Bills Restaurant, blue cheese, Blues Pills, Brother and Bones, Buttermilk and blueberry pancakes, Chocolate brownies, dark chocolate and passion fruit mousse cake, Derwentwater, Dog and Gun in Keswick, Favourite cake recipe, Favourite soda bread recipe, Favourite traybake, Keswick, Liverpool, Malmaison Liverpool, Merienda, Mixed bean falafels, Old Stamp house in Ambleside, Peter Kay's Car Share, RavenEye, Ray Donovan, Rival Sons, The Bridge, The Vikings, Visiting Liverpool, walnut and sultana soda bread, Welsh rarebit with bacon and soda bread
In today’s post I wanted to carry on with the 2015 favourites, but go down the non-beauty route and reveal my favourite recipes, travel destinations as well as what TV and music I loved.
Over the course of 2015 I experimented with lots of different recipes. However, the following five were my favourite recipes and the ones that I kept coming back to. All the recipes can be found on my blog.
- Favourite cake – dark chocolate and passion fruit mousse cake
The sponge in this cake is hands down the best chocolate cake I’ve ever made or eaten. It is so moist, light and soft thanks to the addition of the oil and buttermilk and I love the passion fruit mousse which makes the cake look really vibrant. The next time I make this cake I will definitely make some passion fruit mousse chocolates as well.
- Favourite bread – blue cheese, walnut and sultana soda bread
This bread is a little on the pricy side to make when you factor in the blue cheese, walnuts and buttermilk, but it is definitely worth the investment as it’s so quick and easy to make. This bread is surprisingly filling and tastes wonderful toasted, topped with bacon and Welsh rarebit or simply smothered with some nice butter.
- Favourite traybake – chocolate brownies
This is the bake that I always come back to when I need something quick for a food gift, trips away or an event. These brownies taste amazing as they are so soft and chewy. The only problem is that you’ll never be able to eat and enjoy a brownie from anywhere else once you’ve tasted these.
- Favourite breakfast – blueberry and buttermilk pancakes
I love blueberry pancakes, but after three attempts I thought that I would never conquer my nemesis. However, I finally hit the jackpot with a recipe that I found online and we now enjoy soft, pillowy pancakes with lemon cream, maple syrup and berries on a regular basis, well when I have 50 minutes to spare on a morning.
- Favourite savoury – mixed bean falafels
I’m always on the lookout for quick and easy midweek meals so when I came across this falafel recipe I was keen to give it a go. These falafels taste so much better than shop bought ones and even better you can use numerous beans (chickpeas, soya beans and kidney beans) to refresh and change the recipe.
- Favourite city – Liverpool
In 2015 we re-discovered Liverpool and realised how awesome the city is so we’ve been back multiple times over the last twelve months. Not only are the shops and architecture great, but we like to combine our trip with a stay at the Malmaison hotel followed by pancakes at Bills. No surprise that it always comes back to food!
- Favourite UK holiday – Keswick
It’s no secret that the Lake District is my favourite place to visit, but surprisingly we’ve never stayed in Keswick before 2015. A cosy cottage, coffee at Merienda’s and beef goulash at the Dog and Gun. What more could you ask for… maybe a sunny day.
- Favourite dish – West Coast scallop
If you like fine dining and good value then The Old Stamp House in Ambleside can’t be beaten in my eyes. Out of all the food I tried in 2015 this scallop dish with cauliflower cream, brown shrimps, marsh samphire and a spiced mead veloute was my absolute favourite. This dish is simply amazing and I hope that it’s still on the menu the next time we’re in Ambleside.
- Favourite restaurant – Bills
We spent quite a bit of time in Bills in 2015 as not only have we never had a bad meal but the service is absolutely amazing, especially at the Manchester branch. We love going for breakfast and always order the blueberry and buttermilk pancakes with streaky bacon and a cup of mocha. However, the lunch menu is equally as good and I particuly enjoyed the lime and coriander chicken with sweet potato fries, kale colesaw and chipotle mayonnaise that I had back in October!
- Favourite walk – Derwentwater, Keswick
Considering how much I like my food it’s important that I do a lot of exercise to compensate. As well as going the gym I also did a lot of walking throughout the year. However, my favourite walk of 2015 was around Derwentwater. It might have been November 1st, but it was glorious. The scenery was out of the world and the 10 miles soon passed in a blur. The only part that didn’t enjoy it was my feet, which protested for the rest of the day!
I’m a big fan of live music and in 2015 we travelled to lots of different venues to see Rival Sons, Blues Pills and Brother and Bones, and when we weren’t rocking away we were at home getting stuck into my other passion gritty, TV dramas and Boxsets.
- Favourite band – RavenEye
In April we went Manchester to see Blues Pills play and considering I’d been up since 5.30am I was more than annoyed when I found out that Blues Pills wouldn’t be coming on stage until 9pm. However, a new band called RavenEye were one of the warm up bands and I was left stunned by their music, energy and performance. RavenEye have rapidly become one of my favourite bands and we are due to see them perform for the third time in a few weeks. This is definitely one band to watch!
- Favourite subtitled TV series – The Bridge
I love Scandinavian TV dramas and I was thrilled when the Bridge came back for the third season late last year. In terms of storyline and pace this is up there with the best. Detective Saga Norén is also one of the most compelling characters on TV and actress Sofia Helin is amazing actress and does such a great job.
- Favourite American TV series – Ray Donovan
Both my Husband and I discovered Ray Donovan by chance in early 2015. We were completely blown away by the characters and storyline, and before we knew it we’d watched all three seasons. This is a gritty show and if you liked the Sopranos then you’ll love this. I can’t wait for season four!
- Favourite boxset – The Vikings
My Husband got season two of the Vikings for his birthday and we soon rattled through it. Again, the storyline, characters and pace of this TV show keep you gripped from start to finish and you can’t help but fall a bit in love with the Viking warrior Ragnar Lothbrok.
- Favourite comedy – Car Share
The surprise hit of 2015 was a new comedy show on the BBC called Car Share starring Peter Kay. Based on the simple premise of supermarket manager John Redmond giving promotions rep Kayleigh Kitson a lift to work and back this show is both well written and really funny. I along with lots of other people will be hoping for a second series in 2016.