Tag Archives: Spring

May Changes

13 May

The last few days have not been the most exciting in terms of blogging.  It was my birthday, celebrated with coffee, gratin dauphinois, this cake, and red wine.  I can finally call a hand mixer part of my baking collection, which, I must say, had excellent timing as Matthew got me Mary Berry’s Baking Bible.  I now have enough baking recipes to, perhaps, never scour the internet again for something delicious.  That being said, I do have a slavish devotion to searching food blogs when I’m bored, so perhaps multiple sources of inspiration will continue to exist.

The weather did, as predicted stop being summer-like the following day and has been overcast or rainy every day since.  The sun has unexpectedly come out a few times today

for fleeting periods between torrential (or, you know, pretty heavy) downpours.  It’s days like this that make me really glad that I don’t have to go to university for classes so I can sit inside and hibernate when it’s awful outside and take a wee walk when the clouds part for long enough to enjoy the sun.

I”m thinking of doing a bit of maintenance to the blog, changing the layout a bit and maybe adding an index?  I know right now I don’t have a ton of recipes, but I think it would be useful to be able to have a space where you can find what you’re looking for and discover something you haven’t been.  I’m also thinking that I’m going to try to publish a recipe a week.  Don’t hold me to any of this yet, as I am writing 30,000 word Master’s thesis in addition to trying to live life.  If you see any changes, don’t freak out; it’s still me!  I would love any suggestions you might have for recipes or blog updates!

I leave you with a visible change, my front garden!

March

March

May

May

Monday, Monday (and Stuffed Mushrooms)

15 Apr

Although this weekend was less than fun (it was cloudy with a few fleeting glimpses of sun and Matthew was studying all weekend), at least it was full of good food and good television programming.  I made stuffed mushrooms Saturday night, a roast chicken last night, and delicious parmesan crusted pesto grilled cheese for lunch both days.  Matthew and I have started watching a show called Firefly, which had a brief run in 2002, and I started the first season of Downton Abby yesterday.  In addition, I managed to get a fair amount of work done.

Today looks to be equally thrilling, registering at a doctor’s office and getting a library card being at the top of my to do list.  Hopefully I’ll also get some writing done today.  I haven’t done any literary or film analysis in months, so I’m a bit nervous that what I do end up with will be lower quality than what I generally produce.  I suppose that’s what drafts are for!

I leave you my mushrooms and a wee warning.  You should definitely check this BBC article out if you’re a wordpress.com user yourself.  Apparently someone/a group of someones is hacking fairly successfully into many people’s accounts.  Make sure your password is strong enough!

Stuffed MushroomsStuffed Mushrooms A La Leigh

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 4 large mushrooms (I used large chestnut, but you could also use portabella)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes (roma sized), chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup rice (I used basmati, but I really think any kind would be excellent)
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • butter or oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • dried basil

Preheat the oven to 180°C (or about 350°F).  Cook rice while chopping up vegetables.  Over a medium high heat, heat butter in frying pan and add onion.  After about 2 minutes, add pepper.  Cook until onion is beginning to brown and add tomatoes and spices, to taste.  When rice has finished cooking, add the vegetables to the rice.  Grate in parmesan to taste (about 1/4-1/2 cup).  Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and pour mixture into mushrooms.  Cover the tops with mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted, about 8 minutes, and serve.

Chocolate

3 Apr

My first love was chocolate.  It is an ever enduring love, growing stronger  through the years.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve branched out and learned to love it in all forms- dark, sometimes white, and especially milk.  I have a hard time turning anything containing chocolate down, which makes Easter very dangerous.  I don’t really want to think about all of the chocolate I’ve eaten in the last 5 days.  In fact, I’m eating half of a Lindt egg after my relatively healthy dinner of chickpea fajitas.  If this had been my only Easter indulgence today, I wouldn’t be at all concerned.  I’m pretty fit, I typically don’t eat a ton of unnecessary junk food, and no diseases linked with food run in my family.  The habits of the past week are embarrassing; I need to start eating less crap.  I do so well at meals, but then, out of the blue, snack attack!  Time to lace up the old running shoes.  Look out West End! I’ll be awkwardly running around you…

With the increase in chocolate consumption, my world has also had an increase in sunshine!  My relatively short Easter break was moderately sunny and today was lovely.  Although it’s definitely still really cold in Glasgow, Spring seems to be on the approach.  There are so many things to look forward to soon!  In the mean time, there are daffodils to enjoy.

Daffodils in the Botanic Gardens

Daffodils in the Botanic Gardens

 

Happy Spring!

21 Mar

It’s not really Spring yet here in Glasgow, although we did see some sun late yesterday and earlier today.  The daffodils are threatening to bloom, the weather is nearly in the 40s, and the sun is almost out more often.

I have an interim review coming up for my thesis, which is mildly terrifying.  I can’t believe I’m halfway through my research period.  Am I half way done with my research, you may ask.  Not at all.  I suppose I am close to a third of the way through, but I feel like the first 3 months were such a bust.  Now that I know what I’m doing, I’m moving so much more quickly, I wish I could pretend that I had started in January rather than October!  Oh well.  I’ve been working a lot this week (hence the multiple blog posts for a break) and am looking forward to a weekend of completing the prereview things I need to do and doing a round of spring cleaning.

Fresh out of the oven

Fresh out of the oven

While I’ve been working, Matthew has also been killing himself to finish up his term.  I can’t get over how early classes end here.  The students at UCLA still have a full 10 weeks of teaching plus finals.  From here on out for Matthew, it’s all about studying for a mass of exams that cover a year’s worth of topics.  Because of his stress (and my love of baking), today I made a giant batch of chocolate chip cookies.  Around 60, in fact.  Our neighbors might love me as much as Matthew does soon because I might just leave small parcels of cookies in their mail boxes to get rid of some of them…  I tried out a new recipe from, yet again, Deb on Smitten Kitchen and it turned out wonderfully!  I usually add or subtract little things from recipes, but I decided to bake straight from the recipe today and damn was it a good choice.  I don’t want to know how many Matthew has consumed and I’ve already eaten 4.  Thank god tonight we’re eating a salad for dinner…

Food for Thought

Falling in Love All Over Again

5 Mar

The end of February and beginning of March have, thus far, been stunning here in Glasgow.  The weather is warmer (in the mid to upper 40s F and around 8°C!!), snow drops have appeared, and daffodils are beginning to bud.  Sunset today was at a whopping 6 pm.  It’s not even Spring and I’ve just about fallen head over heels for Scotland again.  We had a low point this winter, but this will be the first Spring I’ve ever really been thankful for and, boy, am I ready.  Bring back those leaves on the trees and days a month of sunshine where I can comfortably take reading for my thesis and sit on a grassy hill!

Matthew and I also had a lovely weekend which included badminton, walks through fields, tree planting, and a small trip to Loch Lomond.  It was so nice to do things out of our normal routine, especially things we both enjoy that are outdoors.  It was a weekend that made me appreciate just how lucky I am to be alive and hang around such a great guy.

There is no substitution for simple happiness.

snowdrops

snowdrops