Sunday, February 26, 2012

The best of Mrs Beeton's cookbook


Another cookbook that should be included in your kitchen is Mrs Beetons. Her recipes for deserts and puddings are extremely comforting. They have an essence of home cooked meals and can bring any meal to a great finish. I always cook the bread and butter pudding and find that it goes down a treat with anyone who has a little bit of a sweet tooth.

Check out amazon and buy here for a fantastic £1.81.

The best of Mrs Beeton's collection is definitely worth looking into also. Titles such as How to cook, Household Management and Easy Everyday cooking demonstrate just how much they could help your household skills. Check here for the full selection on Amazon.co.uk.

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

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Skinny Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks


When going to Starbucks I have a tendency to have the same hot drink; a Skinny Chai Latte. A few days ago I came across a few adverts at Starbucks promoting the Skinny Caramel Macchiato and that it's only 110 calories. I am very keen on restaurants/cafes chains that display calories on their menus as I feel it's very important that, us as consumers, know what we are eating/drinking. Starbucks has not only introduced that but also offer healthier options. The Skinny Caramel Macchiato is one of them and being a caramel lover I wanted to give it a try. I really wasn't disappointed and I absolutely loved the caramel on top as it blended in so perfectly with the coffee! Will definitely become a more regular thing!

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Leon Pizza Base by Eleni Charalambous

Method:

1. In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in 100ml of water. You can use slightly warm water from the tap for this, but use cold water for the rest of he dough.

2. Once the yeast has dissolved add the flour and then up to 300ml of water. The dough should be soft and pliable. Allow it to rest for up to 10 minutes, and then decide at that point whether or not to add the remaining 50ml of cold water.

3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft. Rub a little oil on the dough and cover the bowl with a cloth for 30 minutes.

4. Once the dough has rested you need to add air by kneading it for 5 minutes every 30 minutes. Do this 3 times.

5. At this stage leave the dough to rise without touching it for 90 minutes in a warmish place in your kitchen.

6. Now, heat the oven to 200°C/ 400 °F/ gas mark 6. Dust 2 baking sheets with flour or line them with baking paper. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and gently press each out into a rectangular shape. Do not roll the dough or you will squeeze the air out of it. Irregularity in the dough is what you are striving for.

7. Drizzle the dough with olive oil and cover it with the topping of your choice – Leni loves tomatoes, mozzarella, rosemary and salami. Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Recipe: Stir-Fried Chicken by Eleni Charalambous

Any tomatoes can be used but I recommend using baby tomatoes for the best texture.

1. Heat the oil in a pan until hot.

2. Add the chicken and cook until brown all over - usually 5-1o minutes.

3. Add the ginger, mangetout, spring onions and tomatoes. Cook for a further 6-8 minutes or until baby tomatoes have released all their juice.

4. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a handful of coriander leaves.

5. Serve piping hot.

And voila a Chicken recipe perfect for those evenings when you do not have much time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recipe: Cherry Loaf by Eleni Charalambous

This is a recipe that I am extremely fond of. With the hint of almonds and cherries together there is nothing quite like this taste. It is amazing with a Cup of Tea and even better when you share with your nearest and dearest.

Serves: 8-10 people

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/gas mark 3. Halve the cherries, then wash them in a colander under cold water, then pat them dry, toss them in some flour and shake well to get rid of excess.

2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs and almond essence, then gently fold in the flour and chopped almonds. Fold in the cherries and then the milk and spoon the thick mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 3/4-1 hour, or until a cake-tester/knife comes out clean.

3. Leave in the tin on a wire rack until completely cooled. Tastes amazing warm but also very moreish when cool.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Shrove Tuesday/ Pancake day.

Shrove Tuesday also known as Pancake day to most, is the day before Ash Wednesday which is the first day of lent. Shrove Tuesday is linked to Easter therefore it changes every year. Shrove Tuesday takes place mainly in Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and Germany.

In most traditions the day is known for the eating of pancakes before the start of Lent. Pancakes are eaten for the reason that they are made out of the main foods available, sugar, fat, flour and eggs, whose consumption was usually restricted during the ritual fasting associated with Lent.

