Month: January 2017

Photo a Day – week forty six and forty seven

Here we have another couple of weeks of photos.

A full up log store. We’ve found a group of coppice workers who manage local woodland and sell properly seasoned sustainable firewood. Makes my heart sing to be helping these folk and have a plentiful supply of logs.

Coffee and tea time.

Our favourite noodle salad in the making.

Sunrise.

Through the window. Love this view.

Out for coffee with my Mum and sister.

The sprouts are still doing their best.

This is a snapshot of a corner of the garden. I’d like to say it is the only messy corner but alas it is not.

A gathering of garden goodies just waiting till needed.

An adorable pooch.

Oh dear. Hot chocolate and treats.

Took some time to play with paint.

I store all my scrapbook layouts in American Crafts 12 x 12 albums and at last I got round to adding labels to the spines.

Caught in the weak winter sunlight.

At last we are up to date!

Homemade bread – apricot and almond loaf

Our bread maker is one of those with a compartment at the top of the machine where you put additional ingredients that you don’t want to get pulverised in the first knead. It’s quite clever as it has a hatch which opens with a release switch and allows the ingredients to be added at the correct time in the process.

Sounds great. As long as it works…..

I think because our bread maker is a few years old now the catch isn’t quite as robust as it was and it’s a bit of a performance loading up the top compartment because you have to hold hatch door in place from underneath to stop it opening. Then lower the lid of the machine and very gently switch it on. Hmm… like I say a little bit of a performance but worth I think for some of the delicious extra elements you can add into a loaf this way.

The one above has all chopped dried apricots, ground almonds (you add those to the main mix) and slivered almonds. Yum!

It was very tasty and although not savoury we ate it up no problem. I wanted to try it with cheese but I was inspired by the flavours in the loaf to use it as the base of a breakfast recipe.

Anyway, one more crossed off in the book and I’ll share that breakfast recipe soon.

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December Daily® 2016 – Days fourteen to twenty five

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Sharing the rest of my album for 2016. We made it up to day thirteen before Christmas so here are day fourteen to day twenty five.

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Maybe one year I’ll get finished before January starts? Although really it doesn’t matter I’m just happy to finish this lovely project for another year and look forward to December 2017!

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

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The other Gingerbread House

On Christmas Eve Gav and I decorated our own gingerbread house. There was one left over so we took up the challenge. Above is one of the lovely little elements that Gav made. A pile of snowballs! Love it.

We enjoyed ourselves and it was a very festive thing to do on Christmas Eve.

The picket fence was all Gav’s too have to admit between him getting a bit bored of ‘gluing’ them together and us eating the Matchmakers on the front of the house had a finished fence.

I made a few windows by laying down the pattern on a piece of greasproof paper and sticking them in place once set.

I also came up with a sleigh full of logs….

That’s a vegetarian red liquorice rope to pull the sleigh. In fact all our sweets were suitable for us to eat.

And a snow angel….

All in all a truly lovely way to spend an afternoon. I’m sure I said that I never wanted to make any gingerbread ever, ever again after baking six houses but after some time has passed I’m actually looking forward to this years house decorating adventures!

Photo a Day – week forty four and forty five

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Still catching up with this new year. We had some great light these last few weeks and that encouraged me to break out the macro lens.

Last year I added to our collection of Hellebores. We’ve put them in pots for now because that means I can move them onto the patio in the winter months when they are doing their thing and enjoy the show from the warmth of the house. This one is Helleborus foetidus – the stinking Hellebore and it looks so good in that sunlight.

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A perfect scene. Sunlight bathing our house and garden and my shadow in the frame capturing in all.

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Reflections.

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The Holly and the Ivy? Can’t believe I’ve never put these two dishes together before and noticed this!?

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And another beauty this one is the same flower head I took a photo of the other week. It’s starting to bloom now.

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I will never tire of seeing these two working together.

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Nor will I tire of seeing her shoes join our shoes. Ordinary everyday things but it tells of so much. Our love of her visits, that she sleeps over and loves to do so and of course that she is growing up. Both the size of her shoes and the fashion statement of it!

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A little indulgence.

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Another working week….. Caught this sky to cheer me up!

