Thursday, 31 October 2013

on eggshells

Mmmm, breakfast. It has so much potential, but can easily be a disappointment. I love breakfast; staying in or going out, it's so easy to rustle up something tasty. Last week I showed you the pretty incredible eggs royale we made, and this week I bring you another firm favourite. Me, I personally like something savoury for breakfast, but this is Rich's all-time favourite... and I can see why! French toast (eggy bread) with crispy bacon and maple syrup. No, it's not winning any prizes for healthy eating, but the good news is that it is one of the easiest things to throw together!

You will need:
Salt and Pepper
Splash of Milk
Maple syrup

How to? For each slice of bread you'll need one egg, a splash of milk and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Mix into a wide bowl and then soak your slice of bread in the mixture; turning over to ensure both sides are evenly coated. Melt a knob of butter in a pan, and then fry the eggy bread for a few minutes on each side. Serve with crispy bacon and lashings of maple syrup.


Tuesday, 29 October 2013

dogs and iphones

Yesterday I went to see my parents; lunch with my Dad at the local pub, and seeing my Mum for tea, walks and catch ups. I live just under an hour away from them which is great for our relationship - I get on much better with them when I'm not living under the same roof as them! Saying that, I do miss home and chats particularly with my Mum, and seeing my lovely pooch Tilly. She is the daftest dog, but just so cute and full of energy.

Mum and I took her for a walk round the church grounds and forests opposite their house, and I took my iPhone. These photos are from my phone so not the best quality, but I love the prettiness of autumn and couldn't not share them with you. After all, I couldn't instagram them all...


Saturday, 26 October 2013

cheeky mexican

I pinched this recipe from a friend (check out her lovely blog here) after she made it for me a few weekends ago. Who'd have thought making your own guacamole could be so easy?! I can guarantee this tastes infinitely better than the stuff you buy in a jar, and doesn't include any of the nasties they put in it. The following will make enough for a few people as a dip. Serve with mini poppadoms - you don't need the extra flavour of crisps with this. 

You will need 
2 or 3 avocados
Lime juice
Half a red onion
Bunch of coriander

Start by chopping half a red onion finely, and mixing with a handful of roughly chopped coriander. Mash the avocados in a bowl, and then stir in the juice of half a lime (do it bit by bit, to taste) and season with salt and pepper. Throw it all together, and you're done! Add some chilli flakes if you're feeling a bit cray. 

Now, avocados turn brown pretty quickly and you don't want to make this too far in advance. Sophie gave me a mind-blowing tip of popping the whole avocado stones into the mix, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until you need it. When you're ready to serve just fish out the stones and you're good to go. Would you believe it?! 


Thursday, 24 October 2013

je t'aime

This time next week I will be in the gorgeous city of Paris with my good old pal Kat. I've been to Paris twice; once with school in year eleven, and once with the boyfriend about six years ago... I can't wait to visit again! Kat and I are doing a day in Disney, then a day in Paris itself for exploring and the usual touristy thing. Squeeee! Now I love Paris for all the usual reasons; the architecture (I love buildings now I'm closer to 30 than 20), atmosphere, beautiful city scenes and most importantly; the food. The French know what it's about!
What I'm asking you, is where's good to go? Is there anywhere we should head for good food and a great atmosphere? We're planning on doing the whole jump-on-jump-off bus thing just for ease of getting as much done as we can, so open to any suggestions of 'must sees'... and also what you would avoid? I'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

warning: egg porn

Eggs. Scrambled, boiled, poached, fried, baked... delicious. My favourite? Poached eggs. I think people are generally put off poached eggs as they think they're tricky to make. I used to be one of those people, but I'm now a convert and hopefully this will show you just how easy it is. My breakfast of choice is eggs royale - English muffins, smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. Mmmm, my mouth is watering all over again! It's definitely something I only make when I have nothing pressing to do, or for a special occasion - it's not something I throw together every morning!

How to poach an egg: in a pan bring about 2 inches of water to the boil. When little bubbles start to rise, get a spoon and create a little whirlpool. Crack your egg into the whirlpool, and it should form a little round shape. Keep the water on a gentle boil, nothing too mad. If you want another, gently create another whirlpool (the other egg will just carry on doing its thing) and crack in a second egg. I cook them for literally 2-3 minutes, then remove from the pan using a slatted spoon (or a spaghetti server in my case!). It's as easy as that to create runny, perfectly poached eggs!

