Autumn is without doubt my favourite season. It starts in September with the last hoorah of summer, and makes its way through to the cold of November. So when Ashley, of US food blog My Heart Beets, asked me to write a guest post on this season’s fruit and veg, I jumped at the chance. Check it out and let me know what would be in your 7 Fruit and Vegetables to Eat this Autumn.
My friends, Little Button Diaries, are always making amazing things; whether its cakes, food like the rocket pest0 they guest posted last year, or super craft projects. All this, with children to look after too. I’m really pleased to be hosting one of their great crafty ideas, and with a raft of birthdays in the summer months, wrapping paper is always needed.
Vegetable Print Wrapping Paper
This is a quick and easy craft to which can add a personalised touch to wrapping and use up vegetables. We steered away from the potato to try different garden vegetables so we could experiment with design and texture. You can also get your little ones involved in the printing too.
For this project you will need:
- Vegetables (we used an onion, peppers and carrots)
- Acrylic Paint
- Brown packing paper
For Kids printing:
- Baby-friendly paint
1. Begin by cutting a large piece of packing paper. We made ours a lot bigger than our present in case we made any mistakes.
2. Chop your vegetables leaving enough of a handle so you can stamp with it. We sliced the onion, carrot and pepper horizontally near the top.
3. Using the sponge, dab the paint onto the vegetable to coat it. Then get stamping. We did one row of stamping then reapplied more paint. We experimented with different colours and veg to create a repeating pattern.
4. To get your little ones involve swap acrylic paint for baby-friendly paint and let them get stuck in. Their design may be more abstract but they’ll enjoy getting messy!
5. When you’re paper is full up leave to dry. We then wrapped our present with string and used a few sprigs of lavender from the garden to finish.
~ Laura & Tia xx ~
I love bagels and really enjoy making them. Friends and fellow Brighton bloggers, Little Button Diaries, also like bagels and after having some I’d made the other week, they asked me to write a guest post for them. So if you fancy finding out how to make bagels, check out the post I wrote for them below.
How do you like your bagels? Are you a sesame, poppy seed or plain bagel kind of person?
This post is submitted to Cook Blog Share
Those of you who follow @spadeforkspoon on Twitter may have noticed an increase in tweets about gluten free cooking over the last few weeks. This is because my son has recently been diagnosed as coeliac and therefore needs to follow a gluten free diet. Adapting meals to fit in with his new dietary requirements has been a bit of a challenge, but we’re getting there. Little Button Diaries asked me to create a Gluten-free Favourite Five for their blog. So, take a look and see what made the final five.
What would be in your favourite five gluten-free dishes?
Recently my friend of the fabulous Little Button Diaries recommended I check out one of her friends’ blogs. Amy blogs about her life; you’ll find recipes, craft projects, tips on gardening, and design inspiration. Amy and I met the other week and we decided to swap posts and write for each others blogs.
Here is Amy’ guest post. It looks delicious Amy. I’ll be giving it a go with the last of my Jerusalem artichokes.
Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and Cauliflower Soup
The sun might be shining but let’s not forget it is only march and deceptively chilly in the shade… enough so to enjoy a hearty soup of a lunchtime. Especially when its harvest season for some of the most delicious root veg! I love cooking this recipe because not only is it jam packed with cold fighting ingredients, but yields enough for a dinner for the family or to fridge and last for 3 or 4 lunches. Fresh and creamy but totally vegan and gluten free!
Roasting the vegetables traps in their goodness and gives the most wonderful caramelised flavour. Do not be put off the slightly porridge look of the blended soup for what it lacks in visuals it makes up in abundant flavours!
You will need:
5/6 medium Jerusalem artichokes
A medium head of cauliflower (or half a giant one like the one pictured!)
1 bulb of garlic
1 red onion
1 white onion
A couple of good sprigs of rosemary
100ml rapeseed oil
2 litres of wheat free vege stock such as Kallo or Marigold
A food processor or good stick blender is essential!
To make the soup…
Pre heat your oven at 180 degrees. Chop the veg into medium sized chunks and muddle together in a large roasting tray. Break up your garlic bulb and throw it in with skins on. Fear not, roasting whole takes the edge of that zingy garlic flavour. Season with salt & pepper then drizzle all over with the rapeseed oil. The lemon really compliments caramel flavours of the roasted veg and livens up the whole recipe.
