30/08/2016

How To: Taco Pop Tarts


As you know, we've been trying to save money and cook more at home. This was a dish planned for last week but never got round to doing it. My best friend, Rochelle, recently came back from America and as the amazing girl she is, she brought me back a whole bag of goodies; American crisps, sweets, pop tarts (the sweet kind), cake mix and a Victoria Secret bra ;) Isn't she just amazing!?

So, we thought this would be a great time to make these babies and we are so happy they turned out alright, since we've never made them before but we had a great approval from our honoured guest!
Find below how we made these!

Serves: 12 Taco Pop Tarts | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 -25 minutes

Ingredients:
- 2 packets of ready made pastry 
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup canned black beans, drained
- 1 cup shredded cheddar
- 1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Working with one crust at a time, unroll onto your work surface and cut into six 3″ x 4″ rectangles. Repeat with the remaining crusts; cover with a towel to keep from drying out.
3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Sauté the
onion for 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until completely cooked through (no pink remaining). Add the taco seasoning and stir to combine. Add the corn and beans and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat and let cool until warm.

4. Place six pie crust rectangles on one of your prepared baking sheets. Top with a spoonful of the beef filling, followed by a handful of shredded cheese. Top with six more crusts and gently press around the edges. Use a fork to crimp and seal; make a few small incisions in the top to allow steam to escape. Brush with some of the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Repeat with remaining crusts and fillings.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown.


As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.

Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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Event: Foodies Festival @ Alexandra Palace, London


This day has been long in the planning as we spotted it on Twitter after hearing it was the biggest, and arguably best food festival in the UK. It was a very good job that we waited a little to buy our entry tickets though, as we received the good news last week that we have won tickets! They were won with foodfestivalfinder.co.uk.


The festival has been taking place throughout the Bank Holiday weekend, but after having a packed Saturday and Sunday, we had a lazy morning before heading out to enjoy the fabulous sunshine, great vibes, and most importantly, some outstanding food!


We started there with a walk around, checking out the options and constantly finding ourselves saying ooh, ahh at almost every stall, tent and truck that we passed. We picked our favourites to come back to later in the day. Our first purchase however came at 'Twist a Chip,' which is literally what it says  - chips with a twist! We shared and chose the topping of barbecue - an excellent start!


This was like a side-dish, so we both hunted down the perfect main course, I, James going for the Ribeye 'Manwhiche' at 'Boys Meat Grill,' and Jessica having the aromatic duck, prawn and chive, and spiced pork 'Ugly Dumplings.'


Before we came we stumbled across an advert for HelloFresh, a food delivery service that will package together each and every ingredient for nutritious meals every week. The lady at the stand explained how everything works and gave us a a healthy discount on our first two orders with them. It seemed like a fantastic concept and we can't wait for our first delivery which will be arriving next Sunday. The box will contain ingredients for 3 meals for the both of us. It has come at a great time as we are definitely looking to cook more at home in September.


Dessert came in the form of a 'Bad Kat' (Kit Kat) brownie from 'Bad Brownie,' and Jessica had her regular craving of strawberries and cream. The brownie business had been on Dragon's Den back in January, so we will try and check out that episode now. Both desserts were fantastic!


We took away with us some Carrington's Chilli Cup sauce, Candy Kittens sweets, and 4 bags of Tyrells - these came in a combo deal for just £5 so will last Jessica for the next day or so! She does love her crisps!


Upon entrance we were pointed towards the registration stand which was booking people into cooking and baking demonstrations that were taking place throughout the day. We chose the Burlesque Baker (it wasn't what you're thinking!) But Charlotte White did teach us the art of cake fondants and decoration. It tasted great too!


To end we enjoyed the late afternoon sun with some ciders and live jazz music - just perfect! Today we have taken the opportunity to hand out some of our business cards and get chatting to the people on the stands and stalls. It was great to meet so many friendly, food-loving people, and we will definitely be looking out for more festivals to attend from now on.

VLOG IS NOW LIVE


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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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28/08/2016

Date Night: Netflix & Chill

PHAHA I laughed so hard at our own title, as in this day and age, it always has to mean something more than it says, but in this case, it's exactly what it means.


