Category Archives: cooking & baking

Breakfast with Laura Ashley

 

How do you like to start your day? Every morning, without fail, we gather around the table for breakfast, mix and match bowls, messy hair and sleepy conversation, it is one of our favourite times of the day together. During the week it is, more often than not, a rushed affair as we usually have something to get up and out of the house for, but at the weekend we take our time without the need to rush.

Breakfast here, this weekend was a real treat as we took our time, I pottered in the kitchen making our favourite granola recipe with our tiny boy sleeping in the sling whilst my husband and little boy played with lego. When the granola was in the oven I made a coffee and set the table with our new Laura Ashley china mugs and bowls. I love this mix and match set of blue and white china, it is an eclectic collection consisting of three different traditional designs each with a contemporary twist. Mixing and matching tableware is a great way of creating a relaxed look and to add a rustic touch I have also used the round Kubo woven baskets, great for holding bread or croissants. To keep us all cozy I added the herringbone striped throw to the backs of the chairs (you will always find a throw in arms reach here)

Oats and mixed nuts granola

A bowl of homemade granola is a great way to start any day, I have a simple recipe that can be made within about half an hour and tastes so delicious. I love making it as much as I love eating it, it gives me a real sense of warmth and comfort. I also love that I am providing my family with something homemade and wholesome to kick-start the day. Combined with fresh fruit and natural yoghurt it makes the perfect breakfast. Here’s how to make a tasty granola:

Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped mixed nuts
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
125ml maple syrupMethod: Combine all the ingredients and pop in the oven on a medium heat for about 20

Method: Combine all the ingredients and pop in the oven on a medium heat for about 20 minutes

SOURCEBOOK: Mugs | Bowls | Throw | Basket | Fabric | Book
This post was written in collaboration with Laura Ashley, thank you for supporting the brands that help make this space home.

Natural Beeswax Food Wraps

In a bid to live a little more with good intentions and be a little more mindful of the things I buy and consume I have been looking into natural and homemade things for our home to help make the “everyday” chores and necessities a little more joyful. Reusable, natural beeswax food wraps are the perfect alternative to using clingfilm and tin foil to keep food fresh, not only do they look and feel more beautiful to use they are also a good choice to make when thinking about cutting down on waste and making an intentional decision to do our bit for the environment.

I find making things for our home to be both joyful and satisfying, even more so when the finished result serves a good purpose and is something really useful. These beeswax food wraps are really simple to make, just sprinkle a few natural beeswax pellets onto a piece of clean, natural, unbleached cotton and pop in the oven* on a low heat for five to ten minutes. Once the wax has melted into the cotton it is time to take them out and allow to cool.

The wraps can be used over and over again for months providing they are kept clean between use. Use a little soap, rinse with cold water and leave to air dry. The warmth of your hands is enough to make them malleable enough to wrap.

Here are some great reasons to give them ago:

  • Natural beeswax has antibacterial properties and is safe to use with food.
  • The wraps can be used again and again eliminating waste
  • Eco-friendly
  • The process of making something useful for your home is highly satisfying
  • A beautiful alternative and it won’t get all tangled up like clingfilm tends to do

Do you like to make things for your home that are both beautiful and useful? Please do share your makes with me I would love to hear them.

Laura xxx

*use an old baking tray

 

Afternoon Tea For Mum

Where would I be without my mum? I owe everything to her, all that I am and all that I know. I don’t think I truly appreciated just how wonderful the bond between a mother and her child could be until I became a mother myself, all those feelings of unconditional love are pretty amazing. My mum has taught me so much about life and she has been there through the happiest and the saddest times, always encouraging and never judging. Her mothering is inspirational and off cause she is the most wonderful granny to our son too, who totally adores her. I couldn’t wish for anything more from her.

I am very lucky that I get to see my mum on a regular basis, it’s lovely that we can pop in to see each other whenever we fancy, but we don’t often get the chance to sit down and enjoy tea and homemade cake together, so that’s just what we planned to do recently. A simple lunch and get together was the perfect way to treat my mum to let her know how special she is to me.

