Tag Archives: food

Food: Sprout Hash




Brunch is my favourite meal. I think it’s everyone’s favourite meal, isn’t it? And my current favourite thing to eat at brunch is sprout hash. It’s quick, easy, and equal parts healthy and delicious. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so I much prefer something with eggs and bacon to a big plate of pastries or pancakes (but that doesn’t mean I dislike pastries and pancakes – I’m only human).

I found the idea for sprout hash months ago from Put an Egg on it by Lara Ferroni which is such a good book and such a good idea, it turns out that most things benefit from having an egg whacked on them.

The original recipe is here, but since the first time I tried it I’ve tweaked it and substituted various ingredients depending on what I have on hand and what I feel like eating at that particular time.

The basics of it are as follows though:

Shred sprouts finely

Finely chop an onion

Cook the onion in a frying pan until starting to soften

Add the sprouts, cook on a low heat until tender stirring often

Add crushed garlic and any herbs you fancy, cook for a couple of minutes

Make a well in the middle for your egg (or make separate wells for each egg depending on how many you are feeding), break your egg into the well, put the lid on the pan and cook until the egg is done to your liking (I like mine with a solid white and runny yolk). I don’t have a lid for my pan so I cover it in foil, which takes slightly longer.

In the photo above I substituted the white onion for spring onions, added lots of dill and cooked everything in butter rather than olive oil. Once the egg was cooked I scattered lots more fresh dill. It was the best yet.

Other good additions are smoked paprika, chilli, chorizo, bacon, feta, red onion, parsley and thyme. Yum.


Photo an Hour


I’ve always been intrigued by photo-an-hour posts and this weekend I decided to have a try at one for myself. The results are…preeeetty boring because I don’t really do anything but I’m going to submit you to a blow by blow account of what I did on Sunday nonetheless!

09.00am I woke up and decided to lie in bed for an hour, basking in the endless feeling of the bank holiday weekend.


10.00am COFFEE. I decided to make myself a milky coffee, which is odd because I don’t like milk. Sure enough, I had to throw the milky coffee down the sink and start again, this time strong coffee with a splash of milk.



11.00am Time for my run. I was actually quite excited for this run because it was sunny and I felt really energetic (which is a rarity). Can I just say that I hate these trainers, I think they make my feet look like they belong to a six year old, but a new pair of fancy trainers are so far down my ‘things to buy when I have money’ list that I think I will just have to make do for the foreseeable.


12.00pm I return from my run out of breath and sweaty. I have to sit in the back garden taking big gulps of fresh air and cooling down so that I don’t vomit. Once I stop feeling pukey I appreciate how sunny it is and contemplate mowing the lawn.


13.00pm Showertime. I also plan what to wear. I’m not going anywhere but I still think it’s important to my self-esteem to get dressed, so I pick something slouchy (I love my new kimono jacket). I treat myself to a day sans bra and sans make-up which is why I haven’t treated you to a photo of me.



13.30pm CLEANING. I decide to clean two rooms. I pick the bedroom and living room (they are the least messy to begin with). I contemplate dealing with the hallway. Me and Hetty decide to leave that for another time, like when hell freezes over! Instead I do loads of laundry and just close my eyes when I enter the kitchen so I can’t die of disgust at all the grime.





14.00pm LUNCHTIME. Anthony cooked an amazing beef pepperpot stew on Saturday evening and we eat the leftovers for lunch. It is even more delicious a day after. I hope this dish becomes a regular in the Marley-Hampshaw household.


15.00pm Tea and film time. We watched so many films over the bank holiday weekend. I think we started with Tyrannosaur.



18.00pm WE OPENED THE WINE (a bank holiday must). This wine was like £3.80 from Morrisons but it was really nice. I’d certainly drink it again.


19.00pm Anthony cooked another amazing beef dish, this time, pot roast. It was in a red wine sauce and garnished with dill (which I had never considered serving with meat before but it was AMAZING). We watched more films, drank more wine and generally enjoyed being lazy on the sofa. I’m kind of embarrassed to notice that I ate all my meals off that elephant cushion in front of the telly instead of at the table but the dining room was pretty untidy so I will let myself off this once!

036 (2)


There you have it, my photo and hour (sort of). Have you ever tried this? I think it’s really interesting just to see how everyone else uses their time.




Food: Ed’s Easy Diner




Anthony and I were in London far too early on Thursday morning and for far too boring a reason. The weather was absolutely awful and I had no umbrella or hood on my coat, because I don’t plan well. We’d left the house at 04.30am that morning to get a train and then for financial reasons were going to have to put up with a five hour coach journey back to Manchester, not returning until 21.30pm that evening.

The prospect of the whole miserable, rainy, long day stretched out in front of us as soon as we got off the train at Euston. We were tired, and hungry and desperate for coffee and shelter.


