Love Pie

It’s been an emotional few weeks in our house…

Winter blues, illness, exhaustion, emotions fraught. So Elsie and me decided to make a love pie. A lot of love went into it, and fittingly it is heart shaped!

It was sooooo easy, and 2 people have asked me for the recipe since I posted a photo on instagram so here it is:



1/2 red onion, 1 clove garlic, 1 leek, 1 tin butter beans, 3 cubes frozen spinach, 1 large flat mushroom, vegetable gravy granules, water, dried sage, thyme, salt and pepper, shortcrust pastry and plant milk for glaze.


  • Slice the onion and leeks, and chop the garlic. Sauté in a saucepan in a little sunflower oil until soft and browning
  • Slice the mushroom and add to the onion mix, cooking until soft
  • Pick some thyme from the garden, or shake some from a jar into the pan, as well as a good shake of dried sage, plus salt and pepper
  • Drain and rinse the butter beans and add to the pan
  • Microwave the spinach cubes for 1-2 mins until defrosted and mix in
  • Boil the kettle, sprinkle 2-3 tsps of gravy granules onto the veg and add enough hot water to give a nice thick sauce over the beans and veg, not too much or it will be a very sloppy pie!
  • Heat the oven to 180c and allow the pan to gently cook on a low heat or cover and leave while you prepare the pastry.
  • Depending on the pastry you now need to either roll it out, flouring the side to prevent it from sticking, (or if it is ready rolled grease your tin and place the pastry inside). Elsie had so much fun rolling out the pastry and then pricking a heart shape into the lid when it was ready to bake…
  • Once the pastry is rolled out grease your chosen tin (ours was a heart-shaped cake tin, and I sprayed it with a little fry-light as I had run out of vegan marge!) and place it inside. Pour the bean and leek mixture on top and then add a lid of pastry. Remember to prick the pastry so it doesn’t burst! And glaze with a little plant milk (we used soy)
  • Bake in the 180c oven for about 20mins until golden brown like my picture 🙂
  • Serve with whatever delicious veggies you fancy; roast potatoes, mash or chips and some yummy broccoli, green beans, peas or kale!

We really really enjoyed eating this and making it. Elsie was so excited to show Steve what she’d helped cook for his tea and ate a massive portion of pie, saying it was her favourite! It made us smile when we really needed to, and our tummys smiled too 😉

I hope you enjoy it too ❤️


Green Pea Soup!

Yesterday Elsie was full of snot and feeling pretty poorly. We had the day off together and spent the beginning of morning snuggled on the sofa watching Caillou on Netflix (well Elsie was watching it and I was dozing…)

We had a nice time playing in her room, having an indoor picnic and playing with horses, playmobil and princesses in the doll’s house. It was nice to just play and not have to be anywhere or do any ‘thing’…

At lunch I offered Elsie pea soup and she was very happy with the idea and wanted to help. So together we made ‘green pea soup’ as she calls it.

This soup is so so simple. It can be made even faster than we did by excluding the onions. It has such a sweet taste and is such a vibrant green, it is awesome! Elsie absolutely loves it, especially when she is poorly. It is yummmmmy!

Elsie peeled the onions and garlic, and loved using the crusher. She stirred the peas and crumbled in the stock cube. If it wasn’t for the gas flame she could probably make this herself, and she’s only 3.5!

Here’s how you can make it too..


1/3 of an onion

2 cloves of garlic

Olive oil (or any other you have)

1/3 of a stock cube

Frozen peas

Boiled water

Dried mint


Put the kettle on to boil

Chop up the onion and peel and crush the garlic

Put a splash of oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add in the peas. This was just enough soup for Elsie and a little for me, so we used a small pan and about a couple of handfuls of peas… You can up the peas to as many as you want, and add a bit more onion and stock too for more flavour if you like!

Stir the peas and onion mix together, add a couple of pinches of dried mint.

Cover with boiled water. You only want to cover the peas and not add too much more. This gives it a thicker consistency. The more liquid, the thinner the soup!

Crumble in the bit of stock cube and stir in. Cover the pan and put on a timer for 5 minutes for the peas to cook.

Make a raspberry milkshake while you wait (this was what Elsie requested!!)

