Monday, 16 August 2010

Nonnas




My french cousin Sara came over to mine and requested that I take her somewhere where she can eat ice cream so after thinking about it for a while I decided to take her to Nonna's on ecclesall road. I've been before a couple of years ago and it was really really good and as its Italian it has to have good ice cream.

As usual there's people sitting outside, its not that warm but then people do like sitting outside restaurants and bars on ecclesall road. We explain that we're only after dessert and the friendly waiter shows us to a bar seat. All the staff speak Italian amongst each other which is pretty cool, feels like for a moment you are not in Sheffield anymore.

The dessert menu looks good, I choose a blueberry, banana and white chocolate cake with mandarin mascarpone. Sara asks what different types of ice cream they have and the waiter lists about six different flavours to which she replies "I'll take them all"...with chocolate sauce and sprinkles! The waiter laughs and says he'll see what he can do. He returns with two spectacular looking desserts!
Mine is good. The cake itself tastes mainly of banana but I get a hint of white chocolate.
The mandarin mascarpone is delicious, delicately flavoured and creamy. The almondy wafer thing is OK a bit bland.






I try some of Sara's ice cream which is very soft and tasty. I ask her what she thinks and she gives me a thumbs up. I like this place. Its sophisticated with great service and most importantly, great food. I'll definitely come again.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Mish Mash Review



I had heard good things about mish mash and so took my little sister along for lunch.
We go inside and there's three other people relaxing with coffee.
A friendly waiter greets us and tells us we can sit wherever we like. We choose a table and order some drinks, there's lots of interesting fruit juices. I go for mango whilst my sister opts for pineapple.

There's sandwiches, breakfasts, burgers, soup and fish and chips.
My sister goes for the home made fish finger sandwich with crayfish tartar sauce.
I'm having difficulty deciding what to choose and go for the veggie burger. A few seconds later the waiter comes and tells me the veggie burger is the only thing they do not have - unlucky!

I ask him which dish is his favourite and he tells me the rib eye steak with blue cheese sandwich so I go for that as I just can't make up my mind.
The food arrives pretty quickly and is well presented on little wooden boards.
My sister takes one look at the tartar sauce and decides she doesn't like it which is good news for me as I love crayfish and tartar sauce and this was amazing - juicy little crayfish and tiny capers with tangy gherkins and mayonnaise.

The chips are very good indeed. I can't remember the last time I had chips this good. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find good chips in Sheffield. The last time was probably at the tasty two steps on sharrow vale road.
But anyway back to the food...My sandwich was pretty good although the bread was a bit burnt on one side and the steak was quite chewy but perhaps that is normal for rib eye?
The flavour however was delicious. The caramelised red onions and blue cheese were a marriage made in heaven and the steak was cooked to perfection.
I nearly killed my sister for nicking a chip as they were the best bit!

The bill was just under £15. The evening menu looks very nice and the decent selection of spirits behind the bar suggests they make some lovely cocktails so I'll definitely be back to spend an evening here.


Cocoa - The Most Gorgeous Chocolate Shop Ever!



Today me and my sister went into the amazing cocoa on ecclesall road.
I don't often make the journey up there as its pretty far from where I live but when I do I make sure I pay this lovely shop a visit.

It's so beautiful inside with 3 different rooms that I saw.

The first room you step into is filled with the best chocolate in the world, shelves stacked high with goodies and walls lined with jars full of the magical stuff.
The lovely lady hidden behind this pile of sweet stuff was kind enough to let me take some photos and so I did but the shop is even more beautiful when you see it for yourself.

We entered the second room and it's like a dining room of a dolls house with teapots, pastel coloured things and chairs and hot chocolate and other drinks so you can have a nice sit down.
The third room upstairs was heavenly. Stunning cushions atop wooden benches, curtains draped across the ceiling and a shelf with more lovely things to buy.

We went back downstairs and I treated myself to some of the gorgeous and rich rococo chocolate and another beautifully wrapped bar and my little sister chose a few cute little chocolates from another shelf.

I pick up a leaflet that informs me of their very tempting chocolate tasting evenings..!
They also have a book club too which is a great idea! If only I lived closer!



(Sweeties and chocolate)

(Jars and jars of the stuff)


(The lovely lady behind some hand made chocolates)


(The tea room)


(Rococo chocolate)


(Upstairs)


(Beautiful)


(My 12 year old sister tells me she wants to live here)


(Butterflies)


(Cushions)


(My sisters chocolates)


(My treats)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Real People's Recipes - Dave's Nachos






Today Dave made me his famous delicious nachos. I've had them before when he's brought them to parties. They make great party food and I must have the recipe. He invites me over for lunch and as I arrive he's halfway through making them...



Me - So Dave tell me how you've made the nachos.


Dave - I make it in layers and the first layer is just the plain nacho...nacho..you know, corn nacho. Then I layer in some avocado, some boiled egg, today I'm putting in something special from the garden - courgettes because they are available now so I steam them a bit then put them in with some mushrooms oh and I put some spring onion in and some olives, the pimento olives I've used today. I put some pine nuts in as well.


(Some of the ingredients)


Then I top it with some salsa mix then add an orange cheese, Leicester cheese. So I put two layers of that down then it all goes in the oven. You can put in different types of olives if you like but today I'm using pimento.

This one I'm making more tastier.


(Dave sprinkles on the pine nuts)



Its nice when you serve it with something else so today I'm serving some corn and some garlic bread
with cheese. Since I don't eat cheese I put a special cheese on the garlic bread so I can eat that, and that's it!




Me - Looks tasty!

Dave - So it becomes almost like a meal. It can be seen as a meal.

Me - So many layers.

Dave - its two layers. You gotta use a good nacho. I tried the cheaper ones but they get too soggy so I switched back to the more expensive ones. If you wanna add spice to it you can but you gotta be careful with how it will mix with the other ingredients. The cheese is important you don't want to use one that won't fit in with salsa.




(Layering the cheese and salsa)



Me- so how long are you going to cook it for?


Dave - til the cheese melts. It goes in the oven.

Me - So whilst that's cooking why don't you tell me a bit about yourself?

Dave - I used to watch my mother cook all the time and so that's where I picked up my interest in cooking. I enjoy it. I eat better if I cook for other people as well.

Me - Where were you born?

Dave - I was born in Chicago, Illinois. I grew up here, came here to study.

Me - What year did you move here?


Dave - 1980 I studied psychotherapy and developed teaching methods for teaching science and other subjects

Me - When was the first time you made nachos?

Dave - Oh for my kids with my family






The nachos come out with the cheese melting through the layers and looking delicious and Dave cuts into it like a pie and gives me a 'slice'.
It's delicious! What I love about this recipe is its versatility. You can use pretty much whatever you have in your cupboard/ fridge and everyone loves them. Plus there's lots of healthy veggies in there so it makes a very good lunch alongside salad or corn on the cob as I had today. Its wonderful party food. I think I might make it for a movie night in with friends. Thank you Dave for the recipe, interview and for cooking for me!



Exciting News!

Hello readers!
I have decided on a new section to this blog. Its something I've never come across on a food blog before. It will be called real people's recipes.
Basically I'm going to find people with a passion for cooking and ask them about their signature dish, get the recipe, take some photos and of course eat some delicious food too!
There's nothing better than home made food and this new adventure will give me and you readers a chance to see some brand new recipes from home cooks which you can then try at home.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy whats to come!