The Perfect Spanish Tortilla/Omelette

Whether you call it an omelette or a Spanish tortilla and serve it warm or cold I absolutely love this type of dish. I can completely understand how this evolved in the heat of Spain to be a cold tapas though. Cutting it into slices and serving alongside other small dishes and a lovely glass of Rioja just makes sense.



  • 6 eggs (or however many you like but adjust the proportions in line). Don’t make it too few it you want to cut it into slices though!
  • Salt and pepper pinches
  • Potatoes (peeled; boiled and cut into little pieces)
  • Red onion cut into thin slices
  • Oil to fry
  • Knob of butter (melted)
  • Splash of milk
  • Herbs and spices you like e.g. pinch of sweet paprika or chill flakes
  • Optional: Grated parmesan or cheddar



  1. Peel; cut into small pieces and boil the potatoes then allow to cool whilst you do the rest
  2. Crack and beat the eggs in a container such as a Pyrex jug so you can pour it later
  3. Add the salt; pepper and any herbs/spices you like
  4. Slice the onion and add to the mix
  5. Add the milk and butter (remember to melt the butter or it will sit in a big blob)
  6. Add the oil to a frying pan and heat at medium (try to pick a pan with a metal handle and not plastic so you can put it under the grill later if you want to)
  7. Add everything to the pan and heat for a few minutes until the bottom of the mixture starts to set
  8. Either flip the mixture using another plate very bravely or sprinkle with cheese and place under a hot grill for 30 seconds to a minute watching carefully until it browns and sets on top
  9. Either eat immediately if you like it warm or allow to cool and cut into slices for tapas
  10. Serve with a nice glass of Rioja wine!




Sephora Makeup Palette

I’m definitely not a beauty blogger but I did want to share and recommend this tip for storing makeup that I’d never seen before and have really fallen in love with. You can buy these but also I guess you could make one too. The American makeup company Sephora sells a container for your powdered makeup such as blush; bronzer and eye shadows. It’s a little palette with a clear lid and is completely empty when you buy it other than some little flat removable magnets. They then sell their powered makeup in metal containers so you pop each one out and place on the magnet and fill the palette with all your favorite items. It’s a great way to carry around your items rather than as individuals. I’ve taken mine all around the world and it’s never come open. What I also worked out was that most normal powdered makeup you buy comes in a thin metal container once you dig it out of its plastic container so you don’t just have to use the Sephora branded stuff. Be careful doing this though as they are often glued down so you’ll need something sharp to prize them out.


If you are not based in the US you can order this online but shipping costs are quite high so share the cost with someone else or order a lot at one time. Also, I guess you can make one out of an old container adding a magnetic base and some little magnets if you are feeling particularly creative!








Basic Cake Recipe

This recipe is just the standard recipe everyone in the world knows how to make and I use and adapt if for everything. It’s the first cake you make and once you crack it you are set for baking forever.


4 eggs (free range or organic if you can afford it)

225g sugar caster

225g self raising flour

225g butter or margarine

1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Ideally use a round tin but you can use any including cup cake tin or just the cases
  2. Grease the tin by dipping a bit of kitchen roll in the butter and covering the inside of the tin lightly
  3. Set the oven to 180 degrees c
  4. Mix all the ingredients together and beat well. You don’t need to cream the butter, just mix well
  5. Pour the mixture into the tin leaving a slight dip in the middle as it will rise higher there
  6. Cook for about 20 minutes until light and golden. It’s done if you stab the middle of the cake with something sharp and there’s no batter mixture on the stick. Cocktail sticks are good. It’s better to cook slowly and make sure the cake is cooked through than quickly. Also, if the cake starts to brown too much put some baking paper on the top to protect it
  7. Let the cake cook and slice in half through the middle if you used the round tin
  8. Victorian sponges are traditionally filled with jam and cream and a sprinkling of cater sugar on the top but make sure the cake is really cool so the cream doesn’t melt
  9. This cake batter can be used for anything. Just add cocoa powder to make chocolate or any flavourings you like such as coffee or lavenderCake

Wrestling Cake

I got this recipe from a baking magazine. I was looking for ideas for my nephew’s birthday and he was really into wrestling at the time. He loved it as he got to keep the toys as well so it made a complete present in one.


