Sunny prospects…

Last Wednesday, whilst I was driving out of town for a work meeting and had to open the car window as it was very warm, I thought to myself Gosh, I hope this great weather will linger into the weekend! And indeed, that’s what happened!!

So, yesterday, we set off to visit Bury St Edmunds. I had seen the sign for Bury when I was driving and hey, I had always wanted to visit a nice part of Suffolk, so that’s how I convinced my hubby to take me for  a train ride (couldn`t be bothered with parking problems on a Sunday) to Bury-  it has an imposing gothic cathedral (St Edmund`s) which looks very well maintained.

It is a very quaint place with several shops in the town centre (which of course I could not resist!) and very pretty cafes.

Here are a couple of pics of the entrance into the abbey ruins with splendid gardens and

Trip to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk

Trip to Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk

and a lovely flower patch which caught my eye!

Pretty flower patch!

And in the spirit of summer (it feels more like it than spring!), I decided to cook Spanish Rice..or Camilla`s Own Riso alla Spagnola.. as we call it in our family and a dish which my mum used to cook quite often in summer when I was still at home…so I decided to have a go as I haven`t tasted it in a long while and of course I wanted to cook for dear hubby!

So what do you need for this tasty dish?

Rice, 4 bell peppers (different colours), paprika, chilli, curry powder 1-2 tins of chopped tomatoes, pepper and salt, vegetable cube, 2 cloves garlic and 1 onion and a good lug of olive oil.

How do you do it?- easy peesy and not more than 20 mins preparation & cooking time in all!

  • Chopped onion and garlic fried until golden in oil (you can ask your hubby to do it for you as I did!).
  • Then add the peppers, cut lengthwise into pieces (but not too small).
  • Once the peppers have softened, add the tomatoes and pinch of chilli, curry, paprika, pepper and salt and the cube.
  • Mix everything together and stir continuously with a wooden spoon.
  • Meanwhile, cook the rice in a rice-cooker and add to your mixture.
  • You can serve with tuna fish (add it to your mixture or after directly to your plate) but since Mr M doesn`t like fish, I had to add the tuna to my plate but he was allowed to have an extra portion of peppers!

And the result?
Delicious, as you can see (and healthy too)!!

Tasty summer rice dish!

Tasty summer rice dish!

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Things happen for a reason!

Flowering Cactus

Flowering Cactus

So, this weekend, dear friends its all wet and raining and cold and all I feel like is curling up on the sofa and dozing off…..very different from last week`s weather where the sun was shining brightly and we went out for nice long walks!

This week, at least three people told me

Things happen for a reason“.

And I`m kind of haunted by this. Most say its God`s Will, some say its Fate and others try to look at the celestial  paths of the astrological world but I ask, if we don`t get what we want, then do we have to keep on trying or just give up and move with the flow?

So my thought for today is precisely that when stuff happens there is some detailed plan somewhere which will be revealed at a later stage and ironically, hadn`t I come along to the UK for my studies, I would never have met my dear hubby and would probably never have started this blog as a new wife (eerie no)!!!

And if you`re wondering what the cactus is? Well, its my kind of idea of life in general….. you must be tough and resistant like the cactus plant but also sweet and lovely like the pink flower..so what do you think? Does this make sense to you? 🙂

I have had a look at other people`s blogs and the ones who are like mine or follow my blog….I just like to see who they are….and there is real talent out there…and its a great community of people who share their views or particular phase in life, with the world in general. Most update their blogs several times a week but I like to have something very special to communicate with my readers and not just write for the sake of it (although I love doing this and if someone wants to give me a job doing just this, then bring it on!) so everyone, hope you enjoy this little thought of the day (or week)…something happened to you recently, maybe its unexpected? there is a reason out there- find it but don`t waste time ruminating on what happened!

Reflections on sunshine!

Its official....spring is really here now…forecast for the next 7 days is glorious sun..and of course, both yesterday and today we went for long walks in the countryside.

And remember I showed you my little orchid friend a few weeks ago? It has blossomed beautifully and is just magnificent!! Here it is in all its orchidness!!

Orchid in Full Bloom!

Orchid in Full Bloom!

Can`t stop thinking of strolls in the sunshine, ice-cream and picnics and getting a spring-tan!! Lovely afternoon really, accompanied by a large glass of rose`and hubby quietly reading besides me, completely unaware that I am blurting out to the world my deepest thoughts!! 🙂

These two adorable beings portrays some of the activity we witnessed… Aren`t they so perfectly cuddly and sweet!!!

