Monthly Archives: May 2014

gleeful gardening…

Much of our free daily hours (of which there are precious few) are taken up with peering at the results of our seed planting and commenting on the respective growth of each plant and which ones are looking decidely sickly, or stunted, or shameful.

There are far too few that are proudly waving their top leaves in the air, with stocky stems and luscious leaves. Instead, we are faced with some seedlings which seem exceedingly shy and reluctant to show their full potential or glory.

Added to this some miserable weather, which started with snow, and frost that lasted forever, along with rain that has lashed our babies until some of them lay trampled and lifeless against the cold sodden earth with no hopes of ever rising towards the sun again…. sniff… poor poor wee things…

So Handsome was the one that got his hands dirty in the soil for his seeds. He lovingly placed each one (sometimes with tweezers they were so small!) into the minature plant pots, and eyeballed them every day for signs of the first green shoots. I took the lazy route. I bought my flowers ready grown, with heads of flowers already ready to burst open. And I couldn’t wait for his herb seedlings to grow to the point where I could start using them for our food, so I bought some ready grown ones of those too. But both of our plantings have been blighted by the rain pelting down, and my flowers are now missing all their petals because the ferocity of the showers last night took off anything that wasn’t properly attached… You can imagine my trepidation as I came home this afternoon, in fear of finding all plants flattened and a basement full of water. Here’s what was coming off our roof last night. I have never seen the rain come down so hard here. The whole road was flooded…

rain, rain, go away...
rain, rain, go away…

So, by way of recording our green fingers, plus giving Handsome a taste of home as he is working away at the moment… here’s a selection, taken today, of the one remaining flower on each plant, or the herbs that stood up to the rain or, most importantly, the hops that make our hearts sing with promises of future brews… Continue reading gleeful gardening…

my best boy…

There’s a man in my life that is so dear to my heart that I can’t believe I never wrote about him on here before. This guy captures my attention, gives me amazing cuddles, makes me laugh my head of and also makes me angrier than any other thing or person in the world. I also take care of him like he’s my baby and any major decision in my life comes immediately to the potential impact on him and how we can make it better for him. You guessed it folks, that man is my dog Bailey who I love beyond measure…

hanging out at his girlfriend's house...
hanging out at his girlfriend’s house…

Before I went to Africa, I was a cat person… Continue reading my best boy…

Lovely lemony linguine with garlic, mushrooms and thyme…

If you’re looking for a healthy, delicious, light, summery pasta recipe, this is the one for you. It combines lemon, mushroom, garlic, thyme, parmesan and olive oil to make a moreish pasta dish that gives you different flavors with every bite. We absolutely loved it and like my super spicy turkey zucchini burger recipe, I know we will be having this once a week too! Nigella is hitting all my high points at the moment! I only had a quick flick through her website and I found so many recipes that inspired me. I recommend adding some chili flakes as well, to give this a kick. I served it with a green salad and homemade garlic bread (recipe to follow). If you want something quick and easy to put on your table tonight with minimum effort and maximum flavor, this is the one for you. I can’t say enough good things about it…

Recipe…

gorgeous granola grabs…

gorgeous granola grabs...
gorgeous granola grabs…

Sticking with Nigella inspiration, I spotted these and was in heaven. I’ve been wanting to make my own granola for ages , but couldn’t get started. Now I’ve made these, the sky’s the limit. You often just need one recipe to kick start a plethora of other inspiration, and this has done it for me…

I left out the coconut that was in Nigella’s recipe (I think coconut is gross!), and I baked them for a lot longer than Nigella’s recipe calls for, because I like my granola crunchy as possible. This also means that the bars broke up a lot, so I will have them on the go as bars, or use the crumbs for delicious granola with yoghurt. Either way, it’s healthy as you like, the sugar is completely controlled and there’s nothing fake in there at all!

Recipe

heavenly honeycomb…

Heavenly Honeycomb
Heavenly Honeycomb

My sweet tooth cooking obsession continues unabashed. I am uninspired by all things savoury and fascinated every time I see a recipe for something I have always wanted to be able to make myself. Nigella Lawson is the queen of the delicious forbidden treat and so on Friday I went and had a good root around in her recipes. Guess what I found? Brits will know immediately what it is when I say that I can now make the honeycomb out of crunchie chocolate bars. Americans will look perplexed, even if I tell them it’s what the Scots call… Hokey Pokey!

Well either way, this is a really easy and quick recipe, the most you will need is a saucepan, golden syrup, fine sugar and bicarbonate of soda. Magic and chemistry make this delicious sweets/candy.

Recipe