Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Recipe: Roasted vegetable Lasagne

I don't get to cook as often as I would like, but I've started trying to make more time to cook when I can. This recipe is one I've been doing for years, and it's one that never fails to turn out delicious. What's more, it's even more delicious the next day, reheated. It's also perfect because I'm trying to incorporate more meat free meals into my diet, and this is absolutely, 100% VEGETARIAN. Give it a try, and let me know how you get on.

Roasted Vegetable lasagne

Serves 4.

INGREDIENTS

1 small butternut squash
1 large carrot
1/2 a bulb of garlic
1 large yellow pepper
2 onions
1 sweet potato
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
1 can of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 tablespoon tomato puree
Grated cheddar cheese (or parmesan if you want to be authentic)
pinch salt
lasagne sheets
450ml milk
40g butter
40g butter
freshly ground black pepper

METHOD

1. Wash and cut the butternut squash, carrot, peeled garlic cloves, yellow pepper, sweet potato and 1 of the onions. Place them into an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of fresh chopped parsley. Place on the top shelf of the oven on gas 6 and roast for 40 minutes, or until the butternut squash has softened.

2. Once the vegetables are roasted, in a separate large saucepan, chop and fry the other onion slowly until softened. Turn the heat down and add the can of tomatoes, tomato puree, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper along with the remainder of the chopped parsley. Add to this the roasted vegetables and stir thoroughly until the sauce and vegetables are hot and fully combined. Put to one side.

3. Meanwhile pour the milk into a separate saucepan. Add the butter and heat gently until melted. Add the flour to this, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using a balloon whisk, continually stir over a low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Be patient, this bit takes time. Continue until the sauce is slightly thicker than a custard, remove from the heat.

4. In a medium sized lasagne dish, place a layer of vegetables in tomato sauce, followed by a layer of white sauce, followed by one layer of pasta sheets. Repeat this. Then place on top, one last layer of pasta sheets, and then grate cheese all over the top of the lasagne to your preferred thickness.

5. Set the oven to gas mark 4, and bake the lasagne in the oven for 1 hour.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

24 Hours in Haworth - Part 2

UK travel blog

Considering that we only spent one night in Haworth (and much of the day either side), we managed to cram a good deal into our short time there, and certainly felt like we'd seen a lot.

We started day two with a hearty fry up in the comfortable and spacious cafe area of the guest house that we were staying at. There's no better way to start the day whilst on a trip than with a hearty breakfast, I always feel. It keeps you going for a morning filled with sightseeing, without looking for the nearest sandwich outlet.

After breakfast, and moving the car to a 'free at the weekend' spot, we toddled over to the Bronte Parsonage Museum. Given the history and provenance of Haworth, a trip to the village isn't complete without a visit to this former home of the literary family. The ticket office is located in the book and gift shop, and of course there was no way I could come away empty handed. I decided, having never read it, to buy a copy of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It was the feminist undertones that sold it to me, and the fact that I had never read anything by Anne Bronte. It's really nice too because if you buy a book from there they stamp inside the front cover to say it has been bought from the museum.


Anyway, I digress. Whilst the house looks vast, large, and the sort of abode that one couldn't help but be happy to live in, the small and rather 'cosy' rooms inside make it feel far less so. The museum is fantastic though, the rooms are laid out as they would have been when the Bronte's lived there, and the gowns on display were from a recent BBC drama about the Brontes, and whilst they weren't authentically belonging to the Brontes, they were obviously as good as it gets in terms of historical costume.

Yorkshire blogger

Upstairs, we got to view the small sleeping areas of each sister, along with the wonderful sketches of Charlotte Bronte. It's one thing to be so gifted an author, but imagine being able to draw like this too. It's amazing the creativity that can be borne of not having Instagram, hey?


Most disturbing was Branwell's room. Recreated in a dishevelled manner that one could reasonably assume that the troubled Branwell would inhabit and with an open notebook showing depictions (or predictions) of death, it was perhaps the saddest room in the house.


The exhibits end with more information around the Bronte's life, and in particular their father, Patrick, as well as displays of more of their notebooks, drawings, hairbrushes and other such belongings. At only £8.50 for an adult to go in, it was well worth the visit and not only did I learn so much, but strangely enough it reinvigorated my desire to be creative too, by whatever medium.

After our wander around the museum, we took a walk in the sunshine back through the graveyard and to the farthest point so we could view Penistone Hill, and if you don't know the significance of that (or why it could only be justified by a moody black and white image of it) then go and read Wuthering Heights and find out.

Penistone Hill Haworth

Overall, we had a wonderful time in Haworth. I would definitely go again, and if you are thinking of going then perhaps my top tips below will help with your planning:

Where to stay - The Apothecary Guest House
Where to eat - The White Lion
Best for tea and cake - Cobbles and Clay
Do not miss - The Bronte Parsonage Museum

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