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A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2013

I have got so crap at looking at the hundreds of other pics in this linky, something I plan to change as I attempt to get myself in a little bit of order, I am completely in awe of all the other mum bloggers out there who manage to post to a schedule…how the hell do they do it, do they have a time machine and as for your working mums…WTF you amaze me.

Anyway, here are my girls this week.

Bites 32 52

I love how pensive she looks in this picture, as if she is trying to work out how to get to that top rack!

Bean 32 52

Stones and water, wherever they are my girl won’t be far away!

Tasty Thursday : Curry from scratch

I love curries.  There I said it, it’s not a secret anymore.  If like me you have been watching the amazing Rick Steins “India” series on the beeb recently you may well have also been a little curry obsessed.  But, but I do have a dirty curry secret, I have never made one off the bat no recipe I was always too scared to just wing it.  My Dad makes amazing curries from scratch and in all my life I have never seen him use a recipe for a curry and my Father in Law is another amazing cook owing to a job that meant a lot of travel so hopefully they will be proud of me!

 

Anyway, a few words before I launch into the recipe; I always use chicken thighs if I am doing a chicken curry, they are sweeter, don’t dry out as much as breast and they are higher in protein so I can rest safe in the knowledge that it is extra good for my girls, who are both big curry fans.  I have put the Rick Stein book on my birthday wish list so lets hope it appears!

So here we go:

  • 4 skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 sweet potato, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1/2 Green pepper, cut into bite sized chunks
  • Small red onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Good grating of ginger ( I tend to freeze mine on purchase and break off / grate what I need as I go…no need to peel then!)
  • Can chickpeas
  • Can tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 3 – 4 mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • Heaped teaspoon ground coriander
  • Heaped teaspoon ground cumin
  • Heaped teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Heat you oil (veg / sunflower not olive oil) in a big frying pan and brown your chicken (I tend to coat mine in a bit of flour first but feel free to leave this step out) remove and let it rest on a plate. Add your onions, ginger and garlic.  Keep it moving so not to burn and once it gets that smell that only onions frying have just before they get soft add in your spices (the seeds might POP), again keep it moving so not to burn anything and getting that horrid acrid smell.  When it does smell delicious and spicy add your chicken back in along with the potato, pepper and mushroom and give it a few minutes to colour up a bit before adding in your drained chickpeas and the tomatoes.  Let it simmer with the lid on for the first 15 minutes then turn up the heat with the lid off for the last 5 – 7 minutes to let it thicken up.

Curry

Tada…fancy plating ain’t my thing unfortunatley

 

Serve with rice, naan bread or rotis, lime pickle (why is this SO good?!) and chutney.  I was really pleased with this and as it makes such a big quantity hubby took it to work for lunch and received lots of looks and sniffs from two of his Indian colleagues, they were very impressed with my efforts – I was so chuffed you can’t believe!

Anyway the moral is, step away from the pastes and jars of sauce and give it a go I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  And thanks to Steph @ Imcountingufoz for the virtual kick up the arse I needed, there’s no going back now.

The week that was instagrammed : Week 5

Phew, this week has been a BUSY one. Thursday night I actually went to bed at 9pm and my husband reliably informs me that he came to see if I wanted tea at 9.15pm and I was asleep, now that is living the dream right there!

Linkign up with Hannah

Linking up with Hannah

Sunday

After a late night Hog Roastin’ we were ready for a chilled out day, we headed to the ford (river crossing) down the road from us, had a nice stroll nosing at all the über houses and a play in the park.  I deposited the hubby and children at home before picking up my friend for a quick mooch about our local antique / second-hand place,a tea and cake and for once a uninterrupted child free chat! Then it was home, in the car and off to a local pub we hadn’t tried for an early dinner and then a good run about in the pub garden for the girls – they loved it, although I am worried Bean is something of a ring leader after she managed to gather all of the kids there into a sports day style racing game which had us and Bites in hysterics.

Monday

As usual my lovely Mum watched the girls for a few hours for me, she isn’t 100% at the minute but insisted on having them as she misses them otherwise, typical Nanny! So I made her lovely egg mayo rolls for lunch as a thank you, then it was home and back to wrecking the front room and garden…business as usual then.

Tuesday

Hello rain!  Our planned morning stroll was cancelled in favour of cookie making with our besties…sprinkle central is all I can say, great fun was had by all. Lunch followed by a trip to good ol’ Sainsbos where I treated my girls to a puzzle and dinosaur coloring book (Bean) and Besty the Bee (chosen by Bean for BItes). Home and back to wrecking the house, Beans room this time.  Great fun, I could watch the for hours they interact in such a lovely, funny and sometimes a bit to boisterous!

Wednesday

My beautiful but feisty Nan of 82 came down to visit with her equally beautiful and feisty sister (Great Aunt @ 80) we had a lovely morning and lunch time walk into the woods, they left early to miss the traffic bless them…and no doubt bicker all the way home.  I made Lorraine Pascals sweet and sour balls for dinner and I cannot say who loved them more, me, Hubby, Bean or Bites who ate THREE aswell as rice and sauce followed by pudding. Youch.

