Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Recipe: Spanish Chicken by Eleni Charalambous

Method:

1. Heat the olive oil and fry the chicken and bacon for 7-8 minutes until browned.

2. Toss in the peppers and sprinkle in the packet contents. Cook for a further minute.

3. Add the tomato purée, water and tomatoes, simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.

4. Serve with rice. A good suggestion is Tilda basmati rice.

Tilda Basmati Rice, cook in a bag


As previously mentioned you know how Leni struggles to find the time to cook in the week nights. Tilda Basmati rice helps with her cooking limitations, it is ready to serve within minutes and helps to make sure the rice is perfect every time. It accompanies all chicken, meat and vegetable dishes superbly. For perfect rice everytime it is all about Tilda.

I really recommend this brand as it has an elegant taste and texture and is great for all types of rice dishes. Rice can be tricky if you are not great in the kitchen, luckily Tilda has made it so we can all be amazing rice cooks. Use for yourself or dinner parties for great express rice with amazing flavour. Thanks Tilda

You can purchase this wonderful brand at all leading UK supermarkets. Leni brought hers from Tesco for only £1, click here to purchase NOW.

Also, click here to see other flavours of rice which will jazz up any plain chicken meal. Sweet Chilli and Lime rice sounds good to me.

Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Recipe: Zesty Lemon Shortbread Tartlets by Francesca Yacoumis


The Recipe:

1. Put the flour and crumbled soft butter in a food processor and mix it up until it looks a bit like breadcrumbs.

2. Add the lemon zest, sugar and water then process just a tad more until it looks like dough. I wrapped this up in cling film and chilled for 30 minutes.

3. After, roll out the shortbread mixture on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin. Line 10 greased loose-based tartlet tins, 9cm in diameter.

4. Bake at 200C in a preheated oven, for about fifteen minutes. Until it develops a pale golden colour.

Let them cool then remove from the tins, carefully!

5. Now for the filling. Heat cream, sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Stir and dissolve the sugar. Bring it to the boil, and let the edges bubble for around a minute. Then pour it into a bowl and cover with damp greaseproof paper to stop a skin from forming. Let it cool.

6. Pour the filling into the shortbread tartlets and chill for about 2 hours. Before serving, dust with icing sugar and decorate with lemon zest.

After Work Cook Book by Carina Cooper.


When you begin full time work it is easy for home made cooking to take a back seat. This cook book proved to be the handiest one for nights after work. This particular book focuses on quick and handy meals for the evening without resorting to fast food, takeaways or frozen goodies.

The stir fries in this particular kitchen treasure are ideal meals for the evening. Most dishes require lots of fresh food and vegetables so your nutrition levels will be at a peak with this read.

Be sure to purchase this handy kitchen utensil from amazon.co.uk here from £3.58 and your work nights will be filled with health and less stress when it comes to meals. Be sure to check out some up and coming pictures and recipes that are a favourite of mine. Let me know if you agree with this review, alternatively if you know of any other great cook books for working nights let Leni know. As I love my cooking but lack in time. Thanks Carina Cooper.


Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Nando's Take-Away, EVERYWHERE!


Believe it or not Nando's can be healthy too just by making a few changes when ordering. We absolutely love the chicken pitta and if you are concerned about any extra unnecessary calories just have it without the mayonnaise. Instead of having chips on the side, got for either corn or rice; lighter and much healthier options. Leni & Mimi regularly have Nando's take-away and love Nando's quick and efficient service.
Nando's on Urbanspoon

Organix - Organic Tomato Wheels


Who said baby's food is only for babies? I came across the amazing children's range Organix at Boots and I fell in love with their snack range that I believe can be enjoyed by adults too! All Organix products are made with the best quality organic ingredients which makes them healthy, nutritious and tasty. I tried quite a few packs but my favourite one is the Organic Tomato Wheels. It is a very light snack and there is no extra salt added; perfect afternoon snack! Each pack roughly contains 100 calories. You can get it now at Asda or Boots!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Oberweis Truffles; With Love from Luxembourg!

These truffles from Luxembourg are the best ones that have been discovered in the whole of Europe; this thought has continued through to the moment I received my next box from Mimi. With a mix of fruity and alcohol tastes they are truffles to be shared with the rest of Europe, so make sure you try some when/if you visit Oberweis in Luxembourg. The raspberry filled ones are so scrumptious; not so keen on the coffee but the sweet flavours didn't last too long.

