Make Eat Get Read Go – November 2017

November has been full of lots of great food & friends. All months should be like this.

Make – Christmas Puddings & Firework Biscuits

easy firework biscuitsNovember is the month of rapid changes in weather, from the warmth of autumn to the chills of winter and there seems to be a run of various festivals. In time honoured tradition I often link them to food.

The beginning of the month saw us make firework biscuits. Biscuits (yes we cheated with good old McVities digestives) drizzled with brightly coloured water icing, edible glitter and sprinkles gives your firework biscuits. Voila. Just don’t forget to make firework noises when using a cocktail stick to move the icing towards the edge of the biscuit in a firework fashion.

stir up sunday making christmas puddingThe end of November is Stir-up Sunday. I’ve always baked something on this day for around a decade and now L understands the concept of festivals & traditions I’m hoping it’s something she’ll remember and enjoy.

I’ve made different Christmas Puddings over the years including accidentally using Hub’s finest single malt whisky in one (I was in big trouble with that one), but this year decided to make smaller ones in dariole that would be easier to enjoy througout December. This year I used a Good Housekeeping recipe and we steamed them in the oven.

Eat – The Atrium at University College Birmingham

The advantage of working in the food sector is that work nights out usually involve great food. I’m still scarred from the first Christmas do I went to at a local pub when I worked in public sector education. The pigs in blankets we’re made with tinned frankfurters, the turkey was the preformed stuff you can buy to put in sandwiches and the sprouts, oh the poor over-boiled sprouts.

the atrium UCB pigeon dishThis year was the turn of The Atrium at University College Birmingham. The Atrium is the fine dining restaurant at UCB where the Culinary Arts students practice their skills. It’s open to the public and is well worth a visit. There is a reason why this is voted one of the best restaurants in Birmingham, it’s reasonably priced too.

We visited on one of the special event nights where we had a tasting menu with matching wine. Over the previous weeks the students had developed and practised the menu then we tasted the culmination of all their hard work. The pigeon dish was absolutely stunning. Amazing to think these students are still honing their craft. The quality of the food was up there with some Michelin starred food I’ve eaten.

Interestingly they also have a bakery there that is open to the public where catering students sell their wares. Depending on what they’re learning that day you could pick up some delicious bread, patisserie or chocolate creations for a bargain price.

Get – Mermaid print from Curious Pancake

foiled mermaid print from curious pancakeThe Fabulous Places markets are a staple in the Derbyshire calendar. The festive one is well worth a visit. There are many stalls you recognise, but it’s nice to find some new gems.

I’ve been on the hunt for a mermaid print for LB’s bedroom for a while. Never discourage a 3-year-old’s aspirations to be a mermaid.  Even after an Etsy search I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I then spotted this beautiful foiled print on Curious Pancake’s stand along with a perfect Christmas card for a friend.

If you’re wondering what’s in the pot to the left of the photo it’s some rather moreish Jammy Dodger Cookie Dough from Ruby Lou’s Treat Co.

Read – Nigella Lawson: ‘Instagram can make a cook dispair’

A post shared by Nigella (@nigellalawson) on It’s well documented that I have a girl crush on Nigella. The first cookbook I ever brought myself was How To Be A Domestic Goddess and it began to nurture my love of food. Early readers of this blog can probably remember this blog being called Trainee Domestic Goddess.

Nigella’s new series is currently on TV and this article in Guardian saying some of the best food is not Instagram worthy makes me love her more.

Go – Wedding at Farnham Castle

Who doesn’t love a good wedding?

Last week we were honoured to be guests at Lucy & Dan’s wedding at the beautiful Farnham Castle. Lucy & I lived in the same halls as Freshers and both studied Biology. Our love to cheesy music and buy one get one free chocolate bars in the union shop bonded us.

farnham castle wedding breakfast menuThere have been big changes good and not so good in both our lives over the last 17 years and it brought tears to my usually ice queen eyes when she walked down the aisle. She looked stunning (along with my good friend who was bridesmaid). To see so much happiness and love was beautiful.

You know the food is good at a wedding when you work out the prime position to stand to get the best canapes when they come fresh out of the kitchen plus more weddings need to have brownies as a dessert. They certainly helped power us on to clear the dance floor with our dancing to Backstreet Boys – Everybody.

Also forget a cheeseboard. This wedding had a table, yes a table of cheese aching with gooey, stinky cheeses along with pâté, a leg of Serrano ham, baskets of bread and shots of chilled white port.

December brings festive fun, a month worth of gin, fine dining (no change there), a birthday and a night out to see one of the best Christmas films there is. 



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