Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Food as Therapy

Here we go...

This is... (drumroll, fanfare, huge anticipation) ...the first official post for the Food as Therapy blog-hop, linky thingamy! (More concise, witty name pending). If you haven't heard about it yet then check out the 'Food as Therapy' top tab & see what you think.

I'm sure this whole idea will grow & take on a little more structure as the weeks go by, but for now lets say, the first rule of Food [as Therapy] Club is that you MUST talk about Food Club! It's all about the sharing of ideas & good stuff. We can share:
  • recipes that make us feel good
  • pictures of meals we enjoy
  • our plans for the week ahead
  • ideas for others to try
  • stories of what we are doing right & wrong
  • our personal stories
  • professional advice we've come across
  • anything that relates to food & our wellbeing, be that mental, physical or emotional.

So this week I ask you all to make your introductions, in whatever way you see fit! Just link up using the linky below, leave a comment or follow us on twitter at @PeaGreenPantry

What will you do to make a start to the food as therapy journey?

I'd also love to see just a picture or even recipe of a favourite meal. Who are your favourite chefs & cooks (famous, infamous or completely unknown to anyone else)?

It's all very well me asking you all this, but what about me?

Well, I'm Chloe, I'm a mum to two girls (all ready!) & I'm very pleased to make your accquaintance! I do a lot of tearing my hair out & the such, not only with the tribulations of family life but battling mental illness & whatever else life throws at me. If you'd like to read my personal blog (lots of swearing & stuff) then you can find it here!

For a starter I am going to show you how I have begun to plan my weeks. During the darker days I find it terribly difficult to pull myself out of my pit & have a little structure so at home we have invested in a chalkboard (good ol' TK Maxx) & we now plan our week ahead - meals, appointments, birthdays, shopping lists, work hours & lots of doodles from me. No obscene ones this week though!

It has helped me hugely so far. I am a scatter brain, but when I can consult the board more stuff gets done. It's colourful too, which always makes me smile.

My favourite chef, well it's got to be Hugh, oh, Hugh. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I have a little food related crush on dear old Hugh. I know, don't say anything!

& a favourite meal? I actually have scuppered myselff here as I don't think I could choose, but I'll say I'm a huge breakfast fan & recently fat blueberry pancakes have been a favourite with maple syrup & perhaps even some crispy bacon! Nom!

Friday, 24 February 2012

Late Night Crumbling

After a day of horrendous suffering that lethal agony that is the Man Flu (yes ladies, I do let the side down, a thousand apologies!) come the evening I was feeling a little perkier & a little peckish.. Okay, more like ravenous (what?! I had been suffering & can't go for more than a few hours without at least a snack!) & so, foraging thru the sparse supplies in the fridge I happened across some blueberries which were in desperate need of consumption ("EAT US, EAT US!!") however blueberries alone weren't going to cut it for a girl who hadn't eaten in oohh, what...4 hours?!

My immediate thought was "Get your muffin on!"
A quick rummage later & alas, no muffin cases.
There was only one thing for it: EMERGENCY CRUMBLE

3 x Dessert Apples - check
2 x Handfuls Blueberries - check
Little Knob (Steady!) of Butter - check
1 x tbsp Sugar - check
1 x tbsp Muscovado Sugar - check
1/2 x tsp Cinnamon - check
Dash of Nutmeg - check
Looking good! & the crumble topping?
4oz Flour - check
2oz Oats - check
3oz Butter - check
3oz Sugar - check

STOP! Crumble time...

Firstly, I heated the sugars & butter until all the sugar was dissolved & then wapped in my apples (chopped into smallish sized chunks) & the spices, cooking until evenly coated in the sticky stuff & ever so slightly tender. It's best if you do it in a frying pan but for the purposes of making as little washing up as possible (but ultimately just being a massive faff) I did mine in a tiny saucepan.

Then I just chucked them in a bowl with the uncooked blueberries on top & a bit more sugar for good measure.

Then the topping. You can easily make plain with 4oz (100g) flour & 2oz (50g) butter & 2oz (50g) sugar but I like the extra wholesomeness of oats in there too. Either way rub in the butter & flour until it looks like a crumble topping, then stir in the sugar & oats, if using.

Wang it on top, stick it in the oven, medium heat, for 25 mins, until nice & golden brown.

Take out when done & eat with whatever you fancy. In my case, straight from the bowl! Wait until the hubby [or wife] gets home (or if you are lucky enough not to have an other half then scoff it all yourself) & see the suspicious look on their face when they see the crumble waiting for them!

Easy as, Easier than Pie!

