Potatoes, more than just a bit on the side...

It's funny isn't it, how we slip into certain cooking habits- using certain ingredients for certain things and keeping them for just that? If you're wondering who, or what, I'm talking about- it's the original superfood, the potato. Yup, I'm calling it that. With zero fat, gluten or salt (and being naturally healthy and nutritious) it got there before the trendy avocado, acai bowl and what have you- but somehow gets left for mash, chips and lots of more traditional dishes, right?

So, I present to you a new way with your spuds- a super easy homemade gnocchi in a browned butter, sage and butternut squash sauce- which is not only bloody impressive when you're hosting for pals (honestly, as soon as you say it's made by hand you'll have them at hello) but uses only a handful of ingredients (including a few 'tatos I know you'll have lying around too)! With a bit of pre-prep this recipe takes just over half an hour, and can so easily be switched up with different sauces during the week for something a little quicker (this is delicious with a tomato passata and mozzarella too)!



You will need (serves 2):
- 4 medium potatoes
- 1 egg yolk
- 150g '00' pasta flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 butternut squash
- 1 tbs salted butter
- 2 handfuls fresh sage
- 1/2 onion
- 1 clove garlic (or garlic oil to roast the squash in)
- Parmesan to serve



1. Peel and chop your potatoes, and then boil them for 20 minutes on a medium heat until soft and ready to mash. Whilst they're boiling, cut and cube your squash before popping it into a preheated oven (200 degrees fan heated) for 20 minutes, before taking out and leaving to cool.



2. Now, time to prepare the gnocchi! Once your potatoes are boiled, leave them to cool for a bit (you don't want the egg to scramble when it comes to mixing them), and use either a masher or ricer (I hugely recommend a ricer if you have one) to mash your potato.



3. Put your potato on to a board, or floured surface and make a well in the middle. Add in your egg yolk, salt and flour- before gradually mixing it together- being careful to not overwork it- but making sure everything is combined and comes together to form a dough.



4. Knead your dough for several minutes, before rolling out and cutting into 2cm cubes, before dusting again with flour and leaving to one side while you prepare your sauce.



5. Add your butter and sage into a pan and cook for several minutes on a medium heat until your butter browns and gets a nutty scent (without burning, of course)! In the meantime, boil some water in a saucepan and cook your gnocchi in the bubbling water until it rises to the surface (which should only take a few minutes max). Add in your garlic and onion into the butter pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, adding in your gnocchi at the last minute to blend it all in.



6. Finally, serve with parmesan and enjoy!


More delicious potato recipes can be found here and this recipe is part of a collaboration with 'Potatoes: More Than A Bit On The Side'- but love of spuds and creating recipes all my own


x

How To: Homemade Gnocchi


(Shirt: Marks and Spencer, Jeans: ASOS, Bag: Accessorize, Shoes: Next)

Photos (as always) by Joe Galvin

I initially started this post with a sentence about the weather. Not because it's predictably ridiculous for this time of year ('ooh, was that snow I felt? In March? Probably')- but because I realised that I'm probably a little more artful at editing than I've ever let on, seeing as these snaps were taken during a complete 'cats-and-dogs' rain episode one day last week. Fortunately, you can't hear the thunder through this blog post, or see the silky (ahem, slippery) rain splattered pavements- as let's face it- this blouse is doing most of the talking (and the Charlotte Street Hotel, but that's definitely one for another day).

But the blouse! I think I first saw this shirt at the Marks and Sparks press day last year (or even on my Instagram timeline)- either way, the end result was a screen grab on my phone and an urge to snap it up the moment it landed in store (damn you seasonal previews). Fast forward a few months and Joe and I are waltzing through Marks and Spencer in Bluewater to spot this little ruffled piece of goodness hanging up (more me spotting it than Joe, but you get the gist). Safe to say the reward of our spontaneous shopping trip resulted in me flying over to the checkout, being greeted by 25% off (oh you cheeky weekend deals)- and continuing the weekend a very happy lady. I'm already busy thinking of future pairings, and feel a button up skirt, kick flares and pumps may be my next bet...

and here's what I wore...



x

That Ruffled Blouse

I promise you it's not everyday that I refer to the collection of perfumes I have as my 'fragrance wardrobe', but for the benefit of a sartorial sounding beauty post, let's go with it...

So- let's get down to scents. It's very rare I talk extensively about the perfumes I love, but as of late I've slightly extended my collection and thought I'd introduce you to some favourites. Fragrance is a hugely important part of my 'beauty routine'- it's a hugely (yet subtly) powerful thing, that can provoke everything from memories to moods (as well as offering a beautiful scent). Joe and I were in a perfume shop recently and both agreed that a perfume we'd picked out reminded us of a certain place, or time in our relationship; which is pretty special. I used to be very signature in what I wore on a day-to-day basis (Daisy by Marc Jacobs, which I still absolutely love), but it's nice to have the chance to switch things up every now and again- so I thought I'd introduce you to a few of the other power players sitting on the shelf too...

Tom Ford - Neroli Portofino Acqua
My nose is far from a pro, but if I could summarise this fragrance in one word I'd say it smells like summer. It's clean (without being clinical), powered by delicious citrus notes and smells exactly as the name would suggest; like a blue skied Italian coastline in summer. It's unisex, which means the citrus's aren't too poignant and instead make for an uplifting, bright scent.

