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When it comes to cooking at home, it’s something I try to do as regularly as possible. I’m not a bad cook, but I do have a tendency to circle through a handful of ‘old faithful’ recipes, which although delicious, can get a bit repetitive. So, when the opportunity came up to learn how to create a brand new dish with M&S, I absolutely jumped at the chance!

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Since we’re in the midst of summer, I thought it would be fun to try a dish which would pair well with a crunchy salad. M&S have developed a whole range of fabulous summer recipes, but I picked Japanese Sirloin Steaks – I’ve never been one to pass over wasabi.

It was also a great chance to enjoy a great steak – M&S is the only national retailer which can trace 100% of its beef back to the farm and individual cow. As a guilty carnivore, their dedication to humane and responsibility farming means I can enjoy my meal even more!

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The recipe was super easy to follow, and all the ingredients are available in bigger M&S stores – so grabbing them in one shop couldn’t be simpler! And the result? A supper which was relished outside, and the recipe has firmly joined the ranks of my most loved!

I’ve included the recipe below so you can try it for yourself!

INGREDIENTS – SERVES 2

  • 5 Pak choi leaves
  • 0.5 limes
  • 2 tsp wasabi peas
  • 5 tbsp mayonnaise (Kewpie mayonnaise is best)
  • 3 tbsp Japanese steak sauce (Hibachi is best)
  • 1 red chilli 1 pack Baby Pak choi
  • 1 tsp Japanese chilli powder
  • 1 sirloin steak
  • 2 tsp wasabi paste

PREPARATION

Halve the Baby Pak choi. Slice the red chillis. Juice the limes.

METHOD

  1. Crush wasabi peas in a pestle and mortar.
  2. Dust the steak with the chilli powder and set aside
  3. Stir the wasabi paste and lime juice into the mayonnaise and set aside in a service bowl
  4. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and brush the steak with a little oil
  5. Cook the steak to liking then remove and rest. Add the pak choi to the pan to gain a little colour, deglaze with the steak sauce, and drop in the chilli.
  6. Arrange the pak choi leaves on a long wooden board. Slice the beef then arrange the beef and baby pak choi on the board all with a nice drizzle of the glaze covering them.
  7. Serve with the wasabi mayonnaise and a sprinkle of the crushed wasabi peas.

You can find more M&S recipes here – I’ve already got my shopping list ready to try a few more!

 

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If you’ve been in the UK over the past week or so, you’ll know we’re in the midst of a heatwave. Shops are selling out of vegetables, and bbqs across the country have been churning away all weekend. In short, it’s been glorious. In response to all this sunshine, I’ve been upgrading my makeup regime to feel a whole lot more ‘summer’.

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Of course, the first product I wanted to upgrade was my bronzer. I’d just finished my regular one, so it was a perfect time to find a new love – which is where Too Faced’s Milk Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer comes in. The lightest of three shades in the ‘Chocolate’ collection, it promises rich, long-wearing colour with a lightweight feel – in short, exactly what I’m after in a summer product!

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Packaged in the chicest of compacts, Too Faced know how to make a product covetable! Not only does this bronzer look adorable, but thanks to the 100% cocoa powder in the formula, it smells like hot chocolate powder too!

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Thanks to the fact I live in Scotland, I’m still pretty pale considering it’s now July, but thankfully the Milk Chocolate Matte Soleil feels like the perfect choice. It’s a neutral shade which brings a little colour, and can even be used for some subtle contouring if needed. Since it’s a matte formula, it’s easy to build, and it never looks too streaky or too orange. Instead, it just gives a believable glow to skin, which looks gorgeous when paired with a neutral, shimmery eye and slick of lipgloss for easy summer glamour.

