Tuesday, 16 March 2010


Hello again, time seems to fly on pass doesn't it!

thank you for the lovely comments on my last post, i'm still trying to catch up with everyone but a getting there slowly! And thanks for the well wishes for my Mum, she has a CT scan tomorrow to see if the cancer is stable so we'll have our fingers crossed, every month without having the heavy treatments is a bonus!

I did some baking for Mother's Day, well made them on Saturday but used Sunday as a good excuse to lose myself in the kitchen for a few hours. We have bags of dried apricots just sitting idle so i made some gluten free apricot, honey and nut cookies to use up some of those and then seeing as we had a large bowl of plums too i opted for an upside down plum cake with plum compote on the side.

I have lots of things i'd like to make for Easter, including hot cross buns and cupcakes but they may or may not get made. I am awaiting a place in hospital at the moment, funding and red-tape takes it's time though, so if i am around i will give them a go, my family love hot cross buns so would like to attempt them for them! i would make simnel cake/muffins but my Mum isn't a big fan, any other Easter baking suggestions would be more than welcome though!

And so onto the point, letter K is ready to go- please remember you are more than welcome to join in with any of your K favourites!




I think there is something inbuilt into human nature to want to explore and see the world and for me that also includes conquering the task of climbing a mountain, and this would clearly be the wrong one to start with but what a thing to aspire towards. It would be nice to think that one day i could be looking down at the world from the tranquillity and solitude that the summit provides. It's probably a good job i'll never get to attempt it as i don't think you'd get me down!


Kadaifi kataifi me krema

Yep, that's a tongue twister isn't it!
Basically this is a Greek dessert that translates to shredded pastry with custard. It sounds easy right- well it's actually got a lot of processes involved! I know my Mum would adore this as would Dad come to that and so one day will try and make it for them, nice to keep in touch with the rest of Europe too!

Item to Own;

KitchenAid add-on's

Yep back to the kitchen again. My Mum had a kitchen aid for her 60th birthday, a beautiful red shiny one that proudly adorns our worktops. As it's turned out i've used it a lot more than Mum and feel as if it's my own! I'd love to have more accessories for it though, i have the standard beater, dough hook and whisk but would love the ice cream maker and the juicer attachments- or is that me being ultra lazy?!



"Keep your shirt on!"



I didn't write bear afterwards because they aren't in fact bears but marsupials- although i understand why they have become known as bears- their appearance for starters, looking so cuddly like a big grey teddy bear, and koala marsupial doesn't flow off the tongue! These little furries are nocturnal and spend most of their time asleep- my sort of life! Apparently it's because it takes so much energy to digest their diet that it's just more economical to sleep the time away!



King Proteus.

Just look at it. For me the structure, the alluring nature, the fact it looks too heavy to be able to show off it's bloom but it stands proud, at almost 2 m tall in fact- i totally love this flower, so architectural and yet still so soft, if i were a bee i'd be on there for life! Lucky South Africans have this as their national flower, and i'd be jealous but lucky me gets the daffodil so i shouldn't complain!


So there we go, another letter done- feel free to join in if you want to, it's always nice to learn things about people.


Saturday, 6 March 2010


Oops, another long hiatus for me it would seem! Time just seems to get the better of me at times, Christmas was so hectic what with Mum having daily radiotherapy 20 miles away and all the family obligations and so on. Then January and Feb just sort of got lost in my own illness and the shocking weather we had- more snow than was cared for. And that sort of left me today realising how much i miss just being able to escape into the little blog that has been left all abandoned.

I'll continue my alphabet theme but i've also been baking- a lot actually, it's a sort of therapy for me, i don't get to eat any of the goods but it's more the baking that can help me at times so i don't mind, plus my family seem to be more than happy to sample things for me! So, if it interests anyone i shall post a collection of my latest offerings from the oven.

So, expect to see me popping up in your comment boxes again soon, and for alphabet letters to be back on the agenda once again. I'm hoping this blog will bring me back a little therapeutic relief too so here goes.

Country/Place to visit;


And no, not just for the kitkats- although i have to admit it is a factor as i have been intrigued by the beautiful little boxes that i get sent form Japan with the mysterious and wonderful flavours! It is however for me, more for the geography- i think it looks absolutely spectacular, i can't say i'd be a big fan of Tokyo as i am a true country bumpkin but i'd love to ride the bullet train and visit the mountains, go snowboarding, walking around the historic temples and just witness for myself a totally different culture to my own.



