A Valentine's day love in




After nine years my boyfriend and I don't really celebrate Valentine's Day and I'm actually away with the girls! Oops. But I do get drawn into the heart shaped food, the vibrant pinks and red and the beautiful flowers. After all, I am a girl! So to celebrate the day of love - because what do I love more than stuffing my face - these heart shaped scones will be perfect. Paired with this gorgeous bunch of red roses* from Blossoming Gifts, they make me one happy bunny. Even if you don't have a significant other, Valentine's Day flowers are always a winner. There's nothing to say you can't treat yourself once in a while. After all, you know your tastes inside out! Buy someone special - or yourself! - a bunch with my special discount code. Simply enter BGIFTS33 at the checkout - the only bouquets exempt are the flowers by post range.

No sweet treat is every complete without having a pretty tin to carry them in. Every bake needs a finishing touch. It's a good job this Orla Kiely set* made its way into my kitchen then. It makes the perfect gift for any baking fanatic and you get five - FIVE! - tins so that means lots of cake. Lot and lots of cake. Food is always the way to a girl's heart. Well this girl anyway! These scones fit in the bottom one perfectly.



Then finally ice cream. Haagen-Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream* was made for the day of love. Vanilla ice cream is blended together with crumbly biscuit and a tangy strawberry sauce. It really does taste as good as it sounds. It's best to get two as you won't want to share this beauty with anyone!

Recipe taken from good old Martha Stewart. She's a good 'un. As always, I'd love to know if you managed to rustle these up in the kitchen so drop me a tweet. Happy baking!
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The £3.50 ASDA wonky veg box - what can you make?

ASDA got in touch and challenged me to rustle up three recipes using their new Wonky Veg box. Priced at just £3.50, the cardboard box is full off seasonal vegetables. With the only snag being the fact they're all a little bit misshapen. But they taste perfectly fine! It's to encourage the public to waste less food and trying the imperfect vegetables that usually get thrown away.

So what did I make? Well I put together three different recipes and still have so much left over! The below menu fed five people comfortable. The only vegetables pictured below that were bought separate was the radishes and the spring onions and I didn't have many salad items. 


Prawn cocktail

Ingredients:
Half a cucumber
3 peppers
1 bag of radishes
1 pack of cooked king prawns
8 spring onions
5 heaped tbsp light mayo
4 tbsp tomato and chilli chutney
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp creamed horseradish
A splash of lemon juice

Method:
1. Mix the mayo, chutney, Worcester sauce, horseradish and lemon juice together to make the seafood sauce.

2. If you have one, used a spiralizer to create cucumber ribbons. Place the chopped salad nicely in a small glass bowl.

3. Place 5-6 prawns in the middle before pouring a couple of tablespoons of the sauce over the top.



Cottage Pie - taken from Hairy Bikers Dieters cookbook with a few weeks

Ingredients:
800g potatoes
3 leeks
150g low fat creme fraiche
500g extra lean mince
1 can of chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp of tomato puree
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 parsnip
2 carrots
3 small onions
500ml of beef stock made with one stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Cook the mince, parsnip, carrots and onions in a large dish for around ten minutes - until the meat has browned.

2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock. Bring to the boil and then let it shimmer for around 40 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

3. Once the meat has been shimmering for around 20 minutes, peel the potatoes. Chopped into small chunks and cook them until they are soft.

4. Once the potatoes are nearly done, sautéed the chopped leeks for five minutes. They must be softened but not coloured.

5. Drain the potatoes, tip back into the pan and add the creme fraiche and leeks. Mash everything together until it is smooth. Preheat the oven to 200 - adjust accordingly.

6. Pour the beef mixture into an ovenproof dish and layer with the mashed potato.

7. Bake for 30 minutes in the oven or until the topping is lovely and golden. Serve with savoy cabbage or a veg of your choice!



Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting

I've actually made this before and posted the recipe on the blog.

Overall I was so impressed with the box and really couldn't believe just how many different types vegetables were in it. It's fantastic value for money and a great way to encourage people to eat healthier.
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Review: Afternoon Tea at The Goring, Victoria


A couple of weeks ago I booked my mum and nan in for afternoon tea at The Goring hotel for my nan's birthday. As our birthdays are only a day apart, we always try to do something together. For the last five years it has been somewhere fancy for afternoon tea. This year I decided to pick the hotel where Kate Middleton stayed before her wedding because if it's good enough for royalty...




Now I can safely say that it's ranked second in my favourite traditional afternoon teas after Claridges. I emailed them beforehand to explain it was my nan's birthday and they very kindly gave us one of the best seats in the house AND a special chocolate birthday cake. How's that for good service? The little touches were what made it so great. Our server was attentive without being suffocating. She offered great advice about the teas and made sure we were topped up with plenty of sandwiches and cakes. We didn't even have to ask!





So onto the most important part. The food! We had an unexpected starter in the form of a cheesy, cauliflower soufflé topped with some crispy puffs. It was delicious and certainly wet our appetite for the main event.

The sandwiches consisted of ham and mustard, chicken and stuffing, cheddar cheese and chutney and smoked salmon and cream cheese - all the classics! I loved the variety of soft bread and they certainly didn't scrape on my fillings. I can't for the life of me remember what all the cakes and pastries were but I do know they tasted absolutely delicious. Especially that creamy, white chocolate log on a biscuit base. Perfection! The scones? Well these bad boys were huge. With both a warm plain and fruit scone on offer, it was hard to choose what to eat first. But rest assured I did manage to eat them both.

The Goring isn't cheap but in this case you definitely get what you pay for. The service was faultless, the food was delicious, the setting was stunning and the experience was perfect for a birthday. Looking to take someone somewhere a bit special? This is the place.



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About me
A Essex based lifestyle blogger who lives a champagne life on a lemonade purse!

Get in touch at
sophie.warner89@yahoo.co.uk.

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