Saturday, 30 May 2015

Sweet Chilli Sauce

I have had a lot of people ask about my homemade sweet chilli sauce recipe so I thought I would write a quick post about it here. We love this sauce and it is so simple to make in just a matter of minutes, definitely worth making yourself.

As you can see in the photograph, it's a beautiful colour and has an amazing taste, a mixture of hot and sweet, a real treat for the senses. The whole recipe from start to finish only takes about 15-20 minutes.

  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 red chilli peppers
  • 200ml water
  • 200ml apple cider vinegar
  • 200g sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 level tablespoons cornflour
I usually de-seed my chilli peppers first and save the seeds for use later, then Put all the ingredients except the cornflour into either a food processor or use a hand blender on it until finely chopped and blended. We usually use 2 large chilli peppers and 2 large garlic cloves but this is all down to personal taste, If using smaller ones I sometimes add 3.

Next put it into a saucepan along with some of the chilli seeds, remember a lot of the heat comes from the seeds so add an amount you would be comfortable with, I usually add about half the seeds back in. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes.

While this is simmering put the 2 level tablespoons of cornflour into a cup and mix with 2 tablespoons of cold water. Remove the pan from the heat temporarily and whisk in your cornflour mixture. This will help to thicken the sauce slightly and allow the chilli pieces to float in suspension throughout your sauce.

Return to the heat and simmer for a further few minutes, whisking continuously to help the cornflour to thicken.

All that's left to do is add to a sterilized bottle or jar and leave to cool... the sauce thickens more as it cools a bit like jam does.

This sauce can be used as a dipping sauce or on anything you choose, we love it so much I even add it to my salads and baked potatoes. It will keep for quite a while, although it's usually eaten quite quickly here. Everything seems to taste so much better if it's homemade... Do be careful though to wash your hands after preparing chilli peppers and try not to touch any sensitive parts like your eyes.

Why not have a go yourself and enjoy...

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Exploring Digestion!

The children have spent some time recently exploring body functions, and digestion came up for discussion as we had a science kit in the cupboard.

They were exceptionally keen to get the replica stomach to work, as you can see in the above photograph safety goggles are very important especially where the digestive system is concerned!... who knows what could happen.

The stomach was filled with random pieces of food, liquid, colouring and a few other necessary ingredients and gently squeezed to try to replicate the digestion process. An old stocking was fixed to the end to simulate the intestines as the food passed on it's journey.

Quite basic but helped the little ones to understand the process a little better, although I expect the gross factor had a lot to do with their enjoyment. The children love to experiment and usually have quite a few things on the go at any one time. No doubt this one will get repeated a few times.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Nature reserve and return to the blog

It's been a while since I posted here but we are definitely back now after our time away. We have been so busy as usual but I have managed to start a Facebook page if anyone would like to visit us there for a chat and like us, the link is on the right.

Last week we visited our local nature reserve, we love to keep a check on the wildlife at various points of the year and there are many babies about at the moment, like this Egyptian gosling.

We have taken a picnic so that we could spend the day nature watching and exploring at a leisurely pace with nothing to hurry back for.

Some of the birds seem just as interested in us. The children love to see how much the young ones have grown in between our visits and to keep track of how well they are doing.

We managed to spot quite a lot of fish swimming by, very close to a spot where we usually see a pike but we couldn't see it today... Just small fish.

I even explored the ruins this time, there were some beautiful arches which seemed like doorways to another world it was so quiet. Magical...

On the walk home at the end of the day the children spotted some young cows in a field and stopped to say hello.

As I said before we are back, you will be seeing much more of us so stop by and say hello either in the comments, on Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We have signed up to do the 30 day wild challenge, click the link if you fancy signing up yourself, there are a few days left until June. I can't imagine that this will be difficult for us as the children love spending time out in the wild.

See you soon!