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June Favourites

I have to start today’s post by wishing my lovely Mum a very Happy Birthday!

I wanted to write more yesterday but after being stuck in a horrendous traffic jam on the M6 for several hours all I wanted to do was go to bed!

My family and I spent the weekend in the rather fabulous city of Liverpool at a family wedding.

It was a bit of a drive but we broke up the journey with three of my favourite things; coffee, sushi and Krispy Kreme doughnuts!

We arrived in Liverpool and were very impressed at the view from our hotel window

After a cup of tea, we set off to explore and soak up a bit of Scouse culcha…

I loved visiting the Piermaster’s House, which was a lovely little building alongside the Albert Docks recreating a wartime atmosphere  and allowing you to have a little peek at what it would have been like during the times of black outs and rationing.

We visited the new Liverpool One shopping centre where I could quite happily spend hours and lots of my hard earned money too!

That night, we got our glad rags on and headed out to celebrate my cousin’s recent nuptials and have a bit of a boogie.

I also picked up some ideas for my next craft/ decorating project…

OK, now we have had a little catch up here is my round up of the month of June:

Without a doubt, my highlight has to be the Euros and with them my Euro 2012 challenge. As a final round up, here is what I cooked for each of the 16 participating countries.

Denmark: Mandelsmørboller or Almond Butter Balls. These biscuits were a bit of a disaster because although they tasted really good they definitely did not resemble balls! I was worried this recipe mishap would turn out to be indicative of the whole challenge but luckily it was just a bit of a dodgy start!

France: I dusted off my Raclette for an evening of meats, vegetables and gooey melted cheese – such a great idea for a dinner party!

Croatia: Chicken Paprikash, a lovely warm and slightly spicy chicken dish

Germany: Apfelstrudel, a really simple dessert that rivals our apple crumble!

Greece: Feta Filo Pie, courtesy of my good friend Lucie and absolutely delicious warm or cold

Sweden: Meatballs to rival Ikea’s!

Ireland: Colcannon, a hearty side dish that makes a nice change from simple mashed potato

England: Eton Mess, one of my favourite summer puddings and the only thing that can comfort you after watching your country crash out of yet another competition on penalties!

Ukraine: Chicken Kiev, bursting full of garlic flavour and definitely one I will make again

Portugal: Custard Tarts, a bit fiddly but well worth the effort. This was also the first time I have made custard from scratch and you really can taste the difference.

Italy: Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni, another quite time consuming dish but it tasted as good as it looks!

Russia: Mushroom Stroganoff, a really easy vegetarian dish that tasted great

Czech Republic: Bramboracky or Savoury Potato Pancakes, a lovely potato rosti recipe that goes with almost everything

Poland: Polish Cauliflower, probably the only dish I wouldn’t make again. It was pleasant enough but quite a strange combination of flavours and textures

The Netherlands: Dutch Butter Cake, my new favourite accompaniment for a cup of tea!

Spain: Gambas al Ajillo, or Garlic Prawns. I think I saved the best until last with this tapas dish and I have to say ‘¡Felicidades!’ to Spain on their win.

Apart from doing a lot of cooking, we also celebrated the Jubilee this month with a village party:

I made my first ever jelly, using the very British ingredient of Pimms:

The garden came alive with the most beautiful roses and poppies, as well as a raised bed full of crunchy, fresh salad leaves:

I had a week off work so ploughed on with redecorating our house:

I headed down to Dorset twice. Firstly to celebrate my friend Nat’s hen night:

And secondly with my lovely class for a day at the beach:

I also squeezed in a trip to Birmingham for some rather lovely cocktails:

And the Good Food Show at the NEC:

Finally, a quick jaunt to Oxford for some beer tasting

Looking back on it, June has been a very busy but fun month!

I love July – it is my birthday in a few weeks so the weather will hopefully have improved by then!

I have three more weeks of school left until I have to say goodbye to my first ever class, meet my new class and prepare to enjoy summer holidays…I just hope they feel as long and relaxing as they did when I was a child!

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About hannahhotcakes

My name is Hannah. I live near Bath in a lovely village in the Cotswolds with my husband Ian, the love of my life for the past 10 years, in our dream cottage. I have landed my dream job as a primary school teacher and I can’t think of anything else I would rather be doing. I am a self-confessed foodie and I love to cook, bake, and eat out as much as possible. Here are some things I love: My friends and family, travelling, fresh flowers, good books, having breakfast on my balcony, horror films, Christmas, tea, Las Vegas, lie-ins, red wine, Liverpool FC, music, sausage dogs, Spain, rare steak, fashion, cheese, American TV series and camping. And here are my pet hates: People dressed as animals, whistling, being rushed, being made to wait, girls who act stupid to impress a man, spiders, sunburn and rocket (it comes with EVERYTHING!)

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