Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2nd Of December Drunken Cranberry Sauce!

So if like me you can't live with out condiments at every meal here is your turkey/chicken/cheese perfect add on!

Drunken Cranberry Sauce

Cranberries (as many as you like) 
Sugar  (enough to cover cranberries more can be added later)
Generous Gulg of Port (more can be added when tasting)

All ingredients into a pan and simmer down until all cranberries pop and sugar dissolves and port thickens ... 
put a dollop on a plate to taste and add more port/sugar to taste...
put into sterilised jars...

Monday, 1 December 2014

Day 1 of Advent Makes, Beetroot & Red Onion Chutney

Every year i make a different Chutney but the basics are the same... veg/fruit, vinegar & sugar...
This is this years recipe, which is my favourite by far.

Beetroot & Red Onion Chutney

5 Beetroots.
7 Red Onions.
300g Balsamic Vinegar.
100g Red Wine Vineger.
100g Apple Cider Vinegar.
Teaspoon of Mixed Spice.
Teaspoon of Fennel Seeds.
Mixture of Dark Brown Sugar, Granulated Sugar until mixture tastes neither sweet or vinegary.

Cook, Peel and Grate Beetroot.
Peel, Cut in Half and Slice Onions.
Put All Ingredients into a Pan and Simmer.
It will all melt down into the most amazing Colour and Thicken this is when you know it is done.
Put into Sterilized Jars and it should keep a few months.
Enjoy with Cheese and Meats.

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas....

So every last Friday in November our family Tradition is to get a take away and pig out, whilst watching Polar express.
This year we had a bit more fun by making some train tickets, Golden stay up late tickets, for the boys to have a later night and to have a family night.
This all leads up to the excitement of our elf arriving leaving us tickets for the North pole express.
So Saturday morning we got up early and went up to the Tanfield Railway, which is the world's oldest railway.
We arrived early, the first ones there, and were shown into a wooden waiting area where there was a small number of stalls selling christmas craft goods, and a refreshments stall, with tables and chairs with colouring materials for the kids. Soon the place filled with many families with excited children, many in dressing gowns as if awoken by a train late on Christmas eve.  After a short while people started to move outside, we joined and were met by a steam training waiting just beyond the end of the platform.  As the platform filled the train slowly pulled into the station and the many helpers at the railway opened the doors on the coaches.


We were lucky enough to get a private compartment to ourselves.  We were then taken on a journey of about 15 minutes through the County Durham woods to another station where we left the train.  half of the passengers were led away one way, while we went the other and into the old stone station waiting room to be given tea and coffee, mince pies and a cheeky thimble of sherry, the kids had juice and crisps.  Soon the other  group started to arrive and we went to the other end of the platform where Santa grotto awaited.  The children met Santa and were given some good gifts.  After everyone had seen Santa, we were taken back on the steam train to the starting point with some chocolates to help the journey fly.
All in all it was a brilliant way to start the weekend and start advent.  The excitement of Christmas really has begun and the kids loved every minute (although B did want the train to go through a tunnel, and low top tunnel is not on the Tanfield railway).

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Use Everything - Waste Less

Dear reader in the Wardle household we try to waste a little less  and make things go a little further.
Our favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning is to go to North Shields fish quays for a little walk with the boys and to visit the fish shops...
This Saturday we needed salmon, we bought a whole fish and the fishmonger took the sides off,trimmed it and bagged it all up for us. They can do more but we do like to prepare our food as much as we can. Our favourite fishmongers in North Shields is Taylors, They are so helpful, they have bargain boxes of whole fish which we love to fillet ourselves and they are very child friendly and help to teach not only adults but children about there fish and seafood. In the world we live in I find teaching the children where there food comes from is very important, along with how to prepare there meals.

So with our whole salmon we had the sides cut and then portioned them up to how big we wanted them. When we got home the bones went straight into a pan to make some yummy fish stock which goes into the freezer for fish soups, stews, and noodle dishes. 

