5 articles Tag comfort

Ultimate Autumn Comfort Foods

I always thought of myself as a summer baby. I was born in June, I adore the sunshine and am never happier than when I can be outside with the sun on my face. However, I don’t know if it’s an age thing, but these days, autumn seems to be my favourite season. I love the changes which are happening all around us and there’s something about the changing seasons which seems to spark my creativity each year.

The combined factors of being surrounded by nature in our new, rural cottage and having a lovely wood-burning stove in our lounge has made all thoughts turn to those warming comfort foods which I look forward to every time the weather gets cooler, and although we’re enjoying some unseasonably good weather, I’m still going down the ‘hearty’ route with our dinners.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share some recipes from my favourite bloggers who’ve written about the foods which are perfect for when you want to snuggle down and fill your tummy with something wholesome and substantial.

SOUPS

If you like a bit of heat, this spicy tomato soup from Blue Bear Wood looks absolutely delish – I think I’d have to indulge in a huge chunk of buttered crusty bread for dipping.

Spicy-Roast-Tomato-Soup

I’ve never actually attempted to make French Onion Soup, even though I’ve always thought it looked like something I’d really enjoy, and this recipe from Keeper of the Kitchen has given me even more of a want to give it a go.

French Onion Soup

Veggie Options

Despite being a firmly confirmed meat-lover, I do occasionally make a veggie dinner as I think it’s good for us to have a few days meat-free, so this meat-free pie alternative with yummy veggie sides from The Brick Castle would be perfect.

Dinner

Another recipe from Blue Bear Wood is this vegetarian Bolognese. It’s such a great way to get veg into the kids without them making a fuss because, let’s face it, everyone loves a good Spag Bol!

Vegetarian-Bolognaise-Sauce

Hotpots, Stews and Other Mains

Daisies and Pie has shared this wonderful recipe for a Lancashire Hotpot, which is something that I’ve never actually attempted to cook before, although I’m not quite sure why as it looks like something that my family would absolutely love.

lancashire-hotpot-recipe

We’re huge fans of chicken casserole here in the Mum’s the Word house, although I do usually cheat and use a packet mix of seasoning, so this comforting chicken casserole from Munchies and Munchkins  has inspired me to do it without the use of a sachet next time!

Chicken Casserole

Chilli is another family favourite, and I shared a recipe that one of my mothers-in-law gave me last year HERE, but this slow-cooker version from Jibber Jabber UK would be perfect for us at the moment as I could put it on before the long commute to collect Sausage from school and have a warming meal ready for us when we get home.

Chilli

Nellie PomPoms has also written a post full of comfort food ideas, from cheese on toast to a simple but super tasty Aubergine bake (which my Husband would LOVE!).

Sweet Treats

Once the dinner is done, there’s nothing nicer than following it up with a sweet treat. As much as I love a summery fruit salad, winter is a great excuse for richer, thicker puddings which fill you up and make you feel like you’re getting a huge cuddle!

Fab Food 4 All has shared a Nutella Brioche Pudding, which is something that would be ANIHILLATED by my family in seconds as we’re huge fans of brioche and often eat the for breakfast or a supper treat with hot chocolate.

Nutella Brioche Pudding

Apple crumble is one of my favourite desserts ever and these Bramley Apple Crumble Slices from The Crazy Kitchen would be perfect to eat by the fire – preferably accompanied by a dollop of hot custard! Apple Crumble Slices

 Baileys. Chocolate. Sponge. Does is get any better or more comforting than that? I think not, which is why I’ve decided to finish with this Luxurious Baileys Triple Chocolate Trifle from A Mummy Too. Just looking at it is making my mouth water!

Baileys-Triple-Chocolate-Trifle

A Room Somewhere…

I’m a bit of a musicals fan, and this time of year always reminds me of the inimitable Eliza Doolittle:

All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?
Lots of choc’lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin’ lots of ‘eat.
Warm face, warm ‘ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn’t it be loverly?

I’m a real creature of comfort and I love winter because I can hibernate indoors, get snuggly and shut out the chilly outside world. What I’d really love is a modern wall hung gas fire to heat the house and chill out in front of on winter nights. Our house is chilly at the best of times and a fireplace would be the perfect decorative addition, as well as giving our central heating a bit of a helping hand!

I also love traditional gas fires, and the thought of being able to have a proper fire place is very appealing – there’s nothing that looks nicer at Christmas than a mantelpiece, laden with garlands and wooden festive decorations, around a roaring fire. I like to think I’m a fairly modern gal, but there’s a bit of me that hankers after tradition, and I love the image of my girls opening their presents on a thick rug in front of the fireplace. Who knew there was a 50’s housewife hiding inside me?!

I know someone else who’d love a fireplace too – my dog Chuck is an epic snuggler and now that he’s 9, he loves nothing better than curling up in front of a radiator. It’s just not the same as laying in front of a fire, and I’d love to be able to give him somewhere to lay in his old age. They say that dogs are like their owners – well, we’re definitely both creatures of comfort!

The Importance of Comfortable Shoes

img_category3Yesterday, I went to London for a Google Mums event, which meant dropping Sausage off at school, heading straight for the station, jumping on a train, various tubes, walking around in several circles while I looked for the right building an then doing it all again in reverse and getting home in time to collect Sausage from school again. Once I got home, we realised that we didn’t have anything in for tea, so the three of us hopped into the car and went straight to the supermarket for a quick shop (which turned into the inevitable full trolley, hour-long jaunt).

