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2018-01-21T10:12:45.756Z
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Gingerbread is one of those cookies that I’m always ‘meh’ about when I think of it. Each year I inevitably end up making some to turn into a gingerbread house (or this year, a Christmas tree made of stacked gingerbread stars!). Every time I end up snacking on the dough scraps and nibbling bits of baked rejected gingerbread. And every time I’m like ‘hmm this is actually pretty delicious’.

This year I deviated a bit from the regular gingerbread recipe, adding cardamom into the dough too. Adding cardamom into spiced bakes is something I’ve become accustomed to after eating many Swedish cardamom buns this year. If you’re a cardamom hater though, there’s no harm in leaving it out. Dipping the gingerbread in a lemon glaze, a trick I learnt a few years ago from Carey is something I also LOVE to do. That acidic coating on the spicy gingerbread is an amazing pairing and takes the cookies from ‘yeah it’s quite nice’ to ‘OMG GIMME MORE’. My favourite thing though is how it crackles once dry making making them look all frosty!

As Williams Sonoma is finally coming to the...

I’m hoooome! Back in London for Christmas break and I’m extremely relieved to be able to chill out for a bit. This has been an all-consuming semester so far. I said to my boyfriend last week ‘I can see now why people drop out in third year. I never understood before but I do now’. It was inevitable that this would be the most challenging year, surprisingly not academically, but mentally. It’s my final year of education after 15 years and I’m so close to being done which is a bit terrifying. I’ve also had less and less time this year for creative release which has always been my respite from academia (hence the existence of this blog). Having my ‘separate food life’ on the side of school has what has prevented me from having stress breakdowns before so it’s an essential part of what keeps me sane.

Now I’ve got a month “off” (that’s in quotes because I still have to revise for exams and work on my research project) so that means I can get back into the kitchen a bit more. Christmas is...

**Thanks to Schwartz for sponsoring this post!**

I’m a big fan of using vegetables in dessert. I mean, I now eye roll when people do the whole ‘well it’s got vegetables in it so I can eat it for breakfast right!? ha ha ha’. Mate, if you want to eat cake for breakfast, you do you. Don’t need to justify it!! I’m all on board the cake train. What I DO like about the vegetable addition is that a) it sometimes can bring a different aspect of flavour or colour to the cake, making it more interesting to eat b) its a GREAT way to use up a hell of a lot of veg at once e.g. if you have a bag of carrots starting to look a biiiit sad, turn em into cake instead of chucking them! and c) they often also bring moisture to recipes which can make things all fluffy and soft – it’s also why usually they’re not used in cookies cos who on earth wants a fluffy cookie?

You may think a parsnip cake sounds like a strange idea, but if you think about carrot or courgette cake, there’s not much difference. Parsnips are another slightly sweet vegetable with a mild flavour – in fact we...

 

Thanks to Heritage Breeds for sponsoring this post!

Choux pastry is one of those things which is just hella delicious but I always forget about it as a fancy dessert option. The main times I’ve made it have been for large family gatherings and for my GCSE food tech project in which I made choux bun/cupcake hybrids which looked like swans once a week for 2 months (..don’t even ask). I think they’re a bit like soufflés in how they seem really fancy and difficult to make but they’re actually not too hard if you’ve got the right tricks!

If you’ve never made choux pastry before, the method will seem a little weird. We boil butter and water in a pot, dump in flour and stir stir stir it up until you get a ball of doughy mixture. While it’s still warm, we then slowly beat in some eggies – I was using the Heritage Breeds Royal Legbar eggs from well-cared for chickens (look at those gorgeous blue shells *insert heart eye emoji*) for their high quality and rich flavour. You’ve gotta work the arm muscles here guys and...

Did you know that I used to hate salads? I just didn’t see the point of eating a bowl of leaves which a) didn’t taste of anything and b) didn’t fill you up. It’s not surprising this was my view as the only time I’d tried it was at school where ‘salad’ meant a bowl of iceberg lettuce – no dressing, no additions. Literally just the worst leaf you could possibly use in an undressed salad too. Bleugh.

