Monday, 5 October 2015

The Durham Brewery, Bede's Chalice Belgian Tripel 9% - Beer Review

We visited the Durham Brewery a while ago, purchased lots of lovely beers, one of which was Bede's Chalice Belgian Tripel 9%. And rather unusually for us we took our time drinking them.
When I say we took our time drinking the beers, I really mean I did. Mr.R would happily have quaffed them straight away. Usually I too never say no to a beer - or three.
The reason the box containing lots of bottle of beer sat untouched for so long was simply because at the time we purchase them I was suffering from almost constant headaches, and as I didn't want anything to decrease my enjoyment of the beers, I wanted to wait to taste them all.

Bede's Chalice Belgian Tripel 9%

Anyway, for some unknown reason we then completely forgot we had a large cardboard box full of beer from The Durham Brewery. Shocking I know! And ever so disrespectful to the beer.
But eventually, long after my days and nights full of horrible headaches had passed, we remembered the beer, and chucked some of the bottles in the fridge to chill.

Durham Brewery, Bede's Chalice, Belgian Tripel, 9.0%. Beer. Ale. Real ale.

Oops I seem to have rambled on about nonsense and still haven't said anything about the actual beer. Ha!
Right, yep, beer! What can I say about Bede's Chalice Belgian Tripel from The Durham Brewery - well firstly it was a very lively brew.
Mr.R opened the bottle and the beer almost didn't make it into the glass, but thankfully we didn't end-up in tears as none was spilt on the floor.
This beer poured a lovely golden amber colour in the glass, with a generous foam head.
It has aromas of peaches and bread, sweet malts, and strong alcohol.
On the palate there were delicious sweet fresh flavours of peach, mango, orange peel, coriander, and a touch of spice, ending with a pleasantly smooth finish. Very nice indeed, and definitely a beer we'd drink again, and again.......

Durham Brewery, Bede's Chalice, Belgian Tripel, 9.0%. Beer. Ale. Real ale.

From the label -
Bede's Chalice celebrates the Venerable Bede.

Maris Otter malt and American centennial hops magically combine to give an aroma of lychees and peaches with a full fruit body of spicy orange and coriander. 
Warming high alcohols finish with smooth caramel.

This ale is bottle-conditioned.
There is a live sediment which continues to mature and develop the flavour and character. 
Store upright and pour gently to avoid disturbing the sediment.
Natural; not filtered.
Store at cool room temperature and serve at 10 degrees C.
This beer may be lively so have a glass to hand when opening.
Food match: Duck and Orange.
Contains water, malted barley (gluten), malted wheat (gluten), hops, orange peel, coriander seed and yeast.
Suitable for vegans.
4.5 alcohol units.

The Durham Brewery Ltd,
Unit 6a,
Bowburn North Ind Est,
Bowburn, Durham DH6 5PF.
Are you a real ale fan?
Have you tried Bede's Chalice Belgian Tripel 9%?

Lyle's Black Treacle - My Craving Resulted in Delicious Flapjacks

I'm not sure why, but a while ago I had a sudden craving for black treacle.
I hadn't eaten black treacle for many many years, but I needed to eat it now.

Anyway, as Mr.R does all of our food shopping, I asked him to buy me a can of the black stuff.
Once I had a can of Lyle's Black Treacle I wasn't exactly sure what to do with it.
So, hoping for inspiration, I opened the can and took a deep breath of the delicious contents.
Then I took a teaspoon and gently dipped it into the can, taking a tiny amount of the black treacle and tasting it.
It tasted exactly how I remembered it.
Don't you love it when that happens; you fancy something you haven't eaten for a long time, you remember exactly how it tasted, and when you eat it again, it tastes how you remembered. Excellent!

Mmm! �� #LylesBlackTreacle #BlackTreacle #treacle #food

From the can -
Lyle's Black Treacle adds a distinctive rich, dark flavour to traditional recipes like Christmas pudding, parkin, treacle toffee and gingerbread. 
It also tastes great in savoury foods, try it as a glaze for salmon.
For quick and simple recipes visit

Mmm! �� treacle

So, I'd fancied the black treacle, but hadn't thought about how I was going to eat it - apart from maybe scoffing it straight from the can, but after my tiny taste test when I first opened the can, that didn't seem like a particularly tasty treacle-y treat.
So I pondered about what to do with the can of black treacle.
I had a quick look in the larder, spotted a packet of porridge oats, and that was it, I decided to make flapjacks - but with treacle instead of honey which is what I usually use.

