Xmas in September

Yes. I KNOW. It’s September and I am writing about Christmas. To be fair, it’s almost October (not that it makes it any better) and also I started my Christmas shopping at the end of July. Christmas is expensive when you have about a million 20+ people to buy for.

ANYWAY. CHRISTMAS.
It’s 3 months away. But tonight I had a mini Christmas celebration.

Thanks to the lovely PR ladies for Giraffe

They invited myself and some other bloggers and twitter users to sample their new Christmas Menu.

It was delicious. Everything I tried was yummy. There were a few that I couldn’t sample because of my nut allergy, but my accompanying friend Beth tells me that they were tasty.

We arrived and had crackers and cocktails. Cocktails! For this mummy. I KNOW!
A Sleighbellini was my first drink. Gin, Cassis, Cranberry & elderflower topped off with prosecco. It was lush. Too many of those and I would have become a lush!

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The drink shown here was a Cherry Christmas, a non-alcoholic mojito style drink with cherries, apple and mint.

Then some starters; Curried Parsnip Soup, Potted Smoked Salmon & Trout, Goats Cheese, Clementine, Walnut & Cranberry Salad, and Chicken Liver Pate.
I tried everything but the Goats Cheese Salad. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the Salmon & Trout. Too fishy for me. I am not a lover of fish. But I tried it, which will definitely impress The Husband.

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Then Mains! There was Giraffes take on the Turkey dinner, a Turkey Schnitzel. Cauliflower Cheese & Roasted Vegetable crumble. Double roasted duck, and Salmon Saltimbocca.

Again, I tried everything except the Cauliflower Cheese crumble as it contained nuts. It was all delicious. And yep, I did try the salmon. Still don’t like salmon, no matter how it’s prepared or cooked.

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Then, the bet part of the meal (in my opinion!).
DESSERT!
A merry berry sundae, a white chocolate and passion fruit cheese cake and a chocolate tart.
Oh. My. God.
SO GOOD!
Except the sundae, that had nuts, so couldn’t try that one. My waistline thanks me. I think.

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I had a great evening. Great food, great company and thanks to the Giraffe PR ladies, it was all complimentary.
I tweeted the evening and now I’m blogging my appreciation.

Giraffes Christmas menu is reasonably priced, at £17.95 for 2 courses or £20.95 or 3 courses. The Christmas menu is only available for parties of 6 or more.

If you secure your Christmas booking before the end of October then Giraffe will throw in a free glass of bubbly per person with your Christmas meal.
And if you opt to have your Christmas party on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th of December then you will also get 20% off of your food bill!

I had a very enjoyable and memorable evening.
I want to express a big thank you to the PR ladies and Giraffe for the opportunity to taste test their upcoming Christmas menu!

Baby Led Weaning

We have started the path to solid foods for Little Duck (who is 24 weeks old this Wednesday… HOLD ME!!)

We started with sweet potatoes, raspberries and avocados.
It was pretty hit and miss. Although they say you should try babies with a food 6 or 7 times before you dismiss it as “my baby doesn’t like …”

So we’ve had sweet potatoes again and it was pretty good. We were going to try avocado again, but The Husband ate the avocado. And raspberries, well I think we will hold off a bit longer on those. We’ve also had banana, but Little Duck doesn’t seem to care for them.

This week we are trying soft carrot, broccoli and some soft boiled potatoes.

Hope she’s hungry!

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Weaning Adventures

We started the weaning process last week. Getting Emma used to the idea of having other things besides milk.

She was showing 2 and 1/2 of the 3 signs that she was ready for solids, so we tried a bit of mooshed banana. She wasn’t too keen! And well, if I’m honest her diapers the next day were pretty weird. We knew to expect changes when weaning but no one really tells you exactly what to expect!

The 3 signs that your baby is ready to start experimenting with solids are;

1) they can sit up and hold their head steady
2) they can swallow the food you put in to their mouth
3) they can coordinate themselves picking things up and putting them in their mouths

Emma is now showing all 3 signs, so we ordered her a highchair, which I am stupidly excited about!

