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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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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Mushroom Risotto

It’s officially my favourite Italian dish since Pizza Hut started making stuffed crusts.

Garnish and go!

Risotto, risotto, risotto… where to start? After hearing how nice it was from a friend, I journeyed through the web to find a recipe for it. After settling on BBC Good Food, as I usually do – I’m happy to entrust myself with a site that blatantly refers to their brilliance in the name – I bought the ingredients, rolled my sleeves up and started cooking.

Last week, I finally got round to that job I’ve been avoiding for months now. Sorting out all my kitchen clutter. Admit it, it’s part of human nature – especially mine – to hate tidying up. But when I discovered a circular pastry cutter in the back of my cupboard, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that there was a light bulb above my head as I studied it.  Continue reading


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Ham, Cheese and Tomato Open Tart

Remember all those apple pastry recipes from the last couple of days? Of course you do. This recipe was taken off the back of the cardboard boxes containing the very same puff pastry I used before. It seemed simple enough. For the magical feat of designing a recipe which tastes amazing and is ‘oh-so-easy’ to make (very few can do this), I give you Jus-Rol’s Ham, Cheese and Tomato Open Tart!

All puffed-up

I am a huge fan of quick and easy recipes that make me look like a supercook, and this is yet another one of them. An open tart is like a pizza, but with a pastry base, rather than a doughy one. The key to success with a tart is a good flavour combination. Whether yours is meat or vegetarian, sweet or savoury, you need to have a bunch of ingredients that complement each other beautifully. Although for my first time I’ve played safe with the classic cheese and tomato combo, for the future I plan to try more exotic tastes. Yes, I will be making this recipe again. And again. And again. If you have to take just one savoury recipe from my food blog, then take this one.  Continue reading