Jamie Oliver’s 30 minutes Meal

John bought me Jamie Oliver‘s 30 minutes Meal on this Friday as a present, and I absolutely love it. We followed the book, and tried the ‘oozy mushroom risotto, spinach salad, quick lemon & raspberry cheesecake‘. It was so professional and so tasty. I have to admit that was one of the best mushroom risotto I had tried, certainly better than a lot of restaurants. The dessert was so easy to make and tasted incredible. We were so happy for the results and everyone can do it. It took us 45 minutes and it was dead simple.

Our New Car to explore the Yorkshire

After a long discussion, we finally decided to pick Italian car  – Alfa Romeo 147 model with 5 doors and 1.9 engines. It is a great car and we really enjoy driving and travelling around Leeds and Yorkshire. The weather is quite unpredictable at the moment. It comes rains and comes shine all the time. Hopefully hot summer will be arrived soon even though we are in June.

Having a car is having the freedom to discover all the places we wanted to visit. I am currently on my 11 driving lessons, and it needs 40 lessons to pass. It might take sometimes because I only can get 2 lessons per week because the coach is so busy. I am doing quite well on learning how to drive, and I really enjoy driving, although it might be a lot of practising ahead for me to do.

I really can wait to drive our own car and practice by myself.

Jamie Oliver Italian Restaurant Leeds

Friends and us went to try the new opening Italian restaurant – the famous chef Jamie Oliver Italian restaurant in Leeds city centre. The chef was not Jamie in person, but follows his recipes. It was opened few weeks ago, and we alway wanted to give it a try as a food lover.

The starts was amazing, like tapas style. We had one vegetarian dish and one for seasonal meats. It was like the picture – look and taste were really gorgeous with cheese and bread! And we also ordered the white wine called Trebbiano Gargenega Del Veneto (2009) was light and fruity (reason price, but good value) I really enjoy the wine and the starter.

I ordered the lamp chop as my main course and I did try others pasta as well. My lamb was perfect – not too pink, not over cook, and it provided three sauces for me (mint, nuts and basil) I really enjoyed the main course. The other pasta was not bad. However, my friend’s pumpkin risotto was a little bit runny, but tasted not bad either.

The portion was big and great, some of them we could not finish. The environment was quite posh and stylish. The service was excellent and really helpful.

Overall 4 star out of 5. I will definitely recommend it to you.

My Friends Visiting Leeds

Eileen and Miwa came up to Leeds this week and stayed with us for 3 days. I miss them so much and all the good time we spent in London, and I haven’t seen them for 3 months since we moved to Leeds. Sadly the weather was terrible – raining and cold while they were here.

I showed them a little bit Leeds City Centre, and went to Jamie Oliver Italian Restaurant in the evening, and had a such a wonderful dinner, then went to the Sky Lounge in City Inn for more wine and chatting. It did feel like we usually see each other and catch up in trying good food in London.

In second day, Melanie joined our group too, so we drove them to York. Unfortunately it was raining so we saw the raining side of York. The positive side of raining is that all the trees and garden were so green and we had the fresh air. York is always lovely to visit. The only downside of York is too expensive on food because it is a tourist town, and everything is over-price.

After touring around York, we drove back to visit Temple Newsam. It was such a historical house and full of histories. I love big old house like that, such as Henry VIII’s Hampton Court in London, and Chatsworth House in Derbyshire. It always make me think what if I were living in that era and what I would be, or doing what things? I am always fascinated about 14th -19th Centuries histories and culture.

Friends were back to London on Weds, and I felt like we are not being apart that long, just doing our normal life in London, rather than in Leeds. I miss them and doing girls things while we were in London.

First picture was in Jamie Oliver Italian Restaurant, and second one was that I made Gong Fu Tea for them while they were playing the Ipad.

You can see more pictures in York and Leeds here.

