Thursday 26 August 2021


Sometimes I will quite spontaneously research a recipe to fulfil a particular craving that will suddenly hit me. One slightly hungover Saturday I could not stop thinking about a creamy, yummy prawn pasta but also was in no mood to make a mess in the kitchen or spend hours prepping.

Thank god then that I stumbled across this super easy yet very delicious recipe which you'll have plated up and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes! 

Using two pots max and with a tiny bit of chopping and a hint of stirring, you will end up with a wonderful bowl of pasta, literally MADE to be eaten on the sofa, in pjs, binge watching a new tv show of your choice. Not a very rock n roll Saturday night but hey, one we all need once in a while!


  • 300g raw king prawns
  • 450g tagliatelle
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1/2 medium-sized whitw onion, sliced
  • 1 medium-sized tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup passata
  • 1 cup double cream
  • 2 tbsp mozzarella, grated
  • Salt to taste
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

  • Season the prawns with salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Set aside. 
  • In a large pot of boiling salted water, add pasta and cook about 1 minute less than the recommended time. Drain and set aside. 
  • Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. 
  • Add garlic and chilli flakes and cook until fragrant. 
  • Add prawns, onion, and tomato and cook, stirring occasionally until the prawns turn pink in colour.
  • Add tomato sauce and double cream and bring to a boil. 
  • Season with salt and stir in the pasta and cheese. 
  • Combine everything together and garnish with parsley. 
  • Enjoy!

Monday 23 August 2021


I am not usually a big burger person. For one I don't eat meat and I also really don't dig the dry, tasteless, heavy in the stomach and generally just really unexciting things which the vegetarian burger option tends to be - you know those bean / chickpea / some other kind of pulse patties that you have to literally drown in ketchup and mayo to make them edible. 

Quite surprisingly too, you don't really tend to get many fish burger options (not counting the unidentifiable fish that is is in a fillet o' fish burger from McDonalds) which I find rather strange as this Asian twist on a burger, made with the most fragrant and juicy salmon patty with miso was rather OUTSTANDING! 

Indeed it had the perfect texture, perfect flavours and was total a dream when combined with a brioche bun, siracha mayo and a super delicious, spicy and quick to make cucumber pickle.

 The final burger was definitely restaurant worthy, both in terms of looks and taste and a real revelation for any pescatarian out there! One to add to my regular recipe repertoire for sure and great for impressing a crowd!



  • 2 skinless, boneless fresh salmon fillet
  • 50g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 brioche buns (I loved these glossy ones from Hovis)
  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp white miso
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 lime (zest and juice)
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • Knob of ginger
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fries - normal or sweet potato, whatever you prefer!

  • Roughly chop the salmon fillets. 
  • Put half into a food processor and blitz to a paste. 
  • Add the miso, ginger, lime zest, the rest of the salmon and 1 tbsp of soy sauce. 
  • Pulse very briefly until roughly combined. 
  • You want some nice chunky bits of salmon in with the paste rather than it all turned into mush. 
  • Tip the mix into a bowl and stir through the panko breadcrumbs. 
  • Shape into 2 burgers and chill whilst you make the smacked cucumbers.
  • Get a rolling pin or something heavy and hit the cucumber until it has collapsed and starts to break. 
  • Cut into random diagonal pieces. 
  • Place in a bowl and stir in the salt. 
  • Leave to sit for 10 minutes to draw out some of the water from the cucumber.
  • Now time to make the cucumber dressing. 
  • Grab a bowl, then crush in the garlic cloves and mix with 1 tbsp of Sriracha sauce, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, sugar and lime juice.
  • Mix the remaining Sriracha sauce with the mayonnaise.
  • Pour a drizzle of oil into a non-stick frying pan. Fry the salmon burgers for 3 minutes on each side.
  • Assembly time!
  • Drain the water off the cucumbers and mix with the dressing. 
  • Cut the buns in half, (toast in the frying pan if you like), spread each bun with the sriracha mayo. 
  • Top each with a salmon burger and pile on the smacked cucumber slaw. 
  • Drizzle over the dressing. 
  • Serve with fries!

Thursday 19 August 2021


Sometimes you just a whole load of veg and this wonderful vegan curry is packed with just that in the most delicious of ways! 