Steamer Trading recently asked if I would like to take part in their Mother’s Day campaign – Afternoon Tea for Mum, which sounded like such a lovely way to treat my mum I jumped at the chance to get baking a special cake. There really is no excuse for cake! I used a Mary Berry all-in-one sponge cake recipe in my heart shaped baking tin and got Arthur to help me decorate it with fresh fruit and flowers. (OK I decorated it whilst he helped himself to the fruit). We also made some cucumber sandwiches and a pot of tea. Just perfect for celebrating Mother’s day and spending time with my mum.

Thank you to Steamer Trading for inviting me to take part in a little afternoon tea celebration for my mum we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Find the featured products here Cake Tin | Muffin Tray | Cake Stand | Cake Knife | Teapot

Old English Apple Chutney

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This time of year is the best when it comes to inspiration for feeding my family. I love the wide variety of seasonal produce that autumn has to offer, berries gathered amongst the hedgerow just as summer fades away, a basket full of fallen apples picked in the autumn sunshine and the promise of ripening squash in the fields at our local farm shop (I could feast on this soup all season).

With a basket full of brambly cooking apples and a challenge set by Steamer Trading we spent a cozy autumn afternoon in the kitchen making chutney. I chopped the apples and onions, whilst Arthur mixed in the raisins. I dug deep into the back of the cupboard to find a jar of mixed spices that smelt so amazingly fragrant the kitchen was instantly warmed by the aroma.

#TheSteamerChallenge

I have never bought a good quality knife before and I didn’t realise just how much of a difference they made until Steamer Trading  got in touch and asked if I would like to take part in #TheSteamerChallenge to compare a Chefs Knife with a Santoku Knife. A good quality knife makes the job of chopping and preparing food simple and effortless, here are my thoughts on using each knife:

The Robert Welch Chefs Knife

  • A versatile, all purpose knife that’s great for chopping fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. I think I would make this my go-to knife and perhaps, with the exception of a bread knife, I would say this is all you need
  • I really like the way it feels to hold, the handle fits comfortably in my hand and feels weighted and balanced which helps with the performance and feels safe to use
  • The curved blade allows for a good “rock, chop” motion meaning the knife does not need to lift away from the chopping board whilst preparing ingredients
  • Best of British design with a 25-year guaranteeold-english-apple-chutney-4

The Robert Welch Santoku Knife

  • A good everyday knife. Although it’s roots are in eastern cooking where finer ingredients are used, it is a suitable knife for many vegetables, fish and meat
  • The hollow dimples along the blades create air pockets so finely chopped ingredients like herbs don’t stick.
  • The depth of the blade makes dicing easy, it is also a great knife for scooping up ingredients and transferring it into the pan for cooking
  • Best of British design with a 25-year guaranteeold-english-apple-chutney-3

When choosing a good quality knife, look for one that has been fully forged from one single piece of steel – where the blade continues to runs through the handle, this makes for a stronger and more durable knife. No knife will stay sharp, one made from a good quality steel, however, will stay sharper for longer. Both knives featured in this post provide an excellent ability to chop smoothly and with ease. However, my preferred favourite is the Chefs knife as it felt more comfortable in my hands.

Old English Apple Chutney

This recipe is taken from an old WI magazine and makes about 1kg of chutney. Preparation and cooking time is about two and a half hours (ensure you sterilise your jars before use)

  • 250g onions, chopped
  • 1kg cooking apples
  • 125g raisins
  • 1tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 1tbsp mixed spice
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 350g sugar
  • 700ml vinegar

Put all the ingredients into a heavy pan and slowly bring the mixture to the boil, stirring often until the sugar has completely dissolved. Then simmer for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring from time to time to stop the chutney from sticking to the bottom of the pan. To check the chutney is ready, drag a channel through the mixture with a wooden spoon so that the bottom of the pan is visible. If the channel fills with liquid immediately the chutney is not ready. cook for a further fifteen minutes and check again. The chutney is ready when the channel does not fill immediately and the mixture has become thick. remove the pan from the heat and leave to stand briefly. Fill warm, sterilised jars with the chutney and allow to cool before labelling and storing.

Enjoy.

With thanks to Steamer Trading for sponsoring this post and providing
me with two excellent quality Robert Welch knives.