February coffee break

Yikes, so February happened. Wasn’t it a right old barrel of laughs? Pull up a stool, this is the February coffee break.

I was reading the other day that February is one of the quietest and dullest months of the year. Now, I don’t know about you, but mine has not been that way. Between the start of the Six Nations and working pretty much flat-out, it doesn’t feel like there’s been a whole lot of time for anything. Oh and there was the pink and fluffy nonsense mid-month too… #bittersingleton

All in all, most cooking this month has been ‘bung it in the slow cooker and hope for the best’. It’s turned out pretty well, but there’s nothing about lime green microwavable tupperware filled with soup that says ‘food blog’…

Pastel de Nata - A relaxed 72 hours in Lisbon

This month is also a year(!) since I went to Lisbon – my guide for a lazy-but-packed trip is on the blog – and I’m very much now planning my next adventure – Cuba! Anyone been? Any recommendations?

How was your month? Any new exciting recipes to share?

New recipes this month

What I have been loving this month though is oranges. Not only have I snacked on bags of them I also made orange and rum marmalade and got ridiculously over-excited about the orange and cardamom rice pudding that I made one weekend. Not a recipe, but I also found time to write a post for the Hibs100 blogger community about creating better emails for your community, check it out if you’re interested (it also features a very large image of my face, you’ve been warned).

This month’s stand out recipe though has to be the slow cooker beans and sausages. Think childhood, but it actually tastes good. We’re talking chorizo, oregano, rich tomato sauce, smoky paprika and more all gently cooked together and served up with some satisfyingly crunchy toast. Fancy a bowlful?

Beans and sausages

Sustainability

I’m also very much continuing my theme for this year (it’s not a resolution – those you break…). January was about using up things in the house and cutting down, February has been about researching and getting things in line.

I’ve recently bought one of those eco eggs for the washing machine and currently looking into beeswax covers (to replace clingfilm) and plastic-free washing up brushes and scourers.

Have you tried anything like this? Let me know, genuinely curious.

Tip for this month

If you spot blood oranges in the supermarket buy them. I know a lot of people aren’t as fond of eating them, but there’s also no need to eat them when you can make blood orange gin out of them. And then blood orange martinis out of the gin…

Also Aldi are doing knock-off mini eggs that are about half the price and just as good as the ‘real’ thing. Just in case you needed more chocolate in your life.

Loving at TUS HQ

  • Rugby All of the rugby. And also those Guinness ads are really working on me…
  • I’ve been using some of the recipes in Super Easy One Pound Meals – I’ve also written a review if you’re on the fence about getting a copy.
  • Late-night and mid-week ‘my-body-no-longer-functions’ Netflix binging – currently watching Sex Education and The Umbrella Academy. Both are great.
  • More grown-up tv: Berlin Station is on All 4 just now – it’s a gritty Bourne-esque show about a CIA operative leaking state secrets, Snowdon-style. Well worth watching.
  • My SAD lamp – not sure I’d get out of bed some mornings without it…

March is going to be a bit calmer – I think-slash-hope – so I’m hoping to get into the kitchen and make some of the recipes I keep bookmarking… Oat and peanut butter bars, homemade nutella and fresh French baguettes are all on the cards.

What have you been up to?