Now, don’t worry, I’ve had many a delicious salad since (with dressing! hooray!) which have of course converted me.

 

A few summers ago I was in New York for a while when I did an internship at Food52. I had a lot of time on my hands, a lotta places I wanted to go (eat) and luckily, so many internet friends to meet up with! On one very hot morning I took the subway over to Brooklyn and visited Hetty of Arthur Street Kitchen who had just moved to the neighbourhood from Australia. She is an amazing salad wizard who has authored 2 salad-themed cookbooks which...

Continuing on from a recent post’s theme of me being ill, I had planned to make these pumpkin ricotta pancakes a few weekends ago when my friend came to visit me in Leeds. That was when I came down with the flu so instead of pancakes she made me a Lemsip and I managed to force myself to eat some toast. Man, losing your appetite and then sense of taste is a major bummer

I finally had enough time to make these just for myself – bonus cos then I kept the leftovers in the fridge and had pancakes for breakfast for the next few days B).  It’s quite nice on the weekend as my housemates don’t usually come downstairs until midday so I’ve got my own peaceful Sunday ritual. Listening to a podcast – usually Don’t Salt My Game – and making my breakfast which I can eat slowly without the stress of rushing out the door to lectures.

These pumpkin ricotta pancakes are a definite weekend-only venture as they require whisking egg whites. I know, it’s a pain in the arse but it does make the these nice and thick whilst also being super...

Brunch food has gotta be my favourite – I’m always looking for new places to check out in London and Leeds and I’m part of an instagram brunch club for god’s sake. That said, it can get a bit spenny going out for brunch, especially a bottomless brunch (which I’ve only had once a few months ago and I don’t know if I’ve recovered yet. So. Much. Prosecco.). Luckily, brunch food is also probably some of the easiest to make yourself! I know I’m crap at poaching eggs so I usually skip those types of recipes and go straight for pancakes (duh) and baked eggies!

When I’ve got eggs as the main component of a meal I feel it’s essential to use very fresh, superior quality ones. I find I can really taste the difference and oh, those deep golden yolks are just so gorgeous too. Here I’ve used Copper Marans eggs from Heritage Breeds whose chickens are looked after well and are free to roam on grassy pastures, just as they should be!

This recipe is almost like a green alternative to shakshuka. Cos don’t get...

So I was meant to post this recipe about 2 weeks ago, then I ended up getting the flu which turned into LARYNGITIS so I was basically sleeping all week. (Side note: losing my voice for a week made me realise how hard it is to live your life when you can’t speak. Like calling up a GP to make an appointment? Not an option. I ended up carrying a notepad into the surgery with me so I could make an appointment because I could barely even whisper. Nightmare). Then I had to catch up with all the uni I’d missed plus prepare for a group presentation we had on Friday. And now we’re here, a fortnight later, with these heavenly bites.

I remember the first time I’d made millionaire’s shortbread. It’s quite an easy recipe to make so it was one of the first things I’d made from a recipe I’d found myself. I’d taken the cookbook out of my school library and photocopied a bunch of things I wanted to make. After trying the shortbread out they became a favourite of mine and my brother’s for a while.

I hadn’t made them again in years but you know when you just get a very strong craving for something...

I’m always looking for quick meals to cook up – either for an afternoon when I have enough time to pop back from uni to have lunch or on a busy evening. This is a 15-minute meal you can throw together so easily it’s almost unbelievable! That crispy sage really takes it to the next level imo.

I made the recipe as I’ve been working with Cyber Aware to bring attention to the importance of updating your software and apps. I know how annoying it can be to not be able to use your phone or laptop but if you resist that urge to press the ‘update later’ button you can spend that tech-free 15 minutes making this recipe as your tech updates! Below, I’ve got the recipe written out or a video embedded so you can follow whichever you want.

