Monday, 13 February 2012

This week in pictures.... Cowshed, ice cream sandwiches and celebrations!

This week has been quite eventful! Both of us have been busy, and had hardly any free time (also hence the lack of posts). However I have managed to take some photos to document this rather nice week! I'll split them up over a few posts as there are plenty!

1. I managed to lose just under two pounds at my weigh-in on Tuesday morning. This is just as well, as there do seem to be an enormous number of food photos this week! To celebrate (sort of!) Michael and I decided to try the 'earlybird special' at the Cowshed on Whiteladies road. This is a steak restaurant that describes itself as follows;
 'At The Cowshed we bring the taste of the countryside to the city. For us the most important thing is knowing where and how food is produced. We focus on the quality of the farming or production methods and the ethics and integrity of the grocer, breeder or supplier.' 
Their earlybird special is a steak or burger, plus drink, for £10. 

We both opted for the steak - mine medium-rare and Michael's rare. It was lovely. They serve it on a plastic board (which I thought was a bit odd, either a wooden board or a plate, no?) with a bowl of chips each. The meat was really delicious, tender and flavoursome, cooked to perfection. However I was a little disappointed with the chips - they were a good size (I love a large chip, fries do not compare!), and they were hot, but aside from that they failed to impress - I found them to be quite dry and chewy. Something else too - while I understand that by serving steak and chips, you get just that; we do like our veg so if the waitress had asked us if we wanted a side salad we probably would have ordered one! We also seemed to cause some consternation by asking for an additional drink - we wanted to start with a drink and then have our glasses of wine with our steak. Firstly, nobody offered us a drink until they'd brought us a menu (10 minutes in) and then came back later to take our order. We were quite parched! The waitress was quite concerned that we thought we could have a gin and tonic as part of the deal - no, we would just like one now, and we'll have wine afterwards! I suspect this is a problem that they have with their earlybird - people come in specifically for it and don't know how not to order a drink until they've specified that's what they want.  I do understand that, but 15-20 minutes without a drink does not make great service, and making customers feel awkward for wanting a preprandial beverage is an unusual business tactic! I am quite willing to believe that we may have gone on a bad day though, as I have heard many wonderful things about this restaurant. 

2. We decided that we would head home without dessert but via Sainsbury's to pick up ingredients for ice cream sandwiches! A very decadent treat, I'm not sure why we decided that we deserved it but we did! Michael has been working really hard on a project - on Skype at all hours of the day and night - so he got on with some of that while I got busy in the kitchen! I've been bitten by this baking bug, which I love but it is not good for my waistline. I may have to impose a baking ban until more of the diet is complete. I also started to put together my kitchen journal - a beautiful tie-front recipe binder that I was given, that I'm yet to use! On Monday night I added the first recipe (Welshcakes, of course!) and I'm determined to keep building it up - I'm always looking a recipe up online, using it and then losing it, never to find it again! No more for I will record all in my trusty journal! 

So here is my attempt - the cookie recipe I used wasn't great, I was really careful about the timing but they came out a little dry. If anyone has any tried and trusted cookie recipes please send them my way! The dough did taste amazing though....

Ice cream sandwich
We did buy Carte Dor Light vanilla ice cream as a nod to the diet - which I must say is extremely good for less than 5% fat!

3. CELEBRATIONS! Michael has very excitingly gained a three-month internship/secondment in London. He was really nervous about his interview last week and I'm so proud of him! He did so well :) We found out on Wednesday so accidentally (bought and) popped a bottle of fizzy to toast his success. This does mean though that he's off to live in London for three months :( I will miss him! 

Not champagne, but yummy!

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