Five on Friday!

Its been a funny week here on The Glade and, I for one,  am so ready for the weekend.

My Five on Friday seem to  mostly reflect my need for comfort this week.

It is definitely chiller and darker around here now.

Here are five things that have irked and pleased me in equal measures this week.

One

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The leaves have started to fall off the trees around the Chapel this week.

It looks so autumn and pretty.

For those of you who don’t know, the Chapel is opposite our house and is supposed to be our community centre.

However, we have lived in the house for 16 months now and not a tap of work has been done on it by the builders.

It remains boarded up and deemed unsafe.

This is very disappointing because the Chapel was a part of the deal when we bought our houses..

We were all sold the idea that the residents on this development would have exclusive use of the Chapel.

Alas, we remain locked out – it really is a poor show by the builders.

Two

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The spiders have been busy all over The Glade this week.

These spectacular webs have appeared all over the place, don’t you think it looks very Halloween like?

Three

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We have had slow cooker dinners almost every night this week.

It is such a great way to cook, throw everything in and come home to a lovely hot dinner.

I do tons of things in my slow cooker from lasagna to crumbles to mulled wine.

In fact, although I already have two, I invested in another this week. I am sure I will get lots of use out of all three.

The recipe for the sausage casserole that is cooking in the picture came from Lucy BakingQueen74‘s blog.

Honestly, if you are looking for inspiration, pop over to visit her, she is fab!

Four

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I have been burning this candle all week.

It is gorgeous and does smell very summery. It is as good as my usual expensive brand.

However, this little beauty only cost £1.49 – an absolute bargain!

Five

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When we were taking Jack for a run yesterday, we were rewarded by this magnificent sunset.

Isn’t it a beauty?

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Thank you to Amy & Stevie for hosting xx

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

An update and The three stags – Bebington!

Hello my lovelies!

We have arrived back safely from Dubai.

However,  it seems that I have been carrying a chest infection for a while without actually realising it.

It has knocked me for six and I spent last week doing my best to stay upright. Anyway, a course of antibiotics has been prescribed and I am sure I am in the recovery phase.

But hey, given my recent history, what do I know?!?!

Over the weekend, himself decided that a jaunt away from The Glade was in order.

The youngest was safely deposited at a sleepover and we went to The Three Stags, in Bebington for dinner.

The pub was really busy but they managed to find us a table.

We chose the baked Camembert for starters.

It was served with chutney, rocket and toast.

Now this is quite a favourite in our house, so there was quite a lot to live up to.

It was nice, but I felt it was a bit unadventurous.

A nice nutty or rye bread would have been a welcome change, nevertheless we made short work of it and the chutney was very nice.

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For his main course, himself chose The Ultimately Mixed Grill.

Good grief, for a veggie like me, it looked as though half a butcher’s shop was loaded onto his plate.

There was a  beef steak, a gammon steak, a chicken breast, two sausages, two fried eggs, a pile of onion rings, mushrooms, peas and chips.

The verdict: ‘It was lovely’ said himself, high praise indeed!

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A pasta dish with mushrooms and goat’s cheese was the offering that I chose.

I found the sauce was a bit watery and cold which was disappointing.

However, the meat dishes are obviously the show stopper.

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Given that I hadn’t eaten much of the pasta dish, I obviously had room for a dessert.

It was an easy choice for me when I saw that Creme Brûlée was on the menu.

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I have to say this gorgeous pud did not disappoint.

It was a huge portion too, therefore I didn’t mind sharing a nibble or two with the carnivore.

We enjoyed our trip to The Three Stags and I would definitely give it a whirl if you are in the area, they even allow children in now (side eye to the previous bosses).

However, I would say that it is definitely geared more towards meat eaters, there is a limited choice on the menu for vegetarians and it was very standard with disappointing execution.

The atmosphere was great though and dessert was amazing

Have a lovely day!

 

Dinner and a Liqueur!

Change of plans on Saturday, so insignificant that I can’t remember what they were,  meant that we were able to invite some of our lovely neighbours for dinner.

They are the sort of easy-going couple that make for a wonderfully relaxed evening.

I prepared my foolproof, slow cooker beef stroganoff for the meat eaters and mushroom  for myself.

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I will have to share the recipe for it because,  it is so simple but full of flavour.

Dessert came in the form of Pavlova that is also very simple to make and is one if my favourites.

I especially like that it has to be eaten on the same day 😉 the Scottish Strawberries that topped it were at their very best!

As you can see the menu was stress free but implied that some effort had been made.

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However, the highlight of evening came in the form of this beauty, brought by our lovely neighbours.

It is called Amarula and is made from a fruit that grows in South Africa. It’s mixed with sugar and cream, it is utterly delicious!!

It is a bit like Bailey’s, which I love, but it doesn’t have the sharp kick that you get from the whiskey in Bailey’s.

Instead it is very soft and sweet without being sickly – if you know what I mean.

Apparently, elephants walk miles to feast on the fruit and I am not surprised, if the liqueur is anything to go by, it must be sumptuous too.

Have you tried it?

So This Week I have Loved – having some lovely neighbours for a simple dinner and the gorgeous liqueur that they brought.

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Thank you to Ali for hosting!

Have a lovely day!

 

 

When in Rome………or Spain!

One of my favourite things to do on holiday is to go food shopping.

Three out of four of our contingent is vegetarian, so with the best will in the world, some meals have to be self catered.

