Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Feb school half term (17-23/2/14)

This week has been a super busy week for me! It was filled with plenty of good eats, lots of baking, seeing people and having fun!

Work


I love to cook with the young people I work with. It doesn’t always go smoothly or work out but generally it’s an enjoyable and rewarding experience for all involved. I made pizzas with the young people I work with on Tuesday and Thursday. I used this easy Tesco recipe for Classic Pizza base. I wanted to get a photo of the dough after it’d risen, as it had rose well and was really lovely - springy, smooth and soft. But the kids had got stuck into it before I got a chance!


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Pizza bread dough proving


They did a decent job!


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Homemade pizzas at youth club


Play


I’ve had a busy week socially. I took this opportunity to meet up with my teacher friends who are off work this week. I met up with a couple groups of girl friends, both of which include mums-to-be! It was great to catch up with everyone, some I hadn’t seen for a while :-)

Wednesday night was a girly night in at Amy’s with pizzas and my homemade Sticky date pudding and toffee sauce. See recipe here.


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Homemade Sticky toffee pudding

We had a lovely chilled night in!


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Pizzas and Sticky toffee pudding at Amy's


Seeing as I’m such a good wife - I had one slice of my sticky date pudding left, which I bought home for Leigh. Unfortunately, there was no toffee sauce or vanilla ice cream left, so he had his with custard.


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Sticky date pudding with custard


Friday was lunch at Barluga in Newcastle with my school/uni friends. I got the Pulled pork with bbq sauce, floured bun and apple slaw. This was decent :-) I'd like to try the other sandwiches from their menu. My friends' sandwiches looked good too.


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Pulled pork with bbq sauce sandwich, Barluga, Newcastle


More play


Friday was a very busy day for me! I was travelling to Manchester that night to stay with my brother Aaron and cousin Wesley. Wesley was having his house warming party on the Saturday night and I got requests to make my signature cookies and something savoury.  I baked and cooked all morning before going out for lunch (above) and finished off the cooking afterwards. I baked a couple of Bread loaves and my Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I also cooked a Bolognese and assembled a couple of Lasagnas (to be cooked at the house warming).


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Homemade bread loaves,
Peanut butter & chocolate chip cookies,
and Bolognese.


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Homemade Lasagnas


We left Newcastle about 7pm  and our road trip started with a quick McDs.


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Chicken mayo sandwich & fries, McDs


We went for a late dinner as soon as we arrived in Manchester. It had to be Chinese! We ate at Glamorous, which was a lovely treat! We ordered Roast duck with plum sauce, Steamed fish, Battered prawns with salad cream, Satay beef, Pork chops in Cantonese sauce, Gai lan (Chinese broccoli), Monkfish & tofu clay pot, and Salt & pepper squid. Served with boiled rice and washed down with Jasmine tea.


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Glamorous Chinese Restaurant, Manchester


After the meal, we headed to the house where I learnt how to make Wesley’s legendary brownies. I do enjoy a bit of late night baking! This first batch contained Oreos and turned out gorgeously gooey and fudgy! Wesley is known for his brownies and because I haven’t had the best of luck with brownie making in the past, I was keen to learn from the master! He uses Antony Worrall Thompson’s recipe for Triple Chocolate Brownies. I really recommend this recipe! Wesley uses slightly less butter, sugar and chocolate than the recipe states. He uses 250g chocolate, 250g butter and 300g sugar. People found the brownies too sweet when made to original recipe, so Wesley lowered the amount of sweetness. A trick Wesley also does is use chocolate with nuts in it already, to save time weighing and chopping the nuts.


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Brownie making


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Oreo brownies


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Oreo brownies


On Saturday, me and Leigh cooked everyone an English breakfast. Along with my homemade bread, this went down a storm! People may have also had brownies (made the night before) as a pre-breakfast. They were far too good not to have one (or two)! Hehe ;-)


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English cooked breakfast with homemade bread


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English cooked breakfast with homemade bread


After a late breakfast, I helped Wesley make another batch of brownies for the housewarming. This one contained Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Caramel chocolate. These were firmer set than the other ones but were also delicious and moreish!


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Brownies with Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel chocolate

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Brownies with Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel chocolate


Aaron made some Wodka jelly!


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Wodka jelly making


We then spent the day in Manchester city centre.


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Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester


I got to try a Matcha green tea latte from I <3 Bobo Tea in the Arndale Centre. This was delicious. A drink and a dessert in one! Wish I could get this kind of thing from Newcastle. I love Matcha green tea!


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Matcha green tea frappe


After some shopping, we grabbed a quick lunch of KFC. Then headed back to the house to get ready for the House warming.


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KFC Colonel meal


There was quite a spread for the House warming! This is only some of the food – more got added later, like my homemade lasagnas, pizza nachos and pizzas. I'm pleased to say that my lasagnas went down well! :-)


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Wesley's house warming spread


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My homemade lasagna


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Carine's Iced lemon teas


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Aaron's Wodka jellies



I think I can say that we all helped Wesley truly warm up his new house that night! Happy house warming!!!

The morning after the night before - Sunday. Me and Leigh made pancakes for everyone and we also had toasted homemade bread for breakfast.


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Pancake making


Using the Beer Pong table from last night made for a memorable brunch!


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Homemade pancakes and bread.
Brunch at the Beer Pong table.


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Homemade pancakes, lemon and sugar


Sunday was spent chilling in front of the TV before the journey back home.


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Peanut butter & chocolate chip cookie,
brownie and a cuppa


We ordered in a couple of 20 inch pizzas from 23rd Street Pizza.


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Pizzas from 23rd Street Pizza


Then it was time to leave. Manchester was great fun but it is lush to be home. I <3 Newcastle. Home sweet home!

Absolutely shattered after my busy week and jam-packed weekend. I now have a week off work, which is just what I need!

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