I can’t believe it’s nearly the end of 2020, what a shit year it’s been too, starting out with heartache and grief and continued with fear and anxiety before eventually getting the dreaded positive test result and being poorly with covid.
I’ve neglected my blog which I had such big plans for because of the year but now I am finding my mojo again. I’ve decided to start a Facebook page to run alongside my blog so if you would like to follow I’d be very happy. If not that’s okay too. Feel free to leave your pages below too so I can return the favour.
I’ve not posted in my blog for a few months. We’ve had a difficult start to the year and it’s been difficult to find words for anything. Then along came corona virus and lockdown. Schools are shut and we’re all forced into home educating our children. I don’t know about your house but mine is chaos. Kids aren’t doing nearly as much work as I’d like them to but I’m not in the best place to chow at them to make them do it right now.
As a result we’re still learning but just not always the stuff on the curriculum. It’s fun and impulsive and right now it’s exactly what we need.
We had a garden full of dandelions which led to some discussion with Toby (4) about the flowers and bees. He asked if people could eat them and that’s how we came to try dandelion honey!
Dandelions are really nutritious and versatile. They contain lots of vitamins and minerals. It is thought that they can help reduce inflammation and aid blood sugar control. It is also suggested that it could reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. There are lots of studies that have shown many positives of dandelion consumption but I’m not here to tell you they will or won’t help fight one disease or another.
Back to the honey, it’s delicious. It has a slight floral flavour but it’s not overpowering. It tastes surprisingly like regular honey.
The littlies love picking the flowers, it’s even better because we know where they’ve grown and that we’ve never exposed them to any chemicals so they’re completely chemical free. Toby is currently in foundation so we use activities like these to practise counting and to discuss the importance of flowers, nectar, bees etc.
Toby had great fun stirring the mixture and weighing out the many different items in the kitchen that he could find.
After we had made it (it took around 14 hours as you start it in the evening and then leave it to infuse overnight. But there’s nothing overly tricky. Toby had some honey on bread for his lunch and enjoyed every bite.
I’ve added a recipe card that can be saved if you are interested in trying this recipe too.
We’re self isolating at the moment and also home educating all 3 school age children due to the schools closing down. I work in school and I’m now not rota’d in until June which gives me 12 weeks at home to stay away as far away from the rest of the world as I can.
We’re trying to keep it inexpensive, I’m fully aware that so many people are being completely financially destroyed by this virus and it’s made me appreciate even more what we have at the moment.
I like these bookmarks because they’re quick and easy, and hopefully will encourage the kids to read so they can use them.
Here’s how we made them!
There are so many different things you could possibly make with yours. We spent about half an hour on this craft and made these.
I absolutely love the taste and texture of sweet potatoes. They make a slightly lighter but far more flavourful alternative to the regular potato and for that reason I think they’re much more versatile.
The sweet potato is high in fibre, nutritious and very filling, and they’re available year round.
This recipe is one of my favourite uses for sweet potato, it’s quick and easy and the result is a delicious and very filling soup.
It’s my go-to winter warmer in these cold Yorkshire winters, the chilli gives you a bit of a kick to help warm you from the inside. If you like spicy add a little more and if you’re not so keen then add less.
I serve mine with a sprinkling of grated cheese and a couple of slices of crusty bread with real butter.
It doesn’t usually last long in my house but I have found it’s still okay to eat 3 days after it’s been made if stored in airtight container in the fridge (allow to cool first). You could also freeze in individual portions. To reheat pop it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on your portion size, or warm over a low/medium heat on the hob.
Over to the recipe.
Quick Sweet Potato & Chilli Soup Recipe
1 red chilli (or a pinch of dried)
1 tsb coriander
2 crushed garlic cloves (or a 2 tsp of garlic granules)
750g sweet potato, peeled and cubed (1-2 inch cubes are fine)
700ml of chicken stock (use vegetable stock for a vegetarian alternative)
Your favourite grated cheese (optional) – I used mozzarella in these pictures but I’ve also used cheddar and Gouda in the past, both of which were equally tasty.
1. Over a medium heat, soften the onion, chilli, coriander and garlic in a little butter for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potato followed by the stock and bring to the boil.
3. Cover and allow to simmer for around 20 minutes.
4. Blend, add a sprinkling of grated cheese, serve and enjoy.
Go make this right now, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
It’s nearly Christmas (18 days), our favourite time of the year! We love getting crafty and messy. We’re in the middle of decorating the living room at the moment so the telly is off the wall, and everything is piled in the middle of the room meaning no Christmas movies together and no chilling on the sofa with a hot chocolate under a duvet.
Earlier this year we made some chameleons (I’ll do a post about those later) and I had the idea of using the same idea for a Christmas tree with colour changing lights.
I wanted to try it at the school I work in first but couldn’t get hold of paper plates believe it or not so we made them at home!
Here’s how we made them:
Draw a simple Christmas tree design
Poke holes in for lights
Colour the lights
We did lots of different colours all over a second paper plate. Toby’s colouring his is in every single colour we have. He also has a moustache and part glasses after the elves drew on him through the night!
Attach the lights to the back of the tree with a split pin
And spin!! Watch your Christmas tree lights change colour!
These took us around 20-30 minutes which was perfect for Toby, he’s 4 and hasn’t the greatest attention span so any longer and he’d have soon got bored. You could do much more intricate trees using the same idea which would take longer and be ideal for older kids.
We used double tipped pens – they’re brushes on one end and normal pen tips at the other. I use them for bullet journaling. Paint would probably be good, if not better, but we’re all out for the first time in years! Time to top up.
On that note I’m away shopping now, Merry Christmas 🎄