Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Pancakes

Happy Pancake Day! 

Its pancake day, so of course we have to post a recipe for pancakes. We normally make the fat pancakes, or drop scones as they can also be called. However on Pancakes Day we always have the thin pancakes, or crepes as they are known in France. You can make these pancakes super fancy, however we both adore them with lemon and sugar – nice and simple .

Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins, which is when Christians traditionally fasted, so they made pancakes to use up all the basic store cupboard ingredients, in particular eggs and fat before the Lenten fast. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and lasts for 40 days until Easter Day. These days Pancake Day has become a more lavish affair with people making epic pancakes, and huge pancake stacks or even pancake cakes, however we wanted to keep it simple this year. The good thing about these pancakes is that it uses only 4 ingredients and are so quick and easy to make, we should really make and eat them more often! However, the bad thing about these pancakes is that you can make and eat so many, we sure will be enjoying a fair few pancakes this evening!

Ingredients
100g plain flour
150ml milk
2 eggs
butter or oil for the pan

Method
1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well.
2. Break the egg into the well and slowly mix together with a whisk
3. Whisk in the milk a little at a time to make a batter
4. Melt the butter in a low frying pan and then add a ladle of batter to the hot pan. Spread the mixture out and cook until the pancake is golden
5. Flip the pancake (if you are brave enough), and then cook the other side
6. Serve with toppings of your choice – we prefer lemon and sugar

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Are you lacking fitness motivation?

Scrolling through Instagram is sometimes enough to motivate us to get to the gym. Our Instagram feed is full of fitness fanatics who never seem to lack motivation. This isn’t true though, people only show what they want to show on Instagram so it is important to remember these people do run out of energy and can also lack motivation!

Everyone has those months were they are feeling less motivated. Most of the time motivation and consistency is never a problem for us, we look forward to going to the gym in the morning, but we do notice it takes us a little bit longer to get out of bed during those cold winter months.

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We love the lifestyle we lead and we never desire another routine or lifestyle. When we have a bad day at work working out really helps us regain a positive attitude. It’s our place where we can switch off from the rest of the world and just focus on our work out. 99% of the time we will leave and have a completely different view on the problems we were facing beforehand.
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Below are a few tips to help keep you dedicated and motivated to your fitness regime:

Don’t stress- It’s really important you don’t stress yourself out if you cannot fit a work out in, stress can cause de motivation. Sometimes other things get in the way that you have to prioritise and that’s just life. You aren’t going to throw away all your gains just because you missed a class. On the flip side of you do miss a class don’t let this demotivate you, get back up and go again tomorrow.

Make fitness part of your life but not your life- it’s so important you have the correct balance, that’s not to say that you should feel bad for turning down an event if you have your favourite fitness class that night. If you find yourself constantly doing this you could find yourself falling out of love with fitness.We like to work out in the morning so we can plan to see our friends and family during the evening.

Eat well- when we don’t eat a healthy balanced diet our body tells us off! We wake up feeling sluggish and lethargic with little or no energy. We know our bodies don’t agree with too much sugar and salt so it is important we personally eat this in moderation. Don’t restrict yourself though as you are likely to fall off the wagon, instead eat a balanced diet treating yourself every now and then.

Find a friend- working out with a friend can be so motivating! They are there to motivate you and maybe even get you there in the first place. If you have arranged to meet a friend in the morning you are less likely to stay in bed!

Pack your bag- we always pack our bag for the next day before going to bed! We also like to place our gym clothes by the bed so we just have to pull them on and go!

Set yourself a goal- we like to set ourselves regular goals so we have something to work towards. A few examples would be: run a certain distance, lift a certain weight, do a deadlift, do a pull up etc.

What are your top tips for keeping motivated, we would like to know!

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Chocolate Orange Protein Pancakes

Anything made with chocolate and orange is bound to be a winner. We loved making these pancakes and enjoyed eating them even more. These would be the perfect treat to enjoy on Pancake Day. We will definitely be enjoying them before Annie takes on the challenge of giving up chocolate for lent!

Let us know if you give these a go and make sure you tag us on Instagram or Twitter if you make them, you can find us at @threebrits.

