My Favourite Puddings.

Well here we go! I’ve been saying for a while now I’m going to start sharing recipes on my blog! I’m a keen cook, baker and eater (as you’ll have probably picked up on if you follow me on the gram) and have dipped into the world of food blogging before when I shared recipes and stories of what I was eating while living in Italy on my Ambrosial Notebook blog (I’ll share a link at the end!)

So here’s my first real foodie post on this blog, and it’s dedicated to my favourite puddings.

If you ask me if I have a sweet tooth I’ll probably say no but this is a lie. I’m not one to snack on sweet things and happily will turn down a chocolate bar but live for post-meal puddings, sweet breakfast waffles and Nutella. These pudding recipes are the perfect combination of them and are recipes that me and my Momma make a lot. They never fail to satisfy and the leftovers are the best part! I swear you’ll love them a dangerous amount! (Sorry not sorry in advance if this post ruins anyone’s summer bodies).

Raspberry Waffle Pudding:

This recipe is to fill a large oven proof dish with pudding, enough to feed roughly 8 people. I usually half the recipe if feeding Max and I (there is leftovers but that’s a good thing).

2 Packets of Toasting Waffles (about 16 waffles), chopped into roughly 3cm square chunks

175g white chocolate, chopped into chunks, roughly 1cm squared

2 packets of frozen raspberries or 300g of fresh raspberries

60g Caster Sugar

1 tbsp Plain Four

550ml Creme Fraiche

3 eggs

1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Set oven to 200c (Gas mark 6)

Place half of the chopped waffles in the ovenproof dish, spreading evenly to cover the bottom. Sprinkle over half the white chocolate and half of the raspberries. Repeat the layers again and set the ovenproof dish to one side.

Measure the creme fraiche out in a large jug and whisk in the sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla until all combined.

If you are preparing the pudding well in advance of serving at this stage you can cover the oven proof dish and leave at room temperature and cover the custard mixture and leave to sit in the fridge.

40 minutes before serving pour the custard over the raspberry waffle mixture and leave to soak in for around 10 minutes before transferring to the oven and baking for 30 minutes. The pudding is ready when the custard is set. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Nutella and Banana Croissant Pudding:

This recipe is currently in my story highlights on Instagram! (www.instagram.com/katiejade_natterfornowtblog)

It’s a recipe I worked on while I lived in Italy and Nutella and Croissants were very readily available. By the end of my year living there I was making it every Sunday and gaining weight at a very fast rate, I had to detox myself from it for a while once I got back.

If you’re not on insta or just fancy a written version of the recipe, here it is…

This recipe also fills a large ovenproof dish and is good for feeding a crowd, half the recipe if you’re not having a party!

12 Croissants (not fresh bakery ones, the slightly stale packaged ones work best)

A medium sized jar of Nutella

3 Bananas

4 eggs

300ml Double Cream

400ml Whole Milk

75g Caster Sugar

Vanilla Extract

Set Oven to 180c.

Half all of the croissants and spread the Nutella thickly on one side of all the halves. Arrange the croissants halves around the edge of the ovenproof dish (Nutella sides facing inwards) and then fill the middle with 2 rows of croissants with the Nutella sides all facing one way. Slice the 3 bananas and slide them between the croissants.

To make the custard measure the double cream and milk out into a large jug and whisk in the eggs, sugar and vanilla until combined. Like with the Raspberry waffle pudding at this stage you can set the pudding aside until later by covering of putting the custard in the fridge.

50 minutes before serving pour the custard over the croissants and leave to soak for 10 minutes baking baking for 40 minutes until the custard is set. Serve with cream or ice-cream.

….You should then maybe drink some green tea or go for a jog.

Katie x

Www.theambrosialnotebook.blogspot.com

20 facts about me.

Hey everyone,

So I thought I’d copy some other blogs I’ve been looking at and do a 20 facts about me post to introduce myself a little bit more. This took a lot of thinking about, especially as I didn’t want to choose really obvious things, 20 is quite a big number!

