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Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love

1. Chicken Satay Banh mi from @eehbanhmi at Trinity Kitchen 2. Waffles for breakfast! 3. Jen & I last Friday night at Zucco 4. Cheese Tarts for Bastille Day at the Le Creuset store 5. Coffee and cake on a quiet Sunday 6. Sun Devil Scrambler at Home Sweet Home 7. The ever changing & evolving “Salad” at @EatNorse¬†8. Gin cocktail with pancetta at RARE 9. Matthew with our new baby nephew, Layton ūüėÄ 10. Heaven in a corn-based bun from @ArepaArepaArepa¬†11. My new baby 12. Delving into How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran this weekend.

I’ve had such an amazing friend time this week. It might sound soppy, but I’ve had one of those weeks where I just really appreciate my friends: how gorgeous and talented they are, how much they do for me and how easy they are to be around. If we’re relating it to food (the way we always do), this started with¬†huevos rancheros with bestest of besties Anna, last Saturday on one of her flying visits from London, and ended yesterday with fries and Diet Coke from a McDonalds drive-thru with Nicola, Jen and Rob, after a particularly heavy night out in Manchester.

On Thursday night, I went to see Caitlin Moran at Leeds Town Hall. She was as inspiring as the first and second times I saw her speak (and the time she signed my copy of “How To Be A¬†Woman” and¬†told¬†me I was incredible, no biggie), full of life and enthusiasm, so much passion and “I don’t give a fuck” attitude that I wish I could (I’m trying to)¬†emulate. What I’ve known for a while now, and only got topped up on Thursday, is that women are great. I’ve always identified as a feminist and this experience has only renewed my enthusiasm to read more, learn more and fight the good fight – because it’s far from over. While it’s true that Caitlin’s writing¬†resonates to a limited crowd of mostly white, middle class women, I’d recommend her to anyone just starting out. Her rules, after all, are universal: women are equal to men, and don’t be a dick.

On Friday night, Lauren, Nicola, Jen and I took to the streets of Manchester to look for a good time. We drank Zombies in Keko Moku, danced until the early hours and, thankfully, after a mere five hours of sleep in our lovely Air BnB apartment, it all ended with brunch. We taxied to Home Sweet Home in the Northern Quarter, a little green around the gills, and tucked into Eggs Benedict, poached eggs on sourdough with bacon, and for me, Sun Devil Scrambler with extra hot sauce. Top that up with thick, branded, diner mugs of tea and glasses of icy cold Pepsi and we boarded that train as happy campers, bound for Yorkshire.

What I’ve realised over the past few years, is that it’s important to surround yourself with people you love. And, ultimately, ones which you can be really silly around. I know, it’s hardly rocket science, but friendship shouldn’t be work.¬†It should be mutually beneficial and it shouldn’t make anyone feel bad. That’s something I think many young women come to realise in their mid to late twenties, and I’m glad I’ve found people who understand that too. I’ve collected a wide selection of male and female friends¬†over the years, who I’m grateful for and happy to have learnt from – some I may not see as often as I like, it’s hard being 200 miles north of¬†where the first 24 years of your life took place, but I’m so grateful for long standing friendships I can rely on.

Wow, this really is a love-in. Speaking of love, let’s talk about some posts I’ve enjoyed reading lately:

Plenty of posts in the works for the coming weeks. Friday has become my official Whip Until Fluffy day, since I’ve scaled back on work a little, so there should be plenty of recipes coming up, plus hopefully some stuff about the house, which I realise has been sadly lacking. Some of you have let me know via my excessive instagramming that you’d like a post on my kitchen – so I’ve got the handyman on speed dial to get that last bit of tiling done and the shelves put up. Once that’s done, I’ll get snapping. A before & after of the bathroom is just about ready to go, so that’ll be up first!

In the meantime, catch me over on Twitter & Instagram and you can also get more updates from me over on Facebook. What have you been reading this week? Share it with me!

Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love March

1. A fry up @the_greedy_pig¬†2. Lunch at #Noonshine @grubandgrogshop¬†3. Rousseau <3 4. Twisted fish n chips from @nofishybusiness 5. Bathtime with Grey’s Anatomy & a Dark n Stormy or 2 6. Childlike sleeping quarters during my trip to London 7. Brunch at Whyte & Brown in Kingly Court 8. Cakes lined up at Hummingbird 9. A humble tea at Honest Burgers¬†10. Justin Timberlake at the O2 – and what? 11. Trying chinese at home – honey sesame chicken 12. Vegetable fritters from @eehbanhmi.

Lately it’s been all go. My husband started a new job, and with that came a bit of a lifestyle change. Gone are the days of the 9-5 (as 9-5 as freelancing can be), I’m trying to line our schedules up. Happily, with a husband now fully embroiled in the street food world, I’ve also been spending a bit more time at food events and, as a result, I’ve been learning a lot more about what mobile Leeds has to offer.

Yesterday I ventured out to @Amazing_Graze. There’s more on that to come later in the week, but it’s safe to say there was a veritable smorgasbord of delights on offer from some of Yorkshire’s best, plus a few Londoners who made the journey up to see us. Last week took me to Kirkstall Deli Market, an event held on the last Saturday of every month in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey, brimming with local traders including Salts Deli, The Yummy Yank and That Old Chestnut. I filled up on twisted fish and chips from Fish& (who¬†@MattTomorrow is now frying for) and cinnamon madeleines from @MadeleineExp which are my new favourite thing. I took some roasted garlic bread from Leeds Bread Co-op home and made garlic bread from it on instruction from the seller. Garlic bread made from garlic bread?! This is madness. The sweetness of the roasted garlic in the loaf mixed with the fiery, raw garlic in the butter spread on top is a dreamy combo, believe me. Plenty of chopped, fresh parsley in there too.

Next week will take me to my first (I know, I can’t believe it either) Belgrave Street Feast. Ah, life is good. Naturally, all this activity means that work has stalled on the house. We’ve done just what I thought we would, got to that liveable point and abandoned all home improvements and started to enjoy our weekends again. It’s finally comfortable, so the rest can wait, right? WRONG! I need to be more disciplined. There’s still a lot of gloss-work to get done and we need to get all our prints up on the walls instead of in a pile on the table. Work will begin again this month.

On another subject completely, last night I was chatting to @TheStyleTag over a few gins¬†about what we’d like to do before we’re 30. I’m 27 in May, so I’ve got a few more years yet, but it got me thinking about how I’d like to spend that time. While Lauren has set her sights on Australia and New Zealand, plus a bit of dancing on a beach in Thailand, I’ve already done some of that. Naturally, my thoughts turned to food.

I can say with certainty that I’m heading back to Portland, OR within the next year or so. Some of the best food I’ve ever eaten was contained within those six days I spent there last September. I’m eating another sarnie at Lardo and I’m definitely having another Blue Star Donut. Another meal from the American Craft Kitchen Ned Ludd is a must too. Next time I’m definitely venturing further out to more food pods. Potato Champion sounds like my personal Mecca and I can’t believe I didn’t make it last time. As for new experiences, Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna are all up there for me. Obviously, a tasting menu at Noma would be a treat too. In this country, I want to get to Bermonsey to sample some Jose Pizarro tapas ASAP. A weekend at L’Enclume has been a near-constant daydream since I first saw The Trip. Finally, since it’s Marina O’Loughlin review a few weeks back, The Lockhart has been very much on my lust list too. Where is your dream eatery? What about it makes you so lustful?

Since my last Sharing the Love post, this is the stuff I’ve been inspired by:

What have you been loving during March? Please let me know what’s floating your boat down in the comments or over on Twitter @whipuntifluffy. I always love discovering new blogs and unusual recipes to try.

As for what’s next from me, well if you follow me over on Twitter you might know that I’ve sorted my schedule out and I’m now working on a two post a week minimum, hopefully three when I can. Planning ahead has been really useful for me and I’ve jumped into full community manager mode with an extensive content calendar, making my recipe posts easier to put together. So you can hopefully expect a bit more regularity for me over the next few months! If you have any ideas for posts for me to put together, or there’s something in particular you love seeing from me or would like to see more of then please let me know, any feedback is really useful. This week we have a tribute piece to someone I rather adore, plus I’m talking about what to eat in April. See you soon!

