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Seville – Part I

Hiya,

Have you missed me?!

Sorry for the lack of updates but I’ve been away on my hols to the lovely Andalucian city of Seville in Southern Spain. I got back on Friday, and I’ve been bursting to tell you all about it but I’ve been mega busy all week. In fact, I could do with another holiday!

Anyways, here’s the highlights of my stay in beautiful (and very HOT) Sevilla:

First there was the flight. I haven’t flown much and the last time was about 7 years ago so I was a bit nervous. It didn’t help that we were flying with Ryanair, the airline everyone loves to hate. However, let me just say, Ryanair are ace. Yes, you heard me right, nothing wrong with them whatsoever. Contrary to reports, you don’t have to pay to use the loo (not yet anyway), there are no hidden charges (just stick to the baggage rules people and you’ll have no problems!), and the aircraft itself was comfortable. Not luxury, but it’s a budget airline, what do you expect!?! OK rant over.

Flying itself was fine. I still hate taking off and landing but the rest was OK, if a little boring.

Fred liked it though:

When we touched down in Seville, we were hit by the immense heat. On the day we arrived it was 39 degrees C! If you don’t think you can handle those kind of temps, don’t go in July. It was unbearable at times, especially as visiting Seville involves a lot of walking around but you’ll be fine as long as you stay smart and stay indoors between 2pm and 5.30pm. Have a siesta, everyone else does. Oh and stay hydrated!

On the first night, we decided to have dinner (tea) at a tapas bar I’d seen on Tripadvisor, Vineria San Telmo. I asked the receptionist at the hotel to book a table for us and asked if 8pm was too early. She laughed. It was way too early. In Spain they eat much later than us, so we ignored our hunger pangs for a bit longer and opted for 9pm.

We were still quite lonely eating at 9pm, 9.30pm seems to be when people start to arrive, but at least we got quick service! The food was delish!

This is a tapa of pork with jamon (cured ham, a big thing in Seville) and some home-made crisp things. You could get each meal in a tapa (small), demi racion (half portion) and racion (full portion) size. We got 1 demi racion and two tapas and two cokes which came to about 14 euros I think. This was the best restaurant we visited in Seville, both in terms of the quality of the food and value for money. I wish we’d gone back every day, but we wanted to try a few places out.

OK, now for the sights:

This is the view from the Giralda, including a good view of the bullring. There was a bullfight on while we were there, but we decided against going.

Here’s a bit of a blurry picture of the Cathedral, where the tomb of Christopher Columbus lies. Wowsers, it was a beautiful building.

Here’s a pic of the baths within the Alcazar. I told you Seville was beautiful.

I might have to wait a while but I’m already thinking about my next holiday. So let me know where your favourite holiday destination is (whether you’ve been there or not) and what makes it special.

Hasta Luego!

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The Veg Box Has Arrived!

Inspired by fellow blogger/tweeter Jemjabella, I recently ordered an organic vegetable box from Riverford and today it arrived! I am so excited. Here it is:

The contents are: new potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bag of salad leaves, mushrooms, spring onions and that weird thing in the foreground is kohl rabi. I didn’t have a clue what it was but thankfully one of OH’s colleagues did when I sent through a photo.

Now here’s where I ask you (yes, you) to give something back. This whole relationship is starting to feel a little one-sided but don’t worry, I think with a little love and compromise, we can get things back on track. I want you, my reader(s) to do me a favour and tell me what the hell to do with this scrumptious bundle of veg. I’m talking ideas, recipes etc.  The veg needs to last for about 1 week for 2 (greedy) people. Obviously I will need to buy meat, fish etc and I have the usual storecupboardy stuff in. I even have fresh herbs. Yes, despite neglecting them over the mini heatwave we had last weekend, I have an abundance of chives and basil and a frankly pathetic bit of parsley.

So you know what to do, now get to it! (Please). xxx

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Roasted Root Vegetable Soup, Plus Sewing Snippets

Just a quick post for you today but I will be back very soon with some scrumptious delights. The OH and I have been away recently on a very mini ‘mini break’ to Harrogate so I’ll be sure to tell you all about that as well.

For now, here’s a couple of recent creations from the Pavlova household to whet your appetite:

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

I got the idea for this from Comfort Food by Bridget Jones but didn’t really follow the recipe. I find you don’t really need to with soups. It was very simple to make and was made even simpler by the fact that OH had already roast the root vegetables (carrots, swede, parsnip, onions with garlic oil and mixed herbs) for tea so I nicked half of the roast veg and put them in a pan for my soup. Add some chicken stock, boil for a bit, 20 mins or so, then blitz it with a hand blender. That’s it. Simples.

And mega cheap too, always a bonus.

Next we have some oatmeal and raisin cookies which OH made last night. The recipe was taken from Rachel Allen’s Bake! Here’s the recipe. The only alteration was that OH used plain flour instead of SR as we didn’t have any. It didn’t matter, they tasted great. I enjoyed mine with a large class of strawberry milkshake. Mmmm. I think OH is definitely the better dessert chef.

Finally, here’s a couple of my non-edible creations. I’ve got back into sewing lately which is great, but I worry it will eat into my cooking (and eating) time!

I made these cushion covers based on a tutorial from Craftblog. These are great for a newbie sewer, very easy and it doesn’t really matter if you don’t get the measurements spot on.

