Aug 19

Our new favourite breakfast


by LifeLoveLaura on August 19, 2013

Becoming a mum comes has turned me into a Delia in the making. Before Little T was born I always thought I couldn’t cook but it’s turned out that I can cook, I have just always been lazy. Too lazy to get off my arse and prepare something that I already know how to make, often reaching for a take away menu instead, and too lazy to learn how to make new things. That is until I became responsible for the meals of my little man as well as my own. I don’t want him growing up with the same rubbish eating habits as me, I want him to learn to try everything offered to him and be willing to taste new things. So far I am winning in the non picky eater stakes, Little T is quite open to trying new things, although it is becoming clear that Yorkshire pud is one of his favourite things to eat. I don’t mind this though, as long as he carries on eating the veg that goes with it!

He has been enjoying porridge quite a bit for his breakfast until recently but because we don’t add any sugar, only fruit,  I thought he might be getting a little bit bored with it so we decided to make something a bit different. Porridge in a different form – oat and raisin pancakes, American style! Until Little T arrived, cooking something like oat and raisin pancakes at 8am wouldn’t have even crossed my mind, the things being a mum does to you…! But, I’m so glad I had a go, they were really easy and went down a treat, not only with Little T but with myself and Big T too. I’d go as far to say that something so simple has swiftly become our new favourite breakfast!

These are also great for anybody doing baby led weaning, they’re soft but filling and can be cut into handy strips for your little one to grab. If you would like to make some, here is my recipe:

100g plain flour

100g oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 eggs

250ml whole milk

2 small boxes of raisins (or equivalent in weight)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

oat and raisin pancake recipe


Mix the oats, flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl then add the eggs, milk and vegetable oil. Beat it all together with a spoon or spatula until it is all mixed well then add the raisins and mix again. Heat a little bit of extra oil in a frying pan, not too much as you don’t want them to turn out too greasy, then drop in a tablespoon of the mixture. Add more if you want your pancakes to be thicker or less for thinner ones. Turn over the pancakes to cook on the other side when you can see a few bubbles (see photo below), the pancake should now hold together when turning over. Each side shouldn’t take more than two minutes to cook. You can make a few pancakes at once, depending on the size of your frying pan.

oat and raisin pancake recipe

oat and raisin pancake recipe

The raisins add the perfect amount of sweetness to the pancakes without needing to add any sugar. You could serve them with some fresh fruit or for the adults, add little bit of maple syrup. The recipe makes quite a few pancakes so you can always save them for a day or so if you don’t eat them in one go, or better still, freeze them for a later date.

A hit with Little T!

A hit with Little T!

They are so simple but something a little bit different to start yours and your little one’s day with. I’d love to know what you think if you have a go!

Laura x


Aug 12

Woman v food


by LifeLoveLaura on August 12, 2013

It’s no secret that Big T and I love our grub. Especially a good burger… and I have the arse to prove it. We took a trip to London in May to see The Book of Mormon and to eat special burgers, you can read about it here. Lack of good burgers is something that has been the case for a long time in our home county of East Yorkshire, until recently that is. Rebels’ Smokehouse in Beverley opened in July and it’s been long awaited. With the cafe bar culture of the past few years really taking off, our local area is certainly not short of nice places to eat and drink. It’s just, sometimes, you get a bit sick of the same old things. Our area needed meat… and thanks to Rebels’ Smokehouse we now have it. Yessssss.

We wanted to go for a breakfast on Friday morning but at 10.30am we had left it a bit late. Where else could we go, we wondered. Then Rebels’ Smokehouse popped into my head. We’d heard good things about it but not yet visited so job’s a good ‘un, that’s where we went. We got there in time for opening as we were in a bit of a rush with Little T’s swimming lesson in the afternoon, so we were more or less the first people in.

I quite liked the fancy decor, in fact I was thinking of stealing some chairs for my dining room but I’m not sure I would’ve got away with it. They were quite big after all. I also agreed with some of the statement art on the wall, bacon does in fact make everything better.

Rebels' Smokehouse Beverley East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Inside Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

Not long after we ordered, the place started to fill up very quickly. It’s a good job we arrived when we did otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to fit in with Little T’s massive pram and I would’ve cried.

