Sunday, May 13, 2018

Restaurant Reviews, Calas de Mallorca and Porto Cristo, Majorca

Last summer I had a few days in Majorca with two friends; while I reviewed the hotel not long after we got back, with one thing and another I never got around to blogging about the other places we ate. As so much time has passed this can't be classed as a review, as for all I know the places have changed since then, but I still want to share with you a couple of things that we did.

We ate mostly in the hotel as it was all inclusive and the food wasn't bad (though not great); there wasn't a lot to do in the evenings if you didn't have kids though as the entertainment was very geared towards small people and the other bar away from the entertainment was a bit lacking in atmosphere. While going to the beach one day we had a drink in the Martinelli beach club which had very cool ecletic d├ęcor- one section was shabby chic, another looked like something out of Arabian nights.


Another day we visited Porto Cristo, a pretty little town about 20 km from Calas de Majorca. We were given a bus timetable at reception and it was actually the first place the bus stopped after our hotel so we didn't have to worry about not knowing where to get off, and it only took about 20 minutes (we seemed to be driving pretty fast!). The main draw in Porto Cristo is the Cuevas del Drach - dragon caves. The caves are open to the public and have an underground lake where you can watch a classical music concert being performed, then cross the lake yourself by boat, which is quite an experience and very different to other caves I've visited.

You can only enter the caves on the hour, every hour, apart from 1pm when they close for lunch; the idea is that the tourists all walk together in a group at the same pace, though you can stop and look at the cave walls with their different features in your own time; it took us about 40 minutes then you all arrive at the underground auditorium at roughly the same time. The musicians appear on a boat on the far side of the lake and travel across, giving a ten minute concert, which is really atmospheric. Then you can either walk back to the cave exit or queue to get on a small boat and take a short trip across the lake, which I recommend.


It's a short walk from the caves to the centre of Porto Cristo, via the harbour where there are lots of restaurants and shops as well as boats to look at. We chose a bar and restaurant called Eternal, right on the harbour front; my friends served a tapas dish that was designed for two, while I had salmon with mango vinaigrette and the side dish of the day. The English version of the menu translated 'accompaniment' as 'garrison' (someone used the wrong dictionary definition there!) which was potato wedges. For dessert I had a white chocolate crepe with cream and chocolate ice cream which as delicious, though it was room temperature and I had expected the crepe to be hot so the ice cream would melt. We enjoyed the view from our table and headed back to our hotel as the sun started to go down.








I think this will be my last holiday for a while now I have a newborn baby!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Lemon and Poppyseed Loaf Cake


Towards the end of my maternity leave - and right after my baby was born - I developed the famous 'nesting instinct' and decided to sort out my kitchen cupboards. It's been really helpful because now I'm short of time I can find everything more easily - I also made a fair bit of space by throwing out packets of food I'd forgotten I'd bought that were long out of date!

I found a packet of poppy seeds - still in date - which I'd bought for a recipe ages ago and never used. I was expecting neighbours around the following afternoon to meet baby S and thought a lemon and poppy seed cake - lemon is commonly paired with poppy seeds for some reason - would be a nice easy one to make if I did it as a loaf cake.

I used this recipe from BBC Good Food which turned out really well - very light and fluffy and surprisingly moist. In the end the neighbours had to cancel and reschedule for the following week so I ended up eating most of this cake myself!

The mixture looks quite odd when you add the poppy seeds:


Much better when the other ingredients are in.


Before baking in the loaf tin:


The baked cake, cooling on a rack.


 
 With the lemon glaze

Perfect with a cup of tea!
 


.I'm sharing this with CookBlogShare and Love Cake hosted by JibberJabberUK.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Stork Delivering Baby Card


I have quite a lot of silver and gold outline stickers, and the sentiments and borders are great but I never really got on with using the shapes, as the fine gold outline often doesn't show up that well and looks a bit bare. That is, until I realised I could colour them in! I used Promarkers pens which are really good for this sort of thing (see link below to purchase on Amazon).

To make the card I matted a square of white paper onto a piece of blue card and coloured in the outline sticker, and used a 'congratulations' outline sticker at the bottom.




I'm sending this to Craftaholics R Us where the theme is baby cards and I Love Promarkers which has an optional theme of clean and simple (CAS).

