Saturday, 17 September 2016

Brunch With Friends

brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So the Yorkshire house is still a building site but that does not mean I cannot share my Parisian habits here in Yorkshire and that habit is brunch, yes I plan to brunch the hell out of the UK. You hear that people I am declaring war on the full English, greasy spoon and hangover cafe. Here is what I am fighting it with, please excuse the following image contains full on pornographic images of bacon. Yes I am vegetarian but I still know what sexy is! A plate of crispy goodness. 
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So a bit of background when I first arrived on Paris I thought so what is the weekend thing to do? I soon discovered it is brunch. Now the quality of your brunch varies vastly and I plan to share a post with you to guide you to the better spots around town but for now I will explain that a good brunch has a number of courses, it is social, like all French eating and it allows you to waste an entire afternoon eating. For my Yorkshire version I decided to keep the food British(ish) but demonstrate that it can be damn fancy. 
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So I stocked the table with bread, cheese, natural yoghurt, granola, my very own raw granola recipe, griddle scones (recipe here), juice and fruit. Of course the crispy bacon plate!
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
After eating their fill of this course I served up an onion bagel, with a sausage, fried leeks and mushrooms and topped with a poached egg.
brunch recipes http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Brunch is not brunch without a huge amount of sugar to round it off so I served up an Eton Mess and my Coffee & Doughnut Trifle of naming ceremony fame. My walls have that half stripped wallpaper look, the plates and glasses don't match and let's face it you can see from the photos that I had not ironed the tablecloth but it felt really good to have people over and

Monday, 12 September 2016

Blackcurrant Cordial Recipe

blackcurrant cordial recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Sebastian is really into picking food. We have been to a few pick your own farms here and in Paris and are luck enough to live in the birth town of Incredible Edible a community growing scheme. This is great as apart from a couple of apple trees the garden is still being cleared and not ready to grown anything. We had great fun picking blackcurrants and he was even more excited to "make a special drink for daddy". Sebastian is really struggling with Joe being at work at the moment and to say he a ball of emotion is an understatement. From real anger at Joe for going, me for dropping him at the train station to excitement to the point of passing out and sobbing at the drop of a hat. We have decided to keep him talking about it. I think this is especially important to instill in boys to be open and talk about what they are feeling. I like to include Joe as much as we can in our activities such as making this cordial as Joe likes cordial. This way as well as talking through the process of measuring and cooking we spoke about how excited daddy would be when he got home and how much he misses Sebastian when he has to go to work.

On this particular day Sebastian was so excited that he passed out and had one of those 5pm naps that I have grown to hate, woke up at 9pm yes 9pm shouting "Daddy daddy I made you a special drink" Then he stayed up until midnight but we won't talk about that.
blackcurrant cordial recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Above is a picture showing the error of my ways, when I strained the blackcurrants I decided not to put cheesecloth in the sieve, it will be okay I thought but I was wrong and there were bits in the juice as you can see from the photo.

you will need;

1.5kg blackcurrants 
600g granulated sugar 
1/4 cup lime juice 
500ml water 
blackcurrant cordial recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
method;
  1. Place the fruit into a large saucepan with the water and simmer until the fruit has burst and released it's juices, this should take around 10 minutes. 
  2. Pour through a sieve lined with cheesecloth (don't skip the cloth), push the fruit with the back of a spoon to get all of the liquid out.
  3. Pour your juice into a saucepan and add the sugar. Heat on a low heat and melt the sugar but do not let the liquid boil. 
  4. Once all the sugar has dissolved add the lime juice and funnel into a sterilized bottle. Once cool store in the fridge.
blackcurrant cordial recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/

Friday, 2 September 2016

How To Design A Room For Kiddos

how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
This is a post that I have been thinking about for a long time but I was spurred on by my friend's cry for help the other week to actually sit down and finish it. I don't want to be all oh in my day we were happy with a cardboard box but I will state that now more than ever before we are spoiled for choice when it comes for children's products. It took a long while for designers and marketers to understand that people will fork out a lot of money on their children. Even when you say you won't and even when you don't have the money to spend, why because it is an emotional time being a parent and analyzing that is a post in itself. So today I will just help you navigate through the design process and hopefully help you save some cash by not making mistakes. 

