Friday, 6 May 2011

I Had A Weekend Off and I Liked It

I love my jobs, both of them!  They challenge me, they stimulate me and they keep me busy!  I wouldn't trade what I do for the world.  But every once in a while, I, like everyone else needs a well earned break and last weekend was my break!  It couldn't have happened on a better weekend.  The sun was shining very brightly in Yorkshire and the skies were the most incredible shade of blue without a cloud visible!  Plus it was reasonably warm, a nice long weekend to relax and do whatever I wanted to do!

The weekend officially began on Thursday night after my delivery to La Luna in Halifax!  I was pleased with the results of their order that I delivered, although there was one mishap along the way.  My "Elvis" cake shifted during delivery, so I had to give it a quick fix once at the restaurant.  The lovely owner Tony wasn't bothered, stating, "it looks homemade."  Very sweet, but I would have preferred it looking a bit better. Still all in all, I managed to recover it and was pleased with the outcome of everything.  Particularly the way the chocolate cheesecakes looked!  He was impressed with the Legendary Supersize chocolate cake and he immediately went for a pecan pie bar warmed with vanilla ice cream.  He was very happy!  We indulged in a very nice meal there, just light and casual, chatted away and made our way back home to begin our time off!  Woohoo!

Friday began with watching coverage of the Royal Wedding which I swore I wasn't that interested in watching.  I just wanted to see "that dress" as it is now referred.  The Duchess of Cambridge looked stunning and I was completely enthralled with the pomp and circumstance that only Britain can do so well!  Truly regal and impressive.  My daughters who live in London went to Hyde Park to indulge in a bit of wedding celebration and be part of history.  It was a party atmosphere, good humoured, good natured and what looked like good fun!  After the I do's were exchanged, my husband and I cracked open a bottle of champagne and toasted the happy couple!  I even made a wonderful breakfast of a cheese omelet and toast with strawberries.  Lovely!

When the wedding coverage was over, we went to Betty's Tea Rooms at Harlow Carr Gardens for a touch of afternoon tea!  We really were in the spirit of the day and you can never go far wrong at Betty's!  Always perfect, albeit a little pricey, but why not?  We shared a Club Sandwich and I had a chocolate slice while Ian went for his usual vanilla slice with the obligatory pot of Betty's Tea Room Blend tea and Ian had his cappuccino.  Yum!  It was another gorgeous day and the gardens looked sensational as they always do!  If I could figure out how to download photos from my phone on here, you would see just how beautiful it is!  Dinner was moules and crusty bread!

Saturday was a day where some of the chores got done, a rarity around here these days.  We potted some plants, most importantly some of my vegetable plants which will be used for cooking and baking! We went out to breakfast and then I came home and I made fresh asparagus soup and a wonderful trifle as we were invited to a neighbour's for dinner. I volunteered the starter and dessert to take the pressure off of our host, as it was an impromptu meal.  I LOVE asparagus soup!  Actually I love anything where asparagus is involved.  The soup was light and velvety, no cream needed.  I put 7 bunches of fresh asparagus, onion, celery, carrot, salt & pepper and fresh orange juice just to give it that freshness.  I tend to use a chicken stock but a vegetable stock is equally delicious! It was scrummy.  I really enjoy making trifle, as I give it my Yankee twist.  I start out with a pound cake or the closest British relative is the Madeira cake and soak it in a liqueur.  This time I chose Amaretto.  I then made my own jelly or jello, which I really enjoying doing.  For this trifle I made a chocolate Cointreau jello. Amazing!  I then layer using the cake, jello, fresh strawberries, fresh creme anglaise, mandarin oranges, almonds, fresh whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Using my giant brandy snifter and layered a couple of times, it is an exquisite dessert, delicious, but most of all, so easy!  Perfect.  I made two things and the two only took about 2 hours from start to finish!  Fantastic!  Even had time for a walk around Roundhay Park.  We had a lovely night with good friends.

Sunday we went to the Dales Food Festival so I could give it a good look over and decide whether I think I can do it next year!  The answer is in the words of President Obama, YES I CAN!  It was a wonderful three day festival held in Leyburn in the Yorkshire Dales.  There were activities for the kids, cooking demonstrations, guest appearances and a marquee filled with stall holders selling wonderful products.  I saw so many people I know and met so many that I follow on Twitter!  I could have bought basically everything there, but I stayed in control. Very unusual for me!  I bought some Pablano and Chipoltle peppers and intend to make a wonderful chocolate chili Mole (pronounced Molay).  Mmmm delicious on chicken, fish, basically anything!  Nice in a cowboy steak chili too!  I also bought some wonderful vegetable plants to add to my previous day's planting.  I will be fairly self sufficient (she says hopefully) on the vegetable and herb front!  Indulged in a piece of fruitcake with a wedge of cheddar cheese on top, but as much as I wanted to like it, I just don't!  I ate the cheese.  I am not a fruitcake person.  See I'm really not from Yorkshire!  Then sampled my way through basically every stall!  It was a good day!  What could be better than eating your way through a food hall?  After the food fest, we went to Brymor Farms near Masham for delicious homemade ice cream.  Just what I needed, a huge waffle cone dipped in chocolate filled with wild cherry and double dark chocolate ice cream!  I was in heaven!  If you've never been, it's a great day out with the kids as they have dairy cows there that you can pet and chickens of various sorts. Turkeys too!  Plus some of the best ice cream this side of the Atlantic!  Once home, later that evening we ate again.  Some lovely thick sirloin steaks on the bone bought at Fodders in Harrogate and some leftover asparagus soup!  You pretty much could put a pin in me to watch me pop.

Monday was another day of getting odds and sods done.  A trip to Ikea with free coffee for being a member of their family plan, then to Home Sense just because they always have good Sabatier knives at a reasonable price. I inadvertently threw out my paring knife and needed to replace it. Finally Staples for office supplies!  Home for awhile before heading to Westbourne Spice for a curry dinner! 

So as you see, we pretty much ate our way through the weekend, but enjoyed every last minute of it.  Tuesday I started eating healthy again.  I need to do something before heading to the states for my daughter's university graduation!  Can't wait!

And now folks, it is back to the kitchen and getting ready for Sunday's farmers market in Burley in Wharfedale. It's behind the Red Lion Pub and it runs from 10am til 2pm.  I hope some of you can make it there.  If so, please stop by and say hey!  I love meeting new people!

Enjoy the weekend.  Hope it stays sunny!

Thanks for reading and y'all have a nice day!

Lisa aka The Yummy Yank

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