Day 992 – #51 & #54 Make a birdhouse out of wood!

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I made a birdhouse for my garden!  I’m really pleased with how it turned out in the end.  I’d seen a picture of something similar on Pinterest that had been for sale on Etsy for $45!  The only similarity in the end is the cork covering but I think it works really well.  The body of the house is made from lolly sticks criss-crossed and glued together.  The base and door way is plywood and the perch & porch uprights are dowel rods cut to size.  The roof was a particular challenge as a) it wasn’t very straight and b) the cork slices weren’t exactly the same thickness….. but it all came together with a bit of patience and (quite) a bit of glue.

I’m delighted and I can’t wait to get it hung up in the garden 🙂


Day 990 – #33 Try 50 new recipes

img_0170Aaarrrgh!  Day 990 – I am running rapidly out of time!  Another new recipe for dinner this evening.  This is from the first Lean in 15 book (the red one) by Joe Wicks and is called Mighty Duck Noodles.

It.was.amazing.   I really hope this one agrees with my tummy as I would definitely eat this again.  I used the recipe for one portion between the two of us and as you can see, it was plenty….

This is stir-fried duck with broccoli, spring onions, 5 spice powder and hoisin sauce.  Mixed up together with noodles and topped with cucumber batons.  It’s like a yummier, lighter, more comforting version of crispy duck.  No doubt it’s much healthier too!  Definitely a winner this one.

Day 987 – #33 Try 50 new recipes

img_0168Another day, another new recipe!  Again, it’s a recipe from the Lean In 15 book by Joe Wicks AKA #TheBodyCoach.  Today we have Hero Korean Pork Stir-fried Rice.  A long title for a very, very tasty dinner.  The pork strips are marinated in soy sauce and paprika.  Then stir-fried along with ginger, garlic, chilli, carrot batons, midget trees and spring onions.  The pre-cooked rice is then added and the whole lot mixed up together.  I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed this.  It’s a stir-fry.  Nothing exotic.  But it was seriously nice and I will definitely be making it again.

Yet again though, the portion sizes are massive, so be warned.  I did about 2/3 recommended portions and this is about a third again of that.  So you can see how much there is!  Poor Mark had another mountain – all of which went…..

Day 986 – #33 Try 50 new recipes

img_0165Another two recipes ticked off this evening.  Both were from Lean In 15 (second book) by Joe Wicks.

The first was this one.  In the book it’s made with Sea Bass but I don’t like fish so this is a butterflied chicken breast.  It’s basically a warm salad of tender stem broccoli (Joe’s infamous midget trees), broad beans, peas and courgettes which are mixed with butter, mint & walnuts.  The chicken (or sea bass) is grilled and added to the top.

It was really quick to make (15 minutes in fact!) and was really tasty.  I didn’t use the full quantities in the book and it was still a bit too much.  He really does make massive portions!  I’ll definitely make this one again.  It was delicious.


img_0167The second recipe is Potato salad with Butterflied Chicken (you can see why I made them at the same time!)  This is one for Mark for his lunches.  It has chicken, eggs, new potatoes and spring onions all mixed up with creme fraiche.  It’s to be served with a green salad.  This mammoth box is supposed to be one helping!  Needless to say, it’s going to be two…..

Day 984 – #34 Make 5 new cakes – Completed!

img_0164 As I said yesterday, I have a lot of beetroot in the veg patch still.  I do like beetroot but there’s a limit to how much of it you can eat in any one go.  So I thought I’d try a beetroot cake and see how that went.

These are Chocolate & Beetroot muffins from a recipe I found on the BBC Food website (

The recipe is dead easy to follow and uses oil instead of butter for a change.  It makes an enormous quantity and I got 19 large muffins out of a recipe that supposedly makes 12!  I just need to dust them with icing sugar now and take them round to my nephew’s birthday tea party.  Save me & Mark scoffing the lot – they are very tasty!

So that’s all my cakes completed.  I just need to work on 10 more recipes and that will be my cooking challenges done.  Hurrah!

Day 983 – #33 Try 50 new recipes

img_0163This was my dinner this evening.  Well, actually it was Mark’s.  My portion was smaller but messier so I took a photo of his instead!

This is another recipe from Joe Wicks AKA The Body Coach from his second Lean in 15 book.  It’s Pork Chop with Feta & Beetroot Salad.  It was absolutely delicious.  I’ve not tried avocado since we were fed it at primary school after reading the book Avocado Baby and I HATED it.  But it was in this recipe so I thought I’d try it.  I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it either and it’s supposed to be really good for you, so I ate it.

Mark was really impressed with it as a meal and actually like the beetroot this time.  Good job as we still have loads in the veg patch!

There are a lot of nice sounding recipes in this book and I’m going to be trying out quite a few in the coming days to try and finish my 50 recipe challenge.  Not sure I’ll complete it altogether but I’ll give it a good go!

Day 982 – #34 Try 5 new cakes

I don’t make enough cakes.  Or so I am told.  That is because I don’t really eat cake.  So it seems a bit pointless to make lots of them with only Mark to eat them.  However, he is NOT of the same opinion and is quite happy to eat a lot of cake!  He mentioned a colleague of his who always brings in a slice of “A cup of tea cake” (imagine in a dull, Georgie accent) – it’s cake with a cup of tea in it.  That’s what Mark wanted so that’s what I’ve made!
img_0161I got this recipe from the Good to Know website.  It’s very basic and doesn’t give a lot of instruction – not even which size loaf tin to use! (2lb if you’re wondering) but it’s delicious.  And goes very nicely with a cup of tea and a wedge of butter.  Bootiful!