Sunday, 30 August 2015

Autumnal wardrobe

A rare wardrobe post. Today, in a fit of gloom brought on by increased dress size and feelings of age I despaired of my wardrobe. So pepped myself up by doing a summer/autumn transition, which I think is justified in September. One of my prize new autumn items is this vintage tweed jacket by Caldene, from Armstrongs Vintage in Edinburgh. I like to go for a bit of a boho country look in Autumn. It's always cold in the castle so this could be just the thing. 
Also really enjoying this eccentric vintage blog, very inspiring...

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Cantucci biscotti

Inspired by British Bake Off's biscuit week, I made Cantucci from Anna del Conte's Gastronomy of Italy. This is a gorgeous book which explores the simple local dishes of Italy, their origins and significance. These are a twice baked biscuit flavoured with the intriguing and exotic combo of saffron, fennel, almonds and pine nuts. They are also fat free so can be enjoyed any time. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Retro Gaming

Once a month, we meet up with friends to play Dungeons and Dragons. This is the original roleplaying adventure game, in a medieval fantasy setting. There are always far too many snacks. This time, our friend Tor suggested a retro 70s snacks theme (as medieval snacks are probably things like turnips and boar). She created this 'porcupine' of cheese and pineapple displayed on a half grapefruit. It was surprisingly nice.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Fasque Gothick

We visited the beautiful Fasque House today. Fasque is a fascinating early Gothick house of about 1809 which used to be lived in by Prime Minister Gladstone in the C19th. It is rarely open to the public so I was very excited to visit. What really caught my imagination though was the huge walled garden, tucked away in the woods. This little house at the centre of the walled garden was built as an apple store (!) and is now the most romantic teeny holiday cottage. Already fantasising about staying there...

Tuesday, 4 August 2015


Before and after pics of new bedroom carpet. See the horrible crushed faded pink carpet.
We had to move so much stuff, books and all those things you keep under the bed (spare pillows, duvets, luggage, inflatable mattress...

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Weekend of Bread

This weekend I made the leap into sourdough bread. Sourdough is made with a starter of a flour and water mix which you leave to ferment and creates natural yeast. I keep mine in the fridge to minimise feeding. (It needs to be halved and topped up or fed about once a week). Sourdough takes a long time with two rises of several hours, or overnights in the fridge. 
I made half the dough into English muffins, which you fry in a pan and half into a flatbread topped with zaatar (Lebanese thyme herb mix). Both were lovely, I will be doing proper sourdough bread soon and experimenting with more breakfast foods...crumpets are my favourite.
I also made a sweet loaf with dried fruit which I make every week as a healthy cake alternative. Great with a mug of tea.