Plum & Apple jam

This week we were lucky enough to be given a load of apples from a neighbour’s tree as ours had no apples due to being moved. This inspired us to get into action and actually harvest our plums as this year we have loads!

We harvested them, great, but now what… well my son loves both apples and plums, eating them whole (minus centers), so i though he might love these in jam sandwiches so Plum and Apple jam it is!

Take 750g of plums, half and remove center, and 750g of apples and chop, peal and remove centres. Then put them in a deep pan and add 500ml of water.

Heat on medium until the fruit is soft then stir in 1.5kg of sugar. Once this is stirred in and dissolved then turn the heat up to rapidly boil and add the thermometer. Once it reaches 105c/220f then you have setting point so sterilize jars and fill with this yummy red jam.

It has a mild taste but that makes it very easy to eat a lot!

My son liked it but as usual would rather eat the raw fruits on his plate, good boy.


Pizza night (homemade)

We love a good pizza night here but even the super market ones leave you waking in the night feeling thirsty because of the high salt content. Because of this I wouldn’t give it to my baby boy, now 9 months, so I finally got around to using the yeast extract that has been sitting in my cupboard for sooo long.

When he is slightly older I think making the pizza with him too would be a lovely activity to do so I will definitely be making this again.

To make the base weigh out 550g plain flour, next time I may use wholemeal to be extra healthy. Add a sprinkle of pepper and salt, or you can leave this out if you want.

In a jug put 1tbs of caster sugar, 300ml of luke warm water, 2 tbs of oil, olive oil is best but I used sunflower, and then add 1x 7g sachet of dry yeast. Now this is the only ingredient you may not have lying around, but get it from the super market for less than ¬£1, it keeps for ages and has about 8 sachets in the box, worth getting. Mix together and leave for a few minutes. The yeast starts to react and fizzes a bit and makes the water a light brown colour, like dirty water…

Then slowly mix the wet into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon. Once all mixed in start kneeding and stretching. Instead of doing this on the work surface you can literally just pull it apart and kneed in the bowl. Then when not quite so sticky leave in the bowl with a damp tea towel over the top for 2-3 hours, a bit longer or shorter is probably ok too. The dough will rise to double the size.

When ready to use knock some of the air out and then divide into 4 for 4 medium sized pizzas, or 2 for 2 12″ish pizzas. Role the dough to a rough circle and transfer to a baking tray with baking sheet on/flour. Use fingers to stretch the dough to the right size and thickness you want.

When all is rolled out and on baking tray brush a little oil onto the top before adding the tomato sauce.

For the sauce use 1 carton of passata mixed with 2 tbs of tomato paste and you are good to go. Or try adding a pinch of chopped tyme, oregano and basil for a bit of extra flavour.
Layer it on top of the pizza and then decorate the pizza with the toppings of your choice:
cheese, ham, pineapple, or in my case: anchovies, capers, olives and artichokes… YUM!

(For my son I just did cheese, sweet corn and mushrooms).

Bake in a preheated oven of 200c or 180c fan for 20-25 minutes checking it isn’t getting too brown on top.


Be careful, if you cover the top with cheese this really holds the heat in so the little one needs to have cooled before giving to baby.

He loved it, and so did we ūüôā




Early Summer Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble

Crumble in early summer? Too hot?

Well firstly it is still spring… and secondly I could eat crumble any time of the day/year but thirdly this crumble uses fruit that is in season now/next month and is delicious served with vanilla ice cream whilst sitting in your garden as the evening draws in and the temperature cools.
This is tried and tested by me!

As I said rhubarb is in season now. Unfortunately ours is dead, dead, dead! So luckily my lovely parents gave me some rhubarb from their garden.

Strawberries are growing and being imported to markets from the continent but within the next few weeks you will see them ready in PYO fields and hopefully your own garden too. Since being pregnant I eat a lot of strawberries, and my son eats a lot now so I always get them but sometimes they can be overripe from the market so rather than throwing them away I cut away any bad bits and decided to make this crumble.

Firstly put the oven on to 190c or 170c fan and then make the fruit filling.

My dad stewed the rhubarb with water and sugar before giving it to me but you can just use un-stewed rhubarb, the below reflects this.

Use 600g of rhubarb sliced and chopped into 1″ strips. Chop 300g of strawberries (feel free to play with the quantities of each). Add these to a pie dish type thingy mabob with about 2 tbs of water and 100g of caster sugar.


