29.04

Cider-with-Rosie-Friday-happy-list

This week has been, in a word, glorious. Aside from Wednesday (when I was in London for a day of press events) I’ve taken a little break from all things Internet, and it’s been so great to step back and recharge. Instead of being glued to a screen, I’ve spent the past few days indulging in my favourite possible activity- pottering! I spent twenty minutes on Monday morning figuring out how to make the hose work so that I could do some gardening (I kid you not, twenty full minutes. It should’ve been underscored by the Benny Hill music…), am just getting started on a wardrobe door-painting project, and also treated myself to a pack of colouring pencils and one of those colouring books for grown ups so have spent hour upon hour indulging my inner 5 year old. It’s been total bliss! I’m definitely not someone who can relax by doing nothing at all (spas are my idea of hell on earth, I went to one once and hated every serene minute of it!) so doing little tasks all week long has been amazing for switching off my head. I hope your week’s been a lovely one too? :) here’s a round up of my week in silly, happy moments…

1. Reading magazines and drinking coffee outside in the garden each morning. Such a peaceful way to start each day.

2. Banana, strawberry, yoghurt and oat smoothies for breakfast.

3. The herb-filled planters Jason and I fixed to the brick wall next to the deck in our garden last weekend! They cosy up the space so nicely, and it’s such a treat having a supply of fresh rosemary, sage, mint, and thyme. And marjoram too, which I bought by accident thinking it was oregano! Side note: Anyone got any great recipes featuring marjoram?

4. Toasting marshmallows over the firepit I convinced Jason we most definitely needed to buy and not hire for the wedding. He’s glad I did convince him though, because you know, man make fire and all that! ;)

5. Chit chatting with strangers in London, about the rain and hats and ticket machines and what not. I’ll never understand why people say Londoners are unfriendly!

6. Whatever Jason does to roasted smashed new potatoes that makes them taste 1000x better than when I make them.

7. Getting my new passport through the post, in my married name! I was 80% excited because it’s starting to all feel so official, and 20% excited just because I’m a worrier and had convinced myself there’d be some major issue with it that’d mean I’d end up missing our honeymoon!

8. Snagging a new pair of gym leggings from Gap in the sale. I’ve become one of those women who gets absurdly excited about new gym clothes. Next thing you know I’ll be buying a juicer and making my own almond milk…

9. Spring cleaning! I’ve been on a mad blitz the past week or so, and our house has never looked better for it. Now all I need to do is find some way of stopping Ted from shedding, and it’ll stay that way!

10. Getting stuck into The Girl on the Train. It feels like ages since Jason and I read a book together! We’re maybe 50 or so pages in, and enjoying it so far. In fact, I’ve found it hard to resist the urge to plough through it solo whilst I’ve been home this week…

Since I’ve not been Internet-ing this week, will you link me to something good you’ve read or written in the comments? I’m so out of the loop!

Tell me too- what’s made you happy this week? :)

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29.04

Cider-with-Rosie-Robowecop-cover

There are some bloggers who I feel shine beams of happiness out into the internet at large via their blogs, and Rhianna is certainly one of those types of people. Everything she shares online is so beautifully written, so honest, and so warm, it does my heart good just reading it! Robowecop is a happy mixture of beauty reviews, sweet recipes, lifestyle posts, and the most incredible series about mental health entitled Let’s Talk. I’ve got so much respect for Rhianna’s honesty, and the candid way in which she writes. And I’m so, so glad to get chance to introduce you to her and her beautiful blog today! Last week Rhianna answered a few questions for me, and I just love her answers. So, let me introduce you to…Robowecop!

1. What made you want to start writing Robowecop? And what’s been the very best change writing a blog has brought about in your life?

‘I’d been reading blogs and watching YouTube for YEARS and never even twigged that I could do it myself. I’ve always been a lover of (read: completely obsessed with) blogs, the internet and social media so it just made sense for me to start one myself. So, what started as a “let’s see what happens” hobby to keep me sane during University is now one of the most cherished things I have!’

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2. How would you describe your blog in three words?

‘Bright, chatty and friendly! (You have NO idea how long it took me to think of the answer to this question!)’

3. Do you have a favourite kind of post to write? I love how text-based your posts are, they read like a conversation with a friend!

‘Thanks Rosie! That’s exactly how I want my readers to see my blog! I’m an overly chatty person (my Dad always tells me I learned to talk at a young age and haven’t shut up since) and I think that definitely shows in my posts. Because of this my favourite posts to write are my more ‘personal’ ones. The ones where I can just get all my feelings down into one post and maybe someone, somewhere can relate to it! They’re my favourite to read on other blogs as well. I love knowing about the blogger behind the blog – so I think that’s where it stems from!’

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4. Do you have any dreams or goals for where you’d like blogging to take you?

‘Honestly when I started robowecop it was definitely just a hobby that I thought might be fun. But now I have fallen so deeply in love with blogging that (in an ideal world) I would love for it to evolve into some sort of career for me. Whether that be blogging full time or just something that involves me writing, that is now my ultimate dream. Which is crazy because only a couple of years ago I was dead set on being a Product Designer. Funny how things change! (I still wouldn’t mind being a Product Designer, it is after all my degree discipline and I do love it! Just FYI!)’

5. What’re the best things about your home city of Leeds? Any top tips for would-be visitors?

‘LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS! Best city in the world, although I am incredibly biased. Leeds is great because the city is evolving so fast and there are new things popping up left, right and centre. But equally, you’re only a very short train ride from some of the most beautiful countryside views in the whole country. If you’ve never been to Leeds before you need to hit up Trinity Leeds if you enjoy shopping (and also if you enjoy street food and cocktails!), The Royal Armouries if you enjoy history and want to have a go at jousting and my top secret place is the terrace bar at the Everyman Cinema! It’s outside, so lovely in the summer, but not many people know it’s there so it’s always lovely and quiet!’
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6. As a tea-aficionado- what’re your very favourite blends? Any gourmet ones you’d recommend seeking out? And, most importantly, how do you take your tea? :)

‘As far as ‘normal’ tea goes, I’m a Yorkshire-Tea-Or-GTFO type of person. I take it with no sugar and a small drop of milk, so quite strong! But as far as more ‘gourmet’ blends go, I’m a HUGE lover of a good old simple green tea. Taylors of Harrogate and Pukka are my two favourite herbal tea companies! (Taylors of Harrogate do a gorgeous Chamomile and Vanilla tea!)’ 

7. You’re a pretty big music-lover, right? :) Tell us about the best gig you’ve ever been to, and why it was so fantastic!

‘Music has been one of the biggest parts of my life since I was tiny. I’ve always sang, I used to play piano (but it’s been a while!) and I have two parents who brought me up to love live music. Choosing my favourite ever gig would be like choosing a favourite child! I can narrow it down to a few though: Paramore will always be up there because their live quality is absolutely amazing and I can’t remember a time I was so excited to see someone as the first time I saw Paramore; 30 Seconds To Mars win the Best Show award (I’ve never been so in awe of a show in my life! Think giant balloons and acrobats!); Blitz Kids win my Current Faves award, they always put on a great show and they are such great lads and Newton Faulkner wins the Nicest Person On Stage Ever award: such a talented guy and going to see him live is like watching a friend/comedian/musician all in one!’

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8. And lastly, let’s play a round of ‘desert island discs’! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring with you? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, ingredients to make two meals, and one luxury item!

‘YES! I LOVE THIS GAME! As far as CDs go I’d currently have to pick Deja Entendu by Brand New and Songs About Jane by Maroon 5. The two books I’d pick would be One Day by David Nicholls and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (the best HP book!). Ingredients to make two meals would be Spaghetti Bolognase (I make a BANGING spag bol) and mug pancakes and the one luxury item I’d bring with me would be some super comfy PJs/loungewear – I literally live in loungewear when I’m not at Uni, so I feel this would be a necessity to stay comfy!’

** Thanks so much Rhianna for such a fun interview! I loved your answers! Do click through and have a read of Robowecop, and don’t forget to follow along with Rhianna’s lovely posts via Bloglovin‘ too.

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert! Plus take 15% off all ads for the next 48 hours only with the code ‘SPRING15′!

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28.04

Cider-with-Rosie-Three-ways-with-series

Chorizo is a total store-cupboard staple for me, for so many reasons. It’s flavoursome and warming. Hearty but not heavy. *Endlessly* versatile. And, a total bargain ingredient!

