Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Foodies Festival | Bristol

The sun shines through an almost clear blue sky as smells of summer drifts though the air. Aromas of barbecues and freshly baked goods make your mouth water as soon as you enter through the gates. Festival music echoes through the park and the voices and laughter can be heard from the sea of happy people around, enjoying the sunshine, being with friends, eating good food and enjoying a beer or two. Brightly coloured rainbow stalls fill the park with something for everyone's taste; juicy beef burgers layered with cheese, red onion and pickle, an Indian feast, spicy hot reggae barbecued chicken, freshly baked macaroons in an assortment of flavours, sweet summer strawberries and cream, caramel shortbread cupcakes and so much more. So much choice. Where do you begin?

Over the weekend, Jonny and I wanted to do something a little different, so we headed down to the Foodies Festival in Durdham Downs, Bristol. Foodies Festival is the largest series of food festivals in the UK whereby you can enjoy the chance to see Michelin starred and celebrity chefs cooking delicious recipes and bakes, participate in wine and beer tasting, as well as listen to live bands whilst feasting on a variety of cuisines from artisan producers and street food from around the world. The sun was shining and it couldn't have been a more perfect day. Ever since the sun made it's first appearance a few weeks ago, we've both really been wanting to have a barbecue, so of course the first food we looked for was just that. Before we made our mind up on where to go first, we had a wander around all the was so hard to choose because everything looked so tasty! At last, we opted for a spicy sausage hot-dog from The Great British Sausage Company, it was that yummy that we went there twice!

Whilst thinking about what we wanted to try next, we chilled out in the drinks theatre for a where we enjoyed beer and cider in the sunshine. It was so lovely to sit back and relax and enjoy our day surrounded by lots of happy people having a great time too (sun+alcohol+food=happiness)! After a drink or two, we walked around to see what else we could find. A lot of the stalls had free samples, which were great to nibble on whilst we decided on where to go next. The Mary Berry stand was our favourite as there were lots of dips and chutneys to sample accompanied with crackers and bread. We'll definitely be adding a few of those to our next food shop! Something that caught my eye at the festival was the Spiral Potato stand. Curly potato on a stick? Yes please! There were a variety of flavours, but I went for a traditional salt and pepper which looked and tasted incredible! Jonny opted for garlic salt which was equally as yummy. After the most delicious and juicy burger, we enjoyed a few more drinks before heading home.

We both had such a lovely day and came away with many goodies which were devoured once we got home; macaroons, cupcakes and homemade raspberry marshmallows. I can't wait to go to the Foodies Festival next year!

Have you ever been to the Foodies Festival?

Monday, 4 January 2016

My Christmas in Photos + New Year's Resolutions!

Hello everyone,

I hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and are having a great start to the new year! Christmas celebrations started a week early for Jonny and I as we had our own Christmas day together a week before heading off home for the festive period. It has been so exciting this year, buying and decorating our first tree together and making new Christmas traditions! We started the day opening our presents and I got some lovely gifts from him including the Naked Smokey palette which I've wanted for ages, new clothes and other lovely bits and bobs. After exchanging gifts, we had delicious croissants and bucks fizz for breakfast - every day of the week should start this way!! Whilst waiting for our Christmas dinner to cook, we watched Santa Who and listened to lots of Christmas songs. Our dinner was amazing; crispy roast potatoes, sage and onion stuffing, succulent ham and chicken, roasted parsnips and carrots, brussel sprouts, Yorkshire puddings and plenty of pigs in blankets all covered with a generous layer of delicious gravy. Pulling crackers, eating good food, telling bad jokes, wearing party hats, lots of laughing...what could be better?! The rest of our day was spent playing lots of games. First up was a game of Monopoly, which I won surprisingly, I don't think Jonny was too impressed with that considering how competitive he is! Actually, I was on quite a winning streak winning most games that day! After having a little party with nibbles of baked Camembert and crackers, sausage rolls, crisps, mini pizzas, an Indian platter and chocolate Baileys, we continued the party games into the night. After playing all of our games (Bananagram, Monopoly and Dominoes) we decided to make up a few games of our own which included an accent game, drawing guessing game and playing the guitar which was so much fun! This was such a fun and lovely day and a great start to my Christmas festivities! 

