Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ramboginge & Freddy Teddy find their feet!

Sunday morning saw 4 very excited residents of Bockleberry cottages bouncing out of bed eager for what the day had in store!

A week earlier I was reading Time Out when a headline caught my eye "John Lewis is going to make your favourite teddy come to life" COULD THIS BE TRUE!??
As part of John Lewis's christmas ad campaign, Monty has set up his magical toy machine in the Oxford Street store! Using technical wizardry, your teddy is scanned in 3D top to toe and brought to life to dance with you!

I took the news home to the teddies and they were ecstatic at having the chance to dance- Ramboginge and I have been waiting for the technology for this to catch up for 30 years now!

Ramboginge and Freddy took charge of the travelling arrangements- being normal naughty teenagers and preferring to exercise their independence and sit away from Mum and Dad for once!

Getting a few funny looks on the tube!

The teddies insisted on stopping for a hearty breakfast before the shops opened, dancing fuel!

After finding our way up to the Monty's Christmas area, Ramboginge grabbed the opportunity to get a selfie with the man himself!

Henry ran into a joking fiddler and got soundly thrashed after being challenged to a penguin race!

We then reluctantly handed over the teddies to wait their turns wreak their mischief in the dancing box while we wandered around cooing over all the lovely christmas decorations, the vintage ones are definitely ending up on my tree this year!

Finally my name appeared on the countdown board and Rambo's turn was up!

He is too cute! And he has the moves too- not surprising, he has watched me dance in my room for years :)

Great place to take the kids, excellent morning out for the teddies and young at heart!

The only thing that made the morning better was a stop off at Bone daddies down the road for an alternative Sunday Lunch! Probably one of the best Ramen bars in London- there is a constant queue outside, apart from today! We were sat and slurping our noodles within 10 minutes! I went for a Spicy miso ramen with cock scratchings (tee hee!) kimchee and a pipette of silky flavoursome fat! Henry opted for the classic 20 hour pork bone broth Pork tonkotsu ramen.

With full tummys and full hearts, we boarded the train home, the teddies already wistful for another visit.

John Lewis details here
Bonedaddies here

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Bad day brownies

I love a good list, I have diarys, notepads and a mind full of them! Ok, so it might verge on obsessive... A sample of what you would find: Things to do today, things to do tomorrow, things to do this weekend, films to watch, music to listen to, games to play, karaoke songs I like... the list (Ahem) is endless!!
So when a hiccup comes along in life and stamps one of my well made lists into a muddy puddle I have to learn shrug my shoulders and make new plans! When life gives you lemons, yaddah yaddah yah.. It was a few weeks ago now that my weekend plans were completely ruined, I had a whole day planned of seeing and doing exciting things followed by a evening out with fantastic friends but the universe had other plans for me.
Books were read, sleep caught up on, and my never ending to do list was smaller at the end of the weekend and the amazing weekend I had planned just ended up being a week later instead. One more amazing thing to come out of muddy puddle weekend was my bad day brownies :) It had been a while since I had last spent an afternoon enjoying baking and taking photos and eating naughty foods,   these babies were a joy to make and scoff at the end and definitely turned the day around for me. Cooking is my stress reliever, and I enjoy losing myself in a few hours experimenting in the kitchen, I also LOVE feeding people, and the reaction from the people I gave the brownies to was one of the best Ive ever seen from my cooking!

Another recipe pilfered from my favourite Great British Chefs site this is Michelin starred chef Frances Atkins take on the chocolate brownie which I have adapted slightly. Its super quick and easy!

160g of butter
200g of plain chocolate
225g of caster sugar
3 eggs
55g of plain flour
55g of cocoa powder
100g of white chocolate
100g of hazelnuts, chopped
icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 170ÂșC/Gas mark 3

Melt the butter and the plain chocolate, separately
Whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the melted butter and plain chocolate and stir well to combine

Add the sieved flour and cocoa & stir again

Now add the nuts and chopped white chocolate

Pour on to a greased and lined tin. Bake for 20–30 minutes

Now its time to lick the bowl!!

Pop a little smiley chocolate button face on the top for good measure!



Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a glass of cold milk and hopefully a smile :)

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Take my breath away..

