Monthly Archives: July 2013

Our everyday life: week 30

Weather took a turn for the crazy this week. Bye-bye sunshine, hello rain and clouds!


Obsessed with any balls he can throw, regardless of weight. These were heavy!


Tired of trying to keep our pathetically cheap sofa clean (this child of ours often has a runny nose, lovely) so here we go with a blanket.


Trampoline fun with friends – mama barely able to breathe whilst watching ;)


New shoes for an attempt at this! Yikes!


Wearing Daddy’s watch makes him happy


Is it a bird? Is it a fish? We can’t agree!


C can’t believe he is allowed cake for the second time in two days. Neither can I ;)


Wishing you a lovely week!



Favourite posts this week


:: Last night I made our rhubarb and ginger polenta cake, but this weekend I may try this strawberry and lemon version – sounds amazing.

:: I love washi tape :)

:: These crepes are possibly too beautiful to eat

:: I find Jack hugely inspiring – have you checked out her blog too?

:: This sounds like a lovely dessert, but anything with apricots works for me at the moment.

:: Beetroot Feta burgers – saves me getting a BBQ ;)

:: Found these guidelines for feeding children after a year interesting, but as with all baby advice take it with a pinch of salt (we also give C full fat dairy, for example).

:: Tin can ice cream? Genius!

:: Lastly, Clotilde is one of my all-time heroes :)

Have a lovely weekend!



Our everyday life: week 29

If you follow us on twitter you’ll know that I picked thousands of gooseberries from my sister-in-law’s garden…


…and decided to make my first curd. The recipe was great (thanks for your support on twitter Kerstin!), but turns out I just don’t like gooseberries all that much!


Found this guy in the dryer. Don’t worry, he is safe in our hands!


RARE shopping trip with Shake. Two weddings in August = we need smart clothes!


First haircut! So grateful for my dear friend and her mum who did the deed so well :) Especially after our first attempt at the hairdressers which turned into a vomit session :(


Vomit session turned into 24-hour bug for C and mama. Shake got away with it, fingers crossed. I lived on green tea with sugar for the day, barely.


C doesn’t think much of Mr Dawkins


Good idea/bad idea. After toast, this is the first thing I ate after being so sick (brownie and raspberry whipped cream). Hmmmm.


Bargain hunting at our beloved Oxfam. Shake found this game, I am slightly scared to play it with him. “Think people”?


I found this beauty!! Seasoned really nicely and with a lovely wooden handle. HAPPY! Tempted to leave the sticker on for as long as possible…


Wish you were here in the mornings so you could smell these flowers (jasmine?) over breakfast with us


The duck speaks the truth


Far too much laundry to catch up on. Help…

IMG_2131 Pain au chocolat thief. Now that he walks, this is what most of my photos look like :( IMG_20130722_102320-001

Wishing you a happy and HEALTHY week!



Our everyday life: week 28

Officially walking. All weekend :)


Snacks at work and the artwork C made for my desk! I think it looks like a fish.


This cake was amaaaazing and the perfect way to use up a LOT of free rhubarb from family. It looks simple and boring, but was so good! We love Nigella (hope she is ok). I substituted cinnamon for ground ginger as I think it’s nicer with rhubarb :)


BLISS! Monday morning fruit picking with my little love. He was in heaven too. Almost feel bad for the amount of fruit he ate (without paying for?)…


These girls are the best.


Shake is the greatest at making me iced coffee. Often tempted to walk a few minutes to a coffee shop, but so much nicer (and cheaper) to just do it at home.


Trouble maker.


Not sure where this cat keeps coming from, but he(?) seems to feel quite at home. Our poor cat on the other hand…


Sunday lunch with friends – not pictured, Shake’s brioche with cheese and bacon. AMAZING.


I made my first trifle too. Don’t tell my grandma that I’m using our wedding gift from her for trifle though…


Lavender from the garden, matching the toys.


Perfect way to end an evening. Pimms with Shake in the garden.


Wishing you a lovely week with sunshine,



Favourite posts this week


:: We love pancakes in this house. Plenty of inspiration (and probably too much sugar?) here.

:: These (stunning!) photos make me want to find a field and go running!

:: Making pie more beautiful – number 12 is my favourite.

:: From pie to tart, this one looks deeeelish. This one too! (and from a lovely blogger I met last weekend :))

:: Peaches and nectarines remind me of living in France, were we really there a year ago?

:: My sister-in-law has thousands of gooseberries in her garden. I’ve suggested making this curd.

:: For those of you (crazy people!) who can survive without breakfast. *warning: explicit recipe*

Wishing you a very happy weekend!



Bagels – Apprentice #3

Homemade Bagels

Episode #3 in my plan to work through every recipe in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice.

I’m not going to tell you much about bagels, but these are way, way, way more interesting than any bagel you can buy in an English supermarket.

They are a faff to make, but also quite a lot of fun if your weekend isn’t too busy. It’s not a task for a working weekday.