Square shaped tin (or cut your cake into a square)

Use the Basic Cake recipe SDC12160

4 large pieces of sturdy liquorice

Red shoe lace sweets/candy

Coloured icing (sugar paste)

A couple of cheap wrestling dolls (you can but online)

Red ribbon (optional)

4 cooking skewers (be careful to remove this before serving though so kids do eat them)

Writing icing kit



  1. Bake a square basic cake, allow cooling
  2. Cover the cake with icing of your choice. I chose white but black would look good for a wrestling or fighting ring
  3. Skewer the liquorice with the skewers so they sit at the top of skewer and insert the uncovered part into the cake. Repeat for the four corners
  4. Tie the red laces around the four corners to look like rope. This can be a bit tricky but it doesn’t matter too much if you can see the knots
  5. I used writing icing to make the symbol of the floor but you could even buy a pre-made stencil online. Red ribbon placed around the outside helps the ring look more rigid
  6.  Allow to dry
  7. Add the wrestlers or fighters of your choice. This would work well for video game or other TV show themed cakes where there are opposing characters


Basic Bread

I’ve never been able to make bread. It seems like the simplest thing in the entire world and yet I have never been able to master it. Every few years I try again and out of the oven comes a rock hard brick of bread. I’ve toyed with the idea of a bread maker but always figured that was cheating but I did start trying again with a packet of bread mix.

I bought my bread mix from Aldi. They have a wide range if you go in store of little packets of mixes to make different specialities of bread from. I picked a seeded loaf but you can pick any or none and just use strong white flour.

After lots of reading on kneading and gluten I think the best method is to really stretch the dough with a wooden spoon. I think this has the same effect as significant kneading and works for me (finally)!


  • 500g strong white flour (or equivalent mix)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast or a packet
  • 3 tbsp olive oil and some for oiling the tin
  • 300ml water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Bread tin (makes all the difference)
  • Get a clean tea towel ready slightly dampened
  • Cling film
  • 5ml milk or beaten egg to glaze


  1. First mix the yeast in a little warm water. Add a tiny tsp of sugar and mix thoroughly. I think the sugar is what the yeast eats and the warmth starts to activate it
  2. Oil using olive oil the tin so the mix won’t stick
  3. Mix the bread mix or flour with the water (make sure it’s slightly warm) and the olive oil. Choose a bowl double the size of your mix to allow it space to rise
  4. Stir with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes to keep your hands away from the sticky mess initially and to really stretch the mixture (apparently the gluten in the flour which is what makes it rise). Keep pulling the mixture up and away to create strands and drop them back down again
  5. I like to then put a bit of clingfilm on the top and then the damp tea towel or the risen dough sticks to the tea towel?!! Don’t completely seal the top though as you need air to get in. I then put my bowl on top of a fairly low heat radiator or on top of the oven
  6. Set the oven to 180 degrees and allow it to warm slowly
  7. After 20 minutes check the dough. It should have risen a little so give it another stir and let it rise again for a further 20 minute
  8. Give it another stir and transfer it to your tin shaping it into a rough loaf shape
  9. Glaze the top with a little milk or egg wash
  10. Move to the oven to bake for circa 20-30 minutes but keep an eye on it. If it starts to brown too early cover with foil or lower the heat 10 or so degrees
  11. Once baked leave in the tin to cool for 10 minutes from it recedes from the sides and can be removed easier

You can then try different mixtures or adding this to the top of your bread such as seeds or in your bread to make more fun.


Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Recipes

I just adore Halloween. I’ve enjoyed America television and associated Americana since I was little and Halloween was always a big part of that being such a commercial event in the states. It has come over to the UK but if you’ve ever walked through an American suburb recently or even more than gone out in the evening in a city you will see the amazing array of costumes and decorated houses. My favourite experience was the town of Celebration in Orlando where they have light projections covering their entire houses showing Halloween scenes such as ghosts or bats circling the house.


