Contents

Bodnant Garden

Watch the video log for our day and see the beautiful gardens in action!

So yesterday we visited a place called Bodnant Garden. It is a stunning piece of 80 acre land situated in Northern Wales UK. It contains so many species of plants from all over the globe, some collected more than a century ago on expeditions.

There are so many different gardens being nurtured here. From terraces, to buzzing meadows, woodland to rivers and bubbling brooks.

This beautiful estate was developed by 5 generations of 1 family and then it was gifted to the national trust. It is a very popular site with over 270,000 people visiting in 2019 alone!

History

The gardens founder was an inventor called Henry Pochin, he was a chemist who made his fortune by inventing a process for clarifying rosin used in soap. Pochin bought the Bodnant estate in 1874 and employed Edward Milner, apprentice to Joseph Paxton, to redesign the land around the existing Georgian mansion house, then just lawns and pastures. It was around this time that the famous Laburnum arch was planted.

The Laburnum Arch

The Poem

The Poem is located in the area of the shrubbery borders. It is the family’s mausoleum. It was built by Henry Pochin as a memorial to his children, 4 of whom died in infancy.

The Plants

18th and early 19th century explorers brought plants from all over the globe and in that mix contained specimens of Rhododendron forrestii and Magnolia.

I highly recommend visiting as it has stunning grounds! It makes for a lovely day out, suitable for all the family. You can even bring your pooch.

Here are links to find out more:

Nature and Us

On this blog, I like to combine lots of subjects. But for the month of July, I will only be talking about one. That will be the Earth.

Our Earth is damaged. For hundreds of years, more so recently, humans have battered nature to the point that many animals and species of plants have become extinct. We are ruining the Earth.

To try and bring more awareness, for the entire month of July, I will be talking about why I love our planet, and ways that different people are helping.

What I would like from you?

I want you to join in. You can tweet on Twitter or post on Instagram, using the hashtag #natureandus. I want you to talk about why you love this planet and/or how you are helping lessen the damage mankind is doing.

It can be anything. A poem, video, a story about a day out you had in nature as a kid or an adult. It can be about your favorite animals or your favourite plants. It is in your control!

It can be anonymous or credited! You will get an entire post dedicated to you! And if you want me to, your social media links can be added.

To help me find your suggestion, send it directly to me. To find my social media’s, go to my about page.

You can, of course, comment on this post or even go to the Nature and Us page. Email me at talithatullochsstravels@gmail.com, or go to the contact me page.

I look forward to hearing from you!

๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’›

Berry Smoothie Madness

I hate breakfast. For years I have said to my friends over and over: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I cannot believe you missed it!”. What a hypocrite I was!

I would always skip breakfast because I wanted that extra 15 minutes in bed, and no matter how justified I felt those 15 minutes were, my body was taking a hit. I would end up like a zombie, walking around yawning while my body was craving those nutrients to kick-start my day.

That was…until I found smoothies.

I’m no health expert. I’m really not. However, after drinking these smoothies over the course of April & May, I have really felt a difference in myself. I feel healthier because I know I am getting those vitamins in a morning. Just taking those 5-10 minutes before I go to bed to help my future self has really benefitted my mental health too.

I have also replaced caffeine. So instead of reaching for my morning coffee, which can cause gut issues, drinking smoothies makes me feel better! You do have to be careful how many sugary smoothies you have though. So do not be adding honey into the mix, but rather banana’s are the way to go!

I would like to quote the NHS on what they say, it is quite enlightening:

A 150ml glass of unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie can count as a maximum of 1 portion of your recommended 5 daily portions of fruit and vegetables. In other words, limit the amount of fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie you have to no more than a combined total of 150ml a day (1 small glass).

NHS, Water, Drinks and your Health

So basically, just be balanced! I like to swap around what type of smoothies I drink, (such as the green smoothies I wrote about a little while ago) so they’re not constantly Berry smoothies which are my favourite. Here is what I like to put in my…

Very Berry Smoothie!

