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Pizza Party -Uuni 3

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Pizza Party -Uuni 3

I just bought an Uumi 3 Pizza oven from John Lewis (other retailers are available 😉), and it’s the best thing ever!!

It’s small enough to take camping, and cooks the most amazing pizzas. Proper ones like you get in a decent pizza restaurant. 

At £199 it’s not cheap, but if you regularly eat pizza, it would pay for itself pretty quickly. I reckon each of my pizzas cost no more than £1. 

(Yes that is a pink wheelbarrow and pink football in the background – that’s what you get when you have a house with no men in it!). 


There is a Uuni owners forum on Facebook that has some proper pizza geeks on it, and it’s worth a look as there are a lot of helpful tips on there. 

I made the dough in my KitchenAid with Wessex Mill pizza/pasta 00 flour using the recipe on the back of the Uuni instruction booklet. I let the mixer knead it for 10 minutes. 


Then I cold proved it in the fridge for about 48 hours. This is it before proving. 


I then let it warm up outside the fridge for a couple of hours, rolled it into 5 small balls (about 160g per ball), and let it prove again. 


You can see the dough in this picture  below to get a sense of how much it rose again. 


For the tomato base, I used passata 


And chopped in loads of fresh herbs from the garden (oregano, marjoram, Greek basil, parsley, thyme and sage), plus salt and pepper. 


I cooked it gently to reduce it down to a nice sauce. 

I also made some garlic butter using 1/2 a pack of butter, 3 cloves of crushed garlic and chopped parsley from the garden (both curly and flat leaf). I mixed it all together and created a sausage using cling film. I will keep it in the freezer and chop bits off as I need it. After all, you can’t have pizza without garlic bread. 




I chopped up some veggies, sliced some mozzarella and goats cheese and bought some prosciutto for toppings. I also had some fresh Greek basil from the greenhouse. 

First up I did a pizza base to test the oven, check out that flame..


and then when it had cooked I brushed on some of the lovely garlic butter. It took just 60 seconds to cook (yes, you read that right, just one minute) and it was amazing garlic bread. It was so delicious it got eaten before I took a picture. I managed to get a picture of the last slice!

The next one was asparagus (which I steamed beforehand), prosciutto, red pepper and mozzarella. 

This is it uncooked. It’s sat on the Uuni pizza peel, which you use to slide it into the oven. It cooks on a pizza stone in the oven, which gets incredibly hot, hence the fast cooking time, and gorgeous crispy base. 

Lots of people seem to have problems with the pizza sticking to the pizza peel, so I tried semolina underneath. But to be honest I had no problems with sticking, so I reverted to a bit of flour under the pizza as it didn’t slide off and burn in the oven (unlike the semolina). 


And here it is cooked.  We added the basil after cooking. 

It genuinely only takes a minute or so to cook. You turn it round half way through to make sure it’s evenly done. 

There were a few more that didn’t get photographed, and this is the last one we made. We added an egg. A great tip I got off the  Facebook forum was to break it slightly off centre (towards you) as it moves as you slide it into the oven. And look – it came out perfectly in the centre, cooked white and runny yolk. Delicious!



I really can’t recommend this oven highly enough, I foresee lots of pizza parties this summer. 

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Tea Pot – grow your own tea

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Tea Pot – grow your own tea

I’ve blogged quite a bit about the various pots in my garden, but thought I’d do a post all of its own for my special ‘Tea Pot’. 

I’m a complete tea addict, and drink gallons of green tea every day. 

Inspired by a visit a while ago to Sarah Raven’s fabulous garden at Perch Hill, where I tried some of her herbal tisanes, I thought I would give it a go myself. They taste good, and don’t have any caffeine.  

She has written a good article for the Telegraph here, and there is a nice video on her website here

I decided to grow the ones she ranks as the best. I’d be interested to hear other recommendations. So I’ve gone for Perlagonium Attar of Roses, (which really does smell like Turkish Delight), Black peppermint, Moroccan mint, Orange mint and Lemon Verbena. The Perlagonium and Verbena are from Sarah Raven and the mints from the very lovely people at Pepper Pot Herbs. Who have the most incredible selection of herbs. Way more than anyone else I’ve seen. I’m also going to add in lemon basil and lime basil, but I’m growing them from seed, which I got from Nicky’s Nursery

I bought a nice big pot from Priory Farm Nursery, which I filled with compost and some polystyrene (to make it a bit lighter!

Here it is just planted up in early May 2017. 

This is the pot on the 3rd June. I moved the perlagonium to the front as the mints had got so tall!


So far I’ve tried the perlagonium, which smells and tastes amazing, and the lemon verbena, which is also really delicious. You need to leave them to brew for about 5 minutes, and they were both lovely mild, fresh favours. I used 4 leaves in a small teapot. Add more leaves if you want it stronger.  Pictures below. Perlagonium at the top, lemon verbena the bottom two. 



