On the Box…

I missed this post last week, I guess because I’m struggling with TV these days, am I getting too old or is there nothing much worth watching anymore??  However enough of this pessimism, there was enough to write this post about so here we go…

george clarkes amazing spaces

1.  George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, Channel 4.

Now I’m a little behind on the new series of this, but I just watched the amazing Fairy Tale Hideaway episode this morning with my little famalam and we were most impressed. The spaces are just brilliant and it amazes me how the people manage to create them with sometimes quite meager budgets.  My recent favourite was the warren style underground garden hidey hole that a couple had built for both them and their children, Little M and I were truly smitten and spent most of  the program dropping big old hints to Mr Potato Head about how wonderful it would be if we could have something similar in our back garden.

 

one born every minute

2.  One Born Every Minute, Channel 4.

Now I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, in fact I couldn’t watch this until quite recently as although my Little M is now 6, the whole child birth experience was still quite raw and I did not want to watch something that took me back to it (lets just say it wasn’t a calm and tranquil experience for me).  However now as M gets older and I pine away at little babies and get all broody I AM LOVING this program, clearly I had a bad experience but watching these ladies and the midwives that support them is pretty inspirational, well it is to me anyway.  And did I mention I’m pretty nosy, well I am and I love all these fly on the wall, real life, documentary programs.  But I’m also really pleased to see such an important job from both the mums and the midwives being promoted and celebrated in the media like this.

3.  Sprinkle of Chatter, YouTube,

So my third and final program, or channel in this case, is a YouTube vlogger who is huge, you all probably know her already but if by some slight chance you don’t, do have a look.  I particularly like her vlogs on this ‘Sprinkle of Chatter’ channel, because I like the more informal chatty approach she seems to have on here.   She also has a main channel called Sprinkle of Glitter, where she does hauls, beauty tips and even some quite poignant comment at times.   I think I’m particularly smitten with Louise because I feel we have similarities, she’s a mum, she’s a little bit older than some of the other popular YouTubers (although quite probably not as old as me, but not far off) so we have similar reference points and I  find her very easy to relate to.  She is also hilarious and when she vlogs with others like the ever popular Zoella then you often feel, a little bit,  part of the gang, well at least like you are laughing with them and that’s what I like, I guess it’s a little bit of escapism and an easy to watch, feel good vlog.

 

So as I mentioned at the start, I’m struggling a bit with TV and what to watch lately, got any recommendations? I’d love to hear them.

 

 

 

 

Lamb and Carrot Pilau – Midweek Supper

I’m sure I’ve done something similar here before but I wanted to share this simple supper that I made last week.  It’s full of flavour, economical and easy to pimp up with some extra sides and sauces.

lamb pilau x

Serves 2/3

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g white basmati rice
  • 125g lamb mince
  • 2 carrots, sliced into batons
  • A tablespoon of oil
  • A heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • a heaped teaspoon of medium curry powder
  • Half a veggie stock pot
  • 400ml of boiling water
  • Salt

Method:

Soften the onions until translucent then put to one side.   Fry lamb mince in heavy bottomed pot until browned and crispy, add softened onions, spices and fry for a minute.  Then add rice and carrots and stir well so that the rice is coated in the oil.   Add the water stock  and cover with lid.  Cook for about 14 min, turn the heat off and let it stand for five minutes.  Open the pot and you should be engulfed in a steamy, lightly spiced cloud, mmmm, fluff gently and season to taste.  Serve on its own, with yoghurt, chilli sauce, chutney or as part of a feast.

What are you having for dinner tonight?

 

Running late…

I’m a little late this morning, aren’t I? Sorry about that, I was woken up at 4.00 by Mr Potato Head telling me the power had gone off in the house (thanks for that darling, in retrospect I could have happily slept through the whole incident without ever knowing) and as he won’t touch electrics (he has other uses) I stumbled down the stairs bleary eyed to check the fuse box. After struggling for five minutes to put the torch on I quickly assessed the electrical situation (yeah, get me) and surmised that it was not a tripped switch and that there was a power cut. ‘Good night’ I said, ‘there is nothing we can do, don’t open the fridge/freezer’. And with that, I returned to bed.

