Sunday, 28 November 2010

Minus WHAT??

Yep, that's minus five. Brr. But look at the gorgeous festive snow-capped apples!

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Let it snow, let it snow...!

It's funny - I started this blog with photos of sloe gin and snow, and now I've posted about sloe gin again and here I am with more photos of snow! We had an inch or so on Friday night down at my parents' house in Somerset, so we were greeted by a winter wonderland in the morning!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Weekword: Lacuna

Carmen chose this week's word - lacuna. It means a gap or a hole, and as soon as I saw it was this week's Weekword this photo popped into my head. It isn't even a recent one - I took it on my country walk last month - but I really like it and I couldn't think of anything better! I can't believe just a month ago the leaves were on the trees and the sun was out!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Further eggsperiments...

I'd seen silicone poach pods in Lakeland but thought they were a bit expensive at £5 for a pack of two - and then I saw them in Poundland (I'm so classy...) and obviously they were just £1 for two! So I bought some, and had a go at poaching an egg for my post-run supper. I think I started off with the hob on too low a heat, as the egg took forever to cook, but once I turned it up a bit it was fine. I put a lid on for about 30 seconds at the end, again to avoid any risk of runny egg white, and I ended up with a perfectly poached egg with a lovely runny yolk. Yum!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Baked eggs...

I'm really into tomatoey things at the moment - warming, slightly spicy tomatoey things packed with veg. Add a few chick peas and it's heaven on a plate! So this evening I decided to make baked eggs - I started off making a spicy ratatouille-type base with onion, courgette, aubergine, tomatoes, chick peas and some chilli and garlic. Then I put that into a warmed baking dish and cracked a couple of eggs in, and baked it all in the oven for about 20 minutes. The yolks were slightly overcooked - I could have taken it out maybe three or four minutes earlier - but I have a bit of an aversion to runny egg white and I didn't want to risk it! It was gorgeous, though - I'm absolutely stuffed and it's all good veg and protein!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Weekword: Rock

I'm late with my Weekword homework! I may have sneakily changed the date of this post to Friday, but it's actually Sunday. But I have mitigating circumstances - my sister came to stay on Friday and I've had a really horrible cold, so I haven't had much time or inclination for blogging.

Anyway, on to Weekword. Maria chose 'rock' as this week's word and it was a bit of a challenge! When I was little I used to collect rocks, pebbles and crystals - every time we went to the beach I'd spend ages finding interesting rocks (luckily one of our favourite beaches, Seaton, was made entirely of pebbles) and looking for fossils, and if I found a rock I liked in the garden or the playground or just out and about, it'd go straight into my pocket and into my collection. When we left primary school, everyone in the class was allowed to choose an Eyewitness Guides book as a leaving present, and I chose Crystal & Gem.

Unfortunately I don't have my childhood rock collection now, and living in a city it's quite hard to find interesting rocks to take photos of! So I thought 'I know, there's a sweet shop down the road - they'll have sticks of rock and I can take a photo of those!' But the sweet shop didn't have any rock. This was the closest thing I could find...

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Wet, cold and miserable...

...and that was just England's performance! We braved the Wembley drizzle to watch England play France, but unfortunately the England players forgot to turn up, so they had some Sunday league chaps take their place. We did eventually remember how to play football, but sadly it took 85 minutes for us to do that and by that point it was a little bit late! Oh well, it was good to be at Wembley anyway, and we had brilliant seats. The best bit of the evening was the fact that we got to our seats to find pieces of card which we were instructed to hold up during the National Anthem - with everyone holding up their cards, we made a giant St George Cross to send a message to the world that England loves football and England would be a fantastic place to hold the 2018 World Cup!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Foggy cobwebs...

I'm led to believe there was a frost this morning, but it had melted by the time I left the house. We still had lots of fog, though, and some rather pretty cobwebs!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Sluttish inspiration...