The food:

Big T and I both ordered the Civil War pit burger – from what I can remember it was their special pulled pork in between two burgers, cheese and bits and bobs of salad, pickles etc with fries and a few onion rings. I think there was meant to be some bacon in there too but it was missing for some reason. I wasn’t bothered though, there was already enough meat on there to satisfy any budding Desperate Dan. When it arrived I remember something along the lines of “oh my God,” coming out of my mouth. I’m no stranger to big portions but it was HUGE. Good job too as we were both starving! The first thing I did was have a little bit of the pulled pork, something I haven’t had since I was in the US and it was amaaaaazing. The best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted. I could’ve happily sacrificed my fries and onion rings for a bucket full of the stuff!

Civil War pit burger, Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

I then dug into the burger. The only way to do it was to cut it in half and go for it in two bits. Probably the fanny’s way out but I am a lady after all. Big T has quite a small appetite but he swiftly managed to plough through his, leaving me straggling a little bit. I didn’t give up though, although I did have to abandon the fries – not like me AT all.

My remnants of the Civil War pit burger, Rebels' Smokehouse, Beverley, East Yorkshire

I did a pretty good job considering the size…

I would make only one small criticism – with the Man v Food craze sweeping the UK, there are lots of smokehouse food places popping up (thankfully!!) The one thing that the US does very well, apart from food of course, is free drinks refills. When you have food on this grand scale, you need plenty of refreshing drinks to wash it down with but buying small bottles of Coke (or any other soft drink) can be expensive and one just isn’t enough. Apart from that, it was spot on.

It’s safe to say that the grub at Rebels’ Smokehouse is enough to fill the hungriest folk. It’s very reasonably priced too – the pit burger and accompaniments was only £9.50! Once they have been open a little bit longer it could be a case of putting the prices up but I hope not, along with the amazing food and the fab decor, the decent prices are part of the charm of the place. Big T and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and we will be back very soon with the rest of our family. My parents will love it! I can see it being verrrrry bad for any future diet that I might attempt!

Laura x


Jul 22

Every day is cake day…


by LifeLoveLaura on July 22, 2013

…or it should be.

Yesterday was the last day of my maternity leave (sob) so by the time you read this I’ll be on my very first shift back at work. I’m not going to dwell on it too much, I’ve done that enough over the past few weeks! Instead I’m going to talk about CAKE.

Gone are the days of going out on the piss and staying out until 7am, on Saturday night I spent my night baking. I’ve never really baked properly before. I’m a dab hand at knocking together a Betty Crocker chocolate and vanilla swirl cake but there isn’t really much skill involved in cracking a few eggs and adding a bit of oil to a pre-made mixture. Over the past couple of weeks though, I’ve realised that Little T’s first birthday (scary!) is creeping up on us and being fully aware of how much nice cakes cost to buy, I have decided to try to make his first birthday cake myself.

After taking to Twitter for hints and tips on where to start, I’m THAT clueless, I had a go at a plain Vicky sponge last week to test out the mixture technique and surprisingly it turned out ok! Lovely and moist with just a tiny bit of a burnt bottom, ooh er!

My first go

My first go

Plain victoria sponge cake

Slightly burnt bottom but apart from that, all good.

It was moist, tasty and between Big T and I we managed to polish off the whole cake within 24 hours. If it’s there it gets eaten in this house!

We were going to go with nautical for Little T’s birthday but just before I plodded off to Hobbycraft to stock up on decoration supplies we decided to go rainbow themed instead. “Isn’t that a bit gay?” my brother asked. No brother, he’s a baby. Anyway… stupid big brothers aside, a rainbow themed birthday party can only mean one thing – a rainbow cake! As I’m one of those impatient people that can’t stand to wait for things and after realising that it’s not actually as difficult to bake a simple cake, I thought I’d have a go at one on Saturday night. There was bugger all on TV to miss.

Come 8pm, once Little T was well away in the land of nod, I cracked on.

Rainbow cake ingredients

Betty crocker cream cheese style icing



One cake tin

Greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tin

Electric hand held whisk (I’m not messing about with hand one!)

Silicone spatula

6 bowls


6 eggs

338 grams of sugar

338 grams of self raising flour

338 grams of unsalted butter

dash of vanilla extract (although I don’t think this made much difference to the taste)

1 tbsp of baking powder

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple Dr Oetker gel colourings

1 tub of Betty Crocker cream cheese icing (you could make your own but my skills aren’t that advanced just yet)

What I did:

Please note: although my cake turned out all right, this is not a fool proof method – next time I will be tweaking it a bit.

