Tapas recipe

TapasIngredients:

1 baguette loaf, sliced diagonally
1 roasted red pepper, peeled and cut into strips
1 roasted yellow pepper, peeled and cut into strips
100g (3.5oz) roasted macadamia halves

Pesto:
4 large handfuls of basil leaves
160g (5.5oz) unsalted macadamias
3 cloves garlic, peeled
125mL (4 fl oz) olive oil
65g (2.5oz) freshly grated parmesan
1 /2 teaspoon sea salt

Method:
1. Make the pesto first: wash and dry the basil leaves thoroughly.
2. Put them in a food processor or blender with the macadamias and garlic and process until well combined. Scrape down sides and process again. Add the parmesan and salt, process again, then slowly drizzle in oil, keeping the machine running. Process until smooth. Scrape pesto into a tightly sealed jar or plastic container until ready to use – a film of oil over the top will help to preserve it.
3. Store in refrigerator.
4. Toast the bread slices in a moderate oven until just turning golden. Remove, cool and store in an airtight container until ready to use. Just before serving, spread each piece with the pesto.
5. Top with a slice of red and yellow pepper and scatter over a few roasted macadamia pieces.

Makes approximately 30 pieces.

Do you have any good tapas recipes to share?

Do you prefer to go out to a tapas restaurant when you fancy a tempting treat?

What are my reasons to be cheerful this week?

What Are My Reasons To Be Cheerful

1. Husband – we seem to be getting on very well at the moment. Lots of laughter, fun and spontaneity.

2. House-hunting – although the fact we have to move came as a bit of shock to the system, we are adapting now and enjoying looking at possibilities. Last night, we went on a drive to identify which locations might work best for us. Keep everything crossed that we find the right place and soon.

3. House – my lovely Dad has found a house with my brother that suits them both. It is even in a place beginning with H so I am certainly doing well on the H theme set by Michelle over at Mummy from the Heart this week. I don’t want to split up from Dad but it is the only way to move forwards for now.

4. Hosting – I have a new self-hosted website and I am rather excited about it. The address might fit in with “I” for next week.

5. Happiness about 3 lovely glowing school reports, about it looking like my husband might have a job interview coming up and about having friends who are there for me in times good and bad.

Short but sweet this week.

What are you chirpy about? Asking yourself “What are my reasons to be cheerful?” really can get you through the challenges life throws your way.

What are your helpful and unhelpful ways of thinking?

Now do a hop over to http://mdplife.blogspot.com and see what other folks are smiling about this week.

A Country Suite by Fiona Bennett

Do you listen to music? Are you set in your ways or are you open to new ideas?

I want to highly recommend A Country Suite, the most beautiful CD by Fiona Bennett.

There are 9 pieces of music on the CD. I like to play them when doing mundane jobs as somehow time passes pleasantly whilst playing this CD. It makes my mind wander to places much nicer that the washing up bowl in front of me.

Some pieces of music on the CD calm me and others move me. I think it is the sort of album that will be enjoyed in a unique way by the individual listening to it.

Fiona is a mum to two boys Dominic and Zachary. She also has greyhounds called Amber and Cleopatra. She seems rooted in family life both with her boys and by dedicating this album to her parents Mo and Des who did all they could to find her a wonderful piano teacher in Mary Rees. Fiona credits this lady with changing her life.

I sense the countryside means a lot to Fiona and this comes across in her work. There is a sense of the strength of nature and country traditions, a feeling that everything will pass and all will be OK.

Do you find music helps you deal with stress in your everyday life?

What do you think of my blog?

I need your help

Feedback on my blog is required as I decide what direction to take it in now that I have worked out how to be happy.

I am also going to check out the major parent and lifestyle blogging networks.

What Do You Think Of My Blog

It would be fun to grow my audience and to find new people to engage with.

What I want to know

So I have some questions for you that probably nobody will answer but it is worth asking for some really constructive and honest criticism for my new chapter.

  1. Do you like the http://kateonthinice.com/blog-design-happy-days/ and colours? What winds you up about them? Is it white enough, uncluttered enough and can you read the fonts OK?
  2. Do you find the blog easy to get around/navigate? How could it be improved?
  3. Big  one – how could the images be improved and what tools and tips would you recommend for this?
  4. Did you find the social media icons so that you could share any content you really loved?
  5. What should I put in my About Me page?
  6. Would you want to work with this blog if are or were a brand?
  7. Would you like podcasts and video to be added to the blog?

My blog

I am thinking I should play to my strengths in terms of content so advice on real issues for families, coverage of charitable campaigns, an agony column with a little bit of fun lifestyle stuff thrown in for good measure.

I want the blog to help people and when sharing information and advice to include real stories and anecdotes to make folks feel less isolated and to raise awareness a bit too.

Help!

I am not expecting your to answer all the questions or even one of them but if you have wanted to shout at me for having rotten images, a bad design or anything  else, the time to do it is now.

And of course if you want to go to town and give me a full critique, that would be welcome too.

 

 

Post Comment Love

I wanted to explain what it feels like when everything changes very quickly.

What It Feels Like When Everything Changes Very Quickly

The first awful news causing emotional shock is that we had to put our beloved cat Max to sleep after he was attacked by a fox. There was nothing the vet could do. We were so upset and still are. Max was a gorgeous and huge ginger tom with the air of an emperor. He is sadly missed.

Then, our landlady announced she is ending our tenancy as she wants to put the house on the market as she is emigrating. We have just under 3 months to find somewhere new.

If I am honest, the loss of the house bothers me not at all. What troubles me is that it will almost inevitably bring an end to the lovely set-up we have now with my 84 year old Dad living in the annex and us in the main house. The chances of finding somewhere to accommodate us all with Dad retaining his independent are minimal to zero.

We have had a charming couple of years here with me feeling so less lonely having Dad around during the days when Him Indoors is at work and the children at school. I have enjoyed out laughs, our conversations, our shopping trips and our meals out. It is good to have such wisdom around on a daily basis and Dad often provides the most wonderful counselling for us all free of charge.

I think Dad has loved it too. Despite the chaos that comes with 3 children and pets, I think he has on the whole enjoyed it all. He adores his grandchildren and they him. I get tearful at the idea of it all coming to an end. Cheeky afternoon teas when nobody is looking, gifts for the kids on an almost daily basis, chats after school, crosswords and so much more.

Dad will probably move in with my brother about 1 hour away from us. I worry I won’t see him much and just feel a little heartbroken by that. My brother is not my greatest fan.

I know change always bring positives too and it will be fun looking for a new place. We are going to try to stay close to where we are now as we love the area and it is great for commuting and there are really good links to London when the need arises. The children are settled at school and this is a lovely place to bring up a family.

Sometimes I feel I am trying to suit so many people and I want to do it but sometimes it is tough to please everyone. I feel the weight of several responsibilities and try to be fair to everyone.

The truth is we don’t have very long to find somewhere so I guess it is a case of seizing the pivotal moment and seeing where it takes us all.

So this is what it feels like when everything changes very quickly.

As ever, wherever life takes us it all makes for blog fodder.

Wish me luck!