This morning I tried her on some baby porridge, suitable for 4-6 months.
A lovely creamy banana one.
I just sat her in her chair, and to be honest I was very weary of her making a huge mess, but she didn’t at all!
She had her own spoon which went straight into her mouth and then she polished off the entire bowl!

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Cannot wait to see what else she loves!

Cravings

Not every woman gets cravings during pregnancy. I did. For some really unhealthy stuff. Stuff so bad that my husband flat out refused to buy it for me.

McDonalds French fries and sweet and sour sauce and the pickles in Big Macs and Whopper cheeses.

They were SO good, salty and hot and crispy and full of yummy, but not good for my diet at all.

Thankfully I’m no longer craving them.
Now it’s orange juice and fresh tomatoes. Oh yum. Fresh tomatoes, green ones, red salad ones, beef tomatoes, little orange plum tomatoes, tiger tomatoes, cherry tomatoes. All sliced up, sprinkled with salt and fresh ground pepper, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic glaze and maybe sprinkled with a few basil leaves, and if I’m feeling rich ill slice in some mozzarella.

Quite a healthy craving, for now.

Seeing as I’ve hardly any tomatoes in the fridge, I’ve had to make do with just the one salad tomato. It was still good though.

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Four Weddings Mrs Flams style

This September, the husband and I will have been married for 3 years.  Our wedding was amazing (for us) and all our guests enjoyed themselves immensely. Over the last year I have watched a fair few episodes of Four Weddings. Bitching Brides, Bizarre and Beautiful venues, some great food and some absolutely AWFUL food.  After a while I started recording it on the Sky+ box, so that I can fast-forwarded through all the crap and rubbish bits (and of course the commercial breaks!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then? Then, I came across Four Weddings US. The US version, is SO SO much better than the UK version, even if some of the brides have more money than sense. The Brides are less bitchy, the venues (mostly) are much nicer, and the food is mainly amazing and so there is SO MUCH OF IT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the UK, a wedding usually consists of, Ceremony, Meal, Disco, Buffet. In that order. In the US, it’s Ceremony, Cocktail Hour (with Open bar), Meal, Disco, Buffet.

After watching considerable amounts of Four Weddings US, I have decided that I want to have another wedding, however my husband has said no.  Seeing as I’m not allowed to have another wedding, instead, I’m going to lay it all our here. Not that we would EVER be able to afford such an affair anyway! We would invite EVERYONE. The dress code would, of course, be Black Tie.

First there is the Ceremony. Short, Sweet and Simple. 30 minutes tops. Fabulous Dress. 6 Bridesmaids, 2 Flower girls, 1 Ring bearer, 1 Best Man and 5 Ushers. The person conducting the ceremony would be professional but funny. Everyone would cry.

Then Guests would make their way to a fantastic Hotel Ballroom, with sweeping City views, for Cocktail Hour, with an open bar.

There would be waiters in waistcoats taking round glasses of champagne, a signature cocktail, and canapes. The canapes would consist of miniature prawn cocktails in shot glasses, smoked salmon and cream cheese Bellini, Caviar, vol-a-vents, and miniature vegetable tarts.  There would also be hot food buffet stands serving warm dishes such as pastas and warm vegetables, as well as tables covered with cheeses and crackers, fresh fruit and miniature cakes. At cocktail hour there would be a photo booth, and guests would get the chance to sign the guestbook.

 

 

After cocktail hour, guests would make their way into a second ball room, also with sweeping city views, the sun would be setting. The tables would be tastefully decorated, and speeches would be made. After speeches from the Father of the Bride, the Groom, the Best Man and the Maid of Honour, dinner would be served, whilst a small string quartet played music.

A six course meal (really it’s 4, but you’ve got to have palate cleansers between courses right?) Each course would be small and elegant, with guest having a choice of 5 options per course and 3 options per palate cleanser.

