Saturday, 5 January 2013

The beauty of food ... and a change in direction

I don't know about you but we seem to have a handful of things we cook regularly and especially in our London lives, those didn't alter much at all due to lack of time etc.  Now we live here and I have the time to experiment a lot more with new recipes, I am pleased to say our meals have become a lot more interesting!  I am not into complicated recipes, so it's always nice to find dishes that are tasty but easy to make.  Today, I baked an apricot & almond cake - yummy!  It could have done with slightly shorter in the oven but tasted lovely - we'll definitely repeat this one!

 And for our dinner I made spinach & ham stuffed pancakes topped with a Roquefort sauce...also very tasty if quite filling and probably not exactly New Year's diet-friendly ;-) It could easily be adjusted to make it vegetarian and I guess could be slimmed down by using less cheese.  We had it with a simple salad and it really didn't need anything else...apart from a lie-down afterwards :-)  Very tasty though and I dare say this will be added to our list of favourites!

Looking at my blog and the individual posts, I realise that I do mainly write about my favourite thing - FOOD!  This may warrant a change in blog name because although I do watch the pond and still very much value the little things, this has now somewhat morphed into a food blog.  Not a bad thing at all but I should really make a few changes, create a library of recipes and keep any posts relating to other subjects under a different heading.  I'll have to see how I can do this but watch this space!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

New Year, new post

Happy New Year!  As you can tell, one of my resolutions was to finally post on my blog which has been shamefully neglected over the last few weeks!

Christmas was spent with family and was peaceful and happy.  We had agreed not to give sibling presents and had asked Father Christmas not to overdo it and that worked very well.  It was all about spending time with loved ones, sharing meals etc - perfect!  I had made a Christmas cake with my own decorations for the family and was quite proud at how it came out.

 New Year's Eve was low key for us - until the dog got scared by the fireworks and we ended up staying up until 2am after all.  Luckily, he calmed down eventually, bless him.

I love the start of a new year!  It's a good time to put plans into action and whilst a lot of resolutions eventually fall by the wayside, I think they do help to focus the mind on what we'd like to achieve.  I want to continue making food from scratch and have already begun doing so - a large bread dough is currently rising and I have mixed my first-ever sourdough starter (he's called Sergei - might as well name him as he hopefully will be part of our lives for a long time). :-)  We have also continued with our quest not to waste food and I made some bubble & squeak cakes for lunch on 1st January - served with cold ham and lettuce it made for a very satisfying meal.  I guess food will again feature quite prominently on my blog this year...

I am looking forward to starting out veggie gardening again - after last year's dismal harvest, we are going to invest in a greenhouse.  That way I am hoping to keep the critters out and have my plants grow nicely.  Also, they are unlikely to drown!  The weather has been shocking in 2012 - apparently the wettest on record!  We were lucky enough not to experience any flooding (spare a thought for those who did!) but in terms of gardening and growing food it really wasn't great.  But, after the initial "I'll never bother growing anything ever again", with the new year out comes the ever optimistic veggie gardener who thinks that it cannot possibly be quite so bad again this year.  And so I am already planning what seeds to get, how to organise the greenhouse etc...

Other resolutions?  After successfully completing my knitted winter hat, I will try and make some more things.
 Featuring high on my wish list is a black corduroy skirt...note that I have never attempted to make a skirt, so it'll be interesting to see the outcome...  My lovely husband also gave me a taster wood turning course for Christmas as well as the chisel I have always wanted, so I will try my hand at making a bowl or platter.  I can't wait to get started on this new project but will have to be patient as the course won't be for at least another couple of months yet.

So, with all these resolutions and projects, I hope that 2013 will be a happy, fulfilling and healthy year and wish the same for everyone out there, wherever you are!