NPME

Christmas.2018

posted by Natalie Paddick

This Christmas .. I just wanted to do something different, something that was in keeping with the environmental feelings of not creating more waste ... All round it has been a different kind of year.. So on a walk with my husband we came across a 9ft Ash branch in the undergrowth around the moat at the beautiful Wells Cathedral. It was naturally a bit wet and covered in lichen and bald! So my husband retrieved it and brought it home. Normally we have a 7ft chunky Spruce, which is beautiful, traditional and takes over a lot of space but has enough branches to house most of our now large collection of decorations...

So time for change ... First issue to find a container to work with the skeletal dancing limbs of the tree. A good old 'rootle' around the cupboards and a perfect solution an old terracotta bread bin... Filled with off white gravel, which cost £3.29, which we will repatriate to the garden come the New Year ... No waste there... It also secures the tree beautifully in place.... 


I chose decorations from Christmas box, ones that I thought would work with the design on these bare branches, but it needed a splash of colour... So a ball of red wool threaded through red, silver and black baubles and tied with a bow added to the design with a scattering of decorations taken from our large box of goodies. The wool cost £2.50. 

The delightful effect was finished off with the feel of festive icicles created from a beaded strings that I usually use to create shaped loops on our Spruce... Overall cost of our Christmas tree £5.79. Not bad!

What fun in the hallway... I am a habitual reader of glossy magazines, so with the aid of my trusty guillotine and a bit of tape I quickly made an enormous Christmas paper chain ... You can choose your colours to match your design ... I like the dramatic ... Sort of Versace look against the white background ... And look at those shadows .... Such a good look...

 

So all in all a simple designs for pennies ... I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year ... x 


 

 


My.Idea.Of.A.Tart

posted by Natalie Paddick

Caramelised Onion Tart

As I have said I loved to cook, I don’t mind what I cook as long as I am cooking….

I don’t eat meat and I can’t eat flour products …. But I don’t care because I can cook them! I have a keen sense of smell and that is how I flavour my food…. I then have a household of willing participants to check my seasoning … So all is well!

As you might imagine meal times are a bit of a marathon in this house as everyone has slightly different tastes and favourite meals … For me this is a good thing … It means that every meal time I get to cook many different meals .. Not everyone’s idea of fun … I realise … But it works for me!

This onion tart can be used for any season and is great if you are entertaining a vegetarian, just melt some goats cheese over the top for extra pizzazz. The tart works beautifully as an accompaniment to any meat dish and I also used it in packed lunches … So in brief it is a great all-rounder!

The best tip about making this tart is the painting of beaten egg over the base of the tart to stop it having a soggy bottom! A tip for all tarts if you ask me!

But no it is not one of my recipes it belongs to Delia! Here is the link:

CARAMELISED BALSAMIC AND RED ONION TARTS WITH GOATS' CHEESE – Just Google it!

The sauce in the picture is my recipe and it goes beautifully with this zinging tart.

Natalie’s crunchy mayonnaise

Judge the amount of ingredients to suit your needs and the amount of people you are serving.

You don’t have to use mayonnaise, sometimes I use yoghurt! Use what you have nothing is written in stone. Just mix them all to taste. Here is what I put in!

Mayonnaise

Good glug of Olive Oil

Dijon mustard tsp or so

Squeeze of lemon

Chopped spring onions

Capers

Chopped celery

Cornichon – Gherkins

This sauce, is quick and easy and works so well, with so many other dishes. The caramelised tart is really quite sweet because of the balsamic vinegar. However if you use this sauce with another meal such as beef or fish, you can sweeten it with a dash of honey or even a squirt of tomato ketchup! Enjoy X

 



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