By the time I got my out of my shoes, I realised that I’d been wearing them for over 10 hours and my feet were killing me. The combination of being pregnant and on my feet all day long, meant that my feet were seriously suffering. I’m not sure that I want to replace all of my shoes and boots, so I started looking at the benefits of orthotic insoles. Insoles could provide me with a budget-friendly solution to uncomfortable shoes, which is pretty important given that having a baby can be so expensive! The other benefit is that orthotics actually help to adjust your gait and posture, which will be really important for me as I get bigger, especially as I’m contending with SPD as well.

Womens Vionic shoes are another option if I want to go for a properly constructed shoe to help with comfort and posture and there are some great options out there, both smart and casual for any occasion. They’re all designed by a podiatrist, which means that you can trust them to be seriously kind to your feet and the retro bowling-shoe style casual pumps would look great with jeans or combats.

Now, excuse me while I go and dream about comfortable shoes!

Maternity Wear from Zalando

Today is the first time that I’ve really felt like I have a bump. People have remarked on my shape and I keep insisting it’s mainly just fat, but according to my nearest and dearest I absolutely look pregnant. I’m still wearing a lot of my normal clothes, but it’s getting to a point where I’m having to think about maternity clothes. Luckily, a while ago the lovely people at Zalando gave me the chance to choose some maternity wear from their range. These were my choices:

Zalando Maternity Wear

Mama Licious LEO Jumper – grey  – £29.00

Esprit Maternity Slim fit jeans – £50.00

Esprit Maternity Long sleeved top – black – £16.00

Mama Licious TIPPY – Basic T-shirt – white – £10.00

The jumper comes up quite large, so it’s not really an ‘early’ maternity item – it will, however, come into its own once I have an enormous bump and the item itself is actually really good quality and really stylish. Weirdly, the white shirt (which, once you receive is isn’t actually white at all, it’s an off-white with tiny flecks of bright pink and orange in it) is the same brand as the t-shirt and actually comes up tiny in sizing. The XL is supposed to be large enough to fit a size 18, but it was a real squeeze to get it on, even before I has a bump and certainly did not accomodate my bosom!

Positively though, the jeans are amazing – I’ve been wearing them for a couple of weeks because even though I don’t feel like I have a huge bump, I do have that weird internal pressure feeling you get when you’re pregnant and I’m not a fan of the feeling of a waistband pressing into my tummy. The jeans have a brilliant soft panel at the front, as well as elastic pull-in adjusters at the sides of the jeans, which means I can pull them all the way in to wear now, and then let them out as I get gradually bigger. They’re so comfortable, I get the feeling I’ll have to be dragged kicking and screaming out of these jeans when the baby’s about 2 years old!

I love the black long-sleeved t-shirt too; the material is really thick and stretchy and will definitely accommodate a growing bump. It’s perfect for layering (I’ve been wearing it under a gilet, seeing as it’s been so mild for October) and looks great with my jeans and a pair of boots.

Last time I was pregnant, maternity wear seemed frumpy and over-priced, but this time around just 5 short years later, it seems like retailers have really upped their game when it comes to providing for pregnant women – and I for one couldn’t be happier!

Thanks so much to Zalando for the clothes and to you for reading.

Sausage Tests Mini Boden

A couple of weeks ago, the lovely people from Boden got in touch and asked if Sausage would like to choose some clothes from the Mini Boden autumn/winter range to try out, and obviously we said a big fat YES! Here’s what she chose:

Mini Boden

Sausage actually has great taste when it comes to clothes, although everything on the Mini Boden site is absolutely gorgeous, so it wasn’t difficult for her to make excellent choices. The coral appliqué t-shirt is stunning, Sausage calls it her ‘Royal Pigeon’ shirt – the material is thick and cosy and is great for layering on days when the weather is unpredictable. The colour looks amazing on her, too.

The knitted woodland dress is so cute and funky and looks amazing when worn with colourful woolly tights and chunky boots – exactly what Sausage wore when we all went to the cinema at the weekend. It’s comfy and warm and makes a great ‘Sunday chic’ outfit.

The pyjamas are probably my favourite item of all – the soft, brushed cotton is so perfect for winter nights and the pony pattern is unique and pretty, ideal for my pony-mad little lady. In fact, I almost wish they made them in adult sizes!

I was really pleased when Sausage chose the bootleg cords. Her selection was mainly based on the fact that they’re bright pink, but I think cords are such a good choice for kids in winter; they’re warm and comfortable whilst having enough give in them so that her movement isn’t restricted like it might be in jeans. The bootleg cut means they can be worn with boots on colder days, or Converse when it’s slightly drier.

On a practical note, all of the clothes have washed really well and haven’t succumbed to the dreaded bobbling that cheaper items might. Sausage’s haul came to £106, but there’s actually a sale on at Boden at the moment, which means that you can get your hands on everything above for £93, including delivery, which I think is pretty awesome. Mini Boden is officially my new go-to place when looking for clothes for Sausage and I can’t wait until we find out if we’re having a boy or a girl tomorrow, so that I can look at the baby clothes too!

Thanks to Boden for supplying Sausage with such a great haul.