Blogmas 2020, Cooking at home with Kaya

Blogmas – Christmas Day Cooking

Good morning friends,

Christmas day for as long as I can remember is all about seeing family and friends, as many as you can cram into one day.

Multiple minced pies, crackers pulled and countless cups of tea. Well, we partly did that!

We had a relaxing morning, opening presents, listening to Christmas music

We only had a light breakfast and cuppa’s during the day, ready for our festive feast.

We social distanced with family, face timed and called loved ones.

And for the first time ever, I cooked Christmas dinner. In years past I would have assisted here and there, but this year I cooked Christmas dinner and all the trimming, and absolutely loved it.

I seasoned the chicken, I went rogue, shocker, taking it out every 25 minutes or so to baste it, as add the roast potatoes that seasoned in the juices, all was cooked to perfection.

I minted the lamb chops and smoothered the carrots and parsnips so that they were honey roasted.

Pigs in blankets were another ‘must’.

I had to be clever with the arranging of the trays, the doubling up and timings, but all went to plan

I over cooked, as we will have meat and stuffing sandwiches, chicken curry, chicken soup etc for meals through out the next couple of days

After dinner, and a sit down all was packed away ready for the next couple of days, watched Home Alone and had a tipple

Is it just my family tradition, or does everyone cook a little extra for the coming days?

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas X

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya, Isle of Wight

Farmhouse Fayre (Supporting Local)

Good afternoon friends,

I hope you’re all keeping well!

Now more than ever, it is essential to support your local business’s.

For the past year or so we have been visiting Farmhouse Fayre, our local Green Grocers. Before lock down, we would visit every other Saturday to pick up our goods.

I dont know if its because I love to cook, or picking out your own fresh fruit and veg subconsciously makes you think your food will taste better? Who know? But our trip to the green grocers always out a smile on my face.

The staff there are so lovely, helpful and kind. They’re wonderful at recommending what might mix well for certain dish’s, how to cook/cut certain products, and what is best in current seasons.

They also sell hummus chips… do I need to say more?

Since lock down we haven’t been able to visit, which was disappointing, but had discovered they are selling online, and also now sell Fruit and Vegtable boxes.

Hold me back!

They offer 3 varieties of boxes; Medium £20 (pictured above), Large £30 and extra Large £50

The standard Fruit and Veg box generally contains the following (subject to seasonal variations):

2.5kg Isle of Wight potatoes (dirty)

3 x onions (m)

2 x red onions

1 x swede

1 red cabbage

1 x cucumber

5 x apples

5 x satsumas

3 x pears

5 x bananas

1 baby carrots

5 x tomatoes (large)

1 x garlic

500g red grapes

1 x lemon

1 x lime

2 x kiwi fruits

1 x little gem lettuce

1 x cress (punnet)

1 x cauliflour

Now that is a heck of alot for £20!

When ordering these boxes online, you have the option to Click and collect or your box can be delivered for free!

Before we realised you could get free delivery, the past 3 or 4 times, we have clicked and collected which will have you order ready in about 2-3 days where you can pick between 8.30am and 5pm.

The green grocers also sell a variety of local produce.

Meats, milk, Cheeses, eggs etc

And have recently paired up with another local shop, Grace’s Bakery, who we ordered a fresh loaf of bread from. It was delicious and smelt incredible.

Since recieving our boxes we’ve been able to increase our fruit and veg consumption.

Just to name a few, we’ve made, Soups, casseroles, burritos, pasta salads, fruit salads, cauliflour cheese, vegtable curries,stir fry, roasted veg, jacket potatoes, the list is endless.

The boxes also helped us to have a meat free week (blog to follow in the future) something I’ve always wanted to try but never have. With such a variety of gorgeous fresh ingredients it made it so easy.

Buying these fruit and veg not only takes the pressure off going to the supermarket, or waiting for an online delivery with at times, ridiculous delivery charges, but you’re also supporting local.

We have been trying our best to support local businesses over the past couple of months.

Buying fresh, local produce, and helping the community, is something we should all be taking part it.

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Good morning friends and happy Sunday!

Last night I popped open a bottle of red wine, and banana bread struck me as a good idea.

Now you know I love a quick and fuss free recipe, and this ones supplied by the amazing, Mary Berry.

Banana Bread Recipe

Prep time: 15 m

Cook time: 1 h

Total time: 1 h 15 min


100g (4oz)butter, softened

175g (6oz)caster sugar


2ripe bananas, mashed

225g (8oz)self-raising flour

1 tspbaking powder

2 tbspmilk

Essential kit

You will need a 900g (2lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9cm (6½ x 3½ x 3½in) base measurement.


