8 February 2016

Start the Day with a Strawberry Smoothie

The best way to start a busy week is with fruit.  I try and get in as much fruit as I can, and smoothies are definitely my favourite fruity snacks.

My youngest son has just started a paper round and is starving every morning.  Smoothies replace all the energy that he has used cycling in the cold.

 Strawberry smoothie
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup vegan yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 handfuls ice
  1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Serve in a large glass and enjoy.

7 February 2016

Clam Chowder

The weather has been cold and windy by the coast.  There have been days when only soup will really warm you up - and I don't mean insipid, watery broth, I mean proper wholesome chunky chowder.

I love clam chowder - it reminds me of ski-ing in Breckenridge.

The inspiration for my chowder came from the beautiful Spoon Fork Bacon Blog.  When I grow up, I want to take photos like theirs.

Clam Chowder

Serves 5 
125g butter
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 tin sweetcorn
1tablespoons thyme, minced
2 cups new potatoes, diced
1/3 cup plain flour
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tin clams
1 ½ cups milk
salt and pepper to taste
sourdough bread bowls (I wish)
 1. Melt butter in large casserole pan and add onion and carrot.  Fry for 5 minutes. Add leek and corn and continue to fry for an additional 2 - 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once onions and leeks are translucent, add thyme and potatoes and stir.
3. Sprinkle flour over vegetable mixture and stir well (make sure all of the flour lumps have been stirred out), about 2 minutes. 
4. Add the stock to the pan.
5. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 10- 15 minutes until it thickens (add more stock if it becomes too thick)
6. Gently fold in clams and slowly stir in milk
7. Allow mixture to simmer for 5-7 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings and serve hot (in hollowed out sourdough bread bowls, if you are lucky enough to have them).

Laaaaaaaazy Sunday

Join me on this windy day in wasting time on the web

Laters guys.  Have a great day xxx

6 February 2016

Fisherman's Soup

My youngest son loves fishing.  He takes it very seriously and is really rather good at it.  He fishes for the England Team and has travelled all over the country (and abroad) to follow his passion.  Not a bad hobby for a 13-year old boy.

The only problem is that it is flipping cold sat by the sea.  The wind attacks, the spray from the sea is like daggers on the skin and hands burn.  

The best way to stay warm is with soup, I have found, and this lovely butternut squash soup is a clear favourite.

It needs to be served straight from a Thermos Flask and the hands must be yellow from handling worms.

Fisherman's Soup - AKA Leek, Butternut Squash and Potato Soup

2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 leek diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
2 potatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
3 cups vegetable stock 
In a medium pot, saute the leeks in the olive oil for about 2 minutes.  Add the squash and potatoes and saute them for another minute. Add the vegetable stock and salt. Bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and cook them covered for about 20 minutes.
Puree the soup and taste it. Adjust seasoning if needed. 

Adventures with Toast

For about 2 years I have had this link from Bluebird Blog for Tartine / Pea Mash & Radish and today I finally made it.  

It was soooooooo  quick and yummy.  I will definitely make it lots more in the future.

The recipe really couldn't have been easier:

Pea & Avocado Mash 
1 half of a small shallot, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 ripe avocado, chopped
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
The juice of half a lemon
1 slice sourdough bread, toasted 
Butter or vegan spread

Combine diced shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, a pinch salt and water in a small saucepan. Add the peas and cook over medium heat until the peas are tender.  After about 5 minutes, take the saucepan off the stove and drain the peas.  Transfer the peas to a food processor and add avocado, lemon zest and the juice of half a lemon.  Mix together adding a splash of water if it is too thick.  Season with black pepper and a bit more salt. 
Spread on some buttered, toasted sourdough.

Radish and Sea Salt
1 slice sourdough, toasted 
4-5 radishes, thinly sliced
Some good quality butter or vegan spread (for a healthier option)
Sea Salt

Spread some butter or  vegan spread on the toast. Neatly arrange the sliced radishes on top of the toast; sprinkle with sea salt.

Yum yum yum

5 February 2016

The Wonderful World of Podcasts

I drive tons of miles with my job which means that I have a lot of dead time when I can't read, write, photograph or do any number of creative things that I would rather be doing.  Apart from a few Radio 4 shows, I am not much of a radio fan.  My music taste basically extends to Musical Theatre and 90s dance (I know!)  and neither of these please me when driving.

So what to do?

A few months ago I fell into the world of Podcasts and now I love them.  They are just the right thing for driving - informative enough to be interesting, short enough to cover most journeys, funny enough to be entertaining, thoughtful enough to make me feel clever.  Perfect.

I thought I would share my list with you, in case you also want to while away an otherwise boring drive.








All of these are free and all are available on iTunes.

Happy listening :)

1 February 2016

What I Thought About.......

I am starting a new set of posts on here which will share what I think about particular products.  Although I am a bit embarrassed to admit it, I am quite the opinionated consumer, so rather than keep it to myself, I thought I would share with you :)

I am no expert on anything really, but hopefully you will find these little reviews interesting.  I am not being sponsored by any brands to write these, but if ever that changes, I will let you know of course.

So for my first What I Thought About post I am reviewing Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief moisturiser.

I have just come to the end of this 50ml pot - it has lasted since 1 November and was used every day.

I loved this moisturiser.  I bought it at Gatwick Airport for about £27 on a whim.  I used to be really loyal to one brand (Clarins), but now I chop and change based on reviews.  This was reviewed on a a few beauty blogs so I decided to give it a go.  I am so pleased that I did.

The cream has a light, creamy jelly texture and is very lightly fragranced.  It goes onto the skin like a dream.  I have combination skin that is sometimes a little shiny and I was worried that this would be too greasy.  In fact, it was absorbed into my skin almost immediately and just left me with supple,  baby soft skin that was neither greasy or dry.

Compared to lots of moisturisers, this one is expensive, but it lasted well and my skin did feel great wearing it.  I hate it when my skin feels dry - I think it really ages me.  The blurb on the Clinique site says that this cream makes fine lines fade away but I can't say I noticed any difference.  It also promises vibrant well-being - and here I do agree - my skin did look well with this cream. 

I would definitely recommend this moisturiser if you have regular, problem-free skin, that just needs a good drink.

Please know that I was not paid in either product or cash for my opinions on this product.


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