Thursday, 25 July 2013

Sorry for the silence...

Hi all,

I'm extremely sorry for the quietness these past two months. With work hotting up, moving house and other things, my blog has had to take a seat on the back burner.

However, I am sure that I will be back in service very soon.

Thanks a bunch,


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Recipe: Calzones

The pocket pizza. 
My enormous calzones
You can also use the dough recipe as a regular pizza pizza base!

  • 500g strong flour
  • 1 sachet of fast acting yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 325ml warm water
  1. Put flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Mix together the warm water and oil, and add the the dry mix.
  3. Stir into a soft dough with a wooden spoon.
  4. Once combined, place onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Place into a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cling film.
  6. Leave in a warm place for about an hour. (Dough should have doubled in size)
  7. Punch down and divide into six balls.
  8. Roll into circles, about 1 cm thick and spread on your sauce, leaving a 2cm boarder from the edge.
  9. Fill with your favourite toppings. (My favourites are goats cheese, spinach and mushroom!)
  10. Fold over, pressing the edges down to keep the filling in. I crimped mine to ensure.
  11. Place onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper, and prove for another 30 minutes.
  12. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees centigrade. 
  13. Brush you calzones with oil and bake for 25 minutes (or until golden brown)

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Recipe: Sun-dried tomato and basil bread

Final product
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cups strong bread flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of dried basil
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 sachet of dried yeast
  1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
  2. Add two cups of the flour and all other ingredients and start mixing with a fork (or dough hook if you have one)
  3. Add the last cup of flour, this prevents dough from sticking to the sides.
  4. Transfer the dough into a new, clean bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for an hour. (Will have doubled in size)
  5. After it has risen, punch the dough down and shape into an oval.
  6. Place your dough into a lightly greased 2 pound loaf tin, cover and leave to prove for a further 30 minutes. 
  7. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees centigrade. 
  8. After 30 minutes and proved, bake for 15 - 20 minutes. The bread should appear lightly golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack. When slightly warm, serve with a bowl of good, hearty soup.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Inside the box... Spearmint Green Tea

Inside the box... Spearmint Green tea
Pukka mint, green tea
Spearmint and Green tea both are packed full of health benefits when it comes to a final cuppa before bed. Some more obvious than others. They both come seperate of course, but Pukka have created one bag for a nice alternative for those who don't like the taste of camomile. 

Cold & Flu
Green tea contains polyphenols and flavonoids which boost your immune system to fight against the common cold and other contagious illnesses. In partner, spearmint is packed full of potassium, vitamin B and calcium, which also boosts your antibodies to fight off and defend your body from the common cold/flu. 

Stomach soother
My Mum, when I have an upset stomach, always tells me to drink some mint tea. Spearmint helps sooth your stomach when suffering from cramps, diarrhoea or general discomfort. Spearmint calms the acid action which causes discomfort and, in some cases, heartburn. Stomach discomfort is one of the top causers of sleep deprivation, so a cup of spearmint will help combat a restless nights sleep. 

Weight loss
Green tea is well-known for its weight losing properties. Its ability to reduce water retention eliminates excess weight on the body, as well as suppressing hunger and detoxifying the body. Obviously you will not loose weight just by drinking green tea, but with a healthy diet and an exercise routine, green tea can give you that extra push when trying to loose weight. 

Other benefits:
  • hydrates
  • good for diabetics
  • reduces risk of heart attacks
  • helps treat acne

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Amy H eats... Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home, Edge Street, NQ
Buffalo Chicken Sandiwch
Home Sweet Home has to be one of my all time favourite places in the Northern Quarter. For some reason, my feet just guide me to the front door of this place, time after time. However, it is no surprise.

The current menu on at HSH has to be the best they have had so far. Their breakfast menu includes a skillet! (Which is served up until 3pm on weekdays, 3pm!) An added bonus to their new menu, is their in-house baker. "BakeOrama", as twitter calls her, bakes outrageous goods for the bar everyday. You won't catch the same kind of cupcake in the same week on that top. 

Featured in the picture above is their 'Buffalo chicken sandwich.' I had it without the blue cheese dressing as I am (very unfortunately) lactose-intolerant. However, this did not take anything away from the sandwich. It was spicy, fresh and crunchy. A combination I love. There is nothing better on a sandwich than contrasting textures and flavours. This has it all.

I'd recommend HSH to anyone, and for those I have, always return. I have also never left hungry, or wanting more. In fact, I have to stay for a little while just so I can move.

Amy H eats... rating: 8.5/10

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Life on the Lacto-free

My eating habits have changed dramatically ever since Lactose-intolerance has set in...
Some of the lactofree range
When I turned twenty, a big abdominal change occurred. Lactose-intolerance. All my life I had been slightly sensitive to cheese and cream, but thought nothing of it. However, my Mum, on the other hand, suffered from Lactose-intolerance, hence it not being as much of an anomaly as it sounds to become intolerant. 