Lightly grease the loaf tin and line it with non-stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended; an electric mixer is best for this but of course you can also beat by hand with a spoon.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface. Bake for about 1 hour, until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre of the cake should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then loosen with a small palette knife and turn the cake out. Remove the lining paper and leave on a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly to serve.

This paired particularly well with the wine, but I’m sure it’ll be delicious all the same with a cuppa tea!

Kaya •


Pickle Wars 2019

Yes you read that right!

This sunday lunch time my partner and I took part in the 2020 Pickle Wars.

Each year in January, the Pickle Wars takes place at the Woodvale Pub and Hotel in aid of The Childrens Liver Disease Foundation.

‘The whole idea started in the Woodvale Hotel in Gurnard when 2 gents were arguing over who made the best pickled onions..
19 years later it would seem there are plenty of people that take pickled onion making VERY seriously!

The reason for choosing the Childrens Liver Disease Foundation as the charity is that one of the original gents at the bar arguing over his onions had a grandson born with a liver deficiency and I also know the family very well so we got our heads together and decided to make an event of it and raise a few pennies for a good cause’

– Lee Taylor (one of the founders)

This year there were an amazing 35 entries, all scored by the public between 1 and 10.

I’ll admit we couldnt quite handle all 35 at once, so we took a break after the first 15 and sat down for some lunch.

Prawn Barra Gallega with Sweet potato fries

Warm pulled pork with stuffing and apple sauce, with triple cooked chips

After a bite to eat, we bought a couple of raffle tickets and continued to work our way through the pickled onions.

The Woodvale was absolutely heaving, so I couldnt get pictures of all of the raffle and auction prizes, but as you can see from what I could capture, there was a ton!

A few of the auction prizes included

  • Football tickets
  • Paragliding experience
  • Vintage furniture
  • Overnight stay at a beautiful hotel with dinner included
  • A power boat ride across the solent

In 19 years, they’ve raised an incredible over £77,000!

*** update ***

On Sunday 26th January 2019, a sensational £8133.90 was raised!

We didnt stay for the raffle, auction or who was crowned King or Queen of The Pickle Wars, but we had a brilliant time, and it was certainly a different way to spend your Sunday afternoon!

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 21 – Christmas Meal with friends

Good morning all,

Last night, a group of friends and I met for our annual christmas meal. We’ve been meeting up every christmas for over 10 years now, I cant believe how the time has flown by!

I had a few errands to run yesterday, picking up parcels, collect and deliver an oven for a friend, meeting family etc. My stomach was still very painful and I was feeling rough but I’d stopped being sick, so thought, just power through.

Comfy and cosy OOTD

Stripy Jumper – M&S

Jeggings – H&M

Knee High boots – New Look

Bag – Paul Costello

Scarf – cant remember but blooming snuggly

My boyfriend and I got home about 2pm and I was ready to call it a day.

I snuggled up on the sofa with him for a bit and slowly drifted off. I contemplated cancelling plans with friends, but thought if I havent been sick today then just power through. I really didnt want to, but I got into bed about 4pm and had a hour and a bit nap. I can’t stand being ill.

I woke up just before 6 and got my glam on.

I let me hair down before my nap, and slept on it in a good position as I woke up with amazing bed hair… hardly any frizz. That never happens! For the first time ever I wore my hair naturally big and curly for a night out, it may not seem like a big deal but for me it is, especially as my hair freezes so easily. I wanted to embrace and rock the natural look.

Eye shadow – Bella Pierre, Liquid Shadow Eye Candy

Lip – NYX Sandstorm

Dress – Boohoo

Shoes – Matalan

I wore the same dress that I wore to my works Christmas do 2 weeks ago. Yes yes, I am an outfit repeater. Who isn’t? All I could think of was…

‘Lizzie McGuire you are an outfit repeater!’

We met at Michelangelo’s in Ryde. A gorgeous italian restaurant, to have a christmas meal with a twist.

For my main I had the Turkey;

Turkey breast parcels stuffed with spinach and Provolone cheese, wrapped with smoked bacon, roasted in oil and white wine, served with Fagiolata (Borlotti beans stewed in tomata sauce with rosemary) Sauteed potato side‘.

Oh my goodness, it was the most scrumptious turkey I’ve ever tasted!

For dessert I had a tiramisu. It was so rich light and fluffy, perfection!

After coffees and a shuffle around the table to have a chat, we headed to a bar for a drink, whilst some of the group had a boogie.

11pm hit and we decided to head home. Since I havent been feeling well, I decided to have soft drinks for the night and to drive us there and back.

When I got home I realised the richness of the food wasnt the best idea. The stomach pains were incredible. Compared to the toast and dry foods I’ve had the past 72 hours, my body didnt know what the heck was going on!

Apart from the stomach cramps, we had an absolute incredible time with friends, I love that we all make the effort to see each other, even if once a year. I feel extremly thankful to have these people in my life.

