Yelly Eats

Oversharing my lunch!

My go-to recipe is my Salt and Chilli belly pork.  It is so easy to make.  But the challenge is what to pair it with.  I am more inclined to pair it with steamed veg.  Usually the broccoli-cauliflower-carrot medly or just the broccoli or just the cauliflower.  Or some leafy green vegetable like choi sum or kale wilted.

Today it was paired with green beans.  The recipe has come from The BBQ Book from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube series printed by Penguin books.  The book was purchased mainly for Christian Stevenson’s (aka DJ BBQ) dry rub recipes (they are amazing!).  But I’ve made 2 things from his book now and they are all so great to eat!

The BBQ Book

The green bean recipe is called Woodstock Dan’s green beans and is a doddle to make!  You just need a little bit of oil, a smidgen of butter, green beans (of course!), a sprinkling of nutmeg and salt and pepper to season et voila!  You have Woodstock Dan’s Green Beans!

Woodstock Dan's green beans

Lunch was consumed really (really) quickly today!

Green beans and chilli pork

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Yelly Reads

The Cake Book Challenge!

I am doing a Julie Powell!  This challenge that I’ve taken on is getting more and more daunting as I think about it.

I have decided to cook through this book:

The Cake Book

It’s a book from Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube series (I also have the BBQ Book too which is excellent!) published by Penguin Books.  The book is called The Cake Book.  The recipes are written by Jemma Wilson who is the wunderkind behind Crumbs & Doilies.  If you’re into street food, you’ll know that C&D offers a really good range of lovely (heavy on the lovely) cupcakes.  I love the mini cupcakes that they offer the most because they are bite-sized pieces of heaven!  And they look so cute and dainty, almost too good-looking to eat.  Almost.  I thought to myself, well, if these are Cupcake Jemma’s recipes, well, they are definitely worth making!

There are 50 recipes in The Cake Book.  There are 26 weeks left in the year.  If I manage 2 recipes each week, I will have cooked through the entire book at the end of the year!  I am thankful that I can bring the cupcakes to work or share them with friends.  Because my blood sugar would not appreciate the increase in sugar intake!

I like that I am in the same situation as Julie Powell was when she started the Julie/Julia project.  I have a full-time job and a long commute at both ends of the day (mind you, I’m not sure how long Julie Powell’s commute was!)!  Am I crazy?  Definitely.  Is this self-inflicted project bigger than I think it is?  Probably.  But am I excited?  You betcha!  There are so many interesting recipes in the book.  I am looking forward to making brittle!  If Julie Powell can do it, so can I!

Yelly Writes

Rethink, regroup maybe?

The weekend’s been a bit of a washout.  It rained.  Really hard.  As I was coming out of the hairdressers’ it was, as the Met Office predicted, showery.  Very showery.  No make that heavy on the showery.  But because I was a girl scout (I was, really!  I wore the green Girl Scouts of the Philippines uniform for 6 years!) I brought with me an umbrella.  Said rain would have, most probably, put a damper on the proceedings at the Colchester Food and Drink Festival.  Lower Castle Park can get squelchy when it rains.  I was looking forward to going to the food festival today.  So the rain wasn’t welcome!  Except that I managed to get 2 important things done: my hair AND get dim sum from my favourite Chinese supermarket.  I got beef and pork (and shrimp) siu mai, bean curd rolls and dumplings for frying!

I was, however, lamenting my choice of footwear.  I have allowed my lovely ballet flats (my favourite pair!) to be soaked in rain water.  Not a good thing, I don’t think!  I may have to replace them.  It’s a good thing they’re a Clark’s shoes standard and, thank goodness, there is a sale on!  Mind you, that particularly design may not be on sale, but we shall see!

***

On to other things, I am a tiny bit disappointed that my giveaway hasn’t worked.  Mind you, I haven’t really done anything to promote the giveaway so that may be the first thing I should address.  I will wait until the last day, 6 July and see if there is any interest.  If not, I shall go back to the drawing board and have a rethink!  Maybe attempt Rafflecopter again?