Pair seasonal veg like fresh corn and courgettes (though chuck in any veg you've got lurking in the fridge) with a super tasty broth, which features an unusual addition of tahini alongside your more classic curry spices and coconut milk, crispy chickpeas and crunchy slices of cucumber as finishing touch, and you end up with a bowl of goodness, food that is healthy, filling but not lacking in flavour in any way! 

It's a one pot dinner that still easily impresses guests and perfect for any summer day!



  • 1/4 cup + 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • Salt
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 200g mushrooms, sliced
  • 150g tenderstem broccoli
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels removed from the cob
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yellow powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • juice and zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  • Rice 


  • Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. 
  • When the oil shimmers, add the chickpeas and season with salt. 
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the chickpeas begin to crisp, about 5 minutes. 
  • Carefully remove 1/2 cup of chickpeas and reserve for topping, only if desired. 
  • 2.To the remaining chickpeas, add the courgettes, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, shallot, garlic, and ginger. 
  • Season with salt. 
  • Cook the veggies another 5-10 minutes or until they just begin to soften.
  • Stir in the curry powder and cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  • Add the coconut milk, 1/3-1/2 cup water, and the tahini. 
  • Stir to combine, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, cook 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. 
  • If the sauce thickens too much, add additional water to thin. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest, and cilantro.
  • To serve, divide the rice among bowls and spoon the curry overtop. Top with the reserved chickpeas, sesame seeds and sliced cucumbers. 
  • Enjoy!

Tuesday 17 August 2021


I have been wanting to make this vibrant looking Middle Eastern / Jewish / Israeli iconic mash up dish / kinda sandwich / kinda salad that is often served for breakfast for quite sometime, not only because it looked all kinds of wow but also because it features just about all my favourite ingredients: chargrilled aubergine slices, spicy chickpeas, hummus, tahini, lots of veg, the most amazing spicy mango pickle (I know, who knew) and a ton of other tasty elements that make it quite the event when plated up!

Yes, it takes a little time to prep, after all there are quite a few sauces and toppings that need to be prepped but OMG it is sooo worth it. 

This was hands down one of the nicest, most fragrant yet healthy dishes I have rustled up this year and a total crowd pleaser, in fact if you leave out the egg on top it is also fully vegan! 

I found the Amba (mango pickle) at the trusted Turkish supermarket behind my house and it really did add a very unusual, spicy note to the final dish so if you can try and seek it out in a speciality store please do and if you are even more ambitious there are plenty of relatively straightforward looking recipes for homemade versions online too! 

All failing your sabih will still taste amazing without and luckily nowadays all other ingredients are widely available including tahini which you can find in just about any normal supermarket now!

I cannot wait to make this dish again and what better way to brighten up a very grey summer day than with a little bit of sunshine, feel good food -  we can all do with that right now.



  • Olive oil
  • 2 small aubergines 
  • 2 tsp fine salt

  • 1 tin cooked chickpeas, drained well
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder, adjust to taste
  • Salt, to taste

ZHOUG (spicy herb condiment)
  • 35 g / 1 cup packed fresh coriander leaves
  • 20 g / ½ cup packed fresh parsley leaves
  • 1-2 hot green chillies
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • A pinch of sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water

  • 4 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ large garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tsp honey (or maple syrup if vegan)
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 medium spring onion, sliced
  • A few stalks of parsley, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon juice, to taste

  • Savoury mango pickle (also known as Amba)
  • 2 big fluffy pitta breads
  • classic hummus (I used my favourite brand Sabra)
  • Two boiled eggs, sliced in half - I built mine for 6 minutes and 30 seconds for a perfect waxy consistency (leave out for a Vegan version) 


  • Cut aubergines into 2.5 cm slices. 
  • Sprinkle with salt on both sides and set aside for 30 minutes for any excess moisture and bitterness to go.
  • After 30 minutes, wipe the salt off with a piece of kitchen towel. 
  • Blot the slices on the kitchen towel until completely dry.
  • Heat up a medium non-stick pan with 1 tbsp of oil. 
  • Once the oil gets medium-hot, place the aubergine slices on the pan (be careful not to overcrowd the pan) and fry them gently until they are browned (about 3-4 min), then flip them to the other side and continue in the same manner. 
  • Once you are done with the first batch, continue with the remaining batches adding oil as needed.

