I wasn’t going to do a ‘flavour’ of 2017 post. I have struggled with finding new recipes to try this year. However after looking at pictures on my phone I have come to the conclusion that I have taken enough pictures to warrant a post. So here’s a ‘taste’ of my 2017!
I hope you enjoy!
Roasted Vegetable Parcels
Roasted vegetable parcels have become a staple to our yearly menu. They are full of roasted red onions, peppers and cherry tomatoes. Wrapped up in a toasted tortilla with tomato puree and mozzarella. Served on a bed of salad leaves, they are delicious!
While David made a Victoria sponge, I was enjoying red velvet cakes and cucumber sandwiches. Part of an afternoon tea at Jam Liverpool.
Afternoon Tea at Jam
Another recipe I go back to time and time again is Chungah’s, one pot stuffed pepper casserole. I use bulgur wheat instead of ground beef and add a little bit more water. The result is a delicious, wholesome meal.
One pan stuffed pepper casserole
After a meltdown in the kitchen, David took up the knives and oven gloves and managed to whip up a vegetable masala, with microwaved spicy Bombay potatoes.
A first for David and I in 2017, was attempting to make elder-flower champagne. It may have only stayed fizzy for 30 Days Wild, but it will be something we will attempt to make again next year. It made for a refreshing early summer’s drink. The whole family enjoyed it!
A chippie tea from The Old Keswickian was enjoyable, especially at the lakeside of Derwentwater during our summer visit to Keswick.
Chips by Derwentwater
Three bean quinoa chili
A three bean quinoa chilli (picture above), recipe from oh my veggies, is so filling and makes so may servings. I literally have three bean quinoa chilli for my work lunches, five days a week!! It’s as spicy as you want. I usually put in half a teaspoon of chilli powder! It’s so full of beans and vegetables, it’s become a staple in my repertoire.
During a week off work I treated mum to a rich cream tea at Leaf, Liverpool. It was jummy!
Brown Lentil Chilli
Another staple dinner I go to when I have no idea what to cook is a Brown Lentil Chilli, from Katya on A Little Broken. I serve the meal for two with toasted tortillas.
Spicy bean and sausage casserole
Another recipe I return to is The Vegan Household’s/Gourmet Vegan, spicy butter bean and (vegan) sausage casserole. I use different sausage brands from Asda’s own to Linda McCartney, so not always vegan. However the result is always delicious and very filling!
Unfortunately the only pictures of the little mince pies I made this year were taken as part of the #7dayblackandwhitephotochallenge on Instagram. I used pre-made short crust pastry, but I think I’ll make my own next year.
So there you are, a flavour of my 2017!
Let me know if you have tried any of the recipes featured? Or my post has inspired you to try some of them!
We finally finished working on the dining room floor! It took all of David’s seven days holiday! He’ll need another holiday to recover! We still have the hall and living room floors to do but I am thankful that I have my kitchen and dining room back!
I felt lost without my kitchen. I put a lot of effort into cooking the evenings’ meal. So when all I can cook is microwave, convenience meals, I feel rather short changed! Also this week was Meat Free Week, (mainly for Australia and the UK), another initiative to get more people to eat less meat. So once I got my kitchen back, I was able to make meals such as a vegetable taigne.
Ingredients and Method, feeds two people
I fried an onion (chopped), 1 pepper (sliced) and a green chilli (chopped) in an oiled pan until softened.
I then added to the pan 2 sliced cloves of garlic, 1 tsp of ground cumin, 1/2 tsp of ground coriander and 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes.
After a minute I tipped in a tin of chopped tomatoes and threw in a handful of frozen peas. I covered the pan to simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Lastly I added a tin of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and cooked for a final five minutes.
I served on a bed of spinach, with two fillets of Quorn chicken (sliced) and crusty bread.
On Sunday we released Hoppy back into the wild. David had managed to get most of the thread from around her leg, it was a painstaking endeavour. However, everyday since, she has been heard pecking at the back door for her dinner, which we dutifully give! What have we begun?
Tuesday was David’s birthday! (‘Happy birthday!’) To celebrate we went to the cinema to see Star Trek Beyond, not the strongest of the three films but an action romp none the less. We were also invited to David’s brother’s house for a chickpea balti cooked by his wife Bilgen. I was touched by the thoughtful gesture that all of the meals were vegetarian! While we waited for the homemade bhajis to cook we were entertained but their 11th month old son.
