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Food

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How To Make the Best Hot Chocolate

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When it comes to Christmas time, there is only one thing on my mind.

Hot Chocolate.

Whether it’s a festive cup from your favourite coffee chain or you like to make your own at home, there is something festive about a hot chocolate that tastes so much better around this time of year.

Whenever I have friends or family over I always offer to make my favourite hot chocolate, extremely simple and quick to do and tastes so good!

All you need:

  • A bar of your favourite chocolate. I use my favourite Green & Black’s – this one I chose their ‘Burnt Toffee’ bar, it tastes like honeycomb!
  • Milk. I use skimmed milk and measure the amount by pouring it into the number of mugs required.
  • Whipped cream. I just used the Anchor cream in a can, it does the job perfectly!
  • Marshmallows. I used these mini ones I picked up in Waitrose.

Heat up your pan of milk, adding in the chunks of chocolate once the milk is starting to warm through.

As you are cooking the chocolate milk through, it’s important to taste test – checking the temperature of the milk and if you require any more chocolate. Some like theirs super chocolaty while others prefer a more subtle taste.

Once the chocolate has melted in and the milk is hot (not burnt!) then it is time to pour the hot chocolate into the mugs. I do this over the sink to prevent any mess.

Shake up the whipped cream and squirt a generous amount on top of your drink.

Sprinkle with marshmallows.

And you should end up with something like this! 

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Let me know if you try this and tweet me your attempts.

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Lemon Drizzle Loaf Recipe

Spontaneous baking is my favourite. The kind where you search through your kitchen cupboards and grab the necessities for most cake bakes – flour, sugar, eggs…

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After a quick Google, I came across Good Food’s ‘lemon drizzle cake’ – a recipe by Tana Ramsay that I have tried before and is super simple to follow. Please click here for the method.

What you need:

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

4 eggs

Finely grated zest 1 lemon

225g self-raising flour

For the drizzle topping:

Juice of 1½ lemons

85g caster sugar

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It will take around 15 minutes to prepare the mixture and you will need to bake or 45-50 minutes – 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.

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While you wait for the cake to bake make yourself a cup of tea, sit down and enjoy an episode of your favourite TV series (I’m currently obsessed with Suits!)

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Ta-da! Leave it to cool before drizzling the lemon icing on top and serve once the icing has set.

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Let me know if you try this recipe and how it turns out – Happy Baking! 

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Bill’s restaurant, Cheltenham

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Bill’s has opened in Cheltenham, finally.

I’ve been a massive fan of the UK chain ever since sampling their delicious fish finger sandwich last year in the Bristol branch, so you can probably understand why I got excited when I heard through the grapevine that they were opening one in my home town!

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Myself and Sid donned the latest accessory (a Bill’s freebie before entering the restaurant) before heading in to taste the  food delights.

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We had booked a table as it was still the first week of opening, and within seconds of walking in we were taken to our seats.

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Whilst we were awaiting our food and drinks we noticed there was a real buzz and energy in the room, and the interior is particularly Pinterest worthy . The décor of the restaurant is rustic with a shabby chic style, yet still very modern. I love the large lamp shades and the wine storage cupboard especially.

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Our drinks soon arrived – we both sipped on my favourite Amaretto Sours to start the evening off.

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Then our food arrived!

We shared two starters – a plate of crispy lemon squid, with a gorgeous garlic and lemon mayo sauce to dip, and grilled halloumi and cous cous salad. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the latter at first, but the flavours of the cheese with lemon, pomegranate, mint and parsley together worked really well.

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As it had been an unhealthy day of eating I chose the avocado, bacon and spinach salad which was delicious! I have recently been enjoying swapping lettuce with spinach as a healthier alternative, dare I say that I prefer the swap? The presentation of the dish was also impressive, making a salad look instantly more interesting.

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Sid chose the grilled sea bream which looked amazing, and from a cheeky forkful, also tasted pretty good.

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We ended the evening with cappuccinos instead of pudding, despite the desserts sounding too good to pass up.

The menu is full of variety and I plan on trying everything at some point – especially as I’ve heard that they are most famous for their breakfast/brunch menu…

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If you haven’t been to Bill’s yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to head to the website and find your nearest restaurant.

P.s. I have since discovered that the pink shower cap is actually designed for bicycle seats, oops!

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Milk and White Chocolate Cookies Recipe

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Wednesday’s are all about the Great British Bake Off in my house, and no doubt most homes around Britain too.

I grew up helping my mum bake cakes, so I tend to gravitate towards the classic recipes that the likes of Mary Berry probably made up all those years ago! I find baking a really therapeutic and relaxing hobby, and after a long day at work it’s fun to be a little bit creative in the kitchen (blasting out some of your favourite tunes – Destiny’s Child is my baking soundtrack at the moment).

I have to give beauty blogger and YouTube sensation Tanya Burr full credit for this recipe, and if you would like to try this recipe go and check out her video here. In previous experience, I have found cookies to be a difficult bake to make – but this one is super easy, even for those who can’t cook/won’t cook.

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1. Mix 300g of caster sugar with 200g of butter

2. Add 1 egg, and mix

3. Add 325g of self raising flour and sift in stages, mixing inbetween

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4. Add the 200g of milk chocolate (I used Cadbury’s Giant Chocolate Buttons) and 200g of white chocolate (I used Milky Bar Giant Buttons) – I like to do a ‘taste test’ whilst adding these in, it’s important to make sure the chocolate tastes good 😉

5. Using your hands (if you don’t mind getting messy) or two spoons, separate the mixture into blobs. I found this recipe made enough for 12 cookies.

6. And now you wait…

…Until the 10-12 minutes is up.

 I left the first batch in a few minutes longer than I should have, and found that they weren’t gooey enough in the middle. The second batch I took out and left to cool for 20 minutes, and they were delicious!

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They are the perfect, indulgent treat – best served with a cup of tea.

Have you tried Tanya’s recipe?

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Avo & Bacon Toasts | The Recipe

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When you’re not a breakfast person it can be difficult to find options that are healthy and appetising without being totally boring – porridge anyone?

Most mornings I don’t have time to potter about the kitchen making breakfast so I usually take crumpets or teacakes to toast when I get into work, but on weekends I relish in spending time cooking up a hearty brunch after a much-needed lie in. I tried avocado for the first time a couple of months ago, and now like most people I’m obsessed. Avocado with prawns, avocado with chicken, avocado with eggs – the list goes on!

I looked in my fridge this morning to find something tasty to rustle up, and there it was – avocados that had to be eaten up today and an unopened pack of unsmoked streaky bacon. A quick and simple breakfast that anyone can put together – no butter necessary. (You can adapt this to feed more people)…

1 avocado

4 pieces of streaky bacon

1 slice of bread (I used wholemeal)

Just cut up the avocado and distribute on the toast, sprinkle a tiny amount of salt and pepper, use a fork to mash it up and then place the crispy bacon on top – & voilà!

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Nutritious and delicious.

What do you eat in the morning?

I’m interested to find out more ways to make breakfast exciting 🙂

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