Friday, 13 June 2014

What we've been eating...

As we've had a bit of extra time together, we've been making busy in the kitchen.

Breakfast is one of my favorite meals

This is a quick hash I threw together last weekend.  Jersey royal potatoes, spring onion, pancetta, parsley and a sprinkle of cheddar with scrambled eggs

this was so yummy I made it for tea last night too!

I also made some home made Turkey burgers out of this lot - just whizz it all together in a food processor and let it rest in the fridge and then fry


Some BNS chips out of this lot - turned the spices into a rub and then coated the squash in them with some cornflour.  So good!  Tip is to soak your squash first too - get rid of some of the starch.  Yum

And I made my first ever chocolate mousse - which turned out pretty good.  Used a classic mousse recipe and chucked some cointreau in.  

I'd have put in more liqueur in hindsight.  But this is definitely a recipe I'm going to make again and again so will post a proper blog 'how to' soon.


I've also been really busy in the sewing room and signed up for another dressmaking course.  I'll update on all of that soon!

The last month....

So aside from Rome, camping.... we've been busy just doing nothing basically.  

We had a really good night watching Eurovision - we got lots of 'picky bits' from Tesco and did ourselves a wee platter.

I put a tenner on the bearded lady and so she made me £20.  Not bad.  Was pretty happy with that.

Pippa and I have been getting to hang out together loads.  Love that dog.  She's my world

The boyfriend and I have been getting to hang out together loads too!  As he's office based for the most part at the minute.

Puss has just been hanging out.  He's a cat - he don't need nobody! 

I've been crocheting, knitting, sewing....... Pippa's been keeping me company

The weather has been OK - not great, but any time there's a break in the rain we've been heading out for walks with Pips.  This is Mugdock Reservoir - one of our favorite places. 

We managed a wee bbq in the back garden a couple of Saturdays ago

Just some sausages... Pippa enjoyed it.  She managed to steal FOUR sausages in total

That face - you'd never believe she was such a thief!

I just love this picture of her with her chew.  She got her pet passport recently so we've been in and out of the vets - there's a wee pet shop next door that she always gets a treat out of after a vet visit.  She went nuts for this jerky.  Carried it the whole way home..... 
Best of friends!

She's definitely the Lady of our Manor

We went for a lovely walk along the canal last Friday night after work.... and saw these beautiful swans

If you look close enough you'll see one of them is hitching a ride on mamma swan!  Not an ugly duckling in sight! 

Quick Camping Trip

When we got back from Rome it was almost instantly the first May bank holiday.  We decided that it'd been years since we went camping, so we packed up the tent and went down to Brighouse Bay near Castle Douglas for a couple of nights.

We arrived quite late on the Friday after  a lovely windy drive down.   Put the tent up in near the dark, which in itself was impressive!  We ended up just going for a Chinese and then having an early night

The next day we had a good wander round the town of Kircudbright and then on to Castle Douglas.  The temperature really dipped tho, so it was very chilly and we didn't really get the explore we had planned to do

We returned to the campsite for the afternoon, read magazines and then decided we'd put a quick bbq on.
There's something about just hanging out in a tent......... it's relaxing.

Here's the boyfriend doing his very best chef work...

To be fair those burgers did turn out pretty nice

We finished it off with some s'mores.  We even managed to find Graham Crackers in the USA tesco aisle! yummm

A quick pre mixed cocktail each and then we headed to the wee pub on the campsite - which after being a dog friendly camp site didn't actually let dogs into their bar.  Bit cheesed at that.

I have to say - I think it's a caravan for us next time we go camping!  I may be too old for lying on the ground!!


I can't actually believe it's taken me this long to get around to posting about Rome... I guess we've just been super busy since we got back.  Anyway here goes....

In short, Rome was everything it promised to be.  Beautiful city, gorgeous food and just a thrilling place to be.

Getting up at 430 to go to the airport - not so thrilling!

Bleary Eyed on way to Airport
Buckle up for Take Off

When we arrived we checked into our hotel (near the Termini station) and then went for an explore.  We stopped for a glass of wine

Well this was more like a bucket!  But it was good.  We just stopped at a wee place on the side of the street - nothing to really write home about.  The wine was good tho


We proceeded to do a bit of sightseeing - so many beautiful buildings and statues it's really quite impossible to describe.    There's something to see on every corner and it's not just the big tour guide sights that are amazing.

We went to the Trevi fountain and really it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen!  Long gone are the days of this being a romantic site!  It was total chaos!  There were 100s of folk all trying to get their pic and throw their coin in.  It was like a conveyor belt. 


But I managed to get my coin in! 

We had dinner at a lovely place round the corner.  I had the yummiest pasta!  And more wine!  The boyfriend had a pizza

I have to say - I'm not really a lover of Italian food but by this point in the trip I was being converted.... what I'm not is a lover of over doughy pizza, soggy pasta and garlic bread!  

So the next day(Easter Monday) we got up early to go to the colleseum.  I'd discovered you could buy this thing called a Roma Pass a few days prior online and we bought them the second we got into Rome... they were about to prove their value!

