Tiddler and Fox News
This has to be my favourite time of year, its a time to slow down a touch and prepare for winter, rejoice in the changing seasons and the changing colours. The air is fresher and seems full of life to me.
I love the promise of chilly weather, lighting the fire and settling in for those long winter evenings. I find I'm more productive and happier to be on the sofa making something, writing a newsletter or whatever needs doing each day without the pressure to be off somewhere as I do on summer evenings.
I still walk as much as possible, I walk all year round and prefer it in the colder months as I don't get as hot and sweaty! Much more pleasurable.
For me, its a time to get the crockpot out and try a few new recipes, I just love the smells radiating around the house all day. The simple pleasure of looking forward to a healthy and hearty meal that has taken little effort but after 8 hours of cooking tastes amazing.
I've added a few new autumnal recipes to my Pinterest Autumn board to try, let me know if you try anything new this season, as I'm always looking for new and exciting things to eat.
Now is the time to read all those books and magazines that have been piling up and catch up on blog posts that I haven't had time to read.
This is also a busy time for retailers and I'm busy behind the scenes preparing for Christmas but making sure I slow down for a bit before the rush begins!
There is one thing that make autumn just the best time of year though....no more flies or midges!!
Let me know what you love about autumn and if you look forward to winter. Until next time x
Last week I talked about the simple pleasures of autumn and I hope you enjoyed the read and possibly picked up a few ideas? This week I thought I would share some comforting recipes with you, some are tried and tested and some are new to me that I will be trying this season - enjoy!
A huge favourite in this house is Simple Beef & Vegetable Casserole - this is a slow cooker recipe and is best done this way as the flavours develop beautifully over time:
Simple Beef & Vegetable Casserole
1.2 Kg Braising steak chopped into chunks
50g Plain Flour
2 medium onion cut into wedges
2 medium carrots chopped coarsely
2 stalks of celery chopped coarsely
1 medium parsnip chopped coarsely
1 medium swede chopped coarsely
3 cloves of garlic - less if you prefer!
70g tomato paste
400g canned chopped tomatoes
250ml beef stock
2 dried bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme
Coat the beef in the flour and shake of the excess and add to a frying pan with the olive oil. Fry off in batches until browned all over, then transfer to the slow cooker.
Heat a little more oil in the pan and cook the onion, carrots, celery, swede, parsnip and garlic until it starts to soften. Add the tomato paste and stir, transfer to the slow cooker. Add the tinned tomatoes and stock to the slow cooker and stir the mixture together and add the bay leaves and thyme.
Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve with a green veg and mash or just in a bowl as it is!
Italian Chicken with Cream Cheese and Spinach
A BBC Good Food recipe that never fails and is extremely tasty, you can find the recipe here
Sausage & Cannellini Bean Hotpot
I mentioned this in an earlier blog post as being one of my top 7 go-to meals and it remains one of the tastiest easy dishes you can do! Here it is again:
8 sausages of your choice
2 large red onions cut into wedges
2 garlic cloves
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
300g can of cannellini beans, drained
150ml chicken stock
Fry or grill the sausages until cooked through completely, set aside. Add onions to a pan and cook for 7-8 minutes, add garlic, dried chilli flakes, and rosemary and cook for two minutes. Add the cannellini beans.
Cut each sausage into 3 or 4 pieces and add into the pan and add the stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes. Add the spinach and some pepper and stir through to wilt the spinach then pile into serving bowls. Enjoy!
This lovely looking recipe is in the latest Tesco Free magazine and you can find the details for it here. I'm hoping to try it out very soon! Yum....
And a lovely sweet recipe now, just perfect for this time of year and simple too, doesn't get much better!
Apple & Blackberry Cake
A recipe from Woman & Home, you can find the details here (doesn't it look so good?!)
Happy cooking....and eating!
Autumn's Simple Pleasures - Things to do This season. We have been so lucky this past couple of weeks, I actually can't remember when it last rained here in Somerset and I've been able to enjoy my morning walks without fear of getting wet and the sunrises have been incredible each and every day, it really has been an amazing start to Autumn!
I'm so lucky living where I do and having a stunning garden to boot is a real pleasure even at this time of year. Being able to sit outside with a coffee on cold or frosty autumn mornings is one of life's simple pleasures for me.
So what does autumn mean for you? I've had so many conversations lately about it being a new beginning and a time that people love for lots of different reasons but each season really does bring it's unique pleasures and here are a few ideas of simple pleasures that you can incorporate daily for a really special season.
