I wouldn't really call myself a "trainer" girl. I own a couple of high tops which I like but most of the time I live in my brogues, ankle boots and boat shoes. More recently I've had my eye on Adidas's beautifully simple Adistar Racers and also absolutely adore New Balance's monochrome 410s. They are so classy...well as classy as any trainer will ever get in the history of trainers ... and then I came across these limited edition Nike Air Max 1s, just look at that super cool speckled sole. Oh and then there are the Reebok Freestyle His - Old School is all I say. Before I knew it I'd spent the best part of an afternoon drooling over all of these. Well and maybe I am just a little bit of a trainer girl because I adore each one of them and if I could I would have them all and I would wear one pair for every day of the week apart from Sundays, which I'd reserve for my brogues.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 (similar)


My love for Middle Eastern food still hasn't left me. I can't tell you what it is but I am just so into the way every flavour possible is combined in the most harmonious ways. We are talking savoury, sour, sweet and bitter all in one dish mixed with so many different aromatic spices and ingredients. It's like a mini festival for the taste buds.
Remember when I made this? We had plenty of dry chermoula spice left over sitting in our spice cupboard and I thought chermoula chicken baby. You've probably gathered by now that I am a big fan of roasting veg and meat. It's easy, it's a one pot or tray business and the taste is unbeatable. Also if you are on a diet, having an array of homemade spice mixes in your cupboard is a great way of making a usually bland meal taste amazing while still being super healthy.

This is very yummy with a little Greek yoghurt on the side and the spicy chicken contrasts the sweet vegetables beautifully.

Try it, you'll love it!

Etta xo
COOKS 45mins-1hr

  • 4 good size chicken legs (approx. 1.2kg)
  • 3-4tsp chermoula spice mix 
  • 4 green chillis
  • 3 medium-large sweet potatoes, cut into bite size chunks
  • 1 large aubergine, cut into bite size chunks
  • 4 elephant garlic cloves (you can get them here)
  • 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • low fat Greek yoghurt to serve
For the Dry Chermoula Spice mix
(mix all this in an airtight jar and it'll keep for a good few months)
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C. Prick the chillies and push one under the skin of each chicken leg. Place the legs into a large bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the chermoula spice mix over the top. Using your hands rub everything into the chicken until it's well coated. Place onto a baking tray.
  2. Put all the veg into a good size baking tray, drizzle with some olive oil and season with plenty of salt and pepper. 
  3. Place the chicken on the top shelf of your oven and the veg two shelves below. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, tossing the vegetables half way through. You want them to be charred around the edges and gooey in the middle.
  4. Serve the chicken on top of the roast vegetables and a dollop of greek yoghurt on the side. 


This week's Food Envy post is all about vegetarian meals. While I don't think I will be able to ever stop eating meat (steak... just saying!) I have been becoming more and more disillusioned with the meat on offer in our local supermarkets. A little while back I started a Veggie Challenge, where I challenged myself to make at least a couple of purely vegetarian meals that are not just salad. It's working wonders for my creativity and I am enjoying experimenting with different spices and vegetable combinations. So here are a few recipes/photographs I found on Pinterest and am drooling all over.

Etta xo

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For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


Right... fish. Dangerous territory! Why? Well because it can go so terribly wrong on so many different levels.

Firstly, it's pretty expensive. Many of us find ourselves looking for good deals in the supermarket which, more often than not, is not such a good idea. Then you ask yourself what fish to go for. Cod? Haddock? Errr... what on earth is Hake? A pretty ugly fish let me tell you. 

Then there's those people who only eat white fish. I am guessing this is mainly due to the fact that it is the least pungent when not fresh. Oh and once you finally persuade yourself to buy fish it's like playing Russian roulette. You know you've lost when your friends come over and the first question they ask is "Have you had fish recently?" Awkward!

Going to your local fishmongers or, if you don't have one, the fresh fish counter in your nearest supermarket, seems much more daunting than it actually is. If you are no expert on fish you can explain what dish you are planning to cook, what flavour you are going for and what you like and essentially don't. The fishmonger will also be able to tell you what fish is currently in season and what the latest catch is. The price you ask?! Well it will hardly make a difference (I am serious... we are talking pennies) but the taste is a world apart from the plastic packed generic fish you get of the shelf. 

