Sunday, 29 November 2015

Now entering Warp Level 9

Quick in-and-out today!

Yesterday I prepared 3 of the 4 Christmas swops I'm doing this year. One of them has turned out a lot heavier than I'd planned! Hey-ho! Never mind. I also packed & sent off a parcel of 15 pairs of socks for Socks for Refugees
Why not do the same?

I also made a delicious lasagne from Mary Berry
Easy to make and absolutely delish!!!

No idea what's planned for dinner this week - my planning book isn't here. It's gone walkabout!!

Today I really have to prepare for next week, so this is super quick today. I hope everyone is in good health!

FISHCAKE RANDOM - I've not made my fat bird feeders (or is that bird fat feeders? Or bird feeders made with fat?!) Maybe today if I hurry up with my planning.

MICHELLE - no pressure on the sweet potato bake. But HAVE YOU MADE IT YET?????

KEZZIE I hope you are feeling more energetic now...I'm still a bit bleeugh, as it's grey and mibsy. I'm also getting stressed about Christmas presents not sorted. I must remember that that is not the important stuff. There will be time, if I'm oprganised & don't waste time faffing. But some faff is good for the soul as well!!

POMPOM Looking forward to seeing you when you pop in! You'll always be welcome!

Just a rapid Lolcat and I must get on!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

My Get-up-&-go has Got-up-&-Gone!

Hello all! I had planned to make Christmas cards today to go in the Artisans Craft Shop at the Chateau, but you know, I can't be bothered! I have spent the morning making Christmas Cake (rather belatedly!) and carrot cake for tomorrow. Plus some veggie soup.

 I also battled with some new covers for the sofas...It took me forever to iron the blessed things and then more hours to work out how they fitted on. Especially with "help" from Bib the cat!
They look okay - but nowhere near as neat as this one! - but I think we bought a size too big, so it doesn't quite fit as tightly as it might. We could send them back but actually can't be arsed!! Ours are a nicer teal greeny blue. 

My back hurts a lot today, Mr FD is very stressed (partly due to the joys of French bureaucracy and partly due to his procrastinatory powers, which have meant that the likelihood renewing something that needs to be renewed before the end of 2015 becomes slimmer!) and so we've been a bit snitty with each other. next week is looking like this:
TODAY: spicy chicken stirfry. A Chinese girl at church gave me a jar of spicy Korean marinade - I'd tried it at the Church picnic & really liked it. I'll marinade the chicken in this for an hour, and then stir fry some veggies and we'll have it with ricve.

TOMORROW: It's the annual Church Thanksgiving Lunch. I've made carrot cake to take for dessert. Mr FD will have something from the freezer.

MONDAY: Ostrich steaks, chips, some kind of veggies. Green beans, I think.

TUESDAY: Duck breast (save the fat! I want to use it to make bird feeders!), potatoes and veggies.

WEDNESDAY: Lamb with spinach & yoghurt. (from the old Crockpot cook book) It's a lamb-and-spinach stew cooked in the slow cooker. Nothing out of this world! I'll spice it up a bit with some garlic and worcester sauce! I'll prepare it before I leave for my day teaching in Roanne so it will be ready when I get back from dancing.

THURSDAY: Fresh pasta, lardons, mushrooms, pesto. Dead quick after shopping.

FRIDAY: Somerset Stew with sausages, and fewer beans but added butternut squash! Sounds good and warming.

SATURDAY: Pork chop from Sorted- sounds delicious!
We've got a bit of snow today -  a real shock after high temperatures (for November!) of 18°C. I hjope we won't get more before tomorrow.

As always, thank you for your lovely comments!

POMPOM liked the look of last Tuesday's dinner - it was only left overs, but it was very nice! 

KEZZIE gave me some suggestions for dies for my Big Shot - thank you too for the link to the site, Kezzie! Like Kezzie, I'm aware that I need to try to use the craft-stash things I've got before buying more!

JANE-&-CHRIS: Thank you for your comment about the cards (and Pompom & Kezzie too!) You're right about how we should react to terrorists...although it's easier said than done, at the moment! The Fete de la Lumière and the Christmas Market have both been cancelled in Lyon, which is a great shame, but I can understand that people just would not feel safe - and a big open, public gathering like that would be impossible to police successfully.

TRISH has made a similar point. I keep thinking back to the IRA situation in the 80s - at least they gave a warning, most times. It was disruption rather than killing. 

