Thursday, 19 December 2013

Why I'm going to be quiet for a while.....

Meet the latest addition to the family - Luna

Luna was born on December 18th, three weeks early and weighing a healthy 2.7kg. So I'm about to fly over to France, where my daughter and son in law live,  to poke my nose in and be a bossy mother in law help out while they settle in to life as a family. I don't yet know how long I'll be gone.

Luna is going to be living in France, born to one English parent and one Panamanian. So for now....

Au Revoir
And I'll see you all again in 2014.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Have you ever tried crafting with light bulbs?

I did years ago, when I was going through a glass painting craze, and painted all kinds of magical designs onto working bulbs, which then cast interesting light and shade patterns. But I'd not thought about it for years until I heard about a competition from Light Bulbs Direct, who are looking for people to make Christmas Decorations out of old and dud light bulbs.

You can read all about the competition on my other blog, The Competition Grape Vine.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Meal Planning Monday December 16th

This is a "possible" meal plan - as long as I'm around, it's what we're going to be having, but our younger daughter, who lives in France, has a baby due very soon. She's been cleaning the house with a vengeance this weekend, which means that Things may be about to Happen. I've promised to go over to help out for a while when the baby is born, so I could well be vanishing any day now.

Anyhoo, assuming for now that I'll be around, this is what we're going to be eating. Because we both have colds and our appetite for both food and cooking is very variable at the moment, I've kept things pretty flexible.

Monday Macaroni cheese with baked tomatoes and broccoli. The other day, I went out for lunch with somebody who had macaroni cheese and it looked so good I almost snatched the plate away from her. So this is to satisfy a craving.

Tuesday Baked potatoes filled with ham and eggs. Or ham omelette with baked potatoes, depending on what mood I'm in.

Wednesday Pasta with ham and pesto It'll probably be something more complicated than it sounds, but it doesn't have to be.

Thursday  either baked Camembert with home made mini rolls for dunking, or corned beef scone.

Friday Rack of lamb with gratin dauphinoise

Saturday and Sunday The very last ever Farmer's Market in Fleet, so we'll be stocking up and making our meals from what we treat ourselves to.

I'm playing along with Meal Planning Monday  at At Home With Mrs M

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Veg in the Hole

This is based on a suggestion that came with our veg box the other week. It's very versatile as any roast-able vegetable can be used in it, and depending on the quantity you make, it could be a meat-free main dish or a side dish with meat. We had it with steaks and a mushroom sauce.

Cut a selection of veg into wedges, toss in oil and roast in a hot oven (gas 7, 220 C, 425 F) for around 30 minutes. I used carrots, onions, beetroot, swede and parsnips.

Pour in your Yorkshire Pudding batter - I used a 1 egg/ 75g flour/ 140 ml milk batter, but everyone has their favourite.

Return to the oven for 30-40 minutes until well risen and golden

Monday, 9 December 2013

My cupboards - laid bare!

It's a rather unusual challenge at Random Recipes this month - instead of cooking something, Dom has asked us to reveal the contents of our kitchen cupboards. No doubt next month he will come up with a challenge that none of us has the ingredients for......

So here's a whistlestop tour of my kitchen.

First off, the corner cupboard. The shelves in the left hand arm are very shallow, just deep enough for one jar, so ground spices live here. To the right are nuts, dried fruits, pulses, grains such as bulghur and cous cous, polenta and Mark's chipotle collection.

Next the "tea and coffee" cupboard. The hot drinks live above the mugs, with "stuff for on toast" next to them. (I can see two bottles of barbecue sauce in there. I must move them before, one bleary eyed morning, they end up on toast). Whole spices live on the left of the top shelf, and seeds and  things like baking powder  and vanilla essence on the right. The bottom right hand shelf holds pickles, chutneys and olives.

Next to the cooker is the cupboard full of "things to reach for while cooking" - oils, vinegars, salts, soy sauces and chilli sauces. Crackers and biscuits live above them, while the baskets on the top shelf hold the guilty-secret cooking sauces I stock up on at the Chinese cash & carry.

The "baking and gravy" cupboard is on the other side of the cooker. For some reason it also holds a tub of French fried onion flakes.

Finally the "tins, rices and pasta" drawer, which is currently dangerously overloaded because I believed all the dire warnings of 100 days of snow we were threatened with a couple of weeks ago.

Well, that's what's in my kitchen - what's in YOURS?

Wednesday, 4 December 2013