Category Archives: Food and friends

Posher Than A Ginger Nut.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good ginger-nut…but when offering up a ‘Thank You’ to your hosts thrusting a packet of McVities into their hands doesn’t quite have the same impact as placing down a tray of freshly baked ginger cupcakes.

Although the recipe seems a little strange – it’s basically a cinnamon batter with several handfuls of preserved ginger thrown in before baking – it worked a charm and swapping out the frosting for some chocolate ganache and crystallised ginger just classed them up a little!!!

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Cupcake batter recipe (shown below) taken from : The Hummingbird Bakery, Cupcakes and Muffins.

Chocolate ganache: One small pot of double cream and one bar of plain chocolate heated gently until the chocolate has fully melted. Dollop on cooled cupcakes and allow to set.

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Whim Wham, M1 5WQ.

The Whim Wham Cafe is a delightful little gin saloon tucked away in plain sight. Their food is a couple of steps above bar food while not being at all fussy, but the main attraction is the gin cocktail list (which my work companion and I managed to tick off a considerable number of). The staff were wonderfully attentive and have a cracking knowledge of their cocktails – ideal for people like me who don’t know their Bombay Sapphire from their Hendricks!

The food fitted the bill perfectly – tasty and inviting while not be a distraction from our cocktail goodness. It was great to see a simple, yet creative, selection of local grub while browsing the menu and both of us were more than happy with the pies we selected. And with regard to nibbles…I would most certainly opt for the deep fried Cheshire cheese and beetroot chutney again- yum, yum, yum!

This place has a great atmosphere and I’d recommended it to anyone looking for a few quiet drinks in a relaxed environment. I’ll certainly be returning, but this time I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for a night where I can also be entertained by some of the great live artists that frequent this establishment!

Deep Fried Cheshire Cheese & Beetroot Chutney

Fish pie. Goats Cheese Beetroot & Orange Pie w. Potato Salad.

We All Scream For Ice Cream!

I have an unquestionable passion for ice cream, from the heat of the summer to the coldest depths of winter, if there’s ice cream to be had I’ll be having it!

I ran into Ginger’s Comfort Emporium for the first time at a summer event in Manchester and have since seen them on the festival scene. They do such a wonderful array of inspired flavours – there is never hesitation over the purchase of two scoops…although choosing the combination has been known to take a good few minutes of careful consideration!

I recently revisited their website and the sample menu got me super excited, not only at the prospect of bumping into their retro ice cream van this summer and having to make a hard (but welcome) decision on my flavour combination, but also as I was gifted an ice cream maker for Christmas and can’t wait to concoct some flavours of my own. Watch this space!

One Day in Liverpool.

Falafeled.

After having a healthy week I felt more than motivated to hunt out an alternative to the cheese and carb’ filled meals which the lovely Miss K and I frequently pull together for each other.  In the end I managed to conjure up quite an eclectic feast which left us both stuffed and satisfied.

I followed (to a degree) two pretty simple recipes for falafel and tzatziki. I went for the ease of a throw-it-all-together meal with the help of a few chapatis (which I’d warmed in the oven), some fresh salad leaves and a dollop of sweet chilli sauce making the whole thing a pleasure to eat.

I do enjoy good falafel, but I had no idea just how easy it was to make until now! Something can definitely be said for knowing what goes into your food and how satisfying even the healthiest of meals can be when you’ve made them from scratch. The only change I’d make next time I rustle up this beauty would be to leave my falafel mix a little more chunky so it has a bit of bite…

[I added chopped fresh coriander instead of parsley]
[I added one teaspoon of paprika instead of dried coriander]
[I added one teaspoon of chilli powder instead of a half]

Jack Spratt, M2 6WH.

I’ve been to Jack Spratt a couple of times now and each time we’ve been greeted by friendly ‘at your service’ staff (although not always that punctual) and scrumptious, wholesome food. The place itself is quite small, but this adds to the cosy welcoming feel and it doesn’t at all feel crowded even when all tables are taken. Also with it being close to my office in central Manchester there are no complaints here!

I’d highly recommend everyone give it ago, they even do a bargainous early evening £8 menu (two course) which does deliver quite small portions however I just took that as an excuse to indulge in desert – every cloud! They also throw together one of the best sharing platters I’ve ever tasted (pictured below). The veggie platter doesn’t sport any of the bog-standard vegetarian classics, instead opting to keep things interesting, a decision both my and my fellow dinner commended.

All in all it gets my vote!

Sweet potato wedges (£8 menu)

Beer Battered Haddock (£8 menu)

Trio of Panna Cotta:
Gin & rhubarb;
Strawberry & cassis;
Raspberry.

Veggie Sharing Platter

Glazed BBQ Baby Rack of Ribs

Kendal Calling, 
Lowther Deer Park.