Saturday, 27 August 2011

Saturday - Chicken Burger, Chips and Corn on the Cob

This weekend is our first weekend where we haven't been away or been busy all weekend for about 8 weeks!  To celebrate, we lazed around until the afternoon and then went running.  Commiserations to Leeds Rhinos who put in a spirited performance, and big thumbs up to Liverpool who trashed Bolton 3-1 and are looking really good for the season!

Enough of the sport, we have developed a tradition of "fun Saturday night food" for when we are in on Saturdays. This invariably revolves around homemade pizza, curry, greek chicken etc.  This week, I opted for chicken burgers.  After much debate of how these are best made, I decided on flattened chicken breast coated in breadcrumbs flavoured with lime, basil and chilli powder.  It was a good treat, with homemade potato wedges, corn on the cob, rocket and coleslaw (bought from tesco - v lazy!)  It was a good treat and we are both stuffed!

Home made wedges
Chicken burger with cheese in ciabatta, with wedges, corn on the cob and rocket.  Yum.

Wedding Special - Kerstin on the Cello with friends - Metallica - Nothing Else Matters

Hi people. At the wedding Kerstin surprised Michael with a rendition of Metallica's Nothing Else Matters on the Cello - click here to view (my camera work gets better!).......brilliant

Friday Night at Thai Edge

By the power of Twitter, we have made contact with a number of restaurants and recently struck up conversation with Thai Edge in Leeds (for website, click here).  They invited us to come and sample some of their food, and do a review.

I have lived in Leeds for six years, but never been to Thai Edge before.  Leeds has quite a few good Thai restaurants and it just happened that I have lived around the corner from Sukhothai, or across the road from Chaopraya, or near Thai Erawan, so never made it to Thai Edge.  I had had the impression that it was an "all you can eat" buffet place (which it does appear to do on weekends) so had been a little put off.

Anyways, we trotted along to Thai Edge last night not knowing what to expect.  It is a big airy restaurant opposite Millennium Square and the LGI with lots of glass and clean lines and a few traditional bits of decor thrown in.  When we first arrived there was a little confusion over our booking - as it had been made over Twitter, it was in their name, not ours.  We eventually made it to the right table, which was reserved by the window overlooking Millennium Square, giving us a good view of the other diners and the revellers outside.

Each table has a basket of crackers (a mix of Thai and prawn) ready on arrival.  The staff are quick with menus and we went with their recommended house rose, which has been chosen to be a good match with oriental food. 
The crackers on arrival - nice touch and replenished when we asked.
The house rose - good with spicy food!
Joe and I in the obligatory drinking pose.
The menu has some nice touches, including a glossary of Thai words.  We recently went to a restaurant in London (Hong Kong cafe - see post from Wednesday 17th August) where we didn't understand half of the menu!

The menu has a broad range of dishes from across Thailand.  After a great deal of debate, we opted for Yam Woon Sen (salad of glass noodles with minced pork, prawns, shrimps and dried shrimps in a spicy dressing) and Poh Pia Gai Tod (crispy spring rolls with chicken and white cabbage).  My only slight disappointment was that there are no dumplings on the menu (a favourite of FoodandBiscuits), but there are plenty of other dishes to choose from! The food is beautifully presented.  They also ask you how spicy you would like your food, and we opted for a very spicy salad.  It was brilliant - clean flavours, salty, sweet and spicy - and by far the best Thai salad I have ever had.  The spring rolls were light and crispy and came with a sweet and sticky plum sauce. 
Poh Pia Gai Tod - spring rolls with plum sauce
Yam Woon Sen - very spicy salad with pork and prawns - a vibrant wake up to the senses!
Joe eating a spring roll - check out his chopstick action!
Main courses also caused a big debate!  The menu is split by main ingredient and includes lots of curries and stir fried dishes.  We opted for Panang Nuae (beef cooked in a dry red Panang paste with lime leaves and red chilli) and Gai Ma Maung Himmapan (stir fried chicken with cashews, mushrooms, spring onions, red and green chillis and roasted chilli).  Despite all of the chillis in this dish, it was advertised as only medium heat, so I asked them to spice it up a bit.  Recently Joe and I have been a bit hit and miss with our ordering, but this time both dishes were really good.  The beef was rich and full of coconut, chilli and ginger and the chicken was hot but with real depth of flavour with a balanced sauce so all the individual tastes came through (my favourite dish of the meal).
Gai Ma Maung Himmpan (chicken with cashews and lots of chilli)
Panang Nuae (beef in red panang paste with coconut and red chilli)
Noodles in light soy sauce
Joe with our charming waitress, Ard.  All the waiting staff were very good, and very attentive last night.
The bill - a very good meal for under £50.00 is a real treat!
All in all, we had a really lovely evening at Thai Edge and I would definitely go back again.  There is a lot to try on the menu and they clearly put as much effort in to the food as they do to the appearance.  A big thank you to all at Thai Edge.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Thursday - Chilli, rice and salsa

After a hectic week, it is back to normality today - no weddings, no transport issues and no blog to catch up on!!! With the half marathon in just over a month, I need to get back into my running otherwise I will never get around 13 miles!! So, I ran into work (4 miles) and ran home the long way round (7 miles) - it was a little less that I wanted but it was good back to get back into the swing of things.....anyway, this was the great dinner that Jo put together.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Wednesday - up to date at last!!!

