Ciao Gusto’s Brand Delicius

Purchasing all of your favourite authentic Italian food and drink has never been easier with Ciao Gusto Italian Deli at Ocado. We have just returned from a trip to Milan and the food was absolutely incredible. Rach had already told me how much I was going to love the food in Italy and she certainly wasn’t wrong it was delicious. It’s great to know that we can now easily purchase some of these foods online YAY!

Ocado are stocking over 30 of Italy’s most popular brands, so you will be able to find exactly what you are looking for. It is a great place to discover new and exciting ingredients as well! We had a great time browsing and loved reading about the brands. There is information on all of the brands and we realised that many of them are still owned and run by the same families who established them, some as far back as in the 1800’s!

We recognised many of the products including Riso Gallo, Filippo Berio and Giovanni Rana. There were also many products and brands that we had never heard of before and one that particularly caught our eye was a brand called Valsoia who sell dairy fee ice-cream. We have included a list of all the brands you can purchase at the Ciao Gusto Italian Deli on Ocado:

Pasta – Barilla, Rana
Rice – Riso Gallo
Flours – Polenta Valsugana
Tomato and Vegetable Conserves – Cirio
Cheese and Dairy – Auricchio, Parmareggio
Fish – Delicius, Medusa
Herbs and Spices – Cannamela
Tuna – Rio Mare
Cured Meats – Negroni
Soya and Rice products – Valsoia
Olive Oil – Filippo Berio
Vinegar – Ponti
Bakery – Colussi, Misura,
Dried fruits – Noberasco
Jams – Santa Rosa
Coffee – Lavazza
Herbal Teas – Bonomelli
Water and Fruit Juices – San Benedetto, Santal
Wine – Zonin, Santa Margherita
Spirits – Vecchia Romagna
Cherries and Syrups – Fabbri

The product that we decided to create a recipe with was the Mackerel fillets with chilli. They are amazing quality and make the perfect salad, you can find our recipe below!

This chilli mackerel salad is ridiculously easy and is the perfect work day lunch, it doesn’t take long at all and you can even make it the night before!

Ingredients
1 tin of chilli mackerel
1 packet of merchant gourmet Italian lentils
1 Avocado
5 Cherry tomatoes
Lambs Lettuce
1 lemon
Sea salt and pepper to season

Method
Put the mackerel in to a mixing bowl and break any pieces with a fork
Cut the avocado into chunks and add to the mackerel
Add the lentils to the mix and stir
Add the lettuce to the mixture
Chop the tomatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss
Transfer salad to a serving plate or bowl
Squeeze lemon juice on top of salad and season with salt and pepper

Enjoy!

Harissa Lamb Waffles with Krombacher Beer

We jumped at the chance of taking part in the Krombacher Beer and food pairfection campaign, we love trying new beers and we especially love developing recipes. Brunch is our favourite meal to eat and it’s even better with an alcoholic beverage! We love the fact you can eat brunch at any time of the day so we wanted to create a recipe that would be perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

The dish we have created is Harissa Lamb Waffles and they taste absolutely delicious if we do say so ourselves, especially when matched with a cold Krombacher Pils- for us it’s #pairfection. We have made sweet waffles and protein waffles several times before but this was our first time trying to make savory waffles. We wanted the batter to have flavour and we didn’t just want them to be a standard waffle recipe so we threw a few spices in the mixture.

Krombacher Pils also knows as ‘A Pearl of Nature’ is one of Europe’s leading beers and we can totally see why. The taste of Krombacher Pils is very distinctive and the water it is brewed with plays a massive part in the flavour giving it a full flavoured apple Manhattan is some what bitter.

We got a thumbs up from our boyfriends as well as our dads they all absolutely loved it! It was great to have a little tasting session going on with them all and they all said it was very refreshing and light.

Recipe for Harissa Lamb Waffles- You will need a waffle maker

Waffle Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ Tbsp Caster Sugar
1tsp Mustard Powder
½ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
215ml Semi Skimmed Milk
2 Eggs

Harissa Lamb Ingredients
1 tbsp Olive Oil
250g Lamb Mince
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
½ tsp Black Pepper
½ Aubergine chopped into small pieces
½ red onion finely chopped
250ml chicken stock
150g feta
Handful Parsley finely chopped

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Add the lamb and cook for 5-6 minutes until brown. Add the onion and aubergine and allow the mixture to cook for 3 minutes before adding the harissa paste, tomato purée and black pepper, stir the ingredients until well combined and coin for a further 1-2 minutes.

