Don't Tell Anyone

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Last weekend I returned to one of my favourite places in Cardiff - The Depot, where I welcomed back Thai food and red wine with open arms. Brother Thai know how to make a mean vegetable curry.





 Guys, I love what you've done with the place. *insert jingling bells*

BUT first we took a little detour...

You've probably noticed that these last few years Cardiff has been going from strength to strength when it comes to the food and drink scene, from street food to big city restaurant chains, it's getting cooler by the day.

I'm about to let you in on a little secret, but Don't Tell Anyone.

There's a new bar in town that you have got to try, but first you've got to find it and the only clue I can give you is...Follow the white rabbit.

Think red wine in big goblets, secret cocktails, no phones and the best night ever.

You will have to direct message DTA on twitter where you will receive a top secret password to gain entry. Sound fun? Make finding this little gem your mission this weekend, you won't regret it. 


xxx

Coconutty Treats

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Let me tell you about a little secret of mine. It's called The Groovy Food Company.

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you will know that coconut oil is having its time.

I see it as a miracle worker, if you google the health benefits of using coconut oil, I guarantee you will be skipping to the shop to go pick some up for yourself. It is my number one when it comes to cooking.

So instead of throwing facts at you, I will show you one seriously amazing, coconutty recipe.


 Say hello to my coconutty treats.(like a bounty but a gazillion times better)



I spotted this in my Hemsley & Hemsley book and knew it would be love, and with a batch of Groovy goodies it seemed like the perfect excuse. I tailored it a little to the ingredients I had.
    
  You will need:
  • 200g bar of creamed coconut
  • 6 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 3tbsp agave syrup
  • 1tbsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of seasalt
  • 150g desiccated coconut
  • 4 tbsp of water
  • 200g of 85% cocoa dark chocolate 

How to:
  • Add your creamed coconut, coconut oil, agave, vanilla, salt & water to the bowl and give it a stir. If your creamed coconut bar is solid, put it in warm water until it turns into a liquid.


  • Stir in the desiccated coconut.
  • When the consistancy is thick and doughy, pour the mixture into your baking tray (lined with baking paper) and pat down with a spoon - leave it to cool in the fridge for half and hour.
  • Remove from the tray - it should be quite hard and not falling apart. Cut it into chucks and place on the baking tray. If you find they are falling apart put them back in the fridge for a little longer. 



  • Pop them in the freezer for at least 40 minutes.
  • When they have had a nice chill, melt your chocolate, then leave it to cool a little to it gets thicker. 
  • Remove bars from the freezer and dip them in the chocolate - using 2 forks is the easiest way. Once sufficiently dipped, place them back onto the cold baking tray and pop in the fridge to set.

  • Then all thats left to do is lick all the remaining chocolate off the bowl - It can get messy but it's worth it...
And there you have it. The most scrummy, coconutty treats, that are only a teeny bit naughty. 


Make yourself a tea and tuck in. 


So if I can give you any advice, it is to go go go buy yourself a jar of coconut oil.




xxx

Olive It! Masterclass with Omar Allibhoy

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I had the GREAT pleasure of cooking with Omar Allibhoy and some of Cardiff's finest food bloggers this week. Omar is the king of tapas and founder of  the Tapas Revolution restaurants in London & Birmingham. Passionate about all things Spanish, he also has a best selling cookbook under his belt.


In the invite to the masterclass, I read the words olives & wine and was instantly sold - There is no better combination.

Olive It! is a European organisation that wants to promote and inspire people to enjoy and produce more olive recipes. I love the little buggers and they are my staple buffet item along with kettle chips and houmous. 

Apart from inhaling a pot in minutes before a meal, I rarely cooked with them...until now.

The masterclass, which was held at Giovanni's Cookery School on Mill Lane, showed us how to make 3 different dishes using olives. Marinades, meatballs and dessert.

OLIVES IN DESSERT? yes you heard it right, and it was AMAZING. Although I was extremely lucky to be paired up with Kitchen Clonc, who is a cooking genius. I gave myself the title of chief wine pourer, I'm good at this.



We started with the dessert as we had to leave it to set. It was made with double cream, goats cheese, black olives, sugar, cherries and sherry wine.



Then we went on to making the marinades.


Green olives marinated in oregano and chillies & black olives marinated in ginger, cinnamon and cardamon - The festive kind.

We added lots of olive oil to these which made it perfect for dipping big chunks of bread into - Best snack EVER.


For the main, we cooked olive stuffed meatballs in a tomato and olive sauce - A dish I feel would impress any man. I've never cooked meatballs before and was surprised at how quick and easy it was to whip up such a tasty meal.


Master Meatballer
After we had cooked up our dishes and drank too much wine, we took to the table to tuck in.
The dessert was my favourite of them all. I have a real sweet tooth and found the sweet and salty mix of the cherry's and olives mixed with the creamy base an absolute dream.

Olives will no longer just be a side dish for me, I have some very tasty ideas for breakfast time...



