Saturday, 25 October 2014

Home Baked Bread, Made Using Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour

I love bread.
Mr.R loves baking bread.
Together we are perfect.
Well, maybe saying he loves baking is a slight exaggeration, so I'll say he likes baking - bread.
But I really do love bread.

Organic spelt flour. Bakers blend. Flour. Food.


Recently we visited a local farm shop where we bought a few things, one of which was a packet of Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour. It is made from British grown spelt.

Mr.R wasted no time using this flour, he made a seriously delicious loaf of bread.
I wasted no time in smothering the freshly baked loaf in a generous amount of butter. Yum!

Second Proving. Spelt bread. Bread.

This organic spelt flour from Sharpham Park was actually really lovely, it made a very tasty bread, which despite my heavy handed use of butter did not need any butter to improve its flavour.
I just couldn't resist, I love butter almost as much as I love bread.
Do you bake your own bread?
Do you use spelt flour?
Have you tried Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Flour?

Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012 - Wine Review

Wine - the blood of life.

I usually drink in the evenings, and this wine was a bottle I enjoyed with Mr.R a few nights ago.
Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012 is made using a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese grapes.
This wine has a lovely ruby red colour, and a pleasant aroma of anise, cherries, mushrooms, and plums.
On the palate it is quite dry with a pleasant amount of tannins.
This 2012 wine was drinkable, but a little weak in character and not particularly complex.
I suppose you could keep it for another couple of years, but personally I think wine is for drinking when you buy it, and not for the cellar. ;)


From the label - translated from German so may not be entirely correct.
The Gallo Nero ( Black Rooster ) is the symbol of Chianti Classico . 
The Classico Chianti features the oldest areas. Of dark red color with a tendency to Granattonen, berry fruits and cherry on the nose, with velvety flavor and soft tannins, this wine goes well with red meats, game and mature cheeses. 
We recommend decanting the wine before serving. After opening please consume within 3 days.


We enjoyed this wine, it was fresh, fruity, and as I can't think of another word beginning with the letter f, I'll finish with drinkable - drunk quite soon after we opened the bottle - the wine was drunk, not us.
Have you tired Fortezzi dei Colli Chianti Classico 2012?
Did you enjoy it?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Morning Dog Walk. Sunrise, Sea, and Unusual Clouds

We try to vary the route we wander on our morning dog walk with our gorgeous rescue dog Barley the Lurcher, but living a couple of minutes walk from the sea means that more often than not we head in that direction.

Yesterday. Sunrise. Unusual clouds. ☀️☁️ #blog #blogger #blogging © #sunrise #sun #sea #seaview #trees #silhouette #countryside #CountyDurham

Yesterday we wandered down the road towards the coast, just as the sun was rising over the sea.
It was a seriously stunning sight.
I fumbled, my hands were cold, in my coat pocket for my phone so I could take a few photos.
It was once I'd found my phone that I noticed a couple of extraordinary clouds. They looked like vapour trails from a 'plane, but they weren't. There was a single vapour trail, the one on the right in the photo below, but the other long white cloud was just that, a cloud. A huge white fluffy kiss in the sky. Lovely.
Mother Nature is amazing.

Yesterday. Sunrise. Unusual clouds. ☀️☁️ #blog #blogger #blogging © #sunrise #sun #sea #seaview #trees #silhouette #countryside #CountyDurham #noedit #nofilter

I wish I'd had a proper camera with me on the walk, as I'd like to have taken some more photos, but my phone camera didn't do too bad.
And speaking of cameras and photos, I think it's nice that since more and more people have started using the camera on their mobile phones, a lot of people seem to have become more interested in photography.
We're a nation of photographers.
I love using the camera on my phone, and I really like playing about with various photo editing apps.
The phone camera is such a convenient way to snap a moment, and keep the image forever as a treasured memory isn't it?

The two photos I've included in this blog post are all natural; no edits, no filters.
Do you enjoy taking photos on the go, using your mobile phone camera?
Do you enjoy playing with photo apps? 
Or are you a fan of the natural look, keeping it real?

Thursday, 23 October 2014

The News. Good. Bad. Ugly?

I said recently on a blog post about the news, that I rarely watch a or read the news.
It's all too depressing.
But since I wrote and uploaded that blog post, I seem to have been reading the news, quite a lot.

Here are a few news stories that caught my attention today, for good, bad, and ugly? reasons - in no particular order.

George Osborne promises crackdown on offshore tax avoidance by firms including facebook and Google.
Read more in Private Eye here.

Reverend Howard Curtis, 71, charged over claims he stripped and spanked female worshippers.
Read more in the Croydon Advertiser here.

Grooming shortcuts women do, but won't admit to. According to the 'news' women are cheating when it comes to proper grooming doing scandalous things such as, only shaving half their legs; from ankle to knee, washing their fringes and not all of their hair, disguising stray eyebrows with foundations when time is short...
You can always rely on the Daily Mail to tell it how it is. Read more here.

