Day 270 – #60 Make fudge

30 09 2010

This is the second attempt at making fudge.  The first recipe I tried used evaporated milk.  But it didn’t work properly.  The result was all crystallized, more like tablet.  It tasted right, but the consistency was wrong.

This time, I followed the recipe from my Usborne First Cookbook, thinking that *couldn’t* go wrong!  Hmm, I’m not convinced.  The recipe only had 4 ingredients – brown sugar, milk, butter & vanilla extract.  It looks a bit dark to me, but it’s not set completely yet so can’t verify the consistency or taste.

Why is fudge so hard?!?!?

Day 270 – #55 Try 50 new recipes

30 09 2010

I wasn’t really sure whether to put this in or not, but it’s a recipe and I definitely haven’t tried it before!

This is my first attempt at preserving pears.  As I said before, we had hundreds on our tree so it made sense to try and bottle some of them for later in the year.  I found it really hard to find a definitive recipe so I kind of mixed & matched a few different recipes.  Firstly the pears were cooked in the syrup, then cooked in the oven and then sealed.

Mark tried one of them before we sealed them up and he said it was delicious and wanted to eat them straightaway.  I explained that it wasn’t really the point!  So they are all sealed up – I just have to clean the excess syrup off the jars before they get put away 🙂

Day 265 – #58 Bake 5 different cakes

25 09 2010

Today I baked Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Pear & Almond Cake.  We saw it on an old episode of River Cottage the other week and since we had so many pears off the tree, I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s gorgeous.  Unfortunately its 64 points for the cake!  So I’ve limited myself to half a slice so far.   Poor me 😦

I think I could cut the points by using spread instead of butter (it has 35.5 points worth of butter in it!) but whether it would be as nice or not…

Day 263 – #62 Complete drawing & painting course – Begun!

23 09 2010

Well, I took the plunge and went to the first lesson of my course this evening. I was stupidly nervous. I had to do my breathing exercise on the way over as I was starting to freak out. But once I got into the reception area I found someone else who was doing the same course (Jan). She was really chatty and I started to relax again. The original course instructor had pulled out so we had a replacement called Simon, who is a sculptor and wood carver!
There are 16 in our class. Most are older women. There are 2 other women about my age. And one bloke who is an oil painter but wants to learn about watercolours. Not sure an absolute beginners class is the best place for him but hey ho.
I knew one lady there, Daphne, so I had a natter to her too.

We started off by discussing what we each wanted to achieve from the course. Then Simon explained about lines & planes & points. He is rubbish at explaining stuff. He just tails off before he’s finished what he’s saying so never actually tells us anything! Could be interesting when it gets to something I don’t know about. Luckily we started off with pencil drawing. Hurrah. Unfortunately we started with drawing mushrooms – yuck! Firstly it was drawing in detail, which we did for an hour and a half. Then we all looked at each others and decided what we liked and what we didn’t. We then had to enlarge the scale and “be bold” with our pencil strokes. Well. Mine was rubbish. Total and utter rubbish. Thankfully we only did that for the last 30 mins.

I’m glad I went and I’m looking forward to going next week.

Day 259 – #67 Have a meal out once a month – started!

19 09 2010

For our first meal out we decided to go to the Greyhound at Bromham.  It’s always advertised in the paper and has good reviews so we thought we’d give it a go.

Given that it was a sunday we went reasonably early, hoping that we could get a seat even though we hadn’t booked.  Luckily they could squeeze us in before a later booking.

Mark decided to have the Roast Beef and I went for Roast Pork.   Both came with a yorkshire pudding and dishes containing the following:
Roast Potatoes
Boiled Potatoes
Cauliflower Cheese
Mashed swede

Oh my goodness.  It was delicious.  It’s so nice to find a pub that not only cooks vegetables well, but gives you plenty of it too!  It was all lovely.  Mark was in heaven.

We decided we’d go the whole hog and have a pudding too.  When the sweet board was brought out I don’t think there was a single thing listed that I didn’t like the sound of!  Mark opted for an apple and blackberry crumble.  When it came out in was in a slice like a pie.  It had a pastry shell which was unusual but kept all the filling intact.  The only improvement that could have been made was for it to be hotter.  I, on the otherhand, went for a Chocolate Brownie Sundae.  Oh.  My.  Word.  It was huge.  Basically it was a heavenly concoction of a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, a scoop of chocolate ice-cream, a huge dollop of proper whipped cream (none of your squirty nonsense here!), masses of chocolate sauce and enormous chunks of chocolate brownie.  It was fabulous.  Far too big of course, so Mark helped me out with that side of it.  But goodness me it was divine.

Needless to say we’ve not eaten anything else today and still don’t feel hungry!  The entire bill came to £30 including drinks which was a complete baragin and we’d definitely go back again.  Marvellous.

Day 259 – #55 50 New Recipes

19 09 2010

This is yet another weight watchers recipe.  Mark was away one night with work last week, so I thought I’d try a recipe from my new “Just for me” cookbook.

It consisted of chicken, onion, chilli, garlic, brown sugar, rice wine & soy sauce.  And it was actually really, really nice.  I was fully prepared to phone Dominos as a back up plan but thankfully didn’t need to 🙂

I’d definitely make it again and it was only 3 points!  Bargain.

Day 248 – #9 Complete the BBC Big Read

8 09 2010

I actually read this book on holiday.  I took a couple of the Top 100 on the boat with me but this was the only one I read.  And I read it in just over a day!  I loved it.  Again, it was a book I knew nothing about.  I had in mind that it was something like Animal Farm.  Obviously it wasn’t.  It was brilliant.  I love Flora Poste.  I want to be like Flora!  I think this is a book I might buy as I would definitely read it again.  But don’t tell Mark as I’ve promised not to buy any more books!!!