Sunday, 31 October 2010

Back to School on Monday

Well that's it, the end of a two week break from school. I can honestly say I have made the most of everyday. The clocks went back yesterday and it will be dark in the mornings when I go to work and dark when I come home again. I quite like this term, comfort cooking and getting ready for Christmas. I will need to look for some inspiring recipes to make with the children. I have been inspired over the past few weeks with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his 'Everyday Meals'. To day I made the slow roast lamb and the house was filled with the smell of rosemary.
I served the lamb with creamy mashed potatoes and buttered cabbage.
It was great recipe.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

This Moment - Waiting for Halloween

This Moment was inspired by Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Mosaic Monday

I know I am on holiday and should have all the time in the world to make up a mosaic of photographs, but I have just finished making a slideshow to show off my Autumn photographs. Will this do for Mosaic Monday?

Slideshow: Autumn 2010 - Slideshow

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Scooby Do Party

This was a party with a difference. As you know I share grandchildren with my sister. Archie is 5 years old, Poppy is 2 years and Faryl is 1 year old. Archie is kinda frightened of Halloween so my sister said she would have a Scooby Do party instead and hold it week earlier than Halloween, just because she is away travelling.
So the Scooby Do theme took off. My sister had Scooby Do images all over the house and the table was decked with Scooby Do decorations and chocolates. She had colouring books for the children and I provided some bits and pieces to make masks. My sister cooked a hugh cheese and potato pie, sausages and she served it with a variety of chutney. My cakes were a welcome sight on the table along with a gingerbread/parkin recipe. The children danced and watched a video of Scooby Do and so was born a Scooby Do party. We may have another one next year.
I actually like Halloween, so will be decking up my own house with spooky things and am already making candies for neighbours children who will call at the house over Halloween.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Scooby Do Party

I have been invited to a Scooby Do Party tomorrow. I have no idea what to expect, but I though I would go prepared and take a few goodies.

So I made some citrus candy with the left over oranges after making some juice.

Then I made another Whacky cake as an earlier blog and lastly the best ever Caramel and apple loaf. I left out the walnuts.

Will let you know how the party goes over the weekend.

This Moment

This Moment was inspired by Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

I Found Her

As promised I hit the charity shops yesterday and there she was in the window looking a bit lost. I share grandchildren with my sister and Poppy wants a doll that she can dress up. So I went in search for something suitable and there she was. How could I resist her, and such lovely hair and eyes. The eye lashes actually flutter. I paid just £2.00 for her - a real snip I thought. So today I have been busy making some little outfits. Take a look and see what you think. I have called her Dolly Dewdrop, but I am sure that Poppy will re-name her as soon as she sees her.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

All before Noon

Yesterday was such a wash out with the weather, but I had still had my walk. I had found by pure accident a little lane running from Little Eaton to Brackley Gate.
Yesterday I walked in the rain, but today I went back with my camera. I set off early to capture the morning sun. The batteries were low and I only manged a few photographs, but I will go back to see what else I can see. The woods were so beautiful in the morning light, capturing th Autumn leaves.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Chicken, Chicken and more Chicken

On Sunday I roasted a chicken using the 'Barefoot Contessa' recipe.
There was enough chicken left to make another meal.
Chicken and Rice

1 small onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 yellow pepper - chopped
1 green pepper - chopped
handful of mushrooms - sliced
1 teaspoon tumeric powder
cup of basmati rice
handful frozen peas
2 tomatoes - chopped
cold sliced chicken

1. Heat a glug of olive oil in a saucepan.
2. Add the onion, peppers and mushrooms and saute for a few mins until onions start
to soften.
3. Add the tumeric powder and stir well
4. Add the basmati rice and stir until well coated in the tumeric powder
5. Add enough water to cover the rice. Bring to the boil for 5 mins
6. Switch off the heat, cover the pan with foil and a tight fitting lid.
7. Leave the rice to cook - NO HEAT - for 15 mins
8. Remove the foil and all the water will have been absorbed leaving the fluffy
9. Add the frozen peas, chopped tomatoes and sliced cooked chicken
10 Stir well and serve with crusty bread

Still some chicken left.

