Roasted Beetroot, Squash and Goats Cheese Salad aka the Shoulder Season Salad.

The other day I popped out to meet a friend for a playdate with our toddlers and on my way went past a really yummy looking vegetable stall. I couldn't help but slow my pace, point to the figs with the Tot and start adding things to a basket. It was a cold and damp day but I wasn't feeling soup. I wanted lots of vegetables but without the boiling. I wanted colour. I wanted flavour. 

I came home with a portion of squash. I'm not sure the exact variety but it had a creamy green skin and bright orange flesh. It looked great next to the purple and golden beetroot that I also brought home that day. I pondered and rummaged in my fridge, googled around and decided to sort of throw it all together and see what happened. 

What happened was delicious. 

Here's some rough notes for how I accidentally made the best 'Shoulder Season' salad I've ever made:

- Take equal volumes of various beetroots and squash- just go with whatever you find and look fr fun colours to put on your plate. Cube and skin them. 

- Cut some red onions into wedges and put all the chopped veg into a large roasting dish, big enough not to overcrowd them. Toss in about 2 tbsp oil (I used coldpressed olive), season and pop in the oven on 225c for about 35 mins. 

- Meanwhile steam some green beans. I think rocket or spinach would be wonderful here too. 

- During last 10 minutes of the roasting, drizzle 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar over the beets, onions and squash and shake it well before popping it back in. 

- Chop about half a cups worth of walnuts and crumble a block of goats cheese. 

- Remove roasted veg from oven and toss in the beans and walnuts. Sprinkle over the cheese. 

I'd also seriously think about a maple and balsamic vinaigrette next time like this one I found- it looks delicious. 


HarvestCal14 Inspirations: Get Layering

The countdown is on for the #Harvestcal14! Midday today I will be searching through all the hashtags, the chatter thread and the FO thread and hitting the random number generator. Tune in tomorrow for the announcements!

I thought I'd keep things a little fluffy today and talk about one of my favourite things about Autumn: layering! As knitters and crafters, Autumn has to be one of the most satisfying seasons surely? We can still wear our favourite tunics and tees but we can add all the accessories we want. More is more when it comes to feeling snuggly. 

Here's some of my favourite key looks with clickable images so you can get the goodies too:

The Blanket Scarf- I love the oversized scarf and the great news is that this season, the blanket scarf was all over the fashion pages. Fashion has a love affair with OTT textiles and as a knitter and lover of layers, that's something I applaud. 

Buy it: Zara's shawl scarf

Buy it: Zara's shawl scarf

Make it yourself: Jared Flood's Kelpie

Make it yourself: Jared Flood's Kelpie

The BIG scarf: Whether it's a Dr Who Scarf, a cabled thing of wonder or just garter, glorious garter, I LOVE my scarves big, chunky and hanging down to my waist even when I've twisted them up. In fact, If I can knot them and get all snuggled in and slightly ridiculous? All the better in my humble experience. 

Buy it: Big Scarves over at Hush

Buy it: Big Scarves over at Hush

Make It: Amy Miller's Parkway Scarf (I'd make this in Bulky to go big big big)

Make It: Amy Miller's Parkway Scarf (I'd make this in Bulky to go big big big)

Plaid: This was a big story on the catwalk and even me, non fashion follower sat up and listened because I was a 90's child and I wore plaid trousers just like those girls in Friends did. Oh the shame! I can't help but love the nostalgic feel though, can you?

Buy it: DKNY Oversize Shirt. Perfect with leggings, boots and some mitts. 

Buy it: DKNY Oversize Shirt. Perfect with leggings, boots and some mitts. 

Make it: Stephen West's Kex scarf

Make it: Stephen West's Kex scarf

Oversized Knits: The message I'm getting from looking around both in the stores and online is go big or go home where shape is concerned. It's like the blanket scarf came in and took over the shape of your entire wardrobe. Yum is all I can say!

Buy it: Oversized sweater via ASOS

Buy it: Oversized sweater via ASOS

Make it: Joji Locatelli's Boxy

Make it: Joji Locatelli's Boxy

So what are you wrapping up in this season? 


Don't forget t check out all our lovely #harvestcal14 prizes thanks to the sponsors!

HarvestCal14 Inspirations: Recipes

In the interest of inspiring you further in the final days of our #Harvestcal14 I have spent hours trawling through the internet and finding delicious and quick dishes to help you welcome Autumn. Really, this was all for your benefit dear reader, never think that this was self motivated or gratifying. Nope. I have not queued up several of the soups or cookies for my own delighted gorging. I am purely doing this for your benefit.

So here we go, a round up of what I will be trying out over the coming month. I've deliberately not chosen crockpot/ skillet dishes and those that require a specific kitchen item in the interests of keeping this easy for everyone. One recipe that requires a thermometer crept in but in the case of Brittle, I think we can be forgiving, no? I also had to restrain myself on the baking front. Expect more recipe suggestions because this time of year makes for incredible baking. 

Light Bites:

Butternut Squash, Celeriac, Parsnip & Apple Soup via Inspiring the Everyday. This is a smooth soup which long term readers will know I have a distrust of but I think I could work with this. There's also an incredible looking Apple and Fig Salad with Hazelnuts on the same page that I'm sure the Tot would gorge on because she loves apples and figs. (Side note: please do be careful of nuts and mini people and allergy sufferers)

Chunky Autumn Vegetable Soup via Let's all be in love with chunky soups. 

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan via Oh How She Glows. Something entirely different from our usual repertoire but I have a sneaky feeling this could become a regular side dish around here. Yum. 


Dinner and Main Meals:

A one pan oven roasted Medley of Autumnal fare such as apples and sweet potato as well as sausage. Perfect for families and budget friendly too. I suspect the Tot will love this combination of sweet and savoury. Thanks to BudgetBytes for this one. 

Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples via Epicurious. I'm not really a great fan of meat, especially pork but I do feel like Autumn flavours lend themselves particularly well to pork. I am very tempted by this dish it has to be said, something the meat loving Giant will surely rejoice to hear I'm sure. 

Mushroom foraging is one of the many Autumnal foraging delights I would love to get better at. This Twice-Baked and Stuffed Butternut Squash via 12Tomatoes has the prettiest mushrooms. I think mushrooms are so delicately fascinating. If you've been following me on Instagram you'd already know that weird fact about me. 


Sweet Treats:

These Favourite Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies from Sally's Baking Addiction had me at the first mention of cranberries. Cranberry and pumpkin? Perfect flavours to combine.  

Caramel Apple Cider Cookies thanks to The Girl Who Are Everything. I've loved this food blogger for a while and have had a great number of successes with her baking recipes in the past. Definitely a treat for me on cold mornings after the childcare drop off. 

Autumn Brittle via Adventures in Cooking. You will need a thermometer which would normally put me off as I STILL need to purchase this kitchen instrument but I think this might be the push I've needed for a while. 



Autumn Bourbon Sangria via The LifeStyled Blog. Incredibly tempting pictures. I always switch from white to red wine the minute I feel a chill in the air. It's a tradition that I think could stand the addition of fruits and whiskey. 

Rethinking my slight wariness of the overwhelming sweetness of Mulled Cider thanks to Martha Stewart's version with maple and peppercorns. Yes. You heard it here first: I'm doing this. 

Apple Pie Moonshine via Sweet C's Designs. It's even presented in Mason Jars. Super cute. 


So jump in and join us for the harvestcal14 and don't forget, you can win prizes too!