Easy coconut and salsa rice recipe with Essential Cuisine


  • 2 tbsp Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock
  • 150g basmati rice
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1 handful of chopped coriander
  • 2 chopped vine tomatoes
  • 1/2 lime
  • 300ml water


  1. Heat a frying pan with medium heat and add the coconut. Toast the coconut until lightly golden brown.
  2. Once the coconut is ready, take it out of the pan and pop it in a bowl for later. Slice the red pepper into thin slices and cook this in the pan for five minutes until softened.
  3. After those five minutes, add the rice, the water and the Essential Cuisine Chicken Stock. Stir until the water and chicken stock is dissolved in the rice and then cover with tin foil over low heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, leaving the foil on and set aside to cook with the steam for another 10 minutes.
  4. Whilst the rice is cooking, it’s time to make the salsa. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks, chop the coriander finely and add the lime juice and zest. Add a little salt for seasoning.
  5. Now that your rice is cooked, add the desiccated carrot and one grated carrot and mix thoroughly.
  6. Mix the rice and salsa together and then serve it up and enjoy. Oh, and this dish is also delicious cold so is perfect for lunch the following day too.

Essential Cuisine stock

*This post is in partnership with Essential Cuisine

For me, Christmas is all about the three F’s: food, family and friends. Gimme those three things and I’m a happy girl. But, what is it about the Christmas period that makes everything you eat and drink taste so much better? Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate all year round but there’s just something different about eating a Christmas themed chocolate, despite the fact it’s exactly the same recipe and ingredients. Perhaps it’s Christmas magic?

Virginia Hayward specialises in luxury food and drink hampers and has been doing some research on what it is that we all really do love to indulge in this time of year. Take a look at the nation’s favourite festive flavours below. I can’t say I’m surprised by the results and even as the UK’s fussiest eater, even I love 6/10 of the food/drinks: cheese, biscuits, chocolates, crackers and of course, prosecco and wine.

Virginia Hayward Favourite Flavours

Of course, this means that I’m a big fan of all of the iconic duos so if you’re reading this, feel free to send me endless supplies of these. However, I do have a confession that I’m embarrassed to admit. I’m not a true cheese fan. I’ll take all the cheddar, all the mozzarella and all the halloumi but that’s about as far as my cheese taste palette will stretch.

Anyway, that’s enough about my preferences *hint hint*, the point I’m trying to reach is that there’s no need to spend hours and hours panicking and stressing over finding the perfect gift this Christmas. Virginia Hayward offers ready made hampers as well as the option to build your own hamper so that you can truly enjoy the gift of giving this year.

*This post has been sponsored by Virginia Hayward.

After buying a house and moving out from my parent’s home back in June, I’ve developed a love for baking and cooking. One thing that I’ve realised I love cooking is a roast dinner. But, when I do a roast, I do it properly and I go big, even it’s just me and Liam that I’m cooking for. I’m talking crispy roast potatoes, loads of stuffing, yorkshire puddings, honey roasted vegetables, normal vegetables and meat. Oh, and a dessert of course. Now, I don’t think that a roast is a difficult meal to cook. Once you’ve mastered the timings, you’re good to go. However, one thing that I do find hard is fitting it all in. With our kitchen being on the smaller side we can only fit in a double oven which is what has inspired me to look at the combination microwave oven by Panasonic.

Although we’re not hosting Christmas day here, we do have family over to celebrate the start of the festive activities on Christmas Eve and how I’ll fit everything in the oven at once has been stressing me out a little bit as I’m planning on doing a roast/Christmas dinner. Because, can you ever really have too many Christmas dinners? Nope. I’d heard of a combination microwave oven before but hadn’t ever really given them much thought. Mainly because I’ve never needed to before now and overnight I’ve turned into an adult who actually enjoys looking at things like this. Anyway, back to the point, the combination microwave oven can cook pretty much anything from roast pork to roast potatoes which takes the stress out of living with a single oven and cooking for a whole bunch of people.

Not only can the combination microwave oven by Panasonic cook a Christmas dinner but it also retains vitamins in the food whilst doing so and therefore keeping meals healthier. That’s definitely an excuse to pig out on loads of desserts…right? Oh, and if you’re looking to make a dessert with in the combination microwave oven too, you can and there’s a whole selection of recipes for this here. Not that I’m trying to encourage you to eat your body weight in food this Christmas or anything like that (I totally am).

Panasonic Roast Potatoes

*This post has been sponsored by Panasonic. All images have been taken from The Ideas Kitchen.

My boyfriend is one of the hardest people in my life to shop for when it comes to Christmas. When he says he doesn’t want or need anything for Christmas, he really does mean it. This makes my job as chief Christmas shopping elf a little bit tricky. One thing that he does love and I know makes a successful present is anything coffee related.

This is why, when Coffee Gator got in touch and asked if I’d like to feature some products in the lead up to Christmas, I jumped at the chance. He loves good quality coffee and his day hasn’t started without a cup of the strong stuff. Just a heads up, don’t approach him before he’s had his coffee!

Not that I would know as I don’t drink it but apparently there’s a massive difference when it comes to instant coffee vs good quality coffee. Coffee Gator’s products help you to enjoy the good stuff from home, barista-style.

I was fortunate enough to be sent the pour over kettle which helps to make a smooth cup of coffee. The thermometer ensures that you don’t burn your coffee which apparently makes it taste very meh…Check me out, I’m officially a coffee expert.

With expensive coffee, it’s important to keep it fresh so that it doesn’t go off and end up being wasted. The canister has been designed to stop light or air coming in and destroying the coffee beans. AND you can even set a date on the top of the canister so that you can keep track of when the coffee expires.

Coffee Gator 1

Coffee gator 3

Coffee gator 2

*These products have been gifted to me however all views and opinions are my own (or Liam’s)

Baking is my new Sunday thing. It’s a new found love of mine and let’s be honest, what better way to start the week ahead than with a fresh homemade bake?

One of the latest recipes I’ve been playing with is lemon drizzle cake. If I’m honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of lemon drizzle cake because the sponge is very moist (I seriously cringe when I hate that word but could not think of another!) and can sometimes be a bit sickly. Therefore, I set myself the task of creating a lemon drizzle cake that is not as moist (eurgh!)

This recipe is not only easy but it’s also pretty foolproof too. Trust me, if I can do it, so can you!


For the cake:

  • 225g unsalted butter (reduced fat spread also works if you’re trying to cut back)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 lemon’s zest, finely grated
  • 4 eggs

For the topping:

  • 85g caster sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 lemon’s juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 180c and line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the four eggs, one at a time, and mix into the butter and sugar mixture.
  4. Gradually add the flour and lemon zest and stir continually whilst doing so.
  5. Once the ingredients are fully mixed, spoon the mixture into the loaf tin. Lightly bang against a work surface to ensure the mixture is spread out evenly within the tin.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes. Poke the cake with a skewer/knife and if it comes out completely clean, your cake is cooked. If not, pop it in for another five minutes or so and test again.
  7. Whilst the cake is cooling prick holes throughout the cake, mix the topping ingredients and then drizzle over the top of the cake.
  8. Leave the drizzle to crisp and the cake to completely cool before serving and enjoying!


Lemon Drizzle 1 Lemon Drizzle