Thank you!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Today's post is one massive thank you.


See. Massive face and thank you sign.
The reason I've imposed my cheery face on you all is because tomorrow is the final day of voting for the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards. I wanted to show you all how grateful I am for your votes, support and lovely words of encouragement! And if you haven't had a chance to vote yet and would like to, please do so here. :) 
So to celebrate blogging and thank you all I've decided to make and share something chewy, gooey and entirely unnecessary. And by unnecessary I mean a really naughty slice of heaven.
Enter Marshmallow Slices. 


Well hey good lookin'.
For Marshmallow slices you will need:

115g butter
115g cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
120g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons fruit jam. I went for my Nan's homemade plum and I'd recommend you go for something sweet and sharp too. 
15 marshmallows, cut in half


This is a recipe I adapted from Joy the Baker - so another thank you there. You can find the original recipe here.

Begin by preheating the oven to 180c and if you have a square baking dish, line it with greaseproof paper. If you don't, just grease a regular baking tray.
Then cream the butter and sugar together, add in the egg yolk and vanilla essence. Then stir in the flour. You should find yourself with a sticky ball of dough. 


Place the dough onto the baking tray/tin.


 Flour the dough and your hands so it doesn't stick to your hands during the next stage of the operation.
 

Nicely floured dough close up.


Press the dough down into tray with your fingers. Try and get it as even as possible. Bake the base for 22 minutes.


Now for the marshmallows. You don't really get to eat these little delights once you pass the age of 14. This recipe is a brilliant excuse to use them. And eat the spares. 


Cut them in half ready to go on the base.


Once the base is done take it out and smear on the jam. If it's proving a little thick and hard to smear, microwave it for 10 seconds or so. 


Cover the base in jam and then pop on the marshmallows. Eat spares. Compulsory step.


Bake for 4 minutes until the mallows go soft.


Crush each squidgy mallow with a spoon and then put back in the oven for another minute.


This is just to crisp up the marshmallows and you need to keep an eye on them (demonstrated below) so they don't burn. Nobody wants burnt marshmallows. 


Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. 
Cut up into squares and remove from the tray. Joy didn't warn me about the marshmallowy string, but beware readers - this is a very real threat to clean hands.  


Stack and serve. If you're a better person than me, it will be with other people rather than just gobbling by yourself.


Enjoy readers! And thank you again, I'm so pleased Lottie's Little Kitchen is reaching new people every day and still keeps the rest of you entertained.
Much love, L. xxxxxxx

Limey Chicken.

Monday, 27 August 2012


 I recently discovered limes. They made a Columbus like impression on my kitchen. Limes are now a big thing with me. I love 'em. 
So how did I fall in love with the limes? Cue love story. 



 
Limey Mexican Chicken with chilli and garlic. Yeah, I know. Sounds like heaven on a plate. Or on a slate in this case. That's right readers, I got myself a fancy serving slate, moving up in the pompous food photography world. Don't worry though guys, this recipe is as cost effective as ever.


For Limey Chicken you will need:
2 chicken breasts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp crushed coriander seeds
1 tsp grated limes zest
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp sugar
1 lime
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 fresh red chillies

2 handfuls of rice to serve. 


You'll want to begin by making the marinade. If you're super organised make this a day in advance so your chicken can soak up all the flavours over night. If you're like me and being organised isn't one of your most prominent qualities then just make sure to make the marinade a couple of hours before you wish to serve.

Begin by putting two tablespoons of olive oil in a mixing jug.


Add in the crushed coriander seeds...



And the grated zest of one lime...


And half a teaspoon of paprika. 


Good colours. Throw in your sugar now too. 


Mix up together and cover your chicken with it.


Sniff limes, instagram, tweet. Standard procedure. 

 
Pierce each chicken breast a few times with a knife. Then squeeze your lime over the chicken until all breasts are covered.


Cover the chicken and marinate for at least 30 minutes. Try and give it an hour if not more. The longer your give the chicken, the more limey it will be. The power is in your hands.


Once you've left the chicken for as long as you can, slice up your lime and place over each breast. If your chicken has the skin on still, slip the lime slices beneath the skin. Place your chillies in the dish along with your garlic. Roast for 30-35 minutes in an oven preheated to 190c.  


Take out dish, smell and admire. 


I've served my chicken on rice but it's a versatile little thing and I reckon it would get on with corn on the cob, salad, salsa or wedges. 


Don't chuck the chillies and garlic after serving. I mashed my soft garlic into the rice and ate the chilli in one. Then ran to the kitchen for water. Doesn't matter how you eat, just make sure you do! Too good to waste.
Until next time readers and lime lovers everywhere.
L. xxxxxx

Ed's Easy Diner, London

Thursday, 23 August 2012

I love London. I would happily spend all of my time there. Unfortunately, this isn't possible. For one, I live in the Midlands, and secondly the train is expensive. Very expensive.