Makes 8 Pancakes

Ingredients
100g Oats Blended or oat flour or oatmeal flour
1 Scoop Unflavoured Protein
3 egg whites
1.5tsp Baking
1.5tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2tbsp raw cacao
zest of 1 orange
1tbsp coconut sugar
50ml Milk (add a bit at a time as you may need more or less)

Topping
1 bar melted dark chocolate
2tbsp maple syrup
1tsp orange essence
orange segments

Method
Place the dry ingredient in a bowl with the orange zest
Add the egg whites and mix. The slowly add the milk until a batter forms.
Heat your pan (medium/high heat) and melt some coconut oil.
Add a table spoon of mixture to your pan and flip once bubbles appear on the surface.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over simmering water and then add the maple syrup and orange essence.
Stack the pancakes and drizzle over the chocolate sauce and decorate with the orange segments

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Vietnamese Food

Vietnamese food tastes incredible and I loved trying new dishes when visiting the country. It seemed there were particular dishes to certain areas so I thought I would write a blog post all about the food you NEED to try when visiting Vietnam.

Hoi An
There were 2 local dishes that I ate when visiting the beautiful town of Hoi An. We sat one evening along the river bank at a street food place and enjoyed the dish called Cao Lau, this was a dish made of noodles, pork, and local greens. The unique taste and texture is achieved by using water from an ancient well, just outside the town. We loved Cau Lau as it wasn’t like anything we had eaten before, a lot of the dishes in Vietnam were more soup/broth dishes with noodles but this was just noodles and pork. The best bit of the dish was the crackling served on the top, it added a great texture to the dish

At the cookery school, we ate the most incredible dish called Mi Quang, which is also local to Hoi An. This is a noodle dish made with pork, shrimp and quails egg. Again this wasn’t a soup based dish so was a delight to eat. What made this even better for us was that we were taught how to make it. If I was to return to Hoi An I would like to eat at the Streets restaurant, it is advised to book in advance

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Hue
The local dish in Hue is called Bun Bo Hue (the name is in the title!) It is rice noodles served with beef. It was very tasty and I enjoyed eating another local dish.

Hanoi
Bun Cha is the local dish here and we were taken to an amazing street food restaurant for lunch where the only dish you can buy is Bun Cha and spring rolls. We loved the dish so much we went back the next day for lunch. This dish is minced beef served in broth. You are then served a plate of noodles on the side and you add the noodles to the broth along with salad if you please. The flavour of the dish is incredible and the amount of noodles you are given is incredibly generous. For 25,0000 VND (about 90p), this is the best hot lunch you will eat in Hanoi

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Banh Mi
Banh Mi can be found all over Vietnam, and I lost count with the number of Banh Mi that I ate! There are many varieties of Banh Mi, but they are basically a sandwich/baguette filled with amazing things. I normally went for the mixed meat, which included many different slices of meat, pate and shredded carrot, lettuce and cucumber. However you can also buy and omelette banh mi too, which are also very popular. I can recommend 3 places to go for an epic Banh Mi, with the first one of the list being my absolute favourite (I had 2 from here!)

Hoi An – Madame Khanh
Madame Khanh is called the Banh Mi Queen, and she most certainly is. The taste was incredible, and the sandwich was not dry at all due to the sauce that Madame Khanh adds to it. For 20,000 VND (72p) this is the best sandwich you will ever eat! Madame Khanh also puts egg (omelette) in her’s, but I requested without.

Saigon – Banh Mi Huynh Hoa
We were lucky that this Banh Mi place was literally right behind our hotel. We grabbed one of these before taking the sleeper train. This place is full of locals and we were the only tourists there. This place doesn’t even look like a food outlet from the outside; however you can tell it is popular due to the large queue snaking outside! There isn’t much organisation here you just queue to one of the many stands inside and wait for your banh mi. They staff here work super-fast and it was fascinating to watch them make sandwich after sandwich. They were even making bulk orders for people! I would definitely recommend this banh mi place when you visit Saigon. These were a little more expensive, but that’s expected in a large city, you will pay 33,000 VND here (£1.18).

Hanoi – Banh Mi 25
This is a very sophisticated Banh Mi shop, you queue up for you order and then told where to sit. We were told to sit in the ‘yellow cafe’. We were then brought our Banh Mi in a basket and sat and enjoyed in the café. This was another tasty banh mi, in particular the crunchy baguette. If you are ever in Hanoi make sure you visit here, its 25,000VND for a mixed meat one, however it is possible to order one meat or even an omelette banh mi.

Vietnamese Coffee
Funnily enough Vietnam are famous for their coffee, it is also very strong! As the climate is predominantly hot iced coffee’s are very popular in Vietnam. A Vietnamese iced coffee is nothing like you would drink at home because they make it with condensed milk. I lost count the number of iced coffees I enjoyed whilst on my trip, every single one tasted different but they all tasted amazing. I know they are super unhealthy and very sugary but I will most certainly be trying to make my own in the summer!

