The Domestic Goddess Bakes Some Cheese Scones

October 11, 2009 at 7:12 pm (Domestic Goddess, Life gets in the way...) (, , , , , )

Cheese Scones 11.10.09Although the recipe made six scones,
there are only five in the photo because we had to taste one!

In continuance of my Domestic Goddess-ness, I have decided that I should really learn to bake as it’s the one big area of cooking that I have never mastered.

Today, out of the blue, I suddenly had a hankering to make cheese scones. I’ve always loved them and have never made them myself, so I had a quick look online and found a simple recipe on BBC Food for which I already had all the ingredients. I then modified it just a teensy bit because I like really, really cheesy scones. So, the final recipe went something like this:

Ingredients (makes 6 scones):
225g / 8oz self raising flour
Pinch of salt
55g / 2 oz butter
55g / 2oz finely grated strong cheddar
150ml / 5fl oz milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven (or in my case, combi-oven) to 220C / 425F / GM 7
  2. Lightly grease baking sheet
  3. Mix together flour and salt, then rub in butter
  4. Add the cheese and then gradually stir in milk with a metal knife (I used my Grom’s trusty “chop-chop-stir method) to a soft dough
  5. Flour a work surface, turn out the dough and knead very lightly
  6. Pat into a round approx. 2cm / ¾” thick and cut out rounds with a cutter (I used a glass – it worked fine!)
  7. Lightly knead together the remaining dough, pat down and cut more rounds till all dough is used (I had to shape the last scone myself without a cutter)
  8. Place scones on the baking sheet and brush with a little milk
  9. Pop in the oven for 20-25mins or until scones are golden and well risen
  10. Cool on a wire rack
  11. Serve with butter and ENJOY!

The verdict on my first ever attempt at scones, cheese or otherwise, was a solid two-thumbs-up – they were scrumptious! (Agreed by myself, Dale and Xander.)  As I used all the flour I had left in the kitchen to make these, I shall have to get some more next weekend as I am definitely making these again.

And as this was such a positive (and lip-smackingly delicious) experience, I have decided that each weekend I will attempt to bake something. Eventually I hope to get round to baking a cake from scratch – then I’ll be able to cross that item off my list of 50 Things To Do Before I’m 50!

Permalink 1 Comment

Baby Buddies – Reviews of Restaurant Family-Friendliness

June 13, 2009 at 4:36 pm (Baby) (, , , , , , )

Xander LOVES his own high chair!

As a new parent, I find it difficult to arrange places to go with others when we have Xander in tow, as having a baby, a buggy, and all the paraphernalia required for an outing with a baby can make a day out very stressful, and it doesn’t help if the place you go isn’t particularly baby-friendly! So, I thought I’d start reviewing the places I visit with Xander so that other parents in the area can guage whether or not a place might be worth visiting with their kids!

The Square, Golden Square, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Excellent food at a decent price
  • Very spacious
  • Plenty of high chairs with trays
  • Friendly staff and good service
  • Good, clean changing facilities in the disabled loo on the ground floor
  • If you phone ahead and arrange it, they’ll heat baby food in the microwave for you
  • Pay and Display parking nearby in Golden Square

Cons:

  • Half a dozen steps to get into the place

Review:
My friend, Kez, and I went to The Square for lunch with our two young’uns in tow (both at around the eight-month mark) in their buggies and each of us bringing our own food for them. Once we managed to get into the restaurant (which isn’t all that easy due to having to negotiate the half-a-dozen steps and go through two doors), we found it to be very spacious with plenty of room to manoeuvre our bulky buggies around the place.

We’d been seated in a quiet corner where our little ones wouldn’t be disturbed if they decided to nap after lunch (which was very considerate) and where we wouldn’t feel the buggies were in anyone’s way, and the staff were quick to bring the hot water required for making up lunch for Xander and also to heat up Sonny’s lunch in the microwave before we’d even looked at the menus.

