Two Plus Dogs

Two Plus Dogs

Lifestyle and Dog Friendly Living

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Malteaser biscuit cake recipe

Malteaser biscuit cake recipe

This super easy, rich and sticky Malteaser biscuit cake recipe can be made in minutes and enjoyed as a no-bake sweet treat. You will need: 200g digestive biscuits 300g milk chocolate and 300g dark chocolate 135g butter 185g golden syrup 100g (or 3 standard size […]

Brix and Mortar- Provenance Kitchen Review

Brix and Mortar- Provenance Kitchen Review

The school holidays- the perfect excuse for a long overdue visit to Provenance Kitchen’s Brix and Mortar restaurant. Having (on many occasions) enjoyed the food from the silver Airstream, I was excited to see how this transferred into a restaurant setting. On to our Provenance […]

Afternoon Tea Near Cambridge- The Stove Cafe Review

Afternoon Tea Near Cambridge- The Stove Cafe Review

For a great afternoon tea near Cambridge, head to The Stove Cafe in Bourn. Part of  Manor Farm, The Stove Cafe offers a range of breakfasts, brunches and lunches, all of which are homemade and delicious. On this occasion we went for the afternoon tea- extremely reasonably priced at £14.50 per person. 

afternoon tea near Cambridge

The Savouries:

We start with tea and sandwiches. The sandwiches are satisfyingly chunky. We chose the coronation chicken, and the club. Both of these arrive crammed full of filling on thick, fresh bread-really tasty.  A choice of different teas and coffees are available.

The Scones:

afternoon tea near Cambridge

On to the scones. I am a little fussy when it comes to scones but these were really good. Freshly baked, generously sized with that delicious crisp outside. Served alongside, a beautifully presented elderflower fizz this suited us drivers perfectly.  

The Cakes:

afternoon tea in Cambridgeshire

I have to confess, as this tea was so generous we were beaten and boxed our cakes for home. I most certainly tasted them all later though! A gooey, rich brownie, a springy little coffee and walnut sponge with the loveliest coffee flavour, and a moist cherry bakewell. All excellent and delicious.

Afternoon tea near Cambridge:

I urge fellow afternoon tea fans to try The Stove Cafe. It is a calm and spacious cafe, with friendly service and really great home cooked food. All cakes and scones are freshly made on the premises and this really shines through in the way that they taste. The value for money price (at £14.50) is just the cherry on top of the bakewell! 
For our other afternoon tea recommendations click here.

Places to eat in  Cambridge- Amélie Review

Places to eat in Cambridge- Amélie Review

Trying new places to eat in Cambridge is our favourite pastime and we recently had the pleasure of Amélie in the (newly revamped) Grafton Centre Cambridge. Look out for the bright yellow vintage Citroën van opposite the VUE cinema. This independent, family run venture serves […]

Fish and Chips in St. Ives- Eric’s Review

Fish and Chips in St. Ives- Eric’s Review

The opening of Eric’s is excellent news for lovers of fish and chips in St Ives. It has become a tradition of ours to follow up a long beach walk in Norfolk with a trip to Eric’s at Thornham for their delicious fish and chips, […]

Best Dog Crates- Croft Soft Crate Review

Best Dog Crates- Croft Soft Crate Review

To crate or not to crate?

This is the question facing many dog owners. The need to crate came about for us when our dog became reactive in the car on short journeys. Long journeys and holidays were never a problem.

crates

Dogs and Stress:

Did you know that stress hormones stay in a dog’s body for many hours? We realised that this meant that, as we went out in the car daily, our dog was in a constant state of stress. Constantly pumped full of cortisol and adrenaline- how awful for him! Stress is harmful for dogs just as it is for humans -for more information about the effects of stress on a dog click here.  

best dog crates

The Benefits of a Crate:

Crating in the car has many benefits:

  • The dog feels safe and secure in their private den.
  • Crate use is one of the recommended travel methods. For more about car safety with dogs click here for PDSA Recommendations. Please note that most products of this type are not tested for collision safety. This is not a safety review.
  • You can ensure that they are not going to damage anything, most importantly themselves, when left unattended and limit the mess of dirty paws!

Finding the best dog crates:

Following a recommendation by our wonderful dog carers at JK Petcare (who uses soft crates for their customers who need a little space) we decided to try a Croft Soft Crate.

Croft soft crate

If your dog is a chewer or aggressive, this crate is made from fabric so may not be suitable for you. For dogs that are happy in a crate this is luxury! Made from metal tube structure, with fabric and mesh sides and a fleece floor, it comes in a choice of colours so looks great as well as being practical.

crate

Dimensions can be found on the website so you can order a crate of a comfortable size for your dog(s) and car. The crate has 3 openings (doors) and conveniently folds flat (into its carry bag)  for when it is not needed. It is sturdy and well-made. I can tell that we will be using it for many purposes for a many years.

