Spinach Topped Pizza

I think I’ve previously done a post about pizza but this pizza is different because…. it’s got SPINACH on top!! Pizza is one of my favourite meals to make and you can jazz it up with loads of toppings or just keep it simple like I do 🙂 I haven’t really gotten onto the spinach trend in general but thought it would be great to introduce it into my meals through something I actually like such as pizza.

Dough recipe
500g plain flour
300ml warm water
7g dry active yeast
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil

Toppings
200ml Passata (tomato sauce)
2x tinned tuna
Large bag of spinach (washed and wilted)
300g grated mozzarella

Method
Don’t forget to preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and lightly rub oil all over 2 baking trays.

1. Put the yeast into the warm water, mix until dissolved and leave for 15 minutes to be activated. In the meantime in a large bowl place the flour and salt making a well in the centre.

2. After the 15 minutes pour the oil with the yeast mixture and then pour into the flour. Use your hands to combine into a dough then set aside in a warm place for 1 hour until risen.

3. Once risen roll out the dough to your desired thickness (remember it will rise more in the oven) and place on a baking tray.

4. Then of course add the tomato sauce then the other toppings of your choice (I love a little extra cheese) and bake for 25 minutes until the crust is golden.

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I really did enjoy the spinach on the pizza it has a very distinct flavour which I’m still getting used too. When you wilt the spinach down in a pan it’s surprising how much liquid they contain because they are so thin.

Other topping ideas:

Cheddar cheese

Sweet corn

Pepper

Onion

Chicken

Bacon

Cream cheese (instead of tomato sauce)

Olives

Minced meat

Grated carrot

Tomatoes

Chorizo

Pineapple

Broccoli

Beetroot

The list is endless….

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Watch: A True Cost

De temps en temps I like watching documentaries, a few months ago I watched ‘a true cost’ and was informed on so many interesting things about how the economy is effected around some parts of the world from the obsessive culture of people buying and throwing away so many clothes. It definitely isn’t fair on the countries that have to suffer from bad pollution which directly effects their bodies too!

An insight into what I learned: Everyday in Kanpur more than 15 million litres of toxic waste water pours out of the pipes. The local environment is contaminated and the soil is contaminated. The only drinking source they have is ground water which is contaminated with chromium

Effects of contamination causes skin rashes, boils and even numbness in the limbs. Chromium attacks the liver and causes jaundice, creating digestive problems. The little money people make is used to treat these illnesses. 

The fashion industry today is the 2nd most polluting industry on the earth, second only to the oil industry. Even though the fashion industry uses a huge amount of natural resources it has a terrible environmental impact.

1950’s an industrial change: exponential growth and use of natural resources.

The economy is based on materialism, people feeling the need to constantly buy and throw things away. All the hard work gone into the making of the clothes isn’t appreciated the way it should be.

Many of the workers are in unsafe working conditions which sometimes lead to people dying during a work day. It’s not fair at all, people should always have great working conditions and should be treated fairly.

Consumers search for happiness in the consumption of buying things. In a way it is not only the consumers fault because companies trick us into thinking we need more things, through advertisements which is a type of propaganda!

If there is anything you think you could do to make a positive impact, do it because you never know whose life you’d be changing for the better. Though people live in bad conditions all over the world to know that as a consumer of clothes (sometimes cheap) I’m buying into a world of factory workers commonly of young women who work extremely long hours every day in hope that their children will live better lives.

I would really recommend watching this documentary even if you think your spending habits are good, you will learn more about the negative side of the fashion industry which is usually hidden and maybe even a few tips on how you can make a difference. 

                        ❤ ab ❤

Poppyseed Shortbread

I’ve made shortbread a few times now and I definitely won’t forget the chocolate swirl shortbread, recipe here https://ablovesfood.wordpress.com/2016/06/15/chocolate-swirl-shortbread/?preview=true However this recipe has poppyseeds which have their own distinct flavour and adds more texture when you take a bite. I love making shortbread because it’s such a simple quick recipe and it tastes amazing.