Plain victoria sponge mix

Umm, I never realised the disgusting amount of butter and sugar in a cake!

- Mix the sugar and butter with a bit of added elbow grease, until it is soft and silky. This time I didn’t mix it enough, next time I’ll mix until it goes whiter. 

- Add the eggs. I added them all at once and straight out of the fridge which caused them to curdle. Next time I will be adding them one by one and have them at room temperature. 

- Add the baking powder and then the flour, gradually. After I had done this I had to thin the mixture a little bit by adding some whole milk. It reminded me of making Yorkshire puds.

- Split the mixture equally into 6 bowls. There is no need to measure it, if it looks equal to the eye then it probably will be. Next time I won’t be making the mixture all at once. I will make it in 6 separate batches so it’s not just sitting there for hours. 

How to make a rainbow cake

- Add a full tube of the Dr Oetker colouring to each bowl. Next time I will be using Sugarflair food colouring as the ones I used weren’t quite bright enough for the look I was going for.

How to make a rainbow cake

- Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper to line the bottom of the cake tin. Add one bowl of mixture to the tin and spread evenly. Put it into the oven, preheated to 170 degrees (I have no idea what gas mark that is but I’m sure it can be googled.)

- Repeat the greaseproof paper and cake mixture to tin method until all 6 cakes are cooked. Each takes around 20-30 mins. Next time I will be using at least one other tin. One tin is ridiculous as the cake took 5 and a half hours from mixing until finished!

- Remove the greaseproof paper from the bottom of each layer. It got a little bit stuck but was easy enough to remove without breaking the cakes. In between each layer, spread a thin layer of the icing, kind of like buttering a sandwich.

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

- Et voila! As this was purely a practise I didn’t ice the outside of the cake too but the Betty Crocker icing is perfect for this, as well as using it in between layers.

how to make a rainbow cake

how to make a rainbow cake

The moment of truth

The finished article!

The finished article!

I am SO happy with how it turned out. I tasted it yesterday morning and although it was reeeaaally sweet, it didn’t kill me. Like I said in the method, next time I’ll be using darker colours and more tins to save time but apart from that it’s pretty damn good, even if I do say so myself!  That might sound a bit big headed but considering a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t even make a plain Victoria sponge, I’m doing pretty well in the baking department. Roll on 1st September for Little T’s rainbow birthday party!

Laura x


Jul 1

What I did not expect


by LifeLoveLaura on July 1, 2013

Hello! Did you have a lovely weekend? We had our car broken into on Friday night. It’s typical – the one time I accidentally leave my purse in the car over night… Anyway, this didn’t put a downer on my weekend. In fact, I thought it was quite amusing when I rang to cancel my card and my bank informed me that some waste of space had tried to withdraw £400. Yeah, good luck with that, there are nothing but moths in this poor unpaid maternity leaver’s account! On Sunday we spent the afternoon eating AMAZING pie at The Chestnut Horse again. Little T took me there on Mother’s Day, you can read all about it here. Once again, I went for the Irish Draught, yum!

Little T turns 10 months today (eek!!) but it doesn’t seen like five minutes since I was flaked out on my mum’s conservatory sofa, passing the days til my due date whilst Big T was at work, barely able to walk and getting way too obsessed with the Tour de France. Watching tonight’s highlights was like a flashback to last summer. At the time I loathed being pregnant. It really wasn’t a pleasant ‘glowing’ experience for me but I really do miss it. People told me I would and at the time and in so many words I told them to ‘go forth and multiply,’ but I can’t wait to have a little brother or sister for Little T.

I didn’t read many books during my pregnancy, preferring to plod along with the philosophy of ‘what will be, will be’ throughout growing Little T and through labour. Sites like Baby Centre, however, were invaluable to me. Along with asking questions at my midwife appointments, I used the Baby Centre site quite a lot to check up on the facts – how big he was from week to week, what I should and shouldn’t be eating, symptoms of pre-eclampsia, those sorts of things. It was a quick one stop shop, so to speak, for checking the ins and outs of pregnancy. Still, as every pregnany and labour is SO different, there were some things that no amount of reading could prepare me for…

1. Early onset of pelvic girdle pain (PGP)

From around 12 weeks pregnant I would wake up feeling like I’d run a marathon in my sleep. I would hobble around my bedroom until I could rustle up the flexibility to get down the stairs! After asking my glorious twitter friends what the problem could be, someone suggested it could be the start of PGP. It was. Unfortunately these pains got progressively worse, I needed physio and I was signed off sick from work for a long time which ended up in having to start my maternity leave a month earlier than planned. It was agony to get dressed and I could barely walk from my living room to my kitchen without having to stop due to shooting pains down my legs and awful stiffness. Since having T, it has never quite cleared up and my back/pelvis are more or less broken.

