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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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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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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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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Hunger Games Themed Food: Quote Cookies

Alright, I’m not going to lie. As a teenage girl, I couldn’t help but succumb to the latest film craze sweeping our nations – The Hunger Games. Having thoroughly enjoyed the series; a tale of 24 children fighting to the death on a yearly basis, as punishment for the 12 districts who rebelled against the dictating ‘Capitol’ in a dystopian society – I stood in anticipation of the impending film release. Funnily enough, ‘The Hunger Games’ which would be more appropriately named ‘The Death Games’, seeing as the possibility of starvation is rarely mentioned; I stumbled upon this wonderful site – Fictional Food – where the blogger recreates the few foods that do appear in the novels.

The girl (cookie) on fire!

Crystal, the blogger and owner of the site, has a particular recipe aptly named ‘Sweethearts’ – the endearing term an often drunk character gives to the main protagonist – which are really just good old sugar cookies. Following the recipe, which admittedly, I used a conversion table for, I spent quite a long time kneading the incredible amount of dough this mix produces (Please be warned: It does make a hell of a lot!) but it was worth it. The fun and creative part was the engraving of letters into the dough. Using a kit I found tucked away in the back of a cupboard, I cut each one out in a circular shape and then dubbed it with a word. Continue reading


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Even more cupcakes!

Oh, how I do love cupcakes – particularly chocolate. I’ve been cooking them more and more often ever since my friends and I started up Manger Monday – the day of the week where I bring my baked goods to school for them (and every other kid who runs up and steals a cookie!). I probably shouldn’t open the lid of the tin in the locker room, when it’s full of hormonal teenage girls, sweaty and starving from sport; but it’s a sacrifice I put up with.

Iced and ready to eat!

I’ve haven’t attached the recipe, as you’ll find it in many other posts and it is undeniably simple – but after managing to ice a few to a high standard I was pleased with, I went all out on the photography, setting out plates, napkins and even cutlery, moving and adjusting items before finally taking lots of snaps with my camera. So here are my top three. Continue reading


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50 shades of blue… (Cupcakes)

Looking at the title and image, you may be wondering two things. Firstly, what do cupcakes have to do with the best-selling but quite inappropriate novel by E. L. James? And secondly, what is a cupcake doing in a teacup? 

A real teacake!

I’m going to answer both. Today, whilst shopping, I found a packet of Dr Oetker’s food colouring gels and thought they would be a better answer to my cry for colour than the old fashioned sour tasting liquids. The packet said that it would take 12 or so drops to make the perfect dark blue I wanted. It lied. After going through at least fifty shades of blue and using all the azure gel; I was left with this mockery of navy. I soon cheered up, as to my delight, I found a lovely treasure of my Grandmother’s and decided it would serve as a nice holder for all of my cakes.  Continue reading