Sunday, 30 March 2014


30 MARCH 2014

I just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day to my beautiful Mum. I don't know where or what I'd be without you. Love you always. X

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


25 MARCH 2013

No, I'm not talking about the Disney film, although that was the inspiration behind making this dish! Don't get me wrong, I love the UK chunky vegetable version of ratatouille, but there's something so pretty and precise about this traditional French version that I just couldn't resist trying it for myself!


1 aubergine
1 courgette
1 sweet red bell pepper (the long ones)
1 yellow squash (if you can get your hands on one - these are called yellow courgettes in the UK, but I'm yet to find a supermarket that stocks them. If you can't get one, just use an extra green courgette)
200g tomato puree (1 tube)
1 small red onion
2 small cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tbsp olive oil
A few small sprigs of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Finely chop the onion and garlic, and add to the tomato puree along with the oregano, chilli flakes, 1 tbsp of olive oil and salt and pepper. Spread this mixture around the base of an oval baking dish (approx. 10 inches).

Slice the aubergine, courgette, red pepper and yellow squash into thin slices, approximately 1/16th inch thick. Lay the slices on top of the tomato puree mixture, alternating vegetables and overlapping so that most of each slice is covered by the slice on top of it. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, season with salt and pepper and top with the fresh thyme.

Cut out an oval of greaseproof paper to fit inside your dish and place on top of your sliced vegetables. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 45 minutes. This dish is beautiful on its own, but tastes even better served with grilled lamb steaks. A perfect winter-warmer, or for those grey and rainy days.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014


17 MARCH 2014

I had a bit of a craving for coconut cake at the weekend. I don't really know why, but it's something I haven't had for ages so I thought I'd try putting something together. Whilst I'm a big fan of the coconut, I wanted to make my cake a little different. After a bit of research here's what I came up with...

INGREDIENTS (makes one small loaf cake):

2oz caster sugar
2oz unsalted butter
4oz self raising flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1oz desiccated coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
A handful of fresh blueberries
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Icing sugar


Pre-heat your over to 180 degrees Celsius. Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream together until very pale and soft. This can take some time depending on the temperature of your butter. It's a good idea to let it reach room temperature before you start.

Beat the egg and milk together in a separate bowl. Alternately add the flour and the egg and milk mixture to the creamed butter and sugar, beating in thoroughly after each addition.

Add the blueberries and coconut and mix. If your mixture feels a little stiff at this point, just add a drop more milk and stir to combine. Pour your cake mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife comes away clean when poked into it.

When your cake is baked, turn out of the tin onto a wire rack and leave to cool. In the meantime, prepare your lemon icing by squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a bowl and mixing in icing sugar until a thick paste is formed. This should be thick but not so stiff that you can't stir it.

Wait until your cake is completely cooled and then spread the icing out on top. Sprinkle with desiccated coconut and leave the icing to set. As always, cake tastes best when served with tea, so make a brew and enjoy!

Saturday, 15 March 2014


15 MARCH 2014

I already have blonde hair, so when the sun comes out and I see girls popping up all over the place with their gorgeous ombre locks, I must admit that I get a little hair envy. Ok, you got me, I get a lot of hair envy.

So, my answer to the need for some summer in my hair was to 'blombre' myself. My hair is a medium blonde colour, so I chose a platinum shade to dye my ends. My favourite is L'Oreal Preference  because it has the most gorgeous smelling colour enhancing conditioner that leaves my hair unbelievably silky. This is particularly important as blonde shades tend to break and damage your hair, so buying a colour with a good conditioner is crucial.

This particular shade, Extreme Platinum, comes with a violet tinted conditioner to eliminate any brassy tones.

Et voila! It might not be quite the contrast of a traditional ombre, but at least my hair feels a little more summery now! Bring on the sunshine!!


15 MARCH 2014

Woo! Chantilly Press has made it to 100 posts! Thank for the love and support readers, you continue to be my inspiration. On to the next 100!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014


11 MARCH 2014

So, I saw a post on fellow craft blog Design Sponge to make your own DIY statement necklace. A sucker for anything shiny and crafty, I naturally couldn't wait to make my own.

A few months ago I bought some vintage Rhinestones from a lovely lady called Anne at Pretty Vintage Rhinestones. This online Aladdin's Cave is a craft-lovers paradise - the perfect place to find that obscure something you're looking for but just can't find anywhere! Anne was the first person I thought of to help me with my craft project, and as always she didn't disappoint.

To make my statement collar I glued my hand-selected rhinestones to a piece of felt, cut around it closely with scissors, and stitched to a length of satin cord which I had doubled over and twisted together. I sewed a button to one end of the cord for fastening.

Ignoring the rhinestone that dropped off on my desk this morning (nothing a little dab of glue couldn't fix!), I would say that the first outing of my handmade statement collar was a success! White shirts and pastel colours are a match made in heaven. Let me know what you think.

Monday, 3 March 2014


3 MARCH 2014

I've started to realise that Chantilly Press is a little heavy on breakfast recipes. It might be the most important meal of the day, but It's not the only meal, and I don't want you going hungry now do I? 

So, here's something quick, easy and delicious in equal measure. I threw this one together yesterday for Sunday lunch with the bf - it's amazing what two people can come up with whilst scratching around the kitchen cupboards on a rainy afternoon! 

If your looking for a different way to eat your Sunday roast chicken, or you just fancy something indulgent and homemade, why not give this little doozey a try...

INGREDIENTS: (serves 2-3)

200g pasta (we used Millerighe from Sainsbury's Taste the Difference range)
1 red pepper
450g chicken thighs (you can use breast)
100g cherry tomatoes
120ml double cream
40 - 50g parmesan, grated
1 small bag rocket
Small handful of fresh basil, finely chopped
Pine nuts
Salt & pepper to taste


Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Wrap the chicken thighs in foil and roast for 20 - 25 minutes, until the meat is piping hot and the juices run clear. Cut the pepper in half and de-seed, and about half way through you cooking time, put in the oven with your chicken.

Whilst your chicken is roasting, you can boil the pasta (12 minutes usually does the trick). Drain, rinse with boiling water and place in a baking dish. To your cooked pasta, add your tomatoes (leave them whole), basil and pine nuts.

When your chicken and peppers are cooked, remove from the oven and chop into small pieces. Add to the pasta along with the grated parmesan and cream. Stir to combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes. Top with fresh rocket and serve.

Saturday, 1 March 2014


1 MARCH 2014

Happy March everyone! The sun is shining in Birmingham and it finally feels like Spring has arrived.    As the weather warms up it's time to ditch the porridge that's been warming you up on the frosty winter mornings and try something a little more summery. How about my recipe for homemade crunchy nut, maple syrup and dark chocolate granola?

Using only natural sugars, this recipe is wholesome and sweet, and a little more guilt free than your shop-bought alternatives. Win-win!

To make, simply combine the ingredients (minus the chocolate chips) below in a mixing bowl and spread out on a baking tray. Bake in the oven at 165 degrees Celsius, stirring occasionally, for around 30 - 40 minutes until golden brown in colour. Leave to cool completely and then add the chocolate. Store in an airtight container and serve with natural or greek yogurt.


2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans/walnuts
1/4 cup almonds, halved
1/4 cup hazelnuts, halved
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup runny honey
1/2 - 1tsp cinnamon (to taste)
1 tbsp good quality dark chocolate chips, chopped