Basic Pancake ingredients:
4oz (100g) plain flour.
Half a Pint (250ml) of milk.
1 Standard Egg. (Size 2)
Pinch of Salt (half teaspoon)
http://www.myolddutch.com


For those who would rather eat out for Pancake day be sure to check out My Old Dutch in London.

Check out their menu online: http://www.myolddutch.com/Menu/A-La-Carte.aspx

To find your nearest Old Dutch visit http://www.myolddutch.com/Contact.aspx
My Old Dutch - Kensington on Urbanspoon

Have a flippin' good pancake day.

Lyle's Golden Syrup: Pancake day special ingredient

Here is one of the best tasting ingredients known to the human species. With waffles, pancakes or crumpets this syrup is the finishing touch. No carbohydrate at breakfast is complete without Lyle's. The best ingredient by far for pancake day today. What do you have with your pancakes?

This Shrove Tuesday they have plenty of exciting recipes for all. Be sure to check them out on Lyle's Golden Syrup site. From savoury to sweet recipes on pancake day your cookbook will be enhanced with this simple ingredient.

Shrove Tuesday Recipe: Berry Pancakes by Alpro Soya


Another great pancake recipe for Shrove Tuesday.

Method:

1. Beat together 2 eggs, 150g self-raising flour, 150ml Alpro soya Original and 1tsp baking powder.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and spoon in 2tbsp batter. Cook on a high heat until bubbles rise to the surface.

3. Turn and cook until pale golden. Serve with berries, a dollop of Alpro soya alternative to yogurt and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

Shrove Tuesday Recipe: Crepes with Honey Plums by Alpro Soya


"Crepes or pancakes are a hit with any age group, they can be made prior to serving and
heated through in the microwave. Plums were used in this recipe but substitute any sliced ripe fruit."

Serves 3 – 4

Crepe Batter:

115g (4oz) plain flour
pinch of salt
2 large eggs - beaten
225ml (8 fl oz) Alpro soya organic Dairy free alternative to Yogurt, Plain
25ml (1 fl oz) cold water
sunflower oil for frying

Honey Plums:

2 tbsp of clear honey
2 tbsp orange juice
4 large ripe plums – stone and slice each half into 4 – 5 slices

Method:

1. To make the crepe batter: sieve the flour and salt together in a bowl, add the eggs
and then gradually whisk in the Alpro soya organic Dairy free alternative to
Yogurt, Plain and water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes.

2. The batter will make 8 crepes in a medium sized frying pan. Heat 1 teaspoon oil
in a frying pan and pour in sufficient batter to cover the pan, cook 2 minutes until
underside is lightly browned, toss over and brown on the other side, lift out onto a
plate and keep warm until all the pancakes are cooked.

3. Heat the honey and juice in a pan until the mixture bubbles, add the sliced plums and cook for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. To serve fold each pancake into 4 and top with 4 or 5 slices of plum and a spoonful of sauce, serve with Alpro soya Dairy free dessert, vanilla or ice-cream.

A great recipe for this years Shrove Tuesday. Thank you Alpro Soya for your recipe.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Be Fruity with Strawberry


After having made the amazing Be Fruity with Fig bar a regular snack, I thought I will try a different flavour for a change. Other flavours include Be Fruity with Apricot and Be Fruity with Strawberry. The other week I decided to try the Strawberry flavour and I absolutely loved it. However I still prefer the Fig bar mainly because of the figs's health benefits; excellent source of minerals like calcium, iron and zinc, rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants and also great for digestion. Each bar is 100% natural, contains 70 calories and also counts towards your 5 a day fruit and veg. Get a pack of 5 for £1.55 at Waitrose!

Midas Touch. Worcester Park, Surrey

www.midas-touch.org.uk/

This fresh strawberry Daquiri was the best way to begin a week night. With it's scrumptious taste it was impossible to put down. The taste of alcohol was minimal, which made it even easier to taste. Midas Touch is situated right near Worcester Park, Surrey rail station, so it's location makes a perfect one after a long day at work or an evening drink after University in the Surrey area.

