05.08

Pain-au-chocolat

Well, hi! It feels like an awfully long time since I sat down and wrote a post! In reality it’s only been a few days, but I’m pretty sure that it’s the longest I’ve gone without writing a blog post in about a year! The few days Jason and I took off from work were so, so refreshing. We didn’t do much at all (the pile of paperwork I purposefully left in plain sight on the dining table as a reminder that it needs sorting remains untouched, and we did an alarmingly insignificant amount of wedding planning) but that was kind of the beauty of it all. No computers, no screens (…kinda), no alarms, no two hours of work-talk in the evenings. It was pretty blissful!

We made it a priority to get out and spend some quality time together whilst we were off work, and so on that note, let me tell you about the Sunday morning we spent at The Tablespoon! We very often head over in the direction of Sunningdale when going up to Virginia Water lake at the weekends with Teddy, and this Sunday was no exception. There’s a beautiful little coffee shop and restaurant on the corner of the high street that we’ve been meaning to visit for ages, and so after our walk, we decided to stop in for a coffee.

The-Tablespoon Gaggia-coffee-machine

We were (typically) about 15 minutes too late to choose from the full breakfast selection, but lovely Bruno and his wife (who manage The Tablespoon) rustled up a couple of pastries from the kitchen for us. The food is all freshly made in house (and you really could taste it, the pasties were delicious!) and the coffees were pretty tasty too. It really feels such a treat to have such a sweet, independent coffee shop nearby. One of the few things I don’t like about living outside of a city is that most of the places to eat and drink nearby us tend to be branches of nationwide chains, and so it’s not all that often that we’ll come across a unique local gem like The Tablespoon amongst the masses of Starbucks & Costas! The dinner menu looks divine too, so much so that Jason and I are thinking about heading back there for a meal on our anniversary in a couple of weeks time. We had a little peruse of the dinner menu, and I’ve been thinking about the burger (brioche bun, chipotle mayo) ever since…

Cider-with-Rosie-The-Tablespoon The-Tablespoon-menu The-Tablespoon-water The-Tablespoon-pastries The-Tablespoon-water-bowl Teddy-at-The-Tablespoon

We sat outside and enjoyed our coffees in the sunshine for a good half an hour or so, and talked about things like The Merits Of Bands Vs DJs At Weddings, and How Great Are Pain Au Chocolats. And also, about how our dog was turning two that very day! I can’t quite believe it’s been almost exactly two years since we got him. It feels as though he’s been a part of our lives forever! I also can’t quite believe how much more *time* we used to have, when we didn’t have to dedicate at least an hour or so of each and every day to walking an over-excited little spaniel! ;)

So, happy birthday little man! We love you a lot. And also, The Tablespoon- we’ll be back!

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Posted in BRUNCH, COFFEE, JASON, TEDDY, WEEKEND

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16.07

Cider-with-Rosie-Latte-layer-tutorial

Confession: In the past year or so, I’ve become a pretty hardcore coffee addict. Up until about the middle of last year, tea had always and forever been my preferred hot drink of choice- there are even photos of me drinking milky tea from a little bottle as a toddler! But slowly, gradually, my taste for coffee has grown, and now I’d rather have a lovely latte or punchy flat white over a cup of my beloved English Breakfast!

Recently a few lovely Cider with Rosie readers have asked if I might put together a tutorial for how I make the iced coffees that so frequently appear on my Instagram feed, and also how to create that pretty layered effect that fancy cafes make in £3.50 a pop lattes! Though I’m by no means a professional or expert when it comes to making coffee, I have made more than my fair share of lattes and flat whites over the past few months, and have really begun to settle into a little routine of how I like to make my coffees at home. So, let’s get brewing!

Now, let’s talk coffee-making-equipment. There are a billion different ways to brew coffee at home- from expensive bean to cup machines, to the humble and traditional filter method. I use a Bialetti stovetop coffee pot to brew my coffee, which costs around £20 and makes enough espresso for about three or four generous lattes. I used to use a cheaper, non-branded version of the Bialetti (before I accidentally forgot to put water in it before filling it with coffee and putting it on the hob, and set fire to the coffee grounds…) and would definitely recommend going for the Bialetti over any other. It really is brilliant!

Coffee-beans

Though I’m currently hankering after a bean-grinder (as well as a fancy milk frother, and a lifetime supply of Monmouth beans), right now my favourite coffee to use at home is either Lavazza’s ground espresso, or Starbucks medium blend ground coffee. The Lavazza is a much finer grind than the Starbucks blend and so is noticeably richer, but quite a bit smokier too. It really comes down to personal taste which you’d prefer to drink. Jason absolutely loathes the Lavazza, for example, but I adore it! Most blends available in the supermarket cost around £3/4 for a 250g bag, so it won’t have cost much more than a Starbucks/Costa latte if you buy a blend and decide it’s not for you. Now, for the ‘how-to’!

What you’ll need:
Enough ground coffee or espresso to fill up your coffee machine/stovetop pot/cafetiere
Semi-skimmed milk
A flavoured syrup, or brown sugar
A milk frother (I just recently bought this Bodum milk frother, and am really impressed with it!)
Ice (if you’re making your latte iced, of course!)

