Friday, 22 January 2016

Delicious Homemade Griddled vegetable Pizza

We don't eat pizza often, but when we do it's always homemade.

A few days ago Mr.R made this seriously tasty pizza. He used puff pastry as a base, and topped it with a rich homemade tomato sauce, and lots of lovely griddled vegetables, including aubergine, courgette, onion, mushroom, sweet chili peppers, and cheese. Perfect!

Homemade pizza; homemade tomato sauce, topped with lots of griddled vegetables and four different cheese. πŸ˜‹

It may not look particularly tasty, but that's because I'm not good at taking photos of food - I blame the strange colour light in our house. 
But believe me, this homemade pizza tasted absolutely delicious. 
Do you make your own pizza?
What's your favourite pizza topping?

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Primula Cheese Selection - My First Ever Competition Win!

I've recently started doing online competitions.
And after entering just a few comps, I won. I won!

My first ever competition prize was cheese. Well, sort of. It's cheese, but not as I know it.
One day last week a delivery man rang our front doorbell, and handed me a large package. Oo-er missus, let me rephrase that, he handed me a large parcel.
The parcel contained a cool bag, inside which were several Primula cheese products.

My first ever competition win! πŸ‘ Not sure what to do with though, because we don't really eat processed 'food' like this. πŸ‘Ž Appreciate the end though. 😬

I was seriously excited and pleased to have won something; I was jumping up and down with joy, even though I'm not a Primula cheese eater.
I only entered that particular competition because I thought comping is a numbers game, so the more I entered the higher my chances of winning.
I just wanted to win something, anything, and then I'd just enter competitions for things I'd really like to win - a new TV would be good after our Rottweiler attacked ours and smashed it several months ago.

My first ever competition win! πŸ‘ Not sure what to do with though, because we don't really eat processed 'food' like this. πŸ‘Ž Appreciate the end though. 😬

So, I won some cheese, well sort of, it's hardly a deliciously tangy mature cheddar, but I do truly appreciate my first ever competition win.
But we don't really eat processed food, Mr.R cooks everything from scratch using real food ingredients, so I knew we wouldn't be eating my first competition win.

So what to do with my cheese win? We definitely didn't want to eat it, but I couldn't throw it away - I don't like to chuck food out - however unlike real food I think it is.
We offered it to a friend, but he declined. Hahaha!
So we eventually gave it away to a family member, she was very pleased with the cheese, so at least it's not going to be wasted, or thrown in the bin.

My Primula win included -
Six tubes of different flavoured cheese; Light Cheese, Cheese with Ham, Original Cheese, Cheese with Chives, Cheese with Smoked Salmon, and Cheese with Prawns.
Three tubs of different flavoured cheese; Smoked Cheese, Cheese with Onion, and Cheese with Chilli.
Three Microwaveable Dips; Cheddar and Roasted Garlic, Cheddar and Habanero, and Cheddar.

My first ever competition win! πŸ‘ Not sure what to do with though, because we don't really eat processed 'food' like this. πŸ‘Ž Appreciate the end though. 😬

So after only entering online competitions for a very short time period, and only entering a few individual competitions - I am a winner!
I won! Yay!
Now I've got my first win, I'm going to concentrate on winning that new TV - wish me luck.

Disclaimer - I'm writing this blog post under much stress; seriously noisy neighbours, loud music is blaring through the walls, and a Rottweiler who really doesn't like loud music so he is very stressed, poor thing, so that's the reason for any spelling and/or grammar mistakes. My head is banging, I can't concentrate properly.
I could have left this for tomorrow, but I just wanted to get it finished and online.
Do you enter online competitions?
What have you won?
Or, if you're not a comper, do you eat Primula Cheese products?
And if you do, what do you think of them?

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Box Steam Brewery, Derail Ale, India Pale Ale - Beer Review

We drank this Box Steam Brewery India Pale Ale last Summer.

Box Steam Brewery Derail Ale pours amber gold in the glass, with a small cream head.
Aromas of hops, floral, sweet malts, biscuits, grass, and citrus zest.
Flavours of sweet malts, caramel, and an orange hop bitterness to finish.
Medium-bodied, drinkable, but quite a light beer.

Box Stream Brewery. Derail Ale, India Pale Ale, 5.2%

From the label -

Box Steam Brewery Est 2004

The Taj Mahal of traditional India Pale Ales - full flavoured yet perfectly balanced, with a subtle aroma. 5.2% ABV
Ingredients; water, malted barley, hops.
Steam brewed in Wiltshire

Talented as he was, Isambard Kingdom Brunel didn't get everything right. If his fame rested solely on the steam locomotives he designed for the GWR, his reputation might have been derailed long ago.

