The Student Cookbook: a.k.a. “How Do I Make This Mum?” : The Fishcake Edition

Offspring#2 heads off to Edinburgh University next weekend.

He’s going to be staying in a shared flat in the centre of town and is nervously looking forward to it.

Obviously, part of the planning; alongside getting a place (the hardest part of that was actually making a decision, as he received four unconditional offers!!), sorting funding, applying for accomodation, and buying duvets, dishes & desk cacti; is making sure he can feed himself!

Operation: Mum’s Student Cookbook is well underway (although, whilst #1’s recipes were all painstakingly handwritten in her book, he’s gone all high-tech with Google docs) and we’re working on a batch of multi-purpose or mix & match recipes.

Tonight’s experiment was fishcakes, they turned out well, and he has already added a list of possible variations.

We had a couple of tins of red salmon loitering in the cupboard so decided to use those up in these easy Salmon, Spring Onion, Chilli, and Coriander Fishcakes.

Ingredients

  • 2 large or four medium potatoes; peeled & diced (or 250g leftover mash)
  • 1 tin salmon; drained, flaked, & bones removed
  • 1 red chilli; de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 2-3 spring onions, chopped
  • Handful of coriander; roughly chopped
  • Salt & pepper
  • Flour
  • 1-2 eggs; beaten
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbspn butter
  • 2 tbspn olive oil

Method

  1. Boil potatoes until soft, drain & mash.
  2. Combine mash, salmon, chilli, spring onion, & coriander; and season.
  3. Form into palm-sized patties.
  4. Coat in flour, dip in egg, & cover with breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat butter & oil in a frying pan, over a medium heat.
  6. Add fishcakes, and fry for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown.

Enjoy with salad & crusty bread, or your choice of vegetables.

Yeild & Storage

This recipe will give 4-6 decent sized fishcake, enough as a main meal for two; alternatively, save half for another day.

Uncooked fishcakes can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days or wrapped and frozen for 2-3 months.
Personally, I prefer to fry until golden then cool añd freeze. Cook from frozen in a preheated 180°C oven for 20-35 minutes depending on the size.
 

Variations

Tinned Tuna & Sweetcorn

Smoked Salmon, with Thai flavouring

Cod & Chorizo

Prawn with Chilli, Garlic, Ginger, and Spring Onion

Smoked Haddock and Mature Cheddar

Omit the fish altogether; and have Cheese, Leek, and Spring Onion Potato Cakes for a vegetarian-flatmate-friendly feed

Are you a fan of fishcakes? What’s your favourite flavour? If you try these, or have any student-friendly recipes, I (we!) would love to hear below!

As always,

Thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

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[Book Review] BOHERMORE by Jennifer Rose McMahon

TITLE: BOHERMORE

AUTHOR: Jennifer Rose McMahon

GENRE: Fiction, YA, Paranormal Romance

EDITION: Paperback

PAGES: 293

PUBLISHED BY: City Owl Press

PUBLICATION DATE: 4th April 2017

ISBN: 9781944728144

PRICE: $14.99

Book 1 of The Pirate Queen Series.

The Story

When your dreams become reality, being cursed can be a real nightmare.

Like a punch in the face, eighteen-year-old Maeve O’Malley’s visions knock her off her path. The Pirate Queen stalking Maeve in her dreams killed her mother years ago, and now, the villain is coming for her. Maeve’s decision to ditch Boston College takes everyone by surprise as she packs her bags, leaves America, and heads to the west coast of Ireland to chase her dreams—and end them.

Maeve uncovers an ancient family curse that refuses to remain silent until she accepts her predestined role in what many thought was only a legend. Her Irish history professor—a man she shouldn’t be falling for—is the only person who understands the origins of her torment.

Maeve’s journey becomes a medieval treasure hunt through Ireland’s castles and ruins as she tracks the wrathful Pirate Queen who has her marked for vengeance.

First Impressions

The cover gives the impression of a dark and foreboding tale, full of folklore, myths and a little bit of magic.

When i first started reading, I was intrigued by the secrecy surrounding Maeve’s Irish roots. We meet her during a family get-together in her Boston home, where she has been raised by her grandparents since her mother’s death. We learn early on that there is something special about Maeve, not least because of her visions; or awake dreams as she calls them. We follow her to Ireland where she struggles to control her ever-strengthening episodes, whilst meeting all sorts of characters; some friends, some foes, and some that aren’t so clear!

Enrolling in a history course at NUIG (National University of Ireland, in Galway), she soon finds a kindred spirit to join her on her quest, but how will it end?

Thoughts

Without wanting to give too much away (I try to keep my reviewing a spoiler-free zone!) I found BOHERMORE an enthralling read. The action was well-paced and I found that the inclusion of lots of historical details made for an interesting read.

