Category Archives: recipes

30 Days Wild ~ Days 10 to 16. Wild-rose petal jam and a walk in the centre of Britain. 

Back to my own neck of the woods  now, the lovely Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Here are my wild moments from the last seven days. 🙂

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Day 10 ~ The Running Hare. I have started reading this charming book by John Lewis Stempel. It is  the story of how a farmer attempts to transform a bare ,almost barren meadow , into a haven for the kind of wildlife that would frequent a field, if it wasn’t for the intensive farming methods used  today. This book takes me back to my own childhood, growing up on a farm, when  hare and partridges, lapwing and field mice were much more commonplace  than they are today. I hope he succeeds…

 

Day 11 ~ Wild Rose-Petal Jam. The hedgerows are full of fragrant Wild Rose shrubs , so I thought I would follow this recipe and make Rose- Petal Jam.

2 Cups Wild Rose Petals.

2 Cups Caster Sugar.

1 tbsp Orange juice.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Half a cup of Water.

Dissolve two cups of caster sugar in half a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice. Stir in the rose petals and put the pan over a very low heat. Stir continuously for 30 minutes, or until the petals have ‘melted’. Cool the mixture and pour into a small glass jar and seal. Rose-Petal jam is popular in the Middle East , especially with yoghurt.

The recipe worked, though took an awful lot of stirring. Also the jam is incredibly sweet, so I think if I make it again, I would lessen the amount of sugar used.


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Day 12 ~  Feeding the Birds.  Wil very kindly made this hanger for the bird feeders at the weekend. Much less precarious than having them swing about on the washing line! One visitor has taken to the Coconut shell filled with cooked fat and seeds.A bluetit ! Hopefully more will follow. 🙂

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Meadow Cranesbill.

Day 13 ~  Wildflower Count. My blogger pal  Christine has posted on Facebook about an online Wildflower survey organized by Plantlife  , so I thought I would give it a go on today’s dog walk. Hugo and I followed Mearley Brook through the fields and then on to the River Ribble. I ticked off only 7 of the suggested flowers, which  was a little disappointing . But there were a few I spotted that were not on the list, such as Red Campion, Crosswort, Silverweed and Water Forget-me-not. I also saw the shiny copper coloured beetle below. Let me if know you take part…


 

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Possibly a Garden Chafer.

Day 14 ~ Meadow Grasses.  Flowers are beautiful, but have you ever noticed how pretty wild grasses are?  On an early morning walk with Hugo, I passed through a farmer’s field, which I think is waiting to be mown. Here are just a few of the different grasses that I very quickly took pictures of with my phone. Hugo loves racing trails through this meadow. We ended up soaked with dew and covered in grass seeds. 🙂

 

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Day 15 ~ Wildflower Seedlings. It looks like the seeds I received in my #30dayswild pack from The Wildlife Trusts are sprouting in my flower bed. Either that or a variety of weeds. I am intrigued to see what we end up with!

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Day 16 ~  A walk in the centre of the Kingdom.  Did you know the exact Centre of the UK is in Lancashire?  National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones , to be exact!  The nearest village is the pretty Bowland settlement of Dunsop Bridge. We parked our car in the village car park and walked up the track adjacent PuddleDuck Tearooms, past the playground and into the Dunsop Valley. Here are a few photos of the wildlife we saw on our walk.

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A Willow warbler, I think.
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Thistle.
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Heath Bedstraw.
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Pied Wagtail.
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Mallards.
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Elderflower.
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Common Spotted Orchids.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Foxglove.
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Eyebright.
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Mistle Thrush, I think !

After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks!  A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. 🙂

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Puddleducks , Dunsop Bridge.

Whoo I think that means we are just over halfway through ’30 Days Wild’ now. I just need to think of some ideas for the next 14 days!  All suggestions welcome. 🙂
 

 

 

 

 

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February Links & Likes. ♡♡

♡ Image Via Pinterest.

