Thursday 29 November 2012

Project 366 334/366

It was rather a  frosty night here last night which led to a nice bright sunny if cold day today. Nothing melted where the sun didn't reach leading to some very wintry looking scenes.

loved the effect of this with the close up of the icicles with the trees and blue sky in the back ground. 

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Wednesday 28 November 2012

Project 366 333/366

I took part in a baking competition run in conjunction with Fairtrade over on Foodies 100 last month, I dint win, but got a consolation prize through today instead.

I was expecting a few baking goodies through...but what a pleasant surprise the package was.

Coffee, tea, different drinking chocolate powders, some nuts and raisins, a vanilla pod, some very yummy jelly beans as well as various bags and bars of chocolate and a tea towel,  as well as some recipe cards and some information leaflets.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Project 366 332/366

Had to go to Kilmarnock this afternoon, and as it was dry bright and sunny went for a walk round one of the town centre parks.

Thought I would share with you a small piece of Kilmarnock History

Quite an interesting bit in Wiki on the cholera outbreak, Kilmarnock comes under East Ayrshire.

Monday 26 November 2012

Green aniseed and chocolate cakes

Part of the items I chose from Healthy Supplies this month was green aniseed. I have always loved the flavour of aniseed, aniseed balls were my favourite sweets as a child, and so I set to work making cakes with it in. I also googled what other flavours compliments aniseed and one of them was chocolate, so I set about making green aniseed and chocolate cakes.

Green aniseed and chocolate cakes


4 oz Flora cuisine
4oz coconut sugar
2 eggs
8oz organic light brown S/R flour
1 teaspoon green aniseed
2 tablespoon green and black's cocoa powder
2oz choc chips.


1. Pre heat oven to 180oC and put 12 cake cases into a cake tin
2..Place flora, sugar eggs and flour into a bowl and mix together.
3.add choc chips and then split the mixture in half.
4.add the aniseed to one half and the cocoa powder to the other
5. 1/3 fill the cake cases with the green aniseed cake and then cover with equal amounts of chocolate.
6. cook for approx 12 mins until risen and brown.

the two flavours compliment each other very nicely. This cocoa powder is a strong bitter flavour that works well  in the sweetness of a cake.

Whisky soaked Sultana cakes


4 oz Flora cuisine
4oz coconut sugar
2 eggs
8oz organic light brown S/R flour
4 oz sultanas
4 tablespoons whisky


  •  soak sultanas in whisky for an hour or more.
  •  Pre heat oven to 180oC and put 12 cake cases into a cake tin
  • Place flora, sugar eggs and flour into a bowl and mix together. 
  • add whisky soaked sultanas and split between cake cases.
  • cook for approx 12 mins until risen and brown,

Makes for a very moist fruit cake with the sultanas having a nice seasonal flavour.

The highlighted items were supplied by Healthy Supplies, the recipe and ideas are all my own.

Project 366 331/366

Hubby and Son No1 went fishing today, and this was their combined catch.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Project 366 329/366

Had to go wash the car this afternoon, it is thick with mud due to the three lots of  building works happening round the corner, and wanted stuff for the tea so took a walk round the country estate before it got dark.

Like most areas of the country we have had more than enough rain lately. There is an awful  lot of debris built up at the waterfall, this pile of trees and branches was about 5ft high on top of the rocks.

Friday 23 November 2012

This months products from Healthy Supplies

Received my order from  Healthy Supplies today.

The vine fruits were bought because I have seen this recipe for chocolate minecmeat and fancied trying it, only I will make mine dairy free. Will use some in my mincemeat ice cream as well - here is last years post if you want to try it for yourself.  The blueberries and pomegranate are primarily for making muffins, to see of they explode the same as fresh ones.

The cocoa powder is for adding to cakes. Son No1 likes to use it in hot chocolate with cream and caramel sauce and I will also use as a dusting instead of icing sugar for a change. 

The coconut oil is for using in Christmas recipes as butter icing to create snowmen, snow and Santa's beard. I have seen Christmas recipes using whipped cream, but that's not an option in this house and I was racking my brains as to what I could use till I remembered this stuff and I can use it to make butter icing for the same effect.

Always order coconut sugar as it has so many uses apart from the obvious use in cakes. 
The mulled wine spices was a whim as we have quite a few bottles of red wine nobody is drinking. The green aniseed can be use in both sweet and savoury recipes and it is one flavour I could eat all day ever day, loved aniseed balls as a kid and still do to this day.

The carob is for doing into the mincemeat and probably on biscuits for Santa's elves in case any of them have allergies - bet none of you ever thought about this when you are putting out their snacks and chances are at least one of them will have. 

The roasted soya beans are for snacking on, I love them,

The no egg again is handy for meringue snowmen and  snow scenes.We did these last year if you want to see the post.  The tea bags were to see if they can help with IBS pains.