Both of us were pleased that the high chairs had trays so the boys could be given finger foods to manage for themselves whilst we ate our own lunches, and the chairs themselves were clean, comfortable and had sturdy restraints on them to keep wriggling tots in place! We also didn’t feel at all hassled by the staff – they came back a few times to see if we were ready to order, but never looked frustrated when we needed a few more minutes and they always smiled.

The food was piping hot and delicious (I ordered the sausages with spring onion mash, caramelised red onions and red wine gravy; Kez ordered the steak burger), and when I asked where they got the sausages, our waitress was only to happy to find out for me (they’re from Wilkinson’s, apparently, which is a company I don’t know, but will make a point of rectifying that soon!). We were so impressed that we had to order dessert (Kez had the hot chocolate brownie, I had the lemongrass pannacotta with citrus jus – both were divine!).

It was a lovely lunch which we ALL enjoyed and I would definitely recommend the place, even with the difficult entry, as a place to go with or without kids.

Rating: 4/5 – very family-friendly. Only one mark deducted because of accessibility problems.

Food Court, Bon Accord Shopping Centre, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • City Centre – easy to get to and handy for the shops
  • Large multi-storey car park (pay on exit) for shopping centre
  • Lots of seating
  • Lots of different choices of food
  • Baby change facilities nearby

Cons:

  • Tables quite tightly-packed
  • Often very busy and noisy
  • Baby change facilities are in a cramped corner next to the hand drier in the ladies’ toilets

Review:
Seeing as how we just fancied a cuppa, we headed to the Patisserie section at the back of the food court, where they have a lovely array of cakes, scones and pastries as well as other food on their menu. We didn’t have anything to eat on this occasion, but we were sorely tempted!

The staff immediately offered to take our tray to our table for us as we had to contend with our buggies and sleeping boys, which was nice (apparently all the section will take the trays for you, but you usually have to ask first).

It was a nice little “feet-up” moment where we could chat while the boys had a nap.

Note: We didn’t ask for or use highchairs on this occasion, so I have no idea whether or not they have trays.

Rating: 4/5 – one mark deducted for lack of space to move between many of the tables, but otherwise very family friendly.

The Northern Hotel, Great Northern Road, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Quiet
  • Free parking nearby
  • Highchairs with trays

Cons:

  • Baby change facilities on first floor
  • Unhelpful staff
  • Lack of acknowledgement to complaints!

Review:
I took Xander to meet a couple of friends for coffee, with the idea that it could become a regular haunt, as it’s very handy to get to from my home. Unfortunately, it turned into a bit of a disaster.

The staff were po-faced and unhelpful from the start. I asked if Xander’s food could be heated up in the microwave and was told “We don’t do that – the best I can do is bring you a bowl of hot water.”* No apologies, no explanation, just a flat-out “no”. Now, I can understand that places have health and safety policies to protect themselves if anything horrible should happen in the way of little ones getting burned, but have you ever tried to heat Bolognese in a bowl of hot water? It’s impossible! Xander refused to eat it and if I hadn’t thought to bring along some little sandwiches and other finger foods, we would have had to leave immediately and head for home so he could eat.

They also don’t serve anything in the way of scones or pastries – you go for a meal or nothing. As I was peckish, I ordered the chicken satay sticks, but they were luke-warm (obviously they don’t use the microwave for their own food either!) and unappetising; on top of that, the coffee was, to be blunt, bitter as hell.

When it came time to change Xander’s nappy, I was dismayed to find the changing facilities (and the disabled toilet) are on the first floor, so you have to get into the lift to reach it**.

I emailed the manager to bring all of the above to their attention but three emails (and a month) later I still haven’t even had an acknowledgement.

Rating: 0/5 – Most heartily NOT recommended! Quite possibly themost baby-unfriendly place I’ve ever visited!

* So, if you’re staying at the hotel with a baby, you’d better hope they’re not weaning because you can’t heat their food during your stay.

** There’s also a note in the lift that says it only operates between 7am and 12-midnight, so woe-betide any disabled customers who stay in the hotel bar past midnight as they won’t be able to get to their rooms, never mind the toilet!