Flapjacks. Ready to eat. �� Never made them with treacle before - they're delicious! #flapjacks #food

My black treacle flapjacks came out great.
They tasted really good, with strong flavours of bitter chocolate and coffee liquor.
They were a lot different to my usual flapjacks but seriously tasty, and I think I prefered the black treacle flavour to the honey sweetened flapjacks.
Are you a Black Treacle lover?
How do you eat black treacle?
Have you made black treacle flapjacks?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Bombay 106 Original India Pale 7% The Durham Brewery - Beer Review

I liked this beer, Bombay 106 Original India Pale 7% from The Durham Brewery.
Usually I'm not a serious lover of Pale Ale, but this was good, and Mr.R is a big fan of Pale Ales and he liked this brew very much.
I thought it was pleasant, it had a nice bitterness, and a hint of spice and pepper in the finish.
Mr.R said it had a decent bitterness, with a touch of citrus, and a pleasantly long finish, he gave it 7/10.

Bombay 106 Original India Pale 7%
I haven't got a photo of the actual beer, just the bottle 
The beer vanished in the blink of an eye - odd ;)
Or was it the tilt of a wrist? Slurp! Burp! Gone!

From the label -
Named after the 106th Brigade of the East India Trading Company who later became the 2nd Batallion of the Durham Light Infantry. This type of beer was drunk in India at this time.

Very pale Maris Otter Malt and traditional English Goldings hops replicate the original pale bitter.
Bitterness is robust but well rounded with a spicy peppery finish and heady alcohol esters.

This ale is bottle-conditioned.
There is a live sediment which continues to mature and develop the flavour and character. 

Store upright and pour gently to avoid disturbing the sediment.

Natural; not filtered.

Store at cool room temperature and serve at 10 degrees C.

This beer may be lively so have a glass to hand when opening.

Food match: Curries and other heavily flavoured foods. Also steak and chips.

Contains water, barley, wheat, hops, and yeast.

Suitable for vegans.
3.5 UK units.

The Durham Brewery Ltd,
Unit 6a,
Bowburn North Ind Est,
Bowburn, Durham DH6 5PF.
Have you tried Bombay 106 Original India Pale 7% from The Durham Brewery?
Well, what are you waiting for? Go and get some!

Chicken Rogan Josh, with Mashed Potato - How Very English!

Lunch today was another delicious meal cooked by Mr.R.
A seriously tasty chicken Rogan Josh, served with sweet potato mash; with lots of lovely creme fraiche, cabbage, carrots, and an aubergine, onion, and garlic concoction.

Chicken rogan josh. Mashed potato with sweet potato and creme fraiche, cabbage, carrots, and a garlic, onion, and aubergine concoction. ����

See, I can keep it short. Unlike the blog post I uploaded a little while ago (the post before this post), which was also a food post. Chicken, in fact.

That just goes to show you can't judge by first impressions, or you can, but maybe you'll misinterpret the facts.

We do not eat a lot of chicken. We do not eat a lot of meat. Actually a lot of our meals contain no meat at all, not that we're vegetarians, or vegans, we just like to have variety in our diet - it's the spice of life.

Spice! That's one thing we do eat a lot of.

Oops, I'm starting to rambling, and now as is pretty evident, this is no longer the first two sentences that I originally intended to write.
I'd written them in my head, and honestly thought I'd sit down type them, add the photo and that would be it. That would be the shortest blog post I've ever written. Ha!
Oh well, this is still pretty short, and it is probably the shortest one ever anyway.
Unless of course, I just keep typing.......
I'm finished!
Other than to ask -
Do you eat a lot of chicken? Or any other meat?
What about spicy food, do you love it?
What's your favourite chicken dish? 
And finally, have you ever eaten chicken Rogan Josh with mashed potato? ;)

Roast Chicken. Roast Potatoes, Carrots, Red Pepper, Brussels Sprouts, Spinach, and Peas - It's What's For Lunch!

It would be an exaggeration, (although only a teeny-tiny one), if I said I am always thinking about food.

It would be completely true, if I said I am almost always thinking about food.

I think about food a lot.
Usually as I'm eating breakfast I start to think about what's for lunch, and those thoughts turn quickly to what's for dinner.
I can't stop myself. Not that I want to. I mean what's wrong with thinking about food almost always? 

In fact most evenings I'll ask Mr.R what we're having for lunch the next day. And that's often long before I've even eaten that nights dinner, or the next mornings breakfast.

Food, food, glorious food!

Mr.R is a really good cook. He makes us delicious meals.
Unfortunately I am seriously crap at photographing food.
I blame the bad light in this house, which is kind of the reason my food photos are bad, but not the whole reason because in fact this house is really light inside.
I think the main reason the photos I shoot of food are not good, is simply because not only am I always thinking about food, I am always hungry, so as soon as my food is served, I want to eat it - not faff about taking cool photos of it.
Ironic really, as I can actually take good photos, of food, of anything, because I studied photography. And I achieved excellent results. And I worked in the photographic industry for many many years.
Oh feck! This blog post is not about my life, well, it is, but it's not. This blog post was purely meant to be one photo of a plate of food cooked by my husband, Mr.R. The photo was supposed to be accompanied by a short paragraph about the meal, and my crap food photos. Hahaha!

