Monday, 25 February 2013

London Fashion Weekend

Every year I've eagerly read reviews of the shows that grace the cobbles of Somerset House during London Fashion Week and this year, not being far away at uni, Tara and I went along to the Weekend part to see the Twenty8Twelve catwalk show and do some shopping (of course). 

As you can tell my photos aren't the best so here are my favourite pieces from their SS13 collection that went down the catwalk:

Then it was off to check out the shopping...

And the Kinder Bueno massage bar...

So here's what I actually ended up buying, there were so many bargains - definitely worth visiting if you love designer.

Striped Top - Twenty8Twelve / Black Shirt - Twenty8Twelve /
Orange Shorts - Winter Kate

And the free goodie bag:

There were also lots of gorgeous men handing out free Diet Coke and Muller yoghurt's (odd on-the-go snacks I thought) all day. I would definitely recommend going. 
Did any of you go? x

Monday, 18 February 2013

Butterfly Cupcakes

I saw butterfly cupcakes on Vintage Teapot's blog (which you must take a look at!) and realised I probably hadn't made them since I was in primary school. No idea why - they are the best! Here's my take on her recipe:

What you need for the cakes:

  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 90g Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 110g Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tbsp Milk

What you need for the decoration:
  • 150-300g Icing Sugar
  • 50g Butter
  • Any type of Jam/Marmalade/Curd
  • Decorations eg. chocolate hearts, hundreds and thousands...

(Makes 9)

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and line a cupcake tin with cases. Cream the butter and sugar together then add the beaten eggs and vanilla and combine. Sift and fold in the flour until the mixture is free of lumps, then add the milk and repeat. Add about 2 tsps of cupcake mixture to each case depending on how big they are. Remember not to fill each one to the top because the self-raising flour will make them rise in the oven. Cook for 20mins.

When the cupcakes are cooked take them out the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Meanwhile put the butter in a big bowl and gradually add the icing sugar. The reason I suggest a big bowl is because, if you are anything like me, the icing sugar will go everywhere! Every time this turns out different so make sure you keep tasting the icing (like you need an excuse!) so you know when to stop adding the icing sugar, it's really a personal preference. 

When the cupcakes are cool take off the cases, slice the tops off and cut these pieces in half. Cut each cake in half and put a spoonful of your filling on the bottom half and spread evenly. Put a smaller dollop of icing on top of the jam (no need to spread) and place the top back on, this is just to help it stick. Place another spoonful of icing on top and put two wings on top. 

Sprinkle over your chosen decorations and sift some icing sugar over the top. Enjoy!

Hope you like them, and thanks again to Vintage Teapot for the recipe! x

    Saturday, 16 February 2013

    Chicken Katsu Curry

    If any of you have been to Wagamama's you will know how incredible their Katsu Curry is. I've been wanting try and make it myself for ages but couldn't find a simple enough recipe so when I saw this in the Yo Sushi cookbook we had to buy it. Here is my version of the recipe with a few changes (more curry sauce please!).

    What you will need:
    • 2 chicken breasts (you can use thighs but make sure they're skinned and boned)
    • 50g plain flour
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 75g panko bread crumbs
    • 50g butter
    • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    • 3 tbsp hot curry powder or 4-5 tbsp mild curry powder
    • 250ml of chicken or vegetable stock
    • 4 tbsp soy sauce
    • 5 tbsp mirin
    • 50ml vegetable oil
    • 2-3 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 6tbsp cold water
    • 2 small portions of rice
    • 1 large or 2 small naan breads
    Serves 2

    Give each piece of chicken a good bash with a pan to flatten them out then dust with the flour, dip in the egg, cover in the breadcrumbs and set aside. 
    Put your rice in a pan, add water and set it boiling.
    Melt the butter in a frying pan and sweat the onions over a low heat. When it is cooked add the curry powder and stock and bring to the boil.
    Meanwhile heat the oil in another frying pan and add the chicken. You should cook the chicken for 5-7mins on each side, maybe a bit longer depending on how thick it is. 
    Add the soy sauce and mirin to your onion mix, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes is up check to see how your rice and chicken are doing and if they're nearly ready pop your naan bread under the grill.
    Add the cornflour paste into the sauce and bring to a gentle boil for two minutes before turning off the heat. It should be a yoghurt-like consistency. 
    Drain and rinse the rice, slice the chicken and arrange all on a plate.    


    Top Tip:
    - I got all these ingredients from a big Tesco's, I don't normally shop there but they have by far the best range of Asian foods.

    Tuesday, 12 February 2013

    Valentines Treats

    Okay, so everyone knows the BEST part of Valentine's Day is the underwear, doesn't matter if you're single or in a relationship, and if you're anything like me you need no excuse to splash out on the stuff. Here are some of my top picks if you're spending the night in with a loved one, or just looking to get lucky.

    Alexus - Boux Avenue - Complete Set £62 (here)

    Stella McCartney Sam Partying - Coco de Mer - Complete Set £100 (here)

    Lascivious Christy - ASOS - Complete Set £170 (here)

    B by Ted Baker in Dark Purple Satin - Debenhams - Complete Set £29.60 (here)

    Fleur of England Rose Lace Boudoir - Coco de Mer - Complete Set £180 (here)

    Implicite - Figleaves - Complete Set £60 (here)

    All Wrapped Up - Coco de Mer - Complete Set £128 (here)

    Evie Black Chemise - Ann Summers - £20 (here)

    Oh and this one is definitely not just for the girls, you boys can step it up too: 

    David Beckham Bodywear - H&M - £7.99 - £19.99 (here)

    Phwoarr. x

    Sunday, 10 February 2013

    Lotte's Kitchen

    On Friday I picked my sister up from school and we went to Lotte's Kitchen which opened in a nearby village in 2011. Now, I warn you... If there was ever a place to indulge your wildest Cath Kidston Fantasy this is it.

