Gamberetti Alla Diavola - Recipe

Thursday, 31 July 2014

On 28th May I blogged about one of my favourite restaurants in London - Porchetta Pollo in Soho


Whenever I go there I either eat Fusilli alla Campagnola (a pasta dish with broccoli, chilli and Italian sausage) or Gamberetti alla Diavolla (prawns with garlic, chilli, mushrooms white wine and chopped tomatoes).

When I previously blogged about this place I had Fusilli alla Campagnola for dinner.

This time it is all about Gamberetti alla Diavolla...a home-made version!

My BEST boyfriend (sorry Oli I can't help it) came over for dinner on Monday night to see my new place, so we drunk prosecco and cooked up this brilliant dish.


For this dish which serves 2 people generously you need:

One pack of king prawns
A large handful of cherry tomatoes
Two big mushrooms or a handful of little ones
One tin of chopped tomatoes
A teaspoon of chopped garlic
A teaspoon of chopped chilli (or more if you like it spicy!)
Salt
Pepper
Olive oil
A glass of white wine
A few leaves of basil.
A loaf of crusty bread

This is one of those dishes that doesn't need measurements which makes it feel relaxed and very Italian indeed!

First of all heat up a glug of olive oil and throw in your garlic and chilli. Don't have the pan too hot because burnt garlic is nastyyyy. I used these gourmet garden squeezy tubes because it is sooo easily. Plus I wear contacts so having chilli on my hands it a bad idea PLUS the smell of garlic on my fingers makes me want to DIE!


Next chop up your mushrooms. And have a nice glass of prosecco (mandatory).


Fry your mushrooms in the garlicky chilli mixture until they shrink, turn darker brown and soft.
Whilst the mushrooms are cooking chop all your cherry tomatoes in half and then throw these in the pan. 


Cook these until they start to soften and then pour in the glass of white wine.


Let the sauce bubble a bit to burn off a bit of the alcohol and then pour in your chopped tomatoes. 



Let this simmer and reduce a bit so it is nice and thick...


Whilst this reduced pop your bread in the oven to warm up. Sometimes I make home-made bread but as this is one of those quick easy meals I generally buy a loaf!


Then throw in some chopped up basil and your prawns.


Continue to cook until the prawns are warmed up


And it is done!


How romantic and yummy! 

If you are with civilised company slice the warm bread...if you are with your bestie tear at it with your hands!

Home-made Peanut Butter Cups

Monday, 28 July 2014

In case you haven't noticed, I like American Sweeties and goodies and everything American. 

One of my favourite American treats are Reese's Peanut Butter cups! Yum Yum!

Now if I say so myself, I make goodddd peanut butter cups! I made them for the first time about three years ago and took a box of them to a bbq. Not sure it was the best idea to take them somewhere warm as they got a bit melty but they all disappeared pretty quickly.


I spent the entire weekend painting my flat various shades of grey:
It was too hot to paint in clothes! I am actually wearing a bikini though...not quite as naked as I look!

So I thought I would be just a bit more domestic and make some treats to take to work. 


Here is my recipe :) I am one of those geeks who has their own recipe book with everything written out. 







































Now if you are a lucky girl like me and have a Kitchen Aid then fit your paddle attachment to your mixer. If not get out your mixing bowl and wooden spoon.


Oo sooo prettyyyyy :)

Then gather together your ingredients for the peanut butter cup base:
50g Dark Brown Sugar
200g Icing Sugar
50g Butter
200g Smooth Peanut Butter




 And put this all in your mixer...not exactly a healthy treat I'm afraid

Mix this all up and get covered in an icing sugar cloud...

It should turn into a doughy mixture which you can roll into balls:


Next prepare your cupcake cases. You can either make lots of little ones if you have mini cupcake cases or do what I do and make regular cupcake case ones...who wants a mini one anyway!
The little moulds are chocolate moulds. At Easter I make Easter eggs and then fill them with those chocolates (#domesticgodess...)...turns out they don't work as well with peanut butter cups as they do with chocolates. The peanut butter mixture gets stuck in the indents. Next time I will put a bit of chocolate in the bottom first and then I think they will work...

ANYWAY. Roll your peanut butter mixture into balls and squish down so that it is a flat disc which will fit in the bottom of a cupcake mould:

Fill all your cases...

And put in the fridge.

