So far, January is looking pretty juicy, don’t you think? I do! We’re over a week into 2017 so far, David Attenborough is still alive and so are we. Not bad ey? So far 2017 is strutting its stuff. It’s a good month for us too as we are off to Whistler in 3 days time. Excited doesn’t even cut it. OHMYGODIAMBEYONDECSTATIC is a little closer. Read more
Hey 2017! How ya doing? We’ve been waiting for you! Thanks for showing up, let’s make this year a cracker, yeah?! I hope everyone had a banger of a Christmas and a sparkly new year?! I spent some much-needed quality time with my family, hanging out, playing charades and eating ALL THE sprouts. I had to work between Christmas and New Year, and I’m not gonna lie, it bummed me out, but hey, I like my job and there are worse things to be doing. We had a very quiet evening on New Years Eve, curled up on the sofa under some blankets and watching films. I know everyone has been saying how sucky 2016 was, but amidst the political nightmares, the deaths and the woes, 2016 was really good to me. Continuing this blog has opened up some amazing opportunities for which I am so grateful. We bought our first (non-floating) home, settled into our new suburbs and played house. We even got 2 gorgeous cats that I have fallen head over heals in love with. Yeah, 2016 had some bumps, but it was good to me. I’m excited to see what 2017 will bring.
I have spent a few weeks dropping little hints. Mentioning the ‘V’ word now and again, slowly planting those little seeds (or so I thought). A strategic walk around the Valentines isles in our local supermarket, pointing out bouquets, drying out roses on the boat and placing them around to ‘look pretty’. I do not expect a grand gesture, just maybe a little card. One that tends to only happen if I drop enough hints. All this however seems to have fallen on deaf ears or a forgetful mind, or (what Charlie seems to be very good at) having just simply not noticed what else is going on in shops / society around us. So, I did not get a gift, or even a card. When I produced his one to him, his words were, ‘What’s this?’, when I said ‘Happy Valentines Day!’ his face said it all. This time I was not surprised, and not disappointed. I made a little mental note to drop some bigger hints for future important dates, clearly this is something that needs more strategic planning.
My valentines weekend couldn’t have been made better with a card, or a bunch of roses. It had already been made awesome enough just hanging out with my man. We’ve spent the weekend cosying up
in front next to the fire (too narrow on our boat to sit in front of anything), watching the latest Tom Hanks movie, giggling over owl books in our local book store, eating one of the best brownies ever with some coffee, drinking rum and eating some spicy-as-hell Caribbean food, testing out some pies here, yeah there’s a general food theme here. Today we went climbing at our local wall, something Charlie does often, but I have been putting off as I thought I’d suck. Chas gave me the confidence to give it a go, giving me tips and acting as my cheerleader when I got to the top (yay), making me push myself because he knew I’d feel so good once I’d done it.
Yesterday, I had one of my (sadly) regular wobbles. I was trying to get some recipes shot, but was finding the low light levels, on our dark boat, oh so trixy. Chas gave me some pointers, and we had a little photography lesson and workshop. Me cooking, him helping me with shots, and then, of course, duly consuming the goods. He inspires me to try to be the best version of myself, he doesn’t let me flap, and when I do, he sorts me out.
That’s the best
V any day present right there. Having my man support me whatever I do. Biggest kisses of all to you Chas <3.
Onto this weeks recipe!
The days here are getting longer, I can now get home before it’s too dark. It’s getting easier to get out of bed in the mornings. But it’s still got that harsh winter chill, reminding us that we’re not quite out of the woods. Days like these call for warming mugs of hot chocolate. Happy Monday lovelies.
Hemp Milk Hot Chocolate (v) (gf)
1 mug hemp milk (homemade or store-bought)
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon date syrup
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Add all ingredients into a bender and blitz for 30 seconds
Pour into a saucepan and heat onto the hob until just under boiling
Pour into mugs and get cosy
Don’t forget, I’ve got a great competition to win some awesome goodies! Check it out!
This week started on a bit of a downer. We got news on Tuesday that our current house buying venture had fallen through. The seller changed their mind and decided not to sell. It felt seriously unfair and totally sucked. But, there’s absolutely nothing we can do about it, so I’m trying to stay positive and listen to the constant ‘It obviously wasn’t meant to be’. I do try to stick to the attitude that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes it’s a little hard to swallow though. But hey ho.
However, any house buying ventures are going to have to take a backseat for a few months. As we are OFF ON THE ROAD. The road of festivals. As I mentioned before, Charlie has set up an awesome Glamping business – Dreamcatcher Cabins – which he’s now ready to take to some festivals this summer. We’ll also be working for another great company who do a similar thing. I’m going to be the cook for the hungry staff. Making sure they’re fed and watered well, keeping those bellies happy and all cheeky grins stay grinning. So, recipes might be a little haphazard for a few months. I’m going to try my best, adapting my boat-kitchen skills over to caravan/tent-kitchen-cook-extraordinaire.
