Butternut Squash Chicken Casserole

When it comes to one of the most delightful chicken dishes out there, casseroles definitely take the cake. It's no secret that I cook a lot of casseroles, this is mainly because they are easy to throw together. I cooked up this rather appetising casserole for dinner and thought I'd share the recipe real quick. Who doesn't love a satisfying, flavourful casserole when the family is all together and it's smiles all round.

Pursuit of Happiness: 2 0 1 7

I'm not going to give that whole new year, new me speech because I don't intend on changing much at all. I do have a few new goals that I'd like achieve in 2017 but I'll leave details for another day. Improved mental well-being is linked to regular exercise and a healthy diet! Takeout has been banished from my house for 2 years now and exercise plus vegetables have become nothing less than the norm. You'd be surprised how big of a difference exercise and eating healthy makes to the way you feel. Of course, exercise and a healthy diet are not enough to truly make an individual happy but it sure is a start.

Merry Christmas: What I cooked for Christmas dinner

Merry Christmas earthlings! I hope you've all had an amazing day filled with lots of love, joy and my favourite part, food! I was nominated by my family again this year to cook Christmas dinner, it's a good thing I thoroughly enjoy cooking otherwise I wouldn't be happy. I cooked enough food to feed the masses but of course the main event is the turkey, well, the chicken in this case. No one in my family eats turkey so chicken has kind of become tradition. Brace yourselves, my cooking has been labelled delectable and drool worthy, yes I am a one woman army. Recipes will follow over the next few weeks. I truly hope you've had a wonderful Christmas!

Christmas food ideas #12: Roasted Potatoes

Christmas dinner just wouldn't be right without a perfect batch of roasted potatoes. I love potatoes, so much so that I have them with the skin,  rich source of fiber, iron, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Here's a fun fact for you; potato skin contain significant nutrients and are high in fiber. When you take the skin off, you're throwing away some of the nutrients the potato has to offer. Crispy and golden brown on the outside, fluffy on the inside, what more can you ask for? Whether you like them with the skin on or skin off, here's how you can cook no one but three different, flavourful roast potatoes for Christmas. Nothing gives more of a sense of achievement than a good tray of golden brown roast potatoes. Merry Christmas all!

Christmas Food Ideas #11: Vegetable Chocolate Cake

Wouldn't the world be a better place if healthy foods and junk foods were united as one? Well, that's exactly what I've done, sneaking vegetables into meals and deserts is no new trick but it sure is one that works. This has to be the most awesome way to get in your 5 a day whilst consuming a cheeky treat at the exact time. This cake has no added sugar as I've only used natural sugars like apples and honey. There is also cucumber, butternut squash, cabbage and other vegetables in this cake. Here is how you can make this vegetable chocolate cake for Christmas; don't knock it until you try it.

Christmas food ideas #9: Minced Beef Pie

Nothing brings the family together quite like this yummy homemade puff pastry minced beef pie. This is a really easy pie to make, one that can easily be adapted to suit your own tastes. Simply add your favourite filling and maybe some cheeky wine if you really want to be naughty. This recipe can easily be extended to feed the masses, I can guarantee that not one member of the family wants to miss out on a piece of pie this Christmas.

Christmas food ideas #8: Chicken & Potato Bake

I love casseroles, I love bakes and  I can turn just about anything into one. Christmas is just over 24 hours away and I can definitely say that after all the cooking and baking is done, I will not be moving unless it's for dark chocolate or food. Casseroles and tray bakes make the perfect dish, easy to prepare and a variety of foods are cooked all at once. I'm talking chicken, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes. Feel free to add a sprinkle of cheese if you're really up for living on the edge this Christmas. 

Christmas Food Ideas #7: Moist Lemon Loaf

It's been a while since I made a nice, moist lemon loaf and so today I baked up this flavourful little number. I've been stuck in a recurring rut of Victoria Sponge, Chocolate and Vegetable cakes lately, I've also been playing around with Gluten Free flour. I have so many new recipes to share with you, just need to find the time to put it all together. Why not enjoy a slice of lemon loaf by the fire place this Christmas, it takes less than an hour to prepare.

