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HELLO & WELCOMEHello! My name is Nova. Welcome to 18 Chelsea Mews, the place where passion, style and creativity live happily ever after. 18 Chelsea Mews is an interior design and lifestyle blog inspired by all things bright and beautiful. Here you will find creative flair and sophisticated style in the form of inspiring interiors, must-try food and drink recipes, worthwhile DIY projects and more. Thank you for visiting!
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It doesn’t seem like summer is about to show up in London just yet, but as it always looks and feels like summer in my home, now is as good a time as any to create a few quick and easy salad recipes to enjoy as light snacks and starters over the season. First up is the persimmon and fennel tomato salad.
As I strolled through the fruits and vegetables isle at my local Waitrose recently, I was a little surprised (but very happy) to see that persimmons were back in stock, because I’m more familiar with seeing them in abundance at winter time. I love persimmons, particularly in a salad, and if the salad includes fennel, that’s even better. I can’t really explain it, but there’s just something about the delicate sweet taste of persimmon combined with the unique aromatic flavour of fennel that totally pleases my palate. I’m always thinking of different fruits and veggies to add to my persimmon + fennel salads, and this time I’ve added radish and yellow cherry tomatoes to the mix. Honestly, there’s no highfalutin gastronomical theory behind my choice; I just had lots of them and I thought they’d look rather lovely on my plate together (and they really do!). This fun little foodie experiment turned out to be a pretty tasty snack, so here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it.
- 3 ripe fuyu persimmons
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 6 yellow cherry tomatoes
- 5 radishes
- Fresh lemon juice (from half lemon)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Himalayan rose pink crystal salt to taste (optional)
- a few fresh mint leaves to garnish
- Using a mandoline (or a sharp knife if your skills are up to par), thinly slice the fennel bulbs, radishes, and tomatoes (I’ve spiralised 3 of the radishes and kept a few tomatoes whole for styling purposes)
- Cut the persimmons into even chunks
- Place half the sliced fennel on chilled salad plates, followed by most of the radishes and tomatoes
- Add all the persimmon, then scatter the remaining fennel, radish and tomatoes on top
- Add salt crystals to taste, and garnish with mint leaves
- Combine lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil, shake well and drizzle over salad
I love pesto, I always have. However recently I’ve found that I no longer enjoy the pesto I buy from the supermarket. I’m not entirely sure, but this could be partly because I’ve become a little bored of how ‘samey’ the store bought pesto tastes nowadays. About a year ago, I bought a jar of small batch pesto at a farmers’ market and fell madly in love with pesto again. Sadly the seller no longer makes pesto, and I was unable to get more jars after quickly going through my first. Since then, I decided to start making my own pesto freshly when needed, and I haven’t looked back since. They say variety is the spice of life, and I do love me some spice, so you’ll be pleased to hear that I’ve been making my own small batches with a myriad of delicious and healthy combined greens.
My absolute favourite of all the pesto I’ve made over the past months, is this delectable raw kale and pistachio pesto. It is great with pasta, but oh so divine as a dip/paste for crispbreads and other snacks and starters. I made a batch last night for the umpteenth time and I’m enjoying it just like I did my first. I’ve mostly been having it with these delicious Organic Intensely Italian Crispbreads from Raw Health. Seriously, this combination is nothing short of a party on my palate!
As sharing is caring, I decided to post the recipe here today.
- 6 ounces kale
- ⅓ cup unsalted pistachios
- ⅓ cup fresh basil
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ⅓ cup Rawmesan (this is an all-natural, wholesome alternative to Parmesan cheese)
- 2 garlic cloves
- ¾ teaspoon Himalayan rose pink crystal salt (any salt of your choice will do)
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy
- Serve with food of choice
I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Thanks for stopping by!
It’s hard to believe that summer is already coming to an end, as it seemed to have side-stepped the UK this year. Oh well, given the reputation of ‘Great British Summer’, I kinda knew that my trip to Antigua & Barbuda for Sailing Week earlier this year was going to be my only decent dose of sunshine before I set off again for another holiday away from the UK. So really, I’m not that surprised.