Left over were the fish trimmings to which we made into a salmon pate. It was so quick and simple.

Here is Tribe Wardles Salmon Pate Recipe:

Salmon Pate

  • Put the salmon into a pan with a dash of milk and cook (This takes under a minute we find).
  • Drain off excess fluids.
  • Put Salmon along with some Sour Cream and a knob of Butter into blender.
  • Blend.
  • Add a Clove of Garlic and a sprinkle of Dill.
  • Add more of what you feel your pate needs.
  • Season with Salt and Pepper.
  • Place in your dish.
(If not used that day you can put a layer of melted butter on top to stop pate drying out)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Cute Table Number Blocks

For Isaac's christening Sunday dinner we had four tables and needed to seat everybody around said tables. With 40 people to seat with minimal effort we decided to do cubes/blocks with numbers transferred on along with pictures of Isaac.

We have some beams left over from the extension so we decided to make one into cubes... and transfer the pictures on this is how we did it:

  • Cut beams into cubes.
  • Sand cubes until smooth.
  • Print photos on to normal paper.
  • Put modge podge on to wood and paper.
  • Put paper photo side down.
  • Leave to dry over night.
  • Rub paper off with a wet cloth until you can see photo.
  • Leave to dry a while.
  • Then cover with some modge podge and jobs a good un.

End Result 

These worked well and we have them to keep as decoration in our house/ for the boys to play with.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Count Your Blessings... (catch up included)

So after not blogging to much as life has been hectic, We are back with this blog...
Every time I think of my life a song comes into my head, it doesn't matter if life is hard , bad, good, exciting or trying i think this song sums up everything, Count your blessings.

So as many people know we have had three miscarriages this year. Well we have been for a few appointments at the hospital to find out why... and so far the only thing tests are bringing up is that we shouldn't of/ cant get pregnant with out medical help... as sad as miscarriages and the prospect of not having more children is I can't help but feel massively blessed to have our boys...
along the route of this trying year we have became stronger as a couple and kept the mind set of having a path we are on and this is only part of it , there must be something in the bigger plan of life for us!
So Wednesday should of been my due date of the middle miscarriage and i will be sad that day but this year is nearly over and were ending it on a high! 

On Sunday Isaac was christened ... All of our family and friends gathered at St.Marys our local Church Of England Church which we got married in 3 and half years ago and had B christened two years ago in. It was a beautiful service , it was very spiritual and just what our Family needed.

(our lovely Godparents and Isaac )

After the service we went to Eslington Villas our favourite place to eat for these special occasions... it was a perfect Sunday afternoon with friends and family , the food was amazing , the wine and bubbly was flowing and i don't think the Wardles have ever felt so loved as we did yesterday. 

I can only Say we will count Yesterday, Our Friends & family as a huge Bless on our path as Tribe Wardle.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Summer Catch Up Blogs (List, Blogs to follow)

These are a list of blogs we will follow with and our tribes summer must do's:

  • Visit Beaches.
  • Visit Castles.
  • Have lots of Ice Cream.
  • Escape into the Countryside.
  • Go back in time.
  • Picnic Whilst Listening to Brass Bands.
  • Do a Run.
  • Watch a Run.
  • Go Down to the Woods.
  • Learn New Skills.
  • Kidnap Your Uncles Teddies Bears.
  • Visit Farms.
  • Sandpit.
  • Parks.
  • Baby Wear.
  • Learn to Make Sewing Patterns.
  • Bag Making.
  • Birthday.
  • Gateshead FC

Summer is over!!!

If like us you have a child of nursery age you will have completed your first week (maybe second) of being back in a routine after the summer.
B started back at his nursery this week and has moved from afternoon to mornings, the chance in the household routine has been amazing! Everyone is up/to bed early and things in the house are finally slotting into place .

So on to summer! We haven't posted over summer as we have been having to much fun with the children. and sometimes life is for living. I will try to round up our best bits and doing other blogs on summer musts.

