Very occasionally I will give my body a treat, and eat clean, healthy food.
So we started today with Mummy and me raw porridge.
Incredibly simple to make, and delicious too.
Soak porridge oats overnight in the liquid of your choice. For small person’s oats I used milk, and for mine I used apple juice. I’ve used rolled Scotish chunky oats. To a ratio of 1 to 1. So for the grown up size, half a cup of oats, to half a cup of juice.
For the bigger one with apple juice, I threw in some chopped dates, milled flaxseed and sultanas, left in the fridge over night, and it was ready to eat in the morning. I just put in in the microwave for 40 seconds to take the fridge chill off it. The apple, oats, dates and sultanas were sweet enough not to have to add anything, and tasted Scrummy. You may need to add a little extra liquid in the morning, but that is down to taste.
For small person’s version, it was milk and oats soaked overnight. In the morning I heated his a little, added a few sultanas, and sweetened with some maple syrup. It tasted exactly like a flapjack.
Have fun experimenting with these. You can use fruit, or even chocolate!
We are massive fans of Tynemouth and go at least once a month. It has something for everyone and always involves a bit of beach combing on one of the beaches.
There really is too much to write about in one go. One of the beaches is home to Riley’s Fish Shack, which we didn’t manage to get to on this visit, but you really are spoilt for choice if you are hungry.
One place we tend to go to when it’s a grownups only outing is Barca Art Bar. The menu changes with the seasons, and I would fully recommend trying several of the specialist gin cocktails.
If shopping is your thing, again, there is plenty for every style and budget. We had a quick pop into Children of the Revolution where my small fashionista wannabe picked out this T-shirt for himself. Lots of trendy threads for the littles. Starting from baby grows, and plenty of it with a skater/surfer vibe.
No trip to Tynemouth is complete without venturing into Razzberry Bazaar.
From the eye-catching exterior, to the jam packed interior, it’s a riot of colour and an absolute feast for the eyes.
But, as ever, the main reason we go to Tynemouth at the weekend is the bustling market. Held at the metro station every Saturday and Sunday, you can buy everything from vegetables and bread, to antiques and handmade jewellery.
Some traders are regular, and you’ll find them in the same spot come rain or shine, but lots of others are casual, turning up when they want, so if you see something you like, buy it quick, you may never see them again.
Of course our main priority on visiting most places is food. Small person always wants to eat a hot dog, and us grownups always have a barista coffee from the Ouseburn Coffee Company.
We bought lots of things to take home. Scrummy cheeses, organic bread, fudge, and macaroons from one of our favourite traders, who although busy, always has time for a chat. He cooks all his produce there in his portable oven, and if you time your visit right, they are still warm when you eat them.
And this week’s foodie find was these delicious tacos.
It was a van I hadn’t seen before, so I don’t think they do every week. They had a great menu selection, plenty for vegans and meat lovers alike. They had breakfast tacos, along with some good choices for lunch, and even cheap £1.90 snack options. I of course had breakfast AND lunch from Churo’s Tacos
So if you can get to Tynemouth, I would recommend a weekend visit so you catch the market. And make sure you wear your elasticated waistband. There is a HUGE choice of food.
I really enjoyed getting back to basics this Easter. Pre child, I worked in catering, so was usually cooking other people’s dinner, and post child, I lost the love of cooking. When all your nutritious offerings are rejected for beans and hotdogs, you soon learn not to bother wasting food.
This year however, I wanted to make a traditional family meal. So I ditched the usual frozen roast potatoes, and instead made my own, par-boiling, then roasting in hot lard. It may not sound good to modern palettes, but trust me, even small person ate them all, and he isn’t a lover of spuds.
Next came the gravy. Another thing I usually cheat with, using granules that all too many times, are totally tasteless. But today I had roasted a leg of lamb, studed with cloves of garlic, on a bed of shallots. Once the meat was out of the pan and resting, I de-glazed the pan, getting all those Scrummy burnt on bits, added a bit of red currant jelly, and viola. Gravy, that once again, small person surprised me with by having second helpings.
Artique in Amble is one of those places you can spend hours in. It’a large building which was once a restaurant. It stood empty for quite some time before it was taken over by this unusual business. Every available space on the shop floor is rented by local people to sell their wares.
You can find everything from vintage and antique, to the handmade and unusual.
Every corner and doorway holds a new surprise.
They also have a warm and friendly cafe, which serves delicious homemade food.
This really is a one stop shop for any gift you have in mind. Locally handcrafted. Children’s toys and books. Vintage and collectables. Crafting and art supplies. And the best cheese scones in town.
Today was one of those great days. One of the first sunny days in spring. The sun was shinning, the daffodils are in bloom, and we had nowhere to be. So we headed up the coast to Amble.
If you haven’t been to Amble in a while, I would really recommend a visit. A lot of towns look closed on Sundays, but not Amble, even the butchers shop was open. It also boasts a busy and bustling outdoor market on the harbour, which is open though out the year.
But not only do you have the market, there is a permanent retail village located on the quayside, which consists of funky little wooden “pods” Which house small, independent shops.
And if you are feeling peckish. Not only does Amble have some great eateries, it also has one of the best fish restaurants where you can enjoy this stunning view.
Of course if it’s icecream you are after, Spurellis has some of the best in the region. It gets VERY busy on sunny days.
This is my first review of a local craft shop. Something I’ve been meaning to do for some time.
Papercuts is in Whitley Bay. And I certainly picked the right day to visit.
It’s a double fronted shop, with one half used as a workshop and meeting room.
On the day I visited there was a large group using the room to make greeting cards, then later there was a kids group decorating cupcakes for Mothers day gifts. I found there were lots of things for children in the shop, and a constant stream of parents and kids coming in to buy items to make things at home.
Of course Papercuts is a craft shop with a difference. Hidden away at the back, is a little gem of a place called The Gallery. The Gallery is packed with locally made art and hand crafted items, and on the day I visited they were hosting an exhibition for local artist Zoe Scott, who was there for a Meet The Maker event, and holding a demonstration session.
I was amazed at some of the talented makes in this little aladdins cave. You could buy artist made greeting cards from £2, up to huge canvases for £250. With everything from jewellery to ceramics in between.
Papercuts itself, as the name might suggest, specialises in Paper. With just about every colour and variety you could think of. But there really is something for everyone here, and if they haven’t got what you are looking for? Just ask. The staff are knowledgeable and incredibly helpful with new items arriving constantly.
So I was given some polymer clay some time ago, and I’be been meaning to have a go. There are lots of different brands out there, but Fimo and Premo! seem to be the most common brands in your local craft shop.
One thing I did know, and it’s that you have to condition the clay before working. That basically just means softening it up, either by putting it through a roller, or just kneeding it with your fingers, depending on how much you are going to use.
I had seen some basic tutorials in magazines before, so I thought I’d wing it, and try to make a heart
As you can see, it didn’t really turn out as hoped.
But that’s one of the great things about it, especially if you are using it for jewellery making. Mistakes can always be used for other things.
So I added some more colour, rolled it out, and came up with something completely new.
These are some of my finished jewellery pieces. I can safely say, I will be buying more clay, and doing some more experimenting.