Visiting a small but beautiful Island..


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Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Last week we undertook an adventure! Well a road trip to be more precise, but it felt like more of an adventure!! We travelled up to the Isle of Skye on Friday after work (timed so we would miss all of the rush hour traffic) roughly taking around six and a half hours. I was quite amused when friends asked “Are you not bothered about traveling on friday the thirteenth?’ the answer was always a resounding no! Truth be told I’m not superstitious at all – as far as I’m concerned if something’s going to go wrong it will and there’s nothing we can do about it! We just have to get on and move on! Well that was all fine, ready and packed just waiting for our friends (Alison and Ian) to join us. Shortly after settling down to a cup of tea (lemsip for Ben as he had come down with man-flu!) the phone rang – they were pulling over as they had a flat tyre on the M6  enroute to us….great start to the holiday! It was just a red herring having checked the pressures all four tyres were fine we think the fella who had recently fitted the tyres must not have attached the sensors properly…phew!

It took us around 8 hours in total to reach Skye – plus about fifteen minutes to find the house after taking some dodgy wrong turns and ending up in a farm. Much easier to find the house in daylight! As we arrived in the house we were surprised to find that at -2 the outside was warmer than the house – (I don’t think anybody had stayed there in a while) so we manically rushed round turning on, and up, every heater and fan heater, heated blankets you name it in the house and huddled around the fire before exhaustedly turning in for bed.IMG_3840

That morning looking out of the window of the quirky and quaint cottage you realised quite where you were! No wonder the cottage was so cold the ground was white with a very hard frost and the views – well they were just spectacular!! Our cottage was located on the furthest point on the Minginish Peninsula, meaning that you were looking right over cliffs into the sea perfect for capturing amazing sunsets…DSC_0066

Anyway I’ll stop boring you with all the travelling and on to some photos..

We visited the beautiful Fairy pools…mesmerizing with its turquoise waters that are so clean you can drink them! The walk takes up most of the day with it being an eight or nine mile walk if you carry on right to the top – definitely worth it.Fairy Pools Skye Fairy Pools Skye

And the food..well what can I say!IMG_4871

The Quiraing..beautiful and unusual natural rock formations with the bonus of having (if you enjoy driving) most fantastic windy steep road to get there..The Quiraing, Skye

Old Man of Storr – we only made it so far up to the top but were battled back with the gale force winds, rain, hail and snow. The views looking out were fantastic across rugged fells, lakes and then out to sea. Old Man of Storr Old Man of Storr

Seals at Dunvegan Castle – this photograph was taken by Ian who has a longer lens than mine – fantastic isn’t it? All my camera would pick up were black dots in the water! They are fantastically curious animals getting gradually closer the more you called /waved at them then swimming off if you dared look away!15622_10155310103485595_5315263641149030708_n  IMG_3838

I cant wait to return to Skye – I would perhaps pick a warmer and slightly more modern house to stay in next time but keep everything else the same. It was lovely to properly see the island when it is not full of tourists and not to be queuing everywhere. But alas I have missed the best bits of Skye for me out – coming up on the next post…





Salted Caramel and Mocha Profiteroles Recipe


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Salted Caramel and Mocha Profiteroles

Salted Caramel ProfiterolesI have never attempted choux pastry before as it always seemed fairly daunting, having seen many a disaster on ‘The Great British Bake off’ or ‘Master Chef’. But actually its surprisingly easy and value for money. The only major things I have found to watch out for is piping out the right size of pastry and patience when adding the egg ‘a little at a time’ and don’t just pour all of the last bit in the jug at once!

I decided to be creative with my fillings by choosing two different types, one mocha and one salted caramel. There is no question as to which one was the favourite – can you guess? Yes you guessed it – salted caramel all round!

I used a ‘four egg recipe’ for my pastry which makes around 60 rolls but I have listed a ‘two egg recipe’ which makes approximately 30 which is plenty. Continue reading

Spring and summer have Sprung with new Vigour


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Hello Wildlife!

