Satay sauce with peanut butter

I tried this recipe but it wasn’t quite right, so here’s an amended version that’s just a bit more YUM :-)


  • 150g light peanut butter
  • 250ml water
  • 1 onion
  • 2 red chillis (or more if you like it hot)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of peanut oil (sesame oil or sunflower oil are OK as replacements)
  • A few drops of nam pla (Thai fish sauce). Veggies – you’ll need to omit this.


  1. Slice the onion as finely as you can. Heat up the oil in a medium sized pan and cook the onion over a low-medium heat until golden (about 5mins)
  2. Whilst it’s cooking finely chop the chilli (deseeding if you prefer) and peel/crush the garlic cloves. Add to the onion and cook for another minute or two until the garlic gives off a lovely aroma.
  3. Take off the heat. Stir in the peanut butter until really well combined, and add the sugar, lemon juice and balsamic.
  4. Turn up the heat a bit and return the pan. Slowly add water to the mix, stirring vigorously. Take care as the sauce will begin to bubble volcanically. Once bubbling, cook for another 3 minutes or so until it thickens.
  5. Season with the fish sauce. Leave to cool before serving.
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Brew#5 – a Christmas brew

After the failure of Brew#4 back in July, finally got the courage up to do a brew for our (lucky) visitors over Christmas.

It’s a standard stock bitter recipe from Jim’s Beer Kit with the addition 15g of Goldings hops for a nice floral hoppy aroma. For brew fans, here’s details of the recipe / process: Brew notes 4 Dec 2010. It comes in at a mellow 1.320 OG:

Hydrometer for Brew#4

Hydrometer for Brew#5

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Project Shark

Some photos from our recent trip to the Red Sea aboard Blue Horizon on the Project Shark itinerary.
Full set on Flickr

close up oceanicgiant clamchristmas tree wormpair of oceanics circlingbecs and a huge hard coralgrey reef shark

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More winter

An update to our Winter set on Flickr from Dry Sandford Pit.



The trouble with

Thistle #1

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Andalucia, September

Some photos from a trip to Frigiliana, Andalucia with forays to Sevilla and Granda; the full set is on Flickr.

Sevilla Catedral roof IDog, pot. FrigilianaIglesia de San Nicolas, AlbayzinAlhambra archesBlue and green

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Brew#4 – acetobacter problems :-(

After the pleasant Brew#3 I tried another run with almost the same recipe. Got the yeast and malt from @jwebster (at a bargain price!). Unfortunately something happened during fermentation and the beer got a weird metallic aftertaste that Martin thought was probably acetobacter infection from the fermenting bin. Shame as it was my first brew with the King Keg, and the clarity and head of the beer were perfect! This was also my first brew done in an evening after work – 6 hours from start to finish.

Brew#4 brew notes for reference.

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Brew#3 – pleasant and gone all too quickly

Can’t remember too much about this one other than it got drunk extremely quickly, hence brew#4 happening so soon after. My last brew using bottles.

Took some pics of the Heath Robinson set I have, using a cool box to store the hot liquor for sparging (English translation: hot water for rinsing the barley sugars from the malt), and an old boiler for mashing (mixing the barley with warm water to release sugar) and boiling.

Sparging (from side)
Sparging (from above)

Brew notes for Brew#3_2010-05-02.

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Earth Hour – Oxfordshire

Torchbox is running a campaign for WWF related to their Earth Hour (which happens this Saturday). Can you please help Oxfordshire get to the top of the league?

Sign up at:

At the moment we’re 10th behind counties such as Merthyr Tydfil, Perth & Kinross and East Lothian. Our aim is to be #1!

All you have to do is sign up via the map, and tell a couple of friends to sign up too 😉


(you’ll also see the Earth Hour light switch widget at the top of the screen)

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Winter photos

It’s been a cold winter here in the UK but there have been some beautiful days too; I’ve gathered various pics from last year together with this year.

View the full set on Flickr.

And here’s a few of our favourites:

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Mallorca – photos

We went to Mallorca in September, staying at Port de Pollenca but travelling all over the island in a hire car. Lots of walking and sightseeing! It’s an amazingly beautiful island away from the big resorts.

View the full set on Flickr.

And here’s a few of our favourites:

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