A Welcome Party, A Mexican Feast, and Valentines Chocolate

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Blog friends, may I offer some friendly advice? You might well need it one weekend soon, if you’re a thirty-something old bore like me who purposefully nods off on the sofa at 6pm just to kill some time before it’s acceptable to retreat to bed with a book. My advice is thus: beer then wine? You will NOT be fine. I was not fine. I think maybe I’m almost recovered now, but it’s been a difficult and emotional journey. The occasion was a bit of a ‘welcome’ do that I organised for C. He ‘officially’ moved in last weekend but that was a busy one, so this weekend I invited a few pals over and made a Mexican feast.

Welcome indeed! Of course it’s difficult to hide a surprise party from someone when they inhabit the same house, but I like to think my ruse was fairly successful (it wasn’t).

Amazing taco bowls.
An oops too spicy bean chilli.
A Mexican black bean salad.
Mexican potatoes with green chillies.
Chilean pebre (salsa)
A bowl topped with butternut ‘queso’.

The taco bowls are super easy to make (and very impressive considering the small effort to result ratio). I bulked the chilli up with brown lentils, spiced it up with plenty of cumin and cayenne pepper, and left it to slow-cook for a good few hours (I used black-eyed beans because kidney beans do NOT agree with me……) The Mexican salad was a pretty standard throw-together of cabbage, radishes, black beans, spring onions, sweetcorn and chillies, tossed together with some red wine vinegar and lime juice, and a wee sprinkle of salt. A Chilean pebre is a nice option if you’re into coriander (I’m not, GROSSS). And the Mexican potatoes recipe is from the super fantastic collection of vegan Mexican recipes via the Food Empowerment Project. The butternut & cashew queso was SO GOOD. I took the recipe from The First Mess, and use the leftovers for enchiladas the next day. I would highly recommend this recipe, it is absolutely worth the faff!

For dessert (and for Valentine’s) I had ordered a selection of goodies from Hannah Banana Bakery. I’ve chatted with Hannah online for a while now, but had never tried any of her astoundingly fabulous looking confections. I ordered in two trays of peanut butter brownies and a lotus spread filled choc heart for C.

Friends, fellow bloggers, fellow human people: I CANNOT RECOMMEND THESE DELICIOUS ITEMS ENOUGH. Hannah hand-made peanut butter cups to top the brownies and the whole luscious lot tasted not only of chocolate and peanut butter and caramel drop thingies but also of love and care and attention and unmitigated joy and happiness (which also taste a lot like choc PB as it turns out).

The leftover brownies played an absolutely integral part in the early, touch & go stages of my Sunday morning hangover, I can tell you. It has been reported that I behaved quite badly for my age, so I consider Sunday’s maladie suitable punishment for my indiscretions.

Since I was already feeling close to my own demise, we exited the coccoon of the house and headed off for a restorative coffee and to visit the John Ryland’s Library exhibition, Magic, Witches & Devils in the Early Modern World.

All in all, a weekend of joy, laughter and great amity. But also remorse, pain and deep, spiritual languidity (also know as the 30s hangover). I sure hope you all had a good one.

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3 thoughts on “A Welcome Party, A Mexican Feast, and Valentines Chocolate

    1. This is definitely one of my favourite places in Manchester! To be fair we don’t often get such cool & offbeat exhibitions so this one was a bit of a treat 🙂

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