I left them in the fridge for about half an hour whilst I painted another section of skirting board! But I think 10 minutes is enough.

Next the chocolate. 
200g Milk Chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate

Melt it all together...

And spoon over your peanut butter discs. About one tablespoon per cupcake case. Then put in the fridge until the chocolate is set. I left mine overnight and then took them to work the next day.


Now if you are going to be a good girl (or boy) and not put on the 11 pounds of weight you have lost...Put the bowl in the sink...

And fill it with water... 

DO NOT LICK THE BOWL. But that is only if you are a boring person like me...if you don't give a f**k go ahead and lick that bowl cleannnnn!

Much better to wait for the real thing anyway! Yum Yum. So easy to make and you don't even need an oven!


Moving in and a date night..

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

On Saturday night, I had a date night. 

This sounds really weird but I don't like eating in front of men until I really know them. I spoke to one of my friends about it and she is the same, so it isn't just me, but it isn't really very normal.

I have this fear that if a man sees me eat they will think I'm fat. Bit ridiculous but heyho. Once I've done it once it gets easier and then I don't think about it any more. Does anyone else feel like this? If you do comment below and make me feel a bit more normal!

Anyway...it was the first time eating in front of him, so a big step but I actually didn't think about it once I had taken the first bite!


I moved into my flat on Saturday with a HUGE amount of help from my parents. We drove two cars full of stuff up to London, stopped on the Purley Way in Croydon to get some furniture and then managed to get all of the stuff into my flat all within about 5 hours. There was no way I could have done it without them, especially as it was SUCH a hot day! If you're interested below is the furniture I bought!


The green cushions are going to be slate grey and the purple ones are sky blue

My dreammm bed! In Kingsize, in the colour in the top picture not the browny one in the main picture.

And then a regular double bed for the spare room. Nothing too exciting.


Two sections of the flat are ready now, my living room (minus the fact it has no furniture!) and my dressing room/make-up room. 
The photo above the fireplace is one my Daddy took, how talented is he! 

I already have a red chesterfield swivel chair so I am going to put that in here and paint my make-up draws red rather than pink.


Anyway! Once my parents had left I showered off all the grossness of moving and got ready for dinner. I picked this white off the shoulder dress:


An absolute BARGAIN. It is now sold out in most sizes though :(

and wore it with flat sandals from H&M (too hot and too far for heels!)

I then went for golden toned eye-shadows from my Naked Urban Decay palette, with lots of highlighter (highbeam by benefit) and bronzer (Bobbi Brown). The perfect sunny, holiday feeling make-up.


Sorry/not sorry that I'm such a poser.

I met him at his, we had a drink in a really cute pub and then we headed to Odette's for dinner. I'd never actually been to Primrose Hill before and don't have much experience in the North of London but I loved it. Such a nice area and I would definitely recommend the restaurant.


We sat at the back of the restaurant for a gin and tonic whilst our table (outside under a canopy) became available. It was so nice to sit outside when the weather was so warm!

I didn't take pictures of the food or anything as it feels a bit awkward, plus I didn't actually even think about it!! - Distracted!

To start I had the marinated scallop, pear, mooli and carmarthen ham and he had the glazed pork cheek, apple and lobster bisque. I tried his as well (and obviously let him try mine) and I must say they were both really good. I don't even know what a mooli is to be honest but whatever it was it was yum.

Then for our main courses I had the roast monkfish, asparagus, gem lettuce and salted grapes and he had the braised beef in ale, smoked mashed potato, carrot and cep. I tried both and I must say his was seriously good. I'm glad I went for the fish though, nice and light on a boiling hot evening. 

All four of the dishes we ate were so beautifully presented and the evening was definitely a success.

It's certainly a romantic date place so go on, take your girl there and treat her well ;)

Lots of love

xxxx

Asos, Sleek and Real Techniques Haul

Friday, 18 July 2014

So as I've just spent a ridiculous amount of money on a flat, (which completed todayyyyyy) I'm not really meant to be going shopping... But online shopping doesn't count, and shopping in Boots doesn't count? It's toiletries, you need them...right?



