Saturday, 3 December 2011

Friday - Home alone! Again!! Sausage, Egg & Chips.....

Jo and I both had the day booked off work, and after a quick run and a little tidying we decided on a trip to York to find some festive cheer and do some Christmas shopping. Earlier in the week, lunch at the House Of Trembling Madness had been recommended to us - thanks @EisntCNeil. It's a very cool pub above a very good booze shop that's definitely worth checking out - it is mad! We both has the beetroot, parsnip and horseradish soup which was a big old portion of wintertime goodness with a load of bread to dip - yum!

A sausage snack
A very good soup
At 5.30pm I dropped Jo off with a friend to get ready for her work Christmas party, and I headed home for some peace and quiet!! (only kidding Jo!).... My evening consisted of pottering in the kitchen, drinking red wine, eating and watch TT: Closer To The Edge which was awesome - those guys are totally barmby!!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Thursday - I Love Pool

For as long as my memory goes back, playing pool has always been there. When I was a young kid, the family home had a pool table which was a proper pub table with a coin slot and I absolutely loved it. Some of my fondest memories are playing pool with the family who all could play a bit;

Me - on my day could beat anyone but could also be beaten!
Dave Bro - as above - my nemisis!
Dad - Don't know why I could never beat him no matter how much I practiced after school!
Uncle John - the best of the bunch in pool and snooker. Two of my favorite phrases - The 'Ethiopian cut' and 'too much black in the eye' came from him....legend!
Nick Bro - also a very good player but beatable!
Grandad - the elder statesman of the Rees family pool table could certainly hold his own and he took me to the cleaners a good few times!

Other people like Uncle Raol, Georges, Mike and loads of others got involved at Christmas and special occasions but they were no match for the above!

In more recent times, some of the people I play have changed. Dave Bro is still my No1 challenger; more recently we have played snooker and are currently competing for the 'Rees Brothers Challenge Trophy' - I can't wait to claim it as my own!.....The Wolf has been an on - off adversary who puts up a good fight, Soraya has beaten me and Jo has a good crack too! Last night at the Elbow Room I had a rematch against Cliffy after I had beaten him 8-9 when he was a 8 - 2 up over was a real gutter for him and he challenged me to a rematch - see text below....

I am a bad loser and a terrible winner! I won again - hahahahahaha.....unlucky Cliffy!!!

When Jo and I get a decent sized place, one of the first things I am going to get is a pool table (luckily Jo is in agreement!).....its a brilliant thing to have when entertaining and its a family tradition that I am keen to keep up if I can......If you want to challenge me to a game then get in touch!!!!

The trophy is yet to be claimed
 PS - my dinner last night came from a free buffet at the Elbow Room which was for a private party; I wasn't invited but was hungry!....

Some random free stuff!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Wednesday - A good day! (Jo Girl)

So today has been a good day for many reasons, most of which are boring, but also because David Work and I got through to the final of the Michelsberg Debating Competition!  It is a competition put on by Michelsberg bespoke tailors for young solicitors - three heats and a final on Monday.  Although I was slightly thrown in the deep end (having only been asked to do it today due to unforeseen circumstances) it was a lot of fun.  This house does believe that the Olympics are a waste of money (or so we convincingly argued!)

Anyway, I must have foreseen that there would be a hiccup in the day's plans, because before I left for work I put a chicken in the slow cooker along with some veg.  It slowly bubbled away all day and, following Joe's epic journey from Manchester (stuck in the car for over 2 hours!) we returned home for poached chicken, vegetables and chipped potatoes.  It was a lovely, simple, delicious supper - just what I needed - and thoroughly recommended!

Chicken (poached upside down to make sure the breasts didn't dry out)
Chipped potatoes
The finished product - warming, autumnal and tasty

Tuesday Pasta (Jo Girl)

So it was another day in Manchester for me on Tuesday (my last until next Wednesday, phew!).  Due to the bad weather, there were some delays with the trains, and I got home just after 9pm.  Luckily for me, Joe was at home, firing up the stove and putting together some lovely pasta - definitely one of his best efforts.  Really yummy, sweet and sour tomato sauce with vegetables and perfectly al dente pasta.  I don't eat much pasta normally, but every now and again it is the perfect supper. 

Pasta with veggies and a tomato sauce
And Joe's plate - topped with a cheeky few bits of cheese!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Monday - Pheasant Plucking and Gutting - BEWARE!!

