Thursday, 31 January 2013

Recipe of the Week - Spiced Salmon

In total contrast to all the chocolate indulgence that has been going on over on the Housefulofboys Facebook page, I thought I would share a nice healthy recipe to get Recipe of the Week back up and running after the holidays.

I'm pretty sure I have confessed before to not being a huge fish fan. I know, I know, shame on me with my island heritage. I do make homemade fish fingers for the boys from time to time (recipe can be found under the allergy free tab) and I do eat them too, as long as I have a good dollop of mayonnaise with them!

The one fish that I do like is salmon. Not the cheapest fish, I know.

However, I was quite pleased recently to discover a 'value brand' salmon in our supermarket which meant that buying enough for 6 wasn't nearly as expensive as it usually is! Which also means that we can have this yummy dish more often.

It's ideal as a super fast, super easy midweek dinner.

If you can get a whole side of salmon it's also quite impressive as a dinner for friends.

You will need:

One side of salmon or about 4 pieces

2 tsps honey

2 tsps mustard

1.5 tsps ground ginger

1.5 tsps paprika

~ In a bowl, mix together the honey, mustard, ginger and paprika.

~ Line a baking sheet with tin foil and sit your salmon on top.

~ Spread the spice mixture across the top of your salmon.

~ Roast, uncovered, in your oven at 180c for around 20 minutes.

I served ours up with some fresh veggies and lightly spiced rice. It's also yummy with some nice new potatoes but this is the wrong time of year for the really tasty ones so I'm sticking to the rice until the summer!

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

You know you live in Scotland when....

.....your 3 year old is busy colouring in, you ask him to choose a colour for the sky and he chooses.....

Not just grey, but DARK grey.

Very perceptive of him!


Monday, 28 January 2013


Over to James for this week's making.

He's still loving high school, especially all the practical subjects - music, science, home ecconomics, craft & design.

Before Christmas they had to design and then make a wooden spatula. 

Each week he would come home and tell me about the latest stages of it's design. He had planned some finger grooves, some holes to measure spaghetti, some grooves at the bottom, a hole to hang it up etc.

Then when they started on the woodwork he was even more enthusiastic.

We were talking about it just before Christmas and I asked him when he would get it home. He told me he wasn't sure. 

I didn't know that it was already wrapped up and under the Christmas tree!

I'm sure all the other 1st year mums are equally proud of their off-springs' results, but didn't he do a great job?!

He is rightfully very proud of it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

There's a teenager in the house!

Last week our oldest son, James, turned 13.


He was so excited about becoming an 'official' teenager.

For his birthday he invited his cousin Finlay over. They spent the afternoon building and painting models.

His choice of birthday dinner was homemade steak pie, his choice for the last few years! (The recipe is in the non allergy recipe tab at the top.)

When we were doing the food shopping I asked him if it was a homemade steak pie or a shop bought one he would prefer - he's a fan of both. He replied, 'I'd rather your homemade one, but if you want a break I don't mind a shop bought one.' I think that sums him up really!


Cake was a triple layered gluten & dairy free chocolate cake. (The recipe for this is also above - Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake, under the wheat & dairy free recipes tab. I doubled the mix though, since I wanted a triple layer)




The most fun part of his birthday, according to James?

The fresh snowfall and the fun in the snow that resulted from it!







Thursday, 17 January 2013


This week in January has been a bittersweet one for our family for the last nine years.

It is sweet because we celebrate the birth of our firstborn son, who will be turning 13.

It is bitter because we mourn the passing of my beautiful cousin, killed in a car accident 9 years ago, aged only 20.

I only have brothers and she was an only child. Growing up, she was the closest I had to a sister.

(Please excuse the dress I am wearing here! It was my cousin's and she asked me to wear it! I realise now that it was far too short but I was 17 at the time!)

3 years after this photo was taken, she was one of my two bridesmaids when I was married.

The last time I saw her was when she came to the hospital to visit us after Calum had scalded himself as a baby (I can't get the shortened link to work, but click here if you want to read about that day

If you have read the post above, you will know that when Calum had his accident we were returning from my uncle's funeral. That uncle was my cousin's father. As she left the hospital we both agreed that it was time for something good to happen in our family.

