Apple and Blackberry Galette

Apple and Blackberry Galette

Blackberrying with my Dad is one of my favourite childhood memories. He seemed to me to be the oracle of blackberries, always knowing when and where we could find bushes of ripe berries. Once a year we would set off into the Kentish countryside, armed with empty ice cream tubs ready to bring back a haul. We would clamber amongst long grass, pricking ourselves on the brambles and staining our fingers purple. It’s engrossing work, picking blackberries. You can easily lose hours finding and selecting the best berries, and we would come back with piles of them, ready to be made into crumbles throughout the winter. 

Apple and Blackberry Galette

I’ve not been blackberrying for years, but I always think of those afternoons at this time of year. I’ve spotted a few rogue berries on the side of the road, but I don’t really know where to go for proper blackberrying around these parts. Luckily, we have a lovely greengrocers just down the road who have done the work for me so that I can still make this pie. Galettes are the easiest kind of pie – they’re *supposed* to look rustic and thrown together, which means more time eating and less time trimming pastry. Put this bad boy on your autumn bucket list – you won’t regret it. 

Apple and Blackberry Galette

Apple and Blackberry Rye Galette
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For the pastry
  1. 100g rye flour
  2. 150g white flour
  3. 125g cold unsalted butter, cubed
  4. 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 1 egg yolk
  7. 20ml ice cold water
For the filling
  1. 2 eating apples, cored, peeled & sliced
  2. 200g blackberries
  3. 4 tbsp. light brown sugar
  4. juice of 1/2 lemon
  5. 50g ground almond
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. Demerara sugar
  1. Sift the flours and salt together into a mixing bowl, and add the grains at the bottom of the sieve. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Rub in the sugar and add the egg yolk. Mix together until the pastry comes together into a ball, gradually adding the water if needed.
  3. Shape into a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
  4. Roll out the pastry into a circle about 30cm wide. Place on a baking sheet covered in baking paper.
  5. Toss the apple slices, blackberries, lemon juice and 2 tbsp. sugar together in a bowl.
  6. Cover the middle of the pastry circle with the ground almonds and 2 tbsp. sugar, leaving a 5cm-ish border. Place the apple and blackberry mix on top of the almonds, leaving any liquid behind in the bowl where possible.
  7. Fold the sides of the pastry around the fruit. Patch together if you get any cracks - it's fairly malleable!
  8. Place the tray in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 170C. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
  10. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the pastry is golden and the fruit is tender.
  11. Serve warm with cream or ice cream, or at room temperature.
Adapted from The Telegraph
Adapted from The Telegraph
Amy Elizabeth

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Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

How many of us make an effort in the kitchen when there’s someone else involved, a loved one, a guest, a friend, but not when we are alone? I hear confessions of oven chips and ready meals, because it’s too much hassle just for one, far too often. If that is you, I hope that this dish will change things for you. This dish is a love letter to yourself, best enjoyed alone with a glass of wine and your own thoughts. It is simple and quick enough that cooking for one seems like no effort at all, but it requires your full attention. Parsley needs to be methodically chopped until fine. Spaghetti needs to be tested, to be sure it’s al dente. Pans need to be watched in case the oil overheats and the garlic becomes bitter. You can customise it to your exact specifications, just the way you like it. You’re cooking for yourself, after all. Whether it’s a grating of Parmesan, a little lemon zest or a handful of prawns, make it your favourite way. You deserve this dish. If you don’t love and nourish yourself, then who will? 

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio
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  1. 100g spaghetti
  2. salt
  3. 3 cloves of garlic
  4. bunch of parsley
  5. pinch of dried chilli flakes
  6. 3 tbsp. olive oil
  1. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, finely chop the garlic and parsley. Add to a frying pan with the chilli flakes and oil. Heat gently until the garlic has just started to turn a light golden colour. Keep an eye on it, if you overcook then the garlic will turn bitter.
  3. Lightly drain the spaghetti so there's still some water in the pan. Add to the warm oil and stir together.
  4. Serve with a glass of wine and a grating of parmesan, if you fancy it.
Amy Elizabeth

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Weekend Breakfast: Potato & Courgette Rosti

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg

Despite my best efforts, I am still guilty of skipping breakfast more often than not. Maybe it’s because I can’t get into avocados, which seem to be the breakfast of choice for the thinking woman these days. It’s the texture. It’s just too weird for me. I think mostly, however, that it’s a lack of time and inclination in the morning. A bowl of cereal, whilst fast, is hardly inspiring and is so easily forsaken for a few extra minutes in bed or a cuddle with the cat (or, chasing her around to try and give her a hug…). 

