Tag Archives: Food

Make Do Mend: Beef & Squash Chili

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Food is one of my favourite things in all of the land. I spend most of my time thinking about what I am going to eat next. Particularly whenever I am broke, and can only afford to 2 minute noodles, I spend the most time trawling through endless recipes, via every social media platform imaginable, and make grand (meal) plans for when all(!?) the money comes in on payday!

I came across this recipe one poor, hungry night and man am I glad I did. A bowl chockas full of flavour with all of the best things in it. Beef, butternut squash, chilis, beer, avocado, pumpkin seeds. Seriously, how can that not taste good?

You’re going to just have to try for yourself and see. It takes a good amount of time to do so give yourself 2 hours, the beef is good and tender then. I added a chipotle to the mix to make the holy trinity of chilis (ancho, pasilla, chipotle)!

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Re-hydrated chilis are my favourite!

Get the recipe on Bon Appetit.  We served it with homemade sourdough pita. Yikes!

Happy eating!

Celeste

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Make Do Mend: Herbert Hedgehog Cake

It’s been a week of Autumnal Make, Do, Mends this week at Tracks, Pumpkin Beer Keg (AMAZING), homemade granola (DELISH!) and here is another fun one!

My housemate Joseph turned 24 yesterday!

Happy Birthday Joseph!!! 

We celebrated with some tasty Indian … set menu for 4, more like set menu for 40, whiskey, cigars and James Bond. I decided after looking at a vintage party cookbook that I wanted to make him a hedgehog cake. This happened to be a very good idea because it seems I may have lost his birthday present so this could replace it. Maybe it’ll show up in time for next year?

So I managed for £7.40 (It was the day before payday… I had £8!) to create him this little treat and in 1 hour. I bought an own brand sponge mix 42p, Betty Crocker chocolate buttercream icing, chocolate buttons, white chocolate buttons and choc chips. It definitely was a ‘cheat’ but some days you don’t have enough time to make it all yourself. In imaginary land where I grow my own veggies, have chickens and always look pretty, I made this all from scratch but in real life it took me an hour.

I baked the sponge in a round cake tin. Cutting the sides and front like below. You could do choc sponge but I wagered it would be rich enough as it was so went with white.

Put icing on the top of the main body of the cake like glue to hold the sides on top to create the rounded shape of the hedgehog bod. Then, while snacking on the front bits, added butt loads of icing. You need enough to hold it in place and also enough so that chocolate buttons will stay when making the spikes. 

Using icing as glue again I added a choc chip to a white button for eyes. It looked like boobies. I chuckled and naturally instagrammed that.

Then it’s the fun bit, making Herbert look like himself. Sticking in buttons as spikes all around and adding the boobie eyes!

Herbert wishes you a happy birthday Joseph! 

– Celeste 

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Make Do Mend: Rizogalo

I had a particularly embarrassing moment just the other day. I went to the petrol station and as I handed my card over to the ‘dad’ aged man I said,

‘It may not go through so I have cash in case. That time of the month, you see!’

At that moment I heard myself say that out loud and realised from the horror on his face that it sounded like ‘that‘ time of the month. A verbal panic ensued and I talked as fast as possible, my face as red as possible and making absolutely no sense. All the while the man kept saying ‘That’s rather personal and I’m not sure what that has to do with anything.’ So, thinking about THAT time of the month,and by THAT time I of course mean the end of the month, when all you’re living off is tuna and porridge and you have your toilet paper rationed until pay-day. Here is a cheap, easy and yummy treat.

In Australia we have, or had … I haven’t been back in a while, chicken shops. I happened to have my first job in a chicken shop, Jannali Chicken Spot to be precise. I got fired. Sad times. I got lots of doughnuts though and made some deep-fried mars bars so it wasn’t an entire loss. Probably good I got fired otherwise I would be the size of a house, a happy house but a house none the less.

