Thursday, 28 February 2013


 With the money I made on eBay last month, I decided to update my portfolio, as my last portfolio was designed in 2007.  My previous portfolios have all been printed books and this time I wanted something a little bit different, something that I could be easily adapted to suit the viewer. I decided on a little book of postcards covering all areas of my photography - food, lifestyle, portraits and personal work.

I used the company Moo, I've used them before for their mini business cards which are super cute and you can have up to 100 different images on them.

I selected my top 60 images for the postcards and I got my lovely friend Ellie, who's a fabulous graphic designer to design the back are of cards for me.

They arrived last week and I'm so pleased with them, the great thing is when I have new work to add, I can just get them printed and add them to the collection or I can take any out if I decided I don't like them anymore.

I just need to get a nice box to keep them in.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Vegetable Chilli

 There nothing better than having chilli on a Monday night... comfort food after a long day at work and best of all if you make it on Sunday you just have to come home and heat it up.

I have been developing the recipe for years, changing and adding things and I finally think I've got it just right.

Serves 2
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 large clove garlic, crushed
8 mushrooms, quartered
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp oregano
Half tsp chilli flakes
2 tsp Worcester sauce
Salt & Pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan, slowly fry the onions until brown, add the carrots and cook for 3 mins. Add the peppers and garlic cook for 5 mins. Add mushrooms and cook for a further 4 mins.

Add the tin tomatoes, kidney beans with sauce and all the other remaining ingredients, mix well and let it simmer for about 25 mins until the sauce is nice and thick.

Serve with rice or on top of a jacket sweet potato.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Carrot Cake

This Sunday I decided to be a domestic Goddess and bake a cake... this doesn't happen often so it feels very special when I do, I decided to make the Primrose Bakery carrot cake. It's really enjoyable and easy cake to make and feels like such an achievement once it goes in the oven. Making it, also made me realise I need more large mixing bowls and a food processor - as I use a lot of grated carrots in my cooking but grating by hand not only makes my arm ache and I always think I'm going to grate my fingers but the little grated bits seem to cover me and the kitchen in the process!

450g grated carrots
260g raisins
4 large free range eggs
260g golden caster sugar
240ml corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tsp fresh orange zest
240g plain flour
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon, plus more for dusting
Butter, for greasing tins

Grease and line 2x20cm round cake tins and line a muffin tray with 6 cupcake cases. Preheat oven to gas mark 5.

Combine the carrots and raisins in a large mixing bowl and set aside. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar with and electric mixer for several minutes.

Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon into a mixing bowl then slowly add these ingredients to the egg and sugar mix., beating well after each addition. Mix in the carrots and raisins with a wooden spoon.

Fill each cake tin two-thirds full and use the leftover mixture to fill the muffin cases. Bake for 35 mins, until golden brown. Let the cakes cool in there tins for at least 10 mins, then turn out onto wire racks. When completely cool, spread icing on the top on one of the cakes then carefully place the other on top and ice the top of that one. Dust with cinnamon.

Cream Cheese Icing
90g cream cheese, at room temperature
225g icing sugar
65g butter, at room temperature
Zest from 1 orange

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mash and mix with a fork until combined, then beat well with an electric mixer until smooth and pale.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

What Katie Ate

On Thursday a cookbook that I have been waiting for, for what feels like forever arrived. I decided to save it until the weekend before sitting down to look though it so I could really enjoy it... it was so worth the wait. Absolutely beautiful, the food styling is inspirational and the book design, also by Katie is gorgeous too. Really happy to have it as part of my beautiful cookbook collection.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Japanese Koi Company

Spent the afternoon looking around the Japanese Koi Company in Henlow. Not only do they have the largest Koi I've ever seen, but they also have lots of other tropical fish, birds, reptiles, bunnies, ferrets and even hairless guinea pigs, which I'm still not sure if I like or not.


Friday, 22 February 2013

Pushy's Bombay Potatoes Recipe

As promised the recipe for my Bombay Potatoes.

12 new potatoes, halved
Half an onion, diced
3 small garlic cloves, peeled but keep whole
20g butter (1cm slice of a block)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp mango chutney
Half tsp smoked paprika
Half tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
Half tsp dried rosemary
Half tsp dried coriander
Serves 2
Boil the new potatoes until soft, drain and set aside.
In a saucepan melt the butter then slowly fry the onions and mustard seed until the onions soften and start to brown.
Add the potatoes and the garlics and the mango chutney put the lid on the pan and cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, smoked paprika, turmeric and cook uncovered for 5 mins.
With a potato masher squash the potatoes slightly then add olive oil, dried rosemary and dried coriander, stir and cook for another 3-4 mins, then you're done.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Curry Night

Tonight I decided as I'm home alone that I would cook a curry, Bombay potatoes, dhal and chili tomatoes.
When I cook for myself I'm so much more relaxed, I'll experiment without a care because after all it's only me who'll be eating it, however tonight I wish that James had been here to try my Bombay Potatoes... they were amazing. I couldn't even save him any, because even though I was stuffed and had made a large portion I ate them all! I didn't really keep track of what I was adding as I cooked, I was just having fun, so as I ate them I grab a pen and paper and tried to recall everything, because I have to have these again.  I'll type it up and share it with you tomorrow.
Bombay Potatoes
Quorn Madras

Chili Tomatoes


Monday, 18 February 2013

Behind the Scenes

Wine shoot at work this week, here's a little look behind the scenes. 

