Wednesday, 31 December 2014

December according to Instagram

I can't believe that December is over already. We spend so long building up to Christmas then, all of a sudden, it's over. December was the month that Rich & I went on our first holiday, just us two, to Germany, the girls & I went to a carol concert at the Royal Albert Hall, and a lot of Christmas treats were consumed. It was also the month my blog got a makeover but the hugely talented Serena at Pretty Wild Things. Bank account lighter and body heavier I am excited for what 2015 will bring!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My Favourite Posts from 2014

Well that's it! 2014 is officially over (well almost). It's been a rollercoaster year that has definitely had it's ups and downs, both blogging and otherwise. I wanted to share with you my 10 favourite posts from this year. These are the recipes I think are the most delicious, the restaurants I would most recommend and the places I had the most fun. Enjoy!

Super healthy chicken noodle soup 

A perfect recipe to kick start that healthy eating plan, this soul-warming soup also packs a punch!

Lazy Sunday buttermilk pancakes

If there is one thing I love more than eating brunch out, it's making pancakes at home. This recipe is super easy to put together and can be made the night before for instant Sunday satisfaction.

Brunch at Brickwood 

This is still one of my favourite places to go in Clapham, especially when I'm craving coffee. The avocado on toast is particularly fabulous.

Sweet like chocolate 

Yes, you can make your own flavoured chocolates. Try the salted caramel and I promise you won't go back. A perfect (cheap) gift for a loved one.

Green eggs & ham

Another brunch recipe, I feel a theme coming on... This one is to be undertaken when you are in need of a hearty slap up breakfast. Perfect for sharing.

The Joint

If one burger changed my life this year, it was from The Joint in Brixton. The sides are pretty kick-ass too.

Cheeky chilli pots

This recipe was handed down to me and so I wanted to share it with you. Also it was my first gif. Ooooo.

One castle, one dress, one wedding

Back in August my sister got married! It was idyllic, in a castle by the sea, need I say more? Here are my favourite photos from the day.

Bun & Bar

Another hot contender for best burger of the year is from Bun & Bar. It definitely takes the prize for best cocktails, the espresso martinis are made with double cream and the bloody marys contain wasabi.

Sunday Brunchday: M1lk

I know this was my last post but it's still a good'un!

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sunday Brunchday: M1LK, SW12

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas! If, like me, you've made a bum-shaped dent in the sofa and eat your body weight in celebrations you are probably in need of a change of scenery. And Sunday can only mean one thing. It's brunch day

Living in the Balham area for over 6 months and not going to M1lk is a crime. Fact. So I was delighted when Kat finally dragged me down there a few weekends ago. A tiny cafe on the corner of the corner of Hildreth Street Market this place is a gem. Thanks to it being well-publicised in TimeOut there is always a queue outside but it goes fairly quickly, and if definitely worth the wait.

The food is sublime. A quirky, innovative menu comprising of food only sourced from local, independent retailers. All the meat is organic and British but there is nothing poncey about the atmosphere inside. Cute checked tables, vintage wooden tables and friendly waiters great you as you walk in. Warning, you will spend some time debating the menu, there are too many good choices so it's handy if you can go with a friend you can share with. If you aren't quite ready for coffee, their juices are second to none. The young betty is a safe bet from their menu and it's always worth checking out their specials for dishes like the smoked code rarebit which I went for.

You can find the M1lk site and all their details here.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas Star Biscuits

Seeing as it's only 4 days until Christmas I thought it was high time I share a Christmassy recipe with you all. These biscuits are super easy and the perfect Christmas treat, I've been making them since I was about 6 years old and they only take 45 minutes (all decoration included) tops.

What you'll need:

  • 250g plain flour
  • 125g butter
  • 125g dark soft brown sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 2 tsps mixed spice
  • Tube of white icing 
  • 125g icing sugar (roughly) 
  • A few drops of water
  • Pinch of salt

(Makes 20-30 biscuits)

Set your oven to 190c and grease two baking trays. Mix the butter and sugar together until fluffy then beat in the egg. Sift in the flour, spice and salt and mix until you have firm dough. Easy peasy.

Sprinkle more flour on a worktop and coat a rolling pin. Roll the dough out until about half a centimetre thick and then cut out all your shapes. I've stuck to stars but this would also be perfect for little gingerbread men. Place each shape on a baking tray and then ball the excess dough and repeat.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until light brown and place on a wire rack to cool (this takes literally minutes). When the biscuits are cool it's time to ice! If you are rubbish at icing like me a great way to keep things neat is to trace the outline with a tube of icing like this. Then all you need to do is fill in the empty space with your water icing. Tip the icing sugar into a bowl and add water, just drops at a time. You don't need very much, we want the icing to stay nice and thick. Fill in the biscuits then add any decoration you want and sprinkle with icing sugar.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Bye, bye Germany

I just wanted to share a few snaps with you from my last day in D├╝sseldorf. We checked out of the hotel at 11am and spent a few hours wandering round the city one last time before going to catch our plane. Bon voyage. 

Monday, 15 December 2014

Sophie and the Chocolate Factory

Sunday we got up early to catch a train to Cologne. Only 20 minutes away (and 30 Euros for a return ticket) it is definitely worth a visit if you have chosen to stay here already - it's beautiful. When you leave the station on the left is the cathedral which is one of the most awe-inspiring places I've ever seen. It's crazy to imagine that somebody built this from the ground up with all the intricacies and details. Just behind it is the Hohenzollernbr├╝cke (the Love Lock Bridge) which gives you great views all the way down the river.

We wandered all the way down the river to my personal highlight of the day, the chocolate museum. Now this is not any chocolate museum, this is a chocolate museum with a Lindt chocolate factory inside. I'm not joking. I was quite literally Willy Wonka. After finding out about all the ingredients (the lighter the chocolate the more cocoa butter and the less cocoa mass there is) you get to watch the entire process, and try a few samples along the way. It wasn't quite as magical as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory but I could definitely imagine Augustus Gloop whizzing through the pipes the carry the chocolate across the ceiling.

Watching the hollow figures being made was something. Each one was individually hand-crafted. A precisely defined quantity of chocolate mass is placed in one of the halves, the mould is then closed and placed in a centrifuge (yes that is an actual thing). By continually rotating the mould the chocolate is evenly distributed. After being cooled for about 45 minutes each hollow figure is hand wrapped.

Next up it was yet more wondering around markets. There was a lot more to see in Cologne and really pretty when lit up at night. I finally got my Baileys hot chocolate (okay maybe more than one) and sampled barbecued pork and cheese fondue. I think I've found my spiritual home.