Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Rich Chille Con Carne with Spiced Butter

Yesterday my mum and I tried out Heston's chilli con carne with spiced butter, I loved it so much that I felt it deserved a blog post, and to be shared with everyone!

This has to be the most flavoursome chilli's I have ever eaten. The recipe may take ages to make and also some of the ingredients are pretty expensive (definitely save for a special occasion), however the outcome is amazing. The spiced butter really adds something to the flavour of the chilli and I have never tasted anything quite like it before. 

This would be an ideal dish to serve at a dinner party and I can assure you would wow guests, particularly with the flavour. I would serve a raspberry pavlova or lemon meringue roulade to follow as guests will want something light after the richness of the main course. 

If you are bored of the basic chilli con carne, fancy a challenge or are having a dinner party I thoroughly recommend that you try out this recipe.

Thank you Heston and thank you Waitrose!!


Trying out Heston's chilli recipe

The recipe can be found here:

(We tweaked the recipe slightly and only used 1 star anise, and one clove of garlic, we also used red chilli instead of green)

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The best chocolate brownies

I have been making these chocolate brownies for as long as I can remember. I have tried other recipes but these are the best around.

The brownies are gooey, moist, very chocolatey and overall delicious! They are best eaten when warm as they have the gooey texture to them, however they are equally tasty once cooled or the next day.  Be assured they will not last a long time as no one will be able to resist them, I have just taken a batch out the oven and they are already starting to disappear!

Chocolate Brownie

350g/12oz dark chocolate
250g/9oz unsalted butter, chopped into squares
3 large eggs
250g/9oz dark muscavado sugar
85g.3oz plain flour
1tsp baking powder

Preheat the oven to 150Âșc. Butter a tray bake tin and line with grease proof paper. 
Melt the chocolate and butter together, over a pan of simmering water. Stir well and cool.
Whisk the eggs until pale, then whisk in the sugar until thick and glossy and well combined.
gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture then sift in the flour and baking powder and gently stir until smooth.
Pour into the tray bake tin and bake for 25-35 minutes or until just firm to touch. There should be moist/gooey crumbs on the skewer when inserted. Do NOT be tempted to overcook!
Best served warm, with cream or ice cream.  

I hope you enjoy baking and eating these!


Monday, 24 February 2014

Cinnamon Square

So I thought I would write a review on a local place I like to visit for a drink or sweet treat and have been going here ever since it opened. 
This place is called Cinnamon Square and is located just off the main High Street in Rickmansworth.

Cinnamon Square opened in 2005 and was a very small independent cafe/bakery with only a couple of seats. In 2010, Cinnamon Square expanded to the unit next door to create more space for not only customers but an area specifically designated to showcase their amazing bread. When Cinnamon Square first opened you ordered your food at the counter and then it was brought to you. This arrangement worked very smoothly. However in recent times (maybe last year), Cinnamon Square changed to table service. I have to be honest and admit I am not a fan of this change, and much prefer the old style of ordering food and drinks. However Cinnamon Square will have their reasons for doing this and have not resorted back to their old method so it must be a success.......!?

Cinnamon Square's specialty is the 'Cinnamon Square', this is a square bun, rolled in cinnamon and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.  Although they offer many other sweet treats, such as cupcakes, cakes, brownies, lemon meringue, waffles etc, I will always get the famous Cinnamon Square. 

The delicious Cinnamon Square - Large

Cinnamon Square also make a large variety of different bread. This is not something you see very often these days and I am very glad we have someone to go to buy local specialty bread. The traditional bloomer here is delicious as are the rye breads especially the one with the caraway seeds. 

Recently Cinnamon Square featured on Britain's Best Bakery on ITV. The bakery made it through the first round, winning the Home Counties round wowing the judges with their their amazing orange desert in the The Wild Card Bake. I have not tried one of these myself yet, but would love to. However they look exquisite. You will have to watch the episode on ITV player here to find out whats inside The Orange!

The Orange - photograph not my own - taken from

If you are ever visiting Hertfordshire and fancy a sit down or a bit to eat (Cinnamon Square, also serve a variety of breakfasts and also lunches) definitely pop down to Rickmansworth to visit here and most definitely taste the famous Cinnamon Square!

Enjoy xoxo

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Sunday Funday

Finally some beautiful weather after two weeks of storms: wind, rain, flooding, hail, snow - Great Britain has seen it all!

My family and I decided to make the most of the glorious weather and go for a walk :)

Now we love going on long hikes and it seems that since before Christmas every weekend we have been on a walk. I love them, being out in the fresh air admiring the beautiful countryside, visiting new places and seeing nature at its finest. We usually try to do a long walk and end up at countryside pub. (In another blog I shall try and remember some of my favourite walks and the pubs to visit!)

