A New Favourite Brunch Place

A few weeks back we took our little sister and some of her friends to our favourite brunch place in Clapham Old Town, Del’Aziz, and we crossed our fingers that they’d all love it as much as we do… and the result? They adored it too! Hooray! Don’t you love it when that happens? There’s nothing worse than when you go on about somewhere you love – Five Guys – and people hate it? It makes me question whether or not I should be friends with these people, what about you!?

Anyway let’s take a moment and discuss the delicious food of Del’Aziz. First off, if you walk past their window you’ll be assaulted by an amazing array of scrumptious looking cakes, including meringues that are the size of my face! Really there is something for everyone in that display and I don’t know how I’d ever make a choice, hence why I steer clear of the cakes! Opposite the cakes you have the most amazing deli counter with salads and quiches and wondrous sandwich fillings, all with a middle-eastern/eastern European twist.

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Now to the food, I’ve tried a number of things off the menu including scrambled eggs with mushrooms, the poached eggs on toast and the eggs Florentine, all of which taste amazing. As for the other items – the berber pancakes, the egg and bacon bap, the muesli and The Frying Pan, they all look unbelievably good. I just need to try them all sometime soon I think… It’s most definitely one of those places where it takes four hours for you to make a decision on what to eat.  But one thing you always have to have is a smoothie – like the one below which is called the Monkey Shake, Packed full of banana, orange and blueberries it’s the best way to start a weekend! IMG_2208

Have you ever been to Del’Aziz and if so what did you have, what should I try next time? Or is there a new place you’d suggest I try in London town? We’re all ears!

– Happy brunching, Fi. xxx

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Delving into our childhood recipes

This battered book is my mum’s trusty recipe book. (Isn’t the cover just awesome?!).

Mum's recipe book

As a child the sight of this book being pulled off the shelf and my mum flicking through it in the kitchen would instantly make me smile. It meant I’d get to crumb flour and butter in a bowl, flatten batter with a fork or lick the bowl clean!

This book is synonymous with fun times spent with my mum, sisters and, if I was extra lucky, my Nanna and/or Grandma.

This is one item I’d run back into a burning building for. It represents
hours spent with my mum having so much fun and generally making a mess.

I spotted this on my mum’s shelf on a recent trip back home and it sparked all these memories and got my thinking about some of those recipes from my childhood – Victoria Sponge, Scones and Hungarians – and when I last made any of them. When I realised it was a while back I decided to start a regular post on the blog and share these recipes with you all. It’ll be great to take a trip down memory lane to the family recipes of my childhood and I can’t wait to see what recipes I’ve forgotten! So starting later this month we’ll be sharing recipe number one. I do hope you’ll join us and enjoy the Harvey/Evans family recipes.

Do you have something similar that you remember from your childhood or hope your kids remember from theirs?

– Fi xx

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

Our brand new picture wall!

So today’s post is a little different as I’m sharing a non food related post with you. WTF I hear you shout! Well yes I am sorry it’s not food related but it is a good ‘un so I hope you’ll forgive me and indulge me on this post! Anyway Let’s get back to the post, a DIY one in fact, that I’m sharing with you today. For this post we need to travel from the kitchen to our living room, home of the bright pink owl cushion and the £5 wallpaper!

We’ve had a picture wall in there since we first moved into the flat but over the last couple of years some of the frames have broken and as we’ve taken the frames off the wall to dust them or change the pictures we’ve failed to replace them correctly and so it was starting to look like a total mess. So a change was needed. We brainstormed a lot if ideas and realised we needed something that would allow us to change the photos regularly, add more photos easily and most importantly something inexpensive as we hope to move soon and need to save the pennies. With this in mind whatever we did had to be movable to the new house and ‘go’ with that decor too. Not much to ask for right?!

After some thought we settled on a washi tape frame with the sophisticated combo of paper clips and string. It sounds a bit crap right? but with the addition of photos and fairy lights I think you’ll agree that we totally nailed it! And it meets all our important criteria, huzzah!

