Saturday, 25 July 2015

Nina Eats - The Depot (again)

By now it's fairly obvious that most of my life revolves around food, so with that in mind a visit to The Depot was on the cards (again). 

The Depot opened last November in a disused warehouse on one of Cardiff's slightly more intimidating streets. Getting there usually involved following trendy Urban Outfitter types with beards. Once you've safely located the warehouse it all feels very 'Shoreditch'. Exposed wood? Yes. Funky lighting? Yes. Mismatching furniture? Yes. Ping pong tables? Why not?

Accompanied by the ever delightful WGP, in true welsh girl style we headed straight to the bar. Cocktails in hand we did a circuit of the vendors. I take these kinds of things very seriously so all food options had to be considered.

What's very different about the Depot this time around is the expanded beer garden. Last November this was mainly just the smoking area so it's nice that it's had a bit of a facelift. Sun, cocktails and food what more could you want?

So let's get to the food. Having already demolish a Philly Cheese Steak Co sandwich on a previous occasion (and what a game changer that was!) I had my sights set elsewhere.  Both Brother Thai and Little Bao Peep caught my eye but in the end the promise of freshly and spicy pad thai won me over.

Ready in next to no time it was also gone in next to no time. I'm drooling just thinking about it now. Cardiff really lacks some excellent Thai places so I'm glad Brother Thai are around because I will be back for more.

Other highlights include the fabulous Pizza Pronto Penarth with their amazing dough sticks and nutella. Also gone in mere seconds.  WGP and me rounded off our evening by indulging in some Science Cream - ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.  The Welsh Strawberry was their homage to Wimbledon and tasted amazing.

All in all, it was another great evening. Depot also have a DJ playing all evening so it's a great place for you and your friends to come for a drink and plenty of food.  The Depot is open until the end of August, so I'll probably end up visiting again especially if more vendors get added to the bill.

Cardiff people: grab your friends and make sure you visit The Deopt but come with an empty stomach.

Pad Thai from Brother Thai

Peaches with balsamic glaze pizza from Pizza Pronto

Dough sticks with nutella again from Pizza Pronto

Welsh Strawberry from Science Cream

The Depot:

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Nina Eats - Cooking with Marks and Spencer Part 2

Ingredients provided by Marks and Spencer

Continuing with my culinary ventures with the Cook with M&S app I decided to step away from my well trusted world of breakfast foods and head over the Spain.  I've always loved risotto, it's one of my favourite things to cook so the Spanish cousin to the risotto was very tempting indeed. After a long week at work I was in desperate need of some comfort food so on a rainy Friday I got all my ingredients together and started prepping.

Compared to my breakfast venture, this recipe needed a little more prep time and flicking between the instructions. I like to think I'm an organised cook so having everything chopped and ready is paramount to the recipe's success.

The hardest part about this recipe as it turns out was not eating all of the chorizo before I lightly browned it in the saucepan. What also made the whole process much easier was that M&S have a jar of 'Terribly Clever Paella Starter Paste' so all the essentials spices and herbs are already mixed up for you. You simply add the paste with the chorizo and peppers to coat everything and let it all fry together before you add in the paella rice and stock (all of this cooking is naturally accompanied with an extra large glass of wine...).

Paella is a little more independent that its Italian cousin as it doesn't need constant stirring whilst the stock absorbs. Risotto making can turn into quite the upper body work out. If you are cooking paella I would suggest that you do give it the odd stir every now and then and not to leave it to its own devices for too long otherwise, you do get crispy rice at the bottom of the pan.

Once all the ingredients are in the pan it's simply a case of letting it all simmer away for 20 minutes (just enough time for an episode of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt). Served piping hot out of the pan, garnished generously with parsley and a big squeeze of lemon it's happiness in a bowl.

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Friday, 19 June 2015

Canadian Tuxedo

Shirt: Promod (ancient)
Jeans: Topshop
Shoes: ASOS
Bag: Lola and Me

Sometimes when I have a bad day I think: what would Dolly Parton do? I like to think that Dolly Parton would put on a fabulous double denim outfit, some bedazzling earring and some fun shoes and grab life by the balls.

I'm so glad double denim is an acceptable way of dressing, we've come a long way from the days of Britney and Justin power dressing together (iconic). I wore this when I went to afternoon tea with some work colleagues. Dressing to go out with people from work is hard because you want to look good but not be overdressed. This felt like a good balance between comfort and appropriateness. 

My shoes deserve a whole paragraph to themselves. I get so many compliments when I wear them and I can't get enough of them (the shoes and the compliments of course). I've been wearing them constantly, they're a 'sensible' heel so I can walk easily in them and they instantly jazz up a simple outfit. The bobble reminds me of those Koosh balls we used to play with in the 90s. 

So with the double denim and the Koosh ball shoes this really turned into a bit more of an 90's mid 2000 outfit than I was planning for it to be. It's funny to me to be wearing trends again that were massive when I was young but I refuse to wear one of those black neck chokers, that's still too recent in my mind.

Lots of exciting things are happening towards the end of this month. It'll be one year since I started my job and I'll be graduating from my Master course (finally!). Then in August it's off to Brazil for 2 weeks to spend some time with my family. It's so good to have things to look forward to as this time last year was quite hard for me so it stops me being too melancholic! I can't wait to share these next few months with you guys.

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