Monday, 27 April 2015

fresh mackerel with roasted rhubarb

This combination of mackerel and rhubarb is absolutely delicious. Furthermore, it is so easy and quick to prepare. A perfect dish for brunch, lunch or an after work supper dish. This is a recipe we always make as soon as rhubarb is in season, as it never fails to hit the spot. 

for the roasted rhubarb
4-5 stalks rhubarb
1 tbsp light brown sugar

for the mackerel
2 fresh mackerel, filleted
1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 sprigs of chopped rosemary
1 tbsp capers, drained
a splash of sherry vinegar

  1. Cut the rhubarb into roughly 6in lengths and place in a roasting tin with half a teacup of water and the sugar. 
  2. Place in a preheated oven (200C/400F/Gas 6) and roast until it is soft enough to stab with a fork, about 10-15 minutes. Allow it to cool, drain and set aside the cooking juices.
  3. Dip the skin side of each mackerel fillet into the flour to coat. Place the mackerel fillet, skin side down, in a pan of heated oil. Scatter over the rosemary. Add the roasted rhubarb to the side of the pan to heat through, then add the capers.
  4. Turn the mackerel after two minutes and then cook for another minute or two. Add the sherry vinegar and allow it just to come to the boil. 
  5. Remove the mackerel and rhubarb and add a little of the reserved juices to the pan. Scrap round the pan with a wooden spoon to lift the crispy bits. Serve straightaway, with the sauce over the mackerel and the rhubarb on the side.
Believe me when I say you will love this dish. Perfect for Spring.

Have a fabulous day lovelies.

Friday, 24 April 2015

small sighs

I have to say I was quite happy for Friday to come this week. It has been a very busy week so I'm looking forward to kicking back this weekend with good food, a glass of wine or two and an evening with friends.

Here is what I've been enjoying this week:

Beautiful blossom and blue skies

A cute canvas bag 

Our finished, upcycled bench

Dining alfresco

Recycled Victorian tiles found on E-Bay to edge the patio

Have a great weekend lovelies.

Monday, 20 April 2015

a perfect way to start the day

As a lot of you know, or if you follow me on Instagram, one of my favourite parts of the week are my weekend breakfasts. It feels so good to be able to eat outside in the garden again. I'm sure food tastes better when eating alfresco! Croissants, fruit, smoothies and coffee! What more could a girl want!

My last post was all about choosing the right cafetiere and I'm really pleased to say we have found the perfect one. We chose the Bodum Chambord and we are so glad we did. It pours perfectly, no drips and spills, which makes it perfect for breakfast in bed. I definitely recommend it. I happened to be shopping in TK Maxx and I spotted it at the bargain price of £19 instead of the Amazon price of £44! Although, I still drool over the copper plated version of this one but it's quite a bit more expensive!

A good, hearty breakfast is always needed when a girl is busy looking for wedding dresses! It's exciting times ahead for us as we plan our summer wedding. This dress business is trickier than I thought!

Have a great week lovelies!

Monday, 13 April 2015

top ten cafetieres

If someone were to ask me what one of my favourite household items was, I would say without a doubt, my cafetiere. I use it everyday for my morning coffee. Until recently, I had two reliable ones and a cheaper back up (which doesn't pour very well.) But, in the space of a few days, I ended up dropping them both in the ceramic sink! 

So, I have been on the look out for a good quality, non drip cafetiere that gets all the coffee in the cup. These are a round up of ten of the best to suit most budgets that I could find. Have you got a favourite make of cafetiere? 

This is an amazing bargain from bpsalesdirect on Ebay right now. Not only is it incredibly cheap, but there is a fantastic range of colours to match anything in your kitchen.

A great value basic cafetiere, from M&S, for the price of the replacement glass for many others.

Very similar to M&S cafetiere, I love the colour of this one from Sabichi.

To celebrate their 70th anniversary, the Danish company Bodum have produced these unbelievably priced, funky coloured versions of their famous French press. The only drawback is that the colour combination you receive is random when you order. But hey, we all love a surprise.

Amazing value, this stylish cafetiere from Tesco has a
 double wall to keep the coffee warm for longer. A real bargain and no broken glass in the ceramic sink!

Another stylish, stainless and great value cafetiere. Made by ProCook, it is so pretty and sleek that I just want to stroke it. Again, the double wall means that you can take longer drinking your coffee.

This design by Sophie Conran, sold by John Lewis, is one of my favourites. Definitely one to whip out at a dinner party.

This is the one I really love. It is the Chambord, but with a shiny copper finish. I think it must be a limited edition because I could only find it on Amazon.

This modern, shiny stainless Bodum is an update, introduced a few years ago, on the traditional Chambord. It only pours when you press the lever, making it great if you enjoy breakfast in bed. It can be found on Amazon.

Finally, some real class! How gorgeous is this Guzzini stove top percolator at Red Candy. It is definitely the top end of the market, but I love it. It really makes a statement.

Which one do you like best?

Friday, 10 April 2015

small sighs

My small sighs post is a little round up of some of the things I've seen, done and eaten over the past week.

I'm still off on holiday this week and we've been lucky enough to have had some glorious weather. So I have been on some jollies and got out in the garden to make the most of it.

I do love this time of year when the garden starts to come to life again. I find pottering in the garden very relaxing. Fingers crossed this weather is here to stay.

Here is what I've been enjoying this week:

My first lunch outside in the garden.

A favourite spot of mine in Leeds with great design and funky vintage shops.

Upcycling an old bench that was being thrown out. 

Chips and chocolate beer.

 Love the architecture of this building. It really caught my eye.

Have a fabulous weekend lovelies.

Monday, 6 April 2015

make the most of april - bucket list

click image for larger downloadable

Hi there lovelies! I hope you all enjoyed a lovely Easter weekend. Spring marks for me a time of plans and projects. The lighter nights, warmer weather and the promise of things to come always make me feel more optimistic.

This month my plans are to spring clean the house and tidy the garden which I think may take me a while! Doesn't it feel great to throw open the windows and let fresh air circulate! Getting in the garden for some vitamin D, smelling the aroma of freshly, cut grass and growing herbs are all things I'm really looking forward to. I just hope the weather gets better!

What plans do you have for April? I'd love to hear them.

Have a great week.

Friday, 3 April 2015

a little catch up

Hi there lovelies! I can't believe it is November since I last wrote a blog post. Isn't it scary how fast time flies by! I hope you are all keeping well and have had a great start to the year.

Since my last blog post, my life has basically been work, work, work. I have hibernated through the winter months, choosing to stay snuggled by the fire, as I have seemed to catch every germ going! But doesn't it feel good to see signs of spring? Lighter nights, waking up to birds chirping, warmer weather, tulips and the beginning of new life are just some of the things I love about this time of year. I always feel spring marks the beginning of a new year more so than January 1st.

I have really missed being here but I'm hoping to gradually get back to posting on a more regular basis. My batteries needed recharging and there never seems to be enough hours in the day to do everything that needs doing. Have you any tips on how you juggle blogging with work and family? Some time management skills would be greatly appreciated!!

We have some exciting things planned for this year which I'm looking forward to sharing with you over the next few months. 'Happiness is looking forward and not back.'

Have a wonderful Easter weekend lovelies. May the Easter bunny bring you all the eggs you wish for. It's good to be back.