July Highlights – BBQs, making friends and a sexy kitchen gadget

This is such a boring, small-talk, adult thing to say, but how can it be August already?

Exciting fun things have happened and the weather has been GLORIOUS, but this month seems to have Ferrari-d past, leaving a hot sweaty dust trail behind it.

Which is why I’m late with the highlights. Sorry guys.

BUT while we’re on it, I made a very responsible decision this month which will (fingers crossed) make sure I’m never late with a post EVER AGAIN.

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I got super honest and real with myself and decided that two recipes a week is just too many for me at the moment, what with a full-time job and the amount of time it takes to create, cook, photograph, edit and write up every recipe! Plus I want to keep on top of my social media and have time to work on a little secret that’s been brewing (ooooh, exciting) and I reckon one less recipe a week should do it.

So, from now on, there will be one new recipe on my blog every Tuesday, alternating between #lunchbox and general recipes. I hope that’s cool.

Also, thank you so much for all the lovely messages after my announcement post. You guys make me happy.

Anyway, drink of choice today is a super fancy Seedlip gin and tonic, ft. ice, a lime wedge and a humungous glass, in a desperate attempt to cool myself down and trick my body into enjoying the 35 degree heat.

Seedlip G&T.jpg
Coffee in this heat? Good gracious no.

Let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

I made some friends!

In case you missed it, this month I took to my Instagram stories to find some friends. Super cool I know. But the thing is, finding a group of people to hang out with in London is surprisingly difficult. I have friends and I hang out with them, but it’s often one friend here and one friend there, most of whom I met through uni or school and live outside of London.

It’s never a group. And if you ask me, wiggling your way into a pre-existing group is not easy.

So, I threw my dignity to one side (dignity, shmignity, right?) and took matters into my own hands. I announced on my stories that I was looking to start my own London group, made up of people like me who love food, are new to London and want to make some friends.

Then I went back to eating my pizza.

By the time I went to bed, I’d had a good 5 or 6 responses. By the morning it was more like 8 or 9. And now? Well it’s a whopping great group of 14 happy people, all excited to hang out and eat and have fun. Yay for Instagram.

All we have to do now is pick a date that works for everyone…

The sexiest lunchbox ever

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Told you it was sexy

Guys, the Swivlit has landed. And it’s the sexiest kitchen gadget I own.

I started following Swivlit on Instagram a few months back while on a hunt for an insulated lunchbox. As lovely as my workspace is, it doesn’t have a fridge, or a microwave, or a kettle, which means my food has to sit in a see-through plastic tuppaware for several hours in my bag. Not ideal.

Then I came across the Swivlit – which by the way is so much more than a lunchbox – and it totally changed my life. Here are some of the reasons why I love it almost too much:

  • It’s described as a multi-functional eating pod which sounds futuristic kind of cool
  • It looks sexy, which is important
  • It’s dishwasher safe, which is in-keeping with the minimal effort, maximum reward thing that I talk about a lot in the #lunchbox series (link)
  • It’s insulated, so can keep food hot for 6 hours and cold for slightly longer
  • You can COOK STUFF IN IT! Seriously you can put raw pasta in there with some veggies and stock, microwave it for a few minutes (oh it’s also microwave safe) pop the lid on and it will essentially slow cook your food until you’re ready for lunch time. Mind blown.
  • It reduces the need for single use plastic
  • They donate to the Ocean Clean-Up Campaign
  • And finally, it’s a brand born out of passion which is my favourite. The co-founders and sisters, Emma and Lucy, were fed up with ugly lunchboxes and lukewarm food, so got to work on making lunchtime easier for everyone and created this sexy gadget. While working full time in other jobs I might add. Boss ladies to the max!

Buy one. Make stuff. Eat and be happy.

[Not sponsored and no affiliate links – however I’ve been working on some Swivlit specific recipes that I’ve agreed to share with them, so not sure what you’d call that. Collaboration maybe? Lol can you tell I’ve never done this before!]

Barbecues

Alex 22.07.jpg
Alex and Mr Kelly prepping the good stuff.

Ahhhh, is there a nicer sounding word than ‘barbecues’? I don’t think so.

The English summer doesn’t often lend itself to many barbecues. So much so that one July, my family and I headed to the only barbie we would attend that year, cooked up some stuff, ate and were merry, then popped the bbq back in the garage. A year later, when we decided to brush off the cobwebs and roll out the barbie once more, we found a forgotten tuna steak on the grill. It had been there for a whole year.

That’s 365 sad, non-barbecue days.

In the recent heatwave however (which, while delightful, is potentially concerning considering the drastic change in the temperature of this levitating, spinning ball of lava that we call home…) the barbie has really come into its own.

And I love it even more now I’m obsessed with food and keen on healthy living. Because as a kid, a bbq was just mixed meats and a mayo-heavy potato salad, with a side of ‘children’s pimms’ (lemonade, pink squash and fruit). But now it’s the sides that steal the show for me! Roasted pepper couscous and dried aprictos; za’atar roasted aubergine with feta and mint; fresh caprese salad with basil and balsamic glaze; grilled corn; mango slaw; charred pineapple – I pile them all onto my plate and stuff my ridiculously happy face with all the good stuff.

Oh and the brownies! Alex’s Mum, Mary, makes the BEST almond flour brownies that are so gooey and dark and indulgent and are impossible to put down. And don’t you worry, I’ve asked her for the recipe, so it’s on its way!

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Pudding!

So that’s it for my July highlights! All in all a very hot month, filled with good food, good friends and sexy kitchen gadgets. If you fancy being part of the foodie London group then please get in touch (via Instagram is probably best) and let me know if you bag yourselves a Swivlit.

And if you’re just here for the food, that’s cool too – there’ll be lots more recipes coming your way this August so stay tuned. Happy summer!

Samantha x

 

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