A Bit Of Christmas Spirit

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And at this time of year we love nothing more to treat ourselves to a bit of a special tipple!
We know its the Nannas' favourite but guys the Snowball is set for a comeback!

You will need:
Lime cordial
Glace Cherries (optional)

Add some ice to your glass, fill with one part advocaat and three parts lemonade then add a dash of lime, stir it up and garnish with cherries! Easy peasy!

If you're feeling extra saucy feel free to add a shot of your favourite spirit, we're loving ours with a dash of amaretto thrown in for extra sweetness! 

Then sit back, throw on the festive tunes and fairy lights and revel in the christmasiness of it all!

Coffee Sack Cushion


I was lucky enough to have some lovely coffee sacks gifted to me by a friend, they sat around not doing much for a good few month while I thought about what to use them for. Then one day it hit me..... cushions!

These cushions are soooo easy peasy to make, even my terrible sewing skills turned out looking good so there's hope for everyone!

I'll take you through it step by step (although holding hands wont be possible!)....

First make sure you wash and dry your sack in the machine. Mine was smelling pretty strongly of coffee so I added plenty of fabric softener to freshen it up!

Next turn the sack inside out and mark out the shape of your cushion leaving about 1-2cm to allow for the seam. I started from the corner of the sack so I would only have two edges to sew up.

Then you're ready to sew! I used an overlock stitch to make sure it wouldn't come undone. Sew around both sides leaving a small gap to stuff your cushion into.

Then chop off the excess, turn the whole thing inside out and stuff your pillow in, it should really be taking shape now!

All that's left to do now is sew up the gap and taadaa! You've done it!

Bubba the cat thinks it looks really good!

Newcastle Eateries: Yo! Sushi Newcastle

Yo! Sushi's a bit good isn't it? Coming from a person that is a little bit cockly when it comes to fish that's a bit of a statement.  Up until two years ago I'd never even eaten a fish finger and now I'm guzzling raw salmon like it's going out of fashion.  Thanks Yo!

When we were kindly invited to the re-launch of Yo! Sushi's Super Mega Katsu Curry we just couldn't refuse.  We'd already planned a girly trip to the cinema that night so why not start it off with a go on the sushi travellator?  We were warmly welcomed upon arrival with an ice cold glass of prosecco and shown to our booths while the manager explained the concept of their new huge katsu dish.  Get this, for the measly sum of £7 you get a double portion of chicken, prawn or tofu katsu with mountains of sticky rice, and when you inevitably don't finish it gets packed up in a doggy bag ready for your hungry men who are quietly waiting at home.  Amaze!

Since it was Kays first trip to Yo! we decided to grab a few dishes from the conveyor belt and order a portion of my personal favorite, pumpkin korroke.  While we waited for our food the head chef popped over for a chat, we talked about his background in food and how much of a change it is to work in such an open kitchen.  If any of the staff were at all stressed you'd never know, everyone was so laid back and friendly it felt like we were just shooting the breeze with a bunch of chums.

When our katsu arrived we were taken aback by the size, it was huge!  We debated how embarrassing it would be if either of us finished the gigantic dish but even our greedy guts were beaten and we had to get more than half boxed up to go.

Even though we were stuffed beyond stuffed we simply couldn't refuse dessert.  I grabbed a chocolate mochi and dorayaki while Kay opted for the strawberry cheesecake mochi.  Pure greed but we just couldn't resist, don't tell the guys at the gym!

 After having tried quite a few branches of the Yo! Sushi chain we can hands down recommend the Newcastle gang.  Get yourself down for a chinwag and a massive bowl of katsu, we promise it'll last you at least two meals ;)

Yo! Sushi
Fenwick, ground floor
Northumberland Street
0191 406 0801

Cherry Amaretto Sour

As you probably already know Halloween is our favorite time of year!  We really love any excuse to throw ourselves fully into any festivities and this year was no different!
The shop was filled with gory treats and pumpkin in just about everything. Once the week was over and all the hard work was done it was our turn to get out there and celebrate. We donned our best costumes and had some suitably bloody looking cocktails before heading on out to Panic Room, the annual Halloween party at The Baltic.
As we slipped into our costumes we indulged in more than a few of these delicious cocktails, we thought it selfish to keep such a delightful concoction to ourselves so here you go.  You're welcome ;)

Cherry Amaretto Sour
 (Makes 2)

You will need:
10 pitted cherries
The juice of 3 lemons
2 tbsp brown sugar
100ml Amaretto
25ml Bourbon (we love Bulleit Bourbon)

Put the cherries in the cocktail shaker along with the sugar and crush until the cherries are juicy and the sugar has dissolved.