Check out our City Break post in Luxembourg for some other wonderful ideas of what to do when in Luxembourg.

Be sure to also check the Oberweis website here for a clear guide to chocolate heaven.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Prosecco tasting and Pizza Making with Assaggetti

http://assaggetti.co.uk/


Leni and Mimi were invited to Assagetti on 26th January for Prosecco tasting and pizza making. This wonderful Italian inspired restaurant is perfect for those in Central London because of it's location. The Haymarket situated eatery has decor to help you escape into a parallel universe. The graphics, lighting and overall atmosphere gave off a great first impression. Above is the start of my Pizza creation keep reading to see how the night panned out.


The Prosecco tasting was splendid. The talk on how to taste the tones really will benefit us on future dates with new and old friends as we now know how to choose our Prosecco. The 4 glasses were laid out in front of us in order to try 4 distinct flavours.


Leni's favourite was the apple toned Prosecco. The Italian expert was thorough with his teaching and made a great impression on all of audience. It definitely helped build an appetite also.


This Pizza making experience and Prosecco tasting was already off to a great start as we met a lot of wonderful fellow bloggers. Check out all of the Assagetti diners in their whites. The Chef outfits were a lovely touch - loved the hats. In the photos Leni and Mimi with the owner of Assagetti and fellow bloggers.




Be sure to check out some of these wonderful blogs for their experiences also:
Anastasia Duck,
YinnYang,
MungBeans and Champagne,
My Labyrinth Blog
A Lady in London
and
Girl a la mode.
Lovely people, lovely evening.


Our wonderful tasting and baking evening at Assagetti was complete with a gorgeous Italian inspired tapas meal. A real Italian delight with a Spanish twist due to the tapas style portions. We loved. From cured meats, focaccia and pasta bites the evening ended delightfully with a full stomach and new friends.


To this end remember to request a gorgeous non- alcoholic beverage (which completes the meal fabulously) which was invented by the beautiful Reem Kanj from Fivefivefabulous. Thumbs up Reem. Check out Reem's review on Assagetti also featured on Leni and Mimi. See how much she loved the location and food also.

The tasting was led by an expert in the Prosecco industry, and the pizza making by Giulio, the Head Chef at Assaggetti.

Assaggetti on Urbanspoon

Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rodial Crash Diet Smoothie

A celebrity favourite to beat the bloat before a big night out apparently. Even though I have been lacking a red carpet invitation I still found myself buying these smoothie sachets. To my surprise they tasted yummy and filled me up helping me to stop snacking. I really advise you use milk rather than water as an option, otherwise it becomes too watery. Even Alpro Soya was a better choice than water (if you can not handle dairy) as it makes it a more solid formula. Really like the strawberry tastes in this sachet. "This tasty banana and strawberry flavoured protein shake contains less than 70Kcal per serving and provides 70% of proteins, so you will feel fuller for longer."

This packet really does keep energy levels and high and hunger at bay for a lot longer. Really great idea. Well done Rodial. For more details on Rodial Crash diet smoothie click here to see all the advantages.

Purchase from Rodial.co.uk

As a regular user of Rodial products I highly suggest trying their body creams. have you tried any of their products? Let me know so we can compare loves.

Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Aubaine, Selfridges


Browsing around the Shoe Galleries in Selfridges? Then you must have noticed Aubaine, the little French cafe/restaurant (right next to Tods). It is so beautifully decorated and it's desserts displayed on the counter in the restaurant's entrance are more tempting than any shoes in the Shoe Galleries! Myself and a friend of mine weren't that hungry so we only had a glass of bellini each and shared a delicious passion fruit cheesecake. In case you don't know what a bellini is, it is a mix of peach purée with sparkling wine. I thought the bellini at Aubaine was very nice, however, I do prefer a drink where you can't taste the alcohol and I think I would have preferred it to have more peach purée (blame it on the fact that I am not a big fan of alcohol!). On the other hand the cheesecake was just divine! Not too creamy so therefore not heavy. This is a wonderful dessert to enjoy with your afternoon coffee or tea. I loved the whole atmosphere and service of Aubaine; highly recommend it!