The Brief
The products
The props
Lighting set up

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Woburn Farmers Market

On the third Sunday of every month the farmers market comes to Woburn. This Sunday, we decided to get a little fresh air and browse the stalls and see what we could find to come home with.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Roast Chicken Photoshoot & Advert

All this week I've been styling for a roast chicken advert that we've been filming in the studio. After the filming was complete I shot some lovely stills to accompany the advert.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Be My Valentine

I LOVE Valentines Day.... I really look forward to it and I think it's a really cute day worth celebrating. Nothing over the top but just a little nod to acknowledged the day. This year I suggested to James that we have a £5 budget and the the challenge would be to buy each other the tackiest valentines gifts we could find. Not much of a challenge as the shops were full of goodies to choose from.

My five pounds managed to stretch to a pair of 'Love Machine' socks with a robot on them, heart shaped chocolates and a small bear with a heart on his chest. I received a Hello Kitty holding a heart... perfect.

I was also spoilt my my besties, Sarah and Paul with chocolates and jewelry. Such a fun day.
My Facebook Profile picture on Valentines Day
My gift from James


Necklace from Sarah

Matching bracelet from Sarah


Amazing chocolates from Paul

Brownie from Paul...yum!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Easy Pancake Recipe

Tuesday 12th Feb.... Pancake day, woohoo!

Pancakes are so simple and easy to make from scratch and fun the flip in the pan!  My top tip from Marco Pierre White is to mix your eggs and milk together first before adding to the flour to ensure a smooth batter.

I purposely made us a small dinner (spicy carrot and lentil soup) so I could eat more pancakes, I managed four, two with Nutella and two with traditional lemon and sugar...YUM!

100g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml soya milk
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar

Mix the eggs and milk together in a jug. Sift flour into a mixing bowl and a pinch of salt and sugar, then pour in the egg and milk mix, whisk into a smooth batter, rest for 30 mins.

To cook, pour a little oil onto kitchen roll and rub on the frying pan, heat pan and add a ladle full of the mix to the pan, cook for a minute, flip, cook, serve, repeat.


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Heartlands Series Begins

This year Rebellion Roller Derby are competing in the Eastern division of the Heartland Series. Today was the first bout, hosted by Mean Valley who were also the team that we were up against.

We'd never played against the Mean Valley girls and didn't really know much about who we were up against, we had only heard that they were hard hitters.

The odds were against us as we only had a team of eight, but we kept our hopes and spirits high,  determined to do our very best and not worry about whether we won or lost. We skated out to Prince's Let's Go Crazy in memory of Karen.

We stayed strong throughout, always working as a team and never gave the Mean Valley girls an easy ride.  The final score was 230-149 to Mean Valley... we were very proud of ourselves for putting up such a fight in this challenging bout and believed we had worked as hard as we could and that our teamwork and team spirit was stronger than ever before.

Near The Coast Photography

Friday, 8 February 2013

Printing Blocks

New purchase from Snoopers paradise, printing blocks, to add to my collection.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Snoopers Paradise Brighton

Yesterday we took a day trip to Brighton, we walked around The Lanes, North Laine and ate at one of my favourite places to eat Wai Kika Moo Kau.

The best thing about Brighton, in my mind and heart is Snoopers Paradise... I could spend hours in there, getting lost amongst the cabinets full of old goodies from my childhood, antiques, old photos of unknown people and places and general randomness. They also have an upstairs now, which was like a vintage clothing and jewellery boutique... but I also found a cabinet full of tiny glass bottles with butterfly wings in them and other bugs. The guy who made them came chatted to me for a bit, telling me where he found the bugs and how old they were... I couldn't quite decided if I liked them or not, but was interesting never the less.

It was such a pleasure introducing James to some of my favourite places.


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Weekend Away

 A whole week off work. Lots of plans, people to see, places to go and James's birthday to celebrate. To start the week off, I booked us a night in a lovely pub/hotel in Dorset, St. Leonard's Hotel. The room was perfect... everything I hoped it would be. We also got to catch up with my Mum, Dad, Brother and his family.