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Friday, 29 November 2013

Pesto Potato Skins

Ingredients:

4 large potatoes
2 tbsp pesto
1 egg
200g cheese, grated
Oil

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 6 or 200C.
  2. Brush potatoes with oil and place in the oven for 45-60 mins.
  3. Once the potatoes are cooked through cut them in half and spoon out the middle leaving about half a centimetre of potato around the edge.
  4. Mix the potato, half of the cheese, egg and pesto together in a bowl.
  5. Spoon into the potato skins and put back in the oven for 20-30 mins until golden brown.
Serve with baked beans or vegetables.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Old Adventures . . . walking the plank to Samson

I love the Isles of Scilly, it has to be one of my favourite places in the British Isles. One particular great memory was our trip to Samson on our honeymoon in 2011. It was the first time I had visited the inhabited island of Samson, although I have visited most of the other islands multiple times previously. It was a beautiful island but on arrival you have to walk the plank to get onto dry land.

Walking the plank to Samson

My husband decided to jump off the plank when he got to the beach and flung the plank into the water, but what he was unaware of was that there was a lady just stepping onto the plank at the other end and she was almost flung off the boat as well....ooops!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Blackpool Illuminations

A few weeks ago, Luke and I had a date night so we visited Blackpool and the illuminations. Luke had never been, so I had to take him.

We drove the scenic way over the moor tops at Haworth towards the Colne valley and saw this magnificent rainbow...

Rainbow near Haworth

Magnificent rainbow

We also saw the sunset over the M55 driving into Blackpool...

M55 sunset

Then we were there...

Welcome to Blackpool

There was a huge mirror ball on the promenade...

Blackpool Promenade Mirror Ball

...which you could see yourself in if you stood beneath it!

Me in a mirror ball

The beach looked stunning but was closed off...
...possibly because it was sooooo WINDY!

The beach and promenade

The lights came on at sunset and we saw lots of sparkles...

An Illuminated Tram

The illuminations...

...and a tardis...

...the tardis.

We had much fun, in the arcades and eating greasy burgers and chips for tea although I must admit the illuminations were not as exciting as I remembered them being as a child. We arrived back at the car as wind swept icicles.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Apple and Blackberry Crumble


Waiting to be cooked...

Ingredients:

FRUIT:
3 large Bramley apples
4 handfuls of blackberries
4 tbsps caster sugar
2 tbsps cinnamon

CRUMBLE:
100g butter
100g flour
100g light brown sugar
140g oats
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp golden syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to Gas 5 or 190C.
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples.
  3. Layer the sliced apples, handful of blackberries, 1 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon until you have used all the apple and blackberries.
  4. Mix all the crumble ingredients together in a bowl and sprinkle over the layered fruit.
  5. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes until the juices bubble up.
  6. Allow to cool slightly and serve with custard, cream or ice cream.
ENJOY :)

...ready to eat Apple and Blackberry Crumble




Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Old adventures . . . in Cairo

When I was a student in 2006 I had the opportunity to visit some of my Egyptian university friends in Cairo. It was an amazing place with a great atmosphere and seemed to be a city that never slept! The mosques would wake you up early in the morning with the call to prayer and there would be lovely street cafes open very late into the night for socialising. 

Cairo

It is sad to know that this is a place of such political turmoil at present and we pray for peace in this city again.

Friday, 15 November 2013

Chicken, Pesto and Spring Greens Stew



Chicken, Pesto & Spring Greens Stew


Chopped vegetables

Ingredients:

1 onion
400g chicken pieces
1 spring green
2 carrots
300g potatoes
3 tbsps pesto
350ml chicken stock
oil
pepper

Method:

  1. Marinade the chicken pieces in 2 tbsps of pesto for 2-12 hrs.
  2. Heat the oil and fry the onion and chicken until the chicken is slightly browning.
  3. Add the chicken stock to the pan with lots of grinded black pepper, spring greens, carrots and potatoes.
  4. Simmer for 20-30 mins on the hob or slow cook for 4-6 hours.
  5. Stir in 1 tbsp pesto before eating.







Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Old Adventures in . . . Mercado Central, Fortaleza

Mercado Central is the Central Market in Fortaleza, a city in north-eastern Brasil. I spent 6 months in this city during 2004 and 2005 as part of my gap year. I loved coming to this place which sold handmade products and brought many nice Brasilian things home with me, as souvenirs.

It was so colourful and there were always so many people about that it had a great atmosphere and was just a great place to come and "hang out". The architecture was very interesting.

Mercado Central, Fortaleza, Brasil

Monday, 11 November 2013

Autumn Berries

These photos are from another of Autumnal walks to work this season, amazing berries for the birds to eat before they migrate south for the winter...




Friday, 8 November 2013

Broccoli & Fig Pasta











I created this recipe after receiving a fruit and vegetable box with both broccoli and figs in it. I was not sure what to make for tea and this is what I came up with...

Broccoli & Fig Pasta



Figs
Broccoli

Ingredients:

300g pasta
350g broccoli, cut into small florets
6 figs, quartered
3 tbsps lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g grated cheese
1 tbsp olive oil



Method:

Frying the figs and broccoli
  1. Place the pasta in the bottom of a pan with the broccoli on top and boil for 5 minutes before removing the broccoli, but allow the pasta to continue boiling until cooked.
  2. Gently heat the oil in a pan and add the garlic for a minute.
  3. Add the figs, broccoli and lemon juice and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and grated cheese to the pan and toss together ready to serve.



Add the pasta and cheese





As an alternative you could also add seeds or nuts to the recipe and fry with the garlic.





Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Old Adventures in . . . Duffer Island, Narnia (Moeraki Boulders, NZ)

In (British) summer 2012, my husband and I travelled around New Zealand in a campervan. We visited a number of film locations and this was Moeraki Boulders, also famous as Duffer Island in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", where Lucy is abducted by invisible Dufflepuds and she goes looking for spells to make them visible again.

Moeraki Boulders

Monday, 4 November 2013

Autumn colours

I love autumn and all the colours which are on the trees...this is a selection from my walk to work, which you saw some photos of earlier in the year.




Friday, 1 November 2013

R2D2 cake special



R2D2 with birthday boy!

Ok, this is a few weeks late and many of you will have already seen the photos of Luke's birthday cake, which I made this year. He challenged me to make him a Star Wars cake and not being the slight-ist bit knowledgable about Star Wars I had to do some research.
Whilst researching I stumbled across this blog post, a Star Wars birthday cake by Nest of Posies. It was perfect to help me conquer the challenge my husband had set me :)

I started by making 4 cakes, 2x 8 inch round (Vegan Chocolate Orange Cake, which I will share the recipe for sometime soon!) and 2x 8 inch square (Victoria sponge). Once the cakes were cool, the Chocolate Orange cakes were placed on top of one another with a chocolate spread filling and the Victoria sponge were placed on top of one another with a jam filling. 

After this I followed a Nest of Posies instructions to cut out the shape of R2D2.

Shape of R2D2 by cutting out the cakes

Next began the fun bit icing. I made glace icing using icing sugar and adding a tbsp of boiling water at a time until the consistency was thick but spreadable.

R2D2's body and legs were iced first and then I added a few drops of black food colouring to make grey icing for his head, unfortunately I made the grey icing a bit too thin so it ran quite a bit.

An iced R2D2

R2D2 was then left for the icing to set (I put him in the fridge for a few hours) before I added the detail.

For this I needed a photo of R2D2 which I found online and using some ready made blue piping icing I added the blue detail.

The finished product

I was very pleased with how he turned out, he wasn't perfect but I thought he looked pretty good for a first attempt...I don't know whether I'll beat this next year.

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