PING

Do you ever have those nights where you just want to go somewhere and hangout?  You don't want to sit in your own home and do nothing but you don't want to get super dressed up and go somewhere that requires a lot of effort.  I have this problem all the time but finally, my problem has been solved.  Ping is a stones throw away from Earl's Court underground station and covers all your needs from food, to drink, to games.
Ping is half eating area with long benches and square tables and half games area with ping pong and foosball tables.  I arrived early with a friend so we decided to grab some food whilst waiting for the others.  We had delicious pizza's with decadent cocktails in an environment that was so relaxed I forgot I was out in public and not in my own home.  As well as ping pong and foosball, you can order a cocktail which comes with American style red plastic cups and plenty of booze to set you up nicely for beer pong.  Clever minds have thought up great named cocktails such as 'Chandler Ping' and a milkshake based dessert aptly named 'my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard'.  Staff were friendly and food and drink was great... GO HERE.


Slightly creepy but super cool artwork on the walls
Strawberry Bellini & Espresso Martini
The beautiful Emily of Auger Prints (found here)

We had the Volcano pizza, spicy sausage & chilli on a cheese & tomato base
And the Pick-me-up, egg and bacon on a pizza, genius. This was our fave
Beer pong
Happy campers, we love Ping!

OREO CUPCAKES

As much as I hate to admit it, it is super easy for me to sit down with a packet of Oreo cookies and demolish the whole lot in one go.  I don't know what it is about those cream filled cookies from heaven but they get a hold of me every time.  Naturally, the most logical thing for me to do was to combine them with one of my other favourite sweet eats, cupcakes.  These are so easy to make when you get the hang of them and they end up tasting and looking fantastic.

In a mixer: flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, eggs, veg oil, vanilla, milk & hot water
Mix until you have a very liquid consistency
Crumble one Oreo cookie into the bottom of each baking cup
Fill with the liquid mixture until two thirds full
Bake for 18 minutes
Fill your piping bag with frosting: butter, Oreo crumbs, vanilla, milk & icing sugar
Pipe onto cupcakes
Cut Oreo's in half and place one half into the frosting of one cupcake

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup hot water
24 Oreos
Frosting:
4 cups unsalted butter
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-6 Tablespoons milk
2 or more teaspoons Oreo cookie crumbs
For the cupcakes:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line tray with 12 baking cups.
  • Break apart at least 12 cookies and place the broken pieces into each cup.
  • Mix the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl using a wire whisk.
  • Add the eggs, oil, vanilla and milk and mix well until thoroughly combined. Add the hot water and mix until combined.
  • Transfer the batter to a large measuring cup and then pour batter into each baking cup so it’s about three quarters full.
  • Bake for 16-18 minutes.

VB S/S 13

I hardly ever re-post pictures from the hundreds of shows that take place during the numerous fashion weeks.  Most blogs as well as the major magazine websites post the same pictures from the same shows which makes it become repetitive.  Blogs become uninteresting to read and the shows lose their value.  However, for me there is an exception, Victoria Beckham.  This is a woman who has found fame through being in a girl group and has evolved into an incredibly talented designer who clothes I believe are on par with some of the seriously big named designers.  There is a difference between posting a hundred photos from a hundred shows to simply show the collection and posting a select few photos accompanied by literature explaining why the show was of value to you.  Each year I seem to end up posting about the Victoria Beckham shows, she is a designer who never ceases to amaze me.  The journey from where she started to where she is now is a fascinating one that deserves to be acknowledged.
This seasons show saw more relaxed, light fabrics which floated beautifully down the runway.  Boyish blouses were teamed with tiered minis and contrasting collars.  Visible bra's and straps were noticeable amongst several of the looks along with Victoria's signature double belts with nearly everything.  Hats were by Stephen Jones and shoes by Manolo Blahnik.

Black / white crepe de chine floor length sleeveless shirt dress

Black double crepe tuxedo jacket with black bonded stretch skinny trousers

Cream soft canvas cropped boy trouser

Double crepe cropped blazer with black crepe de chine double cuff blouse and double crepe a-line skirt

Black matt satin long backless cami dress



ITALIAN EATS

I love Italian food.  There is something so appealing to me about taking simple ingredients and creating something spectacular from them.  Let's be clear though, I'm not that into fancy Italian food I prefer the originals, classics such as bolognese, carbonara and vongole are amongst my favourites.  When done how the Italians do, these simple dishes taste utterly divine.  I made spaghetti carbonara last week from a traditional Italian recipe with the sauce made from scratch.  I can't tell you how much better this sauce tastes when it's homemade.  The carbonara sauce bought in pots from supermarkets is so thick and heavy with often very little taste, I don't find them pleasant to eat at all.  This recipe is so easy, I urge you to make it at home if you want a taste of authentic Italian food.

Ingredients: Olive oil, streaky bacon, pecorino romano, dries spaghetti, eggs, salt & pepper
Whisk together the eggs and pecorino romano
Cube the streaky bacon, or pancetta
Cook the streaky bacon in olive oil (8-10 mins).  Boil the spaghetti, once al dente, add to the pan with the pancetta
Add a cup of the pasta water to the egg & cheese mixture, combine and pour over the pasta
Add salt, plenty of pepper and extra grated pecorino romano over the top and serve.  Bellisimo!