Archive | March, 2012

Lakes

11 Mar

This weekend I’ve been in the Lake District with my hiking group.

We arrived on Saturday morning at YHA Borrowdale, checked in, and then headed out for a short walk up Castle Cragg. We got back at 2pm so got a quick shower and changed and went into Keswick for the afternoon.

I had an early evening meal at The Lakeland Pedlar, a vegetarian cafe. I had yellow split pea soup and salad, which was delicious! It even came with a warm slice of wheat-free bread.

We then spent the rest of the evening enjoying Keswick’s pubs.

After a reasonable sleep at the hostel we set off on Sunday morning for a walk up Loughrigg Fell from Ambleside.

The weather was glorious: beautiful sunshine and fabulous clear views. It could almost be summer and it was such a contrast from last weekend’s blizzards!

This evening I’m staying in Fox Hall B&B, a lovely vegan B&B in Kendal. I stay here about once a year and always I’m completely spoilt by the owners. It’s such a pleasure to stay here.

Tomorrow I’m still in holiday and I’m looking forward to more fabulous walks in the Lakes!

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superbad superbugs

6 Mar

superbad superbugs.

Alwinton

4 Mar

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The Darlington Dales and Hills Ramblers headed north today to take in a circular walk from Alwinton in Northumberland. Now, whilst this was an Alwinton Round it wasn’t THE Alwinton Round (I did all 20 miles of that a couple of years ago on a stinking hot day and it nearly did me in!) This was a 10 mile circular taking in 3 hills and a lot of gorgeous Cheviot hillside.

The weather, however, was vile. We arrived and within 5 minutes of starting the walk we were walking in a blizzard. So we had snow in our faces, and snow under foot, which was slippery, and for some reason seemed to want to ball up underneath my gaiters.

It stayed like this for most of the walk, particularly on the higher hills, but it made the views pretty spectacular. Coupled with this we had the sound of explosions from time to time as the red flags were flying and the military were out practicing on the hills on the other side of the Coquet River.

By the time we were heading back to Alwinton, the weather had decided to stop snowing, and it felt a little warmer. The views were lovely of the hills with their icing sugar tops.

I think Northumberland is picking on me. It’s SO SO beautiful up there, on sunny days, with faultless views for miles and miles, yet whenever I lead a walk up there the weather turns nasty. I thought, with the glorious weather this past week, that we were sure to have a fabulous day for walking today. Who could have expected snow in March?! Crazy: I thought spring had already arrived seeing as it was 17 degrees Celsius on Tuesday.

Still, it was a fantastic walk. Perhaps next time I lead a walk up there for Darlington Dales and Hills the sun will shine.

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Pinhead Oatmeal

3 Mar

If I could only eat one food for the rest of my days it would almost certainly be porridge/oatmeal, provided I was allowed free reign on toppings of course.

ImageI usually buy rolled oats and my tried and tested formula is half a cup of oats to 1 cup of water. Sometimes I will have them as they are with maybe a squirt of agave, or I will add cinnamon and raisins, or if I am feeling really really decadent I will have it topped with peanut butter and dark chocolate, but then it becomes more of a dessert rather than a healthy breakfast. 

I have always liked the idea of the chewy texture of pinhead oatmeal, but had never really had much success until I discovered a recipe on Pinterest that solved all my pinhead oatmeal problems. This week I tried the recipe out for the first time, and by golly, it works a treat.

The recipe calls for making a large batch of pinhead oatmeal at once, which can then be stored in the fridge to dip into for the rest of the week. The blogger that created the recipe recommends dividing the pinhead oatmeal between individual pint sized Mason jars for easy on-the-go access through the week (plus the cute factor). I do not have Mason jars, but I do have a glut of plastic airtight boxes, so my oatmeal went into one of those. And this recipe certainly seems to work for pinhead oatmeal as it seems to get better for leaving it in the fridge to mature.

Into my Le Creuset pan went 4 cups of water and 1 cup of pinhead oatmeal. I brought the water up to the boil and then let the oatmeal simmer for 10 minutes. Then turned the gas off and left the pot, with it’s lid on, to stand overnight. The next morning I was rewarded with a great big pan of perfect creamy, chewy pinhead oatmeal. It was then just a case of scooping a big dollop out of the pan and into a bowl, reheating (adding a bit more water to make it the consistency that you like), and topping it with whatever you fancy. Awesome-sauce!

I really like this method for oatmeal and will certainly be using it in the future. I regularly go away for the weekend with my Ramblers group where we stay in hostels. The hostel kitchen can be a bit of a scrum in the morning with so many people making their breakfasts, as well as their packed lunches for a day’s walking. I think that this could be a good option for me to take along to either heat up in the microwave, or eat cold with a dash of nut, soy or oat milk and some fruity toppings.

Animal Aid: March is Veggie Month

1 Mar

Animal Aid: March is Veggie Month.

If you have been thinking about trying out a cruelty free diet, now is the perfect time to give it a go.
March is Veggie Month with Animal Aid, and they have a host of information, recipes, competitions and more to help you get involved in trying out a more compassionate lifestyle.

Why not give it a go for March?
I guarantee you will be seeing the benefits come April.