Since becoming 'lacto-free', the effects have become gradually worse. I'm a little unsure if this is due to a psychological process or a physical one, but it isn't nice. The thought process when it comes to what I eat, is even harder than being a vegetarian - trust me, I was one! It doesn't help that I'm a part-time chef - a pastry one at that...

My biggest heartbreak is cheese. I love it. Cheese on toast, pizza, grilled cheese, panini's, the lot. I used to be able to sneak a little and get away with it, but now, its a complete no go. And, I hate it. It amazes me of how many things milk is in, and how tasty it is. 

Although, thankfully now there is more choice out there for those who suffer from symptoms. Soy, almond and goat milk are nice alternatives to cow's milk, but one alternative can go on better than the rest. Lactofree. 

The Lactofree brand create dairy products without lactose! They have enabled me to carry on eating the foods I love, like cheese and ice cream, without the horrific feeling lactose gives me. I can eat cheese on toast as a snack again and not feel guilty. Their milk, especially, has allowed me to carry on enjoying my morning brew, just the way I like it, every day. 

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

This little piggy went to market...

There's just something about a food market that I love.
Strawberry Garden in Arndale Market.
I went to the supermarket the other day and I was craving fruit, but as soon as I walked to the fruit and veg section, I couldn't smell anything. I had never really noticed this fact before and it really disappointed me. It actually prevented me buying fruit and veg.

So, I wondered why in a supermarket, even with loose vegetables around, why isn't that sweet, fresh scent in the air as you walk in the doors? Yes, a lot of the produce is packed so the smell is concealed, but even when you remove them, there is no real smell and definitely not a rich taste. Processed, waxed and modified produce lays the shelves of a supermarket. It is even smaller than what I can find at the market at nearly 25% higher the price. 

Market food is fresher and cheaper than supermarket produce.
One memory particular that made me love the market is one Pink Lady apple. When I was in Sixth Form, in my 'free' I would tend to roam to town and go to market. As soon as you walk into Tommyfield Market, Oldham from the east entrance, there is a food market. The smell is amazing as you walk in. But it was that Pink Lady that sold me. It was enormous and the best one I ever tasted. I've never been full off an apple since that one, but its taste still remains in my memory. 

On the subject of smell, there is a mobile market in Manchester on Market Street, near to the Barclay's bank. The smells that dominate the air as you walk past are just amazing. Sweet and inviting, just as nature intended. This alone would make me suggest to anyone that market fruit is much more appealing than supermarket fruit. 

So, please give the market a try and get more fresh fruit and veg into your diets! It's also nice to be supporting local independent businesses and  local producers. 

Be the piggy that went to market, rather than the one who stayed at home. 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Inside the box... Nettle tea

Inside the box... Nettle tea
Heath & Heather Nettle tea
After stumbling upon fennel tea a couple of weeks ago, nettle also caught my eyes on the shelves. Nettles ae a scary plant to come across in the countryside due to their stinging properties. However, when brewed, this plant is actually lovely to taste. A milder substitute to green tea (which does hold that bitter taste), nettle has a bunch of health benefits too.


Nettle leaves are a natural multivitamin packed with iron, potassium, vitamin A, B's, C and D, basically an all rounder. It is also packed with vital proteins and acids that are essential to the body. It's high iron count helps towards healthy circulation and lower blood pressure. A super leaf.


This tea also works as an antibiotic. When suffering from a cold/flu, nettle helps to stimulate your antibodies and fight the disease head on. It has also been shown to help asthma sufferers when feeling rather chesty and phlegmy.


Like most teas, nettle is also a diuretic. Nettle increases a healthy urinal tract and can dissolve kidney stones, if you are prone to them. In terms of abdominal pains, it can ease the discomfort of diseases and disorders such as IBS. However, nettle has a laxative affect, so please take care in terms of dosage.

Other benefits:

  • Helps calm skin conditions such as eczema and hay fever
  • It's high calcium count helps frail nails and bones
  • Encourages a healthy pregnancy by producing good milk and preventing anaemia 

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Recipe: Apple and Berry Cobbler

Cobbler is a fantastic Sunday dessert to accompany your hearty roast dinner. 
Finished product: Warm with the juices of the fruit bubbling. Best served with custard. 


