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Monday, 26 October 2015


Recipe - Cookies

I made "split batch cookies" with a little help from the thatlilfoodkid as as we wanted some with chunks of chocolate and raisins and the others with chocolate chips and raisins.

These were big, soft and chewy!

Ingredients (makes approx. 18)

250g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp  salt
170g unsalted butter, melted
200g dark brown soft sugar
100g caster sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g chocolate chips
100g chocolate chunks
100g raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas mark 3. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt; set aside.

2. In a bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and caster sugar until combined well.

3.Beat in the vanilla, egg and egg yolk until light and creamy.

4. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.  Split the mixture into two bowls. Stir in the chocolate chips and half the raisins by hand using a wooden spoon in one bowl and the chocolate chunks and the other half of the raisins in the other.

5. Drop cookie dough onto the prepared baking trays, with each cookie around a walnut size of dough. I used an ice cream scoop. Do not flatten the dough. Cookies should be about 8cm apart.

6. Bake for 14 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking trays for a few minutes.

7. Before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

8. Enjoy!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Chocolate Brownies

Recipe- chocolate brownies (low fat)

My eldest son, thelilfoodkid asked us to make him brownies and cookies this weekend. Hmmm. Our aim as parents is to get out kids to eat well, enjoy food and learn to cook. we did not want to disappoint him so we decided to make lower fat brownies and full fat cookies.

He enjoyed helping measure the ingredients out, shout out the order we put them in, folding in the flour and licking the spoon that contained the melted chocolate.

We enjoyed the brownies and are looking forward to making the cookies.


100g dark chocolate
2 medium eggs
75g  golden caster sugar
75g light brown sugar
½tsp coffee, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
1tsp vanilla extract
90g low fat Greek yogurt
90g plain flour
¼tsp baking powder
15g cocoa powder
Icing sugar, for dusting
16 or 17cm square tin, lined with baking or grease proof paper

1. Pre heat the oven to 180°C.
2. Melt chocolate over a pan of hot water. Or alternatively melt in the microwave. To do this set the microwave to low and heat for short 10 second bursts. Remember low and slow.
3. Whisk the eggs with the sugar until light. 

4. Stir in the chocolate, then the coffee, vanilla and yogurt. Gently fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.

5. Smooth the mixture into the tin. 

6. Bake for 25-30 mins. Leave to cool.

7.  Cut into 16 squares. Dust with icing sugar.

8. Enjoy!

Friday, 23 October 2015

Brunswick Inn

The Brunswick Inn (Derby)

I popped in after work with some workmates for a drink and a bite to eat. The Pub is a micro brewery and are finalists for Derby CAMRA pub of the year 2015. I lived in Derby all my life I only have just made my first visit.

I had Maisel's Weisse to start my night off. I do like a good cold wheat beer. Various websites tell me I am supposed to get the aroma of banana and faint spices, with the same taste. I just get a wheat beer...but a good one!

I had heard the chilli was good, so I thought I would give it ago. I had Phil's own spicy chilli (£6.95). It was nice. I like mine a little hotter, but one of the guys had definitely met his chilli match! The chilli had broad beans instead of kidney beans. It was a interesting change. It came with hand cut chips, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.I topped my chips with the cheese and covered it with the hot chilli. The whole group (bar one) went for the chilli. Some went for the large whilst others the small. One had the burger as we ordered all the chilli!

I have included a pictures of the menu. Its good honest locally sourced pub food.

Two of the group went for the sticky toffee pudding. They ate it before I took a picture! They said it was nothing to write home about. I just opted for another beer!

 They also do brewery tours and tasting.

What they say:

If you want a Real BrewPub, Real Ale and Real Food, your welcome at the Brunswick.

The Brunswick Website

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Boot

The Boot (Repton)

I had scoured the internet to find somewhere nice and local, that we had not been to before. It was my wife's birthday and I decided to pick the Boot in Repton because I had heard that the food was good.  I had picked out a dish on the menu I thought she would like for her birthday dinner.

The parking is limited, with the carpark reserved for those staying in the hotel rooms, however there is adequate on street parking.