Pumpkin flavouring is another item you cannot get away from in the states. Everything is flavoured from coffee; branded cookies through to candles and fabric softener.  I think it helps that ‘Thanks Giving’ is at a similar time of year and the tradition for Pumpkin Pie (which I find glorious) must only have help drive the desire for pumpkin flavoured things.  Pumpkin flavoured items are not very present in the UK and you really have to struggle to find anything but you do find Pumpkins for carving. The first thing I will say therefore is be careful when you buy a pumpkin. A lot of them in the UK are grown just for carving and not eating. Check the label as it normally states this in the small print. Try to find a farm to pick your pumpkin from a patch or pick up an organic one if you can. I’ve grown pumpkins in the past and will put up a guide to growing them in the next spring time as it’s so much fun.


So you’ve picked; grown or bought your pumpkin, how do you carve it? My advice would be to search the internet for designs that you like mean something to you. I’ve seen some great Mickey Mouse designs and it’s more interesting than just a wobbly mouth and triangle eyes.  This year I’ve been playing a game on my mobile called ‘Pokemon Go’ which has some spookily themed character so ‘Gengar’ seemed like a great idea.


I started my looking at a picture of what I wanted to carve and drew it in ‘Sharpie’ marker on the flatest side of my pumpkin. I coloured with lines the bits of pumpkin to cut away where the line would come through. Then using a really sharp knife I cut the top off my pumpkin. Using a metal spoon scrape the insides of the pumpkin so all the loose fibres and seeds fall in a pile at the bottom. Keep doing this and emptying the contents until you have smooth sides of pumpkin flesh inside.  Then using a small sharp knife cut the coloured pieces away leaving you design. Scrape the back of the design so you don’t get any fibrous bits hanging down in front of the light. If your pumpkin is organic you’ll have quite a lot of fleshy insides that you can scrape away and put into a bowl separately. If there isn’t much just leave it to allow the pumpkin to keep its integrity. A real word of warning though don’t leave a pumpkin with fleshy insides intact as it will rot within a couple of days and literally dissolve making a major mess.


For the light itself I use the cheap battery powered ones as they are much safer if you put your pumpkin in a window or anywhere near children. They also help preserve your pumpkin for much longer as the candle heat can melt the insides and help it rot faster. Trust me I learnt this the hard way when even after a week the pumpkin had dissolved to mush all over my window sill and down the wall. Also, if you use a candle and your cut outs aren’t very big put a couple of holes in the roof/top of your pumpkin to allow air in or your candle will melt the roof thus again creating a big pile of mush or the candle goes out shortly after you put it in.


Finally using some wet kitchen paper and some form of cleaning product like washing up liquid give the front of the pumpkin where the design is a bit of a wipe down to remove any pieces of residual marker pen.


And voila!! Happy Halloween!!



But what about that pumpkin flesh… I have two things I like to do. The first is to mix it with a can of prepared pumpkin that can buy in the supermarket. This is generally a bit sweeter as it’s been canned immediately after picking. Cook the flesh for about 20 mins in a pan and then add a can of condensed milk; 2 beaten eggs, a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon and some salt. Mix. Grab some pre-made short crust pastry (frozen stuff) and line a cake tin or flan/pie dish. Fill with the mixture and bake for 20 minutes at about 180 degrees. Serve with vanilla ice-cream.


The second thing I like to do is add the pumpkin flesh to homemade soups. Add to cauliflower or any vegetables you like in a pan with some vegetable stock and boil for about 20 minutes. Add a dash of cream; salt and pepper and blend with a blender. Perfect vegetable soup!


Pizza dough base using Soy flour

This recipe came from the ‘verywell’ website when ‘Googling’ best low carb pizza dough recipes so what an advert to be at the top of those listings. Now one of the reasons I’ve put weight on is my recent trip and engagement in New York on which almost every day we ate pizza. If you ever go to New York please try the local pizza restaurant across the street from the World Trade Centre monument or there’s an immense one in Penn Station underground. Also, try a white. Now I’ didn’t know what  white was but apparently it’s just a plain cheese and tomato pizza with no tomato. It was amazing!!! I think it was more like a deluxe cheesy garlic bread but so good.