Next to try the mints…

Wheelbarrow Fairy Garden

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Wheelbarrow Fairy Garden

My daughter and I share an obsession with fairy gardens. Actually she is obsessed with caries, and I’m obsessed with gardens. 

We did some serious Pinterest gazing for ideas before embarking on our first garden, which was in a shallow pot.  

I then saw some wheelbarrow fairy gardens, and realise I had one knocking around that had a wheel that I couldn’t fix.  So here is the new and improved fairy garden. 

The fairy is a solar light and lights up at night. 


The plants are mostly succulents with a few pansies for colour. There is also Corsican mint, which will spread and give ground cover. 

We’re not done yet.  We’re going to make a fairy house out of a bird box, and Holly wants to make a swing. We also need more stones to make more of a path. 

Updates soon…

Pot luck – round three

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Pot luck – round three

I was pretty happy with my pots last year (see post ‘Pot Luck – round 2).  But I’m trying to cut down the work the garden requires, so this year I’m trying more perennials in pots. 

I couldn’t resist some of my favourite annual plug plants, but I’m gradually introducing perennials. 

I potted up a lot at the beginning of May, so they are the first photos,  and I am gradually adding in second photos to show what they look like when they are in full bloom. 


Lollipop verbena (perennial) under planted with verbena Aztec magic silver (annual). 


Wine crate planted with summer jasmine and honeysuckle (to climb the fence) with lavender and aubretia (all perennials). 


Cherry tree and fairy rose, both under planted with aubretia (perennial) lobelia (annual). I’m hoping the aubretia will tumble down the sides of the pots over time. But for now I’ve added lobelia that will do it in one season!


Osteopermum (3d violet ice), verbena Aztec magic (silver), surfinia (rose vein). All annuals. First photo early May, second is end of June. I think they look amazing together. 


Petunia (phantom), bidens (golden eye), calibrachoa (can can coral reef) (all annuals). First photo early May, second end of  June. Looks particularly good because the petunia in the pot next to it is a very similar colour. 

Euphorbia x martini (perennial) , underplanted with helichrysum (golden) (annual). 


Petunia (tumbelina Susanna), verbena Aztec magic (white), verbena Aztec (coral). All annuals. 


Petunia (cascadia Indian summer), Calibrachoa (can can double dark yellow), verbena Aztec (coral). All annuals. 


Scabiosa (blue jean). Perennial. Except it’s not. It’s achillea summer berries!

Coreopsis (golden joy). Perennial. 



Osteopermum (serenity blue eyed beauty), Diascia (little dancer), verbena Aztec magic (plum). All annuals. 

Perennial wallflower (planted last year), under planted with 3 annuals –  Scaevola (blue print), verbena Aztec (violet wink), calibrachoa (cabaret deep blue). 

Tanacetum coccineum (Robinsons red). Perennial. 

Sweet pea Cupid pink (annual). 


Salvia superba (snow hills). Perennial. 

Gaillardia snappy. Perennial. 

Gazania daybreak tiger stripe mixed. I think this is a perennial but people grow it as an annual. 

Potentilla nepalensis (Mcbeath). Perennial. 
That’s not actually all of them. But they are all new for this year. 

Look out for an update in June/July!

Tulip Love

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Tulip Love

I thought it was about time to make my flower cutting patch work a little harder. So last autumn I planted masses of tulip bulbs and some wallflowers in the raised bed. I leave my dahlias in place all year, so just planted around them. 

I got bulbs (specific varieties I liked the look of) and wallflowers (plug plants) from Sarah Raven and more bulbs (some mixed collections) from Thompson & Morgan

I have to say, I’ve been totally thrilled with the outcome. I’ve had at least 10 gorgeous bunches of tulips. In completely different colours to ones that you can buy in the shops. I never realised I loved tulips so much. And I’ve had loads of comments when I posted pictures on Facebook. 

The tulips have flowered at different times, so it’s been pretty constantly in flower for about a month, in fact I’ve given some away as I’ve had so many in bloom at times. Definitely pay attention to flowering times when choosing bulbs so you don’t get too many at once. 


This is the cutting bed fairly early in spring. I had a net over them over winter so the cats/foxes/squirrels didn’t interfere. Once  they started to bloom I removed it. 

And here are some of the bunches of tulips. I love them so much!


Favourites include Mistress Grey, Bruine Wimpel, and Brown Sugar. 

The wallflowers haven’t been so good. I think I wouldn’t grownthem for cutting again, but they do look great interplanted with tulips for admiring in a pot. 

Interested to see what happens next year. Im going to leave them in situ and plant my annuals in the gaps whilst the leaves for back. 

