Monday, 12 January 2015

Learning things.

It's funny how when your younger you can see learning things as a bit of a burden and a boring  exercise.  This might be because the of the educational establishment you attend, the things you learn are not engaging, the pressure to pass tests or because the difficulty of the task frustrates you.  There are many reasons I can think of but now I'm older and a bit taller if not wiser then I am starting to enjoy learning new things again.

Maybe it's because there are new ways to learn now not just copying off black boards or memorising things from a piece of paper...

Currently I am enjoying learning how to use my sewing machine to make simple items, using an app called Duolingo to learn Spanish and using the internet to learn about my child's development.

I also started learning about coding last year when I used the website Codeacademy and I hope to re-start that in the future.

Another hope I have is that I can pass on a love of learning to my child and give him lots of opportunities to develop to his full potential.

You never know, maybe he'll teach me how to play my guitar properly one day!

Sunday, 4 January 2015

52 Week Recipe Challenge 2015: Week 1

So I have been thinking about food a lot recently partly because I enjoy it and partly because we seem to have fallen into a bit of a rut again.  It's very easy to eat find yourself just sticking with the old faithful recipes and eating the same dishes week in week out so I thought it was time to bring back the 52 recipe challenge.  Ok, it's probably a bit of a stretch trying a new recipe every week with a toddler underfoot but I do want to ensure that he doesn't just think there are only 6 or 7 meals that people eat.

To kick things off I decided to make a Broccoli and Stilton Soup something I haven't done before but also don't have a recipe for so I kind of winged it..

To make this recipe I used:

1 Bunch of Broccoli
Most of a big block of Stilton
About 4 Potatoes
1 Red Onion
A sprinkle of mixed herbs
4 Garlic Cloves
A knob of butter
A vegetable stock cube
Lots of boiling water

I started off by chopping up the onion, then I put the knob of butter in my wok and pressed four cloves of garlic on top before turning the heat on and stirring it around. After about a minute I added the onion and gave it a quick mix so that the garlic didn't burn and cooked it on low.

Whilst the onion and garlic cooked I put the kettle on for my vegetable stock and then chopped up my potatoes.  When I had finished chopping the potatoes they also went into the wok and were mixed in with the onions and garlic.

I then put about a pint of boiling water in the measuring jug with the stock cube and dissected/cut up the broccoli.  As I had no idea what I was doing I used it all apart from the bottom centimetre so all of that went into the wok, I stirred it around on a high heat for about a minute before adding the vegetable stock and then realising that I didn't have enough water pouring the rest of the water from the kettle in and letting it cook for about twenty minutes.

After twenty minutes I checked on the soup and the broccoli still didn't appear cooked so I wasn't sure what to do so I added enough water to the wok to cover most of the broccoli that floated on top.  The I tried to get it to boil then simmer but it seemed to take an eternity to boil so after a while I gave up and left it simmering  until everything seemed cooked when I came to it.

Once everything was cooked I turned off the heat, I blended up the mixture, in two batches as I made more than my blender could hold... once that was done I grated my Stilton into the soup.  It turns out Stilton is crumblier than I had anticipated so I  had to break bits off grate them in and then get some more. When all the Stilton was added I poured my tub of single cream and a bit more mixed herbs in and then let it cook until it was all combined.

In the end it made an ok soup, quite tasty and both my boyfriend and toddler ate it.  The main change I'd make next time would be not to use the trunk of the broccoli as it didn't really blend up that well. Still it made loads and it's always good to have some back up soup on a cold winter's day.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Farewell 2014 and welcome 2015.

So 2014 has bitten the dust and been replaced by the arbitrary place marker that is 2015... I mean the fancy new year! Last year saw my son learning lots of things from rolling over up to walking, attempting to learn coding using codeacademy; as well as my return to work.
I started last year with a list of 14 aims in place of resolutions and I am pretty sure they nearly all fell by the wayside. Ooops! I guess that's the way these things go.

This year I think maybe it would be better to try to worry a bit less about my appearance and near herculean tasks.  Instead I think the focus will be on trying to remain positive when things are hard, being a bit more assertive when the need arises and make time to do the things I enjoy rather than procrastinating.

Sometimes that's writing a quick blog to say that I am still here dreaming, reading, watching the odd gig and finding humour in all the wrong places.  Just occasionally falling into the working and childrearing swamps of utter exhaustion. Fear not I'm working out where the fire and rodents of unusual size are as I write!