Leni stopped off on her commute back to Epsom, Surrey and found it the perfect break between London and her humble abode. A real top notch place for a long drink and a catch up. The fish and chips are exquisite also.

The cozy atmosphere is also an aspect that is thoroughly enjoyable, warm decor, friendly staff and great food. Make sure you stop off here if ever in Worcester Park. Thanks for a great strawberry daiquiri. A great gastropub.

Make your reservations here on toptable.com now.

Yumchaa, Goodge Street London

If you are looking for a quirky and new tearoom to hibernate in at lunch Yumchaa is the place to go. It feels like home away from home with every ounce of comfort. Their homemade cakes make delightful treats; especially the banana and Nutella loaf. Their array of flat bread sandwiches make an extremely healthy option also.

The decor is very hippy vs. informal but with such an outlandish feel that you become intrigued by your surrounding. This location definitely has the best selection of tea and warm beverages.

Love the location, love the food and more than anything Leni loves the overall combination. Great for lunches if you are work or live near to Goodge Street Station. With free wi-fi it also makes it a great place to relax by yourself and study or read a book.

Yumchaa is all about tea therapy and check here for some of the other shops and stalls around London. It is definitely worth checking out the website to understand what Yumchaa is all about.

Shops:Camden Lock,Soho,Camden Parkway, Tottenham Street,
Stalls: Camden Lock Market,Old Spitalfields Market, Partridges Market–Chelsea, Portobello Road Market, St James Church - Piccadilly, Sunday Upmarket - Brick Lane

Tea is at the heart of what Yumchaa do – this is what they believe:

"Say No to Tea-Bagging. The foundations of brewing a good cup of tea are The Leaf, The Water and the Freedom for the two to mingle."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Broccoli and Tomatoes healthy and great together!

As we all know Broccoli is good for us. But why? This nutrient packed vegetable contains vitamin C, vitamin A (mostly as beta-carotene), folic acid, calcium, and fiber. The calcium content of broccoli doesn't exactly equal that of a glass of milk, but nonetheless it is an important calcium source for those who don't consume dairy products. Calcium does not just build strong bones. After plentiful research it shows that this mineral may actually help in the control of high blood pressure, and possibly work to prevent colon cancer.

Beta-carotene and vitamin C are important antioxidants they have previously been linked to reducing the risk of numerous conditions, such as cataracts, heart disease, and several cancers.

But did you know that broccoli teamed with a juicy tomato provides us with even more health benefits?

Tomatoes are packed full with health-protective antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A and as a bonus they have very few calories. On your next shop be sure to pick up some tomatoes and broccoli - this fine photographed selection were found in the Harrod's food hall.


Broccoli steeps in important phytochemicals: beta-carotene, indoles, and isothiocyanates which are all cancer-fighting compounds. Another great fact is that broccoli has phenethyl-ITC (PEITC), which is formed when vegetables are either cut or chewed and research within lab experiments, has proved that this leads to killing off cancer cells.

Cooked tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables – broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage -- have shown to help prevent cancer, especially prostate cancer. Research is now suggesting that eating tomatoes and broccoli together has even more potent health effects. So make sure these two vegetables are in your shopping trolley next time along with some other fantastic antioxidant fruits such as blueberries.

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

Apostrophe Lunch. Goodge Street, London

Types of food: Hot/ Cold sandwiches, Fresh Salads, Fruit salads, Pastries and Muffins and a whole selection of teas, coffees and juices.

Always a favourite location for a quick lunch is Apostrophe. Situated near Goodge Street Station, Just off of Tottenham Court Road.

Apostrophe always has a great selection of fresh Sandwiches from late morning until late afternoon along with pastries and fruit components. The cafe itself is quaint and always busy at lunch time so make sure you get there quick for the sandwich of your choice. A great spot for a quick catch up or a meal accompanied by your laptop or newspaper.

