13/12/2017

Christmas: Winter Wonderland Tradition


If you've been a regular reader here, you know in true Food & Baker tradition, even since the beginning of our relationship, during the Christmas period we have always visited Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.


The first year, we went to watch the Circus, the second year we visited The Ice Kingdom and last year, we went Ice Skating - this year we went back to the Circus, but a different show to the first one we saw in the first year. We absolutely love this tradition we have and it's been amazing to come back again for 4 years running.



A visit to Winter Wonderland wouldn't be a real tradition if we didn't get our churros, to any type of Christmas market really, how could you not get churros? If you want to see our vlog from last year, you can watch it here.



To top off the night, what completes this tradition is our meal at Vapiano's. Vapiano's never fail, we've blogged about Vapaino's plenty of times before so there's no need to repeat ourselves. If you've been you'll know, if you haven't, then you must!



Check out this quick video from the day...


Do you have a Christmas tradition?
Let us know in the comments below.

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10/12/2017

Christmas: Christmas by The River, London Bridge City


We've already visited the Sheffield Christmas markets, so it was only right that we visited some of London's Christmas markets while James was in London this weekend. With a very packed weekend planned, we started with a visit to Christmas by The River.

Although I have lived in London my whole life, it's funny that I don't believe I've ever visited Christmas by The River, but the opportunity came about when we were given two complimentary drinks to the TwoRuba stand and trust me, their seasonal cocktails are hard to say no to.
  

On top of that wonderful treat, a lovely fellow blogger, Charlotte, offered us some some food and drink tokens to enjoy within the market and as if that wasn't enough already, we had entry to the Eis Haus.



Eis Haus is an ice lounge and bar, and if you've been to an ice bar before, then you'll know the deal. They give you an extra coat and gloves to keep you warm during your visit and this ticket entry includes a shot served in real ice shot glass. For some reason, James was feeling extremely brave and went for the Bacon and Chilli Vodka shot, and Jessica went for the sweeter Strawberry option. 





Cheered on by the fantastic owner of Eis Haus, Phillip, we were given a quick tour around and explanation of how everything is made. With sculptures of bears, wolves, an arch and throne for photos, each one can take up to three days to build, some away from site, and some on once the shipping container it is all in has arrived. 

So you can imagine, it's pretty cool (see what I did there)


With Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and the iconic City skyline as a backdrop, this surely is one of London's most picturesque markets. This is the place to buy artisan stocking fillers, boutique accessories, or just to settle down with some fantastic food and drink. There is so much to see with their programme of workshops and events in the chalet style events space.



If you're in London and you haven't already, head to the Christmas by The River. They open until January 3rd from 11am to 10pm everyday.

We had a really fun time at Christmas by The River, this is the only the first stop of out weekend, make sure to come back for our next post where we visit Winter Wonderland and our tradition we do every year.


Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored at all, just purely a kind gesture from a fellow blogger. As always all photos and opinions are our own.

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08/12/2017

Baking: Christmas Mess

Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 5 mins


What's the best thing about Christmas apart from being with family? THE FOOD and let's face it, nothing beats a tasty dessert that takes such little effort but still looks super festive!

A little meringue, berries, yoghurt, berries, meringue, you get it, layer upon layers, create that perfect look and all the tastes and flavours pair together perfectly. To make it even extra festive, add a candy cane to the edge of the glass and you're good to go.

Will you be creating this Christmas Mess?


Ingredients:

600ml double cream
- 400g Greek yoghurt
- 1 x 500g bag frozen mixed berries
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 8 meringue nests

Instructions:

1. In a small saucepan gently heat the frozen berries, icing sugar and cinnamon until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool completely.

2. Whip the double cream and Greek yogurt until just holding it’s shape. Break the meringue nests into a glass bowl, or 8 individual glasses. Spoon over half the cream, then half the berries. Repeat with the remaining cream and berries. Serve immediately.

