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Waffles or pancakes. The big debate. Which is best? Thick fluffy pancakes, thin buttery crepes or sweet and sugary belgian style waffles. Honestly we’re torn. But some of you might have seen over on social that Alex bought me a waffle maker for Christmas this year and so 2018 brunches so far have been waffle-y good (I just can’t help myself!).

Making waffles actually takes more skill than I thought..just a bit. There are quite a few recipes out there already, but it’s hard to find a really good, pretty simple one which actually tastes more than just a bland waffle shaped carb.

Sweet Waffles recipe

I mean, I know it’s all about the toppings too. But you need to start with a good base to get an all-round delicious dish.

Then there’s the whole under-filling and over-filling business. In other words, getting full waffles without the mixture going under the machine and over the side. This honestly just takes practise. I’ll give a rough guide, but after a few goes you do get used to this.

Sweet Waffles recipe

I’ve tried several waffle recipes since receiving my waffle maker, combining methods, testing more/less of each ingredient and I’m finally happy with my plain sweet waffle recipe. So here it is.

We’ve had ours with banana and cream, but the best so far have been piled with fresh strawberries, banana, summer fruit compote and topped with a drizzle of honey. They didn’t look as neat and tidy but they sure tasted amazing. I’ve included the summer fruit compote in the recipe below so you can give this a whirl too! It adds some extra sauciness.

Sweet Waffles recipe

The recipe is below – would love to hear your thoughts.

Are waffles or pancakes top of your brunch fave list?

Chloe xx

Sweet Waffles with Summer Fruit Compote

A simple, delicious waffle recipe with a berry saucy topping 😉 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavouring/essence
  • 2 eggs
  • 300 ml milk semi-skimmed
  • 250 g summer fruits, frozen
  • 1 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • knob butter, for greasing waffle pan

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. Slowly whisk in the vanilla flavouring, eggs and milk. Continue to whisk until well combined and the mixture forms a smooth batter.

  2. Heat the waffle pan. Once heated, grease the moulds with butter (a pastry brush is great for this). Fill each mould with roughly 2 heaped tbsp of batter and use a spatula to spread the mixture to all four corners of each mould. The batter will start to cook quickly on the hot pan so be as quick as possible. Put the lid down and leave for 6-8 minutes until the first batch is cooked.

  3. Repeat step two until all batter is used - this recipe should make 8 waffles, therefore meaning two batches of cooking.

  4. Whilst the waffles are cooking, add the summer fruits and soft dark brown sugar to a small saucepan. Heat over a medium heat until thawed. 

  5. Transfer the summer fruits to a blender and blend for a few seconds until partly smooth. Return to the pan and bring to boil. The compote should start to thicken slightly. After a few minutes, return to a simmer and leave to stay warm whilst you finish the pancakes, 

  6. Serve each person two waffles, topped with a drizzle of compote and any other toppings - fresh fruit and flaked coconut or nuts work well! Enjoy!

Sweet Waffles recipe

 

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After work drinks. Something I’m just getting back into after a what feels like a long stint of not drinking much. I can tell you, I’m loving it.

It might have something to do with the fact that I think I’m actually in my dream job. Yep I said it. Dream job. No pressure to pass my probation now. But if you have a good work day with people you’ve grown to love, even if it is busy and little stressy, you’re more up for a cheeky glass or two as soon as it hits end of office hours. Rather than hitting the gym and crawling under a duvet, dealing with as little people as possible.

Last week, Fran and I walked down to Quaglino’s in Piccadilly to try the new Q Aperitivo menu which launched at the end of January.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

Quaglino’s is a European brasserie and seafood specialist restaurant and bar, which hosts live music too. In fact, it turned out that Fran’s Granddad had worked there back in the day.

I’d never been to Quaglino’s before, and although knew not to wear trainers (something I pride myself in not wearing all week anymore), I wasn’t sure how fancy it’d be. My gosh, it was stunning.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

Seriously swanky, Quaglino’s is set over two floors – the bottom a restaurant, the top the bar area. With the interior in predominantly blacks and golds, it had a real top end, sophisticated and suave feel to it, and we sure felt a little under-dressed.

There was a live Italian band playing music as we entered (something which is a regular occurrence alongside the new Q Aperitivo menu, and the team waiting on us was prompt and ready with recommendations in line with the drinks we like.