Let's get real for a second, as much as we love our Date Nights and we always LOVE to go all out and venture the streets of London, it is the end of the month (where money is becoming a stretch) and we've got a holiday coming up and if you know us, it's actually rare that we just do NOTHING.

So what better way to have a simple Date Night, than have it at home, with candles and fairly lights and a good session of Stranger Things. We've already had our dinner at this point, Avocado Pasta Salad, so all we needed to complete this evening was a bed full of snacks!



Luckily, we were blessed to still have SO MANY treats from our #BloggerPitP goodie bags
(which you can find out exactly what we got, if you want to be super nosy on Sarah's post!) although, we could have done with some good tub of ICE CREAM!

We've actually started Stranger Things once before and got to eps 4, then didn't watch it for a very long time, so for Date Night, we decided to start all over again, forgetting that they are an hour long, we only managed to watch about 2 and a half before realising it was past midnight - I know what you're thinking, only midnight, hey it was a Tuesday and we both had work the next morning #grandmalife



Nevertheless, it was so good to just stay at home and relax, of course as Date Nights go, with no phones and no distractions for the outside world!

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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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27/08/2016

Silver Anniversary Dinner @ The Yew Tree, Bunbury

Fish pie, cheese glaze, peas, fresh bloomer - £13.50 - James

This weekend we have been in Chester to celebrate my Mum and Dad's 25th wedding anniversary, and this evening we took the drive out to Cheshire village, Bunbury for dinner. The place was called The Yew Tree - it's become quite a regular stomping ground for my family. They do love a posh pub kind of environment. From the numerous framed good food awards dotted around the windows and walls, you know you're in for some very high quality pub food!

Smoked chicken croquette, gem salad & caeser dressing - £6.50

We were joined by Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles and cousins and made up a table for 16. We were given a room all to ourselves. The day before we all preordered our starters and mains. From working in a couple of restaurants I know how easy it can be to get such a large table mixed up, but everything was seamless and ran very smoothly! 

8oz beef burger, melted cheese, sautéed onions, toasted brioche bun served with garlic fries - £11.50 - Jessica

Jessica and I shared a starter of croquettes and anchovy salad, and a creme brûlée for dessert. Both were fantastic!Jessica's main course burger was definitely made by the garlic fries, and after having the fish pie on a previous visit here, the fact that I went for the same choice says it all really - beautiful and one of my all time favourite dishes.
 Honey crème brulee, lavender shortbread - £6

Of course the food and drink were spot on, but it was the occasion that made this meal so special. Some (mostly) sentimental speeches at the end brought tears to a few as we all appreciate how amazing my parents are to each other and everyone around them. Thanks for everything Mum and Dad! Here's to the next 25 years!

Food: ★★★★
Customer service: ★★
Atmosphere: ★★★★★
Toilets: ★★

UPDATE: VLOG IS NOW LIVE


As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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25/08/2016

How To: Shepherds Pie with Sweet Potato


As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.

Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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Lifestyle: Meal Planning

This may or may not be click bait because it's so hard for us to actually advice on how to Meal Plan when to be honest, we won't actually have a define structure on how we plan ours. So, this is more or less telling you, giving somewhat of an insight on how we manage to eat and fit in what we eat.

As holding a food blog, we of course always want to try something new - we try not to go to the same place more than twice, although there has been some exceptions and always will be, if the food is good, it's good enough to return for but since changing the content, we don't always write about a place we've been to a the time, if we've eaten there before already.


Let me tell you a little secret - we do not eat like this all the time! 98% of the time, we both skip breakfast or simply have a bowl of cereal, on Brunch days, we make an effort but that's become less and less now. Lunch we both work - so here it is - Sainsbury's meal deal or microwave ready meals. I'm sorry if that has ruined the image of our eating habits but it's the truth!

That's why dinner is our favourite meal of the day, this is where we go all out, creativity and all!
Although we say we don't have an exact structure on how we plan our meals, we do always plan our activities the week before and that leads to how we plan how we eat.

Without a doubt, we would be eating out at least twice a week! We try to cook at home at least once, if not something close enough like buying M&S food and throwing it in the oven making it look all pretty without any pictures taken.


