Pumpkin, Carrot and Bacon Soup

My pumpkin has the cheesiest grin ever!

Happy Halloween! As you can see, we’ve been getting into the spirit and decorating pumpkins. However, I must admit that I’ll still be pretending to be out when the Trick or Treat-ers come knocking – I’m generally quite a Halloween Scrooge!

I decided to look for a recipe using pumpkin, and after trawling through loads of different recipes on the internet I settled on a soup recipe, but I’ve basically combined lots of ideas from lots of different recipes to come up with this one. I must admit that pumpkin isn’t really a vegetable that I usually use, and I suppose that true for quite a lot of people in the UK. But now I’ve tried this out I’ll definitely be using it every Autumn! You could always leave out the bacon to make a vegetarian version of the recipe – just remember to add some salt if you do! Continue reading…

A very versatile lamb recipe

This is a great recipe for mince and dumplings and it is one of our household favourites. The reason it is versatile is because you can create several different meals simply by substituting a few ingredients. If you use lamb mince and substitute the dumplings for mashed potato the recipe becomes Shepherd’s Pie, or substitute the lamb for beef mince and top with mashed potato to create Cottage Pie. Brilliant! The recipe is very easy to make, and as it takes less than an hour to cook you could even make it during the week. You can make a low-fat version by using lean mince, or even Quorn mince. I usually freeze half of the mince for another day – the amounts below will serve 4 people. Continue reading…

Make Do And Mend

Make Do And Mend – my wonderful haberdashery box!

I’m still trying to get used to my new working patterns at the moment. I’m a real morning person, but the classes that I teach are mainly in the afternoon and in the evening now, and it is proving to be a bit tricky re-adjusting my body clock! The good thing is that if I have a late class I do get some time off in the morning, which gives me a bit of time to catch up with the housework or even fit in a bit of crafting. This morning I decided to mend a couple of things which meant that I could get out my lovely haberdashery box (a gift from my Mum and Dad last year).

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Bake your own bread

Today was the first Saturday that I’ve been at home for a few weeks, so I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to bake some bread. I think that some people are put off making it because they think it might take too long or that it might be too difficult to make, but it is much easier than you think (and also very cheap!). My bread usually has a very homemade look, but for me that makes it even better!

The finished dough (left) and leaving it to rise (right)

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Ooh, I’ve found the WordPress app for BlackBerry! As I’m not a technology whizz, I can’t quite work out what I can do on posts on my phone…so this could go either way! Fingers crossed 🙂 As well as getting to grips with this app, I’ve managed to fit in a good bit of cooking today. I’ll be posting a fantastic bread recipe and a very versatile lamb recipe over the next few days. This evening I’m getting ready for the Oxjam Newcastle Craft Market which is happening tomorrow at Ouseburn Farm from 10am to 4pm. Will have some Christmas goodies (which I need to finish making) and lots of other lovely stationery, so do come along if you can – entry to the Craft Market is free!

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend, whatever you’re doing 🙂