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Monday, 27 April 2015

Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Another Easter trip out was with some friends to Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster. We saw lots of animals - polar bears, meerkats, mongooses, lions, leopards, tigers, wallabys, lemurs who were very friendly and lots more. The highlight of the day for me was seeing the wallabys and hearing the lion roar as we walked back to the car park . . . there is something really powerful about hearing a lion ROAR!

Sadly I did not take many photos, but here are a few of the friendly wallabys

Friday, 24 April 2015

Slow Cooked Cauliflower Curry

I have been looking for creative ways to cook cauliflower and make it more interesting, as neither my partner or little boy seem to want to eat it steamed or as cauliflower cheese, so what could be more interesting than an self-invented cauliflower curry!


Cauliflower Curry ready to slow cook
Cauliflower, chopped into florets
2 large potatoes, chopped into inch cubes
sweet potato, chopped into inch cubes
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
onion, chopped finely
tin of chick peas
2 tomatoes, chopped
100g red lentils
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp mango chutney
1 tbsp dried coriander
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of coconut milk
1/2 cup of water


  1. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker, mix together well.
  2. Cook on low heat in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours.

Serve with rice or couscous.

Monday, 20 April 2015

East Marton along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal

We have been out and about enjoying the gorgeous Easter weather with a little trip to meet some family near East Marton with a walk along the Leeds Liverpool Canal, it was a glorious day - we saw lots of countryside, ducks, frogs, swans, sheep, lambs and most of all SUN!!

At East Marton the A59 road crosses the canal with a unique double arched stone bridge...

Monday, 13 April 2015


I have been desperate to visit the seaside for quite a while to see the blustery coast line with the crashing waves, so a beautiful day off in March we decided to take the risk and visit Scarborough (a place I remember frequenting with my parents and grandparents as a child)... 

We had a fab day eating fish & chips, playing on the beach, paddling in the sea (although it was freezing), wandering the town & of course Luke's highlight was being the next Doctor . . . Who?

Friday, 10 April 2015

My First Raised Bed in the Garden

The weather has been glorious and it has been the holidays which means more time to spend in the garden.

I have been wanting a bed to grow some vegetables in this summer and seen as I had planted the seeds already and many were beginning to germinate I needed to find somewhere to plant them out. There was an area at the bottom of our lawn which was south facing and gets lots of sunlight, but it gets rather waterlogged in heavy rain and is full of weeds. A raised bed seemed to be the perfect idea for this area, to avoid the it becoming waterlogged. I knew that I did not have the time to build a permanent raised bed and then I saw this at Tong Garden Centre . . .

. . . it was the perfect solution to my problems. This afternoon was spent digging up the weeds and their roots and turning the soil in preparation for my raised bed - it was hard going but my little companion helped out by getting muddy and enjoying the taste of soil EUGH!

Once it was assembled and secured in the correct place we filled it with 3 bags of compost and watered it, although we're now hoping for some rain to water it more overnight. Once it has been adequately watered we will be ready to get planting :)

The completed bed (excuse the corrugated plastic my husband thought it might help collect water off the shed roof and channel it to my bed for watering purposes!)

The completed raised bed

Vegetable, Chorizo & Pearl Barley Risotto


225g chorizo slices
1 onion
1 clove of garlic
1-2 tsps of dried rosemary
1/2 courgettes, chopped
1 orange or yellow pepper, chopped
300g pearl barley
2/3 carrots, chopped
400g tin of tomatoes
1 lt of chicken stock made with 1 OXO cube


  1. Fry the chorizo in a pan until it is golden and crispy. 
  2. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving the oil from the chorizo in the pan.
  3. Fry the onions, garlic and rosemary in a pan for a few minutes before adding the courgette and peppers and frying for a further few minutes.
  4. Add the pearl barley to the pan and coat in the oil.
  5. Add the carrots, tomatoes and chicken stock to the pan, bring to a simmer and place a lid on the pan.
  6. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until all or most of the liquid has been absorbed by the barley.
  7. Stir in the chorizo and heat for a few minutes, before serving.

Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Spring has Sprung in the Garden


Spring has finally sprung, which is allowing me to get out in the garden. This is the first spring I have lived in a house with a garden, so I am very excited about what we might grow this year. We visited the local garden centre a few weeks ago and I spent lots of my Christmas money on garden equipment including a raised bed, seeds and plants, etc (my husband says I can't go back for a while as I spent too much money!).

I have planted:

  • herb seeds - coriander, basil & parsley
  • daffodils along the edge of my lawn
  • blueberry bushes
  • raspberry canes
  • runner bean seeds
  • pea seeds
  • butternut squash seeds
  • spinach seeds
  • a tomato plant
  • carrots
  • violas

My windowsill

Many of the potted seeds are sat on my window sill in the conservatory whilst they germinate and I am really enjoying watching new shoots appear most days with the beautiful warm sunny weather we have been having. I cannot wait to get them planted outside especially if this beautiful weather continues.

Blueberry bush

Previously I have not been so successful at growing plants and keeping them alive so this year is my year to prove myself wrong and harvest bumper crops to feed the family!!!


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