One week later I was at home celebrating Christmas with my favourite people, my family. On the second day of being back, my auntie and uncle hosted an amazing party; it was so lovely to see all of my little cousins and eat lots of good food! Whilst the children happily played games upstairs, most of the adults were getting drunk, having a great time and playing funny party games. I hope they host another Christmas party next year, and hopefully Jonny will come along too! Christmas day came around quickly and before we knew it we were getting up at crazy o' clock just as we did when we were little and opening all of our gifts. My mum is the best mum anyone could ever ask for and she surprised us all with many lovely things! My favourite presents were my pink chocolate fountain (which I used on new year's eve) and a denim dress which I can't wait to wear in Spring! I only asked for one thing (a wooden spoon for baking because mine are no good haha) and I got this and so much more which I wasn't expecting! I also got some lovely things from my sister Megan - So thank you Megan, Jonny has been loving the Lush Snow Fairy shower gel ;) This year, we went to my Granny's house for our Christmas dinner and it was so tasty, she is the best cook I know!! Unfortunately, I didn't get to see any of my friends whilst being at home because of major flooding but hopefully I will be able to catch up with them soon. On the day before heading home, my mum, dad, brothers, sisters and I all went to the cinema to watch Daddy's Home which was a great film and I couldn't stop laughing the whole way through! Thank you to the people that mean the most to me for making Christmas amazing; Jonny, mum, dad, Jordan, Megan, Shannon, Euan and the best cook ever, my granny.

Christmas selfie!

Adorable Chorkie Nancy cuddling up to her reindeer teddy!

Mum and Megan

Shannon happy to see big brother Jordan!

Euan and Mum

Nancy trying to get closer to the camera!

The yummiest roast dinner... this is now making me very hungry!

Me and Shannon

My lovely mum and me

Amazing mummy and granny!

The cutest dog Nancy resting on Shannon's shoulder

Christmas is now over for another year and it's time to make resolutions for 2016! I don't tend to write new year's resolutions so mine are quite vague. The first thing I want to work on this year is my health. A stricter diet in January should help kick start a healthier me, followed by rejoining the gym with the intention of toning up towards the end of the year. My second goal is to work on my happiness and being more positive and the final thing I want to achieve is to increase my general knowledge by watching lots of interesting documentaries, so if you know of any please do let me know! How was your Christmas? Have you made any new year's resolutions?


Tuesday, 15 December 2015

How to make a gingerbread house

Hello everyone,

One of my favourite smells at Christmas is the smell of gingerbread. I remember when I was little, my granny made a gingerbread house and I was completely mesmorised at how pretty and magical it looked. Ever since then I've wanted to make my own, but never seemed to find the time around Christmas until now. Jonny and I spent an entire afternoon making this and I'm so pleased with how good it looks!! In fact, it took us a couple of days to start eating it because it looked too pretty to destroy (plus it took a lot of time and effort so it needed to be appreciated and looked at for a while!). My favourite part is most definitely the glitter and the more the merrier; there's no such thing as too much glitter!! Put on your favourite Christmas songs, put on the twinkly Christmas tree lights and fill your house with a festive baking fragrance by following the recipe below to make your own gingerbread house!

                                 1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
Ingredients:                                   2. Melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat then add the sugar 
180g butter                                                        and syrup. Remove from the heat and stir.
125g brown sugar                          3. Add the dry ingredients and mix until blended into a thick dough.
300g golden syrup                      4. Tip the dough out onto a floured board, knead with flour, then tear off 
500g plain flour                                                pieces of dough and press into the mould.
1/4 tsp of salt                           5. Place onto a baking tray and bake for 25-35 minutes or until firm to touch.
1 tsp ground ginger                         6. Allow to cool before removing the gingerbread house from the mould.
1/2 tsp bicarb soda                                     7. Assemble the gingerbread house with white icing.
Sprinkles of choice                    8. Now it's time for the funnest part! Decorate your house with lots of icing, 
Icing                                                           mini marshmallows, smarties, sprinkles and glitter.           

Will you have a go at making your own gingerbread house? 
What do you like to bake at Christmas?