February, the month of love (and pancakes- did I mention I was excited about the pancakes?) has kinda swept me up in her ardour. As a previous detractor of this holiday, I find this a little hard to admit too, but I can't help it, I am loved up! My cuppeth overflows with.. pregnancy hormones.
Dave and I have both been balancing finishing off freelance work, preparing for the baby, and trying to rest and relax as much as possible. But sometimes it’s been a little intense, shall we say, navigating all that, plus all the strong feelings and hormones in this house. Frankie-Rose is well aware of the seismic change happening to the foundations of our family and is processing accordingly, I have enough hormones pumping around me to make the strangers walking past my house weep, and Dave has been processing his own fatherhood and work stuff too.
But he has consistently loved and affirmed me, relented to countless requests to massage my back and swollen elephant feet, painted my nails, put my socks on and fetched snacks and tea on repeat and I am so incredibly grateful to be on this preggo and parenthood journey with him.
Actual Valentines this year will involve me either being really very pregnant indeed or cocooned within the newborn phase, but I wanted the opportunity to celebrate him, and us, and do something other than talk work and baby stuff so I had a lot of fun cooking and styling up a meal for him at home, a little early.
It’s unlikely that I’ll be throwing any dinner parties for a while so I relished adding a few flourishes to the table just for the two of us. I hung my rose pink garland which will stay on the wall throughout the month of February. it feels sufficiently festive for the month of love, yes?! (I dyed the fabric with avocado stones, see the tutorial on Curate and Display here) I tied the napkins using a couple of strands from the garland to tie in the pink colour, and I also added the porcelain flowers, some pink roses in my Lucy Rutter jugs and some candles in little vintage etched glass holders.
As for food, I created a Valentine's Day recipe as part of Denby's 'Invention Test' challenge. It was a simple one pot affair, in my new cast iron pot from Denby. It heats up fast on any heat source, It’s pretty enough to be used on the table (I love the shallow shape of it) and it can be put in the dishwasher afterwards too. I am seriously sold, guys. Recipe at the end of the post.
I also made my trusty brownies (recipe here), cut them in a heart shape and served them with whipped coconut cream and stewed berries, on some Beautiful Denby nesting bowls .
We haven't been out for dinner just the two of us in a long time, but this felt sufficiently akin to it. The food was toothsome, the wine satisfying (preggo rations over here) and the company was pretty sweet too. A pretty perfect Valentines evening, i'd say.
A one pot Chickpea, Chicken and Beetroot curry perfect for Valentines Day
- Tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of Tikka Masala spice paste (I bought mine but you can make it should you have more patience in the kitchen than I, Jamie Oliver has a great recipe here )
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered (no need to dice as it gets blended into a curry paste)
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled (what can i say, I'm a garlic lover! Put less in if you're not a fan!)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Handful of dried curry leaves
- 1 can chickpeas
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 chicken thighs, skin removed
- 3 medium beetroot, peeled and cubed
- Fresh chillies and/or fresh coriander
- Rice/poppadums/chapati as you prefer
- Blend the spice paste, onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor so it looks paste like. Set aside.
- Heat the coconut oil
- Add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick and curry leaves to the hot oil and stir until the seeds start to pop.
- Then add the curry paste from the blender and fry for a around 10 mins, until fragrant. Add a splash of water if it gets dry.
- Add chicken, beetroot and coconut milk to the pan, stir occasionally and cook for about 1.5 to 2 hrs or until reduced, thickened and tasting divine.
- Scatter fresh chillies and coriander on top, add a squirt of lime juice and serve with rice, chapati's and/or poppadums.
For a chance to win some Denby product, head to @DenbyPottery on Instagram or Facebook and take part in the 'Invention Test' by sharing your one-pot recipe ideas using #DenbyCastIron and #DenbyOvenware
This post is in collaboration with Denby.