Add the stock to the mixture (it will look slightly runny), place the lid on the pan and cook until the liquid has reduced- we left it cooking for around 15 minutes. In the mean time we go started on the waffles.

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix until well combined

Put the butter in a saucepan on a low heat and remove from the heat once melted

Whisk the butter, eggs and milk in a separate mixing bowl

Make a well in the dry picture and poor the wet mixture into it, whisk the mixture until fully blended together and there are no lumps

Leave the batter to rest for until you need it

Turn your waffle maker on and allow it to heat up, once heated (the green light should show) pour in the mixture, close the lid and cook

Once the waffles have cooked and the lamb it is time to assemble the dish, place your waffles onto a plate and pour the mixture on top. Sprinkle with feta and parsley, open up your Krombacher Pils and voila you are ready to tuck in!

Krombacher Pils is available in Booths, Majestic, Morrisons, Ocado and Tesco.

Jazz Apples Overnight Oats

We love oats they are our go to breakfast almost every day, they keep us fuller for longer and they are so versatile so we never get bored.

In the winter we love a warming bowl of porridge whereas in the summer we always reach for overnight oats.

We love overnight oats they are delicious and super convenient as you can make them the night before in a jam jar and take them with you to work you the next day. We especially love adding fruit into our oats during the summer months and Jazz apples seemed like the perfect choice.

Jazz Apples were our Apples of choice, if you haven’t heard of Jazz apples before they are a funky fusion of a Braeburn and a Royal Gala, they are tangy-sweet and refreshingly crunchy. The great thing about Jazz apples is that they have a fruit bowl life of up to four weeks.

Jazz Apples are grown all year round in the UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, USA, Chile, Switzerland, Austria and Australia. You can purchase Jazz apples in all major supermarkets in the UK; Aldi, Asda, Co-op. Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose.

You can find our delicious overnight oats recipe below which we have enjoyed on several occasions either outside in the sunshine whilst having a summer breakfast picnic or when we need a quick and easy breakfast during the week which we can enjoy dining al desko.

Ingredients (serves 2)
80g oats
100ml milk (we used soya milk)
150g Greek Yoghurt
1.5 tsp Cinnamon
1tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Grated Apple
1 Sliced Apple

Method

Grate the apple into a medium sized mixing bowl

Add the oats, milk, yoghurt, Cinnamon & Maple Syrup and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined

Leave to sit on the side and slice the 2nd Apple

Place 2 slices at the bottom of each Jam jar and top with a table spoon of oats- continue to do this until your jam jar is full.

Chop two of the slices up and use as a topping as well as a sprinkle of cinnamon

Put the lid on the jam jar and put them in the fridge overnight or for a couple of hours

When you are ready to eat remove from the fridge and enjoy!

This was a sponsored post, all views are our own.

Bills Dinner Review St Albans

Last week we were very lucky to visit the newly refurbished Bills in St Albans. St. Albans is one of three specially selected Bill’s restaurants to trial a new restaurant concept alongside Covent Garden and Westfield in London.

Now what is this new concept we hear you ask, well… they have completely changed the interior of the restaurant, the St Albans one had a Morrocan French feel to it and was very chic!

There are super comfy sofas to chill and have a coffee or alcoholic beverage area. There is also an open bar which we absolutely loved. You can sit on bar stools and enjoy a drink whilst you wait for a table. There is also the option the eat at the bar or just pop in for a drink.

We actually commented to the manager that it was very like the Ivy and he then informed us that the Ivy is a sister restaurant to Bills, so that explained that one! It was funny because all through dinner we were commenting on how much like the Ivy it was.

They have also completely changed the menu and vastly improved the quality of the ingredients and overall dishes and we sure did manage to sample a number of them.

We started by ordering a drink, Annie was designated driver so opted for the tropical juice which was so delicious, I would definitely get it again especially at breakfast!

Rachel decided to have a cocktail because the cocktail menu had so much choice, she ended up choosing the English country Garden and absolutely loved it! It would have been the perfect drink to enjoy on a warm summers evening (just like the name suggests).

We didn’t know what to opt for for our starter so asked our extremely friendly and helpful waiter Mario to give us some suggestions. In the end we actually went with all 3 of his suggestions and shared them. We had the crab & avocado toast, beetroot, goats cheese arancini and the warm cheese dip with toasted focaccia.

The crab & avocado toast with chilli and spicy mayo was very light and a good starter for the summer, it was toasted sourdough topped with a large lettuce leaf which was then topped with crab and smashed avo.

