Monday

Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken

If you read my last post, you will know that I'm doing a little series on here with Abel & Cole. They kindly sent me one of their Marvellous Meat Boxes and a Salad box to have a little play with and, this is the first recipe.

I decided to use the chicken breasts first. You get two in the box and, they're rather large! So, I managed to do two meals with them.

Now, I never used to be a huge fan of chicken breasts as I find them to be quite dry when they're cooked but, I have now figured out a way of cooking them so they are so moist, they fall apart!

And, because I'm so nice, I'm going to let you in on how I do it.

Chicken and Mango salad
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
You will need
Chicken breasts
Lettuce
Tomato
Salt and pepper
1tsp Cumin seeds
Knob of Butter
1tsp Turmeric
100g Plain Flour
Mango
Olive oil

Get a large saucepan and throw in your knob of butter and a glug of oil. Whilst that's melting, flatten your chicken breasts with a rolling pin.

Mix the Turmeric into the flour along with the salt and pepper. Quickly dredge each chicken breast in the flour and then place in the saucepan. Sprinkle the cumin seeds over.
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
Give the chicken breasts 1 minute in the saucepan and then flip them over. Turn the heat down to a medium setting and then put a lid on the pan. Set the timer for 10 minutes and DO NOT TOUCH OR OPEN THE LID until the timer goes off. 

Once the 10 minutes are up, switch off the heat, give the saucepan a little shake and then walk away for another 10 minutes again, DO NOT OPEN THE LID! 

I promise you, they will be so moist you will never cook your chicken breasts another way. 

Chop the lettuce, slice the tomatoes and scoop out the mango, leaving half to one side. Arrange in bowls and then cut your chicken into slices and lay on top. Make sure you leave one of the chicken breasts for the next recipe!
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
Ta-da!

Next up..

Creamy Chicken and Mango curry
You will need
The other chicken breast, chopped
1 Onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1tsp Cumin seeds
1 can of coconut milk
Mango
1tsp Garam Masala

Put your mango, Garam Masala and onion into a blender or food processor and make a 'mush'

I'm all about the technical terms!
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
Heat up a large saucepan and add a little oil. Add the mango and onion mush into the saucepan and heat through until its nice a soft. 

Add the coconut milk and cumin seeds and let it simmer. Then add your chicken and give it a big stir through. 
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next
Ensure it's piping hot and then serve with rice and, mango chutney. 
Cooking with Abel & Cole: Chicken by What Laura did Next

Delicious! 

Another yummy recipe will be up soon! 

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Friday

Cooking with Abel & Cole

You all know by now that as much as I love my fashion, I also love to lock myself away in the kitchen and cook up a feast. I try my best to buy my meat and vegetables from the butcher and greengrocers and, recently started getting a veg box delivered.

The lovely girls and boys at Abel & Cole got in touch with me a few weeks ago to see if I would like to try their new Marvellous Meat Box. This is a fairly new addition to their catalogue and, not one to turn down a box of meat, I hit the 'reply' button almost immediately! 

If you've never heard of Abel & Cole and, are a fan of good quality produce then they will be right up your street. They work directly with the best farmers, butchers and bakers to get the best produce for their customers and, they know exactly where it comes from and what does and doesn't go into it! 

I could go on about them forever but, have a read here for all the info behind the company and, the lovely farmers, butchers and makers.

Perfect! 

Now, along with my Marvellous Meat Box, I also got a salad box. If you're as nosey as I am, here's what were inside both:
Cooking with Abel & Cole by What Laura did Next
Marvellous Meat Box: Chicken breasts, Lamb mince, Stewing steak, cumin seeds and 
ground cinnamon
Cooking with Abel & Cole by What Laura did Next
Salad Box: Mango, Carrots, Red onions, Avocado, Tomatoes, Lambs lettuce, Basil and Lettuce

Their weekly boxes include seasonal fruit, veg and meat. What's great about it is that you don't have to order every week (I get mine every other week) and, you can tell them what you do and don't like. They also include some very useful recipe sheets and throw in a few little freebies now and then. Plus, you can order a load of other things including bread, milk, fish, rice and chocolate. To name a few. 

Over the next week, I'll be posting up some recipes on here that include all the produce from each box. 

I can't wait to show you wait I've rustled up! 


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No More White Bits: The New Fake Tan on the block

Now, I'm not sure if I should get all excited about the lovely weather we're having as when I do it seems to disappear and rain! But, let's test this theory and hope I'm WRONG!

As it's now warm enough to get the legs and arms out I decided to dabble in a little fake tan. I've never used it before mainly because I'm one of *those* people that tan quite easily and, I've seen some right old fake tan disasters out there that's put me off! But, as my legs haven't seen the sun for about a year, I thought I would try some out so I don't scare people away with my very bright, white legs! 
Introducing No More White Bits. This is a relatively new fake tan brand and is from the team behind Anatomicals. The price point is really good - anything under a fiver is always going to win with me! I'm always dubious when it comes to cheap beauty products but this one is fab and goes on streak free without leaving you looking like an oompa loompa and smelling like a biscuit.
Available to buy in AsdaASOS, and Superdrug this product comes in a mousse formula in two different shades, gel and one with a little glitter in for a bit of shimmer! 
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Wednesday

Lights, Camera, Curry's!

Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Last weekend I was invited to the #LightsCameraCurrys photography workshop by the guys at Joe Blogs and local photographer, Dade Freeman. Along with a fair few other lovely Brighton bloggers (and, there are a few of us!) we were taught about various aspects of photography, including Aperture, ISO and shutter speeds. Then, we were let loose around beautiful Brighton to test out our skills.

It was great to meet lots of the lovely bloggers behind some of the blogs I follow and read plus, hang out with the ones I already know. Including Miss McGee who was a great photo friend for the day.
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
Lights, Camera, Curry's! by What Laura did Next
It was great to learn a little more about photography. I am one of those people that usually sets my camera to the 'Auto' mode so it does all the work for me and, I do tend to rely on my phone when taking photos out and about but after the class, I'm more confident with taking photos and will be taking my camera out with me a lot more from now on.

So, thanks Dade, Joe Blogs and Curry's for a great day! 


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Monday

The Active Hen Project

The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
A couple of weekends ago, I headed up to London to be part of a very exciting project called The Active Hen. In collaboration with Maximise and a small group of lovely UK bloggers, we set out to help create the perfect Active Hen Weekend. The weekend was the first test run to see what we thought and now they are looking into tweaking bits with our recommendation before it goes up for sale!

Maximise have over 15 years of experience in hen and stag weekend organisation which has helped them to keep ahead of the trends. Recently, they have seen more women becoming interested in hen parties that have a more active theme to them. They already offer lots of energetic activities for hens (Assault course anyone?!), but are looking to go one step further and create a unique Active Hen package for the hens that want to try something a little different which has a strong fitness element to it but, keeping it fun and enjoyable at the same time. 

Now, you may have seen my Twitter and Instagram feeds go into overdrive with all the things we got up to but, I wanted to share my thoughts and experience on here. 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
Elle, Sian, Christine, Georgina and I stayed in the lovely Marlin Apartments in East London for the duration of the weekend and, when we arrived we found our very own personalised onesies on our beds plus, a few bottles of Prosecco to whet our whistle. 

Our first acticity of the weekend was one I've always wanted to try so I was very excited! Alastair from the School of Food arrived at the apartment and we got straight down to learning the skills needed for sushi making.
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
Are those Chopsticks? or are you just happy to Sashimi?

Sorry, couldn't resist.

The next morning, we were up bright and early for a Yoga class with Martina from BreatheYoga. Although I was a bit dubious having never done Yoga before, I found it to be a relaxing way to start a busy Saturday, especially as we had a couple of activities planned for the afternoon.  
After Yoga, we had a some time to chill out at the apartment, grab a light lunch and then mosey on over to Shoreditch Park for our next activity - Old school sports day! 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
For this, the team from Maximise joined us for a little bit of competitive fun! Gail, from North London Fitness put us through our paces with five-legged races, egg and spoon, welly wanging, sack racing, and, Tyre relay and, my favourite, a game of British Bulldog. 

Who knew exercise could be so much fun?!

(Words that I never thought would come out of my mouth)

Shooting back to the apartment, we showered, swapped our trainers for heels and took off into the sunny evening for a bit of cocktail making at Jewel bar in Piccadilly. 

It all got a little competitive and, slightly drunken (as cocktail making classes do)

 and, things started to heat up...
One down side was that the class was only an hour long and, mainly focused on us drinking as much as we could in that space of time. I know that this sort of activity is mainly for that but, it was a little rushed and I was looking forward to learning a little more on *how* to make the cocktails. I'm not a huge drinker anyways so, drinking lots of cocktails in the space of an hour is a little too much for me! Plus, we ended up with about ten cocktails that we couldn't really tuck in to as we had to dash off for dinner. 
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
The Active Hen Project by What Laura did Next
And, I don't like seeing cocktails go to waste!

Dinner was at Grace which is located in Soho. I think we were all pleased that we had our own private room as there were so many hen parties in the restaurant - inflatable willies and 'L' plates galore! After our two courses, we decided to skip dessert, head to Whole Foods to grab some yummy treats, grab some face packs and head back to the apartment to get into our personalised onesies and have a girls night in complete with pampering! 

Which turned out to be a great idea as we were all so knackered from the Yoga and sports day!

This was only a trial run of the package, so tweaks can be made before it's launched on their site. Speaking from experience (I used to work for a company that organised stag and hen weekends) I feel that some changes need to be made to the Saturday evening aspect of it as it was very much like your typical hen party (Cocktail making was the most popular activity when I used to organise hen weekends!) with no sort of fitness/healthy-related activities in the evening.

Overall, I had a great time on the weekend and, have been talking about it non-stop since! Lot's of people I've spoken to have been really interested in the package as it seems different to your sterotypical stripper-drunken-cupcake making weekend. Inflatable willies, and L plates optional. 
Maximise are offering a special promotion for my readers – the bride goes free when you book a hen package. You just need to quote the code: ACTIVEHEN when booking online or over the phone (0208 236 0111).

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