A Winter’s Tale: What If? Guide to Winter

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It’s happening. I’ve been trying to remain in denial for some time now… but I’m having to write this in my onesie which means only one thing… WINTER IS UPON US! For some this calls for cheers of jubilation! For others (myself included) it induces shivers of dread/lack of central heating. In my desperation, I have decided it would be fit for me to try and see the positives in winter this year: WHAT IF THIS YEAR ROUND I ACTUALLY ENJOYED BEING COLD/ILL/CONSTANTLY FROSTY? So get your hot chocolate ready and your slippers on, because I have come up with a guide for all those winter Scrooges out there to find some of the positives in the negative temperatures about to ensue….

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1) Better Beverages
Summer bunnies, I know what you are thinking. “Nothing beats that feeling of lying on a beach, with an ice-cold beverage named after a chapter from the Karma Sutra… NOTHING!”… But.. Despite my own love of the summer cocktail, there is one alcoholic seasonal beverage that trumps all. And it’s name is … Mulled Wine. I know this is a relatively controversial start to this list as many people have never tried it or believe it’s completely gross because WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND DRINKS ALCOHOL WARM? but even I can appreciate that the wine gods of the mulled variety did GOOD when they came up with this gem. It’s Christmas in a cup. Not even Hot Chocolate can outdo its majestic, burgundy yumminess. Although, another plus for this time of year is the lack of guilt when drinking Hot Chocolate. No, I shall not have a green tea.. It’s cold and no one shall see me in a bikini for several months, so yes… HOT CHOCOLATE PLEASE WITH LASHINGS OF WHIPPED CREAM, YOU CHEEKY STARBUCKS BARISTA WITH YOUR CHEEKY STARBUCKS CUPS. (Who doesn’t love the christmas cups?) So yeah… Beverages in winter kick ass. Case closed.

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2) Wearable Winter!

Yes. I know. Winter does indeed = Soggy Shoes, Wet bottoms of jeans, and a sweat fest when you accidentally wear too many layers. BUT. Who doesn’t love the fact that you can just snuggle into the biggest jumper known to man and not feel bad about it? EVEN UGGS ARE PASSABLE (although not the primark kind. Primark is a NO in winter.) We’ve spent the last three months obsessing about our bodies so we look hot in the smallest amount of clothing possible, but as soon as winter arrives you are totally allowed to slob out in a pair of baggy jeans, heavy boots and a jumper with cats on it. Whats not to love?

3) Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it.. NO!

I know I am not in the minority when I say that I am a person who HATES SNOW WITH A PASSION. Nothing infuriates me more than when our wonderful transport system internally combusts because of this white fluffy stuff. Not only that, but it causes wet clothes (as previously mentioned), icy roads (cue cars rolling down the hill) and that constant fear that at any moment you can fall flat on your arse. BUT DESPITE THIS COLD WET SLUDGY CLOUD, THERE IS A SILVER FLUFFY LINING. Snow is the number one signal that winter has arrived and the festive season has begun. It means we can throw balls of ice water at strangers and get away with it because HEY IT’S SNOWING! Plus building a snowman is still fun, even if you’re 23 years old. It’s something that still evokes that childlike excitement amongst all of us because quite frankly who can explain something that beautiful just appearing out of no where? Anyway.. mushiness over.. NUMERO FOUR.

4) It’s Time… To Face… The TV?

Now I am not one to advocate spending all day in front of the television, but when the TV is THIS GOOD then it’s hard not to tune in. None of us are proud to admit it, but I am a secret X Factor fiend and always love that build up to the Christmas Number one, even if it always is the X Factor Winner singing a cheesy song about stars and love and fate and all that. It’s trash, but I love it. But it’s not just reality tv that reaches it’s peaks, its the MOVIES. Christmas movies are the ultimate in feel-good films. What film genre can encompass so many varying films that provide SO MUCH JOY TO SO MANY PEOPLE? I shall name but a few to prove my point:

  • The Grinch
  • The Holiday
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • The Santa Clause
  • Home Alone
  • Elf
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • It’s a Wonderful Life
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Love Actually

I mean I could go on with this list. But I feel this is a good starting point for you all. Feeling down? Need picking up? Just choose one, only one, and let the happiness begin!