Although the sunshine has been a little scarce around here, it hasn’t stopped me making and serving up summery cocktails and desserts throughout the season. I made a few old favourites, and I’ve added my own touches and tastes to classic recipes to create new things. Overall, it’s been fun a whole lot of fun, and I’m pretty pleased with the feedback I’ve been getting too! My Pink Grapefruit and Butterscotch Champagne Sorbet has been a firm favourite among my friends, so I’ve decided to share the recipe here today. Have fun making it, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
- 2 cups champagne or sparkling wine (divide and set aside 1/2 cup for adding later in step 3 below)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh grapefruit juice
- 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tbsp butterscotch syrup
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon grapefruit zest
- Add 1 1/2 cups champagne, sugar, butterscotch syrup and citrus zest to a saucepan, and boil until the sugar dissolves.
- Strain the mixture into a bowl and let stand to cool.
- Add grapefruit juice, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 cup champagne to the mixture.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe glass or metal container, cover and freeze until firm.
- For a creamier, less icy texture scoop the whole container of sorbet after initial freezing (do not allow to melt completely), then refreeze before serving.
- Serve in stylish glassware and garnish as desired.
- Consume any remaining portion within a week to enjoy at it’s best.
Thanks for reading; stop by again soon!
I love infused oils for three main reasons. They’re delicious, they’re versatile, and they often look very beautiful when presented in nicely shaped glass bottles. Many of you know that I love spicy foods, so it may not come as a surprise that chili-infused olive oil is one of my favourites of all infused oils. Having tried many store-bought versions, I have to admit that I’m often unimpressed with their pungency, or lack thereof. I prefer my chili-infused oil to score at least midrange on the Scoville scale, so I’ve now taken to making my own at home.
You can make your own chili-infused olive oil by using hot or cold infusion methods. I prefer the cold method as I’ve never liked the idea of heating any oil then storing for later use. Of course it takes a longer time for the oil to absorb the full flavours of the chilis with the cold infusion method but I really think it’s worth the wait.
Here’s how to make chili-infused olive oil at home using this easy cold infusion method.
WHAT YOU NEED:
- Dried whole chili peppers (stems removed)
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Sterilised Glass Bottle (with cap)
- Kitchen Scissors
- Set aside a few whole chili peppers and chop the rest finely. Here I’ve used my nifty little multi-blade herb scissors which cuts many pieces at once
- Add chopped chilis to sterilised glass bottle
- Use your knife to slice the sides of the remaining whole chilis lengthwise, to allow the flavours to meld with oil
- Pour olive oil into the bottle, using funnel to avoid spillage
- Replace the bottle cap tightly and shake well
- Store in a cool, dry & dark place, allowing at least 1 week for the flavour to develop
- Enjoy your chili-infused oil by drizzling over salads, vegetables, breads and pizzas, or even as an addition to your homemade salad dressings
Please do your own additional research regarding the risk of foodborne botulism when making and consuming homemade oil infusions. Although I have made many batches of infused oils with a variety of herbs and spices as described above, and they’ve all been fine for consumption, please note that you are 100% responsible for ensuring you are not at risk of foodborne botulism while following this recipe.
All images in this post are property of Nova Williams at 18chelseamews.com
One of the things I truly miss about Caribbean lifestyle is the ease and spontaneity with which friends just drop in to ‘see how you’re doing’ or just ‘say hi’, then they end up staying for a lingering lunch, dinner or just a bite and a few easy drinks… We were never too keen on this ‘pencil it in the diary’ for however-many-months-ahead. Oh, and don’t get me started on the umpteen changes which are bound to take place on the run up to the date. At which rate a New Year’s Day hangout could easily wind up being a summer’s day barbecue! Yes, the weather is likely better for it, but whatever happened to the joys of spontaneity guys? To my British friends, I love you dearly, and I know you don’t quite get the excitement of just dropping by to see a really good friend or relative with very little notice but you should try it some time. ah well, I guess it comes down to how we’ve been socialised. For me, friends who do ‘drop-ins’ back home are really close… kinda like family, whereas here, this just isn’t okay, not even with family!
Anyway, I was lucky enough to have two Jamaican friends, visiting from China, drop in to see me at very short notice. Of course, it was my pleasure to make a lovely 3-course pescetarian dinner for us all to enjoy as played catch-up, laughed together and chatted about our current lives. We all enjoyed the meal and each others company, and being that I’m so proud of the ease with which I entertained them at such short notice, I decided to share the recipe for the quick and easy Smoked Salmon Rocket Rolls appetiser I made for us on the evening.