Wife discovers husband of 17 years married another woman in £17,000 ceremony, after seeing photos of them kissing on facebook.
Read more about Yvonne Gibney, Maurice Gibney, and his new wife Suzanne Prudhoe in the Liverpool Echo here.

Oscar Pistorius is reportedly crying himself to sleep at night. Read more in the Times Live here.

American Slave, Dominic Adesanya jumps fence at White House, makes it on to the lawn, before being stopped by secret service dogs. Read more in the Huffington Post here.

Harry Roberts, 78, who murdered three police officers in London in 1966 is to be released from prison within days, despite judge saying he should never be set free. Read more from the BBC here.

Sara X Mills gets 26 millions hits in just one week on her YouTube video of her boobs dancing to Mozart. Read more in the Metro here.

Coleen Rooney has had ten holidays in one year. Read more in the Daily Mail here.

Homer Simpson responsible for obesity. It's all the beer and donuts. Read more in the Daily Mail here.

NHS needs extra £8 billion to cope with obesity, elderly, and cost of new drugs. Read more in the Telegraph here.

NHS cuts of £3 million, result in 89p meals, as chef wins culinary award. Read more in the Edinburgh News here.

Alvin Stardust is dead, aged 72. The singer was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. Read more in the Independent here.

Family forced to live in their car for 3 months. Deborah Talbot, her partner Gly, her daughter Rachel, and their cats, dog, and cockatiel lived in car after their house was repossessed. Read more in the Mirror here.

No official cat for Westminster mice problem. Looks like politicians will have buy some cheese and mousetraps - another excuse to abuse their expenses. Read more in the Telegraph here.

Aldi selling affordable organic food. Read more in the Grocer here.

Tuna with 'unicorn' horn caught by fisherman. See the video from AP News on YouTube here.

The Sun is unhappy. Storms on the solar surface. Read more in the Huffington Post here.

Tesco profits plummet. Tesco profits down 92%. Read more in the Guardian here.

I usually add photos to my blog posts, which are always owned by me, or Mr.R. Having rambled on for far longer than I intended, my eyes are now aching and as I don't own any photos relating to the 'news' stories I've mentioned I would usually do a quick doodle of them, but my poor eyes deserve a much needed rest.
So you have been saved from my bad art. ;) You are most welcome, dear reader. :)

I'm not sure why I've started reading more news over the last few days. Maybe subconsciously I'm hoping to find some good or funny news? It would make a pleasant change from the usual, that's for sure.
Have you seen or read any good, or funny news lately?

Monday, 20 October 2014

Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor Crianza, Rioja 2010 - Wine Review

The wine selection at our local Co-Op is pretty good, especially considering they don't have aisles of shelf space to stock lots of wines like the larger supermarkets are able to.
It was the Co-Op where Mr.R bought a bottle of Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor Crianza, Rioja 2010 a couple of days ago.

Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor, Rioja, 2010. Red wine. Spanish wine. Wine.

As we don't splash the cash when purchasing red wine; we drink far too many bottles for that kind of behaviour, we'd have to be multi-millionaires to be able to drink excellent quality red wines in the quantity we enjoy, we buy and drink a lot of budget friendly wines, and to be honest they all taste pretty much the same - they taste like - basic red wine.
That is not to say, they are bad wines. They're perfectly drinkable. It's just that they rarely have any distinctive aromas or flavours. So, as I said they simply taste like red wine, which is also how they smell - like red wine.

This wine is a Crianza which means it's aged for one year in new oak barrels, it also means it quite light and less fruity than, say a reserva. But it's still a pleasant drink.

Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor, Rioja, 2010. Red wine. Spanish wine. Wine.

From the label -
Coming from Bodegas Corte Mayor in northern Spain, this regal wine is steeped in the heritage and beauty that is Rioja, Spain's best known wine region and it prides itself on its high quality and distinctive style.
This Crianza wine is made from the best Tempranillo grapes, selected from high sloping vineyards. It has been fermented and aged in new oak barrels for one year, followed by an extra of resting in bottle.
The result is a confident red wine offering great balance of fruit and oak, an elegant finish and velvery tannins.

We bought, or rather Mr.R bought, I waited outside the Co-Op with our dog, a bottle of Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor Crianza, Rioja 2010.
We opened the wine.
We drank the wine.
We enjoyed the wine.
Do you buy wine from the Co-Op? 
Have you tried Baron de Ley, Corte Mayor Crianza, Rioja 2010?
Did you like it?

Bodyweight Exercises, No Equipment Needed

Bum and Tum, bodyweight exercises.

Four exercises using just your body weight.
One minute per exercise, so only four minutes in total. Easy peasy, lemon squeasy.

I don't particularly enjoy exercising.
I mean I don't mind doing it, but it's not my favourite thing in the World.
That's mainly because deep down I think I have to exercise for hours to make it worthwhile. And that it's not worth doing if I've only got a few minutes free time to get up and move.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.
Wall sits. 
Stand with your back to the wall, feet about two feet from the wall and lean back against it.  
Gently slide down the wall until your thighs are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. 
Contract your abs, and hold the position for 60 seconds.