On the approach to the colleseum I have NEVER seen so many people - not even after coming out of a gig at Hampden - it was m-e-n-t-a-l.  I thought oh crikey - we'll never get in here... the roma pass guide said that there was a separate turnstile entrance for their ticket holders... not that we could get anywhere near it with the scrum of people - anyway we braved it and pushed our way towards this gate as nobody seemed to be queuing for it, just in front of it.... on approach a security guard tried to stop us and i just showed him the pass and he ushered us right through - skipped the 1000s of folk and right in.  Amazing!  But I thought there had to be a catch, another queue inside or something for security - nope.... again.... straight through!  34 euro WELL spent!
I'd heard folk say when we were inside that they'd been queuing for 4 hours!  We weren't smug.


If i'd had to queue for 4 hours I'd have given up.  So glad we didn't.  How amazing is this.  I mean it kind of is amazing when you're standing in it and thinking wow - it's real.

 It's really, really old and I'm right here looking at it with my own eyes!
 It wasn't overly crowded once we were indoors, but there were enough folk there to not be able to hang around in any one spot for too long.

 But so special.  It was just as much fun looking at it from the outside too
Quick stop for an espresso in one of the nearby market squares and we hit the sights again.

The one thing about Rome - you need good walking shoes.  I had to buy a pair of nikes on day 2 as I was covered in blisters.

With it being Easter Monday and all it was shockingly busy.  Definitly a Roman Holiday.  We gave up on the town and walking around as it was too stressful.  Also all the places we wanted to go eat were closed.  So as we were wandering around after seeing yet another 'closed' sign we stumbled across this beautiful local bar....
Hidden under the ivy.  Folk spilling out onto the street with their drinks - so italian.

So we asked for a table and the guy behind the bar took our name, it was so busy we thought we'd be waiting hours, but after 1 drink we got our seat.


The waitress was so lovely and recommended some dishes.  I has moussaka.  It was so good.  The boyfriend had meatballs.  After a very stressful afternoon this turned out to be one of the best nights of the trip.  

Afterwards we took a walk down to the Pantheon  


The following day was Vatican City day.  

We started the trip by walking to a near by coffee shop for breakfast - we had these amazing pastries

And here's another top queue jumping tip!  The queues were much more orderly here but they were around the entire city..... again we heard it was a 4/6 hr queue...I'd booked and paid for our tickets online before we left home.... there wasn't a single person at the online ticket entry - straight in - yet again!  Rome 0 - us 2.  Hurrah.

The Vatican was amazing.  But you know when folk say there's just too much to see - it's so true of the Vatican.  Brain overload.  But it was sensational.  My favourite room was a room called the map room.  Just incredible.       


I have to say the Sistine Chapel was really disappointing.  We were ushered into it and told to 'sshhh' and 'keep moving' every 2 seconds whilst in there - it was dark, dimly lit, you couldn't see the paintings properly and you didn't get a chance to stand and look at anything. 

We were far more impressed by what we found later on in the trip by way of churches...

The spiral staircase was fun at the end.


 We managed to leave without seeing St Peters Square or the Basillica which was a bit silly!  Guess it's lucky I got my coin in the Trevi Fountain so we're guaranteed to go back! ;)

Afterwards we took a walk around and stopped for a drink every now and then

A really lovely day.  I have to say we didn't have one bad drink the whole time we were there!

That night we wanted to eat in an old Trattoria but the one we wanted to go to by the Pantheon was full.  We followed our trusty Lonely Planet to a restaurant round the corner, which was lovely - not very busy, so not very atmospheric, but it was nice


They promoted themselves on having a very extensive wine list.  So we tried a couple.  They really were very good.  The food was good too!    All in all a great day!  

The final day we weren't too sure what we were going to do - the one thing we knew tho was that we were eating at La Carbonara Trattoria.  I'd wanted to go here since before we arrived.  It was closed the first 2 nights we tried to get in... I'd read about it on a blog before we left - and it was exactly as described.  Nona was outside brushing the street when we arrived to make our booking in the morning.... her daughter (presumably) took the booking for 830 that night and it meant we could relax and enjoy our day knowing that dinner that evening was arranged!

A chance walk in off the street to a church transformed that day.  oh my lord  - I have never seen anything so incredible.


I mean this is what I thought the Sistine Chapel was going to be.  So beautiful.  We decided right then that we were going to spend the rest of the day just walking round and popping into all the churches.  Such a worthwhile venture.  I would urge anybody to do this when in Rome.  

For lunch we ate at an amazing pizzeria a couple of streets back from the colleseum.  This is one of my favourite things I have ever ate!  The beer was ace too!

Few more churches in the afternoon.... and the Roman Forum... 


And then off to our meal......

It did not disappoint!!!  The service was brilliant, the food, the wine, the atmosphere!  It was packed. I urge you to visit if you ever go to Rome!


The idea is you write on the wall of the restaurant - it's custom.... Sandy drew our faces!  Perfect end to a perfect trip!


Selena & Sandy April 2014