Lamb Pilaf

I found the recent bitter cold, wet and windy weather a perfect excuse to try and recreate the amazing Lamb Pilaf my mum rustled up for me over the Christmas period. Needless to say, it didn’t quite measure up to my mother’s cooking but I gave it my best shot and it was the perfect Friday night TV dinner to chow down on as the storm whipped up outside.

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Ingredients

  • 500g organic lamb mince
  • 2 small red onions, finely diced
  • 2 courgettes, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 mixed peppers, finely diced
  • 2 hot chillies, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Thumb size piece of ginger, grated
  • Heaped teaspoons of whatever spices you have to hand. I used cinnamon, garam masala, cumin, coriander, toasted mustard seeds and cardamom
  • Chicken stock
  • Brown basmati rice
  • Toppings and sides. I used toasted slivered almonds, fresh pomegranate, fresh coriander, grated carrot and mustard seed salad, Greek yoghurt and poppadum’s

Method

  1. Brown off the lamb mince in an oven-proof casserole dish and remove from pan and put to one side.
  2. Throw the onions, courgette, carrot, peppers, carrots, chillies, garlic and ginger into the pan and fry until soft.
  3. Add all the spices and continue frying until the vegetables are coated with the spices which should now have formed a paste.
  4. Meanwhile, par-cook the rice.
  5. When the vegetables are soft and the spices have been heated enough to release their aroma, return the lamb mince to the pan along with the par-cooked rice.
  6. Cover with the chicken stock and place in the oven, uncovered for around 30 mins or until the top is crispy and the middle is soft and oozing.
  7. Dish up and garnish with the toasted almonds, fresh coriander, yogurt, pomegranate seeds, carrot salad.
  8. Use the poppadum’s to scoop everything up!

Busy Bee

Things have been a bit crazy of late and I haven’t been able to get round to the back-catalogue of blog topic ideas I keep!

But amongst the birthday celebrations (I turned 27 yesterday and am naturally insisting on a four-day celebration), my masters, my day job and spending time with my boyfriend, I have managed to steal an hour away from it all to catch up with Happy Heart and my Pinterest obsession. Who knew that such a fabulous macaroon and coffee shop offering WiFi was just around the corner from Matt’s house?

But between sipping my latte, nibbling my pistachio macaroon and ogling over London Fashion Week street style, I have just about enough time to let you know that a week today I will be getting the keys to my first home! I am beyond excited and my organisational skills are truly coming into their own with furniture deliveries, van hiring and packing galore. This is where the fun really begins ;)

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Sunday Afternoons

I’ve always been the sort of person who is prone to a bit of the Sunday afternoon blues. I think it is primarily because the weekend is coming to an end and it’s also usually the time when I need to start planning for the week ahead which includes making my lunches for work (I surprisingly find this a massive chore though I usually love cooking!)

However, on a fresh, crisp and hangover free January Sunday afternoon with my man, even my worries seem very far away! Such was so the case on this particular afternoon where only a winter walk to a cosy pub seemed appropriate. I’m lucky enough to have a wonderful pub not too far from me called The Cock Inn. The independent-ness (it actually belongs to a chain but you would never know), comforting but chic décor, delicious ice cold Pinot and traditional but still exciting menu makes it an ideal place to forgot those dreaded Sunday blues.

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Inspiration

Whether it’s for a new idea at work, cooking your evening meal, choosing the paint colour for your study or even life in general, we all need a little inspiration from time to time.

I like to keep the things that inspire me close and I love using photography to help capture spontaneous moments I think might come in useful for any potential writer’s block in the future.

So I thought I’d share a few of the things that inspire me below – and I’d love to know yours too.

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Blue Envy

After my blue themed post last week I thought it would only be fitting to pull together a few pieces I have my eye on in the form of Happy Heart at Forty Nine’s very first moodboard!

Being on a tight budget myself, I have included some more affordable options that can still add a dash of blue and make a statement. But I’m afraid I can not make any apologies for the ‘Tote’ sofa which I have fallen in love with and is typically on the pricier side! However it will look just perfect in any petite living room and will be an investment piece for the future.

Mood Board

Lamp: made.com, £99

Sofa: DFS, £750

Statement Chair: Ikea, £195

Cushion: Ikea, £10

Rug: B&Q, £120

Into the Blue

I’ve always had a bit of a ‘thing’ for blue living rooms. I think it stemmed from a brief obsession with nautical inspired décor a few years ago but my taste has since developed and I’ve discovered how diverse a blue living room can be.

I also like that blue isn’t a particularly traditional living room colour, perhaps because some feel it can make a room cold. But for me blue can transform a room into a fresh, calming and secure space.

I’ll definitely be incorporating blue into my living room and below are some of my favourite ways to use this often under-rated colour.

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The deep, pure blue chosen here acts as a soothing anchor for the windowed wall allowing the leopard print and pops of other colour to promote the owners eccentricities without seeming chaotic or disjointed. (photo source: iometro.blogspot.co.uk)

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The beginnings of this space are mostly neutral, but when the tones of blue are introduced along with some natural foliage, the room feels lived in and the wooden slatted table adds an ethnic edge. The swooping chrome floor light ensures the room remains contemporary. (photo source: apartmenttherapy.com)

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The heavy draping here provides the perfect symmetrical window dressing and the blue/grey combination continues as the eye moves down the curtains to the carefully balanced sofa. The cool colours and metal touches feel almost industrial but the glimpse of timber and the large mirror leaning nonchalantly against the wall help this space remain homely. (photo source: channel4.com)

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The bold use of colour in this crisp living room pays off and creates a colonial retreat that would feel cosy and comfortable in the winter and a fresh, clean oasis in the summer. The slouchy cushions and fabric blind juxtaposes perfectly the almost clinical high gloss white unit and coffee table. (photo source: homeandgardens.com)