Review: Marks and Spencers Mexican Taco Kit

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"Sometimes I just can't be bothered to cook" said every food blogger more times than they care to admit. Contrary to opinion, we don't spend every night whipping up culinary wonders for dinner. I'm not adverse to beans on toast or the odd bowl of pesto pasta despite what my instagram says!

 
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Bristol Food Connections: 29 Apr - 7 May

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Since moving to Bristol, I've been truly gobsmacked by the extent of foodie culture here. It feels as though eating out, supporting independents and generally getting involved in food and drink is a huge part of life and I'm sure it's going to directly influence the size of my pot belly. For now, I just don't care, I want to eat everything in sight! 

Following my previous post on the Foodies Festival which is happening in Mid May on the Downs, there is another food festival for me to go to and it starts next week!  


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Foodies Festival; The Downs, Bristol 13-15th May

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If there's one thing I love - it's a food & drink festival and for me, the start of summer is always signalled by the outbreak of food stalls and festivals on our parks and green areas! 

I'll be attending Foodies Festival again this year but not in Birmingham like I usually would - this time I'll be heading over to their festival on the Downs in my new home city of Bristol. I'm really looking forward to getting to know some of the local chefs and faces.


Busy Bar at Foodies Festival
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Review: The Thali Cafe, Montpelier, Bristol

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I'm from the Midlands. Leicester to be specific. And I've grown up eating really good curry. It's one of my favourite cuisines and with Leicester being home to the third largest Hindu population in the UK its no surprise that there is some incredible food to be had all over the county. 

Southern Thali at The Thali Cafe in Montpelier
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Meal Planning & Cooking On A Budget

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I've made some big changes in my life over the last couple of months. Not only have we upsticks and moved over 100 miles away, I've also made the move from full time employment to freelance working. As you can imagine, initially this means a big pay cut. With less certainty on how much I'll be earning each month, now more than ever, feels like the right time to be getting back to meal planning, batch cooking and generally being a little bit more frugal with what I eat.

So I sat down yesterday with a pen and paper (and some felt tips - yes I know... I'm 31) and worked out what I could cook with what we already have in.

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Review: John's House, Mountsorrel, Nr Loughborough

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Reviewing Johns House in Mountsorrel has been on my wish list for a long time now. Firstly because as of September last year, it was the first and only place in Leicestershire to get a Michelin star and secondly, because it is literally a stones throw from my mums house. To be honest, I'm embarrassed that I've not made it in sooner!

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Cookbook: Elly Pear's Fast Days & Feast Days

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As I'm sure you're all well aware by now, I've recently moved down from the Midlands to Bristol. It's been almost a month now and so far, I'm loving it. It's great to be discovering a city and all it's edible treats. A well known face on the foodie scene here is Elly Curshen, owner of Pear Cafe and author of a new cookbook I was recently sent to review. I've loved seeing photographs of the area I live in on the pages and am keen to visit the cafe for a slice of her famous frittata soon!

  
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Harissa Lamb stew with chickpeas & kale

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I seem to be obsessed with kale at the moment - we've been eating it in stews, as crisps and even drinking the stuff. I'm quite late to the party but now that I've arrived, I'm loving it! As well as Kale, I love cooking leftovers and that's how this recipe started life - with a bag of kale and a mountain of roast lamb from an Easter weekend roast.

harissa lamb stew with chickpeas and kale

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Review: The Butcher Bar & Steakhouse, Long Eaton, Derbyshire

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Have you ever walked into a restaurant that just feels totally out of context with its surroundings? Not necessarily in a bad way - just out of context.  I had that feeling recently when I ate at The Butcher Bar and Steakhouse in Long Eaton near Derby. 

Very unassuming from the outside, in an old Victorian factory building and in the less favourable end of Long Eaton, this place was a complete shock on the inside. Urban cool to the max, I could have been in any trendy big city - maybe London's Shoreditch or the meat packing district in New York.

Inside the Butcher Bar, Long Eaton
The Butcher Bar, Long Eaton

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