The Q Aperitivo menu is named after the Apertivo occasion in Italy; a popular time of day when you meet friends after
work for a light bite and cocktails before dinner. Inspired by Quaglino’s Italian born founder Giovanni Quaglino, the line-up features Italian liquors synonymous with Aperitivo hour blended with a range of hand-picked ingredients. The selection of seven cocktails, created by Quaglino’s passionate bar team, give guests the opportunity to enjoy cocktails from the most famous regions of north and south Italy.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

Drinks did take a little longer than I’d usually wait which is the only downside to the evening – so this is definitely a place for if you’re looking for somewhere to just relax for the evening, not in a rush to get anywhere else.

The Il Pupo was my favourite, just cutting above the others I tried. Oregano infused Belvedere, Averna and homemade orange marmalade with spiced ginger ale, it had a subtle ginger flavour but was still slightly sweet. It didn’t have a strong alcoholic edge. Served with a thin ginger biscuit on top, it was always going to be a winner right?!

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

The La Gondola, was also very good. Very sweet, the cocktail consists of a mix of Maraschino, lime and kiwi topped up with Prosecco, and made a thick almost puree style mix. Think bellilni but kiwi. It was beautifully presented, with green sugar crystals on the outer side of the glass, making it stand out from the rest. I think almost everyone made sure they ordered this to try!

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

The La Scala was a little different. The cocktail arrived in an almost test tube style glass – something which reminded me of school chemistry lesson days. The waiter then poured the cocktail, made from Campari, Martini Rubino, Cynar and Amer Picon, into the glass at the table. Inspired by one of the classic and most appreciated Aperitif
around Italy, this one was a lot stronger than the others. Fran really enjoyed it, however, sipping whilst tucking into our bar snacks.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

The snack menu which accompanies the Q Aperitivo cocktails, was created by  Executive Head Chef Piero Leone, and features five options. Limited on the veggie and vegan choices, yet great for the meat and fish eaters, the options include the likes of arancini, calamari and smoked beef carpaccio.

The Arancini Di Riso, Bottarga, Acciughe mayo was slightly tangy yet subtle in flavour. Tomato arancini, anchovies mayo, espelette chilly, grated bottarga, the portions were large, and each perfectly formed bite was deliciously creamy inside.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

The Tapenade Di Olive Taggiasche e Pane Carasau, a Black Ligurian olives tapenade with crispy carasau bread made one perfect appetiser for enjoying over drinks. The tapenade was fresh, rich and oily and the super thin, crisp slices of carasau bread, a lot like crackers, were great for dipping. I was surprised to see some of the carasau bread was black too! I would definitely order this next time!

It was a shame we only had time to test out just under half of the menu – we did order another cocktail but unfortunately the three ladies beside us, who were there to try the menu too, snapped them up, and pretended they didn’t realise even though there were more of them, and the drinks weren’t what they ordered. Such a shame as these are the kind of people who give us bloggers a bad name. Oh Well, luckily from the ones we tried, and the reactions around us, we think we still managed to get a good picture.

We did pop to the toilets on the way out, and it’s safe to say, the Gatsby feel runs right through from the restaurant to the toilets. My outfit also matched the toilets, so I had a lot of fun with that haha.

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

Summary:

  • Price: Cocktails on the Q Aperitivo menu are priced at £12.50 which is pretty standard for central London, but you’d expect it to be more at somewhere like this. Bar snacks range from £6-£9.
  • Food: fab snacks and appetizers to accompany drinks. The Tapenade di Olive is a must order.
  • Drinks: creative, beautifully presented and plenty of variety
  • Atmosphere: sophisticated, premium. Touch of Gatsby.
  • Service/Wait: extremely friendly and helpful, but a tad on the slower side

Quaglino's QApertivo Menu

What’s your favourite cocktail right now? Have you found any good after work drinking spots I should try?

Chloe xx

*I was invited along to try the new Q Aperitivo Menu. All views my own.

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With queues consistently down the street, Roti King is a hugely popular Malaysian restaurant near Euston. I was keen to find out what all the fuss was about.

Roti King is small and cosy basement restaurant, with roughly enough space 30. The white tiled walls keep the space feeling a little more spacious and bright. If it wasn’t for the contemporary prints the restaurant might feel more like a canteen. The waiters do try and squeeze in as many as possible onto the benches, so be prepared to share.

Roti King Euston London Review

The kitchen is open so you can see the chefs at work prepping dishes and grilling the roti – there’s constantly one being cooked, chopped and shaped.

Roti King Euston London Review

Just before 5.30pm on Friday, Lucy and I managed to beat the queue and be seated within 10 minutes – now that’s serious goals for a restaurant with this reputation. Just a two, we did share a bench with two others. It was going to be four, but the waiter kindly asked if we thought there was space – we didn’t want to be too squashed.