Play in the fallen leaves - children optional
Drink extra special hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and make the most of seasonal drinks on offer at your favourite coffee shop
Dig out those cosy jumpers and get wrapped up and go for a nice long walk - make it easier to get out by having a treat ready when you get home as a 'reward' for the exercise. Make it something you don't have very often but something you'll look forward to the whole way!
Appreciate the outdoors without getting horribly sweaty....not just me then?!
Get the fire going (if you have one) or light those lovely scented candles you've bought from that lovely website tiddlerandfox.com.....
Break out the DVD's or decide which box set you'll start watching on Netflix now the nights are drawing in.
Collect conkers - again, children optional...
Get those cuddly blankets out of storage and get them cleaned if you need to but pile them up on the sofa for cosy movie nights and make your home super cosy. Need lovely soft new throws? Click here.
If you are crafty, look for new projects you can work on in the evenings. You might try your hand at some handmade Christmas gifts or simply something for the home. The ultimate time-waster that is Pinterest is a fabulous place for inspiration for all things craft and handmade.
Plan your Bonfire Night/Halloween/Christmas celebrations to take away any stress related with last minute plans. Five minutes here and there to think about Christmas in particular will be time well spent.
Any books you've been meaning to read? Nows the time to enjoy them.
Try lots of new recipes that are perfect for all the lovely autumn seasonal veg. These are usually great value and can make meals go a long way for not a lot of cash. Super tasty soups and casseroles are perfect for this time of year and are great for feeding families. I love to get the slow cooker (crockpot) out and make my favourite beef stew amongst other recipes. The smell that fills the house all day is divine. (Recipe coming in next weeks blog post - stay tuned!)
Have a bonfire with all the garden rubbish and fallen leaves.
Start a journal - this is one of the easiest and simplest way to appreciate the day to day and focusing on the things you have. Great also for goal setting and making plans and for keeping on track with them. Watch your positivity grow!
Simply enjoy the colours, scents and magic of this time of year.
Let me know if there is anything you love doing in autumn and things you look forward to at this time of year. Need a little more inspiration? Find my Pinterest board for Autumn here
Until next time...x
Well, here it is, the round up of September I promised you last week when I blabbered on about pretty much nothing!
So what has Tiddler & Fox (otherwise known as me!) been up to this month and have I discovered anything new and fabulously entertaining for you?
Well...on the blog I talked about how to create a cosy home for autumn (read how you can do that here) now that the nights are drawing in, it's time to hunker down and get snuggly. We haven't yet lit the fire but it won't be far away until we do and we have a log store full in anticipation. The kittens are in a lot more now too so that means winter is on it's way. You can also find an Autumn Collection on the website highlighting beautiful buys to make your home nice and cosy this season.
13th September was Positive Thinking Day and I wrote about the power of positive thinking and how to enhance the every day here. Five simple steps that you can take to make each day a little better.
Last week I discovered Home in Castle Cary, a fab new cafe/restaurant serving vegetarian and vegan food that even my other half liked! If you fancy checking out the lovely menu on offer, you can find out more about them here.
I attended several fairs and markets, in lovely Lymington, Wells and Yeovil and also the Vintage Brocante at The Larmer Tree in Wiltshire, a stunning venue with beautiful gardens. If you would like to visit, you can find out more here.
Behind the scenes I've also been to Autumn Fair at the NEC, a twice yearly trade fair and visited my suppliers for candles, the amazing St Eval Candle Co, and you will be pleased to hear that I placed my order for Christmas candles and I'm eagerly awaiting their delivery as we speak! They will be on the website asap and you won't be disappointed, they are truly beautiful and smell incredible. If you want to create an inviting festive atmosphere in your home this Christmas, these scented candles are a must.
Also, work in progress is my planning for Christmas and there will be lots of making going on, all ready to go so far are my limited edition handmade tree decorations - watch this space, they too will appear on the site soon, along with a range of handmade and vintage inspired gifts. Gift collections will be available in October, helping you to choose that perfect gift.
I'll be adding a blog post next month about my Christmas planning as I appreciate that September might be a little too early for some to be whittering on about that!
I hope it's been a good month for you, I'm looking forward to sharing more autumn and winter ideas with you next month, with recipes, ideas to enhance your interiors and suggestions for days out and enjoying autumn weather! Until next time...