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Halloween Beetroot Couscous

Beetroot CouscousI find couscous a bit bland, but I had some left to use up. (As you know, I never let food go to waste.) I generally liven it up with roasted vegetables, onions, garlic and anything else I can find in the kitchen or garden.

In this case, what I found was beetroot. Yep, still finding vegetables lurking at the back of the garden. And what better time for a blood-red stir fry than Halloween?

Do local business networking events work?

Business cardsLast month, I dipped my toe into the waters of business networking events. A couple of local networking groups had been recommended to me, so I went along in search of fellow Fleet and Farnborough traders.

Coffee and Connect

First up, was Coffee and Connect, which has recently moved to a new venue at The Elvetham, between Fleet and Hartley Wintney.

Slow Cooker Beef Curry

Slow Cooker Beef CurryI love hot curry.

This is the first one I’ve made in the slow cooker, and it was delicious. Slow cooking makes the beef meltingly tender. And the spices included in this recipe make the sauce rich and fiery (I added extra chillies).

The slow cooker is perfect for when you’re out for the day, especially when you know you’ll be too tired to cook when you get back. You’ll come home to a house filled with the aroma of simmering curry or casserole.

Let me tell you a story

Advertorial copywritingI hadn’t written an advertorial for a while, but following a discussion with a client we decided it was the most appropriate device for what they were looking to achieve.

See my last blog post for a case study of that project.

Advertorials combine advertisement with editorial. They allow the advertiser to use more text than perhaps they would normally employ in a conventional advert.

Beetroot Houmous - Gory Gastronomy

Beetroot HoumousThe beetroot growing at the back of the garden looked like it wasn’t going to come to much then had a late summer spurt. Suddenly I have more beetroot than I know what to do with.

As you know, I love hor d’oeuvres, so I thought I’d experiment with beetroot houmous. The recipe I came up with uses elements of a number of different variations I found to make this dish.

The Skint Foodie's Chickpea and Courgette Stew

Chickpea and Courgette StewThis has been a much better year for gardeners after last year’s constant rain.

Slugs and snails demolishing everything in sight is always a problem. I’ve been lucky enough to see a decrease in their activity in my garden this year. (I know that’s not been true for all gardeners; you have my sympathy if these hungry creatures have destroyed all your hard work – they’re a perennial problem.)

Chorizo, New Potato and Haddock One-Pot

Haddock and ChorizoI’ve grown three varieties of tomatoes this year.

‘Gardener’s Delight’ is an easy-to-grow cherry tomato that produces long trusses of sweet, tangy bite-sized fruits.

‘Yellow Stuffer’ is an heirloom variety, and as its name suggests, it’s a medium-large thick-walled variety excellent for stuffing and baking.

And good old ‘Moneymaker’, which produces a heavy crop of medium-sized tomatoes (mine have run wild this year).

Case studies: the advertorial

Graduate RecruitmentFurther to my last blog post, I’ve put together the following case study of a copywriting project based on creating an advertorial for a recruitment agency.

The background

A recruitment agency specialising in jobs for graduates wanted to run an advert in a student magazine that would appeal to the young readership of the publication.

Homemade Houmous

Homemade HoumousBack to my quest to create healthy (but tasty) deli snacks. After my success with Mary Berry’s Sardine Pate, I thought I’d take a crack at houmous.

Most recipes for houmous contain the ingredients below, although a few deviate. The recipe I’ve come up with is a fusion of a few recipes I found online and one from an ancient tome called The Book of Hors D’Oeuvres (more from this 1970s book in future blog posts).

Ingredients

Make a persuasive case

Case studiesA well-written case study tells a story.

It takes a situation, identifies a problem, proposes an action or series of actions. Then it charts the progress of those activities until it can draw a conclusion.

A case study should show the reader that you not only understand their problem - you also have the experience to resolve it.

Case studies can be as long or short as you need them to be. The important thing is that they should be truthful and convey the facts in either a chronological order or in a logical sequence of events.

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