Archive | Winter Warmers

Bill’s Japanese Curry

Bill's Japanese Curry recipeTo be completely honest I am not big on oriental cuisine, but Joni loves it very much, so I have been quite eager to learn. This is why I was really happy to receive Bill’s Everyday Asian cook book as a gift from Amanda and Dan. I came across Bill’s restaurant over a year ago and tried one of their cook books almost straight away. Just sort of wondering how do they manage to make all these different types of food so amazing?!Bill's Japanese Curry recipeAnyhow, I have decided to go with Japanese Curry as I am quite familiar with the curry right now. I am actually really surprised that Japanese have a curry dish! However, it’s quite mild and heartwarming, perfect for cooling down weather ;-).Bill's Japanese Curry recipeBILL’S JAPANESE CURRY

  • 2 tbsp light-flavoured oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 800g pork, cubed
  • 30g butter
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 2 carrots, pealed and sliced
  • 450g potatoes, pealed and cut into chunks
  • 1 green apple, pealed and grated (granny smith is perfect for this)

1. Heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the pork in two batches for 4-5min or until lightly browned all over. Repeat with the remaining oil. Repeat with the remaining oil and pork. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter in the same pan over low heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 min or until soft.

3. Add the flour and curry powder and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly.

4. Add the pork, carrots, potatoes and apple and simmer for 2-2.15 hours (longer if using slow cooker) until the potatoes break down and meat is very tender. Serve with steamed rice.

Bill's Japanese Curry recipeEnjoy!

Rasa xoxo


Rosemary milk

Rosemary milk for colds recipie rosemary milk for colds recipie

Lately I felt poorly :-(. Caught the cold even if it was pretty warm outside! That must be because of weather change… Do you feel the same? If yes, than this flavoured steamed milk is for you ;-).

rosemary milk for colds recipie

When I was little, my mum would make me steamed milk with some honey, butter and garlic. You are probably thinking that it have tasted yucky. But actually, that was the main thing I was looking forward to when I got ill! I of course edited the recipe to more grown up version. I have added rosemary twist into it…. because I love it and it recently flowered in my garden ;-).

rosemary milk for colds recipie


  • 1.5 cup milk (can be almond milk if you prefer)
  • handful of rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic (really worth it!)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey

1. Simmer or steam milk with rosemary, garlic and olive oil until hot. (don’t let it boil)

rosemary milk for colds recipie

2. Sieve the milk and pour it into the mug (serves one unfortunately). Swirl in the honey!

rosemary milk for colds recipie

Rosemary milk for colds recipieRosemary milk for colds recipieEnjoy and have a lovely weekend ;-)



Steak and ale pies ♥

Steak and ale pies

Pies take a special place in my heart, because I can have them sweet or savoury! Steak and ale pie is Joni’s (my boyfriend’s) favourite pie to make :-). Like a proper Englishman he loves “Colman’s” mustard and local ale (“London Pride”). Brussels sprout is his favourite vegetable!

STEAK AND ALE PIES                                                                                                                                 Serves 2

  • 400g beef steak, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp Colman’s mustard powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150ml local dark ale
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 parsnip chopped
  • 1 bay leave
  • bunch of fresh thyme springs
  • 150ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 150g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • knob of butter
  • ready made puff pastry (because it is too much to ask to make your own)
  • egg, whisked
  • steamed brussels sprouts to serve

1.  Mix the beef with the flour, mustard powder and some salt and pepper in the bowl. Fry it in the large frying pan until it is gently browned.

2. Transfer the beef pieces back to a bowl, then add ale to the same pan and scrape up any meaty bits. Pour the liquid into the bowl of beef.

Steak and ale pie

3. In the same frying pan fry the garlic, onion and other vegetables.

4. Return the beef pieces into the pan together with the juices. Add bay leaf, thyme, beef stock, tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. Simmer everything for at least an hour.