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Matte Soleil is priced at £25 and is available here (UK) and here (US)

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When it comes to skincare, I’m not going to lie, I am a bit of a Korean skincare junkie. There is something about the cute packaging, the lofty claims and the affordable price points which keeps me wanting more. Until now I’ve scrolled aimlessly on Amazon whilst trying to find my newest obsessions, but now there’s a new spot for me to while away the hours – MurMura.co.uk – a carefully curated collection of the very best in Korean beauty. I was very kindly sent a handful of the website’s favourite products, and happily none were any I’d previously tried!

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The first of the products I tore into was Back to Iceland’s Cleansing Water (from £4). It’s a brand I’ve heard a lot about, but never had an opportunity to try, so getting my hands on it was great fun! Super gentle on skin, it’s a formula packed full of soothing Iceland moss extract and botanicals, allowing it to effectively remove makeup, dirt and oil, leaving skin feeling clean, soft and refreshed. I use it after a foaming cleanser to make sure that my skin is completely clean before heading to bed.

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Missha’s Brightening Eye Patch (£2) are perfect if you’ve had a busy weekend! Kept in the  fridge and applied to freshly cleansed skin, these feel absolutely heavenly. Broccoli extract and hyaluronic acid hydrate the eye area, letting you fake a good night’s rest, and when applied from the fridge, the coolness also helps to combat puffiness. If you’re prepping for a big event, these are a must have!

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Etude House’s Air Therapy (Green Tea) Mask (£2) is one of my favourite products. I’ve written before how much I love sheet masks, and I tend to use one a few times a week, and Etude House’s Green Tea version is perfect if you’re looking to calm and hydrate skin. I used mine after a session with my dermal roller, and the day after, my skin felt so soft and smooth, and was noticeably less red.

You can find all three goodies alongside a whole lot else at www.murmura.co.uk

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When it comes to summer beauty, my most reached for products have to be my lip glosses. There’s nothing better than rocking a bit of a tan and a slick of gloss, and there’s nothing easier than using a gloss either!

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On a daily basis, I’ve been reaching for a simple clear option (this one), but evenings out call for something a bit more glamorous, which is where Laura Geller’s Color Luster Lip Gloss come in. A product which can be used alone or on top of your favourite lip colours, the glosses add a patent-like shine and some serious sparkle!

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Available in a choice of six shades, ranging from a ruby red to a couple of clear options, it’s perfect if you’re looking to amp up your lips this summer! City Lights is a fabulous neutral -gloss for when you’re looking to add a little ‘oomph’ to your look.

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A clear gloss shot through with the sparkliest of golden shimmer; I find this works particularly well with nude and brown-toned lipsticks as the shades work well together. The gloss has a thick, almost balmy feel, and happily you can’t feel any of the glitter once it’s on.

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Another of the ‘neutral’ options, and my absolute favourite is ‘Diamond Dust’ a clear gloss shot through with pink and blue glitter. Pictures do not do this gloss justice! It shimmers and sparkles like nothing you’ve seen before!

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The glitter in both glosses really work to make lips look full and juicy, and ‘Diamond Dust’ looks fabulous paired with pink tones lipsticks and stains. The formula of the Laura Geller Color Lusters is really divine, and feels wonderful, both to apply and to wear. The gloss is infused with light-reflecting pearls and lip conditioning kendi oil, which feels cushiony on the lips and provides a rich, silky, non-sticky shine.

Laura Geller Color Luster Lip Glosses are priced at £15 each, and are available here (UK) and here (US)

 

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Whenever I find myself in Edinburgh with an hour or so to kill, I inevitably find myself in Harvey Nichols. I can waft around the racks of designer dresses and racks of sunglasses for hours, and after all that shopping, you need to somewhere to enjoy a bit of sustenance. Happily the Forth Floor houses the in-store Restaurant and Brasserie, so refuelling can be sone in Harvey Nichols signature glamour. Both also enjoy some of the best views in Edinburgh – something to think about if you’re visiting over the festival period, and want to enjoy some of the nightly fireworks!

