2019 Pizzas #25: Balti Masters Vegetarian Pizza

It’s great to be back logging 2019 pizzas… in 2021 😒

Those of you who’ve been paying attention will notice that I have skipped over #23 and #24. This was because they were both café pizzas that I forgot to take pictures of. I hoped to be able to return to said cafés and order the pizzas again in order to rectify this (despite one of the cafés being in London and the fact that I don’t remember its name… I’m ever optimistic!) but then PANDEMIC, and I’ve no idea when I’m going to be able to eat out in cafés again or even if the cafés in question have survived this horrible period, so it’s time I moved on. After all, I’ve got two whole new food series to post about for 2020 and 2021, and it’d be nice if I could be up to date with those by the end of this year. Maybe one day I’ll be able to log those missing pizzas.

Anyway, here’s a nice takeaway pizza that I discovered in November 2019.

Balti Masters pizza
I’m so hungry just looking at this!

Geth’s family were visiting, and we needed a nice easy takeaway meal with lots of options, so we went for Balti Masters, which offers various Indian food, kebabs, pizzas and other things. I had the vegetarian pizza, and it was really filling with a lovely sauce – really good quality, which you don’t always get with multi-food-type takeaway places.

We ended up ordering from there a few times in 2020 too, as it’s a good go-to when Geth fancies an Indian takeaway.

Parallel lives

Taking a break this evening from the old photos and returning to the here and now. Hogmanay, like the rest of 2020, feels a bit confusing and bittersweet. I think 2021 will eventually be better, but it will take some time, so I certainly don’t feel like celebrating tonight. Just a quiet evening at home with BBC Scotland on TV.

It’s my first ever New Year away from Scotland and so this year I had to learn to make Dad’s famous Hogmanay pizza for myself and Geth. Through the magic of video chat, Dad was able to help me with the dough, and on the whole it turned out really well. I hope I’m equally lucky with the Lancashire hotpot for New Year’s Day tomorrow.

Hogmanay pizza
Fish pizza for Geth, veggie for me.

I completed my first year of running every day this morning! A year ago, I noticed that Smashrun did a special virtual badge for running every day during a leap year, which was what motivated me to start my run streak. Today, I finally got the badge, and a bonus one to boot:

Smashrun badge
Smashrun badge

I’ve spent a large part of the year trying not to think about the Parallel Universe Where Coronavirus Didn’t Happen: the races, the gigs, the trips abroad, the time with family and friends. But there are other parallel universes that are a lot less happy – ones I only narrowly avoided due to sheer dumb luck, or the grace of God, or whatever you want to call it. The parallel universe where I hadn’t started a run streak on the first of January, and as a result didn’t run at all after March because I had no race-related motivation. The parallel universe where I hadn’t quit drinking, and ended up drinking more and more as a result of lockdown and stress. The parallel universe where loved ones weren’t able to stay safe this year.

I didn’t end up in the best timeline, not in the slightest. But I also didn’t end up in the worst. I survived, and I have hope. Bring on 2021. Even if I kind of wish we could just skip the first half of it.

Today’s earworm playlist:

The Proclaimers – ‘The Joyful Kilmarnock Blues’
Travis – ‘The Last Laugh Of The Laughter’

Hogmanay pizza, 1995

Dad always makes homemade pizza on Hogmanay. I eat a lot of pizza, but Dad’s recipe is my favourite, and it’s super special because it only gets made once a year. This year, I’ll be spending New Year away from Scotland for the first time in my life due to the pandemic, and so I’ll be attempting to make the recipe myself.

Here’s a photo of Hogmanay (aka pizza night) from 1995.

Hogmanay pizza, 1995

Today’s earworm playlist:

Robbie Williams – ‘Soul Transmission’

Christmassy weekend vibes

Another busy day. I got my day job work for the week finished – so barring any last-minute jobs next week, I’m clear for Christmas! – and finished off the coding for my game (just the graphics to implement now). Geth and I also went to Asda to do our last big Christmas shop. Because we’ll be forming a bubble with Mum and Dad for Christmas, we’re following the guidance to isolate between today and the 23rd, so no more shop visits until post-bubble.

I’ve been very good with my diet for the last few weeks, but Christmas eating sort of begins this weekend! I’d been having trouble finding fancy mince pies that didn’t have any alcohol in them, so I was delighted to see some salted caramel ones in Asda today. Looking forward to trying lots of different ones over the next few days.

I’ll be back with an update on Monday, and hopefully a link to my brand new Christmas game!

Pizza
Tonight’s pizza – a treat to celebrate Geth’s Christmas holidays!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Pet Shop Boys – ‘Heart’

Friday feeling multiplied

One last mile-long run for now…

…as I feel ready to move onto some slightly longer sessions over the weekend.

I’m in a real Friday mood this evening. I’ve had a really good first week working on my NaNoWriMo and am steadily hitting my wordcount every day. I also did a good chunk of editing work for Geth’s latest paper today, as he’s submitting it this evening, and we are having takeaway pizza to celebrate!

I’m really enjoying getting some videogaming time in as well, and am looking forward to starting the planning for my next game project this weekend. All of this extra time is brought to you by my almost-complete avoidance of social media and news websites over the last few days because I don’t want to hear anything about the US election until all the states have called. It’s been a very nice few days as a result and has made me think that I really need to limit social media, forums and the like on a permanent basis!

