23 on the 23rd and a sad bird

York is a wonderful place to have a birthday 🙂 John and I got to host wonderful people and eat tasty food. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate. I made gnocchi again since it had gone so well last time!

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Flowers from the lovely Bec. And a sweet card from Katie, Owen, and Emi. I’m a lucky gal.

Our menu was as follows:

Appetizer

Honey Drizzled Pear and Stillton Crostini

Ginger Beer, Lemon and Whiskey Jello Shots

Main

Gnocchi Bar:

Italian Sausage

Lamb and Rosemary Sausage

Baked Chicken

Parmesan Alfredo

Marinera

Sautéed Peas in butter and garlic

Roasted Butternut squash

Peppery Italian Salad with Creamy Lemon Pepper Dressing

Dessert 

Irish Chocolate Cupcakes

with

Dark chocolate ganache and Baileys icing

It was great fun to cook and even more fun to eat! In the delightful frenzy I neglected a picture of the feast but dear Katie snapped a shot of the festivities!

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Tasty Cupcakes!!

The next highlight of the week was the concert of the Calamity Consort  on Friday. Not only was there amazingly beautiful music performed elegantly, the church was glorious. There are so many tiny churches in York and this was one of the cutest ones I’ve seen to date. It was first time it was mentioned in writing was 1089, which means it is probably much older! All Saints Church, North Street, York is a must see if you come to visit.

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The beautiful All Saints Church, North Street, York

In other news, the Pheasant did not quite share the success of some of my other meals. My darling husband kept me calm, but there were some tears. haha!  It turns out there is a definite learning curve to cooking gamey meat. After an afternoon of roasting pheasant and potatoes, nothing done. I finally finished it off in the microwave. The potatoes tasted odd and the bird was a sad tough mess. We ended up going out for dinner that night. hahaha Live and learn, I suppose. I am not sure when my little ego will be ready to tackle pheasant again. It was also the first time potatoes haven’t finished roasting…. From this I learned how to really roast a potato from Katie, Bec, and Emi. I cannot wait to try this new (to me) method. 🙂 Thank you, ladies 🙂

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True tragedy on a plate…. haha

I have been going nuts on my adult coloring book! I am hoping to have the whole thing done in order! haha its the little things!

The weather has been beautiful and chilly! We saw snow! Although it did not stick, it was there and it was beautiful to watch it fall at 2am. Its beginning to feel a lot like late November.

Here I go to find inspiration for dinner 🙂

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All of this became gnocchi!
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Honey Olive oil Cookies

 

Homemade Naan with Wensleydale and avocado

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Pizza Rolls
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Best Brownies!

The Wall and lots of firsts

Hello all!

It is a blustery day here. Beautiful diffused light on the tress outside our window. It has been a lovely week for food. We tried Swede (rutabaga) and I am planning to roast a pheasant for dinner! It is something I have never done so we shall see what happens 🙂

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The Wall
The Wall

Since last I wrote we have done quite a few fun things! Yesterday we walked the entirety of the wall around the city and found my new favorite coffee shop. It is called Gatehouse Coffee and it has amazing iced caramel macchiatos. Delicious!

A lovely courtyard we glimpsed on the other side of the wall.
A lovely courtyard we glimpsed on the other side of the wall.

After our nice walk around the city we went to a butcher in the Shambles Market and got a pheasant, which I will try to cook this evening! I am excited. Its so much smaller than I thought it would be. I dedicate this bird to Danny (from Danny, The Champion of the World -Roald Dahl). We then went to an cute little Italian Restaurant in on Shambles. A nice date day. Everyday is kinda a date but yesterday was extra special!

Cake balls chillin'
Cake balls chillin’

This week I also attempted my first batch of cake balls. They turned out quite nicely. I can’t wait to learn how to spice them up for Christmas. Peppermint white chocolate, any one?

We also discovered the Museum Gardens. They are so close to our flat I cannot believe it took us this long to wander through them. The newest building in the Gardens  was built while Schubert was still alive. I am amazed that I get to walk among things that are so old and I am beginning to feel like it is normal. haha. Yesterday on our walk John was reading a plaque on a bridge over the Foss and the date was 1880. He said “oh, so this is a new bridge.” It makes me smile.

