Saturday, February 18, 2012

Kind world

I have a renewed faith in the kindness of people and good customer service this week! On Tuesday I was booking some flights and made a hash of it, and ended up booking the wrong flights. Easyjet normally charge £80 to change flights but a very lovely lady on the phone obviously heard my distress, took pity and changed our flights very efficiently but also waived the transfer fee!
And then yesterday I was at the butchers trying to buy some mince, but I had no cash in my wallet, the cash machine was broken and they don't accept card payments for anything under £5, so Mr. Butcher didn't even think twice before he said not to worry, to take the mince home and enjoy my cooking as he was sure I would remember to pay when I next went in. Isn't that really nice? It makes me feel warm and grateful, and keen to go out of my way to be helpful and kind.

My husband was also very kind this week and cooked dinner on Tuesday. Yes, I know it was Valentines day but if you knew how much he dislikes cooking you'd feel as loved as I do. Doesn't it look yummy? It really was!

Pan fried chicken in a mustard sauce, Dauphinoise potatoes, and lemony greens

I feel very tired, and in need of much help and energy to get through the next couple of days. I'm sure it'll all feel less weighty on the other side.
Have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day four and saddle sore!

So, feeling inspired by the lack of exercise and any level of fitness in my life, plus slight envy of Steve's new bike, I decided to get on a bike and get on with it! Well, kind of.
If I rode into work that's a 30 minute uphill struggle that I don't think I can quite manage. Little person, little legs, no stamina, trouble breathing yada yada ya. Plus there's a convenient little train that can transport bike and person up the hill for little effort. So that's what we do.
And then at the end of the day, when I've had several hours to work myself up to it, I cycle home. It takes 25 minutes - ish, and it's amazing how much I've struggled considering it's nearly all downhill, and only about 3 miles (5kms). But it's a start and I'm determined to keep at it. Today's goal is to stay on my bike, especially on the home stretch.
Besides, if the sisters at Nonnatus House can do it (refer picture above) so can I! Can you tell that I'm loving Call the Midwife? I'm such a sucker for a good period drama. Sometimes I think I belong in a different age entirely...although I'm not so sure about the East end in the 1950's, but there we go!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Happy Friday!

So, I know a lot of people do this. But it's a great idea - so here goes...

1. With Valentine's Day round the corner, this is really, really sweet: Love Letters to the Unloved

2. Saw this on here first, and think it's cute. 

3. If you're a Downton Abbey fan you'll love this. Literally made me LOL in the office. Do you love how I just said LOL, like I'm in with the cool kids.

4. This week, I really needed to read this. Thank you Rachel.

5. We haven't roasted a lovely old mother hen in a long time, and so I think we'll be doing Jamie's perfect roast chicken this weekend.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Loathing Busyness

Life's got a little bit busier than I'd like, and we're really struggling to carve out time in the diary to do nothing. I really, really dislike being out and busy every evening of the week. I almost want to turn down all our commitments and come home every single evening for a month (or two) and hang out with Steve and do whatever takes our fancy each evening! For the time being though, I'm learning to have more energy, and learning grace to go through busy patches without being a grump. Which is very hard when you're me. 

I haven't even had much time to do any fun cooking - but here are a couple of bits from the kitchen at Carlyle Road.

I made some biriyani the other day, and forgot to take any pics apart from my meat marinading - which is probably quite gross to some of you, but even that picture reminds me of the glorious smell of biryani marinade. There was some Afghani Burani to go with it, which my mum always makes. It's got aubergines, tomatoes and yogurt and very little else, is easy to make and I will put a recipe on here sometime. 

We had some friends over who love all things polka - dotty so I made this polka - dot cheesecake. I'm not normally a fan of baked cheesecakes. They're a bit dense for my liking and I do prefer their light fridge-set counterparts, but this was tasty enough so no complaints. 

Twenty minute stew and potato croquets. I HEART my pressure cooker. It means I don't need 42 hours to cook beef, if I want it on a whim. 

How adorable is my husband? I feel like a 13 year old with a big crush, playing with Love Hearts (which I think taste like medicine btw) - but I love it! 

I also made some katsu curry which was nice. I used egg in the batter (the second instance of egg usage last week - go me!) Plus now I don't need to go to Wagamama  for my Katsu curry fix. The recipe was from here, including the tonkatsu sauce although I'm not sure that I loved the sauce that much. 

Finally, if you think Bristol didn't get any snow, you're wrong. We totally got snow. Like loadsssss of snow. Like this much snow. The pond nearly froze and everything!! 
Don't laugh at our eensy teensy bit of snow. We enjoyed it very much!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Leftover wedding vases

We had really beautiful centre pieces at our wedding, that went perfectly with our colours and country-garden feel. I can't seem to find a better pic at the moment, but you get the idea.

We gave loads away to family and friends and still seem to have quite a few left - so this is what I did with them. If we had a different kind of wedding, I think these would have made very pretty centre pieces, but they look lovely and mood-ey (forgive my made up words) in our house.