Sunday, 30 November 2014

BBC Good Food Show Birmingham 2014

On Thursday uni took us to to the Good Food show for the day. We had to meet at super early and took the coach all the way from Sheffield to Birmingham, though mighty traffic! 

We arrived and decided to be tactical with our day and worked our way up and down the Isles looking at the stands and tasting lotsa yummy food!

At 11 we went to the Cakes and Bakes stage to watch Phil Vickery do some gluten free cooking. Seeing as I should follow a gluten free diet I found it very interesting as I struggle to bake now I shouldn't eat wheat products (I still do, and suffer the consequences but it's worth it for a slice of cake now and then!). However Phil gave lots of tips of what to add to the batter to make it fluffy and not dry. Phil cooked a plum cake and then a plain sponge (but with ricotta cheese?!!) topped with a sticky coffee and brandy glaze! I would definitely try both and may have to invest in Phil's gluten free baking book!! 

We them continued to look at the stalls. I was too scared to take pictures of the stalls as I was told off for taking pictures before, so didn't really get many of the day!

However a couple of stalls stood out to me. The gluten free baking stand called Delicious Alchemy had the most amazing brownies!! This company make a number of gluten free baking kits and also bread mixes and porridge. I will be putting in an order for Christmas I think!

Additionally the Tarte and Berry stand looked fantastic, I follow them on instagram and it was great to see the actual stand and the products they make. 

The final stand was Curry Dave's Naan Bread Pizza, I think this is such a fabulous idea and the pizza tasted delicious. I love curry and I love pizza so this is the perfect combination, I will most definitely be buying this in store. 

At 2 we had tickets to the Hairy Bikers show, personally I didn't think it was that great and wasn't amazed by what they cooked! I am only a fan of their Asian cooking book, which is excellent by the way! I didn't really find any of their jokes funny and have been to better live shows at previous Good Food shows. 

Overall I had a fabulous day out and enjoyed it all! xoxo

Saturday, 22 November 2014

My River Island Wishlist

I popped into River Island this afternoon on my short trip into Sheffield town centre. I saw a gold top (below) in the window and thought it looked nice and Christmassy.

I wondered around finding many things I want to buy. Payday isn't til 26th November so I decided to make a wish list instead! Let me know what you think! :)

Gold Metallic Silky Cami - £22
This is the top that drew me into the shop as it was teamed with a fab glittery winter long kimono. Unfortunately as I am short long kimonos do not suit me and make me look every shorter! However I thought this could be a great top to wear on Christmas Day. I also buy a new outfit to wear on Christmas Day and I like to make an effort but be comfortable.
Black Sparkle High Neck Top - £26
I thought this would look great tucked into my favourite black skater skirt on a night out with some nice heels. However would also look good with a pair of jeans for a date to a cocktail bar (not that I will ever be going on any dates any time soon!!!). I love the high neck collar on this, and the spaghetti straps.

Black Sparkle Swing Dress - £38
This dress looked so cute on the hanger and I am very tempted to buy it. I love the design and pattern on it, but also the sparkle adds a great festive feel! This would be perfect for a Christmas dinner or drinks with work.

Grey Sarcastic Print Sweatshirt - £25
I fell in love with this top as soon as I saw the slogan. I am a very sarcastic person and I love slogan jumpers or tees. I particularly love the style of jumper, it looks cosy but can also be dressed up. It will be a fab jumper to add to my sweatshirt collection! There is also a tee to match in black or grey!

Gold Tone Slinky Short Necklace - £6
I think this necklace is super cute and would go with any outfit as its so simple. £6 is a bargain for a necklace too!

Black Triple Strap Barely There Sandals - £45
I adore barely there sandals, I think they look super sophisticated, however I am yet to buy a pair! However Christmas time may be the ideal time for me to purchase them to wear to various Christmas events!

Hope you enjoyed my wishlist! Whats on yours? xoxo

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Day in Oxford

Last week I visited Oxford for the second time, but this time with my mum and dad.
It had been 30 years since my parents had been to Oxford so they were very excited to see how it had changed!

We drove to a park and ride called Pear Tree, parked up and then go on the bus. I think its a bit cheeky as the last time I visited it was free to park then you just paid for the bus. However it is now £2 to park and you have to pay for the bus also. However this specific bus had a special deal for two, so we got it a little cheaper.

The bus was super quick and took us through a very nice, posh part of Oxford and dropped us right in the centre.

