It’s our Anniversary!

Woohoo! We’ve made it one year! Although it feels like a lot longer, and it’s gone so fast! We had a really lovely day…for some reason I was very unorganised about presents (not like me at all!) and one nearly didn’t come in time, but it did:

He loved it! He woke up super early and went to buy croissants and orange juice and flowers for breakfast and brought it to be in bed – great, but I told him after I wasn’t expecting him to get up early for it! He seemed pretty annoyed he didn’t get his lie in! :p

He took a hint I gave him a few weeks ago and bought me lots of smellies from Lush (they all smell like a sweet shop!) which I can’t wait to use, and made the cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutest (really cheesy) card for me…lots of photos with us and wrote really sweet things inside – and then wrote ‘to be continued…’ on the back…what a softy!

In the evening we went for dinner at Jamie’s (Oliver) Italian in Glasgow…well known for being a bit expensive, so it was a nice treat…I wore this bargain that I picked up a month ago in the Oasis sale:

Which was a complete steal at £15 reduced from £55! I would have taken photos of the food but I was a bit tipsy by that stage! Then we stole napkins (shh!) as a reminder of the day 🙂

Then I took him for a drink in Browns cocktail bar because I felt guilty for him spending so much on the day…:D Next week I’m taking him to La Tasca as a (very) late Birthday treat with my Tastecard (if you don’t have one and go to restaurants lots – GET ONE. You get a one month free trial and you get a card to use in LOADS of really popular restaurants for either 241 or 50% off…a years membership is under £40 I think, but I probably wouldn’t do that…we don’t eat out thaaat much!)

my bucket list of baking

Since so many lovely WordPressers are posting amazing recipes at the minute, I’ve decided to write a “Baking Bucket List” of things to bake throughout my next year at uni. Sharing with four girls and having a boyfriend who will literally eat huge quantities of everything and anything means I can pretty much get away with baking whenever I want, even if it doesn’t turn out the way I want it to.

So here are some of the things I desperately want to make, courtesy of WordPressers (and some others):

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction

Fudgy Cookies and Cream Oreo Brownies  thanks to Sall’s Baking Addiction

Sea Salt Caramel Sauce thanks to Modern Mrs Cleaver (I had something very similar to this in a restaurant recently, it was served with a kind of thick dark chocolate mousse and an orangey flavoured custard type thing (it had a name but I can’t remember)) DELICIOUS

Vegan Zucchini Apple Muffins (Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free – I plan on making these for my early morning breakfasts before uni!) thanks to Deliciously Ella

Party Rings thanks to Butcher, Baker (because I could literally sit my way through ten packets of party rings in one go and not feel in the slightest bit guilty – if I could make my own, that would just be heaven!)

Mince Pies thanks to Butcher, Baker (for Christmas time!)

Cinnamon Buns (no yeast) thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction

Skinny Peanut Butter Brownies thanks to Sally’s Baking Addicition

Nutella Stuffed Cinnamon Sugar Muffins thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction…

 

…Can you tell I’m a fan of Sally’s Baking Addiction?!

only a week till i move back to glasgow!

And it can’t come soon enough! I am so so excited and have my last shift at work on Tuesday. I’m nearly all packed and counting down the days!

This last week I’ve been away visiting Pete at his home and we also spent a few days up in Glasgow as he’s renovating his flat. We didn’t take many photos but we did loads of stuff…the weather was really great (SUN!) so we had BBQ’s and went to the beach and ate ice cream etc etc. It takes about nine hours on the train (including waiting in Glasgow for the train down south) but luckily Pete was able to pick me up from one of the earlier stops which saved a little bit of time. We ate out at a really cute little Italian restaurant in his town called Aroma with his mum and sister, then went to a pub quiz after (which we didn’t lose!). I love the area he lives in…it’s very close to the borders and England so all the villages remind me of the quaint little English villages I was brought up with:

The next day we took the car out to Cream of Galloway – where they make the ice cream and have a wee outdoor adventure park and bike/walking routes. It has fantastic views out onto the sea which you can see here:

The ice cream was so yummy! Pete bought me coffee and chocolate, but he didn’t have any because he’s allergic apparently :p We then sat and had lunch on some benches and then drove a wee bit further on to a really pretty beach:

 

And spent a little bit of time sunbathing and had a walk round the shoreline in the sun…

Then we headed back for a BBQ…the weather lasted for the next day too and I spent it at the pub with a friend while Pete was working. The next day it rained for a bit and was a bit dull but we still decided to head out for a drive to where he went to school and visited a couple more beaches which were pleasantly abandoned due to the lack of warm weather:

 

On Monday we had to head up to Glasgow to do some renovations on his flat (knocking down walls and painting etc etc) which took up the rest of my visit but was still good fun. We spent the nights in my new flat across town and took the bus to his in the morning. We went to see Ted (Seth MacFarlane) which I would highly recommend as one of the most hilarious films I’ve seen in a very very long time. I was in a grumpy mood because our flat is currently not in the best state and should have had more attention given to it before this point (our lease started two months ago) so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have done. But it has the perfect balance between absolutely hilarious peeing-your-pants moments and a little bit of romance too, to suit everyone watching. We also went out for dinner one night at a local little Italian restaurant/shop/deli place near Pete’s flat that sells fresh meat/cheese/bread/wine/coffee as well as serving fantastic meals:

It was a lovely week and we were lucky to have such good weather. I’m home now for a week before moving back to Glasgow on Saturday which I am beyond excited about!

 

 

apology and carrot cake

I feel so bad that I haven’t posted on here properly in ages…but the truth is, I haven’t really been doing anything that’s remotely interesting to blog about…I’ve been working, doing a bit of running and counting down the days to seeing Pete (tomorrow!). Luckily though, I’m heading back to uni two weeks on Saturday so will have plenty of time to blog and will be doing lots to blog about!

