Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday Sandwich 65: Tunisian Fricassee Sandwich

This sandwich looks great but has tons of ingredients and you have to make the bread rolls too since it uses freshly fried bread rolls. So that's maybe why we've only just gotten around to making this one. But made it we have!

Here's the recipe if you want to try it --> http://metro.co.uk/2013/10/23/how-to-make-a-tunisian-fricassee-sandwich-4156224/

This is the Israeli salad with the tuna mixed into it


 The freshly fried bread rolls



As we were making this sandwich I was thinking to myself that this sandwich would have to be great after all this effort. It was pretty good but maybe not quite worth it. We did learn a couple of things in the making of it. Harissa is delicious, I can see us eating it on almost all our sandwiches from now on. I should have faith in our bread roll making abilities because I felt sure these wouldn't work out. It's a tasty sandwich but is also very similar to a tuna salad sandwich. Which we also enjoy. The fried bread was great, lovely and crisp on the outside and surprisingly soft on the inside. We had more sandwiches later in the fried bread and they were great too.

Ratings: JD - 3, Emma - 3

Coming up next Saturday - The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Our Treasure Trail Adventure


One weekend JD and I had nothing planned while the kids were with their Dad for the day so we decided to leave it up to chance to decide what we did. Five envelopes with five destinations for the day.




JD picked out B which was doing a Treasure Trail in Pateley Bridge.


At £7 per trail from http://www.treasuretrails.co.uk/ they're a way to explore somewhere whilst solving a mystery by working out clues to solve a puzzle. They use landmarks and plaques around the town they're set in. It's pretty fun.



We've previously done the Harrogate and Knaresborough ones near us and one of the best parts of the Treasure Trails is that they take you into parts of an area you might not have seen before. We've been to Pateley Bridge many times but never seen some of the places we visited today.


 The start of a surprisingly steep climb that led to some lovely views of the countryside around.


 JD spotted this cat with a spoon in it's mouth (not part of the trail :D)


The view from St Mary's Churchyard


 St Mary's Church, built into the hill but without a roof now.


 JD and I in matching Roy Orbison-esque sunglasses.


 JD's new friend.


I really enjoy doing the Treasure Trails, they're right up my street. I love working out puzzles. I'd like to see some harder ones for adults as these are all aimed at families. It's a nice way to get some exercise and spend time looking around local areas. I'd recommend them to anyone who enjoys clues and puzzles.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Daughter the Introvert


My daughter Leigh is an introvert. I can tell because I'm one myself and I've spotted the signs. She's uncomfortable in crowds or busy places, she enjoys doing nothing and spending time alone for hours sometimes, she finds talking to new people difficult. She's been this way all her life. The first time she went on a slide she waited until all the other kids had gone before she'd slide down it.

I worry how she feels about being an introvert because people who aren't this way don't understand.


I've had teachers tell me she needs to have more confidence like she can just magically change and isn't trying hard enough to. Family members offer to help Leigh with her confidence which also infers she needs to change. I know concerned people are only trying to help because they care but I worry how it makes Leigh feel. Kids at her school often think Leigh is depressed or unhappy because she's quiet a lot of the time. There have been times in the past when I've worried myself about Leigh being quiet, times I've felt embarrassed because she wouldn't speak to a new doctor so I had to answer for her and times when I've had to be patient and wait for Leigh to do things her own way.


But I wouldn't change Leigh. She's an amazingly thoughtful girl who thinks about things before she says them and wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She clever and creative, she taught herself to play the keyboard and even if she won't play it in front of us it's great to hear her playing in her room. She's got a great sense of humour, she makes us laugh and often sees the alternative funny thing in whatever is happening. She often prefers to be on the sidelines watching instead of joining in but sometimes she surprises us all by doing something we'd never expect (whitewater rafting for example) and she's always supportive of things we do whether she joins in or not. She's compassionate and has shown this by doing small acts of kindness (which I won't embarrass Leigh by going into details). She's a lovely girl and I'm proud she's my daughter.


Leigh being quiet is not a problem that needs to be fixed. It's who she is. If you want to help then just be patient with her when she doesn't want to do something, leave her alone and don't make a big deal about it. She'll thank you for that...probably not out loud though. :)


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Corrina & Friends Community Cafe

A new cafe has opened up near us and it's a bit different. All the food is donated by local restaurants and all the staff are volunteers. There are no prices and you can pay what you feel. We were intrigued so a few days ago we decided to visit to try it out.


 The menu is different every day because it depends on what food they have donated. But there was a nice range of foods. Jacket potatoes with various fillings, toasted sandwiches, curry, spaghetti, macaroni cheese and soup.


They served our water in jam jars, which I enjoyed.


 JD had a cheese and onion sandwich with some tomato and basil soup. He said the soup was really thick and he loved it. I had macaroni cheese and it was lovely. Then we couldn't resist (and didn't want to anyway) the cakes. JD had a brownie and I had some orange and almond cake. Both fantastic.


When we went to pay we were curious how it would work. But they just give you an empty envelope to fill with what you feel the meal was worth or what you can afford to pay. There's no awkwardness or embarrassment.

