Baking: Blueberry and Mint Lemon Drizzle


At my new job some of my colleagues take part in a non competitive bake off, where each Monday someone takes a turn to bring in a baked good/s of their choosing.

I like baking, but it does sometimes lead to too much ‘tasting’ of my hard work, so baking for 30 people was a great opportunity to try two things and not be at risk of eating all the leftovers.

I made two loaves based on this Blueberry, Lemon and Mint Drizzle Cake listed on DeliciousMagazine.co.uk.

When I was out shopping for the ingredients, I could not for the life of my find desicated coconut in Tescos… What’s up with that?! So I skipped it and added an extra 25 grams of flour.  I also accidentally added all of the lemon juice into the mix, as I misread it. I would definitely make that change again, as it turn out deliciously moist. (Although I do hate the word moist)

The extra lemon juice meant I had to bake by eye, as it needed longer than stated and I did I few skewer checks. To stop it from burning on the top, once the top had a nice colour I wrapped both my loaves with foil.

If you like Lemon Drizzle Cake, and you like mint and blueberrys, this is definitely worth a go. It was scrumptious.

What are your favourite recipes to bake? Any recipe recommendations would be very welcome!

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A brief visit to Bath

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 12.19.13 pmBath holds a special place in my heart. Jack studied at Bath University and when we were “courting” back in the early days we would take it in turns to visit one another during term time. I think I was pretty lucky – it’s a lovely city – I’m not sure Jack was quite as thrilled to visit me in sleepy, little Falmouth…

Back in August when making plans finally became a thing we could do, with the wedding being over (freeing up our weekends – yay!) I was keen to find a weekend to visit J’s awesome friends Malcolm and Kate and my uni buddies Charlotte and Andy. We saw them all at our wedding but didn’t get to catch up as much as we would’ve liked so we (I) got planning and found a date at the start of J’s half term when we could “pop” to Bath for a visit and a dinner out with them all.

One of my favourite meals out there in the past had been a Tapas place, and I found some great reviews for Olé Tapas which none of us had visited before, so we gave it a go.

It was delicious, I highly, highly recommend a visit if you are in the area. It is tiny, so you will need to book. But their veggie options were good, and the sangria went down a treat.

What would you get up to over a long weekend or if you’re a teacher, half term?

So… Meat.

I have for the past 6 months or so been wondering about meat. And what my feelings towards it are.

I have been a Vegetarian for the past ten years and I thought that was it,  I wouldn’t ever wonder or think about moving back to meat eating but truth be told I think my preaching 18 year old self would be ashamed: I don’t know if I care anymore.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 3.42.44 pm

The thing I am most curious about it is: would I enjoy it? I have never been drawn in by a bacon sandwich – I never liked them before. But roast beef… or a good piece of chicken or some smoked salmon. Maybe I’ve changed and I would enjoy that.

Teenage Laura was super fussy, didn’t like a lot of vegetables too. Or red wine and I freaking love that now, and there are very few vegetables that I will not eat now. Apart from celery which frankly can do one. So perhaps 28 year old me would enjoy the flavour in a way 18 year old me didn’t…

But the trouble is there really is only one way to know. And that’s to take a bite. Do I dare?

What do you think?

Bristol & two very different restaurants

I hit up Bristol for a Hen weekend this bank holiday weekend, for the lovely Charlotte, who is getting hitched later this month. (I’m so excited for her and Andy, they’re awesome)

We were quite big hen party, 18 ladies ( well one man standing in for a no show…) and Charlotte had mentioned a few places she’d happily go to for her night and I sorted the rest.

I ended up booking the Cosy Club. It looked great and had a reasonably priced ‘Party’ menu and cocktails that wouldn’t bankrupt us all. But I wish now that I had chosen one of the others short-listed. The building itself might have been beautiful and the wait staff were trying their best but totally let down by the management. Suffice to say I won’t be recommending any time soon and a full review is going up on TripAdvisor shortly, which I’ll post a link to.

Bill's

In complete contrast, we went to Bill’s for breakfast on the Sunday morning, booked for 10 people and the service was great, apart from the odd difficulty at the end getting hold of a card machine ( I should carry cash, like the other 9 people!). The food was great and arrived in a timely fashion. Bill’s even serves dinners and has a selection of cocktails – with hindsight our breakfast venue probably would have provided better service for our Saturday night dinner. Lesson learnt.

Bank Holidays

I love ’em. We should have more. All Mondays ideally… but no, ignore that, that’s not practical for a productive working life.

However when they do come along it’s good to use them. For the most recent bank holiday weekend (Easter) I made mine into a beaut of a five dayer. That’s right folks five whole days off and I am going to tell you how I spent them.