Vegetarians get a raw deal in the UK, however we always come home from our holidays grateful that at least most places here have a vegetarian option.

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During our recent trip to Spain, we found a particularly lovely Carrefore supermarket.

It was clean and airy with a vast range of everything we could possibly need. It was easy to navigate and even the girls didn’t mind visiting.

There was an abundance of choice of everything that we could possibly want to eat.

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We were particularly taken with the produce section.Just look at those tomatoes and aubergines – wonderful!

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As you would expect, the Tapas section was huge.

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We enjoyed the feasts we created from our finds!

imageOne of my many guilty pleasures is crisps and we all giggled when we saw this packet with my name on ha!

Am I alone in this slight obsession with foreign supermarkets  because don’t every get me started on Publix in America, my favorite ever!

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Have a lovely day!

 

Street Food in Liverpool – Mowgli style!

I recently enjoyed a wonderful evening at Mowgli in Liverpool.

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As soon as we entered the restaurant, we felt the hipster vibe!

The decor was so cool!

We were greeted as soon as we walked through the door and promised a table within a few minutes.

Mowgli has a no booking policy, so you do have to take a chance and be prepared to wait!

We struck lucky and was shown to a table within 10 minutes of our arrival.

The waitress explained the menu to us and took our drinks order.

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We each ordered a Tiffin Box for one.

I chose the Indian School Tiffin which promised four tiers of meat free and carb offerings, which claimed to be chosen by Mother- because she is always right ha!

My friend chose the Office Worker’s Tiffin which was the meat version which would be chosen by the chef.

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 The food came in these uber trendy pots.

There were three sorts of curries and one sort of rice.

My vegetarian selection included Tea Seeped Chickpeas, Temple Dahl and Picnic Potato Curry.

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The food was absolutely beautiful. The flavours of each dish were so distinctive.

The tea in which the Chickpeas had been seeped was detectable but not overpowering.

The Temple Dahl was light and had a really subtle lemon and coriander flavour, that was just right.

The spice that you would expect ,was found in the Picnic Potato Curry. It was warming and spicy with a strong taste but, it was not enough to make your eyes water.

The curries were complimented by fluffy basmati rice that was cooked to perfection.

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As if that wasn’t enough – it was , neither of us finished despite having arrived ravenous, we also ordered two Puri soft flat breads.

They were like little pillows of perfection that melted in your mouth.

I cannot recommend a visit to Mowgli enough. The food was absolutely delicious, it is the best place that I have been to for a while.

My friend and I both agreed that the food was really great value, especially given the quality of the dishes, my main course was £10 and the meat version was £12 -fabulous!

Give it a try if you are ever in Liverpool, or make a special trip, it’s that good!

I bet you will be delighted too!

Have a lovely day!

Tea bread

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When I was baking for the party last week, I decided quite late on that I wanted to make a fruit cake or two  for the adults, although that said, Miss Glade loves a slice herself!

I confess that I usually throw the ingredients in, mix and bake, it mostly turns out ok. This time I measured everything because I knew I would want to share it.

Orange marmalade is included in my tea bread recipe because it makes it so lovely and moist. I copied the idea from a fruit cake recipe that was printed in a book about The Archers that I was given a long time ago. I always include it now and I think it makes a real difference.

This cake will keep for days in an airtight container, given half a chance!

Ingredients

250g dried fruit

1/4 litre of strong cold tea

225g self raising flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon mixed spice

75g granulated sugar

2 table spoons of orange marmalade

Method 

1. Soak the fruit in the tea until most of the liquid has been absorbed. I find overnight is best.

2. Pre heat oven to 170ºC and line a 2lb loaf tin.

3. Add flour, baking powder, mixed spice, sugar and marmalade to the cold tea and fruit.

4. Mix until it is all well combined.

5. Pour it all into the tin and bake for about 1hr but keep checking after about 50 minutes. It’s ready when you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.

6. Enjoy!

 

I am linking this post to Honest Mum’s Tasty Tuesday on a Wednesday because that is how I sometimes roll ha!

 

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Have a lovely day!

 

 

 

 

Broccoli, Cauliflower and Pasta Bake!

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This dish came about completely out of necessity and I am so delighted with it, that I might actually plan to make it again and shop for the ingredients next time.  As always you can swap and change the vegetable element to your heart’s content.

I put recipes on here in the hope that my daughter, who is at university, might be inspired and have a go. It has worked on occasion. This is a perfect one for you to try Ms Glade X.

It can be made in advance and popped into the oven whenever your ready!

 

Ingredients

1 head of Broccoli cut into spears

1 head of Cauliflower cut into florets

500g Pasta cooked in accordance to the instructions of the packet

2 sliced of Bread cut into breadcrumbs

50g Extra Mature Cheese grated

White Sauce

50g Butter

50g Plain Flour

900ml Milk

Freshly Grated Nutmeg

Method

1. Cook the Cauliflower and Broccoli in a steamer or boil until al dente.

2. Add the cooked vegetables and cooked pasta to a large oven proof dish.

3. To make the white sauce, add all the ingredients together in one pan.

4. Put the pan on a medium heat and stir continually until it boils and thickens.

5. Pour the white sauce over the top of the vegetable mixture in the dish.

6. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and cheese on top of the dish.

7. Cook in an oven preheated to 200 degrees for about 30 minutes until the top is browned and crispy.

8. Serve with garlic bread and salad.

Enjoy!

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Have a lovely day!