Earlier today I was wondering what to have for supper when I happened upon a post on one of my favourite blogs, Domestic Sluttery. Their squash, mushroom and chick pea bake sounded absolutely perfect for a chilly Autumn evening - and it was! It's really easy to make - I used portobello mushrooms, which looked fab and tasted even better, and I added a bit of rosemary and paprika to the roast veg. And I made a really simple sauce with a tin of finely chopped tomatoes, some black pepper and a hint of chilli. I had it with a couple of Quorn sausages, because I'm a bit of a protein fiend, and it was lovely and warming and filling and gorgeous!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Amusing sights...

Spotted this on my way to football this morning and it made me smile!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Back to the old skool...

Look at my new camera! It uses film and everything! I got a really good deal from a friend of mine who'd had said camera sitting in her attic for ages, so I'm now the proud owner of a Nikon F-401 plus two lenses and an external flash. I've had a bit of a go taking some photos just to test out the various settings, but I can't wait to go out and about with it!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Weekword: November

Carola chose this week's word, and very appropriate it is too seeing as we're smack bang in the middle of the month!

So far, November has looked like this most of the time:

And of course, one of the major events in November is Remembrance Day - in the UK we mark what used to be known as Armistice Day (the end of WWI) on November 11th, and Remembrance Sunday on the nearest Sunday to the 11th (this year it's the 14th). The Poppy Appeal is the Royal British Legion's Remembrance Day fundraising initiative and for the first two weeks of November you'll see a lot of people wearing poppies.

But as we get further into November, these are the sights that start springing up. I think all the London Christmas lights are now on, so the countdown to the big day is definitely beginning!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Monday, 8 November 2010

Oh it's getting wintry out there!

So the clocks went back just over a week ago, and it's now decidedly dark when I leave work, let alone when I get home! It doesn't seem like five minutes ago I was posting those '5.15pm and it's not quite dark!' updates and now here we are, going into winter again. Luckily I like autumn and winter, because my birthday, Bonfire Night and Christmas all come in autumn and winter, but even so, the temperature has dropped about 10 degrees in the last couple of days and it's getting really quite chilly!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Weekword: Abundance

Christine chose this week's Weekword and it's a great one!

'Abundance' immediately makes me think of food - it's quite apt for this time of year, because it makes me think of harvests and apple trees groaning with fruit. But abundance isn't something that often features in my own kitchen, as I'm cooking for one most of the time! This weekend, though, I'll be cooking for six or seven people and there is currently an abundance of fruit in my house - I'm planning to make Jamie Oliver's baked fruit so it's plums and nectarines a-go-go round here at the moment!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Before and after...

This is a bit of a smug self-indulgent post, so please forgive me!

Three and a half months ago, I weighed 11 stone 3 (that's 157lbs or 71kg) and I looked like this:

Yes, that photo was taken from a really unflattering angle, and that's mainly my dress sticking out, not my stomach, but it's safe to say I was mildly horrified when it popped up on Facebook! So I decided something had to be done. And as of this morning, I now weigh 9 stone 12 (which is 138lbs or 63kg)! Here's a photo of me taken last night - I'd just got back from a run, so excuse the red face! Pete and I also managed to set a new personal best for our 7.5-mile route - it's all good in the realms of health and fitness at the moment!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Risotto = yum

I haven't had risotto for ages, because I'd assumed it would never fit with my healthy eating regime. But then someone mentioned smoked salmon and cream cheese risotto, and when I logged it all on Food Focus it came out as about 480 calories per portion, which is perfectly acceptable! Smoked salmon is one of my favourite things to eat - it's delicious, it's good for you and because it's quite a strong flavour, you don't need to use too much of it. It's brilliant 'value for money' as far as calorie content goes! I used extra-light Philadelphia which made the risotto lovely and rich and creamy.

This week's Weekword...

Christine has chosen this week's Weekword, which is...ABUNDANCE.

If you fancy participating (you just need to post something relating to the word on Friday) then head over to Christine's blog and leave her a comment! And come back here on Friday to see what I come up with...
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