Sunday, July 1, 2018

(Not) in my kitchen - July 2018

This post will be short and sweet, and somewhat bittersweet. After 7.25 years and 1,035 posts I am taking a step back from blogging for a little while. Bite-Sized Thoughts will still be here and I will post intermittently, but the frequency will be less and likely variable.

With more demands on my time these days (a toddler-sized one, in particular!) blogging is still an enjoyable activity, but it also tends to feel like something on my To Do list. I hope in the future that will change and I will post regularly once more, but for now I am reducing the number of things I try to squeeze into each week and freeing up time for family, life and the occasional bit of relaxation (rare, with a toddler!).

I can read others' blogs on the train and so you may still see comments from me, or I may read and not comment, but for those of you who have read Bite-Sized Thoughts for weeks, months or years - thank you for your support and enthusiasm along the way. I look forward to checking in occasionally and perhaps reconnecting regularly in the future.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Center Parcs and visiting family

It's been a busy two weeks in the Bite-Sized Thoughts household, as we followed a long weekend away with a visit from my sister and her boyfriend from Australia. Both were wonderful. My sister is now in France for a wedding but we're looking forward to welcoming her back for two further nights next week.

Coffee #1 in Warminster

We spent most of my sister's visit around our town and the adjoining countryside, but also made a day trip to Bodiam Castle. This is one of my favourite English castles with its intact exterior and impressive moat, but semi-ruined interior that you can climb around and explore without the confines of a tour. The picture below shows Mini Bite taking advantage of the opportunity to clamber. I first visited Bodiam as a 10-year-old and my family have returned regularly over the years, so it was also nice to go back with my sister and add to childhood memories

Mini Bite exploring Bodiam

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Red lentil dhal

How do you spell dhal / dal / daal? I vary back and forth but seem to favour dhal. I couldn't tell you why though and I am not aware of a rationale for one spelling over another.

However you spell it, dhal is a classic lentil dish and a recent addition to our regular meal rotation. I started making it as an alternative to the spiced carrot and red lentil soup that everyone in the house still loves, but which I got a bit sick of having every week. This dish is a great alternative that is still a hit with Mini Bite and Mr Bite (and me) but is a bit simpler to make, and nicely versatile in that you can pair it with rice or bread or even enjoy plain.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

In my kitchen - June 2018

I am linking this into the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

We are half way through 2018 and summer is in the air. I have had lunches that mix warm soup with fresh summer produce (above) and my first green smoothie for the year (below). I also seem to have purchased an enormous number of new vegan-friendly products this month, so this will be a very full IMK post!

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Easy, everything, summer salad

This weekend is another long weekend in England (we get two in May) and, again, we are blessed with amazing weather. Indeed, it is more summery than spring-like but with the bonus of the vivid greens and bright flowers that spring provides.

Sissinghurst Castle Gardens (National Trust)

After losing most of our last long weekend to illness, we are soaking up outdoor time this time around. A repeat visit to Sissinghurst Castle Garden provided perfect picnic weather, and Mini Bite has taken to moving pebbles and stones around our garden and any other setting that offers the opportunity. She's getting good and messy in the sunshine.

Perfect picnicking

With the summery weather, salads are an appealing choice. Today's recipe offers a bit of everything and is more an idea than a recipe. I added new season tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, local Kent strawberries, celery, walnuts, tofu and chickpeas to a bed of spinach and finished things off with a scattering of alfalfa sprouts and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette (for the observant amongst you, the photos were taken pre-vinaigrette).

Summer and spring in a bowl!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

New product discoveries: Vegan eating when out and about

Most of my supermarket product discoveries appear in monthly In My Kitchen posts, but foods I buy out and about often get neglected. I thought I'd summarise a few recent highlights in this round-up, featuring two restaurant meals and two take-away items.

First up, Fego. Mr Bite and I had a day off together earlier in the year, enjoying some solo time while Mini Bite was in nursery. We enjoyed a long country walk and then headed to Sevenoaks, a neighbouring town, for lunch. Fego was a new-to-us discovery in the Sevenoaks centre and there are 8 other restaurants around England.

Fego vegan-friendly vegetable curry