Kaya •

Blogmas 2019

Blogmas Day 18 – The food bank

Good afternoon friends,

This blogmas post is short, fast but important.

This year, I’m sending out a friendly reminder that Christmas is about love, giving, sharing, and making memories. Well, that’s what it means to me.

For some this season is all about decorations, a tree, presents and masses of holiday food, and if you do or dont decide to celebrate christmas that way, then each to their own, what ever makes you happy.

A christmas dinner I feel, is important its just one meal, with maybe a few treats around it.

This year, the same as last, I’ve been donating to the local food bank.

Buying the trimmings and sweets for Christmas day can really add up, and not everyone is as fortunate to afford it.

A few items whilst shopping, with the intention of donating the few pounds worth to the food bank could make the world of difference to a family for that one special day.

I understand that food banks recieve more at christmas, and then less through out the year, but surely they could, if needs be, put goods by for next month?

From next month, I’m going tintry to rememeber to buy £5 worth of food for the food bank each month. It might not seem like alot, but £60 a year could really make a difference.

Kaya •

Isle of Wight

Cornerstop Café, Isle of Wight

Good evening friends,

Is there ever too many independent eateries? No, no there isn’t!

The Cornerstop Cafe opened 2 weeks ago, and I’ve been excited to visit there since!

Joint owners, Munshur and Jo and Manager Becky (Munshurs wife/Jo’s sister), have created a cosy and friendly cafe in the heart of the Island.

The cafe dines about 20 people, in a vibrant setting with comfy seating, large windows that let the natural light shine through and also gives anyone walking by food envy, with friendly staff and chilled music in the background, we certainly felt as though we had chosen the right spot for lunch.

The cafe offers a menu of hot and cold fresh food and drinks, sweets, and even a ‘soup of the day’. All which were extremely reasonably priced.

As well as trying new independent places to eat, I love trying out new coffee’s.

I’m quite fussy when it comes to coffee, as I like mine to be strong, without that bitter tang.

The Cornerstop Cafe use Puro Fairtrade coffee which is rich, smooth and flavoursome.

‘Puro Fairtrade Coffee is commitment to stop the exploitation of the third world, ensuring fair prices to coffee growers and saving rainforest and its species within coffee producing countries. Money from the sale of Puro is returned into the purchase and protection of rainforest reserves in the very countries our coffee comes from.’

I had a cappuccino, and a Tuna mayo baguette (with a variety of free salad fillings for you to customize your meal) whilst my partner enjoyed freshly made Pancakes with maple syrup, and a cuppa tea.

I had a bite of the pancakes (of course), and they were perfectly light and fluffy.

We couldn’t help it, and were tempted by the home made cakes. We shared 2 between us, the chocolate cake and the lotus biscuit slice.

My goodness, both were scrumptious, but I’d never tasted anything like the lotus biscuit slice, I should of asked for the recipe!

With a variety of alternative milks, gluten free bread, and home made vegan delights there is something avalaible for everyone.

The cafe also has a children’s s play area, and is dog friendly as well, which is perfect for families who want to relax and enjoy without the fuss.

As well as the fantastic menu, they also offer snacks on the go, and a £5 meal deal offer!

Crisps, chocolate, cold drinks and home made sandwiches packed, all ready to go, along with hot sausage rolls. What more could you want?

This delightful cafe is located at Newport Bus Station, and is open Tuesday – Saturday 8am to 3pm.

The freshly made meals, and cakes, the decision to supply alternative milks and breads, and the decision to use a fairtrade coffee supplier, this Independent family business have certainly put alot of love and thought into the cafe.

I wish them much success, and look forward to popping in soon for another slice of Lotus biscuit cake

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

The best soft and crunchy triple chocolate cookies

Good morning friends, and Happy Saturday!

This morning I’d like to share the most scrumptious triple chocolate cooks recipe! These cookies are so easy to make; they’re crunchy around the edges and perfectly soft throughouthe middle. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

Active Time20 minutes
Cook Time9 minutes
Total Time – *29 minutes

*plus a minimum of 1 hour Chilling,

(I completey scrolled past this and then was shocked when I had to wait a hour!)

