Boozy hot chocolate

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Here’s something warm, soothing and boozy to sip on while you stick up your Christmas deco’s or start writing your cards. After all, we’re almost in December, peeps, and now is the time to put on two stone.

We like this boozy hot chocolate a lot. It’s like the sort of hot chocolate you’d get on a ski holiday: rich, thick, indulgent and guaranteed to leave you feeling a little rosy-cheeked and squiffy.

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Here’s what you need for four people: 1 pint of milk; 50g of good dark chocolate – grated; 2 tbsp of quality hot chocolate; 1 tbsp of cornflour; 2tbsp of icing sugar; a bottle of chocolate cream liqueur or Irish cream/Baileys.

Here’s what you do:

1.Grate your chocolate into fine flakes – keep a few flakes back for decoration

2.Pour milk into pan on medium heat

3.Tip your grated chocolate, hot chocolate, cornflour and icing sugar into a jar and shake to mix

4.When milk is starting to bubble gently, spoon in your dry ingredients mixture

5.Turn down the heat a bit and keep stirring until your chocolatey milk becomes smooth

6.Pour a good glug of your creamy liqueur into glass mugs – or hefty tumblers with stems. We went for M&S’s Chocolate Yule Log Cream because it seemed rude not to

7.Carefully pour in your hot choc

8.Sprinkle on your leftover chocolate flakes

9.Drink while doing Christmas errands/watching Christmas 24

10.Pour some more when finished and get gently sozzled because it’s nearly Christmaaaaaaas!

 

 

Hello, new shop products

Author: Sarah-Louise

As you might have guessed, we love a bit of bunting here at We May Be Little. And the past week has mostly been spent working on said hangy stuff in all its various guises.

One of our projects is a bespoke commission from a local pub, which we’re quite excited about and which we’ll update you on, on here soon.

The second lot of bunting we’ve been beavering away at is of the Christmas and baby name variety, which is now in our Etsy shop.

So we wanted to introduce you and let you know they come handmade with TLC and a nice price tag.

After all, as soon as this weekend’s Halloween celebrations are up we’re practically staring down the gob of Christmas.

First up, here’s our Christmas bunting, perfect for festooning your fireplace, window ledge, fridge, whatever tickles your fancy…

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CHRISTMAS STAG BUNTING, £5 for a metre/ 5 flags – as pictured.

This is our standard bunting size and the perfect length for mantlepieces, shelves and chests (not those kind). We can make longer pieces for walls if you fancy it – just send us an email and put in your requests.

Here are some more patterns:

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RETRO BABY REINDEER BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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CHRISTMAS VILLAGE BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags

 

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SCANDI CHRISTMAS BUNTING, £5 for a metre/5 flags
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BESPOKE NAME BUNTING, £10 for up to 5 letters; £1 for each extra letter

We’ve also been going for it on the baby name bunting. Lucky Jasmine (my baby girl) can’t move for the stuff.

Here’s how the name bunting works. It’s a tenner for up to five letters – an extra £1 for each letter after that (so Jasmine would have cost £12 if we hand’t have made it ourselves. Though from a business point of view, maybe we should pay ourselves?) There are four different fabrics to choose from too, with more on their way: toadstools; owls; friends and flowers – see below.

 

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And there we have it. Remember, you could have a go at making your own bunting by following our mini bunting how-to. Or if you can’t be bovved with all that then we’ll make it for you. All of the bunting options above are clickable and go straight through to our Etsy shop. Otherwise you can click here.

 

Happy festooning!

Strictly Sunday 

  
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So it’s bye-bye to Ainsley and an end to all those food dance-puns. After a crazed jive to a backdrop of floating toast, even he must have been thinking this takes the biscuit. 

Jamelia lived to dance another day after an underwhelming waltz. Let’s hope she gets to do the Charleston again next week. 

Elsewhere, Georgia’s disco-salsa was missing the chilis for us, a bit bland and heavy. Nevertheless she snaffled a 31. Weather woman Carol’s Viennese waltz was perfectly nice and elegant but she got mean comments again. Some of the judges want to turn her into another comedy figure along with Jeremy but she’s not playing along. She’s snow joke.

Anita did a dramatic tango to an undramatic song (Sweet Disposition by Temper Trap) and bagged a 32, while Peter’s Rumba hips weren’t nearly as silky as his fetching turquoise shirt. He got 29 and we’re wondering: did he peak in week 1?

A mini fist pump for Kirsty. You can see how badly she wants to be good. There’s a scary intensity in her eyes. And the moment she relaxed a little she became elegant and floaty. Len said lots of things about fleckles and pivots so it must’ve been good and she ended up with 29. 

