Yo! Sushi menu launch party

Okay — Yo! Sushi Chester menu launch party.

It’s been on my radar to go back to Yo! Sushi for a while. What better excuse than a party for the launch of their new menu?

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I texted my sushi-loving friend and it was game on! Walked in, free prosecco, grabbed the last free table. The conveyor belt was full and we had free reign. We went wild.

In walks the lovely Laura from Twentea Something so we team up to tackle the epic amounts of sushi ahead of us.

We started off steady and safe with some edamame beans and tuna sashimi. At this point my friend Kathryn was in dire need of some pickled ginger and wasabi. The staff sorted her out with an industrial amount. Apparently you can’t enjoy sushi without them.

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Then we were ready for the new dishes. Step forward the Salmon Yo! Roll — really light, fresh tastes, drizzled with Sriracha hot sauce. I attempted it in one bite, but it turns out I have a tiny mouth so… (At least I was among friends.)

Next up, my favourite dish of the night. Osaka Style Squid! I’m not usually a huge fan of squid, but I’ve never had squid like this before. There was so much flavour going on in this one. Spicy pepper, crispy tuna skin, anori seaweed.

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Roll on Teriyaki Pork. Super thin strips of pork, with a dab of teriyaki and mustard which really set it off (and a teeny tiny bit of spring onion).

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And then a super fun dish (and one that I think our kids might like…) is the Chicken Katsu Sando. It’s chicken katsu, wrapped up in squishy white bread.

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Out of the desserts I really liked the Malted Chocolate Pots. Somewhere between a mousse and a ganache. Is it authentically Japanese? Do I care? It’s chocolate — there’s no need to pigeonhole chocolate to any one particular country.

The atmosphere of the night was great. We got to meet the chefs and the team behind the evening.

Live music from a local guy called Samwise was another highlight. My favourite covers were Justin Timberlake’s Cry Me A River (obvs) and Part of That World from The Little Mermaid. There was also fun to be had in the photo booth. All in all, a memorably delicious evening. And we got a goodie bag to take home, with soy sauce, chopsticks, Hello Panda biscuits (big hit with the kids) and a hot sauce keyring (big hit with the husband).

I’m really keen to go back with the children and see what the make of it. My guesses would be that The Chap would like the sashimi and the sando (maybe not the mustard). The Bookworm will be all over the edamame beans and er… cake? Adam would eat it all.

Check out Yo! Chester on Instagram.

#Veganuary day three

Adam here. Day three. 11pm So hungry right now!

Sarah is making me a peanut butter and banana sandwich because I agreed to do the blog.

We both felt pretty weird last night, and I was queasy this morning. Maybe psychological, but I felt much better after going for a pre-work swim (making the most of a kid-free morning.)

Then I had a vegan protein cookie, which at the time seemed like the best thing I’d ever eaten.  I also started to feel like I might be experiencing super vegan vigour, but it didn’t last too long.

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I totally got hungry and had a bag of crisps in the morning at work. They were vegan at least, but maybe not in the spirit of Veganuary.

Lunch 

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We had spelt, green lentils, chickpeas and black beans mixed up with roasted carrots, squash and sweet potato and spinach, with a chipotle and lime dressing.

I cooked up a load of lentils, chickpeas and black beans which are in the fridge ready to go into meals. The dressing is ketchup, chipotle paste, salt and pepper, lots of lime juice and a splash of water. Super good.

Dinner

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Dinner was minestrone soup, made with onion, carrot, chilli, canned tomatoes, canned cannellini beans, chickpeas, spelt, wholewheat spaghetti, kale and spinach. It’s made with the truly exceptional (and vegan) veg stock made by our friends 9 Meals from Anarchy. That’s a slice of half-rye bread I made.

The minestrone was great. Definitely just as good as one with bacon in.

I’m having more of the bread now, with the aforementioned peanut butter and banana on.

Hope all of you other Veganuary chums are having some delicious stuff and feeling all of the mystical vegan vigour.

#Veganuary day two

Day two of Veganuary. So far, so good. No unusual side effects (I think).