A DELIGHTFUL, EASY-TO-MAKE APPETISER; PERFECT WHEN ENTERTAINING ON SHORT NOTICE
- 10 smoked salmon strips
- Wild rocket leaves
- 3 Tbsp cottage cheese
- 1 Tbsp quark
- 1 Tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped dill
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lemon slices or wedges to serve
- Combine the cottage cheese, quark, lemon juice and dill. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Lay the salmon strips on a work surface and add the cottage cheese mixture along a half of the length of each strip.
- Add the desired amount of rocket and roll tightly (starting at the end with cottage cheese and rocket). Repeat until you’ve used all the salmon strips. Serve immediately garnished with lemon slices or wedges.
- Drink wine and enjoy with friends
18 Chelsea Mews loves…
Anyone who knows me, will tell you that I’m a big fan of M&S Food. It’s probably pretty accurate to say that I’m obsessed with their little pots of antipasti, humous, finger foods, fruits, vegetables, seafood, healthy snacks and sweet treats. So when I stumbled upon their mouthwatering food advert on YouTube this weekend, it’s no wonder I had it on repeat for a while, and I love that they’ve used Clean Bandit’s Rather Be as the soundtrack.
Source: Mark & Spencer on You Tube
I love Mediterranean cuisine; seafood & vegetarian Italian dishes and Spanish Tapas are my absolute favourites. They’re so delectable, require healthy fresh ingredients and are generally pretty easy to prepare. What’s not to like?
My dear friend Sarah came by a few weeks ago and we had an amazing girls’ night in with a pitcher of Sangria Flora (my favourite St. Germain cocktail), devouring a starter of my favourite summer salad followed by a tasty serving of Pan-Seared Scallops & Butterfly Prawns with Salsa Verde. All this while prancing around the living room at intervals to Rhythm Of The Night, We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off, All Night Long, and the like. 80’s Mowtown Revival anyone?
I’ve had salsa verde many times before but never made it myself. Being so pleased with the outcome and so flattered by how much Sarah enjoyed it, I thought it might be a good recipe to share with you here.
- 190g fresh scallops
- 140g cooked prawns
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 1 large clove of garlic
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
PREPARE YOUR INGREDIENTS:
- Slice the back of each prawn length-wise (be careful not to cut them in two)
- Pat the scallops and prawns dry then season with salt and pepper and set aside
- Rinse, drain and coarsely chop the capers
- Mince large garlic clove
- Combine the lemon zest, parsley, capers, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a bowl, stir well and let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes (the longer it stands the more flavourful it will become)
- Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet
- Carefully place the scallops and prawns into the heated oil, ensuring they are well spaced to avoid steaming
- Cook for approximately 3 minutes on each side until golden brown
- Serve the seafood immediately with salsa verde over the top.
I hope you’ll enjoy the cooking and eating as much as we did!
Thanks for stopping by!
Hello lovelies! It feels like ages since I brought you something from the kitchen, so today I am sharing the recipe (of sorts) for one of my favourite summer salads – The Nectarine Caprese Summer Salad. I shouldn’t really call it a recipe as I’ll admit I’m no good at suggesting measurements/quantities of ingredients to make meals for any number of people; I generally just go with the flow. Yes, you’re right, I could try. However, as it’s only a salad, where what you see really IS what you get, I trust that you’ll be comfortable making it without noted quantities of ingredients. Hey, just do what I do, start with less and add more if company arrives!
- Yellow flesh nectarines
- Plum tomatoes (a mixture of colours makes your salad look more interesting)
- Buffalo mozzarella
- Fresh basil
- White balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt crystals (or any other salt you choose)
- Ground black peppercorns
Cut nectarines into wedges and tomatoes into halves (if your tomatoes are larger than the ones pictured here, then cut them smaller depending on size). Tear mozzarella into pieces.
Layer these ingredients into a shallow bowl then add basil leaves. Sprinkle with white balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil then add salt and pepper to taste.
