Author Archives: Sky Bendelow

About Sky Bendelow

Mother, blogger, writer, artist, food lover, cook, wine guzzler, educator, student, believer that everyone should have the chance to learn and discover their unique talents (preferably before they are 40, but I got there in the end.) - Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up.

Happy Good Friday…it seems I cannot keep it simple :)

Standard

A strange day…not a particular festival day for us, but always grateful for a day off…..BBQ time I think.

I am full of cold (and grumpy..ask my boyfriend lol )..but the sun is shining and it is family dinner day.
I suggested BBQ..we will keep it simple I said….but oohhhh I cannot do simple!!!

It will just be burgers and sausages.. (no steak, chicken, prawns.) but whilst My Love is at the Big Shop..I am secretly boiling Bantam eggs (it is Easter after all). There will probably be a potato salad….Hummus….cous cous??? Brownies…maybe millionaires shortbread…hey I am not going mad I am ill ..it will be a lovely distraction..unobligated cooking makes me happy.

I can’t do simple…It is a feast for the people I love…there is no better celebration than that..I shall cherish every moment

Whatever you celebrate….have a happy one

Love and Hugs
Sky @ http://www.skybendelow.com

10014612_715466245172898_7772355005444472643_n

An accidental hummus….

Standard

I shall be honest, I have never been a great lover of hummus. I find it grainy and bland, and am never sure what to eat it with.
However last night and a failed, improvised recipe, I feel in love with it.

I had slow cooked some belly pork for a late supper, But as it is school holidays and I am avoiding shopping, I was at a bit of a loss at what to serve it with…we didn’t even have any salad in. (the young ones were already fed and I didn’t want anything heavy at 9pm :S ).

One of my favourite cookbooks is Leon book 2, Naturally fast food. I decided to try the Tuscan beans with sage.
It didn’t start well…mainly because I only had chickpeas, and I probably rushed it too.
The anchovies I had used were out of a jar and I was getting cross because they didn’t melt, just added bony spines to my dish. So in a tantrum, I stuck the lot in the blender and warmed up some pitta bread.

Well what can I say….an absolute triumph. If you are going to eat hummus I think you might as well make it.
It was tasty and cheap, and I believe healthy..Wow what more could we want.

Next time I shall prepare more and make the dish properly….but last night I was glad I failed..

amazon link for fab Leon cookbooks…I earn a few pennies if you choose to buy 🙂

http://leonrestaurants.co.uk/

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

So here we are…..A

Standard

Well here we are A in my kids foodie education.

They decided they didn’t want apple fritters after all..so I made muffins.

They were delicious, although a little more messing about on a morning then I would like lol. Next time I shall pre make them and just reheat. I am not a morning person, and beginning the day looking for damn baking powder didn’t help my pre 2 cups of coffee mood :S

In line with the whole learning thing, I intend to buy one of each kind of apple available in the supermarket, and find its origin on a map. Hey we might even buy and plant another tree. We are also going to look behind the prices of them and why they might be priced differently. (This wont be today..hey it is the school holidays .. I am breaking them in gently).

If you don’t already know I am considering going back to home education…simply because I cant see what they are learning at school. I am not knocking schools..but beyond basic Maths and English, I can’t see a love of learning developing, and I certainly can’t see rounded life learning. It also surprises me that although I left school with my 8 GCSEs, I really know nothing..so I can learn too. I haven’t committed yet..but we shall see.

So now…well now I am going to go end enjoy my children and the sunshine….life is for living..Enjoy

Love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

Recipe for apple muffins
http://thesideplate.com/recipes/easy-apple-muffins/

1010140_1442042512703261_5391418881605599172_n

an Amazon link to apple things…generating a few pennies for us 🙂

I shall practise what I preach :)

Standard

It is all well and good my ranting about how our kids are not being taught…..and not doing anything about it. So as today is the last day of school, I am going to make a real effort to get the kids really involved in our cooking.