Thursday was spent:

  • Kitchen Shopping – I have my heart set on a Homebase basic, country style like this.Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 3.59.29 pm
  • Hen Planning – Myself and my buddy Alice are busy planning a hen for our lovely friend Ailie who is getting hitched in June. I will share some info after the event, for fear that she might get wind of what the deal is.
  • Holiday Planning – I’m tagging on to my sisters holiday in September for a long weekend in Majorca and I can’t wait!Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.04.43 pm

Friday was spent:

  • Waking up some hungover men – J went out with some Sussex based buds for what I am calling his sussex stag.
  • Lunching with Fran and Amy at Burgers & Cocktails by Giraffe – It was lush and I was good and had a salad until I had a delicious Sundae for dessert. Oops.Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.09.34 pm
  • Visited the Brighton Museum with Amy
  • Date in the evening with J – We headed to Meat Liquor for our first visit. I have to say: I didn’t love it. Maybe I am too old, uncool and stay home too much but it seemed loud. Loud visually and audibly. I did like the food, which is a surprise as a veggie in a meaty world but the veg burger was good and the cocktails were lush. But I couldn’t think. Couldn’t enjoy them or J’s company because I wanted to Get Out! That’s just me though…

Saturday was spent

  • Being lazy – then feeling bad about being lazy and going to the gym.
  • Going for Dinner – With the lovely Lou, Lou, Adam and Jo – We went to Breeze and I’d go again. The food was tasty and it had a good vibe (forgive me for the use of vibe). It was very hot there though – knitwear not necessary!

Sunday was spent

  • Eating – Easter Sunday lunch was spent with all of J’s family tucking into a great lunch his dad cooked and too many dessert and then chocolate eggs. We did venture out on a little little walk around the village but not long enough to warrant the sheer quantity of chocolate.
  • Watching a detective drama – Vera on ITV on sunday evenings – I don’t know that I am sold but I did watch the whole thing. Ask me again after this weekend.

Monday was spent

  • Walking – We were so lucky to have such beautiful weather for a walk on Monday (the second bank holiday) and I got sunburnt would you believe it! We saw lambs – spring lambs! Awwww.Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 4.46.07 pm
  • Eating – after a significant walk (2.5 hrs round trip) we got to The Coach and Horses and sat out in their Garden for some grub. It was good and you should definitely eat there if you are in the area (Danehill/Chelwood Gate)
  • More Eating – We had takeaway round our flat with some friends from Mumbai Express in Brighton – what we believe to be the best Indian takeaway in the City. Personal opinion but you should totes check them out – I love the vegetarian Thali.

So I think you’ll agree a lot was packed in, and I probably need to go on a fast to repair the damage done to my pre-wedding eating plan but it was fun and I can’t wait for the may bank holiday in a few weeks time.

What did you do with your weekend?

Brighton Favourites

I thought I would share my favourite places in Brighton, in case any of you happen to be in Brighton and at a loss as to where to head.

Food For Friends

I freaking love this place, so much so I have never bothered to try Terre A Terre. I love their Vegetarian menu, and it’s such a treat having such an amazing, broad choice of food. Being betrothed to a meat eater, we do tend to hit up regular restaurants more.

J is a bit of a fan of their Sticky Toffee Pudding – you can kinda see why!

Sticky Toffee

foodforfriends.com

 

Koba

Koba Menu

Cocktails, cocktails, my lovelies. J and I went to Koba a little while back, in what must be a very Dry January, and we had the place to ourselves! This place is normally pretty buzzing, but we got to sit where we wanted super quick service, delicious happy hour priced cocktails, and then just a short skip home after.

Apple Crumble Cocktail

This here is an Apple Crumble, Super Sweet!

kobauk.com

The Creperie

I snuck in here with the lovely Charlotte and Andy when they came to visit for New Years ( Yes, I’m sorryI spoilt my appetite for dinner that night) and the crepes were all that you need from a crepe, sweet, crips edged, filled with deliciousness. I had a Nutty Ella, and I wish I had photo to share with you, but I scoffed it too quickly!

The Creperie

thecreperiebrighton.com

Blackbird Tea Rooms

This place… this place has the most delicious cakes of anywhere I have had cake in Brighton; I have had a lot of cake from a lot of places. Also, I’ve yet to photograph a single slice… I always eat ’em too quickly!

Their breakfast menu is also excellent, I had  Welsh rarebit with Portobello mushrooms & soft Duck Egg last time I visited (though swapped my duck egg for scrambled egg: fussy!) and it was lush!

blackbirdtearooms.com

 

The Amie Range

Amie

I’ve been using these three beauts lately, to see how they get on with my troublesome skin.

There is:

Radiant Dawn – an exfoliating daily wash

Morning Clear – a ‘purifying facial wash’

Morning Dew  – a matte finish moisturiser

I’ve found them really good for days when my skin is particularly oily, though I wouldn’t recommend the moisturiser if you suffer from dry skin.

One of the other things I love about the range, not necessarily a beauty enhancement but a feel good factor is that they are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. No harmed animals here.

And if you have sensitive skin they are all pH balanced which should mean no irritation, so YAY for that!

You can buy them all in Waitrose at the moment or on amieskincare.com