Potato Recipes

Potato Recipes

 

These old fashioned recipes have been lifted from cookery books from around 100 years ago. They are the tastiest (and easiest) ones I could find!

 

 

 

POTATO PUFF

Mashed potato
1/2 tsp. celery salt
1 egg

To the mashed potato, add the celery salt. Separate the egg, beat the yolk, and mix it with the potato. Beat the white stiff and fold it into the potato last. Pile into a buttered baking dish, set in a hot oven, and bake until the potato is thoroughly heated through and the surface is brown. Serve at once.

 

POTATO DUMPLINGS

4 large raw potatoes grated
8 large boiled potatoes grated
2 eggs
¾ cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon melted butter

Mix eggs with grated raw potatoes, add bread crumbs and butter, lastly grated boiled potatoes and salt. Coat hands with flour while forming dumplings size of large egg.

Carefully drop at once into boiling salted water. Boil twenty minutes, drain, lay on platter and sprinkle with fried chopped onions and bread crumbs browned in butter.

 

PITTSBURGH POTATOES

1 onion
1 quart potato cubes
½ can pimentos
2 cups white sauce
½ lb. cheese
1 teaspoon salt

Cook potatoes with chopped onion. Drain and add pimentos cut fine. Pour white sauce over; stir in cheese; bake in a moderate oven.

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. For a more modern approach download a free copy of Easy Potato Recipes.

Stimulate Your Senses

stimulateyoursensesGazing through the window on a grey, dreary autumn day doesn’t generate a lot of inspiration for a ‘get out there and enjoy the summer sunshine’ type of article. Neither does the need to get out there in the summer sunshine help very much when trying to create a cosy winter scene for your novel.

The imagination and memory are invaluable tools in seasonal creative writing but without the physical senses being stimulated, any creative writing can take on a hard edge.

 

Mellow out and push even more sensual feeling into your writing by stimulating all your senses and fooling them out of season.

Fool Your Sight

Pin up some simple pictures around your office space

*Recreate Spring with spring flowers, sunrises, Easter bunny cartoons, children playing, babies giggling – anything that sparks your spring imagination.

*Recreate summer by pinning up some holiday snaps or those awful summer holiday advertisements seen in all the glossies. It will undoubtedly give you a new angle to your summer writing 🙂

*Recreate autumn with images of pumpkins, withes and black cats and spectacular trees in the red and gold colours of autumn.

*Recreate winter with pictures of winter sports and snow-ball fights. Try and find a good picture of rain falling under a lamppost at night. Truly and hypnotically winter!

Simply sorting out your pictures and hanging them will get the creative juices flowing. And your work space gets a new look every season – out of season.

Draw a seasonal curtain: This works especially well for those who do a lot of writing after dark. Change the curtain at your window to reflect the season you want to create. The change of texture n the material of the curtain gives the whole scene a more three dimensional feel. When choosing a ‘spring’ look in the winter, make sure the material is heavy enough to keep out the cold.

 

Fool Your Hearing

Play the music that makes you buzz with seasonal fever:

The most effective music I’ve found for prompting me into another season is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Give it a go. Ignore the rain against the window. Choose the piece you want to listen to, turn up the volume and allow yourself to float away in the music for a few minutes. Guaranteed to meet the seasonal needs.

Then there are recordings of song birds, summer holiday songs, ghostly Halloween music and ‘chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ assortments. And there will always be personal favourites that prompt memories of summer days, winter evenings, spring lambs or special events. Choose your sounds carefully. You tube and playlists make this a very easy practice.

 

Fool Your Taste

One obvious way to fool your taste buds is to buy fruit and veg out of season, which is okay but could leave you considerably out of pocket, assuming of course you can even find fresh versions of out-of-season produce. There are a few cheaper steps we can take to stimulate our taste buds:

Recreate spring and summer tastes:

*A crisp fresh mixed salad will help create the taste of spring and summer

* A pot of chives or even cutting lettuce on the windowsill will probably survive right through the winter if kept warm and gently watered. Chew a leaf or two for fresh summer tastes.

* Have a barbecue indoors! Simply substitute an indoor grill for the outside fire.

 

Recreate autumn and winter tastes:

* Bake a batch of goodies usually reserved for Halloween or Christmas celebrations. Then hide them before the family finds out!

*In the UK, the sun doesn’t tend to shine all summer, so make the most of those dull days by cooking a warming stew or casserole.

