Posts filed under the lovely drawer

The Lovely Drawer: Sticky Toffee Muffins

I was just talking to Tyler about the first time we had Sticky Toffee Pudding. Perhaps it was the fact we were back at that same hotel that reminded me of it... or maybe it's just a special moment that no girl could ever forget.

Either way, it was a few weeks after arriving and I was on my first trip with students, taking them around the UK- to places I had never been before and totally winging it! We were staying at a really sweet little guest house in York, The Hedley House. They served dinner to our group and we were groaning with delight as they brought out giant roasted chickens to our table. How could this meal get any better? Well, when dessert came around and they brought out bowls of steaming Sticky Toffee Pudding drowned in pools of custard, we knew: it just had.

We surrendered to the bowls in front of us, and I've never looked back in my love for this classic British pudding. (What is a pudding? Not what we Americans think of... In rough terms, it's a word that is used for cakes or the dessert course.) I love the twist Teri has taken on this beautiful recipe by making them a bit smaller... but no doubt, just as yummy.

These would make a pretty great breakfast during the holidays, too. Warm, cozy, caloric and perfect for a crowd. And if you make them, send me your address. I'm not above uninvited caroling in exchange for baked goods.




sticky toffee muffins aspiring kennedy the lovely drawer


I’ll let you into a secret…I’m not actually a massive fan of British food. As a cuisine I’d first choose most others, which is why I usually add a bit of a twist to any Blighty dishes. British puddings however are true winners in my book! They are so homey and great for the winter months when you want a big bowl of something warm and comforting.

Out of all there is to choose from my absolute favourite is sticky toffee pudding. It’s very rich and I’m always needing a lie down afterwards but its so worth it! This recipe makes a pudding into muffins and yet keeps all of the sticky, toffee goodness for you to enjoy. My advice would be to heat them up before eating or eat them while they’re still warm. (I’m salivating whilst thinking about it.) Not to mention they couldn’t be much easier, so no excuses when it comes to giving them a go.


1. Start with the sauce by pouring the cream (use heavy whipping cream, if in the US), sugar and butter into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved and then leave to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Then place the chopped dates into a large bowl with the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda and leave to stand for 10 minutes. 

3. When 10 minutes is up, fold in the flour until just combined. Whisk the eggs and then add to the mix and once again stir until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.

4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases and fill the cases 3/4 full with the muffin mixture and bake for about 20 mins until risen and golden. Leave to cool.

5. Then drizzle your toffee sauce (which you can heat back up slightly) over each one and sprinkle with flaked almonds.


Get more of Teri's amazing creativity over at her beautiful blog, The Lovely Drawer or at her sparkly Etsy Shop.



*all images by Teri Muncey for Aspiring Kennedy 


Posted on November 26, 2014 and filed under eat, the lovely drawer, recipe.

London Bloggers Brunch


If there's anything I can tell you about myself it is this: I am definitely the LEAST impressive person in my group of friends. Point proven this weekend at the London Blogger Brunch when my friend Teri had us over for casual morning.

Except it wasn't casual, at all. It was amazing. And delicious.

Beyond the gorgeous food and decor, the highlight of the morning was getting to put faces to the (screen)names of so many people I've only previously known online.

Ah... good food, fun times, nice people. After a week of feeling beaten down by being online, I left this morning reminded how sweet the people who invest in creating spaces online can be. Thanks for the fun day, Teri. Mornings like that make blogging worth it.


Have you ever met someone in person that you only knew online and NOT liked them? Honestly, it's never happened to me. Maybe I just like everyone? But I kind of think it says more about the type of people who make themselves available to people through this community.



*images original to Aspiring Kennedy


The Lovely Drawer | Quinoa Crusted Fish & Chips


Quinoa? Crusted? Fish and Chips? Yup. You read that right! Teri has taken perhaps the most classic of British staples and put a new twist on it. Not only is it a healthy twist, but it totally works... and totally will keep your heart from racing at full-speed like a normal portion of greasy fish + chips will.

