Saturday, 10 June 2017

Stepping into Summer with Turtle Bay's new menu - Middlesbrough

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take Matt to Turtle Bay and show him what it was all about. Having visited on the press night with my fellow Teesside bloggers, I was invited back to try out the new menu and review which I was happy to oblige.

We popped along on a Friday night feeling extremely hungry after a long day at work. I started with my favourite cocktail, discovered on my last visit, the Marley Mojito. I'm not a fan of normal mojitos but this one is so refreshing and fruity with ginger beer, watermelon and melon liqueur.

We both had a tough time deciding what we'd get for our mains as there was so many delicious sounding meals listed. I really wanted to have the beef ribs again after trying them before but the two-way chicken burger caught my eye. As we don't have lamb at home, Matt decided that's what he'd be trying. 

My burger was a spicy panko crumbed chicken fillet topped with pull jerk chicken, crisp gem lettuce, fresh pineapple chow & herb mayo accompanied by fries and coleslaw. I did enjoy my burger as it was unusual to have the two types of chicken, but I did kind of wish I'd chosen the beef ribs as it was something different. Matt's lamb was grilled and jerk marinated served with coleslaw, sweet potato mash, green seasoning and sweet onion chutney. He really enjoyed the lamb and said all of the different aspects worked really well together.

Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough
Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough
Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough
Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough
Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough
Turtle Bay Summer Menu Restaurant Review Middlesbrough

We both ordered another drink before our next course with Matt ordering a Red Stripe which was on draught and I delved back into the cocktail menu. Sounding very Caribbean,  I chose the Bahama Mama which had coconut rum, banana liqueur, pineapple juice, pomegranate syrup and bitters. It was super sweet and tasted very familiar to something I'd had before but neither of us could put our finger on what it was.

For dessert I decided to have the rum and raisin bread pudding as I'd tried some at the opening event and knew I had to have a whole piece. It was soft, ooey gooey and warm, perfect with the ice cream. I finished the lot. Matt was more safe with his dessert and chose the dark chocolate brownie. He said it was nice, tasted home-made but could have done with more ice cream.

Turtle Bay has definitely cemented itself really well in Middlesbrough with almost everyone I've spoken to having a good word to say about. We will definitely be back as we've still got a lot more cocktails to try and so many more food options to taste!
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Monday, 22 May 2017

Food prep Sunday

Yesterday, after writing my meal plan for the week, I decided to pop to Aldi and pick up the food we would need. There were a few things that would involve me spending a little extra time on them before they would be ready for the upcoming week. With my Sunday afternoon I got stuck into the kitchen and started preparing some grub.

First up was granola. I've made this simple granola twice now and it has been delicious. Just as good as store-bought but with the simplicity of just being oats. This recipe is from Southern in Law and is super cheap, quick and easy to make!

homemade vanilla granola food preparation southern in law
homemade vanilla granola food preparation southern in law

Next up was a new recipe that I'd not tried before. I always struggle to have a healthy, nutritious breakfast and recently I've been wanting to get more protein in my diet. Whilst browsing Pinterest I came across this Strawberry Cheesecake Chia Seed Pudding. From The Foodie and The Fix, this recipe involves putting everything in a blender (except the chia seeds, oops) and then putting it in a jar to set overnight. Doesn't seem too difficult does it! I put this into My Fitness Pal and with the cheeky extra of cottage cheese (which you can't taste) each serving has 18g protein! It does have quite a bit of sugar due to the strawberries and sweetener (I chose honey) but its all natural... Tried this for my breakfast today and it is lovely!

strawberry cheesecake chia pudding

Whilst cooking up all my treats I also put together a big tub of fruit salad. We tend to buy lots of fruit but never manage to eat it all. To combat this, I cut it all up into a tub and stick it in a fridge. I find if it's already prepared for you, you tend to eat it.

Now on to a little bit of savoury. I've made roasted chickpeas before but hadn't thought much of them. Recently I was watching Healthnut Nutrition on Youtube and she was preping some chickpeas which she really seemed to love... We have many abandoned tins of chickpeas in the cupboard so I thought it was about time to let them see the light of day. Using Healthnut Nutrition's recipe I whipped up these tasty crunchy chickpeas to snack on. The key to these is definitely leaving them in for quite a while to ensure they get the crunch. I put garlic powder, paprika and cayenne pepper on mine, kind of like flamin' hot flavour monster munch.

roasted chickpeas healthnut nutrition

Last but not least was something I made up last minute due to the fact we didn't buy any treats to have with a cup of tea. I knew I wanted to make these so bought plenty of bananas and two bars of dark chocolate. I split six bananas in half and coated them in melted dark chocolate. When they had set, I stuck them in the freezer and we were able to enjoy dark chocolate covered frozen bananas. They are so good! I would insert a picture but they aren't the prettiest. You imagine a banana covered in chocolate... 

So that was my afternoon of food prepping, what do you like to make for the week on a Sunday?
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Thursday, 18 May 2017

The afternoon tea that embodies Teesside - Skelton Mill Tea Rooms

The humble parmo. I've spoken about my love for it before and explained what one is. A parmo is a Middlesbrough 'delicacy' which includes fried chicken, bechamel sauce and CHEESE! In Middlesbrough it will be hard for you to find someone who doesn't like the parmo. Recently my Mum came across an afternoon tea that included one rather than the usual sandwiches. That's like two of my favourite things combined into one which meant I had to visit and try it out.

Located around 10 minutes from Middlesbrough, Skelton Mill Tea Rooms is just off a country road surrounded by greenery. As well as the tea rooms, on the site they have glamping pods and a vintage/shabby chic shop.

Having booked our time slot and pre-ordered our afternoon tea, it wasn't long before we were presented with a stand full of gorgeous food and a plate of chips. The staff were super friendly and couldn't do enough to ensure we were happy.

With our parmo and chips, the tea rooms included two pots of garlic sauce, a bowl of salad and some buttered bread. Although I had not long had my breakfast, I practically wolfed down my portion as it was really tasty and something so different for an afternoon tea.

After the parmo it was time for the scone. As I'm not one for fresh cream, and they'd already pre-creamed the scones, they kindly gave us another scone (raspberry and white chocolate) for me to have with butter and jam. This was the perfect consistency for a scone, very light but also solid enough to ensure it didn't crumble on my plate. The flavours of this one were really nice and complemented each other perfectly. I'd definitely be back for 'cream tea' if it included these scones.

Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review
Skelton Mill Tea Rooms and Bistro Parmo Afternoon Tea Review

Last but not least was the cake. In my opinion the selection of sweet treats wasn't the best with only a small chocolate cake and a little jelly and custard, but to be honest by this point I wasn't bothered. The parmo and the scone filled me up, so I was happy with the delicious food I'd already had. Having said that, I did spot some delicious cakes on the sideboard, so I definitely think I'd pop back just for cake!

Myself and Mum thoroughly enjoyed our time at Skelton Mill Tea Rooms. The staff were exceptionally nice, the food was so good and the price was very reasonable. For our parmo afternoon tea for two it was only £20! Usually you'd pay that much per person at some places.

If you live in the area I would definitely say you need to visit if you are fond of the humble parmo.

For more afternoon tea reviews, click here!
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