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

Celebration M&M's Cookies

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

These cookies are for when you just can't hug someone enough.
It's getting weird and you're probably going to have to let go at some point but these cookies can keep that lovely hug going forever (or until they finish their mouthful... whatever). These cookies are for when you're just bursting with love and happiness and only flour, sugar and M&M's can express your joy. Words are totally overrated, you know.
So why exactly are these cookies the ones you should whip up for a celebration? Well, quite simply, they're the bomb diggity. They're big and soft and squishy and pillowy and thick and DELICIOUS. And they just sing with celebration. It's a no-brainer really. Plus extra M&M's are always for fist-pumping wahoo moments. Everybody knows that.
I've used a baking block (easy to get hold of in supermarkets) in this recipe rather than butter to give the cookies their soft, doughy texture. So keep calm and whack it in! The extra couple of tablespoons of flour are to make sure the cookies are nice and fat and don't bake flat. It's a judgement game once you've mixed up your dough, you want it to be fairly stiff and nearly dry to the touch. So if you want to add in a little extra flour, go for it.

For M&M's Celebration Cookies you will need (makes approx. 16 large cookies):

200g soft light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
225g baking block (such as flora, or stork)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour (plus 1 or 2 tablespoons)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
150-200g M&M's
Preheat your oven to 180c.
Then put your brown and white sugar, eggs, vanilla and baking block (at room temperature) into a large bowl. Mix with an electric whisk until well combined.

Add in the flour, baking powder and salt then mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until you have a dough. Your dough should be quite stiff and nearly dry to the touch. Judge whether you need an extra tablespoon of flour. 

Add in just under 3/4 of your M&M's to the dough. You're saving the rest to go on top of the cookies. 

This is the colour of happiness. 

Stir into the dough and then split in to 16 balls. 

Pop onto baking trays lined with greaseproof paper and press down to make a cookie shape. Push down some extra M&M's on the top.

Give the cookies a little room to spread. This might mean you need to do a couple of rounds in the oven.
Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes until just baked. 

Transfer immediately to a cooling rack and leave to stand for five or so minutes so the cookies hold their shape. 

Stack 'em high in all their glory if you're that way inclined. 

Do I even have to tell you to taste test? 

Deliciously soft and squidgy and kinda addictive. 

Store in a sealed container and eat within 3-5 days... Like it's going to take that long. 

Lottie Loves: 66

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Instagram of the week: A sunny Saturday spent at the Copperbox.

1. Hello beautiful Spring-ish weather! How gorgeous have these past days been? I'm so hopeful Spring is just around the corner.

2. How many colours can you see? I counted 35. My conclusion: eyes are weird.

3. Want to know the number 1 song on the day of your birth? Mine was Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. What a cracker.

4. These photos were all taken on iPhones. Amazing. I need to upgrade.

5. Are you watching Cucumber? I'm still not over last weeks episode but am loving the writing. Russell T. Davies - you the man!

6. I'm so intrigued by beetroot chips. These look GOOD.

7. I've just started reading The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee. It has promise and I'm excited to read on. Anyone else read it?

8. 15 lazy people hacks. I'm totally guilty of number 5.

9. I've been testing a cookie recipe last week. Whilst the results aren't quite there yet, it's never a bad thing to eat raw cookie dough straight out of the bowl.

10. Did you see these skeletons kiss, dance and hug? It was an adorable little lesson about love.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Kale & Walnut Pesto

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Want to know how to cheat at kale? I have the answer.
I'm not one of those people who loves to eat kale. I have no desire to shove it in my face whatsoever. But I often think about kale (step back from the edge, right?) and imagine how much I'd enjoy the benefits and chatting smugly to other kale-eaters about our favourite recipes. This is how I imagine the lives of kale fans, I could be wrong... So, I had to find out a way to cheat at kale. And my brain came up with pesto (partly because it's mildly addictive, partly because I wanted to play with my new food processor). The addition of cheese + basil + nuts could surely equal nothing but happiness. So yes, kale whizzed up in pesto adds a wonderful texture, colour and richness to taste. I can confirm that kale in pesto is AWESOME. And I can now also chat along smugly with my fellow kale fans - when is the next meeting?
I've used walnuts instead of pinenuts in this recipe 1. because they have a delicious tangy flavour and 2. because they are far cheaper. I don't want to pay nearly £4 for 100g of pinenuts. And that's that. 
Finally, as I'm on the hard sell ('cause this pesto is life changing, y'know) I have listed my top 5 uses for kale & walnut pesto. Go forth and be inspired, friends! 
5 spectacular uses for Kale & Walnut Pesto:
  • Stirred through hot pasta 
  • Spread across a pizza base
  • Straight from the jar (nutella style)
  • Mixed through scrambled eggs
  • Spread across a sandwich base (preferably mozzarella & avocado)
For Kale and Walnut Pesto you will need (makes one small jar):

90g walnuts, toasted
70g kale
20g basil
2 garlic cloves
80g parmesan, grated
80ml extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper

Begin by stuffing your food processor with the kale (make sure any hard stems are removed), basil, walnuts, parmesan and garlic.