Peaceful Car Journeys!

It is soft and comfortable, and vision can be restricted as you wish using the mesh windows and Velcro window panels.

car journeys with dogs

I can tell that the dogs feel calm and safe in here. They curl up together for a snooze when travelling rather than standing on guard at the window. They are noticeably calmer in everyday life too. We put this partly down to the car crating and their reduced stress hormones.  

Summer Travels:

For the summer months we have adapted the crate with a cool mat and plenty of gusts of air conditioning. They should stay calm, cool and comfortable on those short journeys. 

cool mat from Pointy Faces

Top-tip: Measure carefully! We initially ordered a crate too wide to fit the car and had to pay returns and delivery again- oops! 

For our other dog recommendations click here.

Summer Running Essentials for Women

Summer Running Essentials for Women

As the temperatures rise, it is time to consider those summer running essentials. The right kit can make a run more pleasurable and most importantly keep you safe and healthy.   Feet: Trainers- As with running in all conditions, getting a good pair of training shoes […]

One dog or two? Getting a Second Dog

One dog or two? Getting a Second Dog

Wondering whether to take the plunge of getting a second dog? I cannot promise you a definitive answer within this post as it is a decision packed full of personal variables. You will however, read the valuable and thought provoking opinions of many dog owners […]

Recipes for Meatless Days- Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagne

Recipes for Meatless Days- Butternut Squash and Mushroom Lasagne

This simple and delicious vegetarian lasagne recipe is a filling, crowd pleasing dish for a vegetarian option or those increasing their meatless days. Make in advance for a quick, pop in the oven dinner.

meatless days ingredients

You will need:

Serves 3 (greedy people) or 4 (smaller eaters)

  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and cubed into 2cm cubes
  • A sprig of rosemary
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 600g mushrooms sliced
  • 1 mozzarella cheese ball (I use reduced fat)
  • 60g cheddar (I use reduced fat)
  • 20g parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to season

For the white sauce:

  • 1 litre of milk- I use semi skimmed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 30g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
  • 50g feta cheese (I use reduced fat)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a preheated oven (180c/ gas mark 4), toss your squash cubes in a little rapeseed oil (or fry spray) and spread in a good sized baking tray. Add your garlic cloves and rosemary to the tray and roast until they are soft, or for about 30 minutes.

2. Pan-fry your mushrooms (I used fry spray), for about 5-10 minutes, or until their liquid is released, seasoning with pepper as you fry.

3. Now to make your white sauce. Firstly warm your milk in a pan with the bay leaf so that it infuses as it warms.

4. In another medium-sized saucepan, on a low heat, melt your butter. Slowly add the flour to the melted butter, cooking for a minute or two. It will be thick and perhaps a little lumpy at this point- don’t worry!

5. Add a tablespoon of the milk at a time. I use a whisk at this stage as I find it easier to combine the roux. Continue to add the milk until you have a smooth mix, then add the remaining milk (including the bay leaf). Do this very gradually, whisking gently as go.

6. Leave the smooth sauce on a low heat, stirring regularly for a few minutes until it has thickened. When thickened, add the mustard, feta, and half of the cheddar. Season to taste.

7. Now all of your elements have been prepared the building begins. Using a 23cm x 18cm (you can use a different size – just adjust your layers accordingly so they are nice and full of vegetables) ovenproof dish, begin by making a layer out of half of the mushrooms. Spread evenly on the bottom of your dish. Cover the mushrooms with a layer of the lasagne sheets.

8. Next, using half of your roasted squash, spreading evenly over the pasta. Add a third of your sauce to this layer. Again, cover with another layer of lasagne sheets.

9. The next layer will be the rest of the mushrooms and half of the mozzarella ball. Distribute evenly. Cover with another layer of lasagne sheets.

10. Continue with the remaining squash, another third of the sauce, then a final layer of lasagne sheets.

11. Complete the lasagne with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and cheddar spread across the top. Season with plenty of pepper.

12. Pop the lasagne in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden.

Serve with a fresh, crispy salad of your choice.

More recipes for Meatless days:

We hope that you enjoy this recipe. For more great recipes for meatless days click here.

Which Restaurant to Choose for a Special Occasion in Cambridge?

Which Restaurant to Choose for a Special Occasion in Cambridge?

With its ever expanding food scene, it is easier than ever to find a restaurant for a special occasion in Cambridge. Here are some of our favourites. Restaurant 22: Sam Carter took over Restaurant 22 a short time ago and is receiving (well deserved) rave […]