Thursday, 31 May 2012

Project 366 152/366

Took a stroll along the other end of the river heading in to the town this evening. Walked under the railway bridge, looked up, and quite liked the pipes that run over head along the length of the bridge.




Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Project 366 151/366

Sat this morning at my friends house, on a bench under her arch that holds her clematis, looked up above me, and took this photograph.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Project 366 150/366

Working on a theme of "from a different angle" this week, quite how this is going to pan out I don't know.....but today this was half fallen branch is hanging jammed in a tree, you don't normally see the wood grain when taking photos of trees...therefore from a different angle. - get the idea??


Granddaughters on West FM




Here is a copy of a photograph taken by my granddaughter and it was up on West FM Facebook page. (They have changed it since) They were looking for pictures of Ayrshire to pop on their page, and so far chose this one. She goes to Culzean fairly regularly as Culzean is her little brothers name, and he thinks it is brilliant having a castle names after him.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Project366 149/366

Not really anything to do with the theme I had planned, but going up anyway.



Sorry if it upsets any of you, but RIP little dog,you will be missed.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Project 366 148/366

These have put on a good burst with the sun we have had,here they are staring longingly out the window at the garden wondering when they will be big enough.

The seven surviving sweetcorn out of the twenty four I started off 

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Project 366 147/366

This one speaks for itself really, having said that yesterday when we parked the car at the vet, it was 31 so positively chilly today.



and its still nature,cos the sun caused it

Friday, 25 May 2012

Project 366 146/366

Was out wandering around with my camera today, took a couple of good pics, but then thought the idea would do for a theme next week. Took some of ducks and swans but the reflections were not quite right so I was not happy with any of them, six months ago they would have been good, now they are not.

But spotted this round the edge of the pond and thought it that bit different.

exposed tree roots

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Project 366 145/366

a college of garden flowers in their tubs

The Versatile Blogger Award




I have been tagged by two people for this, Emma over at The Mini Mes and Me she is a fellow project 366er and Kelly at Writings, Ramblings and Reviews who is like me part of the Sainsbury's Bank Blogger Network, and to be entitled to keep this award I have to share five random facts about me with you....so after much thought and deliberation I give you



dont you recognise me??
1) I did a bungee jump for charity twenty years ago. It was something I always fancied doing so when they came to my home town I decided to give it a go. All went well till I got to the top and made the mistake of looking down.......and then realised just how high up one hundred and eighty feet is....but I had £485 in sponsor money for the local special care baby unit riding on my jumping...and eventually I did...in one respect it was awful, in another very exhilarating. Would I do it again? Having witnessed one that went horribly wrong and getting covered in blood from the injuries of the jumpers then most definitely NO.




2) I hate sp****s, those horrible crawling eight legged things that lurk around the places looking for arachnophobics to jump out on. They don't care if your in the bath as they crawl across the ceiling, or doing something vitally important on your laptop as they run across the floor towards you, Im sure I must have a label round my neck visible only to these eight legged things.



me in the red at a party with other volunteers
3) I was a volunteer in a Urban Aid funded community project when my own children were young. At the time we lived in what was classed as an area of deprivation, though don't think my kids ever saw themselves as deprived. I had huge amounts of fun and got a great deal of personal satisfaction out of doing it. Back in those days two or three adults could accompany upwards of a hundred kids on a bus trip to a swimming pool, you could physically interact with the kids, pick them up, carry them, chuck them in rivers and you were seen as normal not perverted.





same child at 14 with a bin lid on her head and trouser legs on her arms


4) I had a nervous breakdown in my twenties, brought on by an accumulation of little bits and pieces, from having a premature child that NEVER stopped crying at night for nearly four years, the same child being entitled to DLA and carers allowance due to her complex needs, and who I will readily admit I was on the verge of shutting up with a cushion at four weeks old as I could not take any more from her. There was more to it than that but thank goodness for friends is all I can say.




my eldest, niece and nephew and a child minded child
5) I was a registered child minder for nearly fourteen years when my own children were young. I could not hold down a job back in the day bosses were not as tolerant and understanding as they are now. So I earned money by looking after other peoples who slotted in with my own.








