Posted on December 17th, 2011 - Fiona
Kids & Puddles
Winter on the farm does need a good pair of wellies. Our kids know all the best puddles to test them on too!
What have you been up to this week with the kids outside? Whether it is the park, the garden or a day out please come and share your outdoor play pictures here and support healthy outdoor living. Free Coombe Mill Kids Sun Hat to my favourite snap each month. Grab the badge and link up below. Thank you.
Posted on December 15th, 2011 - Fiona
Country Kids from Coombe Mill
Posted on December 13th, 2011 - Fiona
My step by step guide to cooking this classic family dish.
I cook in large quantities for our family of 8 and for our reception shop meals. The quantities are very forgiving, go with what feels right for your family, or cook in bulk and freeze as I do.
This basic recipe is great for all the family as it is tasty enough for adults yet subtle enough for children. I am a big fan of one pot cooking for a family meal and not turning the kitchen into a menu of individual choices.
Whole Fresh Chicken. Free range if possible.
Tip: You can use chicken breast which is much easier and quicker but more expensive or Turkey breast works well too and is cheaper than chicken.
Mushrooms sliced, any variety
Garlic clove or 2
Carrots or other vegetables of choice. Tip: sweet corn works well and popular with most children.
Salt and pepper
Olive oil and butter
Tin of evaporated milk
1. Remove Chicken skin and place in a large pan. Cover in boiling water and simmer gently for half an hour. Cool then remove from the pan, bone and place chicken pieces in a casserole dish. Reserve the liquid. Boling chicken may sound strange but it is the best method for keeping it plump and juicy. To me there is nothing worse than dried out chicken.
2. Saute the mushrooms and crushed garlic cloves in a little olive oil and butter for 3 minutes on a high heat.
3. Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish with a slotted spoon reserving the garlic and mushroom juices.
4. Return frying pan with juices to the heat. Add a few spoons of the reserved chicken juices, good knob of butter and large spoonful or 2 of plain flour, salt and pepper to taste. Gradually add the evaporated milk a little at a time.
5. Simmer and stir till a creamy sauce is formed, if it is too thick just add more of the chicken stock and or evaporated milk.
6. Lightly boil the carrots or other vegetables and add them to the casserole before pouring over the sauce.
7. I like to top the dish with either creamy mashed potato or sliced saute potatoes. For these I peel and slice the potatoes then simply place them in a roasting tin with a little olive oil for about half an hour while the chicken is cooking. Then just arrange on the top of the casserole.
Tip: A puff pastry top works well for a change, or the basic mix served with rice.
8. For my freezer dishes here at Coombe Mill, I then cool and freeze the meals ready for our guests to simply defrost and heat for about 30 – 40 minutes (depending on size). Otherwise the casserole can be chilled till needed in the fridge or heated straight away. A delicious family meal that can be made in advance ready for a busy evening or made in batches and frozen for those days when there just isn’t time!
Give it a go, ask any questions in the comments below, or come and stay here on holiday and try one of mine!
Posted on December 12th, 2011 - Fiona
I have been awarded with the Liebster Blog award and am very honoured. This is an award bestowed upon bloggers with less than 200 followers and the idea is to foster new connections between bloggers. Apparently the word Leibster is German and means dearest, so this is a great award to have been given by the lovely Mum.
The rules for the award are fairly straightforward, to thank the person who nominated you and nominate 5 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
More Than a Mum
To me is a cheerful and approachable fellow twitter friend. I find her upbeat and enthusiastic about life, full of ideas and ambition so please follow if you are not already doing so. She has a lovely parenting blog at http://morethanamumblog.wordpress.com which is well worth a visit for all things parenting. A great writing style and interesting posts that keep you coming back. I must also give special thanks as she is a big supporter of our Country Kids linky https://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2011/10/10/Country-Kids-from-Coombe-Mill.aspx with some awesome outdoor play features. Thank you.
My 5 Recommended Bloggers
Here is my list of 5 bloggers I am following who appear to have less than 200 followers. Sincere apologies if I have misjudged this and you have more but the Liebster award comes to you with best intentions and congratulations from Coombe Mill!
A truly lovely lady tweeting at with a parenting blog about her son Bud, together with reviews. Well worth a follow
Rachel is a self confessed twitter and blog addict and keeps her blog lively and up to the minute. Catch her on twitter at to follow.
Read all about the fun and games with her 2 youngsters as they make their way through the joys of childhood together well as reviews on parenting products. Follow on twitter at
A truly bubbly lady with a delightful toddler called Emily who is the center of her lovely blog, not to mention parenting product reviews and some great competitions. Catch Clare on twitter too at
I love Amanda’s writing style. She has a book out called Diary of a Mummy Misfit and her parenting posts on the blog are so well written I often find myself laughing out loud. Well worth a read. will find Amanda on twitter
Go girls and share your recommendations
Posted on December 11th, 2011 - Fiona
Silent Sunday 11th December 2011