I went Christmas shopping in Bristol on Friday and stopped in Clifton to go to the small independent shops. I then found Lahloo Pantry and decided to treat myself to brunch. It is small tea room with 3 staggered levels. It is nice and bright and also quiet. i was surprised they only had 4 small tables downstairs, but they did have a tea bar up stairs too. The shop was located in the tea bar and by the time I left it was very busy with the lunch crowd, so it wasn’t possible for me to take a good look at the tea, which was a shame.
I ordered the Baked free-range eggs, creme fraiche, Somerset chorizo, tomato and sourdough toast and it was amazing!
It came out super hot and smelled amazing. I spooned half the mixture out onto the toast as it wouldn’t have cooled down int he pot. This made it easier to access the rest of the dish. I am also going to tae this as inspiration and try and cook something similar at home. The flavours were amazing, but not overpowering. There was a nice amount of chorizo that complemented the eggs well. It was the perfect amount.
As I said this was a tea shop and it had a very extensive tea menu!
I took ages to decide but in the end went with a black tea called Grandpa’s and it came out in a cast iron tea pot already brewed. The teapot kept the tea hot so I made 2 half cups, rather than one big one. It came with cream and this was interesting. I have never had tea with cream so I added it carefully. I ended up having one cup with a little then one with a lot and the a lot was better.
I would love to try more of their teas, but it is not the most convenient place for me to get to. I would love to go to one of their tea tastings as I would love to learn more about tea and also try some different varieties I haven’t tried before. Maybe it will be a 2013 adventure.
Overall it was a very pleasant visit and I would recommend it to anyone heading to the Clifton area of Bristol.
Today I went to a complete cupcake workshop held at the local college. I booked it way back in June or July, as I really wanted to do the one in April but it got booked up. So as soon as I saw a Christmas themed one I booked on.
It was great fun and much easier than I thought it would be. We started off by making the cake mix using an all in one method. This meant putting all the ingredients into a bowl and then using the mixer to whiz it all together. I have never done this before. I’m used to creaming the butter and sugar together, then adding the eggs and then folding in the flour. But this could be done and in the oven in less than 5 minutes!
After 15-20 minutes in the oven they came out a nice golden brown.
We then made the butter cream. This bit took longer than I expected as we mixed it for 15 minutes! But it created an amazingly light cream.
I then used the butter cream to create domes on a few of the cupcakes.
The using cutters prepared the fondant icing to lay on top.
Also the smaller shapes to use on just butter cream topped cupcakes.
We made each cupcake at a time starting with Rudolph.
Then a Holly Wreath.
Then a Happy Xmas Banner.
Then a final fondant one – Santa!
Then I did three cupcake using piped butter cream with decorations on top.
It was a great day and I enjoyed making the cupcakes and putting together the decorations. We used quite a few bits of equipment, but several pieces could be used for other things. The easiest was the Rudolph as it was all shaped by hand and a rolling pin. Others need specific shape cutters and presses, but you could get them fairly cheaply we were told. Other things like glitter, paint, dusting powder and sprinkles were also used and easy to find. All of these were quite complicated and if I was doing a batch at home I would only do a few like this and make other designs less complicated. I think the colours used are the most important part and make the theme.
I will definitely be trying these out again and might even sign up to do another themed workshop next year!
I like a good pie. Not great for the diet but I don’t have them very often and usually save them for meals out, but this week I really fancied something hot, filling and comforting as the weather has turned cold in the last week. This pie was on offer int he supermarket so I though I would give it go and I’m glad I did
I loved the minimal packing. Most pie also come in a foil case, but they was just the box which can be recycled – green values coming out
This was a great pie. It had lots of pastry, but it was overly thick, just enough to go crunchy on the outside and stay soft in the middle next to the filly. The filling was also good. Thick gravy, beef and some veggies in there. It filled up the case, but didn’t touch the top which meant the top crust was super crunchy, which is how I like it when it’s not puff pastry.
They also included a money off voucher for the next purchase, but I would buy this one again without it. They had a good range at the supermarket and I would love to try Peahock, Heidi, Pietanic and Shamrock just to name a few as there are loads more mentioned on the website!
I’ve been on a cooking roll this last week. It’s probably because I have the house to myself and therefore get full use of the kitchen without worrying about the mess I make. I clear everything up after, but my mum does it as she goes along – its annoying
I’ve made sushi before, but fancied making it again with salmon and avocado. I decided to get the kit with everything in, rather than buy everything separately as I won’t make that often and you only get enough to make two maki rolls which is perfect for me.
Maki sushi rolls are really easy to make, just a little time consuming as you have to let the rice cook, steam and then cool, so it’s not a quick process – probably about an hour in total.
I went for smoked salmon as I’m not sure of the freshness of the fish from the local supermarket, so will save that for proper sushi restaurants.
On my baking day the other day I also made a pumpkin pie!
Random for the UK, but all over the internet at the moment with Canadian Thanksgiving just gone and American Thanksgiving coming up. Also the Pumpkin Spice Latte got me hooked on this flavour so thought I would give it a whirl.
I used this recipe from BBC Food and it was super easy to follow.
We don’t get canned pumpkin in the UK (well not easily) so I had to make the puree from a whole pumpkin, but worth it for the smell of roasted pumpkin through the house.
It turned out well (even in a stop bought pastry case). It’s one of the desserts that I’m not sure whether I like or not. I prefer it cold to hot definitely and it will last in the fridge as I don’t like too much at once