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06/12/2017

Christmas: Gift Guide



With Christmas approaching worryingly quickly, we have put together a few different ideas if you are looking to buy for foodie friends and family! These chocolates from Choc Affair* is the perfect way "just to say," and with flavours ranging from salted caramel to orange and geranium, they're certainly a way of showing that some extra thought has been put in, and not just picked up in a rush on the way to the party.

Our favourite was the peach and raspberry, but there is a story behind the magnificent taste. That is that Choc Affair's passion is to make the world a better place through chocolate. Their Columbian partnership has teamed them up with a team of cocoa farmers who they worked with to buy them land. This enabled them to grow and supply their cocoa, and then be paid everything that they're worth. Meanwhile, fantastic quality and unique flavours of chocolate have been created, and we absolutely love it!


We have been lucky enough to work with Root7, who base their products around the belief that people should 'drink differently.' Each one of their extraordinary products are stored, served, mixed or consumed in a slightly quirky way, and as you can see from the following, they work and look amazing!

If you're looking for a cosy winter night in, these Ombre Mugs* are of the highest quality bone china, and come in a variety of matte ombre finishes. They are just perfect for a big cup of hot chocolate, or what ever else your heart desires...


Our favourite is these Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses*, again from Root7 and are the perfect item to toast the New Year if you're a tequila fan! Forget the salt on the back of the palm, now these glasses can do that for you! Hand carved from high quality natural pink rock salt from the Himalayas, the glasses are purely made from salt and completely safe to drink from! We can't wait to use them over the festive period to celebrate with friends!

We hope this small guide has given you an idea or two, and all that's left to say is good luck with your last bits of Christmas shopping!

Disclaimer: products marked with an asterisk (*) was kindly gifted to us, all photos and opinions are our own.

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03/12/2017

Sunday Soup: Salmon Noodle Soup

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins


If you've been following our Sunday Soup's over the past few weeks, you'd realise that most of our recipes are blends, so today, we decided to go for something different. Salmon noodle soup!

I, personally really love mushrooms, the baby corn gives it that crunch, the Thai paste gave it that kick and the lime juice give it that tang. The salmon was the glue that made the entire meal.

If you're looking for something more of a proper meal, this noodle soup is the way to go. It could also be easily converted to vegetarian friendly dish with replacing the chicken stock with vegetable stock. A must try!


Ingredients:

- 1l low-salt chicken stock
- 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
- 100g egg noodles
- 150g pack button mushroom, sliced
- 125g pack baby corn, sliced
- 2 skinless salmon fillets, sliced
- juice 2 limes
- 1 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
- pinch brown sugar
- small bunch coriander, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

1. Pour the stock into a large pan, bring to the boil, then stir in the curry paste. Add the noodles and cook for 8 mins. Tip in the mushrooms and corn and cook for 2 mins more.

2. Add the salmon to the pan and cook for 3 mins or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice, soy sauce and a pinch of sugar. Ladle into 4 bowls and sprinkle over the coriander just before you serve.

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01/12/2017

Restaurant: The Grind Cafe - Kelham Island, Sheffield


Kelham Island, Sheffield's newest hipster hotspot and home to some great restaurants and cafes is where I, James am lucky enough to be living for my final year of university. The Grind Cafe is just a minute or so walk away from home, so it would seem silly not come to down for coffee and spot of brunch one weekday morning. 

I say that, but actually we only came for coffee until we say these two delicious dishes pass us by and land on the table next to us. We wanted a slice of the action and ordered straight away. Baked eggs is slowly becoming one of our favourite brunch dishes, in this case with tomato, chorizo and toast on the side. It was just what was needed in this crisp weather - so hearty and warming. 


Then comes the Belgian waffles with whipped cream and strawberries. They were fluffy, light and you can't go wrong with the toppings. It's a classic which will never get old.

Along with their terrific breakfast menu, The Grind Cafe are renowned for their famous sausage rolls, delightful sandwiches and locally sourced beans for their fantastic coffees. We'll be back for all of the above in due course, no doubt!

Food: ★★★
Coffee: ★★★
Customer service: ★★★★
Atmosphere: ★★★

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