Servings *20 cookies (I made at least 30)


  • 200 g unsalted butter soft at room temperature
  • 90 g soft dark brown sugar you can also use light brown or muscovado sugar
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 260 g plain flour
  • 40 g cocoa powder
  • tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • tsp salt
  • 100 g milk chocolate
  • 50 g dark chocolate chunks
  • 200 g white chocolate chunks


  • Melt the milk chocolate (100g). This can either be done in short bursts in the microwave (no more than 20 seconds each time, stirring in between), over a bain-marie, or in a saucepan over a VERY low heat. Once melted set aside to cool.
  • Beat together the butter (200g) and sugars (90g soft dark brown sugar, 110g caster sugar) until fully combined and lighter in colour (this should take 2-3 minutes with an electric mixer).
  • Add the egg (1 whole large egg + 1 yolk) and the vanilla extract (1 tbsp) and beat until fully combined.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients (260g plain flour, 40g cocoa powder, 1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda, ⅛tsp salt) and mix until fully combined.
  • Add the melted milk chocolate and fold into the mixture until it’s combined.
  • Finally mix in the chocolate chunks (200g white chocolate, 50g dark chocolate) until they are evenly distributed in the mixture.

  • Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 5cm in diameter (I find it easiest to split the dough into two and make two sausages) and wrap in cling film. You may find it easier to use the clingfilm to help you get an even sausage shape as the dough will be a little sticky. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 5 days).

  • When you’re ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 190°C/170°C fan. Remove your cookie dough from the fridge and using a sharp knife slice into round cookies about 1½cm thick. Place them on a baking sheet (lined with greaseproof paper or a non-stick baking sheet). Leave space between each one as they’ll double in size as they cook. Cook for 8-9 minutes until crisp around the edges but still soft in the middle.

  • Once cooked, remove them from the oven. Leave them to cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

A cuppa tea is strongly adviced, as these are perfect dunking biscuits!

Let me know if you use this recipe and what yout think of these cookies?

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

Pumpkin Pie for days

A very warm hello and good afternoon to you all!

As some of you will know, it was Thanksgiving yesterday.

My Apologies for my absence, chaos seems to follow me recently.

As a british person, Thanksgiving fascinated me. The parades, the Thanksgiving meals, the history, friends and family coming together, the ways that people express what they are thankful for, it’s an American tradition that I’ve taken great interest in but never experienced.

I saw alot of posts of recipes and pictures, and it made my mouth water.

As some of you may of guessed, I love my food, and am always up for trying something new.

Last night I made a pumpkin pie. A dish that is apparently popular to Thanksgiving.

I followed a recipe online, and google pictures, as although it is a simple recipe to follow, I needed to check that the consistency and the outcome was correct.

I didn’t have a pie dish so I used 2 smaller cake tins… I had made alot more than I thought, but more the merrier.

I made the pastry and the filling all from scratch as I wanted it to be as authentic as it could be.

The pie tasted different to w expected ut s pleasently surprised. It was sweet with warmth from the nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.

To my friends who have never tried a pumpkin pie, I strongly recommend it!

To me, Pumpkins are used for carving at Halloween, but this was delicious, and I wish I had made one sooner! Of course, I ate it with alot me cream that pictured above.

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and a beautiful November weekend.

Kaya •

Cooking at home with Kaya

Homemade thick vegetable soup

Good evening everyone!

Every week, I visit my local green grocers and pick up my fruit and veg for the week ahead. I love cooking, especially with fresh, and local food.

My weekly fruit and veg for £11.39!

Since it’s a cold and crisp evening, I thought, what a better time to share my vegetable soup recipe with you all.

My recipe is easy to make and delicious for lunch, dinner or supper.

My Recipe

2 Onions
2 Potatoes
2 Lemons
4 Leeks
4 Carrots
Sprinkle of parsley
A pinch of salt, pepper and cumin
2 garlic cloves (you can add less but I love garlic)
2 vegetable stock cubes in 500ml of warm water
100ml of milk


Over a medium heat, put a nob of butter in your sauce pan, and move it around so that it melts enough to cover the bottom of the pan.
Slice your onions into small chunks and add them to the sauce pan for about 5 minutes to allow them to soften.

Next, add the rest of the chunky chopped vegetables, along with the milk, and vegetable stock in hot water.
I then leave my soup to cook for about 20minutes on a medium heat.

Once the veg has softened, I add salt and pepper, parsley, and squeeze 2 lemons in and stir (this is optional, but recommend, and remember to remove the pips!)

After I have left the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes, I use my hand blender to either blend it so that it’s left as a soft but chunky texture, or blend it until it is thick and smooth.

Which ever you choose, I promise you that you’ll be left with a delicious and filling soup perfect for all through the Autumn and Winter. You can eat this soup how it is, or accompanied by some croutons or a slab of bread and butter.

I use plastic take away style tubs with lids to store this. I buy my reusable tubs in packs of 6, for £1, from either Poundland or B&M.

My soup normally makes between 8 and 10 portions. I’ll normally keep a few fresh in my fridge, and then stack the rest and keep them in the freezer. They are ready to eat with a zap in the microwave after a few minutes, for a quick, healthy and filling meal.

Let me know if you’ve tried this recipe and what your favorite home made soup is.

Kaya •