Brunel's engines Thunderer and Hurricane proved to be less than reliable and were swiftly replaced. A small blip in the great man's career - but more then enough to inspire the name of this pale ale. 

engineered by hand

We've won so many awards we can't show them all here. You can view them all at:

Box Steam Brewery,
Holt, Wiltshire BA14 6RU UK.
+44(0)1225 782700
Do you like Pale Ale?
Have you tried Box Steam Brewery, Derail Ale, India Pale Ale?
What did you think about this beer?

Thursday, 14 January 2016

It's Nippy in The North of England - Especially Now it's Snowing!

I woke up this morning to be greeted by white skies, and gentle flurries of snow.
It all looked very pretty, when viewed through the window from the warmth of the living room.
And that's where it's beauty ended, at least for us - neither me or Mr.R like cold weather.
But having dogs means we go out every day, come rain or shine - or snow.

So, we put coats on the dogs, and ourselves - we also wore hats, scarves, and gloves.
Barley, our rescue Lurcher, doesn't mind wearing a coat, he's used to it as being a slender breed he feels the cold so wearing a coat is not an unusual occurrence.
Porter, our rescue Rottweiler, does mind wearing a coat. He wasn't at all impressed as Mr.R wrestled with him trying to fasten the coat around his neck and body. There was quite a lot of growling during this process - and that was mainly from Mr.R. I'm joking! Hahaha!

Eventually we were all wrapped up and ready to venture outside for our morning dog walk.
The snow hadn't settled much at this time, but the roads were slushy and fairly slippery.
Barley and Porter didn't care about the slippery roads, and why would they - they've got four-wheel-drive.
Me and Mr.R on the other hand, were gingerly walking down the hill to the local country park. As both the dogs are strong on their leads, we didn't want to rush in case our walk turned into a full-on slide - right down the road and in through the park gates.

Once the dogs had done their business, we walked back towards the house.
The snow was still falling, and the bitterly strong wind was stinging our faces.
Thankfully the walk back seemed to be less slippery, and we arrived back at the house without either of us falling on our arses.

Life in the North of England is much colder than anywhere we've ever lived before, and I doubt we'll ever get used to it.
Living right by the North Sea is much fresher than when we lived in the South of France - the North Sea is most definitely not the Mediterranean. In fact, it's much colder here than London - which is where we're originally from, and that's a lot closer than France. Hahaha!
The weather app on my phone says it's 1c degree, but feels like -6c. That's fecking cold for us soft Southerners. 

It's settling. Feels like -6 according to my weather app. ❄️❄️☹️

I didn't manage to take any photos whilst we were out, but I did shoot just one shot from the kitchen door.
Usually we can see the sea from the kitchen, but today the view was more-or-less a plain white canvas, with just the roof tops and chimneys of the neighbouring houses poking through the whiteness of the snow.

Now we're back in the warmth of the living room, the wind and snow outside don't seem to bad, and as
pretty as snow can look, I don't like it. It's fun when you're a child, but nowadays warm sunshine is more of a pleasure for us. As is snuggling n front of the fire, which is what all four of us are doing right now.
Do you like snow?
Is it snowing where you are today?
Are you going to build a snowman, or have fun on a taboggan?
Or are you planning to stay indoors and snuggle in front of the fire?

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Karpackie Premium Lager - Review

Just because it's from Lidl doesn't mean it shouldn't have a review written about it.

Karpackie Premium Lager is a Polish lager, brewed by Browar Van Pur S.A. (Brau Union Polska) in RzeszΓ³w, Poland.

Karpackie lager 🍺

It pours a light amber colour in the glass, with a white head of medium retention, and moderate carbonation.
Aromas of sweet malts, wheat, and hops; typical Euro-lager smell, and a light touch of spice - possibly cloves or cinnamon.
On the palate it's quite sweet with flavours of sweet malt, honey, grains.
A fairly clean crisp drink, pleasant enough, easily drinkable, but nothing to get excited about.

Karpackie lager 🍺

Mr.R and I spent a lot of time travelling round Poland, and we drank lots, and lots of seriously good Polish beer, which is probably why Mr.R bought some Karpackie Premium Lager home from Lidl - he must have been reminiscing about our World travels.

From the label -
Beer. Alc. 5% vol. 
Ingredients: water, malted barley, brewing barley, hops. 
Do you shop at Lidl?
Do you like Polish beer?
Have you tried Karpackie Premium Lager?
What did you think of it?

Monday, 11 January 2016

Hotel Chocolat Snowflake - Much better Than Bills Dropping on the Doormat

I love it. Well, no, not love, but I like it - very much.
So, I was a happy lady when Mr.R told me he'd won some chocolate, several wins actually.

The first win that dropped through our letterbox was this white chocolate snowflake from the Hotel Chocolat brand.
Chocolate snowflakes dropping on the doormat are preferable to bills.

It says 'British Cocoa Grower' on the label, so I suppose that's a good thing.
There were two white chocolate snowflakes in the packet.