Film review: The Edge of Seventeen

The edge of seventeen has gone down as one of my favourite movies of all time. This hilarious classic teen movie that explores some of the issues teenagers face everyday, from puberty to sex, is definitely worth a watch. This movie is a lot like the Breakfast club, one that's about an awkward high school student, Nadine (Hailee Steinfield) who's attracted to the school 'hottie' named Nick. She has one friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson) who's smart, generous and clearly a lot more calmer than she is and they've been friends since elementary school. Nadine's attitude is awful, she's angry because her father passed away when she was an adolescent and a lot of misunderstandings await her everyday. 

Welsh cakes

Welsh Cakes are the strangest but one of the most delicious little cakes I've ever come across. If you're not sure what they are, let me break it down for you. Welsh Cakes are a cross between a scone, cookie and a pancake and I'm still baffled by how their texture and taste is nothing like the aforementioned three. Having lived in Wales the past 11 years, you'd think I'd be well accustomed with these Welsh treats. Unfortunately, that isn't the case, I wasn't exactly their biggest fan but they have really grown on me. They are nice and easy to make and can be topped with just about anything that you fancy. 

Christmas food ideas #6: Chickpea & Kidney Bean Salad

A healthy bean salad could make a great side dish this Christmas. There's nothing quite like the boost you get from a raw, crunchy bean salad. This chickpea and kidney bean salad is a great source of protein, its bold flavours pack a punch and it definitely tastes just as good meatless. Most bean salads I've come across don't contain carrots, thing is I love carrots, a good excuse to incorporate hem into most of my meals. One of the main reasons why I eat carrots regularly is because they are rich in beta-carotene which converts into Vitamin A in the body. We need Vitamin A for good vision, healthy skin and a strong immune system. Anyway, I tend to use a lot of herbs but not when it comes to salads, its all about a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of cumin. A nourishing salad that's flavourful and takes minutes to prepare, say goodbye to lengthy Christmas cooking.

Coco Gelato Cardiff Review

Offering a large selection of deserts, milkshakes, toppings and ice creams, Coco Gelato is easily the best desert parlor in Cardiff, one that's definitely worth a visit. Under no circumstances should food like this however be consumed on a daily, even weekly basis. The amount of sugar in just one serving is pretty enormous and over consumption can lead to numerous health problems including high blood pressure. Back to the review, last night a friend and I met up for a well-overdue catch up and our place of choice, coco gelato. This fairly priced cafe has a great atmosphere, friendly staff and very modernised decor. Ice cream is something I've had to cut out of my diet because it is one of my triggers but for this occasion, I had to make an exception.

Reasons why you should be eating Brussels Sprouts

They've recently filled store shelves faster than you can say ouch, they are Brussels Sprouts. I never used to like Brussels sprouts when I was younger, in fact I hated them and went through so much effort to hide them under the table at dinner time. Alas, those days are gone as I practically live on vegetables. Brussels don't exactly have the greatest reputation but they are quite popular during the festive season, even though they really should be part of your regular meals if you want the full health benefits. These little balls of goodness are an excellent source of Vitamin E and Vitamin K and are surprisingly high in Protein.

Christmas food ideas #4: Squidgy Chocolate Brownies with extra chocolate chunks

Brownies are always a good idea no matter what time it is or what situation you're in. These little bundles of joy make a great Christmas desert served with greek yoghurt or ice cream and berries. There's nothing quite like a scrumptious brownie melting in your mouth; the texture, gorgeous, the flavour, undeniable.

Christmas food ideas #3: Salmon Tray Bake

Forget creamy pasta bakes, lets lay those to rest for the next couple of minutes. It's a salmon fest and I can promise you that its a flavour packed one. This makes a great Christmas dish because its delicious, nutritious and of course, there's only one baking tray to wash up. Hooray! We all know washing up is one of the worst things that come with cooking. This is an impeccable mix of vegetables and gorgeous flavoured salmon in one, a dish that can be enjoyed by the whole family this Christmas. 

Christmas Food Ideas #2: Simple Scones

Scones are versatile , they can be filled with just about anything. Leftover turkey, honey glazed gammon, roast parsnips and carrots, smoked salmon or even sweet potato if you really wanted to be adventurous this Christmas season. Scones are also a great comfort food, one that will brighten up boxing day tea. I can remember when I was a little girl, my grandmother would show me how to make these but I never really paid attention. 25 years on, I finally understand why scones are loved all over the world; their sweet scent in my kitchen truly brings back some lovely memories. This recipe is pretty basic and really easy to follow, scones present a great way to use up your Christmas leftovers. 

Classic Waffles

Breakfast is definitely my favourite meal of the day, mainly because it 'wakes' up the brain. There is nothing more intoxicating than freshly made waffles for breakfast and of course, a brand new day. It hasn't been ruined yet nor has any disappointment come my way, still full of potential. A hot cup of Green tea, homemade waffles topped with greek yoghurt, bananas, granola and blueberries and a quick morning read is my idea of the perfect morning. Bliss. Waffles are super easy to make especially if you've got a waffle maker at home. If you don't have a waffle maker, don't you worry that pretty little face, you can also use a griddle pan. Even though they won't be the perfect waffle shape, they still taste just as great.

Spicy Grilled Pork Slices

If there's one thing my brother thoroughly enjoys, it's meat. Red meat, white meat, seafood, you name it, he will have it and I hate to admit but he's a pretty great cook when it comes anything meaty. The assignments are piling up and so time is of the essence which is why my brother and I teamed up today to grill up some rather appetising pork slices. Ain't nothing wrong with sharing roles every now and then, after all, he was just as hungry as me. These pork slices are flavour-packed and juicy, definitely worth a try.

Quick and Easy lunch: Egg Salad

A salad can be your very worst enemy or  it can be your best-friend, I'm stuck right in the middle. My mother introduced me to salads when I was about 8 but back then I wasn't really fussed. Unfortunately with age comes fussy and complicated taste buds, now I'm all about creating a great tasting salad whatever the occasion. Today's lunch is made up of protein packed eggs and some leafy greens. These leafy greens are low in calories but rich in fiber which is awfully good for your digestive system.

Curried Fried Rice *Vegetarian friendly*

Are you in search of a flavourful side dish that takes just a few minutes to prepare or maybe you're just not sure what to do with all that plain rice you have left in the fridge? Here's an idea, rustle up some curried fried rice. Rice is a great staple food, you could eat everyday if you wanted to and nobody would complain, at least I know I wouldn't. It's versatility allows you to create various dishes in a matter of minutes, alas those days spent meal planning are nothing but a distant memory. This recipe is so simple and this dish smells really good too. That's one way to boost your appetite. 

Mushroom Stir fry

This little number is one that takes less than 15 minutes to prepare but tastes like a million dollars. Its quick and easy to make but most importantly, healthy. I've had a few emails requesting that I do more recipes suitable for vegetarians so here it is. There no way I can ever make mushrooms exciting but I promise you, this is one recipe that is definitely worth trying. 


With time and new life experiences, directions change and new, maybe hidden interests blossom. Changing my blog's name has not been an easy decision. It was actually my blog's 4 year anniversary this month and I'm still amazed by how much its grown, what I've been able to experience and the new friends I've made along the way. There are readers that have grown with me and watched this blog transition into what it is today, for that I am grateful. I had always put a lot of time and effort into CrystalCosmicChic, all the posts I’d written for other blogs linked back there, all the magazine and online features linked back there but I have always felt that the name reflected very little about who I am and what the blog is really about. CrystalCosmicChic was well established and had a great standing in the online community but unfortunately the name just doesn't fit my post topics anymore. My three little monsters are sticking around as they represent every single person that has ever felt like they were different; think of them as a celebration of individuality.

Vanilla Crepes

Spicy Chicken Curry

Oh my goodness it is cold! I hate to admit it but coping with the cold is proving to be quite the challenge & we are not even in Winter yet. The struggle is real! I thought I'd cook up something that was sure to warm me up pretty quickly; a dish that's flavourful and authentic. It's time to indulge in satisfying soups and curries, have I got you in the mood for a little spice yet? Spicy foods used to make up most of my meals but unfortunately I've had to cut down on the spice due to my Irritable bowel syndrome, gutted indeed. I think we can all agree that curry is one of the greats, the chicken is tender and juicy leaving the kitchen smelling divine.

Good morning call

No matter how much you claim to love what you do, there is nothing quite like the feeling you get from sleeping in. You get time to treat yourself, reflect on the past week and time to indulge. But the best part for me has to be Brunch and today I've thrown together a delicious & nutritious sandwich that is sure to keep me going until my next meal. Oh, did I mention that I plan on sashaying around in a crisp white shirt, my favourite jeans and sneakers all day. The glorious comforts that a Friday off brings, absolute bliss.

Spaghetti Bolognese

No matter how simple the ingredients you use are, a great bolognese sauce that is cooked right always taste great. This is one of the easiest and cheapest meals to make and it tastes wonderful; so comforting. That's to be expected because Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain.This classic dish is ready in less than an hour and makes a lovely comfort meal. 

Sticky Sweet and Spicy Pork Leg Joint!

Someone needs to hold me back; it seems I'm spending most of my free time in the kitchen trying out and tweaking different recipes. Still, there is nothing quite like a nice movie night in filled with laughter and of course this delicious slow roasted sticky sweet and spicy pork leg joint. I decided to marinate the leg joint in an Asian inspired homemade sweet and spicy marinade; it's all about finding that perfect balance.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The oldest comfort food in the book; who doesn't love a good batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I admit it; these are my guilty pleasure. They require very few ingredients, very little attention (you could make these with your eyes closed) and the method won't take up much of your time. Now that's what I call a win win situation. They're big, they're fat, they're chewy, they will become your new favourite thing.

Vegetable Pasta

The majority of vegetable pasta dishes I've eaten in restaurants tend to be quite dry; I like mine soggy! This may be because I consume a lot of soups or merely because I'm weird like that. Either way, here's my version of vegetable pasta. If you can't settle down after a hard day at work; this comforting dish is sure to do the trick. Don't let those left over vegetables die out in your fridge; they are just waiting to be put to good use and this is such a great way.

Breakfast Waffles, good or bad?

Breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day but that doesn't mean it should be complicated. Sometimes waffles are just what you need; they are actually a personal favourite of mine. Okay, so waffles made from white flour are not the best because the flour has very little nutritional value but I thought it would be a nice treat today now that I have a few days off work. In order for you to be able to have waffles for breakfast regularly; the use of Whole-wheat flour instead would be highly beneficial.

Gluten Free Cornflakes Breakfast Bowl

The best time to eat fruit is in the morning, on an empty stomach. Why you ask? Because the digestive system can break down the sugars faster allowing your body to get the full nutritional benefits. We like being nourished! Fruits are packed with Vitamin C and are a good source of fiber, not forgetting that their antioxidants can reduce inflammation in the body. There is nothing wrong with eating fruits with meals. However, when paired with other foods, digestion is slower as the system has other foods to process too. Wouldn't you rather get the full benefits?

Cooking for the In-laws: Survival Tips

I've met my boyfriend's parents numerous times; dinner, bowling, shopping, travelling; you name it, we've done it. We have such a great relationship and I feel so lucky because of that. I recently accompanied his mum to B&Q and IKEA. She was shopping for a brand new kitchen  and wanted my input. We ended up choosing a black and white themed 'Island' in Ikea and I'm actually excited to see the end result once it's been fitted over the next few weeks. Even though we get along on so many levels; cooking for the in-laws still gives me butterflies. The most important thing to remember here is always stick to what you know and don't focus sorely on impressing them.

Salt and Pepper Chicken

Salt and pepper chicken just so happens to be one of my guilty pleasures. Surely I can't be the only person who finds food not only nourishing but rather pleasurable. What makes it taste even better lately is the fact that I have finally mastered home cooking salt and pepper chicken that's just as good as my favourite Chinese. I came across a great recipe online that I then went on to try, making a few tweaks dependent on preference. Of course, the more you do something the better you get. Heading to the Chinese around the corner for a spot of Salt and pepper chicken is all but a distant memory. This delicious, crispy salt and pepper chicken is easy to make and perfect for a cosy night in.

