Sunday 23 February 2020

Eating out in SiAp Shop, Cocktails Beer Ramen + Bun, The Con Club plus matcha latte and quick salad recipes

Hi and welcome back to this week's post. I've not been out to too many places this week but I managed to try a couple of new places that I really enjoyed. Let's just get into it shall we...?

COCKTAIL BEER RAMEN + BUN - Northern Quarter, Manchester
See the menu here FYI the menu is bigger now than this but you can get a good idea

above (left) Cauliflower bun with pickles, (right) Crab Tonkotsu  - Ramen noodles with soft shell crab curry

So this was a new place that we decided to check out. Absolutely loved the food here and the staff were great. We had a couple of buns and a couple of bowls of ramen and shared them both. The far picture is the artichoke bun and also the vegetarian ramen with miso aubergine. 

I don't know if it's just me, but these little ramen places are popping up all over the show at the moment and I am certainly not complaining. I could eat soup noodles until I'm blue in the face I swear!

SiAP / SHOP - Northern Quarter
Instagram page here

above (left) Lemon Meringue Donut, (right) Original Glazed Donut

Well this was a nice little treat! This is such a cute little cafe which do the BEST donuts! All made on site each day too so once they're gone, they're gone!

Then today it was time for a classic Sunday roast. I love the Con Club for a good veggie roast. It's filling and tastes great too. Highly recommended if you fancy filling your belly on a Sunday (or any other day of the week for that matter!)

CON CLUB - Altrincham
above Vegetarian Sunday Roast

Apple Crumble with Creme Anglais (on the side)

For those of you who are weird like me, there is dried fruit in the crumble. I did know this in advance and managed to pick it all out. For those who know me will understand what a feat this was! If you don't know me, I can't do dried fruit in foods. Like CAN'T at all. I'm shuddering thinking about it! The crumble tasted great though, just had to give husband all the sultanas ha ha!

For a bit of home cooking this week, I made this great immune boosting drink. It's almost like a cordial that you can add to hot water to make a longer drink. See the full recipe here

I also made a delicious sweet potato, butternut squash and lentil stew. No fancy recipe really just fried some onions until brown in a cast iron pan. Then added chopped tomatoes, chopped red pepper, chopped butternut squash, chopped sweet potato, smoky vegetable stock pot (from Tesco - these are amazing!) and a teaspoon of a patatas bravas mix, hot water to cover and then a big scoop of red lentils. Let it cook for a few hours and it was done.

Great with a mix of brown and wild rice and super warming.

Then I wanted to show you how I make a super tasty lunch that's also really quick too. It's so easy, I tend to just buy some form of these three things - a bag of salad, some kind of protein (such a prawns, falafels, squid etc) and a salad mix such as the nutty one above and then just mix them altogether with an extra splash of EVOO and some black pepper and mixed seeds.

Its pretty big I know but I tend to eat large amounts at lunch. It is such a great way to get lots of flavours in without having to worry about cooking grains, cooking falafels/prawns etc and greens.

Can somebody please bring back crumpets. I mean I know we can buy them from the supermarket, but I feel that they are very underestimated, especially when it comes to brunch. You never get them in cafes for brunches anymore. What's the deal with that? They're so good!

This was simple and delicious. Two toasted crumpets with two poached eggs on top and some Chinese chilli oil.

Finally incase you haven't tried a matcha latte, this is how I make mine. Matcha is a great alternative to coffee as it provides a slow release of caffeine instead of that sudden spike and a huge crash a couple of hours later.

- heat up your milk in a frother (ideally a good plant based milk, I love Oat milk)
- in your cup, sift in 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp of matcha powder and add 1 tsp of inulin powder (optional)
- add a splash of hot water from a recently boiled kettle (not boiling though as you can burn it) and mix it together with your matcha whisk
- pour over your hot milk and you're good to go

I love having one of these in the morning if I need a pick-me-up, they give me the kick I need without the crash.

Have you had matcha lattes before? How do you make yours?

Thank you so much for reading this week,

Lotsa love,

Emmaline x

Sunday 16 February 2020

EATING OUT at Six By Nico, Joseph Benjamin plus home cooking and recipes too

Happy Valentine's Weekend! I hope if you've been celebrating then you've been spoilt rotten. 

I've been eating out at some fab places this week, including a couple of new places too. Have a read below of some great places for you to check out...

The first stop is Joseph Benjamin in Chester. What a lovely little bistro style restaurant for a Valentine's Evening. Lovely food, great service, great night! 

I believe it's the same owners as Porta in Altrincham and you can tell too. The food is packed full of flavour, I would highly recommend it. 

See the full menu here

(above) Burrata, blood orange, brussel sprout slaw, salsify crisps

Roast cauliflower cashew nut hummus, pickled golden raisins, smoked paprika oil

Braised beef feather blade bourguignon, roast shallot, olive oil mash, horseradish gremolata

Grilled aubergine, coconut & turmeric braised butterbeans, green tahini, puffed wild rice

Sides: Green salad, mustard dressing and Fried ratte potatoes with lemon, garlic & pink peppercorn butter.

