CHEESE AND PESTO BREAD

I don't bake savoury treats all too often which is a little odd as I am a bona fide carb lover. I cannot stay away from them no matter how hard I try. Therefore I have set myself a little channel to branch out into this area and brush up on my bread, pastry and general savoury baked goods skills.

For my first attempt I borrowed my mum's cheesy, chilli bread recipe that I have happily been consuming since a child, and swapped out a few of the ingredients to create these cheese pesto and sundried tomato whirls. Ideal for a lunch box, picnic pack up or simply to nibble on at home!

INGREDIENTS 

450g strong white bread flour
7g sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp golden caster sugar
150g fresh pesto
100g grated mozzarella
2 tbsp. olive oil
240g sundried tomatoes
50g parmesan
handful of basil leaves

METHOD

  1. Add the flour, yeast, sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt to a large mixing bowl.  
  2. Measure 280ml warm water; add to the flour mixture alongside the olive oil. Mix together until the mixture starts to clump together as a dough, if it seems a little dry add another 10ml of water. 
  3. Once the mixture is combined, lightly flour the work surface and knead for around 10 minutes. The dough is ready once it feels springy, elastic and has come together smoothly.
  4. Clean the mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film and set aside to prove and double in size. Depending on the temperature where the dough is placed this should take 1-3 hours.
  5. Line a baking tray with parchment. Uncover the dough and punch down to knock out the air bubbles. Flour the work surface once again and tip the dough out. If the dough is sticky dust with a little flour also.
  6.  Roll the dough into a large rectangle shape until the dough is roughly an inch thick.
  7. Spread the pesto over the dough, scatter the tomatoes, both cheeses and basil evenly. 
  8. From one of the longer sides roll the dough into a long sausage shape.
  9. Cut the dough into 12 even pieces then place on the baking tray, cut side up. 6 pieces to a baking tray, tuck the open end of each roll into the middle to avoid the bread uncoiling during baking.
  10. Leave a little space between as they will double in size again during the second proving. Loosely cover with cling film and leave to prove for 30 minutes-1 hour.
  11. Heat oven to 200C, once the bread has doubled, place in the oven and cook for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and tuck in. 
There are quite a few steps to this recipe but putting the proving time aside it is actually quite simple and totally worth it. I happily had these for lunch for two days running and my family quickly ate up the rest!

As always if you do make them please share your photos with me on Twitter or Instagram.

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE

If you follow me on any of my social media channels or indeed are a regular reader of my blog you will be well aware that we bought a house (!) I have been not so subtly harping on about it for quite a few months now. As I write this we are two days away from finally moving into a house that we have had the privilege of putting our very own, rather large, stamp on.

We bought this end terrace, Victorian property in January this year, we knew it was a 'fixer upper' and that prospect excited us. However when we exchanged contracts and took our first wander through our new home, sans furniture, we realised if we were going to fix it up it needed to be done right and a little more work was required. Every room was taken back to brick, it has been completely re-wired, has new plumbing, we removed walls, bricked up doorways, created new doorways, changed the layout, new floors, old floors revamped, new windows; we have done everything you can think of and it has been an extremely exciting, slightly nerve wracking, very educational experience and I can finally see the light at the end of our renovation tunnel. I am going to do full before and after posts as each room is finished, or as finished as it is ever going to be!
At the top of our wish list was a large open kitchen/diner; where we could cook, entertain, relax and to generally be the heart of the home. This house did not have that but we saw a way that we could create it. Cue three walls removed, the kitchen moved into the old dining room and the old, rather small kitchen has become the dining room. This space is incredible, it is so bright, spacious and I can already tell the majority of our time will be spent here. The counter tops were fitted to our kitchen yesterday and I am obsessed! I know I said I was going to do a full before and after but I had to share this little sneak peek of the kitchen as it stands...
The windows in the first picture are new wooden windows, the previous windows, also wood, had been in for thirteen years and had started to rot. The day the bay window was replaced I could have cried it made such a difference and I cannot wait to put our first Christmas tree in this space. Yup, the Christmas elf that I am is already thinking about the festive period...just think of the soirees we can have in this kitchen!
These are definitely not the prettiest photos that I have uploaded to this blog but for now they are by far my favourite. I have enjoyed every minute of this process, apart from the odd seconds where I got impatient and 'just wanted to move in already'. We still have a lot to do before it is fully finished, we have carpets to fit, furniture to arrive, accessories to buy, gardening, gardening and more gardening and a little bit of painting but the bulk of the work is done and I cannot wait to share the finalised look with you.

