Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies

I’ve already confessed most of my food obsessions – cake (obv.), dumplings, soup, tomato, peach

But there’s still one I haven’t quite come around to talking about just yet…

So here it is – the admission of my unconditional love for Sainsbury’s white chocolate and raspberry cookies.

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Crispy edges, soft and buttery middle, big chunks of milky white chocolate and bursts of tart raspberry – what’s no to love?

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Except of course for the more than obscure ingredient list.

Nothing a quick update to my trusty go-to cookie recipe couldn’t fix though!

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

The perfect combination of crunchy, chewy & gooey, big chunks of chocolate and tangy raspberry with none of the nasties… Those raspberry & white chocolate cookies are possibly even better than the original!

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Absolutely perfect if people suddenly decide to pop round for a cuppa. You can whip them up in a few minutes, pretend you slaved away in the kitchen for hours and get all the cookie points!

Seriously, get this recipe under your belt & you’ll never want a store bought cookie again – sorry Sainsbury’s!

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies (V) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Pile them high and serve with a mug of something warming and delicious!

They’ll keep in a tin for about a week but they’re berry addictive so good luck with that!

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Raspberry & White Chocolate Cookies

My favourite squash soup (VG, GF, DF)

Very few things cheer me up about the days growing colder and ever shorter.

The perspective of wearing (his) cashmere sweaters is one. Getting to wear my beloved boots is another.

But the strongest of them all is finally having the possibility to eat soup for every meal without people looking at me like I’m crazy.

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + WhiskyThe best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

Which I’m 100% up for because I love soup.

And more than any other soup, I LOVE squash soup.

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

It’s really healthy (5-a-day in a bowl? YES PLEASE!), very seasonal, warm and comforting, SUPER-EASY to make and reaaaaaally exciting when served with a lot of fun toppings (Bacon? Cheese? Croutons? All of the above? Your call!)!

A souper supper if I ever saw one!

The best squash soup recipe (vegan) • Cake + Whisky

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Some great squash soup toppings:

  • Pine nuts + spring onion + nigella seeds – easy, nutty, beautiful!
  • Bacon + fried sage leaves – a classic is a classic for a reason!
  • Blue cheese + walnut pieces – another classic, another winner!
  • Pretty much any cheese actually – goat’s cheese, parmesan crisp, the one you got from the farmer’s market…
  • Soy-roasted nuts – a great vegan alternative!
  • Hazelnut dukkah – crush toasted hazelnuts with cumin and salt and get sprinkling!
  • Fried chorizo + onion – like sunshine in a bowl!
  • Curry powder + ginger paste + a spoonful of coconut cream – for an Asian spicy twist!
  • Garlic butter mushrooms – autumn-ception!

And about a billion other things! Please report all gourd-geous discoveries in the comments!

More seasonal recipes

Banana bread porridge (VG, GF)

Garlic butter mushroom bun (V)

Spicy pork dumplings

Polenta plum cobbler (V)

This post was originally published in Oct. 2014 but has been updated with better pictures and topping suggestions in September 2017.

My favourite squash soup (VG, GF, DF)

9 tips for working from home

When I started working from home about a few months ago, I thought I had it all under control.

I’m an extrovert, I don’t mind spending time by myself, I love my flat, my internet connection is decent – what could possibly go wrong eh?

Well, as it turns out, quite a lot.

9 tips to survive working from home • Cake + Whisky

After about a day and a half, I started feeling trapped in my own house.

I completely failed to anticipate how hard the transition from a lively co-working space to a room with a view of my couch and not much else would be.

I felt lonely. I missed tea rounds and having people to bounce ideas off. I missed Mondays that felt like Mondays and Fridays that felt like Fridays. I missed having colleagues and a work environment that didn’t include any washing up/dirty laundry/vaccuum cleaner.

It was tough. I cried a lot.

But I found ways to make it work, so I thought it’d share my top tips for working from home in case you work from home too, or you’re determined to slay the uni work game this year!

