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Experiments with Meatloaf

It’s been a while since I’ve had a good play in the kitchen, a friend sent me this recipe Sundried Tomato Pesto, Bacon wrapped Meatloaf Rounds a few days ago. Meatloaf wasn’t a staple food growing up, so I haven’t had much experience of it. But I love Pesto, and how can you resist anything that’s wrapped in bacon? And having bought a freezer full of ground meat a month ago, I’m looking for lots more ideas of how to cook it.

One thing I’m not a fan of though is sundried tomatoes. A few years ago I did come across a recipe for a roasted red pepper pesto though. So I figured time to experiment with pesto 🙂


Don’t they look so neat!

Red Pepper Pesto 1

Into a blender/mini chopper I put

  • Piquillo Peppers
  • Basil
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan
  • Salt
  • Dollop of Almond Butter (to add a bit of sweetness)

I blitzed it up till it was quite a runny consistency, it was a little on the sharp side, but I figured with it going into another part of a recipe this would be ok. I followed the recipe above but used 1lb of Lamb as the meat instead of beef and veal, and I used 2 rashers of bacon. I think I’ve found a new winter comfort food.

Red Pepper Pesto 2

  • Piquillo Peppers
  • Dill Pickles
  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan
  • Salt
  • A larger dollop of almond butter than from Pesto 1 (about a tbsp this time as I put in the pickles I figured it was going to be a lot sharper!)

Once blitzed up the mixture wasn’t as runny because of the kale in it, but I think I could have added a few more slices of pickles to it, as the flavour of the pickles came through in the meatloaf, but not enough, would have tasted better with more pickles. (Yes I love the taste of dill pickles This time I made the meatloaf with a mixture of beef and pork, very yummy. As you can see in the photo I only used 1 rasher of bacon this time and they all came apart a bit.


Dinner is served


Tidal Bore Rafting

Today my best friend and I took on the might of the Tidal Bores in the Shubenacadie! Ok so I say took on, we clung on for dear life to the ropes attached to the dinghy we were in!

Tidal bores are my new favourite part of Mother Nature. We set off on a 4 hour excursion to ride the tidal bore on the Shubenacadie in Nova Scotia. It was a lovely calm ride down the river to a section where we could first of all go mud sliding, natural mud slides we could throw ourselves down, not had this much fun since the Mud Hero event! Something about mud is great! Then after fun in the mud, we continued further down river to where it almost met The Bay Of Fundy. Then we waited. And waited, oh and waited some more. Even the guides said nature was running a little late today! Blame it on the full moon recently.

Finally, time to get back in the boat, and all of a sudden this nice calm glass like surface of the river, turned into a mass of uber fun waves that just wanted to throw us out of the boat! It wasn’t like a cataclysmic wave coming round the bend of the river (kind of expected that the way the guides were talking), but first of a small wave just slowly covering the sand bank we’d been stood on moments before. As it built up the waves were getting bigger, the currents stronger and our guides eyes lit up, you knew pain was coming!

The 6 of us in our boat clung on for dear life as our guide headed the boat into these massive waves, face fulls of muddy sandy water coming at us! Every wave sent your legs flying, the only way you are staying in that boat, was by leaning into the boat and clinging onto the ropes for all it’s worth! Thankfully our guide did keep giving us little breaks to get some feeling back in them and a few moments to relax all the muscles in our bodies! We slowly worked our way back up the river hitting as many waves as we could and doubling back to hit them again! The best (most relaxing points) was when we were pointed back towards the bay and he rode the top of the wave for as long as he could, before he turned it back round for another attack at the waves!

I can’t imagine how much salty muddy water we’ve ingested on the trip, but, boy it was so much fun! Time for an afternoon nap though now!

Automation doesn’t equal an easy life

Holidays, meant to be relaxing, reviving, reset your stress levels. So why do airlines try my patience? I currently write this in Newark airport waiting for my United flight back to Canada.

