A Note To Myself Review

As the other Love Middlesbrough Lasses know, I am a massive theatre nerd so when I was asked if I wanted to go see A Note To Myself, of course I said yes.

I went to see the show with my Mum (Mam) because I am a wonderful daughter like that, also I don’t drive and would need her to take me anyway 😂 . When we arrived and got our tickets, we were then shown to our seats and had a little bit of time to chill. I also managed to get a cheeky photo, something I do not recommend you doing – live action photos have come from MTH Performing Arts.

For those of you who are unaware, A Note To Myself is a show being performed at Middlesbrough Theatre by a group of young actors from the Middlesbrough Town Hall Performing Arts group.

I have to say, this is one of the best shows I’ve seen and definitely the best show from a group of young performers. The energy on that stage from the actors both young and old was amazing, especially considering they’d spent the entire day at school. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers so I’m not going to talk all that much about content but my theatre heart was pounding when I saw numbers from Matilda, Hairspray and Dear Evan Hansen *cries*.

I am entirely sure that some of those performers are going to go onto be major stars, either in music, dance or in the musical theatre world. The talent on that stage was immense. I would like to point out here that I am a pretty mean critic when it comes to theatre or film so take my word for it that this is a good show.

This is the perfect show to take the kids to if you want to introduce them to musical theatre as it isn’t too long and there is a nice interval for drinks and refreshments.

I must warn you that if you are emotional or have seen Dear Evan Hansen (if you didn’t cry at least once then you are made of stone) then you will need tissues for the last number – I was bawling.

There is still time to see this show tonight (Tuesday 18th July 19:30) and tickets are available to book online or by phone 01642 81 51 81.

I was also gifted with a leaflet on my way out for the Middlesbrough Town Hall Summer School where your own child can do a similar show with a weeks preparation.  Find out all the information on our website.

Orange Pip Market Summer Special

Well, Saturday 24th June was host to Orange Pip Market Summer Special in Centre Square. The build-up was incredible, and the day lived up to the hype. The day itself was the usual sunshine with only a little bit of wind; typical Orange Pip Market weather.

You can only imagine that I ate a lot, and I mean a lot. Usually I’m restricted due to being vegetarian, but not at Orange Pip, I was spoilt for choice for meals and it took me a good five minutes to decide on my first purchase of the day – I’d already seen the first band with Love Middlesbrough Lass Claire.

I went for a Burger from The Green Guerrilla first, with their entire stall being veggie or vegan I knew I was safe. I topped it with cheese, vegan bacon, coleslaw and a tomato relish and it was sooooo good. I hadn’t had bacon in ages and I have to say, this was better than actual bacon- top marks for The Green Guerrilla.

Now you can’t have lunch without dessert and what better than a Nutella crepe. La Petite Crêperie was amazing, authentic (at least from my experience) and delicious. The vendor was a good conversation partner whilst I waited for my food to be prepared and boy was that good food – I have to say it again, it was so good. Can we have them back next month please?

Taking a break from the food, I went to have my hair done by Twisted Sister for the first time (I’ve been to every market since the original blog post) and we went live with it. As beautiful as it was, I had glitter everywhere. It’s not too much of a pain to clean but because it’s all over my bedroom, I’m still picking it off various areas of my body. Still, totally worth it for this beauty. Photo credit to Claire.

Claire and I then made our way back to the stage to watch the next band, a group of amazing women (and their male drummer) with AMAZING harmonies. The Cornshed Sisters are empowering women with a female bassist (female musicians know that seeing a female bassist is life itself) and  – once again – awesome harmonies.

Whilst listening to The Cornshed Sisters, Claire and I ate cheesecake from Simply Cheesecake – something we’d both been looking forward to for quite some time. I had strawberry shortcake – summery, refreshing and delicious – and Claire had Ferrer Roche,  “creamy, delicious, fluffy” – Claire. My only wish is that I’d bought some more to take home.

I took a break from the band to grab us some strawberry lemonade and discovered I could not be a waitress in a bar – I spilt half of my own drink. Honestly, strawberry flavoured food on a hot day is the best thing and I think I may be becoming obsessed. My obsession with strawberry aside, I have found my new favourite drink, Tap Garden’s strawberry lemonade.