When the 5 minutes are up blend the soup all together with a hand blender and serve.

Elsie had hers with wholemeal bread cut up for dipping and I had mine on its own after  I’d re-heated my pasta from yesterday.


Quick earring holder!

So on Tuesday night I was going out for a meal with Ruth. I wanted a pair of nice dangly earrings to wear… 

A while back the holder I had been using had reached its last legs and so I had thrown it away. I had dumped all my earrings into a box and subsequently only worn a few pairs because it was stressful trying to find anything!

On Tuesday I couldn’t seem to find a single paired pair in the box-y mess so I tipped them all out and managed to find some.

Then, on Wednesday it was bugging me again so I had a look around on Pinterest for some inspiration that would be cheap, quick and that I could make with what I could find in the house.

There were lots of beautiful photo frame holders of varying designs but that was not quick or cheap. Eventually I chanced across a bamboo table mat hung on the wall with some wire through the top and was INSPIRED!! Yay!

We have some rollable table mats that are beautiful but we never use, and we have wire for the garden so… I gave it a go and… I am ecstatic! It is so easy and I have now  found that so many of my earrings do have other halves 😝 they just needed to find each other!!! 

The actual assembly process took maybe 5 minutes!

 I found the place mat and wire, cut the wire to length and then threaded it through the top of the mat and wound it round itself to secure it in place.

I moved a picture hook that wasn’t being used to a free bit of wall behind our bedroom door and then hung it up!

The bit that took time (but by far the most satisfying part) was putting my earrings on to it in their pairs… What a sense of achievement, yay!

Super quick smiley face wrap pizza!

I had a day off with Elsie today and the sun has just started to peek its lovely head out from behind the clouds and bless us with warm sunny blue sky days!! YIPPEEEE!!!

So we made the most of it 🌞

After a visit to the dentist we cycled over to the park and spent 2 hours enjoying the sunshine: playing and pic-nicking. Then we cycled to the library and had a lovely hour reading stories, colouring (Elsie wrote her name, remembering what the letters should look like from memory-waaah!)

We bumped into our lovely friend Cat and shared a delicious veggie pally from a Tibetan street food stand and then headed home.

Elsie was overjoyed to find that her bike basket had finally arrived (I ordered it cheap from Hong Kong so it has been a few weeks…) so we attached that and went for a cycle around our road… Phew!! What a lovely sunny, full day out.

I am going out to celebrate joint birthdays with my gorgeous friend Ruth tonight so just needed something simple for Elsie for tea. I asked if she would like a pizza and she asked for an ‘up’ pizza… This has been her phrase for pizza for a while. There are ‘up’ pizzas and ‘down’ pizzas. And she only likes ‘up’ pizzas 😝

I explained that it would be a wrap pizza, but I’d make a sauce and put cheese on and she asked for olives too so… 5 minutes later 1 smiley-faced wrap pizza ready and being wolfed down happily in front of Little Princess (as a special treat after a tumble from her bike)…

Elsie is just polishing off her last slices now.  She was ecstatic about the smiley face made out of olives and this really was so simple!


1 tortilla wrap
Tomato purée

Dried basil



Cheese (or vegan cheese substitute)


Turn on the grill to max temp.

Squirt some tomato purée into a glass (about a dessert spoonful).

Add water to make as much sauce as you need (I was using an old Nutella glass and filled it about a quarter full) and mix together to make a sauce-y consistency.

Add a shake of dried basil and mix in.

Put the wrap on a baking tray and pour the sauce onto the wrap, spreading out to fill the wrap.

Cut up enough olives to make a smiley face and arrange them on top of the pizza in a smiley face pattern.

Grate cheese over the top and grill for a couple of minutes until the cheese is all melted.

Cut up and serve to your hungry 3 year old! Easy peasy 😊

Everyone loves noodles!

Tonight each of us had a different meal for tea… I worked and ate lunch at 2:30, so wasn’t hungry when Elsie was.

I made her noodles with green beans, carrot, broccoli and veggie hot dogs, as we had got so absorbed in watching The Cat Returns together I suddenly realised her tea time was meant to be half an hour ago…!

Elsie’s chopstick excitement!!