For the crumble rub together 120g of butter/marg and 230g of plain flour. Then add in 120g of soft brown sugar and rub again to breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the fruit mix. I was going to let my son try some so I left off nuts but I think crushed hazelnuts would go lovely with this, just sprinkle some on top before putting into the oven.

Put in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.

Da daaa – Serve once cooled slightly with ice cream and watch the sun set!








Super easy homemade hummus

I buy hummus every week from the supermarket so thought it was about time I gave making it a go.

Now I have made it I know not only is it super tasty, but also super cheap and I know, and control, what ingredients go into it.

So here is the basic recipe which can be added to with flavourings like caramelized onions or paprika for something different.

1st take appropriately 170g of raw uncooked chick peas/split peas, and soak them in a bowl of cold water in the fridge over night. Make sure that the water covers them by at least an inch.

The next day drain them and put them in a saucepan with new water again covering the peas. Add 1/2 TSP of salt and 1/2 TSP of bicarbonate soda.

Mix together and bring to the boil. This will happen very quickly and suddenly boil over so don’t leave it, keep stirring!!!

Then reduce the heat and leave, stirring occasionally for another 20 mins. By now it will mostly be a mush so no need to blend.

Put the mixture into a bowl and add the juice of half a lemon (I used fake lemon juice and that worked fine) and 3 TSP of Tahiti. This is sesame seed paste basically so I will have to try making that myself next time.

Mix it all together and add some water to loosen the mixture to your desired thickness.


(The parsley is just to make it not look as much like a poop.)

If you wanted to add different flavours you could and I’m sure I will. You could add garlic as well but I often have a reaction to garlic so thought best not to and was impressed with the taste still. It tasted like very creamy hummus.

This recipe made about the equivalent of 2-3 pots of store bought hummus so I have portioned up some for the freezer.

Rhubarb and ginger scones

Did I mention before that I like rhubarb?

Well I do and I always have a freezer full of the stuff for full year consumption. But now we are coming into the rhubarb season so I know 2 things:

1. My freezer will fill up with even more rhubard and

2. I will consume a lot of rhubard crumbles.

Well with this new recipe it doesn’t have to always be crumbles, it can be a scone! Yum, perfect for a nice sunny evening. Like today, the 1st good weather we have had in a lonnggg time.

To make the scones first sift 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 750g self raising flour together with 1/2 ground ginger.

Mix together with 180g of caster sugar and rub into the mix to make breadcrumbs with 180g of butter.

Then add 300g of chopped rhubard (I would chop finer than I did here), mix and then add milk. I added 100ml but I think 75ml would have been better as it was very wet and I was unable to roll and cut out scones so they were hand formed into balls…

Bake for 25 minutes at 170c fan.

I served them warm and just with butter, but I think cream would also be tasty.

This batch made about 14 so some for now and some for the freezer to enjpy on another warm evening I hope!

Honey and Winter Vegetable Soup

We are feeling rather grotty with a cold here so what better food to do than warming vegetable soup. It is also a great way to use up the vegetables that you bought for your Christmas dinner but didn’t use all, or if like me you bought lots of vegetables in the Aldi super 6.

I was pretty convinced  I had already blogged this soup as I have made it before and it is so simple but I can’t find it so here it is.

Firstly I peeled, chopped up and put into a large pan 2 carrots, 1 parsnip, 1 leek (not peeled), 1 potatoe and 1 swede. If I had any other winter vegetable like turnip I could had added that aswell or sustituted 1 vegetable for another and there wouldn’t be too much difference.

I then added about 25g of butter and stired the chopped veg in the pan as the butter started to melt and cover it. I did this for about 5 minutes before adding 1 large tablespoon of honey and stiring again for about another 5 minutes. I  then added 1 pint of vegetable stock to the chopped veg and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

When done I blended it all and added in about 125ml of double cream to give it a lovely creamy taste. You don’t have to do this step but without it it can be very earthy or taste overwhelmingly of 1 vegetable, such as parsnip, which I didn’t like so the cream balanced it all out.

This quantity made about 6 portions, which means that it cost about 10p per portion! Very cheap, very tasty, a great way to use up vegetables about to go off in the fridge and great for when you feel grotty with a cold!

