Thursday, 29 January 2015

Breakfast Jars of Heaven

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I seriously love breakfast. It is my morning motivation to jump out of bed, and my current obsession is making beautiful, healthy breakfasts in mason jars. (Don't mason jars make everything look so much cooler/taste better?!)

The best thing about these are that they are even easier than my usual microwaved-porridge-and-fruit, perfect if you have early mornings and even better if you need to eat breakfast on the run. I ate mine on the bus and everyone glared at me jealously hehehe. They also taste literally out of this world amazing!

Fifteen Uses for Glass Jars. I just started saving these things hoping that Pinterest might have cool uses....

First of all, find yourself a jar (this is non compulsory, but will make your breakfast very Insta-worthy). There are so many kinds out there, for super duper cheap. Mine looks a little like this.

Then, the night before your desired breakfast-eating time, fill your jar with your base. I usually put in 30-40 grams of porridge oats (roughly 150 calories), goji berries (my other current main obsession) and chia seeds. You can add anything you want, but oats are usually a good place to start followed by nuts/berries/raisins/fruit/other healthy things like flaxseed etc. Then add a reasonable amount of milk or water - I use almond milk as it is really healthy and tastes amazing - give it a stir round and pop it in the fridge. Overnight, your ingredients will double in size and become incredibly tasty.

In the morning, you will find your breakfast ready and waiting for you! Now comes the fun bit of toppings - you can use whatever you want, but usually I just pile on as much fruit as will fit in the jar. Generally a mix of chopped banana, strawberries and blueberries.

Maybe take a photo if you are feeling particularly proud (I become very overexcited at this breakfast every morning and take pictures, because I am quite a geek), mix it up and tuck in!

Let me know what you think!


Monday, 26 January 2015

Date Day

I love day dates, especially in London. There's literally so much you can do - just get the tube to a random area and stroll around, discovering hidden shops, cute cafes and swanky restaurants. Last weekend the sun made a rare-ish January appearance so we wrapped up in lots of layers and headed out! 

I took Dima to Primrose Hill, this beautiful village-like area I had a shoot in a couple of weeks ago. This is yummy-mummy and posh dog territory - on every road there were at least 5 dogs happily bouncing along in the sunshine. We found the Ripe Kitchen, a cafe that generously let me change in their bathroom on the shoot day - they had 4 bowls of free cake samples so obviously I went back for more! 

Exceptional coffee and a vegan, gluten free cheesecake! 

Fuelled by coffee, we started our ascent up the hill..

Which was a lot tougher to walk up than it looks! 

But the views are worth it. And running down the hill of course! 

We just kept going straight, all the way through Regent's Park until we got to a tube station (which happened to be very very far away - we were walking for hours!)

I tried to take my polaroid camera out for a day trip, but it doesn't get on too well with the sunshine!

All that walking made us both extremely hungry - lucky that we found ourselves in Soho, surrounded by hundreds of restaurants. However generally eating out in London on the weekend looks a little something like this - 

A queue for the breakfast club at 2pm on a Saturday! It's good, but not that good! 
So it's a matter of searching out the just-opened-but-not-yet-on-timeout-london restaurants, the ones that stay secret for a couple of weeks before they either become fully booked for the next month or have a queue shivering in the cold outside all day, everyday. (Patty & Bun I'm looking at you and your amazing food hidden behind a constant hour long queue!)

First of all we tried out Bunnychow - a place I'd heard about quite a bit and thought they were based in Shoreditch's Box Park. They just opened a permanent restaurant in Soho! Bunnychow basically empty out reasonably sized loafs of bread and fill the innards with different delicious fillings - we went for meatballs. Other menu stand outs were the pulled pork, and the full english breakfast in a loaf. 

Highly recommended - their food was filling (more than enough to share one between two), reasonably priced (roughly £7 per loaf) and most importantly, perfect food for when it is freezing outside. The juices (above) were also some of the best I've had - particularly the plum and mint. Get the juice!

We purposefully shared one Bunnychow so we could find something else to try too - next up was Shoryu Ramen which was some of the best I've tried in London. 

The restaurant is teeny, hidden away in China Town and buzzing with the atmosphere of hot sizzling gyozas and steaming ramens being hurried around to hungry people. 

