Photographers and food stylists Beth Galton and Charlotte Omnès take food photography and composition to a whole different level with their clever series Cut Food. Seriously guys, how did they do it? See more here.


So last weekend was the day we've all been waiting for this summer - the yearly WTF BBQ held at the Tuffney Manor in the green suburbs of South West London.

The first time I went for Dave's yearly BBQ my jaw dropped over the beauty of his house and garden. You walk into a pretty terraced house and end up in what you imagine a French cottage set amidst a vineyard in Provence with the air of a shabby chique boutique hotel should look like. I am amazed at all the carefully chosen trinkets and oddities that so clearly have been collected over a lifetime of travelling and searching through markets and antiques shops and that not only reflect Dave's and Jane's personalities but also make their home truly special. While I was surprised to find an old VW beetle in his garden last year, this year it was a set of tube doors and a few vintage underground signs here and there. To put it short - it's all pretty cool!

In true WTF fashion we had a blast to say the least. There were Halloween animal masks and a piglet to go round (courtesy of Supamike) and plenty of inappropriate jokes to last a lifetime. I guess you get the picture looking at all the evidence above.

The Tuffneys, like every year, went all out, with vast amounts of the most delicious meats and salads and a bar of spirits, beers and Pimms to quench the thirst of a whole army. You can get some of the amazing ingredients they used here.

So the whole WTF team brought their little contribution to the party. The two Owls widened our culinary spectrum with a selection of yummy zebra, ostrich and kangaroo burgers straight from Borough Market. Anthony made smokey chipotle and honey chicken wangs - finger-lickingly good is all I say (I see a guest blogpost in the making, recipe and all) and then there was the challenge for Mat and I to make a dessert to impress.

I got a little stressed, as I do, and even set up a cake/dessert Pinterest page of afters that not only tasted and looked good but would also withstand the long and hot train journey from Saaaf East to the other end of London.

Eventually I settled on a good old New York Cheesecake - which I had never made before, got Mat to make the filling for, because I was too scared I'd muck it up and ended up sitting in front of the oven staring at it hoping it wouldn't crack, or brown or collapse or anything else it wasn't meant to do.

Rest assured it ended up pretty damn good. We replaced the digestives with ginger nuts for extra flavour and added a little lemons zest. Boom - this cake was a winner!!!

Make it, you won't regret it!!!

And on a last note I would like to send a big massive thank you to Dave, Jane and the Tuffney kids for the hospitality and generosity and for making the WTF BBQ a wonderful and unforgettable event.

Etta xo 

PS We also made little polenta upside down cakes which sort of got lost in the whole hype over the cheesecake. They were yum nonetheless and you'll find the recipe on here soon.

Above images by Mikey

MAKES One 23-24cm cake
BAKES 45mins (+ 1-2 hours chilling time)

  • 150g ginger nuts or digestive biscuits
  • 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 900g full-fat cream cheese
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200ml soured cream
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 free-range eggs, plus 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease and line the base of a 23-24cm spring form cake tin.
  2. Place the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin to fine crumbs. (If you have a food processor, use that)
  3. Melt the butter and add the biscuit crumbs, stir to combine. Place in the base of the cake tin and spread in an even layer, then flatten using a potato masher or your fingers.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden. Remove and leave to cool while you prepare the filling.
  5. Reduce the oven to 160˚C.
  6. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth then add the sour cream and flour and beat again. Gradually add the eggs, vanilla essence and lemon zest beating well between each addition (beat in rather than whisk as you don’t want to incorporate too much air as this will affect the smooth surface of the cheesecake).
  7. Pour the cream cheese mix on to the biscuit base then bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should be just set with a slight wobble and should still be cream on top with just a slight golden hint around the edges. (I had to turn the cake half way through as my oven gets hotter at the back than at the front.)
  8. Once the cheesecake is cooked, turn off the oven and prop open the door so that it is slightly ajar and leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven – this prevents the top from cracking.
  9. Once the oven is cool you can remove the cheesecake to cool completely before removing from the tin.
  10. Leave to completely cool at room temperature, remove from the tin and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.


