chilekat's latest photos on Grows on You, where garden ideas are shared.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

HOT & SOUR SOUP

Over 15 years ago, I was sat in a Chinese restaurant in Benidorm which served "Hot & Sour Soup" - I have tried it many times since, but it's never been the same. Well today, I finally managed to replicate it... I am in heaven! 😍
Here's how to make a batch of this gorgeous stuff for yourself...


INGREDIENTS:
2tsp peanut oil
70g mushrooms (sliced)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tbsp ginger (minced)
1.2 litres vegetable stock
60ml rice vinegar
3tbsp soy sauce
1tbsp chilli garlic paste
1 tsp agave (or any liquid sweetener -  
       1tsp honey works)
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp water
1 head of pak choi
4 spring onions + extra for sprinkling 
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Black pepper
2 eggs (beaten)
Chilli oil

METHOD:
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the mushrooms and sauté for two minutes.

Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about another minute stirring constantly.

Add the stock, vinegar, soy sauce, chilli-garlic paste and agave, and bring to a gentle simmer. 

Stir in the pak choi, spring onions, sesame oil and some pepper, then simmer for another few minutes to let the flavours mix.

Combine the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl until there are no lumps. Slowly add this to the simmering pot, stirring well until it starts to thicken, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Beat the egg in a small bowl or cup and then, in a fine stream, pour it into the soup. Stir soup several times.

Serve in bowls, sprinkled with extra spring onions and drizzled with chilli oil. 

Friday, 30 June 2017

Kat's Ratatouille


Worthy of Remy the rat himself, here is my recipe for a delicious ratatouille, without those horrid aubergines...

If you would prefer a more authentic version, drop the peppers and add sliced aubergine; though personally, I think the peppers add a sweetness which makes it way better!

INGREDIENTS:

- 500ml Passata (garlic & herbs)
- 6 large tomatoes
- 3 peppers
- 2 large onions
- 2 large courgettes
- 100g Parmesan/grated Italian hard cheese
- Olive oil

METHOD:

Pre-heat the oven to 200° (180° fan). 

Take a large baking dish and pour the passata into the bottom. 

Slice the veg and put it into the dish in rows, alternating the slices to make it look pretty.

Sprinkle with 50g of the cheese, cover with foil and whack it into the oven. 

After an hour, take it out and remove the foil.

Brush the top with olive oil, sprinkle on the remaining cheese and put it back into the oven for another half an hour. 

Serve however you like; I dish it up in bowls with big chunks of buttered farmhouse bread on the side. 

NOMTASTIC!!! x

Friday, 16 September 2016

Friendship

There are days when I mourn the friend I never truly had;
Though they are now few and farther between, for which I am grateful.
Pay mind to who you trust with your heart and the words with which they can break it;
Strive not to collect relationships as though their number be a measure of your worth. 
Treasure the friend who proves faithful to the last. It only takes one for you to feel truly blessed indeed.

~ Kat Thorpe  16/09/2016

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Pokémon Go...

...just because. 😹

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Rescue Bird Nests

Making little nests for rescue birds is a great way of using up scrap yarn and helping creatures in need at the same time! They only take 10-15 minutes to make, so that lovely feeling of gratification you get when you finish a project could be yours many times a day...

**Please note, this pattern is written using UK abbreviations**

YOU WILL NEED: 
A 5mm hook & Chunky yarn. If you want to use up scrap yarn in other sizes, just hold two or three strands together, depending on what weight of yarn you are using. What you are aiming for is a tight stitch that keeps the nest upright and stops it being floppy.

METHOD:
Round 1) You can either begin with the magic loop method, in which case, do 10 htc into the magic loop, or:
ch 2, do 10 htc into the second ch from hook, join with a sl-st.
Round 2) ch 1, 2htc in each st around, join with a sl-st - 20
Round 3) ch 1, *htc 1, 2htc in next* around, join with a sl-st. - 30
Round 4-5) htc 2 rounds.
Round 6-7 ) dc 2 rounds.

Sew in ends.
So simple and rewarding, what are you waiting for? 👍🏻❤️😊

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Easy DIY Self-watering System


After planting up my tomatoes in a "Quadgrow" system, I realised just how easy one of these things should be to make and save myself the best part of 40 quid in the process! So, without further ado, this is what I did...

I got a storage crate with a lid and drilled two 30mm diameter holes in the top:


did two because that's how many of the buckets I plant in that I could fit on top of the crate lid; you can obviously drill holes for however many plant pots that you can fit on. Then I drilled the same size holes into the bottom of the buckets.

Next you will need a piece of capillary matting for each pot. Cut this to a length that will reach from the base of your plant, down through the pot and into the crate, reaching the bottom. 

Slice a bit off the bottom section like so:


Thread a piece of matting, pointy end first, down through the hole in the pot and poke it out of the bottom:



It needs to come up through the pot high enough to wrap around the plant that you are going to be putting in.

Next, fill the pot with soil to the level that you are going to add to your plant, leaving the capillary matting poking out like this:


Add the plant and wrap the capillary matting around its soil and roots: 


Then top up the rest of the pot with soil:


Fill your storage crate with water and place the lid on top. Place your pot onto the lid and line up the hole in the pot with the hole in the crate. Feed the capillary matting down through the hole in the crate lid, making sure that the matting goes down into the water:  


Repeat these steps for the other pot (or for however many pots you are going to do) then water around the base of the plant, just to get the matting damp and started off.


And that is it! The roots will grow in and around the matting and the capillary action will continue to keep the plants supplied with water, just so long as you remembering to top up the water tank now and again...

NOTE: if you wish to add a fertiliser to the water, I suggest you empty the tank before you do so. If you keep topping up with water, then with fertiliser etc, your ratios will be all over the place and you could end up over/under feeding. Emptying the tank and starting again with a fresh mix, will avoid this problem.


Now you can go away for the weekend and not have to pester your relatives or neighbours to water your plants!

Happy growing :-) x 

Monday, 1 June 2015

Coz it's the Pick of Destiny, Child!


My husband and I are converting the attic bedroom into a recording studio and are hoping to fill the walls with fun stuff - ideally things that are homemade. Rob had an idea about one of those fire alarm emergency panels that you have to break the glass to access the button, only ours should have a plectrum in it for emergencies! Not only did this amuse me greatly, it also gave me an idea.

Enter the 'Pick of destiny.' With such an awesome power, it would be foolish to use it willy nilly, but it's the perfect choice in an emergency situation!

To misquote the devil himself, check this pic it's fucking tasty!



I sculpted the pick out of polymer clay and now it sits in it's box on the wall, patiently waiting until such time that Rob needs to bring the thunder.