TGI Friday’s, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Plenty of free parking
  • Plenty of high chairs
  • Plenty of room
  • Clean baby change facilities
  • Other activities and entertainments for young children and adults nearby, including a lovely, sandy beach

Cons:

  • No trays on the high chairs

Review:
My group of local Mums and Babies have met here for lunch twice now and have had a great experience. Both times we’ve been, we have been put into our own section away from everyone else, so we can have plenty of room for the buggies and chairs (there are sometimes as many as 8 adults and babies to match!), and a little bit quieter if the babies decide to nap. The staff are friendly and helpful, the food is good, the prices are decent, and the baby change facilities are clean and roomy.

Rating: 4/5 – Incredibly baby-friendly. One mark removed only because the high chairs don’t have trays.

Frankie and Benny’s, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Plenty of free parking
  • Plenty of high chairs
  • Clean baby change facilities
  • Other activities and entertainments for young children and adults nearby, including a lovely, sandy beach

Cons:

  • Not much room to move
  • Often busy and noisy
  • No trays on highchairs

Reviews:
This is another restaurant tested by the Mums and Babies. The tables are pretty packed-in so there was no room for the buggies to be near the tables, so if the babies wanted a nap, we were stuffed! However, the staff were friendly and attentive, despite it being busy and them all being run off their feet.

The food is great and there’s a wide choice on the menu for those who like Italian as well as those who don’t.

Rating: 3/5 – Points deducted for lack of trays on highchairs and lack of room to move, but other than that, a very positive experience.

Chiquitos, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Plenty of free parking
  • Plenty of high chairs
  • Clean baby change facilities
  • Other activities and entertainments for young children and adults nearby, including a lovely, sandy beach
  • Moderate room to move
  • Activity books and colouring pencils for older children

Cons:

  • Can be busy and noisy
  • No trays on high chairs

Review:
Another testing ground for the Mums and Babies. There were only three pairs this time, so we were able to keep the buggies / car seats next to us for the babies to nap. Chiquitos also provide an activity book and coloured multi-change pencil to amuse toddlers and older children, which is great for keeping them occupied while the adults finish eating!

One of our Mums had phoned ahead and found that, although the staff won’t take food to be heated in the microwave, they will take you through to the kitchen to heat it yourself, which is a great compromise that covers their butts and keeps parents happy.

The food is very good (Xander liked the refried beans and tortilla bread!), the prices are decent and the baby change facilities are clean and roomy. I’d definitely go back again with a small group of Mums and Babies, but not a larger group, as there wouldn’t be room for all the buggies to be kept nearby.

Rating: 4/5 – Point deducted for lack of trays on highchairs.

Rustico, Union Row, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Multi-storey pay-and-display car parking nearby
  • Highchairs have trays
  • Clean, roomy baby change facilities
  • Friendly, attentive staff

Cons:

  • Couple of steps to get inside
  • Narrow restaurant, so not much room

Review:
This is one of my sister’s favourite restaurants, so for her birthday, I took out to lunch at Rustico along with Xander and another friend.

Although there are a couple of steps to get into the restaurant, they are quite shallow and not too difficult to get up with a buggy, however, the ground-floor level is very narrow and we had to leave the buggy at the front section where the staff kept an eye on it for us.

I was very impressed when, not only did the high chair have a tray, but the waiter cleaned it with disinfectant spray (the same one I use on Xander’s tray at home!) right in front of us so we knew it was freshly cleaned – a nice touch that reassures Mums that their babies can safely eat food from it. The staff were friendly and attentive, actively engaging with Xander as they passed, with smiling faces and speaking to him, which he loved!

The food was excellent and Xander loved tasting a bit of my spinach and ricotta ravioli (he gobbled it up almost as quickly as I did!). We ALL had a lovely time and Xander quite peacefully and happily fell asleep immediately after we put him in his buggy to leave, so he was obviously satisfied too!

Rating: 4/5 – point deducted for access problems

Pizza Hut, Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen
Pros:

  • Plenty of highchairs – some with trays
  • Plenty of free parking
  • Clean baby change facilities
  • Other activities and entertainments for young children and adults nearby, including a lovely, sandy beach
  • Moderate room to move

Cons:

  • Busy and noisy
  • Staff don’t own up to mistakes!