Katie didn’t get her bum going in the salsa, apparently, and toppled from last week’s top spot to one from the bottom this week, with 21. Jeremy’s waltz wasn’t his best. Ballroom doesn’t have the same comedy potensh as Latin after all. He got a lowly 18 and was lucky to escape the dreaded D.O.

Helen (that sweet grin is becoming a little manic now) did an almost flawless quickstep to You Can’t Hurry Love with flashing train imagery. There were lots of train puns from the judges, which is funny considering there is no journey here at all. She got 35. Kellie got the same for a fizzy jive. 

Jay’s 33-scoring Paso Doble got Bruno so over excited he dropped the B-bomb (bollocks) (as in ‘the dog’s’) and got told off. It was a rare moment of excitement in a slightly uninspiring week. Oh well, we’ll keep on dancing. See you next week! 

Strictly Sunday

    

At the top of the leaderboard an elegant flamingo (Katie). At the bottom, an “electrocuted stork.”

And yet the stork in question (Jeremy) lived to jive another day – in his own “peculiar” fashion. As did Katie whose Viennese Waltz was as light as a feather. Partner Anton, who’s had his toes fractured by Judy Murray and Jerry Hall in recent years, mustn’t know what to do with himself.

It was Daniel O’Donnell (where were his legion of loyal followers last night, huh?) who faced the dance off – along with a mohawked Kirsty. Who, despite looking like she should be amazing, isn’t really very amazing. Yet. To borrow a phrase, there’s a good dancer lurking in there somewhere. Will it emerge, this lurking dancer of hers, that is the question? And if so, what will it look like?

Anyway, Daniel went. He was a gent. Partner Kristina blubbed. No one feels this show as much as Kristina. She even feels it when she’s dancing with someone she doesn’t want to feel. Love her. 

  
Elsewhere, and the weight of expectation on Jay – after last week’s finale-style fireworks – was just too much to bear for the nervy one. There were mistakes in his Quickstep. Horror. The poor blighter only got 25 points. It was just a stumble, assured the judges. And we think they’re right. The pressure’s off again. Next week, the Travolta toes will be back.

What else. Helen needed to “earth her grind”, according to Craig (answers on a postcard…), but other than that predictably got 32 for her salsa. And Anita did well with hers while looking like she was trying a little too hard, again. 

  
Jamelia “found” her dance. It was the Charleston. Doesn’t everyone do well with the Charleston? Kirsty needs to do the Charleston. We’re happy for Jamelia, anyway. Like us, she’s a Brummie, her mouth gets her into trouble and she’s a bit more rubbish at dancing than she should be. This was hopefully the turning point.

Kellie did a lovely (read: boring) foxtrot inspired by her nan. The sentiment was sweet but it wasn’t a patch on last week’s Star Wars jig. Technically, however, that last statement isn’t true as she got exactly the same amount of points as she did last week. Her finger placement also got Craig excited.

  
Ainsley did a waltz quite proficiently. Georgia looked sweet hopping around the floor with her Quick Step. She’ll be in the final, that one.
Probably alongside Pete, who did a tango to Blue Monday. After last week’s bad panto performance, he was “back”. However he has a tendency to over-dance, according to Len. We agree. Easy there, Pete. 

 
The last word goes to lovely Carol, who is quite the heartthrob amongst men of a certain age. I know this because my uncle, who is of a certain age, signed up to Twitter just so he could contact her. (She didn’t reply). Apparently he and his friends discuss her merits over pints of ale down the local. This weekend she got all mean and moody in the Paso Doble and danced well. And she looked rather fetching. Her merits are probably being discussed right now.

  
See you next week. And until then, keeeep…

The perfect brunch: swoodle pancakes 


Author: Sarah-Louise James

So if zoodles are zucchini noodles, swoodles are officially sweet potato noodles. And swoodle pancakes are what happens when you lightly fry them in olive oil with eggs, spring onions and garlic.

Yep, the Spiralizer’s been out again and we’ve been having oodles of fun making food that rhymes with oodles. Foodles.

Anyway, while the Spiralizer is amazing for pasta-impersonating dishes, we wanted to do something a little different but just as easy, for the blog.

A couple of hours rummaging around Pinterest, Instagram and BBC Good Food later, and the swoodle pancake – or, sweet potato latkes sans flour, if you’d rather – was no longer just a twinkle in the eye. It was becoming a cobbled-together fully-formed thing.

And once the ideas became ingredients and those ingredients went into the frying pan, we were looking at a potential brunch winner.

