deal boat

I know, I know.

Where have I been?

Well, on the blogging front, I’ve been somewhat occupied with This girl dines {http://thisgirldines.wordpress.com/}, my secondary blog which has had to take prominence for my course module in ‘writing for the web’. But, as it’s also foodie, it’s not exactly been a chore.

What else? Well, my dissertation is now done. I know! Isn’t that ridiculous? I started this blog FOR my dissertation and now ze dissertation is over and my blog is still here, and it feels like the end of an era.

All my modules are over now except for this writing for the web one, but once that is submitted…it’s over. My university degree will be done. Finito. Terminée.

I have mixed feelings about this, because my first two years of university weren’t exactly great. It’s only in this third and final year that I’ve finally embraced the experience and fully enjoyed myself.

After the easter break, I will be returning to Nottingham. To eat. see friends, bake, and hopefully, gain a little experience in a kitchen.

And then, if we go on a little further into the future, I’ll be returning back to Kent for the summer, which I’m hoping to be the best summer of my life, to date. Expectations are high, people.

So, I’ve been working a lot. I had my final project presentation the day before coming home, and that was seriously nerve wracking. I kept leaning forward on one leg, and then having to swap legs because my original leg was shaking too damn much to support me. So that wasn’t great. Plus there were awkward silences, which I proceeded to fill in by making fun, of myself. Because that’s what I do in awkward situations, clearly.

deal picBut all in all, it went fine! And better than my first presentation… {I think/hope.}

So, that’s all my course related news.

Food news! Yay!

Now that I’m home I have a lovely clean kitchen to bake in. I made a batch of mini-madeleines using my mother’s French mold.

 

 

I wanted to try out a variety of flavours, and settled with;

Earl grey tea, bleu curacao, chocolate & coconut, and almond madeleines.

madeleinesPersonally, I loved the earl grey most, and so did my mother! This is a big thing, because prior to tasting she wasn’t totally sold on the idea of flavouring madeleines. I was pretty pleased with how these turned out, but they were certainly nicest just out of the oven as, being so teeny, they dried out pretty quickly.

 

chocolate and orange souffle cake with white chocolate drizzleBefore coming home, I baked this chocolate orange fallen soufflé cake, with white chocolate drizzle. I really thought there wouldn’t be enough for everyone. But miraculously, I managed to get a good 20+ {albeit slim} slices out of it. Might have eaten one or two of the larger pieces myself.

 

meringue

In the near future, I’m planning on making a two layered blueberry & peach mousse on almond sponge cake. As well as some deliciously gooey meringues {which I love and also made recently} and my mother’s birthday cake, which will be a flourless orange cake which I’m hoping to be moist and incredible.

Earlier this week, my mother & I went to a chocolate evening, being run by my favourite restaurant. I have a whole post dedicated to it here; http://thisgirldines.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/lets-talk-about-chocolate/ with many glorious photos for you chocolate fiends out there.

Want an example of what we tried, savoured, and devoured?

choc 2

Bamn.

So yes! Go have a little look see, if it be of interest to you.

Incidently, my parents & I returned to this restauarant, The Dining Club, today for Sunday lunch. And, well…

sl3There are no words, my friends. Only tears of actual joy.

Such a good meal.

In particular, my starter of fried poached egg on this incredible, buttery, moreish bed of leeks and pearl barley and other goodies. And the yolk. The yolk!

 

sl4

The dessert was also parfait {you’ll appreciate the wordplay in a moment}. The perfect, light, ending to a delightful meal. Vanilla parfait {ahh, see?} with mango coulis ‘yolk’, white chocolate shortbread soldier & brown sugar meringue.

It was fun and delicious, which really is the perfect combo, no?

So, life is good. I’m working on a novel, by the way, should probably mention that. I’m about 50k in at the moment, and started it early March, so a little over three weeks ago. Really enjoying it. Which is so darn ironic, considering that for the past three years whilst completing a degree in creative writing, I haven’t wanted to write a novel or anything full length. I haven’t felt excited about writing a novel. Now that my course is over? Voila! Inspiration has arrived and is dragging my fingers to the keyboard for hours a day.

I’m not complaining though; I love my characters and I love the plot, and I’m remembering why I applied for that degree in the first place.

So, I will post again when I have many glorious photos to share with you all.

Happy Easter!

sl 5

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