The Wardle summer has included up and down parts...will do sad first then move on to the excitement of summer.
Mid August Wardle tribe had a third miscarriage. We wont go into ins and outs but lost of child whether womb or earth side is a terrible thing to process, early or late miscarriages happen to a lot of people in the world and statistics say 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage but scientists think it is more than likely it could be 50% and that some are early to detect... This dear readers is why we haven't posted as much, this year has been hard, but with our family and friends we have picked ourselves up and are ready to blog you through autumn.

So for the fun bit Wardle summer has included (some) sun filled fun, ice cream, castles, sand pits, fish and chips and a lot of just being the Wardles.

We have had walks and trips to some fabulous places and will do some separate posts on places you can visit for family fun.
We will leave you with this summery picture with the promise of we will be back and on your screens more and more over the next few weeks.

Tribe Wardle x

Sunday, 15 June 2014

We Got The Blues!

So we (Mama and Papa Wardle) baby wear the boys.
I (C) had the urge to do a bit of home dying and off i went to search for a wrap/ring sling to buy to experiment with...
I ended up getting one of each and buying them from a polish company. Little Frog  had the perfect natural wrap and ring sling to dye...
Whilst ordering and waiting for this to come I ordered myself some Dylon, In China Blue... 
So when my Little frog order arrived the parcel was opened in a flash and the ring sling was in the washer along with a shirt of mine and a vest of II's for a pre wash... once finished they were whipped out and the Dylon then salt was sprinkled in the washer followed by my damp ring sling, vest and shirt, off the washer went... A wash with the Eco egg (our preferred form of washing detergent) and it was done!!!!!
We couldn't wait so on cool setting dried our things... 
And here is the end result... Left is the colour it was and the bluey grey scrummy colour is the colour it is now...

Saturday, 7 June 2014

What's all this Falafel about??

So our favourite snack at the moment is Falafel... a chickpea like ball/burger.
You can eat them alone as a snack or as part of a meal... here is our Tribe Wardle recipe:


A Can of Chickpeas (or we use dried and cook them up)
1 Red Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
Handful of Parsley
Handful of Corriander
Salt & Pepper
3 Tablespoons of Wholewheat flour
1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder

  • Blend everything except baking flour and flour...
  • Mix in the baking flour and flour to get a dough... should look like this...
  • Leave for two hours (this makes it easier to shape)
  • Make into balls or burger shapes...
  • fry or oven bake and serve...
We served ours with salad, feta & olives.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

MAMA Academy Ambassadors

As a family of 4 we have obviously experienced pregnancy.  We were in the lucky situation of having a lot of information easily at hand about what to expect, mostly as C's mam was a midwife.  However, many people are not so lucky, with little knowledge or education about pregnancy, it can be daunting time.  The MAMA Academy aims to educate mums about health in pregnancy, and also to advise when it is necessary to involve their midwife.

Although we have had 2 successful pregnancies resulting in B and I, we have this year experience the heartache of 2 miscarriages.  The disturbing fact is that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in early miscarriage, that is a loss before 14 weeks.  We had good support from out GP, reassuring us that it may not happen again, but we know now that it does happen, and it is a horrible experience.

The MAMA Academy website has a section on early miscarriage educating you of the signs to look out for. We were aware of these signs, and sought medical attention, sadly there was nothing that could be done.

Although the miscarriages we experienced were heartbreaking, having the understanding of what happened helped, and we feel that having this knowledge and someone to help guide you through the time is very important.

We also believe that although pregnancy is an exciting and joyful time, for some it can be scary and lonely, not understanding the help that is available and what to do for the best of both mother and child.  We fully support the MAMA Academy as we believe that pregnancy should be the experience of a lifetime, and not something that should be looked on with dread and anxiety.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Homemade Chocolate... Need I say any more?

Happy Easter!
Oh so i found this recipe and WOW! It is amazing! I have change it to make it into my own recipe...
This is homemade chocolate, with few ingredients... It is so good... More chewy than crisp chocolate.

