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A UK fashion, beauty, food & lifestyle blog. By Victoria, the owner of Lylia Rose!
Becoming more & more passionate about a mainly plant based & wholefoods diet, organic food, natural handmade products and cosmetics.  Dreaming of a chemical free life!

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  1. So this could have gone terribly wrong, but somehow it worked. Expecting our new veg box today, we thought we best use up what we had left over from last week’s box for dinner last night.  Well, this included a fresh fennel and celeriac.  Quite a combination!  We also had carrots, potato and onion.

    I’ve tasted fennel before, but never ever purchased one, especially not a fresh one.  The only thing I could remember is an aniseed flavour.  As for the celeriac, we had never ever purchased one or tried one.  The first thing that sprung to my mind is they sure do look ugly!  Flicking through our cookbook the celeriac seemed to be very versatile.  They can be eaten raw, sliced up in a salad, roasted or even mashed.

    Here’s what celeriac and fennel look like:

    celeriac vegetable root lylia rose blog veggie cottage pie
    By Radim Dudek (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
    A very pretty celeriac!

    fennel bulb veggie cottage pie lylia rose blog
    © Rolf Krahl / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE (via Wikimedia Commons) [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en), CC BY-SA 2.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/de/deed.en) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
    Fennel Bulbs


    Having a bag of Quorn mince in the freezer we decided to experiment and make a veggie cottage pie.  I’d made a really good one a week or so back, but I wasn’t quite so sure this version would make it to our plates.

    Mince Filling
    I used a large wok for this part and heated a dollop of extra virgin olive oil.  I added one thinly sliced fennel (think onion sized slices), one sliced onion and a couple of sliced carrots.  I stirred these for around ten minutes.  I then added loads of peas, about half a large bag of Quorn mince, 600ml(ish) of vegetable gravy/stock, a big squirt of tomato puree, a large splash of balsamic vinegar, black pepper & dried mixed herbs.  Phew!  I mixed this altogether and left to cook for around ten minutes, until it tasted ready to eat.  This was then poured into a large glass dish ready for the mash topping.

    Mash Topping
    I boiled chunks of two peeled potatoes, chunks of one peeled celeriac and a sliced, peeled carrot.  This is best to do first and leave boiling whilst prepping the main filling.  Once super soft and mashable I added a few splashes of whole milk and a couple of handfuls of grated extra mature cheddar.  I mashed these until smooth and spread on top of the Quorn mince mixture.

    Baking Time
    Whilst prepping the above, I had preheated the fan oven to 200 degrees.  I popped the completed dish in for 25 minutes until the mash was a little browned and the mince mixture was bubbling away nicely.

    Time to eat…!

    the most unusual cottage pie ever quorn fennel & celeriac vegetarian p
    Veggie Celeriac & Fennel Cottage Pie; Precooked & Dished Up!

    Ben very bravely took the first mouthful and exclaimed ‘Wow, really tasty’.  I first had to ask if he was joking, but then I tucked in and it was actually delicious!  Bella even had two toddler size portions so it was definitely a winner!

    I was really surprised.  The aniseed taste of the fennel, which I thought may be quite overpowering, was barely noticeable.  Perhaps this taste is stronger when not cooked or dried.  It added a nice texture to the pie and a subtle sweet flavour.  The celeriac was really delicious too.  It was surprisingly similar to potato mash in texture, again with a slightly sweeter flavour.  The whole dish was truly scrumptious.  We had to hold ourselves back from demolishing the entire lot in one sitting!

    I will definitely be using both these ingredients again, especially celeriac.  It would be perfect in a chunky stew, used as a mash side dish instead of potato or even cut into raw slices in a salad.

    Before I go, here are some speedy facts about celeriac and fennel.

    Celeriac

    • Subtle celery taste
    • Contains many antioxidants (protection against disease)
    • Great source of vitamin K (helps blood clot for wound healing & great for good bone health)
    • Contains many essential minerals including iron, copper, calcium and manganese (copper works with iron to form healthy red blood cells, calcium maintains strong bones & manganese helps with formation of bones)

     Fennel

    • You can eat every part of the fennel; bulb, leaves & seeds
    • High in fibre (fab for digestion)
    • Good levels of potassium (great for blood pressure)
    • Great for preventing bad breath & preventing flatulence!


