Baking for Easter

Easter is quite possibly my favourite time of the year as it seems to signal the start of the summer and outside dining. I love the opportunity to get together with all the family and chill out in the garden, plus it brings with it the possibility of a barbecue as well as a fabulous roast dinner on Easter Sunday. Never mind the easter egg fun.

This Easter my sisters and I have decided to cook out amazing pulled pork at some point over the four days for the parental units to enjoy. Plus I’m planning on trying out a coffee and walnut cake as I’ve never made one. But before that point we get to make all the yummy sweet stuff that contains easter treats. You know what I mean, all the creme eggs and mini eggs that appear in the shops as soon as Christmas is over. Well it would be rude not to include those in some sort of baking wouldn’t it. So that’s what this post is all about – Baking with Easter sweets!

Hopefully you are all well aware of the awesome mini egg blondies that we made last year. If not then what are you waiting for? Check them out right here, right now. So these have been made again because they are just totally awesome and Fi has an actual real life obsession with mini eggs.

So yes, we made mini egg blondies, but we also decided to try making creme egg brownies. Now different versions of these have been all over the internet and on twitter, so it really was high time we had a go ourselves. They honestly couldn’t be easier – mostly because I used a packet brownie mix – sometimes you just have to cheat!

Here’s what you do –
1. Create your normal brownie batter – I used the Ghiardelli brownie mix because it’s totally awesome.
2. Throw in 10 mini creme eggs to the mix.
3. Pour the whole lot into the brownie tin.
4. Chop another 8 mini creme eggs in half and lay these gooey side up on the top of your batter.
5. Bake as per normal brownie instructions.

Creme Egg Brownies Creme Egg Brownies

Creme Egg Brownies

See, easy peasy and don’t they look amazing? I promise you guys, these actually taste like heaven. Seriously the gooey levels are epic in this. These beauties ended up at work and they all disappeared in record time. I think that’s a good sign, right?!

Now you give them ago and let me know what you think.

Lau xxx

Smoothie making

Over the past couple of weeks both Fi and I have been having great fun with making smoothies. Fi’s had a smoothie maker for years and every now and again will get on the smoothie making bankwagon, but I’ve always shied away from it. Why? Well because most smoothie recipes I find seem to include banana and I loathe the taste of banana. So in the past I’ve just sat and watched while Fi makes her wonderful smoothie creations, and honestly her banana and berries smoothie always look so delicious and cheery until I taste it…

So yes that was our smoothie life, until we started half marathon training and Fi started making more and more smoothies and I got more and more jealous. And then I found the below on Pinterest and suddenly a whole world of smoothie opportunities was opened up to me.

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Talk about a revelation!

So now I’ve been chopping fruit and blending ingredients most days and I love it. There’s so many options when it comes to making smoothies. The latest batch of ingredients can be seen below.

smoothie ingredients

What we ended up doing is splitting the ingredients into bags, each with enough fruit for one smoothie and then shoving them into the freezer. So then it’s easy to grab a bag, defrost it a bit and then blitz it with some milk/yogurt/water and a handful of spinach leaves. Oh and sometimes a sprinkling of oats too. Yum yum yum. How organised and healthy and delicious all in one go!

smoothies

If anyone’s got any lovely smoothie recipes then please do share.

Lau xx

Fruit Smoothies

So it looks like summer might actually be making an appearance – finally! This makes the timing of this post pretty perfect.

Today I wanted to share some smoothie recipes with you. Fi always makes smoothies, especially after a run, but it’s not something I ever do. The main reason for this is that all smoothies I come across (both shop bought and recipes) contain banana and I hate the taste of banana. I swear if something has the hint of banana in then I will sniff it out. I think they use the banana as a binding ingredient or something so it’s in practically every drink. So I basically steer clear of smoothies all together. The only one that I do drink is Innocent’s kiwi, apple and limes as it contains no banana – whoop whoop for me!

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Although i’ve just never bothered to make them in case they turn out badly. That is until I received a message from my youngest sister saying ‘try this smoothie, just made it. It’s delicious and there’s no banana’. She knows me so well. So of course at the first opportunity I grabbed the ingredients and got blending. The result was delicious and therefore I am sharing it with you lovely people.

Becca’s banana free fruit smoothie

2 apples chopped roughly into chunks
2 kiwis
juice from half a lime
1 passionfruit
cup of water
a handful of ice cubes

Now simply drop all the ingredients into a blender and whizz up. Pour into a glass add a straw and enjoy.

As I mentioned above Fi always makes smoothies. Here’s her go to recipe.

Fi’s Berry Smoothie

1 cup of raspberries
1 banana
a smidge (so helpful here Fi) of water or milk

Add everything to a blender and blitz away.

What about you guys do you have any delicious smoothie recipes? Do let us know as we’d love to try some different things.

