Protein packed powerhouse breakfast

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I used to eat first thing in the morning, but my breakfast habits have changed in recent years. Now I start my day with a pint of water, shortly followed by a strong freshly brewed coffee. This wakes me up nicely before I start having to deal with the day. I usually get myself showered and dressed before eating, and occasionally I’ll forget to eat altogether. I used to wonder how a person could forget to eat - the idea simply baffled me pre-kids. When I do finally get round to my first meal, I like it to be packed with nutritional goodness. No cheerios for this lady! Sometimes I have boiled eggs, sometimes a banana smoothie with added extras such as spinach and seeds, and occasionally a full English (at it’s best with home made bacon).

This particular creation came about a few weeks ago when I got a craving for kedgeree, but didn’t want the faff of making rice. I basically chucked a load of stuff from the fridge into the wok, and crossed my fingers. The dish was so tasty I’ve made it numerous times since. Apart from being yummy, it fuels me nicely until lunchtime and I can’t say that about many other breakfast dishes if I’m honest. It keeps well in the fridge too, so I’ve been making a bigger batch which means only having to cook it up twice a week. If a big brekkie isn’t your thing, I can highly recommend this as a lunchtime meal with half an avocado on the side :)

Ingredients (for two):
Tbsp oil or butter
Tbsp tamari (or soya sauce)
Tsp turmeric
Handful of broccoli
Handful of cabbage
Small red onion
4 cloves of garlic
Fillet of mackerel (tinned or smoked)
2 free range eggs
Large sprinkling of flaxseed
Large sprinkling of linseed

Method:
- finely chop the onions and garlic, and sautée in the oil/butter for a few mins over a high heat until soft

- add the broccoli, cabbage, tamari and turmeric mixing well. Reduce the heat so it’s med-low and cook for 5-10 minutes until the veg is cooked to your taste

- turn the heat back up to high and add the eggs and mackerel

- cook for a couple more mins until the eggs are done, and remove from the heat

- stir in the seeds, mixing well and serve hot or store in the fridge

Linking up to Honest Mum and A Mummy Too

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A new look for Mummy Tries #MagicMoments

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After seeing the fabulous new look over at And Then The Fun Began, I decided my own blog was well overdue a revamp. Way back at the beginning of Feb I purchased the domain mummytries.com, but got distracted by life and did nothing with it. Time has been passing me by way too fast lately, and I’ve not had a few hours to sit in front of the laptop - until Good Friday that is!

I managed to get the baby down for a nap in his cot at the very same time as the girls were happily playing and didn’t need me. Finally an opportunity to do some blog admin, and not one I was going to pass up! Check it out for yourself, and do let me know what you think :)

Linking up to #MagicMoments over at The Olivers Madhouse

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Everything tastes better with bacon #ThePrompt #PoCoLo

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In 2012 I became obsessed with food – or more to the point – what was in it! After my 4yo was diagnosed with her corn intolerance, I realised what a minefield it would be cutting it out of her diet. She isn’t anaphylactic allergic, but is much more than a little bit sensitive. She reacts in various ways even if she only has a small amount. It’s a bizarre thing to witness and a complete exclusion diet was our only chance of her ever losing the intolerance. Suffice to say I did a lot of experimenting in my kitchen that year!

Corn derived ingredients are everywhere, but are never listed under allergy advice on food labels – hence why it’s such a minefield (check this out for further details). The only way to know with absolute certainty that she isn’t having any is for the whole family to have a corn-free diet, and make almost everything from scratch. There are a handful of pre-made staples that I buy, but in the main they are few and far between. One of these ingredients that crops up way too much for my liking is ascorbic acid, also labelled Vitamin C. It’s an antioxidant, and is found in almost all pre-packed supermarket meat and other fresh products as it makes them last longer. This is another reason that we buy most of our meat in bulk now.

One of her favourite things to eat – bacon – became a big no no. So I watched some online tutorials, quizzed the lovely ladies on the meat stall at my local farmers market about the best cut to use, and learned how to make it myself. I was disheartened at first, as following a recipe to the letter for batch one produced a very salty end result, plus I didn’t cut it thin enough. Batch two was ok, but it was third time lucky for me. After getting the salt/sugar ratio spot on, batch three was sheer food heaven. I sharpened my best kitchen knife and sliced it to perfection too. As you can probably tell I’m rather proud of this little achievement. And yes, everything tastes oh so much better with home made bacon ;-)

Ingredients:
500g piece of free range pork chap
4 tbsp crushed sea salt
4 tbsp unrefined dark muscovado sugar

