A Macaron Manicure Party

21 February 2016

As you know, one of my absolute favourite things to do is gather up my friends to shower them with tea and cake. Food is such a brilliant tool for bringing people together and I love being able to create things that make people happy - plus it stops me eating entire cakes to myself. Recently Brioche Pasquier invited me to throw a macaron manicure party to celebrate (a slightly belated) Galentines Day and the release of their new range of macarons and of course I took them up on it right away. 

Dave not surprisingly declined my offer of a manicure, but luckily some of my favourite blogger girls were on hand to help me taste test the macarons and get our nails did over some cups of chai. I sadly couldn't use all the decorations that they sent because of living in a shoebox but we did get to try out all the nail gear and try each flavour of macaron (necessary to provide a proper review, obviously). 

Rose Gin Martini

10 February 2016

Rock rose gin martini

It's fair to say that gin has been huge over the last few years. It made a sudden move from 'only drunk by your nan' to one of the most fashionable things to be seen sipping and we haven't looked back. There are so many new gins on the market now, each with their own unique take on the classic spirit.

I'd seen the odd snap of Rock Rose Gin* across the internet last year, so it had been on my radar for a while when they invited me to give some a go. It's a small batch gin from the North Highlands, made with local botanicals and I've really enjoyed trying it out.

Chai Pancakes with Spiced Oranges

8 February 2016

Chai tea pancakes with spiced oranges

One of my favourite days of the year is nearly here and for once I actually managed to get a recipe up before it happens, this is a big moment for this blog.

I think I've been a lot more excited by pancake day as an adult. It's not exactly a holiday, but if you were comparing it to holidays, I reckon it's one of the better ones. You don't need to buy presents, or dress up, or go on a gushy romantic date, or pretend to like being around children/your extended family. All you need is a good non stick pan and an empty belly. Pancake day, you are a true legend. 

This weekend I treated myself to a new ceramic pan (I really don't get out much) and set my mind to coming up with something a little more exciting than sugar and lemon ready for the big day on Tuesday. With a bit of help from Dave, I settled on chai flavoured pancakes topped with spiced oranges. I can't believe how long it has actually been since I cooked anything chai flavoured, so this was long overdue, but I'm really pleased with how they turned out. The chai flavour is there, but not totally overpowering and gives them a really great, rich colour. I cooked the oranges in some sugar and spices until the juice formed a syrup, and finished it off with a spoonful of creme fraiche, The flavours came together so perfectly and this is a recipe I'm definitely going to be coming back to in future.

Veganuary 2016 Part 4

5 February 2016

Almond butter crumpets and coffee

I wanted to wait a little after Veganuary ended before I put down my final thoughts on the month (even though I had finished a little early). I just wasn't sure what I was going to want to do next.

In a lot of ways Veganuary was really, really hard, and the post-January blow out on cheese and chocolate happened in a big way, even though I tried not do (this may or may not have included me eating half a jar of nutella with a spoon after a particularly long day). But in other ways it has made me a lot more aware of what I eat. I'm really conscious now of just how much meat I was eating and I actually really enjoyed being pushed to experiment more and up my fruit and veg intake. 

I'm not, if you couldn't tell from my instagram this week, going to be staying vegan. Not at the moment anyway. But I do think the experience will have a lasting impact on my diet. I'm going to be trying a lot more veggie/vegan recipes in the future (which will all be collected on this new veggie part of the blog) and will be taking more of a 'flexitarian' approach to dining for the time being.

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