Brunch Club

Amongst the endless stream of chores, bills and responsibilities that come with adulthood lurk some rather lovely perks: Not being forced to eat your vegetables; choosing your own clothes; having brunch. As a teenager I would roll out of bed halfway through the day and just lay around in a fluffy pink dressing gown eating jam on toast and regretting my life choices thus far. My initial years of adulthood were largely spent doing things that I’d never had the financial freedom to do before such as going out for dinner and planning lovely holidays. Nowadays, I’m happy to accept the fact that my favourite place in the world is home and I love nothing more than being in my kitchen in a comfy t-shirt making friends and family something lovely to eat. I’m very comfortable with being an adult and to celebrate I invited my equally adult friends round for brunch expecting us to have very adult conversations whilst sipping tea from China cups with our pinky fingers sticking out. What followed, however, was nothing short of chaos.

It turns out that a host who isn’t actually that good at adulting, three friends with varying skills in both parenting and cat-parenting, a toddler, a newborn baby, an angry cat, a playful kitten and a really tiny dining table can create absolute carnage.

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I got off to a good start by setting the table with some nice cups and saucers for the tea, cute bottles with straws for the smoothies and champagne glasses for the water because frankly they’re the only type of glasses for which I have a matching set of four. Jess (expert mother of three children and three dogs, very little cat experience) got to work making everyone tea and quickly realised that the inept host (me) hadn’t thought to check the date on the milk and we were now faced with a dilemma. Jade (surprisingly good with children despite not being a parent, hates cats) drove to the shop that is a 30 second walk from my house with her Louis Vuitton handbag and tried to use a credit card to pay for a 90p bottle of milk in a cornershop that looks like it hasn’t changed since World War 2. Milkgate eventually involved Jade driving the 2.8 seconds back to my house, me begrudgingly having to go outside in my Ugg slippers to deliver change all in 10ps that I had scraped together from the back of the sofa, Jade going back to the shop looking like a tourist and finally bringing the milk back. All for Jess to never actually finish making the tea.

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We had smashed avocado on toasted rye bread with crispy streaky bacon and poached eggs to start. Normal bread wasn’t on the menu as Jade imposed her allergies on the rest of us but actually the rye bread was delicious. To make this most-basic-bitch-on-instagram brunch dish for yourself, just mash two avocados with a good pinch of salt and a squeeze of lime juice and spread this onto 4 slices of toasted rye bread. Top each toast with two slices of crispy bacon and a poached egg. I poach my eggs by bringing a pan of water to a gentle boil, adding a dash of cider vinegar and gently dropping the eggs in one by one from a ramekin. Cook for three minutes then transfer to kitchen towel to remove the excess water. You can drizzle the toast with some hot sauce to be extra hipster.

As we ate, Maggie (Jess’s youngest) decided to play in my vegetable trolley and throw my onions around the kitchen because that is of course the most fun one can have with onions and Bear (my kitten) took great pleasure in terrorising Jade. We’re all quite OK at this point and having a giggle about life before children and cats. Jess picks Bear up for a cuddle and drops him clean on his head. They say cats always land on their feet. That’s a lie.

The next course was a green smoothie. I made this by blending together 2 pears, one apple, a chunk of cucumber, two balls of frozen spinach, half an avocado and some apple juice until it was smooth with a vibrant green hue. We drank this out of dainty milk bottles with star patterned paper straws because I like to waste my hard earned money on shit.

Lulu (my older, grumpier cat) spends the entire time licking the cellphone wrapping of a gift that Jade bought round for Ellen (brand new human mum, experienced cat mum) because that’s her most favourite thing to do.

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We moved on to our final course, a rainbow fruit salad with honey orange dressing. I mixed together blueberries, green grapes, halved strawberries and chunks of mango and poured over a dressing made from a heaped tablespoon of warmed honey and about the same of orange juice. We had this with shop bought coconut macaroons and more chats about nipple pads, smelly nappies and cat poo. Bear decided this was the perfect time for cuddles and joined us at the table trying to eat a strawberry as it travelled from my bowl to my mouth. My friends decided to never come to eat again.

Brunch turned into a chilled afternoon involving the trivia game on the Google Home Mini, a selfie stick (yes they still exist) and a game of ‘put that where Maggie can’t reach it and the cats can’t lick it’. My house ended up looking like Changing Rooms had been in, with everything below hip level in a different place and onions in unimaginable locations. Teddy (Ellen’s baby: cute but does the smelliest farts) had some lovely cuddles and managed to leave with all facial features in tact despite Lulu’s best efforts. I had a mountain of washing up and a lot of gone off milk to dispose of but it was worth it for a lovely day of fun, friendship and food. This is adulthood at its most special and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

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Speak soon,

Tania x

 

 

 

 

Recipe: 3 Ingredient Asparagus Brunch

Welcome to another recipe in my 3 ingredient series! These prove that you don’t need a fridge full of ingredients to make tasty food so are great for people on a budget or stuck for inspiration. I’ve been wanting to feature asparagus in a blog post as it’s now in season and  quite underrated as a vegetable. True, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and is a fairly acquired taste but here you mask some of it with lovely crispy ham so even if you’re not a lover of those little green spears, try this one out and see if you can change your mind.

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 250g asparagus spears
  • 2-3 slices of prosciutto
  • 2 eggs

What you do:

  1. Prepare the asparagus by bending each spear at the stalk end. They will naturally snap to remove the woody part and leave you with the good bit. Steam or boil the spears for a couple of minutes until they are tender but still with some bite. You don’t want a floppy spear. (innuendo alert)
  2. Drain the asparagus and leave them for a bit until they are just cool enough to handle. Tear the prosciutto into strips and wrap a piece around each spear of asparagus then lay them on a baking tray and cook in an oven pre-heated to 180°c for 5-10 minutes until the ham is staring to crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, poach two eggs. Everyone has their own way of poaching eggs. I do mine by bringing a smallish pan of water to the boil, adding a splash of white wine vinegar then carefully and slowly adding the eggs one at a time from a cup rather than straight from the shell. I then cook them for exactly three minutes. This method works every time for me.
  4. To assemble, lay some of the prosciutto wrapped asparagus onto a plate, top with a poached egg and finish with a grind of black pepper.

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#eggporn

If you wanted to turn this into more of a side dish, remove the egg and scatter over some parmesan shavings instead. Yum.

 

 

Recipe: Churros French Toast

I like churros. They’re those Spanish style doughnut things that you dip into chocolate sauce. I also like French toast. So, I thought, why not combine the two delicious things and make something that has elements of both without the faff of deep frying or making a chocolate sauce. And so my churros style French toast was born. It came into this world as an unknown, but shall remain as a heavenly figure gracing my kitchen table on lazy Sunday mornings. It’s really very good.

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • 2 slices of good bread
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Nutella
  • Some fruit, if you fancy it

What you do:

  1. Whisk the egg, milk and vanilla together in a shallow bowl until combined.
  2. Dunk the slices of bread into the eggy mixture and allow them to soak it up before turning the bread over and repeating the process on the other side. I like to use a good bloomer loaf, sliced thickly.
  3. Heat the butter in a frying pan and once frothy, add the bread in. Cook for about two minutes until it’s lovely and golden, then flip over and do the same on the other side.
  4. Once the bread is golden and crisp at the edges, it’s done. Mix the sugar and cinnamon on a board or plate and immediately dunk the hot eggy bread into it, coating evenly on both sides.
  5. Warm the Nutella in a microwave for about 10 seconds to loosen it, then drizzle over the French Toast and add some fruit on top if you wish. Strawberries go surprisingly well with cinnamon, raspberries would be good too. Now tuck in.

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