Makes 15

Ingredients                                                                                                                                            175g butter (at room temp)                                              75g caster sugar                                                                  250g plain flour                                                                  30g poppyseeds

Method

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. Then cream the butter and sugar together until pale before adding the poppyseeds.

3. Next add the flour and knead everything together to form a smooth dough. Now the dough can be rolled out to 1cm thick.

4. Place onto the tray carefully and poke holes throughout the slab using a fork. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until slightly golden then sprinkle with icing sugar!!

Happy Baking 🙂

For extra flavour try adding:

Raisins

Cocoa powder

Orange zest

Ground ginger

Chocolate chips

What’s on My Mind

We’ve had such lovely, warm weather today in the UK (almost too hot) but I’m not complaining.

I’m just lying here thinking about life, the world and everything that has happened fairly recently. Even though the chances of this are so low I wish that we all lived in a peaceful world where every colour and culture was just accepted by all. We are human beings and deserve the right to an equal non-judgemental life. It’s not fair that certain types of people have to suffer because of the colour of their skin or their religious beliefs because everybody is different and stereotypes are often not accurate. Sometimes I wish there was something I could do to change things and make them better but this world is much too big for one to conquer 🙂 We also live in a world that is so obsessed technology that we forget real life things, simple things like nature.

Cleaning With Essential Oils

There are lots of homes in the UK filled with various cleaning products that actually cause more harm to our health than you would imagine, just because they are top well-known brands doesn’t mean they won’t have an adverse affect on your health. Most essential oils actually have the same cleaning properties of chemical cleaners. I thought I would give a few examples for anyone trying to live a toxic free lifestyle.

You will need:
– A spray bottle
– An empty bucket/ tub
– Old spoon for mixing
– Cloth/ sponge

Makeup brushes– eucalyptus oil, vinegar
Mix 500ml warm water with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 5 drops of eucalyptus oil. Soak brushes for 10- 20 minutes, rinse well and leave to air dry.

Mould– tea tree oil
Mix 2 teaspoons with with 500ml of warm water, spray on problem area to detract mould.

Windows– lavender oil and vinegar
Combine 500ml hot water with 250ml vinegar, add 10 drops of lavender oil. Use a cloth to soak up the mixture squeeze out the liquid and clean.

Grease– lemon oil, vinegar and liquid castile soap
Mix 300ml warm water, 200ml vinegar, 1 tablespoon of liquid castille soap and 10 drops of lemon oil. Soak a cloth or sponge in the mixture and wipe away the grease.

If you have any other suggestions leave them in the comments below 🙂

Salted Chocolate Chip Biscuits

I really love the combination of sweet and salty especially on popcorn (my favourite Proper Corn sweet and salty) but it works great with this recipe too. We’ve got the sweetness from the caster sugar and chocolate chips and the saltiness from sea salt. This recipe is small but don’t forget you can easily double the ingredients if you want more, but for those days when you just want a little sweet fix, this is perfect!!

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Makes 6 chunky biscuits

Ingredients
75g butter, softened
75g caster sugar
1 egg
150g plain flour
1 tsp sea salt
50g chocolate chips

Method
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

2. In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together then add the egg mixing until smooth. Sieve in the flour, add ½ the salt and chocolate chips.

3. Combine everything together then use a spoon to form 6 biscuits on the baking tray and sprinkle on the rest of the sugar.

4. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. They will still be quite pale in colour but if you want them golden leave them in for an extra 5 minutes.

Leave to cool down on a cooling rack before eating!

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My Baking Essentials and Tips

Happy Sunday everyone, hope you’ve all had a great week 🙂 I sure did. I actually wanted to do this a long time ago but it’s better late than never right?

I love baking, cooking and food in general so it’s always great to find equipment or tips to make things easier, here are my top 5 essentials/tips!!

1. A spatula: whatever you are baking/making a spatula is the best thing to use to make sure you scrape out every last bit of the mixture.

