Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Recipe: Radish, Caper & Semi-dried Tomato Salad with Homemade Lemon Garlic Dressing + 5 Herb & Garlic Barbecue Chicken Thighs

Salads in our house are delicious, but they're pretty much all the same. Lettuces from the vegetable plot. We also grow our own tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes and spring onions, and in all of these go. Black olives out of a jar, and if they're in season, fresh peas or broad beans from the vegetable plot. Red or orange peppers cut into long strips, and baby beetroot for everyone else, because I still think they taste like compost. As I said, delicious, but always the same. We don't push the boat out with dressings either, unless I've been bothered to make one. Local garlicy Benenden Sauce for me, Honey Mustard for my Mum, and Classic French for my Dad. 
Radish, Caper & Semi-dried Tomato Salad with Homemade Lemon Garlic Dressing

Friday, 20 June 2014

Life Update: I'm Off Travelling!

I've already mentioned a bit about my upcoming trip over the past few weeks, but because I'm not sure what sort of internet (if any) I'll have so I thought I'd let you know that on Sunday I'm off travelling for the next few weeks, so you can expect me to be a little quiet on the social media front. However, I do have some fantastic (if I do say so myself) posts set and scheduled to go off while I'm away, so you won't be missing out on your usual posts! (Though, I will be going Tuesday-Thursday rather than Monday-Wednesday-Friday, and there won't be Weekly Love.) And what I'll have for you when I get back will be even more exciting. 

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Student Suppers: S'mores Barbecue Bananas

Things have been a little bit healthy for a while around here recently on the recipe front, haven't I? And because the next few recipes I have ready to go online are also for lighter Summer eats, I thought it was time for something that was a little bit naughty. Another one of my 'not really a recipe' more of a foodie idea post, of what you can do with the last bit of heat from your barbecue, tin foil, a pair of bananas, a bar of milk chocolate, a handful of mini marshmallows and a digestive biscuit, all things you can typically have.
S'mores Barbecue Bananas

Monday, 16 June 2014

Recipe: Cucumber, Chilli & Poppy Seed Salad

I have talked a lot about how I manage to eat so many cookies, burgers and down so many glasses of wine and cocktails in my eating philosophy blog post, but there is one thing that is missing from that post; my version of 'clean eating'. Sometimes, in spite of avoiding eating rubbish and trying to exercise, real life (usually when I'm cooking for more than just me, and I have to compromise how I normally eat to keep everyone happy) gets in the way and my jeans feel a little tighter than I'd like. In these times I do my version of 'clean eating' until I feel better. This means not drinking alcohol at home, only when I go out unless I have people over, laying off of the unsalted French butter rich recipes and avoiding sugar whenever possible. When I do need to include sugar in something I always use unrefined. This cucumber salad (we already have loads in the greenhouse) is one such recipe, adapted to make it a little healthier from the original Ottolenghi cookbook.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Weekly Love: Week 131

Hasn't the weather been glorious? I know some people have found it too hot, but I live for the Summer weather, both in the city when I've been flitting to and from meetings, and in the countryside where I can find a nice sunny spot to do my days work from with a nice tall glass of iced water. Working your way across London to meet people in various cafes and office is so much nicer when you don't have to worry about having an umbrella, and where their air conditioning comes as a pleasant surprise. In case you had not noticed, as usual I've been eating a lot recently (what changes?), so I hope that has been suitably reflected in this edition!
Weekly Love 130614[1]
1. Summer time means it is finally fully BBQ season! | 2. The simply show stopping Queen of Puddings dessert at Deeson's in Canterbury. | 3. It is salad season, and this beauty is coming soon! | 4. Mackerel and Pickled Red Onion Crostini, and a flip through Waitrose Kitchen between meetings at my favourite little Italian bar in Covent Garden, Augustus Harris. | 5. Supper sunny country days over the Kentish countryside. | 6. Sampling Club Burrito in Canterbury. I'd call it more drunk food than a restaurant destination, but I want to go back for cocktails because their guacamole is amazing.

Weekly Love 130614[2]
7. The 'Chocolate Chiller Thriller' with Honeycomb ice cream at The Griffins Head, my favourite pub in Kent. | 8. Trust when I move off of Mile End Road Soho House open up a Dirty Burger/ Chicken Shop outpost there. Their English Muffin topped with Fried Egg, Roast Tomato and Avocado breakfast is unbeatable. | 9. Their raspberry doughnuts are also amazing. | 10. Good green breakfast smoothies, | 11. My heart almost stopped when I discovered that my favourite stationary company in the world, Sugar Paper, Los Angeles now stocks selected styles of their notecards and notebooks in Selfridges. | 12. Mussels in Cream and Cider at Deeson's.