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Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Foody Memories

As you may have guessed, food is something that I LOVE! For me, some dishes aren't just about tasting good here & now, but they hold lovely memories too.

One thing that I used to love as a child was coming home to my Grandfather's house from school on a chilly winter evening, skipping through the front door into the kitchen & being swathed in the rich aroma of lamb or beef & an array of vegetables which had been gently stewing all day long. After my half-hour piano practice in the study I would race up the hallway (ignoring the square patterns on the carpet which I would usually delight in hop-scotching on) & tear into the kitchen, knowing that he would have the ancient Pyrex bowl, an old battered tablespoon & some flour, suet & salt waiting so that we could prepare the dumplings. Simple food, for simple times. Perfect.

Stew is so simple & versatile, but so wholly satisfying & comforting to devour of an evening (complete with dumplings, naturally!) that I don't think I could ever tire of it, even if I didn't associate it with such warm childhood memories.

What are your foody memories? I would be delighted to hear, or even see a picture & would love for you to comment or even link up below!

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

We all know what day it is!

Did you all get anything? I hope so! If not, why not treat yourself? Go on...

For me, today was the first ever year I've had a proper Valentine's day & I must say, it was a bit good! In the past I've been one for treating myself to a tub of posh ice cream & getting drunk with friends & this is always great (no sarcasm there - didn't you hear I said ice cream & alcohol!) but it's nice to have a bit of a change! I do miss the drunken bit, though I suppose there is still time!

As we all know, Valentine's day is all about the love but it also seems to be increasingly about the food...
Chocolates, dining out, dining in, breakfast in bed, champagne...
In our house it was no exception. I got the conventional box of choccies from the Mr. (which are being guarded from my Eldest girly with my life!) as well as some potted roses (which I will kill, it can't be avoided, but I'm hoping this isn't any reflection on the longevity of our love!) & because the Mr. is working this evening I made him a yummy fry up this morning, with toasty hearts & hearty eggs ~

After today my heart is feeling a bit toasty too so I wish you all a lot of love & a tip:
There is no end to the uses for a heart shaped cookie-cutter on Valentines day, so if you haven't all ready, spread a little love & get cut-cut-cutting!

Have a wonderful one folks!

Peas & love :)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Here's one I made earlier!

I told you earlier that today I would be doing a spot of easy baking with Eldest. Alas, dear readers, I am dying. I think I have the man flu or some other such ailment, but whatever it is, baking is not on the cards - lying around moaning & possibly eating some baked goods, however, is totally on.
Though this was never meant to be the first official PGP post, rather a little something to whet your appetite, before we really get stuck in, I still feel I've let you down & so here is a post I made earlier instead. Originally made for my personal blog Our Pea Green Pod.

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We like to bake. We love to bake! However...finding a spare half an hour when you have a 3 year old child who spends most of her time on the naughty step & a ten week old baby who spends most of her time eating, crying or soiling herself can be a little bit tricky.
So, if you are in a similar predicament to me, then you may appreciate my step by step guide to cupcakes.
1. Preparation is key. Firstly get all your ingredients together: remember: 4:4:4:2 or in this case 2:2:2:1 - this is 4oz SRFlour, 4oz caster sugar, 4oz butter to two medium free range eggs. Place them on a tea towel so as to disguise your mingin' work tops from anyone who may be watching you, for whatever reason.

2. Check that baby is sleeping soundly. Yes? Good.

3. Find child & place in apron (may be trickier than it seems).

4. Make child smile & banish from sucking thumb until finished. Crop out mop in background.

 5. Remove gross child-germs from child's hands.

6. Now, at last, baking. Cream together butter & sugar using electric mixer, unless your child, like mine, is scared of electric mixers, hoovers, hand dryers etc. in which case either do this by hand or tell child it's safe to enter when you're done.

7. Beat in egg & vanilla essence. ("Awwww I wanted to crack the egg, Mummyyyy...")

8. After ensuing egg-related sulk, gradually stir in the flour.

9. Scoop into cases, taking extra care to avoid child saliva & other bodily fluids contaminating mixture.

10. Bugger, too late.

11. Place on tray & bake in oven for 10 minutes.

12. Meanwhile, have a cuppa, relax & contemplate why you ever thought it was a good idea to let your child in a room that houses sharp knives & dangerous electrical equipment, especially when all they ever do is ask "What's this?!" whilst wielding a meat cleaver or other such dangerous object the moment your back is turned. Perhaps I should add, in the name of safety & common sense - put all the sharp things tightly away!

13. Check buns, realise you are crap at timing & return to oven for a further five minutes.

14. Remove from oven. Perfect buns every time. 
If not, blame child.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


We will be up & running soon...

Keep checking back ~