Sunday, March 27, 2011

Small Cambridge Adventure

We went on An Adventure to Cambridge yesterday, and stumbled upon a really delicious lunch, at Jinling Noodle Bar.  We were walking past, on our way to Wagamama for lunch, when we noticed it. We peeked through the windows and saw lots of happy customers slurping on noodles. Wagamama would wait. This looked better.
I asked the waitress what she recommended, and she said the brisket noodle bowl. Somewhat unlikely, but there you go. It was delicious - the noodles were tasty and just the right consistency, the cabbage was crispy, the brisket was meltingly tender, and the broth was really savoury and not too salty.
Here's the before:

 And the after. Yes, I ate ALL of it.

We were also in John Lewis, where I thought this display of plates was really funny. I've been told by the Husband that we are NOT buying any commemorative Royal Wedding stuff (not even a teatowel!) but the It Should Have Been Me plate cracked me up. As did the Kate's Wedding List plate. She wants a toaster, a dinner set, throw pillows, a new tiara, and Oxfordshire, apparently. Tee hee!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Camera Tips

Ok, I read this. And then read it again. And then linked to it for y'all.

I think I'll read it again tomorrow.

Apertures & Shutter Speeds via NotMartha. If you have a camera, go read it. Promise.

This was a non-slr photo taken in completely automatic mode (and tinkered with in iPhoto).

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: Downton Abbey

Well. We loved Downton Abbey. And may even have to brave the commercials on ITV to watch the second season when it comes out, rather than waiting for the DVD. People who live in Suffolk: they have the DVD at the library - it's £2 for a week and you can reserve it online. What are you waiting for!? Americans, it was on PBS. Watch it. Great cast, Dame Maggie Smith is AMAZING and steals every scene she comes within 30 feet of, and the "bad guys" are deliciously bad.

And a little baking yummyness: lemon & blueberry cake (minus blueberries) + raspberries + portrait lens = awesome.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nautical day (not on the water yet)

In a fit of excitement at NOT wanting to spend the whole day asleep under the duvet with a box of tissues and a cup of tea, we went bought bottom paint for Kanga (the boat). Ok, the two aren't really related, but I thought it sounded good. We're now ready for some Warm, Spring Days, please, so we can apply said paint to said bottom.

I am very glad we do not have to paint THIS boat's bottom. That's a lot of paint.

We headed over to Woodbridge after the boatyard, to grab some lunch and go for a walk. We wandered through town and up to the market square, where we found The Galley. The mezze on the menu looked interesting, so we went in.

The food was delicious, and really colorful. Yes, it really was THAT pink (turkish yogurt with garlic & beetroot). We split the mezze starter between us as lunch, and it was just right. Some of our fellow diners were eating full three-course meals, but I think we'd have to fast for 48 hours before taking that on. We'll definitely stop in to the Ipswich branch (owned by the same chef) next time we're at IFT.

We then had the best creme brulee I've ever had (and the second best John's ever had, after the now-closed Bertorelli's in London). It was perfect.

We chatted with the chef/patron about it, and apparently it takes 5 days to make. And minutes to devour.

I'm feeling a little conflicted about blogging with so much death and destruction around the world, but I think I'm going to go with Shutter Sisters' message today: show signs of hope.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

This was my week

I caught the mega-cold (worst one I've had in a while) that has been going around work. And missed the entire week. As one of my colleagues said, I "slept for England." And read Jilly Cooper's Jump for book group. Verdict? Meh. It should have been half the size. Half the number of characters, half the number of pages, and half the story arcs. At least it entertained me for several days on-bed. Even her author's acknowledgements at the end were 9 pages long. 9 PAGES! Someone, somewhere, please edit Jilly Cooper down to a manageable length, at which point I might consider reading another one.

Haven't actually started Downton Abbey yet - I'm looking forward to it.

Recipe: Non-Yucky Lemsip (because the medicated stuff is NASTY)
1 green-tea teabag
1/2 lemon
1 tbs honey
boiling water
1 paracetemol (taken separately)

Stir the lemon and honey around in the tea, then take the lemon out and squeeze as much juice and fruit as you can into the mug (it'll be easier after a minute in the boiling water). Works better than the medicated stuff, I think, to make you feel better and clear things up, at least temporarily. I wonder if I could fill an insulated camelbak with it and just take it around with me!

Other saviour of the week: Angry Birds. LOVE it. Even if playing for 2 hours drains my iPhone (3) battery from full to empty. Not that I've done that, in my pjs, while sipping Non-Yucky Lemsip, or anything. Nope.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: The Adjustment Bureau

We had to drop The Stepson in Colchester yesterday for a birthday party. 11am to 4pm. That would be a day-shredder, then. Lovely.

Since our one experience of Colchester was 5 years ago (and was overwhelmingly negative), I suggested we spend the day there and see the sights. Um, yeah. We saw the sights in about 10 minutes. And then we were done. And hungry. So we arbitrarily picked a cafe that looked good, and were treated to a lunch straight out of 1994. BEFORE England's foodie revolution. Bleurgh. No, 3 pieces of limp iceberg and a cold, sad, tasteless tomato do not a salad make. C'mon, guys! We should have gone to McD's.

Anyway, we bought tickets (most expensive movie tickets EVER at £9.50 each - for a matinee!) to see The Adjustment Bureau. After 30 minutes of previews and ads (again, WTF, Colchester), the movie started. It was really enjoyable (especially since I'm a sucker for a good New York City movie...cue the whispered "I've BEEN there!" every 4 minutes...sorry, husband). Lots of running around, intermittent kissing, and some good old fashioned omniscient beings. Not sure it was worth £19 for the two of us, but then again, I cant think of many movies that would have been.

Anyone with contrary opinions of Colchester, please feel free to weigh in.

To make up for the Epic Lunchtime Fail yesterday, I had this for lunch today. Stepson had a variation with pepperoni and cheese, but mine had cheddar (should've been mozzarella but it had gone rather gloopy and fermented), homemade pesto from the freezer, and sundried tomatoes. Melty, cheesy, garlicky goodness.

See? Yummy! And cheap! And not hard to make. Hear that, Evil Cafe in Colchester? (I did take pictures in hope that it would be tasty and I would be able to blog about it, but I'm not going to spread a web of hate on my blog. Nameless they shall remain.) But beware, visitors to Colchester! Stay home and have toasted cheese sandwiches instead. It'll be better.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Portrait lens and cake

I made lemon & blueberry cake (except with raspberries instead of blueberries) for my work peeps on Tuesday. I only had the portrait lens on the camera (and was too lazy to change it), but I like the way the picture came out. The cake was delish, btw. Great recipe.

I read The Magician's Guild, the first in Trudi Canavan's Black Magician trilogy. I liked it more than the prequel that I read last year. Not much in the way of wand-waving but I think there will be more magic (and learning about magic) in the next book in the trilogy. I'm still working on Jilly Cooper's Jump (ugh) for book group, and I have several other books to get moving on, mostly non-library ones. Woohoo!