The arancini was simply amazing, the starter comes with 4 balls (so we had 2 each) and the balls sat in the most delicious purple basil and pine nut pesto sauce and there was a light sprinkling of Parmesan. The mixture of flavours were perfect. The sauce was so delicious that we even dipped our focaccia in it! However we tried not to do that too much as we needed to save our bread to dip into the cheesiest cheese fondu ever, it was a cheese lovers dream and we were in cheese heaven!

For main it was SO hard to decide what to choose and we both wanted everything on the menu, in the end we picked 2 dishes and shared. We opted for the Bills’s steak and rarebit pie and the ancient grain bowl which we added chicken to. Mario our waiter told us that the ancient grain bowl is his favourite and he always recommends it to his guests. The manager recommended the pie to us and oh my are we glad he did!

The pie was in a shortcrust pastry and was topped with cheese. It came with a gravy jug and was served with root veg mash and greens. We are so glad we shared it because it was MASSIVE, this dish is definitely excellent value for money. The steak was tender and well cooked, the pastry was perfect and the cheese topping finished the dish of nicely, and not to mention the gravy we poured on top too (que a gravy boomerang)!

For the ancient grain bowl we opted for the extra chicken to be added and we asked for the purple basil and coconut yoghurt to be on the side (we had never had coconut yoghurt before and didn’t know what to expect) – we shouldn’t have worried about the yoghurt though as it was delicious. This dish was packed full of flavours and we would most certainly have this again, you can have it on its own or add chicken or halloumi to it, maybe we will have halloumi next time!

Next time we return we will definitely try the vegan Wellington as the manager recommended it to us.

For dessert again we shared, it’s very very good that we both like very similar foods (minus Rachel not being the biggest fan of nuts, but we make it work!) so it makes sharing food easy and means neither gets food envy and we get to try more dishes!

Both the manager and our waiter suggested we had the sticky toffee pudding so of course we just HAD to go for it! It was the most delicious sticky toffee pudding ever, it melted in your mouth and the sauce was perfect. It was served with the creamiest ice cream too. We honestly would return to Bills purely to have the sticky toffee pudding!

We also chose the hot chocolate brownie which is gluten free. We love that Bills has so many options for all dietary requirements and means someone who follows a gluten free diet can still enjoy a very very tasty dessert as the brownie was epic.

Bills actually have an entire allergies menu making sure they are as inclusive as they can be. There is nothing worse than turning up to a restaurant and the only think you can eat on the menu is a salad or steamed veg.

We had to make sure we did a toilet review whilst we were there because is it really a Two Brits review if we don’t? We absolutely loved the way the stair case had been decorated it was really beautiful. Toilets were clean and definitely up to scratch PHEW!

We has the most incredible evening at Bills and we will definitely be returning soon! The food was delicious and the service was impeccable, nothing could have improved our experience we give it a solid 10/10.

The Great Northern Pub Review

We live in Hertfordshire and very close to St Albans. We love St Albans as it’s such a pretty City and also boasts many places to eat not to mention some good bars for a night out too. There are also some lovely walks around St Albans and you can also take a visit to the famous cathedral. St Albans is easy for us to get to by train but also to drive too as well as there is plenty of parking.

We recently visited The Great Northern pub which is located on London road. We walked from St Albans Abbey train station as it was only a 20 minute walk.

The Great Northern pub is an independent restaurant and pub, serving locally sourced food. The menu changes frequently which is inspired by local seasonal produce.

We arrived to a very busy pub full of atmosphere and people enjoying a Friday evening drink.

We were taken to our table which was in the restaurant area. The restaurant area was a small room adjacent to the pub with about 6 tables in it.

We sat down and were given the set menu, 2 courses for £15 and 3 courses for £18. The menu was pretty small, which we liked as we often struggle to decide what to eat. This time however we picked our choices very quickly.

The struggle lay with the wine list instead which was big and had lots to choose from. We both love red wine so red wine was our firm choice but we were torn between a Montepulciano And a Malbec.

We asked our waiter to advise the wine and he was very helpful! We went with the Italian from montepulciano as we had never had it before. The bottle of wine was £27 but they have an entire range of wines all varying in prices. The cheapest bottle of red was £17.20 whilst the most expensive bottle was £30.00.

We were worried that we wouldn’t like the wine we ended up choosing but we honestly couldn’t have made a better decision, it was absolutely incredible and we would definitely recommend it for when you visit.

For starter Rachel ordered the confit pork with apple and fennel which looked and tasted divine. We would definitely recommend this as a starter if you are a meat eater.

Annie chose the vegetarian option for her starter which was a goats cheese salad with radicchio and pickled cabbage. If you aren’t a lover of goats cheese then this wouldn’t be the starter for you but Annie absolutely loved it.