Though I’d be happy eating vegetarian meals the vast majority of the time, Jason, like so many guys I know, needs a portion of something meaty with his dinners! I used to work on the basis of cooking at least two light, more inexpensive dinners of pasta each week and then the rest being heavier, meat-focused meals, but since we took pasta out of our diets and cut back on our wheat intake almost two years ago, it’s definitely lead to a hike in what we spend on food on a weekly basis.

Chorizo is always what I turn to instead of something heavier like beef or lamb, when I don’t want to bump up our week’s food bill with another more dear cut of meat. The lovely garlicky, paprika-spiked flavour is so strong a little goes a long way, and because it takes little, if any cooking, it’s *so* useful to have on hand in a pinch!

These three ‘ways with’ are some of my absolute favourite recipes for chorizo. The first is the lightest (so perfect as a summer evening meal, perhaps with a little good bread to dip into the yolk and chorizo oil), the second is laughably simple (throw ingredients into a dish, roast, and devour), and the third my absolute favourite way of using up leftover vegetables at the end of the week.

Let’s get to it…

O N E :: Warm chorizo salad with soft poached eggs.

Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chorizo1Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chorizo-poached-eggs

Serves 2.
Ingredients ::
200g cured chorizo sausage
2 fresh eggs (fresh makes for easy poaching!)
2 large handfuls baby salad leaves
Lemon juice
Dried chilli flakes
Flaky sea salt

- Slice the chorizo into 1cm slices, and put into a dry griddle pan to warm through. Cook for a minute or so, turning occasionally, until the cut sides are slightly darkened and crispy. Set aside.

- Heat a pan of cold water with a dash of white wine vinegar added, until a film of fine bubbles form along the base and sides of the pan. Crack an egg into the centre of the pan (you can swirl the water first if you like to help the whites wrap round the yolk), and allow it to sit for 20 seconds or so before carefully checking to see if the whites are cooked through. Drain off excess water on kitchen paper.

- Dress the salad leaves in a squeeze of lemon juice and small pinch of flaky sea salt, then put the warm chorizo on top of the leaves followed by the poached eggs. Top the eggs with a sprinkling of chilli flakes, and eat right away.

T W O :: Butternut squash, red onion & chorizo traybake, with spiced yoghurt + fresh rosemary.

Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chorizo-traybake3 Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chorizo-traybake Cider-with-Rosie-three-ways-with-chorizo-traybake1

Serves 2/3
Ingredients ::
1 small butternut squash
1 red onion
190g cooking chorizo (usually in the deli section, alongside cooked meats)
1 tsp harissa spice mix
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
5tsp plain yoghurt
1/2tsp smoked paprika
1 sprig fresh oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar

- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

- Peel the squash and cut into small 1 inch chunks, then peel and roughly cut the onion into slices. Put the squash and onion into a large roasting dish, and drizzle with a small dash of olive oil.

- Cut the links between the chorizo sausages, then add to the roasting dish. Sprinkle over the dried harissa mix, add in the fresh rosemary, and then place the dish into the oven for 25 minutes.

- After 25 minutes, remove the dish, drizzle some balsamic vinegar over the vegetables and chorizo to liven up the flavours, then return to the oven to cook for another 10 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool for 5 minutes or so.

- Mix together the yoghurt and smoked paprika (I used hot smoked, which was delicious!), drizzle a spoonful or two over the roasted chorizo, squash and onion, and then top with a few leaves of fresh oregano.

T H R E E :: Chorizo, spinach & feta frittata.

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Serves 4 with a large salad to go alongside, or 2 with leftovers for the next day!
Ingredients ::
2 large handfuls baby spinach
100g cured chorizo
50g feta cheese
6 eggs

- Preheat a grill to a medium temperature, and begin to cook diced chorizo in a large, non-stick, oven-proof frying pan.

- When the chorizo’s warmed through (the dry-cured type doesn’t need cooking, unlike the cooking chorizo from the previous recipe) and has released a good amount of oil, turn the heat low and add in a couple of handfuls of spinach. Allow the spinach to wilt slowly, turning occasionally.

- Beat together the eggs, and after giving the pan a shake to even out the spinach and chorizo, pour in the beaten eggs. Cook slowly over a medium heat until the frittata is set at the edges and only a thin layer of raw egg is left on top, then crumble in the feta cheese, and set the pan under the grill to finish cooking.

