Banana and Nutella Muffins

Saturday, 3 October 2015

These muffins host a wonderful combination: banana and nutella. Yup, they're great together - did you know? Have you tried them in a toastie? Life changing. I swear. This combination makes me happy, especially when they feature at breakfast. One of my favourite ways to enjoy the pair is mixed up together in porridge, but not everyone (including myself!) has time for porridge on a busy weekday. So these muffins are a little life saver. They can be grabbed for breakfast along with a flask of green tea (I'm currently loving lime and ginger and drinking the stuff like it's going out of fashion) or can be a lovely sweet pick-me-up for after lunch. 
So yep, I'm sold on these little cases of joy. Especially because they're an absolute doddle to whip up and they use up a couple of browning bananas, which always seem to be lying around my house. And finally, they will keep happily for five days in a sealed tin. Making them the perfect snack to take into work. 

Now, as Mel and Sue would say - baaaake!

For Banana and Nutella Muffins you will need (makes 12): 

230g self-raising flour
150g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
115g butter, melted 
2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp nutella, plus extra for eating on the way...

Begin by preheating your oven to 180c and line a muffin tin with 12 cases. 
Then sieve the flour into a bowl along with the sugar and salt. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and combine with the melted butter (cooled slightly) and bananas.
Next combine the two bowls together.

Mix it up!

Stir until the two mixtures are combined. Don't worry about the lumps, this batter isn't a smooth one.

Now divide the batter between the 12 cases, about 1 and a 1/2 tablespoons for each muffin.
Then grab your nutella and put a blob of the good stuff into each case. Then with the other end of the spoon, swirl the nutella through the batter mix until you have a marbled effect.

Bake for 20-22 minutes until a you can pop a skewer in and it comes out clean.

Snaffle away into a tin if you're a nutella fiend or leave on the table and they'll be gone within minutes! 

Lottie Loves: 85

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Instagram of the week: Touristing with Jack and his parents this weekend.

1. Easy PB + J Sandwich Donuts. I mean - totally essential for happiness, yes?

2. This weekend Jack and I went on a treasure hunt with my sister and her boyfriend through London. We had such fun racing around and it was a great way to see the city. Would certainly recommend!   

3. A photographer creates recipes using discarded shopping lists. Naaat so delicious but oddly captivating. 

4. The secret to successful bed styling. Is this what being an adult is? Excitement over pillows?

5. How a dessert blogger survived 2 months without added sugar. Interesting read. PS - why is sugar everywhere?

6. These astronomer photographer of the year photos are just beautiful. 

8. Different uses for items in the kitchen. Always helpful, always handy. 

9. September is for stews and this sweet potato and chickpea one looks just delish. 

10. And lastly, always remember that cat logic is the best logic

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Lottie Loves: 84

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Instagram of the week: Living near Borough Market may be my chubby downfall...

1. *Waves furiously to the outside world* Hello all! Sorry for the prolonged silence - grown up life is busy, ain't it? There's a mammoth update post floating around in my drafts and I promise to share soon. Just working on getting my feet on the ground at the moment. Work in progress!

2. In other news, is anyone else hooked on Doctor Foster? I won't post any spoilers, but my God! I'm gripped.

4. So this Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Ice Cream looks like it could change my life forever.

5. 12 things to do this Autumn. Yes, yes and yes to all the crafty goodness!

6. Gratin is one of my favourite things to bake over Autumn. This courgette, cheese and rice recipe looks like a game-changer. 

7. The Benefits of Knitting. Don't have to sell me on it, I'm already a fan.

8. Did you hear Gabrielle Aplin the Live Lounge last weekend? Such a gorgeous voice and what a lovely cover of Money on My Mind.

10. How to Adult. Cause sometimes we all need a little help.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

Very Green Gnocchi

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The weather’s on the turn. The mornings are chillier, evenings darker and my fingers are inching towards the thermostat. This Very Green Gnocchi is the perfect recipe to transition from Summer to Autumn. It’s the right amount of bright, summery green combined with warm, comforting, carby gnocchi. The pesto is super zingy and light whilst the gnocchi is basically a hug for the soul.

And I have to say, we love gnocchi in our house. There is something quintessentially comforting about a big bowl of the steaming stuff, smothered in grated Parmesan. Whenever I tell Jack there's gnocchi on the menu, he does a very enthusiastic victory dance. It’s quite a sight to see, I can tell ya.

The pesto itself is a doddle to whip up and easy to customise. I’ve used flaked almonds in this recipe, but it would also get along well with pine nuts or walnuts. And if you want to up your greens intake, throw in some kale, extra spinach and Popeye your way through the week with a boosted fiber and iron intake. And bonus - we're also loading the dish with peas, broad beans and spinach too! You can see why I've called it very green, right?

Let's get crack-a-lacking shall we?