Any variety would suit me, i love jam, always have, always will! I bought myself a jam thermometer before Christmas and would love to just spend a day surrounded by jars and labels and just create little bottles of sweet goodness and let the colours just shimmer through the thick glass. Imagine the scene from Baby boom with the apple sauce and you pretty much get in my head!



"Jack of all trades, master of none"


Jewellery Tree

I want something so badly as my current display is getting really overcrowded- especially thanks to my amazing best friend who send me treats in the post- and when i saw this it sort of fits the bill. Ideally i would love to have an abstract piece made that would look like a tree growing from the floor up, flat at first but then the branches would grow outwards and become my hooks, i'd love them to have tiny led lights in too so at night the pieces could take on a life of their own.




Just for the simple purity alone this one wins for me, nature can produce the most elaborate and amazing things but sometimes it's simplest forms are the best. Add in the exotic fragrance and it just becomes mesmerising.




It's no surprise it's another cat species for me. I was tempted by jellyfish because of the amazing nature of them but i can't resist the big cat. Fast and amazingly dexterous this big cat is one of the finest. To see one in the wild must just be exhilarating- if not a little scary, i just hope that they don't disappear for good, we lose too many animals on this earth, i don't want this to be another.


So, J at last, is done.

I do hope everyone is well and doing ok- i have an awful lot of catching up to do but i shall look forward to catching up with you all and what has happened in your lives.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009


I did it again didn't i- fell off the radar again! I'm sorry, i think (and i truly do think) i shall be back to posting regularly again now, i've had a combination of my illness being flared coupled with the fact it's absolutely blooming freezing, Christmas shopping and general lack of hours conspiring against me! But the shopping is almost done, i'm slowly getting accustomed to the bitter cold so i hope to be back everyday.

Oh and i did manage to get some baking done, i've made gluten free apricot and nut cookies (which went down very well), more raspberry and white chocolate cookies, coconut macaroons, jam thumbprints, a pear and frangipane tart and grapefruit cupcakes- those were the absolute hit, apparently they were incredibly light so i imagine i will be making those again.

Anyway, enough of the waffling, on with the show.


Place/Country to visit;


And yes ironic as it sounds after i've just complained about the cold i've wanted to go to Iceland since i was very young. It's places like Iceland that really help me feel connected to the planet- to nature i guess, just to see the way our world grew and evolved inspires me and i'd love to be able to go and just experience being in a place like that.



Iced Buns.

Now i've been baking a lot for my family (therapeutic for me and yummy for them) and i'm glad to say i'm getting better and trying more complex things, in fact, i'm aiming to do the Portuguese Egg Tarts next as i was so kindly linked to the recipe and can't stop thinking about them. But sometimes, sometimes it's nice to just do something simple and do it well and for me, iced buns rock! It was my treat as a child to be given an iced bun once a week and i treasured every part of it, just plain icing atop a slightly sweet bun was just perfect.



Insomnia relief!

Yep, i am insomniac and have been for the last 3 years now! In honesty you do get used to it, you do adapt fairly quickly but there is nothing more appealing than getting into a lovely soft bed and closing your eyes and opening them 8 hours later without waking up once! I've done all the horrible meds they give you, the self-hypnosis, the alternative remedies- i think i am destined to be a night owl, it's just my luck i seem to be more awake when the world goes to sleep!



"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".



This must be a family thing because they were my Grandfather's favourite, they are my Mother's favourite and they are one of my all time favourites. They look so delicate and elegant yet the foliage is dense and thick and strong, and i like that that you can have a strong base but a soft heart.




Ever heard of an Ibex? I hadn't until a little while ago, and it's not likely i will ever see one in it's true habitat but still, they are incredible creatures in my eyes.
They look like goats crossed with deer but it's how they live that is just so amazing. Imagine the rugged cliffs on the edge on the dead sea- baron and scorched, well the Ibex lives on the very top of these cliffs, they nurture their young up there as they have no predators that can reach them. Yet they of course, just like all animals, need to feed and drink and so, they abseil down what i can only refer to as the sheerest and most unstable of cliff faces ever to get to the river bed below to drink and to the trees that they climb in to graze. And if that wasn't enough the parents instill in their young from a really early age that survival for them depends on agility so when the foxes patrol the river basin the young scrabble back up to a place where no other creature could stand. And i was so thrilled when on Life on BBC a few weeks back they managed to capture all of this on film, i was just speechless to see it in action!


