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Showing posts from July, 2013

Let's all go to Cwrt-y-Cadno (stout walking shoes required)

Someone positing a picture of a taxidermy fox's head on facebook reminded me of a similar grim specimen hanging up in the hallway of Cwrt-y-Cadno, my old school, Ysgol Gufyn Rhydfelen's outwards bounds center - where we were sent to at various times of the year for character building.
I remember it as being huge, in the middle of nowhere and hours and hours away. Turns out I was right on the middle of nowhere bit - but it looks very small and sad on street view now. I'm guessing the school, now Ysgol Gufyn Garth Owlg, on a shiny new site with a slightly modified badge still own it - I can't find it for sale of anything so I'm guessing they've mothballed it, or forgotten about it. If anyone does know please drop me a line.

UPDATE:- It would look like the land has been acquired by the National Trust

Talking of Street View, there's an interesting juxtaposition where the satellite data is of my old school, pre being burned down (and it's a shame none of Tw…

Cake Judging at the Great British Food Festival

My cakes usually look like this - tasty, but not exactly pretty...
Anyway, while we promoting the CCC on twitter (@staffscakeclub) Charlotte & I got asked to do some cake judging by the fine folks that run Great British Food Festival as it arrive in Stafford. Never one to turn down free cake made by other people we said yes...

So, dressed in our finest cake judging garb (we decided floral dresses and cardigans were the order of the day) and over two days tasted slice from 10 different vanilla sponges and 12 chocolate cakes of varying styles.

What was really interesting was how easy it was to judge the cakes - well actually to pick a winner. In both categories there was one cake that we'd have gone back to for another slice, even after trying 11 other slices, in a hot tent, having run for 2 miles to get there on time. What was quite sweet was the winner of the chocolate cake round (an unassuming 7th one from the bottom) which I think is from this recipe - was totally bowled over b…

Vintage NomBook - Basic Recipes

Author: Margaret Sheppard Fidler
Date: 1958 (scribbled in pen on the cover)
Published: Spring Books

A bit like #301 - impressive basic recipes, ratios to remember, handy hints.

They just don't make cookbooks like this any more...

5:2 Diet - a few weeks on

On our way to a gig Pete asked me how I was doing on our diet since it had been 3 weeks. What I hadn't realised was we'd been on it for 3 weeks. already - but I supposed that's only 6 days of reduced calories. It's been okay, we've lapsed a few times (celebrating a friends engagement for instance) but we're sticking to it.

If anything a few days off while my mother was visiting and I turned 30 has reminded me we were doing so well. I've got some coping mechanisms - sticking to the cookbook, not looking at pinterest, being excited about having a graze box snack for breakfast / lunch (today was popcorn), dropping milk from the veg box order and embracing black coffee, trying not to leave the house if it's a Fast day because everything looks amazing - but these are tiny issues really. I'm trying not to get too hung up about it and it does seem to be making a bit of a difference - which you can track below.

Diet Google Doc

Veggie pepperoni recipe / method

The irony of being on a non-fast day and not knowing what to cook isn't lost on me, but as I was finding things to put on my amazon wish list so people can buy me birthday presents, I can across a book called the souther vegetarian, and it's an awesome looking cookbook full of souther style comfort food based one blog called the chubby vegetarian.Anyway, browsing through to blog I came across a recipe for carrot gnocchi, which seemed like fun since we had carrots in. Anyway having had to modify the pesto recipe a little anyway I wasn't fazed when I substituted a beetroot to make up the cup of diced carrot they specify - it couldn't make that much difference to the taste and it might make it a little bit pink.I followed the method, and the rest of the recipe and had a bit of a freezer bag malfunction but it was only when I'd cut off blobs of he pinkish mixture into the boiling water and fished them out into the veg and oil mixture in the other pan did I realised wha…

5:2 Fast Diet - reasons why

So, we're back from the states and you can clearly see through the holiday snaps that 3 weeks of food in the deep south hasn't done my waist line any good - even with making sandwiches most days. To be honest I've largely ignored my weight over the last few years, dimply aware it's been creeping up over the last few years.

Whatever the reasons for taking my eye off of it all, so now we're dieting - following what seems to be the plague of the middle classes and both of us are following the 5:2 diet. I'm under no illusion it isn't a fad diet - but it a fairly easy to stick to and understand. Normal food and calorie intake for 5 of the 7 days of the week 500 calories or 600 (for Pete) for the other two - and you can swap or change those 2 days around to suit your fabulous social life.

We did plan ahead about this - we had the official book & companion cookbook waiting for us when we came back from the states - and I'll try and keep an update of how we&#…