    Thanks for reading,
    Victoria :)

     

  2. So yesterday was the first day of my maternity leave and I felt a little lost!  I was pretty busy all day with home DIY projects, housework and deactivating website stock, however I kept feeling like I’d forgotten something.  I guess it will take a few days to get out of ‘selling, networking & Twitter mode’ and really relax. 

    I usually spend the majority of my evenings and a couple of hours in the day on networking hours, chatting on Twitter, marketing, checking emails, processing orders and updating my website.  I have no personal Facebook or Twitter, so when people see my eyes glued to my phone, I’m actually ‘working’!  It feels very strange to not have to pick my phone up and check for any customer queries, etc, as I’ve done this throughout the day, every day, for the past two years.

    I did suddenly get rather excited when I realised I could watch Dragons Den last night (I’m usually working most of the evening and catch up in the week), only to discover it wasn’t being aired last night.  Doh!

    I did manage to catch up on a couple of things I’ve wanted to do for a while.  I was able to get Bella’s scrapbook up to date as well as the baby’s.  I’m always a month or so behind, so this felt great to get on top of these before the baby arrives (then I’m sure I’ll become weeks behind again!).

    I also got a little crafty!  I wanted somewhere to hang up Bella’s art work, so I scoured Pinterest for some inspiration and went for an empty picture frame idea.  It’s a fab way to display children’s pictures and the ornate frame reminds me of something you’d see in an art gallery. 

    how to display childrens pictures in an ornate frame lylia rose craft diy b
    DIY - Childrens Artwork & Photos Displayed in Ornate Frame

    how to display childrens art pictures in an ornate frame lylia rose craft d
    How it looks in Bella's bedroom

    For now I’ve filled it with family photos as I had been sticking Bella’s pictures into her scrapbook.  I’m sure it will soon quickly be filled with her masterpieces!   I found the frame in The Range and it was originally a mirror.  I removed this and added tiny screws to each side where they can’t be seen.  I weaved some sparkly celebration string around these screws.  I already had the tiny pegs (possibly also from The Range or Hobbycraft or similar).  So simple to make and I think it looks great!

    Bella’s room is very nearly complete now, so I’ll post some before and after pictures soon so you can see what we’ve done.  I plan on doing these posts for the whole of our new house once we have completed all of the ‘doing up’!

    Thanks for reading,

    Victoria :)

  3. Beautiful Red Flower Necklace £12.99 Lylia Rose

     Beautiful Red Flower Necklace £12.99

    Saturday 28th February 2015 is the last day to place your orders at the Lylia Rose accessory shop!

    I will be closing the shop part of the website until 20th November 2015 as I will be taking maternity leave.  It was a tough decision to make as I am a sole trader, but I hope you will all support me in my decision.

    I have a 2 year 9 month old daughter, Bella, and I’m expecting a baby boy on the 13th March.  This will be our family complete as I cannot go through another pregnancy!  I’m never usually ill at all.  I can actually remember the only two times I’ve been sick in the past fifteen years, it’s that rare!  However, when pregnant I suffer terribly with hyperemesis gravidarum and am constantly sick.  It was so bad this time I ended up on a drip in hospital.  The sickness only stopped for me at week 32 this time, far worse than with my daughter.  I had a whole range of other problems this time too, it’s really been one thing after another.  I’m definitely looking forward to getting my usual health back!

    With all that in mind, it’s why I have decided to shut the shop and spend quality time with the newest and final addition to our family.  Bella will also be starting preschool for three full days per week in September, so it is my final chance to spend a lot of time with Bella too before she starts growing up even faster whilst prepping for school next year!

    I absolutely love running the Lylia Rose accessory shop and it’s been one of my main focuses for the past two years.  I’ll be returning on 20th November 2015 in time for Christmas shopping with some lovely new stock.  I hope you’ll pop back to do a spot of your Christmas shopping with me and welcome me back!

    In the meantime, I’ll still be blogging, chatting on Twitter and running giveaways as much as I can.  So do keep in touch!

    Thank you so much for your support,

    Victoria :)