31 December 2010

Day 365 of 365

:: The three of us (and the mutt) Cullen beach this afternoon ::

Last photo of the challenge. Am I glad it's finished? If I'm being honest yes. It has been a struggle some days to find anything interesting to take a picture of. Some days I couldn't be bothered to blog the pictures and earlier this year I was adding them a week at a time. But......that was the challenge. A photo a day for a year and I'm pleased with myself for completing it. Will I be doing it again next year? NO and possibly not for a few years to come.

29 December 2010

Day 363 of 365

Why is it that even when all the socks are paired and rolled up you always end up with an odd one? Mind you it does belong to Samuel so as to when the other one will turn up is anyone's guess!!

28 December 2010

Upstairs, Downtairs

In my humble opinion - the only thing worth watching on TV this Christmas.

Day 362 of 365

Still unfinished!!
Maybe 2011 is the year to get them finished. The left one was started in 1993 and the right one was 1997. Thing is now I need good daylight and my glasses to be able to see what I'm doing. Night time sewing is definitely out of the question!!

Day 361 of 365

:: Chillin' ::

26 December 2010

Day 360 of 365

Guitar Hero? I think not...........................

and I really don't think that Brian May has anything to worry about..................!!

24 December 2010

Day 358 of 365 - Christmas Eve

What do you do on Christmas Eve afternoon once all the shopping is done and everyone is home? Make mince pies of course!!
My favourite are Streusel Topped Mince Pies which I first found in a supermarket magazine the year Samuel was born and have been making ever since.

Of course while I was waiting for them to cook the boys decided to find an old piece of pipe, a left over ball of dough and play Splat the Pastry on the kitchen cupboards!! What a laugh that was trying to see who could get nearest the cupboard door handle!!

Notice the haircut? Not done by me though

Well why not it is Christmas...............

Streusel Topped Mince Pies


1 jar of mincemeat
Icing sugar for dusting

For the pastry:

350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 tbsp icing sugar
½ tsp salt
90g chilled butter, cut into pieces
90g chilled lard or white vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
Butter for greasing

For the streusel topping:

50g plain flour
30g butter, at room temperature
25g demerara sugar
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
25g lightly toasted hazelnuts, chopped

1. For the pastry, sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a mixing bowl, add the butter and lard/vegetable shortening, then work it together until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in 3-4 tbsp cold water with a round-bladed knife until the mixture comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Divide into 2 equal pieces.
2. Roll each piece of pastry out on a lightly floured surface and cut out 24 x 7cm rounds using a fluted cutter, re-kneading and rolling the trimmings. Lightly grease 2 x 12-hole patty tins with butter and line with the pastry discs. Spoon 1 tbsp mincemeat into each case. Chill for 20 minutes.
3. For the streusel topping, sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and the cinnamon and work it a little more between your fingers until the mixture forms little nuggets. Stir in the hazelnuts.
4. Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5. Spoon 1 heaped tsp streusel mix over each pie, then bake for 25 minutes until golden. Carefully remove to a rack. Leave for 3-4 minutes, dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cold.

Day 357 of 365

The walk home after a lovely trip around a frozen pond. Moss and I were the only ones out and about.

Day 356 of 365

Oh Christmas Tree............................................

Day 355 of 365

Lots of lovely sweets from teachers at work.

14 December 2010

Worth fighting for................

RAF Lossiemouth is to stay open!! Unfortunately it means that RAF Leuchars in St Andrews will close but at least we won't lose both airbases in the area.

Newspaper headlines
ETA - 9.20pm - Seems it one thing in the papers and one thing on the news!!

Day 348 of 365

:: Samuel's note to self ::

13 December 2010

Day 347 of 365

Off to the dance in half an hour when he asks if I can cut his hair as it's too long!!
Errrr - NO!!!

Day 346 of 365

A freebee from Estee Lauder but seeing as it's also my initials it's made it's way onto the tree.

Day 345 of 365

It's time to decorate.
This is the Christmas decoration I made for the Hopeman crop. Unfortunately due to the weather I didn't go.

Day 344 of 365

Remember this post? Well it seems that when the girls want to go to the dance the boys go too!!

Day 343 of 365

More Granny Squares

Day 342 of 365

You don't see one of these every day

5 December 2010

Easy Cup Cakes

Toady's plan was to use up the shortening I had left in the cupboard. It's not something I normally use so after trawling the internet I found this very easy recipe for cup cakes. I have to say though. I prefer the good old sponge cake made with butter. John on the other hand loves these!!!

Easy Cupcakes

• 2 1/4 cups plain (all purpose) flour
• 1 1/3 cups sugar
• 3 teaspoons baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 2 large eggs


Heat oven to 180C.

Cream the shortening with the sugar. Add the beaten eggs and vanilla. Add baking powder and salt to flour and sift into mixture. Stir together adding the milk, a little at a time until all the ingredients are combined.
Spoon into cake/muffin cases and cook for 20 – 25 minutes until golden and firm to the touch.

Day 339 of 365

Lego fort and armoury

Day 338 of 365

Venison Goulash
Slow cooker recipe.
1kg stewing steak, cut into cubes
75g seasoned flour
5 tbsp vegetable oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
3 tsp paprika
5 tbsp tomato puree
5 tsp mixed herbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
400ml beef stock
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
5 tsp Worcestershire sauce
400ml red wine (optional)
Toss the meat in the seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a pan and fry onions, pepper and carrot until soft. Add the meat and fry until browned. Add the paprika, tomato puree, mixed herbs and seasoning and cook for a further two minutes. Add stock, tomatoes, red wine and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer.
Transfer all ingredients into the crock pot and cook for 5-7 hours. Serve with veg, baked potatoes or rice.

Day 337 of 365


Day 336 of 365

Did someone mention the word Bone?

Day 335 of 365

The view from the school office.

1 December 2010

A walk around the village

No snowy day is complete without a walk around the village. Moss loves the snow so a walk through the woods was perfect.

The burn looks a little different from earlier in the year when it was flooded.
the trees were pure white.....

the snow kept falling.....
the pond was iced over.....

and Samuel's conker tree was completely bare.

I love snowy days. It's a shame to have to go back to work today.

29 November 2010

Day 333 of 365

New neighbours?

Just so you can get an idea of the size. Bob, the owner had to use a forklift truck to get the head on!!

28 November 2010

Day 332 of 365

Here comes the sun.

Love it or hate it?

The thing with snow is that you either love it or hate it. Or if you're like me, love looking at it and walking in but absolutely hate driving in it.

Today we took Moss for a walk around the Gordon castle and he loved it. When we set off we had a gorgeous blue sky.
This unfortunately didn't last very long and before we knew it.....................we were in the middle of a blizzard.

A few minutes later the sun was just trying to break through.

And a few more after that we were back to blue skies.
Over by the pond the water had already turned to ice and the sun was shining. The oak tree was just losing the last of it's leaves and the the snow was beginning to defrost...right on top of my head!!!
More snow is forecast for tonight and I'm sure all the kids in the local area are hoping for a snow day tomorrow. We can but hope. I could cope with a three day weekend.