Wait, wait... don't run away just yet! - Don't worry I am not going all poncy and French on you.
I've got a little treat up my sleeve for you. You can thank me later ;)

So here it goes: If you want to impress some dinner guests with a meal that looks much more complicated and fancy than it is and tastes like a million dollars you have got yourself a winner with this recipe.

You've probably guessed that I spend my Saturday mornings watching Saturday Kitchen while sipping on the first coffee of many. One of my favourite parts of the show is Raymond Blanc: How to cook well. The other day he made this beautiful poached trout with a lemon and white wine sabayon and I thought to myself - yep I can do this.

The salmon takes a max of twenty minutes and the tangy creamy sauce brings the tender fish, waxy potatoes and peppery watercress together beautifully. Serve with ice cold sparkling wine, preferably in the back garden and watch the sun set while you do so.


Etta xo

COOKS 30mins

  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 12 lemon slices
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
For the sabayon
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 50 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 2tsp lemon juice
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 4tbsps water
  • handfull dill, finely chopped
For the salad
  • 12 baby salad potatoes
  • watercress
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C.
  2. Add the potatoes to a large saucepan with about two teaspoons of salt. Cover with cold water and place onto a high heat. Once they start boiling, cook for ten minutes (or until cooked). Drain and leave to cool. Once cold, slice.
  3. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and place each piece onto baking paper large enough to cover all ingredients (approx. 30-40cm square). Drizzle with some olive oil and place the sliced lemon on top. Fold the paper over the fish and double-fold each edge to make a sealed parcel.
  4. Place the parcels onto a baking tray and then into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 
  5. Meanwhile, for the lemon sabayon, sit a large stainless steel bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water (do not let the base of the bowl touch the water).
  6. Place the egg yolks and four tablespoons of water into the bowl and whisk vigorously for 5-6 minutes, or until the egg yolks are pale and foamy (they should be 6-7 times their original volume). Continue whisking for another 2-3 minutes, then slowly pour the melted butter into the sabayon and whisk briefly. Season to taste, with the salt, cayenne pepper and lemon juice.
  7. To serve, distribute the water cress between four plates, drizzle with a little lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Top with the sliced potatoes and salmon. Be careful as the salmon is pretty fragile. Don't worry about the skin sticking to the baking paper. I find this the easiest way to remove it form the fish.
  8. Drizzle everything with the sabayon and sprinkle some fresh dill on top.


Who loves smoothies?!?! Well who doesn't, ey?

My friend Irene and I once came up with this amazingly brilliant diet where for seven days we would only consume fruit and veg - nothing else, no dressings or sugar or salt... We went out, bought a blender and vast amounts of fruits and vegetables and started the day with a strawberry and banana smoothie. Now that smoothie went down a treat and we thought yeah we can do this.

Oh who were we kidding, we lasted a whole five hours before we were plagued with the worst headaches and ended up devouring a giant portion of pasta. The tradition stuck though and throughout the whole time we lived together we met up for breakfast almost every day and had lots of yummy smoothie concoctions.

Now lets take the whole smoothie business to a different level and battle this hot weather with a fruity frappé. Yup a frappé that will make any Starbucks retreat in shame ;)


Etta xo
PREPARTION 10mins (+ time to make the ice cubes)

  • 2 nectarines, stones removed and roughly chopped into bite size bits
  • 200g strawberrys, trimmed and halved
  • 2 glasses full of coconut milk ice cubes (approximately 1 trays worth) use the glasses you plan to drink from later
  • 2tbsps honey or agave syrup (depending on how sweet your fruit are)
  • 4tbsps coconut milk

  1. To make the coconut ice cubes fill an ice cube tray with coconut milk (we uses KOKO Dairy Free which is my absolute go to dairy alternative) and freeze for about 6 hours until you have ice cubes
  2. In a blender add all ingredients and blend until the ice cubes have turned to ice slush and everything is well combined. Pour into glasses and enjoy. What more do you want - cold, sweet, healthy and so, so yum.