5. Meanwhile fry the mushrooms in the butter and add it into the pan together with beef and vegetables.

6. To make a pie base use cookie cutters to cut out big enough circles to cover the base of the ramekin (pics. 1-2). Blind bake the base by placing baking paper and ceramic beans on top to stop it from rising (pic. 3).

7. Fill the pie with the beef and vegetable filling and cover it with another pastry circle (pic. 4).

Steak and Ale pies

8. Brush the pies with the whisked egg and bake them for 25min in 200C preheated oven.

steak and ale pies

Serve the pie with some brussels sprouts.

steak and ale pies


Rasa :-)


Cable sweater

Cable sweater

I finally completed the cable sweater I have been knitting since last year (beginning of this winter)! I know I know, this might be a little late! But if you put your mind to it, you can knit your own in no time ;-). This Sweater is loose knit and chunky, therefore really easy and fun to knit. Click here for the pattern.

Cable Sweaterknit your own cable sweater

Enjoy your week :-)



Blueberry mulled wine

Blueberry mulled wine

During weekend we visited Winter Wonderland in London Hyde Park, which was really fun evening out. I even had my first mulled wine there! One thing I noticed that there are many flavours of mulled wine, well beyond the original spiced warm wine drink. Here is my new version with blueberries.

blueberry mulled wine


  • 1 bottle of red wine (I used Merlot)
  • 500ml apple juice (not from concentrate and good quality)
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean (already used)
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 orange
  • 2 handfuls blueberries (can be frozen)
  • 2 shots of vanilla rum (optional)

1. Pour the wine and apple juice into a large saucepan and add the sugar, cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla bean and grated ginger. Heat gently, stirring time to time, until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Just before serving, throw in sliced orange, blueberries and vanilla rum.

Enjoy your week!



Spiked cinnamon malted drink

spiked cinnamon malted drink

I tried this drink last Monday after my friend Selina shared the recipe on Facebook. I loved this combination as it makes perfect cup for an evening or even weekend afternoon!


(makes one cup)

  • 30g (2 tbsp) malted drink powder (e.g Horlicks, Ovaltine)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 250ml milk
  • 45ml (1 shot) almond liqueur (e.g Disaronno, Amaretto)

1. Spoon malted drink powder into the mug together with cinnamon and mix to a smooth paste with a little water.

spiked cinnamon malted drink

2. Heat the milk and froth it a little bit if you can, this will make your drink taste just a little more smooth.Pour the milk into the mug together with the shot of almond liqueur.

3. If you want you can sprinkle some cinnamon/sugar mixture on the top.

spiked cinnamon malted drink

Enjoy your weekend ;)



Beetroot soup

beetroot soup

I don’t know about you, but as soon as it becomes a little bit chilly outside I feel like eating something warming. Soups for instance are really good with warming you up :). One of my favourite is beetroot soup (after sour spinach soup)! I cook this soup with the raw beetroots including the leaves, however since I know that is more common to buy beetroot already cooked in the UK I have adapted the recipe to the ingredients available.

beetroot soup


  • 100g smoked lardons
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1.5l vegetable stock
  • 2 potatoes
  • 2 tbs tomato pure
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cooked beetroots, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Fry the lardons in the pot together with the diced onion, carrots and celery stick. Let it fry for about 5 min.
  2. Meanwhile peal the potatoes (if you want you can cook it with the skin) and dice them.
  3. Cover fried lardons with the stock and add the potatoes, tomato pure and a bay leaf into the soup
  4. Cook for about 20min or until potatoes cooks through.
  5. 5min before finishing the cooking, add the beetroots. When finished the cooking add the spinach, vinegar and season to your taste.

beetroot soup

You can serve this soup with the dollop of cream fraiche  and fresh herbs such as chives, dill or parsley.


Rasa xoxo


Friendly Nettle Giveaway! (CLOSED)

crocheting kit with cookies

Have you started a prep for winter? If not, this giveaway competition is for you! One lucky reader will win this crochet a scarf kit box that not only contains everything you need to get started (enough yarn, crochet hook, DIY instructions) but also a selection of freshly baked cookies to get you going ;).

crocheted infinity scarf

To enter for a chance to win, REGISTER and activate (e-mail will be sent after registration) to join our community. One entry per reader please. Giveaway will be open until 1st November, winner will be chosen at random and announced in this article shortly after.