For main Rach had GN homemade cheese burger with secret sauce (which tasted like burger sauce). This was served with a red cabbage slaw that was incredibly moorish and Rach couldn’t stop talking about it. The burger also came with hand cut chips and the portion size was perfect. You could also add bacon for an extra £1.00 so Rachel did.

Annie went for the confit chicken which was served with aubergine, sweet corn and mash potato. If we are completely honest the dish would have been even better if it was severed with some greens, it just felt like something was missing off the plate. The mash potato was smooth and creamy just the way we like it and the sweet corn was like a purée that tasted divine.

For dessert we both enjoyed the treacle tart which was served with ginger ice cream. The ginger ice cream was absolutely heavenly and completely made the dessert, we couldn’t stop talking about it!

The bar area quietened down at about 9:30pm which we were surprised at seeing as it has been so busy just a couple of hours earlier but it still had a atmosphere.

The Great Northern Pub is located next to the Odyssey cinema, making the perfect date night.

We would highly recommend visiting The Great Northern Pub we had the most perfect evening.

Vegan French Toast

We recently bought Lucy Watsons vegan cookbook. We are not vegan but we love trying new recipes and were intrigued by her cook book. Its actually really good and there are many recipes we would make. We love incorporating a few vegan meals into our diet it mixes things up and bit and vegan food certainly doesn’t have to be boring.

As Rach does not like eggs so vegan french toast is right up her street. We attempted to make them one Sunday morning as it looked like the perfect breakfast choice. The recipe is on page 23 of her cookbook. Lucy makes hers with spiced plums, but we used bananas instead and served ours with raspberries too.

Lucy makes hers in 2 pans, but we just used one, hope you enjoy our version!

Caramelised banana:
3 tbsp vegan butter
3 tbsp coconut sugar
2 bananas, sliced

Toast:
200ml almond milk
2 tbsp coconut sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnnamon
2 tbsp flour
2-4 thick slices of bloomer or sourdough bread

1. For the caramelised bananas, put the butter and sugar in a pan over a high heat. Once melted add the banana slices and cook on both sides. They will look golden and be sticky too.
2. Pour the milk into a bowl/jug and whisk in the flour, sugar and cinnamon.
iced bread into the mixture coated well.
3. Take the slices of bead and cover in the liquid mixture. Add to the pan of bananas, you may want to add more butter too.
4. Cook on both sides until golden brown and crisy
5. If the bananas are getting too soft, remove from the pan and set aside.
6. Serve with raspberries and enjoy

We love Lucy’s cook book, and would recomend you buy it – only £6 on Amazon

Joe Wick The Fat Loss Plan: Review

We recently bought Joe Wicks cook book and we are LOVING it! So much so that both our mummy’s have the cook book too!! We decided to try out a number of the recipes and share our pictures and reviews with you all. We are sure there will be a part 2 for this post as we make our way through the book.

Grilled harissa and chickpea salad
This was very quick and easy to make but used quite a lot of utensils. You have to boil the broccoli in one pan and then the peppers, chickpeas, spinach etc are fried in the frying pan and then you need a tray to grill the chicken too.
The harissa on the grilled chicken was delicious and was the first time we had cooked with harissa. In addition we don’t normally grill our chicken however after trying out this recipe we will use this method more.
The pomegranate seeds are an optional extra at the end however we would definitely recommend adding them as they add so much flavour and a nice burst in your mouth. We also loved the lemon juice addition is adds a lot of flavour to the chickpeas.
We will definitely be making this dish again.

Prawn linguine
Another super quick recipe to make perfect when you’re in a rush and fancy a simple but delicious meal! This doesn’t use many ingredients but tastes yummy. We made two versions, one that followed the recipe book and one where we added some harissa paste for a bit of spice. Both tasted delicious.

Salmon and prawn Moroccan fishcakes
This recipe was also served with a salad, however we just made the fishcakes. We served it with sweet potato fries and tender stem broccoli (or midget trees as joe likes to call them!). In the summer we would have it with a salad!
We would say it was more like a fish burger than a fish cake. The texture of it felt like meat which was strange but delicious!

Beef, butternut and coconut stew
we made this with sweet potato instead of butternut squash, but both will taste good, or alternatively you could add both to the dish. We were a bit suspicious about this dish as we did not think the sweet potato would cook adding is straight to the pan, however we were pleasantly surprised and it was cooked to perfection. The dish is very quick and easy to make and all goes into one saucepan. It was also yummy and we had lots left over to take to work for lunch which was a bonus.

