19.10

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Now, I’d like to head up this post with a little disclaimer that Ottilie’s facial expression in the vast majority of these photos is in no way a reflection of the comfort of this pushchair. ;) She’s at that awkward stage right now where she’s just started taking her first few independent steps (just this weekend, woohoo!!) so now all she wants to do is walk, but isn’t anywhere near steady enough to toddle along with us when we’re out and about for any length of time. And so, pushchair rage ensues!

Anyway! We snapped these photos whilst in Haslemere over the weekend, which will be our closest town when we move next month. We’re so, so ready to get going now…though I do of course mean ready in the emotional sense, and not a practical one. I’m still yet to book a removal company and our loft is crammed full with 7 and a bit years worth of crap…but we’re basically pretending that doesn’t matter and are busy selecting paint colours instead! Some great adulting going on over here in the Chappel household…

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Haslemere’s such a pretty little town, and is where we’ve dreamed of moving nearby to for a good few years now. I’m so excited to explore the area, so any tips for places to visit will be welcome!

And I seriously cannot wait to show you around our new home! Though thinking about it you might never get to see photos or anything given that the internet is basically non-existent and I’m not sure the mobile data situation will be any better. (Basically, pray for me!!)

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We got to Haslemere bright and early, and after swinging by our new house just to say ‘hello’! to it, parked up in the centre of town and went for a mosey up the high street with coffees in hand and Ottie in the pushchair.

Now, let me talk to you about the Featherweight

When I was pregnant one of Jason’s cousins advised me that there may come a time when I’d be more concerned about having a lightweight, one-handed folding pushchair than the ginormous fancy one I was about to order. I privately thought she was crazy, and that it really wouldn’t be all that big a deal, but now? I TOTALLY get it!

The real genius about the Featherweight for me is the fact that it’s just so, so easy to put up and collapse. It weighs a mere 3.7 kilos (the lightest pushchair in the UK!), and with just the press of a button on the handlebar and one simple action, it pops up and is ready to go! And when you’ve got a baby on one hip, not having to faff about sorting out a chassis and then clipping on a seat is a total lifesaver!

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Above we have a photo of an angry mouse, totally unimpressed by her Mum’s attempts to use a dried up old leaf as a way of coaxing a smile out of her…one to frame, for sure!

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The other feature of the pushchair that’s just complete genius, that I mentioned a little in this post here, is the fact that because it’s so light and comes with an attached carry strap, you can carry it on one shoulder!

Which would be ideal if you’re travelling in a city and want to hop on and off buses, or go on the tube without having to worry about step-free access, or, if you’ve got a baby like mine who has an aversion to being strapped into anything for longer than she deems truly necessary, you can give in to the inevitable and let them come out and walk whilst you carry the pushchair like some kind of long suffering mule! ;)

Alternatively, you could just let them use the pushchair as a walker which, it turns out, is a great game and will keep your babe happy long enough that you can sit and drink your coffee whilst it’s still hot! Bliss.

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This post was part of my ongoing partnership with Graco! Thank you for supporting the branded content that makes Cider with Rosie possible.

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27.08

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G O O D B Y E   S U M M E R

Blackberry season always feels like the beginning of the end of summer, doesn’t it?

I’ve been picking berries a few times a week for a good few weeks now, and built up a stash in my freezer with the idea of making jam. I’ve been on something of a jam kick lately, after eating so many delicious kinds made by our friends Lizzie and Tania’s sweet Maman in France at the beginning of the month.

And so, it was to Cathy’s recipe that I turned for my first foray into jam making…

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A kilo of berries (mine were frozen), left to defrost and macerate in 800grams of sugar overnight, and then mixed with the juice of a lemon. Bring to the boil in a large pan, and then cook for 20 minutes. Do the ‘wrinkle’ test by pouring a little of the juice onto a clean plate and then let it go cold- if it forms a skin that wrinkles when pushed with your fingertip, it’s ready to jar.

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Pour the jam out into clean, sterilised jars, and screw the lids on tightly. And that’s it! I tasted a jar the next morning, spreading the jam onto freshly buttered toast and eating straight from the chopping board. Quite possibly the most satisfying piece of toast I’ve ever had!

And you know the best thing? When I nipped out to take the photos of the brambles that I wanted for this blog post, the hedges were so heavy with berries that I ended up collected another great bag-full.

So I think I’ll be making more jam again quite soon…

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05.11

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A P P L E S   +   S P I C E S   +   N U T S ,   O H   M Y !

I always feel as though Bonfire Night marks the start of *real* winter.

It’s a coming together of all my most favourite aspects of the season- being outside in air so chilly you can see your breath clouding and billowing in front of you, the jovial, festive atmosphere that builds as the evening goes on, a touch of magic (brought on by bonfires and sparklers and fireworks), and, of course, the delicious food!

Food on bonfire night has to be baked, if you ask me. We hosted a mini-Bonfire Night at our house last weekend, and baked up everything from bread, to apples, to potatoes! That sounds like the most boring, meagre meal imaginable, but I promise you it was delicious!

In fact, the recipe for spiced, baked apples I rustled up turned out to be *so* delicious, I thought I’d better share it! Here’s how…

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First things first, you’ll need to buy six or so of the most delicious eating apples you can find. I picked up these Braeburns from the farmer’s market, and they were crisper and tastier than any I’ve bought from the supermarket in a long time.

Give them a rinse, to rid them of any nasties.

