Oat and Chickpea Balls in Tomato and Basil Sauce

I make oat and chickpea balls quite frequently. I used to follow a recipe but now I just make it up based on what ingredients I have in and how I would like it to taste.

I started out by putting about 50g of oats, a tin of drained chickpeas, a splash of oil and water and a few seasonings into a food processor. I blitzed this until it all came together to form a dough. I then made this into small balls and gently fried them in a little oil. I moved them about in the pan until they were golden all over.

To make the sauce I mixed passata and a small amount of water together and added garlic puree and basil and seasoned. I brought this to the boil and simmered for a few minutes before pouring into the pan with the dumplings.

I decided to serve this with spaghetti, courgette ribbons and peas.

This was a lovely simple dinner and very enjoyable to eat. This is also a vegan meal, so great for those following vegan and vegetarian diets.

Katie

January 2021 Review

January always feels like a long month, even more so this year due to lockdown restrictions. So, the first month of the year is nearly over – how am I getting on with my goals and plans?

Daily Walks
I can happily say that this is a goal I have stuck to and have made quite a routine out of it. I tend to get out for a walk after lunch and usually time it with my son’s afternoon nap! He usually naps in the pushchair whilst we are out walking. I don’t do the same walk everyday as I like to keep things different. I enjoy the scenery and like to see the sea. I am always amazed at how different it can look.

Daily Bible Read
Again, this is another goal that I have stuck to. I am using my Bible app every day and I am currently following two plans on there. One is 100 essential Bible verses and the other is a daily devotional about parenting which is linked to verses in the Bible and gives encouragement and Christian teachings. I am now aiming to start using a study Bible more to help with understanding and better my knowledge.

Make Time to do Things I Enjoy
This month I have attempted two different paintings. I painted a picture of the beach and also began a painting of a swan. They aren’t perfect, I am still quite new to painting so figuring out what techniques to use. I also began a cross stitch, progress has been slow over the last week but I intend to keep up with this and finish the project

Planning
I have been using my planner but haven’t been writing a lot down in it. It has been useful for reminding me to get things done, such as mending some of my daughter’s soft toys and ordering things online. Obviously there are no events to mark on the calendar currently but hopefully that will change soon. I hope to start using the planner more efficiently by writing more things down such as meal plans, daily household taks etc.

Blogging
I am quite pleased with my frequency of blog posts this month and overall I have found lots to blog about. I have struggled at times and sometimes lost inspiration. I do really enjoy blogging, it’s great to connect with other bloggers and share inspiration.

What Else Have I Achieved?
This week I got round to ordering items I need to start sowing some seeds to grow vegetables. I am looking forward to those items arriving so I can get growing!

I bought myself a new coat and gloves which was a much needed purchase so I am happy I can keep warm on my daily walks.

I have cooked lots of homemade dinners and lunches and also cakes and bakes. I am grateful for the ability to cook nutritious and wholesome meals for my family.

Things to Work on Next Month
As mentioned above, I would like to use my planner more effectively on a daily basis. I need to focus on positive thoughts and try to remain calm and happy. I need to come up with more activities for my children to provide variety in the day.

How was your January?, What have you done to make it great?

Katie

What’s Been Happening This Week?

This week has been somewhat quieter! I did however order a few new craft supplies for my daughter and we made some Gruffalo inspired characters using collages, paints and glitter glues! This was quite an enjoyable activity.

I didn’t get too many photos taken this week of food we have eaten. I will focus on lunch as I seem to have taken photos of all my lunches this week! I made 3 different soups carrot and lentil, leek and potato and tomato. These all made tasty and satisfying lunches. The other two lunches we ate this week were tuna pasta and cheese and mushrooms on toast. Not one sandwich to be seen this week which makes a nice change for lunches!

Next week I hope to bake something tasty and yummy to look at too!

I have still kept up with my daily walks this week and captured a few different photos of the views. Today we managed to get out in the sunshine which was lovely and the temperature has been milder over the last few days.

