Author: THISMAMADOES

RAMBLINGS: Who says romance is dead? Parents everywhere.

Who says romance is dead? Parents everywhere. Facebook tells me that five years ago today me and Mr Husband were lying in the garden by candlelight after our first BBQ of the year. The comment from a friend: “You two are so romantic”. Well what a difference 5 years and 2 children makes. We might struggle to lie down in the garden now without fishing numerous plastic toys out from underneath us which have been swallowed up by the grass we don’t have time to cut. And of course the small thicket of sticks that the little man finds necessary for, it seems, everything. As for candlelight, that is strictly reserved for dinner parties. Although even Mr Husband recently asked why I was bothering with them. The virtues of soft lighting not on his radar apparently. Lucky for me the other husbands both happily piped up with “oh I like a candle” (thanks boys, you know who you are), so I got my way. Until one of them burnt a little too fiercely and we …

Review: Pop Brixton

Nights out as a couple are rather rare these days when you factor in the noisy toddler, the bottle refusing baby and fairly epic levels of general tiredness. But when a friend’s birthday plans were cancelled last minute we found ourselves with a Friday night babysitter and nowhere to go. This could mean one thing only: DATE NIGHT. My priority was alcohol. Lots of it. The husband’s was being able to sit down. If we were to step away from the comfort and convenience of a full wine fridge, a 9pm bedtime and several episodes of the West Wing we needed to be inspired. After much debate and googling of options we decided on a rather reckless approach of heading to Pop Brixton and seeing what happened, with an aim to try Kricket (for the sitting down bit) if we could get a table. These crazy levels of spontaneity meant a smear of red lipstick later and I was running out of the house still wearing a Star Wars t-shirt and a teething necklace. It …

Recipe: Yorkshire puddings

I love a Yorkshire pudding. Roast beef, roast chicken, roast anything really, and a Yorkshire pud is a very welcome addition in my book. My favourite recipe is this one from BBC Good Food: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/9020/best-yorkshire-puddings Amazing results every time, and any you don’t eat can be cooled and frozen. Just pop them in the oven for a few minutes from frozen and you’re good to go!

RECIPE: Chocolate Easter bark

Looking for a nice homemade Easter gift or something to do with the kids over the long weekend? Chocolate Easter bark is just the thing! 200g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids) 100g white chocolate Mini eggs Sprinkles 1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper. 2. Break the dark chocolate into pieces and place in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Do the same with the white chocolate in another bowl. 3. Pour the dark chocolate onto the baking paper and spread out. Swirl over the white chocolate and scatter with mini eggs (I left some whole and broke others up) and sprinkles. Put the tray into the freezer to cool. 4. When the chocolate is set it will lift easily from the paper. Either wrap as a whole slab, or break into shards and wrap. Keep it cool or it will melt. Have fun experimenting with your favourite toppings!     

REVIEW: Salon, Brixton

As the mother of a toddler and a four month old who, so far, isn’t keen on the bottle (she doesn’t get this from me), going out for dinner isn’t that easy. But when it is possible it’s extra glorious. Tuesday night was such an occasion. I met one of my oldest friends from school at Salon, Brixton. I’d heard good things about this place, mainly from murmurings on social media, and in an effort to feel that I wasn’t completely out of touch with things that don’t involve small people, I went out on a limb and suggested it to my (much trendier) friend. I’m delighted to say that Salon didn’t let me down. With suitably soft and candlelit lighting all fears of obvious bags under my eyes were gone and I could focus on the stunning set menu and glass of fizz in front of me. There’s no choice with the set menu, but if you’re a foodie (and a very tired person) then being presented with delicious courses as a fait accompli …

Easy puddings to make (and serve when drunk)

I have been extremely neglectful of this blog over the last year (by neglectful I mean totally absent). I had to have a bit of a break from my love of cooking when I got pregnant with my little girl. The first four months were spent spewing, and the last three I had such terrible back/pelvis issues that standing up for long enough to make a sandwich was sufficiently painful to put me off cooking. I guess for the middle bit I just wasn’t so keen on entertaining when it seemed inappropriate to drink bucket loads of wine. At least not in front of people. But the bun is now out of the oven and somewhere in between running a business, looking after two small people, and not losing my mind, I thought I’d give it another go. And what better way to jump back into it than with some gloriously easy puddings for when you want to stuff your face and impress your dinner guests all at once. These can all be made well …