We’ve both felt tired and hungry in the afternoons, but what’s new?

Breakfast

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Tried to start the day on a good foot. Papaya, kiwi and blueberries with lime juice. Then had some Ryvita with almond butter at 10ish.

Lunch

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Lunch was a good one. Baked sweet potato, refried black beans, guacamole, rocket and pickled red onions.

Prep level: intense. But making the most of the kids being at their grandparents’.

Dinner

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Black bean burger tacos with roast veg, roast cauliflower ‘wings’ and nacho cheese. The vegan nacho cheese is an absolute revelation! The recipe is from The Happy Pear – it’s essentially potato, carrot, oil and nutritional yeast flakes. I forgot to add the rice milk, and didn’t have any tapioca starch, but it’s still amazing.

Not feeling like a vegan superhero yet, and there are loads of dished to wash up. But no complaints so far!

I’ll be sharing some of our journey on Snapchat: @peacechic1

 

#Veganuary 2017

Hello,

So we’ve not been around in a very long time. My hats off to all those that have just started on the adventure of blogging and those who have faithfully, skilfully tapped away at the keys each week.

But were making a special comeback, in the name of Veganuary (which I’m sure you’ve all heard of). We have officially jumped on the bandwagon and are currently optimistic and full of vigour. Adam(my husband who co-writes this blog) and I are self-confessed foodies. We’ve flirted with the idea of going veggie, as we are very hot on animal welfare and eat quite little meat anyway. However, when it is ethically sourced and cooked to perfection (Adam does all the cooking) there is nothing like a nice topside of beef or sumptuous leg of lamb.

One of our other dreamy foods is cheese, all the cheese (expect for blue in my case). Manchego, brie, goats cheeses, buffalo mozzarella a strong vintage cheddar and picante red with chilies, all yummy…

So Veganuary is by no means a small feat. My mum turned vegan a couple of years ago (FYI – totally ahead of the trend) and after staying with her for the last couple of days, we have at least been intrigued by the strange items that adorn her cupboards. She almost made it sound achievable. Now armed with coconut oil, almond milk, flax seed and nutritional yeast flakes we begin our journey.

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Day one. Late evening snack (soooo hungry). Papaya with lime and Coconut Collaborative coconut yogurt. Banana, coconut milk oat and flax seed smoothie.

Oh, its worth mentioning at this point that our two wee ones, Bookworm and The Chap are excluded from Veganuary. There’s no way I can convince my three-year-old or seven-year-old to give up salami or dippy eggs.

The aim with popping up on the blog again is to write every couple of days with a diary of the food we have feasted on, a couple of recipes and capture how we’re doing. Some days may seem inspired and Instagram-worthy, but I’ll tell you here how were actually doing.

Are you doing Veganuary? Or are you already Vegan? If so, please pop a comment on the end of the post with any website/Twitter/Snapchat accounts you recommend that we should follow.

Running Wild at Delamere

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We love getting out to the forest.

If you look through our archive you’ll find a few posts about Delamere Forest. Our little ones love the Gruffalo and Stick Man trails, and building dens. Adam loves Parkrun and ‘just being’ in the middle of all the nature. I’m fond of just wandering around, splashing through puddles and breathing in some of that lovely foliage-y goodness.

Recently I was asked by the the Forestry Commission to check out their new running trails. The campaign is called ‘Escape the Streets’, which incorporates 1, 2 and 3k ‘Run Forest Run’ trails for beginners, and 5 and 10k ‘Wild Running’ courses for more seasoned joggers.

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As well as the waymarked trails, they’ve put together a six week inspirational email programme and a motivational Spotify playlist.

Now let’s get one thing straight. I’m not ‘a jogger’. I do not have the physique of a gazelle or the pertness of Maria Sharapova. But I did successfully complete the NHS’s ‘Couch to 5k’ jogging podcast, and then successfully ran my first 5k at Parkrun

. That kind of felt like job done. Then it was winter, and then Christmas, and jogging basically went out of the window.

Until our six-year-old, The Bookworm wanted to do a 5k charity run in May. She put in a sterling effort. We completed it together in 38 minutes.

