I have been meaning to write about this pub since November, but a few more visits since then have cemented my love and I had to share.

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Since becoming a Mama eating out is a whole new ballgame. There is so much more to think about. Parking, access with a (rather large) buggy, baby changing ad of course the most important – whether a baby is welcome!

We first visited here on a recommendation that the roast was awesome from a friend who has a 2-year-old, so knew they’d be okay about kids. It was my birthday and there were two big tables of adults with quite a few babies and toddlers, in fact this has been the case every time we visit. We have also visited for dinner, when Jessica was younger and sleepier and tucked ourselves away in a corner with delicious fish and chips and wine.

Top tip – they sometimes do a mixed roast – all three meats! It’s like a gourmet carvery! Also get the scotch egg, SO GOOD.

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The staff are always so friendly and nothing is too much trouble. Little things like high chairs already out with plastic bowls and cutlery have been noted, so has the heater in the baby changing (SO needed) and then we found out the owner has a little one and another on the way – all explained. He knows what families need. He has us for life. It’s our favourite spot, we always end up bringing a crew.

Of course none of this would matter if the food was rubbish, but it isn’t it’s great. Really great. My favourite place for a roast. The wine list is good but the beer selection is even more extensive. The normal menu has an awesome burger which is served pink and you can eat in the bar as well as the restaurant.

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I love this place. Go visit, just don’t take my spot!

The Famous Royal Navy Volunteer.

Chicken Fajita Bowls

January 22, 2014

I have talked about Mexican bowls before here, and got the idea from Liberty London Girl. We eat them a lot. It’s a great Friday night supper when you want tasty food and a night on the sofa. We both prep everything then pile our bowls up and watch a movie.

At the moment we are making efforts to be healthy so we switched up our bowl ingredients this week and I think we found a new favourite meal. It’s a bit more work and I have to admit that I didn’t cook this my husband did…

You need (for 2);
2 chicken breasts, cut into small strips
(fajita seasoning made to this recipe)
150g brown rice
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red/green pepper, chopped in strips
1 tin red kidney beans
1 large avocado
plus
olive oil
chicken stock
salt and pepper
2/3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

served with salad;
leaves, cucumber, pepper and sweetcorn

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1. Make your fajita seasoning, make a big quantity so that this is done for next time. This way you don’t have to buy the packet stuff unless you’re feeling lazy. Then smoother your chicken and cover in cling film until you’re ready to cook.

2. Made your guacamole; we like to mash ours in a bowl with a fork so it’s fairly chunky, then we add lime juice, salt and pepper and chilli flakes.

3. Make your kidney beans, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, then add 1/4 of the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the beans and 100ml of stock and cook for 10 minutes until the beans are soft then mash the beans – add more stock if necessary.

4. Cook your rice, we boiled brown rice for 15 minutes. I like it to have bite.

5. Fry off the rest of your onion and peppers in some oil until they begin to caramelise, put to one side.

6. Finely cook your chicken, we just brought a George Foreman grill which I was so against as I hate having lots of appliances in the kitchen but I have to say I love it especially for cooking chicken. Otherwise to keep this healthy grill your chicken for 5-7 minutes.

Then chuck it all in a bowl.

Amazing.

Eggs

January 14, 2014

I love eggs. I eat them pretty much every day now I am at home.

I go through phases, I make them until they are perfect and then I switch to something else. First it was poached… then I got them near perfect (most of the time) so I switched to scrambled – ditto, then baked eggs, which will never get old because of al the different additions there are… but there are so many things I want to make with eggs, here are my top ten most wanted!

Stovetop eggs with broccoli and asparagus with grated lemon zest on top served with green pesto.

Because I used to go to Cafe Delight when I promoted clubs on my flyer route and have poached eggs, smoked salmon and pesto on toast and it was the best fuel. This sounds like an equal winner.

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Portuguese baked eggs.

Because I have made mini baked eggs for breakfast but this looks like an awesome dinner.

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Bacon and egg breakfast pies.

Ummm because they look AWESOME.

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Individual baked eggs with chanterelles.

I love this blog, the prettiest food. This simple dish will be delicious I know it.

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Butter basted sunny side up

Because butter and eggs = the tastiest breakfast there is.

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Egg, panchetta and gruyére cheese breakfast bread

I want to make this in the summer and take it on a picnic…

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Soft boiled eggs with asparagus soldiers

Because my husband is on a diet and this is a treat he could have.

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Smoked paprika red potatoes and egg bake

Because this is my two favourite foods combined.

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Breakfast tostadas

Because mexican food is the best, having it for breakfast is something I need to do more.

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Soft boiled eggs.

This is how I am loving my eggs right now. I try to have porridge some days, I go to bed thinking ‘yes porridge tomorrow’ and every morning I wake up starving and think there’s no way I am not having eggs.

They must be good eggs, I like Burford Browns or Cotswold Legbars only, unless we can buy them from a farm. I have them on toast with plenty of flakey sea salt, sometimes with spinach, sometimes with mushrooms or avocado but mostly I like them all on their own. It also means if the baby decides that she’s hungry I can eat it them with one hand. Necessary to think that way sometimes.

