Saturday, 23 June 2012

Half Time and Not What it Says on the Tin

Not what it says on the tin:
In the UK it is a well used phrase “It does what says on the tin” and is even an advertising slogan.  Well, to coin another phrase “think outside the box”, I decided to “think outside the tin”.  A tin of ratatouille has been languishing on the larder shelf and I decided it was time to use it.  How many recipes can I create with this being the main ingredient became a bit of a challenge.  Wont bore you with them all, but here are some suggestions: whizz it in a processor and if necessary just add a little stock or water and hey presto a soup manifests itself in the saucepan.  A second idea was to use it liquidised again as a sauce over pasta.  The third idea is the one I actually implemented and is Recipe of the Week below.

Half Time:
Unless you inhabit another planet you will know we are in the throes of Euro matches.
Whilst I don’t mind actual football matches, I can do without endless hours of the pundits telling me what I am about to watch, and worse still what I have just watched.
A few minutes of informed opinion is OK, but if I want to hear more I would go to the pub and it is there in abundance.  So to fill in the time I like to read or knit.  Well, that’s not strictly true is it, as I have to feed my internet addiction first!  Or “Quality time with the laptop”!

Belowtherefore are knitting/kindle/recipes for half time.
 Half Time Knitting:
The knitting has to be the sort that distractions don’t impact on the project.  So I resort to sock knitting or the favourite standby for stash busting of a Baktus. The Baktus is really the most versatile scarf/shawlette to wear.  For the socks Patons site have some good free patterns that fit the bill nicely like these
And to save the search on here for the Baktus here is the pattern link

Recipe is Half Time Casserole.

(the pic doesnt do it justice as it is not so anaemic in real life!)
Ingredients:Tin of ratatouille, small onion, Redwood ready to eat sage and majoram sausages Meat Free Sage & Marjoram Sausages (ready to eat) or equivalent, 4 oz twirly pasta.
Saute the onions, and while they soften cook the pasta and drain.
Add the tin of ratatouille to the onions.
Zap the lot like crazy till a nice thick sauce happens.
In a bowl mix sausages, sauce and pasta and either serve immediately or reheat later.
Now you know why it is called Half Time Casserol, because it can be made earlier, then when the football is on the tv, just before kick off put the casserole in the oven.
Half time remove the hot casserole and eat before the second half starts!

Half time/pundit time read. 
This book is an interesting mix, it has humour, racy moments (you have been warned!) and breakfast recipes!!  I like it as a half time book because it can be picked up spasmodically without a complicated plot to follow.   It was a free download notified to me by  If it is no longer free, then it may become free again at a later date with a bit of luck.

Friday, 8 June 2012


This entry has 1)Welcome Riley, 2)Kindle stuff, 3) Recipe and 4)Knitting.
1) Welcome Riley

We were happy to welcome a new member of the family this week.  Baby Riley arrived weighing in at 8lb. He arrived on June 4th which just happens to be my mother’s birthday.  So that was a happy coincidence.
I have been really well disciplined and not bought any noisy toys!  Yet. 
Riley has been the recipient of a hand knitted shawl I did, but is not inundated with knitted clothes from me.  (His dad didn’t want a “knitted baby”)  I know this is hard to believe if you are knitting orientated, but I am a firm believer in Mom and Dad of the child know best.  And since I espouse this ethic, I have little choice but to abide by it.
It goes without saying he is the best grandchild anyone ever had.  So yeah, I think I could become a granny bore. 
2)Kindle stuff
I am a sucker for “free” books!  I put this in inverts because many of the books I have downloaded are not free all the while.  I have regular alerts from this site and it is a really good tool for finding free books.  Especially if one subscribes to their email as this can be personalised allowing the recipient to only have alerts on topics in which they are interested,.   It is also worth noting that books free on Amazon com, are not necessarily free on Amazon Many of them are only free for a very limited period so one does have to be a regular visitor to the site to ensure a good book isn’t missed.  One I thoroughly enjoyed though sadly at the moment no longer free, was shown on the ereaderiq site and is by

Sometimes I just check out the “Customers who bought this item also bought” section on Amazon and thus today came across a few books that appealed to me including 
if anyone else has any to recommend I would welcome the link.

Easy Make now eat later salad.
I packet of microwave long grain rice cooked, 1 can chick peas opened and rinsed, some quartered cherry tomatoes, small cubes of cucumber, slices of spring onion, handful of halved grapes, a sweet red pepper chopped into small pieces. Mint leaves. Optional dressing.
If beetroot is liked it could be served alongside, but not with as it will discolour the rice.  This is a nice salad with crusty bread.  It is best not to put the dressing on until just before eating.  For the dressing I like a splash of balsamic vinegar, but otherwise a classic salad dressing of say 3tbs olive oil, 1 tbs white wine or cider vinegar, seasoning, 1tsp sugar, all shaken together, is fine.

4) Knitting
I was asked this week how a knitter can avoid a curling cuff on Sanquhar gloves.  I have seen many pics of my favourite gloves to knit and think it may come with the territory to varying degrees.  I gave suggestions of a couple of rows of seed stitch at the edge, or simple rib to start before introducing contrasting colours.  If anyone else has any suggestions I will gladly pass on advice to the person who approached me.
For anyone who is not sure of what  Sanquhar knitting is, here is a sample of my knitting in this Scottish pattern.  This project used the Dukes pattern.