    Run by Lotte Duncan, presenter chef and author, as soon as you walk into Lotte's Kitchen you are greeted with a warmth that only good baking can provide; the perfect place to come on a rainy day.

    Only proper leaf tea is served and I had the most amazing cupcake - the sponge was perfect, the buttercream wasn't overpowering and in the middle was the nicest jam I have ever tasted, homemade of course. 

    Lotte also sells all sorts of kitchen equipment and home accessories from homemade jams to scented candles so we couldn't resist having a quick browse and bought a bowl which I have absolutely no idea what to do with haha. It's going in my 'when I move out' cupboard. 

    I would definitely recommend coming here, everything is perfect from start to finish.

    Website and info here.

    P.S. totally gave in and bought the Cargo bed set from my last post. x

    Friday, 8 February 2013

    Friday Wishlist

    Yesterday I treated myself to a bunch of home magazines. I'm a sucker for them, I can't help it - probably not too cool for a 21 year old.. I can't wait to move out of my Mum's house so I can start doing up and decorating my own place. Here are some of my favourite things I found this week.

    For the kitchen:

    Regency Tea Collection - Not on the High Street - £6.95 (here)
    Cutters & Flour Shaker - Garden Trading - £18 (here)
    Cath Kidston Butter Dish - John Lewis - £12 (here)

    For the living room:

    Bronte Lambswool Throw - John Lewis - £79 (here)
    Log Carrier - Sainsburys - £30 (here)
    Proud to be British Cushion - Jan Constantine - £71.50 (here)


    Washed Wood Heart Noticeboard - Sainsburys - £10 (here)
    Textured Hanging Heart - Dunelm Mill - £2.99 (here)
    Ceramic Door Knob - Butlers - £2.99 (here)

    Oh and one final indulgence... I'm finding it so hard to resist this:

    Janet Reger Ava Duck Egg Double Bed Set - Cargo - Was £60, now £24 (here

    Let me know what you love. x

    Wednesday, 6 February 2013

    Tufnell Park Tavern - N7

    If you follow me on instagram you might of seen that I went out for lunch yesterday. My Mum, Aunt, Grandpa and I usually go out for lunch once a month when my Grandpa comes into town. 

    I first discovered the Tufnell Park Tavern when we went there for our staff Christmas lunch last year  and have been dying to go back. It's changed hands a few times in the last couple of years and the new management have turned it into one of those perfect little gastropubs that has great service, a great atmosphere and a great selection of food.

    I had the Duck Confit Salad with Pear and Mint and the Garlic and Rosemary Flatbread. The duck was cooked perfectly and the salad was nice and fresh but the pears could have done with being poached or grilled as they were a little hard. My Grandpa had a Grilled Mackerel Salad and the others had a selection of Cicchetti - perfect lunch food!

    I would definitely recommend this place, there is also an adjoining coffee shop which serves a selection of cooked breakfasts and pastries which I want to try out some day. 

    Website and info here. 

    Monday, 4 February 2013

    Classic Pesto

    Italian is my favourite type of food hands down. It's quick and simple so there's really no excuse for not having a go.

     I must admit I am an absolute slave to the jars of Salca pesto, we lived off them at uni but you can make this as the pasta boils and its perfect to add a little sparkle to your Monday evening. If you're expecting to recreate what comes out of a jar forget it, home-made pesto is fresher, lighter and almost a completely different taste - they can't really be compared.

    What you will need:

    • 50g fresh basil leaves
    • 1 garlic clove, peeled
    • 25g pine nuts, toasted
    • 90ml olive oil
    • 2 tbsp parmesan, grated 
    • Salt and pepper
    (Serves 4)

    Now I will warn you before you start, 50g of basil doesn't sound like a lot, but its absolutely loads. This is how much I used for one portion (15g):

    Don't buy a living basil plant just for the purposes of this recipe, you'll just end up using it all and then some. They are also notoriously difficult to keep alive so unless you're Alan Titchmarsh don't bother. I would suggest buying a couple of the packets of cut basil (here) because you actually get a lot more for your money.

    Get all your ingredients together and get your pasta going. Put the basil, oil, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor and give it a good whizz. My weapon of choice for dressings and sauces like this is a Baumix, available from Amazon

    When it has become a paste, season with salt and pepper then add the cheese and mix by hand. Drain your pasta and, if you find your pesto is a little thick, reserve some of the pasta water to add to it. Transfer to bowls and serve with parmesan shavings and a sprig of basil on top. 


    Friday, 1 February 2013

    Toblerone Cookies

    This is the only cookie recipe you'll ever need. Trust me. I've never been any good at cookies, they always just turn out like biscuits but even I managed to turn this recipe into the proper chewy ones like you get from Millies Cookies!

    What you'll need
    • 250g plain flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 170g unsalted butter, melted
    • 200g dark brown soft sugar
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 egg
    • 1 egg yolk
    • Broken up Toblerone or any other chocolate
    Preheat the oven to 170c / Gas mark 3 and grease your baking trays or line with parchment. This recipe makes about 8 really big cookies. Cream the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar together then mix in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy. Sift in the flour, bicarb and salt then stir in the chocolate.  Drop the cookie dough onto your trays - about four tablespoons for each cookie and leave plenty of space for them to expand (about 8cm). 

    Bake for 15 mins and check them, if they need a bit longer just put them back in. Cool on baking trays for a few mins before transferring to wire racks to cool completely and store in an air tight tin. They should keep for up to a week and if you find they have gone a bit hard just heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds.

    Let me know what you think! x