Ha ha, if only it was that easy, I couldn’t get back to sleep so decided to Google ‘what to do in a power cut?’, ‘power cuts today in Birmingham’, ‘how to check a fuse box’ (just confirming my initial assessment mind), texted my neighbour to check it wasn’t just us, texted my dad to check if there was something I should be doing and then checked Facebook because I was wide a flipping wake now so I might as well find out what Dr Zeus character I was while I was just sitting there (I’m the Cat with the Hat, if you were wondering). A productive morning already don’t you think?

So yeah, I’m a bit tired today and I didn’t have a post scheduled because I was having too much fun enjoying the sunshine this weekend, yes overseas readers (I know you are out there, say hello!) sunshine has hit the UK, and surprise, surprise we are going on about it. I’m sorry, I can’t help it, we have very few weather related pleasures here, let us brag just a little. Anyways, lets just say, a paddling pool, tent, croquet (uh huh), football, sun cream, a picnic and ice creams were enjoyed and blogging, well, that got put on the back burner temporarily.

Of course it would be ace if I’d take pictures of it all, but this is about it….soz…

22nd June x

Promise to add some better content soon, maybe when it starts raining?
What did you do this weekend?

Falafel – Gluten Free

Had you been wondering if I did any cooking anymore? Well I have to admit, I’ve been a bit slack, I do still cook, I just been sticking to staples and not really bothering to take pictures and remember recipes.  But here we have a simple little falafel recipe, perfect for summer days as part of a mezze or stuffed in a pitta.

falafel

So for the recipe…

Ingredients (makes 10 small falafel):

  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tablespoons of gram or gluten free flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • a handful of mint
  • salt
  • oil for frying

Method:

First soften the onions and garlic, I do this in a microwave because I find it easy but gently frying in a pan has the same results, you just want them soft and translucent.

Then add all the ingredients bar the flour to a food processor.  Blitz, you may need to scrape down any stray chickpeas or you might want to keep it chunky.  Then depending on the wetness of the mixture I add two to three tablespoons of flour, now my plan was to have chickpea flour (gram/besan) but  mine was out of date so I substituted gf plain flour, if you’re not coeliac then plain regular flour would work too.   You want a thick but not too wet mixture that you can easily manipulate, see picture for clarity there, it’s awful hard to describe!

Once you’ve got the right consistency, scoop out walnut size blobs if you want to emulate mine, but frankly any old size will work, you could make big fat burgers or round footballs or cut them into star shapes should you desire but flat patties was what I was after.

Then chill the patties for a while (time constraints permitting, I’m sure they would be fine fried straight away should you need to).

Shallow fry for about 3/4 minutes each side on a medium heat.  Then serve hot stuffed into a pitta with chilli sauce and yoghurt.

falafel stages

You can freeze these and heat up in the oven at a later date should you need to, I made too many for me and my little dinner guest so I’ve stashed the remainder away for a mid-week dinner.

Ok, so that was the first recipe for a while.  It felt good, what do you think?

 

‘Sun is shining, the weather is sweet…’

The sun has come out and it’s just got me wishing and dreaming of an outdoor life full of bright colours, comfy outdoor seating, BBQs and ice lollies.

Here are a few outdoor essentials I’m currently coveting:

hammock-accessories

Oh how I want to lounge, swing and snooze my hours away in one of these.  This rainbow coloured beauty is from www.handmadehammocks.co.uk, and I’m so in love with it.

rattan furniture set

Now at the moment in our garden we have a rather modest but functional picnic bench tucked away in a shady corner but as the sun shines and I day-dream some more I think I’d love a big old comfortable rattan set of furniture like this one from Tesco.com.  Clearly I’d need to win the lottery but a girl can dream can’t she?

lights

Twinkle, twinkle little multicoloured lights, I’m a fan of these chains of fairy lights for everywhere, I hate having to take down the Christmas lights and this year most of the lights I left around the house got to stay for all year round sparkles.  These bright and colourful globes are from Ikea here.  They have some great outdoor lighting options including stars and bird shapes (I know!) and the best thing about them is they are not only glamour for your garden but are solar powered so totally eco friendly and boring battery free!

