So. Many. Recipes! Having posted a lot of restaurant reviews here recently, I wanted to balance those with some recipes, so today I've got another recipe for you. This one's not my recipe - it's actually from the lovely chef and cookbook author Jo Pratt, who's written some holiday inspired recipes for James Villas Holidays, one of which I've made, and I hope you can recreate at home. This recipe is from Spain, and is one of my favourites. It's light, but full of flavour and can be served on its own, with a bit of bread, as a salad, or as a side dish.

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A couple of weeks ago Emily and I went on a bit of a culinary adventure. Bespoke Offers, a discount site run by Barclaycard (think Groupon but much better), had teamed up with Bompas and Parr, creators of crazy food and drink experiences, to host a 200 course meal over 24 hours. Each set of 20 courses was colour themed, so we went along for the Red Party Time session, which ran from 10-12pm. Except it didn't quite.... They were running a bit late. We arrived at the venue (which also happens to be where Dragon's Den is filmed) just before 10pm, and took a seat downstairs where our glasses were kept full and we were entertained with egg healing practice (don't ask!) and trying to chop the top off a magnum of champagne with a sword. Minutes, then hours passed, our drinks were drunk and refilled, and finally, at 1am, we sat down to eat a 20 course meal. I'll talk you through what I remember, though I won't lie, three hours of drinking champagne had me slightly blurry before we even started.

We went upstairs and joined four troupers who were in it for the long run, eating 200 courses over 24 hours. Three of them were journalists, the fourth a (un)lucky competition winner. They all looked jaded, despite the in house medics' best efforts to keep them awake and able to carry on eating.

As we were there for the Red Party Time, all 20 courses were red themed. Having somewhat lost my appetite before we'd started eating (it was after midnight), I struggled to finish any of the courses, and while some of them were delicious, there were others it was easy to pass on. Also, my photos are rubbish. The whole event was being filmed, so the table was covered in spotlights, and I couldn't get a single photo that wasn't covered in shadows. But considering all the bubbles we drank, just be glad I managed to get photos at all!! And excuse the mucky tablecloth in some of the piccies, it all got a bit red!

My absolute favourite dish of the night, which I did eat all of, was the carabinero red prawn with lobster stock. The chef (Tom Whitaker for this course - he cooked the first five, then Tim Yates cooked the remaining 15 dishes) had cooked the prawn meat, but also deep fried the shell of the prawn, so we ate the entire thing, and it was absolutely delicious. The lobster sauce was delicate and light and let the prawn take centre stage.

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For me, eating organic when possible is really important. I say when possible because organic produce is more expensive than non-organic, and also, when eating out it's hard to know where the food has really come from. So instead of striving to eat 100% organic produce, there's a few things I do/changes you can make to your shopping that will eliminate eating the foods with the highest amount of pesticides by choosing organic options. There's certain fruit and vegetables that have thin skins, and are therefore more likely to contain a higher amount of pesticides if not organic. These include apples, peaches, nectarines, potatoes, tomatoes, snap peas, spinach, cucumber, strawberries, grapes, basil, chilli peppers and kale. It makes sense if you think about it - foods like avocados, melons, citrus fruit, onions and sweetcorn all have thick, protective skins that will stop them from absorbing as many of the nasty chemicals used in farming. So if you're eating any of the fruit and veg with thinner skins, if you can get organic, it's much better for you. I've been working with Waitrose and The Soil Association this week to come up with some recipes using organic produce. Using a combination of Waitrose's Duchy Organic range, food from my parent's garden, and herbs from my window sill, I've switched one meal a day this week to organic.

