Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow Joke!

Well, the snow continued to fall in our little corner of the South East! As you can see, on Thursday we had so much snow that it was tricky to open our back door to feed the birds! This door is 15 inches off the ground so that's a lots of snow!
 And this heap of snow used to be my car! Hee hee!

My workplace has remained closed so I've had three whole days at home so far with the occasional trip to the local shops.  Whilst it's so cold outside we've stayed indoors where we are as snug as a bug.  We've been playing board games, planning all the pressies we're getting everyone for Christmas, drinking Winter Pimms and cooking up some scrumptious delights in the kitchen.  As much as I LOVE snow, I have to admit that cabin fever is starting to set in and I'm looking forward to being able to get out and about again, especially as my crochet has ground to a halt as my wool stash has run out half way through a stripe! Ahhhhh!

For dinner tonight I've cooked one of my all time favourite recipes; Tartiflette with melted cheese, bacon and thyme.  Do you have those recipes that you like to recreate time and time again? This one is a winner.  Bigtime.  Sometimes I like to play around with recipes but this one is pretty much perfect just as it is, especially on a cold day when the oozing, creamy Reblochon is sooooo comforting. 

Trust me, you should try this!

Enjoy! x

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Winter Wonderland

I love those mornings when you pull back the curtains expectantly........and there before your eyes is a beautiful blanket of snow. 

Whilst parts of the UK have been blanketed in the lovely stuff for over a week, in the South East we were only hit with snow yesterday. I can't remember seeing this much snow before - it's so deep and, in parts, up to the top of my wellies! I'm one of those people who finds this weather event VERY exciting.  My workplace has been shut so we're all having a "snow day" Whooooo!

I love that life in the fast lane suddenly slows down, giving me time to chat and natter away to my neighbours.  Last night, after all the children in our road had gone to sleep, the adults all went out for a snow fight! Exhausting but so much fun.  Tonight our block of flats are going to enjoy some winter Pimms and mulled wine together.  Gotta thank the snow for giving us some good, old-fashioned community spirit!

I've been making the most of my snow day by baking banana bread whilst enjoying copious cups of tea and the occasional gulp of sloe gin. Mmmmm.  This recipe is so simple and scrum-didly-umptious and very useful to use up any mushy bananas! I'll post it later on for you.

I've also been working a little more on my stripy blanket and have been adding to the red row throughout the day. 

As I've been working I've been reminiscing over the past few months as every stripe has a story and a memory attached.  See that moss green stripe? I did that one whilst travelling to and around Dorset on my summer holiday.  Here's a copy of my mental picture that goes with that stripe.   The red stripe that I did today will always remind me of my unexpectedly cosy snow day.

What a blissful picture to end on!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Post birthday goodies!

OH MY!  I thought that my birthday excitement was over but no...there was this one little latecomer! Squeeeeeal! It's just so gorgeous and looks lovely against my coat.

I've been wearing this delightful piece of crocheted goodness all day long and oh! - how many lovely comments I have had.  Many people have been 'cheered up' or 'brightened up' just by seeing this.
I don't think my lovely friend could have a selected a more perfect item.  I like the idea of crocheting scarves like this - another idea for my to do list!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Tiptoeing towards....

It's only November but I found myself singing a Christmas carol today. OH DEAR! I even ordered some mincemeat this weekend ready to make mince pies and started to think about making a Christmas cake (...although I will allow this one as it does need to be made in advance) and for lunch I had my first taste of the season's brussel sprouts.  Usually, in my house, these things are reserved for December 1st at the earliest.

This year I seem to have been affected by the drawing in of winter like never before.  I didn't even make it into October before I became obsessed with baking heavier cakes and hot puddings..and devouring them. I have tried to make lots of different desserts over the last few weeks.  Today's dessert was a good, old-fashioned, English rice pudding sprinkled with nutmeg.  So simple, so easy and soooooo comforting.   Personally, I blame Nigella's 'Kitchen' series for my current obsession with desserts as everything was desrcibed as 'silky, soft, pillow-y and pleasurable'.  I think it is impossible to watch her show without suddenly having the urge to run into the kitchen! I've had a great time reading through her recipe book too and deciding what I shall make. 

I've taken to spending my evenings and weekends snuggling up with a wheat bag, blankets and cosy slippers, crocheting (following Lucy at Attic 24's neat ripple pattern), dreaming about acquiring vintage items, warming myself by fires and drinking sloe gin. Oh and making friends with my new sewing machine! Mmmmm cozy.  That is exactly how I have spent this weekend! Blisssss.  I love this time of year, although the flu I've had of late is on my winter negatives list!

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Birthday Tea Party

Yesterday morning was spent frantically baking in my kitchen and whipping up all manner of cakes ready for my Birthday tea party! A few hours before my guests arrived I wondered if I would possibly manage to  produce cakes, tidy the house and make myself presentable in time....or indeed, even one of the three...! Thanks to the well-timed arrival of a good friend and some emergency baking by my mum, we managed a red velvet cake, peanut butter blondies, cupcakes, chocolate cake and iced biscuits.  PHEW! A work colleague then bought over some trays filled with a 135 year old tea set (forgot to get piccies of this) so we then spent the next 7 hours eating cake, drinking tea from the sweetest doll-house-tea-party-esque china and chattering away with good friends.  Ahhhhh, bliss!

What do you think of our efforts?
Mmmmmm cupcakes (my mum's)........
Here is Mr red velvet cake.................slightly very messy but delicious all the same (at the point of adding the frosting our baking time had run out and the guests had started to arrive!)

Chocolate cake......
Next I give you the peanut blllllooooondies....
A deli-bought exotic fruit cake.

Last up, our tastefully iced biscuits.

Mmmmm, do you feel hungry yet?