Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Old adventures... climbing Maranguape

From the city Fortaleza in Brasil there is a mountain on the horizon which is called Maranguape.

Towards the end of our stay in Fortaleza in 2005 we challenged ourselves to climb it with a guide in the 30+C temperatures, and this is our triumphant picture once we reached the top!

At the top of Maranguape!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Beautiful Borders

This is another photo from my Friday walk to work in the roadside verges...

Elderflower?
...it is a beautiful plant made up with many multiple small flowers, could this be elderflower in bloom?

Sunday, 28 July 2013

A day out in Skipton

Skipton is a beautiful market town on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales. It holds many memories from my childhood and in more recent years as well, especially as it was where my husband made his marriage proposal!

Skipton

The Leeds-Liverpool Canal runs directly through the town centre and in many respects the town is built up around the canal...

The signpost shows the way along the canal

...but it was whilst floating on the canal in one of these lovely barges about 3 years ago that Luke popped the question whilst we were eating lunch, "Do you want some Marmite with that?", this was followed by a marmite tin appearing from his pocket with a very special ring inside of it.

Rosie was the boat Luke proposed on

In case your wondering I did say "Yes" and as the saying goes, the rest is history.

Today we visited with my younger brother and his girlfriend, we had to relive some childhood memories, of buying a pork pie from Stanforth's butchers and then going to sit by the canal to eat it. 

As we were eating the pies I was watching this beautiful bee busy pollinating some blackberry flowers.

Bees pollinating blackberry bush

Another thing we had to do was walk along the canal towpath to Aireville Park to play a game of pitch & putt (AKA mini golf). To follow great family tradition, I lost the game but it was still great fun.

A Lord of the Rings barge

As we walked alongside the canal we saw a barge named 'Lord of the Rings', which brought back memories of our Lord of the Rings adventures in New Zealand this time last year.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Gingerbread muffins with Ginger Icing



Gingerbread muffins with Ginger Icing

Before baking...


Ingredients:
Cakes:
6 tbsps vegetable oil
280g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
4 tsps ground ginger
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
pinch of salt
115g soft light brown sugar
3 pieces of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped
2 eggs
175ml milk
4 tbsp golden syrup



Icing:
75g butter
175g icing sugar
1 drop of vanilla essense
2 tsps ground ginger
Milk
Crystallised ginger


After baking...
Method:
Cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6 or 200C.
  2. Line 2 muffin tins with paper cases.
  3. Sieve the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon & salt into a bowl and beat again.
  4. Stir in the sugar & stem ginger
  5. Beat eggs in a bowl, add milk, oil & golden syrup.
  6. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined, do not overmix.
  7. Spoon into the paper cases.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, leave to cool.
Icing:
  1. Beat the butter in a bowl.
  2. Add the icing sugar, vanilla essense & ground ginger and mix.
  3. Add milk as required a tbsp at a time and mix well.
  4. Once at a thick paste consistency, add a teaspoon of icing to the top of each cake, using the back of a teaspoon to smooth.
  5. Top with a small piece of chopped crystallised ginger.

The finished product!!!

If you have any fun cake recipes you would like to share, feel free to contact me and I will put together a blog post.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Our house

I have had some time off work this week to catch up with a few bits at home. The major job that needed doing was the living needed a fresh lick of paint...


...I am amazed how much better it looks for it.


We also decided it was time to rearrange the furniture...


...hopefully to create a more spacious feel.


I love my living room!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Old adventures... in Chirimba

This photo was taken whilst I was living in Malawi in summer of 2007. 

It was in an area of Blantyre city called Chirimba. It is a road, ok you might not get a car down this road as it is very narrow but you can expect a motorbike or two.

African Road

Monday, 22 July 2013

Surprising Lilies & Aubergines

 I had some beautiful ceramic pots in my little garden which had been planted by my dad 2 years ago and then just left to dry out and grow weeds. A few months ago when I was clearing them out for somewhere to plant my AUBERGINES I noticed this plant seemed to be doing quite well, it was not dead and nor did it look like a weed, so I cleared the weeds from around it and left it be.

Last week the bud burst into a beautiful firey orange lily...

Firey Orange Lily

...I still cannot believe it has survived so well from 2 years of neglect!!!

Surprising Lily with my Aubergines

My little aubergines are struggling outside, but these are some of the smaller plants, one or two in the grow bag seem to be thriving nicely.

