Sunday, 20 May 2012

Caterpillars update ..

Our new additions seem to have settled into their new home very well. Sadly one didn't survive, but the remaining nine are doing great. They are very amusing to watch and everytime we give them new food they act like children and rush around exploring the new foliage like it was a playground. We soon found out that they really like raspberry leaves luckily for them we have lots of raspberry plants in the garden. They also like to climb and are surprisingly fast. Here is a picture of them taken on 22 April 2012.

Now almost a month later look at how big they have grown.

April 2012

May 2012

Yesterday I found another caterpillar in the garden so we have added him to the collection and are waiting to see what he grows into.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Food Adventures

I have a lousy cold, so I am taking some time to slow things down a bit, but then I get bored and when I get bored I usually end up cooking. Here are 2 of my latest food adventures that I thought I would share with you.

Homemade mozarella cheese ( 30 minutes )

I have dabbled previously into making my own cheese - the soft cheese sort and thought I'd get a little bit more adventurous - following the steps I soon had my own homemade mozarella cheese  - I was excited. What better way to enjoy the lovely creamy cheese but with tomato and basil of course.

We went out to lunch this weekend and I had the most delicious vegetarian tagine. It was so delicious I decided to try to recreate it and this is my version.

Butternut , tomato, spinach and chickpea tagine.

butternut - cubed
red pepper cut into chunks
tin of whole peeled plum tomatoes
chicken stock
chilli flakes
chickpeas - 1 tin drained
spinach chopped.

In a saucepan I lightly fried the onions and garlic then added the butternut, red pepper, tinned tomatoes and some chicken stock ( how much depends on how liquid you want your tagine - I used about 100ml). Add some seasoning ( salt, pepper and chilli flakes - again how much depends on how hot you want it ). Simmer for 20 minutes till the butternut is tender. Add the chickpeas and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Stir in some spinach and then serve. Delicious. We had ours with pitta breads.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Building rainbows

Rain, rain and more rain.

Its raining again, its been raining for the past few weeks and still we are in a drought and have a hose-pipe ban, funny isnt it.

Its been a bit of a stressful and chaotic time at home too and I've been feeling like I have a huge black thunder cloud hanging over me. I feel heavy and cant breathe and then my body starts to take the strain. High blood pressure - never had it before and I am trying to get rid of it now. All down to that one word - STRESS.

Yet despite all the heaviness and headaches, I am trying to focus on something good and slowly its getting me through.

The prescription :

Take time each day - 5 minutes is all you need - to sit quietly and think of 3 things that you are grateful for. They don't have to be big things, just small glimmers of light and before long you'll have created a rainbow.
These are some of the things I am grateful for today -

  • The first day of a new month - a new beginning.
  • Waking up this morning feeling rested after a good nights sleep
  • The lovely hot cup of tea my husband made for me this morning.
  • Special friends who phone to chat and check up that you are ok.

So take some time to pause and think of all the special things in your life that often slip by unnoticed and go and build your own rainbow.