Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Gotta love Gizzi!



(This is not a sponsored post, I'm just a fan and want to share)

I've found a new cooking hero - move over Delia, Jamie and Nigella - hello, Gizzi!

Tucked away on Channel 4 in daytime TV is "Cook Yourself Thin" with the delectable Gizzi Erskine. I wouldn't have known, but for a small mention in the Radio Times. Being a working mum, I don't watch daytime TV so I set the recorder and recorded the entire series which I'm now watching back slowly.

I love Gizzi's style, she's a young, Audrey Hepburn lookalike, but with a streak of feisty about her (just look at her fabulous tattoo!). She's a great chef, too, and has a lovely, relaxed style. She overhauls the participants "downfall" dishes without being patronising or admonishing.

I'm loving her recipes, just the sort of full flavour, fresh ingredient type of meal I love. I'm dying to try her Singapore noodles and I've already made her Skinny Strawberry Cheesecake - delish!

Unfortunately Channel 4 aren't doing a cookbook from the series, but Gizzi has her own book out



.... which I've promptly bought.

(Going to need a new kitchen soon to house all my cookery books!)

In it Gizzi combines her recipes with hints and tips about cookery techniques that even an experienced cook like myself can benefit from. I'm dying to make her Sticky Thai Chicken and Mango Salad. Roll on the Summer hols.

She also is the Queen of Gadgets, using lots of lovely kitchenalia to make life lighter. I love kitchen gadgets (can't live without my cherry pitter, wand blender and my apple slicer) so I've already been on t'internet ordered one of these:



and one of these:


Can you tell what it is?

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Sports Day


Luckily, I managed to get to daughter's Sports' Day again this week (thanks to my fabulous Head of Department who said I mustn't miss it and rearranged my lessons for me). When I got home sports mad husband rang to see how she'd done.

"Did she win anything?" he asked

"Of course not", I said, "She's got my sporting gene. She did get a 2nd and a 3rd though"

"What was she 2nd in?"

"I don't know"

"Well, what did she come 3rd in?"

"I don't know, I couldn't really tell"

"You're useless, I'll ask her when I get home"

Later hubby arrived home, congratulated daughter on her performance in Sports Day and asked, "What did you come 2nd and 3rd in?"

To which she replied,

"I can't remember"

Yep, she's got my sporting gene alright!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Busy busy busy

I've been a bit conspicuous by my absence in blogland recently, I know. 351 unread posts in my Google Reader tell me so.

Why?

Well, as well as husband commandeering my laptop (his had to be wiped clean and Windows reinstalled), I've been really, really busy.

I always think things will ease up when my exam classes go on study leave, but it never does, I just get a different set of things to do and no peace to do it because the pupils on study leave all come back for help!

Recently I've been marking exams, writing reports, singing, shopping, visiting and ferrying. I've been out for a meal with a friend who was over from Australia for a week, I've attended daughter's Swimming Gala (she was robbed, Henry cheated!) and I've lived through our department's review at work.

On Saturday daughter and I escaped the work/football zone that is our home and left husband to it while we went for a day out at Norton Priory with my mum and dad. We had a lovely lunch and wandered about the ruins and the beautiful walled garden. Daughter loved the real "live" skeleton in the stone coffin the best!

This weekend I've got a 40th Birthday party and a concert in Manchester, while next week I've got my Departmental End of Term Do, a Sixth Form Information Evening, a choir rehearsal and a Mums' Night Out!

Then I've got a concert in Hawkshead in the Lake District!

Roll on the end of term!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Vuvu shmoo voo!

Anyone else sick of the World Cup already?

The only good point I've found so far was that I waited until England kicked off on Saturday before I drove home from my parents' and then the roads were lovely and quiet!

If I lived alone, football would just not enter this house in any guise. However, I don't know how I ended up married to one of its biggest fans, but I did. Consequently, the World Cup features heavily in our house. Husband even got overexcited when the Radio Times arrived with the wallchart to fill in with all the scores! (which he does religiously after every game) Personally, I can't even bear the sound of it on the TV, the roar of the crowd just gets on my nerves and now they've got these vuvuzela horns, sheesh!!

However, I am very interested in finding out which matches husband is planning to watch.

Why?

Because since his laptop developed a virus that prevents him from actually using it, he has commandeered mine to use for work and he is using it every moment that he isn't watching football. Hence, I only get to use my laptop when he's watching a game.

This could be the first World Cup I don't complain about!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Don't whinge to the whinger!

The other day I was berating daughter for her incessant whinging.

Daughter: You whinge too!

Me: No, I don't

Daughter: Yes, you do, you whinge about my whinging

Me: Touche

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Isn't t'internet brilliant?

I didn't think so today after spending an hour on the phone to Pipex after finding I had no internet connection, having the woman declare it was a problem with my modem so she changed all my modem settings and internet passwords and then, finally, after nothing had worked and I asked her to check the line, she declared it was actually a problem at the exchange and would be fixed by 4.00pm! Grrrrrrrrrr!

However, once you get past the temperamental technology and the customer services part, it is wonderful.

Why?

Because through the power of Blogger I found an old school friend I had lost touch with. Someone I had been friends with and sat next to at school from the age of about 8. We even went to the same university together, but then she went off to be a hot shot lawyer and I married husband and moved to Manchester.

Anyway, through the miracle of Google I found her blog. I left a comment, and before we knew where we were I had invited her to tea. She came round for tea and cupcakes and a friendship was renewed!

Then, after tea today, when normal service was resumed, I ordered my on-line shop to be delivered on Friday so that I can go to my parents' next weekend.

After bath, daughter and I watched an episode of "Trapped" via the i-player and finally, t'internet was again fabulous in allowing me to e-mail pictures of daughter's first riding lesson to her grandparents and godparents in the blink of an eye.

Now, putting them on my blog, all my friends can see how she got on:


Isn't t'internet brilliant?

Friday, 4 June 2010

Light my Lantern

Been getting carried away again at Party Delights stocking up on stuff for husband's 40th Birthday Party.

You know: tablecloths, napkins, table confetti, bunting, balloons, banners, cake sparklers, etc.

Then I saw these:




They seem to be all the rage round here. I first saw them on New Year's Eve when someone near us let off a load that floated beautifully off into the sky .................. towards Manchester Airport!!

Since then there seems to be someone releasing these sky lanterns every Saturday.

I so have to get some for his party.

Better warn Manchester Airport.

Then again, knowing his history with flames, better warn the local A&E!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

To see a fine lady upon a white horse

Today daughter received her birthday present from husband and me - a day on the farm looking after a pony and riding it. We figured if she was so mad on ponies she should find out what looking after one entails (not that we are ever going to buy her one) and see if she was still keen on having riding lessons after all the mucking out and cleaning tack.

As an overprotective mother, the thought of her riding horses terrifies me, so I was hoping it would put her off.

No such luck.

Not only did she love it, she won a rosette for "Best Turned Out Pony"!!

How can I deny her this much pleasure?:

So horseriding lessons begin on Sunday.

Now, where can I get her a set of body armour?