After a busy week I needed nothing more this morning than I lie in. Once I’d had that, and a cup of tea in bed, it was time to open the morning post. May is a busy birthday month & I knew I needed some special cards for some special people. I also wanted to support someone rather than a massive company. So I headed over to Folksy, popped a few things into the search box & hey presto I landed upon Molly Moo Designs. I picked the ones I liked the most, ordered them & paid for them Thursday evening. They arrived this morning & I couldn’t be happier. I know that no one else is going to give these cards to the people I’m going to give them to & I was really chuffed that they arrived so quickly. I also love the personal touches that you so often get with sites such as Folksy. I received emails thanking me for my order & telling me when they’d been posted. I also loved the thank you business card that came in with them. Beat that Moon Pig!
After opening a few other things, my OH & I headed out on a bike ride aiming for lunch in a pub at a village near our town. I love going out on my bike, Rusty as I like to call it, especially when there’s going to be food! We headed out towards Sunningwell & stopped at The Flowing Well. The reason we picked this place is because they had a good selection of veggie food. This can be quite rare in some country pubs so it was a nice to see. My OH went for a crayfish baguette while I had the goats cheese & sweet pepper cheesecake. It came with a lush salad & was perfect for what I wanted. It wasn’t too much cheese either, which can be tricky with goats cheese. It also meant that I had room for a cupcake on the way home too!
Now it’s time for a curry, some knitting and TV. Perfect!
A few weeks ago I blogged about making my mum a Mother’s Day card but naturally couldn’t put it on here because she is an avid reader of A Crafty Chai!
Anyway here is the card that I embroidered for her. She was pretty impressed with it, which is relief as it took me all day to do it! It was quite an easy pattern to follow, although because there are so many colours in it it was quite fiddly. The card was from a pack I bought in Hobbycraft a while ago but I had to cut the hole into a square as the circle that was originally there was too small for the teapot. If my sewing skills were more professional I would have sewn ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ into the space above the teapot. But I am quite the beginner at this so I left it off!
The good bit is that I finished it in time to post home to her. Granny loved her homemade card too so Mother’s Day was quite the handmade success!
My OH & I also made something for his mum for Mother’s Day. She invited us round for dinner on the Friday & asked if I would like to bring the pudding. Given the chance to bake, I was more than happy to bring the pudding. We decided on whoopie pies, which a friend of mine has made & said how lush they are. We used the recipe from ‘Baking Made Easy‘ by Lorraine Pascale.
After gathering together all the weird and wonderful ingredients we began making them. It looks a bit gross to begin with but it all works out okay in the end. The most difficult bit was piping the mixture onto baking trays. The baking trays were probably a bit small & the measurements for the pies seemed quite large. They turned out okay though. One of the most frightening ingredients was the amount of icing sugar required for the butter cream filling – 400 grams! Not for those watching their calories. They were a great success & I’d happily make them again. I’ve since found a different recipe that has less calorific ingredients so will try that next time.
I am a huge supporter of the local food movement & I love eating out. So when my OH asked if I wanted to go to Oxfork I readily agreed. What is Oxfork I hear you ask? It is a pop-up restaurant using local suppliers organised by two (amazing) chefs and this particular night was a vegetarian meal. I wasn’t disappointed!
Even though there was broccoli on the menu, I wasn’t going to be put off at all. There were stalls with locally made, up-cycled & vintage goods and great entertainment (although I wasn’t thrilled by the dog poem, which told the story of killing a dog – not veggie appropriate!) We were greeted with a lovely glass of fizz & some local bread and dips. The whole meal was lovely & the service was outstanding. I hope they do another veggie night as I would definitely go back. An excellent & eclectic evening.
Even though I love eating I do not enjoy cooking. Even though I love spending money I do not enjoy working. If I can combine these two loves then I am a very happy girl! So imagine my joy when, in a bid to help support the wonderful world of Jericho in Oxford (another of my great loves), my OH suggested we go for some tapas at Al-Andalus. Excellent, I cried. I love this place.
If you are in Oxford and you want tapas, this is the place to go. Accept no imitations. The veggie food is wonderful & I always have the Patatas Bravas & the Fritos de Queso de Cabra a la Miel (deep fried goats cheese with honey). These two as a combo are making my mouth water as I type this. Lush.
I thought I’d try something different this time & also ordered the Brochetas de la Huerta. This is basically aubergine, cherry toms & courgette on a skewer. It totally works. Simple, effective. My final order was Espinacas a la Catalana, which is spinach & pine nuts in a garlic & tomato sauce. This worked well with all my other dishes. It filled me up quite nicely while leaving enough room for some pudding – Crema Catalana. This is a Catalan version of the Creme Brulee, which is my ‘go-to’ pudding. I will always have this if it is on offer!
All of this was washed down with a few glasses of the very delicious Otoñal Tinto Rioja wine. A fab evening, only let down by the very loud music that was played during the Sevillina dancer’s routine. I’m sure that kind of thing is great for the tourists (of which there were plenty) but I just want to eat my food & chat with my pals. Ta muchly.