oven

Now in dream land I am totally desiring one of these amazing wood fired ovens by The Stone Bake Oven Company, fancy that, a gluten free pizza in the oven, wood fired roast chicken on a Sunday, uhhhh my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  But in reality a BBQ would do and something like this one below would be just dandy….

bbq

This simple BBQ is all I really need and at the moment it’s reduced to £49.99 from £99.00 at Argos here.  But as I was looking for BBQ  I happened to stumble upon this genius idea…

.dsiposable eco bbq

This is the eco answer to the disposable BBQ, I have to admit to buying lots of these as we haven’t committed to a BBQ of our own yet but this would be fantastic to take camping or have at a party.  You can cook your burgers on it and/or use it as a camp fire.  It’s called the  Ecogrill from www.notonthehighstreet.com available here at a bargain of £10.

So that’s it my wish list so far this week, what have you been dreaming of as the sun has come out?

Dreaming of Dresses

I am a dress fiend, yes I AM, I love them, I love to swish, I love their simplicity, I love that you just whack one on and da-dah! You have an outfit.  So here we have it, another potential regular but this time I’m introducing some awesome frocks.

I’m also introducing a brilliant little online shop, Clarence and Alabama.   Now I have to come clean, Amy-Jo who runs this  fine emporium is a very good friend of mine but I wouldn’t share with you just any old shizzle.  Her shizzle, her beautiful vintage style dresses, are handpicked stunners.  And not only are they beautiful they are also affordable too so go check out her wonder shop.

So here we have a couple I have had my beady eye on recently:

 

lindy-bop-josefine-breton-top-swing-vintage-1950-s-style-dress-clarence-and-alabama_grande

This this chic, French inspired little number is a Lindybop dress called the Josefine Vinatage Style Breton Top 1950s Swing Dress and is priced at a very reasonable £34.99.  Personally I think it’s just perfect for flouncing around doing just about anything with or without a baguette under your arm, sorry for the hideous stereotyping there.

 

Vanity_Project_Clarence_Alabama__Hawaiaan_wiggle_Dress_Peacocks_with_Gilt_Inlay_grande

Hawaain Wiggle Dress £99

This second beauty is actually currently sold out, but I couldn’t not show it as I have had my heart set on it for quite some time.  However the good news is she is bringing it back, oh yeah, and if you follow this smart little shop owner on Facebook or email her here you can even request a choice of material and have the god darn delicious dress made to your special requests.  In fact that’s not all this fantastic little shop offers, if you happen to be getting married and are after some vintage style matching bridesmaid dresses she can do that too.

So what do you think?  Any thoughts?  Got any recommendations of great dress shops or dresses out at the moment?

 

 

 

 

On the box…

So this week I have mostly been  watching the new Orange is the New Black season 2, and I have to admit I’m hooked, once again.  I got Netflix last year mainly to see what all the fuss about Breaking Bad was and after pretty much committing my life to watching the whole 5 seasons of it over err about 3 months I stuck with the subscription and haven’t been disappointed yet.  So here are my  faves of the week:

orange is the new black

So Orange is the New Black, now in it’s second season, is a Netflix original and a great one at that.  It’s a drama set in a women’s prison in America, it’s funny, exciting and keeps you on tender hooks hence why I seem to be nearly half way through the series already.  Watch it here.

or watch the trailer here…

saccone joly

The SacconeJolys, what can I say, this is pure voyeurism really, they are an Irish family consisting of Anna Saccone, Jofee Joly, their two kids Emilia and Eduardo and their 6, yes that’s right 6,  dogs.  I don’t know why I love watching their daily vlogs so much but I do.  They recently moved to London from Ireland and as viewers we are invited to join them on most of the minutiae of their daily life.  It’s happy, simple pleasures, I watch it to relax, so sue me.

I couldn’t really think of a TV show this week, I’m struggling with TV at the moment.  The only thing I do watch which I am totally reluctant to put on here, is ‘Made in Chelsea‘ which is utter trash, I know it, you know it, but it is truly addictive, filthy, crap tv and feck it, I’m going to embrace my embarrassing side and admit it.  I love it!  Ha  ha, oh well who cares.

Anyway, so tell me, go on just post a little comment, what are you loving at the moment?  What am I missing out on?  Please comment below and let me know.