Treat yourself with this Raw Snickers Cake

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snickers-raw-cake_ raw-cake-snickers raw-snickers_cakeOur Clandestine Cake club fell on Halloween for the month of October however we decided to go against tradition of making Halloween/scary/pumpkin cakes and the theme instead was favourite chocolate bars.

As a terribly indecisive person, usually when I learn of the theme for cake club I spend a good bit of time deciding on what to make (there can always be so many options) and then end up changing my mind last minute.  However, this month as soon as I learnt what the theme was I chose my chocolate bar straight away which meant I just needed to find/think up a recipe for it.

For me I am a huge chocolate lover and have many favourite chocolate bars, turnock caramel bar (yes please) whittakers coconut slab & that new dairy milk bar with white, dark and milk chocolate (yum!),  however one bar which I love in both its bar form and as an ice cream is snickers. Continue reading

Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without some Pumpkin Pie

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pie_pumpkinpumpkin-pieHalloween is one of my favourite seasons. I have so many fun memories of it from childhood starting with playing bobbing apples and having a nose filled with water, to having friends over to watch horror films as well as the yearly tradition of watching Hocus Pocus or Practical Magic!

I used to love trick or treating and continued going until I was far too old! One year, my siblings and I went knocking on our neighbours doors and one person asked for a trick instead of a treat and we had nothing for them so the following year we filled a plastic bag with rotten eggs and ketchup and made them put their hand inside. Wild I know.

One of my favourite memories was watching the film Candyman with my friend Christopher when we were about 13 years old and we were sitting in a room where there was a mirror directly to Christopher’s left. In the scene where Candyman comes out from the mirror I remember screaming so much and then laughing hysterically after at how scared we both were.

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It’s tea, not potpourri – Tearoute Launches in London

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As a huge fan of tea I was pretty excited to be invited to the press night of tearoute last Tuesday night which took place at the Albion in Farringdon. Tearoute is an online tea shop offering a Greek twist on teas with a choice of over 80, and home delivery now available across the UK and Europe. Set up by Milena Bottero, entrepreneur and tea enthusiast, tearoute introduces a beautifully aromatic selection of whole leaf teas inspired by the Mediterranean and top quality single origin teas from Asia. When choosing the tea of your choice not only does tearoute provide you with a beautiful image of the tea but you are informed about where the tea is from, how it makes you feel, what its scent is and what food pairing it can go with. Continue reading

TeaRoute- Introducing tea with a twist!

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alexandria-symphony-fruit-tea natural-ingredients-of-autumn-sonata-tea-including-almond-pieces-cactus-blossoms-and-vanilla-pieces Milena Bottero, entrepreneur and tea enthusiast, launches tearoute.co.uk – an online tea shop offering a Greek twist on teas with a choice of over 80, and home delivery now available across the UK and Europe.

Tearoute introduces a beautifully aromatic selection of whole leaf teas inspired by the Mediterranean and top quality single origin teas from Asia. Shoppers are invited to navigate the extensive list of flavoured teas, wellness teas and true origin white, green and black teas, making this online store a one-stop shopping hub for those seeking tea blends with natural ingredients including essential oils, dried fruits, flower blossoms and spices.

This new online tea shop has been brought to the UK by Milena, who along with her uncle JeanMarie Verlet who founded the family company in Greece in 2001, works with farmers in Epirus, Thessaly and the Peloponnese. Together they have travelled to tea gardens in China, Japan and India looking for small producers who share their passion for amazing aromas and unusual flavours. Continue reading

Step into Italy at Vicino

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Insalata Tricolore mozzarella, plum tomato & avocado salad based with pesto sauce (v) (n) gf -ú7.5 (1) vicino vicino_ Casarecce Con Ragu Di Salsiccia Piccante twisted pasta with a spicy tuscan sausage ragu -ú10 (1)Last Wednesday night my friend Ali and I dined at the charming Italian restaurant known as Vicino. Vicino serves genuine Italian cooking from the heart. Home-cooked authentic Italian cuisine is served in this favourite local neighbourhood restaurant nestled in the leafy borough of Parsons Green

Vicino is the Italian meaning for “neighbour” and the restaurant was given this name by one of their regular customers who is now a part of the family.