My Passionate Home Cooked Food

I enjoy baking and cooking different types of food at home. Normally we cook Italian and British food at home, though I could cook some indian or chinese sometimes, it take a lot of preparation and the chinese ingredients are expensive here. I always think my Mum cooks the most amazing chinese food. However, I discovered that my Mum tends to put some pork and nice real meat stock inside the food, but John doesn’t like much pork because it is too fatty and greasy he said.

As John nowadays can eat some beef and it is cold winter snow day. I decided to make some Jamie Oliver’s recipes. Beef stew is the easiest winter food. It tastes meaty with different herbs. You can eat with some garlic bread or some Jasmine rice. Superb!

I always cook Bacon Asparagus Tortelloni and it is the quick and health dish, but delicious. Asparagus needs to be careful, hot water 3 minutes, and ice water for 1 minutes, then fried with garlic and butter 1 minutes. It will be the most crunchy tasty Asparagus ever. Trust me. I think I know different herbs and meat combination since I learned so much from the chef from TV.

I made some of the scones from James Martin’s dessert book, eat with clotted cream and Jam! As the dessert expert John said it was the most moist inside, crunchy outside and delicious scone ever, and better than a lot of shops are selling. It gave me so much joy and confident about my cooking.

The pumpkin pie we normally make at the weekend. I just made some chocolate cookies yesterday. I love cooking and I think it is nothing happier than people you love eating well and enjoying the food.

Good food, good music and good accompanies, then Happy Day!

Vapiano Italian Restaurant in London

Vapiano is franchise Italian restaurant in Europe and the State. My friend Kevin took me there when we were working together. From their website page, it is described the restaurant is ‘Somewhere between the nicest of fast casual and hippest of casual dining restaurants is Vapiano’.

The interior design is clean modern, open-space, casual with high standard quality food, especially there is fresh basil plant in every single table. Pasta is home-made, and it cooks in front of you, so it makes sure all fresh. It comes with a big portion as well, and you can choose your pasta types. My favourite pasta is Scampi E Spinaci, which is king prawn with pesto and baby spinach and Salsiccia Con Fichi , which is spicy Italian sausage with fresh figs. (both £8.50,  I just made it sound so fancy, did I? ) They are the best. Pizza is making in front of you including the dough, crispy edge with interesting filling.

Price is incredible cheap and so reasonable. Pasta and pizza starts from £6. Dessert from £3 – £5. All the staff and chef speak Italian. It is a friendly and self-service restaurant, so suitable for a quick lunch and dinner place, but also somewhere you can enjoy hang out with your friends.

We have been there many times and it is always my favourite quick Italian health restaurant. You can see more restaurant picture and memu here. 4.5 stars out of 5 for sure and highly recommended. We always went to the one behind Topshop in Oxford Street, you can not miss it.

Vapiano是一个在欧洲和美国十分流行的意大利连锁餐厅,在牛津街Topshop后面是我们经常去的地方。朋友介绍我去,之后我就几乎是他们的常客。店里装修十分时尚及现代,干净又整洁。每台桌面上都有一盆新鲜的Basil香叶,随时需要随时栽放在你的意大利面里。所有的意大利面都是厨师每天新鲜制作,所以十分新鲜美味。有8-10种意大利面条给你选择,我最喜欢的2道是 ‘菠菜大虾意大利面’ 或是 ’新鲜无花果加意大利辣香肠‘ 超级是我的最爱,价格十分诱人,才8镑多,大大分量加新鲜原料。pizza也是新鲜到连馅底的面粉都是现场撮然后加下原料的。

价格实在便宜,这么新鲜好的餐厅意大利面从6镑起,甜点也是3-5镑。所有的东西都是现场炒和煮给你看,你可以学到东西又可以吃到好吃的意大利菜,当然所有的厨师也是意大利人,都说意大利话。不仅是自助式服务,健康,简单快捷的意大利餐厅。假如你赶时间又想吃个健康的意大利菜,Vapiano绝对是我首选。你可以从这里看到 菜单更多图片。绝对推荐4.5星!