Lately though I've noticed there seems to be a proliferation of short, easy to do, exercise routines, being shared on various places online, that only take a few minutes to do.

Deep down I may think it requires hours and hours of exercising, and lots of sweat to actually do the body good, but being the contrary person I am - deep down I know that that's not true.
Exercising for hours may be good for you, but just doing a few minutes throughout your day is also good for your health.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.
Walk Outs.
Start on all fours in a high plank position, then walk your feet towards your hands.
Then walk your hands away from your feet, then walk your feet towards your hands, and so on.....
Continue walking your feet towards your hands, and your hands away from your feet for 60 seconds.

Often people give the same standard reasons why they can't exercise, these are usually variations of -
I haven't got the time.
I can't afford gym membership.
I don't have any proper equipment in my home.

I'm sure we all know, deep down, that there are simply excuses not to do any exercise.
None of the reason above are good reasons not to exercise, if you want to of course.
I'm not saying you must exercise.
I have been known to tag my photos on photo-sharing app Instagram #YogaEveryDamnDay or #YogaEveryBlessedDay despite not actually doing yoga every day. Naughty me. ;)
So, I don't claim to be some serious fitness freak, exercise guru, or expert in any way.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.
Walking Lunges.
Start standing tall. Step far forward with one leg, while lifting up on to the ball of your back foot. Bend your knees, and drop your hips towards the floor. Do not let your back knee touch the floor, or the from knee got too far forward over your ankle. 
Press up with your front leg, and bring your back leg forward. 
Take another step with opposite leg and repeat.
Continue walking lunges for 60 seconds.

Right, so back to the proliferation of short, easy to do, exercise routines that seem to be everywhere online at the moment, they are my favourite things to do - apart from lazing on the sofa and messing about on IG.
Why do I like them so much?
Well, I'm glad you asked dear reader, I like 'em because they require absolutely no equipment.
They simply make use of your own body weight, which is my case is a lot.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.

Body weight Exercises.  No equipment needed.  Health.
Lean Backs.
Exactly what is says, lean back while in a kneeling position.
Tense your abs, lean back as far as is comfortable. Then lean forward to your starting position.
Lean back, lean forward and so on.....
Continue for 60 seconds. 

I've uploaded a few examples of bodyweight exercises, by which I mean I quickly doodled the basic moves, and added the names of the exercises underneath my doodles.
I am better at exercising than drawing - I hope.

So, that's just four simple bodyweight exercise, that you can do in the TV advert breaks.
I hope I've written easy to understand methods, if not Google will help you.

Right, all this talk of exercise has made me feel like doing some myself.
I actually feel inspired to do the four exercises I've mentioned in this post, by which I mean I'll get up off the sofa, and walk to the fridge where I'll grab a couple of dark chocolate digestives.
What?! I can't help it, the tasty chocolate treats are calling my name. Can't you hear?
Do you enjoy exercising?
Have you tried bodyweight exercises?
What do you think about bodyweight exercises? Yay? Or nay?

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Triple Chocoholic Stout from Saltaire Brewery - Review

I love beer, and I love chocolate, so chocolate beer is something I'm always happy to try.

Triple Choholic. Saltaire. Real ale. Ale. Beer.

Mr.R recently bought me a bottle of Triple Chocoholic from Saltaire Brewery.
I think we've had it before a while ago, but I couldn't remember if I'd liked it.
It cost £3.10 for a 500ml bottle. Alc 4.8% ABV.

Unfortunately it didn't hit the spot for me. That's probably why I couldn't remember what I thought of this chocolate stout the first time I tried it, I didn't like it, it was not memorable.
I found Triple Chocoholic too bitter, and I couldn't taste any chocolate at all, not even the slightest hint of chocolate flavour. Disappointing.

Don't let my negative review of this beer put you off trying it though, because it is a very popular, award winning ale.
This beer won in the stout category at the Hong Kong International Beer Awards in 2012.
Triple Chocoholic is exported to Belgium, Brazil, Italy, and Mexico.
It's most recent win was a gold medal at the Great British Beer Festival 2014 - so someone obviously likes it.
Triple Chocoholic stout is a winner!

Triple Chocoholic. Saltaire Brewery. Real ale. Beer.

From the label -

Bordering the World Heritage site of Saltaire in Yorkshire, Saltaire Brewery uses traditional brewing methods to produce great ales, with a contemporary twist!

Style - A speciality chocolate stout.

Malts - Pale Maris Otter 80% Pale Oat Malt 4% Torrefied Wheat 4% Chocolate Malt 12%

Hops - Fuggle hops provide bitterness and aroma

Tasting Note - A smooth chocolate stout with a strong chocolate aroma and flavour provided by the addition of cocoa, chocolate syrup and chocolate essence.
Are you a stout fan?
Have you tried Triple Chocoholic Stout from Saltaire Brewery?
Did you like it?