Friday, 22 July 2011

# 101 Fridays recipes: Deep pizza base with tuna in tomato sauce, peach and mozzarella

Now, there's a mouthful :-)

It finally dawned on me last week how to make a deep pizza base for my homemade pizzas and here's how I did it in case you've been wondering too! It's so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

The first obvious step is to make the dough and I make mine in the bread machine following this recipe.

When the dough is ready tip it onto a lightly floured surface and roll with a rolling pin. Using a plate as template lightly score the dough with the tip of a knife.

Roll the edges towards the centre until they meet the scored line. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper to cover the bottom of the pizza base and evenly spread some baking beans. Blind bake in a pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes then carefully remove the baking beans and bake for 5 minutes more.

 Mine looked like this.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan soften some finely sliced onion in a little olive oil then add chopped tomatoes, dry basil, oregano and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes and add a can of tuna mixing well into the tomato sauce. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, you want a nice, thick tomato sauce.

Spread this on the bottom of the pizza base and finish off with a few slices of canned peach and mozzarella.

Bake until the dough is golden and cripsy.

Serve with a green salad and enjoy :-)


Wednesday, 20 July 2011

# 100 Summer walks in Berkeley

The pictures below were taken early evening last Thursday when me and the husband went for a walk at our usual destination: the Deer Park near Berkeley.

It's usually a peaceful place to go for a walk but even more so at 8 in the evening and the feeling you get from being there at that time is completely different. The sun is getting lower in the sky and casting a golden light on things and nature's noises become suddenly more distinct.

While the sun was setting to our left...

...this is what it looked like to our right. Amazing!


Monday, 18 July 2011

# 99 Postcard from Pembrokeshire

 On the list of things the children had to pack for their residential visit to Stackpole was a 1st class stamp.

A postcard from A. arrived on Friday, the same day the children made the journey back home.

They arrived tired but happy having thoroughly enjoyed their stay.

Meanwhile today they're back at school for their last week before the Summer holidays. There's still a few events before next Friday: Sports Day, Leavers Assembly and Leavers Disco and then it's goodbye primary school and hello secondary school in September.

This will be a whole new chapter in our lives as many things will change. A. will be going to school and coming back home on the bus, our timings will also be a little different as he'll need to leave home earlier in the morning and will be arriving later in the afternoon.

He's very excited about going to a new and much bigger school and so are we but it also feels a little scary, our boy is growing up way too fast!


Friday, 15 July 2011

# 98 Fridays recipes: Chocolate chip brownies

I made these chocolate chip brownies last Friday for my husband's birthday, the recipe used is from the booklet that came with my brownie pan but as I didn't have all the ingredients listed I made a few changes as below.

Chocolate chip brownies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Chocolate chips (I used half a bar of chocolate and cut it into small pieces)

 Cream together butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix. Combine flour and baking powder. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Line the brownie pan with baking parchment and grease the divider. Pour the batter into the pan and spread. Press divider into batter and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes, check with a skewer to see if they're cooked and remove from the oven. Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy :-)


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

# 97 Summer walks in Berkeley

One of the things I've been wanting to do for a very long time is to go for a walk at the Deer Park in the evening in Summer.

This may sound crazy to some of you but there's usually such a wonderful light from 7pm until sunset that I always thought it must be lovely to be up there at that time.

As luck would have it when we set out for our evening walk yesterday there was a white cloud spreading over Berkeley which means we didn't really get the lovely light I was looking forward to, but we still had a very pleasant walk. We met only one other couple, they were leaving as we were arriving and from then on it was just us, the birds, the deer and the beautiful landscape.

That was a great end to the day, hope you like the pictures!

Entrance gate to the Deer park.

View from the gate towards Berkeley.

Yellow flowers all the way up the path.

View from the Deer Park.


Monday, 11 July 2011

# 96 Residential visit to Stackpole

If everything has gone according to plan, A. and the whole of his class (apart from 1 child who didn't go) should be arriving at Stackpole round about now - it's nearly 1 pm. They will be staying until Friday after lunch when they get on the coach for the 4 hour journey back home.