Pet news, and Troy has a fellow patient joining him in the hospital cage. Poor Aura has had a relapse from his earlier condition which almost took his life last year. We found him on the floor of the cage squeaking, so we have administered anti-mite drops and are keeping him warm. Troy continues to be cursed by his inner ear infection, though seems much happier he has a bed fellow to snuggle up too.
The weekend dawned with the promise of warm, sunny weather (ha ha)! So David and I headed off for a walk, but where did we go? Post to follow. 🙂
This Sunday Sevens has been rather hard to compile. I only seem to be taking pictures of plants and food recently. Oh. I need to find some excitement in my life!
During breakfast on Sunday, (I have mine snuggled up in bed while listening to Classic FM) David called me downstairs. He had spied a new visitor to the yarden. It only stayed briefly and I didn’t have time to take a picture but I think it was a male Black Cap. He probably just used the yarden as a pit stop on his way to better feeding grounds, much like the Chiffchaff earlier in the year.
By Tony Hisgett via Wikimedia Commons
David cooked Sunday dinner. He used a curry base and added spices to make a very tasty Rogan Josh.
We attended a family funeral mid week. Funeral services always make me think of this Emily Dickinson poem
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain
I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –
And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –
And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,
As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –
And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –
After reading Kate Riordan’s second novel, I bought her first novel the Girl in the Photograph. It was only £2.75, second hand from Ebay. It’s another one of those novels that has parallel narratives.
While passing the University of Liverpool, I caught sight of this very striking statue in the quadrangle!
For Saturday’s meal I cooked a vegetarian bean chilli. However, I made a few adjustments to the original recipe, which you can find here. I just used what I could find in the store cupboard. I swapped borlotti beans for pinto, used red lentils instead of puy and left out the marmite altogether! It made for an inexpensive yet healthy meal, even if it was rather hot with two teaspoons of chilli powder! I thought it was very tasty!
snake’s head fritillary
For the final picture, in the past few weeks I have been monitoring a strange plant that has been growing in the yarden. At first I didn’t know what it was but now that it’s budded, I remember planting snake’s head fritillary bulbs a year ago.
Have you had any strange looking plants grow in your garden? Cooked any yummy meals recently?
Saturday 19th March 2016 was Earth Hour, so I plunged David and I into darkness for one hour between 8.30-9.30pm. Did you partake in the hour?
Earlier that evening, after a busy day of ‘spring’ cleaning, I made a One Pan Mexican Quinoa. I tweaked the recipe a little, omitting the avocado and lime but added a red onion and small pepper. I also changed the sweetcorn to peas as David doesn’t like corn!
The meal was simple, just cut the vegetables and measure the quinoa and then pop them all into a pan with beans, stock and tinned tomatoes and cook for 20 minutes, until the quinoa releases its tails! The outcome was a fresh, tasting meal. I will definitely be making it again in the future!
That same day while making a cup of tea, I peered out of the kitchen window towards the back garden and my eyes spied a small bird flitting about the tree branches. It was a little Wren! He stayed long enough for me to video him!
The beginning of the week saw lovely blue skies and spring-like temperatures hit the NW of England. David, Artie and I spent some much needed time in the garden, cleaning away old foliage and soaking up the warm rays of the sun. I noticed that there are lots of tulips growing again this season and there are some plants I don’t even know what they are! Perhaps you recognise them?
Artie enjoying the sun
It’s been two weeks since I planted my seeds of french beans, spring onions and peppers. I have hundreds of beans and onions growing! I don’t know where in the garden I will put them once they are ready to be planted outside! After some studying I read that french beans grow up to a meter in height! I am also going to need some bamboo sticks for support! How do you think my seedlings are coming along?
With having to rein in our expenditure recently, I have been cooking more and more with the ingredients I already have in my store cupboards. Tuesday’s soup turned out better than I had imagined! I found the recipe on the BBC Good Food website, yet changed a few ingredients by adding more fresh produce! The recipe makes up to four good servings.
Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup
2 tsp cumin seeds
One red chilli sliced and de-seeded
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and sliced
140g red split lentils
850ml vegetable stock or water ( used low salt vegetable stock)
400g can tomato, whole or chopped
400g carton chickpeas rinsed and drained
Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas.
Add the oil, onion and chilli, and cook for 5 mins. Then add the garlic for another minute.
Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, and half the can of chickpeas then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.
Whiz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the remaining chickpeas. Heat gently, season well and serve with crusty bread.
