Firstly, I need to apologise to you all for my lack of blogging recently. I knew it had been a busy few months, but I’ve just realised that my last blog post was written back in August 2018, on what I got up to in May & June!!
So, what I think I’ll do in this post is a quick whistle-stop tour of the following seven months, are you ready?!
Northern Ireland & Glasgow – July 2018
(The beautiful Antrim coast)
(The Carrick-a-rede rope bridge)
We worked out, Me, Mark & Andrew, that this was our fourth trip to Northern Ireland in 3 years! It was certainly our warmest as the UK continued to bake in a glorious hot summer.
The highlight of the trip this time was definatley walking over the Carrick-a-rede rope bridge up on the beautiful Antrim Coast. It was Thomas’s first time over and was nice to have him join us. The two of us stayed on an extra day in Belfast, visiting the City Hall Museum, learning more of the city’s facinating, yet often sobering history. There was also time to pop into the awarding winning St. George’s Market, and back to one of my favourites The Crown Pub, one of the oldest pubs in Europe.
(Glasgow’s West End)
(Ubiquitous Chip, Glasgow)
A trip to Glasgow with my little sister Liz, was on the cards for our family friend Dereks 40th birthday. It was my first time here and I loved it. With Edinburgh often getting the limelight, it was more beautiful than I’d imagined it to be. It was effortlessly cool, arty and friendly.
The highlights of our trip included:
– Vietnamese food at The Hanoi Bike Shop https://hanoibikeshop.co.uk
– An evening meal at Ubiquitous Chip, a pub restaurant serving up Scottish dishes with the best local produce (https://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk)
– The Kelvingrove Museum & Gallery with their McIntosh collection and many others in stunning building (https://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/venues/kelvingrove-art-gallery-and-museum).
-Simply walking around the city and the various Saturday famers markets that were on offer.
UK Road Trip – August 2018
(The stunning 3 Cliffs Bay in South Wales)
(Our private Yurt for 3 nights in the Gower)
(Beautiful sun set from our Yurt in the Gower, South Wales)
(Me with my fab University friend Sally)
(Fish & Chips at Roma, Penclawdd)
(Bristol’s Balloon Festival)
(The Beach House, Oxwich)
On our 10 day road trip we visited: Warrington, Ludlow (Shropshire), Port Talbot & The Gower in South Wales, Bristol, Bradford-on-Avon and Leicester.
It was great catching up with some of mine and some of Thomas’s oldest friends. There was lots of meeting each other’s friends for the first time, which was nice.
Other highlights included: 3 nights in a secluded Yurt, campfire cooking, swimming in the sea, a special fine-dining lunch at The Beach House Oxwich and Bristol’s Balloon festival.
Cheese Supper Club and an A&E Visit! – September 2018
(Serving up Paneer Koftas)
(Chilli Mozzarella, Pineapple & Rosemary Sticks on tables for when guests arrived)
Thomas was my right hand man once more as cheese was the theme at my Septembers Supper Club, where we served up a menu with cheese in every course! The dishes that made the final menu were:
– Sweet Potato, Beetroot & Feta Tacos
– Glamorgan Sausages with Pickled Blackberries
– Paneer Koftas with Spinach & Potato Curry
– Lemon Cream Cheese Posset, Ricotta & Polenta Cake & Elderflower Fizz
Even though the evening went well, the prep leading up to it certainly didn’t!! Thomas looked on nervously as he handed me my first proper chef’s knife that he bought me for my birthday a few weeks earlier……….see how happy I was!!
Thomas however, was right to feel nervous. The day before the supper club, when most of the prep is done, I was one dessert in when I was measuring out butter. I picked up the nearest knife to me to flick the butter of the foil, it was my new chef’s knife, and I ended up slicing through the top of my finger!!
The bleeding wouldn’t stop, there was flesh coming out of the wound. I had no choice but to go to A&E after my sister did a sterling job of dressing up my finger. The good news was that I was in and out of A&E, back prepping within an hour. The flesh was squeezed back in and my finger glued back together. The rest of the prep was very painful though, and much slower than usual. Thanks to brother-in-law David for stepping in with his chopping skills! Look away now if you are squeamish…..here’s the glued up finger photo!!
Moved in with Thomas – November 2018
(Thomas is almost as messy a cook as me!)
The big move took place in November, as I moved in with Thomas! As a fellow food lover we’ve knocked up some tasty recipes since then (see a few photos of these below). We now also have a walk in pantry and bar…….excellent for storing all our food, cooking equipment, and of course entertaining guests with well stocked booze!
(Apple Chutney & Apple Jam)
(Pumpkin Soup with Basil Pesto)
(Our walk in pantry-bar!)
Christmas Supper Club & Festive Currython – December 2018
I was back up at The Union Coffee House in December for my first ever Christmas Supper Club. A traditional Christmas dinner was served over 6 courses. It was a family affair again, my brother John was sous chef and helped develop the menu, sister Maria and sister-in-law Katrina waited on.
We served up Deep fried Breaded Sprouts with Boursin cheese sauce, Turkey & Cranberry Tacos, Bauble n’ Squeak (roasted root veg patties with Bacon & Spring Onion), Mistletoe-in-the Hole (Yorkshire Puddings with Stuffing & Chipolatas, and The 3 Wise Boozers for dessert (An Egg Nog Shot, Mulled Wine Jelly & Mince Pie Samosas).
(The Messy Cook Team! Owner Chris, Bar Manager Henry, Maria, Katrina, me & John)
The cooking continued during the month, although I didn’t have to cook on Christmas Day, John and fiancé Olivia stepped in and cooked for 13 adults and 5 children!
On the last weekend in December, me and Thomas decided to host a 48 hour Festive Currython! Over the two days we cooked food for around 40 people. It was great fun but I’ve never seen so much washing up afterwards!
(Mulled Lamb cooked in Spices, Port, Shallots & topped with Pomegranate & Mint)
(One of our many curry tables during the currython weekend!)
Leeds Living Review – January 2019
I did my first restaurant review of the year at OWT, a new place in Leeds Kirkgate markets which is owned by the lovley Esther and James. With an ever changing weekly menu, based on what produce the markets have to offer, I can really see the place being popular. Read the full review at
(Photo credit Warehouse606 – Shaun Page)
It’s a while since I’ve posted some recipes, so think it’s time to do some more, so keep posted for these. Would like to host another supper club in the next few months as well, but probably won’t be until after my brother gets married in May.
Also, Ive decided to go completely vegetarian next month. Living with a vegetarian, I eat much less meat and more vegetables than ever before, so I feel like I’ve built myself up to it. I’ll of course be writing a blog on this afterwards!
x The Messy Cook x