Thursday, 19 May 2016

RECIPE: Granola bars with Manuka honey, chia seeds, almonds and lots of good stuff.

Granola bars with Manuka Honey, chia seeds, goji berries and chocolate

I am constantly looking out for good desk-breakfast ideas. After I got into a serious breakfast biscuit habit earlier this year, I made an effort to quit with the super sugary, processed foods first thing and make my own. So for a while now – pretty much since this post – I’ve been enjoying granola, yogurt and fruit. It’s been months now, and I’m still not sick of it.

But sometimes, it’s not the most practical breakfast. It doesn’t work if I’m spending the day on the road, or come in straight to a meeting. So I’ve been pondering other, more portable options, and it was about this time that Holland & Barrett came to my rescue, challenging me to make something with Manuka Honey and ingredients from the Holland & Barrett website.

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Sunday, 8 May 2016

REVIEW: The Ship Tavern, Holborn, London

The Ship Tavern Holborn London Food Review
The Ship Tavern Holborn London Food Review

I love a good friend-date. Wining, dining, wining again… with no pressure to look your best or even be your best. Just you and one of your besties, eating excellent food and drinking excellent drinks and having excellent chat.

It's always been one of my favourite things about blogging, actually. I've been doing this a long time now, and I've had some wonderful opportunities over the years, and so it's really special when I can share those opportunities with the people I love. And as Matt gets more than his share of free dinners and hotel breaks, I make an effort now to combine my food reviews with a good friend-date. So, step forward The Ship Tavern in Holborn and my BFF Amy (I know, I miss her blog too).

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Thursday, 5 May 2016

RECIPE: Coconut Lentil Dhal

Vegan Lentil Dhal with Coconut Milk

Last year, I got A Modern Way To Eat by Anna Jones for my birthday, and quickly became obsessed. It's a great cookbook. Full of exciting, unusual flavours - a little Indian inspired, a little Moroccan, and a fair few other cuisines thrown in for good measure. But it's not full of difficult to find ingredients, and most of the recipes are fairly cheap to make. Oh, and it's vegetarian. I was halfway through it before I noticed.

I will, sometimes, try to eat less meat. Usually it's less RED meat, because I find chorizo and bacon tend to be present in a lot of my sauces. But I generally find that I can take or leave chicken in a sauce, which then means I turn towards the veggie options. So when I'm on a vegetarian kick, I turn to Anna Jones for inspiration.

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Saturday, 30 April 2016

REVIEW: Bella Italia, Watford

Bella Italia Watford - Sharer Board
Bella Italia Watford - Pollo Pesto Pizza
Bella Italia Watford - Shot Desserts Amaretto

No one really talks about how hard it is to be a food blogger. It's HARD, you guys. Always eating slightly tepid food because you've spent so long photographing it. Being stared at in restaurants when you whip out your giant camera. And trying to think of different ways to say 'SO TASTY'. Because sometimes that's all you want to say. And that's pretty much all I wanted to say when I reviewed the new Bella Italia menu recently and experienced the garlicky, chickeny, stuffed crust wonder that's their new pizza. Mmmm.

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Thursday, 28 April 2016

RECIPE: Butternut Squash and Three Cheese Lasagne (new and improved!)



One of the most popular recipes on here - and still one of my favourites - is my Butternut Squash Lasagne. The original was created when I was still fairly new to cooking, and doing Weight Watchers (butternut squash is zero points with Weight Watchers, so you tend to eat a lot of it). I make good ol' BNS lasagne a lot. It's the perfect meal - packed full of good stuff, with a ton of veg, but also delicious. Oh, and cheesy. Did I mention cheesy? So cheesy.

As it always is when I make a recipe a lot, I find that I change and tweak it over the years. And then it gets to the point where I look at the original recipe and realise that I totally don't condone making that any more, because it's so much better now. So here you go. The new and improved Butternut Squash Lasagne. You can still make the old version - it ain't going anywhere - but I would not be doing my duty as a food blogger without suggesting you make this one instead.

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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

TRAVEL: A long weekend in Bruges

Long weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendations
Long weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendations
Long weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendations
Long weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendations
Long weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendationsLong weekend in Bruges with bar and restaurant recommendations

It’s been about a month and a half since we got back from Bruges, and I’ve been struggling to find the words to put a blog post together. It’s difficult to think about our trip now without thinking about the terrorist attacks in Brussels that followed a couple of weeks later, and even though we had a wonderful time, I can’t write a blog post about our happy-go-lucky weekend without thinking of the people who lost their lives, and how different things could have been if our anniversary was a couple of weeks later.

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Monday, 25 April 2016

Cotswold Fayre Young Food and Drink Entrepreneur of the Year 2016


Last year, I wrote about the Cotswold Fayre Young Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year awards. It never fails to amaze me what so many young people had achieved in their mid twenties, about the time I was just barely figuring out that I didn't want to be an admin assistant for the rest of my life. But that's not the norm any more. So many young people leave education full of ambition, determined to carve their own way in the world. Last year, the number of new UK businesses hit a record high, and more than 26,000 UK businesses are run by young entrepreneurs aged 21 and under.

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