Adorable Little Ponies!

Adorable Little Ponies!

Whilst on the subject of sunshine..I want to let you in a little secret..we don`t have a TV….now let me explain…we have a TV set and its a bit archaic really but it works and functions perfectly, so whats the point of binning it to get a new one when it works..anyways, we don`t watch TV on our TV set but if there is something on TV which we are dying to see, we can always do that on the internet.

We watch loads of dvds instead of TV films and shows…so we get all the latest movies by post (through a company to which we subscribe to)- we select the titles we like and get around 3 films per week..thats enough really..if you are wondering what we do in our evenings and free time..why of course, we read books (should use my kindle a bit more but I love the feel of handling a book, so thats difficult if you`re at home on your sofa but more of a traveling companion), play games and try to invest time in our hobbies or go outdoors.

At first it was kind of difficult since I`ve always been a TV nut really but then you kind of get used to it and let`s say it..we`re not going to pay a contract for satellite TV for 18months and then if we move we have to continue paying it even though we`ll probably live in another area or there are better options at the time….so thats it really!!

But this is not the subject I wanted to focus on..what I really want to say was last week we watched a dvd called Oranges and Sunshine..don`t know if anyone out there has heard about it? Its an A+++ film and a real-life story about kids deported from Britain because they came from low-class families, or had family problems or for whatever reason…..and a few years earlier everyone knew or had heard about the holocaust and how horrific this was..so I say, does this echo of a similar tale?…it is really scandalous that in recent times (this was happening until 1960s) this kind of activity was  really occurring…the heroine of the story is Margaret Humphreys, a British social worker who dedicated her life to help these lost ‘children’ become reunited with their families…I think she is a role model for modern women really, a modern saint who overcame incredible barriers which included death threats….very worth one seeing this….and since it was Women`s Day and is going to be Mother`s Day here in Britain soon, I thought I`d share this experience with you!!!

Carpe diem

I have always been a believer in the saying..carpe diem..which is commonly translated into the words….seize the day….and thankfully, yesterday was a typical experience stemming from this wise saying……

Since Christmas and New Year festivities were over, hubby and I quickly assumed an incessant routine of work and weekend chores and catching up with bits and pieces, and lets say it..routine is boredom, absolute mind-numbing, so inside I was calling out ..help!! I wanna break the mould, do something different and hey-ho as the sun decided to grace us with its warm rays yesterday afternoon, I literally, seized the moment and Mr M and I went out for a 3 hour walk in the countryside.

A peaceful sight!

What a mood-lifter!! We discovered some interesting paths not far from our house, and we plodded on- at one point we had to whiz through as the train barriers suddenly were lowered with no proper warning..so that provided some extra adrenaline spurt!!!!

A hidden lake!

It was a great walk which ended on a great note..as when we came back home, we had a nice chicken curry.

For the chicken curry: I  added paprika, curry powder and chilli to the chicken mini-breast fillets whilst cooking in a wok….and once this was cooked well, I added a jar of Sainsbury`s basic curry sauce and a handful of sultanas…the rice was cooked in our Tefal rice-cooker (a useful wedding gift!) and of course dinner was eaten by candlelight and was delightful!!!

From the kitchen…

Ah well, another week over..time just rolls along, one day leading to another!

Speaking of rolls…last weekend, I decided to cook cabbage stuffed with ricotta…quite a Mediterraean dish and without the meaty feel.  Yeah well..some of you may think yuck! however it was real tasty and was only 200 calories!!

To be honest, the tricky bit is removing the cabbage leaves, as once you put the cabbage in boiling water, it softens very rapidly and the leaves need to be removed very gently otherwise you end up with no leaves and hence no filling!

And voila`..this is the result..just out of the oven!! Cabbage rolls filled with ricotta!! Yum Yum!

I must say I`m not exactly the most patient of people, however I always go for a challenge (in many things in life really)..me vs the cabbage..and of course I won it (as you can see..hey if you don`t agree or if you agree perfectly leave your comments!)

I have to say it was quite a change from the usual pasta dishes, which I like loads, but wanted to experiment with a different dish and wanted to prove to hubby that YES I can cook ! I got the original  idea from a book I was given as a gift this Christmas. As a serving tip, the book suggests that it is best served with garlic bread and YES, I do agree perfectly and of course, with a nice glass of wine…priceless!!