Hot apple and rum cocktail recipe

Hot apple and rum cocktail recipe

Fingers crossed November is as mild and dry as October. This Autumn has been glorious and reinforced my love for Britain’s seasons. OK, I know we are obsessed with the weather here, but the magic of watching the seasons changed is one of our – unsung – national treasures. Autumn 2016 has been almost poetical in its beauty. Blue skies, crisp air and spectacularly coloured leaves. But the transition between seasons, is not just a change of weather and outfits but a change in what we eat. What I love most about this time of the year is that hunkering down with a bowl of apple and blackberry crumble and custard is not just one of life’s biggest pleasures, but a legitimate way to spend a Friday night.  So with that in mind this month over on YouTube (if you’ve not already subscribed to our channel, it only takes a second, is free and means you will find out what we’ve eating before anyone else) we have been cooking some of our favourite Autumn dishes.  All of them perfect for celebrating Bonfire Night this Saturday. There is our very easy sausage one pot, our ingenious lid potatoes (jacket potatoes with the top lopped off – made this way, they are very transportable and can be wrapped in foil and eaten easily outdoors) stuffed with bacon and cheese or even baked with an egg in the top. And a delicious apple, ginger, pear and rum cocktail (inspired by a recipe from the wonderful Anna Jones) that will warm the cockles of your heart, put some colour in your cheeks and a spring in your step. On...
Crumbs – In Our Space

Crumbs – In Our Space

Ladies, gentlemen. What can we say, except here we are. In beautiful technicolour. As you’ve never seen us before. This is a video made by a lovely friend of ours, Shelly, who is truly gifted when it comes to having an eye for gorgeousness. Not us. But check out my house! It’s never looked so lush. And all that pastry rolling. Watch this film and I reckon you too will want to start rolling out pastry, pretty much non-stop. Sadly Shelly couldn’t sort out my fringe, but there are limits, even for miracle workers like her.  This is a film she made of us, which is part of a series she’s made of people, in their own spaces, talking about what they do. Lucy and I talk about our digital capers and online scrapes, but basically we’re just backdrop to Polly, Lucy’s dog. More teddy bear than dog, if we’re honest. Have a look and see what you think. For more loveliness, check out Shelly’s website...
Granola Muffins

Granola Muffins

So. It has started. The new regime. And tbh, I’m impressed with myself. We’re only on day two, but so far it has been a resounding success. What am I so heartily patting myself on the back for? Getting up at 7am. I know this is not big news for most people, but because of the slovenly nature of this set of the McDonalds (Lucy’s side is much more morning-loving) we generally don’t get up until 8ish, which is fine, as school is a hop away, and I can cycle to work before 9.30. But it does mean we don’t get much done before we go off to our respective places of work.  Then last week I heard on the radio that it was really good for children to have a long walk to school, or do exercise before school. I have two boys who find it hard to focus at school, and further researching showed it might help with this too. So here we are. Up at 7, in a mix of pjs and tracksuits, jogging to the park.  For people who know me well, this will be a revelation. Slothful, anti-exercise and queen of the sleep button, I feel these 7am rises are a sign of what I will sacrifice in the love of my children. For many other people it’s just a normal Monday morning.  The upside of this massive personality shift is that a) the kids seem to love it. b) we have more time in the mornings, and c) we get to eat more.  Yes, a bowl of hearty porridge isn’t enough after all this exercise....
Banana Bread

Banana Bread

Not got any plans this weekend? Then may I suggest making this banana bread…. in a jar. Yes, cake in a jar. What’s not to love? This is from our cookbook and if screwed tightly shut lasts for weeks. You need never be cake-less...
Summer holiday craft ideas

Summer holiday craft ideas

It’s the eve of a new era. Are you ready? One where routine is out the window, where screams to put shoes on are a dim memory, and one sunlit day floods timelessly into the next, enveloping us all in a warm blur. Well, that’s the plan. Summer holidays used to scare me. Day after day with no childcare and one hyperactive child, the other slothful, seemed endless, but not in a good way. However, now they are that much older (5 and 7) suddenly six weeks looking after them doesn’t feel quite as daunting. That plus the fact that I work three days a week in an office, so Uncle Brendan has to entertain them (ha! ha! ha!). Both me and Mr McD will be working for much of the holidays, so there are no month-long jaunts around Europe, which would be the dream. Instead we’ve got two weeks in the New Forest planned, at the end of August, where Lucy and her kids will join us for a bit. Until then it’s just kicking about at home, going to the park and hanging out with granny. But as an alternative I think staying at home and turning on the sprinkler is pretty cool. It’s what we did as kids and we loved it. It’s a time to unwind, reconnect and relax, where less is more.  Having said that, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve. Just in case. There’s only so much time the kids will spend in the paddling pool. To that end we have collaborated with the BRILLIANT Maggy from Red Ted Art to come up...
Laughing at my own jokes + picnic tips and tricks

Laughing at my own jokes + picnic tips and tricks

I’ve just finished watching our latest vid on tips and tricks for picnics. And I’ve got to be honest, it made me laugh. Tragic, I know, to be laughing at your own jokes, but no-one gets my jokes as much as me. I cannot tell you how many hours I’ve spent re-reading the blog, laughing at jokes I’d forgotten I’d made, thinking “Yes! She really gets it!” And then remembering the reason I get it, and know exactly what I’m thinking is that I’m me, so privvy to all my thoughts. Despite not being privvy to all my thoughts, I even think Lucy can be quite funny sometimes. Anyway. Enough self-congratulation. (Yes, that entire paragraph was just self-congratulation, it wasn’t leading anywhere). And on to picnics. It’s June and already 30% of our meals are eaten outside. Picnics used to be checkered rugs, chilled white wine and a variety of antipasti. It was a chance to enjoy the sunshine. Now it’s a chance to avoid crumbs on the floor and minimising washing up. To make sure no picnic opportunity is lost, we’ve got our five top tips. They’re good. They’re very good. No picnic is complete without them. You know that great picnic you had last week? It would have been better if you’d followed our tips. Honest.  Because I’m at work I can’t really write them all out for your delectation, so I urge you to go to our YouTube channel and check them out (unless you too are at work, and then wait til later). Inspirational. Really....