Saturday, 25 September 2010

Heading South...

Not for the Winter..... just for ten days! heading to the sunshine for a late summer break.

In the meantime....

Welcome in the Autumn

Gather up the leaves

Light a welcoming lantern

Get ready for the smell of Pumpkin Spice

Gather in the harvest

Let's get cosy

Back on October 5th, I'll be ready for a bit of Autumn decorating.

(all images from Country Homes and Interiors Oct 10.)


Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Slow Cooking

I made the first slow cooked stew of the Autumn season.

Put the chopped veggies in the slow cooker (I used carrots, potato's, peas, french beans and tomato's) put in a base sauce (tomato and garlic or tinned chopped tomato's with some stock) add flavor with Tabasco or Worcester Sauce and herbs.

Flour the beef braising steak and brown before adding to the crock pot.
I added a quarter bottle of red wine (left over from Sunday lunch!)

It cooked all day while we were working, when we came home the kitchen smelt so lovely and dinner was almost ready..... I added some dumplings and put the crock pot in the oven to finish.

Dinner was served.

It was sooooo good.


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sorrow and Joy

This week we have had 2 gatherings of our family, we travelled to the North West again to say our final goodbye to my dear Uncle John.
As the family gathered together to comfort one another in their sadness all around us was the sense of solidarity, security and love.

The second gathering of our family was filled with joy and laughter as we shared a meal, caught up on each others daily lives, celebrated birthdays and the joyous news of new life and all around us there it was again... the sense of solidarity, security and unconditional LOVE.

Count your blessings this week.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Cream of the Crop

Cream Roses with Autumn Berries.

Cream of Clocks.

Curls of Cream.

Creamy Cupcake.


Cream of Squash.
All these things around my house make me smile like the
' Cat that got the Cream'
Shelly x

Saturday, 11 September 2010

The End of Salad Days....?

Well maybe not quite the end as I like them too much.... but....

As I am away from home for the next 3 weekends! were having a big family dinner here tomorrow.
The weather isn't nice enough to all sit out in the garden like we have been doing when we've all got together over the last few months; so its back to extending tables and extra chairs inside to fit us all in.

I have decided to cook a roast chicken dinner for tomorrow's lunch in honor of the change in seasons, I am about ready to have a break from the salads and think about roast potatos, Yorkshire Puddings and root vegetables again.

So early this morning before anyone else woke I could be found in 'the reading chair 'with my cookery books.

I love this book: Home Cooking by Rachel Allen.

It is the perfect family cook book.

Inspired I got into the kitchen.

I made a huge batch of Chilli-con-Carne for the freezer using the Roast Tomato and Garlic recipe (see Flowers, Tomato's and Plums post) as a base sauce.

I made cupcakes and mini cakes for a sweet treat for after tomorrows lunch using the recipe's from the book 'Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery'

This is a lovely book full of great idea's for cupcakes for every occasion.

The Primrose Bakery is in Notting Hill in London.

It was a good morning in the kitchen.
Have a great weekend.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

House of Drawers

I live in a house of drawers!

I seem to have more drawers than most people I know!

I love them because they allow me to store my things in groups and match the drawer to the size of the object to be placed in it.

I have 2 of these 9 drawer oak chests with iron work handles, I love them because they fit all the CD's and DVD's in so the 'clutter' is hidden away.

I also keep candles, linens, pens and stationary in them.

This is a mini set of drawers that I keep cards and writing paper in, it stands on top of one of the oak chests.

More tiny drawsers bought just because I love them.

Kitchen drawers, keeping all the utensils dust free and out of site.

I even have just the right size drawer in my bedroom for my make up.

There are more but I think I am becoming a drawer bore.

So more drawers less clutter, more drawers more organised, more drawers easier to sort and tidy,

More drawers more room to show the pretty things.

I rest my case on behalf of the humble drawer.

Hope your having a good week?

The drawer lady!

Monday, 6 September 2010

The Super Fast Menu Plan!

So here it is ....the weeks menu of meals that have to be ready in under 30 minutes:

Monday: Pasta with the roast tomato and garlic sauce from yesterday with some shredded cooked chicken.

Tuesday: Cooked Honey Roast Ham (from the local farm shop) boiled eggs and salad with baby potatoes.

Wednesday: Baked Cod with herbs and steamed veggies.

Thursday: Grilled lamb chops, mashed potato, green beans and redcurrant gravy.

Friday: Cheese and tomato omelette's with mixed salad.

Happy cooking this week!


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Flowers, Tomatos and Plums

The weekend weather has been sunny but there is a chill in the air at night and the early mornings have that 'September' feeling.

This weekend I have been pottering in the house and garden.

Just look at these wonderful colours in my garden.

If you have a glut of tomato's try this:
Cut the large tomato's in half and put in a roasting dish.
cut a whole garlic bulb in half across ways (leave the skin on) add some olive oil, black pepper and torn up basil leaves.
Roast in a hot over for about 30mins till the tomato's and garlic cloves are soft (cover with a bit of foil if the tomato's go too brown before the garlic is soft, note I used a very large garlic bulb!)
When done, allow to cool a little then gently squeeze the cloves from the garlic bulb, discard the skins from the dish.
Then you can........
Put it all in a blender and make a soup, add red peppers to the roasting mix for a tomato and red pepper soup.
Lightly mash with a fork and put in on a lightly toasted slice of
good crusty bread, add a soft cheese first if you wish Yummmm.
Use it as a sauce for pasta.
Take 10 large plums, cut in half, pop into a roasting dish cut side up.
Take 4 tablespoons of runny honey and mix it 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and poor over the plums.
Roast for 15 mins in a hot oven ( till they are baked but holding the shape). Lovely served with good vanilla ice-cream or warm custard.
I have a busy week ahead at work so this evening I will be sitting in my favourite reading chair (see side bar pictures) browsing the cook books and planning the weeks menus, quick and easy dishes needed this week.
I am thinking it may be time to tell you about my work, but that is for another post, the chair awaits my company.
Blessings for the week ahead.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Sweet September

It's the start of the new school year.

It's a posy of pencils.

It's a sunflower in full bloom.

It's a harvest celebration.

It's an orange paper lantern.
It's sweet September.
'Best I love Septembers yellow,
morns of dew, strung gossamer;
Thoughtful days without a stir;
Rooky clamours, brazen leaves,
Stubble dotted o'er with sheaves-
More than Springs bright uncontrol
Suit the Autumn of my soul.'
Alex Smith.
September Feast Day - 29th = St Micheal or Michaelmas Day, here in the market town we have a Michaelmas Fayre on the nearest Saturday to the 29th.
Have a great September weekend.