Hidden spinach & Daddy time

1) Turning frowns upside down Little boys (& I!) aren’t feeling tiptop today. It’s been quite hard with non-stop whining, but we did some creating & had a good time! It changed the mood of our afternoon and stopped us all getting grotty with each other. Think we will do more arty stuff together as we don’t get chance to do it often, & I’d like to encourage them all to have a go being a little more creative!

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2)Daddy time Joby took Rocco out to a DIY store, & they had a good time! Rocco is what we affectionately call a “Daddy Magnet”! He’s not been feeling very great so he’s extra attached today, following him everywhere! They made a fire together & he ate his dinner on his lap!

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3) Rainbow – found another little top that was passed down in Sylvie’s clothes. Forgot I’d had this & it’s not going to fit her much longer either, but it was lovely bright & cheery!

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4) Hidden Spinach Joby made a smoothie for lunch & I persuaded him to let me stick a handful of spinach leaves in. Nobody was keen on the idea… But there was not a drop left! Big success! In his smoothie was a concoction of banana, frozen strawberries, sultanas, horlicks, honey, spinach, natural yoghurt & milk. Sounds odd.. Tasted amazing!

5) Willpower – First time since the 3rd I had felt like I missed popping on Facebook. Even the lure of needing Candy Crush lives was proving strong, but I resisted. Now, if I could apply this willpower to my diet, that would be great!

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Nutella & Peanut Butter cookies

Needed a pick-me-up sweet treat today & so did the children, so I found this recipe over on Simply Gourmet & thought as I had the ingredients these would be quick! These are also gluten free.

You will need:

260g peanut butter – I use smooth
55g white sugar
55g light brown muscovado sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Nutella
20g oatmeal

Preheat oven to 180°c
Line a baking sheet with grease proof baking parchment.

Blend peanut butter and sugars.
Add egg and vanilla. Blend until thoroughly mixed.

Stir in oatmeal.

With clean hands, I rolled the mixture into golf ball sized rounds, and placed on sheet. Pressing very slightly.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool. While still hot, make an indentation in the cookie with your thumb or the back of teaspoon to make a well/dip.

I then used teaspoon to dollop a blob of Nutella in the well/dip, or you could pipe it as the recipe in the link suggests. I am hopeless at this and my Nutella was too hard, so I spooned it in.

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As you can see my youngest son enjoyed them! A real hit with the children!

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A day of decluttering & comfort food

1 Reclaiming space Today was a productive day! My chap emptied an ensuite bathroom that had been previously used as storage for so much STUFF it was practically up the ceiling & you couldn’t open the door properly. Well, it’s all gone! Bags and bags chucked & more to sort & sell/charity. The room is now empty! He ripped out a nasty dusty manky carpet & we are planning on revamping the whole room to make a “grown-up” bathroom! Just need to sell some stuff to get some spare pennies.

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Wish we’d taken a before photo when it was rammed full like something from an episode of hoarders!

2) Multitasking mama – managed to list quite a bit on ebay today whilst feeding & cuddling Sylvie AND we have bids already! Promising start & more dosh hopefully towards laptop/bathroom fund.

3 Bread & Butter pudding Had a wonderful roast dinner made by the man, then to follow a big comfort stodgy pudding that I’d never tried, let alone made before. Was made with two day old tiger bread & a recipe from a book called “Just like my mum used to make”. Not the best photo but was rushing!

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4 Smiles a recurring theme but this little lady can never fail to cheer us up!

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5) bedtime two little boys settled in bed, (it’s been a long day!!), snuggling with the 8yo watching Shrek the third, & looking forward to climbing into my own bed to watch Flight of The Conchords & cosying up with my chap & baby 🙂

Yummy & Quick Fish Pie

Been wanting to make a fish pie for ages & having never actually made my own, I decided today was the day. Craving proper comfort food!

I am a member of a lovely cookery group on Facebook & got some tips on there, whilst loosely following a Jamie Oliver recipe.

Ingredients
Approx. 700g of cod & haddock (I used unsmoked as my eldest doesn’t like it)
1kg potatoes -peeled chopped
1 carrot
2 celery
2 medium onions
Red chilli (I used a frozen chopped cube equivalent to 1tsp)
200g (ish!) Good mature cheddar
Butter
Salt
White & black pepper
Knorr fish stock cube
Grated nutmeg
Fresh parsley
Lemon
Small tub 250ml half-fat creme fraiche
Frozen peas
Fresh or frozen spinach – I defrosted two lumps!
4 free range eggs

Method

Preheat oven 200°c

Peel & cut potatoes, put in pan salted water to boil for mashing. In separate pan, start boiling eggs.

Put butter in saucepan, put in onions & celery, gently softening for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, butter dish & grate in carrot & cheddar, add chopped fish chunks, drizzle with a squeeze of fresh lemon, add tub creme fraiche, pinch of salt, white pepper, chilli, chopped parsley, grated nutmeg, crumble stock cube, mix all together gently. Add frozen peas & dot with spinach. When eggs boiled, cool them in cold water, peel & quarter eggs & place over top.

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When potatoes are done, drain & mash using drizzle of olive oil/butter & season.

Cover pie & sprinkle with additional grated cheddar.

Cook in oven for around 45 minutes or until golden & bubbling.

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We chose to serve ours with extra peas. It was a big hit with our family – it should serve 6. We had two very hungry adults, two hungry older children & two little ones & polished off the whole lot!

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Enjoy! Let me know if you give it a try 🙂

Going bananas

Going bananas – literally! One of those days where nothing seems to go as you imagine…I’m still feeling under the weather, house was descending into chaos; plus the two little boys had unpeeled all the bananas for fun, not to eat…. so we made a big smoothie! It always helps to ease a potentially grumpy situation as they love making them and it seems to help with afternoon blood sugar slumps.

Banana, Oatmeal & Peanut butter smoothie

You will need:
We used 3 large ripe bananas
Drizzle of Maple syrup
Handful of organic oatmeal
One large tub 500ml Low fat natural yoghurt
Large splosh milk
Handful of ice cubes
Tablespoon of smooth peanut butter

Blitz like mad and drink!

Went down a treat with the little ones – you can add frozen berries too which we often do.

This fills a large blender so should provide a good few servings. We had loads!!

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Carrot & Apple muffins

After yesterday’s post I was disappointed to receive another text from school telling me school was open after all. I’ve not been feeling well over the weekend so selfishly had been looking forward to a lazy day with my children.

So, after the school run this morning, I came home and decided to make some muffins to cheer the boys up when I pick them up later!

I adapted a recipe from Abel & Cole’s Veg Box book for Kiwi muffins…

Ingredients

Dry
2 mugs plain or wholemeal flour
1 mug light brown sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice

Wet
1 large egg
3/4 mug milk
2 tbsp olive or groundnut oil

Rest
1 large carrot finely grated
1 apple finely grated
Handful of sultanas
Golden caster sugar & cinnamon for sprinkling

Muffin cases (I used silicon)

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C(200° fan)/gas mark 7.

Combine all the dry ingredients in one large mixing bowl. Combine wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients & mix gently. (I added a splash more milk as I was going as it was quite a heavy mixture, see how you go!)

Add the grated apple, carrot & sultanas and gently fold through the mixture.

Spoon mixture in cases, I filled mine up about 3/4.

Sprinkle over sugar & perhaps extra cinnamon & bake in oven for about 25 minutes.

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Leave to cool on rack, or if you are like me, get kettle on, sit down for five & get taste testing! 😉

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