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So what do you think, do you like it and have we inspired you to rethink your photo wall/display?

Chocolate and Banana Cake – it’s practically healthy!

Cake, cakey cake. This is one of my all time favourite subjects. I honestly could talk about cake for hours on end. It’s just the best. I love all sorts of cake – I’m not a fussy cake person. Whether it’s caked in marzipan and royal icing, or just a plain slice of Victoria sponge (minus the cream, yuck) I’m in heaven. It’s the perfect antidote to a bad week and even better when it’s being shared (not a single piece but a whole cake) with friends. One of my favourite types of cake is banana cake as it’s easy to make and it contains fruit so I can try and kid myself that I’m being healthy and consuming one of my five a day. Yes I am really that delusional at times. I need help clearly.

I have one fail-safe banana cake recipe that I always use and it comes from the Australian Women’s Weekly Kids Cookbook and the recipe creates a marvelously sticky and moist banana cake and includes a delicious cream cheese frosting. There’s nothing not to love about this cake I promise you. However, when I had four blackened bananas the other week I decided I wanted to branch out from my banana cake recipe and try a new one. Shock horror, what a traitor I am to my Women’s Weekly recipe book. I do hope it one day forgives me.

I just really wanted to try a cake I’d heard whispers about – a chocolate and banana cake. I mean that’s surely the dream combination, no? After a little bit of Googling I came upon this recipe and made it one night after work and OH. EM. GEE. the resulting cake was delicious. It was all sorts of moist and lovely and delicious and just awesome and then every now and again you’d get a lump of unmelted chocolate that would just melt in your month. It’s literally the best thing ever. It was so good that I may have eaten two slices whilst the cake was still warm – oops! 

Do you think I can still say it’s one of my five a day if the cake also included chocolate?

– Fi xxx

March foodie round-up

It’s the end of the month again – where does the time go? So as it’s the end of March it means it is time for a quick foodie round up. Yay for that! So without further ado here’s a run down of everything that has been cooked, baked and eaten in the marvellous month of March.

Cooked & Baked
cheese strawspastry pinwheelschicken & mushroom soup piemini egg blondies, creme egg brownies, mug cakes, chocolate and banana cake (coming soon) and lemon and lime poppyseed cake (also coming soon).

Eaten
Harrison’sBrasserie Zedel, Nachos @ the Marquis of Anglesey, La Meridiana in Horsley for carb loading before a half marathon, Carluccio’sNineteen Ten, Iced coffees galore, the biggest pizza ever from Costco, Ikea meatballs, chips and gravy – EPIC!, Post marathon roast chicken, The Riverfront, brunch at Del ‘Aziz (again) and our first barbecue of the year – hooray!

 Here’s to some equally awesome baking and eating in April!

Lau xx

Cheese Straws

I made cheese straws at the weekend. I think the last time I made these was during a food technology lesson at school. I think I was probably about 11 at the time. Anyway I had definitely forgotten how easy these are to make and also how good they tasted. Like seriously good. All crumbly pastry and strong cheddar. Nom nom nom!

As I’ve already mentioned these are super easy to make. You’ll need just 2 ingredients, ready made puff pastry and cheese – I used cheddar as it’s my favourite! Yes that’s it.

The first thing to do is to grab your pastry and cover it in half of the grated cheese. I used half a sheet of pastry and grated about a third of a block of cheese. Now fold the pastry in half and roll out the cheese pastry to the thickness of a pound coin.

The next thing to do is to cut the pastry into strips about 1cm wide. 

Now twist them and place them onto a baking tray and sprinkle them with the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the oven at 220C for 12 minutes.

Now that I’ve rediscovered the wonderfulness that is the humble cheese straw I think they will be making quite a regular appearance in my kitchen (and my tummy)! What about you all, any pastry favourites? Also if you fancy some other delicious pastry things then checkout our pastry pinwheels post.

Happy baking, Lau