Simple Pleasures


A stunning sunrise.




 Tom's 16th birthday cake was simple as birthday cakes go. An easy all-in-one sponge lavishly iced with chocolate butter cream (6oz butter, 10oz icing sugar, 2oz cocoa, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon milk) and finished off with a bag of Maltesers. The Maltesers made it impossible to cut thin slices.  Nobody minded about that.






I took a lot of photos of my white hyacinth. A lot. It smells delicious.



Lentil and barley stew. Brown and wholesome food to counteract the cake. Very tasty too.

Comments

  1. Happy Birthday Tom! Your cake looks excellent, I'm sure it went down a treat.

    Sue I can almost smell your Hyacinth, I have a white and a blue, they are on the cold windowsill on the landing and the perfume is still getting into the living room, just lovely.

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  2. Beautiful photos as always, love the look of that cake too. Yum. Btw, I'm back at the old blog - just to confuse you :)

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    1. Yes, I saw that you were, hope you are feeling comfy again.

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  3. Lurvely sunrise; the bird (rook? crow?) just transforms it in the same way the maltesers transform the cake.

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  4. I do love your stunning photos. Is that sunrise really in the UK? It looks amazing. I really want to eat Maltesers now, I can't think why :-)

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    1. It lasted about a minute and is actually more stunning in the photo than it was in real life -must be the camera setting I was using.

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  5. Yes I saw that stunning "Shepherd's Warning" sunrise too and forced myself to enjoy it from an already busy M5!

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  6. I had a sunrise shot this week too - not so red but a hint of sunshine under dark clouds. I really enjoy your close up photos (macro shots?). Cake looks delicious - will try that icing. Happy birthday to Tom!

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    1. Yes, all macro apart from the sunrise and the last one of the casserole.

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  7. Beautiful photos, especially the sunrise and that cake looks gorgeous! Julie x

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  8. Love the white hyacinth images! Can just about smell them here....
    P x

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  9. And a very happy birthday to Tom! The cake looks gorgeous. I shall be making a huge chocolate cake for my son's birthday on Sunday, it will be a really gooey affair with Matchmakers all around the edge and Belgian seashells on the top!

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  10. Love the idea of the Maltesers on the cake! Happy Birthday Tom!

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  11. That sunrise shot is fabulous - I keep meaning to get up in time, but...sunsets are more my thing I think!

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    1. That's why February is a good time to catch them-not too early.

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  12. Good choice with the Maltesers. Aren't they supposed to be slimming?

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    1. It's the cake with the less fattening topping. There. That betrays my age.

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  13. Love the sunrise photo. And yours is the second post which includes lentil soup, making my mouth water! Never mind, I guess by the time we get back to Blighty on Wednesday I shall be back in soup-making mode!

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  14. happy birthday Tom. Love your hyacinths. I somehow totally failed to plant any this year........ most frustrating.......
    also am now also frustrated that I can't eat maltesers............

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  15. Deborah Vass9:46 am GMT

    Could I be cheeky and ask where the recipe for Lentil and Barley Stew comes from? It sounds delicious. And I wish I had planted some hyacincths...

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    1. It comes from my head Deborah. I made it up as I went along. I fried some of my veg hash in oil (chopped onion will works just as well), added some chopped squash and sweet potato (any root veg will do). Then I added a couple of handfuls each of green lentils and barley, some veg stock, a teaspoon each of mustard and honey and a tablespoon of sun-dried tomato paste. I let it simmer for about 40 mins until the lentils and barley were cooked. We ate it with bread and grated cheese.

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    2. The head is always the best place! Thank you for taking the trouble to write it down for me, it sounds delicious. I shall give it a go!

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  16. Wow...what a cake!!

    That stew looks just the job for this weather, especially after that sunrise, 'red sky in the morning.....a shepherds warning'!!

    Sue xx

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  17. That cake looks amazing! Maltesers are practically air......so the bigger the slice, the better!

    Kate x

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  18. Makes me want to get up early and enjoy looking at that cake; bask in the scent of that stew; and stuff my face with the hyacinths. Well, something along those lines, anyway.....

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  19. Those hyacinths must smell lovely - and I'm sure the cake did too. Your sunrise looks much more vivid than ours. Or maybe I haven't been rising early enough!

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  20. Simple, beautiful and delicious...it doesn't get much better than that!

    The cake looks out of this world yummy! I might have to borrow the malted balls idea for my next birthday cake...my husband would love that little surprise. :)

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  21. Lovely sunrise photo, I've never seen such reds in a sunrise and the bird finished it off beautifully.

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  22. Aren't white hyacinths just the most perfect flowers!

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  23. Luscious birthday cake, delicious hyacinths, and warming nourishing lentils = excellent trio!

    You've got the perfect approach to early February. xo

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  24. I think your pictures have just about covered all the senses - thank you x

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  25. Beautiful photos! That cake looks fantastic.

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  26. The sunrise picture is quite simply wonderful. The stew looks amazing too.
    Claire

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  27. The photos are lovely! And the cake... I want chocolate now. And stew. Actually, I'm going to have a snack now.

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  28. simple pleasures are the best, sunrises like that are such a good way to start the day and any day that includes a malteaser topped chocolate cake is bound to be a good one!

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  29. Thought I'd tell you that I finally tried your Pumpkin and Walnut cake today and it was a huge success. Lovely and spicey. Thanks!

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  30. Pati from London2:16 pm GMT

    That cake looks amazing!! I love maltessers.... I usually cook a Spanish lentil stew with chorizo but next time I may have to add some barley to it. It makes it look quite wholesome! It's freezing here too and that's the kind of meal I want to be eating.... Pati x

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  31. I haven't been along here in a while. Have just reminded myself how good it is and that I must visit more often.

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  32. Lovely cake, happy birthday Tom

    I can smell the hyacinth from here

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  33. what beautiful pictures

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