Coffee in Madrid (Motteau)

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If we were having coffee it would be at Motteau on the corner of Calle de San Pedro. We came by it by chance, it didn’t feature in any guide book and if it did it would spoil it. The place has three/four tables, and comfortably sits 10 folk at a time.

The coffee came just as we like it, a nice big mug and although I’m starting to get used to a espresso, I still don’t think you can beat an Americano with your cake.

All the cakes are made on the premises in the kitchen right next to the seating area. The chef’s are in full view separated by glass and a marvel to watch in there confined space that is kitted out for all manner of creation.

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Today we have a choice of things to eat. A white chocolate, pistachio and rose candy pastry, a slice of carrot cake, a walnut brownie and a meringue and caramel twirl.

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It’s a shame we only managed to find this place on our last day!  If this was going to be our vocation it would be the sort of place we’d liked to run…….to dream!

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Coffee and the Pentlands

Coffee and Brioche in the Easter spring sun. Mid way stop.

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If you can keep up with a 10 year old on his big brothers bike, coffee is served from a flask out in the open with Brioche from the Konditor in Bruntsfield no less.  

We made a slight detour to pick these bad boys up. An amazing sweet bread that never fails to cheer me up.

This cycle has been calling out to me for a while. A nice 11 mile circular, traffic free, with a bit of off-road, water and hills. A few miles outside of Edinburgh the Pentlands have the ability to make you feel like your in real outdoor territory from the moment you leave the car park.

This route marks the passage of time, and a measure of current fitness. I’ve done it a few times over the years. Once with a trailer on the back of the bike….the two munchkins side by side (4 and 2), an uphill struggle when the four year calls out that he’s tired sat there like a lord!

With just the two of us we got a good pace going. The 2 year old now 10, setting the speed just ahead of my fitness capability! This was good though and exactly why I was here. Today there is no arguing, no sibling rivalry, just a dad and his son cycling together. Happy days.
Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Coffee and a 97th birthday

Enjoyed today's blue sky, Lakeland fells from Morecambe bay

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Hello and what can I get you, we meet for coffee at the service station. We are out and about this weekend, one of those weekends where events collide. My grandads birthday and the UK’s Mothering Sunday with really no excuse to go see both.
Time to get the wheels out and stretch the vans legs. It does feel like the first journey of the year, a cob web in the window confirms my suspicion that it needs a sweep out before the first camping trip. Today though not so important, just me and my youngest. His face is beaming, he gets to sit up front without the usual tussle with his brother and he’s chosen the playlist on Spotify. Two hours of nonsense pop, what have I let myself in for?

The drive is one of those unique blue sky days, a transition from winter to spring. The green in the grass changing tone with daffodil bulbs aplenty along the embankments. We spotted the odd baby lamb barely able to stand.

170 miles later, we were early so I decided to take us to Morecambe, a nearby seaside town where I spent many a day trip as a child. All the store fronts had changed, some boarded up, the pier gone, the fair no longer there. A sad shell of a place from my memories. There’s been some investment though in the car parks and the sea front promenades.

I’d brought the skateboard and my son was happy enough with the miles of flat surface that laid before him, no burden of the memories of the long distant past.

What I hadn’t realised as a child was the view of the Lake District that you get from Morecambe. The snow on the tops adding that extra bit of definition to a landscape that is already known for it’s wonder.

Great Grandad as we call him, was in great fettle for a 97 year old….again a strange day for me. Memories of a man so strong and proud to someone who struggles to see and needs help to walk. This was the man who played cricket with me, chased me up the fells and raced me at eating scotch pancakes. Amazingly happy with life, a real lesson on how to be content with his lot. His goal to make it to 100!

Thank you to everyone who popped by last week and wished me well with my cold. I’m on the mend and looking forward to a week without a headache and a box of tissues by my side! Hope you have a great week and that the weather is bringing you happiness as well.

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share.

Conquer 

This is what I want to do with my head cold!

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It’s been a tough few days, coughing and spluttering and mostly being a grumpy bear. Despite opening the curtains to blizzards and grey skies and thinking I’ll go back to bed I feel I’ve conquered the lurgy that appeared out of know where.  It took control of my nose, my mind and my eyes.

Oh my eyes, no matter where I went it felt like I was walking in to a room that had lingering acrid smoke…..and I could even smell it.

Alas the lurgy equates to nothing more than a common cold, a short sharp spike of feeling ill and a reminder of why staying healthy is good.

The blizzard has passed and it’s time to face the world again.

Thanks to the Daily Prompt for this inspiration.

 

Coffee and Lurgy

Cycling round Arthur's seat today. The gorse is on its way!!

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Urgghh is how I feel at the moment, broken, my head in a fug. My nose starting to feel raw and most definitely glowing despite the tri ply platinum luxury deluxe balm laden tissues one can treat oneself to when you feel like this.

So come on in the coffee is brewed just don’t get too close, this one came out of nowhere and grabbed my throat in the night and the last thing I want to do is give it to you.