Festive Florentine Baking РOrange and Cranberry 

This recipe is super simple and quick but looks impressive so a great one to make for a christmas hamper, especially if your baby is only napping for 10 minutes…

I love florentines especially ones with a bit of an orange tang. To me they tast like christmas.

To make these line 2 baking trays with baking paper and put the oven to 180c fan to heat up.

Measure out and combine in a pan: 100g of demerara sugar, 100g golden syrup, a shot of orange juice and 100g butter. Melt on a medium heat and stir to combine.

Take off the heat and add in: 100g flour, 70g flaked almonds, 30g chopped walnuts, 30g chopped hazel nuts, 100g dried mixed peal and 70g dried cranberries. To be honest if you have different nuts or slightly different quantities it will still work.

Combine and then spoon teaspoon sized balls onto the baking sheet, 6 per sheet spreading them for the cooking and flattern them slightly. Then cook for about 9 minutes, leave to cool on the sheet then a rack.

Once cool melt some chocolate in a glass bowl sat on a pan with boiling water in. You choose what kind, i went for dark as i love dark chocolate and i think it makes it tast richer. I couldnt tell you the exact quantity, probably about 100g, but if you have some left over, well do what i do and sit there with a spoon (hey im breastfeeding…). Then spread over the flat surface of the florentine and leave to cool.

This quantity made about 34. Why not make them and wrap them up nice to put into hampers. Or just eat them yourself. It is Christmas you know…


A new chapter in Warwick

Wow I haven’t posted since June, not like I was busy or anything…

This is a quick run down on what I have been up to in the last 6 months.

In July we went for a weekend in Lechlade with the family in law and tested out camping in the new Kangoo. It was great spending time relaxing but being about 33 weeks pregnant, squeezing into the car to sleep and walking in the night to the toilets left me pretty exhausted so the next day i ended up in hospital due to a bleed. After monitoring and lots of injections i was released 2 days later.

Only 2 weeks later I finished working and started my maternity leave. Liking to be busy and feeling like I had made a full recovery I attended a sewing workshop, man my back hurt! I also did a sewing dad with my mum in law which was really nice to do.

I then went on holiday with my mum to Stratford as we didn’t want to be too far from home in case I went into Labour early. Luckily I didn’t so we were able to hit 4 out of the 5 Shakespear venues over the 2 days, unfortunately the last one I was exhausted so just managed to go in, sit down and then go out again but it was all fun and interesting. Some tasty food was had including fish and chips and we stayed in a nice hotel in the center of stratford so could walk to everywhere. It was lovely to spend time with mum before i became a mum.

The day after I had my friends hen do which was paper crafts and a meal and a few days later i got the train up to the Lakes for a few days holiday with my parents. It was lovely and relaxing and involved lots of icecream eating (as usual).

After that week of excitement it was then catching up with friends and relaxing until the big day…

I have to say the last 7 weeks of pregnancy are hard and the last 4 are even harder. Waking 2 + times a night, walking slower and your knees hurt, being tired again…ye its all good fun, by the end you just want the baby and for it to be over you forget that you have to go through Labour!

Then I went into Labour at 5am on 24th August, nearly 1 week early, and 2 weeks earlier than the original date given. It started with a visit to the toilet in which I discovered my heind waters had broke. I was abit concerned so called the hospital who told us to come in. We went in and they confirmed it was happening but said I could go home and would be induced a day later if things hadn’t started by then… but they did. Within 2 hours of being home the contractions had started and went straight to 3 in 10 minutes, gaining in strengh so we went back in and straight to the Labour ward as I was already 4 cm. 
I was lucky enough to get the water birthing suit that I wanted so hoped into the bath but after 3 hours nothing had happened but the pain grew so I asked for Pethadine.
Upon examination they decided to break the waters and realised the baby had pooed which meant out of the bath and perminant monitoring incase he was in distress. It all happened quite fast after that with more constractions and stronger then time to push (and you know when you need to push). 40 mins later of pushing with Richard as a wonderful birthing partner and my life was changed, Warwick Jesse was born into the world at 17:55 weighing 8lb 12.5oz.

I spent that night on the ward with my beautiful new born unable to sleep with excitement and checking on him every few minutes. I was in the same bed as before as well! 

The next day involved lots of checks on me and Warwick, lots of injections, some quite nice hospital food and finally we were released to come home.