We hopped off the bus in search of somewhere for a coffee. We ended up at Patisserie Valerie which is at the bottom of the high street. Now I am a strange person and don't like hot drinks, therefore don't drink tea or coffee, but I do like the taste of coffee. Since America I have got into iced coffees, and absolutely love them! I ordered an iced caramel coffee frappe and it was simply delicious, however I wish there was more of it! I also had a croissant.

Mum had been online and found a walk of Oxford, so she took us on a scenic walk of Oxford seeing all the sights and historic buildings.Oxford is so pretty, and it was hard to not snap too many pictures! The little B&B with the bicycle outside was my favourite! It was nice to see all the colleges, however its a shame you have to pay to visit every single one!

We also visited the covered market which had the most amazing cake stall. You could watch the staff icing and making the cakes, I took a little too many pictures!

We also went to the canal and saw all the boats that can be hired during the summer.

We were all unanimous in agreeing that we would want to come back in the summer, the pictures would be nicer and the weather would be warmer!

Have you visited somewhere new recently? xoxo

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Bills Restaurant Watford

So a new Bills has opened in the closest town to me - Watford. Our closest Bills was in St Albans but we had never visited it. Tonight was the first visit to any Bills restaurant for my family (except for myself, I have been to the one in Hammersmith, London!).

Anyway, the Bills has not even been opened a month. It is situated on the high street in a unit where Holland and Barratt used to be. They have done up the place so well, and it looks like a traditional Bills decor wise. Huge silver pipes on the ceiling, a warm out vintage feel to the walls and lots of cool things hanging everywhere. Not to forget the shelves selling lots of Bills items including chocolate, olive oil and wine.
My favourite section was the super long table which had a beautiful chandelier above it, I took a picture because the whole area looked so nice!

The atmosphere was great, and I did not feel like I was in the centre of (grotty!) Watford, the music was fab and the staff were super friendly.

For main I had the half chicken, served with winter slaw and sweet potato fries. Personally I thought it was too spicy for my palette, however my little brother loved it. However the sweet potato fries were divine.

My brother has the mushroom risotto which was delicious and my dad had the BBQ ribs which were also very tasty. My mum had the chicken kebabs on couscous, however I did not try hers. She said it tasted great though!

For dessert both my brother and I had the cinnamon doughnuts with chocolate dipping sauce. I shouldn't really eat dairy or wheat, so am feeling the effects now. However I tell you, it was so worth it!! The cinnamon doughnuts were warm and soft. They did not really taste very 'cinnamonmy' so if you don't like cinnamon I do not really think this would be an issue! The chocolate sauce was rich and warm too, perfect for dipping the donuts in!

We all had a lovely evening, and will certainly be returning! xoxo

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Rachel Reviews: Jus Rol Cinnamon Swirls

I spotted these in the supermarket today and HAD to buy them. When in America me and my friend baked in our hostel these cinnamon rolls and cookies. The dough was already made and all you had to do was cut up, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven. We have both been very sad that the UK do not sell anything like this.

However, now we can get a very similar alternative from Jus Rol. Although these are not cinnamon rolls, rather they are more croissant like, they definitely filled a 'missing America' shaped hole in my heart/stomach!

These come in a tube, that is very easy to open. You then cut the roll into 6 and place on a baking tray. They take 11-14 minutes to cook, so not long to wait. The pack also comes with icing sugar. All you have to do is a little water.

The instructions state you should wait for them to cool to ice, however we were very impatient and iced and ate straight away. 

They were delicious served warm and I would definitely buy again. They would be perfect for breakfast and also save you lots of money, especially as a individual cinnamon swirl to buy individually is like a pound. Here you get 6 in a packet for under £2!

This tube cost me £1.50 from Waitrose, however it was on a promotion and is normally £2. 

What have you tried new recently? xoxo

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Sweet potato coconut spiced soup

At the weekend I went to visit my friend in Nottingham. For lunch she bought us Sweet potato, coconut chilli soup from Tesco. It was delicious, so I decided I would re create it for half the price.

I googled some recipes online and ended up combining two recipes together.


400g sweet potato, cubed
200ml coconut milk
500ml stock
2 tsp Thai green curry paste

Cut up the sweet potato into cubes (if you are in a rush you can grate it, as it will soften quicker that way!). Put it in a pan with a little oil and mix. Add 500ml of stock and bring to the boil. Simmer until the sweet potato has softened. Once softened take off the heat and add the coconut milk and curry paste.

Place all into a blended and whiz until smooth. Hey presto you have a delicious soup.

Serve with lovely crusty bread.