I started with breakfast. My mum brought me some delicious plums from their garden which I chopped up, put in a pan with a small squeeze of honey and a splash of water, and slowly cooked on the hob over a low heat for around half an hour. On day 1 I added these to the some Duchy fat free natural yoghurt along with mixed seeds and chopped stem ginger. The stewed plums and yoghurt lasted for another breakfast, this time with slices of nectarine and fig.
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Apparently one in four of us book holidays based on the food we'll eat while we're there, which makes a lot of sense - I wouldn't want to be away for a week or two without being able to eat good food. I think often the best food you get while you're on holiday is the really authentic food, and that which is made using fresh, local ingredients. Travel Supermarket think the same, and recently hosted a street food challenge where five street food vendors battled it out to be crowned champion holiday street food stall. Competitors made dishes from France, Italy, The Seychelles, Sri Lanka and America. I was asked to recreate one of these recipes at home and picked the New York style wings from Orange Buffalo. This is my version of their recipe (as always!)

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I love discovering a new food brand, especially one that's packed full of good ingredients. I was contacted by the people behind Holy Cow recently and I asked to write about their sauces. I was unsure. I like to make my own sauces, but this can be a long process, and not one you necessarily want to embark on after a long day of work. I had a look into the brand, and my mind was made up as unlike a lot of ready to use sauces, the Holy Cow range uses only natural ingredients, with no gluten, nor artificial colours, flavours, preservatives. Basically, exactly as I would make the sauces myself. I've also been working with Love Rice on recipe projects, and they'd sent me some mixed rice packs to use in my cooking, including my favourite, the Tilda wholegrain basmati and wild rice, which is not only delicious but also packed full of nutrients.

As the Holy Cow sauces are so good, I only needed to add a couple of ingredients to make a complete meal. The sauces come in various different flavours, including Mangalore Malabar - an aromatic tangy sauce made with coconut and curry leaves; Kashmir Roganjosh - a hearty caramelised onion and tomato sauce flavoured with cardamom and clove; and Goan Curry Sauce - a hot and spicy coconut based sauce, which is perfect for serving with prawns.

Serves 2

120g Tilda wholegrain basmati and wild rice
12 king prawns
1 pack of Holy Cow Goan Prawn Curry sauce (made with onion, coconut milk, rapeseed oil,  tamarind, roasted coconut, garlic paste, ginger paste, green chilli, tomato paste, salt, chilli powder)
1/2 courgette, sliced into large matchsticks

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I've already mentioned that I want to do everything I can to support charities working with refugees who are trying to save their lives and the lives of their families, having fled the countries they lived in, as they're no longer safe to stay there. I feel so useless and detached from it all here in London, but despite not being able to help directly, there are things we can all do to support and help. As well as marching through London tomorrow, and donating all the profits from my October pop up to grassroots charities working with refugees in Calais, Hardeep and I have decided to put on an event to raise money to donate to charities supporting refugees.

On Wednesday 30th September we are cooking for and hosting a sit down, seven-course dinner at Storeys in Shepherds Bush, for 60 people. We've called it Ginger Spice, and it's a feast of Indian inspired food. Tickets are £49 per person and 100% of profits will go to Action Aid's refugee appeal campaign. We are hoping to get sponsors on board so that we can donate even more money.

I would really, really appreciate it if you can share this far and wide - the more tickets we sell, the more we can donate, so please, save the photo below and share it on all your social media, along with this link to buy tickets.

If you want to come but don't eat something from the menu, there's a comments section when booking so just mention your intolerance/allergy/dislike there and we will email you alternative options to choose from.

Thank you,
Rosie xx
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Crocker's Folly is a gastropub like no other. In fact, it's not really a gastropub at all but that's what it's described as on Google, slightly confusingly. It looks a bit like a pub from the outside, but as soon as you go inside, the chandeliers, grand dining room, and luxurious interiors are more those of a top end restaurant.
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It makes me so happy when fun, new foodie ventures open in West London. When I was away on holiday I'd read something about a new street food venue opening on top of the old BBC centre car park, near Westfield, Shepherd's Bush. I couldn't make the first couple of weekends it was open, but have been there a few times since, and had such a great time, delicious food and really good value cocktails. Storeys is exactly what West London needed. 15 floors up, on top of the BBC centre car park, it looks out across West London, and hosts some of my favourite street food traders, has a DJ playing tunes, 2 bars to choose from and loads of different seating and chill out areas - so pretty perfect! I spent all day at Storeys for my pre-birthday celebrations yesterday, and as I arrived so early, I managed to get this photo before everyone else arrived - I love the tower of TVs in the middle of the space.

