Brunch review: Bills

Bills is a well-known restaurant located around the UK,  in the last few years more and more Bills seem to be popping up which we absolutely love and it means wherever you visit you are usually close to one.  We love visiting Bills we have never been served a bad meal and the staff are always incredibly friendly.

We visit regularly for lunch and dinner but we had never been for brunch before, We are just as surprised as you are we are not sure how this has happened?

One of our friends recently invited us to her engagement brunch and her restaurant of choice was Bills which we were SO chuffed about. We did of course take a look at the menu beforehand (who doesn’t) and we already wanted to taste EVERYTHING on the menu. Why it is that brunch food is always SO good, it makes it so hard to choose what to have.

The breakfast/brunch menu includes; full English fry ups (meat and veggie of course), coconut porridge, bacon or sausage bap, a selection of buttermilk pancakes and lots of egg dishes.

Rach went for the buttermilk pancakes served with streaky bacon and maple syrup, they were SO delicious. The three pancakes were like a dream they were light and fluffy and cooked until golden brown they were incredibly filling and the portion size was perfect. The Bacon was extra crispy (our favourite) and the generous maple syrup completed the dish perfectly.

Annie opted for the scrambled eggs and smoked salmon on wholemeal toast with which again was amazing. It would have been even better if they had served it with a wedge of lemon on the side, but saying that the waitress was more than happy to go and get some. The dish was filling and really delicious but then again you cannot really go wrong with this dish.

Other members of our party went for the full fry up and we have to say when it was served to them we did have a bit of food envy going on. It looked SO delicious and we especially noticed the quality of the sausages they looked so succulent YUM!

Bills is such good value for money the total of our brunch came to £12 each and that was for our food, drink and a tip on top! We couldn’t believe it we thought it was going to be a lot more than that so it was a pleasant surprise.

The atmosphere in Bills is one of the main reasons why we love it so much, it has chilled vibes and the staff are always really friendly.

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Christmas Day Breakfast 

We actually cannot believe that Christmas has come around so quickly, how are we already thinking about what we are going to eat for breakfast on Christmas morning, its mad. We did however think it would be the perfect opportunity to share with you a little recipe that will help start your Christmas morning, nothing fancy just keeping v simple, v quick and most importantly vv tasty.

Christmas breakfast has always been quite a big deal in our households, we always start our Christmas with a super yummy breakfast and a glass or two of champagne. Christmas Day always revolves around food and every meal has got that extra bit of magic added to it usually in the form of champagne in our houses. We have therefore decided to jazz up our breakfast up this year to make it that little bit more special and went for waffles topped with cream cheese and smoked salmon YASSS! If you wanted to you could even shape the waffles into snowflakes or Christmas trees!

recipe below makes 5 waffle so double or tripple the recipe if you have more mouths to feed.

Ingredients
125g Plain Flour
½ tsp Caster Sugar
½ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Mustard Powder
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
½ tsp ground pepper
210ml Milk
65g Unsalted butter
2 Medium eggs

Method
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, mustard powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl.
Mix until all ingredients are combined
In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, butter and eggs.
Make a well in the dry mix, and pour the wet mix into it gradually, whisking until fully combined
Leave the batter on the side for 5 minutes
Switch the Waffle Maker on and lightly oil, close the lid and allow the waffle machine to heat up
Once the waffle maker is hot enough pour the mixture into the centre of each waffle
Close the lid and leave to cook for 4 minutes, without opening the lid
Open the lid of the machine carefully and remove the waffle
Repeat with the remaining batter and keep the rest of them warm in the oven on a wire rack to ensure they do not become soggy

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

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

We were recently browsing the isles of  homesense (which is something we do on a regular basis) and came across the Halloween isle, of course we had to stop and take a look. As we were looking we came across a pumpkin cookie cutter and imediatly thought we could make some pumpkin pancakes using it. The cutter was super cheap it only cost us £1.99.

So that is exactly what we did one Saturday morning after the gym, we came home mixed up a batter and got flipping. The cutter was fairly big so we had to make sure we made the pancakes fairly big, we didnt cut them into shape until they were cooked.

We decided to make protien pancakes this time and added some Wheybox toffee protein to add some flavour. You can make them with any flavour protein we have used vanilla & white chocolate in the past and they both taste fab.

For toppings we decided to go for stewed cinnamon apples and some cinnamon cream cheese which tasted bloomin fantastic.

pancakes.png

You can find the ingredients we used for the pancakes below (we made 3 extra large pancakes. its really simple add all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk until combined. Melt some butter or coconut oil in a hot pan, add a ladle of mixture and allow the pancake to cook on one side before flipping (you should see bubbles appear). Enjoy with whatever toppings you choose!