Happy Friday!

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Ruins of St Mary’s in the Museum Gardens
Museum Gardens Ruins of St Mary's
Cemetery at St. Olave next to the Gardens
Fall leaves  by the Ouse
Fall leaves by the Ouse
View of Bootham Bar and the Minster from the front of the Museum.
View of Bootham Bar and the Minster from the front of the Museum.
Delicious apricot tart in the square
Delicious apricot tart in the square
Pie crust cookies and custard.
Pie crust cookies and custard.

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Some of our tasty dinners. I forgot to take picture of the quiche I made and the baked mac and cheese. They both tasted wonderful. haha
Some of our tasty dinners. I forgot to take picture of the quiche I made and the baked mac and cheese. They both tasted wonderful. haha

Life is Scrumdiddlyumptious

Life has slowed down a little bit now that we are all settled in York. We have gotten into a very nice routine: cooking, cleaning, haning out with lovely people, taking walks, eating, cooking 🙂 Life is good.

This last week we got to hear a wonderful concert given by the Yorkshire Bach Choir. They performed in St. Michael le Belfrey in York. It is the small church right next to York Minster. It was very special to hear Byrd (1540-1623), Allegri (1582-1652), Gesualdo (1566-1613), Tallis (c.1505-1585), and Eccard (1553-1611) performed in a church that was completed in 1536 when some of the composers were not yet living!

It appears small next to the Minster, but I thought it was rather grand inside. There is so much history. While we were sitting in the audience of the beautiful concert, John researched the church. It seems that Guy Fawkes was baptized there, which makes sense because he was born not a block away. Another interesting factoid is that the architect who built the house we live in, designed and refurbished the facade of the church in the lat 1860s. Everything in York is connected! Its so fun!

After the concert, we went to a party that the choir conductor’s house as Katie and Owen’s plus ones. This was an excellent experience, as I got to meet Peter Seymour, conductor and harpsichord teacher at the uni, and his lovely wife, Yvonne, a voice teacher. They were marvelous! I had the most fun visiting with them both. John and Peter Seymour hit it off. They talked about architecture and music and all sorts of things, while I listened and was left to admire the kitchen and Yvonne’s delicious Bread and Butter Pudding. I will be asking for the recipe shortly.  Their house is on Bootham Terrace, not a block away from our flat. It was built in 1860 something, just 10 years before ours, by men who worked on the railroad. It is gorgeous.

Yesterday Owen and Katie were both off at the same time and so we got to hang out with them during the day 🙂 I felt very honored that they shared one of their free times with us. We all went to see the new James Bond film. Spectre was grand! It was unbelievably fun to see it in England! Going to see it meant that we also got to see a different part of York. We road the 6 bus to Cliffton Moor. John and I hadn’t been to that side of York and it was fun to see.

This week has also been fun because we have been busy on Skype! Joanne, John’s mama, got an iPad 🙂 Now we can Skype with her. We got to show her our flat and get all caught up. It was nice. We also got to visit with my grandmother and aunt and uncle. Uncle PeterG is from England. He and Auntie Molly made sure to leave us with more wisdom this visit 🙂 Robinson’s Orange Cordial is delicious. haha John loves it! Thank you for telling us about it! We are also going to go geocaching very soon. I found a few right around us!

On the food side of life I have been having fun! I made gnocchi last week and I will be making it again! It was a hit. I also made several batches of cookies: plain and simple chocolate chip, Nutella, and double chocolate. They were all very tasty and especially good with a cuppa tea. I also made focaccia bread loaded with cheese and turkey. Scrumdiddlyuptious. (which I just learned is actually a tea room in Derbyshire. We will have to visit 😉 )

Now I’m off to the grocery store to find inspiration in more food 😀

:)
🙂
Loaded focaccia bread. Absolutely wonderful :) Had it for dinner and the leftovers for breakfast toasted with a fried egg on top.
Loaded focaccia bread. Absolutely wonderful 🙂 Had it for dinner and the leftovers for breakfast toasted with a fried egg on top.
My first attempt at gnocchi!
My first attempt at gnocchi!