Sunday, 18 November 2012

Favourite Nut Roast Recipe

This recipe is a delicious alternative to meat and always makes me feel as though I could be a successful vegetarian.  Unfortunately I really enjoy meat too, so only eat free range sustainable meat, anyway, hopefully you'll love this nut roast too!

    1 tbsp olive oil
    1 small onion, chopped
    100g mixed white nuts, such as pine nuts, almonds, hazelnut, walnuts and brazil, ground in a processor
    2 garlic cloves, crushed
    Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
    50g fresh white or brown breadcrumbs
    400g freshJerusalem Artichokes, peeled and roughly chopped
    1 tbsp chopped fresh sage, plus 4 extra leaves
    1 egg white

Work out your timings first and take into account all your other roast veg.
How to make nut roast:

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/ fan180°C/gas 6. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion for 5-6 minutes, stirring, until softened but not browned. Add the nuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice, breadcrumbs and artichokes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the sage and egg white. Stir to mix well.

2. Tip the mixture into the centre of a large sheet of baking paper and shape into a fat sausage, packing tightly. Scatter over 4 sage leaves, then wrap it tightly in the paper and put into a roasting tin.

3. Roast for 20 minutes, then unwrap the paper on the nut roast, so it can brown in the oven. If it has stuck, don't worry about unwrapping it, it will not serve as neatly but will still be delicious. Roast for a further 15-ish minutes.

Serve with loads of yummy roast veg and enjoy with friends and family :-)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Roly Poly Bird Costume for Roald Dahl Day

It is Roald Dahl day at school! :-)

The letter came home two weeks ago informing us that it would be Roald Dahl character fancy dress. Immediately an exciting world of possibilities opened up for awesome costumes... Matilda, The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox, it was just a case of finding the one that my daughter would want to be.

We sat down and did some research.  I read and loved all the books when I was a child but that was a long time ago now and my children are too young to have discovered the wonderful world of Roald Dahl just yet.

Suddenly it came to me;  my daughter has often said she wants to be a bird; what was that super bird called? The big blue one with amazing tail feathers, in "The Twits"?
I remember, I have it somewhere..... AH HA!! The Roly Poly Bird! What a good idea!

I showed her the picture and its a winner, she totally wants to be the Roly Poly Bird.  Great!  So now we just need to make the costume.  We started to hunt through some old stuff and found...
An old dry cleaning suit bag,
Some broken fairy wings,
Some holey rainbow socks,
Some Craft feathers,
And some forgotten hair clips.

All these things were about to undergo some makeover recycling.   Here's how I did it:
First I reshaped the bent wings and placed them onto the dry cleaning bag.

I drew around the wings and added my own idea of bird wing shapes.  I cut two of these out and also two basic oval shapes for the back of the wings. Next I pinned these shapes together with the old fairy wings sandwiched between.

 I then hand sewed them together. The next part is where the old holey knee lengh rainbow socks came into use... I cut them up into long strips. I also cut some more long strips from the suit bag.

I stitched these pieces to the wings to become long tasselled Roly Poly Bird feathers.

Next is the most important bit... The "marvellous" coloured Roly Poly tail feathers.  I used some more rainbow strips from my socks with more tassells cut from the suit bag.  I arranged and stitched these all together and then sewed them onto a soft stripey belt.

 The Roly Poly bird has head feathers.  To do this, I used the craft feathers and sewed them to the forgotten hair clips.

 Lastly the stripey legs and  wrist cuffs are made from another pair of holey socks!  I cut the feet off to make stripey tights.  And to make the wrist cuffs I cut the toes and ankles off of the feet.

So there you have it, waste not, want not, I have turned a bunch of old stuff into an exciting costume for my little one for Roald Dahl day, she is stoked, here is the result :-)

 I did her some Roly Poly Bird face paint as a finishing touch and she has gone off to school excited to see all her friends and their exciting costumes too.   :)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Perfect Roast Pork Shoulder

I have to post the following recipe to share the wealth of this knowledge and also so that I don't forget the secret to perfect crackling!
The timings here are for a 1kg piece of meat.

-Remove the meat from the fridge in plenty of time to allow it to get to room temperature.

-Preheat oven to 230°C

-Using kitchen towel, pat the rind dry

-Rub with oil and sprinkle with salt

-Put it into the oven

-After 25 minutes turn it down to 160°C for a further 3 hours

*Get your roast potatoes in the oven 1 1/2 hours before the end! I like to sprinkle a bit of salt, vinegar, garlic n fresh herbs such as Marjaram

Serve with loads of yummy fresh veg, good gravy and homemade apple sauce :-)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Herman - The German friendship cake follow up

I followed all the instructions with the following modifications:

Day 5: Herman grew and overflowed out of his container..... make sure you have your herman in a much larger container, he grows a lot after you feed him!

Day 10, 11 and 12.... Because Herman overflowed, I gave him an extra two days to grow, I still fed him on day 9 but didn't cook him until day 12.

It was a tasty cake, my family enjoyed it and we all survived! So, go ahead, follow the instructions and continue Hermans journey around the world! :)

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Herman - The German friendship cake

I've been given a very random thing... Its a bit like a chain letter but you eat it! Basically my sister came home from Devon to Cornwall with this cake that had travelled to many other places; apparently starting its journey in Germany.

