Samosas and St Catherine’s

Lil’ L loves samosas so I thought I’d have a go at making a healthier, more nutrition-packed, lower fat version of the ones you tend to find in the supermarkets.  I managed to cram six different veggies in the samosas, as well as sesame seeds and pine nuts for extra protein and minerals.  They were really yummy and I’ll definitely be making them again.  I served them nice and hot, with side dishes of roasted chickpeas and crispy kale.  The recipe can be found here.

Sweet Potato Samosas with Roasted Chickpeas and Crispy Kale

While Lil’ L was at cubs tonight I decided to go for a run up North End to St Catherine’s, just for a change.  There were some killer hills but fortunately I didn’t have the Garmin watch with me to know how slow I was going. 😉 

In total, I ran for 47 minutes and thoroughly enjoyed it, even when it started to pour with rain.  By that point I was sweltering, so it was quite refreshing to be rained on 🙂 

The views going up to St Catherine’s were incredible.  I stopped at St Catherine’s Court, then ran back down home.  I didn’t have my camera with me, but below are a couple of photos I found on the web.  The house used to be owned by the actress Jane Seymour, but I’m not sure who owns it now.  Rumour has it that Robbie Williams stayed there for a while and played pool in our local pub.  Not sure whether it’s true or not!

St Catherine's Court (c) Roger Cornfoot and licenced for reuse
Aerial view of St Catherine's Court (from

Oatcakes and the Tortoise… or am I a pogo stick?

North Staffordshire oatcakes are one of our favourite breakfast treats.  I was introduced to them at university by a friend who was actually from North Staffs.  I thought they were stunning when I first tried them, and I still love them now.  We usually save them for the weekend, but I decided to surprise Lil’ L by making him some for breakfast today.  He was really excited when he heard and managed to eat 2 oatcakes before school, and then asked if he could have another one as a snack after school!  While you can put savoury fillings in them, we prefer a big dollop of strawberry fruit spread.  I also sneak in a little hemp seed oil or walnut oil for an omega-3 boost.  Here’s the recipe.

North Staffordshire Oatcakes

After school, Lil’ L and I had fun playing Twister (haven’t played that in ages!) and while dinner was cooking, we made some of our super ‘Omega Chocs’.  I’m sure Lil’ L only likes helping with the baking so he can lick the bowl out 😉

At 7pm, Lil’ L went to a special cubs meeting where he was going to be ‘invested’ (?)  While he was there with his Dad, I decided to go for a run.  For the first time ever, I wore M’s Garmin Forerunner watch so I could find out how slow I run.  I’m afraid to say that it’s now official…. I’m as slow as a tortoise 🙁  I managed to run 4.07 miles in 44.20 minutes.  That means it takes me nearly 11 minutes to run a mile.  That is soooo slow.   I would use the excuse that it’s very hilly round here but, on the canal towpath, girls that were jogging in a much slower rhythm than me were actually speeding past me!  My running action must be like a pogo stick – I go up and down rather than along.  Tips on how I can stretch my pace whilst exerting the same amount of energy would be much appreciated.  Thank you 🙂

Cubs and Noodles

A couple of weeks ago, Lil’ L moved up to Cubs.  He only seems to have been a Beaver for 5 minutes, and now he’s a Cub.  Obviously he’s very excited about it all, but I’m still in shock at how quickly the Beaver phase passed by.  Plus it took me forever to sew all the badges (badly) onto his Beaver top.  Is it true that I now need to remove the badges and sew them on a Cub top? aaahhh!!!!!

As Beavers is from 6.30-8pm, I needed to get Lil L’ an early tea.  I opted for one of his favourites (and our’s too) – Thai style noodles in coconut milk.  I love the fact that you just throw all the ingredients into a wok and give it a quick stir.  Plus there’s not much washing up. 🙂  

Thai-style noodles in coconut milk

The recipe can be found here.

We were running late for Cubs as usual, so I ran there and Lil L’ scooted.  It was the best part of the day with lots of lovely warm sunshine, so I decided to carry on running after I dropped him off.  I made my way down to the canal and headed in the direction of Dundas Aqueduct.  It was a gorgeous evening.  Lots of smiley people out walking and jogging.  Lots of wildlife too, including a foal and its mother munching grass down by the canal edge and a heron fishing close by.  In total, I ran for 50 minutes.  It felt wonderful, but I looked like a beetroot by the time I’d finished 😉