Plus, the ingredients are really simple, so it's a great meal for cooking healthy on a budget.

Way to go, Teri. You amaze me again! Check out more of Teri's amazing creativity and craftiness on her really beautiful and totally slick blog, The Lovely Drawer.


Fish and chips is usually the first thing that pops into my mind when you say 'British seaside’. It conjures up images of families huddled on a bench, coats zipped up, soaking in the blistering cold sea air and the pebbly beach in front. There might be a distant fairground or arcade tune as background music and there will probably be an argument with a greedy seagull eyeing up your food. Ok this may be very stereotypical but perhaps there’s more than a shred of truth in there. There’s no recreating that battered cod and greasy chips in any other scenario. It just doesn’t quite do it justice but I came up with a slightly more nutritious version that’s kinder on the heart and you can enjoy it in the warmth of your own home. You still have to cover your chips with the obligatory flood of vinegar until your eyes water though. That’s an order.


Ingredients (Serves 2)


2 fresh cod fillets

Roughly 2 Cups of uncooked quinoa

Sprinkling of Paprika

2 lemons 

2 medium sized sweet potatoes

Cornmeal for dusting

Garlic salt

1 garlic clove

3/4 Cup frozen peas

Handful of mint

1 Cup Greek yoghurt

Handful of chives

Salt & pepper

Olive oil



1. Preheat the oven to 375F and line a baking tray.

2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chunks. (I softened them slightly in the microwave to speed up cooking.)

3. Prepare the fish by squeezing half a lemon on top and seasoning with salt, pepper and paprika. Drizzle with some of the olive and rub into the fish. 

4. Pour the quinoa into a bowl and add garlic salt. Then dip each fish fillet into the quinoa to coat it. Transfer to the baking tray. 

5. Bake in the oven for about 25 mins. Check the fish along the way and if the quinoa looks as if it’s getting too dark in colour then cover with foil for the rest of the cooking time.

6. Meanwhile cook the peas. Then pulse in a blender with the mint, lemon juice from half a lemon, garlic, salt and pepper and a very small drizzle of olive oil. Pulse until the consistency is mushy but not yet a liquid.

7. Then make the lemon and chive sauce by mixing the chives, juice of half another lemon and a pinch of paprika into the greek yoghurt. Chill.

8. Drizzle the sweet potato chips with olive oil and cover with cornmeal.  Heat some oil in a pan and fry in batches. The cornmeal should give the outside a crispy coating.

9. Then assemble the whole meal when the fish is cooked. Make sure the fish flakes away as you’d expect. Serve with the remaining lemon in wedges for squeezing eat in true British style with malt vinegar and ketchup! 





*images original by The Lovely Drawer for Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on October 6, 2014 and filed under eat, the lovely drawer, recipe.

The Lovely Drawer | Pistachio + Raspberry Shortbread`


I love shortbread. One of my favorite parts about flying home from Europe has always been the snack packs they pass at towards the second half of your flight. Tucked inside is the complete compliment for the hours of video watching you're in the middle of enjoying: grapes, toblerone, kitkats... and, oh, that little packets of delicious buttery shortbread. Tagged along with a cup of coffee, I'm in my happy place.

Teri has taken this classic British tea treat and made a sweet twist on it. I have to say, it can be dangerous to remake such a household recipe.... but the result is amazing. White Chocolate, pistachios & raspberry? Such a good combination that even the Queen may have to add her to the Order of The Guard. Or give her a country or something.

So if you're in the mood for an easy dessert recipe that has a lot of personality, try out this amazing Pistachio + Raspberry Shortbread recipe. Pair it with a cup of tea and a great flick, and, by George, I say you're on to something special.



by The Lovely Drawer


This is a Scottish Classic, often associated with tea and tartan printed tins that promise that all butter, crumbly goodness. I have to say shortbread has been a slow burner for me and in fact I still don't love lots of recipes but this one I do!