  • Five Bramley apples
  • Around 300g of Blue and Blackberries 
  • 30g Butter
  • 50g Soft light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
  • 255g self-raising flour
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tbsp milk
  • 100g cold butter

  1. Peel and core the bramley apples, then slice finely.
  2. Place the apple slices and berries in the pie dish.
  3. Melt the 30g of butter and pour over the fruit.
  4. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the fruit and then mix together so all are evenly coated.
Your filling should look like this. Evenly coated and moist.
Leave the filling to one side whilst you make the cobbler. 
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C
  2. In a mixing bowl, place the flour and cinnamon, then rub until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Once rubbed, stir in the sugar.
  4. Beat the egg and four of the five tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl and then add to the dry mix.
  5. Mix the two together until a soft dough is formed. 
  6. Knead out of the bowl for five minutes and then roll until around a couple of centimetres thick
  7. With a glass or a round cutter, cut out as many rounds you can from the dough. (I got around 8 rounds)
  8. With your finger poke a ridge into the rounds and with the remaining milk, brush over each round.
  9. Sprinkle some brown sugar over the top of the rounds and bake for around 30 minutes. (If your tops are golden, but the fruit isn't quite done, place some foil over the top so it can be placed back in the oven without burning your cobblers for a further 10 minutes.)
  10. When ready, serve with custard or ice-cream, which ever is to your liking.
    A great dessert for those that love tart flavours.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Inside the box... Fennel Tea

Inside the box... Fennel tea. 
Twining's Fennel tea
Not many of us would think about picking up a box of fennel tea. Neither did I, but I am very glad I did! A root vegetable, fennel has clean taste with an aniseed after thought. Light on the pallet, this tea is refreshing after any heavy flavours such as chocolate, chilli or garlic. Though, when it comes to the tea, its the seeds we need.

Fennel seeds have been commended in the herbal world for centuries for its cleansing properties. However, with the improvements in food science, fennel's true properties are now coming to surface. There are multiple ways in which fennel can naturally boost your system. It is surprising how many health benefits are packed into one little seed.

Primarily, Fennel seeds are a great diuretic to help your urine tract, promote healthy kidneys and help the body digest and regulate gas level. It has been suggested by herbalists to help sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome to help sooth their discomforts after troublesome foods. As it has that cleansing element, it can help the effects of bloating after such foods.

Cold & Flu:
In new light, fennel seeds are leading the way with combating the flu and colds. Fennel cleans out your system, therefore reducing the effects of sore throats, chest infections and loosens phlegm.

Other benefits:
  • appetite suppressing
  • helps the production of oestrogen in women

Monday, 25 March 2013

Amy H eats... Common

Common Bar, Edge Street, NQ

The Common(TM) burger.
Common bar is a regular stop on my map. If you're looking for filling meal, Common is the one for you. Their burgers range from the classic Common(TM) burger to their Maple Bacon Burger, it is heaven for a beef lover.You even get a temperature option to your liking! But as always, there are other sorts on offer, such as sandwiches (cold/toasted). Common also hold specials which are displayed regularly on their instagram

Something I really enjoy about Common is not the staple of the meal, but their coleslaw. Made with purple cabbage, there is something about their coleslaw that has a "I cannot simply eat these fries without it" sort of addiction.   

With the occasional gig/themed night on, Common is seen as a good place for a drink in terms on Northern Quarter bars. However, on some nights there may be a queue due to it being popular amongst the community, so be prepared! 

Amy H eats... rating: 7.5/10

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Amy H eats... Cafe Grecco

Manchester Arndale Market is home to a collection of international eateries from Indian to Mexican.

Currently my favourite stop in the market is Cafe Grecco.

My pick: Halloumi and bacon 
Cafe Grecco strictly offers paninis, but they are delightful. Being a busy person and always in a rush, these paninis are perfect for on-the-go food.

My favourite is the Halloumi and Bacon with pesto. The collection of salty flavours may not be for everyone, but is perfect in my eyes and extremely moreish. Even the bread leaves a want for more behind after you've finished off the last bite.

The stand is extremely clean with the vender cleaning down the machines after every custom. A bonus upon this, your food will only take a couple minutes to be cooked and then you are on your way. Cost per panini ranges between on average £2.50- £3, which I think is reasonable for what it is.

If you're ever hungry whilst in the Arndale centre, skip the food court and get to Cafe Grecco!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Recipe: Eggy bread

Eggy bread is extremely simple, but is always a treat nevertheless. Ideal for breakfast or brunch, this dish is perfect with a little powdered sugar and fresh fruit. 
One is never enough...


  • 2 eggs
  • dash of milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • knob of butter 
  • 2-4 slices of bread
  1. In a shallow dish, beat together the eggs, milk and vanilla essence. 
  2. Place bread into the egg mixture and let both sides soak up the mix.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a knob of butter in a frying pan until it is close to burning. 
  4. Once foaming, place the bread slice and fry until golden brown on both sides. (see photograph)
  5. To finish, sprinkle on some powdered sugar and slice some fresh fruit for extra taste for that real brunch feel!


Welcome to my new blog.

The purpose of 'Amy H eats' is to showcase more posts than strictly food and will be used more of an online portfolio.

If you would like to see some of my older blog posts check out: amysrecipebox

I promise I will keep up to date with this one, everyone!


Amy H x