Review:
This was the most disappointing of our Mums and Babies group lunches – we were a large group on this occasion and almost all of us had a baby with us, but despite having made the booking well in advance, they were totally unprepared for us and we had to move our tables into position ourselves.

We were crammed into a corner that was really too small for our number and, as it transpired after a letter of complaint was sent by one of our number, they had not checked the bookings and had stuck us there as an afterthought.*

Some of the high chairs have trays, but they didn’t look to be all that new and had quite a few deep scratches on them which looked dark in comparison to the rest of the surface.

The baby changing facilities are clean, but we all had to wait in turn to change the babies’ nappies and, as there were other babies there as well as ours, it meant a long wait!

I doubt our group will visit en masse again.

* Our recompense for the whole thing was a £5 Pizza Hut voucher – for a party of 10 – big wow!

Rating: 2/5 – If the staff had owned up to their error and lent a hand, the rating would be a bit higher, also if the high chairs all had trays and looked to be in a better state, they might have gained another point.

Permalink 1 Comment

Fun, fun, fun!

June 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm (Baby) (, , , , , , )

I just head the spoon towards my mouth and… yum!

Xander has been having a lot of fun playing with his spoon after his afternoon snack of fromage frais (which he loves!). As you can see, he can get the spoon in his mouth the right way round, although whenever I give him a “loaded” spoon, it just gets waved about till everything flies off it and redecorates the nearest wall and the carpet to boot!

And he’s quite confident now when it comes to sitting and playing. As I type, he’s sitting on his play mat, playing with his stacking cups and has been doing so for the last half an hour or so with no problems at all. He occasionally turns to the telly if some music catches his attention, but he’s quite happy just sitting on the floor with is toys. Awww, bless!

These stacking cups are so much fun!

Permalink 1 Comment

Feeding, brushing and Expressing…

April 22, 2009 at 3:09 pm (Baby) (, , , , , )

Xander enjoying his lunch and attempting to feed himself with his spoon!

Xander is really improving on the feeding front! He’ll now happily eat savoury food without me having to pull the old switcheroo and making him think he’s getting a spoonful of pudding! Of course, he still like pudding best of all, with his favourites being egg custard, banana custard and banana chocolate pudding! However, he’ll now eat the two packet-mix savoury meals of cauliflower and broccoli cheese, and Mediterranean vegetables and rice. He won’t touch the savoury jars, though – not that I blame him, as they’re pretty disgusting!

He’ll occasionally agree to have some masshed vegetables that I’ve cooked at home, although he really hates potato and will be heartily sick if it’s even in his mouth – not even swallowed! And he’ll sometimes take a few lumpier things, like a piece of bread with chocolate spread on it, or some garlic bread, or a little bit of chicken or sausage, or some such thing. However, if I give him finger food, he’ll not get any of it into his mouth – he just bashes it off his tray and throws it on the floor, although a bit of cooked carrot will briefly get put into his mouth and pulled out again a few times before the bashing and throwing happens!

Xander will also happily drink from a sippy cup, and although he can hold the cup himself and manoeuvre the spout into his mouth, he hasn’t quite got the hang of tipping it up to drink from it – he needs a hand with that. Mostly, though, he likes to shake it about so that the water comes out of the spout and then he sucks it off the lid!

A good thing is that he seems to really like his toothbrush! When he sees me coming with it after his feeds, he opens his mouth wide and lets me brush his tooth (which is now poking right through his gum a fair bit!). Then, when I give him the brush afterwards, he’ll happily chew on it for a while before banging it off his tray to make a lot of noise!