  • Make sure your chickpeas are completely drained.
  • Mix all the spices together with a few pinches of salt in a small bowl.
  • Heat up a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium-high heat. 
  • Pour olive oil on the hot pan and wait a few seconds for the oil to heat up.
  • Chuck the drained chickpeas into the hot oil and roast the chickpeas for a few minutes, until lightly browned here and there. 
  • Make sure you stir them often.
  • Stir the spice mix in and coat the chickpeas in it. 
  • Take the pan off the heat and allow the spices to finish off roasting in the residual heat (ground spices can burn really easily and become bitter). 
  • Check the seasoning and set aside.

  • Place the tahini in a small bowl. 
  • Add enough warm (not hot) water to achieve a creamy and almost pourable consistency sauce – the amount of water depends on the type of your tahini. 
  • Mix the two together vigorously.
  • Season with garlic, maple syrup, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  • Set aside.

  • Place coriander, parsley and deseeded chilli in a food processor along with a clove of garlic and all of the spices.
  • Process, drizzling in some olive oil (about 4 tbsp), water and lemon juice. 
  • Take care not to overprocess as this sauce is meant to be a bit on the chunky side.
  • Season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar.

  • Core tomatoes, discard the seeds and chop the fleshy part into a small dice.
  • Place diced tomatoes and cucumber into a small bowl, mix in sliced spring onions and chopped parsley. Dress with a squeeze of lemon and a tablespoon of olive oil. 
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Top warmed-up pitas with hummus, halved eggs,  fried aubergine, spicy chickpeas, Israeli salad and condiments (tahini sauce, zhoug and mango pickle) and ENJOY!

Friday 13 August 2021


It only took 10 months, a cancelled Christmas (thanks Boris), a missed 60th birthday (my mum's) and quite honestly a lot of pretty mentally challenging days for me to finally make it back to Düsseldorf and be re-united with my mum.

If you have read my blog for a while you will know that I don't exactly have a big family (dead dad, only child, one cousin - you get the idea) so not seeing my one woman family unit because of this god damn pandemic was incredibly, incredibly hard - harder than I could have imagined.

Pre the big C it was so easy to pop over for a long weekend to my home city and spent some quality time with her, a 50 minute flight into Europe about as much as effort as getting on a train to Leeds, a freedom of movement and travel which was quite literally obliterated as the entire Europe pretty much closed it's doors to the UK (once again, thanks Boris!).

I remember when two days before Christmas every single flight between Germany and the UK got cancelled, and, faced with a Christmas alone, I was pretty uncertain when I would see my mum the next time.

Indeed that sense of uncertainty remained firmly in place for most of 2021. Whenever I thought there may be a chance to visit, there suddenly was another hoop to jump through: 10 day quarantines either side, a need to be fully vaccinated, ever changing test requirements - it felt that like everything was working against me seeing my mum (and trust me I became more than a little bit obsessed with checking the news and latest travel developments every day and every hour).

I had always hoped that by August there would be chance to make it finally over to see my mum, not that it was easy in the end! If you want freedoms, the chance to travel and are not a total idiot GET VACCINATED!!! I refreshed the NHS website every day until it was the turn of 29 years to get the jab and then managed with a little clever research to cut the time between my jabs from 12 weeks to 21 days which meant that by the time August came around, 14 days have to pass after your second jab for it to become "valid", I was officially fully vaccinated with certificate which opened up travel and made the trip finally a realistic possibility.

Of course there were still some tests to book, forms to fill out (more on that below) and actual planes to book, and honestly until I was sat on the plane I was still fearing some freak mutant strain suddenly breaking out in the UK, I mean we've done well with the "Kent" and Delta variant in the past, BUT it all worked out in the end and it never felt better to be back in Germany and with my mum. 

I so dearly appreciated every Düsseldorf favourite I had missed and finally got to re-vist, treasured staying at hotels after being confined to my own four walls for so long and most importantly valued my mum more than ever. After all we have been through there just wasn't time for petty arguments, instead only time for making amazing memories to make up for the last year and a half of cancelled trips and teary calls.