1/4 Cup of Coconut Oil
1/4 Cup of Coco Powder 
1/4 Cup of Honey
Tiny Dash of Vanilla Essence 

Put all ingredients into a pan and melt.
Whisk until smooth.

Spread on to tray and set... I Sprinkled mine with Sea Salt.

As Simple as that! Enjoy!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Taking Time Out!

Today we had a bank appointment in Newcastle so Grandparents took the boys out for the day.
Time alone! I truly believe all parents need time out together and alone. This week M has been away with work so it is extra needed "Mammy and Daddy" time together...

After the bank appointment we decided to do a few of our favourite things:

Coffee and Cake in Olive and Bean, is always a must, whether it is take out of sitting in, today we relaxed and sat people watching in the window.  The cakes, an Easter cheesecake and a cranberry and white chocolate flapjack.

A walk around the shops and the Grainger market gave us the opportunity to pickup some nice seafood and fruit.  We do love the market for the seafood, the meat, fruit and veg, material, cheeses, tea and coffee,the list is endless.  All served up by local businesses, and mostly sourced locally.

A perfect morning in town was completed by a walk along the quayside home in the sunshine.  Much needed relaxation and time together as a couple.

We dont often visit the city centre, but after today's visit we are planning on more visits on a weekend, its a lovely walk, and a morning well spent.

Friday, 18 April 2014

A Christmas gift that just keeps on giving part 1

At Christmas we were asked what we would like as gifts, so we asked for a years membership to somewhere we could go to and use as a family.

English heritage is the first gift we will cover. we got this off a family member and this such a giving present, as we strive to make an adventure for our children this is a perfect present to do .

English heritage has a large number of sites all over the country, from castles and ruins to gardens and stately homes.  Membership gives you free entry to all of them, and if your on holiday in foreign lands, the Scots and Welsh offer discounted or free entry into their nation heritage sites dependent on the length of your membership.

The first EH site we visited was Tynemouth castle and priory.  A local site with a lot of history.  I wont go into the full history of the site, but suffice to say it covers the development of Christianity in the northeast at the times of Cuthbert and Bede, right through to the World Wars.

It is a beautiful location on the coast between the mouth of the Tyne (you never would have guessed by the name) and King Edward's bay, a small sheltered cover with high cliffs and pristine sand.  and offers views to the south of the south banks of the tyne and the Mediterranean like beaches of south shields down to the cliffs of Whitburn and Souter light house; and to the north St Mary's light house and the wind farms near Blyth.

It was a fantastic day out, and a great spot for a picnic, plus we had the opportunity for our first full family photo while on a day out thanks to a friendly passing american tourist.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Is Your Garden A Dumping Ground Too?

When we moved into our home the garden was a mixture between overgrown jungle that was once a lawn, and a gravel pit.  Not very useful for a family wanting to grow our own produce, nor very pleasant for the kids.

After a couple of years we had reverted the lawn area to a lawn, with a wide border containing a variety of veggies, fruit bushes and an apple tree.  There is a small herb garden in an old council recycling box, and we had cleared the gravel pit of the gravel and successfully grown a crop of potatoes and onions in it despite the poor clay-like nature of the soil.

Then we extended the house, this did not work well for the garden.  The builders made a mess of the lawn, we had to dig up the small patio area, the gravel previously stored at the side of the house was placed back at one end of the old gravel pit in some ikea bags (they have many many uses) and the old walls of the bathroom (waterproof shower boards) were added to the pile of gravel and patio slabs.  We are back at square one.

Now to the future.

We plan to restore out lawn and veg border.  The apple tree is still going strong, buds aplenty right now, the fruit bushes (raspberry, blackcurrant, redcurrant and goji berry) are all sprouting nicely, and the rhubarb is looking huge (that will come in handy for the homebrew, but that will be a different blog)

Then there is the ex-gravel pit.  We have word from a friend of the family that he wants the gravel, but he's having logistical issues.  The shower boards are going to be put to use in creating a water-tight, cavity walled, insulated two section compost box with removable divider and hinged lid.