On top of all this, I’m expressing again. I’ll be returning to work in the middle of June and I need to be able to express breast milk for Xander to have while I’m away. I do have a manual pump, but it’s lost suction and I’m having to hand-express instead. It’s quite a comical sight – me feeding Xander on one breast with a small pot stuck in my bra on the other side to catch the drips when the milk lets down, and then squeezing away while Xander sucks – I feel a bit like I’m a big dairy cow! At the moment, I’m using the milk I express to make up his bedtime cereal. Apparently breast milk has hormones in it that helps babies sleep, so at bedtime he’s now getting a double whammy of those hormones by having them in his cereal AND straight from the breast. Right enough, it does seem to be improving his first stretch of sleep as he’ll now go down for anything up to 3 1/2 hours before waking up, which is amazing! Unfortunately, he still wakes another two to three times throughout the course of the night/early hours of the morning for further feeds, but it’s getting easier now…

And in a couple of days, he’ll be seven months old – where has the time gone to?!

Having his tooth brushed!

Permalink 1 Comment

Lumps

April 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm (Baby) (, , )

After refusing point blank to eat anything remotely lumpy, and even turning up his nose at smooth stuff all day today, Xander surprised us both at supper time.

Dale had ordered pizza, cheesy garlic bread and breaded chicken goujons and handed some over to me. Xander showed some interest in what was going in my mouth while he was sitting on my knee, so I broke off a little of the garlic bread and, when he opened his mouth for it, popped it inside. To our amazement, he started gumming it to pieces and then swallowed it! So I gave him a little more – same response. I then decided to see what he would do with a bit of the chicken. His eyes lit up as he gummed away the small morsel I’d given him, and another swiftly followed!

I think perhaps I’ll just keep sitting him on my knee after his own food and trying him with the larger lumps from my own plate for a while and see what he does…

Permalink 1 Comment

18 weeks in…

April 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm (Baby) (, , , , , , )

Foetus at 18 weeks

It’s been a busy week – I’ve been running round like a headless chicken (well, not really, but I’ve been doing a lot of to-ing and fro-ing) at work as the office has been going crazy, and Tadpole has been turning somersaults and doing a whole lot more growing too! And now that I’m 18 weeks pregnant (almost half way there!), I’m officially entering my fifth month of pregnancy, which is hard to believe, as it feels like we only found out about our little Lone Ranger five minutes ago!

Some interesting fact about being 18 weeks pregnant:

  • Tadpole is now about 6 inches long from crown to rump and weighs about 7oz (so I guess all the extra weight I’m carrying is due to a massive placenta and an ocean of amniotic fluid!)
  • Whether Tadpole is a girl or a boy, all the “girlie-bits” or “boy-bits” are there now (so if the hospital didn’t have a “don’t ask because we won’t tell” policy, they’d likely be able to tell us the sex already.)
  • Tadpole can now feel and hear (although (s)he won’t hear much but my heartbeat and my grumbling tummy when I’m starving – which I am all the time these days)

Things that have happened this week:

  • I’ve discovered an inconsistency in the general public – people are  more than willing to give up their seat on a bus to a pregnant woman, but not their place on the bench at the bus stop. How strange!
  • Little old ladies have started smiling and nodding at me in a very knowing way (which makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, as if they’re saying, “I know what you did to get pregnant, you dirty minx!”)
  • According to a friend at work, I now always look like I’m smiling on the inside, even when I’m not smiling on the outside. When I asked what that meant, they replied, “It’s like you know a special secret, even though it’s obvious nowadays what your ‘secret’ is – you’ve got a twinkle in your eyes.” I guess that’s a pretty lovely thing to say, really.
  • Tadpole seems to have quite a regular little routine – a fair old bit of activity off anf on throughout the day, but mostly quite quiet at night. According to my colleague who recently returned from maternity leave, if they do that in the womb, they’re more likely to have a similar routine once they’ve come out, which is nice to know!
  • Pregnant women are public property. Complete strangers will ask for  details of your pregnancy whilst you queue for a changing room or the toilet. They all want to know your due date, whether or not you had morning sickness, and if you can feel the baby moving yet. People who would usually never dream of talking to you, or even noticing your existance, suddenly find you the most interesting person ni the vicinity! It’s very strange.
  • You can never have too much Indian food.