 

Mushroom & Sage Butter Gnocchi 200 g potato gnocchi 2 tbsp refined olive oil a handful sage leaves 200 g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 tbsp unsalted butter parmesan cheese (shaved) salt and black pepper Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the potato gnocchi and cook for 2-3 minutes. Drain the gnocchi and leave them in the colander. Return the pot to the heat.  With the pot on a medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the sage leaves and cook until...

Our third year house in Leeds is finally starting to feel a bit more like ‘home’. I ordered some plants to liven up my room a bit – btw eBay seems to be the best place to buy some cool house plants if you need to (way cheaper than those flower delivery companies or trendy plant shops). I was listening to a podcast (‘Suprisingly Awesome’ if you wanna know) recently about the house plant business – apparently there are companies who professionally furnish offices with house plants! They rent the plants out, replace them if they die and choose the right plants for the space. Sounds a bit more sophisticated than how I chose my plants – by knowing the name of ONE (monstera obvs) and then searching through ebay shops which sold them for other plants to buy. I’ve ended up with a string of pearls succulent, a string of hearts plant and a prayer plant! …I really hope they survive the Northern winter..

I’ve also baked a few of times now – some bread, millionaire’s shortbread and THESE rolls. I feel like baking cinnamon rolls is like christening a house haha. They’re just the epitome of comfort for me and probably my favourite baked good. I was gonna add ground cardamom to the dough too...

Back to uni now means back to cooking for myself on the reg which, I have to say, I’m excited about. It was great to have a break from the obligatory cooking over the summer to regain some brain space for new recipes. I do enjoy the relaxing nature of coming back from lectures and being able to linger around in the kitchen, sipping on tea, listening to a podcast and cooking something delicious.

Given that I should be cooking dinner right now (I have to get some butternut squash into the oven, pronto) I’ll keep this post short and sweet! Quesadillas are always a crowd pleaser and are an easy thing to make for dinner when you need something comfort-foody and filling – cos who doesn’t want a pimped up cheese toastie for dinner eh?

Sweet Potato, Red Onion and Lentil Quesadillas 2 medium sweet potatoes (~500g total, peeled) 1 tbsp olive oil 2 red onions (sliced 5mm thick) salt 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 400g can green lentils, drained 2 tsp ground cumin ½ tsp chilli flakes (or more/less if you want) juice of ½ a lemon large handful of coriander (roughly chopped) 200 g cheddar cheese (grated) 4 large wholemeal tortillas Greek yogurt (to serve) Bring a medium pot of water to the boil. Cut the sweet potatoes into medium chunks and add to the pot. Bring back up to the boil then leave to simmer for 10...

September crept up on me this year, partially because we had a VERY hot few days in the UK recently so I was blissfully unaware that summer is coming to an end. Uni starts in a few weeks and I’m internally starting to panic about the fact that I only have 1 year left of education. I’m partially excited to finish and start being a *real* person but also, like everyone else, pretty terrified about that too.

This is the cake-form of my denial that summer is ending and that reality will hit soon when I return to Leeds. It features a fresh strawberry buttercream and elderflower cordial – can’t get more summery than THAT. As I find layer cakes endlessly frustrating to make, I decided to go sheet cake style here. They’re very easy to make and decorate so are much better for my level of patience!

Strawberries are definitely something that taste best in season. But as we’re cooking them down into a jam for the frosting here, using slightly crappy strawberries (or frozen ones!) is definitely a good option.

I just got back from Italy and it was THE BEST. Even though we almost melted in the 40+ degree heat (global warming is very scary) and got attacked by mosquitos I was still one of my favourite places I’ve ever visited. I’m very excited to go back sometime and see more of it…so so much more! I only got to see Florence this time so there are many more places to visit and a LOT more food to be eaten.

