Oh flower of Scotland….

It’s been a sombre weekend for many of us in Scotland. I am devastated about the referendum results. I really felt that an independent Scotland was an opportunity to create a fairer society. I believe passionately in the tenants of socialism & I think the yes campaign embodied those ideals.

Disappointment at the result was compounded by the loyalist thugs taking over Glasgow’s city centre on Friday. Add to that MP’S backtracking on their election promises & I was left despondent.

Having said that, I still have hope. Yes voters remain politically engaged. SNP have around 10000 new members. Saturday saw yes voters peacefully gathering in George sq & making donations to food banks. Organisations such as we are the 45% have sprung up & are gaining huge support. It seems the dream is not over. There are like-minded people out there & they are determined to protect the vulnerable & establish a movement for a better Scotland.

So, with all this firing in my mind I felt the best way to express myself was on my nails. So, here you go my first political manicure.

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it was a cold september before the indian summer…

As promised I ventured out this week. It wasn’t the wildest of outings, but it still felt good to put on a dress & a lick of mascara. My sister I resumed out little cinema club, but first we headed to the gorgeous Blythswood sq for some blog photos.

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September is being very kind to this year, which allowed me to give this little sun dress another outing. I picked this & another similar dress up in Primark earlier this summer. I love the colour combo & the patchyworky print. I love that my boobs fit happily into this bandeau style. I often have trouble in that area with no plus size labels. I felt very cute in this dress, which can only be a good thing.

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Cinema club kicked off again with, Before I go to sleep. I read the book that it’s based on a few years ago & enjoyed it. I really liked the film; it perfectly captured the suspense of the novel. I’d recommend checking out both the book & the movie.

Finally. this week’s nail looked like this

 

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You can check out my sister’s side of the photo shoot here.

 

 

Stereophonics Indian Summer

 

 

 

I love my comfort food….

The mystery virus rages on, which is limiting my excursions. It has given me the opportunity to try out quite a few new recipes. With the weather getting a bit chillier I’ve been focusing on comfort foods. This week I finally perfected a yummy sweet potato dhal. I can’t do spicy food, so I have played around with this recipe to suit my very mild tastes (yes, I make curt without chillies). If you are braver with heat, you’ll probably want to at least double up the spices.
Sauce
Ingredients
1 tin chopped tomatoes
Good big squeeze tom puree
Half onion
4 cloves garlic
80g butter (I use olive spread)
5tbl spoon single cream
1tbl spoon ginger puree
Chopped coriander 2 tablespoon
½ tablespoon cumin
Pinch paprika
Pinch turmeric
¼ teaspoon garam masala

Method
Fry off onion & garlic in a little olive oil. Add tomatoes, tomato puree & ginger. Simmer until tomatoes are falling apart. Blend until smooth. Simmer sauce until thick & glossy (15ish mines). Pour in a small cup of water & simmer for a further 3-5 mins until sauce returns to thick consistency.
Slowly whisks in butter, small pieces at a time. Stir in coriander & cream continue to simmer for a minute or two longer. Stir in garam marsala & the rest of the remaining spices. Check seasoning & add to taste.

Dhal
Ingredients

200g split red lentils
85g sweet potato
85g butternut squash
As much cauliflower as you like.
Vegetable stock cube

Method
Pour lentils into a large pot & add enough water to cover. Pop in the stock cube. Bring the water to boil, and then simmer for 10mins. Stir frequently & keep an eye on lentils as they water may need topped up.
Chop & boil sweet potatoes, cauliflower & butternut squash for 15mins or so.
Combine sauce, lentils & veg. simmer for around 10mins until everything is nice & soft.

I can’t recommend this curry enough. Eating it feels like a big fragrant curry.

As much as I like to cook to my first love in the kitchen is baking. I have been making a concerted effort to broaden my cake repertoire. I love to bake for friends & family. Feeding people lovely things taps into my maternal instinct & makes me very happy.
Over the last few weeks I have been hearing lots of people raving about banana bread. For some reason I had never tried this delight. Interest peeked, I googled a recipe & discovered it is easy peasy. My friend Bil & I gave it a bash on Friday night & whilst he loved it, I was underwhelmed. Having said that, I appear to be in the minority, so you may well agree with bilbob.

Banana Bread
Ingredients
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar (or sugar alternative)
50g butter (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas
½ teaspoon baking powder.

Method
Preheat oven to 180c/gas 4.
Grease baking tin
Mash bananas. Add all other ingredients & mix well.
Pour into a loaf tin & bake for 50 to 60 mins.

I am determined to do something nice this week even it’s only a trip to the cinema. I shall be sure to pick out a really cook outfit & wow you with my style in my next post.