Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Quick weekend pancakes

Hi everyone

With the family at home for the weekend, it is always good to do fruit & pancakes for breakfast.

These are so quick to make - the recipe is the one my mother always used

1 cup of flour (I used self raising)
1 egg
5/8th cup of milk

I know, that is how she did it & that is how I do it for the little pancakes.

Mix everything quickly, adding a bit more milk if it is too thick.

Heat some butter in a frying pan, add about 3 spoons of it to a pan (so as not to crowd it too much as you need to turn them.)

Cook a little then pop a few blueberries in to the mix, then flip them over & cook the blueberry side.

Serve with whatever fruit you have at home, some yoghurt & a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar (the recipe contains no sugar)

Very quick to mix & make & perfect for weekends.

Dee ~💕~
Thank you for stopping by, taking the time to read & leave a comment. 

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Home made waffles & fruit ....

Hi everyone

January always seems to be such a busy start to the year as my students restart, the festive traditions take up time & then early family birthdays.

Youngest had her birthday today  & while overnighting in the lovely Pointers End Cottage of A Wondering Star daughter, her & hubby Andy made a birthday breakfast.

They are in the process of starting renovations on their 1860's Victorian Cottage this year so do stop over at her blogs regularly to catch up on the progress. It is renamed Pointers End because of their Vizslas dogs Apollo & Aura  ...

They tempted us all with their speciality of homemade waffles & fruit.  Those who follow her blog know that they are keen cooks & very accomplished at breakfasts too.

They regularly use this waffle recipe from the Minimalist Baker's website.

  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive, canola, or melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • heaping 1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp flax seed meal
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup chopped bananas or other fresh fruit
  1. Combine almond milk and vinegar in a small mixing bowl and let set for a few minutes to curdle/activate. Then add olive oil, agave nectar or maple syrup and whisk. Set aside.
  2. Add dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl and whisk until well combined.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until well incorporated. Test batter for sweetness and flavor. Add more sweetener or some vanilla extract if desired. I added a touch more agave.
  4. Let set for 5-10 minutes while your waffle iron preheats. (I set mine to 4 out of 5 for a crispier waffle, but adjust yours according to preference.)
  5. Once waffle iron is ready, generously coat with non-stick spray and pour on about 1/2 cup of batter. Cook according to manufacturer instructions and then remove and place on a baking rack in a 200 degree oven to keep warm. Do not stack and instead keep them in a single layer to ensure crispiness remains.
  6. Serve immediately with desired toppings, such as fresh cherry-berry compote and more maple syrup. Store leftovers in a freezer safe bag and reheat in the toaster for best results (see notes for more instructions). Will keep in the freezer for up to a couple of months, although they're freshest within the first couple of weeks.

Pat added a ripe banana to the mixture & pulsed it. They fortunately have a waffle maker  .... 

Looking good .... 

While they were busy making the waffles, Stacy & I cut up some lovely fruit for our healthy fix - no fresh blue berries so we relied on frozen ones. Don't you just feel healthier looking at the lovely fresh fruit?

Some bacon & maple syrup, natural yoghurt and fresh orange juice to complete the lovely birthday breakfast! 

It was a perfect way to celebrate a birthday & best of all, it comprised of organic ingredients to give everyone a winter health boost! 

Thank you A Wondering Star - it is always so lovely to overnight at your beautiful cottage
Dee ~♥~

Friday, 5 January 2018

Time to pack away the decorations again ...

The rhythm of the seasons continues - the Christmas season is drawing to a close with Twelfth Night.

It is also the time to pack up everything - my late Grandmother was a stickler for observing such things, insisting that anything that is forgotten has to stay up for a year. Please tell me she was not the only one who believed such things ...

Do you follow these old traditions? The Geffrye Museum in London is such a believer that it holds a Farewell To Christmas event on the 6th January and encourages the public to come and burn their old decorations in a communal celebration.
'Twelfth Night combines elements of the Christian feast of Epiphany, the visit of the wise men to the stable at Bethlehem and the end of the 12 days around the pagan feast of Saturnalia, centred around the Winter solstice,' they told Good Housekeeping.
My 4 year old poinsettia has responded to the understairs treatment & there is a good sign of red bracts at last ..

Our tree has been a light in the darkness & it is now packed away safely again ...

The dining room fortunately was easier to pack up - I rather like my 2 ladies with their Xmas hats. 

The ladies also wore lights when their Christmas hats are needed

The warmth of the purple tartan is always welcome in Winter ...

This little tree usually holds my special hand beaded ornaments from South Africa - there are some new ones that the girls brought back from their recent visit .  They are a link to my roots in Africa & are an important part of my Christmas ... 

The other beaded ornaments adorned the hallway notice board again - a reminder of home as I come & go at home  ... 

