A very Mexican new year

New Years Meal, tres leche cakeNew Year Meal, dips

I spent 8 hours in the kitchen on Saturday, cooking up a storm for our annual New Year meal and I loved every minute of it. I only took two photos all day but trust me, the food was immense (if I do say so myself) and much merriment was had.

Some notes on the food:

The lamb. Oh my, the lamb. I was aiming for something reminiscent of my beloved picante lamb at Panchos and I ended up making something that I like even more!

I used this meat rub to marinate a leg of lamb and slow roasted it using these these instructions.

Once it had completed the first roast for 4.5 hours (the leg weighed 2.4kg) I removed the meat off the bone, or at least the meat that was left on the bone, most of it had melted off into a delicious puddle, and shredded it. I mixed in generous amounts of this barbecue sauce which I had made earlier in the day, along with a little of the juice from the roast to keep the meat nice and moist. It went back in the oven for half an hour, covered with foil, to heat through. The barbecue sauce was delicious although a tad too sweet for me. Next time I think I will try decreasing the amount of honey and hoisin. I doubled the amount of garlic suggested – I couldn’t help myself, it’s an Asian thing.

I used this old favorite chilli recipe, with double the amount of garlic (obvs) and no red peppers. I used half the amount of hot water they suggest because I wanted a thicker chilli that could be used for burritos.

I prepared some chicken using this recipe.

I made this dip (so goooood, but so bad for you) and this one (with a regular tin of tomatoes to which I added some minced garlic and onion). We had guacamole but I bought that ready-made because avocados stress me out.

The meal was rounded out with a big pot of rice, pico de gallo, a black bean salad, some pickled red onions (shake 125ml of both water and red wine vinegar with 1tbsp salt and sugar in an old but clean jar, add half a thinly sliced red onion, leave for at least 1 hour/up to a day before you eat) and tortilla chips.

We had a tres leches cake for dessert. I cut a little of the sugar out, maybe about 50g? It still tasted amazing. I accidentally cooked it a little longer than it needed though. I had expected it to brown on top as it baked, like a regular sponge, so after checking on it at 18 minutes and assuming it was a bit under cooked, I left it for another 4. However, since the cake is mostly egg whites, I don’t think it picks up much colour as it bakes so I should’ve tested it with a skewer a bit earlier.

Sadly it was pretty damp that day so we couldn’t string up the pinata outside. Instead, four of us grabbed a bit of the donkey and pulled on three. There’s something a bit depressing about holding a dismembered, piñata donkey’s leg in your hand though. Next time I’ll get one that’s not as cute, so I feel less mean beating it up for sweets.

 

In Monton

D0C95C27-F190-4D1E-BE22-121225DCF1BA

This weekend has been the first one we’ve spent at home in  Manchester, just the two of us, in forever. It has been lovely and much needed.

Today we decided to head up the road to Monton. We spent a couple of hours walking the streets, imagining what it would be like to live in one of the fantastic gigantic old houses in Ellesmere Park. I would have one room for shoes and another one for dresses. And a library with floor to ceiling bookshelves.

I spied a couple of Qubek’s pieces just off Monton high street and made husband wait an age whilst I took far too many pictures.

96A70569-18DD-4C28-8B40-CF0CFB9DEAB0

We ended our afternoon with a cream tea at a tea room – good, strong tea but not so great scones. As a personal preference, I do not think any thing is made better by glacé cherries.

9762C181-649C-4362-B2BE-33FDBDE954C1

Autumn goals: an update

With two holidays abroad and no weekends at home I didn’t get everything done on my list this season, but I gave it a good go.

IMG_1625IMG_1592IMG_1667

I had pumpkin spice lattes in LA and I ate a pumpkin pie someone else made.

I had a friend round for baked Camembert and gossip. It was going to be fondue, but since I was late to work by 90 minutes thanks to a motorway closed due to flooding, I had to stay late to get all my jobs done which didn’t leave much time for cooking by the time I got home.

We bought new bedding and even splurged on some cosy pyjamas.

We went to a haunted escape room with some of my cousins which did double duty as an autumn goal and 30 before 30 goal. Sadly for some reason the company haven’t posted our victory photo on their Facebook page so you’ll have to take my word for it – we won the game with three minutes to spare.

I made homemade hot chocolate for the family, but we wussed out of stargazing. It was too cold, so we watched Inception at my mother’s house instead.

Peas

My absolute favourite thing from mum’s garden are her peas. She sent us home with a generous portion, and some courgettes.

Courgettes and peas from mum's garden

When I was retrieving pictures off my camera, I found this one which must have been taken by husband…

Pea in the washing machine

I guess tissues aren’t the only thing I need to check my pockets for before putting clothes in the laundry basket…

Over the weekend

Victoria Baths - Cinema

{Victoria baths}

We saw Back to the Future at the Victoria baths on Friday night. Excellent film, always. Loved the experience of watching a film in an empty swimming pool.

Tea in the bedroom

{tea supplies, in the bedroom}

One bed flat troubles; when you have to put guests in your living/kitchen area and they like a sleep in but you need a cuppa. I made husband sneak into the kitchen and get all the necessary tea making goods because I couldn’t last any longer without a brew. I had been awake for FIVE WHOLE MINUTES after all!

People's History Museum

{People’s History Museum}

Saturday was a pretty mellow day. We had scones AND pancakes for breakfast (I gave my brother in law an either or option, of course he said both!) We mooched around The People’s History Museum, took some snaps in the photobooth at Fred Aldous, went for a cheeky Nando’s and played some intense rounds of Exploding Kittens.

Manchester Rainbow

{rainbow}

It rained on and off all weekend which resulted in a spectacularly beautiful rainbow on Sunday evening