Monday, 14 October 2013

Recipe: Vegetable lasagne

Here's my favourite lasagne recipe. Feel free to swap the veg for meat, or even just use alternate vegatables. I'm a massive fan of peppers and onions which is why this is my favourite, and I personally prefer veggie lasagnes to meat ones.

Serves 6. If dining for two, then freeze other portions.

Ingredients

3 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
1 green pepper
3 onions
3 tbsp olive oil, plus a little for greasing
tomato sauce (see below for recipe)
pack of lasagne sheets
white sauce (see below for recipe)
125g grated cheese
black pepper




Method

1. Prepare onions and peppers by slicing into small chunks. 

2. Heat oil in frying pan, and add peppers and onions. Fry for around 10 minutes until softened. 

3. Preheat oven to 180C. 

4. Mix together the peppers and onions with the tomato sauce. 

5. Lightly oil an ovenproof dish and arrange a layer of the pepper and onion mixture on the bottom. Top with a layer of lasagne sheets, then drizzle over a third of the white sauce. Repeat this process, making 2 layers of lasagne sheets.

6. To finish, spoon remaining white sauce over the pasta, making sure the whole surface is covered. Bake for 25 mins. Add grated cheese and cook for a further 20 minutes until bubbling and golden. 

7. Serve with black pepper.


To make white sauce:

Melt 45g of butter in a saucepan and stir in 45g of plain flour. Cook for 2 mins. Slowly whisk in 400ml of milk, then bring to the boil, stirring. Turn down the heat and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Sauce can be cooled and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days, or it can alternatively be frozen.


To make tomato sauce:

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan. Add 2 onions, finely chopped and 2 garlic cloves, sliced. Cook for 10 mins until softened. Stir in 2 tbsp tomato purée and cook for 1 min. Pour over 2 x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes and add 1 tbsp of dried basil. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 mins. Leave to cool and blend in a food processor.



The finished result (per portion):



This is great served with some homemade garlic bread.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Review: Paris Fashion Week


With Paris Fashion Week 2013 recently coming to an end,  I decided to share my favourite Spring/Summer 2013 collections with you. I have loads of favourites from Paris Fashion Week, however, I though I would be sensible and limit this to three!





On the penultimate day of the spring/summer 2014 collections, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli from Valentino presented 73 looks, with each one being more and more amazing than the next. After browsing through the collections at Vogue, I really am jealous of anyone that was given the opportunity to watch the show!

This is probably one of my favourite Valentino collections that I have seen. It isn't usually one of my favourites, but for this season it is probably at the top. It is both ethnic and romantic; very in-keeping with the brand, but along with that, each piece has such a high level of craftsmanship weaved into it. This beadwork and folksy embroidery is of a couture level. Taking inspiration from a Rome Opera workshop, the duo definitely interpreted the grand scale opulence, along with some simple, elegant lines such as a crisp white shirt. Contrasting this, there are many crafted suede designs, tasselled seams, the finest and most sheer lace along with concertina pleats, with pieces such as fringed ponchos, long-sleeved gowns and oversized capes. Along with this, the collection remains youthful, with accessories being very young such as flat sandels and studded leather alice bands. This is a truely amazing collection.





Elie Saab has always been one of my favourite designers as his collections are always a very high standard and remain inkeeping with each one. With the usual fabrics such as chiffons and silks, the Spring/Summer 2014 collection is definitely just as good as the last. Sweeping embellished gowns along with jewel colours of fuschia, salmon pink and emeral were presented in this collection. Contrasting this very ladylike feel, there are also all-black silk and lace, tiered looks within this collection, giving a darker, sexier edge. There are quite a few contrasting looks within the collection, with others being a younger look, with bold pink and green florals featured on some of the pieces, as well as a more disco feel, with one look consisting of a smothering of sequins. These contrasting looks update the collection, whilst still having some of the usual key pretty, ladylike looks presented throughout.

As always, I am a big fan of the collection, with the images showing some of my favourite looks.




This collection I just came across as I was browsing through the Paris collections, and I just fell in love with the silhouettes - cinched in waists giving a very ladylike feel. Véronique Leroy features full-skirted dresses with swooping midcalf hemlines that are played against thigh-skimming miniskirts.

Along with these contrasting silhouettes, fabrics are also very contrasting, with PVC and patent leather played against nubby tweed and spongy terry cloth. Throughout the collection, she demonstrated a mastery of cut and proportion that made her hemlines look equally appealing - this is one of the things I love about the collections. Colours were kept simple, making the focus purely on the cut and silhouette.