I could never have imagined that only 6 months later, on a suitably dark, grey, mournful January day, I would be attending her funeral.

I will never forget looking at my aunt at the funeral. She had just lost her husband and only child in such a short space of time. Who can even begin to imagine what she was going through? And my granny, who shared a house with my aunt, uncle and cousin. She doted on my cousin so much. My dad had to find the strength to lead the funeral and I have never seen the church so full.

At a Lewis funeral, after the service the women all stand in front of the church and the men line up on the road. The men then proceed down the road and the coffin is passed back along the line as they walk. There were so many people at this funeral that it took a long, long time.

Now that I write this and reflect on the day, I can't actually remember what happened after the procession. There must have been food somewhere but I don't remember where! I must have gone back to my parent's house to my boys. James had just turned 4 and Calum was 18 months.

We don't know why these things happen. We may not ever know. What we do know is that our Lord is in control and even in our darkest days we can look to Him as our light.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013


Given that a large number of my 'Make-it Monday' posts didn't actually appear on a Monday, I thought that the New Year was a good time to 're-brand'.

I haven't got round to making up a picture to go with it yet, perhaps that can be next week's Making, but I do hope that other crafty types will continue to join in and share their makes once it's up and running!

Here are a few of my holiday makes.

~ I made these Soy Wax Tea Cup Candles for the boys teachers and for a few other Christmas presents too.

~ Right through December I made batch after batch of this yummy stuff. Most of it was for our own eating, and James has requested a final batch for his birthday at the weekend, but some of it was for presents too.

~ A few of the males in my family received some cufflinks I had made as Christmas presents. These were for my youngest brother, Alasdair.

~ A jar of the Peppermint Bark went to the office staff at the Primary School.

~These were to compensate for the fact that Calum & Alasdair couldn't eat the Peppermint Bark. I made some chocolate cupcakes, added some peppermint flavoured frosting and topped with crushed candy canes. They were a hit!

~ Another foodie make. This was how I made our Christmas Dinner leftovers super yummy. Two packs of croissant dough arranged on my pizza stone and filled with leftover bread sauce, cranberry sauce, stuffing and turkey. 

~ And finally, one of my current crochet projects. I must say, after all those makings for others (there are others not shown here) it is nice to be doing something for my self! This is my infinity scarf, made with a lovely soft bamboo yarn. 

I took this photo in the waiting room at the orthodontist today while James had his braces tightened. I always have a crochet project stuffed in my bag and a selection of cars or trains to keep Alasdair happy!

Weekend Fun - Blue Skies at last!

For well over a month now we have had seriously dark and gloomy weather here. I don't just mean grey, overcast skies. We're used to that!

I mean really, really dark grey days. Days where it feels as though the sun has forgotten to rise at all. Where you need the same amount of lights on in the house during the day time as you do at night.

I had begun to long for the cold, frosty days we had enjoyed at the end of November and the beginning of December. They may have been cold but at least they were bright and somewhat cheerful!

So it was with some joy that Saturday broke the cycle.

We had planned to meet up with some old friends of my husbands and his sister. Since they have three boys the same ages as our oldest three, going for a long walk after lunch seemed like a good way to spend the afternoon!





The grey skies were back again by Sunday, but this time it didn't seem so bad as they brought the snow with them!

Friday, 11 January 2013

Things I'm loving

First things I'm loving post of 2013 and its rather a random assortment of things!

Firstly, one day in the holidays when we had nothing else planned, David (7) gathered up some empty milk and juice cartons from the recycling bin and set up a target range. Then all that was left to do was choose the perfect weapon.....




Another day, David and Calum enjoyed a rather muddy cycle ride with daddy.


I love this beautiful vintage crystal bowl that I got from my aunt for Christmas.



Loving the teamwork that went on with a model building day.


This was what we started off with.

These two were the most dedicated builders and painters.

This is our finished model, although we still need to add a bit more mud effect to the Land Rover.

James was loving even more model building with his new Lego Technic set, a very cool rescue helicopter, complete with working winch, rotors and other bits and pieces.

Lastly, loving these photos that I just found on the ipad. James had asked me to stand with a hand out for a photo. Then he added the funny effects!

Even one of his cousins was Christmas-ised!

Have a great weekend!