We have decided to do the food ABC. We shall try something new (hopefully each day, but I am not promising lol) as we work our way through the alphabet.
I reckon I can incorporate maths, English, cooking, art, geography and fun….possibly all in an hour a day.
It may be brilliant, it may end in tears. All I really know is, I will have tried.

We will start off gently…As you may know, my daughter is pretty good at trying stuff. Her brother less so. I spend too much time trying to work out if this is because of his autism or if he is just bloody fussy.

We are all pretty open to the idea of apple fritters….I don’t think I have a hope in hell with avocado. anchovies I might sneak in. For years I have wanted to try making Pissaladiere (a kind of anchovy pizza). I guess now is my chance.

so here we have it…I am excited. I love to learn, and I am trying to make sure my bubs do too 🙂

I hope you may join us, or share your ideas. I will try and post as many recipes as I can…..my mouth is watering already 🙂

P1020786

things to get your kids cooking…I recieve I few pennies if you buy from this link…ta 🙂

Do I expect too much ?

Standard

Ok, I am back in my struggle….with the education system, and how it doesn’t involve food.

What are we without good food?

I want them to cook, grow vegetables….look after the hens. sit at a table and converse…know what food is good for maintaining their bodies, but still delicious. For me, it is just as important for them to be able to care for themselves, and have a zest for life. For me this comes before RE ( don’t get me started) and Henry VIII. I want my children to be full of fun…everyday be involved in exercise, food, reading for the joy of it, art, music…

Apparently I expect too much…

I have removed my children from school dinners, after all their complaints about how the food is rubbish and often under cooked. I originally sent them for dinners in the hope they would eat well and enjoy the social side, plus try new foods. Like so many things, it seems it is more important to digest facts than nourishment. Am I wrong?

I am 40, and have always worked. But I never followed my passions. (Until now.) Nor do I remember much from my education. I am also starting to see the children emerge like butterflies…Only to be trapped in the net of state education.

What do I do…relax, home educate and teach them the beauty of life…..or go with convention, watching there hopes dashed and wondering how they will survive as adults??

Do I expect too much???

I shall go make a cake for us to enjoy after school….and I will see what they think.

love and hugs
Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.comP1020767

things we love…

A taste of China…

Standard

Well you have probably grasped by now that I quite like cooking….Ok, I really like cooking (slightly obsessed even?).

I like eating even more.. one of my favourite foods has to be Chinese.

Now I obviously didn’t think this through when I moved out into the sticks. I love being in the country…we have a wonderful view and a lovely long garden, which I am going to hopefully grow some of our food in this year (dependant on the dog :S ).

However…we are miles away from a takeaway..and the one that will deliver isn’t that good to be honest. So I have been practising with my wok and steamer, and its going pretty well. I did find ingredients limited in the supermarket, so this weekend we took a trip to a wonderful Chinese supermarket in Leeds. My gosh it is fab.

They have an absolute wonderful array of all sorts of wonders. From basic ingredients (The lemongrass and bay leaves were fantastic value.) to prepared dishes such as salt and pepper spare ribs and wantons. There was every type of noodle known to man and lots of exciting seafood all at fantastic prices.

My freezer and cupboards are now back to brimming 😦 but at least it is with new exciting stuff.
The char sui marinade transformed a dish of chicken thighs. the dumplings and ribs added to my increasing waistline.
I am sure it was a lot healthier than a takeaway. It was a lot cheaper that’s for sure. and it was a lot of fun…

Tonight we are having white fish steamed with lemongrass and ginger, and prawn chow mein…

Whats not to love?

Happy eating..
Love
Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

1959288_710254609027395_3226924086424217136_n

1545550_710254659027390_6271518801151979647_n

Saturday morning…I don’t like early…

Standard

Wow. I am struggling this morning….puppy was up way too early!!
I am going to have to quit my late nights and late mornings….on a plus side..I can fit in an extra breakfast.

I am very lazy and not a breakfast lover generally. However reading an interesting book on French culture, I am adopting a fab idea.
French bread and dark chocolate. That’s sounds good to me, and will go with my high morning coffee intake. I didn’t tell the children, they were still sleeping (oh, the jealousy lol).

