Tuesday, 26 July 2016
When I visit London, I tend to stick to the more central parts. I really don't live far, so I'm there quite a lot, but even so, I don't stray off the beaten path that often. And to me, Putney counts as straying - it's a little further out than I'd usually go, but actually it's pretty well connected. After visiting the restaurant I'm about to tell you about, I called my sister (who lives in Windsor) to let her know about this place that was just one train away from her. My point is that it's worth exploring sometimes - you might find some gems.
Kashmir restaurant in Putney is one such gem. It's about five minutes walk from Putney rail station, and is a lovely, intimate restaurant in the traditional Kashmiri style. This is Indian food, and while you can get your Tikka Masala or Rogan Josh, there are also a lot of other dishes available that you might not have seen before.
Saturday, 23 July 2016
It already feels like a million years since I came home from Glastonbury. Do I always say that? I think I might. It always feels so far removed from the real world to me – I don’t read newspapers, don’t use a smartphone – it’s a total bubble, enhanced by the whole ‘back to nature’ vibe of sleeping (practically) outside and not showering.
This year was amazing. Muddy, but amazing. Probably the most tiring one I’ve been to, and as such maybe not my favourite ever, but the music was fantastic, the company was brilliant and the food… well, you can probably guess. So here’s my annual roundup of what I ate this year, although it may read a little like a greatest hits of 2014 and 2015. When the mud is a foot thick everywhere you go, it’s a little less tempting to explore lots of different stalls and a little more tempting to go back to the ones that you know are going to be good. And they WERE good.
Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Phew! It’s been a mad few weeks, and I’ve barely stopped to breathe. My big sister got married a couple of weeks ago, and it was just the best, best day. But it meant blog stuff took a backseat to life stuff and I accidentally took a fortnight off. Whoops. I’m back now though, with tons of stuff I want to share with you.
First of all is my fancypants new juicer! I’ve been trying to be a bit healthier this year, you know. But not in a douchey way. Lots more green stuff on my plate, less processed food and cutting down on sugary drinks. I’ve been pondering making my own juices for a while now, as unless you want to spend a million pounds (definitely not exaggerating there), most juices are packed with sugar and additives. So I was excited to try the Panasonic Slow Juicer, which they sent me to review.
Monday, 4 July 2016
I am a creature of habit when it comes to lunchtimes. In the winter, I buy soups. In the summer, I buy salads. I tend to find a couple that I like and fixate on them, eating them every day until I can’t bear to eat them any more. For someone who loves food and loves variety, I am surprisingly happy to eat the same thing day in, day out.
When Greggs emailed me to ask if I’d take part in a lunchtime taste test of their new salad range, I was really up for it. It can be tricky doing food reviews when you’re trying to lose weight, so here was something that wouldn’t derail my good intentions and would push me out of my lunchtime comfort zone. The test was simple – I had to pick one of Greggs’s new Balanced Choice salads (Falafel and Houmous, Teriyaki Chicken, Egg and Ham and Chargrilled Chicken) and compare it with a similar salad from four different competitors – Starbucks, Pret a Manger, Marks and Spencers and Boots. I chose the falafel salad for two reasons:
1. All the competitors sold falafel salads that I could compare it to
2. I bloody love falafel.
Greggs armed me with £5 gift cards for each store and off I went. Starting with...
Wednesday, 29 June 2016
My big sister is getting married in a couple of weeks, and I spent a few weeks in May organising her hen dos. I've organised many a hen do in my life - I even set up a whole blog about it - so I threw everything I had at this. Obviously my sister is more than worth it.
When you're organising something like this, I always find it handy to see what others have done, so I've put together a little post that might help you if you're organising a hen do, a night out or a trip to Windsor or Palma de Mallorca.
Sunday, 26 June 2016
Every few weeks I have a batch cooking session. I load up the fridge with the ingredients for a few different recipes, prop up my iPad in the kitchen with something compulsive on Netflix (right now it's iZombie or the Scream TV series), and I spend an afternoon chopping, stirring and cooking.
I’ve spoken a lot about what an advocate I am for batch cooking. The simple reason is that a day of work once a month or so means that you can come home from work most nights, pop something in the microwave, and relax in the knowledge that you’ve had something nutritious and healthy, but most importantly, QUICK. Some nights I still cook from scratch, but I’d say 80% of the time I eat freezer-food. But this, the good kind, not the crispy pancakes kind.
On my last batch cooking day, I documented some of the process to share just how easy it can be. So clear some space in your freezer, do a quick food shop and come with me now, on an adventure through slow cookers and ovens… we’re going to make Chicken Burrito Bowls, Butternut Squash Lasagne and Coconut Lentil Dhal. In three hours (plus a little slow cooker maintenance at the end).
Tuesday, 21 June 2016
I guess it's easy, when you're based in London or a big city, to assume that you walk or get public transport everywhere. But when you live in a smaller town, like I do, sometimes that's not an option. And sometimes, you don't want it to be an option. Sometimes you don't want to get the train into the town centre and walk 20 minutes to get lunch. Sometimes you just want to hop in your car and pull up outside somewhere that will give you nice food.
This is actually a common conversation in our house. Where can we go that's nice, but involves next-to-no walking? Sometimes laziness plays a part in this - okay, often - but almost as much it's about meeting older relatives who aren't as mobile as us whippersnappers, or friends with kids and a boot-full of pushchairs and toys and other baby-related equipment. So as soon as we pulled up outside The White Horse, in Harpenden, I said 'Oooh, we need to remember this one!' It's a lovely pub with good food in Hertfordshire that has lots of parking. I literally googled that last week. Perfect.
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