Sweet Chestnut Casserole with Herb Dumplings – Comfort Food for a Snowy Weekend!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend!

It’s been snowing here in Bath. Yay!

Snowy Bathampton Meadows 500

Snow is something of a novelty here. Last year it only snowed for one afternoon!

Lil’ L was so excited when he awoke on Friday and saw the snow. Not only did it mean that he got a bonus day off school, but it also meant that he would finally get to use the sledge that his grandparents had bought him two years ago!

He quickly gulped down his breakfast, threw on some warm clothes, and was out the door!

Lil L Snowy Bath January 2013 1

With all this freshly fallen snow, the scenery was breathtakingly beautiful!

Snowy Tree in Snowy Bath January 2013

As lunch time, M came for a spot of sledging. The boys had a huge amount of fun!

Lil L sledging in Snowy Bath January 2013

They were moving so fast that I only just managed to catch a shot of them. Can you spot them? They’re behind the tree!

Lil L sledging in Snowy Bath January 2013 3

I’m a big scaredy cat when it comes to things like this, so I’m very happy to watch from the sidelines.

Lil L Snowy Bath January 2013 2

As well as sledging, we’ve had some beautiful walks this weekend, including one along the Kennet & Avon Canal into Bath City Centre.

Snowy walk along the K&A Canal - January 2013

Upon arrival, Lil’ L suggested we warm up with a veggie pasty from our favourite pasty shop  (Pasty Presto) by Bath Abbey 🙂

Lil L at Pasty Presto Bath

Back home, we’ve been warming up with lots of hot chocolate. Our current favourite blend is the Elements for Life Raw Hot Chocolate. It’s totally lush! (check out my review here). To make it into a filling, nutritious snack, I’ve been throwing a bunch of ingredients in the blender (1 cup Alpro Almond Milk, 1 tbsp raw hot chocolate powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds & 1 tbsp ground almonds per person) and blending it on high speed before gently heating it through. It’s delicious, thick, creamy and leaves you feeling totally full up 🙂

Lil L drinking hot choc

I’ve also been making lots of comfort food. For the second Sunday in a row, I’ve made a Sweet Chestnut Casserole with Herb Dumplings.  We absolutely love this dish and it’s perfect for this time of year.

Chestnut Casserole with Herby Dumplings

N.B. Recipe updated 1/3/18 to match the recipe in the Bit of the Good Stuff cookbook.

For a Gluten Free version, you could serve the casserole with a root veg mash or add an oaty crumble topping.

Have a great week everyone! Stay warm!

 

 

Is it snowing where you are?
What are your favourite Winter warming comfort foods?

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Weekend Highlights – Spray Painting, Bike Riding & Roasted Vegetable Risotto (with Recipe!)

Hi everyone! I hope you had a great weekend 🙂

We managed to fit in lots of fun activities this weekend, starting off with a trip to the library on Saturday morning where Lil’ L returned his book and came out with another seven! You can guess who ended up carrying those round Bath. Luckily he had lots of books to keep him occupied while we went for coffees in Neros 😉

I’m still getting a real kick out of how much Lil’ L is enjoying reading.  In addition to the library books, he’s also currently reading a chapter of Lemony Snicket to us every night and, on his own, he’s reading Philip Pullman’s ‘The Subtle Knife’ (both books that he picked up from the charity shop for a couple of pounds each).

In the afternoon, after a quick visit to a local village fete, Lil’ L and his friend T did some stencilling and spray art with M in our garage.

T did a space-inspired picture, while Lil’ L sprayed an underwater scene with a scary looking fish!

On Sunday, it actually stopped raining for a few hours and the sun came out. We decided to grab the opportunity to go out for a bike ride along the Kennet & Avon Canal.

To make it more interesting for Lil’ L, we said we’d cycle to the Angel Fish Cafe at Limpley Stoke for lunch.  That sure got him moving!

Both the boys fancied baked beans on toast but we were surprised to find that the Cafe only served white bread. No wholemeal, no granary, no seeded bread.  That’s no good! Bike riders need big chunky doorsteps of wholemeal granary bread to refuel them, not thin anaemic white slices 😉

Lil’ L asked if he could have an ice cream for dessert. I told him he could have one at the Canal Boat Cafe in Bathampton (back where we started our journey). This was a sneaky move on my part to make sure he peddled fast rather than dawdled all the way back. It sure worked 😉

We’ve had an unbelievable amount of rain lately but, on the plus side, the countryside is looking beautifully lush and green!

The muddy bike bottom really isn’t a good look is it? I’m so glad I’ve finally had mudguards fitted to my bike.

The face was pretty muddy too (and chocolatey!)

And look at those legs!

Back home, Lil’ L headed straight to the shower while I made the most of our sunshine and did a little gardening. I was amazed to find that we’ve actually managed to grow some strawberries that haven’t been eaten by a slug … or snail … or blackbird!

And look what else I came across… a beautiful shimmering blue damselfly taking refuge on Buddha 🙂

He stayed there for ages!

After a great day out, I cooked us a large pan of roasted squash and red pepper risotto. It was very yummy indeed. Unfortunately, Lil’ L isn’t a huge fan of risotto (he isn’t keen on the texture of Arborio rice) but I pre-empted any negative comments by serving it with some toasted wholegrain tortilla segments. He then proceeded to tuck in with enthusiasm, piling the crispy tortilla high with the risotto, and ate every last grain!

I often find that the addition of a ‘bready’ side dish, like a flat bread, tortilla, or piece of garlic bread can transform a meal for Lil L. I wonder if this is the same for all children?

At the weekend, I made the risotto with an old packet of Arborio rice that needed using up. Next time I make the risotto, I’m going to try the Riso Gallo 3 Grains Risotto Rice which consists of Italian Rice, Spelt and Pearl Barley. As this rice contains wholegrains, it will have a lower GI than regular white risotto rice, as well as other nutrients such as Iron and B Vitamins.

With the butternut squash and red pepper pieces, our risotto did look quite pretty. I also added some peas to add more colour and lovely nutrients 🙂

Here’s how I made it:

Have a great week everyone! 🙂 xx

This time last year… Glastonbury!

‘Waterscapes’ Weekend Photo Journal

Hi everyone!  I hope you had a great weekend! 

The glorious weather continues here in the UK 🙂

We went for some beautiful walks by the River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal on Saturday and Sunday.  Here are a few of my favourite sights from the weekend.

 

 

   

   

What was the highlight of your weekend?  I’d love to hear about it!  

Have a great week everyone! 

I hope the sun is shining wherever you are 🙂 xx