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Friday, 30 August 2013

Chocolate brownie with fudge sauce

Chocolate Brownie with Fudge Sauce

Melt chocolate & butter
115g butter
115g plain chocolate, broken into pieces
300g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
140g plain flour
2 tbsps cocoa powder

4 tbsp butter
225g golden caster sugar
150ml milk
150ml double cream
225g golden syrup
200g plain chocolate, broken into pieces

Add the flour & cocoa powder
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.
  2. Grease a square cake tin.
  3. Place the butter and chocolate in a small glass bowl and heat over a pan of boiling water until it is all melted and smooth.
  4. Allow to cool slightly before stirring in the sugar, salt and vanilla essence. 
  5. Add the eggs one at a time until all mixed together.
  6. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the liquid mix and stir until smooth.
  7. Pour the mix into the tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 35-40 mins, to check it is fully cooked stick a skewer in and if it comes out clean it is cooked.
  9. Divide the brownie into 12 pieces.

  1. Put butter, sugar, milk, cream and syrup into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring to the boil and stir for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stir until smooth.

Serve together a brownie with the fudge sauce drizzled over it and some extra double cream....YUMMY!

Cooked chocolate brownie

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Old adventures... drinking fresh coconuts!

Another photo from my Brasilian days...

...we often enjoyed our days off on the beach, it would get very hot especially in the middle of the day so we would be refreshed by the fresh coconut milk!!! Not bad for 20p.

Praia do Futuro, Ceara - enjoying a fresh coconut on the beach!

Friday, 23 August 2013

Bacon and mushroom pasta bake

Bacon & Mushroom Pasta Bake

250g bacon, cut into strips
250g mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp oil
25g butter
25g plain flour
600ml milk
60g cheese, grated (for sauce)
300g pasta
1 carrots, cut into cubes (cm slices quartered) & steam (Optional)
1 tin of sweetcorn (Optional)
1 tin of garden peas (Optional)
50g grated cheese (for topping)

  1. Preheat oven at Gas Mark 4
  2. Put the pasta onto boil as per pack instructions.
  3. Fry the bacon for a few minutes and then add the mushrooms and fry until cooked.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat, once melted remove from heat and stir in the flour to make a thick dough.
  5. Put the pan back on the a medium heat now and slowly add most (not all) of the milk, stirring constantly.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer gently and thicken whilst still stirring.
  7. Add the cheese to the sauce and stir in until melted into the sauce.
  8. Add the bacon & mushroom combination and any optional ingredients (peas, carrots, sweetcorn) to the cheese sauce.
  9. Put the pasta into an oven proof dish and then pour over the sauce. 
  10. Top with grated cheese (or a mix of breadcrumbs and cheese).
  11. Heat in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the topping has crisped.
Serve with fresh salad or garlic bread.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Old adventures... in Prea 2

This photo was taken at Easter 2005, just before my return to the UK from Brasil. Prea was a small fishing village built on the beach and sand dunes, it was on the main highway to the very popular touristy destination Jericoacoara. Yes, this beach is the main highway!!!!

A few weeks ago we saw a photo of this same beach at sunset. It was such a beautiful place, I needed to share another photo with you.


Monday, 19 August 2013

Interesting Ivy

I love IVY! It looks so healthy and shiny and green, it amazes me how it withstands the harsh British winters.


Friday, 16 August 2013

Chocolate Caramel Muffins

A few weeks ago in the supermarket I discovered Carnation Caramel. It looked amazing so I thought I should buy some.

I decided to have a baking day yesterday so googled some Carnation Caramel recipes and found this one on the Carnation website...

Chocolate Caramel Muffins

Click the link above to their website for the full recipe.

This was my finished product...

Chocolate Caramel Muffins

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Old adventures... lessons of African cooking!

When I was in Malawi in 2007, I was taught to cook African style!! Although the ladies often told me I was not strong enough...

Cooking African Style they are cooking Nsima, which is cornmeal & water heated together and pounded in a large pan. They are cooking on an open wooden fire for about 100 orphan children, 2 of the ladies have the large paddles in which the pound and mix the food together with.

Nsima is very stodgy and served with a meat dish.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Pretty pink flower

Again from my walk to work...a pretty pink flowering tree.

Pretty pink flower...

...with heart shaped petals

Sunday, 11 August 2013


We were given a code for a FREE Graze box last week, so I had to trial it!

I love healthy snacks and trying new foods and combinations.

On Wednesday our first box arrived through the post, it was very exciting opening it to see what we had been given...

Our first GRAZE box

If you've never heard of Graze before visit their website, but as a quick summary:
  • You sign up to receive a nibblebox every week or fortnight which contains 4 snack boxes
  • You rank their snacks: LOVE (would like to receive regularly), LIKE (send occasionally), TRY (happy to try) and BIN (you do not wish to receive it)
  • Then every week or fortnight you receive a little box through the post with 4 snack in it, which they have picked out from your selections.
  • You can cancel at any time if you do not want to keep receiving the boxes.

Our selection of snacks

In our first box we have received:

  1. Tutti Frutti - dried pineapple, cherry, raisins, blueberry, cranberries & raisins
  2. Salsa Fresca - coriander and lime salsa with cheesy sombreros
  3. Honeycomb Flapjack - flapjack with milk chocolate
  4. Eton Mess - mini meringues, blackcurrants, cranberries & almond slices

I look forward to trying out our selection and will decide whether to continue receiving them or not.

It has also inspired me to have a go at putting some of my own together, so watch this space on Foody Friday!!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Pineapple, Plum Smoothie

1 banana
2 plums, destoned
Small can of pineapple slices in juice
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsps oats


  1. Chop up the pineapple, banana & plums.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Old adventures... kayaking with seals!!

A year ago, my husband and I were travelling around New Zealand in a campervan. We kept a regular blog diary which you can read HERE!

But a year ago today we were in an AMAZING place called KAIKOURA, it is in South Island on the north eastern coast.

Even though it was winter we just had to go kayaking with the seals...

Kayaking in Kaikoura

...later the same day we went whale watching and saw a blue whale, sperm whale and loads of Dusky dolphins!!!!!! Definitely a highlight of the trip.

For more photos of our time in Kaikoura click the KAIKOURA link above!

Monday, 5 August 2013

A mix of grasses

A grassy roadside verge...

A mix of grassy

...I love this photo full of clover, grass, big grasses, dandelions, buttercups & others.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Corned beef hash

Fry the onion, potatoes, carrots & swede.

500g small potatoes
2 carrots (Optional)
half a small swede (Optional)
1 onion
1 tin of corned beef
3 tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
1 tbsp mustard

Mix it all together

  1. Cube the corned beef to 1cm cubed pieces.
  2. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, cubed corned beef and mustard together.
  3. Cube the potatoes and swede to approximately 1cm cubes and slice the carrots.
  4. Boil the potatoes, swede and carrots for approximately 5 minutes until soft and drain.
  5. Slice an onion.
  6. Heat the oil in a pan until hot and fry the onion for a few minutes. 
  7. Add the potatoes, carrot & swede for a few minutes.
  8. Add the soaked corned beef for a few minutes until warmed through.
Serve with garden peas or salad.

Corned Beef Hash

Thursday, 1 August 2013


This month's Friendship Vignettes photo theme was...


My initial thought for this theme was a ruined castle or abbey, but we have not had chance to go for a day out anywhere with ruins, so I had to think a bit creatively.

To find out more about Friendship Vignettes, to see more of our photos or to find out next month's theme to join with us go to the Friendship Vignettes blog page.

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