this is lemonade

A mindful, grateful, creative life: Life constantly hurls lemons at us. I’m on a mission to make lemonade as best I can, by God’s grace.


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WOW Wednesday: Tea leaf eggs

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Chinese Tea Leaf Egg Shell

I’ve been away for so long and I’m missing this space. Doesn’t mean I’ve not been aware of beautiful things though in spite of my baby brain!

Just wanted to share a thing of beauty. A friend made me some Chinese Tea Eggs this weekend and I just love the pattern on them when you peel off the shells. They are also delicious. Enjoy!

Hope you are all well xx


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Easy pasta salad

So I’ve started eating more eggs because I kept getting hungry too quickly and realised I was not eating enough protein. I’ve also been keen on pasta recently, so although it is winter, I decided to make a salad. Well, a nice and warm one :) I bought this pasta on a whim when I spotted it in the supermarket. It is fusilli bucati which I much prefer to solid fusilli. I guess it just looks more fun!

Eggs and fusilli bucati

Eggs and fusilli bucati

I cooked more pasta and eggs than I needed so that I could have some leftovers for an easy lunch the next day. I didn’t combine it all together in case I wanted to tweak the ingredients a little and jazz it up. I love leftovers!

So the recipe (if you can call it one) is very simple…the quantities are up to you. In fact, the next time I intended to add in olives so that will be the first variation on this mélange – I just take a look at what is in the fridge and chuck it in!

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, diced
  • 3 tbs sweetcorn kernels (I used canned, it is winter after all!)
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
  • 1 tbs grated extra mature cheddar (I used the delightfully named Tickler cheese)
  • mayonnaise to taste
  • 1/2 cup fusilli bucati, cooked and tossed in olive oil
Method

Combine the first five ingredients so that the mayonnaise coats everything well. Then mix in the pasta.

I tried following Delia’s tips on boiling eggs, which I pinned this week on a new board I started to collect cooking techniques. They worked perfectly!

Warm pasta salad with fusilli bucati, corn, egg and avocado

It’s snowing on my page again! How lovely and festive. Much nicer than the tempestuous breezes that hit our little island from the end of last week, causing flooding, damage, injury and loss of life. I hope you guys are all ok…

…and here is an update of the next day’s salad, with added olives, wholegrain mustard and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. You can probably tell I fancied more mayo in this version too. Sorry, I only thought to take a photo of it when I’d almost scoffed it all (YUM!)

Warm pasta salad with fusilli bucati, corn, egg and avocado


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Enjoying a tasty toastie again!

Aaaah… it’s been months since I’ve wanted to look at food, let alone blog about it – I’m sorry if you actually noticed it… But, things are getting better now. Thankfully, I haven’t gone off avocado or cheese, because these two ingredients look so good together on toast – phew! :)

Avocado salsa toastie

I had to hand a pot of a Mexican-style salsa dip that someone made me take home from a pot luck this weekend. I find it a little acidic so I tried mixing it with some avocado and eating it just like that as a side garnish last night. This evening, after grating some cheese in preparation for a pasta supper later, I felt a bit peckish and decided to put together a quick grilled treat.

I buttered a piece of seeded, wholegrain bread straight from the freezer, mixed about a tablespoon of salsa in with two to three of avocado and spread it onto the slice. I then distributed a tablespoon of freshly grated extra mature cheddar as evenly across the top as I could. Four minutes under a medium preheated grill and I had a deliciously crisp, creamy, cheesy and slightly tangy toastie to go with a quickly thrown together plain omelette (yes, whilst the toast was in the oven, I felt even hungrier).

I can’t say this toastie is much of a looker, but it sure was moorish.. and my belly is thanking me for it now. Yum. Hope you have something cosy planned for the chillier evenings now (unless you live in parts of the world where it’s actually summer right now). Let me know if you’re making toasties!


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Aaaaah Friday!

What a blustery, cold, day… I spoke too soon on Wednesday when I mentioned drought. It’s been pouring it down almost non-stop. Lovely. I guess it’s recognisable weather for the British Isles at least :P

After seeking solace in a hearty winter veggie soup for lunch, I’m thinking of turning a roast chicken dinner leftovers into a warming chicken and mushroom pie this evening, with either roast potatoes or mash – I haven’t decided yet. I hope you will have something tasty to warm up your stomach tonight.

booties2

…and it turns out that a very very sweet baby girl was born not long after I wrote on Wednesday, so the little booties are winging their way across to her. I also thought the card I found was quite adorable, so I took a little photo of it before scribbling in it and sending it away.

I wish you a cosy and warm weekend. Take care friends! Layer on all your woolly socks and jumpers, and dig out your scarves, hats and gloves. Winter is on its way brrr! I’m so glad to be back in your heart warming company :)


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Rain, rain go away…

Although there has been a fair bit of rain, with the occasional accompanying thunder and lightening, I refuse to accept that summer is over quite yet. We’ve only had about three weeks of sunshine and heat!