When James Work mentioned that his girlfriends dad was a feathered game hunter last week, I was quick to say bring me a brace!!....little did I know he would actually deliver them to the office on Monday morning.....

Now, Jo has previously boasted of her rabbit skinning skills from her younger days, and I have witnessed her taking apart a pigeon, but these beasts where a whole different ball game. NB. I have never gutted a thing in my life!

Yesterday it was a normal late one, with us not getting through the front door until gone after a really top drawer chicken stirfry we got cracking!....see below;

Chicken Stir fry

Back to the birds. I'm not going to write an essay about the process but here is a quick run down. Rather than being sensible on the location, we took a bird each and did the in the lounge rather than the kitchen, splitting our viewing between this video and Desperate Scousewives (which was horrific!). There were ALOT of feathers - way more than I thought there would be, although I have no point of reference about this. The cutting a hole in the bum bit and pulling the guts out wasn't particularly pleasant but not as bad as I thought it would be - I could do it again!! Looking at the finished articles below, they don't look particularly well but I am sure they will be ok - there will be roasting over the weekend........the process took around 1.30 hours all in including hoovering the flat of feathers.
The brace
My one is the boy near my feet!
De-feathering action
Progress being made
Off with your head!
The head
Cutting the bum
The guts from the boy bird - Yuck!
The finished articles - not quite how they look in Tescos!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

A Weekend Round-up

Jo has just had a stern word with me about not doing any blog posts over the weekend - after all we pitch ourselves as daily food bloggers! With her away on a hen do in sunny Blackpool, my plan was to do a whistle stop tour of the weekend all in one go - that's my story and I am sticking to it! here goes....

With Jo working in Manchester for the day, we didn't get to hook up until after 7pm at the Deer Park in Roundhay. She has been working very hard recently, so it was nice to have a relaxing couple of drinks before heading to Marlows Fish and Chip Restaurant to use a Living Social Voucher that I had recently bought. Although I can highly recommend their fish and chips, in retrospect it probably wasn't the most exciting place for a young couple to spend a Friday live and learn!

Great fish and chips
Jo had been planning to go for a half an hour run in the morning...she definitely wasn't too keen though when she woke up! After trying to push her out of bed to go (for her own good), I decided that the only way to get her out was for me to go with her....which is what I did. It was actually very nice to get out together before she headed off for her hen do in Blackpool at 10.30 - she didn't take any photos and doesn't want to do any words for the blog, so if you see her make sure you ask her about it! - arf!

With Jo out of my hair, I put into action what I had been planning since I found out that Jo would be away....doing a little work, speaking to Grandad, making picked onions and burger and chips along with drinking White Russians and an after dinner Espresso Martini!....PARTY ON! So I got the wheels in motion with a trip to Haley and Clifford to get some lovely bread for the burgers and also pick up a couple of tickets for a foodie event they are holding in a couple of weeks. It is a brilliant deli that I will definitely be buying some treats from before Christmas. Next was a quick pit stop at the Deer Park with the Times followed by a walk to Tescos for all the ingredients I would need for the next 24 hours. I got home at 5pm and next few hours up to Match of the Day were spent eating, drinking and watching really shit tv...when I decided this would be the best way to spend a Saturday night I don't know!

Cocktail ingredients
Pickled Onion ingredients
Home made burger and oven baked chips
Today started well. I woke up at 8am, watched the last episode of Top Boy and they went out for a 10 mile run that I did in a reasonably good time....go me! On my return I set about my next two tasks which were putting the ham in the slow cooker with the apple juice for dinner of ham, mash and parsley sauce, and also to finish off the picked onions - two jobs well done....

Whilst pottering in the kitchen the news came on Talk Sport about the death of Gary Speed after he allegedly hung himself in the night - what the f**k!? - he was Football Focus on Saturday morning joking around with Lauro and Shearer. He was a young man with a wife and two kids, who was manager of a really improving Wales football team, with a great career behind him and potentially in front of him - he must have been going through some horrendous personal stuff to commit suicide, but I guess you never know what is going on behind closed doors...RIP Gary Speed.

It was great to have a tired but not too hung over Jo back this afternoon. We have caught up, read the Sunday Times and relaxed - all the good stuff!!.......and dinner was a triumph - certainly compared to the stew disaster!! its almost Monday - again!!!