Sunday Supper: Pearl Barley with roasted veg, pesto and feta.


By now you may have guessed I’m a big fan of vegetarian food and budget cooking, see my roast aubergine post.

Pearl Barley is something I have always enjoyed in a broth or stew and have fond memories of enjoying them in lots of warming winter suppers when I lived in rural Scotland as a child.

Todas supper can be enjoyed hot or cold, I love it hot with fresh bread straight from the oven.

Serves 4

You will need…

  • 400g of dried pearl barley
  • I medium butternut squash cut into rough chunks (skin on)
  • 2 red peppers sliced into large pieces
  • olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, skin on.
  • dried basil/oregano
  • green pesto (I used a jar of ready made)
  • I pack of feta cheese
  • a few sprigs of chopped fresh mint.

How to make…

  • In a saucepan cover the barley with water add a few pinches of salt and boil/simmer for 40mins until cooked.
  • Whilst the barley is cooking put the squash, pepper and whole garlic cloves in a roasting tray, drizzle on olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and the dried herbs. Roast in a hot oven, about gas mark 6-7 or 190c until the veg is soft and browning, usually about 25mins.
  • Once the barley cooked drain it and stir in your pesto, roasted veg (except the garlic cloves), add chopped fresh mint and small chunks of feta cheese scattered through. Season with salt and pepper or maybe a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Serve with a crusty bread and butter.




Half Roasted Aubergine with garlic, sunflower and honey.


I love aubergines so much, in fact I just love veg full stop! We live on a very tight budget and when you can buy a huge aubergine for 40p each it makes so much more sense than buying expensive tasteless meats like chicken.

Smoky, sweet and soft, this is a perfect cheap lunch or supper.

I pretty much made this just using stuff from the cupboard, it feeds 2 …

  • 1 large aubergine
  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • honey
  • mixed herbs
  • chilli sauce (I used smoked chipotle)
  • pinch of salt
  • Seeds (I used sunflower but pine nuts would be nice or pumpkin seeds)

Slice the aubergine in half and score criss crosses into the flesh. Drizzle with a little olive oil.

Finally chop the garlic and push the garlic pieces into the gaps where you have scored the aubergine.

Sprinkle with a little salt and dried mixed herbs and kind of rub/massage the top of the aubergine to help the garlic and seasoning infuse into it.

Drizzle with honey and sprinkle seeds on top, the honey helps the seeds stick to your aubergine, neat huh?

Place them skin side down on a baking tray and pop into a hot over for about 20 mins or until the aubergine is soft and the seeds are all toasted and yum.

Serve with some cous cous and salad.


Sunday Supper: Citrus Summer Chicken Stew


3 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken, portioned into thighs, drumsticks, wings and breasts
10 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
4 baby leeks, chopped
600ml chicken stock (or water)
Salt and black pepper
1 handful each fresh peas and broad beans, podded and blanched
1 410g tin borlotti beans, drained
100g large green olives
1 small bunch each chopped fresh parsley and dill
A few tarragon stems, chopped
2 lemons, juiced
3 tbsp plain yoghurt
Parmesan, grated, to garnish (optional)

Heat a casserole dish, add the oil and, on high heat, brown the chicken all over for five to 10 minutes. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic, onion, fennel and leeks, sweat until tender, then pour in the stock, season and cook on a gentle heat until the chicken is cooked and tender.

Add the peas, broads, borlotti beans and olives, then stir in the herbs, lemon juice and yoghurt. Serve with parmesan, if you like, and perhaps some plain boiled rice.

(via The Guardian)

10 things to make you happy.

Yes this may be a bit of fluff blog post, but hey when isn’t my blog fluffy? I like to think people visit ooh la lapin because its fun, cute and fluffy! Its also all to easy this time of year with the seasons changing to feel a bit down. On a serious note as a person who suffers from anxiety and depression its important to think good thoughts even when you feel like its impossible.

  • The work of Bryony Jennings aka Pretty Scruffy. Her beautiful shop down the road in Chichester and her textile animal sculptures are pure works of beauty!

  • The music of This is the Kit always makes me feel peaceful, inspired and joyful, I often listen to them when I am working away sewing or painting. I am also excited to hear they are touring the UK and hope to catch them playing London in December.

  • The work of Parisian artist Nathalie Lete, I recently bought a bag decorated with her painting, she also makes commissioned one off pieces and 3d textile work.



  • Going for a walk on the beach on an Autumnal day, when its sunny but slightly cloudy but very breezy. Its just right now to wrap up in a big wooly, chunky socks, grab a camera and a friend and go for a bracing stroll. I love living by the sea and Southsea is the most wonderful place to live and work!

image courtesy of Often Hover, Southsea Beach.

  • Making seasonal recipes! Seasonal food is always cheaper, seasonal seems to one of these words bandied about that has lost its meaning. To me it means fresh. I really like food blog Smitten Kitchen and it has always been a go to for recipes when hosting dinner parties. Today I am giving this a go Leek, Chard and Corn Flatbread, After getting our veg box yesterday it was full of rainbow chard and I am determined to get the children to like goats cheese, they will like it, they will!!!


  • Browsing craft tutorials and starting to think about making Christmas gifts, omg yes! I love this herb garden egg box from You Are My Fav, the blog also has lots of other DIY bits and pieces.

  • A good soak! Nothing beats a bath, after the kids have been put to bed and all is still I run a bath and have a good long soak. I only do this a couple of times a month as its a luxury and keeps it special. My favourite thing to cleanse myself with is Soap and glory Clean on Me.


  • Good healthy food. I made a decision recently to eat better, I had slipped into a coma of junk and comfort food. I side affect was going up nearly two dress sizes and feeling tired and worn out. I have no problem being curvy but feeling rubbish all the time was enough. I would also never lecture people on what to eat, at the end of the day live and let live! I smoke so I can hardly judge ha ha. So when Able and Cole put a leaflet through he door I thought ‘why not?’ we have a small food budget and i think the box makes me use all the food and think about what we are cooking.

  • Good Friends! A big shout out to Naomi and Angelo for being super awesome friends, they are always here for us, back me up and a cup of tea and a chat always make it better. Also they are talented, funny and honest.

  • Laughter is the best medicine. When I’m feeling a bit blue Josh and I curl up with a season of 30 Rock and a glass of wine. I adore it so much Tina Fey plays the main character and pretty much plays herself, its fantastic.



Pompey Bagels recipe

I was doing a bit of research into the perfect New York Bagel and decided to try it at home. After a few adjustment I now have the perfect Pompey Bagel.


You will need…

500g of Strong White Flour

320ml water

1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp sugar

(you can have seeds and stuff for toppings)

pre heat oven to 220c

  • Mix the yeast and water together.
  • In a mixing bowl put the flour, salt, sugar and add the water/yeast
  • kneed for 10mins (or put in bread machine on dough setting)
  • leave to rest for 40mins to 1hr in a warm place and cover with a damp tea towel or cling film.
  • Cut dough into 8 equal pieces
  • roll each piece into a ball and make a hole in the middle about the size of a 2pence coin, leave them for 1omins whilst you boil a pan of water.


  • Pop the bagel in to the pan of simmering water, you can fit 2  at a time in a standard pan. after 1 min turn the bagels over.


  • Remove and place on a greased baking tray, you can add seeds or grated cheese/ onion to the tops now.


  • Put them into pre heated oven for 20mins until golden, ohh now enjoy.

Suggestions for fillings are welcome in the comments section, Ashley and I enjoyed Chorizo, tomato and garlic oil with a side order of Hula Hoops at the gallery yesterday. Secretly eating in the kitchen!