Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Chips Away

I'm off on my first holiday in four years, famous for chocolate, chips and beer. 
Can you guess where?

I will tell you when I get back. 

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Yarn Bombing People Like Us

Every other weekend, I will go into Cardiff, sometimes for window shopping or sometimes for pleasure, but last month, I found myself having to go into the Cardiff Bay area for a meeting.  I was there a little too early, so decided to walk along the Mermaid Quay, when I saw what made me smile.  I've seen this cluster of statues before, they are called 'People Like Us' representing the cultural and ethnic diversity of Cardiff - past and present. The dog, woman and man had all been given a cosy and colourful make-over with some gorgeous knits, otherwise known as yarn bombing. The statue woman is wearing a headband, flowers wrapped around her arm like a bracelet as well as the knitted bikini, the man knitted shorts and the dog a bandana.  I became aware of yarn bombing first when I lived in Glasgow, one example was finding this little monkey with a knitted hat at the Glasgow Botanical Garden.  

Anyway, this particular yarn bombing came courtesy of a South Wales based yarn guerrilla-ists called Woolly Welsh Wo/Men.  The aim of the Woolly Welsh Wo/Men is to make your smile (it certainly does);  produce occasional quirky yarn stormings; and beautify the local.  Whenever I see yarn bombing, its makes me all envious and wish I could crochet or knit. I try and give up, every time.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Nessie's Crock Pot Apple Butter

I got given a bottle of fresh Pear and Apple juice, along with some cooking and eating apples.  I have to admit, I hardly got to drink either the Pear or Apple Juice as some of my nephews and nieces came over that morning and swigged it all.  Glad they enjoyed it.  
As for the apples, I will be making some crumble, but one recipe that has been requested by my husband is some of Nessie's Crock Pot Apple Butter.  Nessie was our neighbour when we lived in Glasgow.  We still remember her with great fondness.  

The Crock Pot Apple Butter recipe is really, really easy - all you have to do is peel and core the apples, and throw it into a crock pot also known as a slow cooker, along with sugar and spices and then let it cook, very very slowly, stirring it now and again. Its really, really lovely.  Once you have opened a jar, you will find yourself eating it out of the jar like 'peanut butter'.  Yum.  Its gorgeous spread especially on croissants.  I've also made Pear Butter using the same recipe.  I am sharing a photograph of the Apple Butter that has been previously posted on my blog back in 2010, as its one of my favourite food photographs when I lived in sunny Glasgow.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Oat Chocolate Chia Pudding

Some of you will know that this week is National Chocolate Week, well here is my only chocolate offering for the week - Oat Chocolate Chia Pudding, but before I talk about the pudding I want to give my view of it as a chocolate drink.  

Oatly Oat Drink Chocolate is a Swedish dairy -free, soy free milk alternative.  Oatly has been around for years, but has recently been given a make over.  I have to say, as a vegetarian I really enjoyed the Oat Chocolate drink.   Originally when I opened the container and poured it into a glass, I did initially think, oh that looks really watered down.  It was then that I noted the words 'shake me'.  I immediately screwed the top back on and gave it a good shake.  It was much 'chocolate milk' looking.  I really liked it, I would never have been able to say that it was a dairy free alternative, but perhaps that is because when I do drink milk, and it is not that often - it is the semi skimmed type, anyway, the chocolate flavour was enough for me.  Not too sweet and not to weak
Other than just drinking the Oatly Chocolate, I decided to  make a couple of recipes from it. The first is Oat Chia Pudding loosely based on my Raspberry Chia Pudding.   Once the ingredients had swelled, I decided to blend half of it to a smoother texture.  So if you look close at the glass, you will see the two different layers.  
Instead of spooning the Oat Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding to chill overnight in a bowl, I decided to divide it between some wine glasses.  Now how often do you eat breakfast out of a wine glass?!