Red Leaves and a Sleepy Cat

Just sharing a couple of photographs today.   Some beautiful autumn colours in the garden this weekend, these gorgeous red leaves were hiding between the fence and the Eglu..

Our wee silver tabby cat enjoying a snuggle in his bed…

 

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Sugar Free Fairy Cakes

Back in April our 15 yr old son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, and as a result is now insulin dependent 😦

He absolutely loves fairy cakes and if you are a follower of my blog then you will already know this with the amout of different variations I make.. well I decided to experiment a bit, and this morning I made them sugar free

I recently discovered a product called SPLENDA®  it is an alternative to sugar ..here’s what it has to say on their website…

“Whilst a healthy lifestyle is recommended for everyone, it is especially important for people with diabetes. SPLENDA® is suitable for people with such a condition, as it contains only a fraction of the calories and carbohydrates of sugar. Sucralose, the sweetening ingredient in SPLENDA®, is not recognised by the body or broken down for energy, so it has no effect on insulin or blood glucose levels.”

Sugar Free Fairy Cake Recipe:-

  • 4oz low fat margarine
  • 8 tablespoons of splenda which is the equivalent to 4oz
  • 4oz Organic Wholemeal self raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs (organic from my own chickens)

Makes 6 muffin sized fairy cakes – I use a muffin tray and muffin paper cases

Method :-

  1. Cream the margarine and splenda together until light and fluffy
  2. add the eggs and mix well.. I added a little flour as the mix started to split
  3. add the remaining flour and mix well
  4. Divide the mixture into the cases.muffin tin
  5. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20-25 mins
  6. Allow to cool slightly then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Update… I just tried one and boy are they sweet! but its a different kind of sweetness if you know what I mean, they leave a sweet after taste in your mouth, they turned out ok, before they cooled down I thought they were going to be dry and grumbly, but they were soft and moist inside just like a fairy cake…

I am going to need to make more of these in the future so will try tinkering around with the recipe a bit and add less of the splenda the next time.

A Visit from the Blue Tit Family

The Blue Tit family came to the garden today to show us their new family… 3 little baby blue tits, and they are absolutely gorgeous..

Mrs Blue Tit is looking slightly frazzled, she has been a regular visitor to the garden for the last few weeks eating all the bugs from under the blackcurrant bushes…  I did put out fat balls for them last week but my springer spaniel jumped up, stole and ate the lot, giving him the most god awful skoots !!

Enough waffling and on with the pics of the babies 🙂

Edinburgh.. a day trip to the german market

We took a day trip into Edinburgh to visit the german market and the winter wonderland festival…

Did you know that Edinburgh Castel is built on top of an extinct volcano?

This is the big wheel in the Princes Street gardens and the Scott Monument is directly behind it.

This regal looking lady sits on top of the Gallery at the start of the market/festival

and in the lower section of the princes street gardens there is the winter wonderland ice skating rink

We walked along the path and it took us directly under the Scott Monument, a magnificent piece of architecture

then just to the right of the monument there was a merry go round with loads of chairs attached to it.

We then went on to have some lunch as it was absolutely freezing cold, it must have been about -3 degrees there today and because we were all sooo cold, we headed back to the Waverly Train Station to catch the train back home…

Just before the train arrived the sun was setting and I managed to snap this picture from the platform, the sky was a beautiful colour, this photograph is unedited in any way

Hope you enjoyed a brief trip around Edinburgh…

Slugs

We were clearing / tidying up the garden today and came across these 2 HUGE slugs, they nearly ended up in the skip, but we rescued them and put them in a nice dark damp spot in the far corner of the garden… they both have beautiful markings, i’ll need to do a bit of research and try and get an ID for them..

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Photographs

I’ve not posted on here for a long time… and it’s been getting a tad neglected, so today I decided to put this to rights.

My hubby bought me a new camera last week, its a Nikon Coolpix L100, i’m still getting used to it and have had a few really beautiful pictures and some real disasters lol….

So my post today is pictures from around Scotland.. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did snapping them 🙂

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A Jacob Ram snapped with his little lady friend… (Joan over at Mudranch would prob like to see this one 😉 )

 

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Some fungi growing up in the top corner of my garden…

 

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A ruined building in the middle of a field just outside the village of Strathmiglo.. notice the crow sitting on the top right ledge.

 

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Finally a close up shot of Hovis, my birman cat… I just love the expression on his face, the sun was shining in his face so he kinda screwed his face up a bit…

 

Couscous and Sausage Salad

The kids had been up at their grans for their tea tonight, so I didnt need to cook this evening for them, and I fancied something light to eat.

I had been flicking through a mag that I had picked up at my local supermarket and this recipe caught my eye, a quick check to make sure I had all the ingredients, yep, had everthing… and off I went 🙂

  

Couscous and Sausage Salad..

(For a veggie meal, you can use Feta instead of sausage)

  • Serves 4
  • Ready in 25 minutes
  • Price Per Serving £1.60

Ingredients :

  • 400g Sausages
  • 200g Couscous
  • Juice and zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped (I used about 12 cherry tomatoes)
  • 4 Spring Onions, sliced
  • 3 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves (I didnt put them in)

Method:

  • Grill or fry the sausages until cooked, then thickly slice
  • Pour 250ml boiling water into the couscous in a bowl, cover and leave for 10 minutes
  • Whisk the lemon juice and zest with the olive oil and season, then stir into the couscous (after its 10 mins cooking time)
  • Stir in the tomatoes, spring onions, parsley and mint
  • Add the sausages and serve.

 

 

 

Sunday Brunch…

We love doing our lunches like this… put everything on plates and then dig in and enjoy 😉

Roast Chicken, Lovely Ham, Cheddar Cheese, Slices of Smoked Cheese with ham bits inside, and some Bavarian Smoked Cheese….

Lovely fresh Crusty Bread and beautiful sweet cherry tomatoes…

The fruit Platter… Melon, Pineapple, MacIntosh Red Apple, Red grapes and Strawberries.. yum!

Pecan Shortbread

 

INGREDIENTS

8 ozs (225g) Plain Flour
4 ozs (100g) Cornflour
4 ozs (100g) Icing Sugar
8 ozs (225g) Butter
A handful of pecans plus extra to place on top

 

 

METHOD

Chop butter into small pieces, take a handful of pecans and place into processor with sieved flour, cornflour and icing sugar. Whizz until it gathers into a ball.

either….

Turn the mixture out onto floured surface and roll out to ½ inch thick. Cut into rounds with pastry cutter and place on a greased baking tray.

Or

Roll into a large sausage fill a plastic bag with some demorara sugar put the shortbread sausage into the bag and coat the outside edges in the sugar.. remove and cut into thick slices (my preferred option its quicker!)

   

   

Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350f/ 180c / Gas 4 till firm and light brown. Place on a wire rack and sprinkle with caster sugar while warm.

Tip – to keep shortbread fresh and crisp, place in a plastic bag when cool and then in an airtight tin.