Have you ever had a Pizza Quattro Stagioni? It's like having four pizzas in one. Each quarter has different toppings and you end up quarreling with yourself which piece to have last.

A long time ago, we used to go to the lido every day of our summer holidays and in between water fights and hopscotch we munched on sour Haribos, puffed rice and more Coca Cola than was good for us. We always ended the day with a trip to the small Italian which was tucked away just at the entrance of our local lido. Big square Pizze Quattro Stagioni topped with salami, ham, pickled mushrooms, artichokes and olives as well as ridiculous amounts of gooey cheese are one of my fondest summer childhood memories.

It's been too hot for pizza lately (yes, would you ever have imagined me saying it's too hot ;)) so I used all my pizza topping ingredients and mixed them into a super delicious pasta salad. What a result you guys!! Sweet tomatoes, vinegary artichokes and loads of cheese - eaten on the balcony on a warm summer evening, is more than absolute heaven.


Etta xo 

PS I used Casereccie pasta, because not only do they look super cute but the little curled pieces of pasta hold the dressing so well. 

COOKS 10mins

  • 320-350g Casereccie or Trottole Pasta (cooked to instructions)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 sprigs of fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 7 sundried tomates, cut into strips
  • 1/2 ring Italian paprika + garlic sausage (chorizo will do, too), cut into small squares
  • 1/2 tin of pickled artichokes, drained and cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 roast pepper, sliced (you can get these jarred from the supermarket)
  • 1 chilli finely sliced
  • 5tbsps extra virgin olive oil (you can use the oil from the sundried tomatoes)
  • 4 tbsp balsamico  
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper to season
  • grated Parmesan or pecorino to serve

  1. Drain the pasta and set aside 2 tablespoons of the cooking water.
  2. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients except the Parmesan and season to taste.
  3. Ideally set aside and leave to cool down for about 30 minutes, so the pasta and ingredients can soak up the dressing.
  4. Serve with LOADS of grated Parmesan and a nice glass of vino bianco.


When we were little Sunday breakfasts always included soft-boiled eggs (and many, many other delicious things). My brother and I would end up making egg scramble, which involved plopping two soft boiled eggs into a dessert bowl and chopping and stirring and chopping some more until we ended up with a bowl full of egg that could be eaten with a spoon. Yes we like eating things with spoons - pasta, risotto, egg scramble...
Although it looks a bit like an egg massacre it is delicious in it's own way and doesn't taste anything like scrambled eggs. Add sea salt and pepper and you have yourself a yummy breakfast.

Now the other weekend I thought I'd introduce horseradish cream to egg scramble and I think they liked each other - quite a lot. Topped with some sweet cherry tomatoes and you have yourself a winner breakfast.


Etta xo

COOKS 10mins

  • 4 large soft boiled eggs (I used Delia's soft boiled egg method 2)
  • 4-5tsps horseradish cream
  • 1tbsp greek yoghurt
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 slices of grilled sourdough bread
  • olive oil
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  1. Peel the eggs and place into a large bowl, using a spoon chop them into bits and stir until smooth. Add the horseradish and yoghurt  and season with salt and pepper. 
  2. Place your sourdough under the grill and cook until golden and crispy.
  3. Drizzle the bread with a little olive oil, top with the horseradish eggs, spring onion and the cherry tomatoes. 
  4. Season everything with a bit more salt and pepper and you're done.


Sunday was HOT, Monday even HOTTER and so it continues... We can happily announce that summer has finally arrived in the UK and we are one happy bunch over here.

I wouldn't be me if I didn't moan a little - cause that's what I do - "ooooh it's so hot and sweaty and I wish there was a pool..." and more than anything I really wanted iced tea. I almost went out to get a large bottle of Lipton Iced Tea. Then I realised that drinking a litre of that stuff surely wouldn't do us any good, put the kettle on made this.

Mat thought it was a little tart, so if you have a sweet tooth do add more sugar or honey. Personally I loved the varying sweet and sourness the different citrus fruit produced, all paired with the lemony, floral flavours from the bergamot and the subtle tannin from the black tea.

