#BEDM Rancheros Pie.


Today’s #BEDM prompt is to blog about a Mexican inspired recipe you like. The only thing I could think to blog about is this Rancheros Pie which I sometimes make in the Slow Cooker. It’s from the hamlyn 200 Slow Cooker Recipes book.

1 tbs sunflower oil.
500g Minced beef.
1 Onion chopped.(I always use a handful of frozen chopped onions which you can buy in packets). Less tears!
2 garlic cloves ,finely chopped.
1 tsp cumin seeds.
Half tsp crushed dried red chillies.
Half tsp ground allspice.
1 tsp dried Oregano.
3 tbs sultanas.
400g can tomatoes chopped.
250 ml beef stock.
Salt & pepper.

500g sweet potatoes thinly sliced.
25g butter.
few crushed dried red chillies.


Preheat slow cooker.Heat oil in frying pan.Add beef and onion & fry until browned.

Stir in garlic,spices,sultanas, tomatoes and stock.Add a little salt & pepper and bring to the boil stirring.Spoon into the slow cooker , cover with overlapping slices of sweet potato,dot with butter and sprinkle with dried chillies.

Cover with the lid and cook for 7-8 hours until the potato topping is tender.Lift the pot out using oven gloves and brown under a hot grill if desired.

I think this is my favourite Slow Cooker recipe.


#BEDM In My Bag.


If I was going out for a walk into town right now, this is what would be in my bag.My purse,my hair brush,my CK diary ( always a thoughtful Xmas present off my friend B), Pen,Hand cream and a cereal bar.In fact I am totally addicted to Kelloggs Crunchy Nut Choc & Peanut Cereal bars! I would also have my phone ( of course!) but I was using that to take this photo.

This post is for Day 4 of Blog Every Day In May #BEDM devised by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.

Whats in your bag?

#BEDM Walk To Work.

So it’s National Walk To Work Week which is ok by me , as I do walk to work every day. I only live ten minutes away so I don’t have an excuse not to really!  I start work bright and early two days a week so these photos were taken before 7am. I am actually glad of the fresh air as it does help wake me up!

I walk past nearby pretty terraces and past what would be my local if I was fond of Coweeoke.

And two restaurants that were probably full of bank holiday revellers the night before.All is quiet here at this hour.

I pass a Church and a rather strange side street sign. Once called Strang Stee ( I’m not sure why? ) some jolly soul has added more letters to turn it into Strange Steve.

And signage for a Beer Festival and a Music Festival.

I pass a little bridal shop and now i’m nearly there.

Though  where I actually work, I’m not going to share. tee hee.:)

This post is for Day 3 of #BEDM devised by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.



#BEDM Alice’s Tea Room ~ St Annes.


Saturday was a marvelous day, as not only did I get to spend some quality time with my lovely friend Lisa, we also visited an Alice In Wonderland inspired Tea Room and partook of Afternoon Tea.:)   Alices Tea Room in the Lancashire seaside town of St Annes can be found on St Albans road, away from the front and not to far from the town centre. Once there you can sit outside in the sun or enjoy the Wonderland inside.


Everywhere you look there are characters from Lewis Carroll’s magical tale along with Top Hats and White rabbits , Teacups and ‘Eat Me’ and ‘Drink Me’ signs. There are two rooms to be seated in as the cafe has recently been extended due to it’s popularity. Lisa had reserved us a table luckily.:)


Lunch at the cafe includes sandwiches,paninis and jacket potatoes. However we couldn’t resist The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea. 😉  Served on a beautiful vintage three tier cake stand, the Afternoon Tea is a feast for the eyes indeed. Accompanying the gorgeous selection of sumptuous sandwiches and divine cakes, came our tea in china teapots. And all was served on pretty mismatched crockery.



Lisa getting ready to tuck in.:)

The Afternoon Tea contained mini cheese,egg mayo,tuna and ham sandwiches ( Veggie fillings are no trouble either), fruit scones with jam and clotted cream, flapjacks, chocolate cupcakes and marvelous sparkly meringues. Tea refills were plentiful and there’s lots of choice on the tea menu. If you don’t fancy doing the Afternoon Tea but need a sweet treat, Alice’s have fabulous cakes and an Ice cream counter too.:)


And if you want a memento to take home with you , there’s a little shop too full of Wonderland inspired goodies. In fact my super talented friend Lisa makes all the lovely Alice tags you can see hanging here.:)

The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea was £17.85 for two people.

Are you a fan of Afternoon Tea?

This post is for day Two of #BEDM set up by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.













#BEDM Tell Us Something New.

So here’s my first post for Rosalilium’s  Blog Every Day In May Challenge. Five very quick facts about moi…

1. I once got tutted at by Lenny Henry.He was behind me in a queue in a shop in Leeds and the mere sight of him made me forget my cards pin number. Luckily my other half stepped in with the cash.

2. I feel compelled to pet every black labrador that I meet, despite having one at home.:)

3. I have enjoyed eating 20 Afternoon Teas. And all bar one were consumed after I started this blog. It gets the blame entirely.;)

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4. My teeth chatter when I watch Game of Thrones.

