2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.   I love analysis and numbers almost as much as cooking so enjoy this report every year!

A big thank you to everyone who followed me and a sloppy “Mwah” to those who have commented on the recipes and contacted me directly.  I really do appreciate the interaction and love chatting to you all!   I look forward to sharing more recipes with you in 2015 xxx


Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 530,000 times in 2014. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 23 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Learn Something New! 20 Cooking Tips and Tricks

“September is “Self Improvement Month” and in recognition of this and the online learning company Webucator’s “Teach Your Talent” project, I thought I would share some cooking and kitchen tips. To give back to the cause and help others improve their skills, they are also offering free monthly self-paced Microsoft training courses. This month the course is Advanced PowerPoint 2013.”

Cooking can be enjoyable and relaxing.  I call it my yoga and can spend many hours in the kitchen cooking, especially at weekends, as a way to relax.  Having music or a Netflix series in the background helps me too!  It helps that when you cook in your own kitchen you are not under the same pressure as a commercial one and can pretty much bake at your own pace with planning and a few shortcuts always help.

Here are a few cooking tips that hopefully will entice your inner chef/Diva to come out.


Oooh! Tell me more Diva…

My Favourite 20 Recipes

Since I’ve achieved the milestone of 500 postings and also my three years of blogging anniversary I thought I would have a review of my recipes and pick my favourite 10 food recipes.  This proved to be near impossible so finally got it down to 20 which took me a while too!  What I also liked is the memory that each recipe evoked.  Where I was living and what I was doing at the time.  We have moved around so much in the last three years, that each recipe is a time capsule for me.  I having the nagging feeling that I have missed something out too!  Especially the raw Key Lime Dish as that was delicious!  Ooooh, and cauliflower wraps..!

I now need to get the Chief Taster to pick his favourite recipes.  I am curious to how they vary, especially since he eats meat and I do not!  He’s not allowed to look at my list though, until he has given me his. (A task for him this weekend I think!).  It’s made me want to spend a weekend cooking some of the others not on the list though, just to revisit them..and there are photos on some that definitely need revisiting! Must improve this!

Would love to know what your favourite recipes are too! Drop me a line!

I want to know more Diva…

Shoreditch’s Asian Oasis: Perfect Cocktails for a Savory Meal



Travelling around London’s streets to find the right restaurant offering the best diverse food could be an off-putting experience if you don’t know your way around the best gourmet spots in the city. If you are like the character of Lucille Bluth of the Arrested Development series whose taste of fine wine and cocktails is only limited to most the classy of establishments, then you may want to travel down the city’s East End and book a reservation at one of the district’s freshest: 100 Hoxton Restaurant. It’s not only a good spot for a heartwarming dinner with the family, it is also the perfect restaurant to cater to a reunion with your high school friends and university buddies. Here’s a quick peek at just a few of their iconic cocktail mixes.

100 Hoxton: The name, the address, the iconic cocktail
Easy to digest and remember, their renowned cocktail bears the same name as their restaurant and address: 100 Hoxton. And of course, you wouldn’t go wrong with their specialty. The bartender’s special mix of ginger, lemongrass and chili syrup, lychee liqueur and champagne is a unique experience for the palate. If you want to add more spice to this already sumptuous gourmet mix, you may want to pair this with the restaurant’s special char grilled shell on prawns or perhaps team it up with their slow roasted pork or twice cooked lamb. If there is one thing the Asian cuisine is known for, it would be their incredible pairs of meals and beverages to match a specific tickle to your taste buds.

Exotic list of drinks


While the restaurant is famed for its Asian fusion cuisine—a refreshing alternative for the Londoners, tourist and residents themselves can find it also as a true oasis in the heart of cityscapes with 100 Hoxton’s roster of Asian drinks and cocktails. For those looking to soothe their thirst, you may want to reserve your tummies for their They Came from the East cocktail which is a masterful jumble of nikka, chartreuse, noily prat, and bitters. If you love coffee, you should avail of their classy Espresso Martini, which is blended by a variety of flavors including vodka, espresso, coffee and cherry heering, and frangelico and vanilla gomme. As a matter of fact, they also have a special set for the fruit lovers with their Spiced Grapefruit Swizzle. With a wide range of available choices, you can go for a gourmand marathon and experiment what combinations suit your taste.


This is made from a herb and is probably as natural a sweetener as you can get.    It is however, very, concentrated and you only need to use a very small amount of it.  For example,  an amount the size of a sesame seed is equivalent to a teaspoon of sugar.

It is puzzling or even frustrating, why Stevia, should have faced so many restrictions over the years in both America and Europe. Stevia has been used in South America for centuries and even in countries such as Japan.   For those of you who want to cut sugar from your diet, using an all-natural, no calories sweetener, Stevia could well be for you. Stevia is a natural sweetener, 30-100 times sweeter than sugar. The part used is the leaf. There is no after-taste and it is both safe and non-toxic according to Japanese research.

Stevia also inhibits the growth of the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay, and in many countries it is used in oral-hygiene products. Less known, is the ability of water-based stevia concentrate to help heal skin problems, including acne, dermatitis and eczema.

Stevia is also high in chromium, (which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels), manganese, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium and vitamin A. It also contains iron, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C, and zinc.

I would recommend that you research Stevia and the history of it and why it is not as readily available as sugar and make your own conclusions.


I buy mine from my organic health store since this is certaintly not available in supermarkets….!


Erythritol is a natural sugar subsitute which occurs naturally in fruits and mushrooms.  It is up to 70% sweet as normal sugar but has virtually no calories,  very low on carbs, does not affect your blood sugar, has a low GI index and does not cause tooth decay.  It looks like the normal granulated stuff though.  Interesting, tell me more Diva..