Known all over London for its fresh Billingsgate Market lobster, Vicino customers are loyal friends and locals who have been coming to this restaurant for years. Guests travel all over London to have Vicino’s delicious Linguine con Aragosta, Vino Bianco, Aglio e Peperoncino – which is Whole Lobster with Linguine, with White Wine Sauce, Garlic, Olive Oil & Chilli .

Lobster Spaghetti (2)Vicino restaurant is simply beautiful. Decorated with vintage Italian posters and hanging garlic, you feel as you enter that you have stepped into a little part of Italy. At 7.30 the restaurant was already full and Ali and I couldn’t wait to see what was on offer on the menu.

There is a wide selection of what to choose on the menu. Head chef Marco Moscoloni brings his traditional Tuscan cooking to Vicino. Having developed his love for seafood cooking working at 5 star restaurants by the Adriatic Sea, Marco landed the role of junior sous chef at Saraghino restaurant at the age of 17. He then broadened his experience in a number of restaurants in Mayfair and Chelsea, such as Convivio and Dolada, where he experimented with fine dining and new cooking techniques. 

At the helm of Vicino, Marco has developed a number of signature recipes of his own from his hometown Marche – Casareece Sausages, White Lasagne porcino mushroom and truffle, Linguine Cartuccio, pappardelle with veal straccetti or his seafood fish stew, that have since become a staple of his cooking.

With this knowledge and with the recommendation of the lobster Ali and I knew what we wanted for our mains but for starters we opted for the Insalata Tricolore mozzarella -plum tomato & avocado salad based with pesto sauce which was presented beautifully and probably one of the tastiest starters I have had as well as the Prosciutto e Fichi -parma ham with fresh figs, goat cheese crumbled & aged balsamic. I love any dish with goat’s cheese in and the cheese accompanied with fig was fresh, sweet and delicious.

Mozarella & avocado

Prosciutto e Fichi parma ham with fresh figs, goat cheese crumbled & aged balsamicFor mains I went for the Spaghetti all’Aragosta – half fresh lobster, served with spaghetti in tomato, garlic & chilli sauce which definitely lives up to its rave reviews. Ali had the Casarecce Con Ragu Di Salsiccia Piccante – twisted pasta with a spicy tuscan sausage ragu which she thoroughly enjoyed. The portions are very decent in size meaning you’re pretty full halfway through the dish but because both were so delicious, we just had to finish them. We had a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc, poeta della Vigna- which was a wonderful accompaniment to the pasta dishes.
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sausage ragu We didn’t have room for dessert but again with such a wonderful selection of desserts on the menu, we had to try one. Ali opted for the Zabaglione a light dessert of whipped sugar & eggs flavoured with Marsala, traditionally whisked by hand in a copper bowl which was light, delicious and boozy whilst I opted for the chocolate and passion fruit cheesecake. I don’t think you can go wrong with ordering cheesecake and this one definitely didn’t disappoint.

Zabaglione - a light dessert of whipped sugar & eggs flavoured with Marsala, traditionally whisked by hand in a copper bowl -ú4.5 (1)

Lemon Cheese Cake (2)We left the restaurant with painful but satisfied tummies and a really enjoyable evening. It is the perfect place to go to for a date, with family or to catch up with friends, where you can get an incredible meal for fantastic value. Vicino’s charm, atmosphere and classic delicious food guarantees loyal customers who when craving a taste of Italy know exactly where to come.

 

Foodies Festival Returns to Alexandra Palace Park 27th – 29th August

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London Set for a Taste-Bud-Tickling Bank Holiday as Foodies Festival Returns to Alexandra Palace Park 27th – 29th August

Londoners in search of a Bank Holiday Weekend filled with food and fun should head to Foodies Festival at Alexandra Palace Park this weekend (27-29th August) as the UK’s biggest celebration of food & drink returns to the capital with a lip-smacking line-up of foodie fun.

