Friday, 7 February 2014

polenta squares topped with mushroom and caramelised onion

One of the 365 Project photo prompts this week was 'square' and so I decided that these yummy bite-sized snacks would be perfect. They were so delicious, I could hardly leave them alone long enough to take the picture you see here. For some reason I have never cooked with polenta, so I was delighted to find how easy it was. This delicious recipe can be found at deliciouseveryday.
As well as being delicious, these mushroom bites are great for using as a starter, as canapes or just a tasty TV snack. Another great thing about them is that you can do all the preparation the day before and just fry and assemble them to serve.

1) Add the vegetable stock, along with with the butter, to a pan and bring to the boil. 
2) Reduce the heat and gradually whisk in the polenta. Keep whisking until it is thick and creamy. Remove from heat and whisk in the grated Parmesan.
3) Pour into a tray about 30cm by 20cm (12" x 8") and allow to set for about 20 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, add the onions to the olive oil in a saucepan. Let  them  soften, over a low heat, for about ten minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar and cook for a further ten minutes or so, until the onions are caramelised. Then set aside.
5) For the mushrooms, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the garlic. Cook for 2 minutes then add the mushrooms. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
6) Add the wine and thyme and then season with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for about 10 minutes until the wine has all but evaporated. Set aside.
7) Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan, until it is hot. Cut the polenta into bite-sized squares, coat them with uncooked polenta flour and fry them for 2 or 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Leave to drain on kitchen towel.
8) Assemble the bites by spooning a little of the caramelised onion onto the squares and then top with the  mushrooms .

Note: It is worth frying a couple of the polenta squares for different times and testing by tasting, to see which texture suits you. Longer frying will produce more crunch in the polenta.


Adapted from a recipe on

Have a lovely weekend, lovelies. We are going to wrap up and get out in the fresh air with a thermos of soup; weather permitting of course! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

ten reasons to love pinterest

Hi, my name is Rachel, and I am a Pinterest addict!

I have been that way for some time now and I want to share with you the reasons why I love it so much. But, before you go any further, be warned: if you don't know it already, you may well get hooked.

Click on any image to look at one of my boards.

Relax, take 5 and look at pretty things
Relax, unwind and look at pretty things. In moments you can be in a stress-free heaven surrounded by the most beautiful sights the world has to offer.

It makes me happy
It is a world full of the most delicious eye candy with people sharing beautiful and interesting things in an interesting way.

A great organiser
It is a great way to organise information and ideas where they can be easily found. Instead of having files with magazine cutouts, with that 'I know it's in there somewhere' feeling, I can just go straight to the board I want in seconds. Everything is in one place. 

It's always there
Wherever I am and whichever device I have with me, I always have this world of ideas and loveliness at my fingertips. Also, I can't lose it as it is always 'backed up'. Now there's a bonus!

Wedding inspiration
Whatever your passion of the moment, and mine right now is weddings, you can find the best ideas the internet has offer. If you try and trawl through images elsewhere, you will have to crawl through slow-loading pages, full of adverts. No thank you!

Photography tips

This is a real biggie for me. It inspires me to keep trying to produce high quality images and presentation and gives me ideas on how to do that. I am constantly learning new things every time I go on it.

Style inspiration

Oh yes ..... I love that!........I have got to get one of those....... now they go together ...... I wouldn't have thought of that.

Home inspiration
Imagine having all the home design magazines of the world, all in one place; that's Pinterest. 

Easy to use
It is so simple that you will be 'pinning' like a professional in minutes. Each page only has on it what you need. Also, it keeps getting better with each update.

One good thing leads to another
It begins by finding one good pin you like, then you look who pinned it ...... finds other interesting pins .... follow where they came from ....... find something irrelevant but gorgeous .... and suddenly it's not 'take 5' any more.

Are you as addicted to Pinterest as much as I am? What do you like about it? What do you use it for? Have you found something really interesting or unusual?

Monday, 3 February 2014

my favourite winter colour

Today was a perfect opportunity to wear this coat I picked up in the January sales. A lovely sunny Sunday but with a chilly wind. We wanted to make the most of this glorious day so we had a wander round a beautiful gallery not too far from us. 

I have a wardrobe full of maroon; it is my go to colour choice over the winter months. I paired it with a blue lace dress and my comfy and warm maroon boots. Lace dresses are a big favourite of mine, I find them very versatile and perfect for many occasions. If you read my blog you will know I have quite a selection! What other outfits do you think would work with this coat? I would love to hear your ideas. 

After a lovely visit to the gallery we were feeling a little peckish and there is only one place I wanted to go and that was Marmadukes. This is one of my favourite little cafes to eat in and I would highly recommend it.

It is so quaint and funky inside and the sandwiches are just heaven! I can't wait to go back and try their eggs benedict. They even have blankets so you can sit outside when it is chilly. I love it!

Linking up with Elena at Monday Bloom, Doranda at Watch What I'm Wearing and Lauren at Style Elixir.

Have a great Monday!

River Island Maroon Oversized Coat
Topshop Lace Dress - wardrobe
Urban Outfitters Handbag - wardrobe
Primark Maroon Booties - last seen here