Lottie Loves: 69

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Instagram of the week: Summery afternoons spent in the forest are my favourite.

1. You know how I feel about a good sweet loaf (I'm mad for them, if by some chance you'd missed that). These Sticky Caramel-Pecan Babka Loaves look like the stuff dreams are made of.

2. I began Julia Child's My Life in France this week and am loving her take of food in her life. Have you read it?

3. This Fudgy Marshmallow Popcorn looks like the perfect addition to any movie night.

4. Jack and I have been enjoying walking through the forest pictured above this week. We've been packing up picnic lunches, strapping on our walking boots and heading out to enjoy the air. It's been lovely.

5. Rib-tickling Hillary Clinton reactions. Amy Poehler is my favourite.  

6. This looks like a great tutorial on how to knit socks. I've been after a new project and who doesn't love a thick pair of soft socks?

7. 5 healthy ways to detox that don't involve juice cleanses. I would be happy to incorporate more of all five of these into my routine.

8. These baked asparagus fries look INSANELY good. I can't wait for asparagus to come into season so I can eat it by the bundle.

9. We've finished season 3 of House of Cards and MY GOD WHY is season 4 coming out in 2016?! Can't wait to see what happens. And if you haven't watched it yet - get yourself a Netflix subscription!

10. These Grapefruit and Thyme Cocktails look like the perfect partner for your Saturday night.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Friday Fun in Nottingham

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Last Friday Jack and I enjoyed a jolly afternoon in Nottingham. It was such a beautiful day, I decided to take my GoPro along and document what we got up to. Our days out involve a lot of food & drink sampling (as you'll see...) but this one also had bucket loads of laughter and the occasional bout of cheating at mini golf...
It's an editors privilege to make themselves look more competent at mini golf than they are, but I can assure you I kinda sucked and Jack came out victorious.
I hope you all have a lovely weekend lined up and are enjoying the glorious weather we're being treated to in the UK at the moment. Happy humpday!

Lottie Loves: 68

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Instagram of the week: How gorgeous were this weeks warm evenings? Just lovely.

1. Why you should spend your money on experience not things.

2. OH MY. Roasted Strawberry Milkshake with Chocolate Pistachio Brittle.

3. This Raspberry Lemon Curd looks like a lovely Spring gift. Kinda fancy gifting it to myself...

4. 7 versatile products for renters.

5. I could totally go for these baked chickpeas with pita chips and yoghurt. Looks like the perfect spring/summer meal.

6. Jack and I ventured out of Five Guys this week and ate ALL THE FOOD. And I can tell ya, it was goooood.

7. 9 relevant questions to ask during your job interview.

8. I'm watching Orange is the New Black and loving it. I'm also harbouring a mild addiction for House of Cards. In a nutshell, Netflix has me whipped.

9. 11 things for a better bookshelf. Colour coordination and

10. 12 types of photo you'll find on instagram.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Cheese, Chive and Bacon Bread

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Sometimes there is an urgency for freshly baked bread.
Such an urgency cannot possibly be patient enough for yeast to work its magic or for overnight proving (I mean who has the foresight or patience for overnight proving?! Not me). So sometimes the need for freshly baked bread is a craving that must be satisfied with immediacy. And that's where this little loaf comes in. Because not only is it utterly delicious, it is no-knead, no-prove, no messing around time wasting when there are carbs to consume. It will be on the table in less than an hour and a half of your deciding to make it. This loaf is all over urgent bread cravings.
Last week I experienced the bread urgency described above. Happily my bread-based hankering coincided with the most delightful of pantry occupants - half a pack of bacon, a big bunch of chives and a lump of cheddar. And that only meant one thing - bunging them all in together to bake up the most delightful of savoury treats.
This bread is kind of a hybrid. It's part bread (obviously), part quiche, part savoury cake. It has such an indulgent soft and pillowy texture and makes the perfect addition to any breakfast, brunch or lunch table. And that's how I like to imagine this bread will be eaten. Baked quickly early in the morning and served with lashings of butter at a brunch table. I'd like to think it will also be surrounded by cheeses, hams, fruits and a bucket load of laughter and chatter.

For Cheese Chive and Bacon Bread you will need (makes one loaf):

5 rashers smoked bacon
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp mustard powder
75g mature cheddar
1 large egg
250ml milk
3 tbsp chopped fresh chives 

Begin by preheating your oven to 200c and lining a loaf tin with greaseproof paper. Then cut the bacon up into cubes and dry fry until crisp and delicious. Once fried, set aside to cool.

As the bacon is cooling, combine the flour, baking powder, salt and mustard powder into a bowl and stir. 

Then grate your cheese, finely chop your chives and add them into the bowl. Crack in the egg and add in the cooled bacon, too. 

Pour in the milk.

Stir together until well combined. 

Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 30-35 minutes until risen, golden and firm to the touch.

This loaf is best served warm, so get your hands on it ASAP! 

Serve thick, generous slices.

With a healthy portion of salty, soft butter. 
Will keep for up to three days, but I'd advise enjoying it on the day of baking.

Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownies {GF}

Thursday, 2 April 2015

As if I'm about to talk to you about Easter.
I swear we were chatting about Christmas just last week? Where is the time going?! It worries me, it really does. Want to know something that doesn't worry me? These brownies. Want to know why? BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME. And bound to please just about everyone you serve them to. Who wouldn't enjoy these thick, dense, fudgy bites of glory marbled with soft caramel and peppered with flecks of maldon sea salt? Answer: nobody.
Aaaaaand more people can enjoy these brownies than ever because they're gluten-free! Huzzah. So round up the whole family this Easter and eggs will never have looked more overrated.
Whilst brownies may not seem the conventional choice, I've never been one for posting traditional Easter recipes on the blog. Previous years have included Triple Lemon Cupcakes and this bonkers Hot Cross Bun Pull Apart Bread, but I've yet to tackle the simnel cake or traditional hot cross buns. I've ditched them again this year too as these brownies are just such a crowd-pleaser. And a doddle to make, meaning you can enjoy your long weekend.
So this years Easter celebrations are going to be decidedly more chocolatey, more decadent and a little more naughty than usual. Set down your dried fruits my friends and reach for the cocoa powder! Reach I say!
And once you're done reaching, lets get cracking.  

For Dark Chocolate Salted Caramel Brownies you will need (makes approx. 20):

300g dark chocolate (no less than 70%)
180g unsalted butter
170g demerara sugar 
4 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g ground almonds
30g espresso powder (or ground instant coffee)
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
200g caramel
2-4 tsp maldon sea salt

These brownies are best when chilled for a few hours so make a day in advance or early morning.
Heat your oven to 180c and line a brownie tin with baking parchment.
Then to begin melt the butter and chocolate together over a pan over simmering water, stirring until completely melted.

Transfer the butter-chocolate mix into a large bowl.

Add in the sugar and stir it up.

Add the eggs one by one and beat well. Add the vanilla too.

Add in all the dry ingredients: cocoa powder, espresso powder, ground almonds and bicarb and mix until well combined.

Transfer the brownie mix to your lined tin and spread into the corners. Marble your caramel over the top of the brownies. I like to use a knife to do this so some of the caramel sinks through the middles of the brownies. Scatter over the salt. If you like an salty kick use 4 tsp, if you just want a hint, stick to 2.

Bake for 30 minutes until just firm to the touch. A skewer may not necessarily come out clean at this point, but this isn't so much of a problem for brownies.

Leave to cool completely and then chill for at least an hour before cutting.

Slice it up! Small chunks will go a long way. These bad boys are rich.

Tuck in & Happy Easter!

Spring Sundays

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

It's incredibly rare for Jack and I to spend a Sunday together. We've both worked weekends for most of our time at university and while it has its upsides (hello money for shoes + random Tuesday lie-ins!) there is something special about spending a Sunday together. So when a free Sunday popped up in our diaries for the first time in aaaaaaages we earmarked it for strictly snoozy Sunday activities. Y'know - strolling, sipping tea and stopping to smell (read: instagram) the blossom. The way all Sundays should be.

Sometimes I get the feeling Jack doesn't take my incessant urge to document every aspect of our life seriously...

But anyway! These two jolly weekend bears wandered into town. 

We made time to look up at the beautiful blue sky.

And I made time for a blossom photograph...

... or two!

First up on our lazy Sunday agenda was a stop at Costa for some window-shopping fuel. 

The lovely people over at Costa had invited me to have a gander at their Easter range and you know me - I couldn't resist.* And I have to say - this particular number had my inner child tickled pink! 

Coupled with a slightly more grown-up pot of Earl Grey, it made quite the delightful treat!

One happy sipper!

Jack opted for the more summery option, plumping for a tall, icy Raspberry and White Chocolate Cooler.

And coupled his choice with the ever so naughty giant teacake. I want to suck the marshmallow right out of this picture!

We whiled away the best part of an hour chatting before I persuaded Jack to peruse Waterstones with me. A little window-shopping for books is my favourite way to spend an afternoon. I've got so many on my to-read list at the moment - what are you currently enjoying?

After our fill of window-shopping, which included me smelling ALL the yankee candles I could lay my hands on and a little competitive Mario Kart race in GAME (I won...!) we headed to the park. 

Spring Sundays make me want to burst into song. Elbow's One Day Like This would do nicely, I think.

We stopped to admire the blossom. And I demonstrated why I could never be a fashion blogger. Sadly my concentration face includes a cheeky tongue (right hand photo). Not so cute. 

The boy on the other hand, has this whole posing this DOWN.

 We're just a little silly.

After attracting some questioning stares from other park-goers we meandered on a towards home. Green buds promise Summer and that makes my heart sing.

The rest of our Sunday was spent on the couch watching films. We tried out Godzilla and now frequently shout GO-ZILLA GO-ZILLA to each other at random moments. I like to think the rest of the sane community do this too.  

Lottie Loves: 67

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Instagram of the week: Spring has sprung! Blossom is blossoming! Woot woot!

1. I'm sorry for my prolonged blog silence! Who knew that masters degrees were so full on? Anyway I'm so pleased that Easter has finally rocked around. I'm looking forward to some time off and posting some lovely new blogs for you (one is a brownie recipe sure to knock your socks off). 

2. President Obama reads mean tweets about himself. I don't think these can get old.

3. This bee collaboration has proven to be strangely mesmerising.

4. Joy on How To Be A Better Baker. That lady is so very wise in the flour department.

5. What's your personality? I think I'm in there with the diplomats.

6. All I want to do is shove these Tricolore Italian Meatballs RIGHT NOW.

7. Becky's 15 Blogger Problems are spot on. Number 4 made me laugh out loud.

8. Netflix documentaries that every career girl should watch.

9. I know I'm a little late to the party with this one, but how AWESOME were Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson at Paris Fashion Week? So much fun.


Have a happy weekend, friends! x
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