Add in the oil and lemon juice. 

And blitz!
Blitz until the pesto becomes smooth and a deep luscious green. If the pesto is a little too course for you, add another lug of olive oil and season. Blitz once more. 

Taste to make sure the seasoning is on point.

Scoop out into a jar (eating spoonfuls along the way of course...), pour a little olive oil in the top and label.
This pesto will keep in the fridge for one week. 

If desired, stir through hot spaghetti. 

Top with more parmesan (because: cheese).

Dive right in. 

Hey-pesto! You're done.
Dad jokes 4 evs. 

Lottie Loves: 65

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Instagram of the week: Spring sky. I could swim in that blue.

1. Ooh, Madonna! That must've hurt. But you've given the internet so much joy.

2. Joy's Extra Nutty Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies look insane! I know my Mum and I could polish a tray of these bad boys off, no problem.

3. Live Long and Prosper, Leonard Nimoy.

4. Christina Aguilera does Britney and NAILS IT.

5. 18 relationships destroyed by THAT dress. It was a crazy Thursday, right? #blueandblack4eva

6. Still cannot get enough of John Legend and Common's Glory. Gorgeous song.

7. Little ways to make a long-term relationship feel sparkly new.

8. SO EAGER to use my bundt tin. 28 recipes to make in a bundt tin this spring.

9. 15 things that emotionally strong people don't do.

10. Uptown Funk's 'Oldtown' cover is just TOO GOOD.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Top 5 Oscar Moments 2015

Monday, 23 February 2015

I put my cup of tea in the cupboard this morning. Want to know why? Because I was up until 5am watching the 87th Academy Awards unfold and consequently was feeling a little nuts.
As always, it was a great show honouring a selection of some great talent. Whilst each ceremony is full of funny, emotional and shocking moments I've gathered a list of my top 5 favourites.

5. Dakota Johnson is snaps at her Mum on the Red Carpet
In at number 5, is Dakota Johnson and her mum, Melanie Griffith disagreeing on the red carpet over 50 Shades of Grey. It's just a liiiiiiittle bit awkward. But oh Dakota, it happens to the best of us. 

4. John Travolta makes it up to Idina Menzel 
Did you catch the Oscars last year? When John Travolta introduced the wonderful Idina Menzel as Adele Dazeem? Well this year he made up for his little blunder with a lot of face touching. It was cute and creepy in equal measures.

3. Eddie Redmayne wins the Oscar for Best Actor
And he couldn't have been more adorable. Even if you were backing another horse, it is really hard not to be thrilled for him. A brilliant British actor and a well deserved award. Also woop woop for The Imitation Game too, as they picked up Best Adapted Screenplay.

2. Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech ft. Meryl Streep
At number 2 is Patricia Arquette and her emotionally charged, feminist acceptance speech. Meryl Streep and I are totally in agreement and awe of how she is using her platform to speak out for the better. Also her Oscar is thoroughly deserved and if you haven't yet watched Boyhood, make sure you do. It's a wonderful, groundbreaking film worthy of Best Director and Picture.

1. The Glory Performance
My favourite moment of this year's Oscar awards show was undoubtedly John Legend and Common's performance of Selma's Glory. The crowd were in tears, I was in tears and when Glory went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song there was a palpable feeling of joy in the audience. It's quite spectacular. And a wonderful, powerful song.

For a full list of the Oscar nominees and winners click here.

Lottie Loves: 64

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Instagram of the week: New reads! Have you read either? Any thoughts?

1. Election style Oscar predictions. Interesting...
PS - you may seem a theme evolving over this post!

2. New to blogging? Here is a handy little blog post explaining some blogging jargon.

3. The language of flowers. Are you fluent?

4. This purse organisation system makes me so happy. SO HAPPY.

5. Emily's Oscar Party Sandwich Bar is so cute! Are you staying up to watch the show tonight? I'm going to have to fit in a tactical nap...

6. I've treated myself to a new food processor, and I have to say, it's love.

7. School lunches from around the world. Weird.

8. I was so inspired by Rosie's workout post this week and especially loved her links to workout at home routines.

9. This is what tea in 22 different countries looks like. The picture chosen for Britain made me laugh.

10. A pug puppy reenacts all of the Oscar nominated films. You have to watch this one.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x
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