Coconut biscuits!

A raining Sunday is perfect for experimenting in the kitchen.

I love baking, both my grandmothers were great bakers and gifted us with lots of time together in the kitchen making things together.

I didn’t have enough coconut for macaroons so I decided to get creative with what I did have.

Ingredients 

120g Plain Flour

50g Desiccated Coconut

50g Ground Almonds

100g Sugar

120g Butter

 

Going for easy options I went for simple combinations, and an even easier method.  Fingers crossed.

Method 

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.  I also added some cinnamon because it is my favorite, you could add nutmeg or vanilla if you wanted to.

Gently melt the butter, don’t let it bubble.

Combine the butter with the dry ingredients until it forms a dough.

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Roughly shape into balls (about a teaspoon amount of mixture) and lay on baking paper.  Press down with a fork.

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Bake in the oven for 18 minutes or until golden.

 

Pretty tasty, hope you enjoy.  let me know how yours turn out.

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Learning to roll sushi

We’re off to learn how to make sushi like a pro.  We’ve signed up to the Yo-Sushi School and arrive at Brunswick Square ready and hungry.

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Solomon is our teacher and he shows us how to create cucumber Maki with its lovely square shape, as well as California rolls…which involves flipping the nori over and hoping that your rice doesn’t fly off.

We spend nearly 2 hours creating our sushi, with Solomon being very patient and helpful along the way.  At the end of the course we opt to take ours home….there is so much of it!

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You get to leave with a note book detailing the folding, rolling and rice squishing methods you need to do it all again at home.

For More information on the Yo Sushi School click here

 

Eat: Hong Kong

Soooo….this is a love hate post.  We embark on a walking food tour of Hong Kong.  The tour takes place on Kowloon side, we head to Temple Street Night market, which is the place to head to for street food in Hong Kong.

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There are many things that we experience on our couple of hours of food adventure.  I won’t tell you them all and will definitely keep some secret so you are as surprised as we were.

We did try the famous stinky tofu,  which I actually really enjoyed.  It has a very strong flavour and is deep fried, served with chilli sauce.  Also along the way we try some very unusual things…like snake soup….gluttonous…but not too unpleasant, though I was not super keen on the live snakes kept in the shop. 

Over the evening we tried over 15 different things.  Some good, some really not good (in my opinion), I would definitely still recommend the experience.

There are lots of options for food tours and lots of different ways to experience the Hong Kong street food, you can absolutely do this on  your own as well!

 

Make sure you try before you leave Hong Kong:

Stinky tofu
Bubble waffles
Dim sum
Pineapple bun (the one at the top with the slab of butter)
We enjoyed all the bakeries and baked yummy things, there are so many options.

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Enjoy!

Third Stop: Townsville

Our third and final stop in Australia for this trip is Townsville.  It is actually the only Australian stop that we haven’t been to before.

Townsville is in north east Queensland and is humid and tropical.  We have the privilege of arriving after the rain so it is looking lovely and green and postcard worthy.  The old second of town and strand area is particularly pretty and worth a drive or walk around.

We visit the Palmetum is one of the three botanical gardens in Townsville and is lovely, we spend over an hour wandering around.

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Castle Hill is another great spot, head to the top for a great view.  If you are fit, try running or walking the trail path.

However, our most favourite spot (aside from the hammock) is Little Crystal Creek Waterfalls.  It is a located along Mount Spec Road between Mutarnee and Paluma and it is stunning.  Crystal clear water and wonderful landscape.  There are BBQ facilities and picnic tables, bathrooms and so on and next time we are definitely taking a picnic.  It is a great spot and our highlight.

 

Elf’s Tip: If you like curry stop at Aalishan’s Indian Restaurant, the food is really fresh and yummy.

Goals

We are looking at the blank slate that is 2018 and making some plans and brainstorming some ideas for the year to come.

We’ve booked in a trip to Australia and to Hong Kong and are raring for that one.  We are making plans for a trip to Wales and possibly back to Edinburgh.

Also on the cards is a British Sign language course or many a French Class.  We are definitely signing up for a cooking course and have an adventure in Covent Garden planned.

But….we are on the look out for inspiration, what should we do?  Where should we go?  What are your favorites?

Making plans is full of excitement!

Elf on the bus

We love an afternoon tea at house Elf, and this one is a little special…its on a bus.  That’s right afternoon tea on a Routemaster bus.

IMAG3143.jpgThe bus takes you around the big sites of London starting at Victoria Coach Station.  Heading past Big Ben, Harrods, The Royal Albert Hall, around the park and back through Piccadilly to Victoria station.

Elf tip: Make sure you book in advance, you can select the seats and table that you would prefer.  We recommend paying the slightly higher price to sit on the upper deck, it is worth it.

We opt for the 5pm slot and climb on at Victoria Coach Station.  We’re on the upper deck and settle in with the amazing spread in front of us.  The team introduce themselves and take drink orders.  Cold and hot options are available and are served in lid-ed cups which fit into sunken cup holders on the table to prevent spillages.

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And we are off.

It is, slow.  Delicious but slow.

We munch our way though sandwiches of all different kinds.  Yum!

We make it to the Royal Albert Hall and the traffic gets the best of us so the bus makes a u-turn.  Meanwhile we are on to the cake section.  There are mini lemon tarts, mini chocolate muffins and little raspberry topped tarts.  Everything is superb.

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The whole thing is a great experience but:

Elf tip number 2:  Don’t book during peak time, go for the 12:30 slot instead.

The whole afternoon tea is wonderful in any case.  Cake, beautiful London, tea and the sights!

If you fancy booking in click here and always this is not a sponsored article.

Elf Down the Douro

Next stop on our Northern Portugal adventure.  We pick up a hire car and head off into the countryside in search of quiet, views and more wine!

We head out of Porto and choose to avoid tolls for cost saving and nicer driving.  The countryside is beautiful and lush.  We drive through the morning, it takes about 3 hours but we do not notice the time as we are blessed with the wonderful views.

Slowly we IMAG2868start to climb into the vine country before we dip down again along the riverside.  Then we start to ascend properly passing the vineyards that below to the Port Houses and Cellars that we saw and visited in Porto.  We turn of the main roads and head high into the mountains.  Its not a great drive for those who suffer carsickness or vertigo, but on we go.  We reach a small town close to Armamar.  IMAG2869

 

The view is simply incredible.

 

Stretching out in front of us, a church nestles between the vines and chimes as we clamber out and head into the most wonderful villa.  We have splashed out a little (60 euros a night) so that we can have the privilege of a swimming pool, views and a BBQ.

The next few days pass in relaxation heaven. We spend our days driving the countryside and stopping in little towns.  We visit Armamar and shop in the local bakery, butcher and shops before heading home to cook outside and enjoy the evening slowly passing.

It is perfect.