Now I am suppose to tag five other people here, but I dont like doing that and they dont always respond so I will pass this bit

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New look Lactofree product review


Lactofree advertise themselves as "say yes to dairy without the lactose".

Their website has a host of useful information covering topics such as discovery, products, stockists, and restaurants.

I like their website, it is easy to manoeuvre, you can read other peoples stories and find tried and tested recipes.

I was sent a goody bag the other week with some nice bits and pieces in, a latte mug, a canvas shopping bag, some milk sachets and some vouchers.

I buy their cheese and spreading cheese all the time as I find them useful items to have in my fridge, from toast to a sandwich, spreading on biscuits to using in sauces or other cooking. So I used the vouchers for some things I never normally use out of their range, the milk and the cream.

Their range is expanding and they have added butter and individual cartons of milk, which is handy to pop in a bag to take out and about with you.

Usually I use soya milk for my milk needs as I have a psychological hatred of drinking milk, lurking back to primary school, and only use it in recipes and as I make my own soya milk for cooking with I dont actually buy anything other than normal milk for OH.


I bought some milk and made a fruit mousse with it, recipe can be seen here, also used milk for custard which is handy as hubby moans ( if he sees me) using soya milk for his custard so usually if he is hovering around the kitchen I need to make separate stuff.









The cheese is handy in bread, cheese pastry, pizza, quiche, plus of course scrummy yummy cheese on toast.

th layered meringue
I tried the cream for the first time, it whips up a treat and tastes just like normal stuff with none of the pain as an after effect. I used the cream to make a jubilee meringue with as you can see here.







I also tried the yoghurts . These come in a four pack of two raspberry and two strawberry. They were a pleasant tasting yoghurt, sweet without being too sweet, fruity and pleasant and very easy to eat, again with no of the after effect. They make a pleasant change from soya yoghurt, which again I make not buy as I prefer my own. Must admit I would use the milk to make my own yoghurt with but could not risk it being given to the grandson in error by somebody else so I wont.


My opinion; the product is handy to have, nice for a change from soya with none of the pain and discomfort I have come to associate with dairy.

I was sent a goody bag from Lactofree with no obligation to write about them, but as I like them I have done

Project 366 144/366



I was visiting an elderly friend  earlier who lives on a sheltered complex, and I saw Eleanor out sorting her seeds, so continuing the nature theme this week, I thought what better than the old planting the new?

A nice useful win.



Dalani had been running a series of competitions in March, and I was luck enough to win the one run by Anwen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mummy, and I said I would let her know what I had chosen.

I decided that really what I needed most was some items to use for my foodie photographs, and they had some very nice items, and eventually I chose



a small red baking dish



a green mini bowl

a blue ramekin
a pink ramekin


a blue oval baking dish
and eventually I got the last bit of my order through, these were all ordered on 4th April so I have waited a while. They are not quite the size I had thought they would be, but I want them for photographs not drying dishes so they will be fine. 

For those of you who follow my blog you will have seen these taking a starring role already in a lot of posts.

Orange and Redbush Yogurt from Provamel Review

I was asked if I fancied doing  review on this new yoghurt from Provamel. Now I must admit if there is one thing I feel is wrong on this planet is milk and orange together, we all now one makes the other curdle and I have never fancied the idea, but I thought as soya yoghurt is not dairy based I had to give it a try.




PROVAMEL’S ‘BOTANICAL’ RANGE GETS A ZESTY BOOST
WITH NEW ORANGE AND REDBUSH FLAVOUR

Provamel is excited to announce the launch of a delicious Orange and Redbush flavour fusion – the latest addition to its ‘botanical’ range of soya yogurts which hit shelves last year.
 
Bringing together natural herbal remedies with great-tasting fruits, the ‘botanical’ range was the first ever yogurt of its kind, with its unique Apple and Green Tea (500g) and Lime and Lemon Balm (500g) dairy-free flavour combinations. Orange and Redbush (500g) is set to follow suit this spring, with a mouth-watering flavour brought to life by zesty oranges and aromatic Redbush.

