Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Best cafes: Q Grill, Camden, London

Reader, our heads were turned. We did love the look of the brunch dishes at Q Grill, but given that the Light family household wakes at a spritely hour, whatever the day of the week, thanks to the Mini ML alarm clock, we'd already done toast and cereal, so it was time for ribs n chicken and such-like. Especially when they are the slow-cooked or buttermilk fried variety...

So, you can have a bourbon and Malteser milkshake (£6), Bloody Mary pitcher (£20), scrambled eggs with kiln salmon (£9.50), waffles with sweet cured bacon and maple syrup (£7.50) and the Q grill fry-up. All perfect for a lighter appetite, right up to hangover cures (especially the hair-of-the-dog options), and very tempting, but we went to the dark side.

We had the buttermilk chicken (£12) and the baby back ribs (£15). We came, we devoured, we will be back... and next time we'll have the milkshake...

Open from 10am brunch on Saturdays and 11am on Sundays.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Best cafes: Lantana Shoreditch, London EC1Y

It would only be so long before the Antipodean coffee hotspot, Lantana, began to sprout roots. From humble beginnings as a Soho coffee shop, it soon expanded into next door and now has two further outlets, in Shoreditch (Old Street) and Ruby Dock in Camden.

The dishes have always been a few Aussie/Kiwi classics such as sweetcorn fritters and halloumi variations plus mashed avocado toast, as well as some innovative options that become even more elaborate at the weekend.

We had the sauteed mixed wild mushrooms on Lantana potato bread with crumbled baked ricotta and crispy parsley (£9 plus £1.50 with a fried egg) and the toasted courgette bread with grilled halloumi, slow roast tomatoes, a poached egg and chilli jam (£11.50). Both were superb - freshly cooked, colourful, fresh and delicious. The coffee, naturally, was top notch.

Open from 8am weekdays (takeaway from 7.30am, and from 9am at weekends)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

'Healthy' breakfast muffins

ML's sister in law sent over this piccie of her latest baking triumph from the Hemsley and Hemsley cookbook. For those with their heads in the proverbial culinary sand, this juggernaut of healthy cooking bliss is a mega phenomenon of the year and offers yummy, colourful, healthy recipes inspired by the two eponymous sisters who positively glow with health.

This recipe is sugar-free, and gets its sweetness from maple syrup, with plenty of lemony zestiness and a poppy seed crunch. A guilt-free yom.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Breakfast included: Bissell House, Pasedena, LA

Another delicious breakfast pic from across-the-pond. ML's MiL kindly sent over this envy-inducing shot of yoghurt parfait, fresh croissant, porridge with walnuts and cranberries and crustless mushroom, cheese and onion quiche. How wonderful that one doesn't have to choose between them!

It was served at Bissell House B&B, a delightfully English chintz-in-a-way-that-only-Americans-can-do, lodging and a rather refreshing departure from LA's trendy hotels and edgy motels.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Muesli Lover's bread disasters

Yes, the do look great, but no, they tasted awful. Well, the muesli bread (lower picture) was passable, and on the heavy side, but the Irish soda bread was just darned cement, and needed to come with a health warning when we threw it at the poor ducks of Hampstead Heath. So, what am I doing wrong?

The muesli bread recipe is from the excellent Dorset Cereals breakfast book, which I in no way hold accountable for the outcome. The soda bread was a BBC online job, and equally I think I have to blame chef error.

I will try bread-making again, but am going to check out some Youtube videos first...

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Smoothie recipe matrix

Spotted this a whileback and rather liked the idea... we do get a bit stuck on our smoothie recipe favourites in the ML household so it's great to have some fresh inspiration.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Best cafes: Milk Bar, Soho, London

We're spoilt for choice for Antipodean coffee spots in London, and ML is still trying to slog her way around them. Finally made it to Milk Bar the other day, sister to Flat White. I can confirm it is every bit as cute, artisan and tasty as its sibling.

Milk Bar is open from 8am weekdays and 9.30am weekends.