Recipe Of The Week – Tomato and Basil Sauce

Ingredients –

1 tbsp olive oil,

1 garlic glove, crushed,

400g chopped tomatoes,

1 tbsp vegetable stock powder or 1/2 low salt stock cube,

1 tbsp tomato puree,

1 tsp sugar,

Handful of basil leaves,

Method – 

  1. Heat the oil in the pan, add the garlic, then gently fry for 1 minute.

  2. Tip in all the other ingredients, except the basil, then bring to the boil.

  3. Reduce the heat then simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. To finish, tear the basil leaves, then stir into the sauce.

  5. Serve with whatever pasta you choose or freeze for an easy tea!

Serves 4

Recipe Of The Week – Sweet Potato Dhal With Curried Vegetables

Ingredients – 

For the Dhal – 

  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil,

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped,

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced,

  • 1 tbsp medium curry powder,

  • 200g dried split red lentils,

  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks,

  • 2 tbsp lime (or lemon) juice plus lime wedges, to serve,

  • 100g full-fat natural bio yoghurt,

  • coriander, to serve,

For the curried vegetables – 

  • 100g green beans, trimmed and cut into short lengths

  • 250g cauliflower, cut into small florets,

  • 2 medium carrots, sliced,

  • 1 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil,

  • 1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges,

  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced,

  • 1 tsp medium curry powder,

  • 200g ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped,

  • 1 long green chilli, finely sliced (deseeded if you don’t like it too hot),

Method – 

  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onion over a low heat for 10 mins, stirring regularly, until softened and very lightly browned – add the garlic for the final min. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 30 secs more.

  2. Add the lentils, 1 tsp flaked sea salt and 1 litre of water. Stir in the sweet potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the lentils for 50 mins or until the dhal is thick, stirring regularly. Add a splash of water if the dhal thickens too much. Stir in the lime or lemon juice and season to taste.

  3. While the dhal is cooking, make the curried vegetables. Half-fill a medium non-stick pan with water and bring to the boil. Add the beans, cauliflower and carrots, and return to the boil. Cook for 4 mins, then drain.

  4. Return the pan to the heat and add the oil and onion. Cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 mins or until the onion is lightly browned, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more until softened. Stir in the curry powder and cook for a few secs, stirring.

  5. Add the tomatoes, green chilli according to taste and 200ml cold water. Cook for 5 mins or until the tomatoes are well softened, stirring regularly. Stir in the blanched vegetables and cook for 4-5 mins or until hot throughout. Season with black pepper.

  6. Divide the dhal between four deep bowls and top with the curried vegetables. Serve with the yogurt, coriander and lime wedges for squeezing over.

Serves 4

Happy World Book Day

It is lovely to see all our nursery children dressed up as different book characters today.

We have been reading some of their favourite books from home which all of the children are enjoying.

Reading is vital to the growth of a child’s imagination and such an important part of growing up.

Let us all spend some time appreciating our most loved books today and encourage our children to do them same.

Celebrate The Women In Your Life

On what is International Women’s Day, we would like to celebrate our very own superwoman – Maureen Crandles.

Maureen has been running Early Days Nurseries for nearly 20 years and is the reason we continue to welcome new children day after day.

Maureen is a teacher first and a businesswomen second, she has had thousands of children in her care and at 72, shows no signs of slowing down!

Outside of Early Days, Maureen is also a wife, mum, granny, sister and a friend and everyone who knows her will agree on what a wonderful woman she truly is.

Who will you be celebrating today?

Recipe Of The Week – Pancakes Of Course!

Ingredients –

100g plain flour,

2 large eggs,

300ml milk,

1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil, plus a little extra for frying

Method – 

    1. Put flour, eggs, milk, sunflower or vegetable oil and a pinch of salt into a bowl or large jug, then whisk to a smooth batter.

    2. Set aside for 30 mins to rest if you have time, or start cooking straight away.

    3. Set a medium frying pan over a medium heat and carefully wipe it with some oiled kitchen paper.

    4. When hot, cook your pancakes for 1 min on each side until golden, keeping them warm in a low oven as you go.

    5. Serve with whatever delicious accompaniments you chose!

Makes 12

World’s Biggest Coffee Morning

We are so excited to announce that Melville Street beat last year’s total and raised a fantastic £560 for McMillan Cancer Support.

We would like to say a big thank you to all parents, staff and children who baked especially for the event.

We even had grandparents and staff’s families baking yummy goodies to help out.

The tombola proved to be a success too so well done to any winners.

A special thank you also has to go to Steph for organising the whole morning.

Good work all round!

Were You Born To Teach?

We are currently recruiting a qualified teacher to join our pre-school teaching team.

Each of our 4 pre-school nurseries employ a qualified teacher, and these teachers work closely together to deliver the highest quality of teaching and to share best practice.

As a teacher with us you will expected to:

  1. Have a good working knowledge of Curriculum for Excellence, Building the Ambition, How Good is our Early Learning, Child at the Centre and Pre-birth to 3

  2. Lead the learning and teaching in the room

  3. Provide a high standard of physical, emotional, social, intellectual and aesthetic education

  4. Ensure our children have fun whilst learning in a safe and caring environment

You will be working 4 days a week, and will enjoy a competitive salary, over 8 weeks holiday a year and on-going support and career development from our dedicated team of managers.


  1. GTC Qualified

  2. Experience of working in a nursery, school or other childcare setting

  3. Enthusiastic, motivated and caring attitude

This post is considered regulated work with children and/or protected adults, under the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007. You will be required to join the PVG Scheme.

If you are interested in this opportunity and feel that you have the required skills and experience, please submit an up-to-date CV to