Allan Bank ~ A National Trust Gem.

Allan Bank is one of those places you can visit and feel real joy that you have. A National Trust Property with a bit of a difference, Allan Bank is more like a ‘Home away from Home’ than your typical grand old English house. You can sit in the comfy armchairs and enjoy the tranquil lake views, tap a tune on the piano in the entrance hall,paint pictures in the art room, read a book or newspaper in the cosy library or even make yourself a cuppa and settle in whichever room you like, with a nice slab of homemade Victoria Sponge cake of course.;)

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Are you partial to knitting?

So why does this stately Georgian Villa have such a relaxed and laid back vibe? In the past it has been home to the famous Lakeland poet Wordsworth and later to Canon Rawnsley ,one of the founders of the National Trust. Fast forward to 2011 and a fire nearly destroyed Allan Bank. Happily the Trust decided to restore the house but unusually took the decision not to decorate most of the rooms. Instead the walls are bare ,the floors uncarpeted and the furniture donated. Visitors seem to like the fact that there are no heirs and graces. 🙂

This year the National Trust is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter , who was a good friend of Canon Rawnsley. The Canon actively encouraged her to publish the tale of Peter Rabbit, which started out as an illustrated letter to him like the one above. Visitors are also encouraged to indulge in some old fashioned letter writing if they like..

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The Entrance Hall with Piano.
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Cosy crochet.
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Gorgeous views from every window.
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Residents of Allan Bank. 🙂

Love the Blue Poppy in the garden. 🙂

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Mountaineering room.

Kids and adults alike, will love the Art room. 🙂

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And the National Trust gift shop.

There are lovely grounds to explore too including a woodland walk and gardens. We spent quite a bit of time wandering. If the sun is shining you can even take a deck chair and relax on the lawn. The day we visited was a bit overcast, though happily the rain stayed away.

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Herdwick Ewe and lamb.
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Wil and Hugo head into the Victorian viewing tunnel.
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Inside the garden bothy.
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Fairy door.
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Another Herdwick. 😉

There’s a tea room inside but it’s totally up to you where you enjoy a bite to eat, be it inside or out. As it was a little grey outside, we partook of coffee and cake in the Mountaineering room. 🙂

I actually wish I had taken more photographs as there is so much I have missed. But I hope I have given you at least a tiny  taster of how lovely Allan Bank is. I know we will be sure to return. 🙂

Visit the website  here.

Have you ever visited Allan Bank and Grasmere?

 

Haweswater and Small water Tarn.

As we were staying at the Haweswater Hotel recently, we decided to spend a day exploring the surrounding countryside. There are various walks and footpaths in the area including one round Haweswater Reservoir ( some sections are currently closed after the bad weather earlier in the year) and others that go up into the hills. After looking at a map we decided to head up to a small tarn called appropriately enough Small Water. 🙂 There is a little car park at the far end of Haweswater where we parked. First things first though, Hugo had to take a dip in the lake.

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Haweswater.

Haweswater is actually a reservoir and was built in the thirties. Controversially the valley, existing lake and the village of Mardale Green were flooded to create it. Haweswater supplies water to the city of Manchester, to this day. It is situated in the North East of the Lake District.

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We followed the Nan Bield Pass sign from the car park.
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The sheep here are like mountain goats. 🙂
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Cotton grass waving gently in the breeze.
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Meandering our way along the rocky path.
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I think this little fella is a Great grey shrike. 🙂
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Amazing views.

About an hours walk up the path and Small Water Tarn emerges from over a rocky crag. What a rewarding scene! We didn’t see a single person and had it all to ourselves. 🙂

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Small water Tarn.
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Hugo after a paddle. Think he’s eyeing up our sandwiches. 😉

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The path continues up onto ‘High Street’, yes that is the name of a mountain fell. 🙂 Another tarn called Blea Water is somewhere over those crags too. But we decided to head back toward Haweswater and follow some of the path round the lake.

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Heading back towards Haweswater.
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Meadow pippit.
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Any ideas what these flowers are. Purple violet like, the leaves resemble green stars.

From the car park we followed the signpost saying Eagle Viewing Point. Here’s a sad story actually. Until very recently ( only a few months ago in fact) Haweswater and Riggindale , was the home to England’s only Golden Eagle. Alone here since 2004, he had been displaying every Spring in order to attract a mate. Not this Spring though. Maybe he has passed away. Or maybe he has finally given up and flown North. What I can’t understand though, is why the RSPB never tried introducing another female eagle into the area. It’s a shame….