1. Structure is key.

The most difficult thing when working from home is to find the motivation to get things done without getting distracted by a billion different chores that will inevitably find their way into your field of vision.

If you’re anything like me, focusing on anything when you can see piles of dirty dishes and mountains of to-be-ironed clothes from your desk chair is a very difficult thing to do, unless you create some strong work structure for yourself and stick to it.

What works best for me is to put together a weekly goal list on Monday morning, and use it to create daily schedules.

I like to include a basic timeline for each task and breaks / chore time inthere as well so I don’t get sidetracked by all the other stuff in my environment.

2. Shower and get dressed.

I’m currently not the best at this and most days, I work in my pyjamas and slippers.

But I found that on the days I do manage to get showered and dressed and ready before 10am, my focus and productivity levels are so much higher.

I suppose the whole ‘getting ready’ thing helps my brain going from its sleepy state to its work mode and it truly works a treat!

3. Find yourself a comfortable seat.

I know, I know, the soft, squidgy sofa is difficult to get away from.

But -trust me on that one- it really isn’t a good idea: it will ruin your back.

Plus I find that sitting straight also has a positive impact on my productivity levels.

So, yeah – no back pain and taking over the world – DEAL!

4. Stay hydrated.

Is it just me or is it extremely difficult to remember to drink your 8 glasses of water a day when it’s just you and yourself all day long, with nobody offering tea every twenty minutes?

Hydration being your brain’s BFF, counteracting is a necessity.

Feeling up a large water bottle and putting it on your desk first thing in the morning will do the trick – especially when complemented with a few strategically brewed cups of tea if/when you remember it!

5. Get out of the house.

Whether it’s a 10 min lunchtime stroll, taking yourself for lunch to a nearby café, working from your nearest coffee shop for a few hours every once in a while or planning a night out-out with your friends, you need to make it a priority to get out of the house.

Because no matter how long your to-do list is, nothing, NOTHING will do your brain as much good as a little fresh air and a change of environment.

6. Find a background soundtrack that works for you.

Nothing makes you feel more lonely that complete silence. Hence the need to find a background soundtrack that helps keep you motivated to get things done.

Some people swear by classical music. Others prefer upbeat soundtracks.

My boyfriend can’t work without old school rock.

Me? I’m a TV background junkie. I like being talked to when I work, and boy, has our Netflix subscription proved itself a good investment since I started working from home!

To each their own, eh?

7. Plan lunch.

Having access to your own kitchen, complete with all the ingredients, all the condiments and all the equipment, is both a blessing and a curse.

A blessing obviously because OH THE POSSIBILITIES!

And a curse because if you’re not careful, all those possibilities will result in you still pondering what you should have for lunch at 3pm.

A problem you can avoid altogether by planning what you’ll have for lunch ahead of time.

And, if you’re ever at a loss, things on toast (eggs! meatballs! peanut butter! etc.) are always a good idea.

8. Put make up on.

When you know you have an especially intense day ahead of you, put some make up on.

I can’t quite explain why it is (probably something to do with self-confidence), but having a full face of make up on makes me feel like the kind of super woman that can take over the world.

9. Make the most of the perks.

Because as tough as this whole working from home is, there definitely are some silver linings.

So make the most of the working hour flexibility and the possibility to pick up your dry cleaning during your lunch break.

Take advantage of the opportunity to go to the post office/hairdresser/doctor outside of rush hours and skipping commuting altogether.

And all in all, enjoy things as they come.

 

More lifestyle posts

13 reasons to be excited about autumn

7 ways to make your consumer choices more ethical

10 things I learnt from traveling

How to make the most of your trip to the farmer’s market

9 tips for working from home

13 reasons to be excited about autumn

Admitedly, I have quite mixed feelings about transitioning from summer to winter.

Yay for cosy nights at home with all the candles, all the snuggly blankets and all the hot drinks. Absolutely nay to freezing toes and fingers (mine actually turn the most charming shade of purple-ey grey at times) and night time starting at 3:30pm.

