Sunday, 15 April 2018

Spring is Here!



Spring is finally here!

We've been experiencing good weather for the last few days
and hopefully it would stay this way till summer comes.

And with good weather settling in, it will be nice to be able to sit out in the garden and enjoy some quiet time.
Unfortunately, that will have to wait as there are so much to do in the garden.
The garden has been pretty much last on the list lately, mainly due to prolonged bad weather.
I'd like to show you what's growing in my garden
but there's nothing much going on at the moment
But fear not...
here are some photos I took at a local garden centre
and if these collections of colourful blooms 
fail to entice you to start gardening, then nothing will...

Enjoy!











Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Egg Parcels



A simple Middle eastern inspired recipe
that delivers in flavours.
Great as breakfast or as a snack


Egg Parcels

Filo pastry sheets, cut into squares
Eggs
Chopped flat-leaf parsley
Chopped spring onions
Brie (optional)
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat

Place one sheet of filo on a shallow plate
Carefully crack open an egg in the middle of the pastry
Put a heap teaspoonful each of parsley, spring onions and brie
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper
Fold the sides of the pastry to form a parcel

Gently place the parcel, seal-side down, into the oil
Fry till golden brown





Thursday, 22 March 2018

Welcome Spring


There's nothing quite like the arrival of spring...
days are longer,
birds are singing...

And in my garden
fresh buds appears on trees,
swathes of colourful crocuses and
drifts of cheerful yellow dwarf daffodils
add colours to the somewhat muted March garden.

Can't wait for the full blown spring to come!










Sunday, 18 March 2018

Blood Orange Cake





Blood Orange Cake

For the topping:
2 -3 blood oranges, sliced thinly
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Boil orange slices in water and sugar for about 15 minutes
Leave to cool

The cake:
200g butter
150g sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups ground almond
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 yoghurt

Preheat oven to 180C
Lightly grease 24 inch springform pan
Line the side and base with parchment paper
Arrange the orange slices.

Using a beater attachment, cream butter and sugar.
Add the eggs gradually, scraping sides of the bowl as you go.
Add the dry ingredients followed with the yoghurt.
Mix until all is well combined.
Spread the cake batter onto the arranged orange slices
Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes




Thursday, 15 March 2018

OakenShield is Five!


What??!! Only five years???
Seems like we've been here longer than that!
I don't mean it as a bad thing...
it's just that a lot has been done to the house and the garden
through those years that makes me think we've been here longer!

In those five years, we've also gone through many things --
some are good, some not so good...
we experienced a burst pipe in the very first month we moved in, 
we got snowed in twice, 
there was the exploding shower screen episode in the middle of the night, 
my smashed toe, 
the unfortunate incidents of the ducks and the fox....
to name some of the few misadventures we had

It wasn't all bad
In the last five years, Elsa graduated from High School and University,
we hosted the gathering of clan Fadaaq
MrD and I celebrated our 30 year anniversary
and I turned 50!!!!

So, here's to the next five, ten or fifty years (if we're lucky!)
Perhaps, there'll be weddings, a whole new generation...
who's to know what the future holds

















Saturday, 3 March 2018

Hysteria from Siberia


There we were coasting along the new year
well into the second month, uneventfully...
when suddenly, bam! March made itself clear
that it would not come quietly!

We were forewarned of the coming of the cold spell
dubbed "the beast from the east"
The biting cold and hard wind from Siberia lasted for about 3 days
along with drifting snow...
Some areas were buried under 3 feet of snow;
not too bad considering.

MrD had to work from home
which was a good thing, I guess (?)
At least, I won't be having lunch on my own
but that also means I have to cook lunch...
hmm... no rest for the wicked!