Food traders rotate each weekend but include Le Bun (pulled confit duck, straw frites, bearnaise spread, champagne slaw, brioche), Crabbieshack (soft shell crab served with amazing salads), Yum Jungle (incredible salt and chilli squid), Little Ghost Bagels (beef brisket braised in master stock, gochujang braised pak choi, pickled cucumber, pickled red chilli, spring onion, coriander and kewpie mayo served in a toasted squid ink sesame bagel), Pulled (slow roasted, melt in your mouth, hickory and maple smoked, pulled free range lamb shoulder, finished with pickled red onion and mint slaw topped with bursting pomegranate seeds) and various others who alternate weeks there.

Cocktails are all £8 and there's a huge variety - you can choose from drinks like a BBC Ice Tea, made with vodka, gin, rum, triple sec, fresh lemon/sugar mix, topped with cranberry juice and lemon, or an Aperol Spritz from the Television Bar, or a Wray & Ting - Wray & Nephew overproof rum mixed with Ting and a squeeze of fresh lime, or a Storeys Rum Punch - their very own sunshine brew with Plantation 5yr old rum, white rum, triple sec, dark rum, orange, passion fruit and pineapple juice from the Rum Shack. There's also a Bloody Mary bar serving up varieties on that theme.

The venue's been buzzing each time I've been, and they've got artists doing live artwork, and stacks of old TVs that make up a centre piece in the middle of the venue. Storeys will be open throughout until 11th October on Fridays from 5-11pm, 11am-11pm on Saturdays and 11am-8pm on Sundays. See you there!! And as I've become so enamoured with Storeys, I'm actually planning a weekend pop up there at the beginning of October (of which profits from the Saturday will go to charities working with refugees), where I'll be cooking with Hardeep, so I will post more info about that up here when we've made a proper plan!
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This week the press has been full of images that have pulled at the heart strings of many of us. Sadly, these images are just the tip of the iceberg and highlight something that's been going on for far too long, and has been largely ignored by the UK government. It is not acceptable that people are dying to try and save their lives and those of their loved ones. It is not ok that the UK has closed its doors to the people who most need our help, as it is no longer safe for them to live in the countries they call home (yesterday the government promised to take in 4,000 refugees - 4,000 people is only 0.1 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees). I've got a stack of blog posts about expensive restaurants and nice food I've eaten that are ready to be published, but it doesn't feel right to write about that now. I have a privileged life that means I can do what I want and go where I want without question but I know I'm one of the lucky ones - born in a country that allows me freedom, but that now makes me feel embarrassed to be British. But being embarrassed isn't going to change the minds of government. Yes, we voted for the people who now make the decisions here, but despite their wrong decisions, there's still a lot of things we can all do to help the refugees who've had to flee their own countries. As millions of people are making a life threatening journey to seek safety there are aid agencies doing all they can to help and support them.

Action Aid is one of these agencies, and they've been working with refugees from Syria and many other war torn countries, who've had to leave their homes after four years of conflict in their country, for many years. Action Aid provide urgently needed support and supplies, clothing, food, water and medicine to refugees from all countries, and with our help they can continue to do this, and work on a plan to further increase their response to the humanitarian emergency that is happening on our doorstep. Action Aid are raising money for their emergency response to the refugee crisis and you can donate to that here. As Mike Noyes, head of humanitarian response at Action Aid says, "our common humanity demands of us compassion, support and protection of those in fear now". So please, donate what you can.

If you want to help further there are still so many ways you can do so. 

