Musings // Happy Weekend number 46 {ft sparkly partywear and a risotto recipe}

November 17, 2017

Hola, Ciao, Hellooo. Happy Friday! Does time seem to be moving really strangely for you right now? I'm well aware that Christmas is upon us the minute that December rolls around but this stage of November seems to be lasting forever yet zooming by at the same time. It's been two weeks already since I checked in for one of these week edit kinds of posts {and thank you by the way for your kind feedback on the last post}. An update and my general life ramblings of late below if you're in a blog reading mood this weekend including my favourite risotto recipe and sparkly partywear picks for the coming weeks ahead;

// the last couple of weeks;

It was Bonfire Night when I last left off. And for once a perfectly crisp clear evening for it. We had sausages {practically the law on bonfire night?} and then walked to a local display.

I celebrated all things Autumn, grateful to be home for a few weeks {don't get me wrong, I adore travel like you wouldn't believe but the last few months were hectic so it's been really lovely to slow down a bit and celebrate England!} at this magical time of year. I made a wreath {blog post here}.

And have loved the end of the golden leaves, that low sunlight and the first frosty mornings for running and dog walks. I've been a lot more prone to anxiety for around maybe the last 18 months but getting outside everyday is my biggest panacea. 

As is filling the house with fresh flowers! 

// Days Out

I think I mentioned that I had Friday off the last time I wrote a post like this and that my husband and I were off out for a lunch date? That's now become an unofficial 'thing'. My husband is able to work from home until Christmas so we've been cramming lots into Mon-Thurs and taking an extra day at the weekend for a few weeks. So far all of the Friday's have been bright blue sky days too which has been a bonus. 

Richmond and Richmond Park a couple of weeks back were beautiful.

And then last Friday we went into North London for a look at the new Panzer's Deli and wander around St Johns Wood {we used to live in Maida Vale so it was like a trip down memory lane} and then lunch at our fav Wahaca and walk around pretty Primrose Hill. 

Oh, London.

Our weekend was fairly quiet, we hosted dinner on Saturday evening {more below} and then went for a couple of long walks with the pup as he was staying over and I had some girls round on Sunday evening. 

But then on Monday I had a meeting in Greenwich so took the chance to meet a friend that lives there for lunch with her gorgeous new bubba who I hadn't met and also had a quick coffee with another friend. It was the most beautiful day ever and I forgot just how gorgeous Greenwich is walking through the park and by the river with the best city views.

On Tuesday evening we had an important meeting, our village is under threat from greenbelt development {I guess like lots of other parts of the country} and I'm so immensely proud of the way that our community and local facebook group all came together {over 800 of us} to meet with the parish council and MPs to discuss how we can try to stop or at least limit the housing developments proposed. I'm well aware at the need for more housing in the UK but I don't agree with it being allowed on greenfield sites and taking away some of the precious countryside. It's a stressful time as we feel so strongly about it and I've been trying to do my bit to rally everyone to submit their responses to the council in this consultation period.

The rest of the week has been trying to fit as much work in as possible around a day in London on Wednesday for some press visits, the M&S S/S 18 show and a meeting in Liberty's new cafe {and a quick look at their Christmas department!}

This staircase at the M&S show {!!}

Some beautiful new homewear coming to M&S in the Spring. Loved all the greenery.

From there I rushed home to pick up Ben and we went to Ikea to get a few bits last night. Thursday was finally a day at home to get a little bit straighter!

// what's cookin'?

We've been picking some greens from our allotment that will hopefully keep going for a bit longer through the Winter. This week I feel guilty for being out a lot and not cooking v much but over the past couple of weeks we've been batch cooking a lot meaning that I had salads prepped of lots of roasted vegetables to take with me if I was heading out.

On Tuesday we cooked an old favourite that lots of you on Instagram requested the recipe for. It's Leon Moroccan meatballs - recipe online here - {we normally do it with lamb as the recipe goes but used venison which is a bit leaner and still tasted as good} which are really garlicky and spicy with the harissa with wholewheat giant couscous, smoky burnt aubergines {cut in half and cook under the grill under soft and blackened} and some griddled charred chilli broccoli and flatbreads. 