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After completing our charity 5k in May.

So I was a little nervous when I was approached by them. I explained that I wasn’t a pro. Not even an amateur. More of a ‘wish I was-er’. Turns out that’s what they were looking for.

Unfortunately this weekend I felt horrible, in the early stages of a lovely summer holiday cold. I picked the 3k trail and took it at a leisurely pace. We got to the forest nice and early. (Adam was running the 5k Parkrun that morning. Annoyingly I think his 5k time was quicker than my 3k.)

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Cheering on Parkrunners.

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Adam doing his ‘athletic’ face.

Actually 3k is not a distance to be sniffed at, though I’d like to think that I could jog it a bit faster.

But thankfully these trails aren’t all about worrying about your pace too much, or being a superstar, PB-smashing runner. The aim is getting ‘off the streets’ and into nature, enjoying the beauty of the forest and gaining a little fitness at the same time, getting as sweaty as you like in the process.

The route had lots of interest: a few inclines, some muddy puddles and secluded canopies. The 3k took me through a section of the forest I hadn’t seen before. I loved being the only one around that early in the morning. The signs (designated a different bright colour depending on which track you’re following) guide you with motivational phrases and a distance tracker.

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I would much prefer to run the trails to my usual pavement, road, housing estate routes. And the smaller trails are ace for people with small children and those who are exploring jogging/power walking for the first time.

Of course there are miles and miles of forest to explore but the trails are great for some much-needed direction, motivation and a reliable distance route. The incremental structure of the trails (from 1km to 10km) allows you to start with a comfortable distance and work up when you want.

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There were a few temporary arrows alongside the permanent signs. But somehow I think I took a wrong turn around the 2.5k point and unfortunately didn’t find the ‘Congrats! You’ve done it!’ marker. But I definitely made up the distance trying to find the rest of the family. (They were having a picnic.)

Next time I’m definitely going to encourage The Bookworm to come and jog the 2 or 3k with me. This will give her such a confidence boost to complete a real running course. And I will attempt the 5k ‘Wild Running’ course. Eventually. (Promise.)


Full disclosure: the lovely folk at Forestry Commission hooked us up with free parking and a subscription to the Bounts app, which rewards your physical activity into treats like high street vouchers.

As well as Delamere, you can check out trails at Dalby, High Lodge, Sherwood and Bedgebury.

French yogurt cake

Here’s the scene. Day one of the half term holidays. Two kids and one dad. All a bit tired after a mega fun bank holiday weekend. I need to go grocery shopping and tidy the house, so we can’t go too far. What’s a guy to do?

Two things, actually. One: water balloon fight. Two: bake a French yogurt cake.

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What you’ll need

The cake was a bribe an incentive for the kids to be helpful when we went around the supermarket, and it worked pretty well. They were particularly helpful at adding things that I didn’t want to the trolley.

But we made sure to pick up the ingredients we needed for the French yogurt cake. Chief among them is a 150g pot of yogurt. But can’t I just weigh out 150g of yogurt from my big family-sized pot? you’re thinking. Why are you so wasteful, Adam? you cry.

Well the 150g pot of yogurt has a dual purpose. You’re going to need it to measure out all of the other ingredients, so you don’t need scales. Which is great because kids.

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The recipe

I can’t pretend this is my recipe. It is from a brilliant blog (and now online boutique!) called Croque Maman. Sarah met Helene from the site at BritMums Live last year. She is a geniune French woman, so this cake must be authentic.

What I love most about the recipe is that the kids and I actually enjoy the process of making it. Rather than me just getting stressed at them for 30 minutes, cleaning up for another 30 minutes and hoping to get one Instagram-worthy picture out of the whole thing. This one has no scales, no whisks, no whipping or blowtorching or sterilising or emulsifying. Just a bowl, a spoon and a yogurt pot.

Here’s Helene’s recipe. Which we followed to the letter. And then threw in two bags of chocolate chips.

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The Chap approves. He is in pyjamas at dinner time because we had just returned from the library, where he had urinated all over me. (Sigh.)

Enjoy!