Monday, 23 February 2015

Fish Pie & Stuff

Hello everyone,

I hope you've had a fantastic weekend and that your Monday hasn't been so gloomy (it's raining over here but the weather in England is what it is). I've been rustling up a lot of different food and on Saturday I decided to make a favourite childhood dish that I've missed eating. Fish pie is a tremendously easy dish to make and quite literally doesn't take very long to make at all. I make the white sauce from scratch, using the milk I used to poach the fish, which gives it a gorgeous flavour without the need to use any fish stock. I've been eating a lot of meat for a while now, especially chicken ( don't get me wrong, I can't go through a week without it) but a change is always welcome and eating more fish gives any ones diet a bit more variety than the same meal day in day out. I have other fish recipies that I would love to share with you, especially my take on tuna free tuna sandwich which is just divine!!...but back to my original topic and the focus of this post. If you don't like fish and find it difficult to get yourself to eat it, I would suggest trying crab meat or breaded fish patties mixed with peas, carrots and sweetcorn. The latter is extremely easy to make and I will share my method of making these later on. So without further ado, here is how I make a fish pie...


350 grams Cod Fillets
350 grams Plaice Fillets
500ml Milk
500ml Water
200ml Thick Cream
2 Bay leafs
1 Carrot
1 portion of Green Peas
1 portion of Cauliflower
1 1/2 tbsp Parsley
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
25g Butter
5-6 Large Potatoes (more or less depending on size of dish)
1 tspn Salt
A pinch of pepper

White sauce;

2 tbsp Corn flour (or Sauce flour)
25g Butter
1 liter of Milk & Water (from above)
1 pinch of Salt and Pepper


1. Peel, wash and dice your potatoes and then place them in a pan of boiling water until they become soft ( I make mash in batches and then freeze it for when I need it, lovely use of time on a Sunday afternoon) once soft, you can drain and place them to one side until needed.

2. Whilst the potatoes are boiling, in a deep pan, measure out the milk and water and let it warm up on the stove. As it begins to foam, add the fish, bay leaf, chopped vegetables, parsley, salt and pepper and let it poach on a medium heat, just enough for it to bubble gently, and leave it on the stove for about 10-15 mins.

3. In a separate medium sauce pan, melt half the butter at a medium high heat and add the flour, stirring with a whisk until the flour and butter are fully incorporated. This is our roux for the white sauce. The dough will become more like breadcrumbs, which is our sign that it is ready but don't worry if it remains in the shape of a dough, some flours absorb the butter better than others any way :-) put the pan aside for the moment

4. Drain the fish and vegetables onto a separate plate and save the milk in a jug. Putting the roux pan back on the heat, begin adding the milk a little at a time to the roux until all lumps are gone. A nice trick to see if the sauce is done is if you cover the back of a spoon with the sauce and run your finger down the middle, the streak should remain on the spoon. Add a generous amount of cheese if you like at this stage.

5. Begin preparing the mash by adding the rest of the butter, cream and mayonnaise, some salt and pepper and mash until soft, fluffy and lump free. If you have an egg allergy, you can leave the mayonnaise out or use egg free mayonnaise instead. 

6. Place the fish in the sauce and stir well. Place the sauce and fish mix into an oven proof dish and either pipe the mash on top or use a spoon to place the mash evenly over the fish. I like to top the pie with some cheese and breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping but this is optional. 

7. Leave to bake in the oven for 30 mins at 180 degrees or gas mark 5 and tuck in whilst it is still fresh ;-)


Monday, 16 February 2015

Happiness: Living for yourself

Hi everyone,

I wanted to share with you what I do to make myself happier and more fulfilled with my life. Sometimes work, studies and relationships with friends and family can put a lot of pressure in your life and in the long run this can have a negative impact on your health and happiness.

There is no right way to be happy but taking time out to do the things you enjoy and leave all the worries of life at the door can help to give you the right sort of energy and strength you need to carry yourself forward and stay positive and motivated. Here are just some of the things I like to do:

  • A large warm cup of tea with honey; I think I look forward to a cup of tea more than I enjoy a lie in on a Saturday. I drink anything from Chamomile, Chai and peppermint to some more of the usual classics like English Breakfast and Earl Grey.
  • Exercise; Running in the cold winter air is a favourite past time of mine. If I'm not down with the flu or anything that is. I try to put aside time for exercise in the calendar for three set days in the week and then stick to it and this can vary between running, gym, ballet or yoga. If I've been unwell, I'll give my body an additional week off, to avoid getting a relapse and make sure I recover properly. 
  • Photography and drawing; I've been drawing since I was very young, and from early on, I've learnt to grow this talent to greater depths. I love nothing more than to go through arts and crafts or stationary stores and picking up paint brushes and acrylics and oil paints for new projects. I recently took photography a bit further as well, and I'm finding so much peace in capturing those precious moments and beautiful life that's all around us.
  • A good read; I'm a self confessed bookaholic. I currently have about six books I've got to find the time for and read through, but I love nothing more than curling up in my cozy corner and escaping into the world of a 'mysig' book.
Now these are just my ideas of what adds joy into my life. There are many other things I love and I'm sure, you can find activities and things which let you escape for a few hours from stress and worries.

Have a happy life,

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Green Living 2015

Hi everyone,

It’s that time of year again. We are two months into the new year and on your list (including mine!) and probably near the top, is a resolution to start eating healthier. And every year you tell yourself this time it’s going to be different. Well…let’s face it, it’s not, but I would rather be honest with myself than face the disappointment by the end of summer (possibly sooner) that I have failed miserably at kicking away bad habits.

Now for me, my biggest crave is bread! I love bread so much that I went to all the effort of learning how to make it myself when I was at university. But I’ve realized that just because you enjoy eating a particularly unhealthy thing doesn’t mean that you should lock it away in a cupboard when the new-year resolutions come in and the yearly ‘diet’ starts again. So this year, I’m going to do things a little differently as an experiment and I will be sharing my journey with you as I go along.

So here it goes…

 I find it quite difficult to get myself to eat a lot of fruit and veg, Since last summer I have tried to introduce a whole range of new food that I just haven't had the will power to go out and buy previously. Every week, I will add one new fruit or vegetable to try and this is working well for me at the moment because I end up trying whatever is in season rather than looking for anything specific which might possibly be out of season.

Then winter came....

I really don't like eating cold things in winter so salad was definitely out of the question. Then I FINALLY cottoned onto the nutri-bullet and all my worries seemed to melt away like the proverbial snow I expected at christmas ;-) But the price tag seemed a bit steep so, the Breville smoothie maker is doing just as a good a job at churning those juicy mangoes and blueberries.

Grab whatever fruit and vegetable you can rummage out of the fridge and freezer and start blitzing! I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this right now. It's great as a breakfast, snack and well...anything really.

So that's the start anyway, I'll keep you posted on what else I'm coming up with under this title so if you enjoyed this and want to find out more, please subscribe ;-)

Have a happy life,