Hi! My name's Melissa and smellymellyblinks is a collection of daily life, fashion, food and music. In case you're wondering about the name smellymelly, it is indeed a nickname that comes from my partner in crime, Ian.

Category Archives: Food

We had the intention of making ketchup this past weekend but somehow got sidetracked and ended up making this instead. The idea behind this recipe came from reminiscing about London’s Borough Market. At one point both Ian and I worked near this market and would meet up for lunch every week. We would always try new dishes but we would always come back to the market for two things: 1) the Spanish chorizo and 2) the Mushroom paté. This mushroom pate is like nothing you have ever tasted before. It’s rich creamy and I swear anyone who doesn’t like mushrooms will convert for this paté. I decided to make my own version of this paté. (See below for recipe). The best part of this patè is that it serves many functions. I’ve used it as a spread on a cracker, whipped it in with eggs, and even used it in a pasta dish. Hope you enjoy this recipe.

-2 small shallots

-2 cloves of garlic

-20-25 closed cap mushrooms ( I used a mixture of whole crimini mushrooms and white whole mushrooms)

-16 oz of cream cheese

– 1 Tbsp of Tamari sauce (like soy sauce but with a stronger flavor)

– pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Start off by frying the onions, you want them to become translucent. This will take about 5-10 minutes. Once onions are translucent add the garlic. Fry the garlic for two minute then set aside.

Next blitz all your mushrooms in a food processor. Once they are blitzed spread them on to a frying pan over a medium to low heat. The idea is you want to get all the water out of the mushrooms. This took me about 25 minutes because I used a smaller pan and I was nervous that my mushrooms would burn over a higher eat.

Once your mushroom mixture is dry add your onion/ garlic to the mixture. Set this mixture to the side and allow to cool down for at least 30 minutes.

Once cooled beat in the cream cheese to the mixture. Add your tamari sauce to the mixture. Allow to cool in fridge.





This entire summer I’ve been craving pub food. So when one day out of the blue Ian said he wanted  to make a cottage pie I jumped at the chance of watching him make it. It really bugs him when we go to restaurants and on the menu is a shepherd’s pie with ground beef. In case your wondering its quite simple: shepherd’s pie=ground lamb and cottage pie= ground beef. It’s in the name and in case you ever find yourself confused ask yourself, “what does a shepherd herd?”


Adding in the worcestershire sauce

What you’ll need:

-Ground beef

-A good mashing potato 

– Carrots


-Frozen peas

-Beef stock


– Worcestershire sauce


1. Preheat oven 400ºF

2. Boil potatoes (Make sure to cut the potatoes into large equal sizes because you don’t want to end up with watery mashed potatoes if they are cut too small)

3.  Brown ground beef ( If you want to be healthy drain excess fat but make sure to keep some of the fat)

4. Saute Veggies (Remember that extra fat that you kept, pour this on to veggies, will give extra flavor)

5. Once potatoes are boiled, mash, and then let them cool

6. Pour  beef/veg mix into casserole dish. 

7. Add mashed potatoes on top.

*We decided to go fancy by pipping the mashed potatoes using a zip lock bag. Spreading the mashed potatoes on to the top will do just fine. Keep in oven for about 30 minutes. Once it has a golden crisp add cheese and broil for 5 minutes. 








I’m kind of hesitant to be doing a post about this recipe for two reasons. The first being, it’s a Victoria sponge not really sure if  it qualifies as a recipe since it’s pretty much just a sponge cake. The second reason is the fact that it’s not really considered a Victoria Sponge cake since I forgot the cream (a big no no, according to Ian).

I’m not a huge fan of baking, I hate that you have to be precise and measure everything. It’s not like cooking where you can add something on a whim and it still turn out alright. Baking requires that you follow instructions and I am often guilty of skipping an instruction or two. Anyways I am pleased with how it turned out . I got the opportunity to use up the rest of the jam I had make. I will admit, it felt really good to say that the entire dessert was made from scratch.

Cake batter!!

Beets… there’s so much to say about this vegetable that I hated when I was little. To me, they smelled funny and the texture made them too funky for my liking.  But now a days it’s a different story. Simply put, they have a delicate sweet taste to them. So when we had to use up a can of beets that had been sitting on our shelf for longer than I’d like to admit, I knew a risotto would be perfect. The best thing about cooking risottos are the ingredients are endless and you can basically use any leftover food item that you have sitting in your fridge.

When I was just learning to cook, the idea of cooking a risotto gave me nightmares. I’d seen on cooking shows where actual chefs would get it all wrong.  But once I saw Jamie Oliver cook a risotto on his 30 minute meals show I knew that I could do it! After all, he did make it look so easy. Basically the key to making a perfect risotto is having your stock boiled and then little by little adding cups of your boiled stock to the Arborio rice. Here’s the  recipe of Jamie Oliver’s basic risotto.

Basic Ingredients

Our birthdays were last week and we were both craving certain things. His craving  just happened to be an oh sooo juicy steak from this place. Ever since he saw Anthony Bourdain’s  visit to The House of Prime Rib he’d been begging to go. I had my doubts about this place, not the biggest steak fan but man did this place impress me. Our favorites in order were the 1) beet and red wine vinaigrette salad 2) the prime rib (duh) 3) the yorkshire pudding. We had no idea that this place was sort of English themed. I lucked out, because I’d been craving proper English pub food for months now.  I’d definitely recommend this place to anyone looking to have a good meal in the city.

Mine was simple, I was craving a burger from the infamous In N’ Out. When you don’t have a car in the city you realize that getting to In N out is quite a trek, but well worth it. So without further ado… Happy Birthday to us.



We’ve become lazy over the past few weeks, in hopes of cooking less we make soups and stews that last us for days. All those people that say they don’t have time to cook, this recipe calls out your name. I took this recipe from Smitten Kitchen, added a few extra ingredients (carrots, onions) in order to bulk it out more and thereby lasting longer. I think the key to this recipe is letting the tomatoes roast in the oven for a good hour. By doing that, you get a flavor that is out of this world plus your house smells amazing.

On a side note, I have no idea how some food bloggers are able to get mouthwatering photos of their food. I tried taking a few pictures of the soup but the heat kept getting in the way and fog up my camera lense.

Season and Roast in oven at 400 degrees

Roasted Tomotoes added into the onions and carrots that are sweating

Add boiled water and chicken stockPureed and added a bit of cream

Sometimes dry herbs just won’t do. Yea there’s times when you can’t really taste the difference but when I’m making a pasta sauce I’m definitely going to want those fresh herbs. I’d been wanting to create some sort of herb garden for ages now and we finally managed to create one this weekend.  We went to home depot to get the essentials: dirt, rocks, miracle grower and a garden bed for the herbs. (Please note do not buy rocks if you live somewhere that you are able to easily obtain rocks for free!)  Trader Joe’s has some of the best basil out right now and it’s really cheap. We were able to get the rest of the herbs at Safeway which were about 3 bucks for each herb.  I didn’t know this before but it is definitely important to have a few  holes on the bottom of your herb garden so you can have proper drainage for the herbs. All in all this was a fun and easy project which didn’t take up much time  at all. Our little herb garden will come in handy when we need some rosemary for that chicken we’re going to roast tonight.

Below is a step by step guide on how we created our little herb garden. In case you’re wondering, the herbs we decided to grow were basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and sage (just the basics). Take a look below the basil is out of control!!