- Check every minute or so for done-ness- the top should be a pale yellow colour and just set, but not at all puffed up or brown in colour. When cooked, run a spatula under the frittata to loosen it from the pan, carefully turn out, and then allow the frittata to cool and set for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Do tag me in on photos if you have a go at making any of the recipes! Find me on Twitter, and Instagram (@ciderwithrosieblog), and tag #ciderwithrosiecooks! :)

Want more ‘Three ways with’ recipe posts? ::
:: Hummus.
:: Roast chicken. 

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Posted in FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, SAVOURY, THREE WAYS WITH

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27.04

Cider-with-Rosie-blog-advertising
Once again, it’s been so lovely putting together this little round up of all the blogs and sites that’ve been hanging out in my sidebar this month. Getting to find so many amazing blogs and taking the time to recognise the best about each and every one of them is always such a treat. It’s one of my favourite blog-related things I do each month, writing this little role call! There are such a wonderful blogs and sites linked below- some that’re old favourite reads of mine, and some that I’ve spent the past few weeks getting to know. And I’m so happy to be introducing them to you!

Robowecop
Rhianna is a total ray of sunshine. Her blog was new to me this month, and I’ve had the best time reading through her lovely posts, and getting to know her a little better! Robowecop (best blog name EVER for a blog, right?!) is a lifestyle blog, featuring posts about beauty, little wish lists, recipes, and an incredible series called Let’s Talk in which Rhianna talks candidly about anxiety and other mental health issues. I just love the way in which Rhianna writes her posts- they’re so warm and inviting, and reading them just feels like catching up with a friend. Every post she shares is so lovely and well put-together, and I’m sure I’ll be following along with Robowecop for a long time to come!
Favourite post of the past month? Living in the moment: Is it unrealistic?

Quintessentially Me
I’ve so enjoyed reading Ashleigh’s blog this month! Quintessentially Me is a luxury lifestyle blog, and such a lovely one to follow along with. It’s full of recommendations of where’s best to eat in London (I am SO going to No .11 Pimlico Road based on Ashleigh’s review!), beautiful lifestyle posts, and even the occasional recipe or two as well. Ashleigh’s writing is so lovely to read, and I find myself smiling through each of her posts. It’s exactly the sort of lifestyle blog I love the most- charming, unassuming, and so brimming with happiness you’ll find yourself smitten by the time you’d scrolled to the end of the very first page.
Favourite post of the past month? No. 11 Pimlico Road. 

Silverspoon London
Angie’s blog is escapism at its absolute finest! There’s nothing I don’t love about reading Silverspoon London- beautiful photos? Check! Dreamy, wanderlust-inducing settings? Check! Fun, engaging writing? Check check check! On her blog, Angie shares tales from her adventures, and her adventures always seem to be the most fun! This month she’s been travelling around South Africa, stayed in the rooftop hotel of my dreams, eaten an eight course ‘surprise’ tasting menu, and tested out the new Heddon Street Kitchen restaurant! I find myself getting totally lost in Angie’s posts, and can’t recommend her lovely blog highly enough!
Favourite post of the past month? A Menu of Surprises at The Tasting Room. 

Let Us Wanderlust
From one wanderlust-inducing blog, to another! Carly’s blog too centres on travel, and does so in such a beautiful way. This month, Carly jetted off to Japan, and has been sharing the most gorgeous photographs along the way. The post about the Fushimi Inari Shrine at Kyoto was especially stunning- Carly writes so very passionately about the experiences she has whilst travelling, it’s hard not to want to head to the nearest airport! Alongside writing about her adventures, Carly shares lovely recipes, outfit photos to die for, and posts from her native Australia. I just love reading Let Us Wanderlust, and know you’re going to fall hard for it too!
Favourite post of the past month? Getting lost at Fushimi Inari Shrine, Kyoto Japan.

Loved by Laura
I’m so glad to have had chance to get to know Laura’s lovely blog over the past few weeks. It’s just the sweetest read! Loved by Laura is, as you might’ve guessed, a blog that features all the things Laura loves most! This month, Laura’s shared posts about what she’s been watching on TV (Fortitude all the way!), convinced me I really need to read The Girl on the Train next (it sounds amazing!) and also want to go to a hula hooping class, and made a lemon and lime drizzle cake that looks so divine I practically licked my laptop screen. There’s not a single post been shared on Loved by Laura this month I’ve not loved- one to add to your reading list right away!
Favourite post of the past month? Core Blimey! Getting Hulafit.