Aubaine at Selfridges on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Itsu - London Heathrow Airport


When travelling very early in the morning you probably don't fancy a lot of food...! However I always try to have something so my stomach is not completely empty. If you are travelling from Heathrow Terminal 5, there are plenty of restaurants or cafes where you can relax; Itsu is one of them! I never knew they sold frozen yoghurt and when I came across it on their menu I thought I must try it. They only do natural flavoured frozen yoghurt and you can have it either naked or with toppings; I had the Strawberry Sun (£2.99, 109 calories) which was a delicious and filling morning treat! Don't forget that frozen yoghurt can be enjoyed after lunch or dinner as a guilt free dessert; it's low in fat and calories!

Check out other Frozen Yoghurt posts here on Leni&Mimi:

- FRAE
- YooMoo
- Pinkberry
- SNOG

Itsu on Urbanspoon

Be fruity with Fig (Fruit Bar)


I was never a huge fan of figs but when I found out about their health benefits (excellent source of minerals like calcium, iron and zinc but also rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants) and how good they are with digestion, I felt that I should include them in my diet! This is how I got myself to try the Be Fruity with Fig; it's 100% natural and only 70 calories. This is a great snack that can be enjoyed at any point of the day and it counts towards your 5 a day fruit and veg. Ever since having these bars I started loving figs and now I even buy dried figs. Get a pack of 5 for £1.55 at Waitrose! Do also try the delicious Be Fruity with Apricot and Be Fruity with Strawberry!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Recipe: Chocolate Meringues by Alpro Soya


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1

2. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.

3. In a very clean dry bowl. Preferably using an electric whisk beat the egg whites with the vanilla extract, cream of tartar and the white wine vinegar until they form stiff peaks.

4. Add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, until the meringue is stiff and shiny. Gently fold in the cocoa powder.

5. Using a piping bag and nozzle or a small spoon, shape the meringue on the prepared sheets. Place the trays in the lower part of the oven and bake for about 1 hour. The meringues are done when they will peel easily off the paper and feel firm to the touch on the underside.

6. Once the meringues are cooked turn the oven off and open the door slightly, and let the chocolate meringue cool completely. This will ensure they dry out.

7. The meringues can now be stored in an airtight container until ready to fill.

8. To make the sauce, melt the chocolate, Alpro soya alternative to Chocolate Milk and Alpro soya alternative to Single Cream gently in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and gradually beat until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Leave to cool and thicken. To serve, make a 'sandwich' using two meringues and the chocolate sauce as the filling.

And leftover sauce can be served alongside the meringues and a bowl of fruit and served as a dip.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Alpro Soya!

http://www.alprosoya.co.uk/

Alpro Soya has been spoken about several times before on Leni and Mimi. Even though we didn't think it was possible we now love them more. Thank you Alpro for the lovely box of Alpro goodies. We now have a lovely range to get through and it will be exciting to try and test all the products we have not tried before.

While we begin trying out our new selection of Alpro products we thought it beneficial to remind you of the health benefits and why we are so fanatical about this brand.

The delicious range of dairy alternatives and Alpro's tasty desserts are full of plant goodness making them naturally low in saturated fat and lighter for you. The 'plant proteins use less of the Earth’s resources than animal proteins, it’s lighter for the planet too – in fact, its lighter all round!"

"The soya protein found in soya foods can also help to naturally lower cholesterol levels, another great reason to incorporate soya into your daily diet"
Read back over some of our older posts to see why we individually liked it so much. Remember Alpro Soya is great for asthmatics and can lessen the severities of this condition; proven by Leni herself.
Old Alpro posts from Leni and Mimi:

http://www.leniandmimi.com/2011/11/alpro-soya-products-cure-asthma.html

http://www.leniandmimi.com/2011/11/alpro-soya-chocolate.html


http://www.blogger.com/post-edit.g?blogID=7941131100907966354&postID=1655472066669222340


Keep watch for the up and coming posts. Thanks again Alpro, Leni and Mimi love you!

Alpro can be found in all leading UK supermarkets.


Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Whittard's Dreamtime Instant Tea - A better night sleep

In the winter months nothing screams cozy like a warm drink before bed. This Christmas I was introduced to Whittard's and straight away an obsession was formed. This dream time granulated powder provides me with what I need before I sleep. It provides me with calm, heat and a clear mind.