When we do decide to cook at home, we always find our trusty Pinterest for inspiration. Let's take this week for example, we have decided to give you some worthy recipes and to save some money in making dinner at home (and just eating once out this week haha) When this rare occasion happens, we always like to plan ahead, write down all ingredients from each recipe, find repeats and order as necessary and order online in time before the week begins.

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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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23/08/2016

How To: Avocado Pasta Salad


Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ingredients:

Pasta Salad
- 8 oz rotini or bow tie pasta
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
- 8 slices bacon, cooked crisp & crumbled
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 teaspoon lime juice

Dressing
- 1 ripe Avocado
- ½ fresh Lime, juiced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ Cup Buttermilk
- salt & pepper to taste


Instructions: 
Dressing
Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and process until smooth

Pasta Salad
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water.
2. Toss diced avocado with lime juice.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl gently toss with dressing.
Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.



As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.

Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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The Perfect Barbecue Event*

As summer is sadly drawing to a close, we wanted to look back on and draw up for you what would be our perfect barbecue event. We may only have a few weeks left to be able to pull this event off, but we can all dream and look forward to next year at least!

The first ingredient that you are going to need to have the perfect Food & Baker barbecue is the sun, of course, and if you’re James, some factor 50 sun cream. But if you’re Jessica, probably just a seat that is absolutely nowhere near the shade.

Source: Pinterest

The sun has various affects on all of us, to some of us it makes us hungry, and to some it makes us forget about food. You may not be surprised that to us, any type of weather can be used as an excuse to eat food. There is no such thing as slim down for summer on our radar, only chub up for Christmas, and autumn, and spring, and summer. So of course at our perfect barbecue event, there would be an utterly tremendous amount of food!

There is nothing worse than cheap burgers that make you question if you’re even eating meat, so stuff those thick and soft baps with a nice serving of barbecue pulled pork! And once you’ve had one or two of them, lamb and mint burgers are also a favourite.

Head inside and get those triple cooked chips in the oven, because no barbecue is complete without some juicy steak, preferably sirloin, but any decent cut is equally as great!

Food is number one priority, but when you have that tasting great, you can start thinking about making the environment Pinterest and Instagram ready! Bunting is a simple but really cute touch to have at a garden party, as are some chequered tablecloths with matching cutlery and plates.

Source: Pinterest

So we have it tasting great, looking great, so the next sense to take care of is your hearing. We are going to need some classic tunes to make sure that every one of our guests has that summer feeling!

This leads me nicely on to who would be these guests who have the pleasure of being at the perfect barbecue event? Of course all of our families and friends, but we’re going to need some celebrities…

Will Smith, legendary actor, rapper; producer would be in the house (garden actually) to teach us all The Fresh Prince of Bel Air dance! There is no one more I would love to see do the dance than Boris Johnson, so he and his hair also makes the cut. Jessica insists that Adam Sandler is there because apparently he is ‘bae,’ and I’ll have Stevie G there for a kick around!


Sounds pretty good? I think we should try and get this event going! Does anybody have Boris’ number?

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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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[NOW ENDED] GIVEAWAY: JUST BECAUSE :)


Hello you beautiful people, if you follow us on Twitter, you will know that this giveaway is purely for no reason other than the fact that I bought these beauties for our upcoming holiday and as much as I love them, they do not suit me - mother has confirmed this statement.

So, we thought it would just be a nice gesture and a thank you for everything we've had the opporunity for, all from your support!

This giveaway will run for exactly a week today and the winner will be announced via Twitter, followed by a Direct Message asking for your details and explaining how long it will take to deliver etc, at 9PM.
The winner will be picked at random by ourselves.

Please find below the terms and conditions to be able to enter this giveaway. 

Terms & conditions:

1. To enter this giveaway it is compulsory to Follow our Twitter (@foodandbaker) & Retweeting our Pinned Tweet!
2. You must be a resident in the UK to enter.

3. If under the age of 18, you must ask your parents permission to give your address to us, if you have are the chosen winner. 

Thank you so much to everyone who takes the time to read our blog and we hope we can give more to you in the future. Good luck! Get retweeting! :D

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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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22/08/2016

How To: Mushroom & Paneer Samosas & Mint Relish

Mushroom & Paneer Samosas & Mint Relish By Roopa Gulati

Last Tuesday we went to an Exclusive cookery event at Borough Market, where we met Roopa, who taught us how to make and fold Samosas.

