Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pontefino, Gunthorpe

Italian food is by far my favourite food - I grew up eating home-made gnocchi and pizza and could quite easily eat it everyday. It's also Tom's favourite and we're always on the lookout for a new Italian restaurant to try out.

Pontefino is out in Gunthorpe, Nottinghamshire, in a quiet residential area next to the River Trent - a lovely change to the bustle of town on a Friday night.


We started off with garlic pizza bread and arancini (risotto balls filled with mozzarella and fried). The bread was the thinnest, crispiest base lightly topped with garlic and tomato so wasn't too heavy to start with, while the arancini were packed with flavour and beautifully served with a dash of a tomato sauce.

Our mains consisted of the calzone rustica, which had a perfect crust and was absolutely stuffed with prosciutto, cheeses, and spinach; and linguine alla Sofia Loren (I'll admit it was the name that initially caught my eye!). The linguine was coated in the type of sauce I almost always end up choosing - creamy tomato with just a hint of chilli and a sprinkling of chicken, pepperoni and olives.

We were both so full by this point but couldn't resist dessert (I'm pretty sure there's a special stomach just for dessert anyway so we couldn't leave it unsatisfied, could we?). Pannacotta arrived in a huge wine glass, smooth and creamy with a fruity berry coulis adding a tangy contrast.

Overall the food was some of the tastiest, most flavourful I've had out in a while and we agreed while still devouring pasta and calzone that we definitely needed to bring family and friends here. Service always makes a place for me and everyone was friendly and welcoming, so a winner all round!

Sorry for the lack of photos of the food; I don't really enjoy taking pictures while I'm eating out any more, apart from the odd one here and there.

Have you discovered any new restaurants recently?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Women of Intention

I wanted to share some of the ladies in rock who are fairly new on the scene and have been playing on repeat for me recently, but then it got kinda difficult to narrow it down to just a few. There are so many bad ass women in music at the moment, broadcasting their talent through amazing songs and mind blowing shows. During the difficult events occurring as we struggle towards a world where gender equality is the norm, involving sometimes confusing and sometimes sad and disheartening moments, it's inspiring to know that their are women who are doing exactly what they want on their terms. And of course, making bloody brilliant music while they're at it.

Deap Vally



If you haven't checked out Deap Vally's debut album 'Sistrionix' then you really need to get on it. I'd been hearing about this band last year around festival season; their names kept cropping up alongside the likes of Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White. I looked them up on YouTube and instantly fell in love. If you want raw, straight to the point, bluesy rock then these two women have got it covered. I saw them live last year at the Basement, Rock City, and it was such a fun show - I'll definitely be at their next one. For these gals the music speaks for itself so give them a listen.


The Beaches



I saw The Beaches earlier this year as they opened up for Brody Dalle on her UK tour and they're probably one of the best support acts I've seen. I picked up their EP after the gig and they've since released another one, both of which I love. Despite their young age these girls are seriously good live and write really great, catchy rock songs.


Rouge


Rouge are a band from London who I discovered on Twitter through being a fan of Deap Vally. I think they messaged me saying I might like their stuff and they were right! They write blues-inspired rock songs with gorgeous vocals and I'm looking forward to hearing more from these guys.


And I can't do this post without mentioning Brody Dalle


She's not new to the music world - she fronted the Distillers and Spinnerette - but only came out with her first record under her own name this year. She's matured and branched out in terms of her sound but is still that punk rocker I was first inspired by back in the Distillers. Brody is definitely one of those women who is not afraid to express herself and stick up for what she thinks is right. Basically, she's amazing and I love her. 


I'm gonna shut up now so you can check out some of my favourite ladies in rock.
Any recommendations you have for other musicians please let me know, I'm always on the lookout for new music! :) 
*photos of The Beaches & Rouge taken from their sites

Monday, 22 September 2014

Lost in Desserts

What better way to celebrate finishing the end of my Nutritional Sciences course than by a huge amount of sugar, chocolate and cream? OK so kinda contradictory but it's definitely all about balance when it comes to food and health in my opinion. And every last bite of these were worth the extra gym session I'm probably gonna need to fit in this week.



I drove down to Leicester to meet up with a friend from my course for end of year celebrations. We'd both had our ups and downs throughout the year but could finally say we'd got through the course together! She introduced me to a place in the city called Heavenly Desserts - this place definitely lives up to that. Apparently she'd tried to visit before but people were queuing outside (and this is quite common to get in?!) so had decided to wait before trying again. Thankfully we didn't have to queue and got a table in the restaurant straight away before being handed the book of a menu to choose from. You can get waffles, crepes, cookie dough, sundaes, milkshakes, shots of Belgian chocolate... let's just say it took me a while to pick. I finally went for white chocolate and raspberry cookie dough, which was served warm so the chocolate was melting and the cookie gooey, and topped with ice cream, cream and fresh raspberries. Oh. My. God. So good. And I was very glad that I'd only had a salad earlier so I could leave room for all that chocolatey goodness.



A couple of days later, back in Nottingham, my best friend treated me to a dessert plate from The Cheesecake Shop to say congrats (I have the best friends ever :)). I chose the strawberry shortcake cheesecake topped with curls of white chocolate and it was served with fresh fruit and a dollop of cream. I've been to the cheesecake shop a few times as it's fairly local and it has to be one of my favourite places to get pudding. The mudcakes they do are seriously tasty as well. There's quite a few around Nottinghamshire but I'm not sure about the rest of the UK, but definitely worth a visit if you're round here.

So it's a been a weekend of stuffing my face (and enjoying every last bit of it) but I think I'm definitely gonna feel better after a good Aerobics session this evening ha.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Long Time No Blog!

