Giving cider another go

I am not really a fan of cider, I think it boils down to drinking stupid amounts of Merrydown Cider when I was student in York and not drinking it for a really long time.

I remember in 2006 accidentally ordering and drinking a Magners cider in Edinburgh, I don’t think I finished it.

Now living down in the South West (where everyone seems to drink cider) I have recently decided to give cider another go and looking over the supermarket shelves decided to try out a bottle of Henry Weston Vintage Cider.

Henry Weston Vintage Cider

I really quite enjoyed it, which surprised even me. I enjoyed the dryness of the drink and found it rather refreshing.

Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2019

This year I have written 54 blog posts, last year I only managed 35 blog posts.

Tenth post was on how I found the Pork Ribs at Wagamama back in 2011

Wagamama Pork Ribs

The post at number nine was the time I had teriyaki lamb at Wagamama.

Time for teriyaki lamb

The eighth most popular post on the blog was about using a pre-prepared pack of ingredients from Morrisons, to make Chicken Fajita.

Chicken Fajitas “made easy”

Seventh most popular post, was about the time I was wondering what to eat in Sheffield’s Meadowhall, but in the end, went to Yo! Sushi.

I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for…

The sixth most popular post was not about just any pork medallions, but Marks and Spencers’ Pork Medallions.

Marks and Spencers Pork Medallions

Dropping two places, the third most popular post was Basil & pine nut margherite, a simple pasta recipe.

Basil & pine nut margherite

Like last year, reminiscing about Newquay Steam Beer was the fourth most read post on the blog.

Newquay Steam Beer

Third most popular post on the blog, climbing from eighth position, was about the Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad I had in 2013. I have had it quite few times since.

Pret A Manger Italian Chicken Salad

Second most popular blog, having been top for two years was Sirloin for Beef Wellington? This was a response to the high ranking of another post about using sirloin steak in a Beef Wellington rather than fillet steak due to the way people were (at the time) searching Google.

Sirloin for Beef Wellington?

In at number one Chilli Squid from Wagamama, maintaining it’s top position as the most popular post on the blog.. This post was one of the many on the blog about squid, however it is now quite old being from 2011.

Chilli Squid from Wagamama

So there are three posts in the top ten about my visits to Wagamama.

So popularity appears to be dependent on older posts being found via Google searches.

Time for a danish pastry

nyhavn

On this day fifteen years ago in 2004 I was eating a Danish Pastry in Denmark, Copenhagen to be specific.

danish pastry

In case you were wondering this pastry was 12 inches across, it was huge. No I did not eat it all by myself!

My memory of it was that it was delicious, fresh and tasty.

Spicy

After going to watch a film at the cinema for a birthday treat (not my birthday) we decided to follow up with a meal at the local Pizza Express.

They have created an interesting environment for the Pizza Express at Cribbs Causeway, with a lot of Banksy’esque style artwork on the walls.

I have had some excellent pizza at Pizza Express and was looking forward to another one. Perusing the menu I reminded myself that I should choose one that I hadn’t had before. I have been trying, when going out to eat, to not have what I have had before.

In the end I went with the Calabrese, this is described in the menu as fiery, soft ‘nduja sausage and spicy Calabrese sausage D.O.P with fresh red chilli, Roquito peppers, roasted red and yellow peppers, mozzarella and tomato, finished with light mozzarella, rocket, pesto and Gran Milano cheese.

pizza fiery, soft ‘nduja sausage and spicy Calabrese sausage D.O.P with fresh red chilli, Roquito peppers, roasted red and yellow peppers, mozzarella and tomato, finished with light mozzarella, rocket, pesto and Gran Milano cheese

I really liked this pizza, nice base and a great mix of spicy toppings. This was quite a spicy pizza, so don’t get it if you don’t like spicy.

We also had some great service, so overall a really nice meal out.

Time for a Coffee: Top Ten Blog Posts 2016

So what food, drink and coffee blog posts were people reading this year? Interestingly none about coffee?

10 Trofie Pasta with fresh basil pesto, pine nuts and grated parmesan

9 A Taste of Peru

8 Wagamama Pork Ribs

7 Well that was nice

6 Christmas Four Bird Roast

5 Marks and Spencer’s Pork Medallions

4 Basil and pine nut margherite

3 Newquay Steam Beer

2 Chilli Squid from Wagamama

1 Sirloin for Beef Wellington

The top three posts were the same top three in 2015. Well here’s to some better and more exciting posts for 2017.

Sorry, they also look disgusting…

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icin.g

That whole combination really doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe that is the point..

In my previous blog post I said I wasn’t going to buy any, however on a visit to London, my sister-in-law bought some for the children as a Halloween tweet.

Now I didn’t eat any, but my son who did, said he enjoyed it, but then it probably just tasted of sugar! What put me off (apart from all the sugar) was that the combination of green sponge and black icing, meant after they were bitten into, they actually looked like they were mouldy French Fancies!

…and that may be the point!

Sorry, these sound disgusting…

Sorry, these sound disgusting…

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

…and that may be the point!

These Kipling’s Witches Hat Fancies are described on the packet as: orange flavoured green sponge with a vanilla topping and black fondant icing.

That whole combination really doesn’t appeal to me, but maybe that is the point.. though I suspect they will taste like other Kipling cakes with just a hint of orange, with the usual over sugared taste explosion.

The name also annoys me, well that I am sure the grammar is wrong. In the box there are eight fancies. If these are hat fancies then surely one on its own would be a witch’s hat fancy. As witches is the plural of witch, then eight witches is fine, but I do think eight hats would be eight witch’s hats. Though is this like courts martial (the plural of court martial) as a result it’s eight witches hat, but that doesn’t sound right.. Adding fancies onto the end seems to worsen the situation. Personally I think it should be eight witch’s hat fancies, or am I wrong and Mr Kipling is right?

Did I buy them?

No!

Lyons Maid




If you are of a similar age to myself you will look at this advert for Lyons Maid and reflect on those ice creams that you always bought (or were bought for you), those that you now wish you had tried and those that you would never buy (either because they sounded horrible or were too expensive).

Lyons Maid

I know you can still buy choc ices, but I remember having them all the time when I was younger, but now I can’t recall the last time I had one. My main memory of them was they the ones I had used a chocolate flavoured coating rather than real chocolate.

So do you like salt, or do you like eating?

French Fries

I know it shouldn’t surprise me, but now and again it does. What is that you may ask? Well the blog post title is a bit of a giveaway, the answer is salt, or more specifically the amount of salt in both processed foods and in restaurant meals too.

I recently bought a chocolate cake from Sainsbury’s, what astounded me was that the salt content per 100g was higher than Ready Salted Pringles! I know people complain about the amount of sugar in savoury foods (I am looking at you Duchy) but this was a sweet thing. There I was thinking that supermarkets were trying to reduce the amount of salt they use in their products.

I am finding a fair few restaurants are not just adding salt to cooking, I kind of expect that level of seasoning, but then “garnish” the dish with even more salt. I recently had some sweet and sour squid, over the salt and pepper squid and was disappointed to find that the squid had been garnished with sea salt. Similarly the number of places that “garnish” their fries with salt, yes, I’m looking at you Café Rouge!

I am now pretty sensitive to the amount of salt I find in foods and I do find now that when used excessively detracts rather than enhances the flavour of the food I eat. So do you like salt, or do you like eating?