Eating Out: Little Italy

Eating Out: Little Italy

Eating Out: Little Italy

We’re fanatical about pizza and pasta. Lucky for us, there are plenty of great Italian restaurants in Glasgow. It somewhat makes up for the complete and total absence of decent Tex Mex. 

We’ve fallen for a great little spot in the West End called Little Italy. The atmosphere is bright and relaxed, and the staff is warm and friendly. There’s a counter at the front for takeaway, but we dined in and enjoyed every minute. 

Eating Out: Little Italy

Geoff wanted something on the lighter side, so he opted for Napli Pollo Picante. His big bowl of pasta was loaded up with veggies, chicken, and spicy chillies. He devoured it.

Eating Out: Little Italy

I went for a simple pepperoni pizza. My favorite thing about the pizza at Little Italy is the crust. It’s on the thin side, but it’s cooked perfectly. Soggy crust is one of my pet peeves, but I didn’t have to worry about that here. The crust was just the right level of crisp, there was plenty of cheese, and the sauce was delicious.

The prices are very reasonable, making Little Italy a great choice for a lunch break while thrift shopping in the West End. Let’s get into it.

Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bacon and Egg Salad

Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I never ever want to eat salad. Like basically ever. Every once in a while, I will convince myself to do it. I’ll occasionally swap out french fries for a side salad if I’m feeling really guilty, but only if there’s a creamy dressing of some type. I’ll go to the salad bar at Pizza Hut since it’s included, but it’s mainly to have something to distract me while I wait for cheese and carbs. I seriously don’t think there’s ever been a moment in my life where I thought having a salad was actually a good idea.

Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

But I made you a salad anyway because it’s what people do sometimes. It’s okay, though, because I put bacon on it. I also used the bacon grease in the dressing. It’s basically not healthy at all. 

Putting bacon and eggs in a salad is not as awesome as putting them on toast with cheese, but as salads go, this one is pretty good. And you actually feel like you’ve eaten something when you’re done. You’re not just wandering around desperate for more food and feeling like a terrible person because the whole reason you ate a salad in the first place was because you know you eat too much.

Bacon and Egg Salad | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m not really selling this, am I? My point is, this salad doesn’t suck. Make yourself a bacon and egg salad and leave the self-loathing at the door for a night.

Bacon and Egg Salad
Serves 2
Bacon and Egg Salad turns awful into awesome.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 large head of your favorite lettuce (or two smaller ones, ya know, enough for two people)
  3. 1 garlic clove
  4. 4-6 slices of bacon (whatever's leftover in your fridge)
  5. 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  6. 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
Instructions
  1. Put your eggs in a small saucepan and fill with water just until your eggs are submerged. Put this over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow the water to boil for one minute and then turn off the heat. Leave everything alone for ten minutes. Pour cold water over the eggs, then park them in the fridge until you're ready for them.
  2. Chop or tear your lettuce and throw it in your salad bowl.
  3. Crack a clove of garlic by placing it under the flat of your knife and giving it a good whack. Peel the garlic and put it in your frying pan with just a touch of oil if you have it. Turn the heat under your frying pan to medium
  4. Using scissors, cut your bacon into small pieces over your frying pan. Stir frequently and cook until the bacon is crisp.
  5. Drain the bacon on a paper towel lined plate, and discard the garlic. (Or not, if that's your thing.) Remove the frying pan from the heat.
  6. Add the Dijon mustard to your bacon fat and carefully whisk these two together until combined.
  7. Whisk in the vinegar and Worcestershire.
  8. Season your lettuce if you like and add your bacon and dressing. Toss lightly.
  9. Peel your eggs, then cut them into quarters and add these to your salad. Give it a final gentle toss, then try to convince yourself you're having a healthy meal whilst eating lettuce coated in bacon fat. It's gonna be so awesome!
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Did you know that I’m a compulsive list maker? I keep lists for everything. When I get really bored, I get the urge to update a list or come up with a reason to make a new one. I’m sure all you psychologists out there can tell me why this makes me particularly crazy. I don’t know the reason. I just know I’ve lost my mind.

I have long lists on my computer of books I want to read, movies I want to watch, recipes I want to try, things I could make for dinner in the next week or two, not to mention Pinterest, which is basically just a massive hoard of lists. Then I carry around a notebook with me everywhere I go that contains no less than 13 lists. 