I’ll be posting vlog links as usual over the weekend and will be back to update on Monday. Hopefully with tales of more interesting running sessions and a finished plan for another text adventure!

Chocolate
Celebratory chocolate already on the go while Geth puts the finishing touches on his paper.

Today’s earworm playlist:

Cast of The Lion King – ‘Circle Of Life’
Barenaked Ladies – ‘If I Had A Million Dollars’
Ed Sheeran – ‘The A Team’
Wham! – ‘Club Tropicana’
Florence & The Machine – ‘Shake It Out’

The weekend approaches

A very warm mile today…

…and then I spent most of the day doing day job work again. I’ve broken the back of it now and am hoping to finish early tomorrow so I can get back to my game creation!

Geth and I are semi-celebrating tonight, because his academic project bid is very nearly ready to send off (he just needs one last letter from a collaborating party). As we also both did well with our weight loss this week, we are treating ourselves to takeaway pizza as a bit of an early weekend treat. Waiting on it now and getting a bit impatient 😀

Another hopefully early start tomorrow before the storms arrive, and then I can settle in for the weekend…

Blue summer sky
The weather has been beautiful the last couple of days, but sadly I’ve been too busy to spend much time outside!

Today’s earworm playlist:

Carter USM – ‘And God Created Brixton’
Andy Taylor – ‘I Might Lie’
Carter USM – ‘Glam Rock Cops’
Duran Duran – ‘Hungry Like The Wolf’
Manami Kiyota – ‘Satorl Marsh’
The Weeknd – ‘Blinding Lights’

2019 Pizzas #22: Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight

Geth and I have been eating far more oven pizzas than we should during this lockdown. They’re just… easy, on days when I don’t have the mental energy to do some proper cooking. I am trying really hard to do enough running to burn them off again!

One of our go-to pizzas at the moment is the Classic Crust Veggie Delight from Sainsbury’s, which is really substantial. Our local Sainsbury’s started stocking them last autumn, which is when I first tried this one.

Sainsbury's Classic Crust Veggie Delight
Sainsbury’s Classic Crust Veggie Delight.

The toppings are really nice and fresh-tasting. They do, however, have a tendency to fall to one side of the pizza when in the packaging, so the best thing is to give it a bit of a shake before you take the shrink off! I also put occasional extra olives on, although this tends to contribute to the ‘overloaded toppings’ issue you often get with Sainsbury’s pizzas.

The base is deep and fluffy and filling, so you’re certainly not going to feel hungry again any time soon. A great teatime pizza… especially if you’ve got time the next morning to go for a long run and make use of those carbs!

2019 Pizzas #21: Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza

That is a long, fancy name for a pizza. Does it deserve it? Well…

Sainsbury's Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza
Sainsbury’s Wood-Fired Chargrilled Peppers, Courgettes, Olives & Pesto Pizza.

First of all, I have to say that the pesto on this pizza is really nice. I’m a bit of a pesto addict when it comes to pasta, but I’m slightly wary of it on pizza because it can sometimes make the overall taste a bit rich. Not so here – it really complements the flavours.

The Mediterranean vegetables, however, can be a bit overpowering. This is partly because the pizza suffers from a common ‘Sainsbury’s pizza’ problem of the toppings being a bit overloaded and hence acting as a giant salad on top of your pizza. However, the whole thing is still pretty tasty, and I’ve had it regularly since I first tried it last autumn.

Bank holiday time!

Another quick (well, slow) mile this morning…

…because I had a lot of things to get done today so that I would be able to relax properly over the bank holiday weekend! I finished my editing, and also got a piece of writing finished for a competition (the submission deadline was today, so I was cutting it a bit fine – I wish I’d had more time to work on it, but this week ended up being a bit mental!).

Geth and I have celebrated the arrival of the bank holiday with pizza (weigh-in went fine this morning, so we’re allowed) and special drinks (beer for him, alcohol-free fizzy for me). It feels strange having a bank holiday on a Friday when it’s not Easter – I think the last time was the Royal Wedding in 2011! The fact that it’s the 75th anniversary of VE Day feels a bit odd too, as I remember the 50th anniversary in 1995 and the WWII school project we were doing at the time. Difficult to believe that a whole third of the total time since the war itself has gone by since then.

It’s meant to be lovely weather tomorrow (it certainly was today), but other than helping Geth with the gravel in the garden, I think I will probably be inside with my videogames as usual!

Nosecco
A bottle of alcohol-free fizzy to celebrate the bank holiday! Excuse the blurry photo – my phone camera was more interested in the Xbox next-gen showcase on TV for some reason (no idea why, it was dreadful!).

Today’s earworm playlist:

Revo – ‘A Crystal’s Sparkle’
Revo – ‘The Land Of Beginnings’
Vera Lynn – ‘We’ll Meet Again’
Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz – ‘Number 1’

2019 Pizzas #20: Co-op Stonebaked Thin & Crispy Margherita Pizza

I am so behind with my 2019 pizza logging. I’ve got a 2020 series (for a different foodstuff) planned as well, but that will have to wait for a while, as I’ve still got a few stragglers from last year to record.

Co-op pizza
Co-op Stonebaked Thin & Crispy Margherita Pizza.

I had this pizza at a buffet lunch in August last year. It had a really nice sauce and a good crispy texture – very pleasant.

I’m not usually a Co-op shopper but I’d be happy to have this one again!