Thursday, September 25, 2014

Banana Tea Loaf

On the day I made little cupcakes for the wee man's third birthday I realized I didn't have enough cake for the adults and we all like cake right, so I quickly made this banana tea loaf was super easy and was a hit, with the kids and adults a like. Funny I used to be so intimated by baking and have made lots of mistakes, you see my Grandma is one of the worlds best bakers and has big shoes to fill. But as they say practice makes perfect and over the years baking is getting a little easier. I love making cakes with the kids and have been since they were young. Our daughter is now 6 I started Chow and Chatter when she was a baby, she can now pick veggies from the garden and cut them and help me make dinner - magic. 

Thanks for continuing to be with me on this blogging journey, pull up a chair for a cuppa and slice of cake. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Falkland, Scotland Photo Series

 Falkland is a gorgeous little village nestled at the foot of East Lomond in Fife, it was built in the 1500's by the Stuarts where they enjoyed hunting in the forests of Fife. Mary Queen of Scots lived here.  It also has one of two tennis courts built in the 1600's the other being in Hampton Court. Over the years the Palace fell into disrepair but was restored by the 3rd Marquess of Bute in fact the family still live in the village, it is managed by The National Trust and is well worth a visit. Falkland is home to many artists and has a great selection of coffee shops, art galleries and craft shops. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spiced Sole with Seasonal Vegetables

As summer produce from your local farmers market or garden starts to wind down, be sure to enjoy this beautifully simple dish. I lightly pan fried sole with some Turkish spice mix or any desired spice blend would work, grilled some zucchini and squash and had a salad. Every season has its gifts as we look towards fall in our part of the world with wonderful pumpkins and winter citrus. Its fun to embrace seasonal eating as often produce is cheaper and more flavorful in season. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

How to set up a square foot garden

I used to think gardening would be hard and tricky  to grow vegetables, I grew up seeing my wonderful Granddad carefully tend to his garden and enjoyed eating the tasty produce. After he passed away I really wanted to learn gardening as a way to keep his memory alive. Also as a dietitian and lover of food, I really wanted the kids to grow up with a garden and have a connection to how their food is grown.  I recently completed the Master Gardeners course and am now volunteering in local community gardens, school gardens and scenic gardens. I am learning lots  especially as you spend time with other more experienced folks and get your hands in the soil. 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Ickworth Hall

Ickworth hall is a National trust property in Suffolk England not far from where my sister in law lives. I simply adore visiting places like this they have amazing gardens, history, great architecture, walking trails and often tea and cake. What more could you ask for on a day out. 

Ickworth hall has a long history over 200 years it was built by the Earl of Bristol, the Hervey family built the Italianate Rotunda to house their treasures and the wonderful Italian style gardens, the property was a work of love. As a visitor you can enjoy the grounds, and the house my favorite part was the 1930's servants quarters and in fact the day we visited we were lucky enough to see volunteers cooking traditional recipes from that era in the kitchen. The smell of the breads was divine, sadly we couldn't sample any.

inside the gardens 
The family has quite the history and known to be eccentric and unique the latest Marquess didn't leave much and maybe unwise decisions lead the property going to the national trust. Another interesting fact about the house is that the west ring is really an empty shell built to give the property symmetry. The basement of the building is now used as a bat sanctuary. It must be interesting in the evenings. 

amazing carvings on the rotunda 

a peek into the workings of the 1935 kitchen

Saint Mary's church a pretty little church owned by the estate there has been a place of worship here for over 1000 years.

If your in this part of England I highly recommend a visit to Ickworth hall and be sure to enjoy the extensive walking trails through the woods, we were lucky in the summer and got to snack on wild blackberry and raspberries along the trail. The little cousins were enjoying and picking them with glee. 

  • Ickworth Hall 
  • Address:
    The Rotunda, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP29 5QE

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Blackcurrant Jam

While we were in Scotland we visited a couple of berry picking farms, Scotland has some wonderful fruits and in the summer it shines. You can find gooseberries a tart fruit that aren't allowed in North Carolina as it apparently carries a disease that infects the white pine. You can also find black currants, tart little berries that go into making Ribena a favorite British drink. In 1938 Ribena was invented taking its name from the Latin word for blackcurrants: Ribes Nigrum, it was given as a vitamin C supplement after world war two and still has the label rich in vitamin C.

The kids also enjoyed picking blackcurrant's in my brother and sister in laws Edinburgh back garden,  and we snacked on wild raspberries in the woods behind my parents house :-) 

British gooseberries 


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