Its a batter colour and consistency and smells a little yeasty. Here are the instructions that came with it:

Day 1: Recieve Herman, stir and cover with a tea towel.
Day 2: Stir well
Day 3: Stir well
Day 4: Herman is hungry :) Add 1 cup each of self raising flour, sugar and milk then stir well.
Day 5: Stir well
Day 6: Stir well
Day 7: Stir well
Day 8: Stir well
Day 9: Herman is hungry :) Add 1 cup each of self raising flour, sugar and milk then stir well. Now divide into 4 equal amounts, keep 1 to cook tomorrow, 1 for yourself if you want to start again, and give the remainder to your friends with a copy of the instructions.
Day 10: Herman is very hungry, stir well and add the following:
1 cup sugar
2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
2 chopped cooking apples
2/3 cup cooking oil
1 cup raisens
2 tsps vanilla essence
2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts

Stir well and pour into a greased baking tin. Sprinkle with brown sugar if required. Herman wants to go on a hot vacation.
Bake at 170-180°C (gas mark 4) for about 45 mins (check after 35 mins).
Herman is ready to eat!

I will blog with a follow up, I'm currently on day 4 with my Herman.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

New Baby News and Hypnobirthing Rocks!

Well, I know its been 6.5 weeks since my last post, but I guess thats what happens when you have two kids! It was the night of the labour inducing curry incident that everything started to happen. It was about 10.30 in the evening and I didn't believe it was actually happening at first as the sensations were so mild it could have been Braxton Hicks or practice labour. So I went to bed and relaxed listening to my CD. It was about two hours later that I was pretty certain it was the real thing, so I told my partner I was in labour (I hadn't wanted to get him excited before just incase it wasn't!) and I continued to breathe and visualise through each contraction. At 4am we dicided it was time to call the midwife, so he did that while I had a shower and continued breathing and relaxing through each contraction. I made my way to the living room where we planned to have the baby and I used the birth ball to lean on and breathe until the midwife arrived at 5am. She examined me and said I was already 5cm dilated! I was really pleased and continued to relax and focus on my breathing. At sometime between 6 and 6:30am I started to feel a sensation of pressure on my back passage. It was at this point my partners mother came to pick up my other daughter, who was rousing from her sleep. Then at 7:05 my second daughter arrived. It was an immensely powerful experience which thanks to hypnobirthing techniques was not painful. I had had a tens machine on standby which I hadn't had the chance to use and I had no pain relief whatsoever, not even gas and air which the midwife hadn't even needed to unpack from the car! I had remained in an upright position all the way through labour and birth which to me at the time felt like the most natural way to do it. I was on the biggest natural high when my daughter was placed on my chest, a healthy 4.06kg (8lbs 15oz). And to this day I still feel so powerful from the experience. So to anyone reading this, whether it is yourself who is expecting or your partner, a friend or relative or you in the future plan to have children I would whole heartedly recommend looking into hypnobirthing as a way to deliver the baby. I had had a really painful long drawn out labour with my first (and much smaller) daughter that the thought of going through it all again filled me with fear. It really couldn't have been any different. It really was the perfect labour.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Labour inducing curry!

I'm 6 days overdue now! I can't believe it! Seeing as how my little girl was a whole week early I really didn't expect to still be pregnant almost a week late this time round! The CD has been helping to keep me chilled out though.
So, today I'm on a mision to try natural methods of bringing on the birth as I really don't fancy hanging on til I get induced! So far I'm doing well, I woke up this morning and took my raspberry leaf tablet (I was going to drink the tea but my midwife suggested the tablets so that I know exactly how much I'm getting). Then I did my normal morning yoga etc before getting ready for a nice long hilly walk! I even sacrificed doing the roast dinner we had planned to have in order to make a hellishly hot curry! It was pretty tasty so I'll put the recipe in here:

Vegetable Madras

2 tbsp Coriander Leaf
1 tbsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp Cracked Black Pepper
1 tsp Chilli Powder
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed and chopped
1 tsp Ground Ginger
3 tsp Chilli Flakes (depending how brave you feel)
2 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 Onions, peeled and chopped
4 medium Potatoes, peeled and chopped
300g Jerusalem Artichoke, peeled and chopped
300g Greens, washed and sliced
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 cup Beef Stock

1. Combine the Coriander Leaf, Ground Cumin, Tumeric, Cracked Black Pepper, Chilli Powder, Garlic Cloves, Ground Ginger, Chilli Flakes and Lemon Juice and mix to for a paste.

2. Heat the Oil in a Wok and cook the paste for 1 min before adding the Onion.

3. When the Onion is nicely coated in the paste add the Beef Stock and Tomato Puree. Then add the Potatoes and Jerusalem Artichokes and simmer covered up for 15 mins.

4. Add the Greens and simmer covered up for a further 30 mins or until the veg is nice and tender. Check the sauce every now and then and add more water as necessary.

5. Serve with Rice and Naan

This recipe is also delicious as a Beef Curry, just swap the Potatoes, Jerusalem Artichokes and Greens for up to a kilo of cubed Chuck Steak and cook it before adding the paste. I have a nice recipe for Garlic and Coriander Naan for making in the bread machine but I will post soon in the future! I sat and ate my lunch on a birth ball and now I'm going to go into the garden with my little girl as the suns come out. Then I guess later I'll be eating a large bowl of Pineapple and having another Raspberry Leaf tablet!