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Onions

I love onions. They go in most foods I make. So naturally, I am growing some. My father gave me this big plastic erm… thing that you fill with compost. So I am using that. I know, my technical descriptions are blowing you away. Here it is:

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That’s all my home made compost, too. EVERYTHING goes in that: vegetable peel, weeds, grass cuttings, teabags etc.

Onion seeds are basically mini onions. See:

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I spaced them a few inches apart, and kept the tops uncovered so I could keep track of where they were:

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And finally covered with soil and some chicken wire to stop my cats from using it as a giant litter tray:

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I shall let you know in a few months how they turn out!

Growing ups and downs!

Well, I have had success and fails alike in my green fingered attempts so far this year. My tomato plants seem to be a bit rubbish. I hope they get bigger!

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See? They are a bit pathetic.

My parsnips have gone mental, and due to being away at weddings and other functions for the past couple of weeks, I haven’t had a chance to put them outside. That is a job for this weekend.

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I’d like to report that other things are growing well, but I still seem to only have little shoots for my lavendar and pansies. How rude of them. I’m hoping they make a proper appearance soon, or I will have a baron looking garden once the tulips have died off.

The up side is I am now taking salads to work each day, due to an overwhelming amount of rocket and spinach!

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Here is my lunch for tomorrow:

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I mentioned yesterday that I had been busy making my house pretty. One such project was decorating my dining room with my bargainous wallpaper I got from ebay. I’m rather pleased with it:

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This weekend will be spent mostly in the garden, if the weather is nice. Expect a full update next week!

Successful ebay shopping

Not only did I manage to find some lovely wall art for under £10, I also had change!

I got this lovely black metal oak tree from ebay for £5.97 in total. 

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As I was under budget, I also bought myself this lovely red belt, which will be worn with a black pencil dress and red lipstick, because it is important to accessorise, people! This was also from ebay, for £2.59 including postage.

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I was STILL under budget, so an indulgent bar of chocolate was bought to celebrate!

Thrifty shopping

I have been sprucing up my house in the past few weeks. I’ve repainted the living room and kitchen, and have been trawling charity shops for some pretty things to brighten the place up a bit. Wilkinson currently have a sale on paint and painting accessories, so get in there quick to save some pennies! Lots of paint is 50% off marked price:

http://www.wilko.com/interior+exterior-paint/wall+ceiling-paint/icat/mpaint

Yesterday, I found this gorgeous picture in The British Heart Foundation charity shop for £2!

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It looks lovely on the wall in my kitchen.

I also bought some beautiful Laura Ashley wallpaper for my dining room. It should have been £40 per roll, but I got two rolls for £20 from ebay! The feature wall in my dining room will soon be covered in this lovely pattern:

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I’m on the look out for a lovely painting for my living room. Or some wall art of some kind. My budget is £10, so lets see how I manage!

Seeds update

Well, with all this cold and snowy weather, I have had to really take care of my seedlings. After 3 weeks, there was still no shoots with my tomatoes. As I have no greenhouse, I had put my home made propegator on the windowsill.

I have two propegators at the moment, one from last year, and one that I made. The one I bought has flower seeds in, and my tomatoes are in the home made one.

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I used the method explained in an earlier post, old egg carton, cut the top off, fill with compost, insert seeds, cover with cling film:

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Yes, I know it isn’t pretty, but it saves money!

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I thought maybe they were not getting enough heat, so I put a dishcloth on the radiator, and put the propegator on there. I can’t believe how well that worked! Within a day, shoots had popped up!

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So now I have been taking it in turns to put all of my seedlings on the radiator, and I am pleased to say they are doing well. Soon it will be time to transfer them in to pots! So far I have planted tomatoes, spinach, rocket and thyme. The spinach and rocket are doing so well that they are already in their pots and on the sunniest windowsill in the house.

I’ve just bought myself a bargainous little growing kit from B&M, too. 29 whole English pence for a mini propegator, parsnip seeds and compost. Hooray!

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All I had to do was sew the seeds, add a little water, cover with cling film and whack it in the airing cupboard until the seedlings sprout.

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Lets see how these grow now it is getting a bit warmer!

Pancakes and Yorkshire pudding

Today I made roast beef and yorkshire pudding. I had some leftover batter from the yorkshire puddings, and seeing as I don’t like to waste food, decided to make some pancakes for breakfast tomorrow.

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Look, the yorkshire pudding was a beast!

My recipe for this is:

3 eggs
6 ounces of plain flour
Milk (to be honest, I never measure it, I just pour it in bit by bit until the mixture is the right consistency)

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I made them small and thick, so they would fit in to the toaster.

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And then wrap in foil, pop in the cupboard and wait to have them for breakfast.

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No, not cold. What heathen would do that? Put them in the toaster! I’ll be having mine with home made jam.

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Recipe: Pasta Sauce

I never buy jars of sauce, because they have SO much sugar in them. Not that I am against sugar, it is more a case of I like to get my sugar from cake or chocolate. So making my own sauces has just been something I have always done, without really giving it much thought. One of my boyfriend’s favourites is my tomato pasta sauce.

Ingredients

1 onion
Half a red pepper
Half a green pepper
A quarter of a yellow pepper
2 teaspoons of basil (if dried herbs) about 5 leaves of fresh
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Seasoning
A splash of red wine
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic

Chop your onion and peppers and fry them in the olive oil, until the onions have browned slightly and the peppers are soft.

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Add the herbs, garlic, chopped tomatoes and red wine.
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I always use the last bits from bottles I’ve shared with friends. If you don’t have any left, use about that much.

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Season and simmer to allow the red wine to reduce. This will take around 20 minutes
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Use a handheld whisk to whizz in to a smooth texture. There is enough for four meals, unless you like your pasta absolutely drowned in sauce.
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I’ve poured mine in to an old Christmas pudding plastic container. I use this so much, for soups and for sauces. Keep things like this as they are brilliant for storing in the freezer!

The great thing about this pasta sauce is that it is so healthy. You can use it as part of a spag bol, in lasagne, or just as a pasta sauce. There’s no added sugar in there, and its all veg, so it is very low fat!

 

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