Feasting @ Herman Ze German

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Yesterday J and I spent a beautiful day in London. The subtle change in the weather suits us down to the ground. We like our air a little crisper and our vigorous touristy walks a little less sweaty than your average summer loving kid. We had a good few activities lined up for our day in the city so for such an action packed day we needed some hearty fuel to keep us going. I've been wanting to try out Herman ze German for aaaaages especially as they claim their 'wurst is ze best'. It's the kind of thing a food blogger can't resist. Naturally we rocked up to Soho around 1.30 to see if Herman ze German could live up to their bold wurst claims...

The floor was packed with happy lunchers when we arrive and quickly hopped into the queue. The place has an almost masculine feel to it and is packed with metal cages holding bottles, dark wood and simple decor.

The menu is fairly short, but quite varied including a variety of free range wurst(s?), curry wurst, schnitzel and salads. Their chips are also baked not fried so they are SUPER tempting to order too. Just as we placed our order a window seat freed up and I made a beeline for it.

What a handsome lunching companion I have. 

We had only been sipping on our Hamburg Fritz drinks for about 5 minutes before our food was wending it's way towards us. Speedy service makes such a difference when you're dribbling slightly and scaring fellow eaters. 

I went for the Bockwurst, a smokey pork sausage with crispy onions and chips (because I have zero will power). It was good but I got a liiiiittle bit of order envy...

J had plumped for the Chilli beef and pork sausage and it was just delicious. DE-LISH-OSH. Smokey, a little spicy and perfect with those crispy and crunchy onions. At least it gives me an excuse to go back and order one for myself.

(If someone is standing up taking a picture of their food, they are probably a blogger).

Even J is on the instagram-your-food hype. It's needless to say, we always eat our food slightly cold...


 But eventually we got down to it! Stuffing it all in there, chap?

Yup, you've been caught red handed. 

We took our time over these delicious German treats, but city workers were popping in and out as we ate. Some talking business others reading the paper. The buzzy, busy atmosphere is exciting and it makes the perfect spot for a little people watching.

Business started to wind down by the time we'd finished, so I explored the place taking photographs as I went. Oh and FYI, if you are walking past and it looks packed check downstairs. There is buckets more room for wurst lovers.

With full bellies we upped and left our empty baskets with happy smiles.
See - German food = big grin.
You can find Herman ze German in Soho and Charing Cross and contact them here

Then we spent the rest of the day exploring London before heading over to Somerset House for their Film 4 Summer Screening of E.T.
I'm hoping a vlog of the whole day will be coming your way soon. So keep your eyes peeled!

Lottie Loves: 39

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Instagram of the week: Taking a selfie on the Prudential Freecycle route in London with my Mum. Dad is way too speedy to grab for a selfie. 

1. Robin Williams. What a bright, bright light.

2. You may well be wondering what on earth the Prudential Freecycle is - well let me tell you. It's an annual event that sees a 10 mile circuit of central London closed down to regular traffic and cyclists young and old are let loose on it. A brilliant, healthy day out that will leave a huge smile on your face. You can already check out the details for next year!

3. S'more Cupcakes! WHAT!!!!

4. J and I shared a rare breakfast in bed this week. As we're often both working at weekends we never have time for a lazy Sunday wake up routine. Well last Tuesday acted as our Sunday and it was bliss!

5. I miss having a gym membership but I don't miss ANY of these things. Especially number 9. I mean just tie your hair up and wear sensible shoes, God dammit!!

6. Stocking up my freezer with Summer harvest is one of my favourite things in August. I love being able to use up Summer fruit and vegetables over Autumn and Winter without having to shell out and buy out of season. Also - no waste! Hurrah.

7. Joesph Gordon Levitt on why he is absolutely a feminist. Simple reasons, that's all it is really.

8. If you saw my last post you'll know that Costa sent me over a selection of Essie nail polishes for their #HelloSummerMoments challenge. I'd never tried Essie before but now I'm a complete convert! For a regular at-home manicure, the staying power of 3 coats of Essie was uh-mazing. Loving it. (It felt slightly weird writing about a beauty product, here's a brownie recipe to make up for it).

9. I've taken up knitting. Make of that what you will, but I'm so excited to create! I'm dreaming of patchwork blankets and bobble hats and jumpers.

10. I can't believe it was A Level results this week. It makes me feel so very old to have completed my undergraduate degree. On the plus side, I get to buy new stationary for the start of my masters degree soon and who doesn't LOVE new stationary?! (If the answer is you, please let yourself quietly out the back door).