Seriously tasty lunch yesterday. And seriously huge too. ���������� Roast chicken. Roast potatoes, roast carrot, roast red pepper, Brussels sprouts, spinach and peas. Yum!
Seriously tasty lunch. And seriously huge too. 
Roast chicken. Roast potatoes, roast carrot, roast red pepper, Brussels sprouts, spinach and peas. Yum!

I feel I'm doing a disservice to the lovely food cooked by Mr.R with my bad photos.
Oh well, whatever! Here's the food shot - above - obviously.
Do do think about food a lot?
Are you always hungry?
What's your favourite meal?

Seriously tasty lunch yesterday. And seriously huge too. ���������� Roast chicken. Roast potatoes, roast carrot, roast red pepper, Brussels sprouts, spinach and peas. Yum!

Fun for the Dogs on Crimdon Dene Beach, County Durham

We really appreciate the fact that we have several good beaches very close to our house, not because we are beach people, but because the dogs love to run free on the sand.
I've mentioned it in previous blog posts, but I'll say it again, we have two wonderful rescue dogs, a Lurcher and a Rottweiler. Being a sighthound, our Lurcher absolutely loves to run, and where he goes our Rottweiler follows - at a slightly slower speed. Hehehe!

Three. ��������☺️
Mr.R (in the distance) Barley (Lurcher) and Porter (Rottweiler) 

A few days ago, bright and early one morning, we took the dogs to Crimdon Dene beach, and as often happens we had the whole beach to ourselves, which meant the boys could enjoy running off lead without us having to worry about other people, dogs etc.

Two. ����������
Barley and Porter

When we first let the dogs off of their leads they usually spend a few minutes play fighting, and then the real fun begins - ball chasing.
They both love to run after balls, which they'd happily do for as long as we have the energy to continue to throw them - thank god for tennis-ball launchers; you know those long plastic scoop thingys.

Porter. Sea spume. ������
Porter enjoying the spume

Anyway, on this particular beach day, the sun was rising, the sea was quite calm, and it wasn't raining - hooray!
There had obviously been some rough weather though, as the evidence was scattered along the high-tide line - lots of seaweed and seashells etc.
There was also a lot of spume, it looked like there had been a foam party, not in a club in Ibiza (for example), but on a beach in County Durham with seafoam.

Barley. Sea spume. ������
Barley catching his breath before he zoomed off again

We all walked, well me and Mr.R walked, the dogs ran, for quite a way along the beach in the direction of Hartlepool. It was a very pleasant morning, and excellent exercise for the dogs, who, once we got back to the house, spent the next few hours sleeping - very very deeply.

Happy boys. ��������☺️
Barley loves zoomies, and he even lets Porter catch-up with him - sometimes

Obviously I'm biased because we live right next to the sea, but I truly prefer dog walking on the beach, compared to wandering in the woods or countryside.
We also have lots of countryside, fields etc. by our house, and we do walk the dogs there as well, but I think they prefer the beach too.
Do you have a dog?
What's your prefered dog walking location, beach, countryside, or city?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Dreamtime Ridge, Australia - Wine Review

I've got millions (very slight exaggeration) of wine review blog posts in my draft folder waiting to be completed and published. Some of these blog posts are so old I can hardly remember writing them, let alone what I thought of the wine.
But this wine, this blog post is freshly written today, and the impression the wine left on me is as fresh as if I'd drank it today - I actually drank it about a week ago.

Cheap as chips and twice as tasty. ������ Dreamtime Ridge, Australia. �� Smells like chocolate liqueurs, taste like liqueur and port. Nice! ��

So, what did I think of this Australian wine.
Well, firstly I'll say I'm not particularly keen on Australian wines, not usually - but this wine.......
This wine was so good, I'm definitely interested in trying more wines from Oz in the future.
It's not that we don't drink Australian wines in this house, it's just that we tend to buy more French, Spanish, and Italian wine.

Anyway, this wine, it was seriously nice, it had a pleasantly strong aroma of chocolate and those chocolate liqueurs that are popular at Christmas, and it tasted more like a liqueur than a wine, and reminded me of a light, young, port.
Now, I know that food can influence how wine tastes, so I thought that maybe I was loving Dreamtime Ridge wine so much because of what I'd eaten, but no, Mr.R had eaten something completely different to what I'd had, and he also liked this wine a lot, and agreed with me that it tasted like a liqueur and a young port.

Cheap as chips and twice as tasty. ������ Dreamtime Ridge, Australia

From the label - 
Fresh, fruity, easy drinking red.
Great with pasta, pizza or grilled meats. 
13% vol

That's so typically Australian isn't it? The wine label description I mean; short and to-the-point.
No messing. No using one hundred words when 12 will do. Excellent! Hahaha!

Anyway, we loved this wine. It's cheaper than chips, and twice as tasty, and a bargain from Asda for £3.50.
Although it's probably only a quid in Australia. Joke!
Have you tried Dreamtime Ridge, Australia?
Did you love it?