The menu has plenty to offer, with not just roti but other traditional Malaysian dishes too. There are eight roti options, four local Malaysian dishes, six noodle serves and two stir fried vegetable choices too. This isn’t counting the lunch menu or sweet options either.

New to the world of Malaysian cuisine, we were lucky enough to be sat on the same table as a native Malaysian man, who recommended one of his favourite dishes from the menu. I really wanted to try everything, so Lucy and I shared a few dishes between us.

Roti King Euston London Review

The Nasi Lemak Ayam Goreng Berempah arrived beautifully presented. This traditional local Malaysian dish consisted of a dome of fragrant steamed coconut rice, crunchy peanuts and fried anchovies, fresh cucumber, hard-boiled egg, three pieces of spiced fried chicken and a thick chilli sambal sauce, it had a fab kick of heat. A main for one, we shared this in order to have space for two roti dishes.

Roti King Euston London Review

The Roti Spinach and Cheese arrived cut into pieces. This almost reminded me of a quesadilla, but with a soggier carb. However was actually a lot more indulgent and tasty than that sounds – rich, super cheesy, with plenty of spinach too, it was really filling.

Roti King Euston London Review

This is where I realise that roti is actually quite difficult to describe! Roti is a form of flatbread, with the best made being layered and flaky with a really buttery taste.

Roti King Euston London Review

The Roti Canai Special, chosen with curry chicken, didn’t look much when it arrived, but looks can be deceiving . The curry sauce was smooth and aromatic, with a decent level of spiciness. The chicken pieces inside were so soft and tender. The roti, served warm, was flaky yet soft. It was easily tearable and delicious dipped into the curry – forget rice, I’d much rather have roti!

Roti King Euston London Review

Roti King does offer BYOB, with a charge of £10 for the table, but we just opted for a soft drink. I am ashamed to say, I didn’t even go for a traditional Malaysian one as I thought they were all hot. However there are actually a number of hot and cold Malaysian drinks on the menu, some of which I really do wish I’d tried – especially the Milo, a chocolate drink which can be served hot or cold.

Summary:

  • Price: At roughly £23 (£11.50 each) for the three dishes and two soft drinks, it’s really cheap as far as popular London restaurants go.
  • Food: Great quality, traditional Malaysian food. The Malaysian guy on our table couldn’t rate it more highly at authenticity too!
  • Drinks: A variety of hot and cold Malaysian drinks.
  • Atmosphere: A bit like a canteen – friendly fast service.
  • Wait: Can be long! Aim to get there early to avoid peak times.

I’m so glad I finally got to tick it off my list. I really want to head back to try the other roti, especially the sweet ones I didn’t have space for.

Have you been to Roti King yet? How long would you queue for great food?

Chloe xx

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Midweek it’s justified to be lazy.

Especially after a long day at work. The last thing you want to do is spend an hour or so slaving away in the kitchen, chopping, prepping and monitoring something as it cooks. I mean, you just want to get in your pyjamas and snuggle up on the sofa Right? I know I do. 

Therefore anything that gives you a shortcut to getting a job done has to be tried. And when you can still make tasty, homemade meals from scratch, with some of the time taken for prep shaved off, it’s totally worth it. Who doesn’t like a reasonably healthy, comforting, homemade meal which hasn’t taken hours to make?

I recently got sent a selection of products from Very Lazy Foods – the food brand which peels, chops, slices and dices the very best ingredients, then captures them in all their tasty glory, in handy jars or tubes, to try. The name pretty much summing up my state of mind after work this week, I couldn’t wait to try them out.

Very Lazy Foods review + chicken teryaki recipe

The pastes (lemongrass, garlic, chilli and ginger) were super handy. Especially when adding extra flavour to quick dishes, which wouldn’t have had the time to fully absorb the aromas of chopped varieties.

I made a delicious tuna fried rice, with broccoli, fennel and red pepper. The squeezy lemongrass and garlic were great in adding extra oomf throughout, without there being lumps of the stuff in a random mouthful here and there.

I always find that pastes spread the flavour more evenly throughout a dish too.

The jars of chopped spices went down well too. They were great for dishes richer in flavour, and those which had extra time to simmer and bubble away, allowing for the flavours to infuse the whole recipe.

Very Lazy Foods review + chicken teryaki recipe

I don’t know about you, but I hate chopping garlic and chilli. The aromas stick around on your hands for what feels like forever, no matter how much you wash your hands. Let’s not even get me started on if you touch your eye after chopping chillis. Even after handwashing AND a shower, it still burns and waters. So the jars of chopped spices are not only great for time saving, but cutting out these little annoyances from midweek evenings too. Anything for a peaceful relaxing eve. 