I have ordered some seed trays and compost and I am keen to get sowing some seeds, so looking forward to those arriving. I am hoping to grow as much as possible on my small patio!

I have been keeping up with my daily Bible read and have also started using my husband’s study Bible which is a really great resource for understanding and connecting better. I did a little Bible study with my daughter this week and hope to use the study Bible for myself much more.

I’m not sure this is one of my greatest blog posts! It reminds me of the film Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… When Mr Wonka says he makes chocolate based on how he feels, when he is feeling bad the chocolate he invents is bad! … Okay so I’m not feeling that bad just a little uninspired and fed up of the current lockdown especially as it slow looking like months of being stuck at home except for the daily walk!!

I hope I can find more positivity for next week and have better blog content for you!

Hope you have had a great week,

Katie

Celebrate Your Skills

I believe that everyone is blessed with their own set of skills and also that we all have the ability to learn new skills. It reminds me of the film Ratatouille (a favourite of my daughter’s), the book by the chef Gusteau is called ‘Anyone can Cook’…. And it’s true we can all learn to do things, we don’t have to be perfect or the best at it and we shouldn’t feel judged by others.

It is so easy to be self critical (believe me, I know).We can get so wrapped up comparing ourselves to others and what they can do that we forget about our own skills and abilities.

We are all unique and there are many different skills that we may have. Some people may excell with artistic talents, whilst others be academic. Some may be musical and others great at cooking.

It is important to focus on ourselves and how we can use our skills that we have been given. It is hard sometimes to say what we are good at. I have always struggled with this and would feel like I was boasting about my own abilities or would actually doubt whether I was any good. It is time to embrace our skills unique to us and be proud of who we are.

Take the time to use your skills, try out new hobbies and spend time doing things you love.

Life is short and we don’t ever know what is around the corner. Use the skills you have to the best of your abilities. Enjoy being able to do what makes you happy. Perhaps use your skills to help others. Create gifts for people, write a beautiful poem, make a cake, play music, the list is endless.

Celebrate who you are.

Please feel free to share your skills. What are you good at and how do you use your skills.

Katie

When Home becomes a Café

We are all very familiar with the current pandemic and have all been affected in different ways by it.

We are currently in a lockdown and are trying to find different things to do at home and ways to still have treats and experiences.

As a family we enjoy going out for breakfast for a treat. Having a cooked breakfast isn’t something we eat often and tends to just be reserved for when we go to a café for breakfast.

As going to a cafe isn’t currently an option and won’t be for quite some time, we decided we would have a cooked breakfast on Sunday Morning. My husband took charge this morning and cooked up a delicious breakfast for us all. I am very blessed to have a loving husband, it was so lovely of him to make this breakfast for us.

For the first time ever I ordered myself and my husband a dessert from a dessert only takeaway! We just fancied a treat on Friday night and decided we would give it a try! I ordered a chocolate cookie dough and a strawberry, banana and Nutella waffle. We both thoroughly enjoyed this. Obviously it’s not something we will be eating frequently but it was a much needed treat for us!

Also, hot chocolates are a favourite of mine to drink when out. I was fortunate to have been gifted with a variety of luxury hot chocolate powders for Christmas so I have been able to enjoy drinking those at home.

I hope you have been still finding ways to treat yourselves and provide enjoyment in these difficult times.

What treats are you making for yourselves at home during lockdown?

Stay safe,

Katie

A Summary of This Week

I’ll start with what we’ve been eating/ what I have been cooking.

– Monday – I made a lentil Bolognese served with spaghetti. I also made a quick garlic bread out of a tiger bread baguette and some garlic, parsley and butter mixed together and spread between the slices.

– Tuesday – I made a spinach, green bean, pea and feta pie. This was a puff pastry pie filled with the seasoned green veg, feta and an egg to bind it. I served this with sweet potato chips and made a simple tzatziki to go with it.