Try your chosen toasted or cold lunch with a lovely fresh fruit Juice or herbal tea. My favourite has to be the beetroot and apple fresh juice.

Check out previous recommendations on Leni and Mimi for this location:
http://www.leniandmimi.com/2011/10/apostrophe.html

Saturday, February 18, 2012

From Milano with Love

Leni and Mimi entered the Fashion Capital of Milan in Spring. It was an exceptional weekend with a great balance of sights and relaxation. A weekend in Milan is enough as you can still see everything essential, talk a stroll around the city and have lots of eat. Here is our experience from Milan and our tips on how to make the most of your trip. This includes sights, wine and dine and the best places to shop.
Top Milan story: It was the time of the Icelandic Volcanic eruption and Easyjet canceled the flight – after almost 12 hours of waiting at the airport we were allowed to board the next flight our to Paris (we were lucky as it was first come first serve). We then touched down in Paris and then got the Eurostar back to London. Three Fashion capitals in a weekend not bad ay?

Top Must do's:

1. Duomo: Free admission; Roof: Admission 5€ by stairs, 8€ with elevator; Crypt: Admission 2€; Baptistery: Admission 2€; Museum: Before its closing, admission was 6€ adults, 3€ children younger than 18 and seniors over 6
Piazza del Duomo - Make sure you visit the roof! Be sure to make sure all knees and shoulders are covered to go in.

2. Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Just off Piazza del Duomo and Piazza della Scala
Great pasta and pizza places here. Ensure your self with luckiness by stamping on the Bull's testicles for some of the Milanese luck.

3. Castello Sforzesco .

4. Shopping streets - they are everywhere. Always a good bargain round the corner.

5. Sempione park - the most gorgeous park to wander around. With some great attractions lurking around, beautiful flowers and water arrangements. Great for days in the Sun.

6. Make sure you walk everywhere as Milan is such a quaint size you might as well soak it all in. Don't miss it all by taking a taxi. Although the tram is a sweet experience if you are from London. So give that a whirl.

7. Try lots of Pizza and Pasta as it's just not a trip to Milan if you do not. Oh and the Tiramisu – very exquisite.


- Tibi Wine bar - cute bar with amazing atmosphere and drinks. See Cocktail pictures below. Click here for location.
- Pizzeria Grand'Italia - Great Italian food in the City Centre. Very cozy.
- The cafes within Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II are all spectacular (we know as we tried most of them) great deserts, coffee and main meals. Just chose the one that has available seating as it gets busy.

Travel tips:

Use easyjet; and find look for the gorgeous hotel Nasco - 66 Corso Sempione, Milan 20149 00390231951
5/5 for Cleanliness and rooms 5/5 for practicality. And an overall 100% for size, service and amazing rooftop room with veranda.

With easyjet you can travel from £130 pp – depending on how long you go for obviously.

What to wear:

MONTH WE WENT IN: March

In Milan in March we wore:

Mimi – jeans and casual tops which were suitable from morning to night. Comfortable shoes in order to walk far and a light jackets. Sunglasses (a must)!

Leni – Casual outfits included day dress and flats, jeans casual tops and a light jacket. Flat shoes the whole time along with a large size tote bag.



Essentials:

DK: Milan and The lakes guidebook (make sure it is updated however)
SLR camera or a good quality one to capture everything in Milan.
An umbrella as the rain can just appear.
An empty stomach.


LEARN FROM LENI AND MIMI'S MISTAKES:

Make sure you invest in the latest DK Guidebook as an old version may lead you to non-existent bars. Although this proved helpful to us as some locals then guided us to a superb new bar. (Featured below).



Did you know??: Milan is considered to be the fashion center of the world. The fashion location has headquarters and businesses of some of the leading international designers, which include Gucci, Prada, Armani, Versace, and Dolce & Gabbana.

Friday, February 17, 2012

EAT Covent Garden, London


Going to EAT has almost become a regular thing on my lunch breaks. I'm in love with their skinny chai latte; my favorite at the moment and only £1.99 (the cheapest I have come across). I absolutely adore the sweetness and it's after taste. After having tried a big number of their sandwiches and wraps (all of them are so amazing!) my favorite is the Humus one at only 300 calories. I usually have it hot too, which makes it taste even better!