Starters – Melon with Parma Ham and a balsamic glaze and mint garnish;

a seafood selection with prawns, smoked salmon, calamari and mussels;

a pâté with a balsamic onion marmalade and brioche toast;

asparagus spears with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce;

a red pepper and tomato soup served with crusty wholemeal bread and butter.
 
Palate Cleanser – Champagne Sorbet, Lemon Sorbet or Mint and Lime Sorbet.

 

Mains – Fillet Steak with a choice of sauce and fresh seasonal vegetables;

Pan Seared Cod on a bed of crushed new potatoes and minted peas;

Breast of Chicken stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and black olives with a dressed green been salad;

Grilled vegetable tart with a rocket salad;

Lobster thermidor with a fresh spinach salad.

 

 

 

Palate Cleanser – Champagne Sorbet, Lemon Sorbet or Mint and Lime Sorbet.

Desserts – crème brûlée with fresh raspberries;

a selection of cheeses with crackers, grapes and quince;

Lemon Tart with fresh raspberries;

a marscapone and fresh strawberry cheesecake;

a chocolate fondant with vanilla ice-cream.

 

 

Selection of chocolates and fresh coffees and teas.

Finally guests would make their way to the first ballroom, where a live band would play classic Rat Pack and Divas of Jazz. There would be waiters walking round with trays of champagne and the signature cocktail. Then the DJ would play music for everyone to boogy-down into the night to.

A finger buffet would be served with tiny sandwiches, miniature tarts and fresh fruit and cheeses.

 

 

Personally, you wouldn’t even need a wedding to pull off a feast / party like this. Hmmmmm. My 30th birthday is in 18 months. Think I’ve just set in place a great plan.  Now all I need is £45,000.

Anyone care to lend me £45,000, ok, ok, give it to me, because lets face it, it’s highly unlikely that I’d be able to pay you back!

The Arch Duke, London Southbank

On September 21st Flams and I went out for an anniversary meal.

We booked t the Archduke, which is a stones throw away from Waterloo Mainline station and Londons Southbank. Under the railway arches.

Its a lovely sophisticated looking restaurant, with a huge grand piano.
They often have a jazz pianist playing.

We were taken up to the first floor and sat at a table next to a huge floor to ceiling window over-looking the walkway from the station to the southbank. An amazing view for people watching.

I has the asparagus, poached egg and hollandaise to start, whilst Flams had the fish cakes. Both were delicious.

The main courses were rather different. Not in a bad way mind. I had ordered chicken with mash potatoes and green beans with a wholegrain mustard sauce and Flams had ordered the Salmon.
Both came out very hot and well presented, however whatever didn’t specify on the menu was that the chicken was in fact HALF a chicken. Very tasty however Flams finished his Salmon before I’d finished half my chicken. I’d probably have preferred a smaller portion of chicken to be honest! Although one couldn’t say it wasn’t good value for money!

For dessert I had the lemon tart and Flams had cheesecake.

The wait staff were friendly and attentive.

After 2 bottles of Chardonnay later, we grabbed the bill (of which they added 12.5% service) a grand total of £101!

Overall, a recommendation if you’re looking for eats in that area!

One Fish, Two Fish, Three Fish, Four

So we’re in St Ives in Cornwall this weekend for a wedding. The weather is just amazing! In the mid twenties, sunny and it’s October!
When in St Ives, or at any seaside town you can’t go without having had Fish and Chips at least once.
Now as many of you know, I don’t do seafood. I’ll eat battered fish, or breaded shrimp etc, but that is it.

Today Flams and I paddled at the beach, then went to a little cafe called Gourmet Fish and Chips. I had grilled fish. Me! Grilled Fish! And. Wait for it. A battered scallop (I didn’t like) but still, I tried it. This is huge.

I like grilled fish. So much I surprised Flams that we’d be having at home on a regular basis.

Go me!

lunch thief

I’m rather annoyed.

last week someone ate my yoghurt at work. I put it in the fridge and someone else took it and ate it.

today I put my yoghurt in the fridge and someone (again!) came along and ate it!

not nice! and now I can’t eat my yoghurt because it’s gone.

🙁