2. Extreme swelling

My cankles

My cankles

Ok, I expected a little bit of swelling. But, the lower part of my stomach actually ended up becoming solid with fluid, I couldn’t wear my watch or wedding and engagement rings and my feet/ankles also ended up as one entity. It’s a good job it was summer as the only shoes I could get on my feet were beach flip flops. I went for quite a lot of reflexology and drainage but it didn’t help my feet a lot. The pressure on my skin would burn as it felt like they were going to pop. The skin on my feet was red, sore and stretched to the max! As a result, to match the ones on my stomach, I’ve been left with horrid stretch marks on the tops of my feet and ankle area. I didn’t even think that was possible! I was one massively swollen waddling ephalump!

3. Sickness for seven months – Yep. After the initial ‘spewing halfway through my tea’ games had finished it turned into relentless bringing up awful acidic bile 5 or 6 times a day. It destroyed my throat and hurt so much that I would also bring up blood. Nice eh?

4. Lack of sleep

This was BIG. So big that I’m going to spilt up into its own different sections. On my days off from work I would mention that I was having a lie in. In all their wisdom people would reply with “you might as well sleep whilst you still can.” Bollocks. The truth is, until Little T started sleeping through I hadn’t had a proper full night’s sleep since my honeymoon for the following reasons…

  • Bed was the most uncomfortable place to be – with a huge bump and excruciating PGP, how on Earth are you supposed to get comfortable? No amount of propping up or pillows between my knees helped.
  • Snoring – every time I did dose off I’d almost choke myself with snoring.
  • Needing a pee in the night, repeatedly - getting up and down the stairs for a wazz, over and over again in the night was HARD.
  • Food regurgitation – this one was probably the most unpleasant side effect of late pregnancy. For around the last 3 months or so, I couldn’t eat or drink after 5pm. No matter what time I went to bed, if I did end up dosing off I would literally bring up everything I had eaten or drank during the day. I would then breathe it in and wake myself up from actual choking. It was not only uncomfortable but so scary! This also applied to naps during the day. No matter how tired I was, I couldn’t nap without bringing up my food or drink as soon as I drifted off to sleep. It wasn’t sick, it was the undigested food swimming around in my stomach being pushed up by the lack of room in my insides! At one point I tried sleeping sat up on the sofa downstairs but it didn’t make the slightest bit of difference. It was truly horrendous.

5. Pre-eclampsia (PE)

This is something all pregnant ladies read about but don’t expect to get it. Fortunately I didn’t get full on PE but I did have quite a few of the symptoms which resulted in having to go into hospital for monitoring every other day for the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I’m not going to lie, it was hassle and with me going 12 days overdue I was longing for being induced early but this didn’t happen. I am grateful, however, that I was monitored as things might have developed into something much worse.

6. No pregnancy rage

A lot of the things I didn’t expect to happen during pregnancy were quite negative but it wasn’t all bad, promise! I did manage to bypass the whole “I’m going to kill you but I can blame it on my pregnancy hormones” thing. Although I had a tough time I was quite serene! I didn’t suffer from any pregnancy rage and I didn’t burst into tears at dropping my pants on the floor after the third attempt at getting them on. I took everything in my stride which is out of character for this irritable stress head. The same goes for labour, I didn’t swear once!

So there we have it. As awful as these things may sound, they haven’t put me off. I’d do it all again tomorrow if I could… although next time I’m hoping for pregnancy to be a little bit kinder to me. Did you experience any weird/wonderful/out of the ordinary pregnancy symptoms?

Laura x


Jun 5

Life, Love, Laura & Guests: A summer of sweetness


by LifeLoveLaura on June 5, 2013

Another lovely recipe for you today, this time for something for the sweeter tooth. Anna, from the beautiful Far From the Wedding Crowd, teases our taste buds with this fruity shortcake. Shortcake is one of my faaavourites so I’m going to have a go at this this summer. You can’t beat a good ol’ pud!

