Friday, 21 February 2014


I finished this cushion and officially have no half finished knitting/crochet projects on the go! Until I start something else tonight.....

The pattern is called Copenhagen Pillow and can be found at


Monday, 17 February 2014

Retro Circles Car Blanket

I finally finished my retro circles blanket. I've made this for myself to have in the car for the colder days when I sit outside school on the school run. It's not quite as big as I'd have liked but I couldn't find anymore of the yarn where I originally bought it. Frustrating. I think I'd like to do another one of these in lighter colours, maybe cotton but I need a break from circles right now!

The pattern can be found at

Full Moon Feast - Hunger Moon

The full moon on Friday evening reminded me of this book I bought a while ago....

I got it out and discovered that it starts with February's moon, Hunger Moon, so I thought I'd read the first chapter and have a go at cooking one of the recipes. The book is divided into a chapter for each moon and focuses on what foods are available at these times. I am going to try and read a chapter around each full moon and give one of the recipes a go. It won't always be local foods for me because the author is American but there are similarities and my aim is really to read the book and try out a few new recipes.

This moon, the book discussed the authors history with food and this being a time in the year when food supplies are traditionally low. She also touches on farming/farmers markets and about making friends with vegetables that you may be less familiar with by trying different varieties and good recipes. With this in mind, I realised that I had all the necessary ingredients from our local veg box to make the 'Beet Borscht'.

Beetroot is a vegetable I usually only eat with salad, fresh or pickled. I have been juicing some recently too, but I never really cook with it. I have 2 childhood memories involving beetroot, one is my mum making Borscht and the smell filling the house in not a very nice way and the other is of having pickled beetroot on top of either a stew or pie with my childminder's family - not unpleasant but not something I was used to at home!

Here's my beautifully coloured soup :)

I quite liked this borscht, it was nice and chunky and had good flavours. Gaby and I will be having the leftovers tonight :)

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Comfort Food

It's been a pretty rubbish week all in all. Horrendous, never ending wind and rain. Leaks in our kitchen window, car issues, broken glasses, no washing machine and illnesses. Still, as we live in Somerset I know full well that there are many people having a much more difficult time and we have kept reminding ourselves throughout this niggly week that we are lucky to be in our house and in the warm.
I took these pictures of the Somerset Levels three weeks ago, from the train.
I had been on a post Christmas health kick but this week has broken me and I've gone all out for comfort food!

and cake which had to be made after I bought these pretty cake tins.

The stew is made with Hodmedod's split Fava beans which I've been with experimenting recently. Although I'm vegetarian, I'm quite uncomfortable with the food miles that can sometimes be involved in that. These are pulses which are grown in the UK.

Here's my recipe...

Smoky Split Fava Bean Stew

1 onion, chopped

3-5 potatoes

2 carrots, sliced

1 parsnip, diced

1 cup of diced swede

1 pint of veg. Stock

1 cup split Fava beans

1 tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

Mixed herbs, dried

Fry the onion for a couple of minutes, until transparent. Add the vegetables and fry for a couple more minutes. Add smoked paprika and stir well. Add stock and beans, seasoning and herbs. Top up with kettle to cover veg. Bring to the boil and let the stew cook rapidly for 10 mins, then simmer for 1 hr 30 mins - 2 hours. (I do all this in my wok).

Top with dumplings and finish in the oven for 30 mins.



Wednesday, 5 February 2014

What am I Reading?

My current pile of books...

Plus this one on the kindle app...

I received 'Magus of Stonewylde' by Kit Berry for Christmas and really enjoyed it so moved straight onto the next in the series, 'Moondance of Stonewylde'. Then however, I spotted 'Stone Keeper' in the library and decided I had to read that and as it's a library book, it's getting priority right now. It's the fourth and last book in Beth Webb's Star Dancer quartet. The books are set admidst the Roman invasion of Britain and tell the story of Tegen, a Druid, who is believed to have the destiny of being the Star Dancer and saving the land. A couple of weekends ago, we had a night away in Bath and were able to go around the Roman Baths which was great timing with my reading choice.

As for the others, well I haven't signed up for any art courses this year yet. I might, but I still have quite a bit of Lifebook 2013 left to do and I feel like I want to do a bit of my own thing too so I'm making the most of the art section in the library. 'The Women's Wheel of Life' is a lovely book about stages of womanhood and I'm also reading 'The Art of Happiness' by HH Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler. I found this in a charity shop in Falmouth and am reading it in the mornings whilst bathing my sons which is kind of nice. It has got me thinking that happy reading first thing in the morning is probably better than checking FB on my phone.

So I am pretty immersed in books right now! At the beginning of the year, I did a list. I went all around the house to the various places I stash books, went throught my kindle library and audible wish list and came up with 50+ books which I already own and want to read. I told myself that that was more than enough for the year ahead and there would be no need to buy any more books.

What can I say, I already bought more books!