Good luck!

Rasa xox


Chilly evenings need cookies with tea!

When it comes to chilly evenings I love dipping cookies into the hot tea and eating them like that. I also like the idea of stocking up on homemade sweet treats so I have it whenever I have a sweet tooth. And cookies are perfect for that! So this is exactly what I did today: baked cookies while experimenting with different flavours. I experimented with pumpkin spice, white chocolate, orange, almond and even matcha. However my favourite combination is peanut butter with jam :b.


  • 200g softened butter
  • 160g peanut butter
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 240g plain flour
  • strawberry jelly (for filling)

1. Gradually add all ingredients into the mixing bowl (except the jelly) and mix until everything is combined well.

2. Add the cookie mixture into the piping bag with the wide round nozzle tip. Then pipe small circles on the tray lined with the baking sheet leaving big enough gaps to expand in between.

3. Bake at preheated oven 180C for about 13min.

4. Cool on wire rack then spread some jam on the flat side and join two cookies together.


Rasa xox


Make your own tea bags

Bird tea

When I used to dream about opening my own cafe (still dreaming about it), I had this idea of serving tea with these teabags that had a little bird sitting on the cup rim. You never know I might still use this idea, but for now I thought it would be a waste not to share it! Here are the printable bird tags.

So first you need to find a loose tea mix to package it. Or you can make your own! Here is one of my favourite: camomile chai tea that is naturally decaf (good for chilly autumn evenings!). This recipe has been given to me by my friend’s Amy’s flatmate Gurmit. She usually “cooks” the herbs in water to really infuse the tea, but after doing some testing I realised that the teabags work just fine.


(makes 15-20 tea bags)

decaf chai tea mix

  • 1 cup dried camomile flowers
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamon seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves

(other things you will need to make the tea bags)

  • bird tags (printed and folded)
  • tea filters (you can get those from e-bay)
  • cotton embroidery tread (thick and smooth)
  • stapler
  • scissors

Things you will need

1. make the tea herb mix.

2. package the tea mix into the tea bags. Insert 2 tsp of mixture into one tea filter, fold it to close, staple it together with the tread. Staple the other end of the tread onto the bird tag, tie it with the knot.

making tea bags

8. You can make as many tea bags as you want to package it as a gift or for future tea drinking!

gift teabags

decaf chai

Enjoy the tea drinking and a lovely weekend!

Rasa :)


Wake up to an autumn Sunday coffee ♥

IMG_4690Since today is an International Coffee Day, I have decided to share how I recently started drinking spiced  coffee! I once tried spiced coffee in the food exhibition and it tasted surprisingly AMAZING. Although I would not recommend this coffee for an everyday brew, I occasionally enjoy it on Sunday mornings :).


(for 2 adventurous coffee drinkers)


  • 2 scoops ground coffee
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp grated nutmeg
  • 300ml water
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 5 cardamon pods
  • 1 star anise
  • milk and sugar if desired (recommended)


  1. Place ground coffee, cinnamon and nutmeg into the french press pot.


  1. In the milk pan heat the water with cloves, cardamon pods and star anise. Let it boil for 5-10min.
  2. Pour boiled water over spiced coffee and let it sit for another 2-5min.
  3. Press the coffee to filter and pour it into the cups. Serve it with milk and sugar if desired. I don’t usually drink coffee with sugar (I used to in the past), but I do think that sugar (only little) go well in the spiced coffee. So do try it out!


I like September not only because it is my birthday month, but also because it is a last warm enough month to enjoy my coffee break outdoors on my terrace. My coffee is usually accompanied with the crepes and jam…hmm. September, you will be missed and this is probably the last Sunday I am enjoying it!


Rasa xoxo