Saturday just gone, I made a vegetable frittata, but I will leave that recipe for another post.
What food creations have you been trying recently?
…my fortnight off from work did not go to plan! Monday morning dawned forebodingly as I found lying at the bottom of the finch aviary my beloved Romeo!
There was no indication that he was ill. He was a little quiet and fluffed up on Sunday but by the next day David and I were saying our farewells and burying him under the Pieris Forest Flame. 😦
The aviary did not seem to be the same after his little character had gone. Chocolate his mate was quiet and the other finches seemed to know of his absence.
Come Thursday, David and I took a trip to Clipsley Pets and Aquatics in St. Helens and acquired a new friend for Chocolate, a Bengalese called Fudge and a new member of the finch family, Pi, a Cut-throat.
On Tuesday, I had the urge to cook something. I think it was to fill the void of sadness that Romeo’s sudden passing had left. So I merged a few recipes I found on-line to make a Curry Spiced Red Lentil Soup. The result was not unpleasant, though it could have done with a bit more of a kick. I fixed the recipe in line with this. If you don’t like spice/heat then reduce.
1 litre of vegetable stock. I used reduced salt
300g of red lentils
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 small red chilli, chopped
One potato, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
Tin of tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tsp of curry powder, and one tsp each of cumin, turmeric and coriander
100 ml of milk
1-2 tbsps of olive oil
Optional: Some cooked basmati rice to serve
In a large saucepan heat the olive oil, then add the garlic, onion and chilli to the pan. Fry over a gentle heat till soft.
Add the potato, tomato, tomato puree and spices to the pan and fry gently for another 5 mins, stirring regularly.
Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well, then pop a lid on the pan and simmer the soup for approx 15 20 mins, or until lentils are soft.
Pour the soup into a blender and blend at high speed till smooth and creamy. Alternatively, blend only half the soup for a chunkier texture.
I served with home-made wholemeal bread rolls.
Curry Spiced Red Lentil Soup
At the start of the week the weather had been appalling, but nearing the weekend things started to look up! David had also taken Thursday and Friday off from work, so on Thursday we headed to Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Tower of London Poppies… but that will do for another blog post!
I’ve been meaning to do a photo an hour blog for some time, ever since I saw sunshine and celandines post in July. So, I decided to do it for today, 22nd August 2015, though in hindsight I should have chosen a day where I actually did something instead of the usual, same old!
Anyway, I shall endeavour to make some kind of blog out of the pictures I took!
It was an 8am start to the day, as shopping and housework beckoned. This is the stool where I sit and try to make myself pretty each day!
8.00 to 9.00
From 9.00am to 11am David, myself and my mum went shopping at the nearby supermarket.
10.00 to 11.00
9.00 to 10.00
Around 11am we returned home and unpacked the bags of shopping! Thankfully this week’s shop did not total over £100+ as the past weeks have been!!
11.00 to 12.00
Lunch time! While David nibbled on his baguette and I sipped at my soup, we let the six finches out of their aviary and laughed as they flew around the living room! Romeo tried to take my hair (again) and make a nest with it!! 😀
12.00 to 13.00
Weekend lunch is so much more relaxed and longer than work days! The next hour was taken up with drinking coffee!
13.00 to 14.00
Then the hard work had to begin. I vacuumed the floors and cleaned/disinfected the kitchen/bathroom and bedroom! Poor Henry always shivers in fear when he sees me reaching for him as his nose always falls off when I vacuum!!
14.00 to 15.00
3pm and after a showery morning, a break in the clouds gave me and Artie the opportunity to step outside into the garden and enjoy some sun, air and listen to the numerous Honey Bees visiting!
15.00 to 16.00, Anemone flowering
15.00 to 16.00, can you spy Artie?
From 4pm I made a start on preparing for the evening’s meal. During the week I had decided on making Refried Bean Quesadillas with home-made Guacamole. I turned my attention to the Guacamole first having never made it before.
One red onion, sliced finely
One chilli, sliced finely
One avocado, halved, stoned and skin removed, then cut into manageable cubes
Lime juice, squeeze some juice over the chopped avocado to stop from turning brown
Coriander leaves (handful, chopped)
One tomato, chopped
Chop all ingredients and then mash with a folk/masher/processor to desired consistency
I followed the instructions to the letter. The result was a fresh ‘salad’ like concoction, though David did not like the taste.
Refried Bean Quesadillas.
I found the ingredients only stretched for three people!