Definitely one of my favourite iced teas. I imagine this being great with a bit of lemonade or soda water for fizz and a generous dash of dark rum. Summer cocktail is all I say.

What's your favourite summer refreshment?

Etta xo
MAKES 1litre

  • 2 Earl Grey teabags (we used Duchy Original)
  • 1 1/2 lemons (you can use the other half for garnish)
  • 1 clementine
  • 1 lime
  • 5 teaspoons brown sugar (more or less depending on preference)
  • 1litre boiling water
  1. Place the teabags in a heat proof jug and pour over the boiling water. Add the sugar and give everything a good stir. Leave to cool down for half an hour.
  2. Half the fruit and squeeze the juice into the tea adding the fruit as well. Leave to cool a little longer. Once luke warm, place in the fridge and enjoy over loads of ice.


Let's talk fro-yo for a minute here... We've all been on it like there's no tomorrow. Mat and I keep looking out for BOGOFs on every trip to the supermarket and my work mates and I have been wandering over to the local frozen yoghurt chain in our lunch break, which has become a delicious yet pretty pricy re-occurrence.

Of course I thought, despite the fact that I haven't got an ice cream machine, that I can do this at home. I mean how difficult can it be... Take the yoghurt, put it in the freezer - Done. Well it didn't really work first time around and we ended up with a big block of banana, coconut, yoghurt mess - yuk. Then I purchased ice lolly moulds and tadaaaa - fro-yo ice lollies, guys.

You can make any flavour you want and to be honest, if you don't have lolly moulds just use paper or plastic cups (or old yoghurt containers - washed of course) and tongue sticks.

We made layered vanilla yoghurt lollies with coconut and clementine. No sugar, not fat, no guilt!!! Enjoy!

Etta xo
MAKES 4 lollies

INGREDIENTS ( all approximate and depending on the size of your moulds)
  • 250g fat free greek yoghurt (you can either get a vanilla yoghurt (we used Yeo Valley) or greek yoghurt and honey or plain)
  • 2tbsp honey (if you're using plain yoghurt)
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out (if you're using plain yoghurt)
  • 2-3tsp unsweetened shredded coconut 
  • 1 mandarine, peeled and cut into small chunks or
    Frozen berries or any other fruit you fancy

  1. Pour the yoghurt half way up the mould. Top with the mandarine and then a little more yoghurt. Add the coconut and mix it with the yoghurt, now top with the rest of the yoghurt.
  2. Put the tongue stick in and then freeze for 8 hours or more.
My favourite summer snack/dessert so far.


I am soooo sick of washing up every night... and really I feel I shouldn't be complaining as Mat does most of it. Because we get home so late, by the time I've cooked and we've eaten it's too late to even attempt to clean up. So most mornings we wake up to piles of dishes, pots and pans and it just isn't a nice sight.

There's been plenty of plumbing going on (most of it DIY) and I am so grateful for a hands-on boyfriend who can get his head around pretty much anything. We are about to order our first dishwasher and I have never been so excited about a kitchen gadget.

In the meantime I am trying to keep the washing up to a minimum and am loving one tray bakes. I also stumbled upon Martha Stewart's one pot pasta dish and will definitely give this a go soon. If it's a success I will certainly be sharing :)

This one-tray chicken and veggie bake is one of my favourite meals to prepare. It's tasty, seasonal, super easy and fairly quick. Also the leftovers work nicely as a salad the next day.


Etta xo

PS This recipe is pretty similar and just as yummy: Sausage and Veg Bake

COOKS 35-45mins

  • 8 chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 aubergine, cut into cubes
  • 2 carrots, cut into batons
  • 2 celery sticks, cut into batons and leaves finely chopped
  • 2 small red onions, cut into wedges
  • 2 potatoes, cubed
  • a handful of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 4-5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 3tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp honey
  • sea salt and black pepper
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C.
  2. Place all the veg into a large baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and generously season with salt and pepper. Toss everything using your hands. Sprinkle everything with the thyme leaves and chilli flakes.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Take out, stir the veg, then top with the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with the honey.
  4. Put back in the oven and cook for a further 25-30 minutes. 
That's it. Enjoy with a green salad if you wish but it's just as nice on its own.