I’m yet to try them within a recipe with a more delicate flavour, but as these are sat in a vinaigrette I’d probably wash the garlic or ginger in a sieve first so it didn’t spoil the flavour.

Very Lazy Foods review + chicken teryaki recipe

I made one fab quick and easy Teryaki Chicken. I served it with noodles, broccoli and carrots sticks, and it was SO tasty. The chopped garlic, ginger and chilli coming into use here. It was so good in fact, that I was excited to be having leftovers for lunch for the two days after. So I thought I just had to share the recipe – scroll down to the end.

Very Lazy Foods review + chicken teryaki recipe

Summary:

  • Quality – fab! Potent in flavour and as it’s in vinaigrette it lasts.
  • Ease of use – super simple. No chopping or perfecting needed. Simply add to a dish
  • Best use – in anything which needs extra flavour. The chicken Teryaki below is a winner (I suggested making it with aubergine to my veggie friends).
  • Would I recommend trying? – most definitely! Anything which saves time is always worth trying.

If you want something new to try, especially with Chinese New year on the horizon, give my Teryaki recipe a go.

Are you making anything for Chinese New year this year?

Chloe xx

Very Lazy Chicken Teryaki

A slight twist on a traditional dish, with nuts instead of sesame seeds to finish too. It's a simple and pretty speedy mid-week dinner idea.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 700 g chicken breast diced
  • 85 ml Teriyaki Sauce
  • 125 ml soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped chilli
  • 2 carrot large
  • 150 g broccoli
  • 80 g salted peanuts crushed
  • 2 fresh chilli sliced
  • 4 noodle nest

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in the large frying pan. Reduce to a medium heat and add the chicken. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should looked cooked through and be just starting to brown.

  2. Whilst the chicken is cooking, cut the carrot into thin sticks and the broccoli into small florets. Leave to the side. Bring two small saucepans of water to boil, ready to add the vegetables and noodles when the chicken is nearly done.

  3. In a glass combine the Teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic and chilli. Add to the frying pan, toss the chicken in it to evenly coat and return to the heat for a further 10 minutes, allowing the sauce to thicken. You might wish to turn the heat up slightly here to help the sauce along it's way. 

  4. Add the carrots and broccoli to one of the saucepans of boiling water and cook for 5 minutes - it needs to be just a la dente.

  5. Add the noodles to the second saucepan and cook for 3-4 minutes. 

  6. Serve the noodles between four bowls, add the carrots and broccoli on one side, and the chicken. Top with crushed peanuts and fresh chilli. Enjoy. 

*I was sent a selection of Very Lazy Foods products to review. All views my own. 

Very Lazy Foods review + chicken teryaki recipe

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I love a slow cooker dish. Not just in the winter but any time of year. It’s so convenient, it makes mid-week dinners simple and easy. Pop everything in the pot in the morning, serve it up in the evening – Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom. Done.

Lemon and Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

It’s great when Alex and I both have gym after work. It means minimal effort and yet still a delicious and nutritious meal. I like doing our meat in the slow cooker every now and then – it makes even the cheapest, tough cuts incredibly tender and juicy.

Lemon and Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

Chicken, when done in the slow cooker, falls off the bone. It’s so tender and juicy, and extremely versatile – you can change up the flavour just by changing the spices and seasoning. One of my fave chicken slow cooker dishes has to be this lemon and rosemary version. Zesty, herby, and rich, it goes really well with a number of sides, from rice, to cous cous or a salad – whatever you crave or have time to whip up.

Lemon and Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

It’s definitely worth giving a go – if you fancy something a little more comforting this february, you could always serve it with a creamy mash!

What’s your favourite flavour chicken?

Chloe xx

Lemon & Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Legs

A zesty, herby, rich chicken dish - the meat literally falls off the bone!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 10 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken legs
  • 2 tsp all-purpose seasoning
  • 1 chicken stock cube crumbled
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary or 2 sprigs of fresh
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken legs in a bowl. Stab the chicken legs with a knife to pierce the skin. Add the seasoning, stock cube, rosemary and black pepper to the bowl and rub into the chicken. 

  2. Cut the lemon in half. Put the chicken into the slow cooker pot, add 175ml water and the lemon and cover with the lid. Put on slow and cook for 7-8 hours. 

  3. Remove the chicken legs from the slow cooker, carefully as to keep the chicken legs in tact. Serve with your choice of side. If you fancy gravy, use the liquid from the slow cooker for more of the zesty, citrus flavours. 

Lemon and Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe Lemon and Rosemary Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

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