Mutterings of a Fool

Man, Dad, Runner, Chief dog walker

Tag: morrisons

A wood fired pizza oven cooking day

One thing you learn when you have a wood fired pizza oven is that it takes quite a bit of effort to get it fired up and at the right temperature for cooking, so once it’s hot you might as well maximise the use of it. It takes me about 2.5 hours to get mine hot enough to cook a pizza, then less than 30 minutes to cook 8-10 pizzas for a pizza party. Which is probably still worth it as the pizzas are awesome but why not keep the fire going and cook more?

Which is exactly what we did last weekend; we cooked some pizzas for dinner with the kids and then kept the fire going to cook some tapas in the evening for just the adults. It takes a bit of prep work but then if you want instant cooking using a pizza oven probably isn’t for you. We had a friend over for the weekend so once the fire was burning nicely we set to work on the prep, checking on the fire occasionally to add an extra log or 2.

Pizza oven fired up

We mixed up some dough for the pizza and also for some pita breads to go with the tapas. I’ve been wanting to make bread of some kind in the oven for a while and these seemed like a good starting point, I’m also itching to make naan breads which should puff up perfectly. Once the doughs were proving we got the tapas ready, on the menu was; lamb koftas, lemon and chilli scallops and some marinated squid. All cook really quickly so although the prep takes a while the cooking bit is easy and of course you just serve straight from oven to table.

Pita breads cooking

Our cooking weekend also timed nicely with the delivery of a pizza challenge from Morrison’s, they’ve launched a new in store pizza service available until 21st June to celebrate father’s day where children can build their dad’s face on a pizza. My challenge was to make a pizza that looked like me with a little help from Matilda and Henry. Now while the Morrison’s pizzas taste great, I bet none are quite as good as the ones cooked in a real wood fired pizza oven. There was much debate about how to make best use of the vegetables supplied to create a pizza, I’m particularly pleased with our use of the black part of the mushrooms to make eyebrows. The result I’m sure you’ll agree is an uncanny likeness, they do say you are what you eat….

Pizza in the shape of my face

Making a day of the cooking was so much fun, quite tempted to expand it to brunch also, the choices really are endless and while it’s a steep learning curve understanding how to cook in an oven that doesn’t have dials it really is a fab way to spend a day. This tapas cooking could easily be extended to include many more dishes and by cooking one course at a time then eating it make a great evening dinner party with friends.

The combination of the rich lamb with the spicy scallops was perfect and the pita breads were amazing. The dough for them was quite weird but once they were in the oven the just puffed up perfectly. They’d be really good with some slow roast lamb in them and some good homemade coleslaw (I’m salivating a little just at the thought of it!)

pizza oven tapas feast

I would also thoroughly recommend the wood fired oven cookbook, it has some great recipes in it and instructions on how to use you oven, but it also gives you some ideas for menus and cooking days so you can maximise the heat in your oven. This was our first real attempt and I learned a lot about how to maintain the fire and the size of log that was most effective to add to it each time, there’s definitely an art to cooking this way.

Disclosure – Morrisons sent me the ingredients to make pizza, but all words and opinions here are my own.

Nutmeg January sale

I sent the lady of the manor to the shiny new Morrison’s near us last week to buy some clothes for the kids who seem to be growing at least a centimetre every day. We conveniently had a voucher from Morrisons to spend as the latest part of my role as a Nutmeg ambassador which was just as well as I think Matilda’s tummy was starting to get cold from being exposed in her too short t-shirts. Not that she ever tucks her tshirt in though or wears a jumper unless there is frost on the ground, I think she must have an in built radiator as apparently she is always hot.

There was the lady of the manor happily picking up clothes in a rare moment of peace with no children to watch when the helpful assistant mentioned that their sale was starting the next day. So she of course promptly ditched what she’d picked up and came back the next day instead. She did come back with a sausage roll, some crisps and a bar of chocolate though which apparently were ‘essentials’.

Nutmeg prices are already great value but if you need some clothes for you children can I recommend you get down their quickly because at sale prices their clothes are incredible value. We spent just under £30 and we got everything below; more than a complete outfit for each child. I really like the style of the Nutmeg clothing, it’s simple and quite understated and washes really well which is an essential for children of this age.

Nutmeg checked shirt

Nutmeg January bargains

Nutmeg stripy baby hoody

Nutmeg autumn/winter collection

I’m quite excited to share that I’m going to be working with the fine people from Nutmeg over the next year to bring you some regular updates about their clothing range with a few competitions thrown in for good measure.Nutmeg in case you didn’t know is the clothing range from Morrisons which is for adults as well as children. Today I’m kicking off with a few items from their autumn/winter collection modelled by the 2 cutest preschoolers around (even if I do say so myself).

nutmeg

Like many parents we are of course no strangers to shopping in the supermarkets but Morrisions wasn’t one of them until recently simply because we didn’t have one near us. But having spent the past couple of weeks dressing the children in their outfits and of course washing them multiple times (our record is a change of clothes before 8am) I have to say I’m impressed. Not only do they look great they’ve also so far worn really well and most importantly the kids love them!

Henry’s clothes are age 2-3 and he’s a relatively tall 2.5 year old, the shirt fits perfectly but the jeans definitely have some growing room in them and needed turning up. The jeans are a lovely soft material and have an elasticated waist that you can adjust to size. The hoody is just lovely and it’s actually been difficult to prise it off him he likes it so much!

Matilda fell in love with her dress as expected, she put it on over her clothes as soon as I unpacked it. The jumper she’s not so sure on as she finds it a bit itchy so we’ll put it over a long sleeve top once it gets a bit colder. Her clothes are aged 3-4 and the trousers are perfect in length, but big on the waist as all clothes are because she’s such a skinny thing.

Matilda received; blue jeggings, black and red dress, white and blue striped wool jumper, black leggings

Henry received; blue jeans, brown check shirt, grey button up hoody