Sunday, 2 March 2014

February 2014 - Snow-versary

Heeyyyy! Thanks to all of you who took the time to read my last blog post! You will be pleased to hear that this one will be much shorter with a higher ratio of photos to words! February was all about snow days and baking, working and new friends, dinosaurs and fun! (And exclamation marks apparently. Woo!)

February began with a trip to Wegmans for groceries, because apparently a 45 minute journey to the supermarket is normal for us since the shop downstairs closed! This led to a fun weekend of cooking and baking, with N making a loaf and some brioche buns, and me making some jammy dodgers after promising them to some friends (they went down very well, in case you're wondering, here's the recipe, so easy!) And I cooked a roast chicken, I think for the first time in my life, which was also pretty good, with Chinese five spice and soy sauce. I even used the leftover carcass for soup! So very domesticated!

The second weekend of February saw the arrival of our fifth anniversary, which we celebrated by booking a car and taking a cold walk at the very pretty Cylburn Arboretum, cooking duck for tea, and making an anniversary battenburg! We were so proud of ourselves for that, and it tasted soooo good! I spent the following day helping to sell Girl Scout cookies in the freezing cold, which was less fun, but did lead to me finding us a cheaper and closer supermarket to use. Also, if anyone in downtown Baltimore still needs cookies, we still have some, so get in touch!

The day before Valentine's Day we had a big snow storm which led to a snow day, even for me and I don't even live that far from work! But thankfully it didn't stop our planned Valentine's girls' night checking out some of the bars in Fells Point, which was so much fun! Although it may have ended a little messily for pretty much everyone but me... :) We even stopped by a bar which reminded me so much of a proper British pub that I felt very much at home!

The rest of the weekend was spent recovering (I may not drink, but it was a long time since I've stayed out until 2am!), taking a very snowy walk at Fort McHenry, and, of course, more baking. I made chai tea loaf which is a recipe in the BBC Good Food magazine from Frances who won the British Bake Off last year. Unfortunately most of the filling oozed out in the oven, but it was still very tasty. I also made pineapple and date relish which I'm enjoying very much on my sandwiches right now, and have been giving away to everyone because I made so much! Oh and it was restaurant week so we finally tried out The Helmand, which is the Afghan restaurant just up the road from us. I can't believe we waited so long to go there, it was incredible! Everything tasted amazing, right down to the cardamom tea at the end. It was extremely busy, but that wasn't actually a problem because they were so smooth and efficient.

And then last weekend we visited the Science Centre with our favourite little girl and her mum which was a lot of fun, and so lovely to have some mild weather for a change (unfortunately it's back to being ridiculously cold now).  And on the Sunday I went to the Craft Council Show with our friend, which was awesome. So many beautiful things on the display, but I definitely have expensive taste! Oh and I baked lime and ginger bars which don't look very appetising, but tasted pretty good, especially considering I'm not a huge citrus dessert fan!

Oh and I can't end a February round-up without mentioning that on Friday night I found an Irish pub that does decent fish and chips, it's been just up the road this whole time and I never knew!

So that was February for me! And that's not even to mention all the evenings spent doing Girl Scouts and learning about camp, gatecrashing Hopkins post-doc association events and Friday night happy hours. Busy but fun! :)

How was your February? Did you get up to anything fun? Make any tasty food or baked goods? Like last month, if you leave a comment below I'll send you some surprise snail mail!


  1. Hi Gem! So jealous of your snow days. Also, feel I have to point out the number of roast chicken cooking you partook in for all lemon events, we obviously trained you well! But how did you survive without an Em to cut it up?! I'm loving the little birds on your plates too (in studying every photo pretty hard haha). February whizzed by, I can't believe it's March already. Are you guys fish fans? I'll send you an awesome Brazilian fish stew recipe if so, we've been making it every week since discovering it so can vouch for us awesomeness! Miss you! Yas xxx

    1. Hi Yas! Don't be too jealous of the snow days, it's all getting rather tiring, and it's so cold! Today was another one, although I did go in despite the campus being closed. Yeah, I was never in charge of cooking the chicken though, and I'd certainly never done it alone before. I did miss Em very much during the carving, especially as N refused to do it! Ah yes, we love those plates and are kicking ourselves for not getting the full set of 6 while we could! We found them in a TKMaxx type shop, so there's not much chance of buying 4 more :( Yes we love fish, that recipe sounds amazing! Hope you're good! Miss you too! xxx