We have to mention of Bobzilla but Baker Street’s artist (of birds) was spray painting another bird onto cling film wrapped around two trees. The end result was amazing.

I had a delicious salt lake caramel cookie from Moka Coffee (with a diet coke but that’s nothing special) and I want them all. I really should have thought ahead and bought more food to be able to eat whilst writing this post. I did steal a corner of Claire’s peanut butter brownie from Moody Baker whilst we were snacking and Oh Lord was it good! You couldn’t turn in this edition of the market without being greeted with mouth-wateringly good food, and the desserts were the best. Moody Baker and Moka Coffee, do you do home delivery?

I finished off with a simple, stone baked Margherita pizza, which really hit that empty spot. Earth and Fire is one of the best pizza places ever, not greasy (I don’t like greasy food) not too heavy on the dough and always baked for just the right amount of time too. I think my phone enjoyed it also – clumsy moment of the day was when I dropped my phone into the pizza just after taking a photo. Here’s the photo that lead to the disaster —>>>

My phone is fine by the way, no damage, just smells like pizza sauce… aka awesome.

I have to give a massive mention to all the bands, the musical talent was superb and Northern Monkey Brass Band really upped the energy to end the market; we were even up and dancing and no, you can’t see the video.

Big shout out to Skins and Needles and their very brave models for tattoos – I’m a wimp and probably wouldn’t be able to have a tattoo. The art you produced was amazing from what I saw. Also shout out to the police officer who joined in the salsa class and to the wonderful people at the Men Tell Health and Middlesbrough Volunteer Centre (with their outdoor living room) apologies I didn’t manage to talk to you, but you’re doing a great thing. I didn’t personally experience the outdoor games but from the looks of it, they were very fun and the kids taking part seemed to be enjoying themselves.

This summer edition of Orange Pip Market was amazing, family-friendly and quite festival-like which was great for summer. Can’t wait for July; don’t forget to follow Orange Pip Market on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date.

National Vegetarian Week 2017

National Vegetarian Week 2017 is in a month and your resident veggie Love Middlesbrough Lass is coming at you with her favourite veggie friendly places in Middlesbrough- including where serves great poached eggs on toast and my fave veggie burger; you’ll never guess. You may be thinking, what has this got to do with me, I eat meat? But the idea of National Veggie Week is to encourage people to try being veggie for a week, or at least a day.

My all-time favourite place for food has to be Mohujos, almost everything on their menu can be made with their Veggie Chili and it’s Mexican food, who can hate on Mexican? Mohujos Burritos are massive too, it’s almost a food challenge to eat a whole burrito in one sitting.

I have a weakness for adorable tea shops and if you’re into the non-standard food, then The Olde Young Tea House is the best place. Not only to they serve awesome cake, but their menu is a refreshing change from cheese sandwiches and jacket potatoes with beans. They have a mozzarella, tomato and pesto sandwich which is like pizza in a sandwich, and they do a grilled pepper and humus sandwich which is perfect for vegans (assuming there’s no butter involved). Did I mention that they have freshly baked cake every day? I want cake now.

Another place that is totally unexpected to be veggie-friendly is Roast, they don’t have much in the way of range but after a quick chat with the owner, they will take you seriously. I got a fresh batch of gravy just because the owner wasn’t quite sure that the gravy wasn’t contaminated (with meat that is).

Chilli Cake is awesome. I’m just going to put that out there, they’re awesome. They have a menu full of veggie food, and are super helpful. My favourite from there is the Posh Chip Butty, which is a chip butty, but with sweet potato and on ciabatta bread. It’s also a super awesome place to work. I have only been in the Hartlepool store, however I have been informed that they’re pretty much the same. So if you’re planning on a train journey, pop into Chilli Cake in Boho, it’s super awesome.

Poached Eggs are amazing but so hard to get right (trust me, I’ve ruined many eggs trying) but there are two places (very close to each other) that do the BEST poached eggs, and both use sourdough bread. If you’re with veggies then the place to go is Bedford St Coffee House, they have awesome poached eggs and a few other options, you can also have their soup of the day (it’s on the specials board, but might not be veggie). If you happen to be with meat-eaters who want something a bit fancier, then go to The Curing House. They have the poached eggs of dreams and they have a very long wine list for those of you who aren’t driving. The Curing House also happen to be having a Veggie night in honour of National Vegetarian Week; on the 17th May you can get 5 veggie courses for £25, I will definitely be going! Both these places serve Rounton’s Coffee (The Curing House getting it straight from Bedford St Coffee) and they both have great service.