Monday, April 30, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 18

It's been a busy but really enjoyable week - it was my birthday, and my parents came to stay then I had visits from my oldest friends - we've known each other more than 25 years. My first birthday as a mummy was a bit different as I didn't get around to opening any presents until 5pm!

This week is a lot quieter, I don't have many plans, and it was actually quite nice today to have a restful morning and tidy the house and put washing on while my little girl lay on her playmat and gurgled at her toys. I've got some leftovers to use up from the weekend as well so the first part of this week's meal plan is easy, though I do also need to do some food shopping at some point!

Monday
leftover enchiladas

Tuesday
fresh pasta with spicy mascarpone sauce and chicken

Wednesday
fishcake and vegetables

Thursday
tuna steak and new potatoes
 Friday
 scampi and chips

Saturday
Lunch breakfast burritos
Dinner meatball pasta bake based on this recipe

Sunday
Lunch bacon sandwich
Dinner roast pork loin steak with roast potatoes for me, beef medallions for him

Link up your meal plan here

Monday, April 23, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 17

My dad has just retired so from now on my parents can come up and visit during the week, not just weekends, which is handy now I'm on maternity leave! They are coming this week as it's my birthday on Sunday so I have several additional requirements when it comes to meal planning as we have other visitors at the weekend as well - some friends with their children - so I need to think of things everyone can eat!

Monday
Ready made pies - sweet potato and goat's cheese for me, chicken tikka for my husband

Tuesday
Tacos with potato wedges

Wednesday - my parents arriving just in time for lunch
Lunch - they usually like to have something like beans on toast in case they arrive later than expected
Dinner - chicken supreme. The classic recipe uses cream but we will be having enough of that tomorrow so I will do a healthier Slimming World version

Thursday - my parents here
Lunch -  ham and cheese pizza pinwheels based on this recipe
Dinner - spaghetti Bolognese (two versions- one vegetarian as I'll invite my mother-in-law over) followed by butterscotch pie for dessert

Friday
Lunch - out for a pre-birthday lunch
Dinner - either hotdogs or quiche and salad

Saturday - two friends plus a husband and two children are arriving in the afternoon to stay the weekend
Lunch - just us - either hotdogs or cheese on toast
Dinner - chicken enchiladas or takeaway pizza depending on whether there is time to cook, but I'd prefer to do the former!

Sunday
Lunch - pub lunch for my birthday
Dinner - probably something light after a big lunch - I'll have a fishcake and poached egg and my husband will probably have had a burger at lunchtime so I'll do him something like sausage and mash for dinner

Also still trying to decide what to do about a birthday cake... I could ask my husband to get me one (I commissioned one from a local baker for his birthday but I don't know if he has got enough time left to do that), or add one to the supermarket order, or make one myself!

Link up your meal plan here:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Sticky Ginger and Apple Flapjacks


When I was a child I remember my mum and sister making some flapjacks that were so sticky, we were picking bits of kitchen towel off them as we ate - they had been kept in a Tupperware dish lined with kitchen paper and were almost oozing with golden syrup.

I love sticky, soft flapjack, but not that soft - they need to hold together and be slightly chewy at the edges but soft and buttery in the middle. This recipe offers just that.

These were made in preparation of my sister and her partner coming to visit to meet their new niece, and even though I only made them the day before, about half the pan had been eaten before they even arrived!

The recipe is based on one from Good Housekeeping's The Baking Book; I halved the quantities but also added grated apple for extra flavour as I had a few apples that needed using up. The result was absolutely delicious and the texture was perfect.

Here's what I did:
You need:

175g butter or marg (I used Stork)
135g caster sugar
120g golden syrup
225g rolled oats
1 tsp ground ginger
2 apples, peeled and grated

Preheat oven to 175C. Grease and line a square cake tin.

Heat the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a gentle heat until melted. Stir in the rolled oats, ginger and apple until combined.

Spoon into the cake tin and press down gently to spread the mixture out and flatten it. Bake for 30 minutes until the edges have turned golden brown and slightly crispy; the middle will still be soft and sticky.



 
 I'm sharing this with Only Crumbs Remain
 and CookBlogShare.
Only Crumbs Remain Hijacked By Twins
 


Monday, April 16, 2018

Meal Planning Monday 2018 Week 16