As I continued reading, I found myself really rooting for Maeve, and was eager for her to find the answers she was seeking.

The author’s writing style is easy to read; and she weaves many snippets of historical detail, myth and legend with ease.

I was left wanting to seek out further reading on Granuaile as she is such an intriguing character; and can’t wait for the second book in The Pirate Queen series, to find out what happens next for Maeve.

Rating & Recommendations

A suspense-filled read, I rate this thriller 4 out of 5 stars.

Recommended reading for lovers of YA fiction and fans of Paranormal tales, with a bit of history mixed in.

The Author

Jennifer Rose McMahon lives in Massachusetts with her husband, who she met whilst studying in Ireland, their four children and two dogs.

A family connection to the O’Malley clan and a growing fascination with it’s medieval history during many, many visits to Ireland inspired her to write Bohermore.

When not writing, she splits her time between her day jobs as a high school guidance counselor, yoga instructor, and mother.

You can connect with her via Facebook or Twitter , and find out more at JenniferRoseMcMahon.com.

Details of this and more books published by City Owl Press can be found at www.cityowlpress.com.

Disclosure

I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in return for an open and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by! I’d love to hear whether you have or would like to read this!

Hugs,

Crafty xx

#Mamamail

Mamamail is a project devised by the lovely people at The Paperdashery.

It is a charitable exchange where new mums can sign up to receive some happymail, and other(mostly mum)s can sign up to do the sending.

So far I’ve participated twice, and I’d like to continue to do so.

I suffered quite badly with PND with my first and the worry it would happen a second time out a bit of a dampener on what should have been a time for celebration with the second. I was lucky in that I had lots of support around me during a horrible time, but I firmly believe that you can NEVER have too much support at such an exhausting and emotional time, and sometimes it takes a stranger telling you that “Actually, you’re doing okay!” for you to believe it.

My first Mama was a lovely Mum named Michelle, she had recently given birth to her second daughter and was struggling with being tired and hungry (I could relate to that! Offspring#2 was a boy who liked to feed!)

She describes herself as creative, tired, and hungry and said that food and sleep made her happy!

I put together a package of treats for her; chocolate, tea, biscuits, toiletries, and a little crafty sewing kit as she had mentioned she was creative.

I knew it would be another few days before I would be able to get to the post office so, on the way home from an event that night, I popped a cheery little card in the mail; just so she knew someone was thinking about her.

A few days later I found she had tagged me in a social media post about the project, and mentioned how my Mamamail had brightened her day. She also, unexpectedly, sent me a message of thanks; which was really sweet of her. (This did however give me the opportunity to ‘meet’ her via Instagram and I just have to say that she has THE cutest girls ever!)

That gave me such a warm feeling, that I immediately offered to sign up for another round.

My next Mama is Kate, she describes herself as creative, passionate, and independent; but at the moment she is struggling with Post Natal Depression. Cats and chocolate make her happy, so I’m planning to incorporate those into her Mamamail.

I am currently putting together a little box of self care treats for Kate, and am writing a note of solidarity, in the hope that I can bring a moment of cheer to a cloudy day.

The Mamamail project is so incredibly worthwhile, and if you think you may be interested in participating in this rewarding endeavour, I urge you to go and take a look at the details and sign up.

The Paperdashery even have a great range of products suitable for #Mamamail , starting at under a pound!

Mamamail senders also receive a code for £5 off a £15 spend at The Paperdashery, but; to be honest; I’ve never cashed mine in as I signed up for the sole purpose of brightening someone’s day NOT to see what I could get out of it.

Have you heard of Mamamail? Would you consider signing up to send or receive? Or do you participate in other charitable mailing projects? Why not share in the comments below?

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Hugs,

Crafty xxx

Starting Over

Yep, Spring has sprung.

The days are getting warmer/brighter/longer.

Things are growing (i know this because i can feel it in my twitchy itchy nose)
And I am starting over. My blogging has been haphazard and I have been MIA for a while, but I have decided to rectify this.
I have the next week off work, and aim to get a new blogging regime underway!

I say I’m off, like I’m on holiday : I have a few overtime evening shifts, OH is taking lead on a new project that means he’ll probably be in work and working late although technically he is also taking a weeks holiday, then we have to fit in trips to 2 different cities for Offspring#2 to visit Uni campuses, and see both sets of parents…

 So, whilst we aren’t actually going ‘away’ on holiday, there’s going to be an awful lot of travelling.
 Nerves are slightly frayed at home. Offspring#1 is in the midst of her final year University dissertation, and Offspring#2 has various assignments to submit in school before next month’s exams, and; kudos to them; neither felt they could justify bunking off for a week. I think actually going away somewhere would have been easier!!