I put in that last comment because although I find it very easy to get “Chinesed out” if I have Chinese food several times over a short period, I could quite happily eat Indian food every night of the week and never get sick of it! I actually had Indian food the last three nights running (balti, dahl, madras, laal, rogan josh – you name it, I’ll eat it!) and would quite happily have it again tonight, but we’re going out to a Chinese restaurant tonight with family. Not that I won’t eat the food – it’s particularly good – but a couple of weeks back, I had Chinese three nights on the trot, and was heartily sickened of the stuff, so I’d much rather go somewhere else, really – perhaps for a nice streak with pepper sauce, or perhaps a curry…). I’ve not had proper craving for any one food, but I guess the closest ones would be that I like cheese a lot and love the spiciest Indian food I can get in my hungry little mouth. And yes, I’m always hungry now.

Fortunately, I’ll be able to combat putting on too much weight, as my new DVDs arrived today – Pilates in Pregnancy and Yoga for Pregnancy. Yes, I know they’re not exactly fat-burning  cardio-vascular workouts, but they’ll help me keep (OK, get) toned and maintain (oh alright, kick-start and improve) my flexibility, both of which have got to be good, not only to help keep me healthy through my pregnancy, but also to help me get through the birth. Apparently both of these can improve your stamina too, which can only be a good thing when you hear of a normal labour lasting anywhere between six and thirty-six hours – that’s a marathon and a half! And best still, they both appear to include workouts for after birth too, which will help me get back into shape – preferably a better shape than I was to begin with!

Permalink 2 Comments

10 weeks down – 30 to go…

March 4, 2008 at 3:11 pm (Baby, Life gets in the way...) (, , , )

 

10-weeks pregnant

Foetus at 10 weeks

This afternoon I had my first antenatal appointment and met my midwife, Jan, who is lovely and kept calling me “my love” and the baby her “little pal”.

Mostly it was just paperwork and questions on both sides (bizarrely, despite my all-day morning sickness, almost all of my questions were about food!). Apparently, my generally healthy diet (with some naughties – I can’t be good ALL the time, after all!) is great and almost all the things I am supposed to avoid are things I don’t like anyway (blue-veined cheese, eggs with runny yolks, liver and pate, etc), so I should have much trouble there. And her advice for combating my morning sickness? I need to eat more often! Apparently it’s the drop in sugar levels that causes the nausea, so I have to eat:

Breakfast – something like cereal, toast or fruit is good.
Elevenses – a banana is ideal.
Lunch – soup, salad or sandwich is great
Mid-afternoon snack – did I mention bananas are ideal?
Dinner – plenty of veg; something starchy like potatoes, rice or pasta; oily fish twice a week; lean meat; etc.
Supper – a snack before bed so my sugar levels don’t drop through the floor overnight.

At this rate I really am going to be the size of a bus! I don’t usually eat quite as often as that. Yes, I have breakfast, lunch and dinner, with perhaps a piece of fruit or some crackers mid-morning to keep me going, but that’s usually pretty much it and I don’t usually eat after about 8:30pm at the latest (unless I’m out for a meal and we happen to still be eating at that point)

The good news is that I already eat a lot of fruit and veg, and I love salmon, so I usually have it once or twice a week. I usually favour chicken or turkey over beef and pork (although I do like both of those) and occasionally duck, but I often eat vegetarian meals and often include nuts and seeds too. The one thing I’m really going to miss is pepperoni on my pizza – I’ve been told to really avoid those deli meats so no pepperoni for me! On top of that, my blood pressure, as always, is spot on what it should be (that’s one area I’ve never had a problem) and the fact that I walk everywhere is great exercise-wise (there are definitely benefits to not having a car and feeling sick on buses!).

So, within the next two-to-four weeks I’ll be going for my first scan, then there’ll be some blood work two weeks after that, and another scan four weeks after that. In the meantime, there are various classes to go to in order to ensure I don’t overstretch myself as my body changes (apparently women are  more prone to injury during the first trimester due to all the muscles and ligaments loosening – we carry on as normal without realising that we’re getting all relaxed and stretchy, so we get injured).