Low Syn Rice Pudding – two ways

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Low Syn Rice Pudding – two ways


I completely love rice pudding. And as rice is free on the slimming world plan then I thought I would experiment with trying to get the lowest syn, tastiest rice pudding possible. This is basically my low fat rice pudding recipe tweaked to make it slimming world friendly, and with the syns calculated. 

I have two options- so take your pick. Or try both and see which you like best. Both serve 4 and take around two hours to make (well 5 minutes making and 2 hours in the oven!). And I’ve frozen rice pudding made with milk before, so I imagine the both would freeze well. 

Both assume you are using the milk as your healthy extra A, (HEXA), but I’ve also given the syns in case you are not. 

Option 1 – with almond milk  – 9 syns for the whole thing, (2.25 syns per serving). Or 14 for the whole dish syns (3.5 per person) if not using milk as HEXA

120g pudding rice

4 level tbsp Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup (8 syns) I prefer this to sweetener as it’s natural and doesn’t have an aftertaste. I don’t like it too sweet, so you may need to add more. You can always add more at the end. 

1 litre unsweetened almond milk. I used Alpro as it was on offer for £1 in my local Coop! (This whole litre can be your Healthy Extra A, or you can syn it – 5 syns for the whole litre)

1tsp vanilla bean paste (1syn) or use vanilla extract and save yourself a syn (as that’s free), but I like the paste as it makes things taste amazing and you get the little vanilla bean flecks in your food. 

Chuck it all in a pot, give it a stir and cook at 150degrees for about 2 hours. Give it a stir half way through. For a runny rice pudding reduce the cooking time. 

This is yummy, but you can definitely taste the almond. So if that’s not for you, try this…

Option 2 – with skimmed milk – 9 syns for the whole thing, (2.25 syns per serving). Or 29 for the whole dish syns (7.25 per person) if not using milk as HEXA. So definitely one you would want to use your HEXA for. It doesn’t use the whole of your milk allowance (250ml if you have 1/4 of the pudding) so still 100 ml spare for other things. 

120g pudding rice

4 level tbsp Sweet Freedom Fruit Syrup (8 syns) 

1 litre skimmed milk

1tsp vanilla bean paste (1 syn)

Chuck it all in a pot, give it a stir and cook at 150degrees for about 2 hours. Give it a stir half way through. If you like it runny cook for less time. 
And if you want to switch it up – here are some other options:

Semi skimmed milk – same quantity. Would use up all of your HEXA allowance for the day if you had 1/4 of the pudding

Seeetner instead of sweet freedom – would reduce the syns to 3 syns for the dish or less than 1 per person) as its only 1/2 syn per tablespoon

Sugar instead of sweet freedom – would increase the syns to 13 for the whole dish (3.25 per person) as its 3 syns per tbsp. 

Vanilla extract instead of paste – saves you one syn on the whole dish

Choc shot to make a chocolate rice pudding – replace the sweet freedom with choc shot – would be the same syn value. 

Make it sweeter – each tablespoon of Sweet Freedom is 2 syns. 

Max – King of The Wild Things

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Max – King of The Wild Things

Just a quick blog to share my daughters Max costume. 

Her school celebrates World Book Day ever year, where the kids dress up as characters from books. This year she decided she wanted to be one of the monsters from Where the Wild Things Are, which is a brilliant book written in 1963 by Maurice Sendak. 


With only one week to prepare, I thought that might be too difficult. 


So I persuaded her to be Max, who is the little boy who becomes the King Of The Wild Things. 


For inspiration we checked out Pinterest (my favourite), and spent ages cooing over cute babies dressed as Max.

When he meets the wild ones he is dressed in his wolf suit, so that is what we tried to recreate. 

We didn’t have much at home that we could use, so I did have to buy a few things. 

I wanted a fluffy white onesie, but couldn’t find one for her age (7), so I got a plain one online from plaintshirts.co.uk which I ordered at the weekend and it arrived on Thursday. It’s actually really nice quality, and she will definitely wear it again. 

The crown was made from gold card and the feet from thin foam (both WHSmith). 

I cut the feet shapes and then attached thin elastic which went under her feet to keep them in place. Felt would work just as well as foam. 

The tail is part of a set (wolf ears and tail) that I got online from Amazon. It came with elastic which went round the waist, but I cut that off and just safety pinned it to the back of the onesie. 

A bit of fur fabric would work just as well, or For those with a bit more time, I’ve seen some awesome tutorials for making tails from acrylic wool and a pet brush!

And finally a bit of black face paint for the wolf nose and whiskers. 

And here she is…




If I had more time I would have sewed felt buttons onto the front of the onesie and put some fur fabric around the bottom of the crown, but I’m pretty happy with the result. It looks homemade, but I like that.