MICHELLE: How did the squash bake go? Mr FD cooked it with a few minor modifications and it was very nice!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Добро пожаловать *

Hello dear Peeps, from a slightly subdued Dormouse Towers. Of course, after Friday's terrible events, one cannot help but be subdued. I wrote a post about it over at The Teapot.

But this is life as we have to live it: the terrorists want to sow fear, and panic and terror. They want us to live un-normal lives, terrified of what could happen to us. And while me continuing to write my blog in a cheery manner probably won't strike much of a note with terrorists from I.S. it does at least mean that I am showing that I know that Life and Light has conquered Death. Which leaves me free to blog about food...(!!!)

I have just realised that it is TWO WEEKS since I last posted!! I am sorry. I went to a Craft-and-Leisure show last Saturday, to church on Sunday morning and then ended up being rather busy preparing lessons on Sunday afternoon. The Craft fair was quite good, and I ended up buying my Big Shot as planned. Plus various embossing folders and cutting tools. I'm still very much a beginner, but I look forward to practising lots!

Here are three cards that I've made so far:
This is for someone at church - I used the Big Shot to emboss the card, and also to cut out the dove from an old card from last year. I'm well aware that the writing is horribly wonky, so I'm going to redo the card after I've finished blogging.

Another embossed card, with the little sentiment cut out with another cutting die. This one went to SiL to thank her for my birthday present, and the following one went to my mum whose cheque made all this possible!

I'm reasonably pleased with these, and will be continuing to play and experiment! Anyone with Big Shot experience, please do contact me with suggestions for projects or must-have tools.

Food this week has been reasonably simple, so I don't need to catch up really. Yesterday's planned dinner was abandoned for a pizza from the van...I ate about 2/3 of mine and finished it for lunch today!

Planned for the following week:
TODAY: Slow Cooker Pork Catalan - from an ancient (1970s) slow cooker recipe book. I can't find a recipe to link to, but it's basically pork casserole. I'm not sure what makes it "catalonian" except the green pepper (I used a red one!) and the addition of some olives. Still, hopefully it will be nice whatever it's called!

MONDAY: Sweet Potato and Spinach Pie - not quite this recipe, but nearly. Mine has no cream, and has tomatoes sliced into it, for moisture. Mr FD will make a tomato sauce to go with this, and we'll have it with Jambon Persillade

TUESDAY: Leftover pork stew with baked potato and veggies.

WEDNESDAY: Turkish Meat Loaf - again from the 1970s CrockPot cook book. It's Turkish because it involves a daring teaspoon each of cumin, cinnamon and coriander! To be served with some chips and a tomato-and-red-onion salad. 

THURSDAY: Pasta with bacon and caramelised onions This was Saturday's planned-but-abandoned-for-pizza meal. We have feta to use up.

FRIDAY: Turkish Meat Loaf in some guise or other. I'm thinking possibly with baked potato and coleslaw. Or maybe with baked beans (not very Turkish!!) Ooh, or maybe potato gratin... As Mr FD is preparing this meal it will be his choice (unless I feel generous and make the gratin on Thursday)

SATURDAY: We may be going to Lyon to have a meal out and to see "Spectre". We had planned to go today, but felt that enjoying a film full of explosions, gun shots and killing would not be appropriate after Friday. And if we don't go, there's a couple of ostrich steaks in the freezer we can have!
SUNDAY: It's Thanksgiving Dinner at church. Mr FD isn'ty going, so he can have something from the freezer for his dinner. I will be having turkey-and-all-the-trimmings. I will probably take carrot cake as my dessert offering.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments.

PomPom: It sounds like you had a good time in Mexico - I enjoyed reading about it. The stuffed peppers done in the slow cooker were very, very nice. Definitely one to do again!
Here is a Mexican cat just for you:

Jane-and-Chris: I almost always include LolCats in my posts. Two is the usual amount!!

Cro Magnon: You must try pulled pork!! It is very good (although I felt the spice mix was a huge disappointment and much prefer this recipe.)

Trish: I too was glad I didn't have a heart attack!! I did feel a bit as though I had wasted people's time, but changed my mind when I heard yesterday about a woman in the village who had similar symptoms, put them down to indigestion and thought about going to see the doctor the next day if it wasn't better...but didn't make it through the night. 

* I have a new Russian Follower, but every time I try to find out where his/her blog is, my Follower box goes odd. But can I offer him/her a
большой толстый Соня Добро пожаловать (roughly translated as "big fat dormouse welcome!!!)(according to Bing Translator, that is)