Sunday, 16 September 2012

I won't lie...I've been getting around recently...

Tragic night on Friday after work in Cask in Castlefield. I met my husband (swoon) for after work drinks. I asked for half a Guinness. Standard. Much to my complete shock and horror it didn't taste nice. So my husband took my half pint of Guinness back to the bar. The guys behind the bar tasted it and said it was fine. But my husband quite rightly defended my Guinness tasting capability and asked for my alternative choice of half a Cusquena instead. I didn't really like that either.

Anyway it came to my round and I went to the bar and asked for my new bit on the side Brooklyn Lager. They didn't have any in stock. 'Oh right' I said. Momentary dizziness set in. I searched the bar for something familiar and the barman kindly suggested I try a James Boag lager from Tasmania. 'Alright' I said (easy). 'Its Friday', I thought, 'I have room for Tazmanian-devillish behaviour'. I tasted the James Boag and was impressed. The barman knows his stuff. I looked at their website to find the link for this blog and they have some cool videos on there. Check it out. Warning: it may make you thirsty.

Ssssh. Don't tell Guinness I'm having an affair with Brooklyn.

I think I first tried Brooklyn Lager in Trof or Common Bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter. I've since found myself ordering it in Gorilla and Cask. My husband and I have also bought Brooklyn Lager in Sainsburys for a Saturday night in and I bought two bottles in Tesco this morning to drink whilst I'm doing the ironing. Rock n roll.

Little by little I am starting to realise I might actually be falling in love with Brooklyn. Eeeek.

I feel a bit guilty on Guinness as it has always been my top most favourite, completely reliable drink to definitely taste amazing every single time and never results in a hangover no matter how many pints I consume.

But Guinness, what can I say, you have some competition. I've not desserted might be a phase...I'm just being honest....the sexy 'B' on the label keeps catching my eye.....

To be continued.

Caribbean Mango Marinade from Borough Market

The Caribbean. Just saying 'The Caribbean' makes me feel happy inside. When I saw the Caribbean food stall at Borough Market I was instantly drawn to see what was on offer. I've not heard of Pimento Hill before but they had the most fabulous sauces, spices and marinades on offer to taste and savour.

I bought this jar of Mango Natty for about £4 which I was advised to use as a marinade or sauce on chicken or fish. Chatting to the lady working on the stall I mentioned I was going on holiday to Barbados to which she replied 'that's just like going to Spain'. I nearly choked on my natty taster and asked her where in the Caribbean she would advise I go instead. 'Grenada, St Kitts, St Vincent...somewhere more interesting...' So there you have it. Travel tips and a mango marinade for £4. I'm yet to open the jar but when I do I'll serve with a can of Ting and think of the woman from Pimento Hill who compares Barbs with Marbs. Yeah mon.

Girlie Weekend at Borough Market

I went to London recently and visited Borough Market during what was dubbed the Weekend of Dreams. Five of my best girlfriends are now living in London so it is always a guaranteed weekend of laughs when I go down to visit. The Weekend of Dreams (aka WOD2012) was carefully coordinated around the much hyped Lady Gaga concert at Twickenham which was AMAZING.

I arrived in London on the Saturday lunchtime and after some cold pink bubbles on my friend's balcony in the sunshine we went to nearby Borough Market for fizz and food-fest. My friend has been wetting my appetite with everything Borough since she moved there earlier this year and I can see exactly why she loves her new neighbourhood.  

Borough Market is a food lover's heaven and being able to walk around with glasses of wine, sangria or spritzers makes it a booze lover's heaven too. We sampled olives, cheese, Caribbean curry and Thai curry and quickly realised one glass of fizz is just not enough so bought a bottle, sat on the pavement outside in the sunshine and loafed. It was the ideal Saturday afternoon and I can't wait to go back.

Hola! It's Spanish Night Señor...

With ten days holiday booked in red hot Spain this meal definitely got us in the mood for all things Espagnol. New from Marks and Spencer is this cod with serrano ham and lentils dish. Super easy to cook in the oven it is perfect served with an ice cold bottle of San Miguel.

Anniversary Dinner at Dee Thai, Hale

We dined at the Dee Thai restaurant in Hale recently to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. This was our first visit to the Dee Thai and the food was beautiful. We chose:

Honey Spare Ribs
Vegetable Tempura

Green Weeping Tiger
Lamb Red Thai Curry

The Green Weeping Tiger was absolutely stunning; thin slices of sirloin steak marinated in herbs and served sizzling with a green coconut curry sauce.  The food is highly recommended and the service excellent. The restaurant itself could do with following the interior design style of Chaophraya in Manchester city centre as it is a bit plain considering where it is located and what you pay to dine. I would definitely eat here again though.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

I love it when my husband plays golf in the afternoon on a Sunday as it means one thing....Come Dine With Me marathon completely uninterrupted. Complete with ad breaks and no flicking between channels.

Anyway it always inspired me to cook something a little bit different. I made these stuffed portobello mushrooms one Sunday evening ready for when my man returned from golf. I brushed the mushrooms with olive oil and stuffed with chopped piccolo cherry tomatoes, spinach and basil, grated cheddar cheese and chilli flakes. I then grilled the mushrooms for about 15 minutes and served up with some salt and pepper. Nice and filling and probably a bit too big for a starter.

Vintage Tea Party Napkins

I picked these vintage napkins up in H & M recently for a bargain basement price of 50p in the sale. They are almost too cool to use.

My sister and 3 year old niece came round for a tea party today so I got my first chance to use them. Admittedly completely wasted on a 3 year old but they made the table look pretty.

Yogberries. Where Cheshire cool kids hang out.

The North West's coolest place to send your teenage kids to hang out on a sunny Sunday afternoon is Yogberries the frozen yogurt bar. With branches in Hale, Wilmslow, Bramhall and Fallowfield, Yogberries is very much the Cheshire set's upgrade on a good old fashioned ice cream van.

With funky branding and pristine clean interiors, the Yogberries in Hale is making the most of its new position on the high street next to The American Bar.

Choose a natural or seasonal flavoured frozen yoghurt and then garnish with a toppping of your choice from shaved coconut, granola or honeycomb pieces through to peanut, pineapple or white chocolate buttons.

I think we paid about £7 for two tubs....not much change from a tenner....see what I mean about an upgrade on a good old fashioned ice cream van. Tasty but pricey.