Tonight's dinner - quick pea soup with a poached egg on top!!

Monday and Tuesday - a b@stard journey home!!!!

Ok, so there had been a couple of hitches over the wedding days. Things like Michael arriving in Germany with odd shoes, the car keys getting locked in the car boot, the bus crash and the best man (Colin) missing his flight after his late evening with the dwarfs as mentioned in the Thursday post.

But taking this all into consideration, we were expecting a pretty straight forward journey home, even though we were flying Ryanair and had to make our way back from Stansted airport to Leeds.


The day started well with a leisurely breakfast, followed by a typically big German lunch - this was traditional Swabian stuff. Considering the challenges we faced later, it was good thing we fueled up.
Luke and Tom chilling
Tomato sauce
We think pork and something else - was good though - Joe had seconds
Fried mince ball (or something like that)

We have forgotten the name of this - braised peas and other veg
Followed by a "small" selection of the wedding cakes
As we packed up and said our goodbyes, it was a drive to the airport for a 3.30pm flight. We were through baggage check quickly, and heading up the stairs when the the tannoy said there would be a 5 hours delay on our flight....5 HOURS!!!!!

This was bad news for us, but there were around 15 of us at the airport from the wedding including some with small kids!! Disaster...the only saving grace (and it was  a pretty big one) was that it was over 30 degrees, with an outdoor area and lots of fine German beers - a bit like a beer garden really!

Grumpy Joe with a beer in hand
Olivier with food in mouth. A close up below of his sandwich
White pudding sausage
Cousin Tom reading 'How to be a women' - hmmmm
Eventually we boarded at 8.40pm with our travel plans in tatters. Our train was booked from Kings Cross to Leeds at 7.30pm which we had well and truly missed, and there was mild panic over what our travel insurance would cover, not to mention how we would get home at 11pm!
Kind Auntie Anne took pity on us, and offered us a bed in Cambridge, with a plan that we would jump on the train in Cambridge at 6.57am (see below), change at Stevenage and then head to Leeds.  The tickets were £100 each but at least we would be going home....or so we thought!

Cambridge train station
See picture above of a station that we hadn't factored into the journey home. We arrived at Stevenage, only to discover that the b@stard Leeds train had been cancelled!!! CCTV would have caught me frantically running up and down stairs with two bags and a kilt trying to find the platform for the Peterborough train where we would change for Leeds - I wasn't holding out much hope!
We eventually got in to Leeds train station. We both had to head straight to work, shattered but delighted to be back on home soil!!! We are a little out of pocket at the moment, but it was worth the journey as the previous few days had been outstanding!!
This was Tuesday nights dinner - egg and beans on toast then an early night!

Sunday -The day after

So after all the excitement of the wedding, Sunday was a day to relax and take it easy.  Some of the wedding revellers had managed to stay up until 5am, including the groom, which was quite good going given the festivities had started at 10am the previous day!  We were a touch more sensible and hit the hay around 1.30.

On Sunday my poor feet were wrecked after all the dancing so I was hobbling about the place being a bit pathetic and tired (more 6am bells!).  We decided to grab a couple of coffees at the hotel and received the best presented coffees I have ever seen!  Individual trays filled with coffee beans, really good espresso, sparkling water and whipped cream.  Definitely not the usual starbucks!
The fancy coffee.  After this, Joe insisted we buy one of the espresso cups to add to our collection.
We decided to grab a "small" lunch in Ulm at this cafe, which was next door to the icecream place.  Ulm has a plethora of places to eat and drink but this one was great for people watching.
We both went for the American salad, which comes complete with turkey, bacon and prawns (odd) and lots of salad.  I went for a small, and Joe for a big - definitely eyes bigger than his belly!
A close up shot of the salad.  Joe was defeated pretty quickly - what a big girl.
Me resting my feet by the Danube in Ulm.  It was so hot on the Sunday that I was tempted to go swimming!
When we went to Paris recently, we saw that Pont Neuf is covered in engraved love padlocks, which I thought was such a lovely idea.  Imagine our surprise when we saw the same thing on a bridge in Ulm - it's obviously spreading!
The love locks.

In the afternoon we went on a boat trip up the Danube.  The Danube is Europe's second biggest river (after the Volga in Russia). It starts in the Black Forest in Germany and flows south through Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria and the Ukraine (and some more, but poor Anna Prasad was trying to be a tour guide and a translator at the same time so I lost this bit - thanks Anna though - v good job!)  It was a good way to see more of the area and very pretty - although check out all the Scots hiding under their umbrellas!
After all of his steins on Saturday, Cousin Allan was feeling a bit delicate.
Dinner was at an Italian in Ulm.  We commandeered all of the outside tables and rearranged them for the group festivities.  I'm not sure how pleased the staff were but we had fun!
The first drinks round.  When in Germany....
My pizza - spicy pepperoni - a classic!
Joe on the other hand went for the fusion option - a sushi pizza!  It makes no sense to me and Joe had some real food envy for my classic choice.
The remaining members of the wedding party enjoying some Italian treats
An action shot - not sure about this being on the blog as I look seriously sleep deprived, but it is a food blog...
Joe's action shot.  What you don't see is that he has actually shoved half the pizza in there.