With two heaped spoons and boiled water you receive a chamomile like drink that soothes you into a deep sleep. Leni used to have major issues with sleep and this drink does something to me that I can't explain, it sends me into a deep state of sleep every time. If you are having trouble sleeping I really recommend this beverage. It provides me with dreams each time too, please let me know if this has happened to you too so I can see if it is the power of tea or my state of mind.

If you haven't tried be sure to visit your nearest Whittard's and purchase Dreamtime at £5.50 here now and let me know how effective it is on you.
"This instant tea drink is perfect before bed. The honey, apricot and vanilla comfort and soothe."

Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Raspberry Licorice


I usually go for the the original All Natural Soft Licorice by Panda Licorice but this time round I thought I will give the Raspberry Licorice a try (since I love Raspberries!). It tastes as great as the original Licorice and has an amazing aftertaste. I find the Licorice made by Panda Licorice is probably one of the best in the market and if you love licorice you must try them! Their products are imported from Finland and are made from all natural ingredients. If you are craving something sweet, this is it. It's low in fat, and actually good for you (doesn't contain preservatives or artificial colours).

*Note: Do check out the gorgeous and very interactive Panda Licorice Website. I absolutely love it!

You can buy a all Natural Raspberry Licorice Bar at Holland and Barrett for 59p or get a pack of Raspberry Licorice (200gr) on Amazon for £3.99!

Recipe: Dark Chocolate and Walnut Brownies by Francesca Yacoumis


The aroma of chocolatey-ness wafting out of the oven is just one of the perks of making these brownies. This is actually my mum's recipe - I use walnuts but you can swap them for hazelnuts, pecans or pistachio nuts, whichever you like best.

When it comes to brownies, I've tried the lot, but none compare to these. Rich, nutty and gooey, they are a fabulous treat for chocolate lovers such as myself. Perfect for indulging, giving as gifts, and if you've got kids... they will undoubtedly love them too. Like some gardeners talk to their plants, I talk to whatever I'm baking whilst it's in the oven (not an actual chat, just something like ''please be scrumptious'' - if you show your cakes some love and care, they should come out winners every time!

The Recipe Step by Step (it makes 16 brownies):

1. Fetch a 20cm square baking tin that is 5cm deep and grease the bottom and sides with butter. Line it with baking parchment.

2. How do I line a baking tin with baking parchment? Roll out the parchment enough to sit the tin on top. With a pencil, draw around the base of the tin and cut it out, so you have a square to line the bottom of the tin. Then cut out strips for the sides of the tin. Make upward snips about a cm long all along the edge of each side of the strips so that when you stick them to the sides of the tin they more easily bend at the corners of the tin. Then sit the square piece of parchment inside the tin.



3. Melt chocolate and butter together and mix. Stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, flour, chopped nuts and eggs into the mixture. Pour this into your tin and level it out, you can use a spatula to get all the mixture out.

4. Bake at 150C fan, or 170C for around 1 + 1/4 hours. You want quite a soft texture so do not overcook it.

5. Leave to cool in the tin for 2 hours then turn the big brownie onto a board. Dust with sifted cocoa powder or icing sugar and cut into squares. Then enjoy!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Recipe: Mojitos by Richard Lovell


Method:

1. Cut the fresh lime further into wedges and throw into the highball glass

2. Add the sugar and muddle (the word use for 'mix') the lime with a muddler (a wooden spoon will do the job also) until as much juice is extracted. The consistency should look like a watery paste.

3. Add the mint leaves and muddle those into mixture.

4. Throw in enough crushed ice to fill just over half the glass and also your choice of rum. Stir it all very well and ensure it's mixed up enough for the sugar to dissolve sufficiently in the mixture.

Technique: When doing this, I like to hold a cloth covering/shielding the top of the glass and use a drinkers stirrer (any other object to mix with will suffice) to give it a good rapid stir to spread the alcohol and juices around.

5. Add a dash of soda water and top up with more ice to the brim and stir well.

6. Finish off with adding a good looking sprig of mint for presentation and a straw to drink with.

Notes:

For Passion Fruit and Strawberry Mojitos add these at step 2 after the lime wedges and sugar are muddled.

For a Strawberry Mojito 2-4 whole strawberries cut into wedges. The more strawberries in the mixture gives it a stronger and sweeter strawberry taste to the drink; whilst with less there is subtler strawberry taste and but a nice combination between the lime and strawberry.

