Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Piña Colada smoothie

A smoothie is my go-to breakfast when I want something healthy and light (OK, usually after indulging myself more than one should the previous night).

Now I know what you're thinking: that's all very well and good, Rachel, but I can't be bothered to get up early to make one. 

Well neither can I, chums. I make my smoothie the night before, pop it in the fridge (covered) overnight and either sip it whilst getting ready or take it to work in a handy portable bottle thingy.
What's more, with frozen and tinned fruit, I can pretty much always whip something up even if I haven't been to the shops for daaaaays.

Some people think smoothies won't keep you full, but it depends on what you put in it if you ask me.

And how much you drink.

A pure fruit smoothie probably wouldn't sustain me for long, plus that's a hella lotta sugar, so I usually try and make my concoctions a bit more filling with oats and nut butters and the like.
This here smoothie is my current fave because it literally tastes like a piña colada. Minus the alcohol. And let's be real, in the best cocktails you can't really taste the alcohol (which is why I always drink them far too quickly but what are ya gonna do?).

Heck, you could add a shot of rum to this and you'd be on your way to, um, Hawaii? Jamaica? Brazil? Spain? Clearly I don't have a clue where piña coladas come from.

I made this smoothie with the rather fab Panasonic blender I was lent. Now, I've used a lot of blenders in my time, but this is definitely one of the best. It's stylish, super powerful and exceptionally big, if a tad heavy.

This recipe would serve two people as a snack or one person who wanted a big old smoothie as breakfast.

(I would make some sort of pun about going loco-coco or something but I just can't bring myself to do it.)

Ingredients

300ml coconut milk
1 tbsp flaxmeal
1 tin pineapple
1 frozen banana
2 tbsp vanilla Oppo dairy-free ice cream or thick Greek natural yoghurt
1 squeeze honey
Drizzle of Pip and Nut coconut almond butter and extra honey (optional)

Method

1. Blend everything bar the coconut almond butter.

2. Pour into a drinking vessel, drizzle with almond butter and extra honey, and enjoy.

This post is sponsored by Panasonic as part of their #ExperienceFresh campaign.
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Monday, 3 April 2017

Brunch at Smith & Wollensky, London

A steak restaurant might be a slightly rogue choice for brunch, but stick with me, I think you might be swayed.

Smith & Wollensky is an American steakhouse but they opened their first branch across the pond almost two years ago. Just off the Strand, it's a brilliant central location but it's unlikely you'd have walked past.

From the outside, it looks like it's been dropped straight out of New York, and the interior is similarly cool.
Elegant and stylish with the most wonderful 20s vibe, I couldn't help but imagine how fabulous a spot Smith & Wollensky would be for a party.

I was there for brunch with my dear friend Caroline - we hadn't seen each other for months so had a hell of a lot of catching up to do, and Smith & Wollensky provided the ideal setting.

Despite them not being on the drinks menu, our craving for Buck's Fizzes was gladly satisfied.
I do love a Buck's Fizz.

As someone who actually doesn't like steak (please don't hate me), I was originally concerned that Smith & Wollensky would have nothing for me. But I was wrong, chums. Boy, was I wrong.
Helloooooo, burger!
Dayum, this was an exceptional burger. As one would expect from a fine steak restaurant, the quality was noticeably higher than your average high street burger joint. It was just so buttery!
Caroline went for the signature steak sandwich and loved it.
Oh, and by this point I'd moved on to a bellini and highly enjoyed its pinkness.

Alongside our burgers we shared some hashed brown potatoes.
It wasn't quite what I was expecting but it was utterly delicious.

And purely for the sake of health...
A spot of salad. Which was, ya know, salad.

Then we sat and chatted and explored the restaurant and generally digested our huge, meaty meals.

A little while later, we decided we could go for another bellini and Buck's Fizz. We placed our order, but a few minutes later the bartender came over and said he didn't want to make them.

Um, what? Why wouldn't he make our drinks?

Well, he said they were boring and he wanted to make something more exciting.  Now, I always trust a bartender so was happy to go with it...
We were duly brought two Old Cubans - like the lovechild of champagne and a mojito, it was ace. Did you know the drink was invented by a woman called Audrey Sanders? Well it was.

And by this point we were ready for something sweet. Don't try and tell me multiple courses for brunch isn't a thing. It's totally a thing.
 For Caroline, a rather ridiculously epic stack of blueberry pancakes.
 So fluffy and thick! Proper American pancakes.
Because I am powerless to resist, I went for the sticky toffee pudding.
Less American, equally delicious.
Ohhhhh it was so so very tasty. There's nothing worse than a dry sticky toffee, and this was far from it.

The staff and service had been absolutely delightful throughout and the food was, quite frankly, faultless. Quote Caroline: "Everything was delicious."

I'll definitely be going back (maybe for a Great Gatsby-themed party..?).

Caroline and I were guests at Smith & Wollensky but all opinions are honest.
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