Thursday, 21 February 2013

Girlie Lunch

A while ago I invited a couple of friends over for lunch and promised to cook something new, usually I'm a tea and cake type of person, but wanted to test my culinary skills. With the school holidays here, we decided that we would meet as we all had tiddlywinks in need of a play date and we could enjoy a natter while they caused havoc upstairs! 
The menu, I'll admit wasn't my own creation. I had had this very meal at a friends house one evening and loved it so much I decided to try to recreate it. The original recipes are from Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall's cookbook River Cottage Veg Everyday. I don't have this cook book and so I made it up and hoped for the best!

On the menu then, was Goats Cheese, Pesto, Pine Nuts and Spinach Pie, I love how the spinach wilts away to nearly nothing when cooked!

And the side dishes consisted of, sliced Green's and leeks with a sprinkling of cashew nuts and a can of coconut milk (just the hard white part, not the watery stuff!!)

 and also Samphire. I love this vegetable, or really I should call it a plant. I eat it a lot when we are holidaying in Cornwall or when our fishmonger is able to get hold of some for me. It grows in coastal areas and has a salty tang to it. I steamed it briefly in butter and lemon juice. 

And lastly I roasted a tray of small new potatoes with a sprinkle of sea salt

My friend Katy bought the dessert, Carrot Cake with an orange frosting. It was delicious. The whole meal was lovely and it was great to have a table full of people both big and little tucking in. Clean plates all round. 

Then while the littlies rushed back upstairs to finish essential den making duties it left us to sit down with a cup of tea and have another chatter and enjoy a few hours crocheting. Katy has started a granny square blanket, much like the once recently completed by Lucy at Attic24, the picture of the blanket she hopes to emulate is here. Julie was finishing an adorable poncho for her daughter, and I decided to try use up some of the yarn left over from my Sunburst Granny Square blanket and make this little cheeky owl!

I have to firstly say it is a pattern I found on a lovely blog called Daisy Cottage Designs and the pattern is not only easy to follow, is uber cute and also free!, A link is here should you wish to take a look. 

When I was sewing the various parts together, I placed one of those wheaty bags that you get inside some toys these days that can be heated in a microwave to warm up. It's nice and weighty so Miss Owl here can sit nice and proudly, I also added some rice wrapped in a piece of cotton to the bottom of each leg. The rest I stuffed with regular toy stuffing. 

My plan had been that she would sit in the nursery looking all sweet and adorable on a shelf or in the cot, like some colourful accessory to brighten the room, but my daughter had other ideas and on first sight, firmly pledged Miss Owl was hers, and so now it is. 

Looking at Miss Owl here, she looks far to comfortable to be just some ornament on some shelf and so I have decided that she deserves to be a big sister and I'm on with crocheting her a younger sibling, I think possibly a brother, whom I'm sure will also not be allowed to sit on a shelf alone!! I best crack on, fortunately these little cuties don't take 9 months to 'cook' and are so lovely to make that it takes me only a few hours to assemble. 

Hope you see you all again soon xx


  1. I LOVE the way your owl turned out!! The colors are so fun - the two colors on the body really adds a little something to it. Thanks for sharing! I'd be thrilled if you'd link up at this week's Off the Hook!

  2. I've never eaten samphire; does it taste of the sea? Your Miss Owl is very cute, but OH, your granny blanket! Just gorgeous.

  3. I love eating Samphire, it reminds me of holidays as I first ate it in Cornwall & yes it does have a subtle taste of the sea, I really recommend trying some, I always have it with a squeeze of lemon to help cut through the salty tang. Thank you for your lovely comments.