So there we go I is done, and i promise to be here much more often in the run up to Christmas and to be commenting with you lovely people a lot more.

Monday, 9 November 2009


Oops- another week has just flown past me- but have no fear H is finally here (and yes i know how terribly cheesy that line is but it is freeing cold here and my brain hasn't defrosted yet!).

Hope everyone has a had a good week, holiday season is well and truly descending now, a recent trip to the garden centre left me feeling as though i'd entered Christmas on speed as it was very overwhelming, but then again the build-up is always magical and i am still a big kid inside! Oh and i've been baking, rather a lot of late eek- i don't know if i should do an intermission post on what i've made or not? Oh and if anyone knows of any yummy gluten free cookie/cake bars/muffin recipes i would be most grateful!

Anyway, on with the show.




Well how could it not be? Look at that picture- just, wow. I'd love to climb the rocks and just sit on the top of paradise. The wildlife, the weather, the attitude and kindness of the people there has attracted me from a very young age. However, i'm not a beach person, i can't do the old sunbathing for hours and i don't like to swim so it's always seemed an odd destination to go to but i think that the place you visit and remember is the place you dream and make come true- you don't have to go to a tropical island and only see the beach.



Hummingbird Cake.

Oh. My.

I found out about this miracle of a cake a few months ago, thinking i would look for some variations on carrot cake recipes. And then one day i was watching Neighbours (guilty pleasure) and they had it on there. Imagine all the comfort and delight from carrot cake but with the addition of sates and pineapple making it super moist and irresistible! Yes Please!!!



Odd, maybe? Do i wear hats? No. Does that actually matter? No. I live in the past most of the time in my head, probably why i studied a degree in history and i am a firm believer in keeping the past alive but allowing it to adapt and move on. I would not use my hatstand for hats, coats or the like but i would dress it up with my scarves and long beaded necklaces, i would string ribbon around the hooks at the top and use pegs to hand cards and letters from my treasured friends.



"Home is where the heart is."



I have tried, and tried and tried to grow heather but we don't have the right acid balance in the soil here. But it doesn't take away my love for it. It seems quite a prickly intimidating plant but it couldn't be further from the truth. Soft and aromatic and just absolute luxury, this is one hardy princess in the flower world.




Hehe, i got so excited looking for pictures of my favourite little autumn critter. I'm so lucky in that having a secluded garden means we often see little families of hedgehog's throughout the year and have many sites in the garden where they go for hibernation. Please always check your leaf piles before you use them as bonfires for the little prickly beings, and don't feed them bread and milk- the best thing is just tinned dog food and if you happen to come across one that is injured or looks ill please ring the RSPCA, they will have numbers for your local hedgehog sanctuaries.



Thursday, 29 October 2009


Ooh seems as though i'm on a role this afternoon, so here we go, g is up and ready to go. And thank you to everyone who reads and comments, it's lovely to see the comments and how people relate to the posts- feel free to get as involved as you like with the posts.




Galapagos Islands.

I am inspired by these islands, the nature they contain and the secrets locked within them. I love how humans are the visitors, not the keepers of the rocks. And i'd love to get the chance to see them in my own eyes, see what Darwin saw and perhaps feel as he did when he embarked upon his journey there. But part of me also thinks that it is a private world and perhaps it should stay that way, we all need our secrets, even the earth.



Gingerbread House.

Hehe! How much fun can you have with this? The aroma of the gingerbread baking will make your soul dance around with sheer delight, the warming perfume always seems to bring me to life and removes troubles at once. And once baked and cool you can decorate to your hearts content. and seeing as i (shock horror) have a sweet tooth mine would be adorned with the prettiest candies and sugars you can find, all there to twinkle and glimmer in their own special ways.



Gray's Anatomy.

Not the TV series (although it is very good and one of my favourites) but my very own copy of Gray's Anatomy. I know it will seem odd, most people don't have a anatomy book to browse through but my hunger, my absolute passion for knowledge on the subject is only intensifiying as i grow older. I'm from a medical family and , as letter D denoted, medicine is my dream. And so to own my own copy, to be able to study in depth the mechanics of the body would be the best present anyone could get me.