Vietnam : Halong Bay

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We arrived to Halong Bay after driving from the station in Hanoi. The place was not as expected at all, the beach was none existent and had  a large theme park being built on it. It seemed they were turning this place into a mega tourist trap.

We checked into the hotel and got ready for the boat trip to the bay. We were taken by coach for around 10 minutes to the pier and then finally boarded our boat.

The boat was huge and as there were only 12 people on our small group seemed mad that we needed such a big boat. The other group who were on the same G Adventures tour as up also had their own boat. This was something that we all picked up on and felt it was so stupid our two groups to be on 2 boats. Considering the poverty in the country, a lot of money could be saved including fuel if we all shared one boat. Anyway, rant over.

We set sail and were brought lots of different things to eat including whole fish, prawns, squid, noodles and rice and also chips (random!). We were promised by our guide an amazing 3 course meal, but I would hardly call it that. The fruit salad for dessert was a slice of watermelon each!

We then headed to the top deck to check out the views and take a billion and one photos! The day was gloomy and dull which was a shame but we all remained in positive spirits.

We then were taken to a cave which again was a bit overrated and a complete tourist trap. They had even pumped water into the cave and tried to pretend it was natural. If I am completely honest the whole cave felt fake and all of us were baffled as to if it was real!!

We then headed back to the boat and some people had opted to do some kayaking, but most of us chose to stay on the boat where we all did some colouring in from my colouring in book!!

We headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. The group were told to meet at 7.30 for dinner but we didn’t think we needed 2 hours to get ready so we decided to meet earlier. We were warned that there was not many places to go for dinner and this certainly was the case. Its crazy that a place that one day hopes to be a huge tourist destination with a massive theme park literally has no where to eat. We ended up at some restaurant and the food was gross with no flavour!

The next day we left Halong Bay super early. I am in 2 minds as to whether I would return to Halong Bay. Part of me wants to come back when the weather is guaranteed to be nice and see Halong Bay in the sunshine just like the pictures in the guide books. However another part of me thinks that I will be even more upset as to how spoilt the beach is…….

 

Banana bread baked porridge

We absolutely love experimenting with oats, especially when we are making our porridge (also known as oatmeal in the USA). Porridge is the perfect winter warmer on a cold February morning helping us to refuel after a morning workout.

We love banana bread so we decided to make our very own banana bread baked porridge. This recipe is absolutely delicious and we would recommend making it as soon as you can. We do put nuts in this recipe but if you have an allergy then it still tastes delicious without.

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Ingredients
50g Oats
1 ripe banana
50ml milk of your choice
30ml water
3 walnuts chopped

Method
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Mash your banana in mixing bowl
Add in the oats and walnuts and then stir until combined
Pour in the water and milk and continue to mix
Place in the oven for 25/30 minutes until the oats are cooked and the colour is golden brown.

Let us know if you decide to make the porridge and please send us photos as we love to see them!

Vietnam : Hue

I hadn’t done much research on this place so didn’t know what to expect. However all I knew was that I HAD to do the motorbike tour because it was amazing and my friend had recommended it to me.

We arrived in Hue around midday and then had 45 minutes to check in before meeting for the motorbike tour.

We were all assigned a driver and sat on the back of their bike and were basically taken all around Hue to all the touristy (or not so touristy) sites. We visited 3 temples, a bridge, a pagoda, a museum of rice farming, a bunker and a food market. We were taught how to make a non la and incense sticks and also went to a view point of the perfume river. We also had the most amazing vegetarian lunch cooked by monks at a Buddhist temple. The trip was 6 hours long and simply amazing and a great way to learn all about Hue and also the Vietnamese culture. This was one of my highlights of the trip and I will always remember zipping through country lanes, though rice fields and the crazy traffic.

However apart from the bike tour I would say that Hue doesn’t really have anything else to offer and I think we spent too long here. We only needed the afternoon for the bike tour and could’ve left early the next morning rather than waiting around until the evening for the sleeper train.

Although a visit to the Imperial Citadel is worth it!

 

Our love for Blogging 

image-4We started our blog over a year ago in October 2015 but never really posted anything regularly. We were new to the blogging scene and didn’t really know what we were doing. We would write posts about fitness, travel and food as this is what we were and still are passionate about.