So yeah, in amongst all the many things on the communal To-Do List; Revamp Blog is there somewhere…
I’m planning to finalise my plans over the weekend, but so far my themes are;

  • Crafty Makes : I intend to keep DIY tutorials ongoing as these have always been a recurring theme.
  • Snailmail : again, this is an important aspect of my life and I would like to showcase it further.
  •  History also Events / Exhibitions
  • Recipes
  • Reviews : books mostly; but possible films, TV, music etc. I have always been a voracious reader and recently have been indulging in new (to me!) ways to read. I could never completely give up the smell & feel of a ‘real’ book, but have finally come around to (and am indeed actively embracing!) the ease of digital books.
  • Other/ Product Reviews: I’m somewhat of a subscription addict; especially ones that fuel my passions regarding  a stationery, books,, and geekery! Alongside a core selection that I regularly receive, I love trying new ones. I particularly like to support new and indie sub services; and would love to share them!
  • Interesting & Intriguing Projects​ : I’m always coming across projects that pique my interest, everything from daily prompt led journalling challenges to actual do-something-good for the world stuff, it’s always useful to raise awareness and share ideas with like-minded individuals.

I’m currently leaning towards the idea of having a set day for each themes posts (Mail Call Monday or SnailMail Saturday or Sunday Crafternoon etc)  If  YOU do something similar, does it work? Will it (as i hope) encourage me to explore & share themes regularly, or will I feel stifled by having it regimented? Would a half & half system work better; a certain number of days being recurring slots, with the rest allowing for more varied postings?  
Anyway, I’m hoping you stick around and see what changes i come up with!

As always, thanks for reading, and please share your thoughts and ideas!
Love and hugs,

Crafty xx

The Scent of Christmas : A Last Minute Christmas idea

Another last minute Christmas idea!

This one takes minutes to prep, can be left to do it’s thing, and can be used as both a gift or as festive decorations – WIN / WIN!!

DRIED ORANGE SLICES

  1. First, preheat your oven to around 80°C
  2. Cut orange(s) into slices, around ” thick
  3. Lay on oven rack and bake for around 3 hours

The slices will be slightly sticky when they come out, but will dry further in time.

  • Add cloves for extra interest. Using a cocktail stick, pierce holes around the outside ring of skin; then insert cloves into each hole.
  • OR, stud the inner rim with cloves.
  • OR, make a slit in the flesh, just below rind, where; after drying; you can tie a ribbon or string hanging loop.

IDEAS FOR USE: 

  • Use as pot pourri
  • Add hanging loops and use as tree decorations (the warmth of tree lights can bring out the fragrance)
  • Thread onto parcel ribbon to embellish your Christmas gifts
  • Bundle together in a cellophane bag or box, tie with ribbon, and gift to a friend or loved one

*These add a lovely festive fragrance to any parcel, especially when combined with a cinnamon stick or two!!
Have you tried them? Let me know in the comments how you used them, or tag me if you share on social media marketing

Craft Month Challenge

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In celebration of Craft Month, I set myself a challenge to get a little (or a lottle!) crafty every single day this month.

I eased myself in easy for Day 1, with some stamped tags for a batch of gift hampers that sold over the weekend in a Charity auction for Postpals.

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Are you joining in?

Don’t forget to use #CraftysCraftMonthChallenge !

I can’t wait to see what you get up to ….

 

Hugs,

Crafty xx

 

 

Happy Chocolate Cake Day

At first thought, you might wonder why Chocolate Cake should have a specific Day, I mean surely every day is Chocolate Cake Day; yeah?

But it’s CHOCOLATE CAKE, so let’s roll with it….

 

So what’s the point of Chocolate Cake Day?

Well, that’s pretty simple:

Essentially, it is a day to celebrate that sweet gooey tasty morsel in all it’s forms!

 

So, how are YOU going to celebrate?

 

Here are some ideas:

 

Bake a Chocolate Cake!

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You can find a super quick, super tasty, 3-ingredient recipe right here!

 

Buy some Chocolate Cake shoes!

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Chris Campbell of The Shoe Bakery designs these mouthwateringly fabulous sweet feet treats.

 

Treat yourself to a lipsmacking gloss!

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Similar glosses are available all over, but I found these on Amazon.

 

Read up on how the experts do it!

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The amazing ChoccywoccyDooDah book;   Chocolate, Cake and Curs is full of gorgeous photographs, fabulous recipes and interesting tales.

 

Dress up your phone!

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Claire’s Accessories have this snazzy iPhone 6 case.

 

 

I hope I’ve given you a few ideas for celebrating this auspicious occasion 😜As always, please share your own ideas!

Thanks for stopping by,

Crafty xxx