 

Fool Your Touch

Textures aren’t always easy to define as seasonal. But there are a few tricks you can use:

Personal reminders of summer days, such as perhaps that snazzy pair of shorts you wore on the beach last year, can help. If you decide to wear them at your desk in the winter, don’t get cold, and remember not to open the front door to the postman while wearing them. In his hat, gloves, scarf and big coat, he may not be feeling too friendly when he sees you dressed for the sun, or on the other hand … 🙂 Anyway, remember the season you are supposed to be in, when you come back to real lfe!

Fluffy things tend to be reminiscent of spring – Easter chicks? Angular paperweights and desk toys tend to feel sharper and colder when touched and held. They can help recall our touching senses to winter days. Ice from the freezer works as well, although maybe a little too cold?

To get in touch with your sense of touch and experience an awesome spiritual bond with the earth, try hugging a tree! Close your eyes and wrap your arms around the biggest tree you can find. Ignore the rolling eyes from passers-by and conjure up and mood you want and find the season you are searching for.

 

Fool your Sense of Smell

Baking can help jog the smelling sense. From a vanilla pod placed in a slow oven to a roast turkey with all the trimmings, cooking aromas will always get your creative juices flowing. The small of children’s blackcurrant juice always takes me off into the summer days when the kids were small. Every time!

Aside from baking, flowers and herbs are aromatic and can be placed in pots or hung from the ceiling. Renew regularly to refresh the smells. Keep a few sprigs of mint in a little water and rub the leaves occasionally to release the strong minty scent.

If nothing fresh can be found, try burning aromatherapy or Bach flower essential oils in a small burner. There are so many different scents to choose from. Any season can be inspired with a few drops of condensed flower oil, from light spring flowers to heavier woody scents. Almost any ambience is available in a little bottle.

With all your senses stimulated, the extra sensory perception flooding into your creative writing will soon pay off!

Linda x

The ABC

P.S. **Just released** The ABC of Digital Publishing will help you get your wonderful writing out to the world! Listed on The Good Life page.

Giving Green

Giving Green

So, the kids are back at school, autumn is creeping in on us and now’s the time to start harvesting and stashing good stuff for the winter months.

If you haven’t got a flourishing veggie plot and tons of time to make jam, preserve vegetables and have baking days to fill the freezer, there are still lots of wonderful things you can do to ease the winter budget and up the family well-being.

Winter is an expensive time for many of us; higher fuel bills, more laundry, simply because we wear more clothes, and holiday festivities that seem to take forever to pay off. Plan ahead and save yourself a few headaches this year.

This year, think about giving green and avoid the piles of plastic gifts that eventually end up as land-fill (ouch!). A thoughtful natural gift will always be gratefully received.

Giving Green Ideas:

1. Take a woodland stroll with the family and collect fallen twigs and branches, or if you live near the coast, collect driftwood. Don’t go charging in with a chainsaw, just collect what has already fallen and will rot if not picked up. In this way, you help the undergrowth in the woods as well.

Use the branches or driftwood to make fun gifts for family and friends. If you don’t have time or don’t feel very creative, simply add a few dried grasses or flowers and a little silver or gold paint to create a table decoration.

It’s amazing what you can do with a small chunk of wood. You don’t have to have a carpenter’s degree or years of carving experience. And it doesn’t have to be perfect.

 

2. Plants are always a lovely gift but rather than going for exotic Christmas plants that are almost guaranteed to die before February, go for a selection of herbs instead.

Many of us buy fresh herbs in packets from the supermarket these days and they can be fairly expensive, so a few plants on the windowsill will reduce the cost and give us the variety of tastes we want without having to add to the shopping list.

Aloe vera is a wonderful herb to have on the kitchen windowsill. It’s not really a culinary herb – although aloe vera is included in many health drinks etc;. But best of all, the sap inside the leaves is perfect to treat minor burns… keep it in the kitchen! The great thing about aloe vera is that it doesn’t need much looking after, and it will, hopefully produce more baby plants as time goes on. Lots about Aloe vera here.

Pick up a plant from your local nursery or garden centre then re-pot into a decorative container. Write out or print a little information about the plant, and present as a naturally green gift this Christmas.

 

3. Arts and Crafts: cards, knitting, crochet, drawings, pressed flowers

Get creative with the kids and make home made greetings cards, print out photos, make collages. Don’t forget to use the digital technology in conjunction with creative pursuits. Printing out photos and decorating them with pressed flowers or bows, buttons or glitter will produce a unique gift that will definitely not be the same as anyone else’s!