Second breakfast, brunch, call it what you will…shall be omelette, stuffed with bacon, egg, and/or cheese.
We need to eat more eggs or get rid of some chucks. I often sell the eggs, but with the mud, people get fussy having to wash them. For me the taste out weighs the 2 seconds it takes..but hey that’s just me 🙂

Mid afternoon, there shall be rock cakes, scones and tiny sandwiches, full of new flavours. (today I shall try to get them to eat tuna).

Dinner…well I don’t know lol…I am tired already..If I grab a nap (unlikely). I shall make homemade pizzas and dough balls. If I am weary I shall pour a glass of wine and make scampi, fishfingers, chips and peas. judge me if you like…I am too tired to care.

Lets enjoy the lazy days, sunshine and company.

Have fun.
zzzz
Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

595babd341ca448e0956a1d98fc3a388

Everything has gone out of the window…

Standard

So here I am supposedly finishing my book, dreaming up new and exciting recipes…and what has happened????

Well I am only human..she’s called Maisy..and I am in love.

Don’t get giddy Dear Friends I am not coming out of the closet…although to be fair with a name like Sky I am not always sure everyone realises I am a girl (can I still be a girl if I am 40 lol).

We now have a puppy….and oh how she absorbs my time..and oh how joyful she is 🙂 But all my motivation to work seems to have gone out of the window.

So dinner today?? Well It seems no one is bothered…fish fingers, chips and peas is enough when you can play with the puppy afterwards apparently.
She is still on puppy food and no scraps allowed from the table. so I don’t need to make anything for my new girl either.

Hopefully when we start on our walks I can make and eat more puddings (I will need extra calories surely).

so its true, love diminishes the appetite…..and lack of sleep gets rid of the urge to make extravagant dinners..tonight I will have a simple supper…possibly with a dog laid on my feet.

Happy days…cherish everyone

Love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

14579_706929826026540_207875246_n

doggy books 🙂

Friday spaghetti lunch…

Standard

I was a very good girl this morning and didn’t have my Friday bacon butty…
However, I am not that good and managed to make a lunch that still fulfilled my Friday cravings.

I cannot call this a carbonara…simply because I couldn’t be bothered, But this was quick, easy and just as good.

Happy Friday…egg and bacon spaghetti for one 🙂

Cook a handful of spaghetti in boiling salted water…I added a shake of garlic granules for good measure.

In a cup whisk an egg, a splash of cream and lots of black pepper.
Chop 2 rashers of good bacon, and fry until just starting to crisp.

Drain the spaghetti, then tip back into the pan (you can turn off the heat.)

Add the egg mixture and stir quickly to coat the pasta.
add the bacon and stir again.
Tip into a bowl and top with grated parmesan..Eat and enjoy 🙂10155889_1437028083204704_749530365_n

It could have only been more perfect if severed with a glass of white (wine..not milk)

Nearly the weekend YAY
love from Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

a party tea…and my pjs

Standard

Arrgghh still trying to live out of the freezer. (not literally lol).

so tonight I am making what I call party tea. We have lots of bits to use up and I am too tired to think. so tired, that the minute I get in from the school run I am lighting the wood burner and putting on my PJs.

No dressing or cooking to impress tonight lol.

There will be chicken pieces and sausages. Prawns and spring rolls. Garlic bread and maybe a bit of lasagne. I will make a salad, and a fruit cocktail as well so we don’t feel too unhealthy. There might even be chips :).

It really is amazing how many times we go shopping without checking what we already have. I am a great one for just cooking what I fancy, but the whole downsizing of the cupboards and freezer are going well. I have also saved a lot of cash this week, which can only be a good thing. I am not going to pretend its been easy staying away from the aisles full of treats. but its certainly been worth it.

I might make a chocolate biscuit cake as my reward…

Happy eating

love Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

my delicious maple chicken wings www.thesdieplate.com

my delicious maple chicken wings http://www.thesdieplate.com