I have a very expensive habit. It's not shoes or handbags, it's not POSH makeup or trips to the spa and it's not even nights out and drinking champagne like it's water (I wish!) Nope - my expensive habit is food. Not just any food, delicious food that calls to me whenever I unwrap a sad and limp sandwich at lunchtime and gaze longingly out the window at the plethora of amazing cafes and restaurants near my office.
Whether its a cheeky Starbucks red cup and a pain au chocolate on the way into work, a juicy burger or a blogger favourite brunch at the weekends, eating out is definitely my weakness. It hasn't got any better since I moved in with Sean either, as our fridge isn't usually stocked and we are more often than not tempted by the thought of someone else cooking and serving delicious food to us. We're one of those couples who would rather spend money on an expensive meal in a Michelin star restaurant than on buying gifts for each other - what can i say?
Fortunately for me (or maybe not so fortunately, as I now know i need to seriously cut down my spending) Legal & General have launched a calculator that shows you exactly what you could be saving, and saving for, if you would cut out or cut down your expensive habit. I casually went on the website and entered my average spend per day on buying food from anywhere other than the supermarket and...OH MY GOSH. I could be saving 2000 odd pounds a year to go on 4.4 new laptops or 5.5 trips away. Slightly masochistically I slid the slider up to the amount I would spend over 15 years...THIRTY TWO THOUSAND POUNDS. Holy moly.
I'm definitely going to make more of an effort to make nice lunches to take into work to save me cash - I don't think my soggy sandwiches are going to help me cut down the habit so any bright ideas would be very helpful! Do you have a bad habit of spending money on eating out too? Or is your habit something else entirely...(I'm hoping someone out there really does drink champagne like it's water)
First of all, no comments on exactly how skin tight these trousers look please - I'm carrying a little extra holiday weight right now...Insane tightness aside, I am totally in love with these Boohoo trousers - they're perfect for teaming with just about everything in the current chilly weather and they're a bit of a bargain as well.
I got this top during a bit of a Forever 21 sale spree a month or so ago - I managed to get three jumpers, two tops, a dress and a necklace for the amazing price of £35 including postage - don't ask me how, because I'm not sure i could recreate it. I have to say though, it was very satisfying to see Sean's expression when a huge parcel arrived for me and my response to "and how much did that all cost?!" was "£35 actually, so shut yer face." I really love the crochet detailing on the neckline - it feels a bit Victorian to me and we all know they were the height of fashion...(quick put your ankles away.)
The watch is an Olivia Burton (but of course) and is actually limited edition - it's only available on the website and once it's gone it's gone for good so snap it up whilst you still can!
I genuinely had the idea for this brunch recipe when I was walking home in the dark after work, rushing under a bridge near the train station that smelt a little bit like a men's bathroom. I'm not sure how that connection came about in my mind - maybe I was desperately trying to think of something more pleasant smelling.
Four days later I got the chance to try it out and I can confirm that this will definitely be getting added to my repertoire - it tastes exactly like warm jam doughnuts. Not one for the calorie counters, but Saturday brunches are for treating yourself as far as I'm concerned. Bonus points if there are only two of you because you'll be left with enough brioche to have with another thick spread of jam on Sunday morning.
The recipe is pretty simple and it's not one to stick to religiously - if you have a tried and tested method for making french toast you can just add in the extra steps! If you haven't, here's what I used to make two pieces of french toast each for two people:
1) Slice eight fairly thick slices of brioche from a loaf - mine were about 2cm I reckon give or take a few millimetres.
2) Spread good quality raspberry or strawberry jam over the brioche - get right up to the edges!
3) Sandwich together the slices of brioche and press down the sides so that they'll stay together when you're cooking them.
4) Mix three eggs, a splash of milk and a couple of drops of vanilla extract in a shallow dish and start soaking your first piece of french toast on both sides.
5) Heat up a frying pan and melt a teaspoon of butter in it - this works much better than oil I find!
6) Once the pan is sizzling drop your soaked french toast slice into it and fry until golden brown on both sides - this should only take a minute or two if the pan is nice and hot.
7) Remove the french toast from the pan with a spatula and drop onto a small plate that you have covered in sugar - coat the french toast with sugar on both sides and keep covered on a warm plate until your other slices are ready.