What have you been enjoying this week, and what do you have planned for the weekend? I'm going to be at home working hard on future continent, as I'm off on holiday for two weeks the weekend after! And I've got to unpack all the boxes that used to be my London flat... 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Finals Day at Chesterton Polo In The Park

Last Summer while I was still living in Los Angeles two of my best friends went to Polo In The Park without me and their Instagrams made me very jealous, and a little left out. (It was hardly their fault I'd chosen to up sticks and move to California, to be fair!) So, that evening over Skype we made plans to all go together next year. Next year was Sunday, when we, along with a few of our other friends all headed off to Hurlington Park on the gloriously hot (hotter than L.A.) day we had for Finals Day at Polo In The Park 2014. 
Polo In The Park 5

Monday, 9 June 2014

Street Feast #dalstonyard: BOB Lobster, Bleeker St. Burger, Breddos Tacos, Sorbitum Ices, Rotary Bar & The Gin Store

Easily the best thing about Summer in East London is Street Feast, every Friday and Saturday night until September in Dalston Yard. I had such a blast at my first ever Street Feast experience at Street Feast Europe last year I'd meant to catch up with them again sooner at Hawker House over the Winter. However, real life happened and it was Summer again before I managed to make it to my next Street Food festival in #dalstonyard, the car park full of old shipping containers they've made their home a stones throw from Dalston Junction Overground Station on Saturday night to fill up on their new offerings.
Street Feast London Dalston Yard

Friday, 6 June 2014

Gift Guide: Fathers Day 2014

It's that time of year again. I'm simply terrible at buying gifts for guys, and usually end up on falling back on the old favourites of a bottle of something, or chocolate. I learnt along time again that most men, my father included love chocolate as much as us girls. Fathers Day this year falls on June 15th, and thankfully for me it is the last family gift giving occasion I need to worry about until Christmas. Yay for Spring birthdays!
Fathers Day Gift Guide 2014

Obviously as it is my go to, I had to include a bottle of something in here somewhere. Yes, I've pretty much only chosen Cockburns Port because my Dad drinks it, but it is pretty much a Dad drink anyway, isn't it. If he is more of a gin person I'd recommend Martin Miller's. In retrospect, looking at the graphic I have put together, I'm very sorry for those of you who are looking for gift ideas and you have a Dad who does not drink; we've got port, a hip flask, a tankard, 'Drinks Monitor' badge (that looks exactly like my old school 'House Captain' badge) and drinks coasters shaped like old records, because if you're in your 20's like me, our Dads are that sort of age, aren't they?

Something that I have not included here, but I think would make a nice thoughtful, bit more personalised gift without having to get something that is actually personalised, are old school and club socks. Presents For Men have so many great British school's official colours for sale, some members clubs and a snazzy Help For Hero's pair. Though I'm not a guy, because I'm totally down with my old school colours I actually want to order a pair for myself to wear inside and over the top of my long leather boots or inside my Hunters in the Autumn. 

The joke is, is I've come up with a few different ideas here to suit plenty of different Dads, but I still don't have a clue what I'm going to get my own! Is anyone else still as stuck for ideas as I am, or are you all sorted already? I usually come up with presents way in advance, but this year I've failed a little!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Student Suppers: Skinny Sticky Storecupboard Barbecue Chicken

Barbecue season is upon us, and to celebrate National Barbecue Week this week, I thought I'd share with you another of my family's go to barbecue favourites (I shared our favourite Chicken, Bacon & Honey Mustard Skewers last Summer), our Skinny Sticky Storecupboard Barbecue Chicken, as well as my menu for a super easy Summer barbecue with all the trimmings you can make ahead to share with family and friends.
Skinny Sticky Storcupbard Barbecue Chicken 1

Monday, 2 June 2014

Swimwear For Girls With A Bigger Bust (2014 Edition)

Two Summers ago I wrote a post titled 'Swimwear For Girls With A Bigger Bust' which has proven to be one of the most popular posts I've ever written for this site. I put a new, updated post together last year, and that has been equally as popular. I know this is mostly a food website these days, but I'm also planning on including a lot more travel features in the near future, and a girl as to wear something on the beach! And besides, in case you had not noticed my daydreaming self seems to think I still live within easy distance of Santa Monica Beach, so I still imagine myself walking through the waves in an old pair of pink bleach wash Levi cutoffs and one of my favourite blue and white striped halter neck bikini tops. And shopping for regularly busted girls swimwear is unfairly easy, and I'm more than happy to step into the breach and help girls like me out with their shopping!
Bravissimo SS14
Bravissimo SS14 Bikinis