Here are my purchases from Wednesday :)

Expert face brush from real techniques
Flick it eyeliner by Sleek
Good choker from asos
Rose gold side cross necklace from asos
My salsa shoes also arrived but I didn't take a picture as I put one in my salsa blog post


Expert face brush - Real Techniques
I have read so much about the Real Techniques brushes and watched lots of youtube reviews. The brushes are made by Samantha Chapman who is a makeup artist and also makes youtube videos showing you how to use each brush. I think that's such a good idea, promoting your product and showing everyone how to use it right.

After much deliberation I got the expert face brush which is for liquid foundation and leaves a flawless base. I've used it twice now and then used my beauty blender for my concealer. I'm not sure which I prefer for my foundation, the beauty blender or the brush. Both leave a really good finish. I've always used my fingers to apply my base so either one makes such a difference. I think I need a bit longer to work out what my preference is. For now I'm going to use the brush for foundation and then the beauty blender to blend out my concealer and highlighter - best of both worlds. Who else loved that song, before Miley went mental!? Just me?


Flick it eyeliner - Sleek
My friend Jess told me about Sleek makeup. I'd seen it on beauty blogs but assumed it was an American brand. Turns out it's in superdrug (although I got mine from boots). Their blushes are really pigmented and matte which makes them feel more high end, and you can get a palette of 12 eyeshadow for 12 pounds! Bargain. I bought the eyeliner because the liquid eyeliner I have currently is a bit crap. This eyeliner has a really thin nib which means getting it close to your lash line is easy. This is something I struggle with as my lash extensions make it hard to get right to the line.




 My only problem which this eyeliner is the formula. It's a bit thin and needs a couple of coats. Not my best purchase but not my worst. I plan to purchase some of the eyeshadows and blushes as I think they will be better!


Asos gold choker
This is adjustable dependant on the thickness of your neck! I always thought my neck was quite slim but I have to have this on nearly the loosest setting, so if you have a thick neck I wouldn't recommend as it's quite small. I like it though, especially if you layer it with other necklaces. I haven't worn my LWFS necklace in a while, it's gone a bit tarnished as I wore it in the shower so I bought a new one (H&M alphabet necklace, it comes with all the letters so you can spell anything) but the clasp on the new one is broken and I didn't round to taking it back so now I'm stuck with it. I don't really want to buy a third but I might have to because I loveeee it.

Went off on a tangent a bit there...

Not sure why I look sunburnt.. I'm not! I've been stuck in the office all week!


Asos rose gold side cross necklace
I didn't realise this would be rose gold, I wanted it to match the choker but I'm just wearing them together anyway. In contrast I wish the chain on this one was a bit shorter. I love the design though I've been looking for a side cross for ages, not that I'm particularly religious!


Unfortunately both are out of stock now.

Salsa shoes
I love my new salsa shoes! It makes it so much easier to spin as they have suede bottoms. I think they are half a size too big, even though I ordered my normal size, but it wasn't a problem in the lesson last night, it's not like I'm falling out of them. They were cheap so I didn't expect too much! Lots of salsa shoes are about £80 and these were £30.. Bargain.


My next purchase....

Obviously I need to buy furniture, but I saw this ring yesterday and really want it! Moving in present to myself?? Might need to be done.






I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine! I was in Kent today and it was beautiful!


Lots of love

Xxx

Becoming a home owner...

Monday, 14 July 2014

As I've mentioned before, I am in the process of buying a flat in Battersea. AND I am super happy to announce that I've exchangeddddd, with completion set for Friday and I'm moving in on Saturday. 

God if you re-read the above it looks like I say - I am super happy to announce I'm engaged! Ha urm no. Been there done that.


This is apparently what the new power station development is going to look like and I am sooo close to it so that will be exciting!


Anywayyy. It has been quite a stressful time, particularly the last two weeks but hopefully everything will go smoothly from here. It has all happened quite quickly really (which I hear is not the norm) my offer was accepted on 13th May and I complete on 18th July. 

I thought I would try and give a few tips for people buying homes! These are just from my own experience really.

  • Try and view a lot of properties in one day. Speak to your estate agent and get them to book you in for a morning. This was they are fresh in your mind and you can compare them to one another. Also if you see one on one weekend and then one on the next you get attached to the first one even if it isn't right for you. I was a very emotional buyer, I went straight for the one I fell in love with and did not play it cool at all!

