Yep, I skipped a week again! I think we can safely say I now do these little life updates as and when rather than every Sunday, because life just gets in the way! But at least I have plenty to report back on…

Valentines Gift from Kraken

Who needs a man to buy you flowers when one of your favourite alcohol brands sends you a beautiful black rose which would outdo anything else you received anyway? Following on from their black Christmas trees (which you can read about here), for Valentines Kraken were sending black roses with Kraken miniatures to select people. And I was one of the lucky recipients.

kraken black roses

This year I was single on Valentines Day for the first time in nine years. And I was cool with it. I’m actually loving single life right now. But that’s not really something to talk about on this post.

blackrose

So thank you Kraken, it was much appreciated!

Valentines Extreme Garnishing with The Robin Collective at The Hoxton

You may remember Extreme Garnishing from my pick of alternative Valentines events? I love playing with my food so I was super excited to be invited by The Robin Collective along to the Valentines edition of their workshop, held at The Hoxton in Shoreditch, which I seem to be visiting quite a bit at the moment!

extreme garnishing

We learnt some cute garnishing tricks, played with liquid nitrogen, made a love potion and ate cider sorbet. It was awesome. There will be a post dedicated to the event coming soon.

XMen Screening at BFI with BGo and Joe Blogs

I love a good superhero movie, so a private screening of XMen at BFI in Soho with some of my favourite bloggers, including Luisa of Eat Sleep Luisa Repeat, Kariss of Shy, Strange, Manic and Haydy of Squibbvicious was a great way to spend a Wednesday night.

bgo

Thanks for a lovely evening Joe Blogs and BGo!

Bring Me The Horizon at Electric Brixton

One thing I love about my favourite band is the frequency with which they play small venues (although it’s a pain getting tickets!). This time they played a Brits Week show at Electric Brixton, a venue I’ve not been to before. Through choice I went up to the balcony, and had a perfect view – so rare for me at a gig!

bmthheart

As always, their performance was spot on.

AntiChrist at Electrowerkz

I had a couple of great nights out this fortnight with my favourite girls, Luisa and Georgia. Here are some drunk selfies of the three of us at AntiChrist at Electrowerkz in Angel. I loved my blue wig!

ac

Gin Festival at Tobacco Dock

If you’re a reader of this blog, or are on any of my social media, there’s no way you’ll have escaped the fact that I was the guest blogger for Gin Festival!

gin festival

You can read my full post here, or the official post on the Gin Festival website here.

London Beer Week

Another day, another alcohol event… Drink Up London kindly gave me a couple of wristbands and a few drinks tokens for London Beer Week so on the opening night I visited the London Beer Week Hub.

london beer week

Held at Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, the hub was a really nice little set up! More about London Beer Week soon.

Pasta Night with House of Godo and Yelp

You should know by now that I’m pretty involved in the Yelp community, and attend a fair few of their events. This one was a Newbie night, to welcome new Yelpers, and sample some delicious pasta dishes at a new Italian takeaway on Park Lane, House of Godo.

house of godo

The company was excellent as always (and the lovely Kariss was there, which is always a plus!) and the food really exceeded my expectations. I’m not a person who ever really orders pasta when out, so it was nice to give it a go! The lamb ragu and tiramisu were especially good.

Thanks again Yelp!

Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues Launch at Smiths of Smithfield

I was really spoilt when it came to food and drink this fortnight! One of my most anticipated events for a while was this lunchtime launch at Smiths of Smithfield for the Love Food Hate Waste Meaty Issues campaign.

lfhw

As well as finding out about the campaign, we were treated to a delicious lunch and a butchery demonstration. You can read all about the event here.

Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha

And finally, myself, Luisa and Georgia attended the Kurious Kittens Hot Sake Party at Geisha, the late night element of members only dining destination Ramusake in South Kensington. We wore masks, Japanese inspired outfits and watched latex clad dancers. I’ve had worse nights.

geisha

And yep, I’m wearing a wig again!

So that was my rather busy fortnight, I’m hoping this one coming will be a little quieter…

L xx

All photos my own.

A few people have asked where the wigs are from – I always get mine from Mad World at Charing Cross station.

Recently, I’ve started thinking a lot about wastefulness, as well as how lucky I am to have the opportunities I receive through blogging, particularly when it comes to events and review meals I am invited to. It’s easy to just forget, and take these things for granted. So when I received an invitation to attend the launch event for the Love Food Hate Waste National campaign, Meaty Issues, the timing was perfect!