She was super pleased with her chopsticks and special bowl (her main reason for liking Asian food, so she can be just like Ponyo and Soskay (sp?) from Ponyo!) and ate all the veg, but not much noodles. Then while she was in the bath she announced that she was hungry and so once ready for bed proceeded to eat 2 rounds of peanut butter toast and a 1/4 of a yellow pepper, and run around the living  room wearing my shoes, my boots, her crown and her dressing up shoes!!

By this point I was hungry, as I thought she would be fast asleep, so while she ran around the living room and Steve lay on the sofa (feeling ill and eating instant noodles) I decided to make noodles too. My recent favourite super quick, super scrummy satay style noodles.

My noodles were cooked and eaten within 15minutes and by then Elsie had tired herself out and so off we went to bed… Night night Elsie B ✨

So 3 different types of noodles in our house tonight, Elsie’s veg and sausage “Ponyo” noodles, Steve’s instant noodles and my vegan satay-style noodles; oodles of noodles in fact, haha!

Here’s my recipe for delicious vegan satay-style super quick noodles.

Recipe (serves 1):


1/4 red onion

1 clove garlic

half a stick of celery

1/4 yellow pepper

3 broccoli heads cut into smaller pieces

Rice vermicelli (any noodles will do, these are just super quick and cheap from the Asian supermarket in town)

1 dessert spoon of peanut butter

sweet chilli sauce (about a teaspoon- I just drizzled it in)

splash of soy sauce

chinese five spice

splash of water

coconut oil (or any oil you have)


Boil the kettle and while it is boiling chop up all the vegetables. You can really use whatever you have in the fridge. Mine changes every time. But today it was broccoli, celery, pepper, onion and garlic, all sliced up. Make sure the thicker veg are cut smaller so they cook at the same speed as the rest (eg small chunks of celery)

Pour the boiled water over the rice vermicelli and put a lid over them. They will cook by themselves without any effort whatsoever on your part. Super simple!

Heat the oil in a frying pan and then add all the vegetables and fry and stir to prevent them catching.  Once they are looking soft (a few minutes) add a shake of Chinese 5 spice, a spoonful of peanut butter, the sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce and water and mix it all together. (The water is just to help the peanut butter merge and coat the vegetables rather than staying in a big blob!)

Continue cooking everything so that it all heats through until the veggies are as cooked as you like them. I like mine fairly crunchy so the whole process took about 5minutes.

Drain the vermicelli with a sieve and add straight to the pan, mixing all together so that the noodles are all coated and delicious.

Dish out, sit down and enjoy… While your 3 year old daughter runs around in your various shoes 😜



Orange and Mango Ice Lollies!

Steve and I had 2 nights and a day off together this week, first time since Elsie was born, oh my, what luxury!

Quite apart from indulging ourselves with meals, drinks and comedy out (yay!) we also got to explore town without Elsie getting bored.  We recently got a Tiger shop in our city, and I have been desperate to explore all it has to offer. I got to spend a good half an hour taking it all in, so fun!

One of the purchases I made was for these amazing ice lolly moulds… They look just like Callipo ice lollies, which is one of Elsie’s favourites, but we can make whatever flavour we like and know exactly what’s inside, healthy AND fun…!

So this afternoon, with Elsie back home from her stay with Nana and Granddad, we made orange and mango ice lollies together, to test out the moulds… I think it is safe to say that they were a roaring success and I have one extremely happy daughter (photographic evidence below 😊 )

These are so simple, and remind me of the ice lollies of my childhood, mum and me would make together using old wooden lolly sticks (saved from when we’d had shop bought ice lollies) and plastic moulds with a little slot in. Childhood bliss, such a treat! They will work with any mould, but these really are so awesome, if you can find some it doubles the treat/fun factor!!

Recipe (makes 4, or as many as you have moulds for!)


Orange juice

Frozen mango pieces (easily bought from any supermarket, ours are from Tesco)


Rinse out a lolly mould and then fill almost to the top with orange juice and pour into a jug. Do this as many times as you have moulds (so for us that was 4).

Add a handful of frozen mango pieces (fresh mango would work equally well, we just had this in the freezer already)

Using a hand blender whizz everything together to make a smoothie.

Pour into lolly moulds and put into freezer until frozen. Ours took from lunchtime until tea…

Remove from freezer and enjoy!