One of those lists is of old recipes that I’ve shared with you that have devastatingly horrible photos. Currently, my food photography skills are around a 3 out of 10, but when I first started blogging, I was hovering around minus 9. So even if I can’t make my food look as good as it really is, I can make it look a lot better than I did in 2013. You might have noticed some of these classics coming back. Here’s to growth.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Today’s re-envisioned recipe is Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting. This cake is fluffy and buttery and so nostalgic. This is definitely the type of cake (though probably from a box and in a 13×9 pan) that my mom would have made when I was a kid. And the frosting is so fluffy and chocolaty. I could take a bath in this. I definitely ended up eating way too much of this as I was making this cake. I just couldn’t help myself.

If you’re nervous about baking a cake from scratch, you needn’t be. This cake uses a simple reverse creaming method, but you don’t even need to know what that means. You just need to know that it’s really easy. You just need a good mixture. A kitchen scale also helps to make sure that your cake layers are roughly even. Then add to that a bit of patience and an offset spatula, and you’re good to go. I promise you can do it.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bring a classic cake into your kitchen, and bring a smile to the face of everyone who eats it. And sneak as much chocolate frosting as you want. They’ll never know.

Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting
Serves 10
Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting is eternally awesome.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
30 min
For the cake
  1. 4 whole eggs
  2. 2 egg yolks
  3. 1-1/4 cup buttermilk
  4. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 3 cups (360 grams) cake flour
  6. 2 cups (400 grams) sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp baking powder
  8. 1/2 tsp salt
  9. 2 sticks (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temp, cut into small pieces
For the frosting
  1. 6 oz unsweetened chocolate (the baking kind, not the kind you eat) melted and cooled
  2. 4-1/2 cups (563 grams) powdered sugar
  3. 3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, room temp
  4. 6 Tbsp half and half (any dairy will do, but skim milk won’t be as rich)
  5. 1Tbsp vanilla extract
For the cake
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Butter and flour 3 20 centimeter round cake pans. If you have it, line the bottom of each pan with parchment, just to be safe. I skipped the parchment this time out of laziness, and everything was fine.
  2. Crack the eggs and yolks into a separate bowl, then add ONLY 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, and all the vanilla. Whisk to blend.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl and use your lowest setting on your electric mixer to combine. This will only take a few seconds.
  4. Add the butter and remaining 1 cup buttermilk to the dry ingredients and mix on low until combined.
  5. Turn your mixer up to medium for about 2 minutes. The mixture will be light and fluffy.
  6. Turn your mixer back down to low. Add the egg mixture slowly. Scrape down your bowl and give it one more mix, just until everything is incorporated.
  7. Divide the batter between your waiting pans. If you have a kitchen scale, you can weigh them to make sure they're roughly equal.
  8. Bake for about 30 minutes or until your cake tester comes out clean and the sides have started to pull away from the edge.
  9. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning them out. Use wire racks if you have them. Allow cake to cool completely. If you're waiting until the next day to frost your cake, wrap your layers on plastic wrap. Storing them in the fridge will make your cake decorating even easier.
For the frosting
  1. Make sure the first thing you do is melt your chocolate so that it can cool a bit before adding it to the butter.
  2. Sift the powdered sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add your butter and mix on slow just until the powder sugar stops flying all over the place. Add in the chocolate, half and half, and vanilla. Mix on medium until everything is combined. If you want your frosting to be more on the fluffy side, allow it to mix on medium for about five minutes.
  3. I assembled my cake by placing the first cake layer onto my plate, then slapping on about 1/3 of the frosting. Spread it evenly, then place another cake layer on the top and do the same. Place some frosting on the top and work it over the edges, then frost the top. Get as creative as you like.
  4. I smooth the frosting around the edges with an offset spatula as best as I could, then used my rotating cake stand to make a little swirl on the top. I also used a small star tip to add a border around the bottom just to make it look a bit tidier. And since sprinkles make everything better, I tossed a few colorful sprinkles on the top of the cake. Why not?
  5. You can make your cake look as fancy or as homemade as you like. Just have fun with it. It will taste awesome no matter what.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Swiss and Bacon Dip | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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