Category Archive: Breakfast

  1. Pancakes for Two

    Saturday mornings are heaven when you stack them up with fluffy buttermilk pancakes, but with only two people it can sometimes be a struggle to make up a batch of batter just the right amount.

    Here is a recipe for perfect pancakes for two people. It makes two each – just enough to fill you up, but not enough to send you into a sleepy food trance. Unless you partied to hard last night of course….


    100g plain flour

    1 heaping teaspoon double action baking powder

    1/2 teaspoon baking soda

    1 tablespoon caster sugar

    Pinch of salt

    1 egg

    100ml whole milk

    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    2 teaspoons vegetable oil


    Whisk the dry ingredients together in a spouted bowl, for easy pouring. Squeeze the lemon into the milk and stir.

    Crack the egg into a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in half the milk. Whisk until it comes together to form a paste, then pour in the rest of the milk only until you have a loose batter. It should be runny but not liquid – think about the thickness of room temperature honey. Don’t be tempted to beat out all the lumps, these will help make the pancakes light and fluffy.

    Leave to rest for 30 minutes to allow the starch to swell, which makes for smooth pancakes. Place a little oil in the bottom of a hot medium sized non-stick pan and pour a pancake roughly 6inches / 15cms wide. Cook until bubbles form through the bottom and start to pop, then flip until it steams and fluffs.

    Serve on warm plates with whipped butter and hot syrup.

    Happy Saturday!

  2. Smooth Operator

    Smoothies remind me of my more energetic days in high school when I played every sport imaginable AND did dance after that for three hours each day. It was hard to get enough protein in my body because, well I’m tall and my metabolism was ridiculously high (please come back!) and for some crazy reason I decided to be vegetarian (copied my best friend). The joys and adventures of teenage life…

    Green Smoothies

    Anyway my sweet mother did indulge me and made me smoothies in the mornings, mainly consisting of fruit, frozen berries and some tofu or yogurt for protein. I never was allowed to go the route of the powdered stuff, not the kind of thing a teenage girl should be consuming, as my mama said, but then they were kind of awful! Now it’s all a trend again and the powders are back, but this time there are way better options. Not just for big muscle builders or the elderly, though hopefully theirs are improving too, there are actually some proteins out there that taste OK and aren’t so bad for the body or the planet.

    We’ve been testing smoothies at work to possibly have in one of our restaurants, which is really near a pilates studio, and I thought I’d share what I loved about it (mainly cashew butter!) and what I didn’t.

    Pea Protein is the most interesting to me because it’s vegetarian, vegan, allergen-friendly and it’s better for the environment than milk or egg based proteins because it requires less space and minimal resources. If you’ve grown peas you’ll know they need little tending to or space!

    Pea protein is great when you use it with something thick and still nice when you have something that covers up the slightly grainy effect of a powder in liquid, an issue you can’t really get away from (this I don’t like). It’s without a strong colour, so works with red and green based smoothies both.

    So here is what I recommend:

    Put these ingredients in the size glass you want to use

    A handful of green veg – spinach or kale, a scoop of cashew butter, a tiny bit of honey, a half banana, two tablespoons of oats and a tablespoon of pea protein.

    Top this with almond milk filling the glass and then pour the lot into your super duper speedy blender.

    Blend it until totally smooth and allow it to sit for five minutes. If you need to top up the almond milk to make it more liquid, go for it. Top it with a few flax seeds and then drink up.

    But please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t give up bacon if you really don’t want to. It’s just too good.


  3. Jumbo Oat and Chia Seed Porridge with Maple Syrup

    Back in London to the grey and rain after a wonderful weekend in Amsterdam. Have you ever been? I highly recommend you go.

    When you do, don’t go for the legalised substances and the liberal attitude to sex, though these are both fascinating culturally to observe. Go for the art, the scenery, the architecture and the fabulous bike rides on roads made for cyclists with a side of cars. I can’t tell you how free it makes you feel to ride a bike everywhere. Bliss! And of course the magical canals with beautiful bridges.

    Oh and if you are wondering, yes I did go to the red light district but only at 11am and yes I did see those little windows and no I did not linger. Though I will tell you it made me a little cheerful to see so many shapes and sizes available, demonstrating that most people are not turned on by sticks. I also went into a coffee shop, and though I don’t smoke anything as I have asthma, I liked how civilised it was – like a specialist tea shop, nothing more exciting than that.
    Speaking of civilised, the art really was fantastic and one of the paintings, a bucket list viewing for me (just look at the use of light and colour!), actually made me crave a wholesome food I imagined I would find inside that kitchen…

    (The Milkmaid – Vermeer)

    Oatmeal is one of those breakfasts that people either see as slop or comfort – usually dependent on whether it was served at school or by a caring parent on a cold day. Lucky for me, it has always been comfort. Here is my recipe for porridge success:


    (Per person)

    50g jumbo oats

    1 tsp chia seeds

    100ml water

    100ml milk

    Pinch salt

    Knob of butter

    1 tbsp maple syrup or honey

    Pinch of cinnamon


    The perfect oatmeal takes time, but not much effort! Start by putting 50g of jumbo oats per person in a small saucepan, cover with 100ml water and soak either overnight or while you start your coffee – about 10 minutes for best results

    Turn on a medium heat and add 100ml milk, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp chia seeds. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer and stir a lot for a minutes then occasionally, cooking for 10 minutes or as directed on your oats packet.