One evening we decided to have a blogging evening and decided we wanted to up our game. Firstly we knew we had to change the design of our blog as we were really unhappy with the way it looked. We did some research on how we could change the design on WordPress and finally found one we were happy with. We also knew we had to pay for a domain as we didn’t want http://www.threebrits.wordpress.com any longer, I mean no one was going to take us seriously with a URL like that. We had such a productive evening and it got us excited for the months ahead! We Planned so many blog posts that evening so we knew the direction we were heading.

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Instagram has always been our favourite social media platform, we love taking photos and could scroll though our insta feed for hours at a time. When we first set up our blog In October 2015 we focused a lot of our time on Instagram and definitely neglected Twitter. Some people might find this odd, because now we have been blogging for a while we have realised that Instagram is the hardest place to get followers! Its all a learning curve though right!?

We didn’t really know what to use Twitter for, we connected our blog to twitter and tweeted the odd tweet but that was as a far as we went. One evening we came across something called a Twitter chat and decided to join in and it’s safe to say we have never looked back! Everyone we have spoken to on Twitter has been so supportive. The blogging community has some of the most positive, professional and humble people we have ever spoken to and they have encouraged us to make decisions we would never have made before hand.

Twitter chats are great, and we look forward to joining in on them in the evening (they are usually between 6-9pm GMT) and meeting new bloggers and finding blogs to follow. We really enjoy the Sunday chats, the perfect end to the weekend. A couple of weeks ago we held our first twitter chat, it was so much fun an we cannot wait to do another one.

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Last December we decided to bite the bulett and share our blog with our family and friends on Facebook something we had never done before. We were embarrassed and scared to share our blog with people we knew and we don’t really know why. We love our blog we talk about it and work on it all the time so we don’t know why we were so scared to share it with people. When we did finally share it on Facebook we were so overwhelmed with the support we got especially from people we hadn’t seen or spoken to in years.

Some people would probably think we are mad for getting up at god knows what time on a Saturday morning for photoshoots in the freezing cold or spending our Friday evenings baking instead of going out and drinking.

We honestly don’t know what we would do without our blog, it is a hobby that we have fallen in love with and have so much planned for the future.

Vietnam : Hoi An

I could write forever and ever about Hoi An because I fell in love with the place. I wish Hoi An was closer to home and not 2 flights away from home, because I want to take everyone to Hoi An and see how magical it is.

Even though I have never been to Venice, to me Hoi An felt like the Asian version of Venice. Hoi An was the prettiest place ever and just had the most amazing feel about it, and you can tell why its the safest place in Vietnam which does not suffer from any crime. As part of the tour we stayed here for 2 days, and 2 days was not long enough, I wish we couldv’e stayed for longer, but oh well! However I do think we certainly made the most of the time we did have.

We arrived early in the morning on the sleeper train and got the bus straight to the hotel. We were staying at the Bach Dang Hoi An Hotel, which was my favourite hotel of the whole trip.

The hotel was a short but nice walk into the old quarter. Included in the trip we had a guided orientation walk of Hoi An and were shown around by the nicest guide called Hai. She was so friendly and I really enjoyed talking to her, she was only 22 and her English was amazing, not to mention how stylish she was! On route to the old town we stopped off at Madame Khan for a banh mi for breakfast. You can read all about this on the Vietnamese Food post coming soon. The orientation walk was great and we were told the key places to visit in the old quarter. You have to pay to visit the old town, its $6 for a ticket vali d for 3 days, and they do random spot checks of your tickets on entry. The ticket also included entry into 6 of the sites including the Japanese Bridge.

The tour ended at the tailors featured in Top Gear. Originally I wasn’t going to get anything, but the clothes were such good value I couldn’t resist. I ended up getting a dress for my friends wedding from Yaly (the tailors featured in Top Gear), and a jumpsuit and trench coat from New World tailors, which were the cheaper tailor – this was opposite the main Yaly store. It was a great experience getting measured, picking the fabric, style, cut, buttons etc to make the perfect garment.

We wandered the market and haggled for some bargains and then met up with the rest of the crew before hiring bikes from the hotel. We decided to bike to the beach which was a short bike ride away. The weather wasn’t very nice so the beach wasn’t very spectacular, we visited a bakery and then headed home. We were due back at New World at 5pm for another fitting so dropped the bikes off at the hotel and walked back to the old town. Here we used our tickets and visited some of the sites soaking up the culture. It was then time to head back to the tailors and wow its crazy how quickly they can make the items, a coat and jumpsuit all pretty much finished. The coat was nearly done just needed some finalisation and I requested the jumpsuit was made shorter and tighter at the legs.