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 chilli finely chopped
1 yellow finely pepper chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
400g can pinto or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tsp smoked paprika
8 flour tortillas
100g cheddar or Gruyère, coarsely grated (I only used 50g)
A handful coriander leaves
200g tub fresh tomato salsa, plus extra to serve (I didn’t use all the tub)
17.00 to 18.00, ingredients
Heat the oil in a large frying pan (I just used a pan), and cook the onion and garlic for 2 mins.
Add the chilli and pepper, and cook for 2 mins.
Then finally add the cumin and cook for 1 min more.
Tip in the beans, paprika and a splash of water. Using a potato masher, break the beans down as they warm through to make a rough purée. Season generously
Spread the refried beans onto 3-4 of the tortillas and scatter over the cheese and coriander.
Spoon over the salsa, then top with the remaining tortillas to make 3-4 sandwiches.
Wipe the frying pan with kitchen paper (or use a frying pan), and return to the heat or heat a griddle pan. Cook each sandwich for 1-2 mins on each side until the tortillas are crisp and golden and the cheese is melting.
Serve warm, cut into wedges, with extra salsa, guacamole and salad.
18.00 to 19.00 The result!
I enjoyed making the guacamole and refried beans. I could have bought shop brands but thought it would be better to try and make them from scratch myself. The dinner was indeed fresh tasting and filling.
For the last hour for the blog. I looked forward to a BBC Prom, of Mahler’s 6th Symphony. I relaxed for the evening listening to sublime music and enjoyed a few Pinot Grigio’s and a dessert of sliced strawberries with yoghurt!
As I guessed rightly this week’s nature sightings were not as abundant as last week.
Monday and Tuesday were filled with travelling to and from work and the bit in-between. I am not enjoying work at present, I am feeling rather undervalued and the travelling tires me out. I really need a holiday!
While at home, I did manage to take some pictures of David’s rockery plants!
The weather changed for the better and it was a happy return to bright sunshine and warmth. After work, David, Artie and I sat in the back garden for an hour and soaked up the sun. The garden was filled with the sound of bees happily enjoying the ‘wild’ growing Siberian Bellflowers and Cat Mint. Even the small Golden Mint Moth made a glad return.
While potting some Poppy seedlings into bigger pots I noticed a Small White butterfly flutter by. That is the first butterfly I have seen in my area! We tend not to get too many butterflies with being terraced houses. I look forward to my Buddleia flowering and maybe will get to see more butterflies?
During the evening while calling at my Mum’s I noticed how calm the air was and looked up to wonder at the wispy Cirrus clouds drifting leisurely overhead. I read later from the Met Office website, that Cirrus are high level clouds, some 18,000 to 40,000ft. The name comes from the Latin for lock of hair. The clouds are part of a warm front, though looking at the Met Office’s prediction for the weekend, it looks like the warm spell is going to be (yet again) short lived. 😦
Example of Cirrus taken from science-edu.larc.nasa.gov
At 10pm the results of the vote for Britain’s national bird were announced. It was not really much of a surprise as the gardener’s friend, the Robin took first place with 34% of the vote! The Barn Owl (12%) was second and my favourite the Blackbird (11%) came third. The Blue Tit came in at a lowly 8th position.
It was yet another scorcher of a day in the NW of England. I rushed home from work to enjoy my garden. The garden is a bit of a sun trap so as I reclined under the sun’s rays I listened to the Goldfinches visiting my Mum’s garden and I smiled at the comical begging of their young. I have still yet to get good footage of the baby Goldfinches this year, so a clip from a previous year will have to do.
I was grateful to see that the Swallows were in full force today. I watched in awe as they swooped between the rows of houses chasing bees. They were that close you could see the blue sheen on the Swallow’s body. They are beautiful creatures and quickly becoming one of my favourites.
Later, David (who had been snapping pictures of bees) and I enjoyed our dinner al fresco! It was nice to relax with the setting sun and to feel the calmness of evening after a hectic day!
For dinner I attempted to make a Turmeric and Lentil Soup as seen on Deliciously Ella’s webpage. I followed the recipe to the letter however it will not be a soup I will make again. I think it had too much mixed herbs in the recipe and ended up tasting very earthy. It was much like taking a mouthful of soil! However, I did enjoy the preparation of the cannellini beans and button mushrooms in spices such as turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds.