I’ll start by saying that the only time you’ll see me majorly stressing out is when I am travelling. Once I’m at the airport my stress levels drop and and I’m back to my super calm take everything you can throw at me with a pinch of salt demeanour! For example, my flight doesn’t go till 8.05pm this evening and it’s currently only 5.33pm and I’m through security and chilling.

I have never seen anything like the United airlines check in and baggage drop like I’ve just been through. 24hours before my flight I get the email saying I can check in on line, only I then can’t because they need to view my documents closer! Fine, I need to check my bag in anyway! Everything is automated when I get here! It asks me to weigh my case – fine, but the scales aren’t zeroed so I stress out that this will affect it and it’ll try to charge me extra, till the guy helping out points out its just to see if your bag is over weight, so I can click the button that says my bag is under weight (trusting fools)! See I’m totally irrational while still in my stressed out state. Then you can only pay for a checked bag with credit card, so much for the cash I’d put aside to pay for it.

And I have to say that it’s not clear what lines you need to join and the staff not very helpful. Lines to check in (with only hand luggage), bag drop (already checked in) but nothing specifically saying check in and bag drop. Not hard to add that title to a queue.

Oh and to top it off the automatic tap in the ladies soaked my top, and no free wifi at Newark!

My overriding thought of travelling and life in general – automation doesn’t equal making life easy!

New York

Next on our US trip was NYC. I think we were all looking forward to seeing New York, I was a little apprehensive about our accommodation, it being the cheapest we could find.

As the bus is getting close to the dropping off point the excitement is building as we can see it getting busier and more built up, and the traffic is building up, oh and the noise! Car horns every few moments! This is what I was expecting.

Off the bus and we’re all starving, but we need to find Chinatown and our hostel/apartment, so we do what anybody else would do and grab a yellow taxi – totally gazumping the woman trying to get it a few yards further down the street! We were right to be a little hesitant about the hostel, it’s on a really run down street, but as I pointed out, Chinatown normally tends to be ok! And it was! Subway almost on our doorstep to whisk us off uptown when we needed it. And lots of good cheap Chinese places to eat at!

TimesSquareThe next day is raining, sightseeing is no fun at all in the rain, 3 miserable girlies trying to explore! We make it uptown to 5th avenue and Times Square, highlights of which were definitely M&M world and Hershey’s. But it’s fair to say, we didn’t have much fun, and our first impressions of New York aren’t good. We decided to put it down to the weather spoiling our moods and to go out with new resolve the next day!

And we did, the next day was sunny and warm! Today’s activity was mostly queuing – Staten Island ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty – if you’re wondering why we didn’t actually go to it, the tickets to get us up to the crown were all sold out, and Ellis Island was closed, so we saved our money and got the free ferry!




One happy girly - HUGE Resses cups!!

One happy girly – HUGE Resses cups!!

Next lot of queues were for the 9/11 memorial site, very quiet and peaceful park that they’ve created, surrounded by the new World Trade Centre buildings. Then onto the Empire State Building, again some pretty fantastic scenery from the top. And the bit that made the NYC trip was the 102 elevator operator, he was lovely and gave us a big group hug before we got off. If more New Yorkers had been like him I think NYC would have grown on us more, but none of us get the appeal of it.

The one bit of NYC I loved, was the Highline park, an old raised railway line that has been converted into a peaceful and tranquil garden, I forgot for a while that I was in a massive city, no car horns – just happy smiling people enjoying the sun and plants.

What I took back from New York – I’m certainly more a country bumpkin than a city girl.


US Summer holiday destination number 1 was Boston! I’ve never been to the states before so wasn’t sure what to expect apart from what I’ve seen on tv and read in books! From what I’d seen of Boston, I was really looking forward to going. It seemed like a larger version of Halifax, where I currently reside!

CheersThe plans were that I was meeting my best friend and her friend there, they were arriving from the UK on the Friday evening and I was getting there first thing Saturday morning. Well best laid plans went a little tits up when their 1st flight was delayed meaning they would miss their connecting flight! I ended up spending all day Saturday on my own in Boston, wandering the streets and getting the lay of the city! And I had a thoroughly enjoyable day, I just mingled with the rest of the tourists, sat in the park with my lunch in the gorgeous hot sunshine, and watched part of the Shakespeare performance in the commons before thinking that I’d had way too much sunshine and was turning into the typical UK tourist of looking like a lobster! First impressions of Boston – love it!