My ultimate veggie burger of choice may come as a surprise given that I’m all about the independents, but seriously, if you want a good veggie burger with flavour and also don’t have £20 to spend on a meal, then McDonalds have the best. I was surprised as you are when I first tried this -mainly because I had no idea they served it- but it tastes too good to be true. I’m not sure if it’s vegan when you hold the mayo but it won’t hurt to ask and McDonalds fries are vegan so hopefully the vegans can get a meal from everyone’s favourite fast food chain. There’s also something familiar about walking into McDonalds with your friends, it’s comforting.

Love Middlesbrough Lasses bake!

Last weekend your Love Middlesbrough Lasses whipped out their aprons and made a (dare we say) delicious cake. Honestly, we don’t know what was more fun, baking the cake or eating it. You may have seen on our Instagram that we baked, and the result of that baking *Easter chicks alert*

To make your very own Love Middlesbrough Easter cake here’s the recipe.

Ingredients
Cake:
300g Butter
300g Sugar
6 eggs
250g flour
50g cocoa powder
100g melted milk chocolate
1 tsp orange flavouring
½ tsp red food colouring

Buttercream:
100g butter
175g icing sugar
25g cocoa powder

Topping:
100g White Chocolate
Yellow Food colouring
Your favourite sweets (we love mini eggs)
Writing icing (sometimes called piping icing)

Equipment:
Large Bowl
Electric mixer
Scales
8” round tin
Love Mbro Heart Stencil

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 3, 160⁰C/150⁰C fan assisted. Grease tin or line with baking paper.
  • Beat butter and sugar together in large bowl until creamy and light.
  • Beat in eggs
  • Mix in the flour and cocoa powder in sections to avoid mess
  • Add milk chocolate, orange flavouring and red food colouring. Add more food colouring if necessary.
  • Pour into the tin and bake for 1hr 15 minutes or until spongey (it should spring back when you touch it)

  • Cool the cake on a tray while you mix the buttercream
  • Mix the butter and icing sugar together and add in the cocoa powder, you can colour this too if you would like. If it seems dry then add a splash of milk.
  • When your cake is cool, use your heart stencil to cut out your heart out, use a sharp knife and be careful. Cut the cake in half through the centre (horizontally) and separate the two pieces. We used two shallow tins so didn’t have to cut the cake in half.
  • Spread the buttercream over one side of the cake evenly (use a spatula if you have one, if not a butter knife will do) then put the cake back together.
  • Melt the white chocolate carefully (it burns easily) using 15-30 second bursts in the microwave or over a pot of hot water. Mix in the food colouring until it reaches your favourite shade of yellow
  • Spread the chocolate evenly over the cake, spreading it across the sides.
  • Go wild with decoration using your favourite sweets and chocolate. Use the writing icing to pipe your own message onto the top of the cake (make sure the chocolate is set before doing this)
  • Enjoy your creation, it won’t last more than a day if you’re anything like us.

You don’t have to do a heart of course, we just thought it was very appropriate, you could do any shape you wanted…

What did we do with our off-cuts? We made truffles!
We crumbled the cake up and added it to our spare buttercream until it was pretty dense, but still mouldable. We then rolled them into balls and covered them in a mix of icing sugar and cocoa powder. It’s all very haphazard, but they taste nice no matter how you do them. We recommend you leave them in the fridge if you’re not eating them all straight away. If you put them on a lolly-pop stick and cover them in chocolate then you have cake pops, unfortunately we didn’t have lolly-pop sticks.

What we want you to do now is go to the supermarket, buy your ingredients, then go home, get in the kitchen and bake! Once you’ve made your creation, take a photo and upload it to Instagram and tag us @lovembro so we can *drool* over your tasty creations!

Love Middlesbrough Lasses
xx

#ETW17: Orange Pip Market

Last weekend (Saturday March 25) was my first experience of the outdoor market, on Baker and Bedford Street, Orange Pip Market.

