Cupcakes, cookies and Vietnamese cuisine…

Phew, last week was the week to end all weeks – so busy! Fortunately, on the foodie front this meant I got to enjoy some fabulous things too.

There was a trip to London’s west-end and dinner out – lucky me! Naturally I tried to push for a table at the super-tasty Burger and Lobster in Soho – but even on a Tuesday it was heaving. Fortunately we came across Cay Tre, a nearby Vietnamese restaurant that proved be be delicious. The food was fresh and fragrant without being at all overpowering and there was so just much on the menu that I wanted to try! In the end we settled on a mixed platter of traditional Vietnamese goodies to start and I had a stewed pork belly, cooked with caramelised coconut and a hard boiled egg for a main course. Here’s a little look at our yummy spread of Vietnamese food…

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Dinner at Cay Tre in Soho

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My dish of stewed pork belly…it was excellent

Last week also saw me launching Martha Stewart’s beautiful new Home Office collection of accessories – to celebrate we had cookies and cupcakes baked to Martha Stewart’s own recipes, which of course were absolutely lovely. Here’s a little sneak peak at the refreshments table piled high with Martha Stewart’s Old Fashion Sugar Cookies (sadly the cakes aren’t in this shot – we were still setting up at this point)…

As you would expect Martha Stewart's sugar cookies did not disappoint!

As you would expect Martha Stewart’s sugar cookies did not disappoint!

It didn’t end there for the culinary delights last week – there were birthday dinner celebrations in the Old Vine in Winchester, a Paella at El Sabio and a get-together at my long-term favourite The Bugle Inn, Twyford (I highly recommend their new veggie dish of grilled halloumi with sweet potato fries).

Barely a week passes without a trip to The Bugle these days!

Barely a fortnight passes without a trip to The Bugle these days!

So yes…I’ve hardly cooked a thing recently and I’ve certainly over indulged – I’m so thankful for the foodie fun times and experiences I’ve had in the last week!

Now it’s time to get the 5:2 diet back on track and hit-up Movers & Shapers again.

Hopefully I’ll eat a little more sensibly this week…

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Summer Refreshment

With the warm weather continuing I thought I might risk a summer-themed post rounding up some of the loveliest things to drink when the sun is shining. My apologies in advance if this post brings on the rain!

Red Zinger Tea
Top of my list of course is a good iced tea, while I do enjoy the varieties available in the shops it’s much more fun to make your own. Red Zinger Tea makes a great iced tea for summer – sharp, floral and fruity with a deep red colour it’s perfection with mint leaves, orange and lemon. See Martha Stewart’s recipe for Red Zinger Ice Tea here – it’s a real summertime win.

If coffee’s more your thing – you’ll love my next two choices…

iced coffee
It’s got to be an iced coffee for summer and one of my favourites is Jimmy’s Iced Coffee, which even comes in decaf and skinny varieties. I love the skinny variety, it still tastes creamy and satisfying despite being fat free and just 118 calories – every little helps with summer traditionally being the season for dieting and bikinis!

CocoCafeM
Okay so Coco Cafe’s Coconut Water Latte has already had a write-up on FoodTeaLife but I how could I not mention it in a post dedicated to refreshment?! It combines the natural refreshing hydration of coconut water with a strong espresso shot and reduced-fat milk. It’s caffeination and hydration all at the same time! The creamy coconut flavour of the whole drink is lovely too, adding a touch of tropical sunshine to caffeine consumption.

Liefmans Fruit Beer
Well now, who doesn’t enjoy a cheeky shandy on a hot summer’s day? For me a bottle of Belgium’s Liefmans Strawberry Beer is spot on for summer. It’s actually beer blended with natural the fruit juice of not just strawberries but also cherries, raspberries, billberries and elderberries – the result is a lovely sparkling blend that’s almost like a bellini.

bottle_elder
Sticking with the stronger stuff, the lime and elderflower variety of Kopparberg fruit cider is a definite barbecue must have – light and zesty it’s certainly a summertime refresher. I also don’t find it to be quite as sweet as some of the other Kopparberg varieties – so you can enjoy more than one!

Apple & Ginger
So that this post isn’t only booze and caffeine I must also give a mention to the lovely apple juices from local, Hampshire-based company Hill Farm Juices. Apple juice can be so thirst quenching and I love the wonderful selection from Hill Farm. I adore their apple and ginger variety which combines both Cox and Bramley apple juice in a deliciously sharp but sweet blend. It’s so good it’s even got a Great Taste Gold award!

firefly
I must have a bit of a thing for ginger because this next summer favourite is a blend of Lemon, Lime and Ginger from Firefly Natural Drinks. This stuff is incredibly refreshing, ideal for those mornings that follow a heavy night on the Pimms! Zingy and uplifting it’s the perfect summer pick me up.

So…feeling thirsty? What’s your favourite summer drink?

I’m off to get started on some ice tea!

xXx