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg


The weekend, though, is a time to revel in breakfast. To turn breakfast, which feels dull and chore-like, into brunch, which is everybody’s favourite meal. This rosti recipe is perfect for such a time, although it also serves as an excellent lunch of dinner option. The rostis should be slightly crispy on the outside for maximum satisfaction, and they should most definitely be topped with an egg. Extra points if your poached egg is runnier than mine… 

Potato and Courgette Rosti with Poached Egg

Potato and Courgette Rosti
Serves 2
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  1. 200g potato
  2. 200g courgette
  3. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  4. 2. tbsp plain flour
  5. salt & pepper
  6. crushed chilli flakes
  1. Coarsely grate the potato and courgette using a box grater. Place in the centre of a tea towel and squeeze over the sink to get rid of a lot of the moisture.
  2. Transfer to a bowl and mix with the beaten eggs and flour. Season liberally with salt & pepper, and throw in a pinch of crushed chilli flakes.
  3. Heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan until it begins to bubble. Spoon a quarter of the potato mixture into the frying pan and flatten into a disc. Repeat until you have four rostis in the pan.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes before flipping over and repeating on the other side. The rostis should be lightly browned and crispy on the outside.
  5. Serve immediately with a fried or poached egg on top.
Amy Elizabeth

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Book Club

go set a watchman

I’m now two-thirds of the way through my 100 books in 2015 challenge, which is bonkers. I’ve read more this year than I have in the past three combined, but my to-read list just keeps growing. The more I read, the more I want to read. I’ve been following some new book bloggers, listening to some new book-ish podcasts and just discovering authors whose back catalogue I want to dive straight into, which all add to the pile. It’s a good thing, but I also think I might have to read 100 books every year from now on to even make a dent. Here’s a few of the notable reads of the past two months… 

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

I absolutely devoured this book, despite it being so different from the stuff I usually love. It’s a post-apocalyptic fiction that flits between the present, and the future, where most of the population have been wiped out by the horrific ‘Georgia Flu’. I found the whole premise terrifying, but the book itself was riveting. It follows a few key characters, including Kirsten, who lives with a nomadic band of actors who perform Shakespeare in the new world. This isn’t over-dramatic, Walking Dead-type stuff, it’s a lot quieter and more restrained, and as such, more compelling to me. It’s incredibly moving in points, and fascinating in others, and, although the ending was perhaps a little too contrived for me, I’ve been recommending it ever since. 

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

I discovered Rainbow Rowell when I picked up Fangirl earlier in the year, and feel completely in love with the story and characters. Eleanor & Park is probably her best-loved novel, and I can totally see why. It is heartbreakingly sweet and not at all what I imagined from the blurb, which suggests teenage misfits finding love amongst the lockers. This book is far more than that, and at times had me choking back tears at what else is going on in these characters’ lives, that has nothing to do with the slightly cringe-worthy romance side of it all. If you want to feel all the feelings, then this one’s for you. 

You by Caroline Kepnes

Oh god, this book. This book, you guys. This one is going to stick with me for a long time, in the best possible way. This is the kind of book that I wish I could write, with compelling characters and subtle plot twists and edge-of-your-seat thrills that had me entirely hooked. I never wanted to put this down, and I was gutted to finish it because it was over far too soon for me. The story centres on Joe, a creepy-as-fuck bookseller who fixates on a woman who walks into his bookshop early on in the novel. Then, you watch from the sidelines as he ingratiates himself into her life by stalking her online, until he begins to control her life. This book is genuinely incredible – I’m not sure how Kepnes managed to make Joe at once so vile and so appealing all at once, but it is a true skill. The whole thing is genius, you have to read it. 