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A disused Bothy. It was locked up and looked like it wasn’t really usable though.
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We enjoyed some fresh clear water from this little brook.
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Pretty vivid blue wild flowers.
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The perfect place for a swim. 🙂
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Looking over the lake.
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Canada Geese family.

Although the eagle is no longer in residence here there are chances to see plenty of wildlife including Peregrines, Ring Ouzels, Red Deer, Goosander, Flycatchers and Dippers.And the countryside, I’m sure you will agree is just stunning. 🙂

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Hugo enjoying the views.
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Red Squirrel enjoying lunch at the Haweswater Hotel.

Have you ever walked to a secluded tarn? Have you ever been to Haweswater?

Sunday Sevens ~ 29th May.

Having a week off always makes joining in with Sunday Sevens a bit more interesting, don’t you think. So whilst the Other Half has gone car shopping ( our peugeot is now on its last legs/wheels) I’ll recap my week in photos.

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  1. Last weekend we headed to the Yorkshire Dales for a few days camping. Howgill Lodge Campsite near Bolton Abbey is a site we have returned to a few times. You can see why. Look at our view over the Wharfedale Valley!  I like Howgill a lot as the pitches are all very spacious, each with it’s own picnic bench. The showers are powerful and hot and the site shop is small but provides all camping essentials. Chickens and ducks and wild rabbits roam around freely . Don’t be alarmed if they visit your tent! Owls hoot all night, the Dawn Chorus starts at 4am and includes Cuckoos and Curlews. Very vocal but wonderful too. 🙂

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2.A walk along the river to the village of Burnsall , and we spied this Tuk Tuk. Not a sight that you would usually see in the Yorkshire Dales! It was actually transporting a Bride and her Groom to the old bridge for a Photo Opportunity. Apparently lovetuktuks.co.uk are a Wharfedale based company that hire out this lovely little Italian Calessino for Weddings, Proms and other Excursions. 🙂

3. Fountain Abbey is about half an hours drive away from Howgill, so we decided to make the most of our National Trust Membership and spent most of Monday exploring the grounds, which included a Deer Park. The Water Gardens are full of sculptures, Lakes and Follies , so it’s well worth a trip out.

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4. We spent a couple of days at home recharging our batteries  before heading away again, this time to the Lakes for a  couple of nights . The recharging had to include trying out this delicious picnic lunch at the The Atrium at Clitheroe Castle, which tasted as scrumptious as it looks. There’s a new chef at the Atrium and an exciting fresh menu, so go take a look.

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5. Our little mini break in the Lakes was spent at the peaceful and secluded Haweswater Hotel that overlooks the Haweswater Reservoir. This art deco style hotel was built in the thirties by the Manchester Corporation who were responsible for flooding the valley to create the reservoir. We really enjoyed our stay,although the building is a work in progress.Some of the rooms have been recently refurbished, others need a little tlc. But we were made very welcome, especially Hugo. 🙂

6. Residing in such beautiful countryside had to mean a spot of hiking. The hotel provides packed lunches so we made the most of this and took ours up into the hills, where we discovered a hidden tarn. The tarn is called Small water and is actually bigger than we expected. I was mighty glad to find it! Hiking is not my forte. But the countryside is so ruggedly beautiful , it’s well worth doing!

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7. One last picture. This was taken at another National Trust property called Allan Bank at Grasmere, which I enjoyed so much, I will blog about it separately  soon. The colourful sheep is part of the Go Herdwick Art Trail and is one of over 50 hand painted ewes , that can be spotted all over the Lake District until september.

Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

Hope you are enjoying your Bank Holiday!!

Wharfedale Wildlife.

A few days away camping in the Yorkshire Dales is always an excuse to record the local wildlife pictorially. Here are a few snapshots of some of the local plants and birdlife I spied along the banks of the river Wharfe between Burnsall and Bolton Abbey. Along with a few additions. 🙂

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Female Pheasant.
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Bluebells.
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Larry the Lamb. 😉
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Goosander.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Water Aven.
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Bunny’s. There were loads of these little guys.
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Hello There !
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Robin.
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Yellow Poppies.
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Greylag Geese Family. 🙂
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A lovely plaque to commemorate a swimmer, who died so young. It can be found along the river between Appletreewick and Howgill.
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Amongst the Ramsons aka Wild Garlic.
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Male Pheasant.
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Common Sandpiper.
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A fragrant garden escape called Dame’s Violet, I think.
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Lapwing. 🙂
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Another lamb amongst the Bluebells.
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Mandarin Duck.

