Saturday, 17 March 2018

How to Make Homemade Rhubarb and Orange Liqueur

Rhubarb can be a tricky vegetable to know what to do with. It's sharp, tangy flavour is often muted by oodles of sugar in a crumble and even then, it can be too sharp for some delicate palates. But by combining it with the citrus sweetness of orange in this rhubarb and orange gin, I think the vegetable has at last found it's partner in crime.

I had had a bag of rhubarb in my freezer for some time, waiting for my decision on what to use it for. I didn't have enough in weight to make a wine, but it also felt a bit if a cop out to make a dessert - in which case, I then would have had to much of the stuff.

In the end, I took it to Facebook: rhubarb and ginger jam or rhubarb and orange gin. And, of course, the latter prevailed.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

'O' Is For Optimism - Finding My Blogging Niche

O is for Optimism - finding my blogger ni

I've been having a bit of a blog crisis recently. Perhaps crisis isn't quite the word, but it's definitely some sort of general re-evaluation of purpose.

If you talk to any blogger, they will tell you that a blog needs a niche. "What need do you fill?" "What does your blog do?" It's a really good question, one that has had me tossing ideas into a metaphorical waste paper bin rather frequently on my commute to work recently.

The problem is, it's all been done before. The Unmumsy Mum broke the mould when she first started blogging about real motherhood, when suddenly a million mums across the country rejoiced in their emancipation, in mutual acknowledgement of the fact that motherhood isn't all cotton buds and cuddles. That sometimes it's a bit hard and more than a bit shit.

Monday, 29 January 2018

Advice From A Geriatric Me

Time goes so fast. Before you know it, it's evaporated like a wisp of smoke. Sometimes I forget it's 2018. I can still remember worrying about the millennium bug and if Dad was going to get off the phone in time for me to dial up the Internet.

I realise this even more when I glance at my to do list and see items on it initially pencilled in weeks ago. When will I ever be able to tick them off? Then I start to wonder if I'm worrying too much about the future and if I should be more considerate of the here and now.

Advice from 80 year old me

What would an 80 year old me have to say about it? What would she tell me to do? Nobody wants to reach their twilight years full of regret. Maybe now is the time to listen to that older and (I hope) wiser me. But what would she say if she was sat next me, probably giving me that look Mum used to give to me, the one I now give to the boys. The knowing look. The 'I'm making a point' look. I think the first thing she'd tell me to do is:

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Mother Next Door

The coiffured banker's wife puts the children to bed, then sits alone in her mansion waiting for a husband who'll be home late again. Her fingers are painted and her handbag Dior, but she risks more than a broken nail if she questions his absence.

She must have the perfect life, thinks the new mum who sits sobbing in the dark, desperately searching the internet for an answer to why her baby won't stop crying. She tries to comfort him, but he seems to sense her anguish and the misinterpreted rejection cuts deeper into her fraying inner strength.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

How To Make Homemade Spiced Apple Liqueur

Apples and cinnamon - what a match made in heaven. And whilst this liqueur needs some time to mature for the flavours to infuse as deeply as possible, there's no denying it's worth the wait. And it's so easy to make too!

In liqueur-making, apples can be combined with brandy, gin and even rum, but I love the sharpness that comes from a vodka blend. This recipe will make about a litre of the finished liqueur and stores well in a cool cupboard.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide for Grown-ups

I love Christmas. I love it even more now I'm an adult and can enjoy the indulgent delights of booze-soaked Christmas puddings and warming sips of mulled wine. And there's the food too, of course: spiced, fruit cakes, citrus, sweet treats and deliciously steamy puddings covered in custard or a dollop of cool, whipped cream. That's why for this year's Christmas gift guide, I've chosen to feature the kind of food and drink I'd love to find in my own stocking on Christmas morning. The kid's Christmas lists can wait - this is all about us.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

8 Top Tips For Keeping Everyone Safe On Fireworks Night

As we approach Winter and the nights draw in, this is a fantastic time of year to enjoy the spooky, sweet and spiced delights of Halloween and the wonder of Fireworks Night. But much as it's a great way to spend a evening together as family, attending a fireworks display comes with some obvious risks. 

Here are some tips for keeping everyone safe this Fireworks Night.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

How To Make Homemade Turkish Delight

I absolutely love making yummy treats that I can gift to family to friends at Christmas. A few years ago I made fig, date and onion chutney which I gave away with a little bottle of my red berry liqueur, each wrapped with a twist of festive ribbon and tied with brown labels suitably marked 'Eat Me' and 'Drink Me'.

This is another of my favourites. There always seems something indulgent about Turkish delight. It's something I don't eat all that much throughout the rest of the year but come wintertime, I can't help but make up a batch.

What's more, it's so unbelievably easy! I mean, who has time for faffing when there's mulled wine to be drunk?

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

TrackR pixel - Review and Giveaway!

I dislike stereotypes. That said, I am stereotypically bad at finding ANYTHING in my handbag beneath the crumpled up receipts, used tissues (I know - gross), boiled sweets and biros. So you can understand the predicament I find myself in when having to search not just my handbag but the whole house, quite often to find my keys which one of my darling offspring has decided to pilfer and hide.

So you can guess my delight at being offered the opportunity to review the TrackR pixel bluetooth locator. It's a clever little device which allows you to locate lost items via an app on your smartphone. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

How To Make Home-Cooked Potato Peeling Crisps

This recipe for home-cooked potato peeling crisps from BBC Food popped up on my Facebook feed the other day and I knew immediately I had to give them a go. Okay, so they're probably not the healthiest snack in the world, but you need something to crunch on in between slurps of cool, crisp chardonnay, right?

The recipe appealed to me for a number of reasons: they're very simple to make, they require very few ingredients, and they are a great way to use up the peelings leftover from a mashed potato masterpiece.

I'm also hoping that the next time we have friends over for nibbles, it'll make me look like some sort of fantastic snack wizard. Fingers crossed.