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?

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!

Have you heard about UNICEF’s sanitation projects?
UNICEFS Sanitation Projects
Let me ask you a personal question. Have you used a loo today? Did you feel blessed or did you take it for granted. Take a look at this quiz and it is great because the answers are included. Then pop along to the supermarket and buy a special bottle of Domestos and help UNICEF’s sanitation projects.

How many people across the world do you think are estimated to live without access to a proper toilet?

1 billion
460 million
2.5 billion
Answer: c. 2.5 billion#

Therese Dooley, UNICEF Senior Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Advisor says, “It’s unthinkable that 37% of the world’s population don’t have access to a proper toilet.# And when I say a proper toilet, I’m not necessarily saying that everyone has to have a nice bathroom with a flushing toilet. I just mean some place that is safe to dispose of your faeces, some place that will keep the faeces from getting into the living environment, some place that will stop children getting sick.” Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of death in children under five globally, accounting for 15% of mortalities. 88% of these are due to poor sanitation with 36% directly linked to not having a toilet.”#

Which of the following do you think contains more germs?

Adult poo
Children’s poo
They both contain the same
Answer: b. Children’s poo.

Therese Dooley, UNICEF Senior Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Advisor says, “Many people do not consider a child’s faeces to be as dangerous as that of an adult. However this is untrue. Children’s faeces actually contain many more germs. Even in our own homes we often change a nappy without the strict hygiene concerns we would have with adult faeces. In the developing world children are often allowed to defecate in the surrounding household environment and it’s not considered dangerous because the family consider a child’s faeces to be safer.”

What do you think is the main cause of so many people lacking access to a toilet?

People are not aware of the link between poor sanitation and poor health so do not understand how a toilet can prevent potentially life threatening diseases
Lack of money and resources to build toilets
Both
Answer: C. Both.

Therese Dooley, UNICEF Senior Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Advisor says, “A mum in the developed world doesn’t even have to think about protecting her child from faeces because her home has access to water based systems in that when anyone flushes the toilet – waste is just gone. But in the developing world, the environment in which you’re living has a lot of faeces – animal and human. However, it’s often the case that mothers are unaware of the link between faeces and their child’s health. They don’t realise that germs from faeces can reach their child and cause her child to have diarrhoea. If they did, they would jump at the chance of removing that danger and would do something about it. Through CATS we’re not telling communities what they should do to improve sanitation; we’re stimulating the realisation of the link between hygiene in the home and elimination of open defecation to improved health.” Money and resources can also be a major barrier to improved sanitation.

Where in the toilet are most germs found?

Toilet seats
In the toilet water
Under the toilet rim
Answer: Under the toilet rim

Carolyn Jones, Unilever Global Expertise & Authority Manager, says, “The toilet is considered to be one of the biggest germ threats in the bathroom, and the highest number of bacteria are found in the toilet under the rim. However, any surface that people come into contact with will affect them. Germs can fly up to two metres from the toilet with every flush and those germs can re-contaminate bathroom surfaces like the seat and flush handle. It is a good hygiene practice to keep the toilet, and all contact sites clean on a regular basis.

Domestos is one of the world’s best-selling, most effective germ killers. Domestos is a thick bleach product has the most effective chemical compound able to kill all types of germs, including all known bacteria, viruses and fungi.”

What is the likelihood of your child getting sick from touching unhygienic surfaces in the bathroom?

3%
45%
Unknown
Answer: Unknown

Carolyn Jones, Unilever Global Expertise & Authority Manager, says, “We can’t put a figure on the chances of your child getting sick, but we can advise you on how to prevent it happening. One study has shown that children touch surfaces and then touch their mouths 81 times per hour – one of the most common ways for germs to enter the body. To prevent your kids getting sick it is important to keep surfaces clean and regularly use germ-kill toilet bleach products, such as Domestos.”

How long can germs survive in the toilet?

Ten minutes
A week
Indefinitely
Answer: Indefinitely

Carolyn Jones, Unilever Global Expertise & Authority Manager, says, “In theory, germs could survive forever if they didn’t come into contact with a germ killing agent such as Domestos. In one study, scientists found Salmonella germs in the toilet one month after the family had been sick.# This isn’t hard to believe when you know that one germ can multiply to two million germs in just seven hours. Using Domestos on a regular basis helps destroy these germs.”

On average, how many bacteria are there in poo?

100
1,000,000
1,000,000,000,000
Answer: 1,000,000,000,000

Carolyn Jones, Unilever Global Expertise & Authority Manager, says, “Bacteria make up one third of the weight of an average human stool – that’s about a thousand billion bacteria. Of course, not all these bacteria pose a serious risk to your family’s health, but of the several hundred species of bacteria found in human excreta can cause diseases, including Salmonella spp, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphyylococcus aureus. Even if 99.9% of the germs in the toilet are washed away when you flush, that can still leave several billion in the toilet with the potential to make your family sick. Regular use of Domestos bleach destroys these germs, helping protect your family from the diseases they cause.#”

www.domestosforunicef.com

Will you support UNICEF’s sanitation projects?

You might also want to sign up to Give As You Live here http://www.give.as/savingbabieslives so that every time you shop online, the retailers can donate a percentage of what you spend to a good cause like UNICEF.

What charity do you support?