5) Dive under the Duvet

This previous point leads nicely onto the Olympic sport of Winter, Duvet-Diving. This winter sport is prolific during the colder months, when the fear of the frost outsides drives it’s participants to dive head first under their duvet, never to re-emerge unless for Tea, Mulled Wine, Toilet Breaks, and to fetch a Christmas film to watch. And I AM NOT JUDGING YOU FOR IT. There is nothing nicer on those cold, frosty sundays than snuggling into your onesie and slippers, cup of tea/mulled wine in hand and just enjoying a day of pure laziness. When the sun is outside, you can feel it’s rays beckoning you to guiltily get out of bed and “make the most of the sunshine”. The sun is gone, the snow is outside. GET BACK INTO BED!!

 

 

6) Saving the best for last…

Those who know me know my favourite thing of all time is FOOD. Food. Food + Christmas. Food + Christmas + Not having to wear a bikini in public = Perfection. My favourite memories of this time of year always centre around the scents and tastes of the festive season. I’m not just talking about the obvious Christmas dinner (whose brilliance needs no mention) but I’m talking about chocolate advent calendars, steak pies on New Years Day (Family tradition in my house.. so so good!), Scrambled egg and salmon on toast with bucks fizz at 9am on Christmas Day. FOOD IS SO BRILLIANT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR. It’s not even the celebratory meals that make it so special though. It’s the slow-cooked casseroles, baked fruit pies, and bubbling soups that just make me feel so at home in this season. So if you wonder where I am this winter, check in the kitchen (Recipes to be uploaded thick and fast I assure you!)

So there it is, my little list of why Winter is great. I am a summer bunny but there are some parts of winter you cant help but love. There is, however, one thing that Winter will never win at.

THE BED TO SHOWER DASH. Sorry Winter. But No.

Hope you’ve all enjoyed! Keep warm, fill your bellies and for gods sake STOCK UP ON MULLED WINE NOW.

– Koko x

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My Great British Bake Off: Gluten-Free Vicky Sponge & Pecan Banana Bread

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So this week I went into complete mourning. NO MORE MARY BERRY. FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR. Needless to say, I haven’t taken the end of Great British Bake Off well. But to my housemates delight, I decided to throw myself into an afternoon of baking to relieve my despair! The results.. if i do say so myself.. WERE PRETTY DAMN SEXY. And so I feel obliged to share the sexiness with you all. If you get your bake on, let me know, give me a tweet @koko91, so I can see the yumminess that ensues.

To kick us off on this epic journey of calories and icing sugar…

MY GLUTEN-FREE VICKY SPONGE

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 Ingredients

Makes enough for 12 (Or One hungry person!). Two sponges plus filling!

– Milk (6 tbsp)

– Strawberries (Two punnets will do!)

– Gluten- Free Baking Powder (2 tsp)

– Vanilla Extract (4tsp)

– Double Cream (300ml)

– Two Eggs

– Strawberry Jam

– Butter (300g)

– Caster Sugar (300g)

– Gluten-free Flour (300g)

– Icing Sugar (2tbsp)

SO HOW DO I MAKE THIS DELECTABLE GLUTEN-FREE YUMMINESS I HEAR YOU ASK? Follow the instructions below my cake munching friends…

1) Pre-heat your oven to about 180 degrees Celsius and line your baking tin(s) with butter. I baked one cake at a time due to me only having one tin. This is fine and allows time for the cake to cool so can be pretty useful!

2) Cream together your butter and caster sugar until its super fluffy and smooth.

3) Add in your eggs and vanilla extract. Beat it like Michael Jackson.

4) Add your flour and baking powder slowly. Mix it in but not toooo vigorously otherwise you lose those ever precious air bubbles. Be gentle and glorious cake shall be yours!

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5) Add your milk. Don’t be alarmed if your mixture is a bit sloppy! Once all combined,split between two baking tins (or leave half to cook later!)

6) Pop them in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out of the cake clean!

