Sunday, 25 January 2015

Results of my Big Garden Bird Watch

At just after 9 o'clock on Saturday morning I settled down with my cup of tea and my mobile phone.  All ready to start my hour of recording the birds that appeared in my garden. I  had thought I would complete the survey using a pen and the printed out form, in the end I decided to use the on line interactive form on my phone. It included a timer so there was no doubt when the hour was over, it also included an interactive bird related quiz. 

Which birds visited my garden? The results are in…

All the Great Tits that had been feeding on the bird feeder just 10 minutes prior to starting my hour, all but disappeared! Missing from list and quite often visitors to the garden are the Woodpecker and Nuthatch. Usually there would be a Wren or two flitting around the plant pots and under the Holly hedge, but I think it was a little late in the morning for them. Last year a Buzzard even made an appearance for the hour, though it has been a few weeks since I have seen him (or her) much to the relief of the smaller garden birds.

Did you join in with the Big Garden Bird Watch? If so how many birds did you spot? 

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend 24th 25th January, I will be joining in!

It is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch Weekend here in the UK, I will be joining in and it is not too late to still participate. Last year I spotted a Buzzard, Dunnocks, Blackbirds, Magpies and Pigeons. Though the weather last year was very windy so all the Finches and Blue Tits sought shelter. But I am hopeful this year they will make an appearance as they are never far from the bird feeders at present.   

(photo credit RSPB)

Step 1   Register online at the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch website.

Step 2   Choose 1 hour on either Saturday 24th or Sunday 25th January to watch for birds and other wildlife in your garden.

Step 3   Complete the form online or using a tablet device during your chosen hour. Or if you prefer using paper and pencil then print out the Big Birdwatch sheet, which also includes photographs of common garden birds to aid you.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

List of bakes continues for another year

Do you remember my list of bakes I planned in 2014. Whilst I did not manage to work my way through all recipes on the list I did successfully bake some of them.

Cheesecake recipes
Baking from a list

As with most home bakers I continued to bake my favourite cakes and sweet treats through the year such as scones, chocolate cake, shortbread and fudge etc. I will not be dismissing my list from last year, but will continue to refer to it for baking ideas. Many members of my family will be pleased to hear they can request any cake they like for their birthday and can deviate from the list! I have already received requests for Carrot Cake and a Sticky Ginger Cake so watch this space.

Baking List
Happy baking everyone!

Friday, 9 January 2015

My 2015 Reading Challenge

It can be tricky finding the time to do everything I enjoy, there are so many things that interest me.

  • Sewing 
  • Baking
  • Family history research
  • Reading
  • Blogging
  • Gardening
  • Visiting gardens and heritage properties 
  • National Trust volunteering

Last year I found little time for reading though it is something I particularly enjoy. As such I have decided to set myself an aim this year, to read at least 15 books, not many compared to some people but I think it is achievable. Part of this promise is to also review the books, as such I am now a contributor at Hanging on Every Word. Feel free to pop over and read my reviews. Most books I either loan from my local library or receive as free downloads or I have won them. I have already read one book and well on my way to reaching my target. Lets see if that still holds true in 12 months time!

2015 Reading Challenge

2015 Reading Challenge
Angela has read 1 book toward a goal of 15 books.

My progress can be monitored on Good Reads, where there will be no hiding my progress, or lack of it. To add a little interest I am also linking to the PopSugar Reading challenge, thanks to my friend Darcy for pointing this out to me. Whilst I do not expect to reach their goal of fifty books I very much like the list of books to read from. The first type of book to tick off the list is 'a book set in a different country'

I have pinned the list of the PopSugar Reading Challenge onto my Pinterest board which you will find on the link below, there are some great topics listed.

Do you have any book recommends?  Are you taking up a reading challenge this year?

Monday, 29 December 2014

Fancy Pants Cheesecake Recipe

Fancy Pants Cheesecake recipe ? Do not be confused by the name of this cheesecake, put simply is a Banana and Chocolate Cheesecake. I like 'No bake' cheesecakes they are so easy to make, once assembled together they can be placed into the fridge until required the following day. 

Cheesecake Recipes Chocolate and Banana No Bake Recipe
Cheesecake Recipe Chocolate and Banana
This is another bake from my list of bakes, I promised I would work my way through earlier this year. This recipe was taken from the Cake Magic recipe book.

Chocolate and Banana Cheesecake Recipe (No Bake)

Rolling pin
8 inch loose bottom cake tin lined
Small bowl

100g Chocolate digestive biscuits (milk or plain your choice)
100g Chocolate Hobnob biscuits
100g Butter100g icing sugar
Bananas (approx 2)
large packet Malteasers
300ml Double cream
500g Cream cheese
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (or 1 vanilla pod)
Juice of 1 Lemon

Chocolate and Banana Cheesecake Recipe No Bake
Banana layer No Bake Cheesecake
  • Crush up the biscuits, I put them in a bowl and crushed them with the end of a rolling pin or you can use a blender.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave, pour the melted butter over the biscuits and mix well together. 
  • Put the biscuit mixture into the cake tin and using the back of a spoon flatten down and into the edges. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least one hour.
  • Whip the double cream to a thick stiff consistency, then add the cream cheese and vanilla and combine together. 
  • Pour half of the cream mixture onto the the chilled biscuit base and smooth. 
  • Slice the bananas and toss in a little lemon juice to prevent them going brown, arrange the sliced bananas on top of the cheesecake. 
  • Add the remaining cream mixture to cover the bananas, create a smooth top. Place in the fridge to chill.
  • Prior to serving top with Malteasers

Tip - this cheesecake tastes best chilled from the fridge. I would not recommend leaving it out before serving for any longer than 30 minutes.

Other Cheesecake recipes you may like:- 
Rocky Road Cheesecake
Key Lime Cheesecake

Chocolate and Banana Cheesecake Recipe - aka Fancy Pants
Chocolate and Banana Cheesecake Recipe - aka Fancy Pants!