The First Bad Man by Miranda July 

I think I might be the only person who’s not heard of Miranda July, because apparently she’s kind of a big deal? I don’t know about that, but I do know that this book was unlike anything I’ve read before and was beautifully endearing in a way I wasn’t expecting. It’s unusual, with unusual characters and unusual happenings, but somehow I was swept along throughout. The slight absurdities and surrealism only added to the real human-ness of it. The book tells the story of a lonely, idiosyncratic middle-aged woman who is obsessed with a philandering man, who she believes she has been in a relationship with in a previous life, and in finding the spirit of a baby boy she met when she was young, who she believes is being reincarnated into other babies. Her boss’ daughter arrives unannounced to stay with her, and turns her life upside-down by, basically, bullying her. It’s disorientating and fascinating, and really kind of wonderful. 

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee 

Oh, how I wish that I had never known about this book. It was so disappointing. With all the controversy surrounding its publication, it was almost bound to be, with Harper Lee’s reticence at publishing it and the lack of editing that it has undergone because of her advanced age. But, I held out hope. It was wonderful to be reunited with beloved characters, but other than that this book was heart-breaking in the worst way. It was dense and muddled, and contained long swathes of argumentative prose between characters that just didn’t work. It was frustrating and clunky. Where To Kill a Mockingbird has so much grace and goodness, this feel flat. It was a wondrous editor that saw the seeds of that later novel in this first draft, and managed to pull Harper Lee into the greatness that she was so obviously capable of, but this book doesn’t hold up. If you love To Kill a Mockingbird and, in particular, if you love Atticus Finch, then do yourself a favour and leave this one on the shelf. 

What have you been reading? 

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My USA East Coast Trip Bucket List

new york

It’s just two weeks until we head out to the States for our honeymoon, and we couldn’t be more excited! We’ve got all our travel and accommodation booked, but we’ve left our days free. I’m not usually very good at spontaneity, but I think this will be good for me! There are a few things I don’t want to miss, though… 

Walk the High Line 

I’ve heard so much about the High Line, and I’m excited to see it for myself! The High Line is a public park built on top of a historic rail line on Manhattan’s West Side, and is full of beautiful design, architecture and gardens. It’s a pretty cool concept, and seems like a fun way to while away an afternoon before heading to Chelsea Market for some food. 

Top of the Rock 

Last time I went to New York, we did the whole Empire State Building thing, which was pretty impressive (understatement of the year…). This time around, I want to take a trip to the Top of the Rock instead, because, of course, when you’re on top of the Empire State Building, you can’t see it! Plus, my love for 30 Rock makes me want to run around the Rockefeller Centre quoting Liz Lemon, which I won’t do lest Paul divorce me on our honeymoon, but I think admiring the view is the next best thing. Either way, I want to go to there. 

Go to a Rooftop Bar 

Is there anything more glamorous than a rooftop bar in New York? Or indeed, in any of the cities we’re planning to visit. This is our honeymoon, after all, and although we’re not particularly fancy people, we can definitely go for a swish cocktail or two whilst looking out over such a gorgeous city. This is an absolute must-do! 

statue of liberty

Catch a Game 

We’re lucky enough to be visiting some friends whilst we’re in Philadelphia, and they’re taking us to a baseball game – New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies. So, this one is a bit of a cheat for this list, since it’s already booked, but I am still psyched about it. Baseball games are such a big part of American pop culture, and I’m excited to see one for myself – even if I won’t know what on earth is going on – and to get myself a pile of stadium-style nachos. Go Phillies! 

See a Show 

I wanted to book a Broadway show in advance, but the cost seems ridiculously prohibitive. I’ve heard from so many people that it’s worth popping into the theatre on the day to see if you can grab a deal, so that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. I love a musical at the best of time, but on Broadway? Fuhgetaboutit! And, if worst comes to worst, we’ll just head to Ellen’s Stardust Diner for the next best thing… 

Try Some Food Trucks 

The best part of holidays is always the food, right? And I’m pretty sure that we’re going to get to gorge ourselves on some of the best food of our lives over the fortnight. I want real New York pizza. I want dirty burgers. I want lobster (no change there). And I want to check out the street food scene across the pond. I’ve already got a few in mind to try and track down, but when it comes to street food, I really can be spontaneous! 