 

Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love February

1. Finally unpacking my unhealthily large cosmetics collection #sorrynotsorry 2. Katsu Curry with Rice from @_YuKyu_¬†at Trinity Kitchen 3. Setting up for a Burns Night party 4. Eating What to Eat in February 5. Sweet Cured Beef for dessert at the Beef & Bourbon tasting event at RARE 6. Happy Husband <3 7. Posh nosh at Shears Yard 8. Leeds’ best roast? At Cross Keys 9. We’ve got kitchen shelves! 10. Selfie 11. Veg Board at The Reliance a few weekends ago 12. Learning to love coffee: the one shot Piccolo.

I have to apologise for being a bit few and far between these last couple of weeks. It’s not for lack of inspiration, I promise!¬†Work is busy and I’ve had lots of lovely visits from family and friends taking care of my weekends. One small mercy of living so far from family is when they visit I get to show them the best sights (aka restaurants, cafes and bars!) in town. All for their benefit though, of course *licks lips*. Seriously though, I’ve been so spoilt lately that I’ll be putting together a “Where to Eat in Leeds” post in the next few weeks. I feel like I’m a pretty good authority on that now.

So, because of that, Matt and I are finally waking up and coming out to play¬†after what feels like a whole winter of hibernation. With the house to deal with and a seriously limited budget after Christmas, a lot of our weekends have been spent locked away at home until now. Thankfully we’re getting out and about a bit more again now, eating in new, exciting places and revisiting old favourites too. While we were in though, we’ve devoured a lot of one pot chicken dishes and plenty of box sets, including season one of¬†The Bridge. Love a bit of scandi-noir. Have you seen it? We’ve started working our way through True Detective now.

Things are going well with the house. We now have flooring throughout and¬†skirting boards. I can’t believe how done everything looks. We keep wandering around saying “this looks like a real room now”. We still have gloss-work to paint, starting on the bathroom. After the painting in the bathroom is done I’m going to put together a little Before & After post ¬†– it’ll be our first finished room and I’m excited to share it. When I look at the pictures I can’t believe how far we’ve come. We also have some open shelving up in the kitchen which means I can unpack all my crockery and pans too. I’ll be sure to share some pictures once the wood is oiled and the boxes are empty. ¬†It means I can finally tell you all about my kitchen favourites and must-haves too, something I promised way back when I was talking about How to Eat Well. The kittens have arrived too, so if you have me on Instagram @whipuntilfluffy you might want to unfollow if you aren’t a fan of furry friends. Kittens and burgers are pretty much all you’ll see from me from now on, sorry (not sorry).

Here’s what I’ve been reading over the past few weeks:

What have you been enjoying recently?¬†Let me know what you’ve been loving down in the comments or over on Twitter @whipuntilfluffy. I’ll be back later this week with an event write up and a recipe. But now, I’m off to play with my new kittens!

Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love January

1. Prepping beef bourguignon for NYE 2. The calm before the storm 3. Bread & Butter Pudding at my favourite coffee shop @cupandsaucer_ca 4. Posing with my new mug 5. Lemon chicken, roasted new potatoes & a mixed bean salad by Matt 6. New breakfast resolutions 7. A bloody good burger from @OFMLondon 8. A new year means new decorations for my desk.

Last week was busy. We threw a New Years Eve party for the first time ever. It managed to be a kind of house warming too as it’s the first time the majority of our friends have been in since the house has been in a liveable state. It was fun. We made roast pepper puree (see what I turned the leftovers into here), potato and apple rostis topped with steak, glazed honey and mustard cocktail sausages and pear and gorgonzola crostini. Then we served a beef bourguignon¬†out of a big, steaming pot on the hob. Our first experience of feeding that many people actually went pretty well, but I’d like to get some more practice in… Supper club, anyone? Just kidding.

