chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Vegetarian Cottage Pie Recipe


I am currently in a food coma after scoffing down half of an enormous cottage pie; I would have tried to squeeze in the rest (it was so good) - but my husband took care of that, thankfully! I love finding vegetarian versions of old classics, especially when it is a dish that I never really enjoyed because of the taste/texture of the meat used. It's quick and easy, especially if you cheat with the mash topping; I use ready-made, just to speed up the process.

Ingredients:
  • For the mash (if you are not cheating):
  • 600g potatoes
  • 250g swede
  • 250g carrots

For the filling:
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 carrots (chopped small)
  • 1 courgette (grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (chopped fine)
  • 300g vegetarian mince
  • 100g mushrooms sliced
  • 400g chopped tomatoes (1 tin)
  • 150ml water
  • 1 vegetable stock pot/cube
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Small handful of cheddar 
Method:

1. For the mash, cook the potatoes, carrots and swede  in a large saucepan of boiling water until tender - (approx 20 minutes.)

2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion, garlic and carrots for a few minutes, until softened. Add the vegetarian mince, tinned tomatoes, stock pot/cube and water. Stir the curry powder through, then add the mushrooms and the grated courgette. Bring the mixture to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and season to your liking with salt & pepper.

3. Warm a large baking dish underneath the grill whilst mashing the carrots, swede and potatoes.

4. Blend the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and use it to thicken the filling. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and spoon the vegetable mash on top. Sprinkle with a bit of cheddar and grill for about 8-10 minutes. Now stuff your face, trying to stop before you explode!


You are welcome.


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Merry Christmas everyone & please consider donating :)

If there is anyone out there who would like to do a kind thing for me this year, please consider making a donation to Caerphilly Bird Rescue. This was the year I finally became a vegetarian; I've never been comfortable putting one form of life above another - we are ALL AMAZING - from the most influential human to a tiny spider and absolutely no one is more deserving of kind treatment or consideration than anyone or anything else. 

Changing my diet has been a life improving experience; I genuinely have peace in my soul. Now I spend my time trying to help animals in other ways too, and the work they do at CBR is nothing short of heroic; rescuing injured birds and nursing them back to health. 

So if you are planning on donating this Christmas period, I urge you to give them a gift, however small. Their website has a donate button: http://www.caerphillybirdrescue.com

Here's wishing you all a fabulous festive season and new year. Peace and love xxx

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Winter in a bowl - Spicy Parsnip Soup


Now that the weather has turned colder, it is time for me to enjoy the soup making part of the year! I asked my husband if he had any requests and he said he'd really like me to try a spicy parsnip soup. I trawled the usual websites and picked Gordon Ramsay's version for my first attempt. I'll tell you now, I will not be looking any further! This soup is to die for. As Gregg Wallace would say, "I could shove my whole face in it."

For those of you that would like to have a go at this divine soup, I found the recipe here, on 'Farmersgirl Kitchen' blog: 



Monday, 8 September 2014

Baking, Banana loaf ...and the fatty within.

I love baking, though until fairly recently I had been using a microwave oven combi thingamabob that left my cakes somewhat flat. After pulling out many a hair, I finally realised the problem might not actually be me, and treated myself to a new electric double oven (with gas hob because I can't be doing with cooking on electric rings.) Since then my cakes have risen and so has my confidence!

Whilst still in shite-oven mode, my nemesis was banana loaf cake; with every attempt, my dutiful husband chewing down the latest lump of godawful raw banana brick. Well, I would like to share with you a "TA-DA!" Moment!:


It is sensational. Crazy as it sounds, I feel amazing. The only thing I need to do battle with now is the fat person threatening to reveal herself if I continue with this success...

...every silver lining has it's cloud!

Next recipe to try? Lemon & Blueberry Madaleines! I've ordered the baking tin, I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

New Doctor, New Handbag!

Soooo... less than a week to go until the new series of Doctor Who!! We're all rather excited in this house; it has been a long time coming and I can't wait to see the new doctor. I had my reservations when Peter Capaldi was announced, but then I felt the same about Matt Smith, and look how that turned out! Anyway, I've been rather busy lately and haven't had time to make an outfit, but I did have a rather nice idea for a handbag! So here it is, my latest creation:


I took it shopping with me straight after I finished it and got quite a few looks - though I do realise that this is more likely down to me being a complete geek, but I couldn't care less! WOOOOO-OOOO-OOOOOOOOO!!!! :) 

Kat xx

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bunnies!!

Driving around at night, I am often treated to some of the wonderful sights that nature has to offer, not often visible during the day. Tonight's show is being provided by the prettiest little bunny rabbits I have ever seen! Spring has most definitely sprung, friends :)

Bunnies here, bunnies there; 
Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere!
See them in so many places,
Fuzzy shapes with twitchy faces.
Hopping, jumping, chewing grass,
Eyes that glint as headlights pass;
Furries springing to and fro,
They are everywhere I go!
Bouncing to their destination,
On the central reservation;
Praying that each one I see,
Won't jump out in front of me...
I can see a few have died,
Didn't make the other side.
Oh, fluffy bunnies, do take care;
Lovely bunnies, everywhere xxx 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Broccoli, Cauliflower & Bean Soup (Recipe)

Its that time of year when all I want to do is eat hearty soups with crusty bread whilst waiting for the summer to show up. I've just made my latest creation and, as I sit here full as an egg, I'm being sensible and typing the recipe up as a blog post; firstly so that I can share it, and secondly, so that I don't lose it!

Ok, so this is what I just ate:


...and this is what you need in order to do the same :)

INGREDIENTS:
1 small onion - diced
2 garlic cloves - chopped
300g Cauliflower & broccoli florets (or you can just do one or the other, if you want)
1 Red chilli - chopped
1 Tin of Baked Beans (Supermarket own brand is fine)
900ml stock
50g broken spaghetti
2tbsp Olive oil
1/2 tsp of each: Oregano, Parsley, Thyme & Mixed herbs


Put the oil in the pan and fry the onions for a few minutes until they become translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.


Add the chopped chilli and the herbs and fry for a further minute to release the flavours from the herbs.



Add the cauliflower/broccoli and the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 mins.


Put in the broken spaghetti and continue to simmer for 8 minutes before finally adding the tin of beans, sauce and all. It just needs around 5 more minutes for the beans to warm through and for the pasta to soften completely.



So that is it! And it tastes better the next day, as soups usually do. It's at this point that I normally stir in a fair sized dollop of my home-made chilli sauce (I do it at the eating stage so that I have the choice whether to have it super spicy or not) either that or I use the sauce that I buy from The Chilli Alchemist - his stuff is fantastic, you should really try it.


You can find his website here: http://www.chillialchemist.co.uk and he's on Facebook here: The Chilli Alchemist - Facebook