7) Once finished, pop them on a wire rack to cool. AND LET THEM COOL DOWN DAMMIT. Or your cream shall become a sloppy mess. Speaking of cream..

8) TIME TO PREPARE THE FILLING. Finely slice a punnet of strawberries, about a cm thick, lengthways. Once the bottom sponge is cooled, slather in yummy jam and arrange your strawberry slices.

9) Combine your double cream and icing sugar in a bowl. WHISK VIGOROUSLY. This will hurt. It will ache. BUT IT IS WORTH IT WHEN YOU SEE THOSE PEAKS OF GLORY. So when you can lift your whisk out of the bowl and it creates little peaks that stand on end, YOU ARE DONE. Pop this bad boy in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

10) Once cooled, pop into a piping bag and pipe that cream onto your strawberries. Because cream must always be piped. Add your second cake layer on top, dust with icing sugar and add strawberries to garnish. VOILA. GLUTEN-FREE CAKEY YUMMINESS. Enjoy!

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AND IF THAT WASN’T ENOUGH… I HAVE A SECOND RECIPE BECAUSE I AM SUCH A SHARING, CARING INDIVIDUAL. 

THE BANANA AND PECAN WONDER LOAFbananaingredients

 Ingredients

Makes enough for about 10 people. Or two people who want to devour the entire thing with a cup of tea. I used my fancy cups   for this recipe so I have included this and the converted measurements for you!

– 4 medium sized bananas, roasted and mashed.

– Caster Sugar (300g or 1 1/2 Cups)

– Milk (120ml or 1/2 cup)

– Vanilla Extract (1 tsp)

– Cinnamon

– 2 Eggs

– Pecans (1 packet or 200g, chopped roughly)

– Butter (115g or 1/2 cup)

– Self-Raising Flour (400g or 2 1/2 cups)

SO BANANA LOVERS LETS BEGIN!!

1) Preheat your oven again and butter up your bread tin!

2) I didn’t have ripe bananas, but i KNEW i wanted banana bread. SO I ROASTED THEM. SHOCK HORROR THIS WORKS AND IS AMAZING. I popped my 4 bananas on a baking tray, in the oven for 10-20 minutes, until they were completed black and shiny. Some banana juice seeps out but that’s all good. Then squeeze out the yumminess and mash up in a bowl ready for later. You can also just mash up some overripe bananas to use them up, which is what people normally do. BUT NOW YOU CAN DO IT ANYTIME YAY!

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3) Whilst your banana’s are roasting, it’s time to caramelize your pecans. Melt some butter in a pan with 2tbsp of sugar and a dash of cinnamon (to your taste). Add in your pecans and let them get coated in the sugary, cinnamony, syrupy goodness. Once fully coated, leave on the side to cool.

4) Pecans coated and bananas mashed, cream together your butter and sugar until super smooth and creamy, and then add your mashed bananas, vanilla extract and milk.

5) Gently fold in your flour until the mixture is smooth, then add in your caramelized pecans. (Leave a few pecans aside to decorate the top of your banana bread!)

6) Pour the mixture into your bread tin and allow to cook for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes. Keep an eye on your load, if you see the top begin to brown prematurely cover with some tinfoil. It will be ready when a skewer comes out of the loaf clean (it’s pretty moist and gooey because of the banana so you may get a touch on your skewer. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE PEEPS!)

7) Allow to cool on a wire rack, top with your leftover caramelized pecans, and then serve with a MASSIVE CUP OF TEA. PERFECTION.

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ENJOY BAKING MY LOVELIES!

– KOKO X

I HAVE RETURNED

I set out creating this blog as a way to make sure that I had a creative outlet I could dedicate my time to each week. I loved it, I love writing, and I love hearing peoples opinions about what I’m writing – BUT THEN I STOPPED!

I know, I’m a terrible person/blogger but I swear it was merely an accident. As what I didn’t realise was that from being proactively creative, I was finding more opportunities arising to create in every area of my life. I am a firm believer in the law of attraction, and so firmly hope that this was the worlds way of saying KEEP GOING, GIRL! START DOING MORE!