The event was held on the first floor Craft Market of Smiths of Smithfield. The Craft Market is actually a bar dedicated to craft beer and is a lovely open space while maintaining intimacy, perfect for an event like this.

sos

The Campaign

The focus of Meaty Issues is on beef – can you believe that, in a single year, UK households throw away 34,000 tonnes of beef, worth £260 million? That’s the equivalent to 300 million beef burgers or, for a really sad comparison, the equivalent weight of 47,222 actual cows. Now I did a little research into how much meat you can actually get from a cow, and I worked out that that’s the meat from approximately 150,440 cows. Crazy stuff.

I have some more stats for you;

  • 17% of those surveyed admitted to throwing away beef as it had passed its use by date.
  • 9% of those surveyed admitted to throwing away beef after leaving it uncovered or in an open packet.
  • 30% of those surveyed plan beef meals ahead of shopping for the meat.
  • 19% of those surveyed check how much beef they have at home before going shopping for more.
  • 20% of those surveyed picked spaghetti bolognese as their favourite beef dish, with a traditional roast beef dinner close behind, being the preference of 18%

lfhw

The purpose of the Meaty Issues campaign is to highlight this wastefulness, and to demonstrate how a lot of this waste can be avoided by taking little steps, encouraging people to get the best out of their beef. Meaty Issues wants to encourage people to prevent this where possible, by helping with understanding date labels, serving correct portions sizes, cooking with leftovers and planning meals ahead. This not only cuts down on overall wastefulness, but will help people save money and in turn have a positive impact on the environment.

The campaign is backed by Adam Henson – farmer and television presenter of shows including BBC’s Countryfile. Adam isn’t the only high profile face supporting Love Food Hate Waste – Great British Bake Off winner Nancy Birtwhistle was at the event, and had previously been involved in the Loafsaver campaign.

The Butchery

Now, you may remember my recent dabbling with veganism during Veganuary? I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be permanently changing my omnivorous diet anytime soon! But regardless of your stance on the meat industry, and eating animal products, I’m sure something we’ll agree on is that if we’re eating an animal, we should maximise our consumption from that single animal, and minimise waste.

meaty issues

That’s where the demo from Steve of Andrew James Butchery came in. While showing us all the different cuts that you could get from a cow, Steve explained that, nowadays, all the value of a cow is in the middle. There are so many unusual cuts from other parts of the animal which could be put to good use, but most people just don’t know to ask for them. If the general public start asking their butchers for these less common, and often cheaper, cuts, not only will we be wasting less of the cow, but helping the farming industry, as it would allow for a higher price per cow to be paid to the farmers.

The Food

During the butchery demonstration, we were treated to a selection of starters all using less utilised cuts of beef. On my plate I had Thai beef salad, beef ravioli and arancini with beef ragu. It was all delicious. I would never have guessed that the beef used was not from a part of the cow I’m used to eating.

meaty issues

The same applied to the sit down main course – braised heel of beef. We were shown the heel during the butchery demo, and it’s basically the beef version of a lamb shank (so much bigger!). It was similar in texture to a lamb shank really – I enjoyed it.

meaty issues

The Tips

Here are some of Love Food Hate Wastes tips for getting the best from beef;

  • Use leftover roast beef not only in sandwiches, but in cottage pies and soups, or shredded and used in stir fries.
  • Make beef portions go a bit further by adding chick peas, kidney beans, potatoes etc to Mexican and curry meals.
  • Check sell by dates so you know when your beef needs to be used by, and freeze if necessary.
  • Small portions freeze best and can be added from frozen to your dish (just check it’s piping hot before serving).
  • Use the resources on the Love Food Hate Waste site – such as the portion planner and the recipe finder to find ways to use smaller portions and cheaper cuts.

And a few tip for other meats;

  • Before roasting a chicken, cut off and freeze the wings – after three or four roasts you’ll have enough wings for another meal.
  • Freeze leftover sausage to make sausage rolls.
  • Freeze bacon by putting greaseproof paper between the rashers so you can use them individually from frozen.
  • Use marinades to boost the flavour of meat approaching its use by date or which has been in the freezer for a while. For chicken try soy sauce, honey and mustard. For beef try chilli flakes, ginger and coriander. For lamb try garlic, rosemary and lemon juice.

You can find more tips from Love Food Hate Waste for making the most of your meat here.

Love Food Hate Waste are running a competition here – they’re looking for tricks to make meat go further or leftover meat recipes, and you can win one of three slow cookers!

I won’t be entering because I’m not the greatest cook, but I will be putting more thought into my meat consumption for sure…

L xx

All photos my own.

Statistics in this post were published by WRAP in November 2013 and can be found here.