Chicken with Mushroom Sauce and Pasta

1 small onion - peeled and finely chopped
1 small pepper - any colour - chopped
handful of sliced mushrooms
1 tabsp. flour
300ml milk
handful of peas sliced cold chicken

Method1. Put a glug of olive oil and a knob of butter into a saucepan
2. Saute the onions, peppers and mushrooms until onions start to soften
3. Add the flour and cook for 1 min
4. Add the milk and continue to stir over the heat until thickend sauce is made
5. Add the chicken and frozen peas.
6. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil with a glug of oil and a pinch of
7. Add pasta and cook for 12 - 15 mins until soft.
8. Drain the pasta and place into a large serving bowl
9. Pour over the sauce and serve with crusty bread

All the chicken has now gone except for a few slices for the Lucy the cat.

I wonder what I will eat tomorrow? - NOT CHICKEN

I also made a 'Whacky Chocolate Cake' this afternoon

Whacky Cake

• 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon vinegar
• 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup cold water
In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Pour the cold water over the mixture and stir until moistened. Pour into 8 x 8-inch pan. Bake at 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it springs back when touched lightly.
Decorate with glace icing.

I am having a really good October Break so far.

Monday, 18 October 2010

October Break

A two weeek break from school - great. The weather has that Autumn feel about it and yesterday it was blue skies and sun - even though there was a nip in the air. I am at the start of a two week break and eager to make the most of every day. Yesterday I finished organising the garden for winter, swept up some leaves - I am sure there will be many more of them over the next few weeks - and had a walk (photographs above). I also picked all the tomatoes left in the greenhouse and made some tomato sauce ready to use with pasta and pizza. I gathered all the apples from our one lone apple tree, stored some of them and then peeled and chopped all the others to use in pies and crumbles over the winter months. I mixed some of the apples with cinnamon and some with mixed spice. the kitchen smelt just like Christmas - Oh! no not the word Christmas, let's just enjoy this two week break first.

Tomato Sauce
5lb freshly picked tomatoes - cut in half
1 large onion - finely chopped
1 whole garlic bulb - peeled and chopped
black pepper
mixed herbs

1. Place all chopped ingredients into a large pan.
2. Add a glug or two of olice oil.
3. Simmer on a low heat until all tomatoes are soft
4. Add some black pepper and mixed herbs for taste
5. Continue to simmer until sauce becomes thick.
6. Whizz in the blender until smooth
7. Bag and freeze for later use

Saturday, 16 October 2010

This Moment - Hey there Neddy

This Moment was inspired by Soulemama

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Sunday Walk

There never seemed to be enough hours in the day last week for all that I wanted to do, but to day the sun shone, blue skies and that Autumn look so I decided that whatever had to be done could wait - it wasn't life or death stuff anyway, so another day would make no diffference. I pottered in the garden, dug up all my potatoes up and put them into bags, pulled the last of the carrots and beets. Generally got the garden ready for the winter and then off for a walk. I was hoping to see more Autumn trees, but whilst some have the most beautiful reds and oranges, not all are ready yet for taking photographs. I stopped to talk to a horse and then stood for ages looking up into the tree tops. I also came across a tree that had so many red berries on it, it was a shame not to take a photograph of it.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Green Tomato Chutney

Most of my green tomatoes turned red after awhile, but I was still left with a whole load, so Green Tomato Chutney it was.

Green Tomato Chutney

•500g green tomatoes
•500g red onion
•250g sultanas
•250g brown sugar
•2 tbsp Salt
•1 tsp cayenne pepper
•1 tsp ground green cardamom
•500ml Malt vinegar

Chop everything up, no need for a perfection, and put it in a good heavy based pan .

Bring it to the boil and then turn down the heat , simmer for about an hour until reduced to a thick pulp.

Spoon into sterilised jars and enjoy either after standing for a while to let flavours develop.