Find your nearest EAT here!

Eat on Urbanspoon

Wrap it Up, Goodge Street London

http://www.wrapitup.co.uk/

A great shack for a warm meal at lunchtime. This burrito joint looks like a stall at a market fair but to my delight it provides quick and easy warm meals. The favourites are burritos and it is evident how popular they are when you see the queue forming down Goodge Street at 1pm everyday.

Quick, efficient service with great food. The best location on Goodge Street for a hot lunch. Every nine burritos you get one free also so do not forget to keep returning for your reward.

The Medium one usually satisfies all people; when I tried the large I found it to much. Thanks wrap it up for a great alternative to a hot sandwich everyday.

They also offer vegetarian options, a selection of chicken dishes and salads. These gourmet wraps are definitely winning people over with their tastes. Keep an eye out for their online delivery service also.

With six locations and one more opening in Holborn shortly click here to see your nearest wrap location.
Wrap It Up! on Urbanspoon

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

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Recipe: Posh Mushrooms on Toast by Francesca Yacoumis


Method:

1. Take the stalk off the mushrooms and slice the mushrooms length-ways, then width ways.

2. Dice your onion and garlic rather finely.

3. Put half of your butter and all the olive oil into a large frying pan, and put on a medium heat.

4. Once melted, add the onions and let them sweat a little. Then add the mushrooms, garlic and stir in the rest of the butter.

5. When the mushrooms start to cook, add the parsley.

6. After a few minutes, the mushrooms should have shrunken and darkened meaning they are cooked, so squeeze the lemon over the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

7. Toast your bread and butter them, then top with the mushroom mixture. Grate over some mature cheddar cheese.

Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights Cookbook


This is one of those cookbook's that excites you every-time you turn the page. The blend of home cooking and quirky ingredients brightens every kitchen up. I love the images and feel of the overall text which I find actually encourages me to cook more.

This is a feel good, home comfort cookbook perfect throughout the year. Miss Dahl is great at offering a wide selection of recipes for both cold and hot occasions. You will never be lost in the Kitchen again.

This wonderful book can be found on amazon.co.uk from £13.20 a great bargain when the RRP is £20. Click here to buy now.

Love Miss Dahl in the kitchen she is a real delight. Thanks Sophie.

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

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roasted Chicken with Herb Mayonnaise Sandwich by Starbucks


The Roasted Chicken with Herb Mayonnaiseis probably one of the lighter lunch options at Starbucks (approximately 315 calories & less than 4% of fat) and actually one of my favourites taste wise. I love the mix of the light mayonnaise with the delicious roasted chicken and slow-roasted tomatoes and every time I have it all ingredients taste so fresh!

Did you know?
The source of the word “mayonnaise” is unknown, but one guess is that it is derived from moyeu, Old French for egg yolk. (source: starbucks.co.uk)

Starbucks on Urbanspoon

Marks & Spencer Lunch. Warm toastie.

Marks and Spencers can sometimes be overlooked for food on the go. This particular branch on Tottenham Court Road gets my vote for hot food on the go every-time. I opted for the Croque Monsieur on this cold English day and it lifted my spirits. The cheese and ham toastie was the best piece of comfort food I could have purchased. It goes excellently with their side snacks such as crisps or fruit.

Definitely a favourite Sandwich to purchase on cold winter days.This could possibly be in the running for the best comfort sandwich ever?

The Marks and Spencers on Tottenham Court Road offers only a small section for you to dine in so it is recommended to get there early if you would like to sit down and eat there if not take it right back to your office and enjoy in comfort.

If there is one place that gets it right every-time it is Marks and Spencers.

Great location for all types of meals throughout the day.