Thank you Storm & Omar for a truly amazing evening. My head wasn't feeling too amazing the next day, but red wine is good for us, right?

www.oliveit.eu 

xxx

A Weekend in Nuremburg

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One of my besties has lived in Germany for 2 years and I have been meaning to visit for ages.

Beer, Bratwurst, Bread & Babes...where do I sign up?

We got some super cheap flights with Ryan Air and off we went with cat ears in tow. (It was Halloween weekend...)

I was lucky to have a very knowledgeable tour guide who was able to show me some German gems.

Here are some things that you should definitely do if you ever find yourself in Nuremburg.

Visit Nuremburg Castle
This enchanting stretch of architecture looks over Nuremburg and houses gorgeous buildings and views over the city. There's a big hill to tackle on the way up so wear suitable shoes...



                

Shopping
If I told you they had an entire shop dedicated to just Muesli, that's a good enough reason to go right? As you can imagine I found this FANTASTIC. As well as high street stores - Cos, Zara, Urban Outfitters, H&M, they have a great big handful of lovely German stores. Ladies & gents, be sure to visit Cramer & Co.


Drink lots of coffee
If you're a coffee nut, Germany is the place for you. I am one of those 'don't talk to me unless I've had my coffee' kinda girls, so I was in my element. Go to Bergbrand if you're after a good brew. With an industrial feel and insanely good coffee, you can sit in the window and watch the world go by - Highly Recommended! Weißgerbergasse 38, D-90403 Nürnberg.


Also Di Simo. This place is situated on the river and serves you coffee on little trays, which you can accompany with a glass of something special to take out to the bridge overlooking the river. Sounds perfect huh? The coffee is spectacular too. Trödelmarkt 5-7, 90403 Nürnberg.



Go for breakfast at Main Heim
Main Heim was my favourite place in Nurmburg. We were lucky enough to have very good weather, so sat outside in scarves and sunnies with good coffee and breakfast. TIP: The Chai Latte's looked AMAZING here, so make sure you order one. This is also where I came across my new favourite word - Brotzeit. It means bread time, which is the best time. I went with scambled eggs with feta and tomatoes with thick warm bread. Bauerngasse 18, 90443 Nürnberg.




Try as much German food and drink as possible
I can not recommend a pretzel enough, they sell them in little stalls dotted all around and it is the most delicious carby treat in the world. 

          

Lebkuchen, this is like doughy gingerbread. I had a cappuccino one and brought some mini chocolate ones back with me - The perfect sweet treat with a coffee (or beer...)
  


Gluhwein, this is basically mulled wine. Warm, delicious and like Christmas in a cup.


SAUSAGE, the Nuremburg way is 3 mini sausages in a bun. Simple but scrumptious. 


Beer, obviously.


Visit Etage
Why eat Thai food when in Germany? Because Etage serves the best Thai food EVER. After my visit to Thai Land this year, it doesn't take much to convince me when it comes to this cuisine. I went for a lemongrass chicken dish. It is situated up a tiny cobbled street in an old mill. Großweidenmühlstraße 9, 90419 Nürnberg.



Explore
There are lots of picturesque streets, rivers and green spaces in Nuremburg, so it's very lovely to just take time to walk around. I also think autumn is a perfect time to visit. 



The whole feel of Nuremburg itself is completely relaxed, full of culture and pretty cool. If you are unsure of what to wear, it's a very casual place and you will blend in perfectly if you are sporting a functional pair of trainers and sleek top knot. 

I fell a little in love with Germany and can't wait to visit again. April, thank you for being the best host ever and Sophie, thank you providing us with spectacular dance moves.



Nuremburg, you shall me seeing me again soon.

xxx

Tea India Chai Tea Competition

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What can be better than crispy, colourful leaves, scarves and chai?

                     
Some of my favourite things about autumn.

I just got back from Nuremburg where chai latte's appeared on many of the cool, coffee shop menus. They looked incredibly scrummy, especially when drunk in an oversized scarf and sunnies on a crisp morning. 


I've gotta get me some of that.

I flew home by myself and spent the entire time thinking of delicious chai recipes to experiment with when I  got home. I was lucky enough to be sent some of THE most amazing chai tea by a lovely company called Tea India. I'm big on chai and I can confirm this is the greatest tea I have ever had.

                      

But first - Perfecting the classic Chai Latte.

You will need:
  • 1 Tea India Vanilla Chai Teabag & hot water
  • Cup of hot milk
  • Cinnamon

                     

How to:
  • Put your teabag in your mug and fill with water until it covers the teabag.
  • Heat your milk on the hob.
  • Once the milk is hot, remove the teabag and add the tea to the milk.
  • FROTH AWAY - If you don't have a milk frother, you can use a whisk.
  • Pour back into your mug and sprinkle with cinnamon.

                      

It's the perfect drink for cold weather, you've got to chai it.


Thanks to the Tea India Company, I am running a little give away and you can get your wooly mitts on a set of their Chai Tea blends.

You can enter below.
The competition runs until November 10th.

Good Luck!

xxx
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