2. Softened butter: remember to take the butter out of the fridge at least 15 minutes before baking.
Most recipes require the butter to be at room temperature, this makes it so much easier when it comes to creaming the butter and sugar.

3. Baking shelf/cupboard: dedicated to your baking fillings and toppings, this way you won’t be searching around the kitchen for anything, you’ll go straight to that cupboard.

4. Recipe notebook: a notebook where you can jot down your ideas and it’s all in one place.

5. A hand held whisk: even though I like mixing by hand, when you want to cream the butter and sugar together until pale/light/creamy/fluffy an electronic whisk does the job very well.

I went to Spain!!!

This was my first ever proper summer holiday abroad. It was actually one of the things I really wanted to do this year so I’m so happy I got to experience life outside of the UK. I was away for 7 nights and stayed in Majorca at the Palma Nova hotel. It was so crazy because when we first arrived there we had difficulty opening the double locked door and were literally ready to move rooms, but once we realised how to open it properly everything was fine (thanks to all the people who saw us struggle with the door and helped to open it)

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First day we were super tired after having to wake up early and take a short 2 hour flight to our holiday destination, the moment we arrived we felt that warm welcoming sunny weather which was probably one of the best things about being in Spain because the UK weather is often so dull. Literally spent everyday on the beach getting tanned/toasted I’m still waiting for my original colour to come back :/ it was a man made beach so the sand was really soft but there were no seashells or stones which I like collecting. It was nice to just lie back and relax without thinking about having to do anything.

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By the poolside

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My stomach looks so toned

Every morning we ate breakfast downstairs, they had quite a variety of foods but everything tasted so different except for the baked beans!! There was bread, yogurt, pastries, salami, cereal, ham, cheese, fried egg, sausages, vegetables, deep fried broccoli and cauliflower and so much more…. They of course had drinks like tea, coffee, water, pineapple and orange juice. I’m still not sure if the juices were squash or not because they tasted so sweet and I had to dilute them.

Before going my top priority was to taste lots of Spanish food but the only real Spanish dish I ate was the Paella which was so so good, the flavours were amazing I sat in that restaurant using my fingers to eat most of it. The Paella was definitely one of my favourite meals along with the Spaghetti Bolognese. They had a lot of foods you’d get in the UK too like pizza, chips and burgers but were served with style. One thing I did notice was that all of the Spanish staff in the restaurants and shops had such genuine manners.

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I ate muscles and scallops for the first time.

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The sauce was lots but ridiculously good.

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Sangria!!

I brought with me a Spanish holiday phrase book which I didn’t even use because majority of the people could speak English, here in the UK it’s not really a top priority to learn another language which is pretty rubbish because it would be cool to be bilingual and I would love to speak French, maybe one day 😉

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I was so tanned

Overall my holiday was fantastic and I would love to go back to Spain one day, there was so much to do (we went on a boat ride, played mini golf, went to a silent disco etc), the food was always delicious and lets not forget that warm weather

Rose Water Cupcakes

I didn’t find a rose but I did find this little purple flower. Cupcakes are so much fun to bake and I feel like you can try many varieties and flavours, this recipe is a super basic sponge with a rose water flavour. They are perfect for birthday parties, sleepovers or just to enjoy with a cup of tea. The appearance is quite plain but they do taste amazing, sometimes it’s nice to keep recipes simple.

Makes 12

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INGREDIENTS
125g butter
125g caster sugar
3 tbsp rose water
2 eggs
150g self raising flour
Icing sugar

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and put 12 cases into a cupcake tin. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale, next add the rose water 1 tbsp at a time (make sure the mixture doesn’t split).

2. Then add the eggs one at a time mixing well, sift in the flour and combine gently.

3. Use a tbsp to divide the mixture between each cupcake case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until risen and golden brown.

4. Immediately after taking them out of the oven sprinkle with icing sugar.

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               Happy Baking