For Very Green Gnocchi you will need (serves two):

1 500g pack gnocchi
1 large handful frozen peas
1 large handful frozen broad beans
2 large handfuls spinach

For the pesto:

3 large fistfuls of basil
70g flaked almonds
1 fat clove of garlic or 2 smaller ones
80g Parmesan, grated
70 ml olive oil
1 lemon, juice
salt and pepper

Grating of fresh Parmesan to serve

Begin by whizzing up your pesto. This can be done in advance, so if you want to save yourself sometime do it earlier in the week and this dinner will be ready in five minutes flat!

So pop in a food processor your basil, crushed garlic clove, flaked almonds, grated Parmesan, olive oil, lemon juice and a grind of salt and pepper.

Blitz until smooth! If you find the pesto too coarse add a dash more olive oil until your happy with the consistency.  

Pop in a sterilised jar and set aside. 

Now to the gnocchi. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi.

Add in the peas and broad beans now too. Simmer the gnocchi, peas and beans for 3-5 minutes or according to packet instructions. 

When you're ready to drain, place the spinach in a colander and drain the gnocchi over the top. 

Now grab a couple of heaped tablespoons of your pesto.

Stir the pesto through the gnocchi, peas, beans and wilted spinach.

Serve immediately with even more Parmesan, obviously. 


Farewell Prosecco Picnic*

Saturday, 29 August 2015

You know, I haven't really noticed the Summer skipping by. You may have realised this due to my sporadic (fairly non-existent) blog posting schedule. So when the team over at Waitrose Cellar got in touch and asked me if I'd like to celebrate the last of the Summer in style I replied yes please, hell to the yeah. The lovely team want to encourage everyone to make the most of the Summer days, and to get me going sent over the most delicious bottle of Prosecco. An Italian Brut, it was the perfect bottle for a picnic. Light and fruity with pear and citrus undertones it was incredibly drinkable. Dangerously drinkable for someone who gets a bit giggly after two glasses... And currently you can grab yourself a bottle (or three...) with 25% off!

Jack and I decided, in the spirit of celebrating, we would enjoy our Prosecco with a picnic in the grounds of our Loughborough home. Now we've finished our masters degrees we're packing up our lives in the midlands and are off to London for the next adventure (let's catch up some more on that later, shall we?) While I'm excited to be living in the capital, I've loved our little Loughborough home so it seemed only appropriate to raise a glass to it on our last night there.

So with some unpacked crockery, a couple of borrowed wine glasses and enough picnic food to feed a family, we got down to our picnic business.

Sorry I haven't been paying much attention to you, Summer. But I have to say, this way the perfect way to enjoy one of your final days and our last moments in Loughborough.

Lottie Loves: 83

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Instagram of the week: A morning off.

1. This morning started with pilates, green tea and banana pancakes. Why isn't everyday a Sunday, again...?

2. Speaking of pilates, I'm so glad I'm getting back into it. Recently I've been doing only cardio and weight training, but letting my body chill out with a stretch track was just what it needed. And breaaatthee.

3. These DIY dark chocolate and almond bars look just delicious. And get my homemade Christmas brain whirring...

4. Meteor shower pictures. Utterly hypnotic.

5. Food capitals of the food, according to Instagram. Again, strangely hypnotic.

6. Tips to getting better sleep.

7. Caramelized Banana Rice Pudding. I mean COME ON.

8. Paul Rudd the urinal prankster. Did that link lead on smoothly from a rice pudding recipe? I think so.

9. These Curried Chickpea Salad Sliders look like tha bomb. Chickpeas forever!

10. I must make these Smoked Salmon and Avocado Summer Rolls to enjoy the second half of August with. And serve them with a large glass of frosty white wine, too...

Have a happy weekends, friends! x

Lottie Loves: 82

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Instagram of the week: Reminiscing over our little Welsh haven. And coveting that adorable doormat.

1. Vietnamese iced coffee iced cream. For weekends and forever.

2. GBBO is back! It's likely I will mention it every week cause I just can't get enough of Mary Berry. I particularly love it when she makes this face.

3. Small home updates anyone can do. Succulents! Succulents for days.

4. Fancy trying your hand at freelancing? Here are some helpful tips on what editors look for in their freelancers.

5. I love the idea of running. I hate the actualities. But if I'm ever inclined to take it up I think I'll find this useful - how beginner runners can build endurance.

6. The best movies of 2015 (so far), apparently. I need to get my act together - I've hardly seen any!

7. Love foot portrait on instagram? You'll appreciate this article.

8. I'm rubbish at doing my own hair, so will take all the tips I can get. 7 ways to get the ultimate pinterest hair.

9. 30+ recipes to reduce kitchen waste. All about maximising those resources guys. And saving pennies to boot!

10. Laura's Book of Brave is wonderful. Just download it, download it now.

Have a happy weekend, friends! x
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