Thursday, 26 March 2015

James Bay

Alright, listen up boys and girls. If you do nothing else with your day, at least make sure you listen to James Bay's new album - Chaos and the Calm. 

I saw an advert for James Bay as a new up and coming artist and decided to give him a listen. The first song of his that came up on YouTube was Hold Back the River and I absolutely loved it. It sounds a lot like Rivers and Roads by The Head and the Heart so I think there was definitely some influence there... but despite the fact that there was obvious similarities going on, it was still an amazing song.

After just listening to that one song I decided to download his entire album and I was so glad I did. 
Every single song on it is magic but my favourites are.....

Hold Back the River
Clocks go Forward
If you Ever Want to be in Love
Let It Go

For anyone who likes Hozier, Years & Years, George Ezra, Vance Joy or Zella Day, you'll love this album.

So let me know if you like it and if you do, what your favourite songs are!

Friday, 20 March 2015

Solar Eclipse

What did everyone do this morning? Anyone go see the eclipse?

There was loads of people on my Facebook newsfeed complaining about the clouds and therefore zero way of actually being able to see this phenomenon. To be honest I was feeling the same way for a while. Jordan and I got up earlier than I would have liked this morning in order to walk to my uni and get to the top of the hill that the main building is on, which is where he thought the best view of the eclipse would be. When we got outside and started walking it was so cloudy you literally could not see any of the sky at all and I was really grumpy cause I thought it was completely pointless that we had gotten up early. Buuuut.....
When we got to the top of the hill there was loads of people there looking for the eclipse as well. Just when it got to 9:34 (the time that the sun was supposed to be most covered) people started cheering and a hole in the clouds appeared just around the sun/moon and you could see the eclipse so clearly. It was pretty amazing. Not really the eclipse, even though that was pretty cool, but the fact that at the exact right time, a hole in the really clouded sky appeared right around the specific area we needed to see. It was so meant to be.


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

A Big Breakfast at Cafezique [Glasgow] and Homemade Beef Stew

So Jordan came over Sunday and we were greeted with the smell of a full fry-up breakfast, courtesy of Ashleigh and her boyfriend. That made us pretty starving so we decided to go out for brunch instead of cooking our own food. We ended up going to Cafezique, this really quaint cafe, attached to Delizique - also a cafe but it sells its own bread, cakes, tartlets, scones, croissants and meringues as well.
The cafe is pretty chic cause it has a mezzanine overlooking the main space so you can look down onto the other tables/kitchen. That's where we were sitting because downstairs was packed. We were overlooking the street, not the rest of the cafe though so we got a good chance to people watch.
Anyway, on to the food. We both decided to have the "big breakfast" which was made up of: puddledub shoulder bacon, stornoway black pudding, aberfoyle butcher pork & herb sausages, organic baked beans, delizique tattie scone, field mushroom, tomato and corrie mains free range eggs with delique toast. It was sooo good. The picture doesn't do it much justice - as my sister pointed out, it looks "charred" but thats just the effect I used on Instagram and not the food itself. It was just what you wanted from a full fry up although I thought the baked beans tasted kind of weird. Kind of like... cherries. Which was strange and I wasn't a big fan of. Everything else was amazing though. I tried my hardest to eat it all but I couldn't manage it so Jordan ended up finishing mine off.
I've been to Cafezique before and had another one of their breakfast items so I can say with certainty that they are one of the places that do better breakfast's. They do lunch and dinner's as well but I can't testify for those. All I can say is that I definitely recommend you going to get breakfast/brunch from here if you're in the West End of Glasgow.

After breakfast we went to Morrisons to get supplies to make cookies and beef stew. It was a pretty big pig-out day. Probably why we ended up feeling like puking at the end of it... totally worth it though.
I had been watching a Mary Berry cooking show a few days beforehand and she had made a beef stew on it. It ended up with me really craving some yummy beef stew. Specifically, the one my mum makes. Stew is another one of those recipes that no matter who makes it, or what it tastes like, your mum's is always the best.
I didn't make my mum's however, but it still tasted really good. Everything was soft and tender and flavourful and rich and warm and filling. Just had to make sure that you seasoned it really well. A lot of salt and pepper was used to make it taste so good. The best thing is, that after you've eaten all the beef and carrots and potatoes, you can dip bread into the leftover broth. There's nothing better than bread dipped in beef broth, in my opinion. There's the recipe if anyone wants to try the stew.

So basically, Sunday was a day of eating and lots of cuddling. Or as Jordan described it, "an all day cuddle session with enough sugar to end a diabetic elephant". That would be the sugar from the massive peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that I made that he was talking about. There's the recipe if anyone wants to enter a sugar coma themselves. Its from a blog called The Sugar Hit, which seems entirely appropriate.

A day of eating and cuddling. That's the way Sunday's are supposed to be spent in my opinion.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cats: the Musical [London]

Cats time!
When I was down in London visiting my sister, one of the reasons I went was so that she could take me out for my 21st (a couple of months early).
We actually both had the same idea. I asked if we could go see Cats and she replied that she was already going to take me as a surprise. As it turns out, she was really sick with the flu so she couldn't come in the end, so it was just Matt and I. Even though it would have been better having my sister there as well, it was still absolutely amazing.

I've wanted to see Cats ever since I was little. I don't actually remember exactly how I found out about it, but I think that my Grandma gave me a video of the original play cause I remember watching it loads in my room in Belgium when I was little.
I loved everything about it. The music, the dancing, the costumes. I remember really wishing that I could sing and dance like them. Unfortunately that didn't happen but I did end up seeing it 10 years after originally seeing it on video, so that was definitely a dream come true.

