Saturday, 17 March 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies - the easy way

If you've been following me on twitter, you've probably noticed these beauties I baked a few days ago:

As I'm sure you know, chocolate chip cookies are probably the easiest and more straightforward way to cookie-heaven. Sweet, but not too much, with just the right amount of crunchiness and little pieces of milk chocolate feel oh-so indulgent, bringing a smile to our faces even during those days of the month without fail.

I adapted my version from a recipe I found in Nigella Lawson's Kitchen (which I highly recommend), and given that I have been using various recipes for chocolate chip cookies since I was about 6, this is one of my most straight-forward and easy recipes yet.

For about 15 cookies (depending on size), you'll need:
50g unsalted butter
100g sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
1x100g packet of milk chocolate drops or chocolate chips
110g plain flour
pinch of bicarbonate of soda

Make it happen! :
Preheat the oven to 170C. Melt the butter in a heat-proof bowl over boiling water. Make a cup of tea while you're at it, you deserve it. When the butter has melted and cooled down a bit, add the sugar and beat. Add the vanilla and  the egg and beat again until light and creamy. Sift in the flour and bicarb and beat until you have a soft doughy mixture. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Easy, right? And all done in one bowl!

Now the final step: line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spoon and drop the mixture onto the baking sheet. You'll need to do this in batches, but be patient, you'll be rewarded. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until the edges turn golden. When you take them out you may think that they are a bit too soft in the middle, but worry not, they will become crunchier as they cool down. Serve with a glass of frosty milk.

I devoured them in just two days without any help! What's your score? :)

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Why YOU should stop Kony

Last night I was in shock.

I watched the Stop Kony video made by the Invisible Children organization; it made my blood boil and eyes water. If you haven't watched the video yourself, here's a summary of the main reasons you should join the efforts to make Joseph Kony famous:
- He is the leader of the LRA rebel group in Uganda, but does not support any political ideas
- All this time he hasn't been arrested (26 years that is), LRA has abducted more than 30 000 children from their homes.
- The children are forced to kill, rape and mutilate civilians including their parents
- The girls are turned into sex slaves
- The international community hasn't done much yet. That's why we have to.
- After repeated efforts by the Invisible Children organization, the US administration has sent 100 men (!) to help the Ugandan army arrest Kony, while of course spending thousands of billions trying to catch Bin Laden. It goes without saying that this is not enough.
- Kony has changed his tactics and is keeping a very low profile in order to avoid arrest.

This is the man we have to make famous
That's why we must make him famous. Every person in the world, male, female, young or old has to know his name, his face, and the atrocities he's responsible for. This is not an extract from a history book, this is REAL and is happening NOW. Don't ignore it because it's happening at the 'wrong side' of the world, just as the international community has done in so many other cases in the past. This is a horrendous crime against humanity, and it's imperative that Kony is brought to justice.

Are we all on board? If we are, here's what you can do to help:
- Share the video about Kony
- Sign the pledge to show your support
- Donate some money to fund the organization
- Buy the action kit which includes a Stop Kony t-shirt, Kony bracelet, an action guide, stickers, posters and button.
- Put up those posters, wear the t-shirt, the bracelet and stick the stickers wherever you think people are most likely to see them

In other words, raise awareness and put pressure on governments to take this seriously - it shouldn't just be a matter of oil for the global community to intervene.

In the unlikely case you are not moved by these stories and this cause, think about what would you do if those were your children.

Still no?

You have a heart of stone and you are a disgrace to the human race. Obviously.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Big Easy and The Lobster

This is about another gem I recently discovered in London: Big Easy. BH and I decided to try out something new (for me that is, he had already been to Big Easy some time ago), and a mini search in Time Out London got me the Big Easy restaurant in Chelsea. I loved the idea they had a different offer every day of the week, and decided to go there to check it out.

It was crowded (don't even THINK about going there without a reservation, even on a weeknight), so although I wouldn't recommend it if you want some privacy (tables a bit too close together), I loved the rustic feeling of the decor, the music and the relaxed atmosphere - perfect for going out with friends, particularly a large group.

Now, down to the food. It was a Wednesday, so there was an offer of all-you-can-eat fajitas with a drink (soft drink, beer or margarita) for £14.95. BH didn't need anymore convincing, he ordered the fajitas in a heartbeat. I wanted to try out something a bit more special, so I decided to have the lobster with a thermidor sauce (they had an offer for that as well, Lobster Festival, again it was the lobster with fries and a drink for £14.95).


At this point, I should let you know that this was the first time I had to crack my own lobster (at least the claws in this case). I can safely argue that it was one of my least graceful moments yet. Please be more prepared than I was and if you're a newbie in lobster cracking like me, watch a how-to video before you go out! Nevertheless, after a number of failed attempts and some successful ones, I managed to finally crack the claws open and eat. The lobster was just as it was supposed to be: sweet, tender and succulent. The sauce didn't disappoint either, and at £14.95 I can't complain!

Having been there only once (unfortunately), I can't really comment on the other food (although BH seemed very satisfied after a number of fajita servings), but TimeOut sings the praises of its burgers, wings, seafood and barbecue ribs, while Times Knowledge recommend it as one of the top 10 steakhouses in London. So, yes. GO!

If you aren't a regular (or you'd know everything about it by now), you can book online, or by phone: 020 7352 4071. If you live around South Kensington or Sloane Square, you're lucky because you're already pretty close! If not, and you're using public transport, there's easy access from the two tube stations, and there are regular buses from Sloane Square. If again you're using your own car, there is an on-street meter parking which is free after 6:30pm.

Last bit of information you need, the address:
332-334 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 5UR

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

24h Cupcake Service

I don't know anyone who doesn't love cupcakes. I guess that was the idea behind the Sprinkle's 24h Cupcake ATM machine installed in the heart of Beverly Hills (of course).

I want.

The machine also dispenses apparel, cupcake mixes (if you can wait to make them at home), and freshly baked cupcakes (if you can't) for that instant pick-me-up cupcake. It goes without saying that the machine is restocked continuously both day and night!

The women of England NEED this! (and the children too, I guess)



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...