The morning started off brightly but the weather soon changed to a dreary, heavy day. Alas there was not much ‘wildness’ going on! Yesterday David brought home from work a play tunnel for Artie. It’s huge but Artie seems to like it! Here he is in his ‘cube’. 🙂
Artie in his play tunnel
The rain that the Met Office predicted did not arrive. 😦 I was a bit peeved as I had wanted to (if the weather was fair) taken a drive to Lancashire to follow the Pendle Sculpture Trail, however, the day trip will have to do for another day. I ended up staying at home and after shopping, did some house work before spending two hours in the garden. The weather was overcast but the cloud broke occasionally and the sun briefly would peak through. The temperature was mild and so I planted my Foxglove seedlings into bigger pots (I hope they survive!) while keeping an eye on Artie as he stalked flies and enjoyed the outside space. I am quite blessed that he does not look to climb onto the wall.
Artie smelling the chives!
I spent a good time trying to photograph the bees visiting the garden and noticed some Tree and Garden Bumblebees, (there were also many Red Mason Bees!) I also snapped a Cinnabar Moth resting on the Salvia and a Harlequin Ladybird, though they are an invasive species it was fun watching the little fella fly about the garden plants!
As Artie and I were in the garden for a long time, the poor birds could not come in and taste the seed on offer. We have up to three House Sparrows visiting the feeders, (they have adapted to feed from the hanging feeders), though they were thwarted this afternoon! They sat on the roof and called angrily for me to leave the garden, as too did the numerous charms of Goldfinches! A poor confused baby Goldfinch even landed on the back door and chirruped before spotting me and flying away! Poor thing!
Every now and then the calls of the Swallows filled the air and they would dart acrobatically through the air! At one stage a Magpie swooped past the garden and beneath it the body of a Swallow! It energised me seeing their flight! 🙂
Around 4pm it grew cooler, the wind picked up and so I took myself and Artie back indoors. It was good timing as I had to prepare for the evenings dinner!
I planned to make a Roasted Vegetable and Pearl Barley Risotto. I wanted to make something ‘healthy,’ and pearl barleyis a wonder food! It is helpful in lowering cholesterol, protecting against heart disease and diabetes! I couldn’t find one concise recipe for what I had imagined, so I made my own! Once cooked however it needed a few tweaks, which the recipe below has! I at first used sweet potato which in additional to the other ingredients seemed too much, so I have reduced the amounts!
Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Barley Risotto
Roasted Vegetables and Pearl Barley Risotto
One onion chopped
Two cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
1 chilli, de-seeded and chopped (leave out if you don’t like heat)
250g Pearl barley
1.5 litre of reduced salt vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to season
Add the onion, chilli (if using) and garlic into a pan and sauté. (I put in the onion and then chilli and cooked for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic as it tends to burn easily.) Then add the barley and stock in increments until all soaked up! (I put in half a litre at a time until the barley was cooked!) Cooking could take up to 40 minutes so leave plenty of time, no need to rush! Salt and pepper to season.
Once the barley is cooking turn your interest to the vegetables.
Two peppers (any colour), de-seeded and cut into strips
One small carrot, peeled and chopped
One small red onion, peeled and chopped
Cherry tomatoes halved
Pinch of cayenne pepper (leave out if you don’t like heat)
Salt to season
(You can chose your own type of vegetables to roast, the above is just a suggestion!)
Place the chopped vegetables in a roasting tray, drizzle some olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and cayenne (if using). (I got my hands in and covered the vegetables with the seasoning.)
Then on an oven, 200°/gas mark 6 setting, roast vegetables for 20 – 30 minutes.
Serve barley on a bed of wilted spinach and place the roasted vegetables on top! (I also quickly fried some chopped button mushrooms and added to the roasted vegetable topping.
Another overcast day. A day that David say’s is a ‘headache’ kind of day! The usual suspects visited the garden feeders today and below is David’s footage of baby Goldfinches being fed by it’s parent!
I wonder what ‘wild’ things I will see or get up to in the following week? Bring on week three!
Most of my Saturday’s start with a trip to the shops. There is only two of us and Artie (the cat), living in the house, but every weekend the shopping bill nears or exceeds £100!! 😮
Today’s shopping consisted of buying lots of fruit and vegetables and cat treats! 🙂 People say I spoil Artie, but with a face like this, how can I not?! 😀
Usually by noon we are home, the shopping is put away and I have attempted some kind of flower display with a new bouquet I have bought!