5. I have a black cat called Slinky Malinki. She’s a rescue and i didn’t have the heart to change such a fantastic name. 

Thats all for now.Let me know if your doing the challenge too. X



Blog Every Day In May ~ Blogging Challenge.


Back in 2013 when this blog was but a wee baby, not even 0ne years old, I decided to join in with Rosalilium’s  first ever Blog Every Day in May challenge. The lovely Elizabeth at said blog took it upon herself to organize the challenge and even chose prompts for each day, to give bloggers optional ideas for subjects to write about. Sometimes I veered away from the prompts, but I’m extremely proud to say that I actually managed to blog about something every day in May of that year. I was a proper #BEDMer.:)

Three years later and i’m still blogging ( Yay! ) but I know it’s sometimes hard to find blogging inspiration. I’m hoping joining in again in 2016 will refresh my blogging instincts and of course it’s a great way of discovering a few new blogs as well. Even if I don’t manage to blog every single day, I’m looking forward to the challenge. Eeeeek!  If you fancy learning more why ( or joining in!) not bob over to Rosalilium’s Blog Every Day In May Page.

Wish Me Luck. X


All Aboard for a Rail Ale Trail Tour.

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Saturday dawned, sunny but chilly.Just the ticket for a day of exploration along the East Lancs Railway.:)  My Birthday Present for the O H this year was a Rail Ale Trail Tour which started at ‘Bury Bolton Street Station’, stopping off at the Lancashire towns of Ramsbottom and Rawtenstall. Happily Wils brother very kindly gave us a lift to Bury, where we immediately made ourselves at home in the station’s The Track side bar on Platform two.. After a quick coffee we got straight onto the Ale ( or in my case,cider) and Wil bought a hunk of homemade Pork Pie. ‘The Track side’ has up to ten real ales as well as award winning ciders and perries.

By 11-30am our Tour Guide Suzanne had rounded us up and with childlike excitement ( on my part, anyway! ) we boarded the train. There’s something quite thrilling about taking a journey on an old fashioned steam engine. I felt like I was channeling my inner Railway Children.:)

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Our Train Arrives.:)

Whilst on the train there was time to buy bottled beers and our guide regaled us with a few titbits of information about the countryside we were chugging through. The track is twelve miles  of Heritage Railway , it’s upkeep is solely done by hard working volunteers. It spans some of the  Irwell Valley’s  picturesque Pennine scenery. First stop was the vibrant market town of Ramsbottom. Lunch is provided on the tour and after trackside photo opportunities we piled into Owens Restaurant & Bar  for Fish and Chips. This comfy  modern restaurant has two ales on tap. It’s also dog friendly, as is the Rail Ale Trail Tour.:) If we had realised beforehand we might have brought Hugo.Not sure he would have been well behaved enough though!

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Lunch at Owens.

After lunch Suzanne took us to a fab little micropub called The Ramsbottom Tap on Bolton Street and bought everyone a quick half. The Tap is a bright and cozy space with retro prints adorning the walls and a good selection of ales and ciders.

Ramsbottom seemed to have a varied selection of interesting independent shops, tearooms and pubs so I think it would be somewhere we would return to in the future.The town even has it’s own brewery. Our next stop was indeed the Irwell Works Brewery which is situated back down the hill from the ‘Ramsbottom Tap’, in a former Steam,tin,copper & Iron works. The bottom half of the building houses the brewery which makes several  beers including ‘Copper Plate’ bitter,’ Iron Plate’ Lancashire Stout  and the brilliantly named ‘Marshmallow Unicorn’ Milk stout. These are served upstairs in  the Brewery Tap along with most other tipples you can think of.:)


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Irwell Works Brewery and Rail Trail regulars below ; Bliss and Misca.:)

Mid afternoon , and we were back on the steam train and meandering our way to the town of Rawtenstall. Rawtenstall is actually famously the home of England’s oldest original  Temperance Bar Fitzpatricks, which I would have loved to visit. I am a big fan of their Rose Hip and Rhubarb Cordial!  However we decided to remain in the vicinity of the station and enjoy a couple of drinks there. Buffer Stops offers five ales and one cider as well as locally made pies, outdoor seating and a traditional style waiting room area. There were plenty more photo opportunities of our mode of transport for the day too….

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The great thing about the East Lancs Rail Ale Trail Tour is that your not strictly confined to sticking with it all day.As Rawtenstall is a little nearer home than Bury, we decided to remain here a while instead of joining the others back to Bolton Street Station.Wil’s brother very kindly picked us drunkards up at five and took us back to Clitheroe. We definitely owe him one!  If you are interested in doing one of the many types of tours along this beautiful stretch of railway check out the  East Lancs Railway Website for more information.  The tour we took cost £35.50 each and included lunch, a bit of beer sampling and a professional Blue Badge Tour Guide. It is also possible to ride the train and explore the area yourself without doing an official tour. We will be back!



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