"The Liebster Award is for bloggers with under 300 followers and the rules of the award are that the nominee must link back to whoever awarded them, write 11 random facts about themselves, answer the 11 questions from the award giver, and then nominate another 11 bloggers and make up 11 questions for them to answer. It's a great way for new and undiscovered bloggers to meet new people, get more followers and find some blogs that they want to follow."

I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by the lovely Christina at Greekcooking-Funsharing, and feel incredibly honoured. So here it goes, 11 random facts about myself, 11 bloggers I love and 11 questions for them to answer.

1 1  R A N D O M   F A C T S
  1. Coriander is the only food/herb I hate and refuse to eat.
  2. My favourite meal is ribeye steak and chips (medium-rare please!)
  3. My favourite drink is a Gin & Tonic... every time.
  4. I have a serious phobia of birds... pigeons in particular....yuk.
    (doesn't help that they love smashing into our balcony window)
  5. I have a soft spot for minimal Scandinavian, Bauhaus and 60s interiors.
  6. I have the worst orientation ever. Don't ask me where I'm going, because I don't know.
  7. I love Mumford and Sons (there's a whole lot of people who will hate me now)
  8. When I'm angry or excited a German accent seems to sneak in.
  9. I am currently obsessed with monochrome designs.
  10. My favourite flowers are peonies, yet I've never bought any. 
  11. I am always right... yep, fact. (others might call it bossy ;)
    1 1  Q U E S T I O N S by C H R I S T I N A 
    1. Where were you born and where do you live today? I was born in the South of Germany and now live in London
    2. What is your favourite cuisine? Currently it has to be middle-eastern, but that will probably change when I discover something new.
    3. Do you believe in zodiac signs? What is yours? I don't really believe in zodiac signs although I do enjoy reading my horoscope in the paper. I am a Libra.
    4. What is the urge that makes you cook something in the first place? When I cook I relax, I love experimenting and the feeling of a successful meal.
    5. Do you dare try something different than your culinary spectrum? Yes, I am always up for trying new things and will give anything a go.
    6. How many hours per week do you spend blogging?
      Too few. This really varies as I don't have a schedule, sometimes I post four times a week and sometimes nothing for a month. One of my aims is to make blogging a more regular occurrence.
    7. Do you believe we actually shouldn't be eating any meat at all? No. I believe in a balanced diet and think meat and fish are part of this. Also my favourite meal ever is steak and chips so I would be lost without meat.
    8. Are restaurants your favourite place to meet with friends? I really enjoy going to restaurants and gastro pubs with friends but wouldn't necessarily say they are my favourite place to meet up. Always depends on the friend, day and situation.
    9. What is your hobby (except cooking)?
      Eating :) Although being a Graphic Designer is my job I would also consider it being one of my main hobbies. I am a bit of a typography geek.
    10. Who is your favourite actor or actress and in which film? I currently have a bit of a crush on Ryan Gosling and love him in Gangster Squad.
    11. Do you believe that we eat to live or that we live to eat? This question is difficult and while naturally we eat to live I think food should be enjoyable, healthy and delicious and therefore we should put enough effort into it that it's worth living for the food we eat.
    1 1  B L O G S  I would like to award the  L I E B S T E R   A W A R D  to

    1 1  Q U E S T I O N S for the  A U T H O R S
    1. Vanilla or Chocolate ice cream?
    2. Elvis Presley or Johnny Cash?
    3. Photography or Illustrations?
    4. Cookies or Cake?
    5. Vintage or futuristic?
    6. Beach or skiing holiday?
    7. City or country?
    8. Comedy or horror?
    9. Lark or Owl? (Early Bird or Owl?)
    10. Your five perfect dinner party guests?
    11. The one thing that makes you happiest?