Winning in inches

I’ve missed being around and posting here. I’ve missed sharing my photos, thoughts and laughs. I’ve missed you guys.

Right now I don’t have the head space for a full post, so here’s some thoughts that I’ve been finding helpful.

Victory is won not in miles bit in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.

Louis L’Amour

Jesus will keep you strong until the end so that there will be no wrong in you on the day our Lord Jesus Christ comes again.

1 Corinthians 1 v 8

God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure He will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again.

Philippians 1 v 6


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This evening

The last few days we have had beautiful weather! Blue skies, hot sun, light breeze! Lots of sun, but not too hot – just right! ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now the evening sun is pouring through my windows!

I love that our main kitchen/dining/living room faces west, and so catches lots of sunlight and golden shadows!

It even makes my crowded little tea shelf appear semi-attractive! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As those of you who have read my blog for long will know – I love taking photos of sunlight and shadow – even if that’s my dining room chair!! ๐Ÿ˜›

In this light my sun catcher comes into its own and looks beautiful!

Of course, I couldn’t resist taking a photo of my beautiful flowers in the sunlight! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ok, so maybe I’m a little obsessed with this whole sun-and-shadow-photo-thing … !

While blogging and doing craft, I’m enjoying a big old bowl of fresh salad …

… and a little glass of white wine! Mmm ๐Ÿ™‚

What are you doing this evening?!

Surprise flowers!

I went out to get some wine and a pudding for date night.

I returned to find these sitting on my kitchen table!

Now what lovely man bought these for me?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ve heard it said that men are not good at picking the right flowers or the right engagement rings …

My hubby just so happens to be a massive exception to that legend!

This flower L thought I would especially like!

Who couldn’t love this beauty?! I love the interweaving of the petals, the shape and the light and shadow contrasts! Despite not being a “pink girl” I actually think the colour of this flower is magnificent!

I do love taking photos of my flowers and experimenting with my camera!

Now that’s what I call a brilliant start to the weekend!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Smoothies with my Sisters

I was very happy that my Mum came too, but I couldn’t resist using this tongue-twister of a title! ๐Ÿ˜‰

We met in town this afternoon and went window shopping. My family lives in a little way away from town, so they generally have a few important things they’ve been storing up to do for a while … and I find myself, as someone who lives in the centre of town, as the guide! ๐Ÿ™‚

The ultimate goal was a smoothie bar … it took us a while to end up there and N and T were keen to get their smoothies in their hands – I think I did quite a funny, even if not accurate, imitation of a smoothie calling to T’s tummy! ๐Ÿ˜› I do love having fun with my sisters! ๐Ÿ˜€

Two of my three sisters have various food allergies, so a little smoothie bar is a great place where these can be easily and deliciously catered for – “I’ll have one of those and skip the yogurt”, “I’ll have this one but with apple instead of orange juice”. They were all yummy, but I think T’s choice of a Pineapple Passion was definitely the best!

N is one of those amazingly blessed people who can put on absolutely any hat (and I mean absolutely any!), no matter how hideous that hat, and look stunningly gorgeous in it! For many years the wedding hat sections of clothes stores has had an irresistable draw about itย  … N always comes out tops, but it doesn’t stop the rest of us from trying on all the fancy hats too!! ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s a tradition of ours!

I thought that the raincoat was a particularly elegant part of the outfit, wouldn’t you say?! ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I said, I love having fun with my sisters!

Thank you my dears!! ๐Ÿ˜€

Bargain Beef

I couldn’t resist telling you about this bargain I got the other day! You know how I love snapping up great deals in the reduced department of supermarkets, and this one was a triumph!

I got this stewing steak …

… for .95p!! .95p guys!! Reduced from ยฃ2.78p, well, that’s a bargain, right?!?

I fried chopped onions in butter, such a good smell!

I added the beef, which I cut into pieces, and cooked until just about sealed,

Then I added chopped garlic, potatoes and carrots.

I simmered it all up together, with flour, stock, herbs, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, tomato puree and a bit of sugar, not to mention salt and pepper …

I served it up with a soft white baguette and fresh (ish!) veggies – if L’s empty plate is anything to go by, it was a success! ๐Ÿ˜€

I put the rest of in the freezer to turn into a pie, which will easily give two portions.

So, would you agree with me? 95p for three meals is a pretty good bargain, yes or no?!?

A little post about a big risotto

I’ve noticed it’s been too long since I posted about what I’ve been cooking. How did that happen?

Well don’t panic! Just in case you were missing my slightly steam-obscured photos and slap-together dishes, here’s a little treat for you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I hack some butternut squash into manageable sized pieces and slipped them into the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed herbs. They took 20 minutes to get to a lovely sweet, soft, brown stage – ready just when I needed them.

I used red onion just because it’s what I had, but it does look pretty! ๐Ÿ™‚

I fried in olive oil, addedย  2 or 3 chopped garlic cloves and some cubed bacon – mmm, smelt yum!

After adding a reasonable-looking portion of risotto/arborio rice and frying until starting to turn translucent, I add a good splash of white wine (about a glass maybe?!?) and let that be absorbed before adding chicken stock.

By chicken stock I mean hot water from the kettle and a chicken stock cube crumbled into the pan … ๐Ÿ˜›

Oh, and yes, the picture is out of focus, but try taking a close-up photo with one hand, while trying to pour a limited amount of a bottle of wine into a hot pan, and you’ll see why … ๐Ÿ˜‰

I added chopped leek, asparagus and broccoli to the pan just after the first lot of stock, along with some frozen peas, salt and pepper and my choice ofย  dried herbs.

My most often used herb combo is about 1/2 tsp each of basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary and sometimes a bit of sage.

I add my stock in small, but regular quantities, as I fins this produces the consistency L and I like best – not too sloppy, but not at all dry – just to be very clear about it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

When the rice was just soft all the way through, I added grated cheddar, some powdered parmesan and the roasted squash from the oven. The cheese really does make a big difference (even without being biased, honest!), as it holds it altogether and adds a slightly richer, creamier quality to the risotto.

The finished risotto!

i reckeon it take about 30-40 minutes all preperation included.

Scrummy, though I say so myself! ๐Ÿ˜‰

And big – it ended up providing three meals in total! ๐Ÿ˜›

Bluebell woods

Last weekend L and I were visiting his parents.

We had a lovely, relaxed weekend being looked after, fed delicious food, poured tasty wine and getting to go for some glorious drives and walks through some beautiful English countryside!

Sounds like a pretty good weekend to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Sunday afternoon, when we had an unexpected burst of clear sky and sunshine, L, my Mum-in-law and myself went in search ofย  some bluebell woods …

… and we found them! So beautiful!!

After a few weeks of heavy rain, massive puddles on the pavements, grey views from the windows, wet socks after grocery shopping and that heavy feeling that comes with a constant half-light, it was so freeing to be out in the country, with blue, lightly cloudy skies, warm sunshine, fresh air, birds singing, grass and wildlife sounds all around.

Ahh …

A wood full of bluebells – for me, the photos say it all!

Contentment.