We then went for dinner along the river where we enjoyed the local food called Cao Lau, it was noodles and pork and was delicious! It was lovely to eat sat along the river looking at the pretty lights. We headed back to the hotel to get ready for our night out. We had the drinks from the “beach party” in Nha Trang so drank them whilst playing some games around the pool and then headed into the town. We first went to a bar called Mr Bean Bar and then ended up at Tiger Tiger. The bars were full of backpackers and the music was amazing. However we spent a lot of the night ourside playing jenga with other backpackers! The bar/club shut at midnight so we headed home!

The next morning we met at 10am for the cookery class, you can read all about this class here

We then wandered around the town before we had to meet at 2pm for the bike tour.The tour took us through the rice paddys and through some small villages and was a great way to see the local Vietnamese life. We then stopped off at this house and it was explained to us that the oldest couple of Hoi An lived here, they are also quire famous and have been photographed by famous photographers. We were taken through their house and to their farm land where they were growing lots of plants. We then met the couple and to be honest a couple of us felt extremely uncomfortable, it was like this elderly couple were in a museum. There were people in our group going super close to them and taking their picture without asking and invading their personal space, and then we were all forced to have a group photo with them. I felt so sorry for the eldery couple and did not like the way they were treated at all. I personally think this elderly couple should be left to enjoy their life as a couple together rather than being treated as a tourist attraction. Having said that the couple seemed to be extremely happy and smiley and even moved so they could have better lighting on them for photos. Our friend Jess who spoke Vietnamese got chatting to the old lady which we thought was lovely, as she showed an interest in them. She also took the amazing photo below:

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We carried on the tour and headed to our next stop which was a demonstration on how to make rice wine, this is very strong and none of us were brave to try it!

After the demonstration we then biked to where we were to get on the basket boats. I didn’t know what to expect with these boats but we sat in pairs with a local who took us in the boat into the bamboo and made things out of the bamboo for us – we had crowns, rings, glasses and even a souvenir grass hopper! The lady who took us in our boat was the friendliest and happiest ever – look how gorgeous she is!

We then biked to get the boat back to Hoi An, we were meant to then bike back to the starting point once arriving in Hoi An, but it was so dark when we arrived back and the bikes didnt have lights on so we got to just stay in the old town.

We had our final appointments with the tailor and we tried everything on for the last time and bought our bits! I was super happy with all my items! We then headed over to the other side of the river to the night market. We wandered down and had some street food for dinner and then treated ourselves to some donuts for dessert before enjoying an early night.

The next morning myself and Jess woke up super early and went and explored the old town one last time whilst it was still quiet. We got there are 6.15 just in time to watch the sunrise and it was spectacular. I think the best way to see a place is early in the morning and even better here because we could take amazing pictures without any people.

We met the group at 8am to take the bus to Hue and left my favourite place in Vietnam. I am sorry this post is so long, but there was so much to see in Hoi An, and I did warn you I could write and write about this beautiful place. I guess you have to visit now to appreciate it!

Valentines Berry Cheesecake Brownies

These brownies are the perfect gift to make for your loved one. They would also be the ideal dessert after your romantic Valentines dinner. OR if like us you just fancy making something super yummy and delicious this is the perfect recipe.

Let us know if you decide to make them and be sure to send us photo!

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Ingredients: 
375g unsalted butter
375g plain chocolate
6 large, free range eggs
200g caster sugar
150g dark brown soft sugar
225g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
Good quality raspberry jam (or follow our recipe to raspberry jam in this recipe)For the cheesecake:
200g cream cheese
100g white chocolate
100g caster sugar
1 large egg

 Method 
1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and line a deep baking tray with parchment paper
2) First make the cheesecake mixture by melting the white chocolate in a bowl over a low heat. Whisk together the cream cheese, caster sugar and egg with a hand mixer or stand alone mixer. Then add the melted chocolate and set aside
3) To make the brownie, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over simmering water. Meanwhile with a hand mixer or stand alone mixer, whisk together the sugar and eggs.
4) Once the chocolate and butter is melted add to the eggs and whisk.
5) Fold in the butter and baking powder, making sure you do not over beat.
6) Pour the brownie mixture into the lined baking tray, then dollop on top the cheesecake mixture and raspberry jam. Swirl together to the consistency of your choice.
7) Cook in the oven for 25 minutes, do not over bake, then leave to cool
8) Once cooled cut out the heart shapes if desired.
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