Also using this post to share these photos of my dream dress! I’m going to a couple of weddings this summer and found this dress in Marks and Spencers to wear for them. I love the style and colour and it’s the comfiest dress to wear. It’s so silky it feels luxurious but for a highstreet price! I’m a big fan of anything from M and S, their jeans, pants, christmas wrapping paper, melt in the middle chocolate puddings…

 

So here we gooo….

1.
October- November is my favourite time of year and I’m getting giddy at how close it is getting. I love the cosy nights, Christmas buzz, watching Strictly Come Dancing religiously every Saturday night, adding pumpkin to every dish and making everything smell of cinnamon. I also feel a bit more comfortable fashion wise when it’s cold, I love boots, thick tights and chunky knits.

2.
I missed this season last year as I went travelling around Australia and New Zealand in a campervan with my friend Sophie. It was tough going at times but we had an amazing time and saw the most beautiful places (writing a blog post about it is on my to do list!).

3.
I lived in Italy for year from 2014-2015 working as an Au Pair and English teacher just outside Milan. I’m still really close to the family I lived with and they feel just as much like my family as my actual family. I learnt Italian at night school while I was there, I can follow conversations in Italian but don’t really have the confidence to try joining in!

4.
I used to work for Walt Disney World in Orlando. I worked for 2 summers in 2013 and 2014. The first year I was a Housekeeper at Old Key West Resort and the second year I worked in Animation Courtyard in Hollywood studios, seating guests for the shows, spieling the health and safety rules and quite often parking strollers.

5.
The summers after working at WDW I did some travelling in America with my friends, lots of amazing memories and very drunken times were had (will never be able to look at a fireball shot again in my life).

6.
I’m a really big fan of Craft Beers, love trying different ones, especially local brews. My boyfriend designs beer cans and bottles and I love going to a bar and seeing his designs behind the bar (look out for the Bad Co collection!).

7.
I never have any idea what’s in the charts at that moment. I’m a bit of an old soul when it comes to music! My spotify playlists are full of old songs and I only listen to Radio 2. I love the Beach Boys, Carole King, Chuck Berry and Frankie Valli. (But I do really really love anything by Little Mix after a few drinks).

8.
I first met my boyfriend when I was 11 when my friend dared me to go up to him and touch his hair (he had massive afro hair at school). I got close to him and bottled it! We got together properly when I was 23 and I haven’t looked back since (well maybe been a bit tempted sometimes when he leaves wet towels lying about or doesn’t empty the dishwasher).

9.
My favourite TV show ever ever is the Royle Family, I could watch it every night, sometimes when the TV schedule is a bit dry I do. I know every word but I still just love it. My other favourites are period dramas, crime dramas and a good documentary (especially one about a conspiracy!).

10.
I run a small business called Dirty Little Daffodil, I do family portrait cross stitches, cushions and bunting. I love sewing and crafting! My idea of a perfect afternoon is radio on, candle burning, cup of tea and getting on with some crafty projects!

11.
I’m a real foodie and love cooking, baking and eating out. My bookcase is overflowing with cookbooks but I still have such a long wish list of more! I love watching cooking programmes too and always so content watching Saturday kitchen with a bacon bun and a brew on a weekend morning. My all time favourite food hero is Nigella Lawson, she’s my ultimate girl crush and she always has recipes for what I fancy.

12.
Despite not being afraid of a bit of indulgence I am actually a qualified nutritionist! I did my degree at Sheffield Hallam University and loved every second of uni life. I am really passionate about about food and eating properly but am a firm believer in a bit of what you fancy does you good.

13.
My idea of food heaven is anything carby, I love pasta, potatoes and bread. My dream dish is pasta with chilli and prawns and garlic bread! My food hell is Melon, never liked it and no idea why! I’d probably be a lot thinner if my heaven and hell were the other way round!

14.
I think I spend more on my flat looking and smelling nice than I do myself! I love interiors and home fragrances! (I’ll write a post about these too!)

15.
I love pyjamas and loungewear, it’s pretty rare to catch me in the flat wearing anything else, comfort first.

16.
I used to have a Bernese Mountain Dog called Oscar, we all loved him more than anything. He died in 2014 but still has the biggest piece of my heart and he will always be the best looking dog to walk the earth.