I've added a few extras because I just can't bear to leave recipes alone. The pistachios add a bit of crunch, the raspberries give added freshness and that white chocolate makes it even sweeter! 




1.  Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth.

3. Stir in the flour to form a dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is roughly 1cm/ half an inch. 

4. Cut rounds, sprinkle with icing sugar if you'd like and transfer to a lined baking tray. Chill for 20 mins before baking. 


5. Bake for 15-20 mins or until pale golden brown and cool on a wire rack. 

6. Chop the pistachios and raspberries really finely. You can use freeze dried raspberries if you'd prefer not to keep the biscuits in the fridge.

8. Melt the white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water or in short bursts in the microwave. 

9. Take off the heat and stir in a few drops of pink food colouring until you get your desired colour. 

10. Then dip half of each biscuit into the chocolate and sprinkle the chopped nuts and raspberries over the top. Lay out on a plate and chill  in the fridge until the chocolate is set. 

*images via Teri Muncey for Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on September 1, 2014 and filed under eat, the lovely drawer, recipe.

The Lovely Drawer | Summer Risotto



I love risotto. Immediately after I first fell for this Italian staple, I heard how daunting it was to recreate at home. Even with all the tales of arms falling off from stirring and crunchy failures, I couldn't stop myself from trying to make some for myself. I needed to unlock this mystery so I could eat piles of eat without having to trek to a restaurant. I cringe at paying $15 for a plate of risotto when I know I could make it at home for so much less.

And the first time I made it? Perfect. And every time since then? Perfect, too. It really isn't difficult to make risotto, and this time of the year is the perfect time to stir up a batch. The dish is light, yet it's heartiness lends itself to the cool days of fall soon arriving. I love the refreshing combo of feta, mint & peas for a tangy summer palette.

So go on... add this dish to your weekly lineup. Think of Italy. Or that crazy blogger from London who is still in Texas. Or Teri's gorgeous pictures. Or whatever. Just give it a try. I have a feeling you'll like it.

MINT, PEA & FETA RISOTTO by The Lovely Drawer

I reckon risotto is one of the most flexible dishes that I cook. I've certainly had fun trying out every single flavour combination I can think of and reasonable sure guests have been happy to test each one out along the way. From collective feedback - mainly from my husband - this is my most popular risotto, so I had to share it. It's not tricky at all. It just takes time. Think of the stirring motion as a free arm workout, or as calming and therapeutic like I do. 




1) Measure roughly 1 litre of boiling water in a jug and then add the stock cube. Stir and set to aside.


2) Fry the onion and garlic in a heavy bottomed  pan. You can do this with a drizzle of oil or often a nob of butter makes for a richer taste. Then snip up the pancetta into squares and add to the frying pan along with the chilli flakes and seasoning.

3) When the onion and pancetta are cooked add the arborio rice, coating in the oils and sautee. The rice should begin to look transparent- that's a good sign. On a medium heat add the white wine and allow for the alcohol to cook off whilst stirring constantly.


4) When a lot of the moisture has been absorbed into the rice turn the heat down to low and add a ladle of the stock. You will need to keep repeating this every time its been absorbed. The idea is to keep the rice wet as it cooks but not over saturated. Keep on stirring, working the rice as this is what will help to make it extra creamy. The rice should never stick to the pan. Use as much of your stock as you like in this part, until you get it to the right texture.


5) Add some of your mint (chopped) to start to get that flavour coming through.


6) When the rice is softening and the risotto is starting to look creamy add the frozen peas and stir through continuously. 


7) When the rice is very almost cooked through (give it a little taste), crumble in the feta and put a lid on the pan. Turn the heat up to medium and let it bubble for about 2 mins. Then take the lid off, stir through most of the parmesan and take off the heat. 


8) Serve immediately with some chopped mint and parmesan on top. I often add a squeeze of lemon to each, too. Oh, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar added to any risotto tastes great in my opinion! 


*all images original to Teri Muncey for Aspiring Kennedy

Posted on August 6, 2014 and filed under eat, the lovely drawer, recipe.