Bringing Warwick home I was terrified about how Seymour was going to be with him. At first he was intrigued, especially with the crying, and wanted to lick his face to say hello. He had a restless first night, then he settled really well and now they are best buds.

Warwick is now nearly 4 months old and to be honest I don’t know where that time has gone or what I have but I know it involved many ear tests (finally got the all clear at 8 weeks), hip scans (also all good), birth registry, stay and plays, rhyme time, yoga, chattermatters, baby massage, 1 trip away for my dads birthday, and friend and family catching up…

I’m hoping I can post more frequently but Warwick may have other ideas so stay tuned!

Our handfasting!

On 13th May 2017 my best friend and I had our handfasting. A handfasting is a traditional pagan wedding ceremony in which the hands are tied with cord to symbolise the union, and a broom in jumped to symbolise the starting a fresh.

I never imagined myself walking down an aisle in a white dress so a handfasting with a Medieval theme seemed perfect for me, and us! We wanted fun and colour and you can see from the photos that we certainly had that!

It was a lot of work planning, organising, making, baking and at 5.5 months pregnant I really pushed myself to the limits but it was exactly how we wanted it.

So thankful to our parents who helped set up, coordinate and take down. Also to our friends and families who got dressed up and came with a smile and an open attitude unsure of what to expect but really embraced it. I think fun was had by all.

We had some amazing suppliers that really helped to make the day fantastic:

The venue was Abbey farm РJenny and family were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble and the venue, the ruins of a medieval abbey, really worked with our theme.

Smart party marquees– cheaper marquees than traditional, quicker to put up and really light and spacious.

The costume company– we hired all the inside decorations and tankards from them, these really brought the theme to life.

The Cheese and Ale barn¬†– fantastic choice of cheeses and Lou worked with us to create a cheese ‘cake’ within our budget.

Sticky Fingers Рwow, what fantastic flavours of ice cream and service. They even gave us a free taster session with 18 flavours.

19Gales¬†– Not going to lie, they are poor at communicating and can promise the world but not deliver (like promising me gluten free bread…) but when it comes to straight up hog roast that was gorgeous!

Armstreet clothing – supplied my wedding dress and Richards colourful outfit.

And last but certainly not least was Dave Sutch, our Celebrant. He conducted a beautiful ceremony with real authenticity, him and his partner were such lovely people they really made the day magical.

And just to give credit to the family members who made things!

I sewed 50 meters of bunting, flags and costumes and made all the dried flower decorations, Richard, as a talented puppet maker, made the amazing cake toppers and signs, my mum made some delicious food and Richards mum made the fantastic hobbit house cake and about 300 sausage rolls!

A picture tells a thousand words so here is our special day in photos, thanks to the talented Sarah Deeming.

















And because I realised I didn’t upload any photos of our legal ceremony or the hen do here are a few photos, this time of our legal ceremony that took place in April in Cheylesmore Manor followed by afternoon tea in Coombe Abbey. Another fantastic day! Lucky me I got 2 wedding days ūüôā

honey8honey 7hone6honey5

My hen do with my lovely friends and family involved cakes, sewing, Alpacas and a meal at The Green Man, I had a great time!





And to end it all off a few photos of our short Honeymoon, down in Devon/Dorset hunting for fossils.



Phew I’m done, can I go to sleep now…







Hot peach chutney

So peaches aren’t ripe for the picking on the British trees at the moment but give it another 1-2 months and if you have a peach tree then I am sure they will be. But for those of us that don’t have a peach tree in the garden the good news is peaches are coming into season already (from the continent) at your supermarket and market. 

I went down to Tamworth market and stocked up on what they had an abundance of to inspire me to make a chutney. That just so happened to be peaches.

My spicy marrow chutney goes down a treat so I thought I would give this ‘hot’ peach chutney recipe a go.

To make it, into a large heavy pot stir together approx 16 peeled and sliced peaches (I used a mix of types here), 180g raisins, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 large or about 4 small onions chopped, 150g of chrystallised ginger, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp chilli flakes, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 900g of soft brown sugar and 950ml cider vinegar.

Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour 45 mins – 2 hours, stiring frequently.

When at the desired consistency ladle into hot sterilised jars and seal.

The chutney wasn’t as hot as I wanted so maybe I would have added more chilli/spices but it did have a nice fruity flavour, also a bit like caramalised onion. Nice with crackers!

Makes about 8 jars, should keep for about 2 years.