Thursday, 23 April 2015

Wild Garlic Recipes

Regular readers may find some of these wild garlic recipes familiar. I've been filming some past blog post recipes recently and turning them into videos.

Which recipe from the blog would you most like to see in video format?

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

April Meal Plan

We have a lovely holiday booked this week so it's not quite a full month of meals. We are going to Rome, do you know of any great places to eat that we should try? I like to find the places that aren't mentioned in the guide books.

In the grocery haul video is all the food we bought to start off the month and then there will be weekly top up shops of fresh vegetables and milk in between to keep us going. The freezer also still well stocked with some Hambassador pork.

What are you cooking this month?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Allotment in March 2015

This month has been quite a long one with SIX gardening videos. My food based Youtube channel is starting to look like a gardening channel. I really don't mind at all, at this time of year when the harvest from the previous year is running low, it's going to be all about the allotment because that's where all the food for this year is starting out.

The month started with the frustrations from last month spilling over into video. Then the temperature warmed up a bit and I made a big effort not to compare myself to others. I'm usually not one to do this but I think because I lack confidence on the plot and had spent a lot of time looking for outside help, I was very aware of what other gardeners were doing which had inevitably led to a nasty case of comparing.

Once I got into the head space of appreciating where we are, I found I was much happier on the plot. This is our first year, we have no clue what we are doing and nearly everything has to be researched and we also happen to have interests outside the allotment, jobs and a social life. In short comparing ourselves to a neighbouring retiree with decades of experience who puts in 40 hours a week on their plot is going to make anyone doubt themselves.

 Motivation has continued to run high since we attended the Edible Garden show and met lots of bubbly YouTubers gardeners earlier in the month.

Plus, we finally got the greenhouse up, this was a job I had really hoped to finish by the end of January. Finally getting it done was a big milestone and at the very end of the month we were able to sow our first seeds in it.

What's been your biggest achievement on the plot this month?

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Cuisinart ICE30BCU Ice Cream Maker Review

An ice cream maker is the stuff of my childhood dreams. I always wanted to open an ice cream parlour, I even had (still have and cherish) the Paradisa Ice Cream cafe Lego set and spent endless hours deciding what flavour Lego ice cream cones my little cafe was serving. 

My Ice Cream Bar
The dream is real! I now have my very own ice cream machine to conjure up all manner of fabulously flavoured ice cream and I love it. 

When I had friends visiting recently I indulged even further into that childhood fantasy by setting up a little ice cream bar on the side in the kitchen. Flakes, marshmallows and chocolate sauce, I was definitely more excited about this than the guests. Move over cocktails, ice cream bars are the new party must have.

Ice Cream Maker Video Review

The best thing about the ice cream machine is being able to control what goes into your ice cream. Dairy free, yoghurt based, sugar free and sorbets are all really easy to do and experimenting with a range of ingredients, (savoury ice cream anyone? ) is so much fun. I'm quite certain there is no such thing as bad ice cream so you really can't go wrong.

Family Fever

Monday, 16 March 2015

Spinach Pancakes - Hidden Veg

I've been working with my sister recently to come up with a whole range of hidden veg recipes for my two year old niece. Spinach is a great vegetable to hide because it purées down from raw and then you can just toss it into whatever dish you are making. Once you add the spinach purée everything takes on a delightful green hue. These savoury green spinach pancakes are the first hidden veg recipe I'm sharing because tomorrow is St Patrick's Day and dying green seems to be a popular way to celebrate the day.

Spinach Pancakes Hidden Veg

Spinach Pancakes (makes 8 pancakes)
50g spinach
2 eggs
150ml  self raising flour
115ml millk
A spoonful of butter (to fry pancakes with)

Puree the spinach with a hand blender.
Mix the puree with the other ingredients to make a batter.
Fry the pancakes over a medium heat (see video)

This is great savoury dish, you can serve it with sausages or a cream sauce. Other bright vegetables like sweetcorn and carrots also look amazing on the plate.

Do you have any hidden vegetable recipes that you use regularly?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Project Life Allotment Journal

I just discovered the Project Life system and decided to try it for documenting my first year on the allotment. I usually scrapbook or bullet journal, Project Life seemed like a perfect compromise between the two.

I was initially drawn to the idea of pocket journalling because I liked the idea of keeping seed packets and pressed flowers with out the glueing and sticking of scrapbooking. I'm hoping to create a tidy layout that I can reference next year when I'm picking out seeds and deciding what to grow again.

I took the leap and purchased a value kit of cards and one set of pockets to see if I thought it was a system that I could make work for me. Once I'd decided it was for me I also bought the 6x8 album and a We R Memory Keepers corner chomper to get the classic round edged corners on my photos.

Video of how I've set up my gardening journal

I've been printing my own photos at home on our old Epson printer but ink is fairly pricey and the picture quality could be better. I've heard that the Canon Selphy is great for instantly printing your photos at home and that might be one to look into in the future. Project Life is expensive to get started with and the availability in the UK isn't great. Although, there are plenty of online sellers which is where I bought everything from.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

March Meal Plan

With the days getting longer I'm slowly being lulled into thinking spring is here but it's not, it's still very cold. It's not warm enough for light salads yet and digging the allotment is hard work that needs a good filling hot meal.

March Meal Plan

Trevor plans to start increasing his triathlon training this month which usually means mini meals in addition to the meal plan and some homemade energy bars.
Last year, I bought a book on triathlete nutrition but I haven't read it all yet so I'm planning to do that before next month and add some fresh meals into our meal rotation.

I don't feel like there is anything new on the meal plan this month probably because I wrote the plan after I ordered the shopping. I hadn't realised that I was bothered by the lack of new meals until I started writing this post. Sitting down with all my cookbooks and recipe box is one of my favourite parts of the month. I'm sure I'll end up changing them all around and creating new dishes myself and next month I'll be sure to carve out some recipe reading time well before I need to put the grocery order in.

What's your tried and tasted old faithful recipe that shows up on your meal plan every month. Mine is the chorizo risotto.