– Wednesday – Beef chilli was on the menu, I didn’t put a lot of chilli powder in as I wanted the children to eat it! I also made a bread to go with it, one so hadn’t made before called a Tuscan Schiacciata which is a type of flatbread. I made it with wholemeal flour and topped it with garlic butter, salt and rosemary. This was a good accompaniment to the chilli.

– Thursday – This was the scone base pesto pizzas that I posted about yesterday. I didn’t have time to make a bread dough up and have run out of baking powder to made a pizza dough with that so a scone base pizza it was! These are really nice and filling and I really enjoyed using pesto instead of a tomato sauce on the pizzas.

– Friday – Today I made a simple chickpea and veg cous cous seasoned with paprika.

– Cakes and Bakes – On Tuesday I made the custard butterfly cakes which were really tasty and definitely something I will make in the future. They didn’t last long! Today I have made a batch of ginger scones, I will keep some out for eating and put some in the freezer to save for another day as scones dry out really quickly and it’s great having things in the freezer for when we have run out of sweet treats!

I have kept up with my daily walks even though the weather this week hasn’t been great. There has been a lot of wind and rain, however today was lovely and sunny so a refreshing change.

My cross stitch is coming on well, I am making a little progress on it each evening.

I have been using my planner to set little tasks to do each day or achieve by the end of the week. I have generally been quite good at following this although there are still a few things I need to tick off. I am hoping to clear out and organise the drawers in the sideboard next and then put new photos in frames to display on the sideboard.

This week I started a little growing project with me daughter. There was an article in my Kitchen Garden magazine about regrowing vegetables from veg trimmings. We decided we would use the carrot tops from the carrot soup we made. I have put them in a little bowl with water and we await new growth.

I have a few repair jobs to do on a couple of soft toys for my daughter so I hope to get that done by the end of the weekend. Also I want to start planning what I am going to grow on the patio and what resources I need to do so.

As you can tell my mind is constantly busy with thoughts, ideas and plans and I am also constantly busy with my children, housework and cooking!

Hope you have had a great week.

Katie

(I realise my food doesn’t look completely refined! You wouldn’t see food like that in a restaurant but it’s homemade and tasty. I often don’t get time to take artistic photos as we are all hungry and ready to eat)!

Organising, Walking and Cooking

Today I planned on clearing out my sideboard, going through what was in it and then reorganising it. Most of the things kept in there are the children’s craft items which can get very untidy.

I took everything out and then using some tubs that I had, I organised some of the craft items into them to make them easier to find and store. I also now know what I need more of and that it would be handy to have more storage containers for craft resources.

I have now got a container filled with colouring books, crayons and stickers, a basket with paints and paint pots and a container full of painting materials such as sponges. There is also a small pot with tissue paper and I have a bag with card and paper in too. There are a few other random bits and pieces in a small craft storage container. I also keep my art materials in the sideboard plus some photographs, games and a tub of playdough!

I really like to be organised and feel much better when things are tidy and have their own place to be kept. It is difficult trying to keep on top of everything with two young children, I am going to try each day to do different tasks and jobs to keep a clean and tidy home.

I am still keeping up with my daily walk goal. Today it was raining a lot! We had a walk around the local park and saw the swans on the pond. We were drenched when we got home but had nice time out. I made myself and my daughter a white hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm us up.

White Hot Chocolate in a pretty tea cup and saucer

For dinner I made scone based pizzas. I chose to make individual pizzas so that we could have the toppings we liked. I didn’t have any passata so used pesto as the base
The pesto worked really well and was delicious with the feta cheese that I topped mine and my husband’s pizzas with.

I am happy with my achievements today. Hope you have had a great Thursday
Katie

Carrot Soup and Custard Butterfly Cakes

My daughter requested soup for lunch and it had to be her favourite – carrot! I enjoy making soups for lunch and it’s a great way to get vegetables into our diet at lunch time!

I made a basic soup of carrots, garlic puree, dried oregano, black pepper, vegetable stock and red lentils. I left this simmering for about 40 minutes and then blended into a smooth soup. I have to say it was quite a successful soup and definitely one I will be making again.

