Peak District – Exploring the North on a Bank Holiday weekend

This Bank Holiday weekend we hired a car and fled 3 hours to the North of England, to experience the countryside, real ale, and funny accents.  Success on all 3 counts.

We stayed near the industrial city of Sheffield, home of Pulp and a pretty good university.  We also drove by the largest estate in the UK, Park Hill Estate, which is 1) fantastically designed and 2) in the process of being refurbished into market rate flats.  Multicolored panels have replaced the grey bits, and I think it looks great.

The trip consisted of trips to twee towns and countryside (pictured below) and periodic breaks in country pubs to warm up and sample the local ales (pics, sadly, not included).  Ale in the North tends to be poured through a sparkler, which changes the feel and taste quite a bit.  I didn’t like it as much as I anticipated, but at least now I know the difference, and it’s all so tasty.


So many cherry tomatoes

Last week saw me knocked flat by a particularly nasty bug leaving Mr416expat to hit up the market and purchase our groceries for the next week.  Mr416expat and I grocery shop quite differently so I was excited to see what he’d bring home.  One of the more interesting purchases included two quarts of cherry tomatoes.  That’s a lot of cherry tomatoes.

Living in Toronto our cherry tomato plant served as a snack bar for Mr416expat while he barbecued, worked on his bike, or puttered around the backyard.  Eventually the time would come when the tomato plant’s production outpaced Mr416expat’s snacking capacity.  If only I had this recipe then!  We would have eaten a lot fewer salads garnished with cherry tomatoes!

I don’t know why I didn’t think of roasting the tomatoes in previous seasons.  It’s brilliant! You can easily refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.  From the two quarts that we had, I had enough for two pizzas and a chicken dinner.

ready to be roasted

just about ready...i gently flipped these guys around and roasted them for another 15 minutes

There's chicken in there somewhere

pizza was consumed too quickly after being removed from the oven - here's a before shot

Roasted tomatoes

cherry tomatoes
olive oil
bay leaves
dried herbs (try basil or thyme!)

Slice the cherry tomatoes in half, toss with olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on a roasting pan/cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (or your little sister’s silpat sheet which somehow accompanied you to England).  Roast for a good long while (I roasted mine for 45 minutes) at 375 degrees.  Turn the oven off and let them cool. Then use as you like!  I roasted potatoes, added seasoned chicken and the tomatoes and let it all cook together.  I also made a pizza and used the tomatoes as a topping.  Two quarts of tomatoes = 2.5 dinners!

My 30th Birthday!

Daytrip – Battersea & Food Festival