Apricots, Reblogs and Eurovision

So I woke up today thinking that I should probably write another blog post. I’ve been down the editing wormhole these past few days, as the final MS of Hills And Valleys has come back to me, so my posts and comments have been a bit all over the place.

Then I saw that the lovely Suzie at SuzieSpeaks had reblogged one of my posts, and that it had then been picked up and reblogged a further two times, which made me really happy – thanks, everyone! The post in question was a bit of a laugh, really, about writing a completely made-up author bio. However, Kristin over at The Pursuit of Another Adventure tried my bio generator using details of her actual life and the format still worked, so maybe I’m onto something.

Earlier this week, the gorgeous girl and I made some chocolate covered dried apricots. We make these fairly often, to be honest – they’re pretty easy to make and yet taste wonderfully decadent. Each batch we make is usually gone within twenty-four hours. I had thought I might write a blog post about making them – I’m not a chef or anything, and this isn’t really a ‘food’ blog, but I thought it might be fun. So we assembled our ingredients and started to take some photos. But they were kind of boring.

IMG_1933

Then this happened, in an attempt to liven up the shots. (That’s BB-8, in case you were wondering – apparently he quite likes chocolate)

IMG_1937IMG_1939

 

 

 

 

 

And then we decided it would be more fun to just make them and eat them, so we did. However, here’s the recipe, just in case you’re interested:

Chocolate covered dried apricots

You will need:

A small saucepan

A metal bowl (I’ve not tried ceramic, which may also work, but I think metal conducts the heat more efficiently)

A plate or tray lined with baking paper

Some water

A bar of good quality chocolate (I use Lindt or Green & Black, whichever is on special)

Some dried apricots

Method:

Fill the saucepan to about 2cm depth with water. Put it on to boil. While you’re waiting for that to happen, break the chocolate bar into small pieces and lay them in a single layer in the metal bowl. (Try not to eat too much of it). Once the water has come to the boil, remove the saucepan from the heat and place the metal bowl on top. It should be a tight fit, so no steam can escape. Then set a timer for five minutes. Make yourself a cuppa, read emails, play with Star Wars figurines, do whatever for five minutes.

When the timer goes off, remove the metal bowl from the saucepan (carefully, as it might be quite hot). Your chocolate will be all melted and runny. Yum! Then, using a spoon, drop your dried apricots into the chocolate and coat them on both sides, then remove and place them on the baking tray. Once you’ve used up all the chocolate, put the tray of coated apricots in the fridge for about half an hour to set. Then enjoy!

I think we might make another batch of these today, as we’re all set to watch the Eurovision final tonight and snacks are an essential part of the viewing experience. Steve from Steve Says is at the final in Sweden (lucky!) and Hugh over at Hugh’s News and Views has written a post listing his predictions for the winners tonight. I’m sure Twitter will be lots of fun as well, so am looking forward to a very entertaining night.

However you choose to spend your weekend, I hope it’s a wonderful one!

When The Forest Calls

IMG_1086

I’ve had one of those days today where I’ve done a little bit of lots of things, but not much of anything. There’s been laundry, as usual, plus some cooking – I made sweet chilli sauce that’s more chilli than sweet, some guacamole and some smoked almonds, so have been snacking most of the morning. I’ve looked at a few blog posts, catching up with bloggy friends I didn’t have time to visit during the week. I’ve done a bit of writing, updated my Camp NaNo total, and watched an episode and a half of Outlander – I read the books ages ago (they are listed on my Books I Love page), but am late to the party watching the series, and now of course I am hooked once more. I’ve also spent some time in the back garden, where my husband is excavating a large raised vegetable patch we inherited when we bought the house. It has no veggies in it anymore, and is where we’d like to put our new shed/garden room, so it has to go. So far he’s discovered steps leading nowhere (though I did wonder whether Gozer the Gozerian might be coming to visit our garden), lots of bricks and paving stones, and a whole lot of earth. No hidden drains or bodies, thank goodness, or treasure left there long ago (which would have been handy, actually).

But mostly I’ve been wandering around, feeling as though there’s something I really need to do, but I can’t quite remember what it is.

Though I think I might have a clue. Ambeth is calling me. I know I’ve been writing this vampire book for Camp NaNo, and so far it’s been going quite well, the story starting to take shape nicely. But my mind is filled with forests, new threads appearing. I saw some friends yesterday, and several of them asked me when the next book would be out. End of the month, hopefully, I said. Then one of them asked how many books there would be in total. Six, I replied. Which is what I have planned at the moment. But I have a feeling that Ambeth is one of those places which will call me back every so often, other stories coming through the Gates. I don’t know if it’s because it’s the first world I’ve created, or whether it’s just that there are more stories there than can be dealt with in this one series arc.

Whatever the case may be, I’m always happy to go back there.

How about you? Have stories you’ve written called you back for more?

————————————————————————————————————