Archive | February, 2012

The boy’s birthday at Blackhouse Leeds

25 Feb

Blackhouse’s the Grill on the Square in Leeds was where we chose to celebrate the boy’s recent thirty-something birthday. Not one to make a fuss, the evening was an intimate affair with just the two of us enjoying a three-course feast last Sunday.

I don’t mean to gush but it was no doubt one of the best meals I’ve had in a long time. The birthday began with a baked Camembert (calories don’t count when you’re celebrating, everyone knows that.) Served with toasts and celery sticks for dunking, it was warm, delicious and creamy. Hell, it even made the celery taste good! Whilst I tucked in the boy enjoyed Thai fish cakes which I know were tasty as he didn’t offer to share.

For the main event I ordered ‘posh surf and turf’, a succulent, smoky sirloin served with scallops, crayfish and prawns – three of my favourite things together on one plate. Yum. The accompanying chips, although served in a slightly cheesy mini version of a basket from a deep fat fryer, were awesome. The boy tucked into a kobe burger as recommended by a close friend, a great choice. We washed the main courses down with a lovely bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon and felt full, smug and happy.

Tempted by the pudding menu we both fancied the winter berry crumble with honey and ginger ice cream. Placing our order with the friendly waiter he informed us that the dessert was “quite big” and we may be better sharing. To this, the boy replied; “thank you, but look at me, I clearly don’t share puddings, we’ll take two” in a Joey-esque fashion. Unsurprisingly, we weren’t up to the challenge and I left some crumble.

A fantastic meal -well worth a visit. This is making me soooo hungry, I’m off to make some dinner…..

Happy birthday to the boy (picture courtesy of Blackhouse)

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Is Masterchef corrupt?

17 Feb

I really hope not. It’s my favourite. But reports just in are not looking good. According to the Daily Mail (so to be taken with a pinch of salt!) plasterer Tom did not have the souffle success that we were led to believe.

And to be fair to the Daily Mail, I did notice this myself when watching a couple of weeks ago. It must be a production nightmare to make this programme anyway – let’s face it, even the rubbish food never looks that bad. I imagine there’s a home economist on hand to make the final tweaks so that the food looks Michelin star-ready.

But whether the souffle was fact or fiction, I do hope this doesn’t dash Tom’s chances in the competition.

I hope Masterchef is real...

Cooking for friends

14 Feb

With the boy working late tonight, my thoughts turned not to a romantic Valentine’s meal for two, but to my pending girl’s night in on Saturday with three beautiful friends from my university days. Starting to think about what I might cook, I turned to Lorraine (Pascale) for inspiration. Some things to consider: Firstly, I actually want to see them, rather than spending the whole evening concocting and creating in the kitchen. Secondly, one is pregnant and I knew there were some food rules around that….Thirdly, one is a recovering vegetarian, brining with it a whole new set of rules!

Lovely pregnant friend quickly sent over a list of menu no-goes which didn’t bring with it too many surprises, except parma ham, who knew? And then of course the wine, but that’s another blog post in itself, the poor girl.

So, Lorraine’s lamb tagine it was. Easy enough to prepare in advance.

That was, until lovely ex-vegetarian friend came back with the vegetarian criteria. Nothing cute. She’s not a vegetarian any more, but she still doesn’t eat cute things. So ducks are out but chickens are in. Baby sheep are a no go but grown up cows? Apparently fine! She is so hilarious. And I am currently adapting Lorraine’s tagine recipe.

And that wasn’t the only shocking food news I received today. Call me naive but I did not know that Lochmuir was a brand name invented by Marks and Spencer, specifically designed to sound like a Scottish village that might farm salmon. The media went mad about it today, but I actually think it’s quite clever…

I'll keep you updated on Saturday's take on tagine.

My favourite biscuits (from Belgium)

1 Feb

The best biscuits in the world

Here it is. It’s the Belgian delicacy, the specaloo. Deliciously crunchy and flavoured with cinnamon and ginger, I stock up on these bad boys on my annual festive pilgrimage to Bruges with my parents and the boy. Traditionally a Belgian festive treat, I particularly like the Santa/Pope design on the biscuit, an image which is rife around Belgium in December.

So, I am very upset that I’ve just eaten my last one. Here’s me enjoying the last bite…