Breakfast @ Julies

So brunching is the best, especially when one of your favourite places to brunches about a two minute walk away. Winning.

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This if one of Juliet’s popular breakfast choices:

Smashed avocado with lemon and lime topped with feta and sprinkled with alfalfa and amaranth sprouts served on toasted pumpernickel (£6.50), of course I added bacon (+£2.00), but you could also add smoked salmon (+£2.00) – yup it keeps getting better!

I would say wash down with one of their lovely teas or try the Super Green Smoothie if you’re feeling the need for a green boost.

Discover everything Juliet’s has to offer over on Juliets and more | much more

One of my #LocalFavourites

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Thumbs up for: homemade flavoured water

Flavoured Water. 2015

Flavoured Water. 2015

Flavoured water has been around for a while, a really simple way to jazz up your daily litres.

While at uni I was never the biggest fan of the taste of the local tap water. The obvious choice is a water filter, which is great but if you’re looking for a more creative twist on your daily water then giving this method might be the one for you.

To kick things off...

Simply find an empty jug or bottle and select your flavourings. These can be any type of flavour you like.

Typically, fruit – such as:

  • Cucumber & lime
  • Strawberry & Basil
  • Mint
  • Lemon & Lime
  • Orange & Blueberries
  • Strawberries & Raspberries

Now chop up your selected ingredients to suit the size of your container. Fill the container with water and add the flavourings, I suggest leaving overnight to let it infuse and hey-presto a healthy and creative drink.

Breakfast inspiration from Golden Oats

If you haven’t checked out GoldenOats.Com – do it now… this is my lovely friend Georgia Plummer’s blog. She posts mainly about awesome food, normally various breakfasts, so I thought I would try one out for myself.

Honey Nut Granola. 2015

Honey Nut Granola with Pumpkin Seeds & Dried Apricot, Strawberry Yoghurt, Raspberries. 2015

This is her very scrummy, healthy banana nut granola.

I love this recipe for the fact it takes literally two minutes of effort and has five ingredients. You can do this one in your sleep!

So I swayed off course a bit and used porridge oats instead of rolled oats and peanut butter instead of almond butter… oopsie – but it still tastes just as good. Another bonus with this recipe, you can be thrifty with your ingredients.

Here’s Georgia’s recipe or you can check out her original post, over on Golden Oats, HERE.

Healthy Banana Nut Granola
Ingredients
  • 2 cups/200g rolled oats
  • 1 Very Ripe Banana, Mashed
  • 2 tbsp Almond Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Honey/Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
Method

First, preheat your oven to 160 degrees (fan) or equivalent.

Then, place all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until the oats have combined into little clusters. I use my hands for this bit – so much quicker.

Now, scatter onto a non-stick baking tray, which has been greased with a small amount of olive oil. I drizzled a bit on and used some kitchen roll to spread the oil around and soak up the excess.

Georgia’s Handy Tip No.1: “I tend not to line my tray because the heat from the metal tray helps the granola to become crispy more quickly.”

Cook your granola mix on the top shelf of your oven for 30-40 minutes. Make sure to turn the granola with a spoon every 5 minutes to ensure all the clusters turn a beautiful golden colour and get nice and crispy.

Georgia’s Handy Tip No.2: I like to turn the mixture around the tray to make sure that the middle goes to the outside and the granola cooks evenly.

Once your granola is cooked, leave to cool until it reaches room temperature. Now it’s the fun bit… choose your container of choice and add your extras.

Extras
  • Sultanas, raisins or your favourite dried fruits
  • Toasted almonds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Or any other nuts

You can either eat as is or serve with fresh or dried fruit, milk (normal, soya or nut) or your choice of yogurt.

Enjoy & check out Golden Oats for more breakfast inspiration!

The Cook’s Kitchen Candle

Kitchen Candle. 2015

Kitchen Candle. 2015

This is one of those stumble upon purchases that you end up completely loving and going back for more…

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have bought my first, or even second for that matter, Laura Ashely’s Cook’s Kitchen Candle were they not in the sale. That’s not to say they’re not worth the RRP, it’s just I’ve become such a candle enthusiast that I had to give myself a price limit… anything over that and I must stick it on the Christmas list!

It may not seem much, but £10 for a candle is unfortunately just above my self imposed limit, so to see this range in the sale for £6.30 I was a pretty happy bunny. My first purchase was the Olive & Italian Lemon Candle, which gives a subtle but fresh sent to the air. I chose the citrus scented candle thanks to the lemon element, I am a massive verbena fan – unless it starts smelling like toilet cleaner, then I’m out. However, this was not the case so I then went back and purchased the Mandarin & Ginger Candle. I use a lot of ginger and lime in my kitchen, so this candle complements the smells I fill the house with. Again, it’s a really subtle scent, yet still refreshing.