For this dish we decided to go for seabass. It's incredibly delicate in flavour, the skin absolutely delicious and paired with the sweet balsamico, bitter sprouts and salty pancetta, we've got ourselves a match made in heaven. Do try it! Major yumminess on a plate.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you might've noticed that I haven't cooked a lot of fish over the past few years. That is because it's an area where my confidence levels aren't the highest. So what's your favourite fish dish and how do you prepare it? I am keen to learn and become a regular fish eater.

Etta xo

PS Excuse the fuzzy iPhone images. I seem to have lost the nice pictures I took on my camera :(


COOKS 30-45mins

  • 2 x 150g seabass fillets (at room temperature)
  • 1tsp butter
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 300g frozen brussel sprouts
  • 100g smoked pancetta, diced
  • 1tbsp balsamico glaze or 100ml good quality balsamico
  • 2 large potatoes, quartered (you can peel them if you want)
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Place the frozen brussel sprouts into a large bowl and pour over boiling water. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then drain. Halve the brussel sprouts then place back in the bowl. Add the pancetta, drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place onto a baking tray (make sure they are well spread out so they caramelise nicely in the oven) then roast in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. 
  2. While the sprouts are cooking put the potatoes into a pot of cold salty water and place on a high heat. Once the water starts boiling cook for 10 minutes. Check with the tip of a sharp knife if they are cooked then drain and leave to dry in the colander.
  3. After the brussel sprouts have been cooking for 20 minutes, toss them a little then place back into the oven for another 10 minutes. 
  4. If you are making your own balsamic glaze, pour the balsamic vinegar into a small pot over a high heat and leave to boil until it has reduced by half and has gone all syrupy. Make sure you use a good quality vinegar as this won't work with the really cheap ones (I used this one or this one)
  5. When your sprouts have another 5 minutes to go and your glaze is bubbling away it's time to make the seabass. Season the fish with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a pan over a high to medium heat until it starts to bubble. Place the fish skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crisp. The fish might start to curl a little so gently press it down with a spatula so it gets cooked all over. 
  6. Now pour the lemon juice into the pan and turn over the fish and cook skin side up for a further 1-2 minutes. Keep spooning the juices over the fish while it cooks. 
  7. Place your boiled potatoes on a warm plate, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt on it. Spoon the brussel sprouts next to the potatoes and drizzle with the balsamic glaze and top everything with the seabass.
Here you have it, an absolutely divine fish dish. You will be licking the plate afterwards ;)
Enjoy with a crisp white wine or an ice cold glass of cider. 


When Mat and I visited Copenhagen in October we discovered MUNK, a small design shop in Christianshavn. Its beautifully curated shop and inviting window displays had us browsing for small trinkets, prints and souvenirs on several occasions. One particular thing I vividly remember were these geometric prints in all shapes and sizes which had some crazy magnetic power over me and I was so incredibly close to a purchase not only once. (MUNK deserves a LOVING post in its own right so stay tuned for that)

Fast forward to 2014 and this twentyfourteen calendar is all over my Pinterest and the blogs I follow. This is how I first (virtually) met Kristina Krogh. Two weeks later and after looking at her web shop over and over again something clicked and I realised that I've loved her work ever since our first encounter in Copenhagen all those months ago.

I absolutely adore the mix of warm neutrals, textures and shapes she uses while always staying true to a clean and minimalist Scandinavian approach. Kristina's unique skill, attention to detail and talent to combine a variation of textures and colours in the most unusual and unexpected ways is something I cannot cease to admire. Visit her web shop here (you won't leave for a while).

Etta xo

All images © Kristina Krogh


Orzotto... you say? What on earth is Orzotto?! It's yummy is what I say! More texture than your usual Risotto, more flavour and healthier. It's a win, win situation.

