounds slightly weird but the end result is pretty damn tasty! I had the Korean bbq "teller", fries layered with Korean slaw, mayo and all sorts of other amazing stuff and I got to say it was surprisingly delicious! 

So were the drinks - there is an excellent wine list, £6.50 Aperol Spritz's and some rather invented cocktails (my pregnant friend had a mocktail that arrived topped with blue candy floss). 

Service was superb, branding very trendy and east Londonesque and overall it was THE perfect spot, though rather unplanned, for a big group to spend a Saturday afternoon celebrating a new life coming into the world at. A thumbs up for me for Döner Summer and not just as last minute plan b!


A few years ago I made a day trip to York to have their famous afternoon tea and no York visit should be complete without a stop at this world famous tea shop and bakery. Grab a scone, macaroon or millionaire shortbread and get a taste of the best of British baking.