Near where we live, there is a garden centre where you can cut down (or dig up) your own Christmas tree for £15. They grow them out in a big field at the back of the garden centre, and you go along with a saw or a shovel, pick out your tree and cut it down.
I love this. It makes picking out our tree something really exciting for my children me, and I love how, by doing it this way, we’re supporting a local business.
Is there a sentence filled with more potential in the English language than ‘cooking with beer’? Brits are well-known across the globe for their finely brewed beer and their sumptuous cuisine – roast dinner anyone? – so it’s no wonder the two have been brought together to create a huge range of delicious dishes to get those taste buds ticking. While experimenting in the kitchen is the best way to stumble upon an amazing new recipe, here are a few things to bear in mind when swapping a pint glass for a pan. Continue reading
Mondays are busy days in this house. We are home from the school run at 3:30 and Roo has ballet from 4 until 5. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking dinner, so usually I bung some potatoes in the oven to bake, and call it good.
And actually, baked potatoes are good. I think sometimes they get a bit of a bad rap, but I love the humble baked potato. Especially with cheese and coleslaw, or cheese, ground cumin and baked beans, or with tuna, mayo, onion and salad.
This time every year the subject of what to give Roo’s class teacher for a Christmas present pops up. We like to give something seasonal, something they are able to use and keep, and something that Roo can make (or at least help with) herself. Last year it was baubles, dressed up in colourful crocheted jackets, and this year we are giving beaded stars to hang on the tree.
These are perfect to make with kids; threading the beads on to the wire is a tricky job, but one Roo really likes. Every morning this week, she’s been threading her beads on the wire ready for me to twist into shape.
I haven’t done any food shopping this week, in an attempt to use up what has been lingering in my cupboards /freezer /fridge for a while. So we’ve had a few interesting meals. Some successful (fish fingers with ketchup, mayo and pickles in a pita – a lunch of champions) and some less so (baked potato with tuna, greek yoghurt and harissa, no butter. A bit odd. Not bad, just not delicious). You live and you learn, people.
We have had some beef mince knocking about in the freezer for a couple of weeks, harissa in the fridge, and a lot of spices in the cupboard, so yesterday I decided I’d make Moroccan meatballs with lemon and courgette couscous.
It was possibly one of the best things I’ve made all year. So I’m sharing it with you because if there is one of my recipes you need to make, then I think it should be this one. Continue reading
Every Guy Fawkes night we eat chilli con carne. There is just something about it’s homely smokiness that is reminiscent of autumn and fireworks for me. It’s exactly the kind of comfort food that is easy to eat and warms you up so you’re ready to stand outside in the cold and watch people celebrate a failed act of treason with fireworks and bonfires and burning effigies.
It’s also the kind of meal that feeds a lot of people with very little effort, and cooks long and slow so you’re not tethered to the stove. It can be made in a slow cooker, although I prefer its texture when cooked on a hob. Continue reading