The week has flown by and I’d just thought I’d started to get somewhere health and fitness wise. I’d had a great weekend though, set me up for the week ahead. I’d managed a run round Arthur’s seat (first time this year) and then the next day a cycle round with the youngest.   A tough weather week came in though! The kind that tries to break your will and hold you back, to control ones will, to get out and exercise….I swear it was out to get me personally.……I changed my approach though. I said fine if that’s the way you want it I’ll take the bus in and run home.

Which I did, but don’t feel too impressed though it’s only a couple of miles.   It does get the heart going though and I feel much better for it………I think that’s when it got me!   And the idea of a run at this moment though….urghhh.   Which is how I normally feel it has to be said!

So today, I’m not expecting much of the day. A cup of coffee, two cups of lemsip a bit of food shopping. Nothing that takes up too much energy.   I’ve got a Chicken pot roast planned for two. Something that we can bang in the oven and take our time doing something more productive instead……like managing man flu.

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share

Coffee, Lasagne and the Bullet Journal

I skipped coffee last week, I’m sorry I was caught up in crazyness and wondering what it was all about.  One of those why am I doing this stuff kind of moments.  That and time, where does it all go?

This week I came across Ryder Carroll and his Bullet Journal Technique…..he has a TEDx talk on ‘How to lead an Intentional Life’

 

I love the quote: ‘You can’t make time, You can only take time’

I’m 3 days into using his framework and really trying to adopt some of the techniques to manage my time, to take the time to manage my brain.  Just google Bullet Journal and all will be revealed!

So today I’m taking time to share coffee…..good morning!  Thanks for popping by.  I’ve got a fuzzy head this morning, the coffee is strong to help break through the fug and give me a chance of making the most of a Sunday.   No Sympathy is requested, a self-inflicted one glass too many on the wine front and a nice little night cap of Whisky.

We had pals round for dinner, long standing friends that have followed my wife and I round all our various tables through the last 20 years or so.  Sometimes the same table different location.  Always good to see them and aside from the 5 minute blip with the kids getting too excited which resulted in me reading the riot act.  We had a great night.

We served up a Veggie Lasagne and a Cranachan Cheesecake (A Scottish twist on a baked cheesecake).  Home-made Lasagne is a real labour of love and I always under estimate how long it takes especially when I choose to make the pasta as well.   I can’t find a link to the cheesecake recipe….but the Lasagne recipe I based mine on can be found at chez Jamie Oliver’s.

Last nights #lasagne

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I learnt a few things making this recipe and definitely a keeper…..but it definitely needs to be doctored to make it your own and the way it’s laid out really frustratingly for finding one’s feet as you try and find where you are.

Just written in my journal…… write up my version, see if I can make it simpler!

Thanks for joining me for coffee, thanks to Nerd in the Brain who hosts the Weekend Coffee Share and for relieving my writers block this morning by reminding me of my organisation discovery this week.

Farfalline Minestrone

Farfalline Minestrone

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: Prep: 20-30 mins chopping Cooking: 30 mins or so
  • Difficulty: easy
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Hearty soup, based on minestrone

A few minutes spare in the Sorrento supermarket allowed me to take a moment to explore all the different shapes and sizes on offer. This particular shape took my fancy and it’s only now that I Farfalline translates to butterflies.

Prep: Large Stock Pot with Lid, As ever don’t get precious over the veg you use, just pick a few good wholesome root veggies and the liquid ratio is yours to choose depending on how thick you like your soup

Ingredients

  • 150g Puy lentils
  • 50g Pearl Barley
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
  • 2 Celery Stalks, diced
  • 1 tbsp Bouillon
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 Carrots, diced
  • 1 Parsnip, diced
  • 4 slices Smoked Bacon, diced
  • 4 Potatoes diced (500g)
  • 1 tin of Borlotti beans drained and rinsed
  • Glug of Olive Oil or Rapeseed

Directions

  1. Start with soaking the lentils and barley, give them a thorough wash in plenty of running cold water, then soak in the 500ml of water
  2. Glug of oil in the pan, heat through and then add the bacon
  3. Dice the onions, and add to the pan
  4. When the onions start to soften add the crushed garlic, the celery, and turn over, soften for a minute or so
  5. Add the root veg, and turn over on low heat for 8 minutes or so
  6. Add the bouillon (I do this dry) and the mixed herbs…..stir through.
  7. Pour over the Puy lentils, plus barley and the 500ml water
  8. Top up with water from the kettle (1.5 litre). Cover the veg by 4-5 cm.
  9. Simmer gently for 15 mins
  10. Add in the pasta and simmer as per the length of time on the packet.  About 6 mins for the Farfalline
  11. Judge the water level as you stir through to stop things sticking to the bottom
  12. I briefly pulsed a hand blender to thicken a little…..but it doesn’t really need it
  13. Feel free to season to taste with salt/ground pepper