I mentioned previously that this has been educational...I have learnt SO much about houses in general, the process of buying a house, tips for brightening a house, tips for choosing the right paint colours for north, south, east, west facing rooms (a whole post to come on this soon), the right carpet for the right space. There are so many big and so many tiny decisions to make and me being me I couldn't make any of them without fully researching my options first. Everything has been thought through, right down to the door knobs.

If you can't wait for the full reveal head over to Pinterest it will give you a pretty good idea of our taste and the look that we are trying to achieve. Think bright, light, lots of whites and greys using accessories and art to add pops of colour.

If there is anything that you would like more information on when it comes to buying, renovating, decorating house, let me know in the comments or tweet me your questions, I would love to help!

NEW YORK CHEESECAKE RECIPE

When me and Dan visited New York two Christmases ago Dan well and truly fell in love with the original, one and only baked New York Cheesecake. So much so that every morning a hearty American breakfast was closely followed by a slab slice of said cheesecake. I promised that when we returned I would try and recreate this delicious dessert for him...two years later I followed through on that promise!

I'm not too sure what took me so long, maybe all of the horror stories surrounding baking, baked cheesecake. That's why there are so many no bake, fridge only, cheesecake recipes out there right? Turns out the answer is no! I found a super simple recipe on the Jamie Oliver website (surprising as normally his recipes, whilst totally delicious, are a little complicated). This does produce quite a lemony tasting cheesecake so I have amended the recipe slightly for next time so that the vanilla flavour comes through more strongly.

INGREDIENTS

250g crushed digestive biscuits
150g melted unsalted butter
115g caster sugar
3 tbsp. cornflour
900g full-fat cream cheese (room temperature)
2 large eggs
115 ml double cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 lemon zest

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C, grease and line a 24cm (9 inch) spring form cake tin.
  2. To prepare the base, mix the biscuits and melted butter in a bowl. Press evenly into the base the tin. Place in the oven for 10 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack to cool (still in the cake tin).
  3. Increase the oven temperature to 200C. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a mixing bowl. 
  4. Add the cream cheese and beat with an electric whisk until creamy.
  5. Add the eggs and beat well until combine. Gradually add the cream, beating until smooth then beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
  6. Tip the mixture into the tin, on top of the pre-prepared base, and level the surface. Place the tin on top of a baking tray and place in the centre of the oven. 
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is browned and the filling set around the edges, whilst still with a slight wobble. Place a piece of foil over the top to stop it browning too much.
  8. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely and then place in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
I like to eat mine with some fresh berries and cream however it tastes just as delicious on its own!

Did you ever eat anything abroad that you wish you could have brought home/made yourself? If I could create any of the dishes eaten on Italian holidays I would be over the moon!

ESSIE FIJI


A truly classic Essie nail colour that I am sure you have seen on many a blogs before but when I was browsing through my nail polish collection I came across this old beauty and after one coat I quickly remembered why it was a firm favourite. 

My all-time favourite nail colour is white, every time I treat myself to a gel polish manicure I gravitate towards the whites, mainly because it is nearly impossible to achieve the beautiful white manicure at home. It takes layers and layers of super thin coats and it just never quite looks the same. Fiji is a beautiful pastel pink that almost looks white and thanks to Essie's magical formula it goes on like a dream. Three coats later and you have a beautifully opaque creamy pale pink shade that looks insane with a tan.

One last reason why I love Essie polishes so much...their staying power. I always get at least five days wear with no chipping and Fiji is no different. So, until I get myself back to the nail salon Fiji is my go to, almost white, polish!

What's your favourite Essie nail colour?