Do you knit or crochet? There are hundreds of patterns online – and there’s time to get some gifts made while you relax in front of your favourite film in the evening.

funknits

Fun Knits for Beginners could get you started (listed here), or if you want to create your own eco-friendly toys for the kids, pop over to this page where you’ll find the full range of Ekokid patterns.

If needle-crafts aren’t your cup of tea, choose something that resonates!

Can you draw? Could you share your artistic talents and create unique gifts for family and friends.
Do you love to cut and glue things?! Get the kids involved and the ideas will flow.

Check out crafts and gifts other people have made on Etsy or pinterest or just Google ‘gifts to make’ or something similar. Even if you spend a few pennies now on a craft book, if you really have the intention of following through, giving green gifts this year will be inexpensive and your family and friends will be delighted with their one-in-a-million gifts. 🙂

Linda x

Healing in a Nutshell

Healing

I’ve been working, for a while, on a book called Natural Beauty; exploring the natural everyday products we can use to help us sparkle, while giving the cosmetic counter a wide berth. The trouble is, there are so many wonderful natural cosmetics we can use, I keep getting sidetracked.

There is one product, however, that pops up in nearly every area of health and beauty. And, if you’re not allergic, should be part of everyone’s health and beauty routine.

yes, it’s The COCONUT!

I’ve been ‘oil-pulling’ for a few weeks and have noticed the huge improvement in the colour of my teeth and condition of my gums. I wish I’d done a ‘before’ photo to show you. But this got me thinking.

I also use coconut oil to massage into my scalp and hair before washing (with a very mild non-paraben shampoo) and it’s probably the best conditioner I’ve tried. And after a shower or bath, I massage coconut oil into my skin. All over if I don’t mind being a bit slippery for a while!

So there’s three tried and tested reasons to have a pot of coconut oil handy. But this is only the tip of the iceberg.

If you want to get into the science of it all, Google the benefits of coconut oil or it’s scientific properties and the data will knock your socks off. Never mind, your feet are beautifully oiled!

Here’s a very short list of claims from various studies as to how coconut oil can benefit our health: (I won’t put in the why’s – too many long scientific words – but if you are going to use a supplement or want to know more, check out all the information you can)

1. Can aid in weight loss
2. Can help boost your immune system
3. Can help your digestive system
4. Helps develop strong teeth
5. Soothes away stress
6. Boosts energy
7. Builds strong bones
8. Can help treat diabetes
9. Helps eliminate fungi, eg athletes foot
10.Kills bacterial infections

Is there anything coconuts can’t do?!

Grab a pot of coconut oil while you’re thinking about it. Then when it arrives, dabble in some healthy and beauty treatments. You deserve it! Amazon have a good supply of organic food grade coconut oil. Make sure you get food grade. This is a popular brand and one of my favourites:

healinginanutshell

1L Pipkin 100% Organic Coconut Oil Raw Extra-Virgin and Pure. Multi-Purpose Coconut Oil Cold Pressed, Non-GM, For Hair / Skin / Body Moisturiser, Edible, For Cooking, Suitable For Vegetarians and Vegans

 

Linda x

Designer Leftovers

50% Less Cooking!

50% Less Cooking without hitting the fast food button.

Don’t you just cringe when some clever kitchen type tells you what you could be doing with the leftovers in the fridge, when it’s plainly obvious the leftovers will stay there until they walk out by themselves!

More often than not, saving money with leftovers, although a great idea, takes a lot of time in preparation and relies on many other ingredients being available. So…

Design your own leftovers!

Cooking twice as much as you need ‘by design’ allows you the extra time tomorrow with the added bonus of knowing what you’re going to cook.

Dithering around in the kitchen working out who wants what and what you forgot to buy, takes ages. If you know you’ve already got a portion of the evening meal ready in the fridge, life becomes a lot less stressful.

ONE-POT MEALS

Most ‘one-pot’ dishes like bolognaise, chili, casseroles and stews can all be made in double quantities in very little extra time. Make sure you thoroughly reheat meat dishes until piping hot right through.

The only real problem with one-pot recipes is that you’re obliged to eat the same meal two nights in a row. Although you can serve it with rice, pasta, or potatoes to add some variety. Or you could serve it without spice one day and add some spice on day two.

RICE

If you’ve managed to cook enough rice to feed the neighborhood, don’t throw away the leftovers. Let the rice cool completely, place in a bowl, cover with plastic food wrap, and refrigerate.

NB: Rice MUST be refrigerated overnight. Leaving it out can cause fermentation which will make you ill if eaten.

So, the following evening you have a base for a new and exciting meal…try these ideas:

Egg Fried Rice: Make a plain omelette and remove from pan. Cut into small pieces and set aside.. Put cold leftover rice in the pan and stir gently. Add omelette pieces, stir and heat until hot right through. Serve with Chinese style ribs, or veggie sausages.

Special Fried Rice: Fry in olive or nut oil a finely chopped onion, tomato, green pepper and a few sliced mushrooms. Add leftover rice to pan. Stir gently. Add sweetcorn for colour and a few chopped walnuts if liked. Serve with any meat, fish, egg or veggie dish.

Rice Salad: In a large bowl, mix leftover rice with fresh raw chopped vegetables; onion, tomato, sweet pepper, celery, sweetcorn, and any other favorites hanging around in the fridge. Chill for half an hour before serving. A half mayo-half natural yogurt dressing can be gently stirred in if liked. To create a whole summer meal in a bowl, add chopped boiled egg, cooked flaked fish, pieces of ham or cooked chicken or even nuts and raisins!

POTATOES

Potatoes can easily be turned into ‘designer leftovers’

Cooking a whole tray of jacket potatoes will take no longer than cooking one or two, just a few extra minutes scrubbing time needed. Store leftovers in the fridge when they’ve cooled right down.

Flat Fries: Slice and shallow fry leftover jackets in hot olive oil and some mixed dried herbs or cumin spice. Turn occasionally. Drain well and serve hot with anything.

Family Omelette: Peel and dice leftover jackets and gently fry in olive oil, with a chopped onion. Pour over beaten eggs and add some grated cheese. Cook gently for a few minutes. Turn and cook the other side. The omelette will probably fall apart during this manouevre. Just push it back together. No-one will know! Serve hot with a green salad.

Rough Potato Salad: Peel leftover jackets and chop roughly. Mix in a large bowl with sweetcorn, tuna and a little chopped onion or chives. Serve with a mayonnaise sauce.

Hot mashed potato, served with a delicious gravy, is always a family favorite. Make twice as much and delight the family two days in a row! Cool the leftover mash thoroughly. Place in a bowl, cover with plastic food wrap and refrigerate.

Baked Mash: Put leftover mash into a large bowl and stir in cooked flaked white fish, bacon pieces, or cooked vegetables. Place in a greased ovenproof dish, top with grated cheese and bake in a medium oven until piping hot right through.

Burger Mash: In a large bowl, mix leftover mash with a little beaten egg, some chopped chives or very finely chopped onion. Then form small balls in your hands. Flatten slightly and, if available, coat with breadcrumbs or chopped nuts. Fry as you would a burger!

Cottage Pie: Cook minced beef, or veggie equivalent, a chopped onion and a tin of tomatoes together and place mixture in a large lightly greased ovenproof dish. Spoon leftover mashed potato over the top, and sprinkle on a little grated cheese, if liked. Heat through thoroughly in a medium to hot oven and serve hot with green vegetables.

CHICKEN

Cook a slightly larger chicken and keep the leftovers covered – and maybe hidden – in the fridge. A vegetarian equivalent of chicken will work equally well with these dishes.

Quick Chicken Curry: Pour a home made curry sauce or a jar of ready – made over cut up leftover chicken pieces and heat through thoroughly in a hot oven. Always make sure re-heated meat is steaming hot right through. Serve with rice or jacket potatoes.

Chicken Salad: Mix cold leftover chicken with a finely chopped onion and stir in a half mayo, half natural yogurt dressing. Add a few walnuts for an extra special treat. Chill for 30 minutes and serve with any dish..

Chicken Stir Fry: Place cut up chicken pieces in a frying pan with a little olive or nut oil. Mix in thinly sliced sweet peppers, onion, tomato and any other bits in the fridge that look healthy enough to eat. Cook gently for a few minutes, ensuring the chicken is piping hot right through. Then mix into a bowl of hot cooked noodles. Serve with an oriental style sauce.

Hot Tip: Planning a few menus in advance will mean you are always in control of nourishing and tasty meals, and no need to lean guiltily on the microwave waiting for the latest TV dinner to cook!

Bon Appetit!

Linda x

P.S. Download a free potato recipe book! Pop over here, type in your email and download your pdf edition of ‘Easy Potato Recipes’

Christmas in August?

Easy FREE knitting pattern

Last week I saw Christmas cards and decorations for sale – in August aaaaarrrgh!

So I thought I’d get on my halloween broomstick and design some friendly spooky stuff.