We cooked this quite a few weekends ago, after we spent all day cleaning our flat, tried our new Pilates DVD, popped open a bottle of delicious Tempranillo and then started cooking. This Orzotto  is the sort of healthy, filling and comforting meal you need on a cold and rainy Sunday evening. It's the kind of dinner you eat, snuggled up on the sofa, possibly in front of a fire place, sipping on a rich red wine and watching your favourite series.

Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Just as Risotto this is a very flexible and forgiving recipe! We made a Middle Eastern inspired version as well which was absolutely delicious and I definitely will share with you soon.

Etta xo

COOKS 30-40mins

  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 100g frozen spinach
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 1tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp dry chilli flakes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 200ml white wine
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • Parmesan, or other hard Italian cheese, to serve
  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot, add the onions, garlic, fennel seeds and chilli flakes and sautée on a medium heat for a few minutes until the onions start to soften. Turn the heat up a little, add the mince bit by bit and fry until browned. 
  2. Mix in the spinach and warm up until defrosted then stir in the pearl barley. Turn the heat up to high, wait a minute or so and then deglaze the pot with the white wine. Leave to bubble away until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
  3. Pour in the stock, give it all a good stir and leave to cook over a medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid the barley sticking to the bottom of the pot. 
  4. After 30 minutes the barley should be tender, the stock almost completely evaporated and you should have a silky orzotto. Mix in the frozen peas and cook until defrosted and warmed through. 
  5. Finally stir in the lemon juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a little grated Parmesan.


Happy Friday everyone! This week has whizzed by like nothing else and tomorrow is the weekend and today I am planning what I might devour for breakfast. Yes, I haven't managed to make concrete New Year's resolutions yet and while getting fit, eating healthy and loosing a little bit of weight are somewhere in there I still need to figure out how. In the meantime I am allowed to dream and possibly to prepare some yummy breakfasts and here's a bit of deliciously beautiful inspiration from my Pinterest.

What are you planning to breakfast on? Happy weekend everyone.

Etta xo

PS I have now moved to researching waffle makers... yes look at those waffles... yum! Any suggestions on good, affordable waffle makers?

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For more inspiration, inside and outside the food department, you can follow me here


How miserable is this weather? Snow would be fine... absolutely fine! It's winter so it can snow! But come on who thought it was a good idea to constantly rain? Not your usual London drizzle... we are talking buckets and buckets and buckets of rain. The other day it decided to majorly thunderstorm on the 500 meter walk from the station to my house. I am talking lightning striking next to me and golf ball size chunks of hail (errr... maybe peanut... but they were big enough to hurt).

When you've been slapped around by hail, torrential rain and high-speed winds and are absolutely soaked you need a vitamin fueled dinner, spiced up with loads of chilli and ideally flavoured with some yummy spices. This is where this Asian Chicken Salad comes in. We are talking plenty of shallots and Chinese cabbage, packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, carotene and much, much more. Of course it does help that I am a bit of a sucker for any Asian style salad (see here) and that Mat cooked it and I didn't have to move a finger (<= yep I know it seems to be a re-occurring trend. I might just let him take over my blog :P)

Absolutely delicious, super easy and very healthy, this dish is a pure taste sensation. Be warned (!!!), do not cook for a dinner date, dinner party or if you have an important meeting the next day. You know what I'm saying! Shallots and garlic is what I am saying!

Etta xo

COOKS 45mins

  • 70g shallots, peeled and very thinly sliced (if you have a mandolin slicer, use that and mind your fingers)
  • salt
  • 1tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 400g chicken thigh fillets (at room temperature), you can also use chicken breast
  • 2tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1tsp honey
  • 400g Chinese cabbage, core removed and finely shredded
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely shredded
  • 15g Thai sweet basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 40g roasted peanuts, lightly smashed in the pestle and mortar + a bit more to garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper
For the dressing
  • 3tbsp fish sauce
  • 3tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2tbsp palm sugar, disolved in 1tbsp hot water
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 red bird's eye chillies, finely chopped