I really truly hope this will be the longest gap in terms of my visits but I will never take for granted the freedom to travel freely and to call two countries my home. 

It also made me realise you don't always need to fly 12 hours to an exotic location for a real holiday, going to a place so close to my heart that I had missed so dearly did much more for my mental health than any beach in a place far, far away would have done. 

Yes, travel has become a lot more complicated, stressful and expensive but don't wait to see your loved ones abroad, go now while you can - if I have learnt one thing from living with Corona it is that it is not predictable and we are still some time off from fully mastering and managing it. 


  • Get vaccinated. Being double vaccinated will allow quarantine free travel into most European countries and will also enable you to not quarantine once you are back in the UK.
  • Get proof of being vaccinated - this means downloading the NHS app (not the track and trace app) on which you can download a PDF proof of vaccination with QR code which you will be required to show at check in. 
  • Get your fit to fly test done (if your final destination requires you to). Germany required a proof of a negative lateral flow test with an official certificate which means your at home tests WON'T do the trick. There are a few places like QURED that will send you the test to do at home which you have to take via a zoom call so it can be verified as being done correctly. On this occasion I did a walk-in test instead with DocTAP which was a little more expensive (£49 for a rapid antigen) but meant no worrying about lost mail / not getting the results / certificates on time before the flight - something to bear in mind especially during holiday season. FYI there are a few dodgy companies out there when it comes to testing so if the offer seems to good to be true, it probably IS too good to be true!
  • Make sure you do a test BEFORE you board your plane back to the UK or you will not be allowed back into the country. A rapid antigen will do the trick (taken within 48 hours of departure) and most European airports have testing facilities on site! I simply showed up 3 hours rather than 2 hours before my flight, did the test (€29 euros for a lateral flow test), grabbed a coffee and had my negative test certificate within half an hour. It is however worth researching this a little ahead of time just in case your airport does not have the facilities, you don't want to end up a few hours before take off with no way of doing a test!
  • Also make sure to purchase the right test package in advance for when you get to the UK. If you are full vaxxed you will only need a day 2 test, if you are not vaccinated or only had your first vaccination you will need a day 2+8 bundle - THERE IS NO WAY AROUND PURCHASING THESE as you need to enter a unique code which you receive after purchase that needs to be entered into your passenger locator form. No code = no completed form and without that NO entry in to the Uk. I used Randox who had a super cheap day 2 test for £49 which I ordered the day before my flight, in time to take it on day 2 of being back in London.
  • Save yourself the stress at the airport and if possible fill out the UK passenger locator form once you have checked yourself in online as it can take a little time and you don't want to be making mistakes as this form is what will get you back into the country!
  • With all these forms and certificates to consider I emailed myself a little schedule with everything attached which came in really handy as I had everything in one place!
  • LASTLY! These requirements are very country specific and are constantly reviewed and changed (sometimes with less than 24 hours notice) so if you want to be sure about the most current and up to date rules for the country you are travelling to check their government or embassy website.



If you are after a cheap yet stylish and clean hotel in a super central location in Düsseldorf, Motel One is a total winner! Literally a minutes walk away from the main station and 10 minutes walk from Düsseldorf's city centre it may be no boutique hotel but rooms a modern, clean, bright and a total bargain at €69 a night! I am not a massive hotel breakfast fan anyway so love the idea that you aren't forced to having it included in the price and overall was very impressed by friendly and efficient service plus the hotel bed was INCREDIBLY comfortable and had me sleeping like an absolute baby after a day of travel!


The Fritz is a decent small boutique hotel option near Düsseldorf's version of Bond Street. My room could have been a little bigger and brighter but I did like the thoughtful interior design touches and it felt like a treat to stay here for one night! 



As much as I am a creature of habit when it comes to my culinary choices whilst in town, I am also always keen to find out what the new hot place to eat at is (especially when I have not been there in a while) and THE KITCHEN came highly recommend by my stylish and always in the know friend Marcel and it did not disappoint! Creative small plates, fantastic flavours, great wine and attentive service. It's not cheap but worth every penny and a real treat!