The ever-expanding Street Food Avenue is the highlight of this weekend’s festival, featuring some of London’s favourite street food traders as well as flavours and delicacies from around the world, which visitors can enjoy in the giant Feasting Tent.  
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An Artisan Market showcases over 100 award-winning producers from across the country for festival-goers to sample and shop from, and a new Vintage Tea Tentserving afternoon tea offers a relaxing retreat with cakes, scones, finger sandwich and a selection of teas served on vintage china. Continue reading

Spiced Salmon and Mango Cous Cous

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salmon & mango cous cous salmon & mango vegetable cous cous

Summer has finally arrived, meaning soups are out the window and summer salads are in. When the weather’s sunny I always find I want to make something quick and easy in the kitchen so I can spend more time outside enjoying it.

This delicious salmon dish is light, easy to make and perfect for summer. I recently made it with my friend Maz after a lovely day of sunny hiking (where we both realised we need to get fitter!) and rather than coming home and indulging in sugary food and a stodgy dinner we vowed to make something healthy.

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Peanut Butter Energy Balls

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A couple of weeks ago I took part in a wonderful challenge with the charity North London Cares. They are a charity that aim to tackle isolation and loneliness in over 65’s who live in Camden and Islington. I joined North London Cares as a volunteer in December 2015 and it is has been such a great experience. They run a wide variety of projects from film clubs to cooking classes, yoga and socials offer engaging and wonderful moments to talk to someone you wouldn’t always get the chance to, build new friendships and combat loneliness. I love going along to the film nights on Tuesdays and the radio podcasts on Saturdays and just listening to other people’s stories.

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The Art of Dining Presents Fire & Feast at The London Dungeon

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Art of Dining_Fire and Feast Sichuan style beef ribs in fire sauce with braised greens and garlic rice_The Art of Dining are back and this time they’ve brought their amazing Fire and Feast five course pop up to The London Dungeon. We were lucky enough to head on down on Monday night to get a sneak preview on what was on offer and it definitely did not disappoint!

Farriner's Flame CocktailArriving at the Dungeons, which are now located near Waterloo station next to the London eye, we left the lovely sunshine to go deep into the darkness where we were greeted with a glass of bubbly and some eccentric characters who brought us back to the year of 1666 when the Great Fire of London began.
Offering a taster of the new show ‘Escape the Great Fire of London’ you are guaranteed plenty of surprises as you unravel your way through the dark and spooky rooms. Be warned there may also be a few moments where you’ll be needing to grab hold of your plus one!
After having a fabulous taster of the show we carried on through the twists and the turns until we reached the tavern where several tables were laid out beautifully for our feast for the evening.

Jester

Moro trained chef Ellen Parr once again demonstrated her culinary skills to perfection in both presentation and taste with her incredible five course menu which was broken down to Bread, Smoke, Fire, Burnt and Ash. As we sat down to our tables in the old fashioned tavern, we were treated to a burnt orange cocktail and an envelope which was a game of charades with some of the hardest cards inside! Continue reading

The Art of Dining & London Dungeon Presents Fire and Feast!

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 THE ART OF DINING & THE LONDON DUNGEON PRESENT

ESCAPE THE GREAT FIRE

Fire & Feast

Unique evening pop up dining experience from Tuesday 14 June 2016

The Art of Dining and The London Dungeon are delighted to present Fire & Feast, a unique evening event marking the opening of an immersive new show – Escape the Great Fire – at the famous attraction. Diners will journey through The Great Fire of London presented as a five course pop-up dining experience, combining food, theatre, music and design in the atmospheric setting of the London Dungeon.

London. 1666. The capital is a disaster waiting to happen; timber houses packed cheek-by-jowl, just waiting for a spark to set the whole city ablaze. At the Dungeon Tavern, a feast is being held in honour of Sir Thomas Bludworth, the Lord Mayor of London. The evening is beset by rumours and worry about a fire that started the previous night and is said to be spreading to all areas of the city. Bludworth’s staff, at his behest, are trying to keep a lid on the creeping panic, but as the evening unfolds it becomes clear that this could be the guests’ last meal and they may not make it out alive…

Guests will get an exclusive taste of the London Dungeon’s new ‘Escape The Great Fire’ show as well as sampling some special gallows humour courtesy of the London Dungeon’s Jester and the Plague Surgery, which is dealing with a nasty case of the Great Plague. Continue reading