I thought if I did too much to prepare, I would be overthinking the whole blog giveaway thing.  But I think this time, overthinking may be the best thing.  I want to run a really good blog giveaway and I want it to be exciting!  So after 1AM on 6 July, if I have no takers, I’m going to try to give the iPhone case again.  I just shake my head at the seemingly sloppy way I’ve prepped for this giveaway!  In the words of Mr Knightley (Jane Austen’s Emma), “Badly done!”

***

On another note, I am quite surprised at how much I love my hair.  It was cut by someone else and I wasn’t quite sure I liked how they handled my hair.  Thankfully, it wasn’t something I was unhappy about.  What a relief!  The lady that cut my hair no longer worked at the salon that I went to.  It took me almost 2 years to find someone to do my hair in a way that I was comfortable with.  And now she’s moved!  I was given her number and I’ve sent her a text message.  I hope she sends me a text message back so that I can go where she works!  Unless, of course, she doesn’t text back!  Scary thought!

Yelly Writes

Surviving hump day!

It’s only Wednesday and I am completely shattered!

I told myself the fatigue was probably because I’ve allowed myself to go full throttle this week on the work front.  I have been taking it slightly easier than usual at work because I’ve been recovering from a nasty throat infection (which I ignored at first because I thought it was hayfever!).  Monday morning was my last dose of antibiotic and the prescription meds seem to have worked.  My tonsils don’t look so huge now (I did say at one point that my tonsils were so big they needed their own post code!) but every now and then I still feel a twinge of pain and I must admit, I am worried that I haven’t quite kicked the infection yet.  I must remember to book an appointment to see the doctor again, to just check.

I got home slightly late today because a teenager stupidly drove his motorbike through the railway.  Just as the train was passing through.  He wasn’t hurt but was obviously shaken.  I think he was thrown from his bike.  Because when I looked out the train window, his bike was lying VERY near the tracks and he was about 3 feet away from said motorbike.  He also looked very afraid.  Afraid enough to yell at the driver, in a very worried voice, “I’m sorry!”  Even through the closed windows and doors of the train, you could hear the tremor of fear in his voice.  He suddenly looked very young, ringing his hands and his face flushed bright red.  The poor thing.  It makes you shake your head really.  Why do kids do stupid things like run a motorbike through a railway track?

In other news, I have broken the unofficial baking embargo by baking tonight.  It will be coconut and jam slices.  I am excited!  I am baking again!

Yelly Writes

Blog Giveaway!

As promised, I am giving away an iPhone5/5S case.

iPhone5 case needing a home!

I first thought I’d run the giveaway by Rafflecopter but I need to read up on how it works before I actually use it!  The competition is open to anyone and everyone who wants to provide a home to this lovely case (I was quite excited when I saw Claire in Modern Family use a similar case for her phone when I was doing my Modern Family catch up yesterday!  At least I thought it was the same case).

I only ask for 3 things:

  1. Follow me on Twitter – @yellywelly
  2. Like this post
  3. Leave your deets in the comments section please — say hi and leave your Twitter handle so I know that you’ve followed me on Twitter

You have from RIGHT NOW until 1AM British Summer Time on 6 July to enter!

The winner will be announced on Sunday, 6 July!

Yelly Eats

Vatrushka! Vatrushka!

Vatru-what?!?

I know, it’s a mouthful but let me tell you, the vatrushka is most certainly a delicious mouthful.  As a sidebar, and an introduction, I must say that Victoria Stewart’s (@vicstewart on Twitter) food contributions to the London Evening Standard are not to be missed.  Her taste buds are spot on and her recommendations haven’t let us down so far.  So if you see her byline in the London Evening Standard, read it!  She has thoroughly impressed me especially since I once saw her attempt to demolish a heart-stoppingly huge burger from Red Dog.