Anyway, moan over. So I was in London and loving the bustle and of course, all the foodie sights. I peered into all of the bakeries, browsed the fruit markets and ran around Selfridges food court wishing I could buy it all. But as we know I'm not quite the Selfridges shopper, I'm more of a yellow dot gal. My student kitchen doesn't really work on a Selfridges budget.

But students and budgeteers everywhere, do not fear. Student dining in London is possible, and it doesn't come at the cost of taste - or food poisoning! Just off Oxford street, five minutes from Selfridges, opposite Debenhams is Ed's Easy Diner.  


It's a little gem, nestled down a side street lined with Boris Bikes and business men and women rushing about looking important. We managed to bag a window seat and if you get a chance to go, I recommend you do the same. As the diner is just off Oxford Street the road is always busy and it offers people watching at its prime.  


Jukeboxes sit on every wall and Elvis hip wiggling classics play in the background. As you make yourself comfortable on the red leather, you fall in love with the place almost instantly!  


I was excited, as I always am, at the opportunity to take photos and eat food. And take photos of eating food. It's just how I roll. 


We went for Chicken Dippers with chilli jam and BBQ sauce (how could we not?)...


The Cheese or Cheese Burger with American cheese. Again, it's really a must. 


A practically compulsory side of chips and bottomless cokes with colourful straws. 


Munch. 


I have high burger expectations and this one ticked every box. A bun that held it's integrity, crisp salad, and of course a pink in the middle bit of beef. Deeeeeeeelish. 


Ed's Easy Diner was a brilliant meal out and the bill came to just over £20 for the pair of us. And we were so stuffed we didn't even finish the chips. I'm ashamed to admit that on the internet but I feel Ed's ability to fill up students shouldn't be skimped on, just to save my pride.  


I really hope you get a chance to go, and if you're not near London then check out their website here, they have diners all over the UK and they're going international soon!
And if you don't fancy a trip out then make your own burgers by following my monster burger recipe here.
L. xxxxx

Quiche #2

Monday, 20 August 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I made Quiche Lorraine (you can find it here). It went down a storm and I had repeat requests for it pretty much as soon as it got out of the oven. Naturally this meant more quiche had to be made. Luckily for me, I love to make it. Pinching butter together with flour, rolling out the dough and breathing in the smell of baking pastry is all very therapeutic. Real relaxation cooking.


So, we all love quiche. The only problem with my last recipe is that it was pretty heavy. Cream and crème fraîche, along with a heap of lardons and over double the amount of cheese. I wanted something a little lighter. Enter Roasted Cherry Tomato and Basil Quiche. Tomato and Basil Quiche for short. A lighter than air, summery delight. 


You will need:
300g cherry tomatoes
Tablespoon olive oil
50g Parmesan
2 eggs
285ml double cream
Handful of basil leaves

For the pastry: 
280g plain flour
140g cold butter

Begin by making the pastry. Cut the butter into cubes and pinch together with the flour. Rub into a crumble with your fingertips.


Add in 8 tablespoons of icy cold water and stir into a ball. Do so wearing jolly nail varnish for an extra happy pastry making session. If you fancy these shades particularly, I'm wearing Barry M Peach Melba and Blue Moon. 


When you're ready, place the dough onto a floured surface.


Roll out to fit your quiche dish. 


Place the pastry into the dish and use your fingertips to press the pastry into the grooves of the dish. 


Cut off any excess pastry and store any leftover in the fridge. If you haven't got any other use for it, make some little jam tarts to make sure there is no waste. 


Chill the pastry for 20 minutes. Now preheat the oven to 190c and prepare your tomatoes. Put them all into a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. These can go in now on a low shelf and roast away.


Once the pastry is chilled, take out of the fridge and pierce the base several times with a fork. Cover  with foil and baking beans if you have them. Blind bake for 20 minutes and then for a further 7 minutes uncovered. 


Whilst the base is browning and the tomatoes are roasting you can make the quiche filling. Begin by beating up the eggs. Not in a violent way, just get them smooth. 


Gradually add in the cream. 


Whip up together. You should do this with a whisk but my student stock cupboard could only offer it's cousin, the fork, but that's fine. 


Now find yourself some fresh basil. Give it a sniff first. I know this sounds a bit creepy but it smells so good. 


Chop up a handful of leaves and add to the mixture.


Season.


Grate your cheese and add in a quarter. Mix together well. 


By now, the pastry should be done and the tomatoes should look absolutely gorgeous. Sexy little buggers aren't they. I am probably the only food blogger than advocates creeping on basil and calls tomatoes sexy. Food lover problems.


Anyway. Scatter the base with half the cheese.


Chuck over the roasted tomatoes. Make sure they are spread out fairly evenly so you don't have one big tomatoey pile up. 


Pour over your quiche filling. 


Scatter the remainder of your cheese over the top and place carefully into the oven. 


Cook for 25 minutes and then leave to rest for 5. 


Effortlessly pretty isn't it. Got to stop complimenting food before the men in white coats take me away.  


 Slice, serve and savour.


Quiche round 2 has been a definite hit. Hope this one sits well with you too.
L. xxxxx
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