This simple salad is very fragrant and tasty and can be served as a starter or a main course. You might want to increase the quantity of your ingredients if you’re going for the latter. This has become one of my favourite summer salads for 3 reasons – 1. I absolutely love the original Italian Insalata Caprese (it’s a must-have on any visit to an Italian restaurant). 2. Yellow flesh nectarines are among my favourite summer fruits (the only things ahead of them are berries). 3. It’s super easy to make!
Go ahead, whip up a quick one! I hope you’ll like it as much as I do!
Do you have a favourite summer salad or just a favourite salad in general? You are welcome to share your recipe (or a link to it) in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
Are you struggling with drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water per day? Well, you’re probably not alone. Although water plays such an important role in keeping our bodies healthy, many people find the taste of plain water so bland and uninteresting, that it becomes an arduous chore to ‘drink up’.
So here’s the plan, why not add some healthy goodies to your H2O to excite your taste buds?
For a refreshing, delicious and beautiful way to stay hydrated, combine your favourite herbs, spices, fruits, vegetables and edible flowers to make your own infused water. Here are a few ideas:
- Fruits: berries, citrus and tropical fruits. Most fruits are suitable except bananas and avocados
- Vegetables: cucumber, carrots, celery, fennel
- Herbs: mint, rosemary, basil, coriander
- Spices: ginger, cinnamon, vanilla bean, cayenne pepper
- Edible flowers: wild hibiscus, lavender, rose, camomile, citrus blossom
Today I’m sharing with you, 6 delicious recipes to try. My favourite is the orange, rosemary, lemon & lime…I just really love the taste of rosemary. Also, I really love lemon, mint and cucumber together, but to my dismay, there were no cucumbers in the fridge yesterday so I was unable to make one for this post.
Try these delicious infused water recipes to keep your body well hydrated and get the most important thing you’ll be wearing all this season and beyond…NATURALLY HEALTHY GLOWING SKIN. A bonus for the lovely ladies (and the men who dare)… have some fun and make infusions to match your gorgeous Spring/Summer outfits, but be warned, only beautiful bottles allowed. Uhm…sorry, no amount of mixed berries can make that refilled plastic Evian bottle look any kind of chic. Just don’t do it!
Advantages of making your own infused water:
- Your ingredients are packed with vitamins and minerals giving you natural flavours
- It’s a refreshing way to stay hydrated
- It’s calorie free
- A reminder to eat your daily requirement of fruits and vegetables (be sure to eat these goodies when you’ve had all the water)
- It’s beautiful
- Be patient; some ingredients may take hours to release their full flavour
- Pierce blueberries and blackberries to release their flavour
- When using edible flowers, ensure they are free from pesticides
- Refill. Some ingredients are more flavourful than others and are perfect for water refills. Bear in mind that the more you refill the more more subtle the flavour becomes
Well, that’s it for today my lovelies, I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it; my little photo session was loads of fun too! As for the water, I always enjoy having them so this was a really fun post for me.
Thanks for stopping by! Toodles for now!
Photography by Nova Williams. All photos are property of 18 Chelsea Mews Ltd.
Tasty pan-fried sea bream fillet… It’s what I had for dinner!
As the Ocado guy delivered my grocery shopping last weekend, I became very excited about the Saucy Fish Company’s sea bream fillet. I’m a pescetarian, hence fish is very much a part of my daily diet, so I’m still not sure why the sudden burst of excitement over sea bream. Anyway, that feeling led me to prepare my fish in a different way than my usual – season, place in oven, then return to the kitchen when the timer starts yelling.
It’s not that I don’t like cooking, I’d just rather not be standing over the hob doing any labour intensive activities requiring my full attention…like frying. Ugh, let’s not even talk about the uncontrollable splattering oil! Anyway, I remembered a simple Mediterranean Sea Bream Fillet recipe I found over at the Lovely Cooking blog (see link below), and decided to give in to pan-frying this once. Here’s a photo of the outcome, which tasted just a good as it looks.
You may notice that I garnished with coriander (known to some as cilantro) instead of spring onions as Lilla did in the original recipe. Well, I didn’t have the latter in my fridge and had no desire to go out and fetch. Besides, I really enjoy my tomatoes with crushed coriander and extra virgin olive oil on a regular day anyway.
Go on, add some sea bream fillets to your shopping cart and try this…you won’t regret it.
Thanks for stopping by!