Chilli Beef Noodle Soup

I'm not quite sure whether this is more of a light stew than a soup?! Somehow, I always end up asking myself this very same question every time I set out to make a simple soup. But, that's besides the point. This flavourful dish is inspired by Yukgaejang, one of my favourite Korean dishes. Seeing as we've made it to Tuesday without any mishaps; I thought I'd cook up a satisfying yet drool worthy meal. One that's sure to keep you coming back for more; well, at least that's what my boyfriend says.

Never too little

Another day, another monochrome get up! The best thing about Winter for me has to be knee high socks! They are your only option when it comes to donning a skirt during those cold, rainy winter days. I absolutely love skirts and not wearing them at all for the next 8 months because I can't handle the cold is pretty absurd!


It's definitely getting colder but thankfully Mr Sun came out to play today. Yes, I'm still not ready to give up donning pretty, flowing dresses just yet! I'm still stuck in those beautiful summer days that unfortunately were short lived. Still, trainers remain my main 'comfort zone', can't beat running around in a pair of Nike Flyknit 2s after a long day of tackling Biochemistry. 

Simple Statement

Life seems so much easier now that I'm nearly always in black and white; my days of planning outfits are long gone! It's just a matter of throwing pieces together in a matter of minutes; time saver! It feels so good to be wearing coats; the fashion options during this time of year are endless.

*Peach and Passion fruit mousse

Now that Great British Bake Off is in full swing, I thought I'd write a quick post dedicated to my favourite week. That's right, dessert week! Sweet treats are always welcome in my kitchen. I bake a great deal of cakes, cookies, biscuits, tarts; sweet or savoury. You name it, I'll make it. I thoroughly enjoy baked goods except for apple crumble; I hate apple crumble! We all deserve treats from time to time so here's a quick recipe to get you baking in your very own kitchen thanks to Rachel's . There are lots of simple recipes you can try on their website and I've already chosen what I'll be baking next, this Salted Caramel Malt Cake. So, if this peach and passion fruit mousse recipe doesn't get you in the mood for this week's challenge, I don't know what will.


I woke this morning craving a spinach and tomato omelette, evidently I gave in. This flavourful and colourful omelette offers two servings of vegetables which is such a great, healthy way to start the day. Baby spinach is something I eat everyday, mainly because it's so easy to incorporate into meals and of course is a great, more substantial substitute for lettuce. With leafy greens; the darker ones are always better.  It's definitely easier and more convenient because spinach is already bite-sized. Also spinach has more carbs than lettuce and is also packed with nutrients, essential vitamins, fiber and protein. Need I say more? All you need is 10 minutes of your time, a few simple ingredients and an appetite.

Casual Vibes

One wouldn't expect to catch me in such an ensemble, why? Merely because it's way too simple when compared to my other ensembles; surprisingly this just so happens to be one of my favourite looks of all time. Keep your pants on, I haven't completely lost my mind just yet. It seems the older I get, the more I warm up to minimalist outfits but that does not mean I finally agree with the infamous saying "Less is more". Bright colours rule my wardrobe so it was only inevitable that I would come at you in this colour-tastic fit.

Classic Victoria Sponge Cake topped with vanilla buttercream

This is undoubtedly the biggest cake I've made to date as it is 10 inches in size. You can only imagine how long it took me to bake and decorate this monster of a cake but the again, this is what happens when you're baking for a worthy dental team. I made this cake as a token of my appreciation, a big thank you to all the dentists and dental nurses who looked after me, supported me and contributed so much during my 2 years of training within the NHS. I gained so much knowledge and will be forever grateful! You can never go wrong with a fluffy, vanilla infused Victoria Sponge cake; it is after all perfect for afternoon tea.


It's hard to believe that 4 years ago, this was purely a fashion/personal style blog and posts like this one were a daily occurrence. As the years went by, I developed a variety of interests which is why I branched out a little. Heck, the sky is the limit! Make up, along with a whole lot of other things too seem to have gone out the window. Anyway,  I'm not quite ready to let go of summer yet so today I come at you in this effortless ensemble; a testament to the best trend that ever walked the runways. Yes, I am talking about frills and I just cannot get enough.