1 cup soy flour

½ cup protein powder (try Holland and Barrett or online health food shops)

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

2 eggs beaten

3 tbsp olive oil

¼ cup water

1-2 tsp sugar substitute (use the natural ones)



  1. Combine spread onto a pizza plate or baking sheet. Grease really well as mine stuck a bit too much
  2. Cook at 180 degrees c for about 12 minutes


IMG_0619 (1)

For the toppings remember don’t use pre-bought pizza sauce as it contains sugars but make your own with softened onions and garlics; can of chopped tomatoes, oregano and any Italian style spices you like. Cover the base with sauce and coat with lots of cheese. Cook again for about ten minutes until brown. Always allow pizzas ten minutes after cooking to settle down or they don’t slice well. That’s why takeaway pizzas are always more formed that home cooked.  I always like my pizza’s with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese or chilli flakes dependent on my mood.


Now the base isn’t soft doughy bread so I couldn’t pick mine up but eaten with a knife and fork it was as close to pizza as I’m going to get I like. My next step is to experiment with hybrid flours by adding Almond etc.

Atkins Diet

Low carb coconut bread

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Low carb coconut bread

This recipe came from ‘The Atkins’ website and variations are widely shared in communities online. It’s super rich so when I say cut it into 16 slices do not feel tempted to make these larger as they look small but are so heavy to eat (in a good way). Also, although it’s described as bread it’s a bit like the bread you had on holiday in the late 1990’s in European resorts so it’s half bread and half cake like. You’ll know what I mean if you ever went to the Algarve.



1 cup coconut flour

6 eggs whisked together

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tbsp salt

1 tbsp sweetner ( do not use Aspartame based but the natural sweeteners)

½ cup butter melted



  1. Butter a cake/bread tin and set oven to 180 degrees c
  2. Mix together and pour (yes pour it’s really liquid) into a bread/cake tin
  3. Cook for 35- 45 mins
  4. Slice into circa slides. Each slide is 1.6 net carbs
  5. Server toasted coated in butter


Bearing in mind I’ve not had bread for a couple of weeks and I’m really missing it as prior to this diet and I normally eat two pieces of white Warburton bread toasted with butter a day, I really liked it! It maybe a tiny bit too sweet though so I’m next going to be exploring Almond Flour and Soy Flours as a substitute.

Atkins Diet

I’ve started doing ‘The Atkins’ version of a low carb diet initially as it’s something I’ve done before and I know works. Have a look at ‘The Atkins’ website for a great summary and recipes. I’ve an older paperback version of the original guide which I bring out every couple of years. The premise which never made sense to me until I saw the weight come off the first time is that you can only eat meat; fish, cheese and fats. You can also have vegetables but only the non-starchy (woody) ones so no potatoes. They however need to make up your net carb daily allowance which is 20 net carbs. Net carbs are the carbohydrate value you see on the side of the packet minus the carbohydrate fibre.  Now there are also minor exceptions to the meat; fish and cheese lists but there are very specific such as cottage cheese . A core tip would be to not ignore the fats. Actually eating fat on this diet really helps. Sounds weird but true! Also, make sure you eat more fresh foods rather than pre-packaged especially in the first weeks which is known as induction as trying to work out carbohydrate value hidden in things like sausages or breading even lightly on meats is difficult and can really ruin your diet.


Other key tips I tell anyone starting the diet is to buy some ‘Ketostix’ from eBay or health food store as they measure the amount of ketosis you are going through which is a true indicator of whether the fat burning is working. It also helps if you’ve eaten something and then you test yourself you can really know whether that tiny bit of ketchup knocked you off your diet or not and trust me it does. Do not so much as lick a boiled sweet, especially in induction. I’m not kidding! I’d also recommend you take a multi-vitamin; buy full fat cream as you end up using it for everything and a lot of eggs.


So I’m about two stone heavier than I’d like to be. I mean I’m not big at all at a size 14 but as I’m getting married I’d like to be in best shape I can be.  I actually don’t  eat that badly normally but I’ve been on some big holidays recently and eaten a lot of pizza in New York for examples. It was worth though.. lol.


I’ve lots more meal plans; tips and recipes to share so I’ll add these as the weeks go on. Good luck if you are trying low carb and please contact me if you want to share or discuss anything.