For this, you will need:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 handful of Blueberries
  • 4 small strawberries or 2 big strawberries
  • Handful of raspberries
  • 1 healthy glug of Oat milk or other plant based milk.
  • 1 teaspoon of your chosen protein powder.
  • (Optional: I use a splash of beetroot juice if I have it in as it is a good source of potassium and it helps to lower blood pressure.)

Method:

Chop all of the fruit such as strawberries and the bananas. Put all of the ingredients in the blender and completely blend until smooth. If needs be, you can pour some more liquid into the mixture.

(Featured image by: https://images.app.goo.gl/hHmFEhampRpy8LSs7)

Chocolate Cookies

These cookies are very moreish and you can never just stop at one. Sadly they are not vegan but they are vegetarian friendly. This recipe can make quite a few cookies depending on how big your cookie cutter is. I used the rim of a glass for mine as I couldn’t find my cutters and it did the job!

They do not take very long to make and are simple enough that they are quick and can fill your chocolate craving! I hope you enjoy making them. Let me know how your baking goes!

Ingredients:

  • 220g Plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 120g salted butter
  • 1tsp vanilla, I used Madagascan vanilla for mine.
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 40g cocoa powder

Method:

Add the baking powder to the flour and the salt. Whisk it together and put this aside for a moment. Cream the butter and sugar together with either a machine whisk or a hand held whisk for 30 seconds. Pour in your vanilla and the egg, whisk.

Gently put your cocoa powder in without trying to get it everywhere and mix it all together.

Add half of the dry mix you made earlier and fold it into the wet mix. Once it has fully mixed, add in the other half.

Fold your mix into a ball, cover in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for no more than 15 mins. After that, lightly flour your surface, flatten and cut with whatever cookie cutter you desire! Be creative, don’t be boring like me and go for round *winky face*

Place on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes at 175C.

Greenie goodness

What are the benefits of a green smoothie once you get past the colour?

Dr Joanna McMillan is a PhD qualified nutrition scientist, accredited practicing dietitian and former fitness instructor. She said that some of the commercial ones “are glorified fruit juices, served in enormous portions with only a little spinach to make them green.” However, if you make them at home instead and “make them with at least 70 per cent veggies, a little fruit and whatever other ingredients you want to add…then you have a fabulous nutrient rich drink”. (Source: Isย your go-to green smoothie doing you any good? A nutritionist explains.)

Advertisements

Full of fiber, which lowers cholesterol and glucose levels, keeps you feeling fuller for longer and regulates your body’s cleansing processes. It is also it’s a tasty way to get a strong dose of fruits and veggies, which provide vital nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and potassium.

So:

  • 1 stalk of celery for your base vegetable
  • A big handful of spinach for your iron.
  • Add jucy pear in there.
  • A squeeze of lemon juice for sweetness and alkaline.
  • Then ginger for your superfoods!
  • 2 glugs of plant based milk, I chose Oat.
  • 1 banana.

Blend it all together in a blender and there ya have it! Goodness on the go!

Cover picture: https://images.app.goo.gl/g12DDCsr9cqZqUp88

Advertisements

Italy 2018, Part 3

This is the 3rd part of the 3 part series. It has been really nice to look back on previous adventures and it has really made me appreciate the relative freedom we enjoyed before Coronavirus times. I cannot wait to return!

Links to part 1 and part 2 here:

Part 1: https://talithastravels.com/2021/03/26/italy-2018/

Part 2: https://talithastravels.com/2021/04/15/italy-2018-part-2/

Day 8

Monday 18th

Travels to Capri and the chair lift!

Early in the morning, we boarded the big ferry to Capri with Laura the tour guide.

Capri is seriously beautiful. When we visited, it was a bright sunny day and we could see for miles. There were next to no clouds to be found and the colour blue stretched for miles both below and above us. It is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the peninsula of Sorrento. There are many attractions on the Island, including the ruins of the Imperial Roman Villa and the Marina Piccola – the little harbour.

It took 20 mins for the ferry to glide into the harbour. Laura took us to the chair lift, (In the video above) . Here is their official website which took me ages to find lol: http://www.capriseggiovia.it/.