Kitchen Candle. 2015

Kitchen Candle. 2015

This candle also comes in a handy little pot – the famous ‘Kilner’ inspired, if you will. I love a candle with a lid, as much like perfume I tend to flit from scent to scent. It really bugs me when dust settles on the candle and the flame then freaks out when you come to light it again as it burns off all the dust – too much candle drama for me…

There are two other scents in this Cook’s Kitchen Candle range: Sea Salt and English Apple & Mint. These are no most definitely on the 21st wish list!

Have you tried cook’s candles? Let me know what you think and your favourite kitchen scents below…

Wake up sleepy head – it’s time for breakfast

We can stay up all night, swapping manly stories… and in the morning, I’m making waffles!

// Donkey from Shrek
American Pancakes // 2014

American Pancakes // 2014

Shockingly I have only recently discovered these awesome breakfast treats myself. And no – that’s not due to my love of the lie-in, I’ve just never been that experimental with my breakfast. I do have my boyfriend, Alex, to thank for this introduction (I assume I may get in a little bit of trouble if I don’t acknowledge his influence on this matter!) So, with this in mind I have posted the recipe for the first American pancakes I tried below:

YOUR BASIC AMERICAN PANCAKES

Recipe (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large/medium eggs (free range)
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (heaped)
  • 140ml milk (I use semi-skimmed)
  • A pinch of salt

Method:

This recipe actually works really well if there are two of you in the kitchen. You can get the pancakes and toppings all sorted and plated up so you sit down at the same time, both feeling like you’ve contributed! One of you takes the pancake prep, the other the toppings prep. But don’t worry if it’s just you – this won’t be too much work! And if there are more of you, you can take shift work on this – or maybe one day, if you’re lucky, reach the coveted ‘breakfast in bed’.

First of all you might want to start off by getting organised. Utensils wise, you will need: two large-medium bowls, a large non-stick pan, a ladle, an electric whisk, a mixing spoon, a set of scales, and a spatula. Plating-up wise you will need: four plates, four sets of knives and forks, various bowls and plates for your toppings. It is also a good idea to have a warm plate on a very low heat in the oven to keep your pancakes warm until you’ve finished cooking all of them – the same goes for keeping your crispy bacon warm, if you’re cooking a lot.

First of all separate your eggs. You want the whites in one bowl and the yolks in the other. Next add your flour, baking powder and milk to the bowl with the yolks and mix everything together. This should form a smooth, thick batter.

Now add the salt to the egg whites and whisk until they form soft peaks. (I use an electric whisk, otherwise you will be there all morning!) Then carefully fold the whites into the batter.

Next, heat your pan on a medium heat. Ladle a spoonful of batter into the pan (repeat one or two more times depending on the size of your pan). Leave for a minute or two, until the bottom starts to go firm and golden in colour. At that point, use your spatula to flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden too.

Repeat until you run out of batter.

Finally, stack up your American pancakes on the warm plate to serve.

Now for the fun bit – the toppings!

I first tried these fluffy delights back in the summer of 2014. I had just returned from Provence, in the South of France, and Alex cooked me a welcome home breakfast. We had the classic bacon and maple syrup, then a summer berry mix (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries & blueberries) and finally – just to be extra decadent – some lovely honeycomb brought back as a present for Alex from my hol’s. Served with some orange juice, what could be better?!

American Pancakes // 2014

American Pancakes // 2014

I still maintain that the classic crispy bacon and sweet, sticky maple syrup is the best thing for your American pancakes. But I will concede that this may not be either practical nor healthy for the everyday and should maybe just be saved for those occasional lovely and lazy Sunday mornings!

A popular healthy alternative is to add blueberries. These little blue fruits can be served in or on your pancakes, and taste lovely with a dollop of plain yoghurt. You could also great the zest of a lemon or orange into the batter for some citrus zing.

Summer berries are another great go-to with American pancakes. They are fresh and healthy and especially if you’re serving with syrup, they can help to cut through the sweetness with a sour hit.

Another choice is a more savoury classic: bacon and egg. Scrambled is my go-to choice for this dish, but you can experiment and see what works for you.

A new one I am looking forward to trying is sliced banana, with a drizzle of honey. If you fancy indulging your sweet tooth, this topping also works well with chocolate chips thrown into the mix.

I have also heard of Nutella (sorry not a fan) or the very Wimbledon – strawberries and cream.

The beauty of this breakfast is its versatility, it can be a healthy daily go to or that decadent once a month thing. It’s completely up to you, mix and match your toppings and fillings and let me know what you’ve tried below…