Pining for...pretty treats

I've officially switched to frugal mode as I know we're moving in 3 short months and to be honest, I don't need another pair of shoes or another ring, or anymore coasters. But that's the beauty of Pinterest, right? No commitment. And if one day my friends want to buy me something pretty, who am I to stop them?

However, despite my recent matcha fail (read more here. btw I ate the last one yesterday and can say they did not improve with time) I still want to try out all the yummy sounding recipes I find on Pinterest. Banana AND chocolate AND peanut butter? You must be joking. No? Ok then. I'll be trying this deviled avocado recipe too. I don't think I've ever had baked avocado and it sounds heavenly and now I'm really hungry. Thanks Pinterest.

My most exciting find of the week is this: removable sticky wallpaper sheets available in a range of pretty pretty colours and patterns. A must-have for my future cottage.

Oh how I wish I already knew my future cottage! The suspense is killing me. Plus I need at least 3 months to plan out what will go where and what needs buying and what would look amazing but can't be done since it would require a bulldozer and a million Pounds. In the meantime, we've always got Easter bunnies.

Happy Easter bunnies!!!!!!!



Just a hop, skip and a jump away

Dear bunnies,

I now know where I will be spending Easter year in and year out for the rest of my life:

At The Great Peter Rabbit Egg hunt at the World of Beatrix Potter! I didn't even know Beatrix Potter had a world! Look what I found on their website:

The World of Beatrix Potter™ Attraction is preparing to host one of the North West’s favourite Egg Hunts – a one day event spanning across the beautiful Lake District countryside. Now in its sixth year, the Great Peter Rabbit™ Egg Hunt has taken a watery turn and not only promises egg hunters some fantastic prizes, but is also raising funds for WaterAid, an international charity providing clean water and sanitation to some of the world’s poorest communities.
50 handcrafted ceramic eggs are currently being delivered to secret locations across the region to be placed in safe-to-reach locations near to some of the best-loved lakes and waters. The eggs will be in open view in public areas so no digging or delving is necessary. The challenge is to keep your eyes open and unravel the clues which will lead keen competitors to their prize! There will also be an online map to help take egg hunters to the general location of each egg.
With hard work comes reward, and this year there are more prizes than ever before including the top prize of a week’s holiday for a family of six in the 5* boutique penthouse apartment: The Bowering in Windermere. Five luxury hotels: Lindeth Howe Hotel, Beech Hill Hotel, Low Wood Hotel, Lakeside Hotel and Daffodil Hotel are all offering one night stays along with family passes to some of the top local Attractions.

And there's a tea room.  

And according to Google maps it will take me 1 hour and 38 minutes to get there from Haworth. Roll on Easter 2014!

I'm hypnotized by this bunny now.



So the other day, by sheer luck, I stumbled upon the elusive matcha green tea. It's kind of like the Parisian holy grail. You hear about delicious recipes, you try lovely cakes in Korean restaurants, friends tell you where you can buy it, but then nada: out of stock. Shop closed down. And I'll admit, more than once I would just forget to look for it once I got to the exciting luxury food shop/Asian supermarket/random tea room. Let's just say I'm easily distracted. So when I spotted a jar at random the other week, I had to have some.

Why? Because I needed an excuse to try out my ever-growing collection of woodland cookie cutters (let's play 'spot the unseasonal animal' shall we?). I'd like to thank Ikea, my mother, and my friend Cynthia for contributing this collection.

I found this recipe on Pinterest that looked GOOD and EASY, my two main criteria, and I started mixing things together. I wasn't entirely sure whether my matcha was good quality or not, but I don't like overly sweet cookies so I stuck to the 1/3 cup.

The flour/matcha mixture looked so pretty!

But then I added the wet ingredients, and the 'beat until mostly incorporated' step gave me this: 

Moist and bitty flour. Definitely not cookie dough ready to be shaped into anything. Epic Pinterest fail. I double and triple checked the recipe, I even checked Martha's version, and I definitely didn't go wrong anywhere. I think the quantities must be off. So no, I wouldn't recommend this recipe. Unless you have a talented Boyfriend who knows how to come to the rescue when you mess up in the kitchen (so pretty much every time I enter the kitchen - I'm not even going to tell you about the Hummus I made the other day).

So by adding more butter and more sugar, we ended up with this. Actual dough-shaped dough. I stuck it in the fridge while we went shopping and when we got back I rolled it out and made these:

Some of them got salt on and some didn't. I wasn't really feeling the cookies anymore at this point and had decided they were going to be horrible, but Boyfriend would have mocked me if he'd known there was fleur de sel involved (he's a bit of a French cooking purist and never mixes strange ingredients together. I once made avocado pasta and he STILL thinks I just made it up, not believing it was a real recipe I found on Pinterest, even though we all know Pinterest is the most reliable source of weird recipes on the interwebs, right?).

So anyway, I cooked them. They came out. A couple of tails and ears were burned, but other than that they were sort of ok. A bit sweet for my tast. Not delicious, and I don't think they tasted the way they should have, but they were edible. I even had positive feedback from a friend who has lived in Japan SO HE MUST KNOW.