I also submitted a picture to Clemmie @ GasandAir blog as she was writing a post on out Post Partum Tummies, something we rarely if ever mention let alone show, but after the disgraceful behaviour of a certain magazine over Kate, Duchess of Cambridge’s appearance 26 hours post baby I felt compelled to shake my stick in their direction – the post is now up so please read it, spread the word, and comment…we need to stop this degradation of women and our figures at all times in our lives. (I have written about how cross the media & toy manufactures annoy me before…)

Thursday

Not sure what I was playing at today as I decided to go on a mission…Food Shopping, new sunglass shopping (I lost my beloved but ancient D&G’s) home for lunch then back out to get Bites weighed (18lbs 7oz) Park, met friends hunted for new fairy doors, dragged ourselves to the village shop for ice cream – BIG mistake sharing with Bites, it looked like she had a beard by the end of it and I was wearing more of it than I ended up eating. Back to the car, dinner, bath and bed for the babes…instead of just chilling out I went on a mexican food mission and cooked up a little feast, and then passed out.

Friday

Bit more work for me, then home to address the issue of my extremely messy house and huge pile of clean washing to be sorted whilst the girls slept, naturally they had other ideas and instead of doing it around them i thought ‘Stuff it, it can wait a few more hours I NEVER get to do fun stuff just me and them’ so we hot footed it to Wellington Country Park for a stroll to find the Dinosaurs, look for ducks and had an early tea. Lush.

Saturday

No baby sitter means Hubby is Hog Roastin’ solo tonight.  Chilled out day really, bit of housework, bit of family play time, Beans first hair trim by a pro (yes, i butchered her fringe once and never again) and a solo trip for me to a Nearly New sale for a mooch…picked up a few bits and bobs. Ready to recharge now for the next week…

Thanks again to Hannah for this fab linky!

The week that was Instagrammed : Week 4

Week 4…here we go!

Sunday

We were out early doors as usual to run a few errands…but no where was open so we stopped for coffees, Bean was very hyper and ended up dancing around the deserted shop singing along to the Stereophonics Have a nice day (girls got taste). From there we went to visit my BIL and pick up my Husbands cousin who was visiting briefly from Scotland.

Monday

Work in the morning, followed by lots of playing that mainly involved Bites climbing inside the doll’s house and me and Bean laughing, a lot. My Dad and his wife also came for dinner and we were up late enjoying the garden and good company.

Tuesday

There is always one day in my week where I have NO IDEA what we did…today was that day!

Wednesday

Hmmmm…apparantly two days lost forever this week.  I think however it was mainly spent stopping Bites from pulling various wires around the house out of sockets etc. Fun times,

Thursday

Shopping trip and meeting Daddy for lunch at his fancy business park that has been all kitted out with lovely purple decks chairs for summer. Making my first recipe-less curry and admiring the flowers bringing my garden to life amongst all the dead grass!

Friday

Hanging out at my Mum’s always means fun for the girls, and while they sleep once we are back home I can get my chores sorted as I knew we had a BUSY weekend.

Saturday

My family descended for an impromptu lunch, which was lovely, then left leaving food (thankfully) and mess…grr!  Then it was out to work, cooking a Hog Roast for an Officers Summer Ball, which they decided to hold as a festival.  Despite the rain, it was an incredible event and after we had packed up the CO invited us to enjoy the music and everything else that was on offer – who are we to refuse!! It was so much fun, and the band at the event were EPIC, seriously cannot fault them or the mix of music, if you have an event and need a band look them up – The Treasury.

 

Linking up as usual with the lovely Hannah! (check her out in her gorgeous selfie…envious of that outfit)

 

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A portrait of my children once a week, every week in 2013

Wow, my girls are growing so fast I’m not sure I am ready to let go.  The potty training is going so well, my Bean is a bit of a camel though holding her wee in for longer than I can! As for Bites to say she loves her newly acquired skill of crawling is an understatement, she giggles away to herself and she is so FAST.  Also, this week the bond between them is getting so tight, they love to play together with Bean asking most afternoons now if we can all go and play in her room together – most days are started with these two questions “Mummy, can I have breakfast now? Where’s Bites” I love it so much…and I have been greedy this week and picked two of each of them.

Tasty Thursday : Mexican style Jambalaya

You know when you have something in your fridge that needs to be used and your lacking ANY inspiration?  Well, this is where this dish was born from.

The delicious chicken I roasted needed to be used and it was definitely not chicken noodle soup weather, but weirdly I was craving a bit of stodge. So after having a rummage to find out what else needed to be used, this is the random creation that is Mexican Style jambalaya!

One pot mexican style jambalaya

I do however need to apologise as the recipe itself is also a bit on the random / vague side…

  • One courgette diced
  • Cup of rice
  • 2 Tablespoon chipotle chili paste
  •  Tinned tomatoes
  • Boiled water (enough to cover rice by about two cm)
  • 2/3 Sliced spring onions
  • Tin of kidney beans, drained
  • Cooked & shredded chicken
  • Grated cheese & sour cream to serve

What it lacks in specific quantities it makes up for in pack a punch flavour and ease.

Heat some oil and fry your courgettes for a few minutes til they soften, add the rice and stir so it gets nicely coated, add the tinned toms, water and stock cube/powder if you have to hand, once simmering add the 1st spoonful of paste.  Let it simmer, lid on until the rice is almost done then add the rest of the paste and the kidney beans and chicken.  Once it all heated few, serve it up and add your toppings – spring onions, cheese and soured cream. Yum. Next time, I will use chorizo too adding instead of oil and cooking with the courgette. mmmmm. I think it would translate to veggie easily too, no meat, mixed peppers and mixed beans, uber yum.

 

Mexican style jambalaya