Recent flower display
We occasionally have lunch in the living room. David lets the finches come out of their aviary to stretch their wings and fly around the room. Today, Chocolate and Romeo the Society Finches sat on the sofa with me!
Chocolate and Romeo the Society Finches
After lunch, it is all about cleaning the house. It can take up to two hours! If I am alone, it can take more! David helps by vaccuming while I do the dusting, dining room and bathroom.
If it is sunny outside then I forego doing the floors until Sunday and go out into the garden and enjoy the flowers, birds and insects.
Today though, it was cold and cloudy so after doing the chores I listened to Classic FM and noticed a House Sparrow visiting the feeders.
After 5pm I turn my attention to the kitchen. I listen to Saturday Night at the Movies while making a start on the evenings meal. Tonight’s meal was my version of a Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup with home-made Wholemeal mini loaves. I got the recipe from the Change for Life website/recipe app, though I adapted it.
Recipe for Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup:
Vegetable oil for pan
2-3 garlic cloves crushed/chopped
2 small onions chopped
1 chilli chopped
1 pepper chopped
2 celery ribs chopped
1/2 tsp chilli powder (I used medium)
1 can chopped tomatoes
850ml of vegetable stock
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 can mixed beans
1 can sweetcorn or frozen
Handful of red lentils (it was a last minute addition)
1 tbsp fresh coriander (I got ours from the garden!)
Pinch of ground black pepper and salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the onion until softened.
Then add the celery, pepper, chilli and garlic and cook for 5-10 minutes (use your discretion as to when to stop cooking.)
Add the chilli powder and the tomatoes and bring to the boil.
Pour in the stock and add the tomato puree, mixed beans, sweetcorn (drained if tinned) and lentils (if using). Heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
Add the coriander (if using) and season with some salt and pepper. Ladle into warm bowls and serve with a slice of wholemeal bread
Mexican Bean and Vegetable Soup with Wholemeal Mini Loaves
For the wholemeal mini loaves I followed the recipe I use for easy white bread. I just changed the strong white flour for Allinson Wholemeal Seed & Grain Bread Flour. It’s delicious, I don’t think I will ever go back to baking with just white flour again!
Saturday evenings tend to be a mixture of wine and music while David often plays on GTA5 with his brother and cousin. At the moment I am reminiscing about playing Final Fantasy VII in the 90’s. The story was engaging, had a baddie that you love to hate (Sephiroth) and the music written by Nobuo Uematsu was out of this world too! You can listen to Final Symphony on Spotify, though I actually bought the mp3 from Amazon!
I shall sign off now and enjoy the last remaining light of day.
…flowers. I prefer them to be growing in the ground and I am terrible gardener. However my spirits have been low of late and David kindly has seen that.
This Saturday, we were in Asda doing our weekly shop, when we passed the fruit and vegetable section. I gasped in exclamation at how lovely a bouquet of flowers was. They were a collection of lovely cream roses set amongst deep red ones, a kind of red berry type foliage and green leaves. They were expensive so we walked quickly past! I don’t usually notice flowers in the shop but these were a lovely combination of colours.
Later on that evening I set about to cook up a mess in the kitchen! I followed a recipe in the January Asda magazine. Mexican Bean Wraps. (Serves 4)
The ingredients were:
1 red onion
2 celery sticks
3 mixed peppers
Tin of chopped tomatoes with garlic
2 tsp of ground chilli powder
1 tsp of ground cumin
Tin of mixed beans in tomato sauce
Fry the onion and celery until soft in some oil
Then take from the heat and cook the peppers until brown at the edges
Return the onion and celery to the peppers and add the tinned tomatoes, beans, chilli and cumin powder
Cook all for 5 minutes in simmer
Warm up the wraps and serve
It only took me 40 minutes to complete the meal. In that time I had lain the table, poured the drinks and was waiting for David to return from his brothers. I told him to be home for six o’ clock and he was late! I was getting worried! I needn’t have as he came in soon after wielding the bouquet of flowers I had coveted earlier.
Even though at times I get disheartened and feel like I am unloved, I should be truly blessed for what I have in my life. It could be so much worse!
The meal was nice, different from my usual ‘made up’ Mexican Bean with Soya concoction. I like cooking and following a recipe to see the end result. Even David ate which is one reason why I cook fresh foods, to try and get him to have a more balanced diet.
Now, listening to Classic FM, watching David fiddle about with his bird aviary in the making and a glass of Chardonnay in my hand. I wonder can life get any better?