Its strangely exciting when you see an old favourite movie on the TV, what's even more exciting is seeing it on the big screen, outside cinemas cinema pop ups and this the silent picturehouse are great places to do just that.

I love cinema clubs, the chance to watch some of your favourite all time classic movies on the big screen.

So we rolled up to Vinopolis on Friday night, for top gun at the silent picture house, I wasn't sure what to expect..
 We were greeted by air hostesses, or equivalently dressed helpers and given our boarding passes which included a voucher for a free glass of champagne and a hot dog included in the bargain ticket price of £12.50.

The venue Vinopolis was perfect for the event, high arched ceilings leaving plenty of space to fit the big screens in, and massive sofa beds covered the floor, cooled by giant fans.

As well as our hot dog, there was a big pick and mix selection to help your self to as well as some uniquely themed popcorn flavours.

Settled in our front row seats, I joked with Henry that the air hostesses were now handing out more hot dogs for the hungry, quick as a flash he was up, and then back quickly rebuffed by a 6.50 price tag :( Never mind, our attendants soon brought out some ice creams!

Gotta love the service here, not long before settling in to watch Tom Cruise innuendo his way through the movie- Henry was apologetically brought another hot dog, shortly after followed by another glass of champagne each, what, we thought is the apology for? We are sorry Henry is greedy maybe? ha ha

Leaving a little tipsy later on to continue our evening, we were handing a selection of hotel chocolates and an Elemis in-flight gift bag- a unexpected and lovely little treat!

I wish I had the option to go to silent picture house every week instead of our nearest crappy Vue cinema! Comfy seats, freebies and great film selections! Bring on the next one!

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Cheesus christ!

A little ode to two ladies whose recipes I always love.

I originally made a variation of this recipe back in the summer using rosemary and figs which was expectedly awesome, after seeing Rosie Londoners' drool worth pictures.
 Over xmas I love to make lots of little hand made food goodies for people, I take a day off work, and work flat out all day making such delicacies as Candied valencia oranges dipped in chocolate, Earl grey and orange prunes, rosemary and pine nut brittle, panne forte, raspberry and thai basil jam and my personal favourite Chorizo jam!
Taken from, what this lady does not know about bacon & pig products in general is not worth knowing!

I had a stroke of inspiration one glum and rainy day while peeking in the fridge- the camembert was shyly snuggling up to the chorizo jam on the top shelf & I knew it would be a match made in heaven! Sweet and spicy nuggets of chorizo, gloriously gloopy and rich camembert, all enveloped in a pastry cuddle of crisp croissant and mopped up with fresh chunks of crusty white bread... I found food heaven!!!!

For a quick fix you can always pick up a jar of chorizo or bacon jam from waitrose or whole foods- but I don't have to tell you it just won't taste quite as good!

Chorizo Jam (Original recipe here:)
380g soft cooking chorizo, chopped into small chunks (I used these spicy ones)
2 red onions, peeled and chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped finely
2 red chillies chopped finely (I use large ones)
400ml nice cider 
150g nice honey
4 tbsp good sherry vinegar

- Saute the chorizo in a large pan for about 5 minutes. You want the chorizo to still be soft, but turning slightly brown in places
- Take the chorizo out of the pan, leaving in the oil. Sweat the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent, but haven't got any colour on them.
- Add the remaining ingredients (Garlic, chillies, cider, honey and sherry vinegar) bring to the boil, the reduce the heat to a simmer.
- Leave to bubble and thicken for about 45 minutes, until it takes on a 'jammy' consistency.
- Pop into a blender & pulse for a minute or so- it should still be quite chunky!

Now for the cheese!!
You will need:
1 packet of ready made croissant dough
1 jar of chorizo jam
1 wheel of camembert 
Something to dip in the cheese- I like a fresh baguette, but you can use veggies for a healthy twist!

- Unwrap the croissant dough, it comes in a strip with perforations- just ignore the holes!
- Now place the camembert on the dough, and cover completely with the chorizo jam.

- Wrap the dough like a snuggly duvet round the cheese, try to leave no holes!

(If you're lucky, you may have some spare to make little chorizo croissants!)

- Pop it in a preheated oven (200c) for about 20 minutes or until its nicely browned & melty in the middle.

- Slice through the crust in the gooey centre and feed to your favourite person!

Now that is a happy face! Enjoy :)