Jo Malone - Sorrel and Lemon Thyme
Another bright and citrus based fragrance, this offering from Jo Malone is a little more earthy, but still oozes the freshness of Spring and the feelings reminiscent to a summers garden (without being too floral). It's zestiness makes it one of the loveliest scents I own, and this is definitely one that I've been wearing almost on a day-to-day basis.



Miller Harris - L'air de Rein
I've often attempted dressing like Jane Birkin, but capturing her scent is something entirely new for me- but when I was introduced to this Miller Harris fragrance (designed by none other than Ms Birkin herself)- I couldn't help but fall head over heels. Unlike anything I've ever worn, this scent is woody, dabbled with warm spices that ooze a nostalgic vintage flavour, with notes of vanilla to soften things up too. It's masculine in a feminine way, and is totally in line with the playful androgyny of her timeless style.

Molton Brown - Dewy Lily of the Valley and Star Anise
If you like the smell of fresh linens left on the line during summer, cosy bedsheets and fresh florals- then this is a scent for you. Dabbled with magnolia and peony undertones (underneath the most gorgeous top notes of lily and star anise)- it's the perfect light, clean and soft fragrance which is subtle, yet suitably ladylike too.



Diptyque - Eau Rose
I can't lie, I'm not normally a fan of rose scents, but upon purchasing the Diptyque Rosaviola candle, I was a bit of a changed woman. So let me introduce Eau Rose- a subtle rose scent, governed more by fruity blackberry and delicately complimented by this sparkly rose-tinted floral scent. It's feminine without being sickly sweet, and is lightyears away from the powdery talc rose scents I'd come to recognise- making it a total floral-scented game changer, which I love.





x

The Fragrance Wardrobe

(Dress: Reformation, Boots: Zara (very old), Bag: Lulu Guinness)

Do you ever fall so blindingly in love with an item that shipping costs, customs and ultimate purse-realities fly out of the window quicker than DHL's receipt comes flying in? Well, that's what happened with this little Reformation number. Although sensible-Liv would normally wait until a trip overseas, with no Big Apple plans made for this year (although absolutely happy to change that if necessary), it felt obligatory to snap up this mini before Spring rolled in (which, y'know, at this rate, could be another year altogether)- and despite what felt like an unusually hefty customs bill- I'm pretty sure it was worth it...

I've spoken about my love of Reformation before , so I know it's not essential for me to wax lyrical all over again (although tempting it may be). I paired this dress with tights (still) and some very very loved black boots for a day of composing a little guide to another new favourite area of London- which will be coming soon! Also! In case you've missed them, I've also been doing weekly YouTube uploads too (with a more style-based focus) so have a nosey at those too in the meantime!



x

Elizabeth Street

(Dress: H&M)

Living in a city as vibrant, exciting and diverse as London, my style has evolved, developed and been hugely inspired by the city that I'm fortunate enough to have grown up in. I've gone from wearing yellow skinny jeans and checked scarves in my early teens (Hadouken on my headphones, obvs), head-to-toe black (forever accessorised with a full fringe and backcombed layers), more flares and suede than you'd spot at a Fleetwood Mac gig and it continues to evolve to this day too. Now, I suppose you wonder why I'm taking you on a sartorial memory-lane tour? Well, to tie in with H&M's #MyCityMyStyle campaign (to celebrate their gorgeous new Spring collection, bursting with pale denim, delicate embroidery, sheer details and Mexican inspiration too) they've asked me to talk a little about the places in my city that inspire my style- not hard in the big smoke and with a dress that makes me feel like that emoji...

The Flower Market...

One of my more recent loves in the last few years has to be the East End, and particularly Columbia Road. Known for it's bustling Sunday flower market, to me it's so much more than just peonies, roses and tulips at this time of year. With huddles of people lining the streets, it's not hard to gather inspiration from the season changes and visitors here. Whether that's a girl in front of you in the Lily Vanilli queue, or a fellow blogger snapping amongst the pastel doors, there's style inspiration around every corner- and beautiful blooms to match.

East End Corners...

Is there really anywhere better to people watch than al-fresco with a cuppa perched off of Redchurch Street? It's unlikely, let me tell you. Snapping these images Joe and I spotted the lead singer of one of my favourite bands- which I think speaks volumes about the passer-by stakes- and this little corner is one of my favourite spots to perch as the weather starts to warm, taking inspiration from plenty of other London dwellers- not bad right?

Favourite Record Shops...

Finally, I had to include my favourite record shop, Rough Trade, in the mix too. Growing up in London- one thing that shaped my style and inspired me more than anything was going to instore gigs, dosing up on the newest releases and aiming to meet as many of my favourite people as possible- both style wise, and even shaping this little blog. Funnily enough, it's the place Joe and I spent our first ever 'date', and the amount of times I've been back in the last seven or eight years continues to inspire me, and keep me coming back again and again.

Now! I want to hear about what you find inspiring in your city! If you fancy, leave a comment and tag a friend in one of my #MyCityMyStyle Instagram, Facebook posts or replying to one of my #MyCityMyStyle Tweets with what inspired you about your city. The prize is a H&M gift card and one winner will be selected randomly on the 26th March- good luck!


Post in collaboration with H&M, but love of London, floaty red dresses and Spring all my own


x

My City, My Style

MEET OLIVIA

MEET OLIVIA

Hello, you! I'm Olivia, or Liv- a 23 year old girl living in London, spending most of her time blog writing, photo taking, social media updating and occasionally cake baking.

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