Archive | August, 2015

Baking with the Bake Off: week one

12 Aug

A foodie blog would be nothing without a mention of Great British Bake Off.

And as a keen baker, mine is definitely no exception!

For the last few series I’ve loved reading various blogs where their bloggers are baking along with the series and so in tribute to the latest series, I’ve decided to have a go myself.

Ok so I’m a week late but better late than never eh?
Last week was cake week, a great way to see what the bakers were made off.

In case you need your memory refreshing, the bakers made a Madeira, a Black Forest gateau, and a frosted walnut cake.

I can’t stand walnut cake and the gateau seemed like a lot of effort, plus I’ve never actually made a Madeira so that settled it.

I decided to keep it simple and stick with lemon and boy am I glad I did. It’s lovely!

I didn’t get a crack in the top though so I’m sure I did something wrong… 

  
Having watched this week’s episode, I think I’ll give arlettes a go. Watch this space!

What do you think of the series so far?

Weekday treat: Peace and Loaf

5 Aug

Ever since it opened in 2013, I’ve been eyeing up Peace and Loaf in Jesmond.

It always seemed like somewhere that would be too posh for me but the boyfriend’s birthday felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Seeing they’d jumped on the Restaurant Week bandwagon and put a deal on – two courses for £20 to be precise – simply sealed the deal. The boyfriend didn’t even seem to mind celebrating a few weeks early.

  

I couldn’t have been more wrong about it being too posh. Walking inside, I was immediately at ease. The staff were super friendly and the atmosphere was relaxed.

While waiting for starters we were surprised with a little tasting plate. I couldn’t tell you what they were but they were delightful. 

  
The warm bread and whipped beef dripping were amazing – and I can’t stand beef dripping normally!

For our first course, we both ordered the chicken and ham pie terrine. It looked stunning and the flavours were lovely.

  
Next up was an amuse bouche, which I couldn’t describe and forgot to take a picture of, but was another pleasant surprise.

It was closely followed by my main course – bbq leeks with confit duck eggs and rice. I only picked it to see what a confit duck egg was like. Gorgeous! 

  
The boyfriend was pretty pleased with his belly pork too and we both loved the bone marrow chips which we chose as a side order.

  
Being obsessed with sweet things, I couldn’t not order dessert. And the assiette of desserts had our name on it.

  

Overall it was well worth paying a little bit extra!

Altogether our meal came to just under £70, which we thought was pretty reasonable considering the experience we had.

Obviously it’s not somewhere I’d go every day, it’s definitely a once in a while treat, but I wouldn’t hesitate to go back!

Peace and loaf is run by MasterCard finalist Dave Coulson and can be found on Jesmond Road. I would highly recommend!

July foodie penpal reveal

2 Aug

After a break in June, I couldn’t have been more ready for my July penpal box.

This month we were paired up with two Lithuanian ladies, and there was extra pressure on the one sending us a parcel as we had been her penpal a few months earlier!

Our penpal told us she loved chocolate and made her own sweets (a perfect penpal for me)! We relished this challenge and packed up a sweetie box full of our favourite goodies and some traditional English ones such as bonbons and liquorice. 

We’ve also started putting our notes on postcards as I think that’s a lovely way to show people where we live.  

The box we received back was possibly our best yet!

   
 The attention to detail on our box was lovely – I couldn’t wait to rip it open and inside was full of stuff suitable for both Troy and I.

Here are some of my favourites:

Sea salt chocolate – I thought I’d hate this but I LOVE it! And what’s great is I only want it in small doses, making it great for Weight Watchers 🙂

Cinnamon Dreams – essentially a Lithuanian version of Krave, these gorgeous bites of cinnamon cereal are serving as a great snack!

Veri Beri – dried strawberry sticks which I essentially ate it one go one lunch time at work.

What I especially loved is that everything had something English on it do I could figure out what they were 🙂

Yet again another successful penpal swap. We have no plans to stop anytime soon!

If you’d like to get involved, visit Carol-Anne’s blog here