17.
My favourite shop in the world is Liberty London, I could spend days in there and I’m obsessed with everything they sell, particularly the fabrics!

18.
My favourite films are About Time, The Great Gatsby and the Jurassic Park (and world!) series. 

19.
I drink a lot of tea! If I’m having a day in the flat pottering about I can easily get into double figures. I love a good proper brew or green tea. I love the taste of coffee too but it makes me feel like my head’s going to fall off and the end of the world is coming. I decided to be sophisticated and order an Americano on a date once, safe to say it didn’t end well!

 20.
I like to write a lot of lists! Of stuff to do, buy, things I have done, things I have bought. It makes me feel a lot more organised than I actually am!

 

There we go! Tah-Dah!

 

 

Gin Connoisseurs, you say?

So it’s finally my summer holidays from work! How exciting! Except, unfortunately not every working adult gets 6 weeks off for summer. My boyfriend being one of them. I’ve quickly got used to waking up when his alarm goes off and smiling smuggly at him from underneath the duvet while he drags himself to the shower. It’s also given me chance to discover this whole new world that exists after 10pm on weekdays, a world which involves a lot of snacking and Louis Theroux documentaries.

Max did manage to get some holidays from work for my first week off which matched up well with his birthday and our 2 year anniversary (I know this isn’t really that significant but I take literally any excuse to celebrate).

We decided to do a little bit of a roadtrip for a mini celebration getaway, I’ve got the roadtrip bug a bit since driving around Australia and New Zealand at the end of last year. We started off just driving to my parents in Yarm and joining them for a celebratory meal out (at what age do you stop optimising every chance of a free meal out?).

The next day we set off to Northumberland, we’d planned to stop here on our way up to Edinburgh. We didn’t really have a plan of what to do in Northumberland we thought we’d wing it which stressed my mum out a lot, she got on her IPad and  gave us loads of options of what to do. We decided to head to a Roman fort on Hadrian’s wall and near our campsite for night.

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It should have been quite an easy journey except the Northumberland road people (?) chose last week to close every useful road in the region and divert cars on totally unreasonable routes. We (when I say we, I mean Max. I can drive, I would just never ever trust myself to drive his pride and joy. My driving is much more suited to old micras or golf buggys) drove about an hour extra than we were meant to in the pouring rain, but hey, the country views were pretty, if not a bit soggy.

Funnily enough, the sun came out when we eventually got to Housesteads Fort. Me and Max are National Trust members (don’t judge, we are very fun and happening people) which means we got in for free, it’s free English Heritage members too if any readers are English Heritage members. If you like days out it is definitely worth joining one of both of them, you don’t need to use it that many times to get your money’s worth but it gets you free entry/parking to so many nice places around the country. We’re in our second year of being members now and we didn’t use it anywhere near as much as we should’ve last year so this year we’re going to really make a point of going.

 

Housesteads Fort is an old a Roman fort, which now unsurprisingly is just piles of stone. It’s still really pretty and has lovely views over Northumberland. There’s a museum and signs explaining what everything used to be and what it was like living there and it’s all really interesting. Well worth a visit if you’re ever in Northumberland.

That night we stayed in a WigWam at the Wigwam orchard at Northside Farm just outside Horsley. I LOVE camping/Glamping, I think it comes from it being my parents worst nightmare and me being quite naturally rebellious. I just love getting all cosy and passing hours away playing games, doing activities like giant dot to dots and colouring in which you’d never think of doing on an evening at home but you actually really enjoy doing, and straining your eyes trying to read in really poor lighting. I even think I love the running to the loo in the cold and the dark and letting personal hygiene slip a bit. I love camping food and hot chocolates and plastic plates and shivering myself to sleep. We only did one night of it this time but are planning another trip later in the year I’ll no doubt blog about then.