XX reasons to be excited about autumn • Cake + Whisky

That said, fall is an absolute charmer of a season.

Beautiful golden leaves, cinnamon scent and cashmere everything – there are so many reasons to be excited about autumn!

  1. Being able to drink hot tea all day, every day without anyone raising an eyebrow. Turns out you don’t get that sort of acceptance when you ask for a cup of peppermint tea in the middle of a heatwave…
  2. Not having to think about which nail colour you want. Dark red ’til Spring it is!
  3. Cashmere sweater weather (the best kind of weather). That plus black jeans/a cute skirt with black tights and boots and that’s all your fall outfits sorted.
  4. Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Need I say more?
  5. Soup being back on the menu! Super easy to make, hot, healthy, satisfying all at once – soup is just souper!
  6. Not feeling any remorse to ditch any going out plans and stay home – Comfort (carb-based) food, Netflix & chill is what chilly Autumn nights are made for!
  7. Cinnamon everything. Apple strudel, cinnamon rolls, hot chocolate, apple pie – cinnamon is the flavour of the season!
  8. New seasons of all your fave TV shows. After months with nothing better to binge than the 2500th re-run of Friends, the wait is finally over!
  9. Stew. Mashed potato. Roasted potatoes. Bolognese. Pie. Carbs are BACK! 
  10. Massive blanket-like scarves. Don’t you just love being able to use nasty air drafts as an excuse to wear a comforter around your person at all times?
  11. Squash and pumpkin – because what’s better than food you can use as decorations until it gets roasted!
  12. Putting your vast collection of deliciouly scented candles to good use. Apple pie & cinnamon cookie candles, it’s your time to shine!
  13. It FINALLY being socially appropriate to talk about Christmas. I’ve been ready since July, but y’a know, the rest of the world wasn’t quite on board with discussing wrapping theme and festive cocktails just yet!

What makes you excited about autumn? Are you a jumping-in-the-golden-leaves or a cuddle-up-with-a-good-book kind of person?

13 reasons to be excited about autumn • Cake + Whisky

More fall-spiration

Autumnal quinoa salad (V)

Pumpkin Spice Latte pancakes (V)

The best carrot cake recipe (V)

The perfect night in in 5 steps

Halloween monster brookies (V)

13 reasons to be excited about autumn

Very Lazy breakfast recipes

I love breakfast.

Especially when I’m not the one cooking it.

Because you see, it rather gets in the way of getting an extra 20 minute sleep.

So, in my house, it’s really just bread and butter, with a little jam if you really insist and scrambled eggs for big occasions only.

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

But the truth is, a healthy, balanced breakfast isn’t that complicated or time-consuming a thing!

As I recently found out at an event hosted by Very Lazy and Sally Bee at Food at 52, a few very lazy breakfast recipes and some clever Very Lazy shortcuts are all it takes to cook fuss-free, delicious and nutricious breakfasts quickly!

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

First things first: Spicy ginger and apple tea.

A warming hot toddy-style drink combining the antioxydant benefits of ginger and immune system-boosting chilli pepper and lemon.

Perfect to get you energised from the get-go and kicking off any seasonal cold symptoms while it’s at it – and super easy to make too!

In a large saucepan, mix together 750ml of water, 750ml of apple juice, 3 tsp of Very Lazy ginger paste, the juice of 1 lemon, a pinch of Cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and 3 tbsp of runny honey. Simmer for 5-6 min and serve warm.

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + WhiskyVery Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + WhiskyVery Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

Next up, the plat de résistance – Mexican-inspired butterbean baked eggs.

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

A truly egg-straordinary, simple, warming & filling autumnal breakfast with a bit of a kick!

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And because all breakfasts should have a pudding course – Hazelnut, apple and berry ginger cake.

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

Scrummy, delicious and simple too!