It's been a long time since I've posted here and at one point I thought I probably wouldn't again. What with university and the like I'd sort of lost my enthusiasm for blogging and just didn't feel any need to do it for the time being. But it's one of those things that when I'm in the right mood and feeling inspired I do love putting time aside for and I've found myself back here again.

Day of my last ever exam! 

So it's been over a year since I last posted and it's pretty safe to say a lot of changes have happened. I've graduated, I've moved back to Nottingham and undergone all the lifestyle changes that come with moving, I've done my masters, and I can now finally say I'm no longer a student! (well, technically I still need to graduate again, but otherwise I am done).

Graduation in Plymouth a year ago

This year I feel like I've massively changed as a person too. The move was pretty rough for me (pretty complicated and wrapped up in a lot of other stuff) and it triggered me finally getting round to sorting my head out. That kind of process means you learn a lot about yourself. Despite how difficult it's been, for me and those who care about me, I can honestly say I'm a much better person because of it. I feel like I can put the things that are genuinely important in better perspective and can brush aside all the other crap without worrying about it. Still a work in progress of course, but I'm a lot more optimistic about the journey.

'Transitory' & 'Murder of Crows' by Kit King - fallen in love with her artwork recently

Hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things with this blog and carry on sharing things related to food, nutrition & health, music, writing, places I've been and other random bits 'n' pieces that I'm interested in!

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Citrus and Sugar Summer Days

Popping back home for a few days meant time to catch up with friends and family over lots of good food. In Nottingham there's plenty to choose from. One night consisted of amazing tapas at Las Iguanas, including fried plantain (new favourite!), a chorizo dish with plenty of ciabatta, and of course, nachos. The perfect meal to enjoy while chatting and trying out some delicious cocktails. An evening spent at a country pub is also always a must, especially in this beautiful weather. We finished our meal with a slice of red velvet cheesecake, with just the right amount of creaminess and sweetness to not be overwhelming.


Time was also spent on purely relaxing, enjoying the sunshine in the garden with a new foodie magazine. After what seems like a long time of being uninspired in the kitchen, turning to the same few old favourites each night that were quick to make and eat in between revision sessions, I can't wait to try out new recipes and ingredients.


A cake in the June issue of delicious magazine caught my eye, a simple bake enhanced with the summery flavours of lemons and blueberries, two of my favourite additions to a cake batter. The lemon is tangy and light, while the blueberries burst and make the cake moist and colourful.


My tin was too small for all the mix, so I ended up with cupcakes as well, never a bad thing! A sprinkling of lemon zest on top of the icing is an easy pretty way to decorate these cakes. Just the sort of thing to enjoy on a sunny afternoon with an ice-cold drink.


What are your favourite summer flavours for cooking and baking?

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

And... Breathe!

So after four long years, I am proud to say I have finished my degree! Now I am impatiently awaiting my results (or do I never want to know? I'm not sure) and trying to figure out what the hell to do next. Despite counting down the days 'til the end of my final year, swearing I'd never do any further education (especially NO MORE EXAMS) and just wanting to get a job, the most likely looking plan for the immediate future is... a Masters course. I don't know why I even considered this, but I came across a course that I actually got excited about doing, and if I want to have a career in that area I kinda need to get an extra qualification. So, unless a job magically ends up being mine before September I think that's gonna be the next step. Scary stuff.

Now I can finally do this...

But until then, I have a summer to make the most of! I don't have that many plans yet, but that in itself is something I'm going to relish - time to do with as I please in the moment. I'm off to France next month which will be a much needed holiday, as well as spending time catching up with family and friends. Hopefully I'll also get back to blogging properly again over the summer which is something I'm looking forward to... ahh freedom.


Music has been my main distractor while finishing my dissertation and revising. I'm currently checking out the stream of the new Queens of the Stone Age album, due out next week (already pre-ordered so I'm allowed!) and I have a feeling this is a pretty awesome album that will have been well worth the wait. Everything I've heard so far has been amazing, and I have loved the videos they've been releasing - such a great way to do promo, and it served as the perfect distraction while I was still revising! These guys are one of my favourite bands, so safe to say I have been very excited about finally getting new music from them. But I'll probably end up talking about it more when I actually get my mitts on the album itself, so I'll leave it there and I'll be back with new posts soon!

*Photos from Pinterest

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Carrot Cake and Procrastination

I must be getting old as time is just whizzing past at the minute; just a few more months and I'll be finished with uni! Such a scary thought, while I've been looking forward to finishing my degree and going off into the big wide world pretty much since I first got to uni, the realisation that I'm actually almost there is a little strange. Worrying too, as there is still a hell of lot of stuff to get done before then. I'll probably have to be pretty quiet on here until after my exams, but I'm hoping to properly get back in the swing of things over summer.

But today ended up being a much needed, unintentional day off. A lovely Saturday morning lie in (again, unintentional, thanks to my neighbours screaming at each other half the night...) followed by popping into town and the hairdressers. I always forget how pretty Plymouth is until we have a gorgeous sunny day like today, so I may have lingered a bit longer, before getting home and spending the afternoon baking. 


Tom and I aren't that into Valentine's Day, and I was working on Thursday anyway, so we decided to have a home made meal together tonight. Tom made chicken burgers with garlic mayo and cheesy curly fries - absolutely delicious, he really should cook for me more! 
I'd been wanting to bake (and eat) carrot cake for ages, so decided to put one together for pudding.


To make it a bit more Valentine's themed (and just because I love making things heart-shaped!) I tried to top the cake with walnuts in a heart shape... the icing turned out to be a tad too runny for that to work properly, but it still tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself. 


So now with my cake cravings satisfied, and feeling slightly recharged, there's nothing left but to just get on with the rest of my course I suppose. Maybe my procrastination is because I'm not actually sure I'm really ready for it all to end yet, it's a scary world out there!
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