Today we didn't have very long as my sister had to go to work, so we decided to stay local. We parked in the small village of Chenies near Chorleywood and enjoyed a walk to the Cock Inn in Sarratt. This time the pub lunch stop was half way through the walk, which was lovely! I had pork and leak sausages served with chips and beans. The perfect traditional pub grub! 

Going slightly off track here but I must admit I am not a fan of these new 'gastropubs' that are springing up these days, rather I am fonder of the traditional English pub serving hearty food. The Cock Inn is definitely a lovely traditional pub!

Anyway it was a lovely walk but very muddy in places (was glad I wore my knee high wellies rather than my ankles ones!), and I thought I would share some photos with you.

The River Chess

Looking up the hill to Sarratt

Lucky I wore my green and pink wellies from Boden - a brilliant purchase, lasted me 4 years so far!!

On returning home I decided to do a spot of baking, I made Mickey Mouse cupcakes. I used glace icing and then using Disney cutters created the Mickey toppers! They were very quick and easy to make and would be perfect for a children's birthday party.

I also made apple crumble. It has been a lovely tradition for my family to have apple crumble on a Sunday in the winter by the fire. Recently I have been making my apple crumbles in individual ramekins and they have been going down a treat. I stew some baking apples with golden caster sugar, I like my apples to be very soft and mushy but others like it still have a crunch to their apples. For the crumble topping I wizzed together in a food processor 59g butter, 50g sugar and 100g self raising flour. The apple crumble in individual ramekins usually take 25 mins in the oven at 180 degrees.

Have a good week xoxo

Saturday, 8 February 2014

The Colour Run

Yesterday registration opened for the 'Happiest 5k on the planet' also known as The Colour Run!

Ever since I saw some pictures last year on Facebook I said I wanted to participate in the Colour Run! One of my lifelong goals/dreams/bucket list is to run the London Marathon. However I don't think I am quite ready for that yet and I think running a 5k is a good place to start and to train for. 

I go to they gym regularly already however my stamina is not great and was only managing 10 minutes on each machine. I have been trying to go to the gym as much as possible recently and now that I have signed up and paid for the Colour Run it gives me extra motivation. I can now do 20 minutes on each machine and have been doing 45 minute gym sessions compared to only 30 minutes before. I think this is down to my dedication, and it really has paid off. I think if I keep at it I will lost definitely be ready to run my first ever 5k! 

The Colour Run is 'a unique color race that celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community'. According to their website the Colour Run is perfect for first time '5kers'. The run was first started in January 2012 and has been growing in popularity and runners ever since. In 2013 there were over 100 events with over 1 million runners, this year is set to be even bigger and I can't wait to be a part of it! 

Runners start the run dressed in white, paint is thrown on the runners throughout the 5k so by the end of it everyone is colourful and the run ends with a massive party called the "Colour Festival" 

I cannot wait for the June 1st for the London Colour Run!!

Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be You.     xoxo

(Photo taken from The Swisse Color Run Sydney 2014 | NovaFM

Tuesday, 4 February 2014


I recently bought an iPad and I am in fact writing this blog post whilst in bed on my new iPad.

I have been wanting one for ages and have pondered whether to get one for some time. I thought that because I had an iPhone and a laptop that I wouldn't need one and that it would be a waste of money. I thought for ages that it would just be a gadget that was bought, used for a bit and then never used.
However many times I would sit in bed, or be on a train or out and about and think, an iPad would be very useful right now.......

So last week I took the plunge and decided to buy one, now my indecisive nature particularly of big purchases that cost lots of money led to another important and tricky decision, do I go for the iPad air or the iPad mini?

I visited the Apple store and spent a very long time looking at both products. I looked very comical stood with the mini in one hand and the air in the other deciding which was lighter until a shop assistant come over and told me that the weight of the iPads was on the specification which was on the table for me to look at! I went through the scenarios that I would use the iPad and after some long and hard deliberation decided to go for the iPad mini!

My reasoning for the mini was because it was smaller than the iPad air and so more suitable to use as a 'kindle' on the beach. I couldn't imagine being on a sun lounger with the huge iPad air on my lap. I also thought the mini was more practical due to the size and I would be able to fit it in my handbag to take to work to use on the train. Lastly I intend to take it travelling around America with me and again this the smaller size is much more practical.

I have not had my iPad very long but can honestly say it was the best purchase I have made in a long time and I am glad I treated myself and took the risk and bought one. I have used it everyday, to catch up on tv programs, to read and of course to write this blog! I can guarantee that anyone who buys an iPad will wonder how they managed to cope with out one before!

Thank you Apple :) xoxo

 (Photo taken from