Here’s a version of the recipe with much better photos than mine, and a New Yorker’s take on their authenticity. I won’t join that debate… I have no credentials for an official opinion on bagels. But, having made them with my own hands, I’d feel much happier talking to a New Yorker about bagels.

Be aware, this recipe makes a load of bagels (I made 24 of the size you would typically buy here in the UK) and they all need to proof overnight in the fridge. The day I made these I was unusually delighted to find our fridge was empty. I needed two-thirds of the total shelf space in our fridge. Don’t make these bagels just after your weekly food shop.

Also, you will need a bagel eating strategy. The 24 bagels this recipe made are awesome for two days at most.

I can’t shouldn’t eat 24 bagels in two days.

If you’re the same, you should plan for this.

Thankfully, we took most of this batch to a BBQ where they doubled up as fancy burger buns, and very few passed the two day mark when we established their basic life-span.

Shake out.

Mackerel, Lemon and Dill Potato Salad


Now that I am working again, albeit part-time, I need to get my act together and organise our meals more efficiently.

To give us a little bit of credit, we do plan the meals we are going to eat during the week, but I never know what I’m going to make each day. This can result in a last-minute-hungry-toddler-hungry-parents panic (omelette!).


This is my current favourite one dish meal (that can be stretched to two meals) and is even better the following day for lunch at work, with some lettuce and cucumber mingled in, or some sliced avocado.


I’m not sure why this happens, but we always seem to have a huge bundle of potatoes leftover from the veg box, so this recipe is killing two birds with one stone (or as my Norwegian sister-in-law will tell you, “Two flies, one smack” ;) ).

Mackerel, lemon and dill potato salad
serves 3 (and a toddler) generously


750g salad potatoes – boiled until tender, then diced
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt
zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tin (125g) skinned and boned (msc, please) mackerel in olive oil (reserve a little oil for the dressing)
handful of dill, chopped well
salt and pepper to taste
optional extras: avocado, cucumber, green peppers, asparagus


In a large bowl or dish, combine the mayonnaise, Greek yoghurt, lemon juice and zest, garlic and mackerel (with a little of the olive oil).

Add the dill and potatoes and gently stir to coat generously.

Taste and season accordingly.





Our everyday life: week 27

So lucky to have these downs at the end of our road (in the middle of town).


Destroying the environment ;)


We don’t each much tofu, or broccoli, so here they both are in one meal. Actually pretty tasty! (thai green curry type thing).


The only way to keep him out of trouble is to feed him. Bad mummy.


Poking fun at with the neighbours ;)


No wonder so many people comment on what a lovely girl I have…(he wanted it in his hair)


Bubble time with Daddy


Someone attacked the strawberries


…I think I know who.


Spent the best day on Saturday meeting lovely new people and eating way too much food, well yoghurt mainly.


I also went back to work (3 days) this week, hence why so few photos!

Hope you had a great week too,



Artos Greek Celebration Bread – Apprentice #2

Artos Greek Celebration Bread

Artos Greek Celebration Bread

So, it turns out my plan to work through every recipe in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice may be awesome, but it’s not unique…

This big-old list of bloggers have already done exactly that under the banner of the BBA Challenge.

I’m late to party it seems.

A few years late.

Anyway, that means there’s a very good chance I can point you in the direction of all these various recipes as I’m trying them out.

So apprentice bread #2, Artos, is tasty! It’s basically like a giant somewhat more eloquent hot cross bun that’s worth eating any time of year. And it makes great toast for a Sunday morning.

In the photo above, the top of the boule looks sunken. That’s not a problem with the recipe, just some of my slap-dash decision making when trying to navigate our oven-thats-not-an-oven-that-is-an-oven. I proved the loaf in the base of a La Cloche and put the whole thing into the oven cold. The base of the loaf stuck to the cloche, in shaking it out the rest of the loaf got squashed while it was still hot. My bad, not the recipes.

Also, thinking back while writing this post. I should mention that I was out of white flour, and baked this with wholemeal which worked nicely too.

Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out:

Shake out.

Our everyday life: week 26

C has been devouring strawberries this week. He has started picking them off the plant when still green, though. Here he is contemplating eating the stalk :)


I made a really unphotogenic spinach dressing for this rice salad, Shake didn’t think I should share the photo but if I don’t I’ll forget I made it!


On this day C did NOT want to nap, so I ended up walking around town with him for about 90 minutes until he eventually caved. Too scared to take him inside, I sat outside with him for a while whilst he slept.


A blast from the past :)


Teething and admiring the ducks


Bought myself some crazy trousers and clashed with the floor of a cute coffee shop


Never too young to appreciate your greens :)


Silly cat thinking the bike would keep her dry. Uh, no.




My friday night: movie, porridge and whisky :) Rock on!


Simply amazed at the delicious brioche Shake made


Pretending to be at Glastonbury (at 5:30am on a Monday morning, thanks C!). So glad Ted is better!