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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

One Pot Cooking: Broth

recipe, one pot brothRecently we have been enjoying a broth that my husband has been making.  His mum gave him the recipe and he has spent a couple of weeks honing and perfecting it.  It is a one pot broth that can be made on the stove or in the slow cooker.

We have this sitting in the pan for a couple of days, reheating it when hungry.  It's a great lunch-time meal or evening supper warmer with plenty of crusty bread.

We use shin beef but we are going to try this will all different types of meat.  Of course, the veggie version will just omit the meat!

Here's the recipe, with my usual style of measuring out ingredients (i.e. some, a bit, a handful).  This method makes a really large pot (casserole pot or slow cooker size) and is super-easy for beginners and is idiot-proof for people who profess not to be able to cook very well!


  • 1lb of shin beef (or left-over meat from your Sunday roast)
  • 2 packs of vegetable pot herbs/broth base (we buy ours from the local market).  Make sure they include a sprig of thyme
  • 2 onions, finely chopped (see bottom of page for my fantastic onion cutting tip)
  • a mug full of lentils
  • a mug full of barley
  • 3 vegetable stock cubes
  • enough water to cover the ingredients by about an inch


  1. Finely shred the meat and place all the ingredients into a large cooking pot, crumbling the stock cubes into the water
  2. Bring the pot to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through
  3. Add more water if required and allow to warm through

bowl of broth


  • Store on the stove in the pot with an airtight lid in place
  • Reheat when needed
  • If using a slow cooker for this recipe, I suggest cooking on 'high' for 2 hours then 'low' for 4 hours or just leave overnight on 'low'

The Never Fail, No Tears, Onion Cutting Method

  • Chop the pointy bit of the onion off
  • Place the now-flat part of the onion face down and cut the onion in half through the root (the onion should hold together throughout the cutting process because the root is in place)
  • Peel the outer layer/skin off the onion
  • Place the flat part of the onion on your chopping board
  • Hold the onion at the root end to steady it, gripping around it with all your fingers and thumb
  • Cut through the onion horizontally once or twice towards the root (so the blade is flat)
  • Slice down the onion four or five times keeping the root intact (with the point of the knife towards the root)
  • Slice acrosss the onion working towards the root (as you would normally slice)
  • Throw the root away
  • You now have a perfectly sliced and diced onion

Let me know how you get on and I'd love to hear how you adapt this recipe to suit your family.

This is linked to Slow Cooker Sunday and Recipe of the Week