These products were chosen by me and supplied by Healthy Supplies and with them I make up recipes of my own choosing. 

Foodie Foto Friday - week 12

Foodie Foto Friday

It can be food you've made, food you've been served at a restaurant or just something nice that you've seen. There are just a few simple rules

  1. The photo must be of food
  2. Post the photo on your blog and add the badge below and come back here on a Friday and add to the linky
  3. Ideally the photo should be taken in the week leading up to the post
  4. Please DO NOT use the words 'nom, nom, nom' !

Today for this I give you home made pasta and veal in black bean sauce. Pasta recipe to follow.

Project 366 328/366

Been looking at a few Christmas menus this week on various blogs. So with that in mind I soaked some vine fruits in whisky for 6 hrs before I made some fruit cakes.

Just a bog standard cake mix.

Thursday 22 November 2012

Project 366 327/366

Had to nip into the supermarket tonight, and so I thought I may as well go and look at the Christmas lights while I was there. This is my fourth Christmas in this house and have never been and looked at the local lights before.

It was drizzling and the town was still very busy but these were outside one of the shops and I quite liked them. They were about ten feet tall and the photograph does not do them justice as they were flashing and very pretty.

I added the snowfall,which you will see better if you click on the picture, the snowman and the bottom border in picmonkey.

Keepsake Dolls - a review

the finished doll
I was offered a Keepsake Doll to review. These dolls are hand made by Danielle over at handmadeatholmes. Their clothes are made using a piece of your child's clothing so they are unique one off doll. They are totally individual dolls as you can see from the list of questions you answer before your doll is made.

the dress

Keepsake dolls
Please note these dolls are not CE compliant as they are sold as a keepsake rather than a toy

1. Please advise what doll you would like?

2. Have you a preference for hair colour – this is made from felt

3. What style of hair would you like short, bunches or plaits?

4. Is cream material ok for skin colour or would you like baby pink or natural?

5. Have you a preference for colours of material to match your outfit?

stitching on the arm

6. Please advise what outfit you will be supplying along with a photograph if possible

7. Is there anything on the outfit that you specifically want shown on the doll- i.e. emblem etc.

8. Do you want a skirt, dress, or just a soft bodied doll?

9. Do you want glasses added?

10. Please advise child’s name and any other details you want to be sewn onto the doll.

11. Do you want any off-cuts of the outfit returned?

18. The turnaround time for a doll will be seven days unless previously advised.

19. Once your outfit has arrived handmadeatholmes will contact you to confirm details

20. Any other comment or details please comment here

These dolls sell for £20 which as a unique keepsake makes them very good value for money and a brilliant Christmas present.

So what did we think of the doll?

She was very well finished, I loved the nice even stitching in a contrasting colour to the clothes. The stitching is made to be an intricate part of the finished item.

The dress was beautifully made with the item of clothing that we sent off with the instruction sheet filled in.

her pigtails and hair with a hair band in
The facial expression is well done and make the doll look very pretty, the hair is well attached with cute pigtails and I liked the finishing touch of my granddaughters name sewn onto the doll  under her dress.

I was sent the doll for the purposes of the review, but my findings are honest and not influenced by this.

Join a free scheme to get cheaper gas and electric.

Firstly can I point of this is not a sponsored post, so please keep reading, and it is open to anybody in the UK but act quick closes on November 25th.

To help drive down my heating costs I have been invited to join a scheme and hopefully achieve cheaper prices than I have now. The more people that register the cheaper the costs.

Let your friends and family in on this great opportunity!

Energy Auction to take place on 26 November

Dear Ms. Livingstone, 

You have registered, together with thousands of other participants, for Unison's Switch collective energy switching scheme. A smart move as together we are in an even stronger position to negotiate a very good deal for your energy. 

The auction will take place on Monday 26 November. From the 30th of November you will receive a personal offer – without any obligation - of the winning supplier. Should you decide to accept the offer, you will be able to benefit from a competitively priced energy contract.

The day after the auction, you can find information on the winning supplier's offer here.

Let others in on this opportunity. The more people join, the stronger our position to negotiate competitive prices. Let your family and friends benefit too by telling them about this collective switching scheme. They still have until 25 November to register. We have drafted an example e-mail for your convenience, to invite as many people as you like to join in – without any obligation!

Participate in this Collective Switching Scheme!

Registration is possible until 25 November

Recently I have registered myself for Unison's Switch collective energy switching scheme.
Why not join in the scheme and save on your energy bill as well?
Together we are in a better position to secure a more competitive energy deal. Participation is free and without any obligation. You can register via the link below.
With kind regards,
Elaine Livingstone

So why not join in and help us all out. Remember you are under no obligation to change of you dont feel you will benefit. It will be interesting to see if their price is cheaper than my current price.