Try and get all of the above - from the fluffy bun stuffed with incredible pork, cooked to perfection gyozas and a filling ramen - it's a perfect meal.

Dima agrees! 

We finished off our mega-date at Pace Gallery, checking out some amazing photography before going home to play Crash Bandicoot all day - cultural! 

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Getting healthy - and staying that way!

Remember I said I was going to get fit in 2015? So far I have done pretty well - I gave up chocolate for 22 days (which is a huge achievement in my world), rejoined the gym and got back into a healthy mindset. 
After a few pilates class I can finally almost see my abs again after their Christmas holidays!
I've recently joined Kiss Gym in Acton, literally a five minute walk from my house. This has massively helped because not only has it got a women's section (thank the lord), all the equipment and classes you could need, it is only £20 a month!

I have porridge every morning for breakfast, and love it.That probably makes me a bit weird, but my porridge is normally my favourite meal of the day. 

I also bought this giant pack of Goji berries from Amazon for £5, and have become totally obsessed with them. I put them in my porridge (along with banana and chia seeds) and then snack on them all day like raisins. They are pretty much posh raisins with a tonne of health benefits - just be careful they don't get stuck in your teeth like mind did!

This water bottle has also massively improved my water drinking - after spotting my friend with one I found it on Amazon and bought it for a cool £10. It is pretty snazzy, it has a juicer in the bottom so you can put anything in there (lemon is probably the most obvious) and have more interesting water. 

So, all in all looking healthier! Although I did fall off the wagon this week and had a gigantic chocolate and general food meltdown. But the important thing is to start back up again and clear your mind (I hope!) - you can't change the past, but you can change the future :) 

Eat for the body you WANT and not the body you HAVE.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Plum & Spilt Milk

I haven't been out for an amazing meal in what seems like forever, but this one more than made up for it. Plum & Spilt Milk is a restaurant overlooking Kings Cross, wonderfully wacky with great food.

The restaurant is beautifully decorated, with lots of random art dotted around, impressive jam jars for lights and milk stickers lining the walls. It was packed out, despite it being a Wednesday evening.

It was my sister's birthday, so we celebrated with lots of excellent cocktails before my dad finally arrived. We were also given warm, fresh bread which Dima finished off all by himself!

Raspberry Bellini - perfect

My dad arrived and we got on with ordering. Because he lives in Russia, whenever he comes over to England we go out for gigantic feasts, which often leave me comatose - this was no different. I went for Steak Tartare for starter, which was incredible. 

For mains me and my sister shared a roast chicken, and our boyfriends shared a gigantic kilogram of steak! (Which, at £42 for 2 is quite reasonably priced). Both were great quality and worth the money. 

Those onion rings still haunt my dreams, the best I've ever had!

The sides were as good as the main event - I particularly loved the caramelized parsnips and carrots (healthy right?!) and super creamy mash. Everything was cooked to perfection and the service was brilliant, we had a great waiter who gave the perfect level of service when he is nearby but not annoyingly so. He also recommended us the best red wine I've ever had - maybe if I hadn't drunk so much of it I could remember the name! 

We were all stuffed to the brim after this but the puddings were calling our names. 

If I hadn't been on a chocolate ban, the fondant would definitely be my first choice. I went for the maple, pecan and bourbon sponge pudding.

It was good, but Dima's Plum & Spilt Milk was SO INCREDIBLE that I ended up eating all of his when he wasn't looking. Two desserts, hey! 

We were all trying to debate what the 'spilt milk' part was. I think it's the ice cream, but my family think it is a type of milk - any ideas? Whatever it was, this was the BEST thing ever. Actually no, my sister's Iced Peanut & Salted Caramel Mousse was the best thing I ate that night. I definitely recommend getting and eating both of these, they were mind blowing. 

We finally finished our beautiful meal, after watching the restaurant empty out as we ploughed on with our eating and drinking. Luckily there is a food coma throne right on hand for those who can't make it down all of the stairs. 

Convenient! I'd definitely recommend Plum & Spilt Milk for a family dinner (or a very expensive amazing one with whomever can afford it) - it was an amazing setting and every single thing we ate was cooked to perfection. Judging by the instagram stalking I did, they do a mean brunch too. 

Find them here