  • Also take loads of pictures. Don't be shy about it. It makes it much easier to review afterwards and you might notice things you didn't see when you were wandering around (good or bad!) AND take someone with you on the viewings. Someone who will speak up with their opinions. I took my Daddy and it was so handy to have someone looking at the flats from a different point of view. It was also nice that when we went into my one he said "This is the one for you" :)  If you are buying a flat or house anywhere (but London to the extreme) you are dealing with a lot of money and it is reasurring to have someone tell you that you are doing the right thing!

  • Something I didn't do...Don't get too attached to one. I put in an offer on mine, which was accepted, so we had champagne etc. Then a couple of days later I was told I had been gazumped with a higher offer! Which I think is so unfair. Apparently in Scotland that's not allowed which I think seems much fairer. I therefore gave my best and final offer and was told that the other people's offer was higher. I went off on holiday pretty miffed and the day I came back I was told the other people couldn't get a mortgage. Sucks to be youuuu, so I got it...I still had to pay my best and final offer though not my original accepted offer which was a bit unfair but who caressss.

  • But yes, don't do what I did and get too attached. If it falls through there is always another flat or house, one you will love just as much. My Daddy told me that the entire time. I have been holding back my excitement for two months and holding onto the thought that it all could go wrong. Fingers crossed it doesn't in the next four days. Writing this blog is probably tempting fate!

  • Try and use the same firm of solicitors as the seller. I didn't do this but it would have made life much easier. I spent a serious amount of time chasing my solicitors who were chasing the sellers solicitors who wouldn't answer them. If they both work for the same firm then surely they can walk across the office to speak to each other?

  • Expect things to take longer than you think! My completion date was two weeks ago and bearing in mind the whole process has only taken eight weeks that is quite a bit. Fortunately I've been able to move home for a week and live with my parents but obviously that isn't an option for everyone so try not to leave yourself homeless by giving in your notice too early (if you are renting somewhere currently).

  • When working out your budget take into account: stamp duty (OUCH IT IS SOOO MUCH!), legal fees, survey fees, valuation fees, moving costs and the cost of furnishing. I have a spreadsheet...but then I have a spreadsheet for everything!

  • Sounds obvious, but get a mortgage agreed in principle before you fall in love with somewhere and want to make an offer. You can work out what they might lend you based on your salary but the rules changed in April (just before I had mine approved...great timing) and it means it is so much harder. They want a monthly budget for all your expenditure, what you spend on makeup, going out, food, pets. Everything! I used a great mortgage broker who I would totally recommend (and already have to some of my friends) so if you need a recommendation in London let me know!

  • Ensure you know what fixtures are being left behind. I said I wanted the fridge (a big american one that makes ICE! YES!) and the dishwasher and washing machine. If you don't have it in writing they will probably be taken in the move and you will be stuck!

  • Chase your solicitors like they are a cat who has stolen your slice of cake! I can't think of a better example. I called mine all the time, left messages, emailed. Literally I bet they hated me. But if you don't they will be slowww.

  • Don't buy the first bits of furniture you see, or buy the first sofa you see just because you need a sofa. Better to sit on the floor whilst you drink your wine for a while (if you have good friends, as long as you feed them wine, they won't care) and have a great sofa than a shit one. You can find amazing deals on gumtree, freecyle etc but if you use these sites remember that you will generally have to hire a van and go and pick the item up. I was going to buy things through gumtree but I think I am going to find pieces I really like and see them as an investment. First stop....Bed.
I loveeeeeeeee this one!

But it was going to take 7-9 weeks to be delivered so I have found these two alternatives:

I think the Marquess in King Size is the one for me! SO prettyyyyy. The second two options are from DFS and the first one is from MADE.


I scoffed a bit at DFS but they actually do some really nice stuff. 


Another good website to look at is Loaf. Just look how freaking beautiful this sofa is:

That price tag and delivery time is putting me off though so I might see if I can find something similar. Maybe DFS will come up trumps again! Who would have thought!

The one thing I'm trying to draw the line at is IKEA. They are great for certain things but I hate when you see a house which is so obviously filled with stuff from IKEA. Too modern for my liking and they don't accommodate my buttoned furniture fetish...can you tell from the above I like things with pushed in buttons? Just look at this amazing chesterfielddddd! 


One day I will have a study with a big fireplace, a massive wooden desk and this sofa. And the dogs will lie in front of the fire and I will read cookery books on my beautiful sofa...do you think I'm being unrealistic here?? ONE DAY!


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