Peach and Prosecco Ice Cream {Vegan}

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A recipe that leaves you with 3/4 of a bottle of prosecco that you need to drink? You’re welcome! You can thank me later… if you remember. You can even take aside some of the peach puree before mixing the other ingredients in to whip up some bellinis while you wait for the ice cream to freeze.

The prosecco is not just a pretty face in this recipe. Yes, its flavour pairs perfectly with peach and rosewater, but the little bit of alcohol also prevents the ice cream from freezing into a rock hard block like some homemade ice creams can do. You’ll still need to remember to keep stirring it as it freezes, unless you have an ice cream maker.

I love all the fruit in season at the moment! I got a job-lot of peaches from the market, biked home with them in my backpack, and realised they were possibly a bit worse for wear. Perfect for blending, in fact. So, I popped them in my newest toy – my super-duper speedy blender – and the rest is heatwave history.

The Froothie blender Optimum 9400 absolutely marvelous. It’s even more powerful than a Vitamix, and you don’t need to buy separate jugs for wet & dry mixing – which means it works out way cheaper than that famous blender overall. I’m still trying to get my head around its capabilities, and can’t wait to explore more possibilities with it (ummm, tahini, anyone?! My life will be complete if I can pull that one off). Take a look at what the Optimum Blender can do, and feel free to suggest recipes for me to experiment on for you guys. I love making recipes, and I LOVE playing with my kitchen gadgets – win-win.

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Commonwealth Legacy Art Run with Architecture and Design Scotland

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A bit of a clue to where our latest Art Run was…

This summer we  held the first “Leg-a-See” Art Run with Architecture and Design Scotland. We were proud to be part of  Glasgow’s GREEN2014 programme exploring the environmental legacy of the Commonwealth Games. We had so much fun researching the history and regeneration of Glasgow, and were bursting to share it with the 30 dedicated runners who braved the drizzle to join us on their Saturday morning.

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We met at A+DS’s headquarters at The Lighthouse in Glasgow City Centre. Leading a warm-up in an exhibition space is always incredibly surreal – are we runners or… performance artists? Members of the public weren’t sure.

Rainjackets on, we headed out into the busy streets. 7K flew by, with 10 stops, showing Glasgow off to its absolute finest, from sparkling new infrastructure improvements, through to Games venues and weirdly the world’s most gorgeous carpet factory,

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My favourite part of the trip was a stop at the Baltic Street Adventure Playground, which is a revolutionary area where kids can be kids, exploring “risky play” and using their imaginations unfettered. Robert, to the right of the picture above, is the play-worker at the site and held us all captivated with his passion for the project. He got some gasps when he told us what the children were ‘allowed’ to do – from creating dens with timber, hammers and nails to cooking cheese toasties over fires they’ve made themselves – and some teary eyes when he told about the confidence that he’s seen building in the kids, and their worries for future funding for the site.

So much thought has gone in to ensuring that the Games are not just a blaze of activity for two weeks, to be forgotten about later. The Athletes’ Village is heated by a combined heat and power plant using a network of underground pipes, which will reduce heating bills by 60% when the area is repurposed into flexible homes for the people of Dalmarnock. Greener traffic connections to the East End have been created, from frequent bus routes, to wide, segregated cycle lanes, to wide pavements that you can get 30 chattering runners down comfortably!

It’s a really exciting time to be in Glasgow, and we so enjoyed being a part of the Commonwealth Games Legacy with Architecture and Design Scotland. We hope that we get a chance to come back and see how the city evolves as the years go on.

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If you like the sounds of our Art Runs, read more here, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to keep up to date with new plans. 

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Leeds Xpress Triathlon – Review

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With Rose George and Bibi before the tri rumpus began

I’ve always avoided triathlon because it all seemed so complicated and technical. Oh, and really rather difficult. Then I saw the fabulous Brownlee brothers whizzing round the Commonwealth Games and thought, ‘That actually looks quite easy!’ When the first thing that I did at Leeds Xpress Triathlon was put my indelible tattoo on upside down, I realised I had quite a lot to learn…

One of my other complaints about triathlons (even though I’d never done one) was that it all seemed so expensive. As you know, we’re always banging on about budget; if we were billionaires (which we emphatically are not), we’d probably still go on about not wasting money.

Luckily, I had an excellent blog post by Bibi to refer to: How To Survive Your First Triathlon – Transitions, Wibbly Legs and Soggy Bottoms. With the help of her handy tips, I went through the list of essentials. Swimming stuff: check. Running gear: my drawers runneth over. Cycling kit was a bit more of a problem, mainly because, erm, I don’t have a bike. Major drawback.

What I do have is friends (yay!) and one of them, Jess, loaned me her vintage racer so I was all set to go. Yippee, woot, woot, how hard can this triathlon thing be, I thought? Let’s just say my inexperience showed.

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How to Survive Your First Triathlon – Transitions, Wibbly Legs and Soggy Bottoms

 It’s official – not only have I caught the triathlon bug, but I’ve press-ganged my little mama and our friend Rose into the madness, too. We’re going to be taking part in the Leeds X-Press Triathlon together in less than two weeks.

It’s quite weird being the expert at something out of the three of us. Mum was running before I even contemplated it, and completing marathons while I was still smug about my first 10K. Mum has a PhD, and Rose’s TED talks have over two million views. They have been asking me tons of questions, and I will confess I’ve been fobbing them off a bit – “I’ll write you a blog post, just read the blog!” Maybe I like holding something over them…?

Finally, I’ve relented, and here is a list of their questions and comments so far – I hope it’s of some help, and to the rest of you guys. I’m only just started triathlon, so any other more seasoned pro tips would be much appreciated!

Do I need a fancy bike?
Not for your first season. At the races I’ve marshalled, I’ve seen hybrids, old clunkers and mountain bikes.

Do I have to ride right on the other riders back wheel like in the Tour de France? I don’t think I’d like that.
Good, because it’s completely verboten to ride close to the other riders like they do in some professional races. It’s called drafting, and you can be disqualified for it. I don’t think I can explain it better than the British Triathlon Federation themselves did (click for full size):

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More questions and Answers After the Cut…

Comment with your tips for newbie triathletes below – share the knowledge!

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