Quorn Bolognese and black hair dye


Soft black specifically, which is really more of a dark, dusky brown.  It’s quite a change from the pale blonde, but life is about change, n’est pas?

To celebrate Valentines Day and a change of image, I made Spaghetti Bolognese, and decided it was time to share this old Crow House favourite.  We like our food colourful in this house, and this recipe is a prime example!  This serves tree of us with a generous helping of leftovers for baked potatoes and such the next day.

Edit: Quorn Vegan mince or Tesco’s own vegetarian mince are great for making this recipe Vegan. Personally,  I prefer the Tesco mince.



1 300g bag of frozen Quorn mice (or 75g of dry Soya Mince)

1 carton (500g) of Herb Passata

1 carton (380g) of Red Kidney Beans, drained

1 Red Onion

3 or 4 cloves of Garlic

3tbs of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

a dash of (vegetarian) Worcester Sauce

a sprinkle of cajun spice (paprika will do)

2 tsps of Sundried Tomato Paste

65g of green beans

70g of Sweetcorn

100g of coloured, diced peppers

2 roughly chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 tsps of Oregano

1 1/2 tsps of basil

1 tsp of swiss boullion

100 of dry pasta per person



Prepare pasta as per the instructions on the packet.

Chop onions, garlic, pepper, tomato and green beans.  Heat wok or large frying pan to a medium heat and add onions, worcester sauce and salt.  Cook until tender – approximately 4 mins.  Add Quorn Mince, fresh tomato, garlic, sweetcorn, kidney beans and green beans and turn up heat slightly.  Mix well and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until the Quorn mince is fully thawed.  Add peppers, herbs, spices, tomato paste, stock  and pasatta then cook for a further 8 minutes.



Spoon sauce on top of spaghetti, sprinkle with cheese and parmesan.  We use a vegan parmesan because ordinary parmesan isn’t actually vegetarian!  Another thing we do with the left overs is to add chilli sauce and serve it up hot with tortilla chips.  Makes a very tasty, quick lunch!





Seeds and Secret Parks


The Crows patrol around the fringes of the Secret Park, looking for food. The Park forms the dark, wild heart of our village, between the main street and back street.  Earlier, Iain saw a Red Kite take advantage of their absence, raiding the nests for potential eggs.

I bought a ‘fat tray’ with nuts and put it on the top of the bird table.  Watched a Hoodie Crow (Jackdaw) fly in and peck it quickly.  Wary of dogs.

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Planted seeds.  Winter may be all around, but Spring sleeps in the soil, waiting to awaken.  Warmth, water, sun and seeds.  Life Alchemy.

Florentines and a day of sunshine.


I spent a goodly portion of the morning in the conservatory with  the cats, glutting on the sunshine for every second it lasts.  Our new £5 sofa gave it’s money’s worth today.

Jones soaks up the sunshine

Jones soaks up the sunshine

Afterwards, I made Chocolate Florentines following the recipe on the back of a Tesco’s luxury fruit mix.  I switched their flour for spelt, of course, and only had chopped nuts instead of hazelnuts   The results were interesting, made more so by a failure on my part to read the instructions properly, and I ended up with a thin toffee, fruit and nut crisp to pour my melted chocolate on.  Taste wise, they’ve gone down well with Crow House Kitchen patrons thus far!


Chocolate Floretines