Stilton, Butternut Squash and Chutney Quiche

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My boyfriend and I cooked up this stilton, butternut squash and chutney quiche a few weeks ago for lunch with my family. The recipe originally used membrillo (quince paste) but as we couldn’t find any in the shops near us we opted for an apple and plum chutney which worked really well too (any fruity chutney would work in this as it needs something sweet to offset the stilton). It is quite rich due to double cream and crème fraiche used in the egg mixture so goes well with a light salad and is perfect for the coming autumn months.

Finished Project: A Trio of Cacti

As you may have already noticed if you read this blog regularly, I like cacti (although I did kill one a couple of months ago, oh dear) which made this cross stitch pattern perfect for me. The pattern is by The Stranded Stitch and I love the finished cacti. However, I did mess up the colours of the plant pots by using bright rather than a duller, browner orange thread. I decided to hang them vertically near three (real) cacti I have displayed horizontally.

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Creating a Postcard Wall

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Today I thought I would share how to create a simple ‘postcard wall’. My boyfriend and I have collected so many postcards from museums, art galleries, holidays, etc which we kept in a tin. This seemed silly as some of them hold such great memories or are simply nice to look at. At a few smaller galleries we had seen bulldog clips used to hold prints and photos so we thought this idea would be great for some of our postcards. You can pick these sort of bulldog clips up from stationery shops and we decided to start with four to see if we liked the look of them of the wall. We also thought we could change the postcards every so often to showcase our favourites. All I did was to measure 4 equal distances on a plain white wall, bang some thin silver nails into the wall and hang the bulldog clip with the postcard clipped in onto the nail. Simple! I think this bulldog clip idea would also look good using bigger clips on larger pictures. You could also do several rows of smaller bulldog clips if you wanted to display more pictures.

South of France Photo Diary

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GBBO August Recipe: Fresh Berry Scones

I haven’t made anything from my calendar in ages! There are two reasons for this, 1) time (or lack of), and 2) no one to feed (at home my dad would hoover most of what I made up!). And actually I didn’t feel particularly inspired to bake any of the other recipes as most of them were pastry-based and I’m not that keen on pastry. This recipe for Fresh Berry Scones, however, caught my attention, and, as I had some very ripe strawberries I decided to give it a go. I have had an annoying time trying to figure out the oven at our flat and how hot it cooks which means a lot of the things I have attempted to bake haven’t worked as well as I would have liked. But these guys were different and for once my scones rose! I swapped the blueberries and raspberries for strawberries and I would recommend using 75ml buttermilk rather than 100ml as the mixture was too sticky to handle and I had to add a lot more flour to make it pliable.

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Ingredients

  • 250g self-raising flour
  • good pinch of salt
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 50g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
  • 1 egg
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • 50g fresh blueberries
  • 40g fresh raspberries

Baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper

Heat the oven to 200C. Sift the flour, salt and caster sugar into a bowl. Add the pieces of butter and rub them into the flour using your fingertips until you can no longer see any lumps of butter, and the mixture looks like fine crumbs.

Put the egg and buttermilk in a small bowl and beat with a fork to just mix. Pour into the crumbs and mix in with a round-bladed knife to make a rough-looking dough. Add the berries and use your hands to bring the mixture together to make a ball of slightly soft dough.

Lightly dust the worktop and your hands with flour. Turn out the dough onto the surface and gently pat out to about 3cm thick. Using a 6cm round cutter stamp out rounds. Re-roll the excess dough and stamp out more rounds.

Set the scones slightly apart on the baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes (at this point you could brush the tops with an egg and milk mixture or just buttermilk to make the tops golden) until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Three Smoothies to Make You Feel Great!

As I have mentioned a couple of times on this blog I love making a fresh smoothie for my breakfast or little pick me up after the gym and today I thought I would share three smoothies I have really been enjoying recently.

Coffe Chia Smoothie

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This is a Madeline Shaw recipe and is a really good drink to have before or after hitting the gym for an energy boost.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 150ml of almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 shot of cold coffee
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract or vanilla powder

Place everything except the seeds in the blender and blend. Poor into a glass then stir in the chia seeds. Let this mix sit for 10 minutes stirring every few minutes. Add ice and drink.

Chia, Oat, Date and Almond Milk

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Another post-gym smoothie from Oh She Glows packed with chia seeds which is a meal in itself because of the oats and chia seeds.

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 250ml almond milk
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 2-3 dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 ice cubes

In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.

Green Smoothie

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This 101 Cookbooks recipe is the most amazing recipe for a green smoothie, so fresh and delicious!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 2 cups kale (I like to use spinach)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup pineapple (I also like to use mango or peaches)
  • 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and pour into glasses when it has reached a smooth consistency.