My first stop for everything in this category is always Bravissimo. It is a fantastic website that, as well as their own styles sells a whole host of great (and sometimes hard to track down) brands for lingerie, swimwear, nightwear, work out clothes, and has a clothing line for bigger busted girls called Pepperberry, too. Also, if you like to try before you buy they have stores all over the country, including one in Covent Garden and Oxford Circus. I also love their photography, and while I do do most of my mail order shopping online these days, I do still love their catalogue. My favourite above is the blue halter neck style from Pour Moi.
Figleaves SS14 Bikinis

For the past two years my swimwear, both from other brands (also stuff I can get from Bravissimo, if both sites have what I want I go for what has my size still in stock or any special offers they are running at the time) and from their own collection, and I've been really, really happy with everything I've ordered. I love this yellow halter from Panache (who make really comfortable swimwear, though I would not recommend their bras!), but what I really love from Figleaves is their own style halter necks which are super amazing and flattering. My favourite bikini top is a blue and white striped halter neck from two Summers ago that I adore.
Figleaves SS14 Swimsuits

I never really used to be interested in one much, but after putting this selection together this year I think I want an all in one swimsuit. How flattering and lovely are these styles? I'd never heard of Miraclesuit before I stumbled across these very elegant (and shaping!) blue and black numbers on the Figleaves site. I'd happily wear both, though I adore the black. Elegant for a sun lounger, but from the looks of things also practical to swim in too. At £120 each they are pretty pricy though, but this third Figleaves own is a fraction of that at £35, pretty elegant, and well fitted, if my experiences with their separates are anything to go by. 
Rigby & Peller Swimsuit

I've never really explored Rigby & Peller swimwear before, mainly because of the price point. I adore their styles for everything, but I simply can't afford it. However, looking how the prices are slowly hiking up for the brands I do usually buy, I have been starting to take a bit of a shifty. This little mission lead to me falling head over heels for this amazing palm print swimsuit, which also comes in an awesome bikini style, too.
Boux Avenue SS14 Bikinis

Now, while I've been into their Westfield London store and had a look at their swimwear, and decided that it was really great, but not quite up to the quality of what I personally fork out for from Bravissimo and Figleaves, I've always featured some offerings from Boux Avenue in this roundup as a cheaper alternative. Buying bigger bust swimwear and lingerie actually adds up to be pretty pricy. However, the prices seem to have gone up this year. These styles are only a pound or two cheaper from a lot of the Figleaves offerings I've featured this year, so I'm curious to see if the quality has improved. Do any of you own any Boux Avenue swimwear? I do like some of the styles this year, like the polka dots, and the Lanzarote neon bikini that they also had last year and comes in lots of great colours. If I were going somewhere sunny on holiday this year (I'm going to Norway and Iceland, though!) I'd probably pick one of these up as an extra to some of the expensive styles I had when I was wearing them all the time in Los Angeles.

Finally we get to ASOS, who I used to include as another budget option (I've never tried their fuller bust swimwear, but it is on my to do list), and is pretty much the only one now. They also stock higher end brands, and their core collection is pretty much the same as it was last year. I do however, want to draw your attention to the fact they now stock size measured New Look swimwear at a fantastic price point, and this wonderful wrap around style which is a 'Fuller Bust' exclusive
ASOS Swim SS14
New Look Kelly Brook Rose Underwired Bikini Top: £16.99New Look Kelly Brook Rose Ruched Bikini Bottom: £10.99ASOS Fuller Bust Exclusive Underwired Wrap Fuller Bust Bikini Top DD-G: £18ASOS Exclusive Tab Side Hipster Bikini Pant: £12

Finally we get to ASOS, who I used to include as another budget option (I've never tried their fuller bust swimwear, but it is on my to do list), and is pretty much the only one now. They also stock higher end brands, and their core collection is pretty much the same as it was last year. I do however, want to draw your attention to the fact they now stock size measured New Look swimwear at a fantastic price point, and this wonderful wrap around style which is a 'Fuller Bust' exclusive.

I hope this round up has been helpful, and I'd love to hear if you have any more shopping destinations that you think that I should add to this list. Back to regular programming tomorrow with one of my go to favourite barbecue recipes, and my menu for the perfect, make ahead barbecue for friends.