Commonly consumed as a tea, Redbush, or Rooibos, is known for its high level of antioxidants and is packed with vitamins and minerals. Redbush has traditionally been used to help treat a variety of health conditions, from skin allergies, stress and sleep problems to indigestion.

It complements the existing range of delicious plant-based products in the organic Provamel range, which includes soya milks, oat and almond milks, soya alternatives to yogurt, soya shakes, desserts, cream and custard.

Provamel’s new Orange and Redbush flavour is now available from all independent and major health food stores with an RRP of £1.55.


So what did I think?  The yoghurt was actually very pleasant, no real hint of orange just a nice fruity undertone. The redbush came through as the dominant flavour, and I love rooibos so for me it had to be a winner. Overall a very pleasant flavour.  Would buy it if I was in the market to buy yoghurt. ( I make my own)

This is a review post for which I received the pot of yoghurt to try. 

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Gluten free picnic food post 2

I had done a post earlier this month with some gluten free food suitable for a jubilee picnic, and have made more since so thought I would update you.

Tofu Frittata


  • I soaked some dried onions and dried tomatoes in water for 30 minutes before I started making.
  •  Peel, slice and cook 4 medium potatoes
  • cook 2 oz frozen peas
  • fry off the peas and potatoes with the drained onions and tomatoes, add 1 teaspoon paprika and salt and pepper to taste. 
  • mix 4 eggs with 50ml milk and pour onto potato mix 
  • add 4oz grated cheese and 6oz tofu
  • cook gently until eggs set and slice once cooled
  • serve with a salad




Tofu potato salad


  • peel and cube 4 potatoes and cook until soft
  • meanwhile chop a medium sized red onion up, cube a box of tofu and mix and cover the two to allow the tofu to pick up the onion flavour
  • cook 4 oz frozen peas
  • drain potatoes and peas and rinse in cold water
  • mix all together in a large bowl and season to suit









following the biscuit recipe here, except I used Wilton Gel colour and I rolled the 3 colours out, stacked them up, added some sultanas, rolled them swiss roll style and sliced into catherine wheels











These next two are more suitable for a street party rather than to take on a picnic,


Mousse


  • split 1.5 pints of  milk into 3 equal parts, and colour 1 part blue and 1 red.
  • using the red milk add 20g dried raspberries or 2 oz fresh ones
  • bring to a the boil and add 1 oz sugar and 1 heaped tablespoon agar flakes
  • cool in a jelly mould
  • once red jelly cooled make the white using the same method as with red using coconut instead of raspberries
  • pour on top of red and leave to cool
  • once cool make blue milk with blueberries and blue Wilton Gel colouring. I had no blueberries so I used tin pears instead. I used the hand blender to whisk up the pears into the warm milk and this made for a much lighter mousse than the other two colours, would do this with all of them next time.
 






Meringue - you can see how I made this here, remember this would also work egg free if you have an egg allergy

`

*closed* Little Dish shoes giveaway

This giveaway has been organised by Sainsbury's Bank Car Insurance  as part of the Sainsbury's Bank Family Blogger Network.



Little Dish are are very proud to be the partner for this year’s Barnardo’s Big Toddle.We’re going to be running lots of exciting activities promoting  the Barnardo’s Big Toddle up and down the country to try and get as many little ones as possible taking part. 

The Barnardo’s Big Toddle is an exciting ‘mini’ sponsored walk for toddlers. Now in its 16th year, it is the biggest fundraising event in the UK for under 5s and already attracts an amazing half a million children. All the money that Barnardo’s receives from this event goes towards helping some of the UK’s most vulnerable under 5s. More importantly, it’s a fun and memorable way for young children to help those who need it. Put simply, it lets children help other children. Each year there’s a dressing up theme for the Barnardo’s Big Toddle. This year Barnardo’s are encouraging children to dress up as their favourite superhero and help save the day.

