Thursday, 31 December 2015

So, that was 2015...


And another chapter closes.
A year of some really huge ups and some really awful downs.
We've said 'see you soon' to some and welcomed some new faces too.

Thinking back to last year, I had no idea that I would experience half of what we did or that we would end up where we are now. I'm still kind of working it all out in my head!

Happy New Year to everyone here. May it be filled with health, happiness and good vibes.

Lessons I've learned this year:
 
Never underestimate the power of tomorrow.
 Always stop and smell the flowers.
The days are long, but the years are short. 
Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good. 
It's okay to say no. 
Never take your health or that of your loved ones for granted. 
Look after each other.  
Channing Tatum keeps getting hawter.  
Hot tubs are awesome. 
Sometimes people are just shits and there's nothing you can do about it.
Grey hairs can be covered really well with home hair dye.

And as the Wellgate parking machine always tells me, 'change is possible'.

Slangevar! And lang may yer lum reek!

Sunday, 6 December 2015

6 Months

My youngest baby will hit the 6 month mark in a week or so and I have to say, time has certainly flown away from me.  While I cannot quite believe what I have managed to pack into the last half of a year, I am also quite disbelieving that it has been 6 months already!

Look at this guy!


I mean, isn't he just perfection?

Well, I think so anyway.

How is he big enough to, like, eat food and sleep through the night (sometimes) and be using his hands and look like he wants to crawl and stuff already?

Not to mention his brothers.


How in the heck am I now the mother, a MOTHER (scary adult title) of a 7 YEAR OLD, and also a 5 year old?

HOW?

In the last 6 months we have:

Moved house
Unpacked said house
Started to decorate said house
Had a baby via scary c-section
Got a rescue dog
Tried out another rescue dog (didn't work out, sadly)
Had a hot tub party
Dealt with major illness
Made new friends
Moved the boys school
Delivered 4000 Yellow Pages
Had 8 Interviews between us
Changed jobs twice between us (third to follow shortly)
Learned how to plaster a wall
Learned how to fix guttering
Passed a driving test (husband)
Started volunteering
Collected baby slings for refugees


And now it's 3 weeks until Xmas.

What is even going on?

I am feeling really lucky.  Not only have I got the house of my dreams, in the location of my dreams, I have a gorgeous family who are (mainly) in good health.  We have a world of things to look forward to.  And in the grand scheme of things, well, that is absolutely imperatively, everything.

But, hey - 6 months.  Jeezo - that's a lot of stuff for such a short amount of time.

Dear life, please give me an easier next 6 months.

Cheers.

Hearty Butternut Squash, Caramelised Onion and Feta Pie


I've been feeling a bit glum this week - the winter weather has not been very kind so far and with yet another night of rain lashing and wind howling through the house (turns out old stone cottages are a bit draughty!) it was time to raid the stores and come up with a winter warmer for everyone to tuck into.

So, here's my recipe for 



Serves 2 greedy adults (or 2 adults and 2 not-so-fussy-as-our kids)


Ingredients (fills a 15cm cake tin, so adjust as needed):
4 small red onions, chopped
Half a large Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed into bitesize bits
175g (or half a tub of Apetina Feta cubes, if you want to be lazy, like me)
Pre-rolled Shortcrust Pastry sheet - enough to cover cake tin and provide a lid for pie
3 cloves of garlic (unpeeled)
Balsamic vinegar
Sugar (preferably brown, but I used white as I had no brown sugar!)
Olive oil
Salt

Method:
Grab a bowl and toss the  Butternut squash and garlic cloves in oil. Sprinkle a bit of salt over the top and place on a baking tray.  Roast in the oven for around 20 mins or until Butternut is slightly browned.

Meanwhile, toss your onions in a pot with some oil and fry for about 5 mins.  Add some healthy slugs of Balsamic Vinegar and about a tablespoon of Sugar and watch the onions turn into a deliciously sweet mixture. Fry off a little, then set aside.

Line your cake tin (or an actual pie dish, if you are more civilized than I am!) with the rolled Shortcrust Pastry

Grab your roasted Squash and Garlic.  Squeeze out the garlic from it's papery skin, chuck in a bowl with the Roasted Butternut, Caramelised Onion, and tip in the Feta cheese. Pour into the pastry case and fashion your lid over the top.

Some tasty filling going on in here!


Bake in the oven until pastry is cooked.

Slice and serve.

We had our with some pretty sweet Sweet Potatoes.  Very yummy!

This dish is such a surprise, because of the salty/sweet taste that you get.  The sweetness of the Onions and the Squash is very much challenged by the saltiness of the Feta and the pastry for a perfect combo.

Delicious!