Chocolate orange popcorn
Oh my these taste AMAZING! Not entirely sure how they are lean but hey ho we made them and they were divine. You are meant to make your own popcorn in a pan but we were lazy and bought some instead. However we couldn’t find plain popcorn so got sweet, but if anyone knows of any brands that sell plain popcorn please let us know in the comments!

Make sure you check back here for more reviews, as we already have lots of recipes planned from his cook book for this week! And be sure to buy his new book too, we got ours from Amazon, its a bargain.

Gingerbread Man Recipe

It is really Christmas if you haven’t tucked into some delicious homemade gingerbread men? We think not! Ever since we were little it has been a tradition to make them and every year they taste just as good.

We use the same recipe year in year out as it has never let us down, they are rich and spicy and just so dam tasty. Everyone we know has tried them and they always ask for the recipe, so we thought we would publish it on our blog.

We are going away for the weekend to Bath with some of our school friends so these will definitely be coming along for the ride (if they make it that far).

Recipe
275g Flour (plain or you can use spelt flour)
1tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Cinnamon
2tsp Ginger
100g Coconut Sugar
75g Unsalted Butter
1 large egg
50g Maple Syrup
50ml Milk

Method

  1. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and Ginger into a large mixing bowl
    Add the Coconut Sugar and stir until combined
  3. Chop the butter into small segments and add to the dry ingredients. Use your fingers to rub the ingredients together, continue to do so until the ingredients look like bread crumbs
  4. In a measuring just whisk an egg and add the maple syrup and milk
  5. Make a well in the dry ingredients and poor the egg mixture in
    Stir until all the ingredients come together and form a dough
  6. Wrap the ingredients in cling film and leave in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes
    While the dough is in the oven preheat the oven to 160oc
  7. Flour a kitchen worktop and roll out the Dough to about a 1/4 inch thick. cut out gingerbread men (we did trees as well this time) with a cutter
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to fully cool before eating and decorating if you wish to do so

Snowball Energy Balls

Well it isn’t going to snow know this December (when does it evaaaa)? So we had to take the matter into our own hands and make some snowball energy balls. This recipe is super quick, super simple and most importantly super delicious.

These snowball energy balls contain ingredients that you can find in your kitchen cupboards, apart from the chocolate because who has spare chocolate lying around the place? Not us it gets eaten within minutes of it entering the house, if it gets that far!

The recipe makes roughly 16 energy balls that you can keep in the fridge or freeze them to enjoy in the future. Don’t you just love it when you fancy something sweet and then you remember you have some delicious treats waiting for you in the freezer!

What you’re gonna need:
250g Oats
50g Flax seeds
150g Peanut butter
150g Maple syrup
100g White chocolate
50g Cranberries
100g Desiccated Coconut

Let’s get to it:
Line a baking tray with parchment paper
Add all the ingredients apart from the coconut into a large mixing bowl
Stir until all the ingredients are combined (you may need to use your hands)
Roll the mixture into balls (size of your choice)
Roll each of the balls
Place the desiccated coconut onto a plate
Roll the energy balls over the coconut until covered
Place in the fridge for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated for up to a week- if they last that long of course

London’s Best Salad

Salad is great and there are so many places to grab a salad in London and we want to show you that salad isn’t boring and where to find the best salad in London.

Now this isn’t going to be an easy task as there are so many places these days to grab a salad and this blog post would be super long. Instead we have decided to find the best chain salad and then the best independent salad.

Pod Food

Pod Food first opened their restaurant in 2005 and now have 24 chains in London so you are bound to find a Pod Food near you. There are many salads to choose from in Pod that will suit all your needs from vegan, vegetarian and clearly identified allergy needs. Pod also do hot food to order from the counter but their range of salads are very impressive. We believe the GYM BOX is the best salad to choose from here, with 429 calories it is your perfect lunchtime meal and also perfect post workout.
The GYM BOX comes with humous, fallafel, brocolli and a veggie salad and tastes amazing.

Squirrel

We found this place on Instagram after an evening of stalking hashtags and just had to visit. Located in South Kensington very close to the Natural History & Science Museum and close to The Albert Hall. This is a lovely part of London with many cute restaurants and cafes and Squirrel is one of them.
You can get breakfast here but the salads are what steal the show. There are lots to choose from, including kale salads, Thai salads and warm grain salads. You can however also make your own salad for £6.95 so it can be tailored to suits your needs and also what your preferences are. All the choices are in the counter for you to see and pick and everything is very fresh. This independent chain is definitely one to visit for one of London’s best salads.

Let us know where you think we should go next to try one of London ‘s best salad.