Anyone can set up their own toddle by registering online here



Little Dish are the UK’s leading fresh children’s food company. To promote their partnership with Barnardo’s they will be selling special packs of Chicken and Butternut Squash Pie with a pair of toddling shoes for just £5. The limited edition packs will be available in Sainsbury’s from Wednesday 23rd May for 10 days only. Proceeds from the sale will go to Barnardo’s.



Now I have four pairs of these toddler shoes to give away, one pair to each of four lucky winners.Giveaway supported by Sainsbury's and Little Dish.

To enter the competition please fill in the rafflecopter entry form below. Please note the three choices of shoes sizes are small (4/5), medium (6/7) and large (8/9).


a Rafflecopter giveaway Never used rafflecopter before?


    • log in to Rafflecopter with your Facebook account or your email address and...
    • ...enter the draw up to 3 times by leaving a blog post comment, tweeting about the giveaway or ‘liking’ the blog post.
    • The more times you enter the better your chances of winning.
    • The winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page. Entrants must state the required size.





ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Project 366 143/366

Monday, 21 May 2012

Project 366 142/366


We had lovely weather today so thought we would sit out the front in the sun and make daisy chains. We stretched this one from the front door to the lamp post, kept the adults amused the kids got bored and wandered off.

The Boy and Me is going for a theme this week, Exploring Nature, so as I had taken daisy picture will see what else I can come up with for the rest of the week on the theme. 

Took some nice pictures today, so thought I would share the rest with you.

video


TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Project 366 141/366

The dog has not been keeping well, one of the problems is she is taking seizures, It is difficult to watch her every second of the day and night but we need to record her seizures.

So  hubby found a dog collar and a fishing warning bell and put it on the dog so that is we are not watching her then we can at least still hear her. She doesn't look to pleased about it as she is not use to wearing a collar all the time, but needs must.




Jubilee baking - My crowning glory

I made biscuits yesterday which required egg yolks, so I was left with 5 egg whites and decided  I would make meringues with them.

Now on the theme of jubilee baking I decided red/white/blue had to be in keeping with the jubilee theme, so having got my thinking cap on I did some internet searching and found this picture and decide to try and recreate it as best I could. How much more regal could I make?



I made the meringue then use the Wiltons gel to colour one third red and one third blue and cooked the three pieces in three six inch baking tins lined with greaseproof paper. I prefer meringue made in baking tins rather than individually piped as they stay nice and gooey in the middle.

I layered them up with cream piped in between. I used Lactofree cream as I cant eat normal cream, and it whips up just the same, and also used blueberries, pears and strawberries as a red, white and blue fruit in the layers as well.

So I give you my crowning glory






from the top





the unpiped side so you can see the layers. 



the piped side with fruit



Deliberately only piped and added fruit to some of the edge to enable me to get a better photograph. 



Remember if you have an egg allergy you can also make this egg free, would look fabulous either way on a party table.

Ingredients

 for meringues

4 egg whites
220g caster sugar
Wiltons red gel colouring
Wiltons blue gel colouring

 Filling
strawberries
blueberries
tinned pears
1/2 pt whipping  cream
2 tablespoons sugar


whisk egg whites until stiff, add half of caster sugar and whisk again till stiff, then fold in remaining sugar.

Split into 3 portions, adding blue colouring to one portion and red to another, leaving third white. 

Place each portion into a lined 6 inch sponge tin.

cook for 1hr at 120 oC , then switch oven off and leave for 2 hrs for a gooey result or overnight for crisper

When  ready to serve decorate whip cream and sugar together to stiff peaks, lay red meringue on a serving plate adding cream and blueberries, then place white one on top. add more cream and top with sliced pears and then place the blue layer on top. pipe cream round to look like a crown and decorate each cream curl with a sliver of strawberry, place a whole strawberry on the top and serve.





Saturday, 19 May 2012

Project 366 140/366

I had to go into the town the other day, something I avoid doing unless I really have no choice. Whilst there I walked past The Pound Shop and saw them advertising union jack cake stands for sale. I had been looking for union jack cake cases and thought I would look at their full range of items.

I decided against the cake stand as I really only wanted items for photographic purposes and decided this would not suit my purposes. I went instead for paper plates and cake cases with cocktail sticks with buses, phone boxes, guards and post boxes. Will use them in the next week or so for something nice.




