Archive for the Food Category

Pottering in the garden

Posted in Food, Homemade, Journal, Nurturing Nature with tags , , on 30/03/2017 by Jen Healey

What follows is an unfinished post from 4 years ago, when I had a garden to potter about in.  Sure I could delete it, but I think I’ll post it instead… I just did.  For myself more than anything. Shows just how different my life is now.

4 years ago…

“Over the last couple of months I have discovered enjoyment in gardening, I know, how old am I?!  Previously I would not describe myself as having ‘green fingers’, in fact I would’ve gone so far as to say that I had ‘black fingers’, being the kiss of death for anything green.  Although, I have managed to not kill a cactus for over nine years, his name is Sweaty Bill and has survived my neglect.

I started with buying some vegetable propagator kits from a couple of 99p shops, some were even 3 kits for 99p, which I figured was a low risk investment.  If I got a couple of cucumbers I would have made my money back.  I also gratefully received some free plants from a couple of friends of mine and picked up the odd cheap plants that had been marked down for clearance.

Within a couple of days I had some cucumber seedlings popping up – I was genuinely amazed.  Not long after this they were potted up and flourishing, some ended up being donated as I had loads.  Likewise with the courgettes.  At that point my porch (substitute greenhouse) looked like this –


There is Sweaty in the corner with his new little friend.  Donated tomato and pepper plants down the right hand side, cucumbers on the left.  The lupin has been potted outside the front door and seems to be surviving, so far.





Below are donated plants, coriander and French beans.




Little, young plants which needed somewhere to spread out, so I had to start work on the garden.

These are the before pictures –




As you can see, lots to do!

Here are some donated mint plants, these are also ‘before’ pictures.


This is a 99p Chocolate Mint plant below, next to the lamp, which smells AMAZING!



I am very proud to say that my Beth and I enjoyed our first harvest on Tuesday, fresh French beans, they were delicious (for beans) and it was a strangely magic and satisfying experience.  I guess it is the little things that matter –


Admittedly, Beth only ate two, but that’s better than none.  I used the rest to top my ‘packet pasta’, which looks as ‘meh’ as it tasted, improved immeasurably by the addition of my beans – not that I’m bragging…”



…and there we have it.  So strange to look back, it feels like another life now.

Bloody “Dexter” Cupcakes

Posted in Fledgling Foodie File, Food, Homemade, TV with tags , , , , , on 27/05/2013 by Jen Healey

Now these deserve a post all of their very own!


Yum!  They are from here – click.

Thanks A x

Happy Bank Holiday!


Urgh… HOT!!!

Posted in Fledgling Foodie File, Food, Gothic, Homemade, Journal, Music with tags , , , , , , , on 27/05/2012 by Jen Healey

I hardly ever moan about it being cold, so I’m entitled to say “It is too hot”!  I’m well aware that this is nothing compared to other countries’ hot weather/temperatures, but I’m British ok, so I like it colder, cloudier, windier, rainier… you get my drift.

I have problems sleeping well in these temperatures, waking often and remembering crazy, heat-induced dreams.  I think it is time to start stopping off for some frosty frappucino-type beverages, coolness and caffeine, mmmm.  This is definitely the time of year for cold drinks, shade-seeking (as I do not yet own a gorgeously Goth parasol) and ‘full-on’ fans.

Speaking of cold drinks, I only have one sachet of Kool-Aid left from my pal in America, so I’ll be making more of these –

Thick Strawberry Milkshakes. 

They are easy and scrummy.

Please feel free to share any culinary coolers, they will be gratefully received and shared.

Today my incredibly sweet (and handsome) hubby took a trip into town with our daughter, they returned with lunch and two pressies for me!

Check ’em out –

This is the same game/box, can you tell the difference (apart from my using the flash!)?

Yes, the picture changes.  Tee hee.  Look closer –

Goodly, chaste lady becomes –

Rampant, blood-thirsty Vampire!

You gotta enjoy the little things.  It actually looks like a fun game, for 3-6 players… any takers?

They also bought this back for me –

Yes, that is a brand new copy of Mr Manson’s latest album!  Am I the luckiest, most spoilt Mummy ever or what?  How perfect are these gifts for me?!

Cool gifts on a hot day 🙂

I hope your Sunday is a good one y’all!


Zombieland – not for kids

Posted in Comedy Genius, Films, Food, Reviews with tags , , , , , on 20/05/2012 by Jen Healey

Despite the title, this post will not be dedicated purely to the most awesome zom-com film of the same name.  No.  I’m also going to ‘give a shout out’ to Twinkies and Kool-aid.