Then, after months and months of waiting, I finally booked us a table at Six By Nico. I've wanted to go here for so long and so this was my Valentine's Day treat to hubby.

I think we picked a really great week to go to be honest as the menu was the 'Best of 2019'. I can't guarantee the food will always be this good but I really, really enjoyed it. Plus the price is amazing! £29 per head for six courses! 

SIX BY NICO - Spring Gardens, Manchester

Check out the latest menu here (it changes I believe every six weeks)

I went for the vegetarian menu, but the food is pretty similar to the normal menu anyway


Monte Enebro Bombas / Smoked Tomato Compote / Aioli


Thai Green Sauce / Charred Sweetcorn / Pickled Shimiji Mushroom


Aged Manchego / Fino Sherry / King Oyster Mushroom


Ricotta Agnolotti / Peperonata / Aubergine Caviar / Green Olive Salsa Verde


Sweet Potato / Papaya & Peanut Salad / Coriander Emulsion


Caramelia Chocolate Mousse / Orange Sorbet / Cocoa Nib

THE GREENHOUSE - Oxford Road, Altrincham

Mixed plate of 5 salads

The home cooking was taken to a whole new level this week! I decided to stuff this giant Butternut squash with rice, quinoa and buckwheat. Then made a herby, nut granola, peanut dressing and added feta, pomegranate seeds, za'tar and chopped coriander on top. 

It. Was. Epic!

Served with a dressed green salad

LUNCH - Salad blend with leaves, feta, pomegranate and prepared salads

I love to mix fresh salad leaves with prepared salads to make them go further (and taste better too!).
In this salad above, I added some feta and pomegranate seeds to some leaves and a superfood nut salad from M & S and a mixed bean salad from Sainsbury's. Then roasted a pepper in the air fryer and it was amazing! Super quick lunch and super easy!

My homemade sweet potato 'dirty fries'

Saturday night was burger night! I find I prefer to make my own burgers these days than have them out. I tend to enjoy them a bit more. My favourite burgers are the 'fake meat' ones. Yes they are full of soya but I just prefer the texture. Hubby prefers the mixed bean type ones but either way they're good!

Loaded chickpea and sweetcorn burger with all the trimmings!

Seriously... where do you even start! ha ha!

Madeira Cake - Nigella Lawson Recipe (recipe here)

Baked this delicious loaf on Saturday and it is one of my fav lemon Madeira cake recipes

Homemade Gluten Free and Dairy Free Waffles

We take Sunday breakfasts seriously in our house. This is a recipe from my Thermomix that I adapted to make it gluten and dairy free. These waffles are super lightweight and are basically like eating little puffs of wind ha ha!

I drizzled my waffles with coconut yoghurt, almond butter, maple syrup, raw cacao powder and icing sugar - and blueberries too of course!

If you want a similar recipe, here's one that I did over on my clinic blog

Well that's my little food journey for this week, I hope you had a lovely weekend.

Thank you so much for reading,

Em x


Sunday 9 February 2020

Homemade Sourdough Bread, Quick Weekday Meal Ideas and Eating out at Hawksmoor, Juniper and The Greenhouse

Hi and welcome to this week's post.

My oh my is it windy out there! I hope you have all stayed safe and kept warm inside away from the craziness of it all.

This week I've not done that much eating out, but I have been cooking a bit, so I thought I'd share what I've been doing with you guys...

Cooking time approx 45 mins to 1 hour

So let's start at the beginning. The other day I decided to buy some puff pastry to use to bake with and then never got round to using it. So, instead of it sitting there getting wasted in the fridge, I decided to make two of these roasted veggie tarts.

Simply get the veggies you want to roast - I chose a lazy bag of vegetables already prepped ready to roast (peppers, courgettes, red onion and tomato) and roasted them in my air fryer with some herbs and spices, garlic and chilli oil till nearly cooked. Then unrolled my pastry and placed on top my roasted veggies (slightly cooled), some olives, artichokes and balsamic glaze.

I then sliced a 'frame' around the edge of my veggies and brushed with beaten egg and popped it in a hot oven for 20 mins or so. 

I served it with some roasted sweet potatoes, greens, salad and a dollop of coleslaw

Cooking time around 20-30 minutes depending on rice

Ok, let's be honest and say that this doesn't look that appealing. It does taste amazing though and if you want a quick, tasty dinner, this is always my go to recipe.

Teriyaki sauce gives so much flavour and depth to meals and so it is something I always like to cook with.

Grill your fish with a teriyaki glaze and then fry your beans in chilli oil with some teriyaki sauce and a glug of sweet chilli. 

When everything is cooked it's just a case of assembling them. Then any watery liquid left in the pan from the beans, reduce by turning up to high and creating a sticky sauce to eat with the rice.

(top) omelette 
(bottom) Smashed avocado with smoked salmon

One of the things I love about being self-employed is that if you get a last minute break, you can escape out when you need to!

I adore Juniper brunches and this as usual did not disappoint! Managed to get some girly time and a tasty treat - happy days!


