Foodie Weekend

You know when some weekends just make you not want to go back to work? Well this weekend was one of this. Luckily I actually didn't have to go back to work this morning. I have a week off. I'm loving it only one day in. We were pretty good on Saturday and went spinning at the thighs are still not thanking me for it. Then Saturday night we went to a friends flat for drinks and to witness a Man v Food challenge in the form of two GIANT burritos.

I did not partake in the challenge but I got to try the leftovers and was very impressed. If anything, getting to the leftovers after the challengers had given up was the best part.

Sundays were made for food. Not just roast dinners but lazy breakfasts and coffee breaks and afternoon tea. Nick (Cake Hunter boyfriend) and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary on Sunday and naturally we celebrated with food. For breakfast I made up 4 of Rachel Khoo's version of a croque madam.

They were heavenly. I also - rather ashamedly - made bechamel sauce for the first time. As soon as I tried the croque madam I was thinking of ways to work more bechamel into my life. I actually twisted the recipe a little as I didn't have any dijon mustard in and the nutmeg seemed to go walkabout so I just used half a teaspoon of english mustard. This actually completed the egg and the honey roast ham really well. 
I think having a fan oven, I would cook it for a few minutes less than the suggested 15 minutes but the eggs were still runny enough...I love a really runny egg! 

It was such a delicious breakfast. These croque madams are now our go to celebratory breakfast for all special occasions. 

Just looking at this picture makes me want to cook them all over again.

To continue our foodie anniversary we took a trip to Trentham Gardens in Stoke. I love going to Trentham, there are great shops there...especially Brown & Greens. They sell a great range of olive oils and vinegars which I could happily sit and dip huge chunks of ciabatta in all day. The food is such great quality that I wish I lived just round the corner from them so I could claim they were my local shop!
We meandered along the Trentham shops towards Pieminister for lunch. This was only my second Pieminister but I was in love with them before my first minister. 

Who doesn't love pie? Well I know some people don't but pie is great. 

I opted for a pie off their specials board - The Big Cheese. As they put it "Made with West Country cheddar, spuds and buttered onions with a garlic, herby cream cheese melty middle it's the stuff cheesy dreams are made of", and boy were they right. It was so good. 
I love cheese, I've mentioned this before.
I'll probably mention it again. It's the stuff of love.

But yeah, the pie, I was very happy with my choice. Thumbs up for Pieminister. 
Nick opted for the Heidi Pie, which was just as good. We rarely opt for veggie versions of anything but Pieminister did us proud!

We finally ended up at the garden centre and came home with a beautiful window box for our balcony. We live in a first floor flat and really wanted to started growing our own herbs but were a little lacking in the garden department. So we made our little garden on a ledge. We opted for chives, garden mint, dill and some strawberries. Now remember we are first time gardeners so we might have gone about it all wrong, with the limited space and all, but hopefully at least the herbs will thrive even if the strawberries fail. 
Fingers crossed. I can't wait to chop chives over some summer salads and new potatoes. 
I'll keep you updated on the progress of my garden. Seeing as we aren't permitted pets in our building, these are my babies. If I get caught talking to them out the window every morning, it might be time to get another hobby!