Sunday, 31 August 2014

Lust List: Tiny Tattoos

A few weeks ago now Company magazine (oh why, oh why are they not printing anymore?!) tweeted a link to 50 of the coolest small tattoo ideas which got me thinking... I have always wanted a tattoo. I've been through all the phases - hearts, birds, writing - but never totally settled on what I wanted. I've scoured pinterest and the like and come up with my favourite ideas for you but somehow I still can't bring myself to do it. Maybe I'm just too chicken?

Source: pinterest
Source: Buzzfeed
Source: pinterest
Source: pinterest
Source: Company

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Coq d'Argent: EC2

A few weeks ago, fresh off a plane from Ibiza, I donned my dancing (eating) shoes and headed up to fancy central London for a slap up meal with the housies to celebrate Jess' 24th birthday!

If you haven't be to Coq before, do. It's a lovely little(ish) place at No 1 Poultry. You go through a small door straight into a lift and up to a roof garden which has an open balcony, perfect for when it's sunny, but also a walled terrace which is great for when it's not.

Gin cocktails aplenty we settled down to study the menu.

We went for the set menu which is perfect for when you want something a bit special but don't want to pay a huge amount of money. Still craving seafood I went for the whitebait which was cooked perfectly and with just the right amount of chilli, followed by the duck (what else?!). Poor Bex sat next to me had to endure me taking photos of her Champignons before she could eat them too.

As it was a birthday we decided to skip the pudding and Bex bought the most amazing carrot cake I have ever tasted (caution: they will charge you for this). An enthusiastic, if not quite in tune, rendition of 'Happy Birthday' followed and we tucked in.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Lust List: White Interiors

This week I discovered a new blog, Lark & Linen, and fell head over heels in lust with her house envy posts. These images come courtesy of RSA Associates - an interior design company based in Texas. The huge glass doors in the bedroom, the classic white and pale wood in the living room, the huge shower in the bathroom... If I had a house, this is the house I would have.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

SOUPer Greens

So the feta obsession continues... This soup is thick enough to comfort you on a slightly chilly day but add more stock and it's light and healthy enough to still enough in summer.

What you'll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 red apple, peeled cored and diced
  • Half a head of broccoli, broken up
  • 1 courgette, cubed
  • 220g frozen peas
  • 3 handfuls of kale, shredded
  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • A third of a ring of chorizo 
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Feta cheese, crumbled
(Serves 3-4)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the apple and sauté for roughly 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and continue to sauté for 5 minutes - carefully the veg doesn't catch and burn slightly. Add the courgette, peas and kale and stir until the kale wilts and the peas defrost. 

Pour the stock into the pan. Cover with a lid and summer until the apple and broccoli are soft - roughly 15 minutes. Using a hand blender and blitz the contents of the pan until smooth. Add more boiling water if you need to loosen it up a little. Season if needed. 

Dice the chorizo into small cubes and chuck into a frying pan. No need to add olive oil to this because of all the juice that is in the chorizo. Sprinkle over the paprika and stir until crisp. Ladle the soup into bowls and scatter over the chorizo and feta cheese. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Lust List: Autumn Essentials

This week magazines, websites and my inbox seem to be awash with the latest Autumn trends. It may be the middle of August but that doesn't stop me lusting after blustery days. Don't scream and shout, I know I should be embracing the warmer weather while we still have it but truth is I love Autumn. I love the orange, crunchy leaves, the cosy jumpers and scarfs and most of all the realisation that it probably doesn't matter if you have that extra crumpet.

Alice & You Bardot Skater Dress - - £35
Because everyone needs another LBD... right?

Bunny Pink Mozart Jumper - French Connection - £49
I could have this jumper in every colour of the rainbow.

Checked Scarf - Zara - £19.99
Big scarves are my weakness. Big scarves from Zara I have no chance of resisting. Where do I sign?

Stella Colourful Jewel Collars - Adorning Ava - £20
I LOVE these collars but just can't bring myself to spend £35+ on one. This is perfect.

Modal loungewear - Lidl - from £2.49
Don't be fooled. These may look like boring basics but they are so much more. Lidl's range of loungewear from Lenzing Modal is eco-friendly - made from 100% natural materials and produced in a completely carbon neutral range. Not only that it is super soft to the touch making it perfect for snuggling up on the sofa at home. In stores from 21st August.

What have you got your eye on this week?

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Cheeky Chilli Pots

Stop what you are doing. Everyone needs a good chilli recipe and this is the BEST. Beautifully thick and rich, with just the right amount of sweetness and a cheeky hit of chilli, this is an old family recipe that I got from my sister and honestly, I'll never need any other.

My little La Creuset dish I found in the treasure trove that is TK Maxx and was only £12. It's quite hard to find matching sets in there but if you want one or two odd bits then it is perfect. Also, also! Looky, looky I made a gif!

What you'll need:

  • 500g lean mince beef
  • 2 tins red kidney beans
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin Heinz tomato soup (it has to be Heinz)
  • 2 tsp chilli powder 
  • 2 beef oxo cubes
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • 1-2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • Slug of red wine
  • Salt 
(Serves 6) 

Pre-heat your oven to 150c. Peel and thinly slice your onion - if you've got one just quarter and whack into a food processor, so much quicker and a lot less tears! Heat the oil in a large pan or wok over a low heat and fry the onions until soft. Don't be afraid to take your time over this. Onions are the back bones of dishes like this and to burn them or to still have crunchy onions at the end is horrible. 

Add the meat and continue frying until the meat has browned. Add the crushed garlic and shake the flour over the meat to coat it. This will make the sauce lovely and thick later on. Transfer to a large casserole dish.

Drain and rinse your kidney beans, then add them to the dish with the meat. Next add the tomatoes, soup and wine. Cover with a lid and place in the oven to cook for one hour. Check every 20 minutes and give it a stir / add a drop of water if needed. 

Serve with rice, crumble feta cheese on the top and you are good to go!