There is also a post-it note board where you can leave something from the menu for someone else that can't afford it. When the cafe closes all leftover food goes to homeless people and between 5-6pm anyone is welcome to go and take a post-it note to claim something to eat or drink. We left a couple of post-it notes which you do by donating at least £1 and writing out what you want to leave.


It was overall a really nice experience. The food was great, the staff were friendly and it's nice to know that what you pay will go towards helping homeless people in our town. It's a great idea and I encourage anyone locally to give it a try.

More info here --> http://corrinaandfriends.co.uk/

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Saturday Sandwich 64: Christmas Sandwich 2


As you might be aware, it's not Christmas. I fancied some pork pie though so this sandwich gets to be made months early. :D

Ingredients: bread, pork pie, ham and piccalilli



Nice sandwich! I particularly enjoyed the pork pie pastry whenever I got a mouthful of it. It's been a while since we've had piccalilli so I forgot how spicy it is and overdid it. Oops! My Dad was over bringing Erin her birthday presents and he sneakily hung around until lunchtime so he got to sample this sandwich too. He said it was nice. Thanks for the help writing this review, Dad :D General opinion was that it was good, too spicy but enjoyed anyway.

Ratings: Dad - 3, JD - 2, Emma - 3

No sandwiches for the next 2 weeks since JD is away visiting his family in the US.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

No News is Good News



I used to read the news every day. I had a link on my browser to take me directly to the BBC news site so I could read the headlines. I'd spend about 30-40 minutes a day reading news articles. It made me feel well informed and like I knew what was going on in the world.

About 6 months ago I decided to stop reading the news and removed the link. The news is almost always bad news. Looking back it never occurred to me at the time that everything I read was something negative about the world. Something violent. Something hateful. Something that induces fear in people.

Newspapers are the worst offenders. The news they report is sensationalist or shocking because they're in the business of selling newspapers. The newspapers want us to feel scared because of violent crimes. They want us to feel angry because of injustices. They want us to feel the world is a bad place. Make sure you keep your eye on the news so you know if something terrible is happening near you. Newspapers/news give us a skewed version of the world we live in making it seem like a dangerous place to be.

The thing is that these news stories are only news because they're the minority of shocking incidents. Newspapers don't report on the billions of times people leave their houses and don't get murdered or raped or attacked. So we feel that due to the frequency of these news stories that these incidents are common.

I read this article a while ago that shows how many things in the world are much better than they ever have been before: http://www.vox.com/2014/11/24/7272929/charts-thankful

One of the things that prompted me to stop reading the news is the details we seem to get in news stories now. A recent story about a girl being found dead made me feel so sad for her family knowing that everyone knows every detail of what happened to her and how her body was found. No one needs to know such details. I certainly don't want to know. Also the French plane crash recently had audio and video footage along with the usual details of how everyone had suffered in their last moments.

News is hard to avoid. It's everywhere. Social media gives me news stories, the radio gives me news stories and the people I talk to daily give me news stories. Even not reading the news I still get to hear what's going on but only small snippets as I don't read articles about the news now. Instead I choose to seek out news/articles that make me feel good about the world.

I've started reading articles on this site: http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/news/earth/ and seeking out articles to read that reinforce positive changes I want to see in the world. Such as green issues, body positivity and people coming together to help others.

You might think doing this is like living under a rock. Maybe it is but I'm happier under here. I read news that makes me feel good instead of bad. News moves on so quickly that once you've read about one violent crime or shocking incident then another horrible thing is already being reported on. Not one news article I've read has benefited me or helped me make a good decision in my life. I feel I don't get anything from reading the news other than someone else's opinion on the state of the world. The news should be more factual instead of sensationalist and biased.

The news is written by rich people trying to shove their political views down your throat. Trying to make you feel scared that you'll be evicted so some benefit-crazed immigrants will move into your house. What we should all be thinking about is why bankers aren't prosecuted for the fraud they commit every year and why huge companies evade paying taxes using loopholes. Have you ever noticed how the news blames poor people for everything that is wrong in the UK instead of the rich?  (But that's a whole other blog post :D).

I don't read the (bad) news and it's made me feel better about the world I live in.

What do you think about the news we hear about daily?



Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday Sandwich 63: Peanut Butter & Jelly

This week's sandwich is one we've had often in our house but according to most Americans we haven't had it properly. The proper jelly/jam to use is Grape Jelly and you can't buy it easily in the UK. Luckily as it's JD's favourite jam I made him some for his birthday earlier this month. Hurrah \o/

We decided to have two different Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches to compare. JD is also particular about how the sandwich is made with peanut butter on one slice of bread and jelly on another and not one spread on top of the other. I did that once and have since been corrected.


 Smooth peanut butter with grape jelly.


 Crunchy peanut butter with strawberry jam.


I was surprised how different the one with grape jelly tasted having been used to eating them with strawberry jam usually. It was much nicer, I can see why it's the American favourite. JD prefers the crunchy peanut butter where I prefer the smooth. This recipe called for white bread which we don't often eat, both liking brown bread peanut butter & jelly sandwiches much better. Leigh and Erin fail to get the joy of a pb&j and opted for just a jam sandwich for Leigh and just peanut butter for Erin. *sigh*

Ratings: JD -3, Emma - 4

Coming up next Saturday - Christmas Sandwich 2 (In June e_e)