 

The Wigwam Orchard was a great bargain stay in Northumberland, you do need to take your own bedding, cooking utensils, crockery and towels but the wigwams are very sturdy and cosy. There’s a fire pit outside each of them and a microwave and mini fridge inside. They sleep plenty too, I could have slept metres away from Max if I wanted to but I needed him for warmth. There’s a public kitchen and bathrooms to use in the main farm building, just with it being the summer they were full of really excitable kids, which is quite nice but kind of broke the romantic getaway road trip vibe we had going on.

 

The next day we drove to Alnwick to go to Barter Books, a second hand book shop in a converted old railway station. If you love books, you must must go to Barter books. Go tomorrow, go now, stop what you’re doing, call in sick, you all just need to go. It is HEAVEN. It smells like toast and old books, and is so cosy and beautiful. There’s a little train that goes around the top of the shelves, there’s sofas all over encouraging you to sit down and read, there’s book quotes written on boards and cabinets full of rare books and special editions for collectors. They have sections of books on pretty much anything and such a good selection. I managed to find nearly all the books I’ve been eyeing up in Waterstones and on Amazon and for a fraction of the price. I love the idea of second hand books and the thought of someone enjoying them before me and then passing it on.

Theres a cafe in there too and as we’d just come straight from our night in the wigwam we were ready to devour a hot breakfast. It’s all really tasty and you eat in the old station waiting rooms which are really cosy. Honestly couldn’t recommend this place enough, we spent HOURS in there and it’s gone straight up there on my list of favourite places.

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We then carried on driving upwards to Edinburgh, with a few more diversions and stressed shouts at the SatNav. We got there eventually…

We stayed at the Murrayfield Hotel, a booking we made quite last minute when we bottled staying in the bargain but potentially quite dodgy accommodation I’d originally booked. My original thinking was well if we go cheaper we can spend more on food, drink and shopping and we’ll hardly be there will we? But as it got closer I began to really fancy a treat so we decided to splash out a little and hold back a bit on the shopping (not on the food and drink, you may notice). It’s a very prettily decorated hotel and it did really feel like the treat I felt we needed.

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Our first night in Edinburgh was Max’s birthday eve so we decided to hit the town and go to some of the reccomendations Max got from his friend who’s from Edinburgh. We started off at a fab pizza place called Civerinos, it’s just off the Royal mile and the pizza is really good, so are the fries and the beer choices. It’s very casual which we liked and you all sit on long tables, potentially next to strangers, and I guess it could get quite snuggly when it’s busy (there is less snuggly outdoor seating or takeaway available, and a couple of tables for groups of 4-6). Some may not like this but we quite enjoyed making friends with the Japanese couple next to us, they even took pictures of us.

 

We then went on a bit of a cocktail tour. ‘Cocktail tour’ is one of my favourite phrases, it’s really just a bar crawl but a bit fancier and you Instagram every drink in every place. We started off at the Dome, I think most people who have been to Edinburgh will have been to the Dome, and if you haven’t you definitely need to call in for a drink. It is BEAUTIFUL, really gorgeous and it feels such a treat to be in there.  Drinks are sensibly priced concidering the setting and cocktails are good but it’s the look of it that’s the real reason to visit.

 

Next, we went to Lucky Liquor Company, a cute quirky little bar we heard about from a friend. The cocktails were really tasty and quirky, if not a little small (very strong though!)

We then walked to Panda and Sons which was definitely our favourite! It’s in a basement underneath a prentend barbers shop and hidden behind a bookcase. It’s all very cosy inside with dimmed lighting, sofas, barber chairs as seats, candles and really great cocktails. We LOVED it,even on a Monday night it was buzzing. There was even a very helpful waiter who helped me cure my cocktail hiccups by making me drink a glass a water upside down with a sharp knife in it, I was a bit bemused but it really did work! Definitely go here if you’re out drinking in Edinburgh or if you need help with chronic hiccups.

The next day was Maxie’s birthday. When it’s my birthday I’m awake at like 6 opening all my cards and presents and ready to totally revel in a day that’s all about me, (actually more than a day, sometimes the whole of April). Boys don’t really do that though do they. I had to wake Max up and pretty much force his pile of presents and cards on him. Once we’d got opening them out of the way we had a full Scottish breakfast and went out for the day.

We started off at the National Gallery at birthday boy’s request, we both do really like a gallery, particularly free ones. Once we’d gone round we went to the gift shop (obviously) where I learnt something about my boyfriend which I never really knew before, he is the only person in the world who can spend longer in a gift shop than me! I’m going to guess at 50 minutes. I read every book on art for children and every story in the kids section, I touched every postcard, print, flicked through all the big coffee table picture books, smelt some candles, read some books on art and Edinburgh in History while he was still looking at one small section of the art books. But he had a great time and bought some books and it was his birthday, so that’s all what matters. And it probably did me good to experience it the other way round, he’s probably felt like I did a lot of times in Home Sense.

We then had a walk up the Royal mile to see the castle and the 100,000 Spanish and Japanese tourists buying kilts before stopping for a Pret and to pick up a White Company reed diffuser (really funny we ended up walking past there, really did not plan that all).

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We then headed to Edinburgh Gin Distillery for the afternoon. This sounds quite casual like we just popped in but in reality I had to book it months ago! It was the main thing we’d sorted in advance for our trip and the main reason we were heading to Edinburgh. It certainly did not disappoint, we did the Connoisseur tour and had the best (and tipsiest) afternoon! If you or a loved one loves gin it’s a must do treat!

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The distillary is in quite a small basement but the design of it is just gorgeous. It starts off with a talk about all the botanicals of gin, where they come from what they do and about the history of gin which is so interesting! I won’t type out the whole story of gin but it really is hilarious, give it a google maybe, or maybe bbc2 will do a little feature on it soon, we really were Lolling! You then get a tour and talk about the gin making process and then the good bit, tasters! They were very generous with tasters (hence the tipsiness). We tried all the different gins they do, all the liqueurs and tried them with different tonics to see what goes best with what. For in between the different tasters they provide a glass of their standard gin with standard fever tree tonic as I guess a bit of a palette cleanser. At this point I was already thinking it has been great value for money and then our tour guide announced get to choose a standard sized bottle of a gin or liqueur to take home. Max chose their Elderflower liqueur, which in the tasting we actually really enjoyed just drinking straight. I chose their Plum And Vanilla liqueur which was so Yum! Saving it for Autumn/Winter/Christmas time when I’m probably going to add it to most things, Prosecco, puddings, cocktails… We then got the nice surprise of having discount in the shop so bought the 2 other flavours of liqueur they do (Rhubarb and Ginger and Raspberry), cos it’s rude not to have the full set and a large bottle of their standard gin. Our already quite impressive alcohol collection is now looking even more so, and luckily it’s my holidays so a midweek G+T is totally acceptable. Honestly couldn’t recommend the Edinburgh Distillary enough, you must go if you love gin and are planning are trip to Edinburgh or even maybe worth just heading to Edinburgh for.

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After the Distillary we went to a great steak restaurant I booked as another birthday treat, it’s called Wildfire and is only a 2 minute walk from the Distillary. I’ve eaten there with my family before and knew Max would love it, really good steaks and mash and chocolate cake which are always winners and definitely needed to soak up all the gin.

We drove straight back to Leeds the next day, this time with no super complicated diversions but with one extended Costa and M+S sandwich stop, has to be done though doesn’t it.

Since we got back I’ve been spending my days doing all those jobs that I’ve spent the last few months putting off until now, I’ve also been trying out some new recipes, zofloring everything and doing quite a lot of crafting (trying to get ahead with Christmas crafts so the flat is going to be humming of cinnamon oil!). We have a new MacBook too (it’s like mine and Max’s first born baby) so going to be blogging a bit more now it’s easier to do so! I’ve also signed up to a bit of nannying for a family friend cos I can’t last 6 weeks away from kids apparently, but so looking forward to it. Hoping for some sunnier days to what we’ve been getting this week so we can spend a lot of time in Roundhay Park, been eyeing up the big climbing frame from my bus to work since March so might finally have an excuse to play!

Thanks for reading, sorry that was a very long one…