Have a happy weekend, friends! x

#HelloSummerMoments with Costa

Saturday, 16 August 2014

If you follow me on instagram, you'll know that recently I've gone a liiiiiittle bit Costa crazy. I may have spent more time in there recently than I have in my own home. I'm not complaining though - I mean have you seen their cake range... Anyway I should probably start at the beginning of this story, as that's always a good place to begin. So the lovely ladies over at Costa got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to take part in their #HelloSummerMoments challenge. As you might've guessed, I said hell yes! They kindly sent me over a gorgeous hamper to get started with, filled with nail polishes, a clutch bag and a frisbee that I've perhaps used far too much for someone of my age. The hamper also included a low down of the challenges, which were simple and as follows: take a selfie, introduce someone to the summer range, match a pedicure or manicure to your Costa and plan an outfit around a drink. I'm pretty sure the idea was to do them in some kind of chronological order, but I'm haphazard and a bit overexcited when it comes to ordering from an exciting new range. So I'll just talk you through my weekend with Costa and tick off the challenges as we go.

The weekend of the #HelloSummerMoments challenge happily coincided with a trip home and a couple of exciting adventures. I kicked off my weekend with a little retail therapy with Josie (read: I followed Josie round hanging up discarded items. Life of a little sister, hey!). We stopped to recharge our batteries in a Costa with an adjoining Waterstones. Jo grabbed some books whilst I grabbed the drinks. I plumped for a Peach Iced Tea - soo refreshing and nabbed a quick selfie too (selfie challenge - tick!).

Josie went for the zingy Green Tea, Lime and Mint cooler that was the ultimate accessory to her green bean outfit - matching loom bracelet and everything! Without even trying, Jo had completed one of the #HelloSummerMoments challenges. Congrats, Jo - hurrah to you!

We grabbed a selfie together with an unwitting photobomber, shared a slice of cherry tart (would've been rude not to, right?) and feeling refreshed we got back to the shopping grind.

The following day saw my parents and I taking part in the Prudential Freecycle. An incredible annual event that sees a 10 mile circuit of central London closed down and open to cyclists. We completed the loop a couple of times and then cycled another 20 miles around London. A glorious sunny day that left us with sore feet and sore butts but big, big grins. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to complete the challenge of introducing someone to the Summer range. So at the end of the cycle we stopped off at Costa my parents enjoyed iced coffees on the edge of buzzy Trafalgar Square.

Whilst my parents sipped and people watched I got down to my outfit challenge. Now you guys know I'm not a fashion blogger, I'm more cookies than crop tops. Definitely more pastries than platforms. So I had pondered over the outfit challenge for a while - what ensemble could I create where an item off the Costa menu was the ultimate accessory...? Well, and I think you'll all agree, my chosen outfit of the day is really cutting edge. Details below in true fashion blogger style:

Prudential Ride London vest
Asos sunglasses similar here
Plaits straight from Pippi Longstocking

I think my helmet just out of sight really set off the whole look. A trend waiting to happen, I reckon. And my tall, frosty ginger beer certainly was the ultimate accessory, not to mention an essential accessory after 40 miles of cycling! Sluuurrrpp!

On Sunday I had a big drive home ahead of me, but on the way back I visited one of my lovely friends with a little Sunday pick-me-up. My Essie Tea and Crumpets manicure is inspired by the icy, caramel latte below. Whilst the polish is called Tea and Crumpets I think it's the perfect iced coffee colour, don't you think? We caught up on our weekend and boys (read: also loads of chat about cats and knitting #coolkids) and then it was time for me to wave goodbye and get on the road. I had such a lovely weekend completing the #HelloSummerMoments challenge and really loved every summer moment I shared with my family and friends.
Thank you to Costa for putting me up to the challenge, I had a blast!

Raspberry and Lemon No-churn Ice Cream

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

This was supposed to be a blueberry pie. 
As you can see, it isn't. But that isn't where this story starts. It starts about 15 years ago, in a strawberry field with my fingers and lips pink with strawberry juice. I have such fond memories of picking strawberries as a child and nibbling on my basket of fruit as I wended my way through the strawberry runners. I had a manic July this year, so missed the chance to pick my own strawberries but resolved to pick blueberries in August. I was dreaming of flaky, short pastry wrapping up freshly picked blueberries coated in sweet, brown sugar. Alas, thanks to the unusally warm weather the blueberry season started and finished early. Pick Your Own farms were picked clean and my fruit basket remained sadly empty. So I still had a desperate urge to pick fruit, yet not a farm to be found with any fruit for the pickin' and thus this blog post is not a blueberry pie. Luckily my Mum has her own bumper crop of fruit and vegetables down the end of her very own garden. Why I hadn't raided Mum's little fruit farm first, I don't know. But boy am I glad that I did. After a weekend at my parent's house, I returned home with bags of raspberries and green beans. And I'll be back with extra bags for the beetroot and courgettes soon! So happily I can finally post a recipe using a freshly picked summer fruit (and what a bonus - these raspberries are homegrown and organic! Hurrah!).