So I’d like to fill you in on the crazy goings on from my last month and a half, and what I’ve learnt and discovered, in the hope that I might persuade just one person to say YES to a challenge. By saying yes, you are opening the doors to opportunity and who knows where that may lead!

NUMERO UNO: I moved to London!

For those who don’t know me personally, I’ve been living in the hotel of Madre and Padre for the last year since graduating drama school. It’s been great relaxing at home with Ma and Pa, but it was definitely time to fly the nest! I’ve always longed for my independence and although I didn’t have a job planned, I knew it was time to just take the plunge. I’m a firm believer of being thrown in the deep end; even if you can’t swim, you can usually find a way to stay afloat, and so far I have attended several job interviews, spent more time with friends, discovered new parts of London and couldn’t be happier.

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DOS: I started a production company!

So it wasn’t just one of those things where i went “YEAH I KNOW I’LL JUST START ONE!” but a culmination of a lot of thoughts over the past 6 months. So me and Mr S took the plunge to start our own theatre company to produce work that we would love to see in London. We’ve started with one of Mr S’s own pieces of work (although it is very good!) and are already finding support from lots of lovely theatre-goers. Our first production opens tonight EEEEEK so lets hope it goes well! But even if it doesn’t, I’m glad I have just given it a bash! It’s been a lot of work but I’ve found that keeping busy has opened me up to more opportunities and made me feel more confident in my own work.

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THREE (I don’t know that much Spanish!): I played on stage in Belgium!

I was lucky enough to appear in a production called 14-18 in Belgium and it was a delight! I met so many lovely, wonderful people that restored my faith in the industry. I’d reached a bit of a brick wall with auditions and wasn’t feeling great about myself – and then BOOM! I got this fantastic job and realised that actually, it takes time and patience but if you wait it out YOU WILL get a job that you want. I learnt so much in such a short amount of time, and also discovered a lot about Belgium. Especially the food. And the beer. IF YOU GO TO BELGIUM, GET YOURSELF A DUVEL AND VOL-AU-VENT. Yum.

Now aside from all this fun stuff, I have been working and being boring too. But i just wanted to 1) Update people on my life as I’ve been a hermit recently and 2) prove to people that being patient is worth it! I have so many talented crazy friends that are literally LIVING THE DREAM that I had moments of feeling not good enough. But actually, if you go out there and take the opportunities that are presented to you, you will find that the good stuff comes straight to you! So my lovely readers and friends, START SAYING YES (Although not Jim Carrey style!) and start enjoying the opportunities that come your way.

AND I PROMISE I WILL START WRITING REGULAR NORMAL INTERESTING BLOG ARTICLES AGAIN NOW THAT I HAVE MY HEAD AROUND EVERYTHING.

Love to you all.

Koko x

The What If? Diary’s Guide to Getting Over It.

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We’ve all been there: you didn’t get that job promotion, the date you went on was disastrous, you stub your toe on the side of your bed. The instant reaction to all of these things is to just FLOP OUT AND BE ANNOYED. I’ve been there this week – when faced with RUBBISH news I instantly went to the lunch room at work, ordered something full of carbs, and then reached for the most fattening chocolate bar possible. I then proceeded to spend my afternoon in a sugar-induced coma of annoyance and frustration. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO DEAL WITH THE CRAP THAT LIFE DEALS YOU, MY DEARS. After giving myself a swift telling off for being so dramatic, I decided it was wise to spread the joy to other 20-somethings who need to JUST GET OVER IT. Life isn’t easy, especially at this age, but stay away from that mars bar! Here are my tips to Getting Over It and Getting On with being AMAZING:

  • Hit the Treadmill

I realise that this point is going to be controversial – not all of us enjoy getting our running trainers out from the dusty back corners of our wardrobes. But getting out in the fresh air and doing some exercise is sometimes all it takes to clear your head before you do something disastrous. You want to text your ex that you found out he was cheating all along? NO YOU DON’T – YOU WANT TO RUN OUTSIDE AND CLEAR YOUR HEAD! Not only does this stop you looking like a crazy ex, but it also helps you to get fitter and have time to sort out all those negative, angry demon thoughts. You’ll start to make space for positive ones instead.  You WILL feel better! You WILL feel more confident. And you will have achieved something useful and positive with your day! If you don’t like running- do some yoga, pilates, lift some weights! Anything that will get rid of that extra annoyed energy and put it into something focused and positive. 