(top left) Oat Pancake bake
(2 plates) 5 salad mix

This food is some of my all time favourites! The Greenhouse is a little vegetarian cafe tucked away in Altrincham and I swear it is on the list of one of my happy places!

The salads are the best I've ever eaten and then oat pancake is just pure comforting heaven. No words can describe how much I love this food... If you haven't been, then you're missing out!


So at the beginning of January I was lucky enough to be treated to go on a sourdough workshop with One Mile Bakery Hale.

If you didn't hear me gushing about it on social media, it was possibly hands down one of my favourite courses I've ever done (and I've been on a lot!).

I came home and was so excited to start baking. The first week I planned it all out and made my first ever sourdough loaf... honestly? It looked like shit!

Hmmm... well that was disheartening! Week two, I decided to try again, this one looked like a slightly better version of the first one - i.e. still shit!

Then... finally I decided to give it one more try (FYI, if this one didn't work then it was a lifetime of me spending money in Hills Bakery!) and it worked!!

I have never been so proud, in fact I literally danced around the kitchen with joy ha ha! It was perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. can't wait to share a recipe with you!

(above) Veggie Sunday roast with cauliflower cheese and all the trimmings

In my opinion (and I know everybody has their own) this is the BEST place for Sunday roasts. I could live on a roast dinner every night of the week (in fact I pretty much did growing up!) but after trying pretty much most places in the local area for a roast dinner, Hawksmoor is always my fav. 

Where's your favourite place to have a roast dinner?

(above) Salted caramel Rolo's

When you just don't have enough space for dessert, these little chocolates are the perfect end to a meal. Not too sweet and just enough salt to give them that edge.

Well that's pretty much my week of eating!

How was your week? Have you tried any nice places recently or is there somewhere you think I should check out? Comment below or on my latest Instagram post (@foodlifeandem) and let me know.

Have a great week,

Emmaline x

Sunday 2 February 2020

Eating Out at Gupshup Hale, Con Club, Alty Market and Cooking Pasta and Comfort Food!

Hello! Good evening all!

I've been out and about this week to Alty Market, Con Club and Gupshup plus doing a lot of cooking at home too.

I've been back too my usual annoying self and taking pictures of food and stopping people from eating it ha ha!

Here are some pics I wanted to share with you...

See the full menu here

I finally made it to Gupshup! I've been wanting to come here since it opened. We didn't have that much food to be honest, but it was really filling.

Really lovely venue, plus something that looks a bit different for Hale too.

 Jersey Royal potato patty, spiced chickpea ragout, mint & tamarind chutney

left to right:

 Stewed jackfruit, garam masala,

aged basmati rice, fried onion

24 hours slow cooked whole black urad lentil, Kashmiri chilli, ginger


Mint & yogurt marinated stone bass, vanilla beetroot, apricot chutney

The food was really nice and I really liked the aloo tikki. I was excited to try the jackfruit biryani as I am a big fan of the one at Dishoom but this one was different. It had a lot more cardamom and  so I didn't like it as much, but you have to try these things and I'm sure some people would prefer this one. The dahl was good too but the only thing I wasn't a fan of was the roti as they were quite thick and dry (I always love a thin roti!).

We had 2 bottles of sparkling water and some poppadoms to start and it came to around £52 with service. Little bit on the pricey side, but the restaurant is beautiful and I left with a very full belly so I can't complain.

THE CON CLUB - Altrincham (view the menu here)

(above left to right) Edamame beans, Tempura king prawn roll, Spicy soft shell crab roll

I think we've all probably seen sushi at The Con Club before, but I thought I'd share again anyways. We went for a fab dinner for my Dad's birthday and as usual it didn't disappoint. The boys had steak and Mum and I shared some sushi. Delish as always!

THE LITTLE WINDOW - Altrincham Market

(above) Cavolo Nero Pesto Rigatoni

I love pasta at anytime but this... this was so good! I was surprised actually how filling it was as well as the portion was pretty small. I guess it's the same as when you have 4 pieces of ravioli and struggle to finish it!

(above) Gluten Free Penne with homemade basil and truffle dressing, chestnut mushrooms, black olives and peas

Really simple recipe to make. I use a pestle and mortar to smash up some basil leaves, garlic infused olive oil, squeeze of lemon, salt, black pepper and a teeny pinch of sugar.

While my pasta is cooking I fry my mushrooms, olives and peas to warm them through.

When everything is cooked, I combine it all together in a big pan, sprinkle with chilli flakes and stir through some truffle oil. Then serve with a few shavings of parmesan or a vegan alternative.

Finally some comfort food! You know when only a fish sandwich will do. This is super tasty!

The thing that makes this so special is the 'garlicky', mushy peas!

Cook your fish according to packet instructions and fry your frozen peas in a small pan with garlic oil, salt and pepper. Once cooked, use a masher to break them down.

Simply assemble it all together with a layer of tartare sauce on the bottom, lettuce, fish, peas and tomato ketchup.

It was so so good, however it's one of those sandwiches that once you take a bite, you're committed - in the sense that it will fall apart if you put it down ha ha!

Anyways, I'm off to have a peppermint tea to help digest all that food!

Thanks so much for reading,

Em x

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