As you can see Elsie absolutely loves these and they are super easy, delicious and healthy too! She is currently eating her second in a row, so one very happy girly 😊

Elsie’s tomato soup!

Elsie has been asking for tomato soup for 2 days. We spent the weekend away from home, and I worked all day yesterday, and had been suffering with stomach and leg cramps all day, I was exhausted. But when I asked her what she wanted for tea, it was tomato soup again…

I asked her if she’d ever had “just tomato” soup before and the answer was no. I was thinking of making tomato and lentil, but she really didn’t want that. “Just tomato Mummy…!”

So, tomato soup it was.

This was just for Elsie as I’d eaten at work at 2:30pm, and it was only 5:30pm now. So I wanted to make a super quick, but yummy and nutritious soup for Elsie, that hopefully would satisfy her desire for tomato soup.

I will tell you my recipe now. The only reason I have decided to blog about this and not just keep it in my memory bank for next time Elsie asks for tomato soup is the reaction I got from everyone to the soup!!

My mum was here still, as she’d looked after Elsie while I’d been at work, and Steve arrived home just as I dished out the soup. There was enough there for mum to have a portion and then Steve wanted to try too, so everyone tried some. After mum’s first spoonful she was mmm-ing and delighting in this simple 5 min soup, and Elsie dug in and was silent (a sure sign that my 3 year old is really enjoying her food 😉 ) . Then Steve wanted some and the 2 adults were both talking about how good it was. Mum then asked me if I had just made this up then, while she was chatting away to me (and could see I hadn’t followed any recipe) so of  course I said yes. Steve then piped up about how he’d been trying to get me to write a cook book for as long as he could remember and mum was in complete agreement. I just laughed and made my exit; Heading to bed with a hot water bottle.

Up in bed I thought about what they’d said. Steve has badgered me about writing a cook book for years. I remember the first time he suggested it, back when we were on a camping holiday in a tiny 2 man tent in Wales. We just had a tiny trangia to cook on and I’d made some home-made kidney bean burgers for tea. I just laughed at him and dismissed the idea, no matter how much he brought it up all holiday. I guess I was too embarrassed and certain no-one would care about any food I made, or have any interest. It felt pointless to me to even entertain the idea, for fear of disappointment.

But then there it was again last night. For the umpteenth time (Steve really does bring it up every time I make something he is impressed with.) And I lay in bed, hugging my hot water bottle and thinking about how people blog about this stuff now. How many times I’ve googled an ingredient combo, or recipe and found all sorts of yummy ideas online. So… here I am. The next morning in bed with Elsie, writing my first blog post and about to share that soup recipe with the internet world!! If nobody reads this then that’s okay, it’s been nice to write this all down. But if you have read this I hope you enjoy the soup as much as my family did. If you have a hungry 3 year old, or are hungry and feeling too exhausted to cope with proper cooking but remember reading this, give the soup a go! It is so ridiculously quick. It was definitely less than 10minutes from chopping board to bowl… Enjoy!

Recipe (serves 2):


Half an onion

1 clove of garlic

1 cube of frozen kale

1 tin of tomatoes

1/2 a stock cube made up in 200ml water

Dried basil

Sunflower oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Roughly chop the onion and fry in a little sunflower oil in a small saucepan. Slice the garlic and add in to the pan. Cook until soft.

Whilst the onions and garlic are frying microwave the frozen kale for 1 minute to de-frost. It will make it break down much easier, and mean the soup is ready super quickly!

Add the kale to the onion and garlic and fry for a little longer.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock and dried basil (I just shook some in, I reckon it was about half a teaspoon)

Cook for a few minutes, stirring to prevent from catching until it is hot and bubbling.

While it is still cooking, use a hand blender to whizz this all together to make into a nice smooth consistency.

Serve and enjoy, adding salt and pepper to taste. (As this was intended for my 3 year old daughter I didn’t put any seasoning in for her, but mum and Steve added to their preference)

I will add a photo for you next time I make this. As I wasn’t planning on sharing with anyone I didn’t take any photos before it had been eaten! It looks and smells delicious, dark orange with green kale and basil. Elsie ate it with wholemeal bread “for dipping”!

Enjoy 🙂