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Gav got a little toy for Christmas…..

It snowed. Just a tiny bit but it was there! And someone seems to have found a small stick….

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Office still life.

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Breakfast out with friends.

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His little eyebrows are going white! He’s only six how can that be?! But he is still the cutest.

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And there we go.

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The breakfast love affair continues – Homemade tear and share bread with scrambled eggs

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I think the name of these rolls is over complicated yet something about it is also totally endearing. It sounds so much more upbeat, fun and friendly to say tear and share bread rather than bread rolls doesn’t it. But I digress!

I mentioned the breakfast I made with these rolls the other day and here it is in all its avocado green, yellow and red goodness.

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I toasted half of each flavour roll then squashed some avocado on top and finished off with a layer of just cooked tomatoes and buttery scrambled eggs. Although the olive roll did hit a sweet flavour spot it was the tomato and parmesan roll that won me over with this combination of breakfast ingredients. A more gusty set of toppings might elevate the olive roll like veggie bacon or veggie pepperoni. Must try that out sometime too.

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30 Vegetarian Pizza’s – Feta, Artichoke and Green Olive

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These veggie pizza post’s are like buses right? You wait all year for one then two come along at once!

This may look familiar because we have made this very pizza before but with black olives instead of green. I’d like to say this was a deliberate experiment with flavours but in truth it was an accident and I didn’t realise we’d done a similar one until I was editing the photo and remembered the previous version. But all that said I’m glad we had the chance to compare the olives. I think I was both surprised and not at all surprised that the two pizza’s tasted different. Of course I know that green and black olives taste different but it was the mingling of flavours together that surprised. The green against the cheese was sharper, zingy where with black olives and feta the flavour is rich and warm.

All in all a good pizza though and a great reminder about flavours working together.

I’ll be back again with this topic to round up my thoughts on this rather long experiment and also bring you pizza thirty one which of course is my new fav.

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Homemade bread – tear and share rolls

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A long time ago, just after we bought our bread maker, Gav made the rash statement that he was going to make all the recipes in the book that came along with the machine.

So far that is still a work in progress but recently we have both been having a dabble so I thought I’d share here.

Above is an olive tear and share bread. And below is a sun-dried tomato and parmesan tear and share.

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For both of these breads the machine does all the kneading and then after a first prove you remove the dough, knock it back and shape into the rolls. As they prove again they touch making a ring of rolls.

Both of these were really tasty, perfect with a pasta dish. I even toasted them to make breakfast, I’ll share that in a few days.

We liked the tomato one so much that Gav made a loaf from the same mixture the following week.

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Gotta love bread in all shapes and sizes.

The breakfast love affair continues – Eggy Bread with Maple syrup soaked fruit

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Is it French toast or Eggy bread? Or do you have another name for bread dipped in an egg mixture and then fried? In my family we are the Eggy bread camp. French toast was far too posh for Leeds when I was growing up on the 70’s.

During my breakfast adventures recently I’ve tended to make savoury concoctions. This is rooted in our go to weekend breakfast ingredient eggs. Fried egg sandwiches are one the menu almost every Saturday morning here but when my niece stays over I usually make pancakes or eggy bread and we drizzle on the maple syrup to made these all the sweeter.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to jazz up my usual version with some fruit. This was frozen so I defrosted it in the microwave in a slug of maple syrup. Mmm…..

The verdict? Delish. And if you cut your eggy bread into triangles it looks all the prettier!

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30 Vegetarian Pizza’s – Halloumi, Artichoke and Green Olive

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So it’s been a while! Not sure how long since I shared a pizza here but this one is the twenty ninth of the thirty.

Three of my favourite ingredients all on one pizza. Win, win. The base is the usual as is the tomato sauce. Ages ago, way back at the start of our pizza adventure I turned one of our everyday pasta dishes into a pizza and honestly it didn’t work. The three ingredients on this pizza are also often used together on pasta dishes in this house but this time the change of carbohydrate did work. Yay! And the combination of the three together is perfect. Maybe it is the addition of the tomato sauce because in the other version we left that off the pizza top.

Anyway glad we persevered with the trial of pasta sauce into pizza experiment and I’m happy to be sharing another pizza here.

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