Well hello!

The lovely Laura asked me to write a little post for you on her week off. I’m Anna from far from the wedding crowd but I thought I would take the day off from wedding chat and share a favourite summery recipe for you. I made it at the weekend for my lovely friend who’s just had a baby and I think it hit the spot!

The recipe is for a Fruity Shortcake (or Scone Cake really!) and will serve 8ish (it is pretty tasty!) I first made it years ago when I found it in a Waitrose magazine and have added and changed bits ever since! However the interesting addition of rosemary to the scone is true to the original. I;m not usually a lover of rosemary but with it really works with the added sweetness. (Although thinking about it Lavender could work equally as well, hmm I may try that out this weekend!)

It’s a scone base with a creamy Mascarpone topping (much more naughty than boring double cream!) along with the fruit of your choice. Heaven. It takes no time or effort at all and you can whip up the scone base the night before (or even a couple of days before) and then add the toppings when you want to serve it.

Here’s the short ingredient list

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • 50g butter, diced
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or a little more if you like a little more punch).
  • 120-150ml milk


  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 500g Mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 400g of your favourite soft fruit, or a mixture, raspberries, strawberries, anything really!
  • 3-4 tbsp of fruit liqueur, again whatever you fancy or not as the case may be! Yesterday I used the new Pimm’s Elderflower and Blackberry (yum and on offer now at Waitrose but not as good as real Pimm’s for just drinking)
  • Grated zest of 1 orange (which you can leave out if you want)

To serve

  • Fresh mint
  • Icing sugar

And to the making

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Lightly butter a 20cm-diameter cake tin with a removable base. (Although if you don’t have a cake tin, do not fret the dough you make is pretty firm and you can just form the cake on its own)
  2. Sieve the flour into a large bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3.  Add the sugar and rosemary and stir in enough milk to draw the mixture into a soft dough. Knead briefly until smooth.
  4. Roll out lightly on a floured surface, and gently press evenly into the prepared tin. Or fashion into a round shape with your hands and pop it on a greased baking tray.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen, firm to the touch and golden brown. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  6. To make the topping, beat the Mascarpone and milk with 3 tbsp of the sugar and the zest, until smooth and fluffy.
  7. Put the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle with a little sugar if a little tart(!) and add the liqueur.
  8. Spread the Mascarpone mix over the cooled scone base and pile the strawberries on top. Spoon over any juices left from the strawberry bowl.
  9. Scatter the shortcake with mint leaves and dust with icing sugar, if desired. Serve immediately.

See easy!

Now I would have a photo if I hadn’t just been cuddling a 2 week old. Next time perhaps! Can I offer you a picture of one of our current foster kittens being cuddled by my husband? Say hello to Violet!

Everybody loves a kitten

Everybody loves a kitten

Let me know if you make it and enjoy it!

I promise it’s so easy you can’t muck it up and everyone will think you are a creative star!

Anna x


Jun 2

Sunday catch up


by LifeLoveLaura on June 2, 2013

It’s Sunday again which means only one thing – it’s catch up time! We’re a few posts into Life, Love, Laura & Guests whilst Little T and I are away, I hope you’re enjoying it so far? If you have missed anything this week, here goes…

Regular Bank Holiday breakfast

Regular Bank Holiday breakfast

As it was Bank Holiday on Monday there wasn’t a full post, just a happy Bank Holiday wish, which included a photo of the most amazing bacon sandwich. I want to eat it all over again.

Tuesday was a little moan about the ever changing social networking site that is Facebook. Changing for the worst, that is. A Necessary evil. A lot of people seemed to agree with me on this one. What do you think?



On Wednesday we had my Love list #1. If only money, work, circumstances, etc etc weren’t an issue… But I guess being a dreamer is good!

Our first holiday to Spain in October

Our first holiday to Spain in October

On Thursday, Little T and I shipped (or flew) ourselves off to Spain. It’s our final bit of chill out time before I go back to work so hopefully it will be nice and relaxing.

Hannah and Nick's engagement party - Make, Do and Push!

Hannah and Nick’s engagement party

Friday saw the first post of Life, Love, Laura & Guests. The gorgeous Hannah from Make, Do & Push! and mummy to beautiful baby Bea let us in on choosing her engagement ring. Everybody knows I love a good wedding and engagement story!



