Tuesday, 28 April 2015

It's a Giveaway Whoop Whoop!!

Well o.k. not exactly my giveaway but Dani from Eco Footprint South Africa  A while ago I was lucky enough to have my name drawn out of a hat for her giveaway of piquant peppers.  The idea is that I keep some and pass the rest along to whoever wins this giveaway, you then keep some and pass the rest on and so on.  If you go to the link for her blog above you will see the rules for the giveaway.  I will make the draw this Friday so you can receive the seeds and get them planted.  It is open to anyone where ever you live, but Dani asks that you link back to her blog.  So If you are interested leave a comment letting me know and I will include you in the draw.  I'm just hoping that as my history of growing things isn't great that I don't kill all mine!  At least the rest will have a chance.

I have had a really busy few days, the band had the first gig of the year on Saturday at a local food and music festival.  Then we went up to Somerset for our granddaughters birthday on Sunday.  She is now three and full of fun, she answered the door to us and asked sweetly if we had any presents, luckily we did, otherwise we may not have been allowed in!  I'm also trying to clear my kitchen, every cupboard is crammed full.  I don't mind but when we eventually put the house on the market I don't think people would like things falling on them if they are rude enough to look in my cupboards.......actually maybe I should leave them full, they wouldn't open any more :)  I am sooooooo fed up with decluttering, tidying, painting, I don't think i'll ever move house again!

I would like to welcome the lovely new readers of my blog, not sure who you are as blogger is playing up at the moment, the numbers increase on the stats but it doesn't show elsewhere.  But I can see Julie and Judith so welcome.

Anyway, as I am not personally giving anything away, and can't think of anything witty or interesting to write about as I am so tired I am practically on my knees, I will play you some music.  (I am not actually going to tell which one I am as I am far too shy)  you will just have to guess which one looks like a Cornish Chickpea.  I hope you enjoy it.

Chickpea xx

Friday, 24 April 2015

Five on Friday - Simple Pleasures

I am stupidly busy with work and home at the moment and feeling like I'm swimming like mad and getting nowhere.   I wanted to share my Five on Friday along with Amy at Love made my home.   It's such a good way to look back on my week and get some perspective on what I have actually been up to, what I have achieved and what has brought me joy.  Looking back on them, perhaps I won't be so hard on myself and not feel like a week has gone by with nothing done.


I love creating simple food in my kitchen, feeding the soul and the body.

I saw this recipe posted by one of my friends on Facebook so gave it a go

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

1 cup of cauliflower florets
3 cups mozzarella grated
1 tsp dried oregano
1 crushed clove of garlic
1 tsp salt
1 Egg

Topping of your choice

Place the cauliflower in a food processor until chopped into tiny bits (like cauliflower rice)
Microwave the cauliflower for 8 minutes
Mix in the egg and seasoning and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella
Spray oil onto an oven tray, then tip mixture onto it and make into a pizza base shape
Brush top with oil
Place in oven 200 fan oven for 15 mins
Remove from the oven and cover with the rest of the cheese and the topping (I pre grilled mushrooms and peppers)
Place under the grill for 2 - 3 mins.

No carbs, but LOTS of cheese which I will cut back on the next time I cook it.  I don't eat a lot of dairy so will experiment with the recipe to suit me.  A good gluten free option.


Making something for my family brings me great joy.

I have been working on our new grandsons quilt over the last couple of days, I need to finish it before he grows up and leaves home!


A good book

Reading Christina's Blog A Colourful Life, a few weeks ago, she was discussing the books she had 'listened' to.  In the past I had bought a few books on tapes to listen to on long car journeys, but never thought about listening to books any other time even though I enjoy listening to them on the radio.  Having already dipped my foot into alternative ways to read 'books' on the iPad, I thought 'what the hell, be adventurous and downloaded one. It was so easy!  I could even listen to it on my phone as I moved around the house and garden. Of course it will never replace sitting down with a good book, but I will be getting through a lot more books I had been meaning to read.  Have you joined the book listening revolution or are you firmly a traditional book reading person?  This is the book I listened to, So You've Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson. It is a very thought provoking and in places a shocking look at how your life can been ruined by making one stupid remark and photo.  Social media at its worst.  I've also just downloaded a book by David Sedaris, I needed something light and fun and David Sedaris always makes me laugh.   Now at least I can 'read' some books while still working.


Growing and eating my own produce.

It is lovely to see my little veg patch springing to life, I'm looking forward to the new potatoes, freshly picked spinach and kale, and tomatoes that actually smell and taste like tomatoes.  How does your garden grow?


Shhhh I don't want to jinx it, but for the last couple of weeks my sleep patterns have improved.  Now I only wake up a couple of times a night.  I can live with that.  I'm sure my insomnia will return but I will enjoy the sleep while I can.