As we were privileged to have taken this recipe home with us, we of course had to try and recreate this ourselves, you can find the exact recipe below. 

Now that we have mastered the art of folding samosas, we will be making our own filling and experimenting more with our new skill. 

Remember, you could learn more from Roopa herself, as she will be taking over the Demo Kitchen at Borough Market every Thursday in September between 12:30 - 3 PM.  



Serves: 12-15 samosas | Prep time: 40 mins | Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
- 1-2 green chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 125g paneer, crumbled if freshly made, or grated if shop-bought
- 2 tbsp chopped coriander
- 30 samosa strips or 1 x 270g packet of filo pastry sheets
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- vegetable oil, for deep frying



Mint Relish:

- Large handful mint leaves
- 1 bramley apple, chopped
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- ¾ tsp ground cumin
- 3 cm ginger, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 1 green chilli, deseeded, chopped
- juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

Mint relish:
Blend all the ingredients in a liquidiser with a dash of hot water until you have a thick paste. You can also use a stick blender for this. Aim for a sweet yet tangy flavour, adding more sugar or lime juice if needed. Leave on one side while you make the samosas.

Samosas:
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan and fry the onion until 
softened. Add the chopped mushrooms and green chillies and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have coloured – about 3-4 mins. Stir in the lime juice, ground cumin and garam masala and cook for another minute. Turn off the heat and add the crumbled or grated paneer and chopped coriander. Leave on one side to cool.

Mix the flour with enough water to make a slack paste – this will be used for sealing the pastry strip edges together.

Lay 3 samosa strips on the counter and put another 3 on top to give double thickness. Spoon a heaped teaspoonful of mushroom mix onto the top corner of each of the 3 strips and fold the pastry over the filling so that you have 3 pocket-shaped triangles. Keep folding each pastry triangle over until you have a neat triangular package. Seal any open edges with the flour and water paste and press in place. Repeat the process with the remaining samosa strips.

Deep fry the samosas in hot oil until crisp and golden – it’s best to do this in batches. Drain and serve straight away with the fresh mint relish.

ALTERNATIVE: you can buy samosa strips from the frozen food section of South Asian grocery shops. Filo pastry makes a good substitute though.

Stack up 4 layers of filo pastry, brushing each sheet with melted butter before putting the next one in place. Cut the pastry into strips 25cm x 8cm and fold the samosas in the same way as above.

Don't forget to stop by Borough Market to see Roopa in the Demo Kitchen every Thursday at 12:30-3pm in September


As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.

Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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21/08/2016

Date Night: Festival of Love


So if you've read our post from Friday, you would know that Date Night kicked off with dinner at Wahaca. That was great, but there was no time to moan about how amazingly full we were, as it was straight off to The Festival of Love, which was just back from Southbank, and also indoors in the centre. 


Artwork such as this graced the walls and ceilings of the centre - the one above symbolising a heart (apparently), but most importantly, it just looked very cool! It had got quite by the time we were in here, so I think some of the other exhibitions were unfortunately closed.


Part of the festival was The Wonder Ground, where you could find, street food and drinks, as well as a few carnival type games and Sky Rider, which of course we just had to go on! £7.50 each. We must add that the wait before going up was longer than the ride itself, but nevertheless beautiful.


The view from above was breathtaking! We won't lie and say we weren't a tad scared - it did look like we might crash into the Big Ben and London Eye! It was a shame the ride only last a few minutes, but a great experience it was, just enough to build up an appetite for some dessert.


Of course, being the fatties that we are, we just had to end our evening with some waffles (as if we haven't had enough of it last week) and apparently the best waffles in London claims the Evening Standard. I opted for the Banana and Toffee, while Jessica had Strawberries and Cream - £5.50 each, before talking a nice evening stroll by the Thames toward the station to go home.

UPDATE: VLOG IS NOW LIVE


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As you may or may not know, we have been shortlisted for the BEST FOOD BLOG on the #bloggersblogawards on Wednesday 17th August 2016, if you love what we do and truly believe we are worth your one vote, please vote for us here - voting ends Sunday 18th September 2016.
Thank you to everyone who had nominated us, we are truly grateful, we hope you continue to join our in our adventures.
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