For those of you who don't know, Cats is a musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Elliot. Although it might not seem like there is much of a storyline to it because its just a lot of songs about different cats (Matt definitely didn't see any storyline), it actually tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as 'the Jellicle choice' and decide which cat will ascend to the Heavenside Layer and come back to a new life.
To be honest, reading that description, it doesn't sound that interesting.... but I can assure you that its amazing! It doesn't really matter if you don't get whats going on because the songs are so good that you'll be entertained just sat there listening to them and watching them dance. Although don't just take my word for it! Its won numerous awards, its the 3rd longest running show in Broadway history, its been performed around the world many times and has been translated into more than 20 languages, so clearly it must be pretty good.
So good in fact that they brought it back, albeit with some slight changes. More on that later....

Out of all of the songs - 27 in fact - I have a few favourites. Macavity: The Mystery Cat, Mr. Mistoffelees, The Rum Tum Tugger and, of course, Memory. Even if you haven't heard of the musical or any of the other songs, you've probably heard Memory. It's been performed by Elaine Page and Barbra Streisand and was a top 10 hit in the UK in 1981. Its a beautiful song and is really sad and emotive and I'm not gonna lie, I welled up when I heard it live. Kerry Ellis plays Grizabella, the cat who sings Memory, and her voice is absolutely amazing. The combination of her voice and that song is just asking for people to cry their eyes out.
Apart from Memory, my other favourite songs are all really upbeat, dancy numbers that just make you want to smile. For example, The Rum Tum Tugger. However, the only thing wrong with the entire play was that song. That was one of my favourite songs and I was so looking forward to hearing it live but for some reason, one of the changes they made to the play was to change that song into a rap song. It was a horrible decision to be honest and I was so disappointed that I didn't get to hear the original version. When the actor started rapping I was so confused and had no idea what was going on and it was actually kind of cringe worthy.
However, out of a 2 and a half hour play, if the only thing wrong with it was that one song then its still obviously a pretty amazing play. I definitely reccomend you go see it. You can get tickets for only £20! Its definitely worth the money, even the more expensive tickets. The songs are amazing, the dancing is amazing (I could actually see loads of yoga moves in the dancing) and its a great night out.

Let me know if anyone has seen it and what you thought of it! Did you like the change of Rum Tum Tugger into a rap song?

Monday, 2 March 2015

Mozzarella and Salami Chicken Roll-Ups, Chilli Con Carne, Chicken Noodle Soup, Spinach Tagliatelle and Chicken Chow Mein

Part 2 of my recipe filled blog posts! 
This 'edition' has even more recipes than the last one did - 5 in total - but its to stop me from clogging up your bloglovin newsfeed with 5 different blog posts all about food! So here is a massive long blog post instead!

 What's better when you're feeling sick than a big bowl of hot, homemade, chicken noodle soup? Nothing, is the answer.
When I was down in London, this is exactly what I made for my sister when she was feeling all sick with the flu, curled up on the sofa.
I'm actually really craving some right now because its freezing and snowing outside and I could really go with some homemade soup to warm me up from the inside.
This soup is such a traditional, heartwarming meal and I really recommend you make some of the chicken stock and just keep it in your freezer so that you can pull it out at any time, when its cold out or when you're sick.
The only problem I had with this was that I put too many noodles in so the stock got completely absorbed and it wasn't so much soup anymore, but more of a noodle dish... Either way, it was still delicious. There's the recipe for anyone wanting to try it!

Another heart-warming meal for you - chilli con carne! I think chilli is one of those meals that your mum always used to make for you that can never be beaten be any other chilli recipe. However, this one comes pretty close.
I can't emphasise enough how much seasoning you have to put into the chilli at the end, otherwise its pretty bland. This chilli also has a bit of a kick to it so it'll heat your mouth right up.

 And for the third recipe... mozzarella and salami chicken roll-ups!
I absolutely love salami, and mozzarella is one of my favourite types of cheeses, so to have all that wrapped up in chicken and cooked in the oven till its all gooey and hot and yummy is just amazing.
Just have to remember to get cocktail sticks to keep the chicken held together, otherwise its all going to run out whilst its in the oven.

As you can probably tell from the picture, this is a screenshot of a snapchat, courtesy of my boyfriend. I made this spinach tagliatelle for us one night when I was craving the fettucine alfredo from the Olive Garden in America, and he was wanting a more healthy option, thus the addition of the spinach. It totally makes up for the cream and cheese... right?
Its a really rich meal, so you won't need a large portion but it is so yummy and creamy, and garlicy and cheesey and just delicious.
I couldn't even finish my bowl and had to pass it on to Jordan but that might also have to do with the fact that I was drinking malibu and coke as well which was filling me up...

And lastly on this recipe packed blog post... chicken chow mein! I started searching for this recipe because I knew that we had leftover noodles in the cupboard, soy sauce, chicken and brocolli in the freezer.
The recipe calls for peppers and bean sprouts, but I used brocolli instead which I personally thought was better, seeing as I absolutely love brocolli.
I love chicken chow mein and chinese food in general and this is so easy to make, so if you're ever in mood for chinese food, instead of phoning for a takeaway, make this instead! It is definitely a much healthier option and if you already have the ingrediants in your house, its cheaper as well!

So thats the end of my food-stuffed blog post! Let me know if you guys try out any of these recipes and how they turn out! Would love to hear from you!