There are individuals, all over Europe doing all they can to help. This is a fundraising page set up by a girl who works for refugee organisations and now lives in Greece. She is raising money so she can provide food, water and shelter to refugees in Greece. A friend is raising money to provide basic aid to refugees who are in now stuck in Calais because our country's government won't allow them to travel any further. There are hundreds of people raising money to help refugees, and you can donate to any of them.

Newspapers have published ways that we can help too, listing aid agencies and grassroots groups to support, lists of petitions we can sign and details of marches to take part in. On 12th September, come and join us as we march through Westminster to show our solidarity with all refugees. You can find many more ways to help here

I found this poem, written by Somali poet Warsan Shire, which so darkly explains the situation that refugees find themselves in. No one chooses the country they are born in to so no-one deserves to be persecuted because of it, especially if the country they are born in to has been torn apart and become unsafe to live in because of war that is funded by our own government. 

"HOME," by Somali poet Warsan Shire:

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border...

when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbours running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it's not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn't be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i've become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here.

by Somali poet, Warsan Shire

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Thank you to Lauren from Elle Blogs for nominating me to do the #fdbloggersGTK post. It's a totally different post to those I normally write! As I'm sure lots of you know, there's a great community of food bloggers who use the #fdbloggers, set up by the lovely Loriley, to share posts, recipes and talk about all things food. Loriley has now gone one better by creating a #fdbloggersGTK tag so we can all find out a bit more about the people behind the food blogs.

- Name:

- Blog:
A Little Lusciousness 

- What was your reason for starting a blog?
I got really in to cooking and friends started asking me for recipes so I decided to start a blog where I could write about all things food related, including the recipes people were asking me for. 

- What’s the dish you’re most proud of?
As well as my blog, I run pop up restaurants, and am now trying to write a cookbook, so it's probably a dish that's never featured on my blog!! Though my 24 hour pulled pork gets a lot of love whenever I make it, and it's easy to do at home - lots of people have made it following the recipe on my blog. 

- What one kitchen utensil could you not live without?
My magimix - I use it for everything. Chopping, grating, slicing, kneading, blending.... the list goes on! In fact, I use it so much, the plastic on the handle recently snapped and fell off :( 

- You’re stranded on a desert island. What three ingredients do you take with you?
I guess it would have to be flour, eggs and milk so I could make pancakes, dumplings, something resembling bread, etc. Then I could catch fish(?!) and forage vegetables to make whole meals....!!

- Who do you take inspiration from?
I take inspiration from all around me - my food uses a lot of seasonal ingredients so that's the first part of the inspiration. Blog-wise, I adore Mimi Thorisson's blog, Manger, not only for her stunningly delicious yet simple recipes, but I love dogs! Mimi has 14 dogs and they feature in a lot of her gorgeous photos. 

- Your favourite social media platform?
Definitely Instagram. I use Facebook and Twitter as well but I'm not as good at keeping up with those! I find stuff gets lost on Twitter, and Facebook seems a bit antiquated, as well as the fact that they control how many people see your posts (or not), whereas a strong image on Instagram draws people in, and I've had a lot of blog traffic and pop up restaurant bookings from it.  

- Biggest disaster in the kitchen?
There have been a few...!! I baked a cheesecake only to realise I'd forgotten to add the sugar, so it came out like a baked egg white omelette (with blueberries and lemon curd). I've just moved house and I grilled 2 cakes a couple of weeks ago instead of baking them and that didn't work out so well either! 

- Favourite spot for a coffee?
My favourite coffee is from Flat White on Berwick Street, but I'm such a coffee fiend, that it's normally the nearest place serving it that's my favourite, though I do avoid Starbucks and all those other chains, and will always try and find a more independent cafĂ© to get my coffee fix from.

- Favourite food photo you've taken?
This is a tough one! I try and make my photos better all the time, but I think it's the ones I've just snapped quickly which have come out best. I use these 2 in a lot of my promotional material as I love the colour contrasts and the level of detail in each.
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