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
I'm not usually one to bang on about the things I get up to (mainly because its not much!) but having just been on holiday with my family, I thought I would do a quick post on the wonderful week we had on Tresco, in the Isles of Scilly.
It's one of those places that although its only 25 miles or so off the coast of Cornwall, it is easy to feel that you are a million miles away. What with the interesting journey to get there (car, plane, minibus, jet boat, mini van) it feels as if you have travelled halfway around the world so it's no surprise that when you arrive you feel that you definitely made a switch from real life to somewhere otherworldly. Yes the water really is that colour #nofilter.
As a family we have been many times as my parents own a time share on the island and have done for about 15 years, so its a place we know and love and it never fails to get us to relax and enjoy just 'being'.
My nephews have only been once before but they love being outdoors and there is no better place for small boys with boundless energy, to be. The beaches are sublime, very clean and allow for games, swimming and lots of treasure hunting (half a ton of sea glass and shells later...). Throw in a morning's kayaking, visiting the Abbey gardens, lots of walking, chatting and reading and we were very content.
On an island that is 2.5 miles long by 1 mile wide, there is obviously not going to be lots of shopping, but worth a look is the gallery and Lucy Tania gift shop, or places to eat and be entertained....but that is the point. It's a return to a simple existence where, to be honest for the Goymer family, we spend most of our time trying to decide what to do in-between meals!
We love the quiet pace of the island and the dark starry skies at night, the walking and the great food to be had in the Ruin Beach Cafe and the New Inn pub, both of which we ate at throughout the week plus homemade meals at the cottage. Plenty of wine and beer and we are happy bunnies.
So, if you are tempted to go, the best place to find all the information you will need is on the Tresco Island Estate website. You'll find out how to get there, where to stay and eat and all the things that there are to do on the island. Plus how to get to the other beautiful islands if you fancy a day trip to explore.
Bryher has the wonderful Hell Bay Hotel which serves some of the best crab sandwiches you'll ever taste, for starters, plus they have their own gin!
But for now I'll leave you with more photos of our stay...with a caveat attached that without a doubt we had the best weather we have ever had there with wall to wall sunshine all week - but thats rare!
This year has passed by so quickly and the end of October is here already and with it, Halloween. I've been thinking about how we can celebrate in fairly simple ways, as I don't have lots of time or cash to spend, so here a few simple ideas to help those with not much time but you still want to do something fun:
Each year I usually do a carved pumpkin for my nephews.
In 2014, I took the first image below as inspiration for my pumpkin, which was received well - not a mean feat when they were 3 and 4 years old! (Image by Removeandreplace.com)
And the following image, with the carrot nose, inspired last years pumpkin which they loved too. (Image from Buzzfeed)
This year I'm not sure I'll have the time to do one but might just be able to squeeze in a small one. Maybe something like these easy to make but stunning ideas by Design Love Fest?
Now the boys are older, their parents will take them out trick or treating around their home village so we won't be getting together on the day, so we are having an early Halloween this week instead. Which is why I'm not sure a pumpkin will get carved in time! My eldest nephew will turn 7 next week too so there are preparations for that as well and Bonfire Night to think about - phew - it all comes at once!
Halloween is not a huge celebration here in the UK and we tend not to go overboard but I think it's still nice to recognise the day and do something, so when the family comes for dinner this week, I will be making these stuffed peppers by My Honeys Place:
And these gorgeous cupcakes by CookingClassy.com:
You can find lots of Halloween inspiration on my Pinterest board 'Halloween' for these pumpkin carving ideas and recipe links, plus lots of other decorating and food ideas - click here
I hope you have a great time, whatever you are doing and have plenty of treats and not too many tricks!
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!