Friday night we had our friend, Ben, around for dinner. Ben and I met at uni and we've recently bonded over a mutual love of food. A month or so ago Ben invited my Ben and I over for a beautiful meal. He made us his spaghetti bolognaise (and sent us off with take-home packs and the recipe!) and his mum's chocolate self-saucing pudding (recipe given as well, score!). Veuve was involved. And Anchorman. It was all-round fabulous.

Naturally we were keen to return the favour. And so last Friday I started on some slow-cooked beef. Slow-cooked beef is my happy recipe right now. I could eat it for days.

This time around I made Rick Stein's  slow-cooked beef cheeks (recipe link), however used regular chuck beef rather than cheeks. Ooooh how I adore slow-cooked beef cheek though. Yes, next time I shall get me some cheeks.

Olive sourdough with dukkah and olives to start.

Followed by the slow-cooked beef. I loved the strong flavours in this dish. Juniper berries and cloves., together with the beef and wine and other ingredients, created a sort of rich, delicious tango. I found this dish to be quite romantic and a touch exotic. This slow-cooked loveliness was served with mashed potato and green beans.

For dessert, we had my beloved Connoisseur vanilla ice-cream with freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. These beauties were baked by my gorgeous friend Vicki. Not only did she bring me cookies for our afternoon tea date, she saved me from making dessert on this busy Friday.

I love you, Vicki.

During the evening we toasted to travel plans and Ben's upcoming birthday. And our new toaster. That's right, we now own a toaster. Clearly my proclamation of our lack of toaster ownership in my previous post was a good idea, as Ben turned up on our doorstep with a brand new toaster as a Wedding present. Thanks, Ben, you're awesome.


Saturday morning, after a walk to buy coffees and La Madre sourdough, we used the toaster. It was fabulous.

Ben made scrambled eggs with creme fraiche and juiced oranges, while I cooked us some garlic mushrooms. Oh and we made toast. In our toaster.

It's the little things, like making toast, that make me smile on a fuss-free Saturday. Goodbye, oven toast.

Heidi xo