In these chicken shops they almost always used to sell Rizogalo. Greek rice pudding. It has always been my absolute favourite and I could eat it til the cows come home! (And they take so long!)

My mum made her own version and usually it is around 11.30pm when I decide it is necessary that I make some. Just a few nights ago I made a massive amount and it’s already gone.. Don’t judge me.

You boil it on the stove, add as much cinnamon you like and stick it in the fridge in pretty cups.

Here is the little recipe in case you fancy yourself some lovely greek rice pudding.

Ingredients:

1 litre milk

1 litre water

1 cup white rice, med grain  (I just use whatever I can get my hands on… within reason.. still rice)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla sugar or vanilla extract (if you don’t have it and have no money, just do it without.. it’s particularly tasty with though! )

2 egg yolks + 2 TBspoons corn flour

Cinnamon

Method:

1. Get yourself a hefty pan cause there is a lot going on.

2. Boil milk + water.

3. Add rice & sugar and stir on low.

4. Beat egg yolks (separating egg yolks makes me feel like a kitchen ninja) + add to corn flour + 1 TBspoon milk, add to rice, milk, water & sugar.

5. Add as much cinnamon as you like (I suggest all of the cinnamon in the land) + keep stirring on low, you can even watch some tele (I suggest Friday Night Lights) , you are just waiting for it to get good and gloopy

6. Have yourself some lovely hot rice pudding and pour the rest into tea cups or bowls, sprinkle cinnamon on top and then put it in the fridge.

7. Have it for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dessert… basically just smash it right in your face. It is yum!

– Celeste xx

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Happy Canadian Thanksgiving… in pictures!!

Hanna, Sarah and I have a little tradition where we celebrate with friends Canadian Thanksgiving being that I, Celeste, am a little bit Canadian! Well… a lot a bit. Kind of. I guess it’s fair to say that an Australian Canadian living with permanent residency in the U.K. and family in Tanzania and New Zealand I am a bit confused, a linguistic surprise.

But the lovely thing about my confused heritage is that I get to take all the beaut bits about each and fit them in my life… one of the best is Canadian Thanksgiving! Hot Dang!

So this year, as always, I did the turkey and yams, Sarah and her Simon did roast veg and hot cider (!!) and Hanna and her  Jon brought the best pumpkin pie in all the land!

It is a most lovely opportunity to, despite all the annoying bits and bobs, take stock and be thankful for friends, family, fun, food, God, music, beauty and of course cigars and tequila! What are you thankful for?

This week will be full of Thanksgiving-y make do mends!

Here are some pictures of our scrumptious thanksgiving feast to whet your appetite.

Sarah and Mr F’s famous hot cider… it goes down a treat!!!

The Feast!

The Crown… I can’t fit a massive turkey in but this beautiful organic crown from Brimarks butcher at Battlers Green Farm does more than the trick!

Some thankful ambience!

Roast Veg and beetroot! So good!

Candied yams and asparagus.. The trimmings!

And here it is.. the best pumpkin pie in all of the land! So good that this was all I could get a picture of … too busy smashing it in my face!

Thank you for reading and happy Thanksgiving!

– Hanna, Sarah and Celeste

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Make Do Mend: Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese and Chive Dumplings

I have this little/large obsesh (Yeah, that just happened, abreeving obsession.. I just judged myself) with Joy the Baker’s blog. She’s good for your tummy and your funny bone.

The dish I love to make of hers the most is Chicken Pot Pie with Cream Cheese and Chive Dumplings. Joy refers to this dish as ‘Dream Boy’ and there is a very good reason for it, if this dish was a man I would kiss it square on the mouth every day … and maybe let it get to second base. Maybe.

It has a gorge, creamy cheese and chicken sauce, add any and all of your favourite veggies and it’s topped off with fluffy beautiful cream cheese and chive dumplings. Hot dang and I mean HOT DANG!! 