Ingedients
50g Oats Blended
1 Egg
1tsp Baking Powder
1 Scoop Protein Powder
100ml Almond Milk

Toppings
Stewed Apples with Cinnamon
Cream Cheese with Cinnamon

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

Pumpkin chocolate chip energy balls anyone? YES PLEASE!

These literally take about 10 minutes to make, they contain 5 ingredients that you are likely to have in your cupboard this time of year. If you are unsure on where to get pumpkin puree (UK Folk) we found it in the world food isle of tesco.

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This makes about 16 energy balls that you can either 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 remember you have something tucked away in the freezer.

pumpkin 2.png

Ingredients
250g Oats
100g Pumpkin Puree
100g Peanut Butter
150g Maple Syrup
100g Dark Chocolate Chips

Method
Line a baking tray with parchement paper
Combine all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir until mixed through (you may find you need to use your hands)
Roll into balls
Place on the lined baking tray
Place in the frige for an hour
Store in an airtight container and keep them refregirated for up to a week (if they last that long).

Chicken Mac and Cheese

We recently saw the Body Coach post a recipe on all his social media channels and it just looked so delicious that we had to make it. As you may or may not be aware one of us has to follow a a special diet due to severe IBS. This means no onion, garlic and a reduced amount of some types of dairy and also wheat.
Thankfully hard cheeses, such as cheddar can still be eaten.

We hope you enjoy this as much as us, we will definitely be making it again soon.

Ingredients
25g dairy free butter
25g gluten free flour
300-400ml almond milk
grated cheese
black pepper
200g gluten free pasta
251g chicken
coconut oil
paprika

Method
1) Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees
2) Bring a pan of water to the boil
3) Melt the butter in a separate pan
4) add the flour to the butter and stir and cook for a couple of minutes
5) slowly add the milk stiring as you go, a whisk may be useful to reduce lumps and bring to the boil. Then simmer for about 8 minutes
6) Whilst your cheese sauce is simmering, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook as per instructions
7) In a separate pan, add the coconut oil and fry the chicken until cooked. Then add the paprika.
8) Stir in a handful of grated cheese to the pan that had been simmering and allow it to melt, taste and add more cheese if you want
9) Drain the pasta and then pour into a large baking dish.
10) Toss the cooked chicken in followed by the cheese sauce and mix together
11) Sprinkle on bread crumbs and grated cheese and cook for 20-30 minutes

Raspberry & Coconut Loaf Cake

cake-1.jpg

This raspberry and coconut loaf cake is refined sugar free, we love re creating delicious and traditional recipes and adapting them to make them slightly healthier. This is our latest creation and we think you are going to love it! Its the perfect cake to enjoy on a sunny afternoon either on its own or with a cup of tea.

P.s we also like to spread a little bit of peanut butter (or any kind of nut butter) onto a slice of the loaf cake, its delicious!

cake 2

Ingredients
200g oats blended
100g dedicated coconut
30 frozen raspberries
1tsp baking powder
4tbsp maple syrup
150ml almond milk
1 egg

Toppings
1tbsp dedicated coconut
10 frozen raspberries

Method
Pre heat your oven to 180oc
Line a loaf tin with Greece proof paper or a loaf tin liner and Greece with coconut oil
Blend your oats and pour into a large mixing bowl
Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and stir well with a wooden spoon until combined
Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin
Sprinkle the tbsp of dedicated coconut and 10 raspberries on top of the mixture
Place in the oven for 45 minutes and check if it cooked through when removing from the oven.

Homemade Gluten Free/Dairy Free Pizza

So one Friday evening we really fancied pizza so decided to try and make a gluten free one. We researched lots of recipes and combined a couple to come up with a rye & buckwheat pizza and thought we must share with you all!
This pizza base is gluten free and dairy free.

It feels weird making this because you don’t need to let is rise and the texture is kinda funny and the way you make it is very odd. But trust us you are doing it right, and it tastes amazing!

Pizza

Ingredients:
70g rye flour
130g buckwhat flour
1 egg
170ml almond milk
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 tbsp mixed herbs
seasoning, salt & pepper
seasoning, salt & pepper
olive oil

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and then get your baking trays ready by lighting oiling them
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix
Make a well in the centre and then break in the egg and beat into the dry ingredients
Add the maple syrup and then gradually add the milk
Mix until combined, it will look sticky and gloopy
Put spoonfuls of the mixture on baking trays and spread out to create pizzas, a spatula or palette knife will help you to spread the dough out
Bake the dough for 10 minutes, it will be cooked but not crispy
Cover with tomato sauce and decorate with toppings of your choice, go wild!
Cook for 10 minutes, until the topping is all cooked and cheese is melted

ENJOY!!