There was of course wildlife that I didn’t manage to photograph. Stridd Wood at Bolton Abbey is home to Black Caps and Pied Flycatchers. We saw Dippers and even spied the turquoise gleam of a Kingfisher. Every morning we were woke  by a rousing Dawn Chorus that included the calls of curlews and a cuckoo. 🙂 There is nothing so beautiful than the English Countryside. Even if a few nights under canvas is a lot noisier than you would imagine! 🙂

Sunday Sevens ~ May 15th.

My Sunday Sevens for last week are a little bit of a cheat because the photo’s are all actually from the weekend. Hey Ho!  The weekend was a lot more fun than the week. 🙂

Saturday saw us heading to Keswick in the Lake District for a bit of outdoorsy shopping ,lunch and of course some splashing about in the lake.

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Derwent Water.

1) Here’s Hugo playing in the Lake with a couple of other Labradors. According to Wikipedia Star Wars Episode V11: The Force Awakens  filmed on location here for the scene ” Approach to Maz Kantana’s Castle, Takodana. One for Star Wars Fans!

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2)  It was quite chilly in the morning, despite the bright sunshine. Keswick and the Lake were really busy though!  Another fact for you, Derwent Water is home to an endangered freshwater whitefish called the Vendace. I don’t think Hugo ate any !

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Veggie Chilli Burrito 🙂

3)  Speaking of lunch :),  we had ours at a cute little cafe in Keswick called Little Chamonix.  If you ever visit the town , I highly recommend this charming and bright eatery on Lake Road. My Burrito was sooo good!

4)  In the afternoon we drove round the lake to the village of Portinscale.  After reading  Christine’s fab post  about a lakeside,woodland walk she did to find this interesting Sculpture, I was inspired to search it out too. The giant pair of hands carved in wood can be found on the West Shore of Derwent Water. The sculpture is entitled Entrust and was commissioned by the National Trust. A handy find ;).

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Cinnamon and Hugo.

5)  On Sunday we met up with a friend and her Labrador for a walk. How cute do these two look together. 🙂

 

6 & 7)  And we visited other friends who have the cutest Summer House in their garden. It made me wish that our shed could be converted. I don’t think Wil would be too impressed though!

Thanks for dropping by. Sunday Sevens was devised by Natalie at Threads and Bobbins.

 

 

 

 

25 Before 45 ~ A Bucket List.

I quite forgot that at the beginning of the year I wrote myself a Bucket List !  It’s been sat in my bedside drawer for nearly six months now. Now I’ve rediscovered it, I thought I would put it up on the blog. This might help me get a wiggle on. 🙂

1.Learn to crochet. Discovered this isn’t my bag. :/

2.Find a keep Fit Regime I like.  I have enjoyed the #walk1000miles challenge and am still continuing. Hopefully 1500 miles this year and maybe 2000 in 2019.

3.Eat a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam.

4. Photograph a Kingfisher. Got my photo on the river Nidd in Knaresborough. 🙂

5.Make an Honesty Box Meal.

6.Read To Kill A Mocking Bird. Bought the book in Fargo village in Coventry and loved both the book and the film.

7.Watch a Film outdoors. Saw Sightseers at Lowther Castle under the stars. Sightseers at Lowther Castle~ with Picnic Cinema.

8.See the Northern Lights.

9.Have a Vintage Make over.

10.Swim in a Lido.

11. Go on a proper picnic with a picnic hamper. Bought a hamper from a charity shop and enjoyed a picnic in Dunsop Bridge. Unfortunately Hugo took a chomp out of the cake!

12. Be Nine Stone!

13.Stay in a Bothy.

14. Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild.

15. Do a Rail Ale Trail.  The East Lancs Rail Ale Trail from Bury to Rawtenstall. All Aboard for a Rail Ale Trail Tour.

16. Take Part in a sponsored  Charity Event. Raised money for the East Lancs Hospice, whilst walking across Morecambe Bay.  The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk.