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Costa Oxford Circus, London


The Costa Coffee right off Oxford street (right next to Topshop) is one of my favorite spots when shopping in that area! The service is fantastic and the place so cosy; perfect to meet your friends. I usually have the camomile tea and I absolutely love the chicken salad sandwich; part of their healthier food options. Costa is located all over the UK; to find your nearest one visit costa.co.uk
Costa Coffee on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 13, 2012

SNOG (Part 2)


I previously had (and blogged about) SNOG and because I loved it so much I thought I'll share with you a different SNOG I had last week! This time round I had the chocolate flavored SNOG with Kiwis. Once again I wasn't disappointed! As a huge chocolate lover the chocolate flavored SNOG is THE perfect treat and it's absolutely guilt free at only 120 calories per pot! (and it's fat free too!)

Check the full menu on http://www.ifancyasnog.com/our_menu/regions/uk
Be sure to check out other locations for SNOG on Urbanspoon.
Snog Pure Frozen Yogurt on Urbanspoon

Blueberries full of antioxidants.

When it comes to choosing fruits berries are some of the best ones to reach for. The reason being that berries are extremely rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect our body cells from damage, thus preventing disease and ageing. Blueberries specifically contain more disease-fighting antioxidants than any other fruit or vegetable.

Blueberries, raspberries and especially strawberries are an excellent source of Vitamin C and soluble fiber. They contain a powerful antioxidant called ellagic acid.

Blueberries are great friends to the skin. Even though acne relates to hormones more than to the physical condition of our skin, certain nutrients can help to counteract hormonal conditions which encourage spots. Vitamins in blueberries help to neutralize oil levels in the skin, making it less likely to accumulate sebum.

Another Blueberry benefit, as well as strawberries and raspberries, is that they are low in carbohydrates relative to other fruits meaning they can be eaten as much or as little as you like. Very berry mad.

Be sure to check out Alpro Soya's Berry pancakes for an option for Shrove Tuesday or even for a Valentine's day recipe.

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

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Favoloso by Assaggetti


This is a wonderful virgin cocktail at Assaggetti made in honour of the gorgeous Fashion & Lifestyle blog Five Five Fabulous by the amazing Reem Kanj. It is made of fresh berries topped with a delicious vanilla cream and if you quote 'Five Five Fabulous' when arriving or 'Hello my name is fabulous' you will receive a free Favoloso!

Don't forget to check out Leni&Mimi's post on the fantastic Prosecco tasting and Pizza Making event at Assaggetti but also the Assaggetti review by Guest Blogger, Reem Kanj.
Assaggetti on Urbanspoon

Recipe: Berry Pancakes by Alpro Soya


Method:

1. Beat together 2 eggs, 150g self-raising flour, 150ml Alpro soya Original and 1tsp baking powder.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan and spoon in 2tbsp batter. Cook on a high heat until bubbles rise to the surface.

3. Turn and cook until pale golden. Serve with berries, a dollop of Alpro soya alternative to yogurt and drizzle with honey or maple syrup.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Brûlée by Alpro Soya


Method

1. Blend custard powder with 2-3 tablespoons of the milk alternative to give a smooth paste. Gently heat the remaining milk and sugar until it reaches simmering point. Pour the milk onto the blended custard and stir well to mix. Return to the heat add the Amaretto and stir constantly until the custard thickens. Leave the custard to cool slightly

2. Place a few raspberries in the bottom of 4 shallow ramekin dishes. Pour the custard over the raspberries and smooth the surface. Chill for 15 minutes.

3. Heat the grill for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the caster sugar over the custard and place under the grill unit the sugar is caramelised. Serve immediately.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cafe Rouge, Epsom, Surrey

http://www.caferouge.co.uk/


CAFÉ ROUGE, a French restaurant chain around the UK, has gorgeous food and above all desserts that I will be talking about later. As much as I love CAFÉ ROUGE I recommend for you to not have it too often as their main courses are a bit heavy... however I really fancied it one weekend so decided to head there and treat myself.