Finally thought I might finally sit down and update my blog – as I have the evening to myself! I should really be baking for friday and saturdays charity event or perhaps sort out the mountain of paperwork / invoicing thats looking longing at me…But No! That can wait for once, they’re not exactly going anywhere are they?!

I hope you are all enjoying spring? Once again my garden has sprung up and last years plants are HUGE! I should really read a gardening book and plant them a little further apart so they are not all battling against each other in the strive for sunlight- but that would just take the fun away! Anyway I like the higgledy piggledy cottage garden style- especially as it attracts soo many bees, birds and various other insects! Unfortunately our birds are particularly camera shy most of the time (or I am a little too noisy!)- Nutthatch, finch, green finch, gold finch, chaffinch, great tit, blue tit, wood pecker, blackbird..and our new swallows nest…

Dragon fly Continue reading

Pecan and Toffee Roulade


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Great Recipe for Entertaining

Pecan and Toffee Roulade

Well I have already broken one of my new years resolutions this year haven’t I? – to blog more frequently!! Having said that I have kept to my challenge and have lost nearly 6 pounds of my stone to loose by april taking me to half way! So I am bang on track there! Wahoo! 😀 Continue reading

Caramel Shortbread


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Sunday Baking caramel shortbread

I am well on track with my February challenge having lost two pounds this week! 🙂 As it’s the weekend (Sunday being my cheat day!) I thought I would bake an ever so slightly lighter and not too sickly version of millionaires shortbread. The recipe is using a traditional shortbread recipe and the caramel has less golden syrup and a touch of ginger syrup and light carnation condensed milk. As for the chocolate it’s 300g plain chocolate and 50g of milk which sets off nicely against the sweetness of the caramel. If you prefer a milkier taste then go ahead and use 200g milk and 150g of dark instead. The ginger syrup is optional, but for me although there is not quite enough ginger syrup to actually taste it does remove the very sickly aftertaste you can some times get if the caramel is overly sweet. If preferred replace with golden syrup! (or corn syrup in America!)caramel shortbread Continue reading

Wholegrain Mustard, Ham and Broccoli Filo Tart


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A lighter but flavoursome filo tart

Wholegrain Mustard, Ham and Broccoli Filo Tart

I am a massive fan of quiches and tarts – but unfortunately for me, most pastry doesn’t agree with me and find it too rich. Having discovered the world of filo pastry all of my woes have been fixed! Filo has that delicious satisfying buttery texture with that crunchy melt in your mouth feeling of a rich pastry. I know some of you will be skeptical and although it will never replace shortcrust pastry but its just delicious in its own right, some are gluten free (check) and lower in fat! Win win win!

Continue reading

Mary Berrys – Whole Orange Spice Cake


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A spiced winter treat

WHOLE ORANGE SPICE CAKE(Baked and scoffed before going on my February Challenge!)

Having bought Mary Berry’s book – Christmas Collection before christmas, typically its only now that I am getting round to trying her recipes! I was inspired to give this cake a go when it was featured on on the latest series of the Great British Bake Off.  Its a really tall light and moist sponge with a nicely spiced winter feel on your taste buds. Its great for entertaining as it both looks and tastes divine! Continue reading

Tomato, Basil, Mozzarella and Bacon Gnocchi


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Im all for trying new foods..

Tomato basil and mozzarella baked Gnocchi

I have only ever used Gnocchi twice before and quite honestly one dish was lovely Garlic, Mushroom, Ham and Pesto Gnocchi the other was a disaster! If you have ever had badly cooked gnocchi its enough to put you off for life – trust me! Still on my mission to try new foods, I thought I would re-try a Baked Gnocchi recipe with an open mind and it was gorgeous! Even my husband who groaned with disappointment and made sure I had a backup when I said we were having it, loved it! I served it with a grilled chicken breast and green salad – Yum!

The recipes off the Blog She Cooks, she eats – here is the link –  Baked Marinara Gnocchi with Mozzarella

Tomato basil and mozzarella baked Gnocchi