I also love a recipe that includes half of it already being cooked for you. Shortcuts are the way forward, true story! This recipe calls for torn BBQ’d chicken, ‘Hello dear Tesco, thank you for doing half my job for me!’. I mean, I guess you could roast a chicken yourself, but seriously, some kind person at Tesco has gone to an awful lot of trouble to make one ready for you to buy for only £3. Why not?!

There should be a disclaimer though, this dish is not to be thrown around willy nilly, this is the kind of dish that makes people fall in love with you or offer you their first-born … Sorry that got a little weird. Whatever you do though make it, eat it, love it, share it and drink some beer with it.

Tuck in and happy days! 

Celeste xx

 

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Days like these: When stubbing your toe is the last straw

The three of us at tracks of foxes aim to share with you some crafty projects we’ve been putting our hands to, some adventures we’ve been spending our time on, we also thought we’d share with you some of the stuff that fills our stereos, book shelves, screens and tummy’s on emotional days, hope you might identify with some days like these.

You know those days when you have an awful lot of ‘heavy’ things going on, the days when you should be more emotional about things but seem to be coping very well? In those days I have a slight smugness at my own emotional resilience and think I can take on anything …. and THEN … something little, like stubbing my toe, happens and I completely lose it. Every emotion that I had pushed down comes out in what seems like an incredible overreaction to a mere toe stubbing.

So for days when stubbing your toe is the last straw ….

For your eyes:  There are two ways to play days like these, you can watch something emotional, go with it and cry til your eyelids are puffy and you have no moisture left in your body or distract. I usually go with the latter.

But.. if you want a really good, solid sob watch ‘Dear Frankie’. A beautiful Scottish film about a little boy corresponding with his Dad. I pretty much am no good to anyone for a few hours after watching this heart-wrencher.

If you’re looking to distract yourself I usually go with action/thrillers …

‘The Walking Dead’ is a brilliant post apocalyptic zombie show. So much suspense, gore and zombie chasing… definitely will distract you and maybe surprise you that you’re a ‘zombie person’. Turns out I get really into Zombie things… Who knew? The acting, effects, screen writing all surprisingly good.  I do, however, manage to call it Walking the Dead accidentally which conjures up some bizarre images, never the less, get involved with these zombies!

For your mouth:

I just bought the ‘Joy the Baker’ cookbook and there are so many fun ways to become a fatty, or just to enjoy baking and eating! You can get it from Amazon here and check out her blog here. She is funny and fabulous.

For your ears:

M. Ward- ‘Chinese Translation’

This is a cute little video and M. Ward’s voice is all a bit intoxicating! The ‘M’ doesn’t stand for ‘Maternity’ apparently. Damn.

Dry the River – ‘New Ceremony’

I just love these guys and can’t wait to see them in November. They are fun to yell along with and make sure to listen out for a good ‘Hey!’ in this song. I do love a ‘Hey!’, it always makes me feel better!

For your heart: 

Make your place that you live in look lovely, I put some little flowers out in my house in old jars and milk bottles. (picture up above.)

Spend time with some people who are good for the soul. You know the ones I mean… Good ones!

Good ones are my favourite.

So hopefully there are a few things you can do on a day when stubbing your toe is the last straw!

They helped me anyway. Happy toe stubbing!

xx Celeste

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Friday Finds

Here are a few Friday Finds for you this sunny weekend!

I was listening to a band that a boy I know from Australia posted on his facebook. They make me feel sun shiney!

http://wizardoz.bandcamp.com/

I love that you can get it on a tape too!

There is this amazing recipe by ‘Always with Butter’ that I desperately want to try! Get in my tummy and make me glad!!

Banana, Nutella Cream Cheese Cake. If that was a man I would kiss him on the face!

The people at boat magazine made this gorgeous video called ‘The Tale of Two Craftsmen’, a little treat for your eyes.

Enjoy the weekend and put suncream on!

– Sarah, Hanna and Celeste

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