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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Cinnamon Kitchen

M and I first visited Cinnamon Kitchen a year ago where I experienced some of the best pork ribs I've ever had.

Seeing that Bookatable had a special deal on, we thought it was about time we returned for another visit. The offer was £25 and included three courses (plus 2 side dishes), a cocktail, coffee and petit fours. Pretty good value, I thought.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Buckwheat Eggs Benedict

I've been meaning to make savoury buckwheat pancakes for what feels like forever. Unfortunately the supermarkets had other plans and I couldn't find buckwheat flour anywhere.

Inevitably, I ended up in Wholefoods, and seeing that this packet of buckwheat pancake mix was on offer, I couldn't resist snapping one up.

Buckwheat is an excellent flour to use for people with food intolerance. This is because it's wheat, gluten, dairy, yeast, soy and egg free, as well as being suitable for vegans. While many people believe that buckwheat is a cereal grain, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel. In terms of texture, buckwheat is pretty dense and heavy. You certainly feel pretty full after a pancake or two!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Ribs and Romance

M and I recently celebrated our four year anniversary. This, more than anything, is a perfect reason to eat out. And we all know that I don't need an excuse to do that! Usually, if I haven't eaten out by the time Wednesday comes around, I've started suffering withdrawal symptoms and broken out in a cold sweat.

Ok that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but it's not too far off the truth...

For once we decided to celebrate a special occasion by staying in, cooking up a storm, and sharing a bottle of prosecco.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Poor Food - Good Food

My friend Carmela is half Italian; her family come from Naples.

And although England is full of Italian chains - Pizza Express, Zizzi, Strada.... to name a few, Carmela says she's never come across any specific Southern Italian restaurants.

The south of Italy is well known for being poorer than its Northern counterpart and is famous for making delicious food with simple, rustic ingredients. When Carmela found out about Paesan in Faringdon specialising in cucina povera 'poor food', she was dying to go. I'm obviously not one to miss out on a dining opportunity so I jumped at the chance.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

A Restaurant worth waiting for...Mildred's, Soho

There's lots of reasons why I like my friend Frankie, our shared love of yoga and JC (Jonathan Creek) to name a few, but it's her expert knowledge of London restaurants that really puts her high on my friend list.

When we met up a few Saturday's ago, she suggested Mildred's, pre warning me that it might be bit busy. That was a bit of an understatement. It was literally bursting at the seams. I really hate queuing for ages, so we decided to abandon Mildred's for rose lychee Martinis at Ping Pong instead.

However, my curiosity had been stirred and I always knew that I would one day return to Mildred's to see what all the fuss was about.

Fast forward to yesterday, where by some good fortune,  I ended up going on a year 8 matinee trip to Wicked at the West End. As much as I love teaching my year 11s, this was definitely an excellent alternative.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Diet? What Diet?! 2 Ingredient Banana Pancakes

I just have to share these insane pancakes. They're the healthiest, tastiest pancakes around and best of all they're made from just two ingredients.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Escape to the Country: The South Downs

Although I love living in London, one thing I struggle with is the lack of countryside (inevitable when you live in a big city).

We're lucky in that there are a huge number of parks to visit: Richmond, Hyde, Green and Battersea to name a few; but sometimes I yearn to be out in the countryside stomping through a muddy lane with no one but the birds (and M!) to keep me company. I love walking in the Lake District and Cornwall, but clearly they're far too far away for a day's walking.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Restaurant Review: Dim sum, New World

The first time I ate dim sum was when I was 15.

I'd flown all the way to Hong Kong to visit my chinese relatives for the first time. My chinese Aunty Edith decided that the best way to meet everyone was at breakfast on my first morning in HK. Understandably, after the 13 hour flight and having to meet everyone for the very first time, this as yet unknown dim sum experience was rather overwhelming at the time!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Recipe: Goat's Cheese and Butternut Squash Tartlet

We had a fantastic meal last Saturday at The Stag, Offchurch. My delicious vegetarian main inspired me to make my own version. This is an incredibly easy weekday meal, which is both beautiful to look at and to eat. I served my tart with steamed kale, my current favourite vegetable.

Goat's Cheese Tartlet with squash, red onion marmalade and pumpkin seeds.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Review: Pancake Mix in a bottle. How does Aunt Bessie's rate?

The last time I spoke to my Grandma she complained that she didn't get a pancake for the whole of 2013. I was absolutely appalled at this oversight and it was something I was determined to remedy in 2014.

A friendly cat from our walk - what a great poser!
The solution was clear. M and I would journey to the Midlands and make her pancakes.

Not just another burger...GBK

In this new age of burgers, people often overlook Gourmet Burger Kitchen. I read endless blogs which are on the quest for the perfect burger, and many ignore GBK altogether and don't even bother to review it.

However, in my opinion, this is an absolute oversight because GBK may actually be a great way of getting that burger fix without having to queue for hours a la Honest Burgers and Patty&Bun.