  • Food = Happy Times

Now do not think this means I allow you to do a “Feed four for £5” deal at Domino’s for you and you alone! Take some time out to make something you LOVE to eat. It could be a Chinese stir fry, a massive Pie and Mash or even a batch of cookies (Although save some for your housemates/family!) Putting the effort and time into cooking always mellows me out and makes me feel like I thoroughly deserve to enjoy my meal, rather than crying into a tub of Ben & Jerrys and washing it down with two bottles of wine (although a glass or two is DEFO allowed). If you fancy something quick, easy but looks impressive and tastes DAMN GOOD check out recipe for baked Salmon and Bruschetta here!

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  • Spend time with the people that make you feel AMAZING!

Some people feel best when with their partners, others need their best friends to perk them up. HELL, some people just need a cuddle from their cat to make them feel better (ahem!) Whatever the case, pick up your phone, stop moping and go out and see them! Sometimes we spend too much time alone with our thoughts, and when we’re in a negative place these thoughts can be especially mean! So shut them up and go and listen to your best friend bang on about this amazing new dress she found in Topshop! Sometimes all we need to calm us down is the simplicity of having a conversation about mundane things to bring us back to reality and realise.. Hey! Things aren’t all that bad.

  • When you’re ready, come to terms with what happened

Unfortunately, getting over things does require you to come to terms with them first. Whatever has happened, take some time away from the issue, keep yourself busy and then come back to the problem in the knowledge that you have forgotten about it for a few days and coped just fine. There may be loose ends that need tied, or sometimes these things just need putting to bed. If it helps, write down your feelings about the issue, then rip it up, burn it, feed it to the dog!! You don’t need things bogging you down in this period of your life – you should be enjoying it and making the most of life so (in the words of Adele Dazeem) LET IT GO!

  • Have a ME party!

My last point is to simply have a celebration of what makes you happy and what makes you great!! Our generation is constantly told that we are not excelling, we’re loaded with debt, we can’t get a job. Well actually, we can all do A LOT MORE than we’re given credit for. Half of us wouldn’t overload ourselves with worry over small things if we just had more self-confidence and took time to realise how great we are. Spend an evening in looking after yourself, or take a night out on the town dancing with friends! Just make sure you ENJOY every moment of it and realise that the problems in life are NOT worth dwelling on.

Life is a long journey, and our twenties will fly by in a flash, so we musn’t allow ourselves to dwell on the negatives. Whatever it is that is niggling you – GET OVER IT! I promise you’ll discover there’s much more to be happy about when you let everything else pass you by.

Have a happy weekend lovers.

Koko x

Left in LIMBO: My trip to the Wonderground

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As a child, I was deprived. I had food, shelter, loving parents… BUT I NEVER WENT TO THE CIRCUS! “WHAAAT?” I hear you cry! Tis true. I had never been to the circus, until last Tuesday that is. So when Mr Boyfriend won free tickets to see LIMBO at the London Wonderground, I jumped at the chance to go!

LIMBO has returned to the London Wonderground and promises a night you will never have experienced before. As a “Circus Virgin” I was relatively open to anything and had no expectations, so essentially.. MY MIND WAS BLOWN. Upon entering the venue iIwas transported into the centre of a circus tent, decorated with glittering lightbulbs. The atmosphere was dim, almost seedy, and I was already on the edge of my seat just waiting for the performance to begin. The Sirens blared, and we were introduced to a crazy group of misfits whose story was told only through music, composed and performed by the remarkable Sxip Shirey, alongside the hip-thrustingly good (you’ll see what i mean) Mick Stuart and the brilliantly-bearded Grant Arthur (and his trusty tuba). The music is catchy, interesting and creates some beautiful ambience in some of the simpler moments. Who knew you could make stunning music out of sirens, harmonicas, and marbles in bowls?