I was surprised to notice that the menu had been updated since my last visit, a new section was introduced; healthier dishes under 600 calories. I was delighted to see that so I tried the feta tartine. It tasted so delicious but if you are very hungry I would recommend a main course like fish or chicken as I felt the portion was a bit small. I had space for some dessert too so I gave the TARTE TATIN a try (the classic French caramelised apple tart served with vanilla pod ice cream) and one word...AMAZING! I haven't tasted such a great dessert in a very long time and it is definitely one of my favorites at the moment! I just didn't want it to end and it really does make you want to have more (no matter how full you are!). Will be heading there very soon again to have more of it! Well done CAFÉ ROUGE!
Cafe Rouge on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Cocktail Club, Goodge Street London

http://www.londoncocktailclub.co.uk/

Cocktails and week nights do not usually go together. The London Cocktail Club has changed this. Here is a location where a Strawberry Daiquiri and a Monday night go very well together. A great location to go with work colleagues or friends for a few scrumptious alcohol delights. Their tapas style dishes go down a treat also. Really recommend the Pate on toast.

The London Cocktail Club on Goodge Street is situated underground and provides you with a relaxing yet interesting ambiance. The buzz in the bar stems from the glorious 'oldies' flowing around the venue. A really wonderful evening and friendly staff. Highly suggest the Daiquiri's, and happy hour, buy one get one free until 6pm gives you a great offer on these £7 cocktails.

All ingredients are fresh (made them prove this to me). Make sure you enjoy a weekday cocktail too.

Another London Cocktail Club can be found on New Oxford Street.

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

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MOKA Epsom, Surrey

http://www.cafemoka.co.uk/


MOKA is a lovely Italian restaurant located in the Ashley Center, Epsom. The menu has a selection of sandwiches, wraps and paninis but also hot food like pasta. You can also head there for just a coffee that can be accompanied by a delicious dessert. I had the humus and feta wrap which also has aubergines, black olives and red onions. I absolutely loved it and every single ingredient in the wrap tasted so fresh! For only 6.95 this wrap is totally worth every single penny and it is highly recommended. I had my wrap with a skinny cappuccino which tasted as great! Well done MOKA, we are huge fans!

MOKA is also located in Wimbledon and Kingston.

Recipe: Moroccan Mint Tea by Francesca Yacoumis


Mint tea is the most popular drink in Morocco and like most of North Africa, it's taken very sweet. A local told me it's the equivalent of "their whisky", as they do not drink alcohol in Morocco. Moroccan cups and teapots are decorated as elaborately as their exotic architecture. The tea has to be made properly and with a bit of love and skill to get the right taste. It's truly superior to the not so exciting cup of green tea...The authentic way to make it as taught to me by a local versus the quicker, modern way, is as follows.

1. Put 2 tbsp of green tea and one cup of boiling water into a big tea pot and whirl it around three times to 'wash' the tea.

2.Pour this into a cup from a distance to aerate the tea, which gives it more flavour, then back into the teapot and add more boiling water to fill the pot 3/4 of the way.

3. Leave for five minutes until the tea leaves come to the surface.

4. Add a small piece of lemongrass, handful of fresh mint, and two big blocks of sugar, or honey if you prefer. Leave for a further two minutes.

5. Aerate once more by pouring into your cup at arms length (you can put it back into the teapot and re-pour up to three times to enhance flavour).

If you do not want your tea too strong take out all the leaves. Et voilá!

However if you want a quicker and more simple method, this one works well too!

1. Put one green tea bag into the tea pot, and a handful of fresh mint.

2. Fill with boiling water and add your sugar/honey. Let this brew for 5 minutes.

3.Pour into your glass from height to aerate the tea, then pour it back into the pot, and pour the tea back into the glass once more.

Done!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nurofen


Nurofen is an aspirine that really does wonders (in my eyes at least). I find it very effective when us girls have to deal monthly with period pains... I find Nurofen really works in these cases; the pain is gone within half an hour and usually I don't have the need to take more. Also, I find it really works with headaches and it can also be used for muscular pains, migraines, dental pains and many other. Click here for more information.

You don't need a prescription to purchase it and you can get it at Boots, Superdrug and most supermarkets. However do read the label in case you are allergic to any of it's ingredients.