A Month Of Sundays ~ 01/12

I've spent some time this month doing some thinking and planning for this here blog of mine, coming up with ideas for posts and more regular features. Inspired by the beautiful 'portrait a week' series I've been following on Bleubird and more recently It's the Little Things, a photo series is something I knew I wanted to get started with in the New Year but I didn't have such a clear subject as those ladies. Although this blog often serves as a sort of photo diary anyway I thought it would be nice to have a go at regularly documenting a particular moment / day... and I figured Sunday mornings are the best aren't they?

So here is the first in my new series 'A month of Sundays' capturing my life in Sunday (mostly) mornings - I'll do my best not to turn these posts into 'portraits of all the boiled eggs I've eaten'!

05/01 Last morning with the Christmas tree & getting a New Year's resolution off to a good start by
         planning food for the week with my new cookbooks.
12/01 Sunday morning blogging 
19/01 Homemade multi-seed loaf
26/01 We were defeated by this puzzle 


Orla Kiely Eyewear

Back in November I told you how I'd broken my glasses and proclaimed my love for the Orla Kiely range of frames which are exclusive to Boots Opticians. This was the first eye test I'd had with them; I found their customer service to be really good and the test itself seemed more thorough and professional than ones I've had previously. One of the perks of buying contact lenses through Boots is 1/2 price frames, which is brilliant because designer frames don't come cheap! It really was hard to choose which pair to go for but in the end, after a couple of visits and a second opinion from Will, I chose the Honey & Cream frames. It's taken me a couple of weeks to get used to how they look on me as I've always gone for more simple frames in the past but now I just love them - I've even found myself putting together suitably vintage inspired outfits just to match my glasses!


A little rain never hurt anyone...

Oh I do like to be beside the sea side... however yesterday was probably not the best day to insist on visiting the beach at Weston-super-mare, but I just had it in my head that I wanted to see the sea! When we arrived it was absolutely pouring with rain so we sheltered inside the Amusements at the end of the pier. Amusements is an understatement really, as they have a whole theme park, complete with proper rides in there! It was all a bit much and not really what we were in the mood for - although I was tempted to go on the Ghost Train. Luckily by the time we'd eaten some Fish & Chips in the car (that great British tradition) the rain had stopped and we were able to have a nice walk along the other side of the beach.

As everything was so grey and dreary anyway I thought it was a perfect time to play with the monochrome settings on my camera. I like that things don't seem to look so miserable in black & white. The tide was so far out yesterday, actually much further than than it appears in the photos, that in the end I didn't even get to see a single wave but we had a lovely time none the less.


A weekly round up

EATING I always try to get out of the office on my lunch break even if it's just to go for a little walk. I'm quite lucky to work in the city centre so I have lots of options for where I can wonder. This week I had a delicious solo lunch of 'Roast Pepper & Pesto Soup' at one of my favourite spots The Birdcage Cafe.

DRINKING Or not more like! As I am having a alcohol free month these recipes for 'mocktails' are perfect. The Sparkling Rosemary Limeade pictured above is top of my must-try list during 'Dry January'

WATCHING We finally went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (we saw it in HFR 3D because we're geeks like that). I was actually a bit disappointed by it, there was lots of good action sequences but not a whole lot else and man it was loooooong. I try not to let that bother me usually but when you're sat on a cinema seat for three hours achy back and numb bum does start to distract from the film somewhat.... maybe I'll like it better on re-watching at home.

~ Over at Vintage Revivals there was a very insightful post about how the way we use and feel about Pinterest maybe changing, including feedback from her blog readers survey it makes for a very interesting reading - especially if you have mixed feelings about getting pin-happy.

~ I've been wanting to try out home juicing for a while (actually Pinterest probably has a lot to do with that!) and this Juicing 101 post from A Beautiful Mess has inspired me to snap up a juicer in the sales and give it a go.

~ I love this post from Cider with Rosie about her goal to eat more seasonally this year -what a great resolution. Eating seasonally is something that should be important to every home cook, but sometimes I have to remind myself not to go on auto-pilot when food shopping, so I look forward to reading Rosie's posts on this each month.


Sunday Soup

One of my new years resolutions is to make better use of my rather large collection of cookbooks. I love reading and being inspired by cookbooks but instead of reaching for one when meal planning I often find myself Googling recipe ideas. Each week I will be making a concerted effort to use recipes I've found amongst the pages of the cookbooks I own.
Between Will and I this Christmas we added another 4 titles to our bookshelves; 'Eat- The little Book of Fast Food' by Nigel Slater (I just *love* Nigel),  'The Ethicurean Cookbook', 'Curries of The World' by Atul Kochhar and the book from which this recipe came - The New Soup Bible - given to me by my Muma. It is a bit of a tradition of my Mum's to make a soup for Sunday evening supper and it's something I'd like to get into the habit of doing in 2014....now I've got a 'Soup Bible' I've no excuse really!

Portuguese Garlic Soup

This is certainly one strangest soups I've ever made or eaten! I couldn't resist giving it a go as the recipe contains a number of our favourite ingredients; garlic, coriander and eggs (yes eggs in a soup - told you it was odd). Actually that's almost it in terms of ingredients it's a very simple, strange soup but hearty, comforting and tasty.

"This recipe is based on the wonderful bread soups or Acordas of Portugal Being a simple soup it should be made with the best ingredients"

To Serve 4

25g fresh coriander (cilantro) stalks and leaves chopped separately
1.5 litres vegetable stock 
5-6 plump garlic cloves
 4 eggs - 1 per portion
275g day-old white bread crusts removed cut into bite sized squares
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

Place the coriander stalks in a pan with the stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes the process in a blender or hand blender and strain the liquid back into the pan.
Meanwhile poach the eggs until just set - (I'm a fan of the poaching many at once in a shallow pan of water method, involving no swirling or vinegar at all) - transfer eggs to a plate and trim of any untidy bits.
Crush the garlic with a teaspoon of salt and add to the pan. Bring the soup back to the boil, season, add the chopped coriander leaves and remove from the heat.
Divide the bread equally amongst your bowls and drizzle with the oil. Ladle the soup into each bowl and sit a poached egg on top of each. Finish with black pepper.
Serve immediately with olive oil at the table, which can be added to taste.

Do you think you'd like this soup? I'm sure it won't be to every ones taste but if like me you love garlic and fresh coriander (and trying out intriguing recipes) why not give it a go? Anyone actually tried this soup before? I'd love to know.


Welcoming in 2014...

Happy New Year! I Hope you had a wonderful Christmas time and a truly awesome New Years Eve. This year we hosted a Tapas & Cocktail party at our flat, it was a relatively tame affair compared to my last few New Years Eves (I must be getting old!) but it was full of all the right ingredients for a fabulous time - good food, good drinks and good friends. 

~1~ A table full of delicious dishes - Asking guest to bring tapas was great way to share the work
       load, everyone made such a good effort and brought along some brilliant home made dishes.
~2~ Cocktail equipment ready to go
~3~ Essential ingredients -As well as food everyone also brought a host of different spirits and mixers
      for the cocktails....but mainly gin.We love gin!
~4~ Bubbles at midnight
~5~ CHEERS! Here's to a fabulous 2014.

....the fuzzier photos were taken on Instagram. Follow me if you like.