Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quick & Easy Dinner Needed

Its been a particularly hard couple of days at work and I needed a speedy recipe for dinner, preferably one that could do two days.  I turned yet again to one of my favourite cookery books

I made her haggis style meatballs recipe for the first time.  The quantity made 13 balls altogether and they were a good size.

These six were today's dinner.  Yesterday they were fried till crispy in Frylight and served with new potatoes, cabbage, Brussel sprouts (for me) and carrots with passata.  Today they were served with gravy and mashed potatoes, cabbage, broccoli and more Brussels for me and little Yorkshire puddings for OH.  Yum!

I would definitely make these again, not that I think they particularly taste anything like haggis but they were tasty none the less.  Quick, simple and economic homemade food.

Terri X

Monday, July 27, 2015

Scotland Open Garden Scheme

Sunday was cloudy but the sun tried to break through and when it succeeded, coats were taken off as it felt lovely and warm.  After church we decided to take a trip out with our friends to visit an open garden.
We headed north up the A9 towards John O Groats .  This is such a scenic route hugging the coastline.  Approx 40 miles from the top of the country, we came to the entrance of the hunting estate.  I didn't know quite what to expect as we drove up a one track road through woods towards the parking area.  It was £4 each entrance fee but it goes to charity and I noticed they had chosen the RNLI.  

The white house on the hill in this pic was where we were.  We didn't see this main house whilst there as the gardens were next to another house on the estate.

Hidden behind these huge walls was a lovely garden

My cats would love all this cat mint!

Our friends and their dog.  Just look at the lovely honeysuckle.

I have no idea what this plant is but it has such beautiful leaves.

This is one of the nicest gardens I've seen since I've lived in the Highlands and I enjoyed taking photos of all the flowers.
I have just included a few here.

A mound of flowering thyme

The trees are covered in lichen because the air is so clean.

OH strolling along

I checked out the veg patch.  The lettuce, leeks and onions seemed to be 
Doing well but the chard, carrots Etc. seemed to be struggling.  I looked in the poly tunnels as well and even the runner beans were only just flowering.  It seems to be a tough year for growing vegetables as a few gardeners have mentioned it even when they have a poly tunnel.  We need more sun!

There were koi carp in the pond too.
After checking out the plants for sale we headed off to the community centre for tea and cake!

The hall was in a lovely position overlooking the sea.  Afterwards we headed home but it was a lovely afternoon out.

Terri X

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Our new Abode

Hello again, its been a while hasn't it but I'm happy to be back blogging again :-)

This is our new home, not very attractive on the outside, indeed very bleak looking  especially after living in the chocolate box cottage but on the inside it has everything we needed and lacked in the cottage. 
A planned makeover for this front garden will be happening very soon.
In the meantime it's just a case of keeping it tidy.  We are a corner plot so have a lot of garden

A view at the side and again at the rear

Plus ample parking for the whole family!
There is a little cul-de-sac of houses at the back but at the front I have a view of the woods which is lovely.

and if I look across the road I can still see the mountains over the West.

Too cloudy when this pic was taken to see them clearly and I have no idea what the UFO is in the top of this photo!  We also have the novelty of having street lighting again. will take getting use to as we are so use to complete darkness in the winter.

There are a lot of steps up to the front and back door because the whole underneath of the house has access from the garden and is storage!  As you can imagine, OH is in his element as he has all his tools and light and power in there! 

The house was in a bit of a state decoration wise.  The lounge was deep burgundy and mushroom walls and ceiling with huge flower stickers either side of the window!  It is now much lighter! 

The room has very high ceilings and the council have last week put us a brand new heating system in.  This has a multi fuel stove with a back boiler and I have radiators!  What a luxury!

My dining table is also in the lounge now with my pink shelves above.  We have not brought anything for this room apart from paint but we are living with bare boards on the floor.  There is some insulation underneath but we will have to see if we could live with painting the boards or have to carpet it.

I crocheted a new stripey throw for the back of the sofa

and a friend gave us a chair which we painted to give it a new lease of life.

The kitchen is a nice size and the units are new

The cafe nets at the window were given to me and luckily for me there was an old fridge and washing machine left in the house. These were the two main appliances we needed so they may be old and a bit damaged but they work.

This end of the kitchen houses the chest freezer with a Molly maid above.  What a bonus that has been to dry the washing on overnight, hardly used the tumble dryer.  Again no money spent on this room.

The hallway is a mint green and we have started a display of some of OH's photos going up the stairs.  The carpet is inherited so I used two Cath Kidston type rugs that i already had to cover the main area. 
The worst room that has cost us money to sort out is the bathroom which is also downstairs.  This was covered in a badly put up black and white wallpaper and there was only a bath which was also painted to match wallpaper. We needed a shower so OH had to build a false wall and we white tiled the area to enable us to have a shower gravity fed, off the taps.

A vintage styled shower curtain from Next matches the lavender coloured walls and we painted some of my previous pink kitchen shelves purple to store bits and pieces.

We have spray painted wicker baskets, used more net over a plain white roller blind and used an old mirror to give the bathroom a more vintage feel.  

It's also nice to have a window in the bathroom

Just a piece of wall to finish and new vinyl floor tiles to lay, then its finished.  I have done three car boot sales in the last few months and that has greatly helped cover the costs of re-doing this room.

Well that covers the downstairs, I think I will show the upstairs another time. :-)

Good to be back

Terri X