A. is our only child and my routine is usually set around him, getting his lunch box ready every morning for him to take to school, collecting him in the afternoon and taking him swimming in the school pool. Reminding him countless times to have his shower before dinner, to brush his teeth before going to bed, to make sure his clothes are ready for next morning, etc. You know the drill.

So today feels a little strange, and I know tomorrow will be even more so but I'm also excited for him because I know he'll have such a great time and enjoy every minute of it. Can't wait for Friday though and to hear of all his adventures.


Thursday, 7 July 2011

# 95 Fridays recipes: Banana & Oats Muffins

I like bananas as a fruit but I don't like banana flavoured foods such as yoghurts, milk shakes, etc. However the other day at a PTA cake sale I tried a banana muffin someone had made (they looked so delicious) and was pleasantly surprised so I made a mental note to look for recipes online and to try and make some banana muffins for us. I also wanted to use  some of the porridge oats I have in the cupboard and so this recipe was just the thing.

I made a few changes to the ingredients used as follows.

Banana & Oats Muffins

2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oats
3 tablespoons honey
2 eggs
3/4 creme fraiche (only because I didn't have any yoghurt)
100g butter softened
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Follow the instructions on the recipe website, the only thing I did differently was I didn't sift the flour.

Personally, I loved these muffins as a breakfast alternative to my usual toast. Husband and son not so much although A. did have 1 or 2 with his milk for breakfast. I think next time I make these I'll make a few more changes maybe try with different fruits, dry fruits and/or nuts.


# 94 Summer walks in Berkeley

These were taken a few minutes ago on my usual morning walk, not very Summery looking I know but the weather has changed for the worse in the last few days and the school Summer Fair is tomorrow evening. Typical!

I do hope it brightens up for the whole of next week. A. and the rest of his class are going on a residential visit to Stackpole from Monday to Friday. He's never been away from home for such a long time which worries and excites me at the same time as I know he'll have a great time.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

# 93 Just another manic week

With the end of the school year fast approaching things are getting a little hectic here.

I'm looking at the July page on the calendar and it's hard to find an empty space due to the number of school related events, a lot has been crammed into these last few weeks. Here's a few in no particular order.

- Spanish & Music afternoon
- Parent's evening on the 7th and Introductory Day on the 8th at the secondary school A. will be attending from September
- Summer Fair
- Residential visit to Stackpole (Y6 children will be staying for 5 days)
- Pool party
- Swimming gala for years 5 & 6
- Sports day
- Leavers assembly on the last day of school (July 22nd)
- Leavers Disco (this one was not organized by the school but by 2 of the mums who have children in Y6)

And finally school is over for the Summer.


Sunday, 3 July 2011

# 92 Weekend outing: Woodchester Park


Hope you're all enjoying your Sunday. It's been nice here, sunny but not too hot, the perfect weather, in my opinion, for a picnic followed by an invigorating walk around Woodchester Park.

We were there last in May and it's interesting to notice how a landscape changes with the passing of time and from one season to the next.

Here are a few photos taken earlier today, hope you enjoy them as well as the rest of your day.


I've just remembered Pride and Prejudice is on later tonight on ITV3, it's the film with Keira Knightley filmed at Basildon Park. I'm going to watch it, are you?

Friday, 1 July 2011

# 91 Fridays recipes: Grilled pork escalopes

Grilled or fried these pork escalopes are delicious although they're healthier grilled on a hot dry grilling pan or on a barbecue.

Grilled Pork Escalopes

Pork escalopes
2 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
Pinch of mild chilli powder or paprika (use hot chilli powder or some sort of piri-piri sauce if you like spicy food)
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
1 1/2 tablespoon Port wine
Few drops of lemon and orange juice (optional)

In a plastic container with lid make a marinade by mixing all the ingredients listed above. Add the pork escalopes and make sure the marinade is covering them and keep in the fridge until cooking time. The meat should be prepared at least a couple of hours before cooking but the longer it stays in the marinade the better.

Drain the pork escalopes and cook them on a hot grilling pan, on a barbecue or fry them in a little vegetable oil and butter.

This marinade goes really well with pork, turkey or chicken meat whether grilled, barbecued or fried.

Serve with white rice or chips and a salad or on a slice of bread.

Enjoy :-)