I saw the phone boxes and the bus...and saw windows...and thought lollibop biscuits.....so I had to give it a go. So blame my shopping for my mad post today.

Jubilee baking - a bus crash and vandalism.

I have headed my post this way as the first set of results looked like the bus had run into the phone box, read on for a laugh.

Have been looking to make a few Jubilee themed products,and I decided I would try something a bit different. I bought a set of cake cases the other day which had small cake adornments two of which were a telephone box and a red London bus on cocktails sticks, and this inspired my fun today.  I also decided instead of spending money on buying cutter for my biscuits I would attempt to make them by myself.

So first off I made some biscuit dough, using the basic biscuit recipe from BBC Good Food site in the traditional red. white and blue theme in keeping with the celebration in hand.

Ingredients
  • 250g butter , softened ( Iactually used trex as it is white not yellow and takes the colours better)
  • 140g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk *
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300g plain flour * 
* see notes at bottom

 Method


  • Mix 250g softened butter and 140g caster sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, 
  • then add 1 egg yolk and 2 tsp vanilla extract and briefly beat to combine. 
  • Sift over 300g plain flour and stir until the mixture is well combined - you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together.
This mix is easier to handle if you put in the fridges for an hour before using.


I coloured the dough by using gel colours which I  mixed in with the egg yolk when making the dough.

Next up I pulled off some templates off the net for a very simple bus and phone box and printed them out, cut them out and got started.



I used the red dough to start my masterpiece.



First off the bus


using the template
on the baking tray



filled in windows



cutting round the template








cooked
and then the telephone box

The windows are filled in with crushed clear mints. Mental note to self next time don't bash the mints to pieces at 7am when the rest of the household is sleeping.



a crashed bus
Once they were cooked I left them to cool for a few minutes and then removed the bis from the tray, as it was still warm it look like it had run into a phone box. Not the best photo going but I went out earlier to do a favour for OH and he ate it before I got back despite being told I needed to photograph it.
the broken phone box
So I left the phone box on the tray until it had cooled, but by then it had well and truly stuck, and it now looks like its been vandalised




So I got my thinking cap on and OH suggested making them in greaseproof paper, so version two were done it the same method, but made and cooked on the paper to make it easier to peel them off once cooled.

This time we had more success and they came out whole. Were difficult to photograph but here are the finished results. The crushed mints make great windows.

yeeeeehhh  it worked

and the phone box as well




Next with the red white and blue I rolled them out and layered then up with dried fruit soaked in red wine in between the layers, just make sure you press them down before you flip it over when building up the layers or you end up with a pile of dried fruit all over your work top rather than in between the layers. Once all the layers were in place I rolled them up swiss roll style, sliced and cooked them.

the swiss roll biscuits


I kept some of the layered biscuit mix and used a biscuit cutter to cut them out, and cooked them up as normal.  Cooked three of these for photographing, rest are raw in the freezer, and time I came back OH had eaten the other two of these as well.


the layered biscuit





This post is being entered into the Homemade by Fleur, Blogging Jubilee Baking Competition, sponsored by Appliances Online.




Whilst I was baking and had the oven on anyway and daughter No2 was coming for tea and had seen the posting on the bread earlier in the week I made more bread.

oops it split as it swelled



I rolled out the 3 colours of bread and layered them up as I did with the biscuits and rolled them up into a swill roll as well, and set them to have the second raising.The only difference between this and my earlier lot was I had no bacon so I grated half a smoked pork sausage in between the layers and squashed it in a bit. Now for all I had set this for its second rising, I appear not to have been thinking, cos as it rose it split... Cooked it as a swill roll and cooked it afterwards.

but it cooked up looking yummy




















risen and stuck together
cooked
Some of the other I blobbed into a load tin as you would a swirl cake and left it for its second rising as well.








  * This recipe works equally as well with Gluten free flour, just add 1 teaspoon of glycerine, also works using egg replacer instead of egg

If you want to give them a try and want an easier option there are sets available, I found one set here  but I am sure you could find other stockists.