So this ice cream feels like my last hurrah for Summer. I missed the strawberries, I missed the blueberries but the trusty raspberry is here to wave us from August and onwards to Autumn in the last of the summer sun. I'm imagining this ice cream will be enjoyed in the lingering balmy days of the summer, as children pick out new stationary and out new shoes ready to return to school. The hint of lemon is happy as Larry alongside the raspberries and cuts through the creamy flavour. You've definitely got to whip this up right now whilst August is still with us - and best of all you can do it without an ice cream maker! So get to picking those raspberries and freezing up this late summer treat.

Adapted from Mary Berry's No Churn Ice Cream 

For Raspberry and Lemon Ice Cream you will need:

For raspberry puree:

160g fresh raspberries
40g caster sugar

For ice cream base:

300 ml double cream
100g caster sugar
4 eggs
zest of 1 lemon

Raspberries to serve, optional

Begin by making your raspberry puree by adding the raspberries and sugar into a pan on a medium heat.

Stir occasionally and break down the raspberries with a spoon until they have released all of their juices.

Strain the raspberry juice into a bowl, then push the puree through the sieve with a spoon. Make sure to scrape the puree that collects on the underside of the sieve into the bowl - that's the best bit. You should be able to get nearly all of the moisture out from the raspberry mix with 5 minutes of spoon work. Once your done put the puree in the fridge and discard (or eat, as I did) the pips. 

Now let's get to preparing the base. Firstly separate the eggs.

Then whisk the eggs whites in a large bowl until stiff peaks form. You'll need an electric whisk or some SERIOUS guns for this. 

Then gradually add in the sugar whilst still whisking.

Keep whisking until the mix is glossy and stiff peaks form when the whisk is pulled away. 

In a separate bowl whisk up your cream.

Love a good whisking photo, me. 

Whisk until soft peaks form.

Now fold in the cream, egg yolks, raspberry puree and lemon zest into the egg white mix.

Fold in until smooth. 

Pour into a bread tin or into tupperware, cover and freeze for 2-4 hours or overnight. 

Whip it out once frozen...

Scoop it out into bowls.

Add a few raspberries to each bowl, either frozen or fresh and then tuck in. After I finished photographing this, I ate a bowl for breakfast. But that's between me and you! 

Happy Summer time! 

Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Feta, Sundried Tomatoes and Olives

Thursday, 7 August 2014

I'm not even sure if I should be posting this as a recipe.
There is literally no effort involved. It's one of the easiest things to make. It's not even cooking, really. Just chucking some ingredients together in a bowl, baking a couple of spuds and shoving it all together. So I feel a bit ridiculous telling you how to bake a potato, but this is what I'm loving at the moment so it's managed to meander its way onto the blog.
It is the perfect quick recipe for the late summer months. I always have feta, olives and sundried tomatoes kicking about over summer (hello impromptu mezze board!) and their combined flavours are practically a match made in Mediterranean heaven. Also as this meal needs so little prep you can get on with your summery adventures elsewhere, rather than slaving away in the kitchen. At the moment in the UK, it's far too hot for that anyway.
ALSO - how wonderful are baked sweet potatoes? I'm loving them at the moment. Not only do they taste deeeeelicious, but they are packed with healthy goodness that will make your body happy, including vitamin C, vitamin D and iron. Way better for your than a regular potato, sweet potatoes are perfect for your happy and healthy summer body. I'm firmly on the sweet potato bandwagon and not planning on hopping off anytime soon.    

For Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Feta, Sundried Tomatoes and Olives (serves 2) you will need:

2 large sweet potatoes
100g feta cheese
20 black olives
5-6 sundried tomatoes
Handful of chopped parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper

Begin by preheating your oven to 180c. Then rub 1tbsp of the olive oil over the potatoes. Then rub both in salt and pepper. Once the oven is hot enough, pop them in for 45 minutes - 1 hour, until they are cooked through and soft.

Whilst your potatoes are baking, prepare the filling. chop up the olives, parsley and feta and slice the sundried tomatoes into strips.

Combine them all in a bowl along with the oregano and remaining olive oil.

Mix it up! 
Set aside until your potatoes are done.

Once baked, slice those bad boys open. 

Stuff them both with your feta filling, grab a fork and tuck in! 

How simple was that?! These stuffed potatoes are brilliant hot or cold, so make the perfect packed lunch for all you busy little bees out there on the go.  

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