My friends eventually arrive (minus luggage) later in the evening, and not happy! Luckily their luggage was waiting for them next morning – holiday can start properly!

As the Boston landmarks are spread out all over the city, we buy a 2 day hop on and off bus ticket and the 1st driver is a right laugh! I know they are working for tips, but some deserve them and he was 1 of them. Poor sod even had to take us off route as half the streets in 1 bit of town were closed off for a festival! So we did all the sights on the tour, including the harbour duck tour, with 2 comedians for the crew! They had a very well rehearsed act down.

1 of my friends in Halifax had told me that I Had to have a cannoli from Maria’s bakery! We thought we’d go after climbing the Bunkers Hill Monument – 294 steps in a stone oven! I was melting by the time I reached the top, fantastic views of the city though, and yes I definitely had earned the cannoli – and damn tasty it was too.

GirlsOne of the things we really wanted to do when in the US was to see a baseball game, but our original plans meant we were never in a city at the same time as the baseball teams! With my friends being delayed we decided to extend Boston by a day, this meant we could see the Red Sox! Very excited about that! Getting tickets was easier than we thought and the view in Fenway was really good for cheap seats. We even got some trash talking going with the Seattle fans sat behind us! He was a sweetheart though and didn’t mind us asking him what the scoreboard meant, my knowledge of baseball is limited to the softball that I play! In the end the Sox thrashed Seattle, and the people at the game were really friendly (which to be honest, is more than I can say for the people I’d met in town, everyone seemed a bit grumpy).

Boston – you were a really lovely place where I felt quite at home in.

Mud Hero Run

I love setting myself a challenge, in the past I’ve done charity bike rides, swimathons (when I was a kid), and the last big one in 2008 was the Yorkshire 3 peaks challenge – a 26 mile walk climbing 3 very big hills/mountains in under 12 hours!

Having not done anything since 2011 I decided it was time to find another challenge. Along came the Mud Hero event – perfect! 6km course with 16 obstacles. The obstacles were things like cargo nets to climb, walls with either ropes to pull yourself up or the slightly easier option of hand holds; watery/mud pits with logs over the top to crawl/swim under; old wrecked cars to climb over; inflatable slides etc.

I told my trainer a few months ago what I was thinking of doing and if he could help target my exercises towards getting me through the obstacles. My aim was to complete them, running I wasn’t bothered about.

MeAfter (1)

Well today was the day, and boy was it warm out there. I’m still amazed at people though – we’ve had a fair bit of rain here in Nova Scotia over the last few weeks so you’d be thinking that the grassy fields at Ski Martock might be a touch soft under foot. People still screamed and squealed when they had to run through some mud just round the corner from the start line – c’mon people it’s a Mud event!! Jeez!

Since I’ve been working out in the gym my upper body strength has increased quite a lot (as well as my leg strength) and boy did I need it today. Pulling myself up and over the walls and out of tunnels almost seemed easy – well compared to how hard some people were making it look. Then the evil course designers decided that the ski slopes would make for a good course route – wow that was steep for a while, and yes while your thighs are burning we’ll throw in another wall to climb!


I may only have run for about 2 out of the 6 kms, I did clear all 16 obstacles – goal achieved! Next year – well we’ll see what next year or the next challenge holds!





I fancied something different this evening for dinner and Kedgeree(ish) is what I came up with.

Based on Kedgeree, it was just a quicker easier version.

Simply put it was rice, boiled eggs, smoked haddock, onions and courgette, tumeric and garam masala spice.

Once the rice and eggs had finished cooking, I just fried off the fish, onions and courgettes and once cooked add the rice to the frying pan and add the spices, mix all the lovelyness together and serve with the boiled eggs cut up on the top.

Just writing that, I could eat it all again!

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