So there you have it. I'm pretty sure it's possible to bake delicious matcha cookies. Just don't use this recipe.


Leeds go out for a breath of fresh Saltaire, shall we? I promise It'll be Haworth it!

Actually I could have started with "have you Nuneaton yet?? You must be starving!" as that was our first destination on this trip, but I'm not sure whether my lovely family wants to be seen on this blog, nor whether you'd be that interested, so let's just say we had a great weekend and a birthday meal all together and then on Sunday we caught the train with my cousin Snoo and at one station we saw this:

I love it. In fact I want one in my kitchen. 

Then just as we pulled into Keighley station a steam train was leaving!

See the sign? I could be catching a steam train from Haworth to Keighley to visit my cousin in a few months! Where else could I catch a (non-steam) train to? Oh yes, Saltaire. One of my favourite little villages and a world heritage site (you can read all about it here). It was so so so cold, but we managed to snap a few pictures

Time for lunch at the French restaurant that was very very good (and the fact that I was cold and starving made it even better). 

We even went back the next day to try the Salt Mills diner in the converted salts mill that doubles as a bookshop/home decor shop and to buy a vintage oval mirror in a lovely little antique shop called Rose and Brown, which I very stupidly forgot to snap a picture of. We've left it over there so you'll have to be very patient, but it's definitely Haworth the wait (I promise I'm almost done with the puns)!

 Speaking of which... want to see some more of Haworth?

Inside the Rose & Co shop. One thing is for sure: people who live here never run out of soap. Or of kinky knickers.

I just noticed we must have spent a lot of time in pubs. Well at least we know they are good, right? After that we caught the bus home and Boyfriend did some nice traditional French cooking: 'pâté aux pommes de terres', i.e. potato pie. I might ask him to post the recipe one of these days as it's yummy and warming, perfect for the winter (and the spring, as it turns out...)

The next day we visited Leeds, but with a very low battery on the camera, so only three shots were taken:

Religion for all, booze, and probably the only ray of sun on an otherwise rainy/snow/hailstony day. It's a nice city with all the shops you'd want to have around. And apparently lots more are opening soon, as I just found out here

On to another cute place? Hebden Bridge! The bus ride alone is worth it, taking you over the dales past sheep and cows and wide open spaces that really make you want to live in Yorkshire. And look. They have an Easter duck race. Now all I need is a duck.

And cars with huge eyelashes

And a bunch of cute little cafes that make yummy and cheap food and even give you your Chai latte for free for keeping you waiting 5 minutes.

They also have (not pictured) the most exciting antique shop I've ever seen, with bargains in every corner and amazing pieces of furniture for next to nothing. I'm seriously considering selling most of what we've got at the moment and renting a van to furnish our future cottage from this place only (With this little sofa thrown in, because I've been wanting it forever and don't care how uncomfortable or badly made it is. Just look at it).

This delicious meal was cooked on our last evening in Yorkshire by Snoo: salmon, cream cheese, chives (I think??), filo pastry, new potatoes and green beans. YUM!! A perfect ending to a perfect week in Yorkshire. Thanks again for having us and for being such lovely hosts and introducing us to lots of fun people you two!

Now on to London! For once we were really unlucky with the wheather, but we were lucky with the hotel I booked at the last minute. It was pretty cheap, but turned out to be a cute little flat with its own kitchen and lounge! I even got a little enveloppe on the bed with my name on it ;)

I particularly loved the view since we were in Notting hill just a few steps from the underground and from Portobello road.


Cocktails at Central & Co. as promised on my bucket list. Nice but a little over the top for our taste! I couldn't get a single decent pic of our food because it was so (fashionably) dark, but here is my coffee parfait to give you an idea:

All the pubs were in full-blown St Patrick's mode so we got our dose of Wild Rover on friday night!

We couldn't possibly not visit our favourite London pub on Fleet Street, stopping at St Paul's for some rainy photos in the dark

Aaaah, so cozy. As usual we had a nice chat with the people in the alcove across from us. The next morning I went for a little walk on my way to get breakfast for Boyfriend and me.

We had planned to have a 'tube-free' day, walking across the parks into the heart of the city, but as we left the hotel my umbrella was blown inside out, so we gave up on that idea.

Mandatory stop at Umai, my favourite Japanese supermarket for a strange looking but quite nice snack (which inspired me to bake using Matcha for the first time yesterday! More about that later...)

We did manage some walking in the parks in the afternoon and saw lots of fat squirrels and pigeons.

Then on to the concert I mentionned in my last post. Boyfriend was taking the pics and they all look like this:

So now you've met my cousin Rich :)

The next morning we had time for a quick walk up Portobello Road before heading back to the hotel and to St Pancras (via Covent Garden and Jamie's Italian to retrieve my credit card... long boring story, but I've learned my lesson: in future I will pay for any bar drinks BEFORE I got to my table)

Delicious Matcha bubble tea!

Oh how I'd love to live in one of these. Probably not in London though. It might sound weird but my next exciting fashion purchase will probably be pair of (floral) wellies and some nice warm sweaters for roaming the Yorkshire dales. Am I old all of a sudden? Maybe I've finally realised how comfortable comfort actually is.