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Mix together the soy sauce and honey. Place the chicken thighs into a large bowl and pour over the soy sauce/honey mix. Make sure the chicken is well coated. Sit the chicken thighs into a baking tray and pour over any remaining sauce. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked and all juices run clear.
  2. While the chicken is cooking, mix the shallots, salt and 1tbsp of rice vinegar in a large bowl and set aside for 30 minutes, or until softened.
  3. For the dressing, mix together the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl until well combined.
  4. Once the chicken is cooked cut into bite size strips and add to the bowl of shallots as well as any juices that have dripped into the baking tray.
  5. Mix in the Chinese cabbage leaves, shredded carrot, Thai basil and peanuts until well combined.
  6. Pour over the dressing, season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper, then mix well until the dressing coats the salad ingredients.
  7. Pile onto large plates and sprinkle with any remaining peanuts... and if it's not spicy enough for you drizzle some Sriracha on top. Works a treat!
Recipe taken from Rick Stein and adapted by Etta.


    The first time we ever made Shepherd's Pie was about four years ago, when I still lived in Berlin and owned a very temperamental gas oven. As far as I remember, it was one of the best Shepherd's Pies I have ever tasted (not blowing my own horn ;)). I was contemplating making this for New Year's Eve but we ended up going for Mat's Chilli... because a) it meant Mat would be cooking ;) and b) my oven is too small to make a party size pie :(
    This Shepherd's Pie is the sort of dish that you make for your family on a cold and rainy winter evening while listening to your favourite Motown tunes, sipping on a delicious Rioja and enjoying good conversation. And all you need to accompany it is a green salad... if that.

    Etta xo

    SERVES 4
    PREPARATION 10 mins
    COOKS 2-3 hours

    • 500g lean lamb mince (at room temperature)
    • 1 large carrot, finely diced
    • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
    • 1 large onion, finely diced
    • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 4tbsp tomato puree
    • vegetable or coconut oil
    • 500ml beef or lamb stock
    • 250ml ale or dark beer (optional)
    • 1tbsp flour, if needed
    • 6 medium size potatoes, peeled and boiled in salty water
    • 3-4 tbsps horseradish
    • knob of butter
    • salt and pepper to season

    1.  Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium to high heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sautée until soft. Add the mince bit by bit and fry until browned. 
    2. Mix in the tomato puree and the minced garlic and give it a good stir. Fry everything for a further 5 minutes then deglaze with the ale (if using). Leave to bubble for a few minutes then pour in the stock until the meat is just covered. 
    3. Add the bay leaves and simmer on a medium heat for an hour, stirring every now and then to avoid the meat sticking. If the mix gets too dry top up with a little stock. 
    4. While the meat is cooking mash your potatoes with a masher or put through a ricer, depending on how smooth you like your potatoes. Add the butter and horseradish and mix thorough until everything is well combined. Taste for seasoning. 
    5. Pre-heat the oven to 190˚C. Taste the meat sauce for seasoning and add salt and black pepper if needed. If the mix is too liquid you can thicken it a little by making a roux. In a small pan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil. Once hot add the flour and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon. When the oil and flour are well combined, start to bubble and slightly brown, your roux is ready. Pour the mixture into your sauce and stir. Leave to cook for a few more minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.
    6. Pour your meat sauce into a deep baking or pie dish (approx. 20x30cm). Carefully top with the potato mix using a spoon. You don't want to push the sauce down too much as it will start squishing out at the sides. Once the pie is topped, criss cross the mash with a fork. This will create lovely crunch bits.
    7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for a further hour and you're ready to go.
    Serve alongside a simple green salad and a hearty red wine or ale. 

      OH HELLO 2014

      ... I wasn't expecting you! 

      I have so many goals and resolutions for you, but they're still freely floating around my head. Do bare with me while I try and catch them. 

      In the meantime thank you 2013 for having been such a good one, for letting me visit "home" again, for showing me new places, for road-trips, all my lovely friends (old and new) and family, the boy, for my beautiful home, teaching me what I love and what I don't, for being happy and healthy and enjoying what I do. And of course thank you to all my lovely readers, you make this blog! :*