Unfortunately us Brits don’t embrace this holiday as much as our American counterparts and so it can be difficult to really celebrate as much as we’d like to. We did have a small get-together at our parents house with our nephew, who had a particular likeness for pumpkins and a real dislike for spiders. Luckily, Lucy will be in the U.S. on her honeymoon around this time next year so I’m sure she will enjoy everything the holiday has to offer while she’s there. She may even take a trip to Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights if her and her future husband are brave enough. We hope you enjoy any festivities you wish to take part in and keep safe.
There’s nothing I love more on an autumn day than tucking into something warm and filling, food comforts in a unique way all of it’s own. Now, I can’t claim that this pie is exactly healthy as there’s a bit of butter in there, but you could definitely do worse than this when you’re looking to get your vegetable intake up. Not only that, but it’s absolutely delicious and the mashed potato as a topping makes a nice change from pastry. This serves two people, but I had it over two days as this guy that I live with isn’t as much into the vegetarian food as me!
- Two large white potatoes, cut into large chunks
- A splash of milk and a knob of butter, to mash the potatoes
- 300-350g casserole vegetables (carrot, parsnips, leeks, etc.), chopped – I used a frozen selection
- 30g butter
- 30g white onion, chopped
- 20g plain flour
- Pinch salt and pepper
- 200ml vegetable stock
- 70ml milk
- 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
- Put the potatoes into cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until soft. Mash with the milk and butter and set aside.
- Boil the vegetables according to the packet instructions, mine took 6 minutes to cook from frozen.
- Cook the onions in the butter until soft over a medium to low heat, about 5 minutes, then stir in the flour, salt and pepper and cook for a minute.
- Slowly add the stock and milk, continuing to heat over a medium to low heat until the mixture is thick. Add the mustard and stir until mixed in. Remove from the heat.
- Add the vegetables to a casserole dish and pour the sauce over the top, stirring until fully coated. Add the mash potatoes in a layer on top, covering the vegetable mixture entirely.
- Grill the pie under a medium heat, until it’s slightly browned and crispy.
It seems like it’s all weddings, all the time around here at the moment, but I suppose that’s to be expected now that Hana and I are both engaged and planning our weddings a year apart. I feel like I’m really kicking up into high gear when it comes to making wedding purchases and really feeling like I’ve got a solid idea on how I want everything to look. There is still plenty to buy though, and I thought it would be fun to set out here a few of the items I want to be getting in the next few weeks, before Christmas steps in and takes all the glory!
So, this weekend was a very chilled out one in comparison to last, when we were busy and didn’t have much chance to spend time at home. I made a couple of wedding related purchases this weekend, including the last of my bridesmaids’ gifts, which will turn into a little project of it’s own. I’m excited about this one, and can’t wait to give each of the girls their presents on the big day, just gotta wait another 7 months or so!
In one month I’m having my first dress fitting – to say I’m excited would be a pretty big understatement. Since our wedding day will have been 23 months in the making by the time it comes around, it’s so good to start thinking more seriously about things – ordering flowers, picking suits, buying decorations – all this stuff seemed so far away back when we got engaged over 15 months ago. One thing I haven’t touched upon here so far is the dress; of course, I won’t be revealing to you guys ‘the one’ but I thought I’d pick out a few of the dresses that have inspired me along the way, just so you can see a little of my vision and what I might have chosen. I can’t wait to get into it again, this one made just for me, with all the other elements in place, it’ll make everything seem that much more real heading towards Christmas and the 6 month mark!
Last year, the pumpkins in our house were super pretty – a little mixture of plain, metallic and glittered (see here) – and I loved them. This year, to go with the Mini Pumpkin Place Settings, I thought I’d keep it simple with just a bit of gold paint. I bought a few different shaped pumpkins, for a bit of interest, and just went with whichever patterns took my fancy. The thing with anything like this is that I don’t want it to look perfect or neat, I want it to be rustic and most definitely with imperfections. And the pumpkins I bought this year weren’t nearly as perfectly rounded, clean and free of dings and misshapen areas, so it all pretty much worked in my favour.
The instructions here are pretty simple – grab some acrylic paint, in a colour that’s going to stand out – think white, black and metallics, some paint brushes, and go to town covering the pumpkins in whatever patterns you feel like.