The sideboard / dresser has been lovely with the Christmas china - the Spode Christmas tree plates, the Emma Bridgewater Christmas plates & other bits have been well used again, enjoyed & packed again. The red floral plates are Emma Bridgewaters Christmas Rose - a deep red hellebore pattern which symbolises the colours of the festive season.

The others plates are from the Emma Bridgewater Christmas collection - all gifted to me over the years ...

The Oliver Bonas marble topped cheese board (bottom left on the sideboard) was brilliant for the festive cheeses, the matching marble topped cake stand is always in demand because it is sturdy & elegant. 

Daughter set out a lovely cheeseboard for us - who else loves festive cheeses as much as I do. The cheeseboard top swivels & it holds the marble topped cheese knives. 

We all love cheese - Shropshire blue, a Welsh Brie, Wensleydale with cranberries, Welsh Black Bomber (a creamy cheddar) & the chilli cheese - perfect with local savoury biscuits .... 

The many cards are pegged on colourful threads on the fireplace. They are always appreciated, especially as they are on display.

Our main tree has been lovely to look at with the berry colours in soft pink, purple, lilac, raspberry & pearl colours which all sat well with each other. The corner always seems empty once it is packed again. 

I always miss the garland which spans the fireplace; the lights always make it special too as they twinkle each evening.  The fireplace always looks bare once as it comes down for another year ...

There are superstitions that bad luck will fall on a home that takes decorations down before the Twelfth Night – and if they're not removed by the fifth, you're supposed to keep them up for the whole year instead!

One of the last tasks is to remove the garland from the front door - it is still looking lovely so it will again be moved to the back garden where it will stay for a bit longer.

Stripped of its bow & adornments, it is attached to the from of the chimnea on the patio so it is visible from all the back windows of the house. The little robins, blue tits & sparrows have already been showing an interest in it .... 

Traditions are good to observe as they punctuate our lives with a rhythm & purpose; my decorations packed away on the Twelfth Night again.  Do you observe these traditions & is yours all packed away. Thank you for stopping by & taking time to read & comment ...
Dee ~💕~

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Glass baubles & ornaments

Hi everyone

Some of you might have grown up with those fragile glass Christmas ornaments which our parents homes had & which had to be individually wrapped each time. In spite of all that,  some still shattered when hung or if we brushed past the tree. I have memories of sweeping up the tiniest bits of glass from under the tree ...

However, I have always loved the modern glass ornaments which are thicker - they are expensive & I buy only a few each year.

These pretty little ones have been useful for holding the strings of battery lights on the sideboard

These are some of my collected ones - jewel like, glistening in the light ... 

This is from 2016 - the little glass baubles glistening on the tree ...

Some are like mercury glass ...

 Little glass baubles & flat mirror like discs which twirl & reflect light ...

I have added some much larger ones this year - they are in very fashionable pantone ultra violet berry colours of purple, pink, lilac & a few green ones. I added to the few I bought from those on sale ....

These large, beautiful ones will be perfect for a bowl on the dining room table next Christmas ...

I got out my (small) stash of glass from the loft, the tiny glass ornaments wrapped & protected by foam trays & just enjoyed the beauty of the glass - all gem like with their colours & shapes - next year, they will be out in force .... 

These glass baubles are world's away from the thin, glass ones of my childhood, however, they are still delicate & expensive which makes them more special. I will be using them next Christmas - I had forgotten how beautiful they are all together ...
Dee ~💕~

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

My New Years Resolution is .....

The New Year always brings about a plethora of reflections & resolutions - the first is useful, the second not!

My New Years Resolution is simply to be the best I can be - this year, I want to improve on what I am,  not what I am not! 

Us women are often our harshest critics & it is useful to remember that we should all be there to just help each other. This is one of my favourite thoughts - I hope we all make it .... 

I look at my circle of girlie friends & acquaintances & the one thing that strikes me most is how different we all are. 

We all bring different things to the table of life - some are amazingly organised, others are really generous with their time re organisations, another always knows when I need help with my makeup, another is really good at just browsing & recommending seasonal wardrobe updates, another is a real good listener & perceives the unspoken as much as what is said, another is a great business lady who took her idea & turned it into a successful career, several others have changed careers & they juggle parenthood with school timetables - the common thread is how alike & how different we all are! 

How fabulous life would be if we could see ourselves through the eyes of our friends - they see our insecurities, our fears, our angsts, our failings, our impatience, our stress, our struggles & yet they embrace us just as we are - they are our friends ....

So this year - I am going to focus on what I am good at because I think we are enough. 

Our family & friends do not need a stereotype, perfect person, they need us as we are - imperfect but ambitious, free spirited, dreamers, learning new things constantly to just keep up with the changing world, women who march to their own drum, who bring their own special characters & experiences to the table - these strengths shape our outlook on life - we are the same but different,  we are defined by what we are, not what we are not! 

Keep growing with me this year, but remember to stop & say - we are enough
Dee ~💕~