"Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch."

Month: January, 2013

Puy Lentil bake


125g puy lentils 200ml coconut milk 80g roasted butternut squash 1 medium pepper 2 tbsp oil 1  chilli 2 cloves garlic 100g goats cheddar to serve: avocado and tomato salad with basil

Simple, Vegetarian friendly, low fat, Gluten free; basically its bloody tasty and pretty healthy but doesn’t look quite so pretty. I originally saw this recipe on Hello Magazines website (I have no idea what procrastination led me there) but have amended it ever so slightly.

Chop the butternut squash into bite friendly squares and roast in the oven for 20 mins with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and oil. Whilst that bakes add the lentils to a pan of water and bring to the boil, turn to a low heat and simmer for 10 mins. Throw the oil into a large frying/wok thingy and add the crushed/finely chopped garlic and the sliced chilli. Then add in the pepper (this needs to be about the same size bites as the squash) and fry until it all starts to soften and smell gooood. When the lentils have cooked, drain and add to the garlic, pepper mix. Pour in 80ml of the coconut milk and simmer gently for 5-10mins.

Pull the squash out of the oven and add your lentil mix to it. Pour over the remaining coconut milk and place back into the oven for 15 mins.

Add the grated goats cheddar to it and place back in the oven for 5 mins until it’s all melted. Serve it up with salad (I was making use of an overly ripe avocado) but I have had steamed pak choi with it too which went really well.


Ladurée thats not to eat

How would you feel about spending £42 in Ladurée and you walked away with not one edible morsel? Well now you can do just that by purchasing one of their perfumed candles.

Laduree Scented Candle Selection

The new venture uses the signature colours of ladurée green,  sugar almond pink, lemon yellow, along side some of their key macaron flavours to create a votive to bring parisian chic to your home.

The French patisserie say of them: “With its candle scents, Ladurée offers you its distinctive signature, weaving a thread of emotion and delicacy between each of its perfumes.”

Laduree sérénade candle

It all seems a touch ridiculous in my eyes, I would never refuse one as they look and sound incredible (caramel with salted butter anyone?). But hey if you wanna burn £42 right in front of your eyes then this arguably is one of the chicest ways to do it.

Is the Burger reign over?

burgerandnails tumblr

For Londoners the burger obsession reached heady heights in 2012, it was as talked about as the Olympics. Nearly every man and woman from across the Boroughs has their special recommendations and all strive to find the perfect patty. But are we over it? Are we waving farewell to the brioche sandwiched beefy goodness?

Quite frankly, No. At least I’m pretty bloody sure we’re not.

Burger places are still going strong with the opening of Shake Shack in Covent Garden and the increasing development in our favourite chains (Honest now have two, MEAT Mission and MEAT Market add to the growing MEAT empire, Burger & Lobster opened their fourth in the chain on Bread Street and Byron has a whopping 25 in London alone). It seems our appetites are far from satiated.

Some tried to roll on in on the back of low/high dining and thus attempted to gentrify the otherwise abundant chicken shops. But it’s no real match, The Chicken Shop is too far out (Kentish Town really??) and Wishbone got one of the most damning reviews from Brixtons biggest foodie fan. So no one has quite stepped up to the plate (har har).

So how is the burger in London evolving? Well apparently the new thing is to get yer nails did and hold your burger in weird poses whilst a mate takes a photo. Then you send it into the kind fellows at Burger and Nails tumblr who post it for the world to rate. I want to hate this concept but it’s my new guilty pleasure. Chchcheck it out.

National Popcorn Day

National Popcorn Day

Plastic popcorn holder from Dotcomgiftshop Lemon & Poppyseed and Caramel & Macchiato Gourmet popcorn from Joe & Sephs Popcorn Popcorn Machine from MonsterStuff.co.uk

Today is apparently National Popcorn Day, not that I need an “official” day dedicated to the stuff – I’m already an avid fan. Not just the snack of choice for cinemas, popcorn has entered into the gourmet league with brilliant brands such as Joe & Sephs offering interesting and diverse flavour ranges. There is even a dedicated popcorn shop in Notting Hill!

Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts

Southern Fried Chicken Feast by @gizzierskine

The taxidermy loving, beehive sporting, Gizzi Erskine is back with her healthy mantra to food and with a, erm, comic influence.

Called Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts the book instantly caught my eye. Isn’t that how everyone is? Post work you want something tasty sure, but its hardly the time to indulge. You have a few precious hours after getting home to kick off your shoes, listen to an album or watch some trashy tv before hitting the hay ready for another round. Whereas weekends encourage labours of love (im still on about food) and taking it a little too far with friends (still food!) I’m tempted to throw out a cliché, oh sod it, could this be the real girls cookbook?