I hope your week has been kind to you,

Chickpea xx

Monday, 20 April 2015

Working on my List

My 60 x 60 'to do' list has been sadly neglected over winter so I'm pleased to have crossed off another wish. Today I went to St. Ives to visit the Barbara Hepworth Museum, a beautiful, peaceful space full of the most amazing sculptures.

We decided to use the park and ride from Lelant, which must have one of the most unusual views from a station platform and is a haven for bird watchers.  My friend had not been on the train to St. Ives before, it was on her 'list of things to do' and is a beautiful little train journey along the coast overlooking St. Ives Bay.

It is a bit of a photo overload today, but I fell in love with this very special place.  I don't think there could be a better setting for her beautiful work.

Her workshop

After our visit we walked along the picture postcard streets of St Ives to find a place for lunch.

These little birds were scurrying around the rocks, perhaps one of you know what they are?

I  hope you have enjoyed the tour.

Chickpea xx

Friday, 17 April 2015

Five on Friday

 Joining up with the lovely Amy for Five on Friday.


When I wake on beautiful sunny days I like to take a walk around the garden to say good morning to the plants and creatures.  They wake with me, seeking out the sun, I love how their petals open when the sun is out, and then close as the sun goes down.  Ziggy Stardust comes out with me for a stretch.


I love simple food I can just throw together.  What could be simpler than this.

Chickpeas Houmous

1 tin of chickpeas drained
3 tbsp tahini
juice of half a lemon
handful of fresh coriander 
flesh of 1 small cooked sweet potato 
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
1 tbsp olive oil

Throw in a food processor and blend


The beautiful colours that are used in aboriginal art reflect the colours of their homeland. The yellow for the sun,  brown for the earth,  red for the desert sand, white for the clouds, each piece of art telling a story.  This quilt will remind me of our visit to their beautiful land.


I have just finished reading the Yorkshire Shepherdess by Amanda  Owen     It is about her life at Ravenseat raising her 'free range' children.  What a wonderful way of life.  I will not be moving so far away from civilisation but dream of having space around me and 'free range' grandchildren.

This is her beautiful home Ravenseat


The first gig of the season will soon be upon us so lots and lots of practice is required. Bring on the Samba!!

Have a good weekend everyone,

Chickpea xx

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Cats, Colds and Cornbread Confusion

A not very scary scarecrow

All out war has been declared against the local cats who are using my veg patch as their public toilet. I have sprinkled smelly gel all over it and now I have brought out the big guns.  Well, a scarecrow and some windmills to be exact.  They are driving me mad, there are huge gaps in my planting where cats have dug them up.  Yesterday spurred on by the lovely weather I planted out the sweetcorn , courgettes, chard and squashes.  I'm really chuffed that I managed to grow them from seed so would be so upset if they were destroyed at this stage.  The sweetcorn have plastic milk botttles covering them while the others have a plastic tunnel placed over them until them are big enough to survive.  Any tips on keeping cats off the veg?

Growing milk bottles

The spinach and kale (and weeds) that have survived cat attack growing away nicely

I was tempted to make gluten free cornbread yesterday morning after seeing Dawns sausage and cornbread pie.  I am very confused by cornbread, it's called bread but it's nothing like a bread.  Is it savoury of sweet?

 I used this recipe found on Jamie Olivers website, but adapted it so that it was also dairy free using almond milk and soya margarine.

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (buttermilk, whole milk, or almond milk work great)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter (or dairy free alternative)

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Grease a medium-sized cast-iron skillet (or 8×8 baking dish) with bacon grease or butter, and place inside the oven while you prep the other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well combined.

Melt the butter and let it cool slightly while you whisk together the eggs and milk in a separate bowl. Once the butter is cool, add it to the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir gently together with a wooden spoon or spatula. Don’t over-mix, but let everything become incorporated.

Remove the heated skillet (or baking dish) from the oven and pour the batter in. Turn the oven down to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool slightly before slicing and serving. Serve with butter and honey for maximum comfort food feeling!

 The recipe is by Ariyele Ressler

Serving suggestions included eating it with chilli, I opted for the honey and I have to say it was nice as a sweet snack.

So can anyone, (especially any American readers), explain cornbread to me and how it is best served?  Savoury or sweet?

I am also still full of a cold.  It really doesn't feel right having a cold when the weather is glorious. In the winter you can snuggle up in a quilt with your lemon and honey, but it's too hot for that.  I came home from work this afternoon and just wanted to crawl in to bed instead of going down to the beach.   (or painting doors which I am meant to be getting on with) I must be really poorly!

Chickpea xx

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