Big Fun at the Big Top …

We had a truly amazing evening at the ‘No Fit State Circus’ last night. They were nearing the end of their month long stay in Bristol and we were fortunate enough to get tickets for their final Saturday night performance. They are a contemporary circus company and their show is incredible. The audience stood, throughout the evening and was often shepherded to different areas of the floor to enable different routines to be performed. As a slight nod to our visit to the circus, I painted a more traditional big top today:


A Touch of Spice …

A painting with the smallest hint of spice, a mildly spiced Turkish pizza and cupcakes spiced up with zingy citrus flavours – it’s been a flavoursome week.

I’ve missed painting during the week, by the time I’ve finished work and have done all the planning, marking and tea cooking that I need to do, I’ve not felt particularly inspired. I was pleased this evening when I did feel inspired and was able to spend some time painting these beach huts in various blue/green shades, with one small hint of orange spice on a door – sometimes it’s the most simple things which are the most enjoyable to do:

We all love a home made pizza here but sometimes it is good to try something new, hence this Turkish Pizza. I found the recipe in my ‘Spice Trip’ book – I love the fact that many recipes are actually quite mild whilst being incredibly tasty – this pizza or Lahmacun as it is known in Turkey, is the perfect case in point. The spices used are cumin, coriander and chilli, they are balanced out by the use of fresh parsley and fresh mint. There is no ‘sauce’ like we’d find on a traditional pizza, instead the minced lamb is mixed with a chopped red onion and a chopped fresh tomato:

The cupcakes that I baked last week had a real citrus kick, inside, I’d put some home made lemon curd, the cakes were then topped with a lemon and lime water icing, finished with some lime zest. They were well received at my book group (we all bring something different to eat, there are in fact times when we spend more time talking about and tasting the food than we do talking about the book we have chosen, hard to believe, I know) and those that I left at home were quickly ‘enjoyed’:

Acer, Baking & a new Curry …

The acer in question is a beautiful tree in our garden. The leaves are a beautiful sage green in the centre, extending out to an almost lemon yellow around the edges, it was these colours that were my inspiration today. We planted the tree a few years ago and whilst it’s taken some time to take root, it’s now a true splash of colour in our very green garden:



It was lovely to spend a little time on saturday, browsing some of my favourite cookbooks. A mild curry was  my choice for saturday evening, taken from my Spice Trip book. There was lots of flavour from the spices (fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cinnamon) and yet the taste of the cod wasn’t overwhelmed at all. The added bonus of some courgettes and fresh tomatoes made this a deliciously light and fresh meal, eaten outside so we could enjoy the last of the day’s sun:
To follow our curry, I made some ‘Citrus Fork Biscuits’, so called because once the dough is made into a ball, it is then flattened with a fork (this could be done equally well with a thumb if preferred). I used a combination of lemon and lime zest which made these treats a very ‘zingy’ end to our day:

Dill-lightful dishes and other things …

My oldest returned from a 5 day camp yesterday afternoon and it has now become traditional for me to cook him a meal of his favourites on his return. We therefore had a delicious meal of steamed salmon served with green salad, potato salad (with crème fraîche, horseradish sauce, dill and seasoning) and a freshly baked milk loaf. To follow we had rocky road cupcakes:

He was a very happy boy and an added bonus was that there were lovely left overs for our tea today!

My first attempt at knitting ‘lace’ was completed yesterday. It has taken me about 4-5 weeks from start to finish and whilst it was the easiest of patterns, I’m really pleased with the result:

I think I’ll try a more complex pattern next time – I may try a few practice samples first though.

Last but not least, I painted some tulips this afternoon. I really tried to focus on creating proper leaf shapes, to the detriment of the tulip flowers however I am still fairly pleased with the result: