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.

Everything in moderation…including moderation…

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I really must cut down…

Don’t panic I am not talking about eating…everything in moderation..including moderation is my motto.
I am referring to the amount of food I buy, and I am ashamed to say there is usually some waste each week. This has to stop.

I am in the process of producing a book on great food, no waste. However, I find because I am cooking and writing for other projects I tend to over buy. And spend a small fortune 😦
So next week I am going to cook only from my freezer. I am ditching the supermarket. I do not have a supermarket nearby so tend to bulk buy…but the cupboards, fridge and freezer are full. So it must stop.

I am lucky enough to have hens…and at the moment a crazy amount of eggs…so for breakfast, gone are the cereals and pain au chocolate….here is the new pancake, omelette, egg and soldiers breakfast menu. ( I am gonna have to drag my ass out of bed earlier lol).
We will be eating less bread..more rice,pasta and potatoes.

We will have puddings instead of suppertime biscuits…or homemade cookies like last night ..yum.

I will visit the farm shop for a little veg, fruit and milk. Obviously a wine shop for my treats :). there is a cheese shop not far that I have never been to.

I promise next week I shall be less lazy, and quite possibly healthier, and definitely richer.
Tonight I shall start by making my own Beef Cantonese with rice….no takeaway menu required 🙂

Happy Friday…and thank you so much for reading

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

Happiness Day…all the best moments involve food :)

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It may just because I am a foodie type person, or it may be the same for everyone, I don’t know.
A lot of my happiness moments relate to food.

Birthdays and Christmas obviously.
Sundays with dinner.
Meals out.
Secret takeaways in.
Picnics, on sunny day, in the car on wet ones.
(I confess one in a blue moon I get myself a happy meal).
fish and chips eaten out of the paper…ohhh and a bag of cockles and vinegar eaten by the sea.
Spaghetti carbonara..I ate a lot of this to cheer me up after a breakup. It worked.
Mr whippy ice-cream with a flake.
pudding and custard.
Cream teas
Ploughmans lunches.
Potatoes cooking in the fire.
hot chestnuts that burn your fingers.
pomegranates eaten with a pin.
Corn on the cob with butter dribbling down your chin.

What wonderful memories, that still make me happy.

Happy happiness day…I hope its good for you 🙂
#happiness day

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

happiness books…if bought view this link I earn a few much appreciated pennies…thank you 🙂P1020220

Computers, cake and chaos…

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Goodness me, one windows update, a busy school week and celebration meal and it all went to pot!

I actually prefer the chaos to the calm, as long as I have a back up plan.
My meal plan went to pot this week but after today I shall be back on track.
I don’t need to go shopping for the next week 🙂

It all started with a computer update which seems to have wiped out half of my computer..but where there’s a will, there’s a way..so here I am back at my tappity tap keyboard.

Monday dinner was a fabulous Chinese meal. our usual takeaway was closed (see even that plan went awry).
So we tried a new one and it was excellent…so anyone who lives near Ossett, Wakefield, I can highly recommend The Orient Express.
It was a belated birthday tea, complete with balloons and cake. We finally rounded up all the children, and as it was St Patricks day, I made a chocolate guinness cake.
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Wow it was the kind of cake that halfway through making it you think, Jeez this seems a lot of effort (I am lazy, what can I say). but I have to say even without the icing it was divine. I shall post the recipe later.

The rest I guess is just history…tonight’s dinner is a mishmash of pizzas wraps and fries. my boys been on a school trip so we will need to chill. Tomorrow is a little more planned with an easy roast dinner, and pie on Friday…all I need now is to sort out this damn computer.

Cooking I can do….computers..errr not so good.

Lovely to catch up and thanks for reading.

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

Children are funny creatures…

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Children are funny creatures…

When I was a child you didn’t get a choice for dinner, I think that’s why I didn’t eat much lol. So I now try and get my own kids to eat well and enjoy their food. Preferably without it dictating every meal.

My son has a few food issues associated with his Aspergers, but on the whole both my kids are pretty good eaters. Saying that there are certain meals that should be easy, that get stupidly complicated.

I have worked out the roast dinner….We have meat and if they eat it they can also have a piece of sausage..This is mainly for my son, as my daughter will happily eat anything if it has gravy on it. J however will not have gravy on his plate, but will now tolerate baked beans. Veg there is always a choice. They pick which two spoons to have. We all love mash, yet they don’t like the taste of baked potato!!!

On steak night, we have chips and salad…J s steak goes straight into the food processor for an instant burger, it is getting chunkier each week, but lets keep that a secret.

Pizza…well pizza night is simple …or so you would think.

I personally tend to prefer homemade pizza, if I cant get to @doughboysleeds but when I am lazy or as a treat for the kids. They get a shop bought stuffed crust one. And garlic bread. Also my Friday rule comes into play…we are naughty and don’t have to have veg, although pepper and cucumber slices are encouraged 🙂

Now the problem with the pizza is my daughter loves the crust…and only the crust, and I am not a lover of her leftovers. So today’s challenge is…can I make her just crust. Jeez.

I have the bread maker on to cheat with my dough; I am going to have to experiment with the cheeses. I refuse to use cheese strings, which was her suggestion lol. I want stretch, but no leakage. I have a feeling there might be quite a few good recipes created tonight, and a very messy kitchen. I like that on a Friday…No worries about getting to bed on time, no uniforms to iron, homework can wait another day (or two).

So roll on home time…When we can lock the door, put on some tunes, kick off our shoes (and put my cooking shoes on J) Who knows I might even open a beer…. but most of all we will open up Mammas kitchen, where cooking is fun…and even if the food doesn’t turn out well there is love and ice-cream…what more do we need??

Happy Friday my lovelies…

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

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An afternoon fruit and cheese plate…

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An afternoon fruit and cheese plate…

I am trying to improve my eating habits and get more organised. (Obviously not enough to take a photo lol) So today when we came home from school, and after I had been out all afternoon I decide to head off our tired and hungry melodramas with a grab and go food plate.

We eat the token fruit and veg, I get the kids to eat their 5 a day..But I am trying to form new habits….

So my new little ritual is to prepare some fruit and a few chunks of cheese (and some sneaky chocolate buttons to motivate us). A dish of bread sticks and dip.

It went down well…they still wanted crisps…but they had some fruit first…. baby steps.

It was good for me…and I am now making dinner, there are no frantic requests for snacks…we are just chilling, I am making dinner but there is no rush. I might even get them bathed before we eat…a nice slow evening with the minimum of moaning. I can worry less about arguing over how many peas they eat at dinner. I can worry less over how many peas I eat at dinner 🙂 .

It may all go downhill later. But for now we are happy, we can try new foods without a battle, they are just there to try. If they are hungry they will try or they can wait until dinner, it is their choice

I feel less pressure to make an effort at dinner lol. We are having chicken, sausage, green beans and mash. I made cookies for supper.

Somehow it all feels easier. I love the new sharing plate J

Happy eating, thanks for reading

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

There are so many types of cooking I give no thought to…

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There are so many types of cooking that I really give no thought to….

But maybe I should, My beautiful boy told me last night that he knew I was a real Mummy because I baked him cake…I am going to bake more lol.

So today I have made an edible gift for my Boyfriends birthday. Florentines.

I will be honest. (I always try to be.) I had never even tried a Florentine before today.

I didn’t see the point, when given a selection of sweet delights to choose from I tend to go chocolate, coffee or carrot. However I am a bit skint at the moment so I got inventive with my gifts. He loves Florentines. They are quite pricey to buy good ones so I began my experiment J

Oh..They are so easy..In fact now I have tasted one (purely to check the quality of course.) I should have made at least double…. and that was before I dipped them in chocolate.

So there you go..I am converted. If my friends are lucky the next batch will be shared around the playground.

Happy Birthday to my Love

And happy Eating to all you lovely people that take the time to read my page…

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

I shall post the recipe when I return from the birthday lunch…just I case you would like to try
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Cooking can be a little like choosing a carparking space …

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I think cooking is a bit like when you get to a car park, and there are loads of spaces..So you drive round deciding, which is best. Yet if there is only one spot, you just park and you’re glad of it. I am like that with dinner some nights. So much choice, I spend more time pondering than I do actually cooking and eating it.

So I am going old school. Chicken chips and peas. Crumble for pudding. Or maybe pizza and salad. A fruit cocktail for pudding. Spag bol, salad. Fresh pineapple for pudding. See it’s easy when I go simple.

I think I don’t have time to wash muddy potatoes, or chop and peel some raw veg as a snack starter. But I do, I am fooling myself. I even have time to make Pud if I rope in the troublesome two, or four, depending on which day it is and how many children we have.

So I shall start to practise what I preach. Be my own Mother I guess, now I am 40 maybe I should grow up…just a little. Don’t worry I am not going to become all conventional. I just remember a lot of happy times peeling spuds and icing the odd cake with my Grandma. Occasionally my Mother would let me make up the custard powder or a packet of quik gel (for people under 30 that is very instant jelly lol )

I am beginning to understand just how important cooking is…It is about finding the time. Nurturing my home and family, spending time together..And not over complicating life. We are so ready to gather possessions, in my case recipe books and kitchen stuff. We can’t move for dusty cds and ironing piles of clothes we don’t really wear (that might just be me ..Not you J). People tell me they don’t have time to make a shepherds pie; yet they never miss an episode of Eastenders. I think it might be time to jiggle priorities..Or at least be aware of where our time sneaks away to.

I am not particularly opinionating I know..that’s not a real word :/ ), just muttering as usual, and reassessing how my life is passing by.