So, within the next six-to-ten weeks I’ll have a really noticeable pregnant tummy on me. Till then I’ll resign myself to just looking like I’m getting fatter (which is how it feels at this stage – I just feel that I look like I’m porking out a bit more!).

And we’ve been given a tentative Due Date of 3rd October (subject to change after we get that scan in a few weeks, when we’ll get a definite date to work towards!).

Permalink 8 Comments

Constant Craving

February 9, 2008 at 11:18 pm (Baby, Life gets in the way...) (, , , )

Today I had my first ever proper, major full-on craving.

I’d been out to coffee in the morning with The Girls (Suzie and Amy), although I stuck to the apple juice, seeing as how I’ve cut out caffeine since discovering our Impending Arrival, and then run a few errands around town before heading back home, taking the Rosemount route.

I was about half way home when I suddenly realised that the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world was a slice of pizza!

I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to wait till I got home, then order a pizza, and then wait for it to arrive, in the hopes that it would get there before my morning sickness kicked in and meant I couldn’t face it. And then it happened. Like a mirage, it appeared before me:

Heavenly Pizza

I could hardly believe my luck! I had inadvertently chosen the route home that would take me directly past the door of Heavenly Pizza who, as it happens, sell a 7-inch Margherita for £2.95. It was more than I could stand. I went in and placed my order.

Ten minutes later, I was handed my box of pizza delight and I left the shop with every intention of taking it home to eat off a plate with a knife and fork (I hate eating in the street – it’s just a little uncouth and against my delicate sensibilities). However, Tadpole had other ideas. The smell was driving me crazy and, I’m ashamed to say, I opened that box and devoured the contents as I walked home!

And you know what? It was every bit as heavenly as advertised! The base was crisp and light and not at all greasy. The tomato sauce was piquant and both herby and spicy. The cheese-to-sauce ratio was spot on and the mozzarella was melted to perfection.

It was, in short, quite the most divine pizza I have ever had.

Of course, that could have been completely down to the satisfying of the craving, but I’m very glad I took a delivery menu before I left!

Permalink 5 Comments

Sushi for beginners

November 7, 2007 at 3:06 pm (Life gets in the way...) (, , , )

Sushi for beginners

I can be quite fussy when it comes to food, but over the last ten years or so, I’ve become increasingly adventurous about the foodstuffs I’ll try (as part of my 50 things to do before I’m 50 I even tried kangaroo, ostrich and crocodile) and every now and then I’ll suddenly get a hankering to try something new and a little bit interesting.

Today was such a day.

I had nipped to our local Co-op to pick up a few things and was drawn to the refrigerated cabinet while looking  for something to tempt me for lunch. And there it was. Sushi.

Now, I’ve considered trying sushi before, but have never got round to it in the past, as the thought of putting raw fish in my mouth makes me feel physically sick, but I was in luck on this occasion – I’d happened upon  a pack of vegetarian sushi!

It was only a small, snack-sized pack,  so I thought I’d give it a try…

Within the nicely-presented clear plastic pack were seven individual pieces –  2 thin sushi rice rolls filled with cucumber and wrapped in noni (seaweed); two with red pepper; and two with yellow pepper. The seventh piece was something called tamago (Japanese omelette on a finger-shaped portion of rice) wrapped with noni. There was also a small, fish-shaped container of soy sauce, which I squirted onto my lunch.

I started with the cucumber-filled pieces, followed by the red pepper, then the yellow pepper, and was pleasantly surprised – these were quite tasty! The texture of the rice was slightly sticky and stodgy, but it tasted  light and fresh – this was something I could see myself getting used to! I finished with the tamago, which to my surprise, really did taste quite sweet, but in a strangely savoury way – it was nothing short of delicious!

I think I shall be having sushi again in the very near future and can see it becoming a regular part of my diet – I shall have to learn to make some of the more popular vegetarian sushi pieces for myself.

And of course, me being me,  I ate the whole lot with chopsticks. Well, if you’re going to try something new, you might as well do  it in style!

Permalink Leave a Comment