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Thursday, 29 December 2016

Creative Christmas Homemade Santa Sacks

Stockings are never large enough for little boys with big gifts, so I decided to make for them as part of their Christmas gift some sacks with their names on, so that every Christmas we can put their toys in them. Hopefully they will treasure these until they are grown men.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Creative Homemade Christmas Presents


One of this year's creative Christmas presents from me was handmade boxed mini iced Christmas cakes. I used my late-grandmother's recipe which I found in the process of clearing my mum's house earlier this year.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A Creative Merry Christmas

When you can't put up a Christmas tree as you have a climbing toddler, you have to get creative instead...

...tree painted with my kids hands & the decorated by them as well

Friday, 9 December 2016

Root Vegetable Pie

Again another real winter warmer...


Tbsp veg oil
2 onions
1 tbsp thyme
1 large parsnip
3 large carrots
3 medium potatoes
Half a swede
4 tbsps pearl barley
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
1 litre of veg stock (I used 2 veg OXO cubes)
500g puff pastry
Milk or egg to glaze


  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Chop onions finely & the other veg into small chunks.
  3. Heat oil in a pan.
  4. Add the chopped onion & thyme & fry for a few minutes.
  5. Add the carrots, parsnips, swede, celery & potato, place the lid on the pan & gently fry for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the flour & mix well to coat the vegetables.
  7. Add the pearl barley & stock, again cover the pan & simmer for 15-20 minutes until veg is softening.
  8. Place in an oven proof dish or pie dish.
  9. Roll the pastry til approx 0.5cm thick & cut to the shape of the dish. 
  10. Brush the edges of the pie dish with milk or egg to allow the pastry to stick.
  11. Place the pastry on top of the dish & with a fork or your fingers press the edge of the pastry to the dish.
  12. Place a small hole in the centre of the pastry & brush with milk or egg to glaze.
  13. Place in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Rosemary, Leek & Bean Ragu

I made this recipe using home grown leeks and carrots, it's a real winter warmer.


A little olive oil
500g leeks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary
400g tin of butter beans, drained
400g tin of black eyes beans, drained
500ml vegetable stock 
1 tbsp of corn flour mixed in cold water


  1. Heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat & add the leeks. Stir continuously for about 7/8 mins until soft.
  2. Add the carrots, beans, rosemary & stock and mix together.
  3. Bring the pan to simmer, add the corn flour/water mix & stir in well. 
  4. Simmer for about 20 mins until it begins to thicken.

Serve with mashed potato, crusty bread or garlic bread.

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