The weekend just gone was spent painting. Having had a 4 week break while we celebrated Christmas, I was glad to get back to work on the construction site we call home. We’re actually very nearly done with the renovation now, just a few aesthetic bits left to do. We wanted to have the walls finished before our flooring is fitted next Monday, so I feel pretty chuffed. Once the floors are in we can scrub and paint the gloss-work, including the sage green front door and stair risers that I’ve been dreaming of! We’re getting closer to fiiiinally unpacking all of our furniture and belongings, and after nearly 5 months of living out of a suitcase I am beyond excited. Once the floors are fitted we’re also planning on bringing home 2 kittens from Yorkshire Cat Rescue. Too much good stuff on the horizon! Here’s how I’m occupying myself:

Last week I finished watching The Sopranos, which was possibly one of my favourite series of all time. I’ve now got a mob shaped hole in my life. We’ve started watching The Walking Dead now, and I have to admit that I’m loving a bit of Andrew Lincoln back in my life. I’ve read some of the comics so it’s interesting seeing how they’ve been developed for TV. Tonight was the first episode of The Taste on Channel 4. To be honest, I don’t think it’s for me, but I’m going to give it a chance. Sad man-children crying into Nigella’s bosom is all a bit weird for me. What do you think?

Goals for this month:

  • Unpack every box from the garage in the week after the floor is fitted.
  • Buy, collect and construct my new wardrobe before springtime.
  • Work on my idea for a Cook-along Book Club (as mentioned on Twitter). I’m thinking monthly, but I need some inspiration for affordable book ideas – I want to go less straight forward recipe book and more sources of¬†inspiration. Any thoughts?
  • Find some awesome new food blogs to follow and do more to promote the amazing ones I already love.

What have you been doing this week? Did you try any recipes over the festive period that you’re particularly proud of? Do you have resolutions or intentions for 2014? If you’re a blogger, link me up to your new years posts.¬†Say hi down in the comments or over @whipuntilfluffy. Have a great week!

Sharing the Love

Sharing the Love1. Sandwich of kings, grilled cheese 2. Overnight Pork – last week’s Sunday lunch 3. The new William Morris paper at the top of the stairs 4. Food&_‘s “A Taste of Winter” Event 5. Amazing garage discovery, just in time 6. Lunch @tcauldron – this pork wrap blew my mind 7. Comfort food makes bad news sting less 8. TREE!

This week I’ve mainly been reading up on interiors. My habit has gone above and beyond a casual Apartment Therapy browse every now and again. I am fully involved,¬†if you know what I mean. Because the house was such a blank canvas when we moved in (it’s now finally got some paint on the walls, at least) I’ve been drinking in every image I can find, Pinning and Evernoting like crazy trying to think of new and creative ways to use all this space. I’ve found that compartmentalising by room or project has been really helpful, so naturally small project posts with before and after pictures have been my favourite to read.

This week we put some wallpaper up and painted our understairs cupboard door with blackboard paint to serve as a cute and practical place to write shopping lists and notes to each other. It was fun and, more importantly,¬†simple. Having such a massive renovation job to do it’s easy to get weighed down, but getting the little things done really boosts morale. Baby steps, people. Baby steps. Here’s the stuff that’s been inspiring me:

Yesterday we decorated for Christmas. After postponing for a week because we thought¬†we were getting floors fitted (let’s not dwell on that, it’s a sore subject) we got our hands on a tree from the local hardware shop and dug the Christmas boxes out of the garage. The house still isn’t exactly comfortable, since we’re still waiting for flooring and there’s a lot of a plaster dust around, but adding a festive touch or two has definitely made it a bit cosier. We’re away visiting family for the actual event this year and planning on taking a lot of homemade treats with us, so pop back before the big day for a few gift ideas.

Goals for the Next Week:

  • Finish painting the bathroom, put the fixtures up and hang the prints
  • Pick my crochet needles back up¬†and triumph over at least one granny square (Help? Anyone?)
  • Clear the conservatory of all the boxes cluttering it up, make it a liveable space
  • Make a start on gloss-work downstairs
  • Work on some festive recipes to take along to my work Christmas party ūüôā

What have you enjoyed this week? Link me up to recipes you’ve tried, meals you’ve enjoyed, home projects you’ve completed or blogs you love. Let’s chat down in the comments or over on Twitter @whipuntilfluffy. Have a great week!