This is a bit of the Lego I have been making recently, some parts I have designed entirely myself, whilst other bits are based on sets, and parts like the desert village/horse stable, which are just the actual sets with slight tweaks.
It has a variety of different areas, and I’ve had fun setting up loads of scenes in each area, some of which are shown below. If you have any suggestions as to what else to add to this collection, please do leave a comment.
Nothing new here, just a birds-eye view of all the above. As mentioned at the top, any ideas of what to add next would be greatly appreciated, so feel free to give suggestions in the comments.
Peas glorious peas… We love peas. They say that growing vegetables is great with kids: the picture of a small child sowing seeds, watching with excitement each day as they grow and then seeing their unbridled joy when they get to harvest the plants they have lovingly tended. The truth is that our kids have never been that excited! However, many happy moments have been shared picking fresh pods of peas, shelling them when they are small and sweet and eating them straight from the plant…
If I’m going to cook for breakfast then it needs to be easy, quick and at a minimum not-too-unhealthy. Porridge is my default (I must post my Chai porridge recipe at some point), soda bread if I’m up early and we’ve not got any good bread in, or fresh sourdough if it’s been proving in the fridge overnight and is all ready to cook. Recently though, these little banana pancakes have been on the menu at least once a week in our house: pick-them-up-and-eat-them-in-two-bites sized; banana-y (but not too banana-y); brown on the outside but fluffy and moist on the inside; drizzled with honey or maple syrup, greek yoghurt, and if at all possible soft fruit like blueberries or raspberries. Yum. Even better when the sun is shining and you can eat them out in the garden!
Cook them on a griddle (if you have one, and unlike me you can maintain a vaguely even heat!) or in a non-stick frying pan.
Serves 4 for breakfast (about 32 pancakes).
3 ripe bananas
250 g plain flour
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
450 ml milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil
spray oil for cooking
toppings of your choice. We like honey or maple syrup, greek yoghurt and soft fruit.
If you’re using a griddle, get it on to preheat.
Use a fork to lightly beat the eggs in a large mixing bowl.
Add the bananas and mash with a fork or potato masher. I deliberately leave some small lumps in.
Add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Spray your griddle or pan with oil and ladle out the pancakes — I use about 1.5 – 2 tbsps of mixture per pancake.
Cook until brown on one side. 30s to a minute depending on how hot your griddle is and then flip and cook on the other side.
Remove and cover with a tea towel whilst you cook the remainder.
Sourdough: 1200g flour = 2 good sized crusty loaves. We eat one fresh the first day, we eat one over the next couple of days. And then I bake again. All good. But it can get a bit boring just baking the same round loaves over and over. I’d really like to make sourdough rolls, but the dough I make is really just too wet to handle. Lightbulb moment: what would happen if I were to bake it in a muffin tin???
This is a bit of an odd one out on this site (and indeed in the things that I cook). Soft flour tortillas, raw kale with a big hit of chilli, lime and fresh coriander and Guacamole is very typical: fresh, healthy, wholesome, vegetarian. But then we go and add frozen southern fried chicken fillets. Why? Because it just tastes SO good…
I love bread. I’d happily eat bread for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s not unusual that I do. I pretty much invariably start my day with porridge, but it’s always followed by toast (ah… the joy of a beautiful toasted piece of sourdough with marmalade and a black coffee). Sandwiches for lunch more often than not. And then we just need pizza, or flatbreads, or naans, or flour tortillas or … with dinner and we’ve made it to three.
But sometimes my conscience gets the better of me…
This is another of our go to recipes when we want an easy, economial, healthy and bread free lunch. The recipe calls for the zest and juice of 2 lemons which gives it a really big, tangy, hit of lemon. I like it that way, but you might want to start with half the amount and add more to taste!
Serves 2 adults and 2 kids for a light lunch so long as you get a decent sized cauliflower…
1 Cauliflower, broken into small florets 1 Onion, chopped 2 tsp Ground cumin 2 tsp Ground coriander 1/2 tsp Turmeric Chilli flakes, a good pinch 2 tbsp Groundnut or olive oil 200g Pearled barley or spelt 2 Lemons, zest and juice 2 good handfuls of herbs (either one or a mixture of parsley, coriander and mint) Natural yoghurt to serve
1. Heat the oven to 200’c. Put the cauliflower and onion in an ovenproof dish or tin. Add the spices and 2 tbsp oil and toss together. Roast for 20-25 minutes until tender.
2. Boil the barley in salted water until tender then drain well and put in a large bowl. Tip in the hot cauliflower and the lemon juice and zest and toss together. Serve with some natural yoghurt on the side.
After years of experimenting with different types of pizza this is the one that I’ve settled on. At least for now! Main components:
Sourdough pizza dough. Recipe below, based very closely on my super-simple sourdough recipe. This is really low effort and makes a great, easy to shape dough, that works brilliantly for both pizza bases and doughballs.
This is a fabulous example of a dish that is healthy enough to be pitched as a “detox”, but looks, and tastes, phenomenal. One of those dishes that makes you ask “when healthy food can taste this great, why do we eat so much rubbish?!”