I decided to make some cupcakes whilst the soup was simmering. I fancied something with a custard flavour. I made a 2 egg cake mix and substituted some of the flour for custard powder. This made the cake batter lovely and yellow.

Once the cakes were baked I decided that I would turn them into butterfly cakes and fill them with custard. I made up a small amount of thick custard and then cut a circle out of each cupcake and sliced those in half to form the butterfly wings. I then filled each cake with a teaspoon full of custard and topped with the butterfly wings.

I have enjoyed making some yummy creations in the kitchen today.

Katie

Sunday

On Sunday the sun was shining and it was a really beautiful morning. We had a family walk along the seafront which was lovely.

My husband made our Sunday lunch, it was a delicious meal of Toad in the Hole (sausages in Yorkshire pudding), roast potatoes and lots of veg. My husband also likes to cook so so spent time playing with the children whilst he prepared today’s lunch.

After lunch we had quite a restful afternoon of watching films, reading, sewing and playing.

Shopping List Game!

My current sewing project is a cross stitch towel kit. The kit was given to me a few years ago and actually belonged to my late Grandma. She had completed the cross stitch design on one of the hand towels but the other hadn’t been started. Now I am taking the time to focus on craft activities I decided I would make a start on this. The cross stitch kit is dated 1996 which is the year after I was born! I think at 25 years old it’s about time it was completed! The pattern is really pretty and my Grandma did a brilliant job. Hopefully I can do as good a job and in the near future will have two matching towels.

I also made time to do some baking with my daughter. She received a Gruffalo recipe book for Christmas so we decided we would make something out of there. We baked some Gingerbread mice. I have to say they look quite cute! I made some adjustments to the recipe by using almonds for ears instead of peanuts. These gave the mice nice big ears! They were very tasty too!

Hope you all had a good weekend,

Katie

This Week – Food, Photos and Thoughts

As with a lot of my posts, the common theme is food!! So I’ll start off with what we have been eating this week.

I roasted a large chicken on Sunday for lunch. There was plenty leftover to get another two meals out of it. So, on Monday I made a chicken and leek stew with dumplings. Tuesday I used the last of the chicken to make a risotto, I added spinach, peas and parsley to it. I had a tiger baguette in the freezer and used half of it to make a garlic bread. I mixed a little parsley, garlic puree and butter together and spread this in grooves I sliced into the baguette. This was then baked.

This week I also cooked sausages with veg, a simple jacket potato dinner and tonight I made a lentil lasagne. The lasagne was delicious, we were all quite hungry tonight so I didn’t get round to taking a photo of it! I just made up a veggie filling that consisted of red lentils, carrots, yellow pepper and tomatoes. I seasoned it with oregano and black pepper. I made my usual cheese sauce and layered up the lasagne in the dish with the lentil fling, pasta sheets and cheese sauce.

I also made a broccoli quiche to have for lunches as it’s nice to be able to have a bit of variety instead of sandwiches! I have managed to make a few pictures out of my children’s lunches for a bit of fun! Today I made butterflies!!

The sweet treats this week we’re chocolate chip muffins and a simple sponge cake. As a family, we all really enjoy home cooked foods and I enjoy being in the kitchen cooking and baking.

I have kept up my daily walks, yesterday was very rainy and I discovered that my boots are not waterproof!! Other than that it was an enjoyable refreshing walk in the rain. I am really happy to be getting outside every day for a walk.

The cross stitch that I started at the beginning of the week is now completed. I know it’s a Christmas cross stitch but I found it in my craft things and thought it would be a nice small piece to get me back into cross stitching. I really enjoyed it so will definitely be doing more cross-stitching in the future.

I have been trying to keep organised and have been ticking things off of my to do lists so have felt quite productive this week. The days are long and I know we are all trying to do the best we can to keep ourselves occupied and also stay safe.

I hope you have had a good week

Katie