17. Have Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23.

18.  Enter Hugo in a Doggy Competition.  Done! 

19. Get Engaged!

20. Bathe  in  a Turkish  Baths.  The Turkish Baths in Harrogate, what a relaxing and fun experience. 🙂

21. Go trekking with llamas in the lakes.  Yes, loved this with family ~ Llama Trekking in the Lakes. 🙂

22. Experience a night out down Canal Street.  The rainbow village in Manchester, a top night out!

23. Do the Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk With the Queen’s Official  Guide.  Done! See number 15. 

24. Visit the new Cat Cafe in Manchester.  My friend Lisa and I spent some quality time eating cake and stroking cute kitties.


25. Cook a proper Sunday Roast Lunch ( I almost never cook!).

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Come trekking with us.  Don’t forget the Picnic!!

So there you have it. I’ve actually managed three already this year, which is a good start. I’ve read  To Kill a Mockingbird and it was as good as everyone said, I went on a night out down Canal Street with some work mates ( Interesting!) and Wil and I thoroughly enjoyed  The East Lancs Rail Ale Trail Tour  from Bury to Rawtenstall. This gives me two and a half years to attempt the rest.Maybe I should book that Llama trek. 🙂

What’s on your Bucket list??

Sunday Sevens ~Sunday 1st May.

This week gone by ended on such a gorgeous sunny note, I thought I would post some pictures to remind myself that we do get warm sunny rays, here in NW England too.In fact I am writing this sat outside in my back yard , catching the early evening sunshine.:)

wp-1462800467705.jpg1) During this particular week everywhere is abundant with beautiful blossoms like these.The Castle Park in particular is resplendent in pinks and whites.

wp-1462800484539.jpg2) I put this picture of Hugo up on Instagram and’ The Summer Days Festival’ ( which is a music festival that Clitheroe Castle is hosting in July) shared it with their followers. Hugo thinks he’s quite the star!

3 & 4) I snuck off for a cheeky coffee before work on Thursday. It was so nice to just sit in the sunshine and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the little courtyard at ‘Cheesie Tchaikovsky’s’. I must blog about that place. It’s such a hidden gem.

 

5) Slinky enjoyed a bit of bird watching. She watched this nature programme for it’s duration, but got bored when I decided to watch ‘The Good Wife’. 🙂wp-1462801195610.jpg

6) I spent an afternoon with my sister’s family paddling in rivers and playing on swings and roundabouts. The weather was perfect for messing about in the river at Kirkby Lonsdale. My nephew even found a frog!

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7) And because I was on my ownsome at the weekend ( Wil was away mountain biking~yep i’m a biking widow!) I had these two as company on my Sunday lie in 🙂

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I’ve joined in with Sunday Seven’s devised by Natalie at Threads And Bobbins.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BEDM Sun stopped play.

This weekend is to good to be true!  It’s sunny and actually warm. Warm enough for a paddle, even. 🙂

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Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale.

I have a confession!  I’m absolutely rubbish at this scheduling posts /writing up posts malarky , and I’m not sure I am going to keep up with the pressure of Blogging Every Day In May.  And besides the weather is just too nice to be glued to my pc. So i’m stopping for now. I managed a week!  And I’ll be back soon. Or when it rains….

Thanks for dropping by.X

#BEDM Hugo’s Haunts ~ A walk in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle .

Hugo is very lucky that the town we live in has an excellent dog friendly park!  Some days we head down the fields to the river on our walks and occasionally we can be found whizzing round the Castle grounds.When I say whizzing, I mean Hugo is usually about a mile ahead of me.I most probably am trying to catch up with him…..or hyperventilating in a bush!  Although today’s #BEDM  prompt is meant to be TOP TIPS, I’m just going to show you a few piccies of my local park and tiny Castle instead….

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The park is full of beautiful blossom at the moment. 🙂
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The Band Stand at the park plays host to a few events in the Summer including The Castle Proms.
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The Castle Field is perfect for Sunbathers. 🙂
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Spring flowers are so colourful!
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Clitheroe Castle may be tiny but it has dominated the town’s skyline for over 800 years.
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The Keep is the second smallest surviving stone-built Keep in England. I don’t know which is the smallest!
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The Castle commands views all around.
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The Castle’s Museum is based in the former Steward’s house but Hugo is not allowed inside.
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A bonnie boy amongst the Bluebells. 🙂

This turret known as The Pinnacle is originally from the Houses of Parliament. Hugo is impressed!

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But is ready for another game of ball. 🙂

Thanks for joining Hugo and I on one of our typical walks. 🙂

This post is for day 6 of #BEDM devised by Elizabeth at Rosalilium.

#BEDM Rancheros Pie.

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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.

Ingredients.
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.

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

Method.

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.

Enjoy.:)