Carrot cake with a cashew frosting

If you have followed our blog for a while you will know we love to indulge in healthy sweet treats. We always stress how important we think it is to enjoy a balanced life making sure you eat everything in moderation.

We love baking but sometimes we also like to experiment and bake using healthier ingredients so we can enjoy these delicious sweet treats more regularly. This time we decided to experiment and make our very own refined sugar free carrot cake with a cashew nut frosting.

carrott cake

It tasted utterly delicious and we will definitely be making it again soon! Our families loved it and couldn’t even tell that is was a healthy version that sure is a sign of a good cake because healthier alternatives can lets be honest sometimes taste rather bland to some peoples taste buds.

Please note- we used a relatively small cake tin for this recipe if you want to make a larger cake then double the recipe.

Ingredients
200g Oat flour (we just blend oats we have in the cupboard)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
3tsp ground cinnamon
1.5tsp ground ginger
50g raisins
25g chopped walnuts
1tbsp Coconut sugar
1 large carrott
125ml almond milk or a milk of your choice

Cashew Frosting Ingredients
75g Cashews
1tbsp Pure Maple syrup
2tbsp almond milk
1tsp coconut oil

Method
Soak the Cashew nuts in water up to two hours before you need them.
Pre heat the oven to 180oc
Line a cake tin with grease proof paper (we used a relatively small cake tin for this recipe.
Blend the oats and place them in a large mixing bowl
grate the carrot and place to one side
Add the baking sofa, bicarbonate or soda, coconut sugar, cinnamon and ground ginger in the bowl and stir until combined
add the raisins, walnuts and grated carrot and stir
Gradually pour in the almond milk and mix until all the ingredients are combined
Pour the mixture into the lined cake tin
Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes
Whilst the cake it cooking you can make the cashew frosting, first you will need to place the cashew nuts in the blender and blend until the cashews have broken into small pieces.
Pour in the the maple syrup, coconut oil and Almond milk and blend until well mixed.
Spread the cashew frosting evenly on the cake.
Sprinkle the carrot on top and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee 🙂

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5 Healthy lunch ideas to take to work 

We have got into the habit of taking a pack lunch to work on a daily basis. This way we know the food we are putting in our bodies whilst also saving a LOT of money.

We tend to make our lunch the night before or even bulk make it at the weekend. We all know the saying after all; Fail to prepare, prepare to fail!

Below are five ideas that make the perfect lunch! Let us know if you have any other ideas as we would love to know!

Homemade soup- There is nothing better than tucking into some homemade soup in the winter at work. Soup is ridiculously easy to make and you will find tonnes of recipes online, BBC food always has simple recipes to follow. Some great soups to make our: Carrot and Coriander, Leek and Potato, Tomato, Butternut Squash, Pea and mint and so many more!

Homemade Hummus with veggies and wholemeal pitta- Why not try making your own hummus? The only ingredients you will need are chickpeas, tahini, lemon Juice, olive oil & a sprinkle of paprika. Once again have a look on the BBC food website for a recipe to follow. If you wanted to be extra adventurous you could even experiment by making beetroot, sundried tomato or roasted pepper hummus all of which taste delicious. If you don’t have time to make hummus then you can also purchase three mini hummus pots from Tesco. There is a selection of flavour: Sweet Chilli, Lemon and Coriander, Caramelised red onion, Roasted Red pepper, Sun blushed Tomato etc.

Salad- Salad is a great lunch as it is so versatile! We have lettuce, tomato, cucumber, celery, radish and sugar snap peas as a base and then add on whatever we fancy for a topping. Some great toppings are: smoked salmon, tuna, falafel, parma ham, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas etc. Try not to flavour your salad with shop bought dressings as they can be full of sugar. Instead if we are at work we tend to use balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Roasted Veg- Roasted root vegetables are a perfect lunch now the weather is getting a little bit colder. We tend to just cook more vegetables the night before with dinner which will save you time when it comes to making your lunch. The roasted vegetables we are loving at the moment are: sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot, peppers, courgette, carrot and red onion. Wack it in the microwave for a couple of minutes to make sure they are heated through.

Roasted Chicken breast/Salmon Fillet with Brown Rice- This lunch is perfect after a post run lunch (read our previous blog about lunch time running here). You can roast the Chicken or salmon the night before but we would advise purchasing the 2 minute microwave rice bags as rice carries lots of bacteria so shouldn’t be re heated. You can purchase the rice bags at all super markets.