For a Passion Fruit Mojito one whole passion fruit should do the job, try a bit with a spoon first to ensure it's not too sour.

For your choice of rum (I use and recommend BACARDI Superior Rum). To measure I usually pour out 3-4 lid fulls. If in doubt, just remember too much rum could over power the freshing flavours of the drink - After all a virgin mojito tastes just as good!




From Porto with Love

Wine and Dine:

Sandeman www.sandeman.eu/ Amazing place for sangria and nibbles. Great atmosphere; especially for a whole group of people.

Casa Agricola http://www.casa-agricola.com/casa%20agricola.html Great bar and food upstairs. Really recommend the pasta dishes.

Cafe Guarany http://www.cafeguarany.com/ Great location and gorgeous decor. All the beverages are delicious.

All cafes along River Douro are amazing and provide excellent food and service.


TOP must do's:

Cais de Riberia (Riberia Quay) - A place to find the liveliest bars and restaurants.


Torre dos Clergios (Clergios tower) - Make sure you have not eaten before this climb as it does tire one out.

Serralves Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art: A place to see a bigger than life-size shovel. The best outdoor museum in Europe. A great day out really recommend staying for 2-3 hours for the full ambiance of the location. We walked around the

Museum into the residential areas towards Porto FC grounds and found the
walk a great way to capture the everyday feel of Porto.

A walk over one of the Douro bridges and a boat trip underneath the bridges of Porto. Great sights and scenes for photos; pack your SLR.

Se Catedral - beautiful inside and out. Well worth seeing 2 euros well spent

Use any opportunity to walk rather than take a bus - as the city has so many different levels that you miss if you hop on transport.

Have a lunch by the river with sangria and calamari.

Try a Superbock beer by the River THE BIGGEST MUST IN PORTO!


Travel tips: 
00351 808 200320

4/5 for Cleanliness and rooms
5/5 for practicality

Worth while getting a Hotel slightly out of town as by taxi everything is so close.




What to wear: 

MONTH WE WENT IN: SPRING

What to wear:

Smart/Casual as most places do not require a lot of dressing up.
Comfy walking shoes
A blazer/ jacket will be fine from March onwards in Porto.
A Scarf for the winds at night.
Overall stylish comfort is the key in Porto.



Essentials:

City Spots: Porto Guidebook from £6.33 on Amazon.co.uk
SLR camera or a good quality one to capture the Portuguese essence.
Scarf as it can get windy.


Be careful of shortcuts in Porto as you may end up on the top of someones house rooftop.
Be careful of Taxi drivers too, giggling seems to encourage them to drive faster and rather dangerously.

Did you know??: Oporto was the old Capital City of Portugal before Lisbon.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Boots breakfast Meal Deal

When one hit's the snooze button too many times and you feel like a fulfilling breakfast all I can say is Boot's saves the day. With it's meal deal from £3.29 you can provide yourself with a smoothie, breakfast oats and fruit to kick start your day.

Not only do you get a great and quick breakfast but you also get boots points towards the next meal deal. Boots we love you, thanks for the great nutritional breakfast.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pinkberry


Pinkberry is a wonderful place in Selfridges and I was recommended by a good friend of mine to try its Frozen Yoghurt (seeing how much I love it!) and I was not disappointed! Pinkberry offers a wide range of different flavours; natural, pomegranate, chocolate, mango, coconut and watermelon and you can off course top them off with fresh fruit or nuts! I had a small cup (£3.90) of chocolate flavoured frozen yoghurt with raspberries pineapple and almonds. One word...DELICIOUS! (I should have had a bigger size...).

Like I repeatedly have said in the past, frozen yoghurt is an absolutely guilt-free treat which is low in fat and calories! Check out the whole menu by visiting the Pinkberry website.

I am so excited to try all the flavours; next time I will probably go for the mango flavoured frozen yoghurt with coconut and chocolate! Which one will you be having?

Pinkberry on Urbanspoon

Jelly Beans


What really attracts me to Jelly Beans is their bright colours (which makes them look and off course are very tasty!). I love the fact that there are so many flavours and you can mix and match them and new flavours are "born" through that process! (be careful not to over do it as the result might not be very satisfying!)

Buy them now at Jelly Belly!