Hi folks I’ve been reading quite a few blogs recently but haven’t written any posts myself. To be honest I could do with some inspiration!  Any hew,  here are some of my favourites. ♡ Hope you enjoy. 

Naomi has shared all her lovely Glamping Adventures from last year in one post. I must say I’m quite jealous ! 

Bekki has made up some pretty Knitted Heart Kits for her shop ‘Dartmoor Yarns’. If you enjoy knitting ,take a look at her blog. 🙂

Sarah enjoyed  Kitty Cuddles at  The Cat In The Window Cafe in Aberdeen. This post inspired me to book myself and a friend into ‘Cat Cafe ‘ in Manchester. Can’t wait! 

♡ Image Via Pinterest.

What would motivate me to run a marathon?  Well, maybe The Hot Chocolate 5K as tried out by  Charlotte. 🙂

Rebecca has reviewed sweary self – help Book  ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving A F**k’ and it has some useful ideas. 

♡ Image via Pinterest.

Have you seen any Snowdrops in flower yet?  Here is a list of The National Trust’s  Top Spots For Snowdrops. 🙂

 The Helpful Hiker has compiled a list of  the Best Outdoor Dates For Valentine’s Day. ♡

Ever considered  Greenland for a City Break ??  Ellen says Ilullisat  is one of her favourite destinations. And I can see Why.
 

Nina is celebrating 2 years of being a Mum to little cutie Lana. 🙂

I might have to try this tasty looking low fat Flapjack recipe on Fred The Thread Blog.

Need to know what Galentine’s Day is all about. Read this article here and arrange time out with your Besties. 🙂 

 

Image via Pinterest.

Happy Valentine’s Day ! Let me know how you will Celebrate?  I’m doing ‘The Galentine’s ‘ thing on Friday night with some girl friends. A cocktail masterclass at ‘Escape’ in Clitheroe. I will let you know how it goes. 🙂

Photo an Hour Sat 24 September.

On Saturday I joined in with Janey and Louisa’s Photo An Hour challenge on Instagram. For me it was a different kind of day as Wil was away falling off a bike  mountain biking in deepest darkest Wales….so it was just me and the pets for most of the day.

8am. This is how I woke up. With furry faces in my face. 🙂

9am. Out in the park with Hugo and his doggie friend Mollie The Collie.

10am.  I take Hugo for a coffee ( he got a couple of treats ! ) at Escape in town. They are currently selling the most yummy Finch Bakery cupcakes, so well, I couldn’t resist!

11am. On the way back home Hugo poses with some scooters. Saturday was actually The Ribble Valley Mod Weekender so Clitheroe was packed with Vespas and Lambrettas.

12 Noon. I’m back in town running errands…and….shopping. 😉

1pm. Quick pasta lunch before catching the train to nearby Whalley to meet my sister and nephew.

2pm. We take Hugo for a walk by the River Calder. He hunts out an old tennis ball ( that dog has a snout for all things rubber!) so much fun is had. 🙂

3pm.  And no trip to Whalley is complete without refreshments in Benedicts. We loved this cafe with it’s smart decor and a-joining deli and gift shop. Pet friendly too!

4pm. Oooops no photo. The truth is when I got home I bobbed over to Bowland Beer Hall,  bought myself half a cider and promptly got the worst heartburn ever!!!  Luckily a glass of milk proved an amazing cure….but the experience put me off going out again that night.

5pm. Instead stayed in and watched The Addams Family. Class!

6pm. And put photos in my album. So rock n roll!!

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7pm. So this is a totally staged photo of course. I am reading MIss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ( and loving it 🙂 ), but Autumn leaves were not falling gently over me.lol. 🙂

8pm. Writing up my Sunday Sevens 25th September blog post.

9pm. New ankle boots that I purchased from Beryls in Clitheroe this morning. Weirdly I think these are my first pair of ankle boots since the nineties! Like the colour.