I first heard of vatrushkas via Victoria Stewart’s article on ES.  It was an article about Easter bakes featuring hot cross buns.  It featured Karaway, a Russian bakery in Stratford City Westfield and its featured pastry was the vatrushka.  The article piqued my curiosity because Karaway is one of the kiosks near the escalators on one end of the Ground Floor of Westfied Stratford City, near Waitrose.  Their breads always look good and inviting but I’d never tried any of their products before.  The Premier Inn at Stratford is a favourite of ours for city breaks because the rates are always good and the rooms are really good for what is classed as a budget hotel.  When you stay at Premier Inn in Stratford, it’s easy to walk into the mall when you come from the hotel and a walk past the Karaway kiosk is almost always a certainty, unless you take a different, more circuitous route!

So on the weight of Vic Stewart’s article, I tore the pages of the article to reread when I got home and vowed to try Karaway when I had the opportunity.  And, oh boy, I was definitely NOT disappointed!

A vatrushka is described as a ring of dough with a creamy filling in the middle with the addition of fruits in the middle.  For my first foray into the vatrushka world, I chose the peach vatrushka (mostly because I liked peach danishes and I imagined it to be similar to a danish).  I usually split things with Alan and this time was no different.  As I sliced into the pastry, it felt very dense, almost like a bagel, and I struggled to slice through it (to be fair, I was using one of those disposable wooden knives, so it wasn’t exactly the sharpest of slicing tools!).  So I was worried.  I was worried that each bite of the vatrushka was going to sink like a leaden weight and I would be digesting my yeasty breakfast untl the early afternoon!  But as I started to chew on what seemed to me as a slightly dense briochy bread, it wasn’t as heavy as I thought!  It was different from a Danish because a Danish is made from flaky pastry.  The vatrushka base is more bread than pastry but was lovely and light and the filling was yummy creaminess!  I enjoyed every bite of it.  I love peach danishes but I think there will be days when the peach vatrushka will give my favourite peach danish a run for it’s money.  I washed it down with a capuccino and I must say, it was one of the more satisfying breakfasts I’ve had!

Peach vatrushka

We also tried the cinnamon apple bun, because the cinnamony breads are hard to resist!  I wasn’t disappointed.  It was DELISH!  It was the perfect combination of sugar, cinnamon, apple and a hint of cardamom all enclosed in their signature briochy bread.

Cinnamon apple bun

After that first taste, we went back to get some more Karaway goodies.  They make delicious cakes too!  Really, really good cakes that are airy but oh-so-decadent!  Everything can be washed down by really good (and not watery weak) coffee of your choice.

The little Karaway kiosk offers good coffee that goes very well with their delicious bakes!  The staff are so pleasant as well, always ready with a smile and an answer to the most simple of questions!  So if you’re ever in that neck of the woods, stop and sit down and have a cup of coffee and one of Karaway’s excellent bakes!  It’s not only amazingly good, it’s also amazing value for money!

Yelly Writes

Sharing the bounty!

On my birthday, I claimed a lovely and very generous goody bag (value of all items combined was over £100 and let me tell you, that bag was HEFTY!) from Carnaby Street and Sister.  I have said this before, but thank you again, Carnaby Street and Sister!  Mucho appreciated!

Carnaby goody bag

I loved every single item in the perfectly amazing goody bag.  Unfortunately, as with all great loot bags, you find yourself unable to use EVERYTHING.  One of the fabulous freebies is the now unavailable Avon Pink Otterbox iPhone5 Commuter series case.  I am currently using an Incase Slider case (the colour, which is a delicious shade of blue, is called Skydiver Soft!  Sounds  terribly cool huh?  Unlike geeky me, I assure you!) which has proved to be very effective (I am very clumsy with my phone and the Incase Slider case has protected all my iPhones — so far, knock on wood — from the damage that I inflict on it!) so I don’t really have a need for the Otterbox case.

iPhone5 case needing a home!

It is my intention to run a giveaway on the blog soon to find a worthy home for the phone case.  The case has never been used and is still in it’s packaging.  So if you want an Otterbox commuter series iPhone5 case (in Avon Pink!) for your iPhone5 (or iPhone5s) watch this space!