These babies are easy to make, taste good and they’re healthy. And here’s the thing, they can even be made without a Spiralizer (gulp). You can grate the sweet potato instead if you like. You just won’t be able to call them swoodles very convincingly.

So… with two whole days of weekend coming up, tonight’s the night to stock up on sweet potatoes and get prepared. (Because everyone loves nothing more than stocking up on sweet potatoes on a Friday night.)

Ingredients and how-to after the pics…





What you’ll need for 4 people eating 3 medium-size swoodle pancakes each:

2 large sweet potatoes, 5 juicy cloves of garlic, 2 big organic eggs, a bunch of spring onions chopped up (we used 6 sprigs. Is sprigs the right word?), rock salt and pepper, olive oil, sour cream (we used shop-bought)

What to do:

  1. Wash, peel and halve your sweet potatoes
  2. Unleash the Spiralizer; stick the fat, flat half of your sweet potato to the spikes and go, go, go. (Or grate your sweet pots)
  3. Transfer your sweet p ribbons to a chopping board and cut them into more manageable shorter curls (make ’em about 5 inches)
  4. Now pop them in a big mixing bowl and sprinkle them with rock salt and pepper
  5. Chop your spring onions and add to the bowl
  6. Grate or finely chop your garlic and add to the bowl
  7. Crack two eggs into a jug, whisk until silky smooth and pour into the mixing bowl with all the other stuff
  8. Stir your mixture with a wooden spoon so it all starts bonding together
  9. Pour one tbsp of olive oil into a big saucepan, swirl it about then stick pan on hob on a moderate heat
  10. Once your oil looks ready, fork out some of your mixture out and create  a circle/patty shape with it in the pan, like in the pics above – do 3
  11. Press down on your sweet pot patties (that sounded a bit wrong) with your fork or spatula for about about 3/4 mins
  12. With a spatula, carefully check that the underside looks golden brown and if so, flip it over and cook for same time on the next side
  13. When you’re happy with your swoodle pancakes’ tans, whop them onto a plate and top with a dollop of sour cream
  14. Repeat the above for the next 3 people
  15. Don’t beat yourself up if some people’s swoodle pancakes are smaller than others. Trial and error. Trial and error.
  16. Serve with a Bloody Mary


Happy weekend, folks! Will any of you be whipping up brunch or, better still, whipping out your Spiralizer? Let us know x

But first… Coffee, cake, croissants, toasties…

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Never is coffee more important than on a Monday morning. A little bit of much-needed rocket fuel to chase the post-weekend blues away and make the boss’s demands a little more bearable.

And while we definitely don’t turn our noses up at a Nero’s cappuccino, there’s nothing better than finding a quirky little independent coffee shop, that does a rich, strong bean (with a flourish), to put a spring in your step.

We’re going to be reviewing indie coffee places whenever we come across a good ‘un. First it’s independent family-run Coffee Circus in Crouch End, nestled down a little side street, like a secret – within sniffing distance of Costa and Starbucks, but a world away.

If you come early in the morning you’ll find a long queue snaking its way out of the door but if you come mid-morning or afternoon, you’ll get a bit more space to explore a menu boasting blends and beans from all over the world – sourced by artisan roasters, BeanWanders.

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You can slurp your way through flat whites, French press, long blacks and skinny caps, macchiatos and ristrettos or really live it up and try an affogato – rich, dark espresso poured over creamy vanilla ice cream and served in a cup. There’s a loose tea list for brew lovers too.

There are homemade cakes – all gluten-free – plus a range of superior toasties and melt-in-your-mouth pastries. We’ve been a few times and not encountered a stale crust yet.

Local artists’ work adorns the walls; there’s a book shelf with tatty old reads for anyone who really has a day to while away but for anyone else there’s free wi-fi so you can come and work here. Though it’s not the kind of place to be a table hogger. Nip across the road to Starbucks for that.

And if you like what you drink, you can buy it. All the teas and coffee beans are for sale too. Open 8-6 during the week and 9-6 at weekends, this place is a little haven worthy of your attention if you ever find yourself in the locale. There are two adorable little Coffee Circus takeaway places in Camden Lock and Stables, too.

Do you have a favourite indie coffee hangout? Let us know.

Coffee Circus, 136 Crouch Hill, London, N8 9DX

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Things we love this autumn

TREND BOARD

Brrr.

There’s no denying it. Summer is dead.

Fortunately, here follows the cosiest season of all. (Let’s not think about what happens after that.)

And here are just a few of the things that are putting a smile on our faces. Things we’ve fallen for. Fallen for.