And this is a little wristlet I made last night, from a tutorial from Javajem Knits. This was a little bit more difficult, but after a few tantrums and one broken needle (don’t sew over pins!) I got there and I’m happy with the results.

I’m not sure what to use it for though. Maybe just as a purse, or a pencil case. Any suggestions welcome, I look forward to some particularly silly ones from my family. That’s it for today, be back soon. x

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Filed under Baking, Food, Mr Pavlova, Recipes, Sewing, Uncategorized

The Best Chocolate Cake in the World

So, I hope all of you who are eligible have voted. I have…OK that’s enough politics.

Last weekend, on a whim, we decided to climb Pendle Hill. And for some reason, OH decided we should follow the steepest route. It hurt. A lot. In fact I thought I might actually die. But it was worth it for the views, and of course the smug sense of accomplishment.

On the journey home we discovered an ace farm shop, Huntleys of Samlesbury. Farm shops have a strange effect on me.  For some reason I find myself regressing, pointing at things saying “I want that, I neeeeeeed that”. You must understand that farm shops are like churches for foodies like me. And cheese is God.

That leads me to my first recipe.

Since me and OH have been together I’ve not been able to eat cauliflower as he doesn’t like it -he says it tastes really strong. No, I don’t get it either. So, I decided to make cauliflower cheese in a bid to convert him:

Saz’ Incredible OH – Converting Cauliflower Cheese

200g grated cheese

25g butter

30g (ish) flour

300ml milk

1 cauliflower

First I had to make a roux, which I’d never done before. I melted the butter in a pan gently. Once melted, I took the pan off the heat, added most of the flour and mixed to make a paste. I put the pan back on the heat and slowly added the milk and the remaining flour, whisking continuously to get rid of any lumps.

Once it had thickened, I added the cheese and mixed. I then poured the cheese sauce over the cooked cauliflower and put it under the grill for a couple of mins until I couldn’t wait any more and I had to eat it.

So after all that effort, what did the OH say?…

“You could make broccoli cheese next time”

Now here‘s a recipe that OH did like. Don’t worry, it works fine with regular cocoa.

This is actually the best chocolate cake in the whole world. If you don’t believe me then you should make it. If you still think that you know of a better chocolate cake then feel free to send me a piece and I will gladly be the judge. I know, it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it. 🙂

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Chorizo, Crustless Quiche and Pizza Breads

I’ve just remembered that it’s a Bank Holiday this weekend – yey ! What you up to?

I am still making over my flat. As much as you can do a makeover when you live in a fully furnished flat where you can’t paint or attach anything to the walls. I promise there will be pics when it’s finished. Here’s a little snippet of part of my kitchen showing my twee bookends which arrived today. I swear I’m getting a bit more twee and housewifey every day. To steal a quote I read recently I’m “as twee as a cupcake in a cardigan.” Don’t worry, I plan to have a word with myself.

So, on the food front, inspired by Jamie does…Andalucia I decided to try a chorizo and tomato salad. I fried the chorizo to take the heat off it ’cause it was mega spicy. I know this because I made OH test a tiny bit it and he subsequently jumped about gasping and glugging water for a good few mins afterwards.

Wimp.

Here it is:

In the salad:

Chorizo fried in garlic and olive oil

Spinach

Tomatoes

Olive oil

Can of puy lentils

Salt and Pepper

Some oil from the pan used to fry chorizo

I didn’t like this salad. It was too greasy and I discovered I don’t like puy lentils. I want to like them ’cause they’re probably really good for you but I just can’t.

To use up some of the chorizo, I made pizza breads using posh shop-bought bread. Toppings were a combo of the things I had in: chorizo, mackerel (yum), sweetcorn, mushrooms.

My favourite recipe this week comes from the amazing blog Joy the Baker.

Crustless Quiche

It has cheese, garlic, spinach and mushrooms in it, what’s not to love?

I used cheddar cheese and I substituted the half and half for full fat milk. I also left out the walnuts/pine nuts.

This was delicious, I would recommend eating it warm as it tastes much better in my opinion. Definitely wanna make this again, maybe with chorizo and tomatoes or broccoli.

Anyway, that’s it for  now. Let me know if you try out any of the recipes or if you have any suggestions for future recipes.

Enjoy your weekend xx

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Apple Traybake with added Bits and Bobs

I’ve got a mish mash of things for you today. First is a cake I made a month or so back – an apple traybake. The recipe can be found here. If, like me you love a good cup of tea, this is a great cake to accompany a cuppa. Or if you prefer, you can eat it with custard as a warm pud, which is what OH likes to do. I used Bramley apples as recommended by mother and they worked a treat. Very simple tasty grub.

At the weekend I bought these. I’m not that keen on basil (I prefer oregano in my tomato sauces) and I’m not really sure what to do with chives but anyway, I look forward to trying them out when they eventually sprout. Hopefully I can manage to keep them alive that long.

Please ignore my dirty windows!

Finally, our shiny new Jamie Oliver cookbook arrived today and this time it wasn’t me who ordered it. The other half saw it in a shop at the weekend and decided to order it because he would like to try out some of the recipes. Yes, HE would like to cook. I might turn him into a foodie yet!

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