#52recipes - number 6-10

My 52 recipes challenge for 2019 is still going strong, here are some more dishes I've tried my hand out this year.

Mediterranean tart from Veggie Lean in 15 by The Body Coach
We've done The Body Coach programme before and had success on it. But it's really expensive to follow due to the sheer amount of meat. We've cut out meat Monday to Friday and started to only buy one nice piece of meat from the butchers as a treat. I was pretty excited to try this book but it was a bit of a disappointment. Everything just tasted a little bland. This tart was ok, I loved all the roasted veg but it could have done with more seasoning to give it more oomph. It was a great option with some salad for weekday lunches though. I don't think I'll be rushing to make this one again. I also have no idea what I have done with the picture this but it is featured in my Instagram highlights.

Peas with roasted shallots from BBC Good Food
I had some friends round for Sunday roasted and one of his favourite vegetables is peas. They went on the menu but I wanted to jazz them up a bit and found this recipe on Good Food. They were tasty but they didn't wow me. I don't think I'd go to the effort of making them again. You just can't beat simple buttered peas!

Roast cabbage with tarragon and pecorino from Ottolenghi Simple
This was delicious! I don't think I've had a dud from Simple yet and I've tried about a dozen recipes. I didn't have pecorino in my fridge so used parmesan instead - it still turned out great. This side dish got the most comments at the roast dinner and is definitely something I would make again.

Biscoff layer cake from Jane's Patisserie
Decorating cakes is not my strong point and I wish I had more patience. But alas patience is not my strong point. This year I'm keen to up my baking game and stumbled across Jane's blog. Oh my god, it is pure indulgence and has fast turned into one of my favourite baking blogs. I'm obsessed with Biscoff so knew I had to make this cake. It was delicious, such a beast of a cake. I'll definitely make it again if I had a special occasion coming up as it's a LOT of cake.

Bengali egg curry from Fresh India
I really cannot stop cooking from Fresh India. I was intrigued by this dish as I would never have though to have egg curry. I was pleasantly surprised! It was really cooks, the sauce had a good kick to it and the eggs made it really filling. Definitely one to add to my list of things to make again!

How to take a day trip to Hoover Dam from Las Vegas independently

As soon as you mention you're heading off to Vegas one of the things most people ask is 'Are you going to see the Hoover Dam?'. Now you can do a tour and you'll lots of tours being offered along the strip but you'll get a lot more freedom if you choose to do it independently.

Where to hire a car
We did a comparison of car hire places online before we left. We found that Avis was the cheapest. You can choose what hotel to pick up the car from, we decided to go for the Luxor. It is located at the far end of the strip, not too far from the famous Las Vegas sign. This way you'll miss all the traffic and won't have to navigate through the madness of the strip. The desk opens about 7am and the collection was fairly pain-free. For two days hire with extra insurances and two people on the driving list, it cost us around £200 for a giant seven seater car.

What to do when you get to the Hoover Dam
It's possible to do a guided tour of the Dam but I've heard that it sells out pretty fast due to limited numbers and you have to get to the Dam pretty close to the opening time to snag a spot. We didn't make it but I don't think you need it to appreciate the attraction. Schedule time in the morning to see everything, in fact you probably won't need more than an hour there. There are various plaques dotted around to give you information so make sure you give them a read. Just take your time soaking up the  surroundings. It's a very photogenic place!

Where to stop for a bite to eat
There is a cafe inside the Hoover Dam but I recommend jumping back into the car and driving the short distance to Boulder City. Built especially for the workers of Hoover Dam, Boulder City is the only town in Nevada where gambling is illegal. This is because they didn't want the works to get distracted! We had originally planned on hitting up The Coffee Cup, which has been featured on Guy Fieri's Diner, Drive-ins and Dives but sadly we didn't make it in time as it closes at 2pm. Instead we headed to Boulder Dam Brewery Co as I noticed it had pretty good reviews on Tripadviser and it had a pretty good garden to enjoy some food. Based on an English pub, the brewery offers around seven different types of beer - all brewed by themselves. I highly recommend the Powder Monkey Pilsner which was incredibly refreshing on a hot summers day. The menu is typically 'pub grub'. Lots of burgers, sandwiches and wraps, exactly what you need to hit the spot. I had the pub's version of a German Bratwurst which was delicious. The portion size was normal which is what I'd been craving in Vegas where everything is so big! We all agreed the late lunch here was one of the best of our whole trip! Boulder City is a great little town to have a wander around. It just feels so 'American'. Cute little single storey houses, antique shops and flags fluttering in the wind. It's definitely worth a few hours of your time.


Exploring Asia: Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Address: Concourse Level, Lower Ground, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088
Opening times: 9am-9pm Tuesday - Sunday
Admission price: Around £15

During our Malaysian adventure in February we only had a flying visit to Kuala Lumpur as we had so much more to fit in. Our friend lives in a KL suburb so very kindly drove us into the city so we could tick the Petronas Towers off our list. We booked tickets before we left online as you got a slight discount - I'd really recommend this. Tickets can sell out really quickly on the day and are sold on a first come, first serve basis.

Whenever I visit a new city, climbing to the top of one of the biggest viewpoints is always top of my list of things to do. There's just something about seeing an incredible view. The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and tallest buildings until 2004, when the Taipai 101 took over in Taiwan.

When you first get the lift up to the towers, your first stop will be to the Sky Bridge connecting the two towers together. This was too cool! You get around 10-15 minutes to hang our here, take some pictures and appreciate the view. I really liked the fact they send you up in small groups so there are never too many people.

Next up is the main event to the second observation deck on the 86th floor. This is the highest you can go. What a view you'll be treated too! I'd really recommend grabbing one of the many seat scattered around the edge and sitting down for a few minutes, it helps you to really soak up the 360 degree view. There are various interactive games to play and lots of information about the towers to read up on.

Definitely don't miss out on the towers if you find yourself in the city!


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