Thursday, 20 March 2014

Chocolate Chip Pretzel COOKIE Bars

The Babe and I met up with a couple of friends today for a catch up, a cup of tea, and more than one sweet treat.  One of my pals has been out of town for a few weeks so it was a great excuse to make something a bit OTT.  Crammed chocka block with chocolate chips, minstrels and pretzles I fell in love with these cookie bars.  That's right...cookie...bars.

Cookie batter baked in a cake tin and then cut into squares...I may never make regular cookies again.  Ok, that's not true...I probably WILL make cookies again, but I am pretty sure I'm going to be overdosing on cookie bars.  

These are so easy to make and baked in around 30 much better than baking tray after tray of normal cookies.  Another bonus...this recipe uses melted need to be all organised and have your butter out softening the night before (although I did because I hadn't actually read the recipe).  So now I am in love with the cookie bar and have been surfing Pinterest all day looking for the next recipe (smores, peanutbutter, m&m)...I'm hooked.  

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Courgette Scones

I whipped up a quick batch of savoury scones to devour with soup Thursday night.  I make a big pot of soup once a week for lunches and to freeze for quick/not messy meals for The Babe...and we usually end up having it for dinner at some point bulked out with grilled cheese sandwiches or savoury scones piled high with cheese and chutney.  This week I tossed in about a cup of shredded courgette to my usual scone recipe...sat back and let them riiiiise riiiiise riiiiiiiiiise.

Since I was going to be sharing these with The Babe I didn't use any salt or any other seasoning...but in hindsight they needed something like a big pinch of black pepper.  She loves peppery tattie scones so I don't know why I didn't toss some in in the first place.  She has her's smeared with unsalted butter, the adults prefer a really good stilton smothered in jalapeno horseradish jelly.   

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Lunch @ STEAKEdinburgh

I spent a lovely afternoon with The Babe and a good friend of ours "lunching" at STEAK Edinburgh, guessed it...steak restaurant on Picardy Place, right across from The Playhouse.  I've been before with friends for dinner a few times over the past couple of years and have always been happy with the food. When I noticed on Twitter that they were promoting their new lunch deal (2 courses for £9.95) I made a mental note to try it out.  

The set lunch menu is good, it has a decent selection and includes a rump steak with frites and sauce that would normally set you back at least £10.  The Babe isn't quiet old enough to order her own dishes, yet (only a matter of time), but if she were I could have special ordered her a smaller portion of something on the lunch menu.  I had brought her lunch with us and she happily sat in the highchair munching away while the adults caught up. The mirrors, candles and busy staff walking back and forth was more than enough to keep her entertained.  

I started with a lovely salad of romain lettuce, apples, walnuts and blue cheese.  I make a similar salad for special meals at home and I love the combination of the walnuts and cheese so it was pretty much perfect in my eyes.  The portion was really good as well and there was plenty of cheese too...Siiiiigh, I am still drooling over it a week later.  My pal had the spicy lentil soup.  Also a good serving and perfectly warming for the miserable weather that day.  

I've been to STEAK a few times in the past and have, on those occasions, had steak with frites so I decided to try something different this time around.  The Fish and Chips and Mushy Peas practically jumped off the menu at me so that is what I went with.  It was great.  I wasn't sure what to explect, having only had steak before.  The portion size was small, without being dinky.  The fish was lovely and crisp on the outside, the chips were just right too, and the smear of mushy peas was fab.  I wish there had been a couple more chips, and a thicker smear of mushy peas...only because I shared some with The Babe and...well...I can sometimes be a resentful sharer (I'm working on it, and obviously don't mind sharing with her...cause I lover her).  

Only one pudding on offer, which is not included in the set menu price (an extra £3.50) and joy of joys on Friday it was a Peach Crisp with ice cream.  PERFECTION.  Sikly smooth peach compote topped with a crunchy crisp hazelnutty crumbly topping and killer vanilla ice cream.  It was served in a rather larger tumbler, which was just the rught size for a greedy guts like me.  The Babe thoroughly enjoyed the compote too and showed off her new lip smacking trick...yum yum smack smack.  

My pal and I were really happy with our meal.  She said that it would be a great place to go if you worked near by, althougth if you are pressed for time I would mention it to the servers.  Our service was...not slow...but relaxed.  We weren't in a rush so it didn't matter to us, it was nice to enjoy the food, the atmosphere and the company with out feeling like we needed to hurry up so the servers could  flip the table.  

STEAK Edinburgh 
14Picardy Place 
Lunch is served 12-2:30
Check out the menu here

Monday, 3 March 2014

Visiting the Grandparents and eating Macarons in Norwich

*********I apologise for the lack of links, I am trying to get some blogging done while The Babe sleeps beside me on the couch and this blasted Blogger App isn't up to scratch*********

The Babe and I spent a wonderful 10 Days visiting The Grandparents in North Norfolk last month.  I love going to visit my parents when they are over here the UK, well I love visiting them anytime, but it is especially nice to go exploring the gorgeous North Norfolk coast with them.

This trip was my first journey down flying solo with The Babe, a very short practice run for our much longer solo trip to Canada in was fine, she was great, it was easy...April might be a different story but...oh well.  

Most days we stayed close to Home venturing out for a car journey around lunch time.  We ate at some family favourites, The Red Lion in Stiffkey, The Grove in Cromer, and The Lodge in Old Hunstanton and introduced The Babe to the Lattes and baked goods at Huckleberries in Cromer.  It was all lovely.  

A real treat was our trip into Norwich.  I've been to Norwich loads, I love wandering around and checking out the shops...especially the Coleman's Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade.  This time we headed straight to Macarons and More (also in the Royal Mile)...the fantastic bakery by Tim Kinnaird of Masterchef fame.  

If you've been following this blog for a while you will know that I am a sucker for French Patisserie.  I love love love macarons, I love choux pastry,  I love delicately decorated miniture when I found out via the Twittersphere about Macarons and More I was giddy with excitement.  

The shop is gorgeous, it is bright and totally reminds me of some of the more modern patisseries I've drooled my way through in Paris.  There was a good selection of Macs, gourmet brownies and legit patisserie.  Since it was early on in the day I decided to treat myself to a selection of macarons, although I was very tempted by the Mojito Baba topped with rhubarb.  


Gingerbread, Salted Caramel, Praline, Peanut Butter and Jam, Norfolk Lavander, and a classic Pistachio filled the selection box I entrusted my Mum to carry around Norwich.  Once we got back home and The Babe was occupied at Grandad's crawling bootcamp I finally got stuck in.  

One word....YUM! 

Nothing was overly sweet or soapy tasting (I've had some weird flavour combos before that have come close to the taste of Pears soap) really they were just perfect!   If pressed I'd say the Gingerbread was my favourite, but mistly because I am a lover of anything Gingerbready.  The PB&J was great and the Lavendar really surprised me. The flavour was subtle and the filling was so smooth.  

I really hope Macarons and More does well in Norwich because I am already planning my return trip in the Autumn.