Enter Ed’s Diner. I’ve seen a few on my travels but never called in before. It provided us with everything we were looking for at that moment in time. And some very loud 50’s tunes to boot (I don’t think music needs to be that loud at 07.30am).

It was easily the best and yummiest part of our day. I’d go as far as saying my scrambled eggs on toast gave me the strength to power on through having only had four hours sleep.


Everything went downhill from here. Due to the rain we ended up just sitting in the coach station for shelter after we did everything we had to. Had it been sunny we might have explored London a bit, but it was just too miserable. In the coach station we saw a fat, scraggly pigeon that was obviously almost dead. And that, my friends sums up the rest of our day.

But breakfast was good, very good.


Life: Valentine’s Day 2014



Is it too late for me to sneak in with a recap of our Valentine’s Day?

We didn’t do anything special, we slept in and when we did wake up it was grey and drizzly outside. I opened the curtains so we could see out from the bed and we switched the electric blanket on. You feel extra toasty when you can see how miserable it is outside. Then we exchanged cards (Anthony also gave me a bar of Dairy Milk) and then I made us breakfast in bed. A bacon sandwich for him and avocado, eggs and a slice of bacon for me…and coffee for both of us (of course). As a special Valentine’s treat I didn’t immediately wake up and start cleaning, nagging about all the stuff around the house that needs doing. I am a true romantic.



We ate and watched TV and felt lazy for as long as we could stand. Then I put on a pretty dress and we ventured to Aldi for ingredients!

Later on I made a vegetable curry for dinner (not pictured because nutritious as it is, vegetable curry is not the most photogenic meal out there) and for dessert the most delicious, gooey chocolate and olive oil cake from a Nigella recipe (here). I tweaked it a bit and used almond extract rather than vanilla to work with the ground almonds used instead of flour. It was amazing. I think it would have been better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but then most things are better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, aren’t they?

I also made this chocolate bark as a festive treat. Not bad for a first attempt. This is such an easy and cheap way to make a sweet treat and is easy to adapt for any holiday. I already have millions of ideas for my Easter bark.


Finally, there was wine. Toro Loco from Aldi is my favourite budget red wine. It’s very easy drinking and at only £3.69 a bottle it fits in nicely with my attempts at budgeting.

So, there you have it, our laid back, budget friendly Valentine’s Day. How did you celebrate?

Health: Clean and Lean Update #3


These mussels were amazing! Definitely the best meal of the week.



It was my birthday on Thursday so I’ll tell you right now that this was neither my cleanest nor leanest week. I still managed to cram lots of healthy food in (in between mouthfuls of cake and a very unhealthy curry). Anyway, birthdays are for celebrating and I don’t feel guilty about slackening the reigns a little bit. As always, I’m happy to be back on the straight and narrow. Here’s what’s been going right and wrong this week:

Things I’m loving: When I first started eating cheat meals I couldn’t stop feeling guilty about them. In fact, I even made my first few really healthy because the first one I ate just filled me with dread. I didn’t trust myself to be able to have one blow-out meal and then return to being healthy and moderate. Well, a few weeks later I’d say I trust myself enough to know that I can have my treats but still be healthy overall. I really do believe you need a few treats and it’s important not to feel guilty about having them. I’m glad I can truly feel that now, rather than just understanding the principles of the idea. Cheat meals are a lovely indulgence, and once they are over I am more motivated than ever to return to healthiness.

I’m also loving my new attitude to alcohol. I’ve tried drinking a few times since the end of Dry January and each time I’ve been much more moderate than I would have been previously. I, of course, had a few glasses of champagne on my birthday and I got nice and merry. I enjoyed it at the time but the day after I knew that I wouldn’t be drinking like that for a long time. I like knowing now I’m more of a ‘couple of glasses for a special occasion’ drinker than a drink as much as possible drinker. Last night I had a glass of beer (because Anthony wanted it, more than anything) and when he poured me a second I realised I had absolutely no desire to drink it. I gave it to him to finish. I was done. I’m happy with this.

Things I’m not loving: I still have a long way to go with my exercise. I blame the cold weather. I say this every update but this honestly is the week I get to grips with my fitness!

Things I could be doing better: Eating greens at breakfast time. They really do give you a much needed energy boost in the morning, and they are absolutely packed with vitamins and minerals. Whilst I manage to include greens in all my other meals, I really struggle with incorporating them breakfast. Any ideas of delicious green breakfasts?

I’m proud of myself because: This week has been a potential minefield. I’ve been ill, I’ve been upset at points, it’s been my birthday and I’ve had my second cold sore breakout in as many weeks (I am just recovering from having 6 cold sores at once). Through it all I have remained as clean and lean as possible (yes, I’ve had my treats but in moderation).

How are you doing? Have you had trouble continuing now the motivation of New Years has passed? I’d love to hear!