Sunday 4 August 2013

7 things for 7 days...#8

It's been months since the last time I posted one of these random montages - even though I like writing them and apparently you like reading them. As ever, there's a whole host of excuses, but I won't bore you with these now. If you follow me on Twitter, you can probably figure it out. The main thing is that I'm finally BACK with another selection of my favourite foodie moments from the past week, plus some other random musings...

Donostia Social Club duck slider

1. Check out this incredible (overflowing!) duck slider courtesy of Donostia Social Club - just looking at it makes my mouth water! I'd heard rumours of great things being produced by these relative newcomers to London's streetfood scene, and decided to check them out for myself at KERB Saturdays in Kings Cross. I loved the concept of a pintxos bar attached to a food truck, and would have happily perched there all afternoon sampling their tasty tapas (and perhaps a few Sangrias...!). This duck was rich and tender, with a clever contrast from the sliced apple and Basque cider sauce. Their juicy prawns a la plancha with shallot salsa were also delightful. One to watch...

Donostia Social Club prawns

2. So I was going to talk about how "totes amaze" it is that Joy and Tracy have crossed the 100 podcast milestone and how much those two ladies inspire me with their honesty, but then I realised I'd basically said that before.

I often listen to their hilarious podcasts whilst working out, and they help me keep going when my legs want to stop running and my arms want to stop lifting weights. But the other person who inspires me to drag myself out of bed to hit the gym bright and early in the morning is...well, me. I know that sounds like a complete #humblebrag (and yes, it is a bit), but I've realised that the motivation to do exercise can only come from yourself. Once I started feeling the buzz of adrenaline and endorphins, and started seeing the results in my physical and mental wellbeing, then I kept that memory tight; and now I push it to the front of my mind to drive me forward whenever it feels like the treadmill is (literally) going on forever. Admittedly waking up to blue skies and glorious summer sunshine helps, but only I know how far I've come and what's needed to progress even further on my fitness journey.

Olive Branch's aubergine and basil paste

3. I'm hooked on aubergines after my recent holiday in Egypt and my Lebanese mezze feast at Cookhouse Joe, so I was thrilled to discover that my friends at Olive Branch had created this Aubergine and Basil Paste as part of their new mezze range. The even more amazing news is that 100g of this creamy, garlicky sauce is only 54 calories...which means I can indulge in my addiction without worrying about the impact on my waistline!

Grilled vegetable and aubergine paste pasta

This paste is wonderfully versatile - use it as a dip with flatbreads, smear it onto roasted meat kebabs, or follow my example here and mix it into pasta and grilled vegetables as an alternative to pesto. And if your spoon just happens to fall into the jar a few times and need licking clean, I promise I won't judge you...

Royal Flush juice

4. Can you believe that I won this Sage by Heston Blumenthal Nutri Juicer via a competition from Mighty Spice Kitchen? No, neither can I! When I finally stopped pinching myself, I decided I had better test it out - not least because my boyfriend was so desperate to use this new gadget that I was starting to fear for the safety of his homeboy #littlecat.

First up from my big book of juices and smoothies (a very foresightful purchase by my mum!) was the zingy "Royal Flush" combining carrot, apple, beetroot, fresh ginger and lime. I also learnt my first juicing lesson here, that they recommend using raw beetroot for a reason...the cooked version just gets mulched up and generates very little juice! Next up was this refreshing neon watermelon juice, which I mixed with (a bit too much) coconut water. We also concocted a little experiment to see how many apples we'd need to use to make a litre of juice (it's ten, FYI). Keep an eye on my Instagram for more juice experiments!

Watermelon and coconut juice

5. Thanks to Rosie for sharing this - women everywhere are collectively sighing and shaking their heads, because now it all makes sense!

6. Have you heard about "cronuts" yet? This cross between a croissant and a doughnut has taken New York by storm, and like most culinary crazes it has now swept across the pond to London. I don't think I have the patience to try replicating Edd Kimber's "fauxnuts" at home, but as a greedy foodie I'm keen to experience this pastry for myself. I'm eagerly awaiting my date with Duck and Waffle's "dosant" next month but in the meantime I might try and get my greasy hands (and sticky lips) on Kooky Bakes' square version.

#littlecat lounging in the sun

7. A warning to anyone hoping to sunbathe in the garden of our little London flat - leaving a towel on your sun lounger doesn't stop #littlecat from pinching it! Having a fur coat is tough when there's a heatwave...

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