What we can expect to see in it? Well the synopsis on the Guardians Bookshop says it’s: “A revelatory new healthy eating book of two halves from bestselling author Gizzi Erskine, Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts will leave you amazed at what you can eat, rather than being disappointed by what you can’t!”

Gizzi took to her Instagram account this week too to preview some of the recipes that are in the new book. I was particularly intrigued by the look of the South Indian Feast:

Salmon Plate from @gizzierskine

South Indian Feast from @gizzierskine

When you can buy it and where from?
It’s not, as far as I can tell, available just yet but worth the wait quite probably.

30 sec review of Electricity Showrooms

Electricity Showrooms30 sec review on @electricityshow

What: causual pub with Friendly staff at the half moon shaped bar

Where: the light bulb studded exterior of 39a Hoxton Square, Shoreditch

Atmos: A neon flashing peacock, a light up dance floor and theatrical interior

Drink: cider or G&T’s

Do: Scoff sliders at the bar and wiggle around on the light up dancefloor

£: £7-9 for a cocktail £3.75 for a beer

Electricity Showroom’s Website

Six Dinners Later

Six Dinners Later

Are you a Come Dine with Me fan but could never quite envisage your mug on the telly? Well new site Six Dinners Later is a new platform made to “encourage friendships” and puts your cooking prowess centre stage without the score cards.

How does it work?
Firstly, you are invited to join Six Dinners Later and attend your first dinner.
Then, you host your own dinner, invite your original host and four new guests off the guest list.
After that, you get invited to dinners hosted by your four guests, so four dinners later you’ve made 25 new pals.

You can pick all your guests based on their profile where you can find out what they do, what they cook and even what they would take to a desert island.

Find out more here.

New Openings – early 2013

I’m keeping my eye on a few new restaurant openings for early 2013:

John Salt

John Salt – 16th Jan: already on my “must go” list. Here they use smoking to flavour the dishes, a newly developed obsession of mine. I’ve also read intriguing things about caramel covered bricks?


Balthazar – 12th Feb: Keith Mcnally, London born, has built an empire of wildly successful restaurants over the Atlantic in New York. Now he’s set to bring his Parisian Brasserie charm back over the waters. See the New York site here for a taste of what’s to come.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack London – TBA: What started off as a humble Hot Dog cart in Madison Square Park, New York, soon won permanent residency and the hearts of the US’s burger lovers. Now Danny Meyers is bringing over the chain to the beef hungry Brits and settling in tourist town Covent Garden. Do we reckon we are satiated yet? My friend Rogers would strongly disagree.

Clean and Lean Detox

So, January, the month of abstinence, cold weather and dwindling funds. The frivolity of the season is a distant memory and the one prominent reminder seems to be laying around our thickening middles. Name your weakness: boxed truffles, champagnes, brandy cream or stuffed meats we all have a tendency to ignore our basic limits when it come to this time of year.

New Year, New You, Etc...

Well it’s now we decide to counteract the indulgence by cutting off everything we love, kinda. I’m not really into depriving myself so, I’m attempting James Duigans Clean and Lean detox (NOT a diet) with the faint acceptance that I will never make it through to the end of January.

The basic principles are to only eat things as nature intended, vegetables and lean meat are your go to’s, whilst leaving sugar, simple carbohydrates, alcohol and processed foods behind.

I have no problems with the meals and think forcing myself to drink more water can only be a good thing, but no cake.. we’ll see.

Recipe suggestions:

Banana loaf Hemsley and Hemsley for when a banana itself just won’t do the trick.

Butter bean mash Nigella a hearty alternative to mash potatoes.

Vegetarian shepherds pie from Good Food just generally one of my favourite meals.

James Duigans suggested Poached eggs and asparagus. If it’s good enough for Hugh Grant…

Try cutting courgette into pappardelle/spaghetti shapes to make a good alternative to pasta. It works so well with Bolognese.

New Years Food Resolutions

Not only am I going to attempt to (roughly) stick to James Duigan “Clean and Lean” detox for January , I also have a few other food resolutions for 2013:

– Stop trying to eat kiwis peeled and sliced. It takes forever and I look ridiculous. Need to buy a kiwi spoon like this one from Legend Cookshops.

– It’s time to get over my fear of rye bread. May even try making it myself under Nigel Slaters instruction.

– Start finding alternatives to potato and pasta.

– Invest in a spice grinder. For coffee more than anything but it will also be useful for nuts.

Do you have any food resolutions for 2013 or just for January? Planning on cutting out alcohol or chocolate etc?