My Simple Breakfast Routine (AKA, the best smoothie ever.)

I have just discovered a very, very good thing and thought I would do a super quick post to share said good thing. Because after all, we are in this together fellow foodies! I have already previously spoken about 

my love for breakfast,

which in my opinion is possibly the most enjoyable meal of the day.

I recently have been trying to eat more mindfully and as a result have noticed that I often don't wake up very hungry, it can take about 2-3 hours until I am ready for a meal.

I still think it's a good idea to get going with something in my stomach though - that's where this smoothie comes in.

There's no real recipe to it, basically I blend 400ml almond milk and a banana with a tsp or two of peanut butter. If I'm feeling fancy, I add a tsp of nutella, which is divine.

As

I've said before

, I only buy peanut butter which is palm oil free or uses palm oil from a sustainable source.

Anyway, give it a go (you can thank me later!) But be warned - it's bloody addictive...

Morning Ritual: Why we should be making time for ourselves

Breakfast in the November sunshine
Over the past year I have moved three times and started a new business, it's safe to say that busy and unstructured have been my keywords to life. When faced with instability and the unknown, I think it's natural to create little rituals which keep you grounded and allow you to have some constants in life.

For me this has become my morning routine and the more I do it, the more I am convinced that taking time over getting up and ready really helps in keeping me sane, well saner!

I used to give myself half an hour to get up and out the house, this was barely time to shower and put on my clothes. Breakfasts used to be a hurried and unsatisfying affair, literally grab and go, if at all. I would arrive at school, then as I got older, work, with a brain that was half asleep and hungry.

I recently decided that enough was enough and changed my morning ritual to one that allowed me to enjoy dressing and eating. Here are some of the things that I do to ensure that my mornings set me up for a stress free day!

1. Take Time

I give myself at least a full hour and a half between getting out of bed and leaving the door, this leaves me unhurried and able to take time over showering and getting dressed. I also find that planning outfits the night before is a good trick to ensuring I wear something well thought out! (I did once leave the house for a day of meetings still in slippers, the worst bit is that not one single person commented on it...)

2. Hot and cold drinks

A glass of water and a cafetiere is my usual morning routine. I do have an espresso machine, but this usually makes an appearance in the afternoon rather than the morning. I find a cafetiere is more tactile and seems a bit more indulgent, especially if you take time to heat up a bit of warm milk to add into your coffee.

Up until recently, I found myself only drinking hot caffeinated drinks before heading out the door. I found I was quickly dehydrated very early on into my day. I now make sure to have a pint of water before I leave the house, this also stops me from early morning snacking, as I am often thirsty rather than hungry.

3. Make a hot breakfast

I now take a completely different approach to my morning, especially when it comes to eating. Breakfast, I believe, should be an unhurried affair - I now give myself time to relax and actually makeself something filling, healthy and full of flavour. 

We often do a variant of something on toast, using bread fresh from the breadmaker (there is nothing that compares to waking up to the smell of fresh bread!) 

Our current favourite is a bit of a mash up, we fry a small bit of pancetta, bacon or chorizo for several minutes, add some leftover veg to cook down, then crack an egg on top, season and leave to cook until firm. Serve on hot toast.



4. Go outside

This is of course weather and facilities permitting, however if you can, sitting in the garden for breakfast is one of life's simple pleasures. Invest in some garden furniture - freecycle is a good place to look in the UK. 

5. Or just go out.

Sometimes you just need to treat yourself and going out for breakfast is definitely one way to do that! No cooking or washing up to do, just relax and enjoy the experience of sitting down and being served. 

This doesn't necessarily mean splashing out if you don't want to though - we have just found a great local butcher who makes a fantastic bacon roll for under £2. I wouldn't advise one of these each day, but you can treat yourself once in a while to something  bit naughty!

Waitrose Bircher Muesli - highly reccomnded
I thought I would share these tips on creating a morning ritual of your own. 

Obviously all people are different, so please don't feel that you need to follow all, or any of these, you may have your own suggestions for what you do to relax before work, if so, I'd love to hear them!

Fancy some more breakfast inspiration? 

Breakfast Series: Garlic and Tomato Mackerel on Toast



If you had asked me a few years ago about having fish for breakfast, I would have been pretty disgusted by the idea. Vague childhood memories of pungent kippers in the fridge were probably to blame for this aversion.

Recently however, seafood has been having a bit of a golden age in my culinary repertoire, especially as I have discovered the joys of tinned fish - good for both the budget and body.

This is a breakfast I whipped up in around 15 minutes and combines the meaty flesh of mackerel with a soft yielding poached egg, topped off with some peppery rocket!

This recipe serves 2

You will need:

1 tin of mackerel in tomato sauce
1 tsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tin of canned tomatoes
a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
2 poached eggs
2 slices of toast
2 handfuls of washed rocket

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. heat up the oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and onion and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. 

2. Add mackerel and cherry tomatoes, cook for a further minute, then add the chopped tomatoes.

3. At this point, it's time to start poaching your egg (mine usually takes 6 minutes in a poach pod)

4. Prepare your toast on a plate with rocket to the side.

5. Top half of your toast with the tomatoey mackerel, the other with your poached egg.


Would you have fish for breakfast, or does the idea disgust you? Trust me, it's worth trying!!

Interview and Review: The Pig and Pastry, York

Bishopthorpe Road in York is arguably having one of it's best ever years. The Tour de France, which passed along the road at great speed, attracted thousands of visitors and created the perfect opportunity to host a massive street party.

There is a vibrant and active community, comprised of residents and the independant businesses which line the street.

I am lucky to live just down the river from Bishy Road and love visiting for the unique shops, bars and cafes. 

I have a specially affinity for The Pig and Pastry, especially after a having a particularly wonderful breakfast there once which cured a particularly spectacular hangover. That's why I was thrilled that Steve, the owner, let me interview him and discover a bit more about the cafe and it's approach to providing one of York's hippest streets with much needed coffee, cake and more.

The Pig and Pastry

sits nestled between a well stocked greengrocers and an independent opticians. It has both cosy indoor and outdoor seating and it popular with locals and tourists alike! If you're after a larger plate, I advise getting there before 3pm, as lunchtimes are busy and the food is very popular. The vibe inside is very friendly and chatty and the staff, along with being extremely pleasant, make a very decent cappuccino.

Menu items range from hot and cold drinks along with cakes and other treats. If you're after something a bit more substantial, there is quite a plethora to choose from. The menu is subject to change, however whilst I was there you could choose from a range of sandwiches and salads, pancakes, soups, Eggs Florentine and even cheeks and mash (I'm praying this will be there on my next visit!)

Prices are slightly above average, but I always think you pay for what you get and the food here is flavoursome, well prepared and locally sourced where possible.

Click below to hear my interview with Steve.

The blog Steve mentions, The National Baking Society, can be found here

We enjoyed a Blueberry and Lemon Cake - perfectly moist and wonderfully flavoured!

Other treats were on offer!

Drinks selection, including ice cream milkshakes!!

Good coffee is on offer, which is one of the main things I look out for!

Americano and Cappuccino

Find The Pig and Pastry on

Twitter and Facebook