How I Didn’t Mean to Fall for Autumn

Did you like the pun? Yes I feel so basic, every fibre of my being called against doing a fall/autumn related blog because I was still a bit miffed that summer had never really materilised (I cant moan that much I managed to squeeze in a fair bit of holidaying). But then I got that cold whiff of sea air, packed away the “summer clothes” and found myself holding two cinnamon candles in Cara pharmacy. Damn. I’m such a sucker for autumn scented candles.

And so without further ado, read on dear reader for my top tips on looking after yourself as the days get shorter, the sea gets colder and the Netflix binging becomes socially acceptable once more.

Cranking up the Heat

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winter surf essentials – thermos of hot tea and a scarf that’s really a blanket


That’s right folks, gone are the scabby student days where it was socially acceptable to call it “warmth” when you were sitting at 2pm in your duvet, eating a bowl of baked beans and refusing to put on the heating because you wanted to keep the money for a bag of cans.

Your heat is your health and no matter where you live it is an important thing to factor into your budget. Being cold is miserable and damp Irish houses will ruin EVERYTHING you own if you let the mould set in. My top tips (especially if you live in rental accom) are;

If you have storage heaters, dont put one on full blast, have them all on low, same amount of energy, keeps out the damp, better for you!


If you’ve baked something in the oven, dont waste that heat! Leave it open after you’re finished for a cosy kitchen.

Find an energy efficient movable heater so that whatever room you’re in is just a little more toasty.

A few years back my dad got me a throw version of an electric blanket. I was baffled. Turns out it is one of the most amazing inventions in the world! Perfect to wrap around you if you’re studying or working from home!

Vitamin Sea

It may seem completely counterintuitive to hop in the freezing cold sea in winter, but it is actually class! I love surfing in winter. Getting in the sea (with an intelligent amount of neoprene, or a briefer amount of time if you’re in togs) is just amazing both mentally and physically. You get your exercise, your “time outside” and your “difficult thing” all done in one go, and it could also be the best thing that you do all day!

Finn Ripcurl

pretending its not baltic and windy on Bundoran main beach

Super Warming Fabadas Asturianas Style Stew

I absolutely love this stew. It is perfect as the days get shorter and the nights colder. It freezes well so feel free to make a big batch. For the ingredients you can play around yourself adding more of what you love or less of what you dont. I didnt add a whole lot of veg here, but since have tried it with a big of potato, carrots and peas thrown in and it was great!

Ingredients

1 roll of gluten free black pudding – I like Clonakilty

1/2 a round of chorizo – maybe like 20cm or so?

1 onion

a few bay leaves

1 chicken stock cube

1-2 tsp pimenton – sweet paprika powder

1 tin of cannellini beans – but pretty much any will do

1 tin of tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

olive oil to cook

as much water as you like for consistency for me thats about 1-2 cups

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Peal the chorizo and black pudding and roughly slice.

Finely dice the onions and crush the garlic with a crusher or flatten and finely chop.

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Put a big pot or a deep pan on a medium high heat.

Fry the onions in a little olive oil till translucent then fry the garlic with them for a minute or two.

Add the chorizo and pudding and fry off for another few minutes.

Drain the beans and add to the pot.

Add the tinned tomato, the pimenton, the stock cube (you might not need it if you have a really flavourful chorizo), water and bay leaves.

Simmer on low for about a half an hour.

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Remover the bay leaves and season with pepper. You shouldn’t need any salt thanks to the meat and stock.

To Serve

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Here I added a little fresh pickles and some steamed greens but it would also be great if you added potato, peas and carrots during the cooking process for a heartier stew.

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