Monday, 30 September 2013

Adventures in Wales in September - Walk from campsite

Luke's aim in life, to convert a derelict cottage

Brotherly pram love

Woodland walk

Sunset woodland walk

Fast flowing river

Old tree roots

River woodland ramble

Beautiful black brambles

Friday, 27 September 2013

Ruth's Beef Goulash

Beef Goulash


800g beef, diced
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
4 tbsps Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsps paprika
4-5 small carrots, peeled & sliced
2 peppers, sliced
600ml of beef stock
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
3 heaped tbsps flour
black pepper
2 tbsps oil


  1. Place the flour in a bag with a sprinkling of black pepper, place in the diced meat and toss until coated with the flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan until hot, place the flour coated meat and allow it to sizzle away until nicely browned.
  3. Put the meat into the slow cooker and fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes until beginning to brown.
  4. Add the beef stock, tinned tomatoes, paprika, tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce, mix & heat until simmering.
  5. Pour over the meat and add the carrots and peppers to the mix.
  6. Cook in the slow cooker on low for approximately 6 hours.
Serve with rice or garlic bread or potatoes and creme fraise or soured cream.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Old adventures . . . on the Isles of Scilly

Hugh Town Harbour, St Marys, Isles of Scilly

The Isles of Scilly are one of my favourite places on the earth for many different reasons, one being our honeymoon there in 2011.

The islands are about 30 miles off the coast of the mainland UK from Penzance. They have a very different climate to the UK, much warmer and stunningly beautiful.

The above photo was taken in the summer of 2006 when I went to the islands as a volunteer on a young people's holiday camp.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Peach Cupcakes

Peach Cupcake


1 normal sized tin of peach slices
115g butter
115g caster sugar
2 eggs
115g self raising flour

175g icing sugar
75g butter
few tbsps peach syrup or juice from the tin

Ready for the oven


  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180C.
  2. Chop the peaches into small pieces, saving a few slices for the decorations.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until light and fluffy.
  4. Fold in the flour and then the small pieces of peaches with a tbsp of the peach juice.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.
  6. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Fresh from the oven
  1. Put the icing sugar and butter in the bowl with a tbsp of the peach juice/syrup.
  2. Slowly cream together with a spoon, if necessary add another tbsp of peach juice until the required consistency is reached (stiff but liquid enough to smooth on to the cakes) and there are no lumps.
  3. Ice each cake using the back of the teaspoon to smooth it down.
  4. Chop the slices of peach left over to decorate the cakes.

The final products . . . peach cupcakes!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Old adventures . . . with a goat!

This photo was taken at sunrise near Lake Malawi, this goat has picked the perfect place to stand to soak up the early morning sun.

Goat on a house in Malawi

Monday, 16 September 2013

Elton John at the Leeds Arena

Last week, Luke and I had the privilege of going to see Elton John in concert at the opening of the new Leeds Arena.

Luke waiting for ELTON JOHN!

He was amazing!!!

It was very colourful....

The show!

Towards the end he came to the edge of the stage to sign people's tickets etc and we thought that was it, he'd finished. I was slightly disappointed as I had really wanted him to sing "YOUR SONG" which was OUR SONG. It was our first dance at our wedding a few years ago.

But then he came and did an encore finishing with YOUR SONG, the highlight of the evening for me.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Australian themed Leaving Party

Some friends of ours are moving to Australia to work with an amazing charity called Christians Against Poverty (CAP), so they had an Australian themed leaving party...

...I decided to go as a KOALA bear for the evening, wearing all grey and donning my handmade mask.

A smiley koala bear!

Christians Against Poverty is a charity which offers help and support to those who are in debt, they do an amazing work to enable people to become DEBT FREE. For more information their website is

Friday, 13 September 2013

Nectarine & Banana Smoothie

Ready to be blended
This has got to be one of my all time favourite smoothie recipes!!


4 nectarines
2 bananas
5 tbsps lemon yoghurt
1 tbsp oats


  1. Chop & de-stone the nectarines & chop the bananas.
  2. Add all the ingredients to the blender...and BLEND!
  3. Pour into glasses and...
...ENJOY a really sweet and refreshing smoothie.

Nectarine & Banana Smoothie

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Old adventures . . . chillaxing the Brasilian style

This photo was taken in my friends flat in Carlito Pamplona area of Brasil in 2004. This was Edson's way to chilax on an evening after work.

Oh how I miss swinging in my hammock whilst reading a book.

Edson chillaxing Brasilian style!

Friday, 6 September 2013

Slow cooked chicken surprise

Slow Cooked Chicken Surprise


1 whole chicken
2 large fresh chillies
2 onions
1 garlic clove
2 tbsps BBQ sauce
400ml chicken stock cube
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp paprika

Optional extras:
Carrots, Sweet potatoes, Peppers

1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp oil


  1. Halve the onions, place 1 half into the middle of the chicken and slice the other halves.
  2. Chop finely the garlic and chillies.
  3. Place the onion, garlic and half of the chillies into the bottom of the slow cooker, with any chopped optional vegetables.
  4. Smear the butter over the chicken and put the chicken on top of the vegetables and onions in the slow cooker.
  5. Sprinkle the rest of the chillies and half of the paprika over the chicken skin.
  6. Mix together the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, rest of the paprika, BBQ sauce and pour over the chicken.
  7. Leave in the slow cooker on high for the first hour and then on low for another 5-6 hours.
  8. Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for 5 mins before carving and serving.
  9. To make a gravy with the left over juices, mix the cornflour and oil together to form a dough in the bottom of a small pan.
  10. Add some of the juices and whisk with the cornflour & oil mix whilst gently heating over a low heat, after a few mins it will start to thicken, so gradually add more of the juices slowly continuously stirring.
Serve with rice or potatoes and a selection of seasonal vegetables.

NB If there are any leftover gravy after the meal you can add it to couscous over a pan to make some beautifully flavoured couscous!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Old adventures up... Mount Sinai!

When I was a student I had a few Egyptian friends, so one Easter we took the liberty of cheap accommodation and tour guides travelling around Egypt... it was great fun.

These photos are from a midnight expedition walking up Mount Sinai to view sunrise from the top!!! INCREDIBLE but a bit chilly!

Mount Sinai at sunrise

Me looking cold from the top of Mount Sinai at sunrise

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

5 secrets about myself...

I have been tagged by my sister-in-law, Maria In The Wood to share 5 secrets about myself...

  • I hide behind flowers

  • As a child I forgot to let go of my socks when throwing them down the stairs to my mum....OUCH!

  • I am going to see Elton John in concert tomorrow evening at the opening of the new Leeds Arena

  • God speaks to me vividly through my dreams

  • I love the smell of The Body Shop's Cranberry home fragrance oil which can only be bought around Christmas


Wow, I've just signed into blogger and I've had exactly 15,000 views on my blog since it started about 15 months ago...thanks for all you who regularly view my posts and listen to my occasional ramblings but for the 15,000th view I thought I would share some random photos of.....a DONUT PEACH and my DUSKY rabbit!

Inside a donut peach

Donut peach

Dusky, who looks a bit scruffy because he's molting lots at the moment


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