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When we popped in, it was a bit of a soggy Wednesday, but our window seats, and glasses of Harvey Nichols Prosecco (a favourite of mine) £6 brightened things up immediately! The Brasserie has recently introduced a brand new all day dining menu – a joint effort of all of Harvey Nichols chefs across the country. Working together, they have created a selection of signature HN dishes, so no matter if you’re in Edinburgh or in London, you’ll be able to enjoy the same delicious menu. We kicked things off with a bowl of Marinated Gordal Olives (£4) which were an absolute delight. Pleasingly salty with a warming paprika kick, they paired well with our Prosecco.

Picking starters took a while, simply because every option sounded so good. In the spirit of the new menu, we decided first to order the Moroccan-spiced fishcake, served with pickled cucumber and red pepper salsa (£8). What came were two crispy puffs, gently spiced with sizeable hunks of fish in them. The red pepper salsa lent a touch of sweetness to the dish which was a wonderfully fresh, summery start to the meal.

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I opted for the Burrata, with grilled peach, raddichio, and honey dressing (£12), which sounded too good to miss. What arrived was a glistening pearl of cheese alongside sweet, charred peached and bitter endive – in short, it was divine.

Cutting into the cheese led to a delicious ooze of virgin cream, which paired beautifully with the sweet fruit and bitter leaves. It felt as if I was enjoying summer on a plate! It’s something I’m already planning on recreating at home, as it’s such a showstopper of a starter!

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Throughout Harvey Nichols Brasseries, the quality of ingredients is of paramount importance. After all, you can taste quality! So, when looking at the menu, we could resist ordering the Scottish Borders Sirloin Steak (£28).

Served with a jug of peppercorn sauce (you can also choose a béarnaise or a garlic butter) as well as watercress and a generous portion of fries, it made for a hearty lunch.

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The beef used by Harvey Nichols is sourced locally from Shaw’s Fine Meats based in Lauder,just 25 miles south of Edinburgh. It’s so lovely to be able to eat out and enjoy the very best produce which is available locally. Served up rare (with perfect charring, might I add), the steak melted in the mouth, and the fries were perfectly crisp.

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I opted for the comfort-food classic chicken club sandwich with tarragon mayonnaise, iceberg lettuce, tomato, smoked streaky bacon, cheddar cheese (£15). I don’t think I’ve ordered one of these for about 10 years, but this was incredible!

Layers of creamy avocado, crisp lettuce and moist chicken felt wonderfully indulgent, and the touch of tarragon in the mayonnaise lifted the sandwich to a whole other level.

Served with a portion of hand cooked potato chips and a lightly dressed salad, it felt like the perfect lunch order!

Alongside our mains, we couldn’t resist choosing a couple of the side dishes. The Rocket and Parmesan salad (£4) was wonderfully crisp and flavourful.

I couldn’t resist trying the Roasted Chantenay carrots with caraway seeds (£4). Sweet and delicately flavoured thanks to the seeds, they made a perfect accompaniment to the meal.

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After having a bit of a digestive ‘breather’, we couldn’t resist jumping into desserts. After some deliberation, we couldn’t resist trying the crispy coconut rice pudding, cardamom, apricot, mango sorbet (£6.5).

This was like no other rice pudding I’ve ever tried before – soft and comforting thanks to the coconut running through it, the pudding was which was perfectly balanced with a hint of cardamom. The bright and fruity sorbet offset the rice pudding perfectly, and the crunchy coconut exterior was a fun, unexpected touch.

I couldn’t resist the sound of the regional cheese selection, served with chutney and crackers (£10). A mix of an aged cheddar, brie and soft blue, it was a real celebration of all things savoury. I lingered over it, enjoying the last sips of prosecco alongside, and it was a gloriously indulgent way to enjoy an afternoon.

The cheeses all worked well together – and the generous portions were enjoyed with the mix of crackers (I was especially enamoured with the charcoal ones) and heaps of spiced chutney.

The new Brasserie Menu is available Sunday and Monday: 12pm – 5pm and Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm – 10pm.