Sunday, 27 March 2016

A very Good Friday and Rose and Lemon low carb cocktails



Happy Easter! It's Easter Sunday today and I'm sitting enjoying a cup of coffee while Mr Vatkinary is still in bed and thought I'd share a few bits from the weekend so far. We were both off on Friday (Good Friday) and the weather was beautiful, the nicest day of the year so far. We spent most of the day outside, me playing with my new Spring flowers that are popping up daily, and him slightly ruining things by noisily flying a drone above my head- a birthday present from last weekend that he's still trying to master flying! 

I have been loving the new Lorina Zero Rose lemonade that I found last week, it has barely any carbs at all and has such a nice flavour so I set about thinking about some low carb cocktails/ mocktails that I could use it in. Eventually I settled on a good one that was so refreshing, and so easy that it's barely even a cocktail, so I thought I must share, as I want a little permanent reminder of it for my own sake apart from anything else. 




You will need- makes two:
  • Sugar free rose lemonade- I used the Lorina Rose zero but if you can't find this, any would do
  • One lemon
  • Two measures of vodka
  • One egg white
  • Some edible flowers to garnish- optional 
Then pop the vodka, lemon juice and egg white into a cocktail mixer and shake well. Pour the lemonade into your glasses, pour the cocktail mix over the top, stir and enjoy! These work just as well without the vodka as mocktails. The egg white creates a sort of foam on the top of the cocktail that had mostly gone by the time I got round to taking the photos! It's again optional, but does make the cocktail feel a little bit more special!

We decanted outside, first time we'd sat outside this year, and sipped alternately on these as well as mint juleps (recipe to come soon) and coffee, and took some snacking bits out- namely nuts, halloumi and cherry tomatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.



After a few hours we went for a walk, going past the Rapeseed fields which are just about to pop



Later in the afternoon we ventured to Berkhamsted for a few hours and had a wander along the canal. As we arrived there were lots of hot air balloons in the sky, also taking advantage of the good weather so we sat and had a drink and watched them go over, they were so low down you could literally see the people inside!

Such a lovely day, I hope you're all having a lovely Easter weekend, we're off to Nantwich Jazz festival in Cheshire today which should be good. FYI I have already decided that next year I am definitely making one of those Easter trees that seem to popping up all over Instagram- basically big branches with pretty pastel eggs hanging off them- I've had serious Instaenvy all weekend! 
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Friday, 25 March 2016

Low carb cauliflower cheese fritters


Following the success which was the zucchini fritters last week, I set about thinking of other ways that I could make fritters, and a quick Pinterest search revealed that cauliflower ones were definitely the way forward! If you're eating low carb cauliflower is definitely your friend as you can eat it so many ways, my particular favourites being as a pizza base and as a bolognese alternative. I always find that one of the hardest things to source when you eat this way and don't eat meat is things to snack on; if you eat meat you're able to snack on meat on the go, but it's a bit harder if you don't.


These fritters are just the answer to that problem, they make a perfect main meal- I had some with a  chunky tomato sauce and a poached egg, but they're also great to snack on. Another great thing about this recipe is that it basically uses the exact same mixture as the cauliflower crust pizza, so you can just make a huge batch of it then make pizza with half and fritters with the other half! Now I normally cook the cauliflower when I do this and then wring the excess water out but I have tried and the pizzas so seem to work fine without doing that, though they're not quite as crispy. This particularly appeals to me as I don't like spending too long cooking (despite having a cooking blog!) so this way I can make a big batch of the mixture at the weekend then cook it up during the week saving lots of time for other important tasks, like reading other peoples blogs or Pinteresting. To do this just double the recipe, the mixture keeps for about 3 days in the fridge.


So you will need:
  • One small cauliflower
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated cheese, preferably a strong cheese like mature cheddar or vegetarian parmesan
  • 1/2 a cup almond meal
To make them:
  • Cut the cauliflower into small florets and place in a food processor, you can also grate it if you don't have a food processor, though this can be pretty messy! add the cauliflower to a colander with about two teaspoons of salt and let it drain for about 10 minutes
  • Add to a bowl and add the other ingredients and mix well, the mixture should come together like a thick dough though it will be more crumbly than a normal dough- this is fine.
  • Take a big non stick frying pan and heat some oil on a medium heat
  • Take big tablespoons of the mixture and put in the pan, flattening them down with the back of the spoon
  • Leave to cook for about 5 minutes (they might take slightly less or more time depending on their size) then turn over and leave to cook for the same amount of time on the other side.
  • Remove and enjoy!

You can enjoy these hot or cold, you can also reheat them by popping them in a frying pan for a few minutes which will help them crisp up again as well.
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Monday, 21 March 2016

Lovely hands with Aesop


So a change again from my usual posts today to talk briefly about another couple of current beauty favourites. I mentioned here that I am currently trying to transition into just cruelty free beauty products. It's actually turning out quite a lot more difficult that I previously thought. For example there are quite a lot of companies who do not test on animals but who are owned by a company who does. For example the Body Shop, a brand I previously always considered to almost epitomise strong ethics, and who I thought had a very strong stance regarding animal testing, are in fact now owned by L'Oreal. This is no great loss to me as my teenage days of loitering around the body shop for hours and constantly smelling of Dewberry are pretty much behind me, but it goes to show how careful you have to be if you're going to really take this seriously.
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Sunday, 13 March 2016

Courgette, mint and goats cheese fritters

I had the nicest lunch this week at Ethos foods, a delicious vegetarian buffet just off Oxford Street. They do the nicest courgette and cheddar fritters and I've been obsessing about them ever since I went, so today being a weekend when I have much more time on my hands, I thought I'd have a go at recreating them. I opted for goats cheese rather than cheddar as that's what I had in, and also I had decided to pop mint in and felt like goats cheese would be a better match.
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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Vita Mojo at St Pauls


It's been a little while since I've done one of these posts but I ate somewhere last week that was too good not to share. It's another healthy fast food outlet and only serves lunch being open from 11.30- 3, but it works a little bit differently to most other ones. 

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Sunday, 6 March 2016

Spring flowers and a blueberry feta salad


Spring is most definitely here (in the UK) now and the garden is really coming into bloom. Among  them is the start of my edible flowers which makes me very happy! So I thought I'd share a few snaps of the flowers I've got so far. 

Firstly primulas: these have just started popping up all over the place, and we have loads in the garden as well as seeing them growing wild when we go on walks. We have mostly yellow ones, though a couple of pink ones as well which are so lovely. 



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Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A few Neom favourites


Bit of a change from my normal posts but thought I'd share a few little beauty finds with you. I'm a complete beauty junkie, I buy loads and loads of products and if I never bought another one I probably still wouldn't be able to get through the mountain that I have amassed. I have been thinking for quite some time though about transitioning to cruelty free products as I do hate the idea of using something for vanity that has only come about because an animal had to suffer. It seems so needless especially as there are now so many lovely products around which are ethically produced but are in no way inferior to their animal tested counterparts.

Saying that I will still use up the products that I do have, because if there's anything worse than having products that have been tested on, it's wasting them. At least, that's how I'm thinking at the moment, if I find people who want them and will genuinely use them, I might in time just get rid of all of them.

With that in mind then, here are a few products that I really love at the moment, they're all by Neom which is a brand I knew really for their candles which are pricey but are so so scented and feel so decadent. I have recently started to get into their skincare so thought I'd show you a few bits.

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