For today though, I thought I’d share a recipe for carrot cake that I’m currently making to give to Pete’s family as a ‘thanks for having me’. I got the recipe from the BBC website which is great for every single thing you can think of making. The recipe calls for oil, instead of butter which I’m hoping will give it a much lighter taste than if I’d used butter…some of the reviews said the cake was too greasy, but I think it might be okay!

I was thinking about making a butter icing instead of the usual cream cheese icing however I thought that a lot of people probably wouldn’t enjoy a butter icing with carrot cake, so stuck to what the recipe suggested – mixing icing sugar and two tablespoons of orange juice and drizzle it over the top…

I’ve never actually made carrot cake before so I’m hoping this turns out okay. I also left out the sultanas, because again – I know some people aren’t keen on them…I didn’t want to ruin a nice present!

I think the only issue I’m going to have is with transporting it tomorrow, on seven hours of trains with three changes along the way! It might be a case of adopting the saying “it’ll still taste like cake, even if it doesn’t look like one”.

When Pete Came To Stay

So for the last few days Pete has been up visiting me before he goes away for a month to travel around Europe! We picked him up on Thursday after I went to my brothers graduation (I’d put a photo up but they’re on my Dad’s camera and he’s just gone on holiday too..). But it was a lovely day and we’re all very proud of him 🙂

The weather was rubbish all weekend (apart from today, which is when he had to leave!) so we didn’t really do much (also due to the fact that I live in a really rubbish place and there’s not really much to do!).

On Saturday we made pizzas which were really yummy and so much cheaper than ordering in.

The recipe is really easy too, so I’ll share it with you! We use a breadmaker because it kneads the dough to save your arms so it rises properly. I think it saves faffing about with the yeast too, because after making doughballs I think you have to leave the yeast in warm water to do its’ thing’ and then leave the dough in a warm place to rise…the breakmaker does all that for you!

To make enough dough for two pizzas (the size of the ones in the photo) you will need:

1/2 a teaspoon of yeast

300g of white bread flour

1/2 a tablespoon of sugar

15g of butter

1 tablespoon of milk powder

210ml of warm water

(the recipe also has 1 teaspoon of salt in it, but we leave it out because with all the toppings etc it can get a bit too salty.)

When using a breakmaker you just shove everything in (yeast first) and put it in, following the instructions on your machine. Ours has a ‘pizza dough mode’ especially for this purpose!

For pudding I made chocolate mousse too, because we had ice cream and strawberries to use up. The recipe I normally use is from a recipe book by a student  called Sam Stern, but I’ve left it at uni and couldn’t find the recipe online, so had to use one from the BBC Food website. It was a lot of faffing about with egg whites and such, and I must have done something wrong along the way because the chocolate solidified a bit and went “snotty” as Pete called it. So I’m not going to share the recipe here, although I would recommend Sam Stern’s recipe.

Then last night we made Fajitas with a box kit, chicken and a red pepper. Nothing difficult, just good food 🙂 Sat infront of the TV and watched the first two series of Gavin and Stacey too which was lovely!

We went to see ‘The Five Year Engagement‘ too which was a great film. Really heart-warming and funny, and not too girly, so Pete enjoyed it too!

Bit sad now he’s left though, and I won’t see him for another six weeks while he’s in Europe – hopefully the time will go fast!

Doughballs and Fajitas

A few days ago I said I was going to make doughballs…and I did! I found the recipe from here and the photo looks exactly like the doughballs we had in Pizza Express! I won’t bother rewriting the recipe, you can see it all on there! The first time I made them the oven had been on cooking my dinner for ages, so ten minutes turned the little balls into mini bread rolls! Hard on the outside and bready on the inside…they still tasted great but certainly weren’t ‘doughballs’ so keep checking them so they don’t get too hard.

I cooked a second batch last night for desert after Pete and I had dinner with two friends. We made fajitas! We just got one of the fajita meal packets and added chicken, peppers and onions…yum yum!

So tasty. Then we went out to the cinema to see the new avengers film…great day!

Who knew doughballs and nutella could be such an amazing dish!?

I didn’t!

Pete and I went to Pizza Express tonight with a 25% discount voucher (if you’re in the UK head to their website and print off the voucher!) and it was aaaamazing…yumyumyum…

I’m currently in a bit of a food-induced coma so I’m not going to list what we had…BUT DOUGHBALLS AND NUTELLA!

Possibly the best thing to ever be invented ever…I think I must have been the last person to try it, but if you haven’t already, you have to…just go…don’t eat anything else, just order doughballs and nutella (note – the sharing platter was removed from their menu last week apparently as it wasn’t as popular…they still have ‘mini platters’ with coffee  too, but if you just ask for a sharing platter they’ll make it…they seem pretty good about just making something even if it isn’t on the menu!)

Obviously every restaurant is different, but we went to the one on Queen Street in Glasgow…Not sure what the building used to be but it seemed like an old tenement building with an interesting roof over the cooking area (reminded me of a church)…was a really nice size, a nice mix of traditional and modern styles and had a generally nice atmosphere to it…as much as I loved ASK Italian, I think the restaurant (Killermont Street, Glasgow) is a bit TOO modern…a bit too much like an IKEA showroom…the roof is too high and it’s too white…it sounds silly, but it’s not a ‘comfy’ atmosphere…Pizza Express is!

And when it comes down to it really, ASK doesn’t serve doughballs and nutella…

***INSERT IMAGE OF NUTELLA AND DOUGHBALLS***

….but it isn’t working, so you’re just going to have to go and try them yourself 🙂