    Turn off the heat and cover, leaving it for a few minutes (I do 5 but I know every minute counts in the morning). This does three marvellous things – the porridge continues to soak up liquid while cooling slightly to stop you burning the top of your mouth off and, most importantly, it magically unsticks from the bottom of the pan (what I am sure is the only real reason any haters hate).

    Serve in a bowl with a knob of butter, maple syrup or honey and a pinch of cinnamon. Some people like to add more milk but I think it’s creamy enough.
    Voila! Perfect porridge! Not to hot, not a bit cold, not crunchy or too chewy, not to dry or too wet, not too sweet or salty, and with a bit of added chia protein to get your through the (we hope) most productive part of the day!

  4. Marmite Love-In

    I looooove Marmite, which might strike you as odd since I’m American and Marmite is, well, one of those oh so English things it might just be a little too strong willed to bear. But then, I did marry an Englishman… Anyway, I think there’s no better way to start the morning than with an egg, toast and Marmite. Oh, and of course a cup of tea.


  5. Bill’s – The Breakfast Club

    Located on a bustling street just about where Piccadilly turns into Soho is a charming little restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Bill’s is definitely part of a chain, but it’s comfortable and well-decorated, non-fussy, and with nice, efficient waiters. You can tell it’s the regular haunt for some of the people there, and I’m not surprised because it feels a bit like home and the coffee is delicious.


  6. Introducing- The Best Breakfast Club

    I am obsessed with breakfast. I love sunrise, bacon, eggs, pastries, coffee, the excitement of reliving yesterday’s fun- really everything to do with the meal that starts the day. I usually make at least one cooked breakfast a weekend. Bacon is always on the menu, we are kind of bacon fiends here, but always from free range pigs.


  7. Pre-made Pancake Mix

    Those of you readers from the USA will know how wonderful pre-made pancake mix is. Snoqualmie is my favorite – not too sweet, nice and fluffy, just the perfect pancake every time. Now, it’s not as if making pancakes is difficult or all that time consuming, but when it’s Saturday morning and you’ve had a bit of a long night you simply can’t wait any longer for breakfast. Every second counts between you and those delicious fluffy bites! So, I thought I’d let you in on a little secret…. you can make up your own pre-made mix at home!


  8. Buttermilk Biscuits

    Oh my goodness, buttermilk biscuits! How I love them. Fluffy, buttery, salty perfect rounds of deliciousness representing the American South like it’s nobody’s business. These should come with a sign that says “Warning- consumption may lead to adopting a southern drawl and an uncontrollable yearning for a pair of cowboy boots”.  They are THAT American.

    Growing up, my dad, descendant of southerners, made these nearly every weekend. Biscuits and gravy is still one of my favorite breakfasts of all time. Biscuits? With gravy? Your little English heart might be racing with disgust right now- fear not! These are AMERICAN biscuits, and we’ll talk more about the gravy later anyway. Start you off nice an’ slow-like… in the South we do things nice an’ slow anyway.

    Biscuits are a little bit like scones, but fluffier. They serve the pallet in the same way though- sweet and savory condiments alike just love to grace the presence of a buttermilk biscuit. For example- for breakfast I like mine with whipped honey but for lunch a biscuit dipped in chicken soup is divine. Just DIVINE!


  9. The Breakfast Club Cafe, Angel

    Sitting on a bright corner along the Camden Passage in Angel are two stacks of the most wonderful pancakes you have ever seen. Each stack with four perfect pancakes and a wonderful stiff custard cream cloud floating above them, carrying sliced strawberries and plump blueberries, and accompanied with syrup. I feel like I’m floating on my very own cloud as I munch them down in the sunshine with my friend. I would post a photo, but it would cause a stampede…. (actually I forgot to take one as I was in a pancake trance, so you will just have to trust me.)

    The Breakfast Club is busy, busy, busy and the staff behave a bit like friendly bees, bumbling around quickly and efficiently the whole time but without hovering too much so as to make you feel they might land on your plate. You go inside to get your menus and once you’ve picked -which is hard because everything looks AMAZING- you go back inside, past the ‘Sex, Drugs, and Bacon Rolls’ sign, to the till to order. Your coffee comes out so quickly you can’t believe you were ever without it and the food comes out nearly as fast but not so fast as to make you think you’re in a fast food joint. This is definitely not fast food, it’s so delicious it practically stops time.

    The decor is definitely shabby chic, but it seems to have progressed naturally rather than being purpose built and bought- everything is as bright and cheerful as the staff. It feels like a community has made it, which is why I think it lives up to its name as Breakfast Club. All I know is, I want to be a member.

    I am enjoying another enormous bite when our waitress comes out and shouts in excitement ‘Look what I found!!’, holding up the centre piece of the old seat I am using- an old iron cafe chair painted bright blue- and quickly jams it in, replacing the pillow under me before I can sit down again. She smiles a huge, bright smile and I say thank you as she pulls a bottle of syrup out of her apron, ‘AND more syrup for you too, just in case…’. There is joy here, and even though we paid the bill at the beginning, my friend and I agree we could sit here all day… and come back again tomorrow.

    Love from Maggie
    After the Market

    The Breakfast Club Cafe, Angel
    31 Camden Passage N1 8EA