Carlsplatz is a wonderful spot for a little snack or afternoon drink as this daily covered market ,with ample outside space if weather allows, has just about every fresh food on offer ones heart could desire, from classic German meaty dishes like the currywurst, to a plethora of bakeries and of course this little gem of a stand that sells plenty of fresh fish and seafood and some great food eat right there! 

I went for a sort of battered fish on a bread roll, served with the most wonderful remoulade, while my mum went for a generously stuffed smoked salmon roll, accompanied by a glass of ice cold white wine which you can have on the side for scandalously affordable €2.50 a glass. The fish was first class, the wine just what we needed and perched on one of their outside benches it was the perfect spot to people watch on a sunny Saturday afternoon!


No visit to Düsseldorf is complete for me without a dinner at Brasserie Hülsmann, a proper local culinary institution that is always packed with locals and never fails to wow with its food! It's a 10/10 every time I go -  atmosphere, menu, staff - you cannot go wrong here and I will be returning for many years to come.



One of my favourite places to go for a drink, this wine bar by the Rhine promenade serves a fine selection of German wines. The food served is great and staff even greater plus being a little tucked away from the main "tourist strip" you won't be surrounded by obnoxious day trippers and are always likely to secure one of their lovely outside tables.


Tucked away on a side street of the bustling old town, Cherie is a quirky little bar with plenty of outside space which is perfect for after dinner drinks and cocktails and offers a great starting point for some bar hopping afterwards. 


If the weather is good, there is nothing better than grabbing a bottle of cremant and heading to Düsseldorf's lovely Rhine Promenade. If you are lucky enough to find an empty to bench watch the world go by and relax! It doesn't get much better for me.



I adore this state of the art spinning studio which I have never failed to make a stop at since it opened a few years ago. It's founder Jennifer isn't only one of the most welcoming people you will ever meet but she has also managed to built an incredible studio space that offers some of the best spinning classes I have ever enjoyed, and I have been to just about any hyped spinning class there is! They have not had the easiest time with Covid but she still hosted me in the most warming way as I arrived and then preceded to have one of her world class instructors truly kick my ass at 9:30am on a Saturday morning after quite a few wines the night before!

Tuesday 3 August 2021


As I type this I am suffering from my first cold in what must have been a year and, jeez, I forgot how NOT fun being poorly is! 

I mean, I feel very lucky that this has turned out to be your run-of-the-mill, feeling bunged up, producing phlegm left, right and centre head cold and not the big C (especially as I am meant to be flying to Germany this week to finally be reunited with my mum), but I am still feeling a little sorry for myself and what is more comforting than a delicious bowl of pasta to help lift spirits! 

Even better, the roast pepper sauce, which accompanies this rather amazing pasta, is whizzed up in a food processor in a matter of minute and the whole dish is ready to be plated up in less than half an hour! 

The roasted pepper sauce (which also has a good helping of sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts and parmesan in it), gets tossed with the pasta and everything is then topped with an irresistible finishing touch in the shape of burrata and fresh figs.

What you get here is not only a beautiful pasta main but a real flavour explosion for the palate - all the different elements of the dish - the zingy-ness from the sauce, the sweetness from the figs and the creaminess from the burrata, working together like an absolute dream!

Exactly what I needed whilst miserable and poorly at home with my cold and a dish that will cheer you up no matter how crappy the day!



  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup oil packed sun-dried tomatoes oil drained + reserved
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan 
  • 450g pasta of your choice
  • 1 bunch fresh basil roughly chopped
  • 2 handfuls fresh rocket
  • 2 burrata cheese balls
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • fresh figs, quartered + toasted pine nuts for serving 


Combine the roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt, nuts and parmesan in a blender or food processor. 
Add 1/4 cup of the oil from the sun-dried tomato jar and then pulse to combine until the sauce is mostly smooth.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
Boil the pasta until al dente, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and then drain. 
Add the pasta right back to the hot pot along with the roasted red pepper sauce and about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta cooking water. 
Toss to combine. 
Add the basil and toss. 
Thin the sauce as desired with more pasta cooking water.
Divide the pasta among plates or bowls and top with fresh arugula, mozzarella, figs and nuts. EAT!