This spider pattern is downloadable now, FREE, and quick to knit, so you could knit a whole load of them in different colours by the time halloween gets here …

then we’ll think Christmas, thank you very much 🙂

Download here (opens in a new window so you won’t lose your place)

HalloweenWitchspecial

 

If you haven’t made an Ekokid doll yet pop over to this page to find all the possible patterns including a Halloween Special – a pattern for the doll and her witchy outfit!

Happy knitting

Linda x

Knitting Rocks!

knittingborderKnitting is simply a series of slip knots created with two sticks and a length of yarn. It used to be a male dominated hobby, and in certain regions fishermen still knit their own jumpers.

At some point in history – information is a bit sketchy as to ‘when’ – women took over. And over the years, knitting has gone in and out of fashion.

However, about ten years ago, ‘yarn bombers’, or ‘guerilla knitters’ hit the streets and a few years later the famous ‘Stitch ‘n’ Bitch’ book was published, leading to stitch ‘n’ bitch groups springing up all over the UK and America.

Knitting is here to stay. Even the Duchess of Cambridge has been quoted as saying she’s taking up the hobby. If that isn’t reason enough here’s a few more to inspire you 🙂

10 Great Reasons to pick up those knitting needles

1. Cut Gift Costs

Everyone appreciates a home-made gift. Even if you knit a scarf in random colours with oddments of yarn it will be a unique piece of work and will be lovingly worn.

2. Relax

Knitting has been proved to be a great de-stress hobby. Simply counting stitches is surprisingly relaxing. Get comfortable before you start, to get the full benefit.

3. Create Unique Designer Clothes

It’s not difficult to make your own clothes. Once you’ve mastered the basics, the sky’s the limit. Some people prefer to knit delicate lacy items, others prefer chunky quick-to-make things. Personally I like to dabble in both!

4. Sell Your Wares

Get good at this, and you could be knitting jumpers to order, or soft toys to sell for a school fete or charity bazaar.

5. Personalized Toys for the Kids

There are many patterns for soft toys. The Ekokids were inspired by a desire to make toys for my children rather than buying them. And they proved so popular they are now going global!

6. Learn a Survival Skill

Yes, it is a survival skill. With two sticks and a length of yarn, you can make cloth. Ta dah!!

7. Saves you from Munchie Attacks

One of my personal favourite reasons. When you knit, your hands need to be clean and definitely NOT sticky. And the very act of making something takes your mind off the snacking habit.

8. Inexpensive

You can pick up a 100g ball of yarn and knitting needles for under a fiver (less than $10) And to give you an idea of what that will make; one 100g ball of double knitting yarn will knit four basic Ekokid dolls. So with a few oddments of other colours and a little toy filling, 4 dolls can be produced for very little cash.

9. Eco Friendly

We are pretty much obliged to buy many plastic products which eventually land up in a big hole in the ground. However, we can avoid a few plastic toys maybe. Knit them!

10. Comfort Zone

This is a hobby you don’t have to dress up for. In fact the more comfortable you are the better. No special equipment, no clubs to join – although some of the local Stitch and Bitch classes can be fun – and you can relax in your favourite armchair, while creating a family heirloom or two 🙂

funknits

 

To get you started, ‘Fun Knits for Beginners’ is an instant downloadable from Etsy here:

Knits-U-Love

 

 

Happy Knitting!

Linda x

Family First

housewife-23868_1280

Now the new school year is starting again, it’s easy to slip into the everyday drudge and forget to treat ourselves – until Christmas, then we over indulge like there’s no tomorrow – shocking!

Would you like to change and improve your health, finances or general lifestyle ?

Many of us feel stuck in our everyday lives with jobs, homes, businesses and families to cope with, and a radical change just doesn’t seem practical or cost effective. But you don’t need to make huge sweeping changes to improve your lifestyle. Baby steps will take you to the top of the mountain if you just keep on taking them!

**grow a few herbs and add a little pizazz to everyday meals
**take up a relaxing hobby that has practical results, for example you could knit scarves as Christmas presents or create your own beautiful greetings cards. The possibilities here are endless.
**enjoy the simple things in life, walking in nature or playing Monopoly with the kids.
**Meditate – yes you can find the time!

Thinking outside that everyday humdrum box doesn’t have to be difficult- or expensive. Enjoy the moment 🙂

If you are longing to spend more time with your family but can’t see a way round the whole 9-5 thing, download this free ‘Family First’ report – you may just find a way to fire your boss!

Family First

 

This two part report is designed to shock then delight you!

In the first part we highlight the reasons why you might be a lot better off not having that J.O.B.
And in the second part some ideas to inspire you to live a more abundant lifestyle.

Family First

 

Linda x