Saturday, 19 April 2014

Citrus Drizzle

It's Easter holidays and doesn't this look scrummy!
Mum is insisting on a picnic this weekend making this treat the perfect contribution. I made a lemon drizzle cake for the charity bake sale a few weeks ago and got such positive feedback I thought I would give it a little twist exchanging a lemon for an orange.
For the cake
175g unsalted softened butter
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 lemon zest (not waxed)
1 orange zest (not waxed)
For the Drizzle
1 squeezed lemon
1 squeezed orange
100g  icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and grease or line a loaf tin. 
For the cake, whip the butter, flour, eggs and sugar until your mixture is smooth and lump free.
For the zesting, take your grater (or cheese grater), grate the lemon and orange into the mixture. The more zest you grate the more mouthwatering scrumptious your cake will taste.

Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for roughly 30 minutes. 

Try and avoid the colour going too dark which is why I suggest a lower temperature and bake longer. I was using an aga making it a little more difficult to keep the light shade.
 Time to whip up the drizzle. 
Using your already zested lemon and orange, squeeze their juices into a bowl avoiding the seeds (or pick them out afterwards). 
Add the icing sugar slowly whilst whisking ensuring the sugar dissolves and creates a sugary white glaze.

Remove from the oven, pierce several holes on the top and drizzle your drizzle.
You want the drizzle to seep through the holes you created for that little extra sugary citrus taste plus added moist.
Allow to cool and you have the perfect picnic snack or afternoon tea treat.
Fingers crossed the sun keeps shining, my parent's kitchen constantly amuses me.
Have a great long feasting weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

London Marathon 2014

8am Sunday morning, months of training had finally reached the big event; London Marathon 2014.
All those nights blowing off friends for training and spending weekends running laps of Hyde Park were about to pay off. 
Luckily I had my sister by my side.
We lined up with thousands of others eagerly waiting, stretching and running to the loo (you would be surprised at the number of people  rushing for a last minute wee)
And the starting horn goes!!! Go Mo Go!!
We dipped and dodged the crowds of runners trying to catch onto our pace. Shannon disappeared like a rocket, I was happy to stick to my ten minute mile plan and adsorb the atmosphere.
At last we seen the first mile marker, only 25.2 to go!
I made a promise to myself that I would not walk until at least 10 miles, and I managed to stick to my promise. I don't how how this guy did it ...
Mile 13 is definitely a turning point at one of London's iconic locations. 
Crossing Tower Bridge to the cheers of the crowds, now halfway but this is when the legs begin to feel the pain.
I was on pace sticking to my ten minute miles until disaster struck at mile 16. As I ran through another water station I stood on a bottle going over on my ankle. 
With emotions already running high I sobbed in pain as I dug deep to hobble on. I was in such agony as now my legs began to stiffen even more.
Then I had the lift I had been waiting 19 miles for.
 M and my family cheering, waving, shouting my name. 
I sobbed some more as I gave them a hug and a kiss before I ran on with their cheers and support pushing me forward.
Mile 21 and the dreaded brick wall hit me like a train. I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced the 'brickwall' can truly understand the feeling of complete and utter exhaustion. 
It is no longer a test of fitness but a psychological one. Yes your body is done, no drink can drench your thirst, no energy gel can pull you through.
 How much do you want this despite your body crying give up!
 A huge high five to everyone who kicked on despite physical and mental depletion.
Mile 24 and we had the last straight along the Thames to Big Ben. 
Yes we can do this, all those bloody months of running in the rain and missing those beers in the pub.
 At this stage I was a broken soul, and I can honestly say it was the crowds and fellow runners who carried me to that final turn towards the finnishing line.
I held back tears as I forced my legs to keep going forward despite every muscle telling me no. I looked left and right as fellow marathoners faces lightened with relief as they could see the end in sight. Remembering the reasons and causes for what they have accomplished and loved ones they were running in memory of. It was poetry in motion crossing the 26.2 mile finnishing line.

Running the London Marathon is an unforgettable experience and I was lucky enough to share that with my sister. The highs and the lows, the determination and relief, a complete emotional roller coaster whilst knowing you are one of a select few that can call themselves a marathon runner.

Enough said.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Chop House

It was Milos's birthday last week as I ventured to Butlers Wharf for some midweek celebrations at the Chop House.
This chic steak house sits on the edge of the river Thames and I was lucky enough to nab a table with a magical view of the grand London Bridge.

As it was a Wednesday we skipped the starters and dove straight into our delicious steaks.

Yes my friends it tasted as good as it looks. Only since my trip to Chile have I found a love for steak and I haven't looked back since!
Medium rare topped with peppercorn sauce accompanied with my latest health obsession, kale.

Picture perfect and almost too good to eat, yea right I demolished this bad boy with a huge grin rubbing my tummy in contentment after.
Of course a little cheeky cup of crispy tasty fat cut chips.

I 100% prefer fat cut chips over skinny fries. Bold statement I know, maybe its an Irish thing that I appreciate the taste of potatoes or just a Kelly thing but they are just so scrummy.
Hehe, could not resist a little Happy Birthday moment for Milos.

And of course he couldn't resist a little thankyou speech.

I topped off my steak with an overly indulgent and irresistible truffle, served with gingerbread ice cream with a sprinkling of honeycomb.
 We finnished off the wine and laughed all the way to the station before saying goodnight and going our separate ways.
 I enjoyed the Chophouse so much I took my parents at the weekend and they completely agreed!
(I write this recovering from the London marathon which I will tell you all about tomorrow!)