1. Pumpkin Spice latte Whether you love Starbucks or want it removed from your neighbourhood, you’ve gotta admit there’s something about their Pumpkin Spice lattes – back in store now! – that make you feel all warm and toasty inside. How can anything bad happen when you’re sipping on this potent mix of sugar and dreams? From all the Starbucks in the world.

2. Kiko Glass Frame We’re loving these vintage-meets-modern glass picture frames with a choice of zinc, copper or brass frames. We’re liking them even more piled on the wall en masse. £19.95 Notonthehighstreet.com

3. Zara Jacquard Scarf Wind? Rain? Pah! None of you are a match for this big, thick rug-like scarf from Zara. Could also double as a blanket on the night bus home. £22.99, Zara.com

4. Atterley Road Kaleidoscope Asymmetric dress All the style mags are full of Atterley Road’s boho 70s-style midi dress. We prefer this non-nostalgic asymmetric number. £65, AtterleyRoad.com

5. Tinsel garland We’re going to be spending a lot of time indoors. Time to get a Confetti System-style glitzy garland above the bed. In autumnal golds and bronzes, naturally. We’ll be making our own soon and giving you a how-to on the blog.

6. Topshop Hijack fringe ankle boot Ticks all the trend boxes for the new seas’. Suede. Tassled. Chunky-heeled. Like. £69, Topshop.com

7. Cosy Camel Because a longline camel coat never goes out of style, like this one modelled by Atlantic Pacific, a fashion blogger we like.

8. Biker Sheepskin biker jacket? See above. (This one is from Fitzroy Boutique)

9. LSA International Tortoise Shell globe vase Leopard print vase? Give it. From £42, Johnlewis.com 

10. Blythe. Always We have a dirty secret. It’s a Blythe doll obsession. It’s the Diet Cokes ads that did it. Anyway, here she is styled up for autumn, courtesy of OhChiWaWa

11. Low-cut jumpsuit We’ll mock this cut-off culotte jumpsuit in years to come. Right now its awkwardness is where it’s at. And it’s under £30! £29.99, Zara.com

12. A messy Bardot ‘do It’s mingin’ out there. Time to let the summer top knots down and get a bit of warmth around the old lug holes. Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.com 

*NB: This trend board is pretty female-centric on the fashion front. We know. For those of a more masculine persuasion, never fear. Your time is coming.

Funky Cheese Plate Friday!

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Here’s the thing. Drinks soirees, cocktail parties, “bevvies round ours” are all greatly improved with the presence of a cheese board.

We’re not talking crusty old slabs of cheddar, triangles of something blue and a bunch of wilted grapes-cheese boards. Though still we wouldn’t turn up our noses.

These days, the hot new trend in cheese boards (yes, according to the blogosphere, that is a thing) is informal and piled-up, look-at-me-and-dive-right-in. Styled to look bright, colourful and cool as well as delicious.

Check out our tips for a funky cheese board, below the pics.

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1. Get yourself a nice big board – wood, glass, colourful, up to you

2. Position your easy-to-slice cheeses on your board to start off with. Camembert and Stilton in our case

3. Chop up your tricky-to-slice cheese into easy-to-pop-in-your-gob cubes and position on board. Good old Red Leicester and cranberry cheddar in our case

4. Fill ramekins with dips. Hummous in our case. Place on board

5. Halve cherry tomatoes, slice up fingers of pepper, cucumber and apple and place on board

6. Add piles of cheesy biscuits, crackers, oat cakes, whatever takes your fancy

7. Fill the spaces on your board with tasty little buggers like mini gherkins and stuffed olives

8. Serve with sliced French bread and booze of your choice

9. Tuck in

We did all of the above for our Aperol-infused blog launch party – and the nibbles went down almost as quickly as the cocktails.

A cheeseboard is not just for Christmas, you see. A cheese board is just as much for weekends, week nights and wet Wednesday afternoons in winter.

What would you add to yours? Let us know!

Salmon and tomato zoodles

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Zoodles? See also: coodles. AKA, courgette-noodles. Going with the American/Oz mash-up, zoodles (zucchini-noodles), however. Because it sounds 70s and mad. A bit like ‘Zowie!’

Anyway, if you’re after a midweek munch that looks pretty and is pretty quick and easy to make, you’ll want to get your mouth around this. It’s got six ingredients: salmon, courgettes, tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. And, despite being simple, it still feels a bit complex and sophis’.

The dish really benefits from the use of a Sprializer. A contraption I got for my birthday in February and which I was too scared to get out of the box until recently.

