christmastime: pablo's wishlist part 1

Technically Pablo's wish list can be bought exclusively from the Marvel wall at the Disney store. So this is really the things I want for him (all of these are secretly my wish lists! Sorry I'm not sorry...)

1. Feiyue sneakers - these are so cool! Can't really justify the winter spend as it's going to be too soggy/muddy to wear them till Springtime, but still want them... 
2. Erzi Sardines in a tin - need to up the play-food collection and these are extremely cute. Perfect to go with the toy cash register and shopping basket we got him.
3. Radio Flyer - a girl can dream. I mean a boy can. It's for him, but it would make us BOTH so happy! Have wanted one of these forever... 

paint. scoot. stew.


The morning was all about a pirate ship mural - complete with glittering sharks and whales of course. We managed a brief bit of outdoors before the rains descended again and it was time to do some serious cosy cooking. We've just signed back up with Abel and Cole for weekly veggie boxes which is forcing me to be a bit more creative with our meals or risk a fridge full of neglected kale and radishes (ok there might still be a few neglected radishes about...) What does one do with a kilo of cavolo nero? THIS: top tip for a delicious dinner full of a squillion veggies and tasty enough even for a three year old boy who distrusts any foods that stray to far from beige is the following recipe from the flawless River Cafe. I'm sad to say I've only managed to eat at the restaurant once - and my god it was delicious, but it's all the way in Hammersmith! - but I've spent countless hours dribbling into their various recipe books, which are filled with basically EVERYTHING you never knew you wanted RIGHT NOW. Their Winter Minestrone is wholesome and chunky and just what you needed. Promise. This recipe pretends to be for 5 but we are 2.5 and a baby and we polished it off in one sitting. 


winter (autumn?) minestrone

2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
1 head celery, coarsely chopped & keeping the leaves
1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled
1 kg swiss chard, leaves shredded & stalks roughly chopped
large handful fresh parsley, chopped
400g tin peeled plum tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 kg cavolo nero, stalks removed and leaves shredded (you can substitute savoy cabbage)
410g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
approx 700g boiling stock - chicken or veg
a few sprigs of winter herbs, chopped (I used thyme)
freshly grated parmesan
olive oil to drizzle

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan - Le Creuset or similar is ideal if you have one. Slowly fry the carrots, onion and celery until soft and dark. This takes absolutely ages - I'm pretty sure I had these going for almost an hour, stirring very occasionally, and they caramelise a bit eventually which is what you want. Add the garlic, chard stalks and half the parsley and stir in tomatoes. Simmer for 10ish mins until reduced. 

Add half the cavolo nero, half the chard leaves, 3/4 the beans and the stock, which should be already boiling. Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer 30 mins. Resist the urge to add more stock unless you really need it - the soup should be super thick. Add the remaining chard and cavolo nero and blanch briefly to keep them as bright green as possible.

Puree the remaining beans in a blender with a bit of cooking liquid and stir in with the rest of the herbs. Serve hot with lots of grated parmesan and a drizzle of oil. DIVINE.

happy autumn!

happy autumn!