Tuesday, 14 July 2015

CHEER ME UP TUESDAY: THE RETURN!!

Once upon a time I started a blog series called Cheer Me Up Tuesday, because as far as I'm concerned Tuesdays are my least favourite day of the week. It kind of fell by the wayside in recent years but I've decided it's about time, three years since I last re-visited it, to return to it.

Yup. In much the same way that Justin brought sexy back, I am bringing Cheer Me Up Tuesday back. Deal with it.






That's it for today - don't want to spoil you too much in one post! I hope this helps if you too suffer from the "Tuesday is a Shit Day" syndrome, and feel free to share any funnies you may have yourself. :-)

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

SCOTLAND THE BEAUTIFUL: LOCH LOMOND . . .


There are little certainties in life . . . but one thing you can pretty much always guarantee is "The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond" being played near the end of a Scottish wedding reception. In my case, it even happened at my godmother's 50th birthday party. It's a great song, a great tradition . . . and its namesake is a fantastic place. One of my very favourite places, both in Scotland and in the world!

It's only a short drive away from Glasgow, which is something I'm very thankful for because I find that looking at it instantly makes me feel calmer and happier. It's so beautiful, and given the size of it, there are many places to stop and admire the view around the loch, from man-made viewpoints to tiny beaches


Boyfriend on one of the many aforementioned beaches. :-)


Just look! Look at it! Isn't it bee-yootiful?

(I'd also like to point out that no filters have been used in the taking of these photographs. Just sayin'...That's how bloody lovely this place is naturally!)


It's gorgeous no matter the weather. But it is best in the sunshine, be that the summer (see pics above) or the winter (pics below). Back in the winter we stayed over in Inverbeg. We found a little beach and, wrapped up with a flask of ginger wine . . . I mean, SOUP, hot soup, honest . . . we sat and just watched the loch in all its beauty. And skimmed stones. Well, HE did. I tried, failed and probably had a strop about it.





And yet another beautiful beach!




But it's just such an awesome place. I mean . . . look at this pics. Is there really a more beautiful place just miles from a bustling city centre? Personally I struggle to think of any examples.

Then again, I'm probably biased . . .

You may want to visit here for more information. Or, alternatively, you could just go to Loch Lomond itself right now!

Where is your favourite place in Scotland (or place you most want to visit)? Feel free to share in the comments.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

A NOT-SO-SLOW SLOW COOKER CURRY!


When my brother asked me last Christmas what I wanted as a present, I decided to go for a much-hyped item that I'd wanted for a while . . . a slow cooker. It seemed ideal to me - the idea of throwing things into it in the morning and coming home to a yummy meal pretty much ready for me.

There's one problem - I'm afraid to go out all day and leave the bloody thing on! I know, I know, there's not meant to be enough of a current running through it or something scientific like that, but I'm a worrier and I wouldn't be able to relax all day thinking of the potential repercussions.

Fortunately there's one thing I can still make. It's yummy, it's healthy and . . . best of all it takes a mere two hours in the slow cooker . . . which means I can make it after I get home from work and don't need to worry about it cooking all day! I know it defeats the whole point of a slow cooker but I guess it at least means I get some use out of it? ;-)

So . . . I present to you . . . RED THAI SALMON CURRY!

I got the original recipe from the BBC Good Food slow cooker book, but after trying it for the first time I adapted it a little to suit my own tastes. It's ridiculously easy and delicious. That being said, I'm not too au fait with thai food so I definitely think it would need fine-tuning depending on your own taste - looking at the comments on the BBCGF website might help you with some inspiration of your own.

This version serves 2. And hasn't disappointed me yet. I know some people make their own thai paste. I don't. I just use the shop bought stuff. I once looked into making it myself and the list of ingredients was so long I just thought "Fuck this." I use reduced fat coconut milk, which is what the original recipe advised, and I've just stuck with that since to save some calories. You can obviously choose to use the full fat stuff if you want!

  • Vegetable/sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons thai red curry paste
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 courgette
  • Approx 200ml reduced fat coconut milk
  • Approx 240g salmon (you can remove the skin if you prefer it that way/are trying to be Slimming World friendly. I don't.)

Heat up the oil in a frying pan, then chuck in about a tablespoon of the thai red curry paste, followed by the chopped up red onion, frying for approximately five minutes. Meanwhile you might want to get the rest of your veg chopped up.

(When it comes to the courgette, I will either chop it up into thin slices or use my julienne peeler to transform it into thin strips.)

Cut the salmon up. This is the point where I use about five different knives trying to work out which one will cut through the skin. Which is okay as the boyfriend usually does the dishes. ;-)

Throw it all into the slow cooker on low and forget about it for two hours. Or, if you're anything like me, keep going into the kitchen to check on it and ensure the appliance hasn't went on fire.


I usually serve this with basmati rice, or if I'm being extra good, cauliflower rice. Last time I made it, I had half the usual amount of basmati and added some roasted vegetables on the side. Like I keep saying though, you can do what you want. It's nice to have some carbs to soak up the delicious sauce though!

Although as far as I'm concerned, I don't really need ANY sort of excuse to include carbs! Mmmm....