We went on a Thursday evening and the restaurant was very busy. I don't think there was an empty table. A vast majority ordered food so we knew there would be a bit of a wait.

I ordered the Boot burger, bbq pulled pork, bacon, mature cheddar, served with poppyseed slaw and fries (£10.95)

The pulled pork burger is formed rather than just piled on like my recipe here.

The burger was big and juicy. It was also nice to find "chunks" of pork in there. We ended up cutting the burger in half and sharing both our dishes as we both had food envy looking at each others meals.

My wife had the Scallop, king prawn, tempura cod skewer, Thai broth and basmati rice (£13.95). this dish was amazing and although I am a burger man this was definitely the better of the two dishes. I will definitely go back for this... and next time I wont share. The scallop was perfectly cooked and the cod came in a light and crispy tempura batter. The Thai broth was very good and had a perfect balance of Thai flavours, I could have easily had more.

We were so full from eating and having cake at home with the kids, but had to try the dessert on the specials that night. 

The dessert was average. It's not served with the same panache they serve the desserts with at the Boot's sister venue the Dragon. 

What they say:

The Boot, is a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in the historic village of Repton, Derbyshire.

The Boot, has just been renovated and refurbished, to a very high standard, and now offers luxurious accommodation, award winning classic and contemporary dishes and real ales including Boot Beer – which is brewed in The Boot’s own micro-brewery.

The Boot Website

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


Bacoa Burger Barcelona 

WOW! this place simply does amazing burgers. I was in Barcelona for two days and I ate here twice! I could have easily eaten here over and over again. 

I loved the way that you could "design" your own burger. The concept was great. As you enter the restaurant there is a stand with menus and pencils. The menu has a number of options that allow you to customize the burger.

The burgers are chargrilled and the beef burgers are served medium, just as they should be.

You start from choosing the bap, or not... one of the options includes no bap!

Then you have a choice of beef. You can choose between organic or northern beef. 

There is a selection of beef and "other" burgers including chicken, lamb and vegetarian. 

Then you can add a variety of other toppings or even "double" up on the burger.

When you order you are given a burger holder, and an electronic number. You find a table and when the burger is made the server brings it too you. The Burger holder is great! It helps 1. hold the BIG burger and 2. catches the juices of the juicy burger! I have heard about "clean" eating and people must have been talking about this holder!

The Beer on draft is local, and a perfect partner to the burger, cold and crisp. 

All burgers come topped with tomato, cos lettuce, Spanish onion, and homemade mayo as standard.

On my first visit I opted for La Bocoa Burger - It is topped with smoked bacon, Irish Cheddar, Manchego semi-cured cheese, pickles and artisan spicy mustard.

I ordered the Patatas Bravas to accompany the burger. They come with spicy tomato chutney and roasted garlic alioli. I am craving this burger as I write up this post. It was perfect, chargrilled, juicy, and melted in the mouth. The burger was a taste explosion in my mouth. 

There is a great selection of sauces to compliment the burger and bravas. The Picante has a lovely heat, the ketchup and la Brava are also good. There is also a herby salt that was great on the fries (I tried some a friend had).

One of the eight had the pollo burger and added smoked bacon. I gave up taking pictures of everyone's food as mine looked too good to leave waiting. 

 I loved the deco of the place! you can see much more on the website, link below. It is modern and contemporary. The ethos of recycling is echoed in the interior where they used recycled plastic bottles to decorate the stairs.

On my second visit I opted for the Suiza Burger - topped with the standard toppings and potato rosti, Swiss Gruyere cheese. The burger was also great but I craved the La Bocoa again.

The Burger holder... now that is what I call "clean eating".

 The view  from my "usual" table!

What they say:

It’s a Hamburgueseria. Since 2010 we’ve been bringing high quality, freshly cooked burgers and hand-cut chips to our loyal fans. We believe fast food can also be good food with the right approach. The “hamburguesa” has been a staple on Spanish menus for decades. So with this as our inspiration – along with the rich variety of Spanish cheeses, hams and other quality products – we have given this old classic a new look and taste.

There are various locations in Barcelona. I have included the address of the one I visited... twice!