"Good things come to those who wait".



Our garden is always stocked full of geraniums, my window box with it's red and pink jewels is still flowering, despite the change in weather and everyday i open my curtains they bring me joy. My absolute favourites though are the wild species, they seem so delicate but are hardy and strong and the little blue flowers can be nestled in the undergrowth, only showing themselves to those who walk on past them, mini secrets to be unearthed.




I'd love to know what giraffes think of the world, do they think they are giants and everyone else small or do they feel out of place with their long necks rising high above the canopy? They are beautiful, whatever they think, and i wouldn't like them to think they are the odd ones out, and you know what, i'm the odd one out always and sometimes i feel like i stand out like they do but they should be proud they stand out for their sheer elegance and beauty.



F (finally!)


I'm so behind, grr! I am so annoyed as yesterday i thought i was being really good and catching up and wrote out some posts and then blogger decided that it wouldn't post any of them and lost the lot. Not a happy bunny, but well they say try and try again so i will.
Anyway, this is my F post, and then i hope to get on with G, H and I at some point, although i know there is no rush but i'm having fun with the posts!


Place/Country to visit;


Clearly my love for Nordic lands continues! I'm someone who loves the sun and that's all great but after a few hours, maybe days i get really tired of being hot all the time! Good job i live where i do as we hardly ever have the sun, but Finland in the fall and winter just looks absolutely divine to me. Somedays there is nothing better than bundling up in winter woolies, scarves, mittens and silly hats, shiny wellies and a good friend and just going for walks where every time you giggle you see your breath in the fresh clean air and the noise beneath your feet just crackles with delight on the fallen leafs. Couple that with spectacular scenery and that makes me a happy person.




This is going to seem very odd. Especially when i say how much i hate almonds! But as a youngster having Bakewell Tart was always something i looked forward to because of the frangipane layer. Warm and soft and dribbled in jam, just yum.



Fig tree.

Have you ever seen an old fig tree? One that has grown into the most beautiful and contorted shapes, the branches spiralled and twisted in it's own pretty way, no two the like? It's leaves hang low and fruit dangle down like jewels from a crown.



"Follow your dreams".



This one was easy for me. When i was growing up i used to love the idea that when everyone went to sleep at night the garden would come alive. I used to love the thought that from the closed flower buds would come fairies that would be free to live and dance in the moonlight. Of course, as you get older the magic diminishes and all thoughts becomes fantasy and wild innocence of youth but i still look at Fressias and think, what a lovely home the buds would make to delicate little fairies.



Yes i know it's not actually an animal in the correct sense of the term but i love them! I love their sense of being, the way they just seem to be, reagrdless of the decade, the century a frog is a frog is a frog. And to me the tree frog is one of my absolute favourites. A female tree frog climbs the equivalent of 3 Empire State buildings in a day to nurture her young in their tiny nurseries in bromiliads high up in the forest canopy. She gets no praise but to me she is a heroine.


So there we go, f is finally done, took a while i know! I hope to get up to speed with the next few letters so expect a few posts in quick succession!


Monday, 26 October 2009


Oh dear, where did yesterday go- i shall post E here and then move straight onto F- apologies it may be short i am so tired matchsticks are required to hold up my heavy eyelids!


Place to visit;

Eden Project.

I love the design and the ethics of this place. Part of me worries as they have a butterfly house and i'm scared of moths and knowing my luck i'd stumble into the moth exhibit!


Egg Custard Tart.

Simply because this is my Mum's all time favourite thing to eat and i'd love to make her a fresh one instead of a shop bought one!



Electric Guitar.

Nope can't play, wouldn't know where to start but oh my i'd love to have one and learn.



Every cloud has a silver lining.



We have stunning ones in our garden and while i was growing up i used to see them as some sort of alien, like loads of little eyes all looking at you- but not in a creepy way, in a sort of lovable curious way!




How could people would to hunt these archaic gods of the past? I adore them and there funny noises and long noses. But i do find it hard to look at any pictures of them without bursting into tears. The recollection of the episode of Planet Earth with the baby elephant- i can't even write about it i get so emotional. And i accept nature is what nature is but i still feel so many emotions.