Chocolate sea salt and almond tart

Making delicious foods is one of my great joys in life, although i'm not a very good cook or baker I still enjoy trying new recipes and giving it a go, even if 50% of my meals do end up getting the chuck. However this one didn't, so I thought I should share it with you, my truly scrumptious chocolate, sea salt and almond tart. 

You will need: 

200g of good quality dark chocolate 
(I used green and blacks) 
300g of double cream 
2 tsp of sugar 
50g of butter 
50ml of milk 
pinch of salt
handful of almonds
1 packet of ready made shortcrust pastry 
(a bit naughty I know) 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees and grease a 23cm round tin, then place your pastry into in, cutting into shape if necessary. 
2. Place greaseproof paper on top on the pastry and fill with dry rice and place in the oven for 10 mins. This is to make sure the pastry keeps its shape. 
3. Next, take the rice out and place the pastry back in the oven for around 15 mins or until golden. 
4. Pour your sugar, cream and salt in a pan and bring to the boil whilst stiring. Once the mix starts to boil turn the heat off. 
5. Add in small chunks of chocolate and the butter and stir until completely melted. 
6. Wait for a minute or so and then add the milk and stir until the mix is a luxurious, shiny dark brown. 
7. Pour the mix into the pastry tin and leave to cool in the fridge for 2/3 hours.
8. Once hard, sprinkle your sea salt and almonds on top. 
9. Serve with ice cream or cream and enjoy! 

Eryn x 

Flint + Flint Facial

A few weeks back I was well and truly pampered by the beautiful team at Flint + Flint in Harvey Nichols Manchester. I was invited down for a facial to see what they had to offer…. And it truly was the best facial I have ever had.

Situated towards the back of the store, Flint+ Flint looks like a trendy neon/gothic beauty parlour that stands out in the midst of the rest of the counters, definitely in a good way. The black pillowed walls, neon pink cross and crazy pictures draw you in immediately. It’s definitely a place of luxury and you know you’re in for an experience when you enter.

After the usual health and safety forms you have to fill in, I was told I was being given a micro-needling treatment on my face, the whole shebang. I’ll be honest, when I heard the word “needle” I sh*t myself because although I don’t mind needles, the thought of them in my face really did send shivers. But I really wasn’t what I expected, the machine was like a little roller going across your face with thousands of tiny needles in it, they are only 0.5mm each.

So, the treatment started with a crystal clear soothing cleaners followed by an exfoliation. Both were extremely relaxing and I felt like I was having a face massage at the same time. This set me up for the micro-needling treatment. The little roller was rolled across my face with a soothing gel that came out of it. This gel has collagen in and absorbs into the skin, helping it to retain its elasticity and remain youthful. The micro-needling went from my cheeks up to my forehead and then to my nose, the most painful part was the forehead because there is less to protect from your bones there, but it wasn’t distressing, just slightly uncomfortable. After this the practitioner used a little device that blew fresh oxygen onto my face which was cold but refreshing. And finally we finished with a crystal clear repair mask. 

I'd highly recommend that you give a facial a go. At first you may think it's a lot of money but what could be more important than looking after your body. It gave my skin the boost it needed and I would definitely go back for another one. 

Eryn x 

Adanola sports wear

We all know that great things come from Manchester, and one of those things is Adanola, an affordable but super stylish sportswear brand for women. If you want comfy workout wear that still looks good, you need to head over to Adanola right now and check out their new collection because it is fabulous.

(photo credit: @katiefranko) 

So, some fitness bloggers were invited to an Adanola fitness event at Leaf on Portland Street in Manchester where we were put to our fitness test and had a chance to browse the new collection. We were given a metafit class, which let me tell you, wasn’t easy. The session lasted half an hour and we did a series of bodyweight exercises until we were dripping, much harder than I expected it to be.

(my favvy tracksuit here)

After the class we got to look at the Adanola clothing and were treated to a goody bag featuring our very own cap (which is a struggle to get over my massive hair). The clothing is simple and stylish, nothing too outlandish like many sports brands can be, you wouldn’t feel out of place if you wore it walking down the street.

(get your outfit here)

Finally, we topped it off with a super healthy ginger juice that gave you the boost you needed after such an intense session. Then a few of us stayed in Leaf, which is fabulous by the way and enjoyed some delicious looking food. I wish I didn’t have tea waiting for me when I got home because the halloumi flatbread looked unreal.

If you want to take a look at the Adanola collection, visit their website here.

Tomato soup...the real stuff

It's winter, it's cold and it's definitely the season for soup, it's a hug in a bowl. Soup is one of my favourite meals for lunch because it's really filling and a great way to get your vegetables in mid-day without having to stick to tupperwear greens and meat. It's such a heartwarming dish and sometimes, all you want is soup and a sandwich, especially on a rainy day. Sit inside cuddled up dunking your bread in hot tomato soup.....hmmmm.

But, if you’re going to have soup it has to be homemade. Soup that comes from a tin or a packet are full of sugar and salt, no good for you and definitely not as tasty as making it yourself. The thing is, making soup is so easy, even if you don’t have a soup maker and you can make batches of it so it lasts a while.

You will need:

13 salad/vine tomatoes
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
800m of vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup of milk
Handful of chopped basil leaves
1 tsp of Italian herbs
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbps of butter

(Serves 4)

1.    Chop your onions and garlic then add the onions to a pan of melted butter and stir on a medium heat until golden (around 2 mins).
2.    Add the garlic and stir for another minute
3.    Add your stock and milk to the pan and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, the mix should be slightly bubbling but not frantically, stir occasionally.
4.    Whilst the mix is cooing, chop your tomatoes and add with the basil, herbs, salt and pepper.
5.    Leave the soup for a further 20 mins, the mix should be slightly bubbling again.
6.    Depending on whether you have a hand blender, a jug or a small blender either:
Take the heat off the pan and blend with the hand blender until all of the vegetables have been blended
Place your soup in the blender once cooled slightly (do it in batches if you have a small blender and have bowls ready)
7.    Serve hot with a delicious crusty roll 

Eryn x