Sunday, 20 May 2012

Yara Altrincham Review

Yara is without a doubt one of the best local restaurants in our area. It is a Lebanese and Syrian restaurant on Oxford Road in Altrincham with the friendliest staff and tastiest food. Yara is a small restaurant over two floors in what feels like a converted house. You can take your own alcohol which is partly what makes this a very popular and busy restaurant where you often have to book up to a week in advance for a weekend table.

The menu consists of lots of lamb, tomato and aubergine based dishes. I've eaten here four times now and last time I had cheese and spinach parcels followed by lamb chops and chips. The lamb chops are cooked over charcoal and are so insanely tasty its hard to choose anything else. It costs us approx £30 for a meal for two. You only get your table for about 1 hour 20 minutes if you're in for a 7pm sitting at the weekend. And the staff stick to this - they make no bones about coming over to you when your time is up! There are always groups of people in Yara on big tables celebrating birthdays along side couples sharing a bottle of wine. Go if you get chance.

Lunch at Barburrito, Liverpool One

I can't believe I've never eaten in Barburrito before last weekend! My husband and I went for a day out to Liverpool and visited the Museum of Liverpool, Tate Liverpool, St George's Hall and The Walker Art Gallery. We also went shopping at Liverpool One and The Met Quarter. All on a lovely sunny day. It was such a good day I out I highly recommend it especially for couples on a weekend. But make sure the weather is nice when you go as Liverpool is one windy city every day of the year so it is grim when it rains!

Anyway we were going to go for a fancy lunch on Chavasse Park on top of Liverpool One. There are lots of restaurants up there- Las Iguanas, Cafe Rouge, Chaophraya, Yee-Rah, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nandos and Yo Sushi. We both really fancied Mexican and when we noticed Barburrito we decided against a fancy wine and dine lunch and went in for what were the most incredibly huge and tasty burritos packed with cajun chicken, salsa, salad, rice and guacamole. It cost £15 for two burritos and two drinks. The tortilla chips were thrown in for free. Definitely my new preferred choice for a quick light lunch in town.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

BBC Good Food Magazine

I bought a subscription to BBC Good Food magazine via the Tesco clubcard scheme last year. It is such a good magazine I can't recommend it enough. Every month it is packed full of ideas and the photography is beautiful. There are always great offers on cookware and accessories. This year we are going to the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in Birmingham after buying discounted tickets via the magazine. Can't wait it is going to be foodie heaven!

Pineapple Piece Pudding

I love buying pineapples. I like the way they look in my shopping trolley and I like seeing one in my fruit bowl in the kitchen. It brings a sense of freshness, holidays and exotica to your life. It is nice to chop a pineapple up for dessert and then save all the leftover pieces in an air tight container in the fridge. We are not big on desserts in our house but at weekends we make a nice fruit salad and pineapple is so amazing you almost don't need anything else. Juicy!

Home Chopped Vegetable Stir Fry

This is the Tuesday night staple tea in our house. We go to ashtanga yoga on a Tuesday night which is absolutely amazing for both body and mind. Last week I was in a head stand and we are learning to do actual hand stands. It is such a rush and you feel amazing the following day with all that fresh blood to your brain. Anyway the last thing you want to do is turn up with a full tummy of food so we always have a light stir fry after work to keep the hunger pangs at bay. This one contained a green and red pepper, chestnut mushrooms and sliced baby courgettes. They are all thrown into the wok to sizzle away. After a couple of minutes throw in some fresh egg noodles and a stir fry sauce of your choice. Cooked and served within 5 minutes.

Quinoa, Edamame & Bulgur Salad

This has fast become the base for all my lunchtime salads recently. I try and take my lunch to work every day partly to save money but mainly so I know exactly what I am eating, where it was prepared, what has gone into it and that all utensils used to make it were clean and hygienic. OCD? Yes definitely.

This quinoa, edamame and bulgur salad base is so easy to make. I use a packet of Pedon 10 minute quick cook quinoa and bulgur from the wholefoods aisle at Tesco. You simply place the grains into boiling water for ten minutes and add the edamame beans in three minutes before the end. Then you rinse in a sieve and run cold water through. I then tip the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add whatever other ingredients I fancy along with the juice of a lemon or lime depending on what suits. Easy, tasty, full of protein, cheap, healthy and perfect for tipping into a lunch box and eating at your desk.