30 minute bread Rolls

I woke up this morning craving freshly baked bread rolls and so I took it upon myself to bake up a few for breakfast. GBBO, eat your heart out! There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread filling the house, the best part is it's almost like a distant memory for me. Ever since I was little, I've been exposed to a lot home baking and I've always had homemade bread and cakes thanks to my mother and grandmother. I came across this recipe online and decided to try it. The best thing about this recipe is that these bread rolls do not require hours to prepare, just 30 minutes, the ingredients required do not break the bank and it makes a good portion enough to feed the whole family.

Camel for days

Yes, the camel coat is out and rearing to go! It's cold and grey which is definitely no ideal, welcome to winter! I've been really busy the past couple of days so you can only imagine how tired I am. I most definitely deserve a chilled out weekend and we are half way there.

Unwrapped beef Burritos

Equipped with seeded tortillas, a diverse amount of fillings and some of my favourite sauces; there could only be one thing on my mind. After craving burritos the past couple of days, it was only inevitable that I'd end my Sunday with so much goodness on one plate. I've had the longest week ever, exhausted doesn't even begin to describe how I feel. The burrito making process was rather therapeutic whilst the taste was just delightful. Why unwrapped you say? Because I always seem to add such a huge variety of fillings (if I like it, I'll add it in regardless of the norm) which then makes it practically impossible to wrap them up nicely. What does it matter, they are going in my tummy either way! When you're not up for cooking a full blown meal, this my friends is such a great solution; quick, easy and really tasty.

Colour Twist

Trainers have become my best friends lately; the comfort they provide is undeniable! Roshe Runs have always played a huge part in my daily outfits; I'd rather not be uncomfortable. I've had this gorgeous print skirt for nearly a year now and it is only just making its grand debut. Teaming it up with a basic white shirt and trainers, its all about being laid back. The leather jacket adds just the right amount of edge. Oh yes, you read my mind, a long thick coat is going on too.

Wholemeal Chicken and Vegetable Tortilla Wraps

I've never been one to take have a cold lunch but this chicken and vegetable wrap is a definite winner in my book! This is an easy sandwich to take just about anywhere and it's easy and quick to put together too. If you're after a relaxed meal, this is the solution; of course it always helps to use whole wheat tortilla bread. The whole wheat tortillas I used to make these delicious sandwiches are homemade; I'll write up the recipe soon.  

My 25th Birthday part 2: Miller and Carter, The Hayes Cardiff

Steak cooked to perfection, vibrant atmosphere and gorgeous surroundings; it can only be Miller and Carter. I think steak makes up most of my diet, I eat it more than I do chocolate. My days of being chocolate crazy ended when I started working in Dentistry 2 years ago, sometimes knowing too much is a bad thing. To finish off my 25th birthday celebrations, my boyfriend took me out to one of my favourite restaurants; Miller and Carter. He actually wanted us to go away but I was in working that entire week so unfortunately our mini trip has been postponed to our anniversary this September. Super duper excited! Anyway, the will to dress up was there I promise but the long day I had in work left me completely drained so I chose to be comfortable. Donning a cute front buttoned skirt, turtleneck long sleeved top to fight that cold evening air and knee high boots; it's simplicity at it's best. I currently have a slight obsession with turtlenecks, any excuse to get my wardrobe fall ready.

My 25th birthday Part 1: Pettigrew Tea rooms

It's official, I'm finally 25 and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it as I do still feel like a big kid. Animation movies still rock my world, I'm easily pleased and I see the world as my giant playground. It doesn't help that I only stand at 5ft 1; I look like a child but I'm not complaining because when I hit 40, I'll be looking 10 years younger. My only comfort was waking up to breakfast in best and a beautiful bunch of roses from the Mr.

This year, I decided to do something quite low key for my birthday, something that would please me greatly and involved one of my most favourite things in the world.. T E A. Having heard and read so much about Pettigrew tea rooms and their amazing reputation, it was only inevitable that I would end booking a table for 9. It did end up raining and so I think afternoon tea was the perfect way to spend my day. Because my actual birthday fell on a Tuesday this year, I celebrated on the Sunday then my boyfriend took me out for a lovely meal on Tuesday evening. However, that's a separate post to follow. If I tried to fit it all into one, you'd be here all day. Part 2, ahoy!
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