The best smoked salmon I've ever eaten, and fav eggs and rye bread, for brunch last weekend.

Juicy pomegranates aplenty at the market last weekend so we braved the bright pink splats around our kitchen for a big bowl of seeds that we've been eating as sweets all week/topping porridge with. 

We had a vegetarian over for dinner last Saturday so I made my favourite risotto recipe but left the chicken out. I used a turks' turban squash instead and chestnut mushrooms {left in the sun first to soak up vitamin D} and served it with purple sprouting broccoli we'd found locally from our market.

// The recipe for those who asked;
serves 4/5 

500g pack of alborio risotto rice
1500ml stock
2 garlic cloves
Onion or 3 shallots, diced
Glass of white wine
Diced chicken breast {optional}
Pack of chestnut or white closed cup mushrooms
Peas {pre-cooked in the microwave for a couple of minutes}
Half a squash diced and pre-roasted in an oven for 50 minutes until slightly blackened
Parmesan Cheese, grated
Black Pepper 
 - Fry off the onion/shallots in a little butter until softened in a large heavy based pan.
- Add the chicken if using and stir until the outside is cooked
- Add the pressed garlic
- Add the risotto rice and stir until it starts to go a little translucent
- Then add your glass of wine, stirring until all absorbed
- Slowly start adding your stock, a ladleful at a time and keep stirring until all absorbed by the rice until you add more.
- Chuck in loads of grated parmesan and cracked black pepper throughout. You'll want lots of both in there.
- Carry on with the stock for 25 minutes or so, you don't want to rush this, keep stirring to knock the grains together and get that silky texture at the end.
- When nearly cooked {i.e. you don't have much stock left}, add your pre-cooked peas, squash and anything else you're using. I love asparagus in this when in season.
- Finish with more parmesan and serve.

We've also been trying to use up some of our pumpkins leftover from Halloween. So we made a basic pumpkin soup one day and this pumpkin dahl soup for lunch.

I prefer these days to have a whole evening of cooking, even though it makes so much mess, because then you have a few days worth of food/lunches ready to go in the fridge.

// shopping

These H&M soft pink striped pjs. I'm always on the hunt for new nightwear and I think these are one of my favourite pairs of pyjamas yet. 

I've been on the hunt for a sparkly skirt for upcoming Christmas events. Have ordered this one to see what it's like. Also lusting over this. And this gold and black top below with flared sleeves.


Basically, anything sparkly from now until New Year's day?!

If you missed my Christmas gift guide it's online here.

// garden jobs

I've been picking some of my hydrangeas before the frosts affect their colour anymore. Some of mine have already faded/gone papery so I've left them on. I haven't picked all the flowers, it's good to leave some on to protect the plant from heavy frosts over the Winter but you can pick a few and once they're this dry already they should keep their colour and shape once a little drier inside/hanging somewhere. I've filled our greenhouse and kitchen! Hydrangea post coming v soon. Ben cut our grass for probably the last time this year and our dahlias are just waiting for one more frost to properly blacken before we dig them up.

// watching

The Sinner. Hoping to start this series everyone's been talking about this weekend. I want something addictive that we finish in a couple of days and this sounds like it will fit the bill.

Christmas adverts. Not feeling John Lewis this year, it's not Christmassy enough or tear-jerking but I love the Elbow Beatlescover. Surprisingly, the Tesco advert {here} is my favourite. It just feels like a real Christmas. And this Sky Cinema ad is really beautiful and just like a Christmas ad should be. Not a fan of M&S's Paddington... You?

// this weekend

We have almost zero plans! Which I'm really pleased about. I'm seeing my friend for breakfast, you know when you've been trying to get together properly with someone for ages?! And planning a yummy roast for Sunday before a busy week starts again next week. 

Do you have anything lovely planned? I know December is always jam packed so I'm soaking up the last of these quiet weekends.

R <3 xx 

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