going to the beach and watching the sea and getting a sense of perspective.
And sometimes, it looks like setting a reminder on your phone to actually bloody well eat proper food before the evening arrives!
After the recent heat, a gorgeous day yesterday (including accidentally transforming friends into mermaids in my garden) and an increasing habit of eating dinner at 10pm, today I woke up and just felt rough all over.
Lovely Annastasia came round so we could do the Ink Drops tax return (not fun, but felt good once it was achieved) and talk about stuff we want to do with our little company (fun and inspiring), but we were so busy chatting that I forgot about lunch.
Then Clover did a hat-trick of throwing up so I went into cat-related anxiety tailspin (admittedly nowhere near as bad as I have been in the past, but I was definitely fretting). On good advice I kept kittens in and went back to bed for a couple of hours – only to be woken up by furious catfighting outside my living room window. Gah!
Fortunately my two weren’t involved in that, and as they have managed to keep food down since, they are currently roaming the garden and having staring contests with pigeons and snoozing on the decking – it’s tough, being a pampered cat.
But it was only once I put dinner in the oven at almost 6pm that I realised I hadn’t eaten anything except some popcorn since breakfast, and breakfast was just a ciabatta roll because I wasn’t that hungry when I woke up.
No wonder I felt odd, and found routine things like cat puke overwhelming to deal with!
I am off to eat dinner now… and I think I shall put the laptop off and shut the studio until after I’m back from the vet tomorrow lunchtime. Could do with keeping the cats in, and it won’t hurt me to have a morning off like a normal person!
But this isn’t the first time recently I’ve forgotten to eat and then felt physically as well as mentally dreadful, so that is a lesson learned. During grief, but also in life generally, remember to eat proper food!
Leftover roast chicken from one accidental “chuck it and chance it” lunch (approx 1/2 chicken, but you can adapt to your own preferences)
Most of a pot of Elmlea single – you can use actual single cream, I just didn’t have any
Salt & pepper
a glug of olive oil
A random amount of sweetcorn – I like lots in mine, so it was at least equal to the chicken, but is up to you
Pastry, preferably readymade as it’s quicker. I use shortcrust, but this also works well as individual small pies with puff pastry lids
A couple of tablespoons of dried tarragon, or, much preferable, a decent handful of fresh, chopped
Two teaspoons of nutmeg
1 cup of cider. or wine. or apple juice if you’d prefer no alcohol
Pull all the chicken off the carcass and shred into small pieces. If using raw chicken, chop into small pieces.
Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, and add the chicken. Cook till no longer pink in the middle (if using raw pierces) or heated through (if using cooked chicken)
Pour in the cream, closely followed by the cider or apple juice.
Add the tarragon, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and stir well.
Chuck in the sweetcorn, and when it’s all heated through, take off the heat and spoon into pie dish(es). I completely forgot to blind bake the bottom of the pie and it actually turned out ok!
Add the pastry lid and any decorations – I’m going “rustic charm” rather than “slightly wonky heart”… you can brush with beaten egg or milk, whichever is closest, for a shine.
Bake for half an hour or so at 180 degrees ish – till it’s all nicely golden brown.
When it’s finished, serve with chips or mash, and peas… or just on its own as a rather lovely work lunch.
*my apologies for the single photo – it was all eaten before I had a chance to photograph a slice!!
It’s January. Christmas and New Year seem but a distant memory, and most of us were paid early from the day jobs, or haven’t had much income from our own businesses due to the festive break, and there’s all the Christmas and New Year cash haemorrhaging that happens when you’re somehow not paying attention. (Or is that just me? One minute I’m in control of my finances and next, boom, I’m teetering on the edge of exceeding my overdraft…)
Image courtesy of dogwelder, via Photopin
In an attempt to avoid bankrupting myself in supermarkets, or giving yet more of my money to Ocado (who are great, and reasonable, and save me throwing unnecessary offers into my basket, but do have a minimum order which I can’t currently justify), I thought I’d try a Storecupboard Challenge.
This unimaginatively titled challenge involves trying to cook from my fridge, freezer and storecupboards without adding to them during this month (essentially, until 28th January which is payday). I’m allowing myself trips to the uni shops for essentials (bread, milk, eggs, frozen veg). The intention is to both save money and release some space in my freezer for lovely things I’ll be making later in the year!
So far I have used up the remaining burgers (one beef, one beef with chili, one pork and apple – very nice too), some sweet potatoes, microwave rice and made a pork & cider casserole in the slow cooker, which is well on its way to doing three meals. My parents fed me on Saturday and I made chicken and tarragon spaghetti last night, with (almost)homemade rosemary and garlic rolls. And managed to make some cakes to take over to Mum & Dad’s on Saturday too!
Next up – watch this space!
*I’m also trying to get a bit more control over my finances full stop – but won’t bore you with the details!!
I need a better title for my links collections – like Kate’s Stuff From All Over… Anyway, here are some lovely and/or useful things I’ve spotted in my internet travellings this week, before I disappear into radio silence for Julia and Ed’s wedding!
Gingerbread ice cream sandwiches – perfect for a summer dinner party dessert. Yes, I know it doesn’t feel like summer yet – I live in hope though!
Intriguing article on the daily commute – from the States, but just as relevant here, I think. I disagree with their 10 minutes theory though – my commute is among the longest of the people I know but I think I’m probably one of the most social!
MakeShiftSociety – Rena Tom’s new venture in San Francisco. I love this, it’s something I’ve wanted to do in Chelmsford with the old Law Library building for a long time. I wish her every success!
London Pin Up School is coming… subscribe here
Corsets UK are offering a free boudoir shoot if you use one of their corsets in it so they can choose an image to use on the website…
Gorgeous looking garlic butter tilapia recipe (which you can replace with cod or any white fish if you prefer)
Naomi’s white chocolate frozen raspberries. I am reliably informed they’re sinfully good, and will be trying them the moment I’m home from the wedding!
Strangely accurate horoscopes from astrostyle.com
Amy Butler patterns at Backstitch – I really need to learn to sew from a pattern
The O2 business centre at Tottenham Court Road where our course was held a few weeks ago – it’s a great space and can be used by anyone
Webstagram for viewing Instagram feeds on your computer.
Have a fabulous week lovelies!