Learn Something 

Last, but no means least! We’re going to some pretty historic places in the USA – Boston and Washington DC in particular – so it would be a waste not to pick up a little American History. I’m not super-touristy in that sense, I’m not fussed about museums but I think the Freedom Trail in Boston will be high on our list, and you can’t visit DC without at least seeing The White House!

I’d love to know your recommendations for Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Hit me! 

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Weekend Link Love

stationary flat lay

How has your week been, pals? I’m on the countdown to holidays now; isn’t it kinda ironic that you have to work extra hard in the few weeks leading up to your relaxing time off? There’s always so much to do and there never seems enough time to do it in, especially when you’re taking two weeks out of your life just to have fun. It’s worth it though, and things definitely aren’t all bad. I kind of like being extra busy, in a weird way. 

This week I finally finished watching The Fall Season 2. Have you seen that show? If not, go out and watch it right now – Gillian Anderson is a total triumph in it. I also baked a pie, drank some beer at the Leeds International Beer Festival, bought and then returned a massive ASOS order because nothing was right, and cried over Great British Bake Off. What a week. My sister also moved in with us yesterday, so we’re working out how to have three of us in this flat. It’s going to be interesting, but fun. 

How about you? 

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Harrogate Food Festival

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

Is there anything better than an afternoon in the sunshine, sipping Prosecco and grazing on delicious food? A couple of weekends ago, I was invited to Harrogate Food Festival at Ripley Castle – as a VIP no less, baby – and it just happened to be a gloriously sunny day, which worked out perfectly. 

I like food festivals that have a good balance between food-to-eat-now and food-to-eat-later. Too much of the latter, and it can be a little dull, and too much of the former and you’ve had all your fun within the first hour. There was a great mix of different vans and stalls, with plenty of different foodstuffs to try and buy, as well as some bars for a tipple or two. 

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

We sampled sauces and scotch eggs, drooled over pastries and piles of brownies. Emma was delighted when she spotted someone wandering about with a spiral potato, so we had to track them down immediately, and oh, how good they were. Half crisp, half chip and wholly delicious – particularly covered in salt and vinegar. 

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

We, of course, had to drop by Banh Mi Booth, and sample some of their piping hot pork dumplings. There was a wait, but it was so, so worth it – even if I did almost burn my tongue, so desperate was I to get them into my mouth. If you spot this gorgeous turquoise and pink van around and about, then definitely make a bee-line straight there. 

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

By then we were beginning to melt into a puddle – it really was warm, even this far North! – so we decided to abandon ship, but not without a quick stop by the Northern Bloc van. They do the best ice cream around – this one was caramel & ginger, topped with white chocolate popcorn. 

Harrogate Food Festival 2015

All in all, it was a very satisfying day! If there’s one coming near you soon, then it’s definitely worth grabbing yourself a ticket! 

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book flatlay

Discovering a bunch of new book-ish podcasts to listen to. 

Adding hundreds of books to my reading list as a result. 

Getting back into running. Slowly but surely. 

Making my BBC Radio Leeds debut! It was just a short segment about a client, but still… 

Sipping cocktails in the Midnight Apothecary with one of my best friends.  

Ordering a brand new shiny car. I can’t wait for it to get here! 

Walking in the Peak District with Paul’s University friends. 

Crying tears of joy and sadness at Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Go see it, if you can. 

Remembering why I love the theatre so very much and vowing to go more often. 

Making plans for my sister moving in with us. 

Wearing my summer clothes as much as possible. 

Despairing at the nights beginning to draw in. How is getting dark so early? 

Enjoying our last Bank Holiday before Christmas! It’ll be here before we know it. 

Having some kitchen disasters – my attempt at fudge was rather messy… 

Drinking ginger beer at every opportunity (and feeling very Famous Five about it). 

Loving the Great British Bake Off. As always! 

