ayoungfoodie

a teenager's take on food, photography and everything in between


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Herby Pumpkin Pasta

Yes, I am aware that Halloween was almost two weeks ago and the squash season is quickly fading, but if like me, you can grab some last minute squash before it disappears until next year, go for it. I kept it seasonal and served this dish on all Hallow’s Eve – but you could even have it as a weekday meal. To amp up the spooky atmosphere and prove for an interesting table setting, I put the pasta in my very own pumpkin bowl, that I had spent hours carving out. This is a slightly unusual but nevertheless gorgeous dish, perfect for vegetarians; but fear not fellow meat-lovers – lower the cleavers! Fry a couple of sausages and add for a dish that will satisfy any pangs of meat withdrawals.

A nice end to the spiced Pumpkin season!

A nice end to the spiced Pumpkin season!

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Fennel and Lemon Risotto with Herb Butter

Risotto: Take 2. The sequel. The return. Whatever you want to call it. And straight from Waitrose’s summer recipe magazine, even though London is setting into the depths of winter. If you can pick up some of the ingredients from a local farmer’s market or similar – it makes for a very tasty meal, that gives you a hint of summer even when there’s a chill in the air.

Perfect for a party!

Risotto is a big winner in my books. Creamy, fluffy rice – what could be better? This dish is perfect for a dinner party because it is incredibly simple to make and looks particularly impressive when served with the butter in a small dish. It’s great because it doesn’t take a lot of effort and incorporates fresh summer flavours – fennel and lemon, which make for a nice combination, even if it isn’t very well-known. Continue reading


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Pumpkin and Ginger Cake

If you’ve ever gone to the effort of cooking with, or carving a pumpkin, you’ll agree that it’s a good thing Halloween only comes around once a year. For me, at least, the whole process or halving, scooping, peeling, slicing and grating was a great deal of fun but a great deal of strenuous activity. Snigger away, pumpkin pros, but with the size squash I bought, it really was a mammoth task for me! But I will admit that the fruits of this labour were definitely worth it.

Deliciously spiced!

Deliciously spiced!

As I’m sure you’ve gathered, I spent most of my morning working on this pumpkin, just so I could make a cake (or possibly teabread) from it. And it sure was worth it. Pumpkin, when baked, doesn’t really have a strong flavour, but gives the cake a lot of moisture, and the ginger, naturally much stronger, lends a lovely aftertaste in your mouth a few seconds after eating a slice. But just remember to pat your grated pumpkin dry thoroughly and adjust the cooking time accordingly because if you’re not careful, the cake unknowingly could be a little too wet and doughy in the centre, like mine was. And of course, keep those seeds! Continue reading


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Autumn Squash Soup

If you weren’t aware, Autumn is here. It’s that wonderful time of year again when there’s a chill in the air, leaves turn the most dazzling array of golds and reds and that cozy jumper you’ve been harbouring since last year can come out of the closet. But best of all, Autumn brings a whole new selection of winter veg! And this may seem a slight surprise, but ever since I widened my horizons, cooking with pak choi and various squash, I’ve become a bit of a veggie lover. So this squash soup is the perfect thing to come in from the cold to, especially because it’s got a slight chilli kick that will really warm you up.

No doubt - I'm addicted to the stuff

No doubt – I’m addicted to the stuff

This recipe requires a good kilogram of butternut squash, which fortunately, is going very cheaply at the moment in most supermarkets. And as I’ve mentioned, this was a whole new experience for me, that was very satisfying. Squash is a gorgeous vegetable, which to prepare, you cut off both ends, peel away the thick skin and cut it in two just where the squash begins to widen. After scooping out the soft flesh and seeds, chop up the veggie and roast in the oven. And a final tip: keep every seed you scoop out, as once roasted with a few spices, they’ll be a gorgeous and relatively healthy snack. In a few days, I’ll add a recipe for them. Continue reading


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A new beginning and prawn noodles

It’s taken me a while, but I come bearing tales of an Asian feast. Also, it’s almost been 2 years since I started blogging as a meek little 12 year old; so naturally, it was as good a chance as any to get back to my kitchen and whip up some tasty creations. So for one evening meal, I chose a prawn stirfry/broth with noodles (and the newest addition to my culinary experiences) pak choi. And I must say, before you read any further, this is a firm favourite with my family and should be an easy go-to supper for anybody!

All plated up

Dished up with a sprinkle of spring onions

There’s been this whole Asian food craze recently, which I’ve noticed (if a little late). In supermarkets, the world cuisine aisles are getting packed full with exotic produce and in the ready-to-eat sections, amidst the sandwiches, small boxes of sushi, noodles and edamame beans are commonplace. Not wanting to miss out, I searched BBC Good Food for an appetising Asian-style supper and found this little gem, which I thank for introducing me to pak choi, a type of Chinese cabbage. Now I’m not a big fan of much green and can barely stomach salad leaves, but I can safely say I absolutely love this. All of it (from leaves to stalk) is edible; it’s very soft and lightly crunchy when boiled, has a mild flavour and as for the cooking, only takes a couple of minutes in with the stock.

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Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa

When you say Salsa, you think of passionate dancing in Spain. When you say fritters, you think of American yokels from the deep south; or alternatively, you can think of a Grandma’s Indonesian-style snacks. Whatever floats your boat. I’m not a big fan of spice, if I’m honest, so this Indo-Mexican flavour combo scared me a great deal. Never before had a touched a chill or its sauce. For me, it was a great ordeal.

Salsa with a smidgen of Philly

And now, I’m going to give you a brief crash course on Salsa. Salsa, the spanish word for ‘sauce’ originates in Latin America, and is common in Mexican cuisine, which the dish being used as dips. There are many kinds; the most popular varieties being pineapple, tomato and chilli. To summarise, it’s a cold condiment that is a real crowd pleaser.  Continue reading


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Hunger Games Themed Food: Mini Mockingjay/Bread Loaf Cupcakes

Part 2 of my Hunger Games post is here! In this episode, I have no special recipe for you – just the simple one of a cupcake and a reference; visit this wonderful site –  Savoury Sweet Life – and you will learn to make many things such as the chocolate butter cream I used for this recipe. It’s currently one of my favourite food sites out there at the moment. But I did spend hours slaving away on the golden decorations on the cupcakes you see before you, determined to carve these tiny features from a block of royal icing and then glaze it over with a sun-kissed spray. 

‘Peeta’s bread’

This started off fine – I could easy cut out the shape of a bread loaf with my knife and add little markings on with a toothpick. Then I decided to challenge myself by recreating the famous mockingjay pin – the symbol of Panem’s rebellion – and failed miserably. My hand wasn’t as steady as I would like to think and my ability to etch on intricate details lacks some talent. Ah well. The cakes, intended for my friends were enjoyed by all, and many laughed at my pitiful attempt of a bird. No one could understand how a swordfish  was related to the Hunger Games! Continue reading

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