With the expectations set by the incredible feast of music and dancing in the opening, the cast were slowly introduced. Favourite performances came from Jonathan Nosan, whose spine proved to be completely unsnappable, Heather Holliday, the sultry sword swallower and fire breather who, quite frankly, I would sway the other way for, and the incredibly cheeky Hilton Denis, constantly working the crowd and showing how tap dancing should be done – with wit and charm! The show’s succession of solo acts were punctured by ensemble moments, my favourite being what only can be described as the extraordinary “Bendy Poles” which resulted in Mr Boyfriend almost having Heather Holliday’s ass on his face – No complaints from him!

It was a night of pure wonderment. The gasps and screams from people around me showed that LIMBO provided the shock and awe that has only really been experienced as kids at the circus (Unless you’re me – of course!) It captured your attention from the moment the first sirens blared, to the moment you got back home to your flat, still reeling over everything you had just seen. It was a spectacular that was sexy, beautiful, hilarious, scary, enthralling, surprising. It was LIMBO – it took you out of time entirely and left you in a daze.

– Koko x

Catch LIMBO at the London Wonderground, Southbank until 28th September 2014.

A European Feast of YUMMINESS: Bruschetta and Baked Salmon with a Mustard Creme Sauce

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Good Evening all,

Well i should have posted this recipe on Sunday a couple of weeks ago during our Eurovision hangovers, but it took me longer than i thought to get over the beards, booing and breasts… (Really Poland..? REALLY?) BUT I PROMISED I WOULD BRING YOU A RECIPE AND FINALLY IT IS HERE! For those who know me well, i consider myself a foodie and a secret chef. I’m actually not that skilled a cook, but somehow seem to have possessed my Dad’s knack for putting a meal together. So I thought it was about time I start sharing the foodie love and put some very simple and massively yummy recipes on my blog. And so without much ado, i introduce my FIRST EVER MEAL for your enjoyment!

I wanted to keep things European for my Eurovision feast and so took some inspiration from Italy for my starter and tried to keep it more Scandinavian for the main course (in honour of the Danish hosts of Eurovision). It took me all of 20 mins to prep and barely any cooking time, so if you’re new to cooking HAVE A GO! You’ll really impress your friends/family/partner/cat and they won’t have a clue that you are actually a secret chef like me! So let us begin…

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BRUSCHETTA

For a quick, easy and massively delicious starter, my Bruschetta recipe is definitely the way to go (Sorry Pizza Express!)

You will need (for two people):

  • A ciabatta loaf
  • 1 red onion
  • Half a punnet of Baby Plum tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp of Pesto
  • Salt and Pepper

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  1. Start by setting your grill to a medium heat, and begin by slicing your ciabatta into 2cm thick slices.
  2. Slice your baby plum tomatoes in half and roughly chop your red onion.
  3. Place your slices of ciabatta on the grill to toast slightly.
  4. Mix your tomatoes and red onion with the balsamic vinegar.
  5. Once the ciabatta is slightly toasted, present on your plate topped with tomato and onion mixture. Top with a small dollop of bruschetta and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Scoff with italian GUSTO!

And now for the main attraction…

BAKED SALMON WITH A MUSTARD CREME SAUCE

And here’s what you’re gonna need for two of you:

  • 2 fillets of Salmon
  • Wholegrain Mustard
  • Two heaped tbsp of creme fraiche
  • Pickled red cabbage
  • 5/6 medium sized potatoes (peeled and chopped into quarters)
  • 1 lemon
  • Knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp Milk

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  1. Set your oven to 180 degrees celsius.
  2. Grease some foil with Olive Oil, place your salmon within the centre dressed with lemon slices, and create a parcel. Meanwhile, place your peeled, chopped potatoes into some boiling salted water.
  3. Whilst the salmon and potatoes cook, place your wholegrain mustard and creme fraiche in a pan on a low heat, and slowly melt to create a thick creamy sauce.
  4. Mash your potatoes with milk and butter and (if you’re feeling fancy) place in a cylindrical mold on the plate. Pack tightly and top with pickled red cabbage. Remove from mold. (Your pickled cabbage will be quite sharp so use as much as you feel you can handle!)
  5. Place your foil-baked salmon on the plate and top with your mustard cream sauce.
  6. SIMPLES. Enjoy my little chickens!

