My 2020 food challenge


Instead of a New Years resolution last year I opted for a New Years challenge. Since I discovered my cooking passion about three years ago I've been really keen to try and better myself in the kitchen. I set myself the challenge of trying 52 new recipes from my endless collection of cookbooks and bookmarked recipes on the internet. I smashed it and had so much fun doing it! I felt like it really pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to try new things.

This year I decided to concentrate on my baking. I was talking to my friend's dad at a wedding and he was speaking about the fact he hadn't bought a loaf of bread for about 30 years. Instead he batch cooks them and keeps them in the freezer for when he needs them. I don't have anywhere near enough freezer space to do this but it did get me thinking about baking bread. Dough is something I have always shielded away from as yeast tends to make me a bit nervous. I have had some disasters in the past and its put me off.

But I decided this is the year that I master bread and dough. I've made a pact not to buy any loaves of bread and only eat it if I have bought it myself. I have noticed just how much bread I eat as I have been craving it something rotten! I want to try my hand at everything. Brioche, sourdough, loaves, buns and rolls. I'm hoping it will become second nature to rustle up a loaf of bread. Let's be honest. Is there any greater smell in the world than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven?

I have already made a couple of things including an olive oil loaf from Good Food and a garlic pull apart bread from Olive Magazine. They both came out delicious but could still do with a lot of work to get them perfect. Looks like I'm going to be busy!
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Restaurant review: Breddos Tacos, Clerkenwell, central London


Tacos are one of those foods that I don't eat often but when I do, I wonder why the hell I don't eat them more often. For my birthday lunch last week I decided to opt for Breddos Tacos. I had tried their tacos at Taste London a few years back but had yet to visit their sit-in restaurant in Clerkenwell. This all changed last Thursday and now I'm already planning a trip back with friends. Spoiler alert... It was absolutely divine!

We booked a table for 12pm as I had a birthday surprise to look forward too. I would recommend booking because it's an area popular with city workers and the restaurant was heaving by 12.30. You don't want to miss out on getting a table! We arrived pretty hungry and definitely had eyes bigger than our bellies when we finally ordered.




I am a sucker for guacamole so will always, always order that if I see it on the menu. This version came with a mountain of chips and had a slight kick to it. I loved the added extra of the pistachio crumbs to add some texture. It was a fairly big portion and was more than enough for two people to share. Our second starter was the Queso. I had such high hopes for this but it just fell a little flat. It didn't really have any flavour, just a generic cheddar cheese flavour. A bit of a disappointment.

First up were the Baja fish tacos which were insanely good. Seriously I'd go back and order just a dozen of these all to myself. The batter was so light and they certainly didn't scrimp on the filling. The habanero mayo tied it all perfectly together. Next up were the confit pork belly tacos. These were a little chewy but the flavour was on point. I loved the contrast of the fresh cucumber. I'd recommend getting the Masa fried chicken tacos to try. Again with that gorgeous habanero mayo, I loved the addition of the red cabbage. We couldn't resist leaving without trying a burrito. Something we totally didn't need but we took one for the team. Bursting at the seams with spinach, black beans and avocado, we opted for the one filled with tender braised beef shin. It was tasty but not a patch on the tacos we tried. I'd definitely opt for the tacos over a burrito any day and advise you do the same.



Service was pretty attentive and our food came out in timely fashion. It's in a great little location in central London, not too far from the Barbican. It isn't one of the cheapest places I've eaten in London but it was worth every penny. I'd highly recommend anyone making a special trip to that part of town. I'm after the cookbook now to try and recreate those tacos at home!
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What I've been cooking #11: Nothing Fancy by Alison Roman


I am sure I have mentioned this before but I am obsessed with anything Alison Roman cooks. I am constantly watching her videos on youtube, follow along with her stories and always looking for any excuse to cook one of her recipes myself. I just adore all the flavours she puts together. She just knows what works. Nothing Fancy is her newest cookbook concentrating on entertaining friends and family but without any of the stress which can come with it. The book is about 'having people over' rather than entertaining. The recipes can easily be halved but I usually cook them as they're written then enjoy leftovers for a few days. I really couldn't recommend this book more and it is one I refer to at least once a week since I have had it. It is a beauty of a book!


Lemony turmeric tea cake
I have made this twice now and it is still one of my favourite lemon cake recipes. The trick is to really slice the lemons thin before you put them on top of the batter as they are prone to sinking. It gives you a bit of a sour shock when you bite into the cake and come across a sunken lemon. The numeric colours this a vibrant shade of yellow which makes a great talking point when you cut into it.   The sponge is so soft and light thanks to using yogurt in a cake,


Tiny, salty, chocolatey cookies
These didn't turn out very tiny in the end! But they were delicious. They had a brownie texture rather than a traditional cookie one. They come out of the oven extremely soft and are still quite delicate by the time they harden up. I think this is why Alison suggests to make them as small as you can. You need smaller balls than you think as they are prone to spreading!


Overnight Focaccia
This was not as quick as I first imaged it would be, it has a lot of proving time! But it was absolutely worth the extra effort as it was delicious. Next time I would add more red onion and maybe some rosemary. It's a great recipe to make on a Friday night to enjoy over the weekend. You can have it dipped in a pasta sauce, as a sandwich or used to dunk into a soup.


Sticky roasted carrots with citrus and tahini
I love a honey roasted carrot and this is basically a step up from them with maple syrup being used instead of honey. I loved the use of tahini although my boyfriend did find it a bit overpowering. Alison really knows when to add citrus to a dish to give it an almighty kick. This will be great served with some grilled fish or as part of a Sunday roast.


Slightly sticky walnuts with sesame and sumac
I made these for our New Year Eve's gathering and they went down a treat! The walnuts were so incredibly moreish and I loved the sweetness of the maple syrup with the slightly tart flavour of the sumac. I would definitely make these again when I host a dinner party. They'll be great to shove on the table for guests to nibble as you're finishing up in the kitchen with dinner.

Labne with sizzled spring onion and chilli
I made this to take round a friends evening when she invited a couple of us round for a catch up. It was really simple to do and very refreshing. I couldn't get the oil to go a bright orange like the book. But I read in reviews that not many people could so I don't feel as bad now! I would definitely make this again if I had some friends over. It makes a nice change from hummus.


Slow roasted oregano chicken with buttered tomatoes
Ever since I first picked up this book I had been dying to try the cover image. Hannah gave me the push to finally cook it! This was great. The chicken was really juicy and I loved the buttery tomatoes. It isn't my all-time favourite roast chicken recipe but I would definitely recommend trying it out.

Spicy pork meatballs in brothy tomatoes and toasted fennel
I didn't get a picture of this as it was pretty dark by the time this was finished. But I have to recommend you make this! We ate it with huge hunks of bread and it was one of our favourite dishes from the book. It was the ideal dish for a dark, winter's night and I imagine it will work just as well in the warmer months. It felt very indulgent yet not too heavy.
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A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

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sophie.warner89@yahoo.co.uk.

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