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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Review: Spianata, Mayfair

I was at Spianata, five weeks ago and thinking back, two things come to mind, controlled sandwiches and exceptionally delicious paninis. The second point is self-explanatory- Paninis from Spianata are very tasty which I guess shouldn’t be a surprise considering the company’s Italian roots. Originating from Rome where every meal is an event, this sandwich shop uses only fresh ingredients …

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Double berry muffins

Made with wholemeal flour and a double berry boost, these muffins are the perfect treat to take to work. Makes 12 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Ingredients 150g (5oz) plain wholemeal flour 150g (5oz) plain white flour 3 level teaspoons baking powder 100g (4oz) caster sugar 50g (2oz) butter 4 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil 150g (5oz) low fat …

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Review: Ping Pong Restaurant, Wembley. London Designer Outlet

I had heard great things about Ping Pong so I wanted to kill two birds with one stone – visit Ping Pong and check out the London Designer Outlet, all for the first time. With seven restaurants already opened around London, I had high expectations of the newly opened Ping Pong restaurant and I wasn’t disappointed. It became quickly obvious …

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Strawberry and Blueberry Crumble

It doesn’t seem to matter what size your Christmas cake is, there is always a little bit of marzipan left that you don’t know what to do with. Don’t throw it away, just 75g (3oz) adds festive flavour to a simple crumble, delicious spooned over fresh fruity strawberries and blueberries. Serves 4 Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 20-25 minutes Ingredients 1 …

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Gluten-free mini strawberry frangipanes

Packed into a pretty box, these mini frangipanes make a great gift or alternative to a box of chocolates when going for dinner with friends. Makes 24 Preparation: 20 minutes Cook: 12-15 minutes Ingredients 175g (6oz) strawberries, hulled 75g (3oz) butter, at room temperature 75g (3oz) caster sugar 50g (2oz) self-raising gluten free flour blend 1 medium egg 50g (2oz) ground …

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Workout DVDs for weight loss

It’s that time of year again when New Year resolutions surrounding weight loss and leading a healthier lifestyle comes to the fore. As someone who is ‘allergic’ to gym memberships, I thought it appropriate to offer an alternative for those looking to get fitter from home. Here’re my top at home workouts: Focus T25 This is a current favourite of …

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WIN! Simplicity: Simply the Best Sewing Book

If you’re inspired to start the year learning a new skill, then look no further! With sewing seeing a major revival, thanks to a whole host of crafty programmes, Simplicity (www.simplicitynewlook.com) are offering four lucky readers the chance of winning a Simply the Best Sewing Book. Providing an essential guide to first timers or rusty returners to the sewing scene, …

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Energy boosting kale, quinoa and berry salad

Need to detox after all those Christmas festivities? This light salad is just what you need. For a healthy packed lunch, cook the quinoa and toast the nuts and seeds the night before, then add the berries and salad leaves in the morning. Serves 4 Prep: 20 minutes Cook: 10-12 minutes Ingredients 900ml (11/2 pint) vegetable stock 225g (8oz) quinoa …

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Chocolate Roulade with Boozy Blackberries

Wow friends and family with this impressive looking chocolate dessert – made with sloe gin and blackberries. Serves 8 Prep: 45 minutes Cook: 15 minutes Cooling: 3-4 hours Ingredients 200g (7oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces 5 large eggs, separated 175g (6oz) caster sugar, plus a little extra 50g (2oz) ground hazelnuts 2 tablespoons hot water 225g (8oz) blackberries 3 …

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Sweet Potato, Turkey and Vegetable Cottage Pie

Serves 4-6 15 minutes preparation 25-30 minutes cooking time Ingredients 500g (leftover) cooked turkey, cut into chunks 400g (leftover) cooked mixed vegetable, cut into chunks 3-4 large sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed 100g (leftover) cheese, grated 50g flour 350ml stock approx Honey 2tbsp cranberry sauce Nutmeg Spinach, watercress, cabbage (any or all of them optional) Cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, curry …

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