Viva Vegetables

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Viva Vegetables medium tote bags

Win one of these gorgeous tote bags – they’re from the Viva Vegetables range, one of the new Spring 2015 collections from the folks at Talented.

Even if you’re a complete carnivore, you’ll love this quirky range of colourful canvas bags. They’re both attractive and versatile.

Talented is an eco-company based in Sheffield specialising in creatively driven, sustainable accessories and tote bags. The brand celebrates the bag as an art form and collaborates with upcoming British artists, designers and print makers on a seasonal rotation.

Viva Vegetables is designed by American crafter Leslie Astor who now lives here in the UK. Leslie’s four designs pay homage to a few of Britain’s favourite vegetables. Large-scale prints of broccoli, carrots, beetroot and asparagus adorn the colourfully dyed canvas tote bags. Viva Vegetables small tote bags

The collection is inspired by the farmers’ market at Grand Army Plaza in New York City. When Leslie lived in Brooklyn, she and her family would visit the market every Saturday.

Leslie said:

“A tote bag gets out and about and exposed to a lot of eyes in a lot of different contexts: the subway, the office, the grocery store, the park – maybe all of those places in a day. Given that fact, I wanted my series of totes to be conversation starters, and I think they are.”

Viva Vegetables are made and printed at a fair-trade certified factory in India and are available in 2 sizes – medium tote bag and mini tote bag. They’re available to buy from the doodle bag website.

For your chance to win one, just comment below telling us which size & design you’d like and how you’d use it. To carry your lunch to work? A school bag for your child? To pop to the shops? Something else entirely? 🙂

Viva Vegetables tote bag

Cakes & Bakes: Mushroom and broccoli quiche

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Slice of home-made mushroom and broccoli quiche with side salad | H is for Home

It’s been a while since our Cakes & Bakes series featured something savoury – it’s been very cake-heavy of late! In order to redress the balance, here’s a very easy-to-make and very tasty mushroom and broccoli quiche.

You can buy a range of quiches quite cheaply in any supermarket – but you just can’t beat a home-made, straight-out-of-the-oven version though! Pair it with a side salad for a healthy, hearty afternoon meal.

Mushroom and broccoli quiche

Yield: 6-8 slices

Mushroom and broccoli quiche

Ingredients

  • For the pastry
  • 110g/4oz plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g/2oz Stork or other margarine, cubed
  • 2tbs cold water
  •  
  • For the filling
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 8 closed cup or chestnut mushrooms, chopped
  • 2-4 stems of tenderstem or purple sprouting broccoli (depending on length)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 275ml/½pint double cream
  • sea salt & freshly milled pepper to taste (we swear by Bart Bristol Five Blend peppercorns)
  • 75g hard cheese such as mature cheddar or Gruyère, grated

Instructions

  1. Sift the flour & pinch of salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl
  2. Add the cubes of Stork gently rubbing them into the flour until it resembles crumbly breadcrumbs
  3. Sprinkly over the cold water, 1tbs at a time bringing together the mixture with your hands until it forms a smooth ball of dough and the bowl is clean
  4. If it's still a bit crumbly you may need a few more drops of water. Be careful not to add too much
  5. Wrap the ball of dough in cling film (Saran wrap) and refrigerate for at least half an hour
  6. Preheat the oven to 170ºC/350ºF/Gas mark 4
  7. Once chilled, roll out the dough into a circular shape (with a circumference slightly larger than the dish)
  8. Carefully ease the rolled out pastry over the top of a flan dish or shallow tin. Press the pastry into the sides and base of the dish.
  9. Prick the base all over with a fork or skewer
  10. Bake the empty pastry base for 15-20 minutes
  11. Remove from the oven while you prepare the filling
  12. Heat the butter in a medium-sized saucepan on a low heat and soften the onions in it for a few minutes
  13. Stir in the chopped mushrooms and cook for half and hour or so, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated
  14. Using a slotted spoon, evenly put the onion & mushroom mix on the pre-baked quiche base and lay the spears of broccoli on top
  15. In a measuring jug or similar, whisk the eggs together thoroughly before adding the cream and whisking again. Season with salt & pepper before pouring over the tart filling
  16. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top
  17. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the centre is set and the cheese nicely browned
http://hisforhomeblog.com/cakes-bakes/cakes-bakes-mushroom-broccoli-quiche/

Growing our own

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flat leaf parsley and coriander growing on a windowsill

This year we decided to grow more of our own – and we’ve got no excuse, as Todmorden‘s the home of Incredible Edible.

strawberries growing in a vintage terracotta strawberry pot

We have a variety of crops to look forward to in the coming weeks.

homegrown beetroot in vintage enamel breadbinhomegrown peashoots grown in vintage metal bucket

Most of them are growing in containers as much of our garden is paved with stone cobbles. It also makes protecting them from the ubiquitous slugs & snails much easier.

tomato plants growing in a vintage mini greenhouse

We use lots of the old galvanised metal ‘dolly tubs’, buckets and bins.

courgette flowers in a vintage metal dolly tub

The plants seem to like it!

potato plants overflowing from a vintage metal dolly tub just outside the kitchen doorpink stems of rhubarb growing out of a vintage metal dolly tub

Potatoes, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, broccoli, courgettes, squash, peashoots, salad leaves, a variety of herbs – and yes, those are figs.

tiny fruits growing on a fig tree

There’s still a little room for some flowers.

lilac coloured osteospermum growing in a vintage metal bucket

pink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tubpink lupins growing in a vintage dolly tub

Perennials like the hostas, astilbes and lupins return each year like old friends. Although this year’s harsh winter saw a few losses.

purple lobelia growing in a vintage metal bucket

red geraniums just about ready to flower

To these we add a few annuals – osteospermums,  lobelia and the like.

hosta leaves

pink fox glove about to flower growing next to a giant ribbed terracotta urnyoung purple shoots of astilbe plants

We’ve enjoyed working in the garden this year. We don’t think self-sufficiency is here just yet – but hopefully we’ll reap some rewards!