Friday, 31 October 2014

Celebrating Halloween Differently

Halloween = All Hallows Evening

A light in dark places
Halloween is celebrated on 31st October on the eve before All Saint's Day on 1st November. It is originally a Christian celebration to remember those dead saints and martyrs who came before us.

Unfortunately I feel that Halloween has become quite a dark festival where we celebrate "death" and things associated with darkness. We dress up as skeletons and vampires, paint blood on our faces and think about dark things. After nightfall in the UK children knock on their neighbours doors asking for sweets and money, threatening to trick you if you do not give them a treat. 

I do not like the intimidation that comes with people knocking on your door threatening to trick you if you do not give them a treat, although that is not the case for everyone but we all know there are some that will throw eggs at your windows and doors or do something unpleasant to trick you. In previous years, my husband and I have gone out on Halloween to avoid the pressures that trick or treaters bring. I also do not agree with celebrating darkness and negativity, so this year instead of buying sweets and chocolate to give out I bought nightlight candles.
The candles leading to my house

But why candles I hear you ask?

Well, I want to promote light in dark places. I am a Christian and believe that Jesus is "the light of the  world". I have been giving the children candles saying to them "I do not celebrate darkness but am giving you a candle to light at home to remember that there is also light in the world".

I also lit candles up to the door of my house to guide the trick or treaters to my house in light, rather than in darkness.

New Homemade Enchiladas Recipe

Fry the meat and vegetables with the spices


450g beef mince
1 onion, chopped finely
400g mushrooms, sliced
1 courgette, sliced and quartered
1 red pepper, chopped finely
1 carrot, cubed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 beef stock cube
200ml boiled water
1 tbsp tomato puree
8 tortilla wraps
200g grated cheese


  1. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4 or 180C.
  2. Fry the beef mince with the chillies, corianders and cumin for a few minutes until it is nicely browned in a large wok. 
  3. Add the chopped onion, mushrooms, courgette, carrot and pepper, fry for a few more minutes until beginning to soften.
  4. Mix the stock cube with the boiling water and add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes. Mix together well and add to the wok.
  5. Bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are all nicely cooked through.
  6. Place a large spoonful of the beef mix into each wrap, folding and placing into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  7. Add the grated cheese to the top and cook in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and browned on top.

Serve with nachos, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Yorkshire Sculpture Park - Autumn 2014

My family and I went on a day trip to Yorkshire Sculpture Park a few weekends ago, when we left home the weather was glorious so we arrived had lunch and then guess what...
...yeah, the heavens opened!!! 

After a little while it seemed to dry up a little, so we still managed to enjoy a bit of a walk around though it was muddy and wet. Here are some of the photos I captured...

Friday, 24 October 2014

Winter Porridge

As the winter draws in what is nicer than a warming winter porridge to fill your morning tummy. Very easy and quick to make it warms you from the inside out.

For one serving of porridge


1/4 cup of oats
1 cup of cold water OR cold milk (for the creamier taste) OR a mix of the both
Sprinkling of sugar (amount to your taste)

OPTIONAL: jam to put on top, golden syrup, dark brown soft sugar, demerara sugar


  1. Place the oats in the bottom of a small saucepan and pour over the liquid.
  2. Place over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until the porridge is boiling and has thickened.

Serve with a sprinkling of dark brown sugar, jam, golden syrup on top to make it even more delicious.

Monday, 20 October 2014

The Black Forest in Germany Summer 2014

This summer we visited the Black Forest region of Germany near to Titisee to see my younger brother and his family. Here are some long awaited snaps from our travels...

Breitnau, the village we stayed in

Luke rowing across Lake Titisee

A view from Breitnau

Beautiful Alpine flowers

Lots of firewood

A Black Forest View

The Worlds Largest Cuckoo Clock

The Cuckoo appears on the hour and half hours

Crazy Golf in Titisee

Titisee Town from the Lake

Floating in a Boat on Lake Titisee

Black Forest Gateau...the real one!

Our fabulous residence for the week

Scenic waterfalls

Friday, 17 October 2014

Vegetable Cottage Pie


1kg potatoes
75g butter
75g grated cheese

175g red lentils
1 leek, sliced
1 onion, chopped finely
500ml boiling water
vegetable stock cube
2 tomatoes, chopped finely
1tsp mixed herbs
4 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 200C or Gas Mark 6.
  2. Chop the potatoes into chunks and place in a pan. Fill pan with boiling water and boil for ~20 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  3. Mash the potatoes with the butter and cheese.
  4. Melt 50g butter in a pan (with a lid) on a low/medium heat and then add the leeks and onion. Stir for ~10 minutes or until soft.
  5. Mix the stock cube with the boiling water to create a vegetable stock.
  6. Add the lentils to the pan and coat with the melted butter before adding the stock. Place the lid on the pan and bring to the boil, lower the heat to simmer for 15 minutes or until the liquid has all been absorbed or evaporated. 
  7. Mix the chopped tomatoes, herbs and lemon juice into the lentil stew.
  8. Place the lentil mix into the bottom of a large casserole dish and top with the mashed potato.
  9. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Moving House - Summer 2014

Part of the reason this blog has been quite quiet this summer is due to the fact that we moved house in August as well as having other crazy life events happenings. Here are some moving day snaps, it's so bazaar watching all your goods being packed into the back of one of these...

Friday, 10 October 2014

Chocolate Banoffee Pie

As you will have realised if you're a regular follower of Foody Friday is that I LOVE CARNATION CARAMEL!

So I would like to share another recipe from the Carnation website...

Screen shot taken of Carnation website 6th Oct 2014 (LINK)

It is banoffee pie with extra decadence, this recipe is amazing, to try out the full recipe see the Carnation website.

My attempt at Chocolate Banoffee Pie

Friday, 3 October 2014

Colourful Couscous

Colourful Couscous


    A red pepper
    A small courgette
    100g green beans (frozen or fresh)
    100g sweetcorn (tinned or frozen)
    200g couscous
    4 tbsp sultanas
    1-2 tbsp olive oil
    500ml boiling water
    8 tbsp fresh orange juice


  1. Chop the pepper and courgette and slice the green beans finely.
  2. Steam the pepper, courgette, green beans and sweetcorn for 5 minutes.
  3. Place the couscous and sultanas in a bowl, pour over the boiling water and leave for 5 minutes for the couscous to absorb the water.
  4. Add the orange juice and steamed vegetables to the couscous and mix whilst fluffing up the couscous with a fork.

Serve as a dish on a buffet or as a lovely healthy lunchtime meal.

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