Roast for an hour turning veg occasionally until edges start to crisp and go brown. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes or so.
Discard lemon pieces and remove the garlic cloves to peel their skins off before placing into your soup pan with the rest of your veg.
Make 2/3 litres of stock and pour over the veg before blending thoroughly in a large pan. If your artichokes are too big to blitz with stick blender you might need to whizz them separately in a food processor! Re-heat and serve.
My post for Amy’s blog about salad grown in a Pallet Planter can be found here.
I’m really excited to have a guest post from Northern Ireland based blogger Carrie, author of Grow Our Own. Like me, she finds the allotment can be a mood enhancing place; somewhere which provides reward, happiness and joy. Here’s Carrie’s post.
Hello I’m Carrie from ‘Grow Our Own’ – An Allotment Blog. I tend my plot along with my husband, here in Northern Ireland; it’s very hard work, often frustrating, time consuming and utterly amazing.
We are moving into our 6th year at this and there is still so much to learn, fun to be had and wonderful harvests to look forward too. My husband is the brains behind the operation but I get a real kick out it too, especially documenting the changes and eating the crops. I have chronic depression and an acute anxiety disorder and have found that being at one with nature and the changing seasons can have a wonderful effect on my mood. It isn’t a panacea at all, don’t get me wrong but anything that helps (and is good for you in so many other ways too) is always worth praising.
The adventure starts on the sofa at this time of year by picking what you want to grow out of the thousands of vegetable and flower options available. Gathering up all your packets of seed and tubers is a powerful expression of hope and optimism. It’s good for the soul and the imagination. A gardener is inherently an optimist you see, we put so much love and time into our soil and our plans for the coming year – you can’t be anything else.
Seedlings are a joy to behold. Once that dried up little speck of a seed comes to life it is rampant and completely addictive to watch as it matures and come to bear fruit. There’s even satisfaction to be found in locating it’s ‘enemies’ (slugs, snails, aphids etc.) and engaging in battle to save those precious crops.
Eating food you have grown yourself, picked ripe, not covered in pesticides and jetlagged is a whole new experience. They have a flavour you have only ever had a hint of before. Plus sharing this bounty with others is also rewarding, be they friends and family or the birds that soon learn that there is goodness is to be found on the ground you tend.
But really, is there anything better than your own slice of Eden? A place where the plants are a feast for the eye and the stomach. A place that pushes you in all types of weather to spend time in nature. A shed to make a cup of tea, a bench to sit upon and a garden bursting with life…this is happiness that can’t be bought, can’t be bottled but only experienced with wonder in the heart and pure joy in the soul.
I’m really excited to have a guest post from Brighton baking, making and baby bloggers, Little Button Diaries. They’ve been a huge influence on this new blog, and ignited my inner crafter as well. Here’s their post, and a great use of the rocket at the allotment.
Homemade Rocket Pesto
I’m always looking for inspiration for new ways to get creative in the kitchen utilising the fruit and veg I get from my garden. Simon’s blog is one of my bookmarked blog for it’s inspiring kitchen ideas and gardening tips and so I’m really happy he asked Little Button Diaries to write a guest post.
I have the smallest postage stamp of a garden, but despite its size I’m living proof that you don’t need a vast space to grow your own vegetables. I’m a big fan of growing things in tubs and pots and this year I decided to grow some rocket in a rusty old supermarket basket I found in my Gran’s garage (good stealing Gran!). As a pretty solid weed, it took over in abundance and I was left wondering what I could do with mountains of rocket – as it has definitely got too cold for salads now. I decided to make rocket pesto, which is actually a good peppery alternative to the basil version. Its also very very easy!
What you will need
A good bunch (about 50g) of rocket leaves
1 clove of garlic
Juice from half a lemon
25g lightly toasted pine nuts
125ml olive oil
Begin by putting the garlic, salt and nuts into a blender and pulse until finely chopped – don’t blend for too long or it will start to turn to a paste. Remove from the blender and do the same for the rocket leaves and lemon juice, with a small dash of the oil. Then remove and combine the nuts and rocket with the remaining oil, mixing well.
This is can then be stored in the fridge and used in just the same way as basil pesto. I mixed mine into some cooked penne, grated on some cheese and breadcrumbs and gave it a blast in a hot oven. Very tasty it was too.