Snow Day Fun
Today we have been lucky enough to have yet another snow day – in March! Twice in one month. This beast is really spoiling us. I’m talking about the ‘Beast from the East’ which has been all over Blighty. Now we’ve been hit by his little brother The Minibeast.
I don’t mind the snow really. It’s nice to get out the sledge and take Eva (and sometimes Kyle) to the big hill down the road. I guess when you’re blessed with a warm home to go back to then it’s really quite magical. However, just a bit weird when the daffs are coming up. Last Thursday I was out of my winter coat and the sun was beaming down. So even though we knew this was heading our way, it’s still strange to get my head around…
This morning Eva woke us up at 6 am excited to see all the snow. So that meant heading for the hill (it’s actually called Punt Hill) by 7 am. Yeah, I thought we were crazy. Darrel insisted it would be busy at that time. But no, just us and two other guys with their kids on sledges.
Sledging with a three-year old doesn’t really take long!
I think about half an hour was enough before I’d taken a few amazing snaps. Eva was fed up of frostbite. However, she’d been down the slope a fair few times so she got her money’s worth. I was quite happy to go home. It was damn cold out there – yeah, I know!
Lazy snow day at home
By the time we’d got home and had hot drinks and toast, we had warmed up. I made Eva an Olaf in the back garden. Then set about in the kitchen cooking and baking. The best thing to do on a Snowy Sunday. Plus I did actually have a reason – I’m working away this week. Being in fear of my whole family starving while I’m not around, I planned some meals ahead!
I can also be pretty domesticated!
I decided to make a cottage pie for freezing and some individual fish pies to go in the fridge. The fish was already frozen so I didn’t want to freeze it again. Then some cakes – if they’d last the week that is!
I know I did a lot of ‘pie’ but it meant just doing a load of mash potato. Then two different fillings. Simple.
My cottage pie is really easy too – and this one has baked beans. Darrel’s request actually.
It’s just an onion chopped and softened in the pan. Plus a pack of minced beef browned in the same pan. I add a bit of water and beef stock so it’s not dry, a tin of baked beans then season with salt and pepper. Also I add a few dried herbs and a dash of Worcester sauce.
After layering in an oven proof dish, cover the top with mash potato. I like a bit of grated cheese over it. Then it’s ready to be cooled then frozen.
I was on a roll..
The second dish again involves the same layering process with the mashed potato.
I used some frozen fish fillets (I used cod and haddock). Three fillets were enough for three portions. These were poached in milk until thawed and cooked through. In another pan I made a parsley sauce. I combined a teaspoon of butter with two or three teaspoons of cornflour (I’m not good with exact measurements), then pouring in about a cup of milk, whisking on a medium heat. As it thickens add a vegetable stock cube and a bit more milk if it’s too thick. Once it’s at the correct consistency, add a handful of parsley. It doesn’t matter if it’s fresh or dried. Then add the cooked fish. If you need some of the milk it was poached in then add that too. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
Great comfort food
In individual pie dishes, layer the fish in sauce then the potato on top. They’ll just need cooking in the oven until hot throughout and browned on top. Keep chilled in the fridge in the meantime.
Then for pud – and something Eva was able to get involved in – cupcakes. They are so easy. Whisk together 4oz butter, 4oz sugar and 4oz self raising flour and 2 eggs. I also flavoured them with a dash of vanilla extract. I then put the mixture in cup cases and bake at around 180 degrees centigrade for about 15 minutes. They are cooked when risen and spring back when gently pressed on the top.
For the first time in ages I didn’t use buttercream. I just made simple icing (sifted icing sugar – probably about a cupful, and a dash of cold water). Give it a good stir so it’s thick but spreadable. Add more icing if too runny.
Then the fun (messy) bit! Give them to your toddler to decorate with sprinkles, cake glitter and other cake decorations. Just make sure they wash their hands first…
The best Sunday ever…and of course I was cooking a roast chicken while all this was going on. Roast dinner and cake – and snow too!