So, in an act of defiance I have been busy eating last night’s pasta as today’s cold pasta salad lunch with a purposeful addition of cool cucumber and cheering cherry tomatoes! What better accompaniment than a recent thirst-quenching pin!

Pasta salad

Here’s another leftovers makeover

I’m glad to see some blue skies and fluffy clouds now. A bit of rain does the garden good. The yellow-brown grass is happily reviving a little. Unusual climactic activities are doing unsettling things however here and here. And in the event that you encounter the latter, further advice can be found here.

Have a happy Tuesday evening! I hope you find some space to enjoy a bit of slow time ;)


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Leftovers and a little hello

Hello everyone! I’ve missed this space so much! I’ve been really busy though and in the bid to stay focused, am currently not writing very often as you may have noticed. I was busy in May relaxing at one wedding and then playing wedding planner/organiser for another. Things haven’t stopped since (except the sunshine)!

Even – or rather especially – when one is a little overwhelmed, it is very important to eat properly. I must concede that that’s easier said than done. I prefer a weekly (or even bi-weekly) shop when I’m busy. This has been a bit awkward lately, as my shoulder niggles have also resurfaced, making it unsafe for me to drive and unwise for me to carry heavy loads.

Back to eating well though – my favourite way to achieve this whether or not I’m busy, is with leftovers. Making the effort you’ve made, last that little bit longer. I’ve never thrown food away easily, and eating leftovers is in my blood. I do love changing things up a little though, so here are three recent variations on supper!

Potato Cake from left over roast dinner

Roast chicken dinner turned into cold chicken with potato cake. One of the foods that make me feel cosy, is simple roast chicken eaten straight from the fridge the next day. It’s always so delicious! For the potato cake, I added some wheat germ to the crushed roast potatoes for extra fibre that I can’t do without, diced all the veg and mixed it up. Then I cracked in an egg to bind it all together and squashed it into a cake and fried it in a little oil! Try adding some cumin or curry powder for a new flavour to your roast potatoes!

Potato Cake from left over roast dinner

I always cook too many potatoes when I make a roast dinner. It’s always accidental, but I do love my potatoes, I just can’t help it! I made another more hash-like potato cake when I’d run out of the roast veg, but needed a little something before I cooked supper again. I don’t know about you, but I can’t cook on an empty stomach. I end up eating junk and overfilling my stomach before the main meal!

This is a simple little amalgamation of crushed roast potatoes, with some grated cheese mixed in and an egg cooked in pretty much the same way as above. It turned out crispier as I flattened it out more. I served this indulgent little pre-dinner feast with some nuts. When you know dinner is going to be late, having some proper food early evening means you don’t need to eat too much too late at night. I don’t know about you, but I don’t sleep well on a full stomach.

chicken avocado salad sandwich

And finally (I thought this post was going to be photo-heavy and light on words, but no, I’ve obviously been missing this bloggy lark too much!): the ever versatile sandwich. I’m a Brit after all! :)

This sandwich is delicious. It’s based on my favourite chicken salad that I shared with you some time ago. Did I mention I love cold roast chicken? Make that any cold chicken :) And add avocado? Match made in heaven! And yes, in trying this combination, I discovered that coriander can go well with avocado :) And squirt in a smidgen of mayonnaise just to bring the flavours together :)

I hope you enjoy these ideas. They are simple, but magical – making them doesn’t take much longer than it would to pierce the lid of a ready meal and stick it in the microwave. They are also satisfying, not just for the taste buds, but for the mind too. A rewarding way to exercise your creative muscles briefly and get near instant yummy results! And you will notice there aren’t that many veggies here. When I’m busy, I try to make sure I’m well stocked on fruit – now that’s real instant food!

What do you do with left overs? I’d be really interested to know :)


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Tasty Toasties: Variation on a duck egg

I’ve been buzzing with busy-ness. It’s been invigorating. I wish there was more of it! But right now there’s a little lull and I’m simply going to post some lovely colours.. the yolks of duck eggs I’ve been putting on crunchy things. I think I’m hooked on the colour orange. It’s just seriously invigorating.

Bacon and duck egg on toast, served with celeriac soup - recipe coming up!

A simple bacon and egg toastie, served with home made celeriac soup. Hopefully I can post a recipe soon, it’s YUM!

Duck egg and avocado on a rice cake

Duck egg centre on avocado on a rice cake. In the absence of bright sunshine, the yolk of an egg reminds me what it looks like. What things invigorate you or remind you of sunshine?

I hope to get back to your lovely comments soon!  I hope you are well? Take good care.

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