SUNDAY SUPPLEMENT: ICE LOLLIES

I SCREAM, YOU SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICE...LOLLIES?

Who doesn't love a good slurp on an ice lolly on a hot summer's day? Calippo's are a firm memory from my childhood days running around the park with a big, sticky grin on my face. When I found this ice lolly mould online it seemed only right that I try and create my own fruity concoctions; perfect for the more health conscious among us who are still striving for that 'summer bod' and avoiding the ice cream van like the plague.

BLUEBERRY ICE LOLLIES

250g blueberries
100ml natural yoghurt
1 tsp honey

  • Put all the ingredients into a blender or a food processor. 
  • Whizz until you a thick liquid, taste and add a little more honey if you would like a sweeter tasting lolly. 
  • Divide the blueberry mixture between the ice lolly moulds, you will get 4/5 lollies, place a stick in each mould and place the lid on top. 
  • Carefully place in the freezer and leave for at least 4 hours.

WATERMELON AND KIWI ICE LOLLIES

170g watermelon
50g kiwi
0-4 tsp sugar

  • Chop up the watermelon, removing the rind, and place in a blender or food processor. 
  • Whizz until it turns into liquid, taste and add a tsp of sugar at a time until you get the sweet taste you like. 
  • Divide the mixture between the ice lolly moulds, you will get 4 lollies. 
  • Place a stick in each mould and place the lid on top. Put in the freezer and leave for 3 hours. 
  • For the kiwi layer, whizz the kiwi and 25ml of water in a blender. Again add a tsp of sugar at a time until you get the sweetness you like. 
  • Pour the kiwi mixture on top of the already frozen watermelon mixture. 
  • Return to the freezer and leave for 4 hours.
 These are just two of the millions of different flavours you could create. I love blueberries and watermelon just 'screams' summer to me so they seemed like my obvious choice! I can't wait to pull them out at my next BBQ, who needs the ice cream man?! I do really!!

What would flavour ice lolly would you recommend? I can't wait to use my moulds again...yup, ice lolly mould nerd over here!

BIRTHDAY WISH LIST


My birthday is just over a month away and my family have started to ask what I would like and whilst I was browsing, I thought, why not share it with you lovely bunch? I have warned them that this list is my absolute lust/wish list, I'm not really expecting anyone to hand me a brand new Mulberry bag! A girl can dream!

One thing this Birthday list tells me is that I am now well and truly a grown up! Gone are the lists packed with ASOS/Topshop clothing; now exercise wear and more and more homeware goodies are creeping in, by Christmas I envisage a list solely featuring John Lewis, Oliver Bonas, The White Company, Loaf etc. with a hint of lycra. Not that I am complaining!

What's currently on your wish/lust list? Mine is never ending!

MARBLE LOVE WITH CASEAPP

Don't you just love a good flat lay?

Flat lay loving aside; I have been looking for THE perfect marble phone case, that didn't cost an arm and leg, for months. I was just about to give up my search when Caseapp very kindly got in touch. They have a huge selection of phone cases, IPad cases, laptop, phone and IPad skins, from 21 different marble options (yup 21!) to palm trees, to giraffes, you really are spoilt for choice.  

If that wasn't enough choice for you, you can also create your very own case using your own photos, favourite patterns, quotes and colours, you can have anything you like proudly displayed on your phone simply upload an image. Don't want to start from scratch but still want a little personalisation? No problem! Choose your favourite case design and then get creative either with their pre-designed shapes, quotes and emoji's or add your own. With the personalisation option I think they would make a rad birthday/Christmas/just because I like you present. I know for a fact my mum would love to have our little Georgie (the family dog) on her phone at all times.

After much deliberation, I think I sat staring at the website and scrolling through the Caseapp Instagram looking for inspiration for about two hours, I chose the marble phone case and marble IPad skin. Simply because I had been after these for ages however I will definitely be heading back to pick up this dreamy palm print phone case and this fun pink number.

Create your custom case/skin here and what's more I have an exclusive 20% discount for you lovely, lovely people. Just enter THEBUTTER20 at checkout and be sure to come back and let me know what you choose, I can already tell I'm going to be addicted!

© BUTTER

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