Tuesday, January 23, 2018

January Loves

January has been such a lovely month so far. I know that it can be a hard month to love but this year instead of giving any airtime to the January Blues, I am loving what it has brought.

Beautiful, crisp mornings. Driving home after dropping my eldest at the bus stop I was so taken with the beauty of the morning. It was cold and frosty but those colours! Our home is up around that corner - I don't mind driving down these narrow Devon lanes one bit when such scenery surrounds.

We live in a National Trust nature reserve so when we go for walks along the coastal path we often encounter a herd of Dartmoor Ponies. This little one was munching away on bramble leaves and clearly enjoying its lunchtime view.

Today's joy was watching this little robin have a bath in our garden. It's a windy and misty day today hence why this photo looks a bit 'faded', in fact, you cannot even see the ocean the mist is so thick. But this little fellow was clearly enjoying his bath.

January means Daffodils and Tulips are in the grocery stores and every single January I make a point of buying these spring flowers to brighten up the dreary days. It reminds me that spring is not far off. On this particular day, the sunshine was streaming through the windows and the tulips looked beautiful in the light.

I've spent a lot of time baking and cooking this month. I made this focaccia bread to go alongside a vegetarian curry last week. I was very happy with how it turned out as I had attempted focaccia years ago and it did not work out as planned. But this recipe proved to be a hit, I think it is going to become a bit of a staple in our home. It would be delicious to have with homemade soups. I have included the recipe at the end of the post.

Custard shortbread cookies and 18 applesauce muffins were churned out of the kitchen this week. I used the last of the applesauce I made in the autumn. 

There is plenty to love about January...you just need to look for it and have the right mindset 😊. What lovely things have you taken joy in this month?

Focaccia with mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and rosemary

You Will Need:
500g strong white flour
2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
2 tbsp olive oil, plus a little extra for kneading
350 ml tepid water
10 cherry tomatoes
10 mozzarella pearls
4 rosemary stems, cut into 2cm sprigs
2 tsp sea or rock salt
2 tbsp olive oil for drizzling

* Grease two baking trays.

* Place the flour, salt, yeast, oil and water into a large bowl and mix together to form a dough then continue kneading by hand in the bowl of 10 minutes. The dough will be quite wet and very soft.

*  Tip the dough onto an oiled surface and continue kneading for a further 5 minutes, do not use flour as this will make the dough hard. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

* Tip the dough out and divide in half. Flatten each half into a baking tray, pushing the dough to the corners. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for 1 hour or until well risen.

* Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/ 425 degrees F/ Gas Mark 7

* Using the end of a wooden spoon dipped in water to prevent sticking, press holes in the dough at regular intervals in rows about 4cm apart. Make sure the holes reach to the base of the tin.

* Fill the holes with the tomato, mozzarella and rosemary sprigs, sprinkle with the sea/rock salt and drizzle with the oil.

* Bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until the focaccia is well risen and golden brown.

Recipe courtesy of Lakeland and featured in the February 2018 edition of Your Home magazine.


  1. The snow and some wonderful skies and cloud formations are hat I have enjoyed. Beautiful photos.

    1. Thank you, I've enjoyed seeing our winter pics too! A bit jealous as I love the snow and there's not much hope of getting any in Devon :(

  2. Shirley-Ann, hello! Beautiful photos. It looks like you really are loving your new home; hooray for you! Oceanside living seems so dynamic, I don't think I could ever be bored.

    We've had dreadful cold; a 50 acre lake we live beside almost entirely froze for a week. Now, there is some warmth to the days and am very thankful. Happy for the variety of winter birds we have...we've had 3 bald eagles this winter not far outside our door. Good books and a fireplace. Foodwise, sheep's milk cheese and polenta have been a hit for this month.


    1. We really are loving our new home Elizabeth. We feel so blessed every single day. I'm with you...we never get bored out here. Amazing that your lake froze over, did you get any skating done? Winter is always a great time to see birds, not many leaves to shield them!

  3. I am thoroughly enjoying my January, the slow days and catching up with my knitting and reading and anything else that crosses my mind after having a house full of guests during the holidays for three weeks.


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