(Though it’s better if you make this one the night before so it doesn’t take up too much of your much deserved beauty rest)

First, pre-heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 6) and line a large baking tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine 275g self-raising wholemeal flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 175g rolled oats, 125g soft brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk together 150ml light olive oil, 175ml Greek yoghurt, 2 eggs and 5 tsp Very Lazy ginger paste. Add the wet mix to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Pour half the mixture into the prepared tin. Sprinkle with two finely chopped apples and 150g frozen berries. Top with the remaining cake mix and spread evenly.

Top with 50g chopped hazelnuts and a little bit of demerara sugar and bake for 30-40 min until golden.

Served warm with a big spoonful of yoghurt on the side.

Very Lazy Breakfast Recipes (V) • Cake + Whisky

Spiced tea, baked eggs and cake – a very good breakfast if I ever saw one!

And, take it from the worst morning person on hearth (yours truly), all made up of very lazy breakfast recipes!

Egg-cellent news isn’t it?

Very Lazy breakfast recipes

Lemongrass Coconut Panna Cotta (Vegan)

Gloomy days, heavy rain, freezing-despite-the-big-sweaters-and-socks weather… All the ingredients for a strong SAD scenario are in the air at the moment.

Woo-freaking-hoo.

Lemongrass & coconut panna cotta (vegan) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

And as much as I wish I could escape to a sunny tropical island, that’s not going to happen for another month and a half (!!), so I have to make do with the content of my kitchen cupboard to create my own susnshine in the meantime.

Luckily, I have the perfect recipe for this exact situation – Lemongrass coconut panna cotta, topped with chilli roasted pineapple.

Lemongrass & coconut panna cotta (vegan) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

Light and creamy coconut set cream, topped with fragrant pineapple with a touch of heat from the chilli and a little zing from the lime… This panna cotta is just what the doctor ordered!

So, what are you waiting for?

Tropic like it’s hot!

Lemongrass & coconut panna cotta (vegan) • Recipe • Cake + Whisky

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More sunshine-filled recipes

Satay chicken salad (GF)

Thai coconut chicken salad (GF)

Best ever guacamole (VG)

Pineapple Fizz Mocktail (VG)

Lemongrass Coconut Panna Cotta (Vegan)

Madame D

My boyfriend has been wishing for Indo-Chinese food to make its way to London for as long as I’ve known him.

And, I don’t know if he finally found the magic lamp or something, but it looks like his wish has finally come true.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Hidden away behind the Old Spitafields market, you’ll find Gunpowder‘s new baby sister – Madame D – serving up a modern interpretation of the food prepared by Chinese-Tibetan immigrants in India.

To be honest, Madame D is a bit of a hipster child wonder.

Brick, plants, candles, creative cocktails, short but sweet menu of small plates designed to share, it has it all.

And it’s all very, very good indeed!

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + WhiskyMadame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Starting with the naga chilli beef puffs.

Crispy on the outside & steamy on the inside, delightful spiced and utterly addictive beef morsels.

So addictive I easily could have eaten a buffet-sized plate of those all by myself. Sadly, that wasn’t on the menu.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Hakka chilli paneer – an irresistible take on the BF’s usual order at his favourite Delhi restaurant.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Sweet, sour, spicy and all in all spectacular, we fought over the last pieces and vowed to order it again on our next visit.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Ginger-scented stuffed aubergine with mushrooms.

Thanksfully not as spicy as the deep-red sauce would have you believe, but every inch as delicious!

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Light and fragrant Kathmandu curry with bamboo shoots and sweet potato served over mountains of steamed rice.

Madame D • London Restaurant Review • Cake + Whisky

Himalayan fried chicken, served Chinese-style with sliced spring onion, chilli and vinegar dipping sauce.

Much like the rest of the food at Madame D – absolutely faultless and just ridiculously tasty – all paired with super cosy atmosphere (the flip side of that one smallish-room, no reservation situation) and swift yet attentive service.

Unsurprisingly, getting a table is already near-impossible. But when the food’s that good, you’ll forget about the inconvenience the second the food hits the table and start making plans to go back to before you’ve even left.

Madame D, 76 Commercial Street, E1 6LY

Madame D