For those of you who haven’t heard of this, Orange Pip Market happens once a month (should the weather allow) and it is a foodie’s heaven. There are plenty of food stalls selling food from across the globe, such as Italian pizza, German bratwurst and traditional Armenian flatbread, as well as the good British food such as Scotch Eggs and a carvery. Not only is there food, but there’s arts and music too, doesn’t that sound good?

I’ll take you through what I ate, which was a lot.

I started off with a vegan samosa, which was really good!

Then I went on to try some hot sauce. I chickened out of the super-hot sauce and went for the mild version which was just delicious and the vendor was a really funny guy who didn’t mind the fact that I was a wimp – or me taking a photo of him so I could get his t-shirts in the background.

My next stop was hot chocolate (with a little chat). Sprinkles did and amazing hot chocolate which was super smooth and just the right sweetness, they had homemade marshmallows with a few different flavours; I had to leave out the marshmallows (which they toasted with a blow-torch – talk about hardcore) but they did mention that they were looking into vegetarian options.

I had a little wander around the market, picking my next destination when I came across an authentic crepe stall, the guy who owned it was French, and spoke French to his customers in greeting etc. For a moment I felt like I was in France with this guy, he was very polite and allowed me to video him making the crepe, which was delicious.

I sat down to eat my crepe and started talking to two men who were very polite and gave me their thoughts on the market. They both loved the idea and were enjoying themselves a lot. I took a moment to enjoy the sun, because it couldn’t be Orange Pip Market without the sun, and went on my way.

The Clucking Pig Company sold me a vegetarian scotch egg which was so good, if a bit messy. I had a nice chat (as always) with the vendor and discussed social media. They are very active online and I was more than happy to tag them in a post. They’re from Redcar but have been down to London and even in the Houses of Parliament to sell their eggs. The sold goose and free range eggs too, which made me very happy.

I found a nice cheese stall – and I love cheese – where I tried quite a few different flavours of cheese (I went back at the end of my day to buy – didn’t want it melting in my bag) and talked to the vendor about cooking with these cheeses; top tip for lazy cooks: having the seasoning already in the cheese makes for a super easy sauce.

Cheese stall

I of course bought myself an Orange Pip mug for the office – I needed a new one and it seemed appropriate.

Orange Pip mug

I was informed weeks in advance that I could not go to this market without getting my face decorated, so that was what I did. I spoke to some lovely girls who decorated my face in gold leaf (not actual gold) and glitter. It looked amazing and stayed on until the evening, I’m still wondering what they used as a glue.

Emma face paint

I bought myself a brownie from Crumble and Slice, the owner’s mother told me they had brought 17 trays and had sold nearly all of them by the time I had got there.

Now, you can’t go to Bedford Street without going to Songbird Bakery, and that’s exactly what I did. Those talented girls had Easter cupcakes out and waiting for us and I loved it. I tried a mini eggs cupcake and holy guacamole was it good, those girls must have magic of some sort.

Songbird Bakery

One of my last stops was for pizza. I shared a stone-baked pizza with my sister (who turned up later on in the day) and boy was it good. The sauce was perfect and the cheese was amazing – did I mention that I love cheese- and quite frankly I haven’t had a better pizza yet. It was quick service and they were making them right there in front of us.

The music was utterly brilliant, I manged to hear two performers and they differed greatly in musical styles but both were talented and it was obvious that there was meant to be something for everyone.

I have to say, Orange Pip Market was a brilliant experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The security at the end of the streets were on the ball, not allowing anyone to take alcohol out of the street and also making sure everyone were safe, all the vendors were lovely people who were great to talk to and didn’t mind having photos taken all over the place, and it was a gorgeous day. It would have been a perfect day out for the family and I’m surprised at how little I actually ate, considering I was in two streets full of food.

Everyone I talked to really enjoyed the market and that spans a range of people. It was obvious from the wide range of vendors and performers that there was meant to be something for everyone to enjoy and the entire event looked very well organised. Kudos to the people who organised it and well done to all of the vendors for remaining happy and upbeat all day, even though it was probably very hot in a lot of those tents and very tiring.