Doesn’t everybody love a diet burger? On Saturday we had another Life, Love, Laura & Guests post. Laura from Daisy’s Tea Party reveals a recipe for a burger that not only tastes smashing but is also good for the waistline. Everyone’s a winner with this one!

Et voila! Coming up early next week are a few more Life, Love, Laura & Guests posts, yay!

Laura x


I hope there are some BBQs happening this weekend, come rain or shine! Today Laura, my lovely twitter friend, takes over. We get on because we like to swear, we both love tattoos and most of all, we like FOOD. Laura and I were also brides to be together so many days have been spent chatting all things wedding. In fact, she was even a featured bride to be on my wedding blog! Aaah those were the days. Laura now writes her own blog, Daisy’s Tea Party and spends her evenings playing fancy dress with her cat (I’m not joking.) Her recipe is good for those wishing to watch the waistline but still wanting to indulge. If you’re striving for that perfect bikini bod in the run up to the summer hols, here we go – a perfect diet burger! 

It’s fair to say that, like the Laura of this blog, I like my food. A bit too much, really. In fact, waaay too much.  ‘Enough is enough’, I said to myself. It was time to stop pigging out and then feeling disgusted with myself, pretty much every single day. What to do about my long-lasting, enduring adoration of food, though?

I turned to Slimming World.

Having tried every diet under the sun, and fluctuating several stones over the course of the past few years, I can safely say that any diet involving eating as much as you like (albeit of prescribed ‘free food’) appealed to my gluttonous nature. The best things about this plan, too, is that a quick trawl of the interweb throws up ‘SW friendly’ versions of pretty much anything. INCLUDING BURGERS!  I’m giving you the exact version, as I make it, and am not labelling anything as which ingredient adheres to which part of the plan; suffice to say this is a tasty, cheap, guilt-free way to eat a burger.

I give you the Babybel burger.



To serve 4 (or 2 greedy guts who want two burgers each) you’ll need:

1 packet of extra-lean mince

1 finely-chopped red onion

Dash of tabasco/Pinch of dried chilli flakes

Dash of Worcester sauce

Salt and pepper, to season (garlic salt, if you have it, is lovely)

4 babybels (I used light ones but you don’t have to)

To serve – salad, grilled field mushroom, grilled bacon, wholemeal rolls (split and toasted), potato wedges


Put the mince, onion, salt and pepper, and sauces into a large bowl. Mix it together, thoroughly, by hand – because there’s a lower amount of fat in the mince, it needs to be manipulated for slightly longer. If it seems as though it’s not holding together, you could add a little beaten egg, but I have never had a problem with this. Divide the mixture into 4.

Peel the babybels (as it were) and put one on top of each section of mince. Shape the meat mixture around the babybel, ensuring it’s covered completely. This is in order to prevent any leakage of the cheese when it’s cooked. This done, spray a baking tray with Frylight and put the patties on top. They’re not the biggest burgers in the world, but spread them out evenly, so they don’t stick together.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until they’re done. They need to be baked rather than shallow fried for two reasons – it keeps the fat content lower, but more importantly they tend to disintegrate if they’re moved about too much in a frying pan. No one wants cheesy mince mixture instead of a juicy burger!  Whilst they’re baking, if you check and there’s some spillage of cheese, scoop it up and plonk it on the top of the leaky burger – it won’t run away too much.  In the meantime, you can get on with sorting your toppings out; I like a rasher of bacon and a grilled field mushroom.

Once cooked, assemble it all within a bun. I find they’re quite tall, so stick a toothpick in for aesthetic purposes. If you can be bothered.

Apply to face.



May 26

Sunday catch up


by LifeLoveLaura on May 26, 2013

It’s been a bit of a quiet week on Life, Love, Laura as we have been busy bees but there are a few personal posts and a great recipe to catch up on if you have missed them. Here we go…



Tuesday saw my return to work. Thankfully it was only an optional ‘keep in touch’ day but still, it really brought home the fact that I am almost at the end of my maternity leave. That kind of makes me feel a little bit sick. *sniff sniff*

Given the all clear, yay!

My poor baby

Friday was all about Little T’s hip dysplasia and his eight month check up this week. Thank you everybody for the lovely words about this!