I hope this inspires at least ONE person to get chef-fy this coming bank holiday – Who doesn’t want to impress with this easy dinner for a lazy summer weekend? Please feel free to send me your comments on the recipe and share your pictures.

Lots of summer love,

Koko xx

NIL POIS: Your official guide to Eurovision Preparation

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Good Afternoon my little spring lambs!

If my blog post couldn’t be clear enough… EUROVISION FEVER IS UPON US! For those of you who have never warmed to the dulcet tones of Terry Wogan (who’s not commentating this year – BOO!) or who’s eyes have not quite adjusted to the glaring fashions on display…. IT IS TIME TO CHANGE YOUR TUNE (to something out of key and very European!) Eurovision is the one time of year that we can join together with our European brothers and sisters and celebrate the crazy brilliance of creating music AND being a member of the European Union (Sorry Nigel – Don’t think UKIP are invited to watch this one!)

This post is to help those of us who are watching prepare for a night of dramatic entrances, bearded drag Queen’s (yup.. Really) and absolutely laughable lyrics. So…HOW SHOULD WE PREPARE?

1. DRESS EUROPEAN
It’s time to get out those Berets and grow out that facial hair (or armpit hair, ladies… You’re not left out of this one!) If you truly want to get into the spirit of Eurovision you’ve got act like a European. So, chuck on your most fabulously garish outfit, where your favourite nation’s flag proudly across your face and DRESS TO IMPRESS! (Please feel free to send me pictures… I may just post them on my post-Eurovision round up!)

2. EAT LIKE A SCANDINAVIAN
In honour of our Danish hosts, and due to the large amount of alcohol the majority of us shall be consuming, I think it’s fair to say that eating big hearty portions like the Danish is a safe bet. Have a gander online for some European recipes, some tapas maybe, a pizza, frogs legs? Or keep it Nordic with some Meatballs in a creamy sauce! I will be creating a European feast and posting the recipe later this weekend so you can continue the celebrations (and soak up that post Eurovision party booze!)

3. DRINK LIKE A EUROPEAN …Brit!
I would say we should drink like the Europeans do… But somehow I think us Brits have the reputation for drinking… So crack open a beer, or brew yourself a delightful cuppa to enjoy the event! (But keep it responsible kids – too many cups of tea could lead to a morning of regrets!) 😉

4. DANCE LIKE THE CONTESTANTS
There is only one night of the year where you are allowed to belly dance around your living room and not look like you’ve maybe had one too many margaritas! Eurovision shows us straight-laced Brits that letting it loose is the best form of entertainment. I don’t know what crazy dance moves we have ahead of us tonight… But I want to ensure you that the urge you have to shimmy and toss your hair around is TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE! (But maybe have a cheeky stretch before it begins… I don’t want to be responsible for any injuries!)

5. SCORE LIKE THE FRENCH (kind of…)
It is my personal favourite to shout NIL POIS at the TV in my worst French accent when people are not quite up to my ever-growing standards. (Fact for you: Nil Pois doesn’t actually mean no points in French.. BUT HEY HO) ….SO SCORE CARDS ARE A MUST! Get out your pens, pull up your trousers and embrace your inner Simon Cowell whilst giving the contestants marks out of ten. (Remember… Your votes will never match the end result… Unless you’re politically minded or psychic!) The person who matches the most gets eternal glory (or at least until the next competition!) Having a Eurovision party? Snap a pic of the winner and I’ll add the pics to my next post!

Want scorecards for tonight? The BBC have made official scorecards you can download here!!

So there you have it, my totally serious guide to preparing for Eurovision. Have an amazing night watching and look out for my post-Eurovision report (and recipe) tomorrow!

Lots of love,

Koko xx

P.S Any pictures of you celebrating Eurovision are completely welcome! Let’s share the European love! Tweet them to @koko91 or comment below!