White chocolate is not my favourite type of chocolate, but that doesn't mean I didn't eat the chocolate snowflakes.
I did. Both of them. But not at once, they lasted me for a couple of weeks; I broke off small pieces to nibble each day.
And as Mr.R doesn't like white chocolate at all, I obviously had no choice but to eat it all myself. Hahaha!

Snowflakes! Don't mind if I do. πŸ˜‹

This white chocolate snowflake was nice. Although it was way too sweet for my tastes, (I much prefer the bitterness of good quality dark chocolate) and apart from the sweetness, it didn't actually taste of anything - I'm not sure if it even tasted of chocolate.
That may be because my tastebuds are used to eating very bitter dark chocolate, and not a reflection on this white chocolate.

But hey-ho it was free, so who am I to complain. Ha!
Seriously though, (I'm joking about it being free, it was, but that's irrelevant) it is nice to have a product that's actually made in this country. Something British! As Blighty seems to make so little these days.
Are you a chocolate lover?
Do you like white chocolate?
Have you tried Hotel Chocolat?
What did you think of it?

Sheppy's Draught Cider - Review

English cider!
We tried Sheppy's Draught Cider a while ago, back in the Summer of 2015, but I do remember the taste.
It was alright, not bad, but not a cider we'd go out of our way to buy again.

Sheppy's Somerset draught cider

It poured a light gold in the glass, without any head.

The aromas were of green apples, wood, smoke, straw, green apples, and a touch of vanilla.
It was pleasantly carbonated.

Initially it tasted quite sweet, but with a slight sour aftertaste it wasn't unpleasant, with flavours of apple pulp, pear, straw, and a hint of vanilla.

Sheppy's Somerset draught cider πŸΊπŸ˜‹

From the label -

Craftsmen cider makers for over 200 years
The Sheppy family have been farmer-cidermakers since the early 1800's, 
producing ciders of quality and character. The skill and craftsmanship
which produce Sheppy's ciders remain unchanged over generations, 
although modern technology helps with some of the hard work.
Home-grown and locally sourced apples guarantee the quality of the 
blend and ensure that you get a drink to be savoured. 

Somerset Draught combines cider apples and eating apples to produce
a crisp, fruit taste. So sit down and drink-in the rural beauty, the history
and the craft of six generations of cidermakers.
5.5% vol
Are you a cider drinker?
Have you tried Sheppy's Draught Cider?
What did you think of this cider?

A Lurcher, Rottweiler, and a Bull Terrier Walk Into a Bar.......

Actually it wasn't a bar, it was backyard, and the Rottweiler had to make his excuses and a speedy departure - for the safety of the Bull Terrier.

Our friend popped round a few days ago, which he does most mornings, but on this morning he wasn't alone - he had Vera, one of his Bull Terrier puppies with him.

Vera! We've got a new furry friend. Not really, our friend brought one of his Bullterrier puppies to see us. 😍🐢😊
Vera, a little timid at first - hiding under a table in the back yard

Initially our friend stood outside our back gate, letting Vera and our two dogs give each other a good sniff.
Our Lurcher, Barley, was very excited to meet Vera, as was our Rottweiler, Porter.
But unfortunately it was all just a bit too exciting for Porter, so he made his excuses and left (went indoors).
Our rescue Rottweiler, Porter, isn't aggressive, but he was over-excited and we didn't want him to hurt the Bull Terrier puppy.

Then after we all felt the dogs had spent sufficient time sniffing each other, our friend bought Vera into our back yard.
Vera was quite nervy initially, even hiding underneath a table at one point, but eventually she came out of her hiding place and played with Barley.

Vera - Beautiful heart-nosed puppy

Then after a while we all came indoors, it was cold outside, and we wanted to make sure Vera wasn't too cold. She had a little sniff around the room, climbed up on the sofa, and then sat down on the floor watching Barley.

Barley was such a good boy, he was very calm with Vera - the perfect gentleman. Proving what wonderful pets rescue dogs can be.

Eric! Our friend brought another one of his Bullterrier pups to meet our dogs. Porter wanted to eat him. Barley wanted to play. Eric and Barley seconds after they met for the first time. πŸΆπŸ’›πŸΆ
Barley and Eric, seconds after they first met

As this meeting between Barley, and our friends Bull Terrier pup Vera, went well, he decided to bring another one of his puppies around a few days later.

Barley offering his favourite tug-toy to Eric

This time he brought a male pup, Eric.
Eric was completely different to Vera, he was very confident, and wasted no time in playing with Barley.
It was lovely to watch Barley and Eric playing.

Hopefully when the weather is less cold (it's freezing today - literally) our friend is going to bring some more of his puppies to play with Barley.
It's good for all of them, and an excellent way to socialise his pups with an adult dog.

Barley gently playing tug with Eric

Hope you liked the photos of Barley, Vera, and Eric.
Obviously I like Lurchers, and Rottweilers, but I also like the Bull Terrier breed, they're lovely dogs.
Do you like Bull Terriers?
What's your favourite dog breed?