Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Pretty in Pink

When my lovely Mum in Law was down to visit the other week, we went for Lunch at Endcliffe Park Cafe and I had the Borscht. So when I asked Fluffrick what he would like for lunch this week, he suggested Borscht.

So here is his very pink lunch. I got some lovely beetroot at Whirlow Hall Farm, with which to make the Borscht. The beetroot I bought had beautiful tops, which I chopped up to put in these savoury muffins.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

25 September 2011 - 3 Months until Christmas

Any trip into a Supermarket these days will be a trip into a Christmas Grotto. Tins of Quality Streets, Mince Pies and Panettone already festoon the aisles. Is it just me or is all this just a little bit crazy?

Okay, I am coming at this from a slightly different angle than the norm. This will be the third year in our household where we haven't done Christmas - No tree, no decorations, no cards, no gifts, no stress. I will be cooking a special lunch, but as it will probably be for only 3 or maybe 4 of us, it won't be very stressful either.

This all makes perfect sense to me, I'm an Atheist, so why should I be celebrating Christmas?

It is a course of action I strongly recommend. Imagine not having to battle through stupidly busy shops to buy presents for people because you feel you have to, not because you particularly want to. And possibly most pertinent these days, there is no crippling debt in the new year.

I would much rather give a present to someone "just because".

Saturday, 24 September 2011

What to eat this week

The menu planning seems to be going okay so far, what I planned I actually ended up making last week. So here we go again...

A trip to Green Steps Fish & Chips - should this be on the list as technically I'm not cooking?

Roast Chicken, Stuffing & Veg followed by Key Lime Pie

Mushroom Omelette for Mum, Fluffrick & I are off out

Arroz con Pollo - Chicken with Rice

Tuna & Pasta Bake

Tartiflette 3 ways - Mum likes the classic with Onion and Bacon, Fluffrick likes his without the Onion, mine is without the Bacon but with Mushrooms instead.

De-constructed Toad in the Hole - My sausages in Toad in the Hole always seem to go rubbery, so I'm going to try cooking the batter and sausages separately, wish me luck.


So we had the Spouffle for tea last night and I've been given to go ahead to cook it again. I went with the courgette version and I think it turned out just like the picture (it's not very oftern that happens). This is a recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's new book River Cottage Veg Everyday. I bought this with the birthday money my sister sent me, which I thought was appropriate as she is also a Hugh fan.

That's yet another book to add to my Hugh collection, we may have to reinforce the cook book shelf. Once challenge I should set myself is cooking more than just one or two recipes for all my cook books. It is so easy just to keep going back to the same familiar recipes, rather than trying something different. It may be that neither me, Mum or Fluffrick like the new dish, but it could just as easily turn into a new favourite.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Inspiration, the Pattern, the Result

I don't know how but I somehow got on the mailing list for Boden. Lovely clothes, but laughable prices. Anyway I was flicking through and saw the above dress and I was in love, but I was not in love with the £69 price tag.

But of course I can make myself one, so the quest began for a pattern, because of course I didn't already have one I could use (this is a big fat lie). And as Simplicity happened to have a half price sale on...

This is the pattern I chose. I really like the pleat detail at the neckline, and as it had a panelled front I knew I would easily be able to add pockets (I always need pockets).

It has taken me far too long to realise that I need to alter commercial patterns. My back length is 5cm longer than the pattern standard, so if I don't want everything very high waisted, then I need to add in some length. I also took it in a little bit at the waist, because it didn't have enough shape when I tried it on. Another thing I need to remember, is when I add length to the back, I need to take it off the hem, because it is easier to do to the pattern, then the dress. The other addition I made was some little puff sleeves, that I borrowed from another pattern.

So this is the finished result. It is made from fabric from my stash, I think it is a linen cotton mix, but it also has a bit if stretch to it. This stretch meant that I didn't need the zip, which is one advantage of being fairly straight up and down. I really like how it came out and this is definitely a style I will be making again. The original was made of corduroy and I have some bottle green cord in my stash, so that might be my next attempt, now that I've sorted out the pattern niggles.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


This is what we had for Tea this evening.

It was as per Monday's menu except for the addition of prawns. Mum did wonder if something alien had landed on her plate, but it was only the potsticker dumplings. I do like these little dumplings, however on this occasion they lived up to their name and did stick to the pot.

I am going to have to improve my photography because this meal was actually far more appetising than it looks. Maybe I can practice on something cold, because I don't think anybody here would be happy to have me to faff around taking pictures, when all they want to eat their tea.

Minnie Mo is obviously feeling back to her usual self because she serenaded us with her best squeaks through this evening's meal. It is amazing just how insistent a little Terrier's squeak can be.

Monday, 19 September 2011

What to eat this week

My Mum is always asking me "What are we having for Tea?" to which I usually reply "Food." Maybe now I can just point her in the direction of this blog.

MONDAY: Mushroom Dopiaza, Aloo Gobi, Rice maybe some Naan Bread
TUESDAY: Turkey Burgers, Sweetcorn Fritters, Mash Potato
WEDNESDAY: Cashew Fried Rice, Potsticker Dumplings
THURSDAY: Turkey Meatballs and Spaghetti
FRIDAY: Spinach (or Courgette) Penne Cheese Spouffle

We get a weekly Veg box delivery, which this week contained, Cauliflower, Cavelo Nero, Tomatoes, Large Red Pepper, Courgettes, Leek, Green Beans

Mum may not be delighted that there are more Veggie meals than meat meals, but that seems to be the direction that Fluffrick and I are taking.

Of course the plan may well go out the window, we'll just have to see.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

The last of the Brambles?

The Bramble crop has been early this year, so this may be the last decent picking.

A Bramble & Apple Gallet, that has collapsed a bit unfortunately.

I made some Bramble Jam with the first picking, which should last us for a fair few weeks yet. There have also been a few other pies and some mini Bakewells made with fresh berries rather than Jam, which I think have been my favourite.

On the home grown front, my three tomato plant have been truly pitiful. If we've had 15tomatoes in total I'd been surprised. My four chilli pepper plants have been doing great though. Now I just need to do something with the twenty or so ripe chillies I currently have. I'm thinking a Chilli Jam, but as I've never made one before we will just have to see how it goes.

Long time no type

So I don't quite know how it got to be over a year since I last posted, I have been doing stuff, honest.

I've been making more costumes for the "Heeley Hoofers". We have another show coming up in November, so it's a 1970's costume bonanza.

I've been over-protective of our little dog Minnie. The over-protectiveness really kicked in when we were told she had kidney problems. Thankfully she is doing much better, she will now eat her Renal dog food without too much protest; even though it does give her the most awful bad breath.
Recently I've been doing quite a bit of reading. All seven "Harry Potter" books in the space of three weeks. Having the luxury of time to do that has been lovely.

I will try to post more often, if I can find something interesting to post about.

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