Thursday, 26 February 2015

Spiced Sugar Palmiers

I always forget how short February is.  Twenty-eight days just doesn't seem right and so much has happened in this month that I haven't quite had time to process it all.  Every month is a new start, just like every year, every week, or even every day if you're optimistic.  We set these specific beginnings and ends to time to structure our lives and it helps us move on and make changes.  It does, for instance, they say that the most successful diets begin on a Monday.  New year, new you, and just like that, new month, new beginnings, you leave last month's worries behind but 28 days just isn't enough. 

A good thing this month was my flatmate's birthday party.  I made these palmiers along with some other canapes and really, palmiers are your best friend for parties.  They're cheap, they're stupidly easy and everybody loves them. 

Monday, 23 February 2015

Olive & Ricotta Bruschetta

 We all need a couple of easy bruschetta recipes in hand for emergency canapé situations.  You have a party coming up and you're short on time - you want to minimize the effort and maximize the quality and good bruschettas are perfect for this.  I think the basis of many good bruschettas is toasting good sourdough bread in the oven with olive oil and then rubbing them with a sliced clove of garlic when hot.  With that, you can top it with anything sensible that comes to mind and it will be fab. 

L'ETO Caffé Brompton (London)

With already six locations in London and having opened only in 2011, the L’ETO’s caffé and restaurant chain has seen a lot of success. It is a simple business concept done well as it caters to a wide audience from the young to the families, the couples, the city workers, the fitness freaks and the sweet tooths. And after visiting their newest branch on Brompton Road for brunch, I’d say that its popularity is justified.

Apt for its location, the restaurant itself boasts sophistication and class with high ceilings, dark hardwood floors, round marble tables, Victorian chairs -- it’s a place screaming cha-ching. Yet despite all this, it is reasonably priced as for brunch you’re looking at £9-12 without drinks. Thus with its pricing plus the appropriate music and service, instead of a snobbery atmosphere, it’s casual and chic.
The brunch options are aplenty. There’s an impressive display of luscious cakes and pastries on black slate boards, and next to it are rows of colorful Ottolenghi-esque salads and other savory treats like quiches and fish cakes. From the menu there are varied pancakes, crepes, egg dishes, toast dishes and healthier dishes like quinoa granola.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pink Peppercorn Shortbread

I first encountered pink peppercorns in a beautiful steak tartare, which was so sublime that  I was determined to recreate it at home.  I went to Waitrose and bought myself an expensive little jar of pink peppercorn and it hid in my cupboard for about 8 months until I finally used it the other day for these shortbread.  I have so much in my cupboard that I just forget what's there.  I suppose this is how normal girls feel about their closets.  Speaking of buying things at Waitrose, you know how a myWaitrose card gets you free coffee everyday?  It's life-changing if you don't.  I can't get over what a genius concept it is, I just want to give a standing ovation to the Waitrose marketing team.  Coffee costs them nothing, but now you get people going in for their free coffee and buying all their groceries there.  Since I'm here, might as well get my cleaning products, might as well get my 5-a-day's, mght as well get myself a jar of pink peppercorn that they've so nicely packaged up --  simply genius

Monday, 16 February 2015

Best Eats This Week: Pork Belly & Aioli, Burrata & Tomato Bruschetta (Pizza East, London)

Being right next to the gym, I had passed by Pizza East perhaps once a month and I had always thought of it as an upscale Pizza Express.  Looking in, the decor of it is your cliched warehouse look: walls laden with red bricks and purposefully cracked white tiles; exposed pipes and bare floors; rustic wooden tables and stools.  Cute, but too much of it nowadays.  Then late one evening I went in with friends and was pleasantly surprised -- nothing like Pizza Express.  The menu proved to be exciting, and despite being a pizza restaurant, it had lots of tempting side dish options.   Pizzas were in fact not ordered, and the series of small plates we had ranged from decent to impeccable -- these two dishes fell in the latter.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Rye & Pumpkin Seeds Crackers

I'm never that bitter single girl on Valentine's Day.  I've always appreciated the day as just a celebration of love of any kind, and smile upon seeing couples having their romantic meals and whatnot.  I try to post something appropriate for the occasion, and indeed this year I've made pink peppercorn shortbread and some oysters with soy sauce sauce and wasabi, but I've decided to post something plain and simple as I just want to treat this as any other day of the year this time.  Here are some delicious crackers. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Oatmeal with Tahini, Ginger & Lemon

It's February.  Shop windows are adorned with roses and paper hearts, restaurants are featuring oysters and chocolate fondants, and your inbox is spammed with getaway offers.  As unbearable as it is, as someone who's single, I don't despise Valentine's Day.  I think it's kind of cute to be honest.  I use the opportunity to show some love to my friends and family and most importantly, to myself.  This was me giving myself some love this morning.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Coffee & Walnut Granola

Just for that extra boost of caffeine in the morning because I wake up with a double espresso and it's not enough.  I'm up by 5:40am half the week - did I mention that?  I started drinking coffee quite early on and so with time I've had to increase my daily dosage for it to have an effect on me.  Life is short, I want to be awake for most of it.
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