Friday, 19 July 2013

Homemade pizzas



Tomato sauce topping
Ingredients:
Base:
375g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp caster sugar
7g dried active baking yeast
2 tbsps olive oil
225ml warm water

Tomato sauce topping:
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsps of dried basil (or fresh if you have it!)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil

Toppings (all optional):
Pineapple
Ham
Mushrooms, sliced
Adding the tomato sauce topping to the base
(NB you will notice in this photo that the base
 is already cooked I have tried making pizzas both ways and
find it better to add the topping and baking together
than baking the base first)
Peppers
Olives
Hot dog sausages, sliced
BBQ sauce
Small pieces of cooked chicken
Chillies, finely chopped
Sweetcorn
Spinach
Fresh basil leaves
Cheese (NOT OPTIONAL!)
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese
Feta cheese
Parmesan cheese

Method:
Base:
Adding the toppings

  1. Mix flour, sugar, yeast & salt in a bowl. 
  2. Add oil and warm water and mix well.
  3. Spread out on to a greased pizza tin. (Depending on the thickness of the base you require and how large the pizza it may make a few pizzas)
Tomato Sauce Topping:
  1. Heat the oil in a pan and gently fry the garlic and basil until the aroma fills the room.
  2. Add the tin of tomatoes and heat gently until simmering.
PIZZA:
  1. Once you have the topping and dough made you need to put it altogether to create a pizza. So spread tomato sauce on top of the round of dough on the pizza tin.
  2. Add various toppings (as above).
  3. Top off with cheese and further herbs if required.
  4. Bake in the oven on Gas Mark 5 or 190C for 20-25 minutes until it looks ready to eat...
  5. .....ENJOY!!!!!!!!



PIZZA with guerkins, peppers, hot dog sausages, mushrooms and BBQ sauce


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Old adventures... in Rotorua!!

I have one distinct memory of Rotorua and that is the EGGY SMELL!

It is a highly active geothermal area which smells sulphurous (AKA eggy!)...and this is where I was a year ago today. You would not expect to get such interesting colours and features in nature.

Waiotapu, New Zealand - The Champagne Pool

To see some of my other photos of the Lady Knox Geyser and other interesting geothermal features see my original blog post on ROTORUA.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Red Roadside Rambler

On my Friday morning walk to work, the roadside is lined with various plants and grasses, which I must say is quite overgrown but I often admire some of the beautiful plants in the verge.

This is the red roadside rambler....


...one morning it had rained overnight and there were still a few drops on the waxy surface of the leaves...


Friday, 12 July 2013

Plum & Banana Smoothie





Ingredients:
8 Plums
2 Bananas
Splash of Milk (as required) or Yoghurt or Apple Juice
2 tbsps Oats
1 tbsp Honey


Method:

  1. Chop the bananas & chop and de-stone the plums.
  2. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth, if the mixture is too thick add more liquid ingredients to it and re-blend.

ENJOY as a healthy breakfast or snack!


Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Old Adventures in... Prea


This is photo taken in a small village called Prea on the north-east coast of Brasil. The sea and the clouds created this amazingly atmospheric sunset. We were visiting the small church in the village for a few days at Easter 2005. 

This beach is actually the main highway for tourists wanting to get to the very beautiful village of Jericoacoara...

Monday, 8 July 2013

Fun Fungi

Last weekend we went on a walk with my mum, we saw this amazing fungi growing on a fallen tree trunk, it was huge and so beautiful.

Fungi

Sunday, 7 July 2013

FOODY WIMBLEDON special recipe


Fruity Pimm's and Lemonade
Pimm's Cup
(Image link: www.wikipedia.org,
Author: whitneyinchicago,
31 Oct 2012, accessed 15 Feb 2014
)

Ingredients:
250ml Pimm's
1 litre lemonade
Strawberries
Cherries
Grapes
(or any fresh fruit that you wish)
Handful of fresh mint


Method:
  1. Chop the fruit in half and de-stone or de-seed.
  2. Place fruit in a large jug and pour over the Pimm's then the lemonade.

Drink during a summer BBQ especially with the Wimbledon final on the TV in background.

COME ON MURRAY!!!!!!!




Friday, 5 July 2013

Molten-centred Chocolate Cakes



Molten-centred Chocolate Cakes


Ingredients:
55g soft tub margarine
55g caster sugar
1 large egg
85g self raising flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
55g plain chocolate


Method:
  1. Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 5 or 190C.
  2. Put margarine, sugar, egg and flour into a bowl and beat together.
  3. Spoon half of the mixture into paper bun cases.
  4. Break chocolate into even bits and place a piece of chocolate into the centre of each bun.
  5. Spoon the rest of the mix on top of the chocolate.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until risen.
  7. Serve warm.

Serve with vanilla or chocolate ice cream.






Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Statues

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

...STATUES

I was struggling for inspiration until down in the City Park a few weekends ago for the awesome Bradford Festival I noticed that the City Hall is adorned with... STATUES of the past kings and queens.

King Edward VI

Queen Victoria

Bradford City Hall adorned in STATUES!

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