It was a great opportunity to see the island from a birds eye view when we got to the top! As we were on our way up though, we could see the farms below us that belonged to the people of the land. They were out there farming and digging while we were floating above them. I honestly do not know how they manage it, I would feel so self conscious knowing that tourists, who are naturally noisy when in another country so would be looking, were peering down at me (literally not figuratively.)

When we got to the bottom again, (another 13 minute chair lift), Laura took us to a little restaurant that served pastries cake and coffee. The restaurant is called: Ristorante Buca Di Bacco

Then we were taken to a beautiful garden called: Giardini di Augusto. Truly beautiful if you get to visit!

These fantastic gardens were established by a German industrialist Friedrich Alfred Krupp in the twentieth century to build his mansion. At first the gardens were called “Krupp Gardens” but in 1918 the gardens were renamed to “Gardens of Augustus“. From these terraces that overlook the sea, you can get a 180-degree panoramic of the island of Capri because one can see Mount Solaro, the bay of Marina Piccola, and the Faraglion.

Okaaay so I know I said it would be a 3 part series buuut there is much more to talk about and I do not want to overwhelm one post. So look out for the bonus part 4!

Palak Paneer

So I understand that the picture makes it look rather gross. However, this dish is so nice and tasty. The paneer when browned is just so sweet and squidgy. Soooo good!

Ingredients:

  • 220g Paneer
  • 2 Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 600g spinach
  • 4 garlic
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 ginger
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 200g peas
  • 1 tsp mild chilli powder

Recipe:

Cut the paneer into chunks and place in a bag. Add the salt, chilli and turmeric then shake to coat. In a frying pan with some oil, fry the paneer until browned. Add more of the oil if you need to.

Once paneer is cooked, remove to the side and add the onions, garlic, chilli, ginger, cumin, coriander and then fry.

Add spinach then blend until it’s a smooth sautรฉ. Add paneer back in, then peas and garam masala. Cook on a low heat for a further 10 mins and then serve with rice. Serve!

Japanese Day

Soba Noodle Salad

So not that long ago, me and my friends, (following the rules set by the government), we had a Japanese themed day. We had Japanese snacks, drinks and sometimes music too. But we also enjoyed making different popular foods from their culture and the regions in Japan.

Among the many of the yummy delights we made was a Soba Noodle Salad. It was really easy and quick to make. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and can be served hot or cold, we decided to serve our delicious salad cold. Excellent thing about soba noodles is that they are Vegan & Vegetarian friendly therefore are a nice alternative to Ramen noodles. They are also a good source of magnesium and fibre.

So, I will stop ranting on and give you the recipe for the:

Soba Noodle Salad

Ingredients:

  • 250g Soba noodle
  • 150g Edamame beans
  • 1/4 Cucumber, julienned. ( I had to google what ‘julienned’ meant. Here is a useful video: Cooking Tips: How To Julienne Cucumbers )
  • 1/4 Red Cabbage shredded finely
  • 1 Grated Carrot
  • 3 Spring Onions sliced on an angle

For the dressing:

  • 1tbsp Neutral oil like sunflower or olive oil.
  • 3tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red peppers
  • 3 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce

Recipe:

You start with making the dressing. Combine the vegetable oil, sesame oil, and the crushed peppers into a small saucepan. Then, over a medium heat, whisk and infuse this mix together.

Add the honey and soy sauce. Whisk together until the honey is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Now prepare the vegetables!

If you have already prepared the vegetables before you started cooking, well done on being organised haha! If not do not worry, you have time to do it now while the sauce is cooling down.

Once you have prepared the veg, you need to boil the soba noodles in a big pan for 4 – 5 minutes, then rinse them under cold water to remove starch and it stops them overcooking

Once the noodles are cooled and no longer dripping, add the vegetables you prepared earlier and then mix in the beautiful sauce. I would recommend serving immediately so that your vegetables do not go soggy as a result from the sauce.

And that’s it! Very easy to make and so refreshing too. Perfect for a nice summers lunch with the family, or even just for yourself. I know personally I could have eaten the entire lot!

The finished reward for your hard work!

Let me know if you tried making it yourself!