I will also point out I get nothing put of you clicking the link, except cheaper heating costs. 

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Project 366 326/366

Went for a walk today as it was lovely for a change and passed this. Would have no problems getting through traffic jams driving this.

Project 366 325/366

Got this through as a prize today from a Real People competition.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Pop Party 10 - A great idea for a Christmas present.

Pop Party 10 is here!  The incredibly successful brand, now onto its tenth release, is back for Christmas 2012 with massive names and the best tracks of the year.

The album is packed full of chart-topping smashes from the biggest names in pop from Justin Beiber, Cheryl Cole, JLS to Katy Perry and  to name but a few. As always, the album features a bonus DVD packed full of great music videos which budding pop stars can dance along to. The album also includes lyric cards,

This is a must have stocking filler for Christmas 2012!

Pop Party 9 sold a fantastic 322k in 2011 getting to #1 in the compilations chart.

Track Listing:


1.       Psy
Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
2.       Carly Rae Jepsen
Call Me Maybe
3.       Maroon 5
4.       Tulisa
5.       One Direction
What Makes You Beautiful
6.       Justin Bieber
7.       Cheryl
Call My Name
8.       Ne-Yo
Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)
9.       Jessie J
10. Feat. Eva Simons
This Is Love
11.   Fun Feat. Janelle Monáe
We Are Young
12.   The Wanted
Chasing The Sun
13.   Rihanna
Where Have You Been
14.   Cover Drive
15.   Olly Murs
Dance With Me Tonight
16.   Katy Perry
Part Of Me
17.    Stooshe
Black Heart
18. Conor maynard
Cant say no
19.   Alyssa Reid
Alone Again
20.   Rizzle Kicks
Mama Do The Hump
21. JLS
22.   The Saturdays
30 Days


1.       Psy
Gangnam Style (강남스타일)
2.       Tulisa
3.       One Direction
What Makes You Beautiful
4.       Justin Bieber
5.       Cheryl
Call My Name
6.       Jessie J
7.       The Wanted
Chasing The Sun
8.       Cover Drive
9.       Olly Murs
Dance With Me Tonight
10.    Stooshe
Black Heart
11.   Alyssa Reid
Alone Again
12.   JLS
13.   The Saturdays
30 Days
14.   Justin Bieber
Behind The Scenes "Boyfriend" Video
15.   The Saturdays
30 Days - Behind The Scenes [Music Video]

We were supplied with a copy of the disc in return for this press release.

Monday 19 November 2012

Project 366 324/366

Decided it was to muddy to walk along the river due to all the rain we have been having lately so we went along the sea front instead. The high tide coincided with a high wind today, didn't seem that windy at our end of the town but got some nice wave crashing shots.

Managed to capture son No.1 getting soaked on video

and even the seagulls were struggling, he didn't even need to flap to stay up. he was just hovering above my head. 

but the sun did manage to just drop below the clouds enough to show how stormy the clouds were

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Using my products from Healthy Supplies

Rather than putting up separate posts all the time for some of the things I cook, some of the everyday things that really do not need a lot of explanation, I find it easier just to share some of the photographs.

 Fifi was ten last week and this was the cake she wanted to make. Can read more of it here  The 1 was made with gluten free flour and egg replacer, where as the 0 was just a normal sponge cake recipe using organic flour

We also made Auntie H birthday cake with the same mix as the 0 for Fifi's

Multi coloured mini muffins before they were decorated. I use carotino oil which gave the orange colour and cocoa powder for the chocolate half.

A bread and butter pudding done with a chocolate flavoured milk/egg mix with raisins in and coconut sprinkled on the top.

Rice cake topped with pumpkin seed butter and strawberries and crisp bread topped with sunflower spread and tomato. These spreads are great, made on the same principal as peanut butter with the same texture and very similar taste but nut free.

A chicken casserole with garlic salt and onion powder in to add flavour

A fruit barm loaf made with star anise added to the hot water and tea bag that the raisins soak in

 Gluten free Star anise and sultana cakes

Gluten/egg/dairy free pancakes topped with chia seeds and served with rice syrup.

chocolate pumpkin flavour cakes with tofu as an egg replacer

pumpkin bread, this and other pumpkin recipes are posted here 

sweet potato, potato, carrot and onion in a ham stock with pot barley in

Halloween cakes, are blogged about here 

Harissa spiced smoked pork sausage omelette

hedgehog cakes, blogged about here 

sweet potatoes, carrots, green beans, seaweed and black turtle beans casserole with onion salt. 

a ham end boiled for a stock with carrots and green beans and brown basmati rice

strawberry/blueberry/banana pureed in coconut water

upside down peach cake with a ground almond sponge topped with home made biscuits as blogged about here 

the right way up once turned out the tin

The linked items were supplied by Healthy Supplies, but the recipes and ideas are all my own.