Looking forward to our honeymoon – just three weeks to go! 

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I’m Back!

Hey pals, how’s it going? 


You might have noticed a not-so-small absence on the blog. I’m sure you weren’t crying about it, so I won’t apologise, but I wanted to take this opportunity to catch up with you all! It’s been too long, don’t you agree? 

Blogging is such a bizarre hobby. It’s like giving yourself a part-time job for fun, sometimes. Or at least, it can feel that way. I know that a lot of people are hustling to make their blogs into their jobs, but that is not something that I want, so when I’m feeling burnt out, my real job has to take precedence. The people who pay me deserve my best self at work, so the blog has to take a back seat so that I don’t become a total mess. 

That said, although it can be time-consuming and stressful, blogging is my favourite thing. I’ve been doing it for almost ten years in various forms and I can’t imagine my life without it. So, however much I like having lots of free time, I always come crawling back. The Internet is a cruel mistress, sometimes. 

However, blogging does get a bad rep sometimes. It’s definitely not all bad, and the sense of achievement I feel when a blog post comes out the way I wanted it is better than anything else. My blog pushes me to improve my writing, my photography, my recipes, and even my life. There are so many things I wouldn’t have done or opportunities I wouldn’t have taken if it hadn’t been for blogging. So, for better or for worse, we are tied together, me and this blog. 

So, what have you all been up to whilst I’ve been away? I’d like to say that I used my absence for life-affirming and life-changing things, but I really didn’t. I read a bunch of books. I baked a bunch of cakes. I saw my friends a bunch of times. I worked at my real job a whole bunch. And that’s pretty much it. It’s been a quiet and yet somehow at the same time ridiculously busy summer. I needed some downtime, that’s for sure. 

But now I have that back to school feeling, so I’m channeling it into a whole load of new projects – which I’m sure you’ll get to read about in no time! How about you? Tell me about your summers! 

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Rhubarb & Elderflower Vodka Fizz

Rhubarb and Elderflower Vodka Fizz // Amy Elizabeth

This year, I am obsessed with rhubarb. How can you not be, living in Yorkshire? It’s locally grown and totally delicious – sweet, tart, everything that is good in the world. Plus, it’s a beautiful pink colour, which is a definite plus. You don’t get much of that in food. I received a beautiful bottle of Chase Rhubarb Vodka for Christmas, long before the rhubarb season started, and I’m pretty sure it’s my favourite alcohol ever. It’s gorgeous to drink neat over ice, but I was struggling with what else to do with it. I didn’t want to overpower the distinctive rhubarb flavour with other fruits or hide that pretty pink colour. This cocktail is the solution. 

Rhubarb and Elderflower Vodka Fizz // Amy Elizabeth

The delicate elderflower is the best complement to that sweet rhubarb, and the addition of the rhubarb syrup just amplifies the flavour to be totally irresistible. The perfect, pretty drink for your summer get-togethers. Perhaps for a baby-shower or sophisticated hen-do? You can use plain vodka if you don’t want to splash out on the rhubarb version (although it’s worth it, I assure you), or leave the alcohol out altogether for a refreshing mocktail. Just don’t forget the chevron straws – it’s not the same without them. 

Rhubarb and Elderflower Vodka Fizz // Amy Elizabeth

Rhubarb & Elderflower Fizz
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For the rhubarb syrup
  1. 350g rhubarb, chopped
  2. water
  3. 330g caster sugar
To make one cocktail
  1. 50ml rhubarb vodka (or ordinary vodka, if rhubarb flavoured is unavailable)
  2. 50ml rhubarb syrup
  3. sparkling elderflower
For the rhubarb syrup
  1. Place the rhubarb in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and leave to simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Strain the rhubarb mixture into a bowl or jug, and discard the rhubarb. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and stir in the sugar.
  3. Bring to a boil whilst whisking, until the sugar has all dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely. Transfer to a bottle or jug.
To make one cocktail
  1. Pour in a measure of rhubarb syrup and rhubarb vodka. Top up with sparkling elderflower to taste. Serve with a straw!
Amy Elizabeth

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