However your evening turns out, I hope its fun.

Good wishes and love from Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

Whatever I have for Dinner I intend to watch the sun go down with a glass of vino…and take time to appreciate all the loveliness in my life
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A look in the fridge..and two broken eggs…

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A look in the fridge and two broken eggs…

So there I was, feeling all summery. The Internet had been down all day through no fault of my own (Pfftt Talktalk..Not impressed. 😦 ). So there was only thing for it..Into the garden to start on some spring sowings, a little lettuce, rocket and few spring onions…. and my usual egg collection.

I love keeping hens. They have now been rounded up into their own lovely patch thanks to the wonderful Mr Odell. So I can enjoy them without them eating my whole garden. We were happy to receive 5 beautiful eggs today, but I was a little careless when I put them in the fridge…not a very interesting story, I will just say I need to sort the fridge so that random packets of bacon don’t jump out when I open the door.
The bacon I caught (luck not judgement) two eggs landed on my floor…almost intact. But with a hairline fracture. Too good to waste…so used them to practise my mayonnaise.

I love mayo, but it has to be good. I keep Hellmann’s in the fridge, and sometimes some posh stuff, but I promise you homemade is so easy and cheap you should try it.

I can never make it with less than two yolks…. I use 300ml of oil…today it was just sunflower, but you can very the taste with olive, or I guess flavoured.

2 yolks and a pinch of salt.
A gentle whisk then start adding the oil a tiny splash at a time. You can be more reckless after the first 100ml.

I usually add a bit more salt and a splash of white wine vinegar or lemon.

It doesn’t take long…two songs on the radio it was done. I may add a little garlic to some of it and save the rest for tomorrow. I have a cabbage and carrots in the fridge…so coleslaw is looking like a favourite at dinner.

Be brave try it. It’s so easy. But you really feel like you have made something special.

(Obviously it contains raw egg so not for elderly, ill or very young people.and whatever other rules we have.)

Happy Whisking..

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

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It’s a life lesson…

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It’s a life lesson…

Ahhh…Sunday…lovely.

I always make a proper roast on a Sunday. I have had the odd occasion where I decided not to bother, but it doesn’t feel right. I love it too much…the sneaky glass of wine whilst prepping the veg, picking herbs from the garden, listening to the radio, the delicious smells. Everyone popping in and out of my kitchen pinching tasty titbits, fighting over who gets to lick the spoon.

There is a lot of chat about eating together as a family, We are a bit of a disjointed family..Sometimes just 3.sometimes many more. I like to think whoever sits at my table is family. A lot of focus is put on the meal, but it’s not just the food that is important.

I know I have said this before, but even if you are just sitting down to egg and chips it is important to sit together if you can.

It’s about learning manners, sharing, no mobile phones (yes, you can live without them for an hour). It’s about talking; it’s about being responsible for nurturing others (I expect just as much from the little ones as the big).

It might mean more to me that others, my son has aspergers, and sometimes needs a little encouragement in the use of a fork and actually eating. I feel supported around my table. My little community of love. A small triumph at the end of the week, where we all get a chance to catch up and make sure everyone knows we are there for them.

I am old fashioned I guess. I like proper napkins and sauces served in bowls. I am not posh or glamorous, but sometimes I think a little bit of ritual help it feel like home. I love that our kids help dish out. I love that they ask to leave the table…and no matter how much they think its funny, comedy burps have no place in my kitchen lol. I hope they are learning to enjoy food, and company, and real life, interacting with each other and hopefully having fun…

There is so much to be learnt around a table…

Happy Sunday

Best wishes

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.comnapkins…I love em..
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Pie..on a friday?? #nationalpieweek

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Pie..On a Friday?? Why not?

Apparently all blogs and tweets that are posted on a Friday dinner time sink without trace…so I might just be writing this for me, I am going against lots of Friday night rules.

Friday would usually be fish, or pizza..Or if I am really lucky Chinese takeaway. The main reasons for these choices is mainly because I’m lazy..and done in by Friday teatime. This week however I cooked a roast midweek, and we have leftovers. And I am told its National Pie Week.

So here it is….I have fried some onions, carrots and thyme…Chucked in some wine, added some cornflour and a splash or good old Lee & Perrins.

Now it’s cooled I have added the leftover roast pork, alongside its cider jelly..(Too good to waste) I am going to give it a puff pastry hat and whilst its cooking I shall chuck in some roast potatoes.

I have a naughty Friday rule..We don’t have to have veg…but we can have pudding.and DVDs before bed..oh and a glass of wine.

So Yay for Friday..My lazy day….dinner will be fab or rubbish. If I don’t sink without trace I shall let you know.

Happy Friday and #nationalpieweek

Lots of love

Sky @ http://www.thesideplate.com

Pie plates..if you need some 🙂
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