When I plucked up the courage, however, I discovered it was actually really bloody easy to use and now I can’t get enough of it. Yay. And it made lovely-looking veggies. Unless we’re talking about the bit that’s left over at the end of the er, spriralization process, let’s call it. Which you can see below.

If you haven’t got a Spiralizer, don’t you worry at all. Just use a simple little julienne peeler to cut your courgettes into long, thin (un-curly) ribbons.

Get the recipe after the pics! SL x

Zoodles toms

Zoodles salmon

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To make four:

Ingredients: 4 courgettes, 6-8 fat juicy tomatoes, an utterly pluckable basil plant (or just a packet), 2 cloves of garlic (or more if you put taste over fretting about stinking people out on the bus the next morning), 4 tsbp of good olive oil, rock salt and pepper

How to:

1. Get spiralizing or julienning those courgettes. When done, put your curly courg in a big bowl, sprinkle with rock salt and leave for now…

2. Smash up/grate/slice up your garlic

3. Roughly chop up 6-8 leaves of basil then pop in a bowl with your olive oil and garlic

4. Get your salmon in the oven. You could parcel up your fillets in tinfoil, with a bit of olive oil and pepper, and leave them to cook for 13 minutes on gas mark 180. Or you could cook the salmon to your own prefs

5. Time for de-skinning the toms. Get a pan of water on the boil. Then get yourself a bowl of cold or iced water. Make criss-crosses on the bottom of your tomatoes with a sharp knife

6. Using a slatted spoon, dunk your toms, one by one, in the pan of boiling water for 30 seconds each. After each dunking, plop your toms in the cold water

4. Remove your toms from the cold water and now you’ll find it’s a doddle – doodle! – to peel off those skins. Scoop out the seeds then roughly chop your tomatoes into small cubes

5. Pour your olive oil, garlic and basil mix in a big saucepan or wok on a moderate heat. After a minute, add your toms

6. After two or three minutes, tip in your zoodles and cook for two minutes or more, depending on how al dente you’d like them. I like them al dente so I cook them for two minutes

7. Now serve your tomato and zoodle mix in 4 deeps bowls, pop your cooked salmon on top, season – et voila!

Zoodles spiralizer

Party! It’s 4 Aperol Cocktails for the Weekend

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Cheers!

And welcome to the We May Be Little launch party! Starting as we mean to go on, we’re kicking off our first proper blog post – and the launch of our shop – with a cocktail recipe. Four cocktail recipes, in fact, all featuring our beloved Aperol.

We love Aperol. It’s the Indian-summery drink du jour. Not just a style-bar secret anymore, now its gorgeous orangey goodness casts its glow everywhere. From rooftop restaurants to wedding receptions. Everyone loves it.  Prosecco who? Rose pah-ha-ha…

COCKTAIL RECIPES (Clockwise from top left)

Classic Aperol Fizz

The regular Aperol Spritz is 3 parts fizz to 2 parts Aperol to 1 splash of soda water, served with ice ‘n’ a slice. Our take on this is a little more decadent.

  1. Get yourself a swanky champers glass
  2. Pour in a good glug of Aperol
  3. Add Prosecco – or champers if you’re feeling posh
  4. Drop in half a strawberry

The 70s 

Hello, Cinzano! Our nans loved you and we know why. Let’s bring you back.

  1. Fill half a highball glass with ice
  2. Pour Cinzano up to the 1/3 line
  3. Add Aperol to the 2/3 line
  4. Top with soda water and serve with fresh lime slice

The Aperol Julep

A take on the classic Mint Julep that you can serve with or without the standard bourbon.

  1. For four servings, bring half a cup of sugar, one cup of water and 1/4 cup of torn mint leaves to a moderate boil
  2. Reduce the liquid by a third
  3. Strain your minty sugar syrup through a sieve and leave to cool or stick in fridge
  4. Fill a tumbler with ice
  5. Add several oz of Aperol. And bourbon if you’re feeling cheeky
  6. Top with 1/4 of a glass of syrup
  7. Garnish with mint and a straw

Aperol Hardball 

This is for those after-dinner moments when you want to sit back and sip on something that will get you warm and drunk.

  1. Add a shot or two of vodka to a small tumbler
  2. Top up with a v generous splosh of Aperol
  3. Garnish with an orange slice (and enjoy one of your five a day)

To make cocktail drinking chez vous even more spesh, why not serve with an array of tasty nibbles and string up some fairy lights? We served our drinks on our ‘Aperol’ coasters* too. We hope we’ve inspired you to get a little creative/tiddly with your cocktails this weekend! What are your favourite tipples?

 

* `WMBL’s ‘Aperol’ coasters are now available in our shop if you like the look of them.

ApCheers