Lau xxx

Lau’s favourites – eating out

So it looks like it’s my turn to discuss my favourite eateries, here we go…

  • The Diner – This is the go to place whenever the youngest sisterling is in town because sometimes you just can’t beat a burger and fries, and one things for sure sometimes that’s just what you fancy!
  • The Cinnamon Club – I’ve been here a few times for special occasions and I love it. The tastes and flavours in the Indian cuisine are gorgeous and the setting of the restaurant inside the old Westminster Library is pure genius as the walls of books adds something to the decor. Plus there’s a lovely bar downstairs which serves delicious cocktails – always a winner with me!
  • Eat – There just so happens to be an eat right across from my office and it’s become somewhat of a Monday morning ritual to check out the weekly soup and hot pots menus to work out what days I will be buying my lunch from there. My favourites are the Mac and Cheese hotpot, the lentil and smoky bacon soup. Plus they do a delicious turkey, spinach and cranberry sandwich.
  • Yo Sushi! – So i’m a big big fan of this sushi bar. It’s got a great menu with a wide selection of foods, they make it easy to work out the prices of all the dishes by the different coloured plates on the belt and they do great deals. Not only is there the weekly Blue Plate Monday deal but they sent you a voucher when it’s your birthday to enjoy a 1/3 off your bill. Why thank you very much!
  • Pret – Another eatery close to work this is also perfect for lunchtime offerings. It’s always a toss up between the chicken caesar and bacon artisan baguette or one of the salads from here. Plus Godfrey the gingerbread man always manages to find his way into my hands!
  • Nandos – Who doesn’t love chicken and chips? I was first introduced to Nandos way back at uni and ever since then I have been a Nandos convert. There’s just something about this simple menu and the ordering. Basically choose the spice of your chicken, what you want the chicken in (burger, salad, wrap, pitta, nothing) and then choose your sides. That’s it sorted. Plus i’m a tad obsessed with the perinaise.

So it turns out that there aren’t too many similarities between our two lists. I’m actually quite surprised by that as I was expecting to see more of the same places if i’m honest.

Lau xxx

Fi’s Favourites – eating out

So Lau and I thought it might be a good idea to start a ‘Favourites’ section on the blog, where we can share some of our favourite restaurants, foods and treats with you all. We thought it’d be interesting to note them all down and see how similar or different these favourites are, and also how much they change over time. So first up we’ll each look at our favourite eating out spots. So mine are:

  • Bill’s – I’m sure I must have mentioned my obsession with this restaurant before, after all it’s a go-to restaurant for work lunches or meetings. With scrumptious food like haloumi and hummus burgers, classic doorstop fish finger sandwiches and warm chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream it’s certainly a must visit when you’re nearby. They also sell lots of gorgeous food like chutney, pasta and sauces, so you can try some delicious cooking at home – win win! Plus the decor and feel of the restaurant is so chilled out and relaxed, so you can sit over a drink or pudding for an age without feeling rushed. 
  • The Diner – My obsession with this restaurant is certainly no secret – I think I’ve been about five times this year alone. Sometimes you just need a cheeseburger, fries and vanilla milkshake (with added peanut butter of course) and there really is nowhere better than The Diner on Shaftesbury Avenue for that American experience!
  • Leon – I’m a sucker for their Sweet Potato Falafel, aioli chicken, haloumi and brown rice what can I say. Also because all the food is without additives and other bad stuff I feel like I’m making a good choice when I go here. Even if I go for the chocolate brownie. At least it’s wheat and gluten-free I suppose!
  • The Laughing Buddha – This is the local Chinese where I grew up and I can’t even guess how much birthdays or special occasions have seen us at this restaurant. Honestly, I think this restaurant has spoilt me for life as their Lemon Chicken, Seaweed, Crispy Duck and Sweet and Sour Chicken are out of this world and I’ve yet to find a place in London that even comes close to making it as well as they do. Woe is me!
  • Sandbanks – This beachside restaurant on the Algarve Coast is wondrous. It’s the first place we head to when we land in Faro, as the spicy wedges, salads, club sandwich and chicken and avocado wraps are legendary. Not to mention their fresh orange juice and pancakes with banana and chocolate sauce. And with a gorgeous view over looking the beach and sea, it can’t be beaten when the weather is glorious.
  • Ripley Curry Garden – The most delicious curry in all of Surrey can be found at this small restaurant. It’s everything you’d expect in a family run restaurant – small, friendly and with the most mouth-watering food. Whilst I don’t go for the most exciting of Indian dishes – Onion Bhaji, Bombay Aloo and Chicken Korma – they are all absolutely delicious.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some really excellent restaurants that I love, so perhaps I’ll have to do a second part to this post in the not too distant future. Now I wonder what Lau might choose as her favourites? I’m certain she’ll choose one or two that overlap with mine, but I wonder what else will feature?