Designing a room for a child is just as much of a lifestyle decision as any other room in the house. The way that their space is arranged can effect how they play, the time you have to spend with them and the way they sleep so it is vital that we get it right.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
1. Don't focus on the room as a nursery.
It is very easy to think of the the room as this place where you will be sitting on a rocking chair feeding your baby and dreamily looking out of the window but that stage of baby is very short lived and they will more than likely sleep in your room for most of it. Of course it is every parents decision on whether they have their baby in the same room or not so here is a link to research and advice on the subject. Regardless of where your baby sleeps they will be using their room for more than sleep faster than you think so don't waste so much money on anything that cannot translate to a toddler room. Toys and ornaments that they will point to and ask for may be dangerous or destroyed are probably best not to put in their room in the first place. The image above shows a beautiful room but one that will be outgrown within a year.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
2. Kneel down or squat.
Think about the eye line of your child, the room is for them after all. Think about areas of interest and try to delineate the space. Children are small and they like to crawl into spaces and have different areas. You don't have to have a huge space in order to create other areas, remember these guys are small. The room above is beautiful and colourful but most things are out of reach and will encourage unsafe climbing. Children need to see their things.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
3. Ban the toy box.
The toy box is an awful way to store toys. It might be an easy option at the end of a day to shove everything in at the end of the day but a toy box does not promote play and toys get broken and mixed up in there. When children play they want to be able to access their things instead of looking for something for ages, (with your help), only to discover that they cannot find part of the toy or it is broken, then you have to deal with that fall out. Display toys and move them around and encourage tidy up time and your children will take more care and play more effectively. There are a lot of fun ways to display and tidy their toys.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
4. Combine style & substance.
I like every other parent have perused stunning pictures of children's rooms on Pinterest. I too have thought look at those lovely white washed floors but stop and think back to my first point, they are babies for a very short time. Those hardwood floors are not great for a crawling baby or one that is starting to walk, and as they get older and you are crawling about on that floor playing with them you will wish you went for a carpet. And yes we still have messy play, the really messy stuff happens in the kitchen. 

Questions of style and substance will happen that go beyond flooring choices, curtains that pool on the floor are great in the lounge and not practical for kiddos. Keeping in mind safety and comfort does not mean that your room is not stylish.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
5. Design a space that can grow BUT REMEMBER THEY ARE CHILDREN.
Often a parent will go berserk with a particular theme or whim of their little one. Then after changing this once or twice they snap and give them a bland teenager style room at the tender age of 8. I get that it can feel frustrating and I completely understand why a child is then pushed towards a very grown up space but they are only young once. Designing your child's room is the closest you will get to being a real life interior designer, (unless you are in fact an interior designer). It is your role to take their ideas and interpret their design. You can take a theme or idea and give it a real modern twist and that helps the room grow with them and that way it will last longer.

Room design is a lifestyle choice and I am very anti TV in the bedroom, any bedroom! Having a TV in a room is divisive to family life in my opinion and staring at blue light does not promote sleep.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
6. Use the room shape to create play spaces. 
Children like to have spaces that are delinted. Small spaces to crawl into and explore. Remember standing in a huge playground at school and being told to play, the space was a little overwhelming right? If you don't have alcoves and corners you can exploit in your little ones room think about how you can do the same with furniture.
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to design a child's room http://www.archieandtherug.com/


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Griddle Scones - A Recipe

griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So I have been living without an oven for 9 months now but I refused to let that stop a girl from baking. This recipe for griddle scones is so incredibly easy and quick to prepare so you can have warm buttered scones in no time all you have to do to make it perfect is make a pot of tea and break out the Buffy box set.
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
you will need;

2 cups self raising flour
1tsp baking powder
2tbsp Greek yoghurt
25g salted butter 

then add some flavour, here are some combinations I have tried out;

fresh chives & cracked black pepper
rosemary & thyme
garlic & sage 
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
method;
  1.  Mix the flour and baking powder together.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour.
  3. Mix in your choice of flavouring.
  4. Add the Greek yoghurt and combine into a soft dough.
  5. Press out the dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into circles or squares.
  6. Place on a hot griddle pan, turn when they have risen and cook the other side. Both sides should be a golden brown.
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/
griddle scone recipe http://www.archieandtherug.com/

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Creating A Rockery

how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
So for those of you have not been in the UK let me tell you this summer has been wet, cold or wet and cold. There have been a few days here and there when we all got excited and thought yeah it is hot and sunny today only to be disappointed when two days later it was cold and wet again. That being said I was determined to make some headway in the garden. With the whole house to fully renovate it is hard to find time, energy or money for the garden but I wanted to try and do something so that next summer some plants would have had a chance to bed in and hopefully we can enjoy some family time with a few flowers. Everything in the garden was overgrown and full of thorns, not very child friendly so we stripped it back to virtually nothing which has been a much harder and longer task than either of envisaged. Note to self heavy landscaping is tough!
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
What I did manage to clear from weeds and ivy was an area under the birch tree that was ripe to be a rockery. So we had a sunny day, got overly excited and went to buy alpines. By the time we got them home the rain clouds were already looming so I had to work fast. 
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
It is best if you play about with the placement of the plants whilst they are still in the pots so you can see how they will look.
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
I made sure that I checked the labels to make sure those that needed full sun were in the right place. I needed to add compost to some of the spaces, especially those around the base of the tree. 
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
Once everything was in place I gave them a good drink, then 4 hours later the heavens opened and I wished I hadn't.
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/
I even placed some heather around the other side of the tree which look silly so far apart but fingers crossed they will take and spread out.
how to create a rockery garden http://www.archieandtherug.com/