Once the area is cleared the fun bit starts, laying out the vision for the garden.

The plan is to have the rectangular garden with square raised beds to each corner.  These beds will contain veggies of various kinds, and the walls of these will be made with cinder blocks

this will give us loads of small pots to plant herbs i around the veggies.
The cross made by adding the raised beds will be grassed, and a border of shrubs and flowers placed on the outer edge of the whole garden.  Inside the flower/shrub border will be a narrow line of home-made circular stepping stones, allowing access to the raised beds and also the flower/shrub beds.
We will post picture as things progress.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Who Says Bread Making Has To Be Hard

Growing up in a family where My Mum (Cs mum) always made bread i never found it to be too daunting, but as a mother myself now finding time and so forth and making sure the bread is perfect is.
So here are my fail safe favourite bread mix along with a few things you can do to vavavoom your bread into amazing none boring bread...

Firstly start by putting :
  • 7g Dried Yeast
  • 250g Strong White or Wholemeal Bread Flour
  • A Pinch of Salt and Sugar

Into a bowl and add enough warm water to make into a ball of dough.

Now for the best part! Knead/ Punch your anger out, Think of all the first world problems that make your first world lives hard and bash it into your bread, Be grateful for said first world problems as they will make your bread taste amazing!
Do this for 5-10 minute until bread is smooth and bouncy.

Now place back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel, cling flim, a shower cap, a pan lid, anything will do you get the idea! 

Leave for about an hour...I am so impatient, I never leave this long, though longer the better.

Now knead and make whatever you want from it

Let rise for 10-20 mins

Put in oven at 180 (I normally dont look at the dials so anything between 180 and 220)
Cook until done...( I don't really do timings as such I believe cooking should be felt and from the heart so go with the flow and experiment!)

or Alternatively place in Slow Cooker for a few hours until done...

So that is the basics now for the exciting part, flavoured breads, here are a few favourites.

Chocolate and Cherries.

Handful of Chopped Glazed Cherries.
 Bar of Crushed Chocolate. 

****Add before the hour rising time but after making the dough 

Cheese and Pickle 

3 tablespoons of sweet pickle.

handful of grated cheese.


Garlic Bread

Softened Butter
Sprinkle of Parsley 
Few Cloves of Garlic Crushed (Depending on how many vampires you want to keep away!)

Mix together and either put on top or pin wheel the dough with it spread before rolling.

Olive Oil
Herbs (I love Rosemary) 

Roll dough into a pizza shape leave ten min before oven.
Poke the dough with your fingers leaving dent in dough.
Heat herbs and oil until warm.
Drizzle over bread dough.
Sprinkle salt and cook.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

We are back!!

Hello and a Very Happy 2014 to all!
we haven't blogged in a while as life has been unpredictable and very hard...
So here are our goals for the rest of this year, that should give you good reading and possibly a chuckle!

Goal one: We the Wardle Tribe are going to take the challenge of spending one great british pound per day for our meals we will do so from the 21st of April... we have lots of freezer food (fresh meat frozen as we don't eat processed foods, i.e pizza etc unless homemade), store cupboard foods (tins of vegetables and pulses etc)... in the hope to not have so much stored and to save some money...

Goal two: To Clear the garden and to make much use of it over the summer months and in to autumn...
we would like to grow as much veg as possible to help cut the ever growing cost of food which seems to be increasing at stupid prices!

Goal three: to have one day of the weekend where we don't use any transport at all... no car, no buses...
were pretty good as during the week we mostly walk,cycle or run most places... occasionally we skip ;-)

Goal four: to never buy alcohol again and to make our own from the garden produce.

Goal five: to save! anything and everything... from money to cutting waste we want the next few months to be as waste free as possible...

Goal Six: our continued effort to put more in to life and others by doing random acts of kindness with out the expecting things back... we do this so our kids are giving children, rather than wanting children...