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Take each apple in turn, and cut off the top- only about a centimetre or so down the apple.

Use a sharp knife to cut out the core and seeds, and then use a spoon to hollow out the apple so that it’s about a centimetre or so thick all the way around.

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We’re filling the hollowed-out apples with the most delicious, and yet totally virtuous date and nut stuffing! It’s so caramelly sweet and packed with cinnamon-dredged nuts, and tastes so wonderful it’s almost hard to believe that there’s nothing but good, wholesome ingredients in it!

The ingredients are as follows:
200g Medjool dates
150g mixed pecans and walnuts
1/2tsp cinnamon
1/2tsp flaky sea salt

- Soak the dates in boiling water for 15 minutes, then remove them from the water and use a food processor/blender to whizz them up into a paste along with the 1/2tsp of salt. {You’ll need to add a few tablespoons of the soaking liquid if you’re using a blender or NutriBullet (as I did), to help the machine run.}

- Add the nuts to a large, dry frying pan set over a medium heat, and gently toast for a couple of minutes until they begin to smell warm and fragrant. Add in the cinnamon, toss to combine, and then turn off the heat.

- Transfer to a clean tea towel, cover over and bash up with a rolling pin until the nuts are in small pieces.

- Stir together the date paste and cinnamon nuts, and set aside to cool.

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Fill the cored apples with the cinnamon date filling, and then put the ‘lids’ back on!

I found I had enough of the spiced date mixture to generously fill 6 medium apples- enough to serve the five of us I was catering for, plus an extra for the chef! ;)

~

With the apple prep done (and wasn’t it simple?), it’s time to pause for a cup of tea…

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To further spice up our bonfire night, the tea blending geniuses at Taylors sent over a box of their Spiced Apple tea to serve alongside my own baked spiced apples!

I fell in love with the blend last December, and the warm spices and sweet appley flavour are *so* festive that drinking the tea again felt like my first taste of Christmas this year!

Served with those hot apples taken fresh out of the oven, it really is the most divine pairing.

Isn’t that colour so beautiful, too?

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The final step to finishing off these dreamboat baked apples is, of course, the baking!

We cooked up our batch late on in the evening (after a main course of chilli-loaded jacket potatoes!) nipping back in to check on them in between rounds of sparkler-waving and turns taken toasting our hands over the fire.

25 minutes in an oven at 180 degrees will leave them soft, melting, and beautifully wrinkled around the edges. The cinnamon in the filling infuses the apple from within, and each bite tastes like an apple pie in a mouthful.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla icecream, and eat by the light of a fire for true magic.

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Do you have anything fun planned for Bonfire Night? :) I hope you love the baked apple recipe as much as we did, if you give it a go this weekend!

~ ~ ~

This post was sponsored by Taylors.

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Posted in AUTUMN, BAKING, RECIPE, SWEET

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18.10

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A M O N G S T   T H E   F L O W E R S .

Growing up, garden centres visits were something of a ritual.

My family and I would meet my cousins and uncle at one or other of our many local garden centres every other Sunday, for cake and tea and hours of chatter.

I’d pick up my Grandma on my way home from lectures on Wednesdays during my first year or so of university, and we’d head over to the garden centre just across from where she lived for a happy afternoon of shopping and pottering and updating one another on our lives.

Christmas just wasn’t Christmas until we’d visited the festive displays in our favourite local nursery, and my sister and I would comment every year on how it never felt as sparkly or magical as the previous year’s display. Over the past decade, these traditions have changed and evolved, as our family has done the same.

But nevertheless, a garden centre visit still holds a special place in my heart…

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I met Tania in Richmond a few days ago, and together we moseyed our way along the river towards Petersham Nurseries. Tania had never been before, you see, and so we thought it was about time for a visit!

I’d been to Petersham 18 months or so ago with friends, back when the nursery was beginning to bloom in full summer glory.

This visit was decidedly chillier, a little breezier, but my goodness, just as beautiful as ever.

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Summer’s soft pinks and corals and lilacs have faded away, and instead the flower beds and potting tables now are filled with deep rust and berry tones.

The vines that have threaded their way across the ceiling of the greenhouse (that doubles as a cafe) are heavy with grapes, and the whole nursery is a feast for the eyes.

Not to mention the camera lens…

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We could’ve stayed there all afternoon, Tania and I. And thinking about it now, we pretty much did.

Lunch was bought and enjoyed in the greenhouse (a taleggio and kale bake for Tania, chickpea and potato curry for me, plus a slice of chocolate cake to share), and we fell in love a hundred times over with the idea of owning a vine-filled greenhouse big enough to set up a dining table in. Can you even imagine the dinner parties?

The rest of our afternoon was spent wandering up and down the beds, taking 101 photos of the vibrant dahlias and herbs and greenery, and talking about how much we both loved playing hide and seek during the garden centre visits we made as children.

Not that there was ever any doubt that our friendship were solid as a rock, but sharing a love of garden centres cemented it that bit further.

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I’m wearing :: Scarf (< almost identical!) || Roll-neck jumper || Riding pants || Boots | Handbag

I must just take a brief minute to talk to you about that dreamboat of a roll-neck I’m wearing. It’s without doubt the most cosy, yet effortlessly stylish jumper I’ve ever owned, and I’m yet to go a day whilst wearing it that it doesn’t get complimented.

All that, *and* it doesn’t need hand washing? Consider my heart officially stolen!

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