Making-coffee-Bialetti

- To make a regular latte (not an iced one) just fill up your coffee pot, and brew some coffee. At the same time, measure out enough milk to fill your mug/glass/cup to about 2/3 full, then heat the milk until it’s hot, but not boiling. I do mine on the hob in a milk pan, because we don’t have a microwave and also because I prefer to be able to watch it closely whilst it heats up.

- When the milk is nice and hot, transfer it to a tall jug and use a frother to whisk it until it’s softly foaming and really velvety. Careful not to over-froth it, or we’ll end up with the sort of stiff foam you tend to find on top of a cappuccino instead of a latte! Pour the milk into your mug or glass, and add a small layer of soft milk foam on top.

How-to-layer-a-latte

- Now, for the fiddly part! Take a spoon, rest it on the edge of your glass as shown in the photo above, and lay the tip of it so it just about touches the top of the milk. Slowly, *very* slowly, begin pouring coffee over the back of the spoon into the glass. Try and keep the stream of coffee pretty thin here, and pour with the pot held really close to the glass or else it’ll create too much movement in the glass and split the layers. I find it easiest to put my glass right on the edge of the kitchen work-surface so that I can get the top of the coffee pot level with the glass before I begin to pour, as it’s the easiest way to control the stream of coffee.

- Keep pouring really slowly and carefully until you’ve got about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 milk in your glass, then step back and admire your handiwork! Add sugar to taste (or a flavoured syrup if you’d prefer), stir, and enjoy!

How-to-make-layered-latte Layered-brown-sugar-latte

- To make an iced latte, you can either use freshly brewed warm, or cooled espresso. I tend to brew a pot of coffee in the morning, drink a shot or two of it warm either in a latte/flat white or just with a little sugar, and then let the rest go cold to be used in iced lattes.

- Put two or three ice cubes into a glass, then add in a splash of syrup for sweetness. In the amount of coffee shown in the photos, I used one capful of Starbucks own vanilla syrup.

Measuring-milk-for-iced-latte

- Pour in enough milk to again fill your glass about 2/3 full, and then carefully begin pouring in espresso directly onto one of the ice cubes. Pouring the coffee onto an ice cube will slow down the stream of coffee as it hits the milk, and allow it to float right on top! If you’re using warm espresso here, it might be easier to just pour over the back of a spoon again because the ice will melt too fast otherwise.

- Keep pouring carefully, then when you’ve got about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 milk, stop pouring and again step back to appreciate your handiwork! Add a straw, mix, and enjoy!

Iced-latte-recipe Iced-latte-marbling

And that, as they say, is it! I think it’s such a lovely way to serve coffee at the weekend, or if you’ve got friends round for coffee and a slice of cake. The layering might seem a palaver but is *so* satisfying to do, and even if the layers do break it’ll still create a pretty ombre effect in your coffee!

Do let me know if you give it a go, and don’t forget tag me in on Instagram using the hashtag ‘#ciderwithrosiecooks’, so that we can all be cliches and ‘gram our coffees together! ;) Happy layering!

Layered-coffees

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Posted in COFFEE, FROM MY HOME TO YOURS, RECIPE, TUTORIAL

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06.01

Rising-steam   1-Smokey-sausage-and-bean-casserole-and-baked-eggs Brunch Cider-with-Rosie-Brunch Cider-with-Rosie-Brunch-Baked-eggs

Last Monday morning, Jason and I did brunch at home in style. I’d made a smokey sausage and bean casserole for dinner the night before, so in the morning we heated up the leftovers, cracked in a few eggs, and baked it until the whites were soft-set and the yolks still creamy. We topped it off with a little grated cheddar, and ate it with plenty of fresh coffee and orange juice on the side.

We went straight out walking with Teddy afterwards, and I kept saying to Jason ‘my stomach feels so happy’!  You know that feeling? Like your insides are smiling because you’ve eaten just enough of something really delicious to be full and energised and sated, but not over-stuffed, and feel completely ready to take on the day. It’s my favourite feeling, I think.

Oh, if only we could press pause during the holidays, and enjoy delicious moments for as long we wanted!

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Posted in BREAKFAST, BRUNCH, COFFEE, WEEKEND

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08.10

Ankle-boots-and-yellow-skirt
Newspaper
Sky
Pumpkin-spice-latte

001: A wait for a train to take me into the city, for the umpteenth time in the past couple of weeks. Also, the whitest of white legs ever to have existed. It’s cool to embrace the pale though, I think…

002: A lonely newspaper that danced in the wind that’s always and forever blowing through the train station.

003: Late afternoon sky. That sun was surprisingly warm, and felt so lovely on my face. The weather this past weekend has been just glorious for us.

004: I tried a pumpkin spice latte for the first time. Here are my exact thoughts on the drink and its surrounding hype:… 1. Meh. 2. Not a patch on my beloved gingerbread latte.

How did you spend your weekend?

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17 Comments
Posted in COFFEE, PHOTOGRAPHY, WEEKEND

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