I wont lie, I use a sachet of hollandaise sauce for ease and convenience - I don't know about you but my patience isn't all that on a Sunday morning! Don't like smoked salmon? How about bacon or spinach, or back to basics and just eggs and muffins. 

How do you like your eggs?


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

for sinners

Dauphinoise potatoes have got to be the most indulgent, yummy pile of gorgeousness ever. They're naughty, really naughty, but oh so tasty and the perfect accompaniment to meat/fish as an alternative to the standard roasties or mash. This is my take on dauphinoise, with leeks thrown in for good measure - it can be made with or without. Bacon would make a good addition too. Go on, you know you want to!

You will need (for 4 good servings)
300ml double cream
4 potatoes
2 leeks
3 garlic cloves
Cheese to top

Making is super easy. Start by slicing the potatoes evenly - about half a centimeter thick tops - and putting them in a pan of water to boil gently for about 15 minutes. Whilst they're cooking, cook off your leeks and garlic in a pan until softened. Gently remove the potatoes from the pan and put into a deep-ish dish, adding the leeks throughout the layers of potato. Pour over the cream, and top up with milk so the potatoes are just about covered. Sprinkle over some cheese (not essential) and pop in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. 

You just made the greatest potatoes ever - enjoy!


Friday, 11 October 2013

cooling down

I love the summer - the sunshine, warmth, a tan... but I love autumnal fashion. I know, a dilemma right? I'm already seeing so many things I want to buy for when the temperature drops a little; cute boots, colourful layers, different textures and prints. My constant concern at work is looking vaguely smart - or a I suppose if I'm honest, looking like a teacher and not like one of the students! Being in my mid-twenties, my fashion sense isn't that far off that of the students here (I teach in a sixth form), and sometimes I just blend in. Granted, I'm not wearing bum-grazing hotpants or stomach-flashing crop tops, but I shop in the places they shop and there have been many occassions when I've been wearing the same top/sandals/trousers as a student! This year I am planning to up my game a bit - wearing heels more (its so easy to just wear flats or boots and be done with it) and smarter items. I don't know what it is, but for me I find its easier to dress smartly in autumn. I think it's because the cooler temperatures allow you to layer on blazers and accessories, whereas in summer it is a battle to stay cool!

So above are some of my key autumn pieces; items that you can wear in a whole range of ways and with different things. I love ankle boots and have too so many pairs - they are perfect for wearing either with jeans or with a dress and tights. Make sure they have a small heel and you'll feel smarter and more feminine, but still have the comfort-factor. I absoulutely love mixing textures, and am a bit of a leather-fiend! Wear a (faux) leather skirt with a loose tee and knitted cardi for a laid back look, or with a blouse and heels to feel a bit smarter. And remember, the key is in the detail - wide brimmed hats, scarves and statement jewellery (or a watch) is what autumn is all about.

What are your key autumn pieces?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

by the seaside

Another weekend, another town to mooch round and get snap happy! This weekend I visited my old pal Sophie (she has started a fabbo craft blog - check it out here) for fun, food and frolics around Southsea, Hamble and everywhere in between. 

We started with a mooch round the incredibly cute Southsea - vintage shop upon vintage shop, cute cafes and quirky interiors/home shops. We stumbled upon Make and immediately fell in love; Sophie was in crafty sewing, stitching and knitting heaven! Its a fab shop that sells crafting goods, as well as hosts workshops, provides a space to craft, is full of inspiration and most importantly offers tea and cake to accompany this. You can follow them on twitter, or check out the above link to see the full list of what they offer. 

We stopped for a drink at Garage Lounge, and once again I fell head over heels for the quirky atmosphere and tasty offerings. We had an oreo milkshake which was quite literally incredible! They have an ice cream parlour attached out back, as well as serving food which looked mouth-wateringly tasty. I wish I lived nearer!

The rest of our day involved a brief mooch around Gunwharf, back to Sophie's for copious amounts of peppermint tea, out for drinks in Hamble (again, wish I lived closer, it is gorgeous there) before gorging on homemade curry back at the house. Sophie made a sweet potato and spinach curry as well as a chicken passanda - she is such an amazing cook! The recipes she follows are super healthy and so tasty, I can't wait to try them out at home myself. We finished up with my key lime pie and watching X Factor with wine, where I promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Standard!

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