Cheers for reading. Maybe you can join in on Instagram next time. Look for the #photoanhour tag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links and Likes, Lately. 

Im Spreading the Blog Love and adding a few other links in this post. Enjoy!                       

How lovely that Roots and Toots has baked her Hollywood Idol’s own recipe for Chocolate Brownies. Yummy!

Also in Blogland I’m loving Rike’s little piece of cyberspace, as much as ever. She not only poses in stunning vintage frocks, she makes them all too. She writes her blog Draped in Cloudlets in both her native German…. and English.

If Rike could dress a star, I suspect she would love to drape the delectable Eva Green in velvets and ruffles, especially as she is currently starring in the new Tim Burton movie Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children..  I do love a Tim Burton movie and this one I am especially excited about, as I am currently reading Ransom Rigg’s kooky and strange tale. 🙂

Who is going to Yarndale this weekend?  The Yorkshire Dales town of Skipton brings together over 180 exhibitors over the next two days, all keen to share their passion for wool. Expect to be Yarn bombed on arrival. 🙂

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Joanna Lumley sees dancing cranes, cherry blossom,geisha and snow monkeys in Japan.

If you have ITV Catchup it’s worth watching the Fabulous Joanna Lumley in Japan. She is a wonderful tour guide to this most mysterious of countries.

I was yappy to discover Man About A Dog Blog  and am following adorable hound Grenson on his amazing pet-friendly glamping trips , with some envy I admit.

Bev has put her own unique twist on Toad In The Hole.

And here’s a lovely post about The Art of Letter Writing  on Vintage Flicker.

However I’m tempted to join www.postcrossing.com , just so I can send and recieve random postcards from all over the world. Sounds like fun to me!

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Snow dogs by the Sea. 🙂

 

The Snow Dogs By The Sea Art Trail in Brighton & Hove has been inspired by characters from the beloved animated tale ‘The Snowman and the Snowdog’ by Raymond Briggs.  The colourful Snow Dogs Sculptures will be scattered around the area from 24th September and  eventually auctioned off to raise money for Martlets Hospice.

Thanks for reading, and have a great weekend!

 

 

Sunday Sevens September 18th.

Although there was a nip in the air early yesterday morning, it still feels like Summer here in North West England. Even though I have recently written a Twenty Things To Do This Autumn. 🙂 blog post, the warm rays of Summer hang on. 🙂

Last Sunday we traveled home from Grange-Over-Sands as we had stayed the night there after doing the The Morecambe Bay Cross Bay Walk. It’s well worth doing by the way! On our meander home to Clitheroe we stopped off in both Cartmel and Bolton Le Sands.

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A cute cafe cat relaxes outside The Mallard in Cartmel.

Cartmel is a pretty medieval village specially famed for it’s Sticky Toffee Pudding, ancient priory, busy race course and a variety of foodie shops. We had a little walk in the nearby woodland and enjoyed a hot chocolate in the village centre.

We stopped later in Bolton le sands near Morecambe for lunch. I wish I had taken some photos of the sea, however I did manage to take the following cute animal pictures. 🙂

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Lapwing. One of my favourite birds.
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Ponies at Bolton le sands.

Giant rabbits at Red Bank Farm campsite which has a cafe and a pets corner, open to non residents too.

The giant rabbits reminded me of the book I have just finished reading. It’s called When God was A Rabbit. Has anyone ever read it?  I loved the first half but the second half wasn’t as good.

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Yesterday I made some cookies. Why do they never look as good as in the recipe book? Ha ha.! 🙂

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Dark Chocolate & Pistachio Cookies.

They are pretty tasty though ….and the recipe can be found in Sabrina Ghayour’s Cook Book ‘Sirocco’ ~ Fabulous flavours from the East.

This post is for Sunday Sevens which is devised by Natalie at the blog Threads and Bobbins. where she asks folks to share seven ( or more) photos of their personal week.

 

 

 

#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.:)