I’m counting on my little caravan oven to be as lovingly, tempramental-yet-somehow-still-works as the boat oven. That if I whisper sweet nothings to it (what, none of you talk to your oven?!), it will bake me that perfect cookie, or doughy loaf of bread. It’s going to be an adventure, please do join me!
Now, onto more pressing matters.
This smoothie-juice concoction that I like to call Crush. Tangy pineapple with fiery ginger. Perfect to get that morning energy flowing, kick that hangover out the door, and face the day head on. And if someone were to add a splash of rum into the mix on a hot summers evening, who the hell am I to argue? Take a sip and imagine you are on that desert island in the sunshine.
Pineapple and Ginger Crush (v) (gf)
Half a pineapple – peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
500ml coconut water – coconut milk would work here too
Add all ingredients into a high-speed blender, blend for 1 minute.
Pour into glass (over ice / add rum if desired) and enjoy.
This crush is quite frothy, you may want to let the juice sit for an hour, or just embrace it!
Don’t forget, you can follow my adventures throughout the summer over on my Instagram!
This whole Christmas present malarky is getting out of hand. I’ve not spent Christmas in the UK for 4 years, and feel I’m way behind on the gift game.
My city is crammed full of people, roaming the streets, laden with a million bags, all overflowing with gifts. The shops are so full you can barely move, let alone get near any item you might want to purchase.
Must-have items sold out long ago, now being flogged on eBay for quadruple the price. Where’s the festive cheer in that?
I love hand-made gifts, they just have a more personal touch, that someone has taken the time to make you a gift, rather than grab the first thing off the shelves.
This liqueur is the perfect Christmas gift, but it is best left to sit for 3-4 weeks, so advise the recipient to resist it for a couple of weeks or so.
This recipe is based on Pompelmo, the italian grapefruit liqueur.
Noel-Cello Grapefruit Liqueur
Makes 4 x 50ml bottles
2 litres good quality vodka (I used Smirnoff)
6-8 cinnamon sticks
7 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon Christmas spice mix (ground cinnamon, ginger, juniper berries)
Sterilise the bottles in boiling water. Leave to dry.
Scrub the grapefruits and orange. Using a peeler, remove strips of the fruits, try not to take too much pith.
Divide the strips between the bottles. Adding 2 cinnamon sticks to each bottle.
Add the sugar to a pan, and add 5 tablespoons of water.
Heat the mixture, stirring continuously, until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add sugar mixture to a jug, and add the vodka, mix well. If your jug is small, do this in batches.
Divide the vodka mix between the four bottles.
Seal, and shake the liqueur.
Store in a cool place, giving it a shake every few days. Will last up to a year.
The annual Christmas Market has arrived in Bath. 200 wooden sheds fill the streets, bursting with Christmas gift ideas. It gets so busy, it’s a bit hard to handle some times. But I love to walk around and check out the stalls, browse the gifts and see what is on offer.
Every year one of the hotels sets up an ‘apres ski bar’ outside their reception. A little wooden chalet adorn with all things a la montagnes! It’s so snug in there, seats covered with sheepskin rugs and cosy blankets to snuggle up in. It makes me miss my winter seasons in the alps so much.
Two friends and I decided to pop in here for a drink last week. Upon entry we saw people drinking beer from huge glass wellie boots, and mulled wine from big wooden bowls. As soon as you walked through the door the smell of cinnamon and cloves hit you.
The smell stayed with me, and while I was walking home I started thinking about other Christmas drinks. Anything with rum is a safe bet for me, especially the spiced variety. Conveniently I knew I had some back at the boat. I swung by the supermarket and headed back to the boat to practice my mixology skills.
This drink is the perfect winter warmer. Easy to make a large batch, and a great addition to any Christmas party. It can be served with or without rum.
Spiced Apple Juice with Rum
500ml organic cloudy apple juice
70ml spiced rum (I used Captain Morgans)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons Christmas Spice Mix (I combined ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, juniper berries and all spice)
2 teaspoons unrefined brown sugar
Add the apple juice, cinnamon sticks, sugar and spices to a saucepan and stir well. Turn on to a low heat.
Slice the orange and lemon and add 2 slices of each to pan.
Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.
Remove from heat and leave to cool down slightly.
Split the rum (if using) between two wine glass, slowly pour in the warm juice.
Garnish with more orange.
NB: This recipe is a surefire way to polish off a bottle of rum in no time!