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Now I am off to eat my eggs.

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Fava Dip

January 7, 2014

Another gorgeous Ottolenghi recipe… this dip is like a wetter humous and was so delicious. A bit of faff but worth it in my opinion.

You need;
3 large onions
300g yellow spilt peas
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp tumeric
100 ml olive oil plus extra to serve
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
25g fresh chives finely chopped
35g capers roughly chopped

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1. Quarter one of the onions and place into a medium saucepan, add the spilt peas, bay leaves and turmeric and cover with cold water before bringing to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook this for 1 hour or until the peas are soft and only just holding their shape.
Strain the peas, discard the bay leaves but keep the water and onions.

2. While the peas are cooking chop the remaining onions into half inch thick slices, and saute them with some oil for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown, sweet and caramelised. Set these aside.

3. Reserving 100g of the cooked peas, put the rest into a food processor and blend with the garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil and 3 tsp of the cooking water, blitz until smooth.
Transfer to a bowl and fold in the peas you set aside half the chives and onions. Serve in a bowl before topping with the capers remaining onions and chives finish with a final drizzle of oil.

We served with some flatbreads and the spiced aubergines and crispy cous cous cakes.

I served these as part of a little mezze type dinner…

You need;
11/2 tbsp olive oil
6 baby aubergines, halved lengthways
3 tsp Moroccan seasoning
(to make combine 1 tsp of each of the following ground dry spices – cinnamon, coriander,  ginger, cayenne pepper and cumin)
120 ml plain yogurt
4tbsp flat leaf parsley finely chopped plus extra to serve
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 long thin red chilli thinly sliced
serve with some flatbreads

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1. Heat your oven to 200c and drizzle a baking tray with a little oil then pop in the sliced aubergines, skin down. Sprinkle the seasoning you made over them as evenly as possible and drizzle some more oil over the top.
Roast them for 15-20 minutes or until they are nice and tender.

2. Combine the yogurt, parsley and lemon juice in a bowl.
When the aubergines are done, serve on a plate with the yogurt mix pour over the top and then finish with the chilli and parsley – serve!

– We ate these with the crispy cous cous cakes

The big 3-0

December 29, 2013

A little out of date now but I still want to remember my birthday.

It was a very quiet birthday… something I am not used to but I will make right next year…

We took a walk up to Brandon Hill for a hot chocolate float in the glorious November sunshine…

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Then went for a lovely Sunday lunch at our new favourite haunt – the Famous Royal Navy Volunteer, where I was surprised by my husband as a huge group of our friends joined us…

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I was spoiled some more by him in the form of the Lily bag which I have wanted for a long time. In black naturally.

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I also had lots of gorgeous gifts from my friends, chocolates and cashmere, bubble bath, and a treat from my favourite Kate Spade to mention but a few. So very lucky!

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On my actual birthday a friend and I took a trip to Bath for afternoon tea at the Pump Rooms…

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Then that evening I stayed at home, ordered sushi in and enjoyed some wine followed by digging into my chocolate stash. Heaven.

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I also had lunches out with some girlfriends and tea and an amazing victoria sponge for my birthday cake from my Mama.

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I thought turning 30 would make me feel old but being married with a baby meant that it barely registered, also prehaps because I didn’t have a party… I am saving that till next year when I can drink cocktails and wear a little black dress!

Lately…

November 15, 2013

So lately… I have been so very busy… doing what feels like the easiest yet toughest job ever.

She’s a bit of handful… and the sweetest little girl ever.

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We try to do one thing every day, whether that be meeting friends for coffee and cake, or have the Grandparents visit or a baby group etc, but no more than that… we need lots of quiet time – we are treating this as a fourth trimester. The times when I haven’t given her enough contact time with me… we have both suffered for it. It is so important!

I am having tons of fun dressing her and arranging her things in her room. She has so many wonderful things already.

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Some days she even lets me grab some lunch, I am addicted to boiled eggs as they are easy and if she changes her mind then I can eat one-handed.

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Those times when she’s not so keen I kinda snack on naughty things… newly obsessed by these chocolate covered marshmallows. So good.

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She is still receiving the most awesome gifts, I cannot thanks friends and family enough for everything, she is too lucky. As am I, there have been many gifts for me also.

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Her Grandma and Nana are knitting up a storm, these two could seriously open a shop they are so good. Jumpers, blankets and the cutest sleeping bag. I am truly going to look after these and keep them forever.

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When she is asleep on me there is no moving, so I watch movies and tv or read. I have read so many books since she arrived… it feels like the biggest luxury.

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And my amazing Mr is still on cooking duty most of the time, I do when I can but it’s not often and when I do I often get interrupted so I normally make quick and simple dinners meanwhile he is making shrimp tacos and full on roast dinners.

The best guy.

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This week I am catching up with my work bits and figuring out when I can find some time to blog… I miss it here!

xx