Brooke Meagan Jones
There are so many things to love about Brooke’s blog. Her beautiful dog. Her sense of humour. The photos of stunning Nova Scotia that she shares so frequently. I’m just in love with it all! Brooke and her boyfriend uprooted their lives and moved to Nova Scotia at the end of 2013, and explains that her blog is a way of documenting her way through the everyday with her ‘two  favourite senses: humour and adventure’! I’m so in love with that philosophy, I feel like I want to have it tattooed onto the back of my hand! Brooke’s photos of the Nova Scotia scenery are enough to make me want to add it to the dream trip to Canada I’m planning for next winter, and each of her posts is as wonderful to read as the last. I just love it.
Favourite post of the past month? You Wouldn’t Like it Here Anyway. 

Cheeky Boo
Next in the role call is Cheeky Boo- not a blog, but a shop! And an adorable shop at that! Cheeky Boo is full of whimsical design in all forms- from jewellery, to greetings cards, to wall hangings, to notebooks and stationery! I love the range of products the shop carries, and have fallen clean in love with the all the beautiful bird-print homewares. I think it’s so important to support small, independent boutiques like Cheeky Boo, and with the incredible range of illustrated greetings cards they carry, I can tell you they’ll be having my custom for a while to come! Oh, and since these things are important, the shop itself is such an easy one to navigate, with clear, bright photos and a super-neat layout. Bookmark on the double!
Favourite item? Vintage map print notebook. 

Sam Docker
It was such a pleasure to introduce Sam Docker here earlier on in April, and to have so many people comment on his incredible photography. Sam is a seriously talented photographer- so talented in fact that he’s to be our wedding photographer in July! It’s been such a pleasure getting to know him over the past few months since we first ‘met’ online- not only is Sam’s work amazing, but he is THE person to talk to about lenses, and editing software, and cameras, and just about everything else you could want to ask a pro photographer! Everything he shoots, from his incredible brand and commercial work to his engagement shoots and bridal work, has the most incredible clarity and light quality, and I just can’t wait to see what he shoots for us in July!
Want to see more? :: Sam’s commercial work, & beautiful bridal portfolio.

Miranda’s Notebook
Miranda’s blog is oh such a lovely one! It’s a lifestyle blog (or rather, a lifestyle notebook!), containing everything from beautiful recipes, posts about Miranda’s favourite things and current inspirations, photos and stories from her adventures, and list of the things she’s most grateful for each week. And you all know how much I love a list of thankfulness! It’s Miranda’s recipes I love the most. Her food photos are always so bright and beautifully styled, and my GOODNESS do they make me hungry?! You must check out her recipe for sea bass linked below- it’s jumped right to the top of my ‘to make’ list!
Favourite post of the past month? Sea Bass with Mustard and Capers

Little Miss Katy
You know, Katy is easily one of my favourite people to interact with online. She’s just a total delight- everything from her tweets, to the comments she writes, to her darling blog itself is sunny and happy and lovely! Via Little Miss Katy, Katy shares posts about her life in London, and covers everything from personal style and dining out experiences to blogger events and nights at the theatre! There really is something to suit everyone, but to be honest, I just love Katy’s whole blog! It really seems to come from the heart, and I find that’s the trait that draws me back to a blog time and time again. I can’t recommend you start following along with Little Miss Katy highly enough!
Favourite post of the past month? Katy’s Chorizo Chachouka

A few more beautiful blogs to read & fall in love with ::
Supernaturally Healthy || Favourite post? 10 Simple Ways to Detox the Body
Get The Skinny || Favourite post? Citrus salad & honey pistachio
The Librarian || Favourite post? Eton Tidy :: Mess re-imagined.
Dalton Banks || Favourite post? Hush Mayfair
Michael 84 || Favourite post? ASKET Introduce New 15-Size Basic T Shirt
The Awkward Blog || Favourite post? Hey Natalie Jean & an Empowering Sunday.

If you’d like to see your blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, head over to the Sponsor page and take up an advert! It’d be a pleasure to get to know you and your blog better :)

** I’m offering 15% off all ad spots until the end of April, so enter the code ‘SPRING15′ at checkout ASAP! **

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