Add the lemon juice, spirits and top the shaker up with ice. Clamp on the lid and shake shake shake until the shaker is too cold to hold.

Pour through the strainer into two glasses filled with ice and extra cherries. Top with lemonade to taste....and enjoy!

Newcastle Eateries: The Bridge Tavern

Craft beer is something that seems to be on the rise in Newcastle.  Not too long ago all we had in the way of after work drinks were the regular chains with one or two little hidden gems dotted around the city.  Since the opening of Brewdog on Dean Street we've been spoiled for choice as dozens of independent pubs spring open with their delicious hoppy offerings.  One such place has been highly anticipated by local brewheads was The Bridge Tavern.  The difference with The Bridge Tavern and other pubs is this one has a microbrewery right there in the bar, cool huh?

Since my other half is quite the beer lover we decided to pop down for lunch and try out their delightfully comforting menu as well as a few sneaky tipples. Their twists on traditional British pub grub is simply perfect for a cold and blustery Autumnal afternoon.

Since the BridgeTavern boasts a range of house brewed beers we thought it would be daft to try anything else.  I went for the Tavernale which was a light beer with a citrus taste while Kris opted for the darker, more complex All Hallows Ale.  Both were delicious but I think I'll take my usual gin and tonic next time.

The menu features everything you'd expect from a pub, beef and ale pie, fish and chips, sausage and mash but with a few lesser seen numbers like the deep fried oysters or haggis toastie (this has been earmarked for a future visit).  Sausage and mash swung it for me, in my eyes the perfect meal for a cold and blustery day.  Kris went for the bacon chop with black pudding and triple cooked chips.  Both meals were utterly delicious, the mashed potato was just so perfect I could have tucked into a huge bowl on its own.

For the purpose of our review we thought it best to try the deserts on offer, all for your benefit of course.  Although the stout float sounded super tempting I just couldn't walk away from the plum crumble smothered in vanilla custard.  I knew what Kris would pick before he'd even glanced at the choices and I was correct, once he spotted the salted caramel ice cream with chocolate sauce and peanut brittle it was all I could do to prevent him ordering two portions.

Again, everything was delicious but I feel my pud could have done with a few more Wintery spices in the crumble, not that it wasn't delicious I'm just a bit of a cinnamon addict.

The Bridge Tavern, in my eyes is one of the best bars in Newcastle.  Good food, good atmosphere, slightly pretentious staff but hey, what do you expect in a place like that.  I'll be back soon!

The Bridge Tavern 
7 Akenside Hill 
NE1 3UF 
0191 261 9966

Happy Hallowe'en from the Overlook Hotel

This post is a little late but what the hey.  This Hallowe'en we stuck with our usual choice of attending the Panic Room party at The Baltic.  Every year they throw a fabulous party with great music, great drinks and the costumes are always of such a high standard.  This year we dressed up as the clan from The Shining, with the exception of Kris who decided last minute to go as Mr Tumnus

Please excuse the soft photography, we'd had quite a few cherry amaretto sours by this point which will be featured in a post very soon.

We hope you had a fun filled Hallowe'en and a safe Guy Fawkes.

Breakfast Club: Banoffee French Toast

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a breakfast dish reserved only for the specialist of special occasions.  Now I'm not the person to tell what you can and can't consider special. It could be that you that finally mastered the perfect eyeliner flick or you clocked that computer game you've been pouring hours of your time into, go wild!  Hell, I once rewarded myself for shaving my legs without cutting myself.  

What did I consider special enough to deserve this decadent feast, well I got up early on my day off.  That's it, don't look at me like that!

