Monday, 18 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 18 June

Late Spring Green Vegetable Risotto
Comfort food
I need it

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 17 June

Sunday Dinner
Roast Belly Pork, New Potatoes & Roasted Tomatoes & Courgettes
Our new oven produced perfect crackling
But I'm still experimenting with the different settings

Celebrating the Natural World

This weekend saw the annual Festival of Nature at the Harbourside.

It was a weekend of two halves.
Yesterday was cold and wet and windy.  Today was hot and sunny.
Yesterday the marquees were packed with visitors sheltering from the elements.  Today they were warm and stuffy.
Yesterday the caterers packed up early.  Today they were doing a roaring trade.
Yesterday I was filling wraps at the FareShare stall.  Today I was wandering around, listening to talks on endangered species, spotting Alys Fowler and eating rhubarb and ginger sorbet.  

Saturday, 16 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 16 June

Oops, I've done it again
Eaten my dinner without taking a photo of it
This evening it was goulash with pasta, garnished with a dollop of soured cream
Cooked by my husband

Friday, 15 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 15 June

It's been a long day
I didn't eat lunch until I got home at 5 pm
Which meant I wasn't at all hungry at tea time
But the troops needed fed so my daughter and I rustled up a couple of bowls of pasta and Hungarian sausage in a creamy mustard sauce
I managed a few mouthfuls
Come 11 pm there'll no doubt be an attack of the munchies!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

A Month of Dinners - 14 June

There was cause for celebration this evening
So I chilled one of the miniature bottles of Prosecco we'd been given by Good Energy
While my husband picked up one of Waitrose's £10 Dinner for Two on his way home
We started with venison pate with Shetland Gin
Followed by steak with peppercorn sauce and parmentier potatoes
All washed down with a bottle of Italian red 

Review: Piccolinos

On Sunday we celebrated my husband's birthday in Piccolinos.  It was our fist visit, we hadn't heard any reports and the main reason for choosing it was a £20 deal.  That, and our love of Italian food.

My first impression was of gloom, reminiscent of the set of Silent Witness.  The restaurant was very quiet, but perhaps not surprising for a wet Sunday evening.  We were greeted by a very friendly waitress, our coats taken and shown to our table.  The 'birthday boy' was served a glass of prosecco along with a small selection of bread.

We kicked off with an Antipasto Misto to share (crispy fried squid, bolognese arancini, caprese salad, fennel salami, peperonata, roast mushrooms with goats cheese and spinach and pork and beef meatballs).  Apart from the fact that we could have done with a slice or two of bread to mop up the sauces, this was a just the kind of dish I adore - a plateful of tasty morsels.

For my main course I opted unusually, for a salad, a Cesare con Pollo.  The chicken was moist and tender, the bacon crisp, the parmesan nice and salty and the dressing plentiful.  But again, a slice of bread wouldn't have gone amiss.  My husband chose the Risotto di Mare which was packed with seafood (squid, king prawns and mussels) and rich in flavour.  My daughter went for one of her favourite pasta dishes, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, which came topped with a soft poached egg adding extra creaminess to the sauce.

Being a starter rather than a dessert kind of girl I was about to pass on a third course in favour of a simple espresso until my husband pointed out the Affogato (espresso and amaretto poured over a single scoop of vanilla ice cream).  It certainly revived my senses but I would have preferred it without the Amaretto.  My daughter who hadn't managed to finish her spaghetti, settled for a hot chocolate to keep her warm on the walk home in the rain.  So it was left to my husband to keep the side up with a Panna Cotta, its silky creaminess cut with slices of poached rhubarb.

The service was attentive, perhaps slightly too much so.  I mean, how many times do I need to be asked how things are?  The cook misread 'frutti' for 'funghi' and prepared a mushroom risotto but the waitress spotted it just in time and it was hastily returned to the kitchen and the correct dish served fairly shortly afterwards.  Apologies were fulsome.

The toilets were stylish but just as gloomy.  My daughter and I loved the sea fennel scented toiletries.

Although overall an enjoyable experience, for me the food was let down by the atmosphere of the restaurant.  And without the discount I'm not sure I would have paid more to eat at Piccolinos instead of a a similar restaurant not a million miles away. 

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 13 June

Spaghetti with smoked salmon
It was my younger daughter's last A level exam today which called for a mini celebration
Also the Co-op was selling smoked salmon at half price
A fitting marker to the end of four summers' worth of exams in this house.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 12 June

Tuna Pasta Bake
At my younger daughter's request
Macaroni cheese with tuna and sweetcorn and spring onions instead of cheese
I always eat it with lashings of tomato sauce
Like macaroni cheese it's also good cold

Monday, 11 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 11 June

Chicken Rogan Josh (from a jar)
However, once again, I forgot to take a photo
We ate it with sauteed courgettes and Greek yoghurt

Sunday, 10 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 10 June

Cesare con Pollo at Piccolinos
To celebrate my husband's birthday
There was a starter and a dessert but I didn't take any photos of them

Saturday, 9 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 9 June

I was away singing at Stourhead with the Gasworks Choir
So my husband cooked dinner
Cottage pie with sweetcorn and broccoli

World Wide Knit in Public Day

Do you remember my floral bunting?

Well, this is where it ended up ... on a bus shelter on North Street, as part of Paper Village's celebration of Worldwide Knit in Public Day.

Here are the rest of the decorations:

Unfortunately I was at Stourhead, singing with the Gasworks Choir.  I did however take my knitting!

Friday, 8 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 8 June

Busy day finishing off floral bunting and helping younger daughter with revision
So dinner was pizza and coleslaw from the Co-op
Meat feast and roasted vegetable

Ta Da! Moment - Floral Bunting

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 7 June

You will notice that there is no photography today
This is because I forgot to take one before I ate my dinner
However, as it was the leftovers of the chilli and tortillas I had on 4 June you can see it here

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

I am (Exceedingly) Amused!

One of the things I love about Bristol is that you never know what you're going to come across when you turn the corner.
This evening,  on my way into town to celebrate my younger daughter's 18th birthday, I cam across this.
It's absolutely brilliant.
Knitiffi, (tagline: Art is never finished, only abandonned ...) is a a collective of knit artists whose mission is to make our world a brighter, happier place.
  Well, they certainly did it for me!

A Month of Dinners: 6 June

Chicken Teriyaki Donburi @ Wagamamas
It's my younger daughter's 18th birthday and Wagamamas is her favourite restaurant

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 5 June

Potato & Sweetcorn Chowder
With Matteson smoked sausage
Adapted from several recipes
Different every time, depending on what I find in the fridge
This version had a bunch of fresh parsley

Monday, 4 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 4 June

Chilli con Carne with Corn Tortillas
An old favourite
Erred on the safe side with the chilli powder
Could have been braver

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Upfest 2012 Update

I've added more photos to my Upfest 2012 blog, including ones of completed works.  If you would like to see them click here.

A Month of Dinners: 3 June

Thai Green Chicken Curry
Prepared with thai green paste and palm sugar from the Chinese supermarket
My tub of palm sugar is almost empty
Must stock up soon

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A Month of Dinners: 2 June

Indian Takeaway from Ali Baba's
Lamb Rezala, Mutter Paneer, Tarka Dal, Bombay Potatoes, Peshwari Naan & Rice
I make a mean curry myself but I didn't have to spend hours over this one

Made Me Smile

Upfest 2012 - Pictures not Words