Tag Archives: busy

Monday…it has to be simple


Monday is the day I dig out the house after the weekend…collecting stray cups and hoovering up the dust bunnies.

Some times I shop, but generally we eat up what we have. We converted to wholemeal bread over the weekend, so the feedback from packed lunches and dinner will be interesting…

Tonight shall be eggy bread, bacon and beans,(even I shall miss the white bread on this one 😦  Mushrooms for me too (the children wont even try them. grrr).

I shall light the wood burner and put clean sheets on the beds. There is something homely about the start of the week, when we return tired from school and work.

If I get my butt in gear there may be flapjack or cherry buns for supper (and packed lunches), but more likely bananas and custard for them…crisps for me. (hey I am not perfect and need some Mummy time..I might even have a glass of vino when they finally sleep.)

I must make sure I don’t sit down too soon and lose my momentum…

Happy Monday 🙂

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com1601080_664142676971922_1463323772_n (2)

An accidental hummus….


I shall be honest, I have never been a great lover of hummus. I find it grainy and bland, and am never sure what to eat it with.
However last night and a failed, improvised recipe, I feel in love with it.

I had slow cooked some belly pork for a late supper, But as it is school holidays and I am avoiding shopping, I was at a bit of a loss at what to serve it with…we didn’t even have any salad in. (the young ones were already fed and I didn’t want anything heavy at 9pm :S ).

One of my favourite cookbooks is Leon book 2, Naturally fast food. I decided to try the Tuscan beans with sage.
It didn’t start well…mainly because I only had chickpeas, and I probably rushed it too.
The anchovies I had used were out of a jar and I was getting cross because they didn’t melt, just added bony spines to my dish. So in a tantrum, I stuck the lot in the blender and warmed up some pitta bread.

Well what can I say….an absolute triumph. If you are going to eat hummus I think you might as well make it.
It was tasty and cheap, and I believe healthy..Wow what more could we want.

Next time I shall prepare more and make the dish properly….but last night I was glad I failed..

amazon link for fab Leon cookbooks…I earn a few pennies if you choose to buy 🙂


Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

It was one of those nights…


Last night was one of those nights when we had food in the fridge, but after a day of writing about food and cooking, there was no imagination left in my head.

Turns out I create some of my best recipes that way 😀

We started with some cubed pork loin, which had been marinated in vinegar. (It was for a different recipe, but we had some left.)
There was a bottle of cider on the shelf; a couple of apples in the fruit bowl…a lonesome carrot and sweet potato lingering in the bottom of the fridge. The cupboard contained onions. It always does…as a cook I panic if I am onionless.

We chopped the onions and sautéed them, adding half a teaspoon of Bicarbonate of soda to them, to speed up the cooking time. (It was another of those evenings when dinner was meant to be at 9, but was served at 10 oops.)

The pork was then added and cooked quickly to brown the outside. The chopped sweet potato and carrot were quick to follow, then we simply poured in the cider and left to bubble. After half an hour I thickened the sauce with some cornflour and left it to simmer for five minutes more.

My wonderful partner provided his speciality of very mashed, mashed potato.
I may be biased, but it was divine. (The potato was pretty damned good too) I shall make more next time so I can test its freezability.

Dinner by Sky
Mash by Pod

Happy Friday from all @ thesideplate.com



Life in the freezer…


Currently I have three freezers (don’t ask,) and as it’s the weekend, I found myself sitting comfortably, thinking what relaxing pursuit should I indulge in …I strangely came up with the idea to sort out said freezers. (Note to self. Find a hobby)


I have come to the conclusion that if you are like me, we are not using our freezers very efficiently. I am currently trying to use my space wisely..in the hope I end up with just one useful freezer, which will be good for both for my electric bill and space.


My new rules are:


 Fish fingers, half eaten tubs of ice cream, my own body weight in broad beans and massive joints of meat = Bad.


Fish, prawns, summer fruits and vegetables we actually eat, and homemade ready meals = Good.


This may seem crazy at first glance, but there seems to be no point in storing things I can grab at the corner shop whilst doing the school run or make from scratch in big batches (fish fingers, chicken nuggets, chips)


Joints of meat take forever to defrost and I would be better just cooking loads all at once after a visit to my butcher, and then storing it as homemade ready meals, than spending 12 hours defrosting something to cook from scratch.


I don’t often eat ice cream, but when I do I like the good stuff, So I resolve to buy these smaller tubs when they are on offer at the supermarket, and stop housing half empty litre tubs of sub standard raspberry ripple that the kids once liked until I mistakenly gave them scoops of the good stuff. J


I have an ice lolly mould in the drawer, so have set it the task that it was designed for and filled it with juice and berries and actually put it in the freezer for an after tea treat.


There are already a couple of portions of chilli and some beef stew which will saving me cooking when I am busy and tired in the week. And tomorrow I resolve to roast a joint of beef as well as my standard pork joint so we can have a dinner or quick hot beef sandwiches when my mealtime imagination has deserted me (usually by Thursday). It’s not being the most entertaining of afternoons, but I have taken pleasure in ticking another chore off the very long list, and am sure I will thank myself during the week…. The only downside seems to be…I have developed a bit of an obsession with those foil containers and artistic labelling oh well ….they will keep me amused until I take up a proper hobby.


Stay warm and thanks for reading.


Sky @ thesideplate.com

Below are useful links to products..



off with its head…..


Off with its head.

There are many things I can do…and many things that I am not so great at.

You would think that taking the top of a boiled egg would be in the first category. But for some reason when this talent was handed out, I must have been in the wrong queue.

I love the fact that the kids enjoy eggs for breakfast…I love it when I have eggs for breakfast…or even supper. You forget how delicious is to dip slender toasted soldiers into unctuous golden yolk.Yum.

The chickens aren’t laying much at the moment due to the lack of daylight. So our eggs are a special treat. I know eggs have had a lot of bad press over recent years, however I would much rather they tucked into these vitamin filled ellipses than a packet of sugarcoated cereal.

And now I have discovered a fab little item  by Kitchencraft that will make serving them less messy and even quicker (as I don’t have to spend five minutes picking out shell)


Not a massive revelation…but a few minutes spared in the breakfast time rush. And that can only be a good thing.

Sky @ www.thesideplate.com

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Busy, happy, full


Well I’ve spent another day away from my computer again today.

 I promise there will be lots of new articles tomorrow. I have spent a lovely evening at Dean Clough Cookery School, eating drinking and chatting. It is a truly wonderful place,  www.thecookingschool.co.uk

. I have a special recipe in progress for two lovely people I met whilst out shopping in Wakefield

…And at some point I am going to have to decorate the lovely  potted Christmas tree I have bought from owl lane nurseries. http://www.owllanenurseries.co.uk

If you would like regular foodie updates, and news of my up and coming book please email me…. or add a comment…just to let me know you’ve looked at http://www.thesideplate.com


Best wishes…and cheers Sky x