I think my favourite aspect of visiting Italy, apart from the amazing food, was the fact that I just weirdly slotted in. I’ve always felt slightly out of place in the UK – I’m short, have slightly olive-y skin and thick wavy hair thanks to my half-Italian genetics. In Italy though I obviously just looked like one of the gang which is kind of comforting when you’re travelling in a new country.

ANYWAY that has absolutely nothing to do with this recipe at all because this is a post about chilaquiles from the gorgeous book, One Part Plant, by Jessica Murnane! All the recipes in...

Growing up I remember leafing through my mum’s cookbook, searching for the particular recipe that I wanted to make that day. I would look out for the signposts e.g. the page with the post it note on it, the page with a magazine cut-out of a brownie recipe with its gloriously vintage photo… It was easier to remember the location of certain recipes in that book like the chocolate chip & almond torte situated on the final pages. That’s the recipe that this torte is based off of (and which was in my first cookbook!) with a few changes made to incorporate hazelnuts and cherries into the batter as well.

As cherries are in season at the moment, I’ve been eating and baking with them a lot! Much to my joy, Waitrose has just started stocking British-grown cherries which is pretty amazing. All of the UK-sourced fruit and veg from Waitrose is LEAF Marque (Linking Environment and Farming) certified which means that the farmers operate in environmentally responsible ways like using crop rotation and limiting use of chemical pesticides/fertilisers. I find it so cool when I can source ingredients from the UK which you wouldn’t typically expect that have been grown in a way which is mindful of the environment. Oh and the cherries were juicy...

This type of food is my favourite thing about this time of year. Those recipes that are so quick to put together on a weeknight so you can sit outside and enjoy your dinner as the sun juuuust starts to set (although lets be real I’m probably sneezing 20% of the time because of all the pollen but OH WELL). Simple ingredients put together to make one delicious, perfect meal.

A post shared by Izy Hossack (topwithcinnamon) (@izyhossack) on Jul 12, 2017 at 7:53am PDT

This salad features one of my favourite carb-elements ever – sautéed potatoes. Is anyone else obsessed with them like I am!? They’re crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside a bit like a roasted potato but a) faster to make and b) less dry, I find. The perfect addition to a salad like this in place of something like croutons to show you that potatoes are more than a bit on the...


Summer heat is taking over London at the moment! I think we’re all pretty confused in the UK because we can’t complain about it being cold and rainy? Also I’ve been watching some of the Wimbledon tennis here & there and man, the poor tennis players must be having peak times in the 30-degree heat :/

I’m finally getting a few days to myself with no work to do and just being able to see my friends from home for a bit. Also got my exam results and am SO relieved that they went well so I can officially relax for the summer time. Summer for me always involves copious amounts of iced coffee, lots of courgettes from my dad’s allotment and strawberries!! The strawberry & cream pairing is an iconic summer flavour in the UK, especially around Wimbledon.

I made a trio of strawberry recipes for M&S which I’m reposting here for your guys to see. First up are these strawberry & rye scones. My favourite basic scone dough with fresh strawberries layered in. They’re best served warm with salted...

When I was at secondary school, I took Food Technology as one of my GCSEs. There were only 5 of us in the class (everyone obviously hated cooking hahah) but we got recruited to help make jam to sell at the school’s Christmas Bazaar. I remember having to stir up huge vats of the stuff and we made some delicious jars of classic preserves – lemon curd, mango chutney, strawberry jam…

One which struck me by surprise was an apricot jam we made using dried apricots with flaked almonds stirred in right at the end. I’d never seen that before but it stuck with me.

So that’s partially where the inspiration for this jam came from – a little twist on the classic cherry jam! In the UK we have a delicious pastry called Bakewell tart which, if you haven’t heard of it before, is a shortcrust pastry case with a layer of cherry jam topped with frangipane (an almondy, buttery cake). It is delicious as that pairing of almond with stone fruits works so amazingly together so I thought ‘why not make a Bakewell-flavoured jam!?’. And man, it is SO GOOD on toast with a bit of almond butter underneath too.

My dad and I...