Images from Vogue.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Recipe: Lamb meatballs with rosemary tomato sauce

Above: my lamb meatball dish using this recipe


One of my favourite recipes, this dish is great to have during the week or even cook for friends. If
cooking for 2 people, then I always cook the meal for 4, then freeze half the meatballs in the sauce - making it a quick ready meal for during the working week.

Here is the ingredients and recipe for this dish - as you can see it's very straightforward and easy for anyone to cook!

This recipe serves 4 people, and takes roughly 45 minutes (including preparation).

Ingredients:

2 tsp olive oil
250g lamb mince meat
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp dried rosemary
400g pasta, cooked, to serve
black pepper

For the sauce:
4 onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves
(could be dried rosemary)
If fresh, leave extra to sprinkle,
shown in the picture
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

Recipe:

1. To make the meatballs, mix minced meat with dried herbs (rosemary and mixed herbs) in a mixing bowl. Shape into 12 meatballs.

2. Heat 1tsp of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add meatballs and cook until browned on each side. Remove from pan.

3. Top onions into the pan along with the remaining oil. Cook for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for an extra 2 minutes.

4. Add tomatoes and then add the meatballs back into the frying pan. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

5. Season with black pepper and serve with pasta. Sprinkle with remaining rosemary.


There are approximately 311 calories per serving, so it's not too bad for you either! I always buy lean minced meat in order to ensure it's as healthy as possible.

An alternate method would be to use beef minced meat, and replace the rosemary with basil.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Being a bridesmaid...



So, just over a week ago I was given the honour of being a bridesmaid for one of my oldest friends from school. This really was an amazing day - everything was perfect, and for this reason I am sharing some of my photographs with you. Please excuse the camera - they were taken on my boyfriends Samsung Galaxy s3, so aren't the best quality! I can't wait to take a look at some of the professional photographs.

The theme of the wedding was vintage, with sage green, pastel pink and cream colours. They got married at the church in my home village (Long Sutton, Lincolnshire), and the reception was at a beautiful converted barn, pictured above. It was a great setting as it was so personalised, with handmade bunting, fairy lights and handmade jars of sweets for each guest - it just fitted the theme of the wedding perfectly.

The wedding was such as lovely day catching up with old friends, and it was such a great moment driving to the church together - seen it the last picture in the post. I hope you enjoy the pictures and they inspire you when coming up with your own wedding plans :)








Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Turquoise love...



Bedding, Anthropologie

One of my favourite colours at the moment is turquoise, and after discovering the blog, House of Turquoise, I decided to look around for some turquoise bits and bobs to decorate my bedroom (it is definitely due a bit of a revamp!). This blog is definitely a great starting point to get some inspiration as I love turquoise, and would love to decorate my room with a theme in this colour along with some shades of cream as well as the odd darker blue tone. I have already began buying some new bath sheets and matts in a lime green and turquoise colour in order to add some colour to the bathroom (pictured below), showing my love for the colour! Some of my favourite pieces that I have come across whilst having a browse for bedroom inspiration are pictured in this post.

Anthropologie is a great shop for bedding and bits for the home, and the bed set pictured above is one of my favourites that I have seen so far. Although it is quite pricey, I love the design so I may just have to invest in it, or alternatively find a cheaper option! Either way, some lovely bedding is the perfect way to start a bedroom revamp.





Turquoise Chandelier, Outer Banks Trading Group

This chandelier is well out of my price range, but is really lovely, featuring two of my favourite colours for the home at the minute. If you can afford it, then it's definitely worth the investment as it's a great way to add some bold colour to a room, whilst making it a key feature too. With this, you could keep the rest of the room quite basic in order to make a statement with it.  I'm sure there are some cheaper alternatives around, so I will definitely be on the lookout. It's just so pretty...



Quilted Throw, NowandThenQuilts, Etsy

Another great piece of bedding - the throw pictured above is actually designed for a baby's bedroom, however, I wouldn't mind it for my room! Quilted bedding is everywhere at the moment - it makes me want to sit and make some myself as it can be quite pricey, and although it would be quite time consuming to make, it would definitely be very cheap compared to buying a ready-made quilted throw. At some point when I have a bit more time I will definitely consider it, as it also gives you the options to pick your own fabrics and patterns. Another lovely addition to a bedroom, this quilted throw really inspires me to make my own. It also means that you could just buy some plain cream/white bedding, making the throw the key feature of the bed.


Set of 9 cushions, ginette1223, Etsy

These cushions would look great scattered over a very plain bed. I love scattered cushions, whether its on a sofa or a bed, and these are really pretty designs with a nice range of colours. After looking around, I think I really need to focus on what I would like the main feature of the room to be - whether that be the bedding, the throw, the cushions, etc.  I really don't want it to look too much of a complete mish-mash, and there needs to be some simple aspects to it. A lot of decisions need to be made before I start buying or making...