Banoffee French Toast

1 loaf brioche, sliced into 2cm thick slices
25ml whole milk
4 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 glug of maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 bananas, peeled, cut in half and sliced lengthwise
50g soft brown sugar
Small handful of raspberries or blueberries
Butter for frying
Tub of mascarpone cheese
Jar of store bought toffee / caramel sauce

In a large shallow dish, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla, maple syrup and cinnamon. Set aside.

Place a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat and melt a knob of butter, dip your bananas in the brown sugar to coat before adding them to the frying pan.  Cook until lightly caramalised and smelling delicious.

Rinse your pan out and add another knob of butter over a medium heat.  Dredge two slices of brioche in the egg mixture before placing in the hot pan.  Cook until golden brown on both sides.  Do the same with two more slices

To assemble your toast spread one slice with a thick layer of mascarpone, two pieces of caramalised banana and some berries. Repeat with the second layer and drizzle with toffee sauce. Sit back and enjoy.

Pet lamb Presents

A few weeks ago a little parcel arrived at Pet Lamb HQ and we've been meaning to tell you guys about it! However as you all know things have been a little hectic lately with the move and all, it seems that we're just now starting to get back on top of things!

We were lucky enough to be sent custom Lamb necklaces from the lovely Anna over at Custom Made!

Everything at Custom Made is hand made  by Anna and her lovely team.

Us Lambs think we might have to add a few of their goodies to our Christmas lists, they'll fit perfectly in our stockings!

Costume Crazy

Halloween has got to be, hands down our favorite time of year! Not only do we get to gorge ourselves on candy, carve pumpkins and pretend to be the Scooby Gang, we get to dress up! 

Previous years have looked something like.......

This year we're planning on dressing as the Grady twins from the Shining, watch this space to see how we get on with our costumes!

What are you going as this Halloween? We'd love to know!

Squash and Beetroot Salad


People can generally be categorised into two groups, salad lovers and salad dodgers.  Usually I fall into the latter category.  It's not that I dislike salad, I just don't recognise it as a meal.  To me a salad is something that comes on the side, something to pick at once you've finished your actual food.  I admire people who can order a healthy salad for lunch and actually enjoy it, you people have some major willpower.  

The one thing that can sway me from my usual salad dodging ways is a hearty, warm autumnal salad and that is exactly what this is.  There's nothing dainty about this salad, sweet roasted squash and beets studded with big chunky croutons and creamy feta.  This is something special.

Squash and Beetroot Salad
Serves two

1 medium queen squash, peeled and chopped
4 raw beetroot, peeled and cut into wedges
100g feta cheese cut into squares
100g stale bread cut into chunks
1/2 bag rocket
Hand full of cherry tomatoes halved
5tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus extra for cooking
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1tbsp dijon mustard
Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 200C.  Put the squash and beetroot in a large roasting pan and coat with oil.  Roast for 30 minutes until soft and sweet.  

While your veg is roasting make your dressing.  Mix together the oil, vinegar and mustard, season to taste and set aside.  Put a frying pan over a medium heat and coat with oil, fry your croutons until golden.

When your veg is ready mix with the rocket, feta and tomatoes and plate up.  Sprinkle over your croutons and dressing before digging in.

Lions and tigers and bears

Us lambs have a love/hate relationship with bank holidays.  On one hand it's a day off (hooray!), on the other hand it messes with our weekly routine in the shop.  We like routine, routine is good!  As we'd just closed the old shop, we decided to love the final summer bank holiday of the year and take a day trip to the zoo.  Who doesn't want to spend the day looking at tigers?

South Lake Wild Animal Park is a fantastic open air safari park style experience, only without the cars and the miles of squinting to see a lion.  As you enter you're instantly faced with adorable lemurs skipping around your feet, monkeys swinging through the trees inches above your head and capybaras (my personal faves) chilling by wandering emus.  

We were like kids at Christmas, oohing and ahhing at all of the adorable critters.  When the opportunity came up to hand feed lemurs we almost fainted, grabbing at handfuls of grapes for the canny little furballs.  We can now safely say we can die happy girls after holding hands with a ring tailed lemur while it chuffed down a little grape.

If you are ever in the Lake District for a time or even if you're just passing through, do try and make time to visit this wonderful zoo.  You'll have a blast, we sure did!