This weeks Guardian recipe: Chickpea and chorizo burgers (and veggie alternative)



Chorizo is one of those ingredients that I buy rarely, but a little goes a long way. For a cheaper or vegetarian burger, you can omit it completely and just add the garlic and paprika for a similar smoky, spicy taste.

Ingredients (makes 4 generous burgers):

3 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped, or pinch of dried
1 carrot, grated
400g canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100g chorizo, finely chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 free range egg
2 slices of bread
1 tbsp flour

To serve:
1 pitta bread and handful of spinach.

Pour one tablespoon of oil into a medium sauté or frying pan on a low heat.

Add the chopped onion, crushed garlic, grated carrot, chopped chilli, paprika and chorizo and sauté all together on a low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally to disturb.

Meanwhile, drain and rinse…

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I don’t hate Christmas this year.


I put my Christmas tree up this evening, on the 1st of December, the same as my parents had in all the years I can remember. It’s a twiggy affair, dark brown with LED lights, picked up today for half price from Wilkinsons and one I might keep up all year round, perched and twinkling in the corner of my lounge.

I hung from it knick knacks from around my flat, Christmas decorations from years gone by fashioned from things like old front door keys, junk jewellery, pine cones, photographs and small stuffed toys.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, I whispered to Small Boy, kissing the top of his head. And overwhelmed, I found myself crying silently into the top of his soft little blonde head. Because this year, I don’t hate Christmas.

This year, I have a job that I love, a home that is secure…

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coffee walnut tray bake

coffee walnut tray bake

Originally uploaded by nodwah


April 29th!!!

Can’t believe it!!

Where does the time go eh?

Anyhoo… this is a very tasty traybake from the Asda magazine:

225g dates, chopped

125g butter

200g golden caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

225g self raising flour

 1/2tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp bicarb

2 tblsp instant coffee


100g chopped walnuts + some whole ones for decoration


soak the dates in 225ml of boiling water and the bicarb for about 15 ( longer doesn’t matter), add the coffee and the vanilla extract.

Beat the butter and sugar together and then add the beaten egg then add the date/ coffee mixture. Gradually combine the flour into the mix. It makes quite a sloppy batter.

Pour into a prepared deep baking tray and bake at 180 C for 45 minutes to an hour.


When done and cooled, decorate with walnut halves, make some icing using more dissolved coffee and icing sugar and  drizzle over the cake. This is a very nice sticky cake – yum

look what I made!

glass beads I made

Originally uploaded by nodwah


OOh eck where have I been all this time? I just had to nip back with this..

Isn’t this just gorgeous? if I were I silicon based life form I could just pop it in my mouth like a pomegranate seed!

I was at a “bead party” and bought glass earrings, the bead maker didn’t have a pendant to match so she offered to show me how to make some beads myself.

It was tremendously exciting!

All you need is a propane/oxygen burner ( just a wee bit hot). There are metal sticks called mandrils which you hold in the flame, turning them slowly all the time and with your other hand, melt a stick of glass ( also turning constantly) and let it blob onto the mandril. Keep turning and turning ’til you get a good round shape – it’s the sign of expertise if the bead is perfect. Then you can layer another colour on top or use small sticks of another colour to make patterns – easy! Once you’re done the bead goes into a kiln that gradually cools over a few hours so there’s no cracking, I’m not sure how you get the bead off the mandril cause I wasn’t there for that bit!

The one in the picture is white glass with purple layered on top and I only did one of them as I was running out of time but I would love to do some more sometime. 

I also found myself shaking all time which was quite embarrassing ( I don’t know why I have developed a bit of a tremor from time to time, I guess I should find out about it) but despite that she said I did very well for a first timer, especially with doing two different things with each of my hands, which isn’t that easy.

Summertime begins

kitchen2 007

Originally uploaded by nodwah

I’m just poping back to moan about British Summer Time!

Why do we have to change the clocks?

I like the apparent extra hour of daylight in the evening and it does make me think it’s truly Spring.. (but it didn’t get above 8 degrees today!)… but I hate it!!

It mucks about with my body clock something terrible, I know it’ll be Wednesday before I feel quite right again … and it’s only an hour!

It mucks about with my kids too – they are creatures of time and don’t want to be messed with – ie they still get up when their bodies tell them to and have no love of lie- ins (lies-in I suppose)

If the farmers or whoever want to get up early them let em and leave us alone!

suburban deer

suburban deer

Originally uploaded by nodwah

snowy day 2nd feb 2009

snowy day 2nd feb 2009

Originally uploaded by nodwah

When you wake up in the morning and it seems strangely quiet


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