Showing posts from April, 2014

Ciao, Poynton

It can be easy to get stuck in a bit of a rut with restaurants, and keep returning to a place where you know the menu and you know you’ll have a good evening. A few weeks ago, Andy and I decided to swap our usual Italian choice for another Poynton restaurant, Ciao. We have eaten there before, but quite a long time ago, and we decided it was well worth another visit.

It was a Saturday night, about 7pm, and it was packed. Whilst we were there, they had to turn a couple of groups away as every table was full. Despite that, it didn’t feel busy or crowded. Instead, there was a lovely atmosphere, and you could tell the restaurant owners knew plenty of their regular customers very well. The overall fell was friendly and bustling, and we settled in for some food.

We had had a fairly large lunch that day, and baked cakes too, so decided to skip starters and go straight to main meals. Despite that, they actually brought over a complimentary round of bread and butter, which kept us going until …

The Reading List #23

I cannot believe how long it has been since I’ve published a reading list! I really want to get back to doing them weekly, as the amount of books I’m getting through has definitely not slowed down. I’ve kept lists of what I’ve been reading though, so there’s plenty to get writing about. Without further ado, here is the latest list:

Sovereign, C J Sansom

It is autumn 1541, and lawyer Matthew Shardlake is in York with his assistant, Jack Barak, to do some work for King Henry VIII. Whilst they are there, a glazier is murdered, and Matthew becomes entangled in the mysteries surrounding the man’s death. Matthew narrates the novel, and it is a web of intrigue, threats to the throne and the life of the church in Tudor England.
I loved that this was set in York, because I went to university there and was able to picture some of the streets and landmarks, or moments in history it referred to. It was a brilliant murder mystery, complex and gripping. It’s certainly a long novel, but it doesn’t …

The Recipe Post #7: Buttercake Cupcakes

I can’t believe these photos have been sitting waiting to be blogged for so long… Andy and I made them on Valentine’s weekend, oops!
Anyway, they were so yummy, and the most simple cupcakes. If you want simple, tasty cakes, keep on reading. The recipe is based on one from a Women’s Weekly baking book I found on my mum’s bookshelf a while ago.

To make 8, you will need:

150g self-raising flour 90g butter, softened 1tsp vanilla extract 110g caster sugar 2 eggs 2tbsp milk

For the buttercream  - This made FAR more than we used, so feel free to cut it back a little -
125g butter, softened 240g icing sugar 2tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 160C for a fan oven. Line 8 holes of a muffin pan with paper cases and set aside.
Sift flour into a small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer on a low speed until combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth and pale.

Divide the mixture between the paper cases. Bake for about 20 minutes, leave to sta…

Pizza at Piccolino

Sometimes, when you go out for dinner, you want simple food that’s done really, really well. A pizza at a restaurant just has so much more flavour than one you’d buy at home, and that’s what I went for when I ate out with the girls a couple of weeks ago. Anyway, I’m jumping ahead, so let’s start at the beginning…
Piccolino is an Italian restaurant in Bramhall, and one you can rely on to have something for everyone. They have an extensive menu, incorporating pizzas, pastas, fish and meat dishes, and everything I’ve tried has been so tasty. Right in the centre of the village, it has a lovely bar at the front, then opens up into a restaurant, with an open kitchen where you can watch the food being prepared. It’s a favourite spot for many, and I’ve been there a lot, whether it’s just for drinks, or for food as well.

A few weeks ago, me and two friends needed a bit of a catch-up, and went for an early Piccolino tea. I think we were there about 6pm on a Monday, so it was almost deserted wh…

The Challenge #5: April 2014

It’s a new month and that means it’s time for a new challenge. Yet again, I’m a couple of days late posting about my challenge, but the bonus is that means I can give a bit of feedback on my first couple of days.
The challenge: walk to and from work, don’t take the bus.
I should probably mention that this walk is 3.5 miles each way…

I’ve been doing this for 2 weeks now, since moving to the new house, and have made it my April challenge to make sure I keep it up. Here’s the bonuses I’ve noticed so far:
- It gives me a great slot of thinking time. As someone who has been struggling with panic for the last 6 months or so, I’ve heard it’s a good plan to give yourself some thoughtful time, which you can then block off and set aside and continue with your day. So far, that’s working.
- It’s great exercise. A brisk walk at both ends of the day can never be a bad thing. I’m doing a fast walk for about 45 minutes each way, which is no bad thing. It leaves me feeling energised, and over 2 week…

The Challenge and Results #4: March 2014

Slap on the wrist for Sophie, I didn’t press publish on my March challenge post! So now I’ll combine the challenge and results in one, which is great because it was a big fat success.
The challenge was to properly begin our house hunt, narrow down our options, and put every effort into finding somewhere to live. For a bit of background, Andy and I lived together for two years whilst at university, then made the sensible choice to both move back home whilst we job-hunted after graduating. I started my job in September, then Andy his in about November. And whilst we fully intended to then find somewhere to live, life gets in the way a bit sometimes and the weeks rocket by.
Anyway, just over a month or so, enough was enough. We were ready to have our own space again, and my parents said they could tell I was frustrated by having less independence, and that I should really get a move on and push forwards.
After that decision had been made, it was like things were put on fast forward. We …