Breakfast – poached eggs and creamy mushrooms on sourdough bread

Breakfast dish

As it was my husband’s birthday and too cold to go out with the little baby, making breakfast at home was called for to celebrate…

The main ingredient is the bread and you have to get this right to make sure it tastes good. Sourdough bread is a firm favourite in the house we and always have it to hand – great tasting simply toasted with some butter or with cheese and chutneys.  Gail’s Bakery have several different types as does good old Morrisons.

For this meal, we made creamed mushrooms  which could be also be small snack or a little starter. Cook some mushrooms (wild is better but any will do) in a pan with butter, olive oil, garlic, shallots, sea salt and grounded pepper until the onions have softened and the mushrooms are starting to caramelise and take on colour. The best thing about this dish is that the juices naturally cook out of the mushrooms and mix with the butter and once cooked you need to add a touch of cream to get a sauce that’s creamy when it’s not.  Add some parsley to finish and a dash of lemon juice to give it some flavour.

A perfectly cooked poached egg is tasty and healthy! Fill a pan with boiling water from the kettle and add a pinch of sea salt bringing to a simmer over a medium heat. Crack each of your eggs individually into a cup lined with cling film, add salt, pepper oregano and twist the cling film pocket at the top to create a pouch. Gently pour it into the water and cook – a really soft poached egg takes 3-4 minutes and a soft to firm one will need 6-7 minutes (dependent on egg size).

When they’re ready, remove them to some kitchen paper to dry off and serve with buttered toast, creamed mushrooms and a cup of tea! Nom Nom.

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Local gem – Boyden’s Kitchen

Boyden’s Kitchen has just won Grazia best local deli and I’m not surprised at all. This cafe (not a greasy spoon) in Friern Barnet is just around the corner from my parents and last weekend, my cousin arranged for my aunts, mum and us to have brunch there.

Boyden’s Kitchen is a family business, made up of new mum Anna, Ben the chef and baby Finley. It’s a great place to take a baby as well – spacious and not packed out at all! Ben even came over to meet little baby Reya. The Kitchen prides itself on really good quality, well sourced produce at reasonable prices with a clear love for food.

And the food really was very good – we have the veggie breakfast, veggie burrito and creamed mushrooms on sourdough toast with wilted spinach and poached egg. I deviated from my normal choice of French Bread and chose the latter dish – as can be seen in the pic (taken by Meera Shah) below….one of the best brunch dishes around! It was spurned my love for sourdough bread – I must remember to buy a loaf from there next time!

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We did finish up by sharing pancakes with maple syrup, strawberries and blueberries! Boyden’s is a great place to have breakfast, a cafe that’s just right for a lazy morning with family or friends.

Mmmm pancakes….

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Ready to pop…baby shower

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So my amazing sister and mother organised a fabulous baby shower for me – it was all based on the theme of popping to celebrate the arrival of my sweet baby Reya. I think the theme is so clever, with a “pop”corn bar, various “pop” style food and “pop” decor around the house.

There were “pop” themed invites sent to my friends and family alongside matching cards placed by the food. Keeping with the theme there was a range of food including poppy seed bagels, corn nuts, pop tarts, rice crispy cakes, cake pops and popcorn (both sweet and savoury. And of course there was pop (lemonade or prosecco with pomegranate) and  milk!

We played a couple of baby related games including how fast can each team member blow up a balloon and place it under your top. We also played baby charades, guess the baby (everyone had baby images on the wall) and making baby products from plasticine. So much fun and laughter!

Just think of all of the cute ideas you can come up with for this theme! 

Brunch at The Modern Pantry

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I’ve been wanting to try Clerkenwell restaurant, The Modern Pantry for a long time! It’s at the top of my list of restaurants to visit and was excited to be able to book it !

Modern Pantry is housed among the picturesque Georgian buildings in St. John’s Square. Decor was very chic with a modern feel – clean lines, grey and white palette, simple neat and understated, with the warm morning natural sun lighting the interior. It felt like a great place for a lazy, weekend brunch. Modern Pantry is a café serving eclectic fusion food by New Zealand chef Anna Hansen.
I began brunch with the a matcha latte (green and very milky!), while looking through the menu. An interesting drink – probably wouldn’t order it again preferring matcha macaroons to be honest.

The menu was filled with very interesting dishes but I knew exactly what to order before making it to the restaurant – Raspberry & ricotta pancakes, berry compote and crème fraiche. According to Hot Diners, owner Anna Hansen has forged a reputation for turning out some of the best brunch in London at her place in Clerkenwell and, as you can imagine, her pancakes are legendary so this was a dish to try. This took 20 minutes to make and was totally delicious – soft and fluffy. It was a little sweet and I did envy the many diners who were having eggs with sourdough bread…next visit for sure.

We also had date and feta fritters as a starter which was really tasty and completely different with a tamarind yoghurt – modern take on falafels. Neil had the Roast Gloucester Old Spot pork belly, mushroom & date puree, choucroute, green pepper relish which was very well cooked.

All in all – a great place for brunch and will definitely come back in the summer to sit outside and try some other dishes.