Firstly, those of you who have not had the pleasure of watching Zombieland, you have missed a real treat.  To the rest of us, enjoy the opening scene –

What a perfect matching of zombies and Metallica – epic start to a film!

How does this link to Twinkies and Kool-aid I hear you ask?  Well, Twinkies feature pretty significantly in Zombieland, at least the search for them does for Woody Harrelson.  Now, ever since I watched Ghostbusters as a young ‘un I was always curious about what a Twinkie actually tastes like, exacerbated by the watching of Zombieland last year for the first time.  Recently, thanks to a lovely lady in the States (Arkansas), hubby and I savoured our first ever Twinkies!  To your average American this probably sounds daft, but it was actually really exciting.  We washed them down with some Kool-aid!  I felt like I could have been in America!!!  We watched Zombieland whilst eating a Twinkie!!!  “You gotta enjoy the little things”  – it’s the rules!


Posted in Fledgling Foodie File, Food, Homemade, Journal with tags on 16/10/2011 by Jen Healey

Well, as promised here are the pictures of my most recent experiments in the kitchen.  The first was meant to be some (as Nigella calls it) Hokey Pokey or honeycomb.  As implied by the title, it is not baked, but heated in a pan on the hob with three ingredients.

Yeah… it didn’t really work.  I made the briefest of notes whilst watching the recipe on tv and later gave it a go.  Afterwards, I actually checked the recipe online, duh!  I realised that I should have stirred in the bicarb off the heat.  It was too sticky and more bendy than smashable.  I guess that one needs another attempt.

The other creation was some Rocky Road, which again was not baked, but prepared in a saucepan and set in the fridge.  It was scrummy!  Modest, I know.

I feel the urge for something different, so plan to try my hand at a Baked Egg Custard Tart soon.  Pastry, eek!

Leamington Food and Drink Festival

Posted in Food, Journal with tags , , on 18/09/2011 by Jen Healey

Last Sunday my little family and I went to the Food and Drink Festival that was held at the Royal Pump Rooms Gardens, it was a really nice morning.  I had been to the library a few times, but never actually walked round the museum at the Pump Rooms.  Neither did I realise that there was a gorgeous room like this in there –

But enough of that, there are pictures of cakes to look at.  Here are a few pictures of the festival, taken wide so that people don’t go kicking up a stink about their image being used without consent forms!

On the far left of this picture there is the stall of a very fine local food producer – Offchurch Poultry, their chicken burgers and sausages are eaten very frequently in our house (not that we’re related or anything!).

There was even a Mexican-style Mariachi band, which was fun to watch –

People always step in the way at precisely the wrong moment, apologies to the middle musician!

Now for the cakes…

The elusive Red Velvet cupcake, which I am yet to try, let alone bake.

Well it is the end of National Cupcake Week, so, as I didn’t bake any yet, I’ll show you some funky-looking cupcakes made by someone else.

Of course I had to buy a couple, Beth had one with a black ribbon (her choice, surprisingly, I’d have guessed pink!), which just about made it home.

I had to go for a chocolate one –

Hubby’s not really a big cake fan, but he does like bread and cheese, so I spied and bought him some caramelised onion bread and a gorgeous cheese and onion focaccia bread.  I barely had the chance to snap the focaccia before it was completely devoured!

It was a circle of bread!!!

It was so soft, not crusty like the ones on the Great British Bake Off, which I think is a good thing.

This Sunday I have a family birthday party to go to, so I’m off to get people ready.  I hope your Sunday is/was an enjoyable one x


Grandma’s Cheese Puff Triangles

Posted in Fledgling Foodie File, Food, Homemade, Journal with tags , on 17/09/2011 by Jen Healey

Today’s baking attempt was from a childhood memory that I hold dear, making cheese-filled and topped puff pastries with my grandma.  The finished product would look a bit like this –

I don’t think that I’ve cracked it yet, but I really enjoyed that first bite.  Despite not being quite right, it still took me back and I was back in grandma’s kitchen as a little girl.

I ran out of cheese, so didn’t top them all enough and I think that I rolled the puff pastry a touch too thin.

This one was probably the best of the batch.  Lotte, you may have to help me fill in the gaps!  I’m not sure but I may be missing something…

Beth had some puff pastry fun too –

Sitting on cooling racks is how I most remember Grandma’s cheese pastries, my impatience cementing the image below in my young mind, waiting for them to cool always took too long.

They are not likely to last very long, as everyone in the house loves cheese, so I guess I’ll be using my kitchen as a time-machine again quite soon.  Maybe I should go for mince pies a bit closer to Christmas?  I haven’t tasted a better mince-pie than the ones grandma used to bake.


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