Thursday night's tea went down well with the family

Thursday night’s tea went down well with the family

Yesterday I shared a fab recipe for today’s Sunday lunch – Beef and orange daube. If the shops haven’t shut yet, run out and have a go!

And there we have it for yet another week on Life, Love Laura. I hope it’s been a good one for you!

Laura x


May 25

Tasty beef and orange daube


by LifeLoveLaura on May 25, 2013

It’s supposed to be getting on for summer yet we’re walking around in tights and wearing our winter coats as it’s bloody freezing! There is one plus point to it being cold enough to freeze the bollocks off a brass monkey – we don’t have to swap our tasty winter comfort food for boring summery salads just yet. That is always a bonus in my book.

My twitter followers will know that I bang on about my beef and orange daube quite a lot but that’s because it’s what I always turn to when having guests round for tea. I don’t want to toot my own trumpet (is that the saying?) but it’s my old favourite as everybody loves it so I thought it’s about time I shared my recipe! If you fancy something a little bit different to the usual roast chicken for tomorrow’s family lunch (or just for yourself, there’d be more to enjoy) I strongly suggest that you take a trip to the supermarket this afternoon and have a go at this, you won’t regret it. If you do, send the rest to me as I’d gladly take it off your hands.

This recipe serves 4/5 people but we do like big portions. It is also suitable for freezing so if there’s any left over you can stash it away for another cold and rainy day. Let’s face it, there are bound to be more.

Last night's tea went down well with the family

Thursday night’s tea went down well with the family

You will need: 

(A large cast iron pan)

4 tbsp olive oil

1.1kg (2 1/2lb) best casserole steak (cut into chunks)

1 tbsp plain flower

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

50g (1 3/4 oz.) butter

3 large onions

2 oranges (although if you would prefer a tiny hint of orange you can use just the one, it will be as tasty)

600ml (1 pint) red wine

550g (1 1/4lb) mushrooms

1.2 litres (2 pints) hot vegetable stock

handful of thyme (fresh or dried, whichever you prefer)

Here’s what you need to do:

Zest and juice the oranges, quarter the mushrooms and finely slice the onions. Preheat the oven to 150′C (300′F/Gas 2). Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large cast iron pan, toss the meat in the flour, season with salt and pepper then add to the hot oil with the bay leaf and stir. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink then add the butter and cook until the meat is golden. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon once it is cooked and put it to one side. Don’t worry about the brown stuff on the bottom of the pan, it will come off later.

Add the remaining oil to the pan then add the onions and cook over a low heat until they’re soft. Add the orange zest, raise the heat a little bit then add the orange juice and stir.

Next, stir in the wine and simmer over a high heat for around 2 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, add the stock and the thyme and season again with salt and pepper. Return the meat to the pan, put on the lid then put in the oven to cook for around 3 hours or until the sauce has reduced a little bit and the meat has become meltingly tender. I prefer the sauce to be a little bit more reduced but you can have it a little bit runnier if you’d prefer, just keep an eye on it whilst it’s in the oven as it will start to reduce after around 2 1/2 hours.

And there you go. I usually serve it with shit loads of fresh buttery mash, green beans and broccoli. You won’t need extra gravy! If you have a go please let me know, I’d love to know what you think. If you don’t have a go, you have no excuse… unless you’re a vegetarian.

Enjoy, Laura x


May 12

Sunday catch up


by LifeLoveLaura on May 12, 2013

It’s that time again… I can’t believe how quickly the weeks are passing! If you’ve missed anything this week, here goes:

It's not just any breakfast, it's a Drewton's breakfast.

It’s not just any breakfast, it’s a Drewton’s breakfast.

Monday was a quick Happy Bank Holiday wish. Did you get up to anything fun?

First ever daytime cot nap

First ever daytime cot nap

Tuesday chatted about starting a new daytime nap routine with Little T. It went to plan but there’s still time for it to go tits up! How are you getting on with your little ones’ day time naps?

Book of Mormon, London

Wednesday was a little review of The Book of Mormon. All in all, it was AMAZING! Read all about it here.

Liebster Award

Friday shared my Liebster Award nomination. I was so so happy to become part of it and I hope my nominees are too. Getting praise from your peers makes all of this worthwhile!

A summer Daisy walk

A summer Daisy walk

Now the summer is on its merry way, Saturday discussed the pros and cons of the sun! Have I missed anything?

And there we have it for another week. This year is passing by way too quickly for my liking!

Laura x