The Young Romantic

I know this is over a month late (my parent's wedding anniversary was 1st August) but here it is ...........Sometimes Ian shocks me with how thoughtful and kind he can be. He suggested inviting my mother to dinner to celebrate her wedding anniversary and he even wanted to cook! There is almost nothing better than relaxing over a mouthwatering, home-cooked meal with family or friends while sipping on delicious red wine. We decided to only have a main course as we had hosted four dinner parties in 15 days. Sometimes simplicity is the key. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and am eternally grateful for having such a caring, young and romantic husband. So what went into our tummies (besides the wine)?


Ian slow cooked beef cheeks in red wine, chicken stock and thyme. He began the cooking process after band practice the previous evening. I am someone who does not eat a lot of meat. I do not enjoy the taste, texture or thought of a dead animal. I do however occasionally dine on chicken, rashers, ham and pepperoni (from Domino's Pizza). I could easily give up meat forever but there are few vegetarian options in the restaurants we visit regularly. Anyway back to the meal. Ian cooked the meat late into the night and the whole apartment smelt of it. I wasn't a happy bunny in bed, with the smell of simmering cow tickling my nostrils. I was still happy though that he was making the effort for my mummy. 

I made my own quick and easy dinner which consisted of roasted cherry tomatoes with loads of black pepper, dried basil and oregano, artichokes and pasta. Yummy!! 

This is the end result of Ian's activity in the kitchen. Both he and Mum said it was delicious and I agree it certainly looks good. I was offered some but unfortunately I just couldn't do it. He served it with amazingly smooth creamed potatoes, carrots and mangetouts.

This was my creation. A little less impressive looking but it was tasty and fresh. Ian requested it to be on the menu again later that week. Naturally as the dutiful wife that I am I obliged ; )

When either of us spends time in the kitchen, the other usually decides to make something too. We both got into cooking when we moved home from Liverpool in 2008. We moved into an open plan apartment and therefore when one of us was cooking/baking the other was doing something in the sitting room. We got used to each other's banter and laughter as we went on with our jobs. Since moving to an apartment where the sitting room and kitchen are separate, I have noticed how much I miss that. Gradually over a couple of weeks I noticed Ian felt it too so we have gotten back into spending time together in the kitchen. Of course it can get cramped from time to time (our kitchen is ridiculously small) and we get annoyed at each other for getting in each other's way; but it is the place where we tell most of our stories and do silly things together. 

Anyway enough with going off on a tangent, back to the task at hand. While Ian was cooking I baked tiny queen cakes and four regular ones (I had mixture left over but the small bun tray was full). 

I made pink icing with colourful sprinkles.

A size comparison

Mini queen cakes in my new owl mugs that my husband bought from Tesco. So cute!!

We didn't have these after the meal, as we all find cakes to be too sickly a dessert. Instead Ian and I had a couple with our afternoon tea and I gave Mum a small bag of them going home that evening. The night was really relaxed and I know Mum definitely appreciated the gesture (especially that it came from Ian). Ian, you are such a fantastic husband. Dad, you were sorely missed.

With Love,

Gem xx


1 comment

  1. Oh my God, beef cheeks!!! Is that just a name like toad-in-the-hole or is it real ?
    Did Ian shape the creamed potatoes back into real potato shapes.
    Wow you two are some cooks, our couples are a bit unbalanced between two cooks in Ireland and two tin-openers in France!
    You just whip up queen cakes like that, looks almost easy!!


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