Method:
- mix the salt and sugar together and put into a clean, sterilised, airtight jar

- wash the meat and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper then place in a large Tupperware box

- sprinkle a teaspoon of the salt and sugar over each side of the meat, then place in the fridge at an angle (as pictured below). This is to ensure the moisture released by the meat collects at the bottom of the box away from it

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- 24 hours later drain the liquid from the bottom, and add another teaspoon of salt and sugar to each side of the meat

- repeat this for the next five days

- on the last day sharpen your big kitchen knife. Cut the very thick rind off the meat, then slice into thin strips (you can cook the rind separately)

- cook for a few mins on either side in a hot pan, and serve with other breakfast delights

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Linking up to Mum Turned Mom and Verilly Victoria Vocalises

20131219-072533.jpg The Prompt

My word this week: Enjoyable #WotW

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I’ve written some very honest posts recently about how dire our situation has been. Less than a month ago life was like the film Groundhog Day – tears and tantrums fuelled by sleep deprivation seemed never ending. As you might imagine I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the Easter holidays!

I don’t want to go jinxing myself, but I’m pleased to report that overall we’ve had a fab time! We had lots of fun last week with hubby off work, and although we’ve missed him, I’ve coped really well with all three kids and we’ve had a lovely time catching up with friends every day.

Our week started with a gorgeous day in the park with one of my besties and her two girls. The photo above says it all: little ones holding hands walking up the path, trailing in the wake of the bigger girls scooting off in the distance. Tuesday and Wednesday we saw two more of my best friends and their kids, and yesterday we did an Easter egg hunt with our NCT crew. We’ve had a few wobbles, night time antics and 5:30am starts, but overall it’s been really nice.

So, my word this week is enjoyable. What’s yours?

Linking up to The Reading Residence

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Easy home made chocolates #DairyFree

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I learned how to make coconut oil based chocolates a while ago, oh happy days. I’ll be honest, they won’t ever be a match for something as decadent as a champagne truffle, but they are fab in their own right. With Easter looming, chocolate is everywhere, and being dairy intolerant means my will power has to be air tight.
Be warned though: the hazelnut butter give these little beauties a Forerer Roche taste, that is very moorish. One is never enough!

Ingredients (for 24):
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp hazelnut butter
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Tsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Method:
- mix all the ingredients together

- spoon into petit fours cases or silicone moulds

- refrigerate for at least four hours before serving

Linking up to Honest Mum and A Mummy Too

recipe-of-the-week tasty tuesday

Easter Holidays: Week One #MagicMoments

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The first week of the holidays have already whizzed by. Having hubby off work was fab - and dare I say it – we had a lovely time! We had a handful of nights that both the girls slept through, and entire days where 4yo behaved herself. The grown ups actually enjoyed the company of the kids, and spending time together didn’t feel like a headache inducing chore. We kept ourselves busy, but not overly so, and even managed to catch up with some friends along the way.

There were several highlights, the first of which was going to Battersea Children’s Zoo. If you get the chance, I’d really recommend going. It’s a fab little place, with lots of small animals to see, as well as a great play park for the kids to run around in. They also had a cabin set up for Easter arts & crafts, where the girls made some cards. A family ticket will set you back £28, which is a fair amount but not a patch on the bigger places. The park itself is huge, with lots to see and do in its own right. A worthy day trip, especially if you’re fairly local.

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Another highlight was a family meal that I made us all – roasted duck Chinese take-away style, served up with pancakes, hoi sin sauce and various bits and pieces. The kids absolutely loved it, and it was a complete win. We don’t get to eat as a family as often as I’d like, but when we do it’s really lovely.

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The other highlight that has to get a mention was yesterday. Hubby’s folks took the girls out for the day, and we went off for lunch and a mooch around Brixton Village. It’s often our default location when we’re presented with free time. There are good vibes running through this place, and a feeling that things are happening. I guess it also reminds us of days gone by, and who we were before becoming mummy & daddy.

I’m flying solo this week, so it’ll be a different experience. Interesting if nothing else! What have you lovely lot been up to?

Linking up #MagicMoments over at The Olivers Madhouse

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Thrifty Bargains

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I have a rather unhealthy obsession with bargains, so imagine my delight when my local Oxfam became the discount shop! I’ve blogged before about my love for their brand new range, and my shop gets all the fab bits and bobs the other shops are unable to sell. Prices are between 20% and 50% of (not off) the original RRP, which means massive bargains to be had. If you don’t have a store nearby you can order through the Oxfam Website – and they are currently having a sale :)

Heres what I picked up on a recent visit…

Pack of ten notecards @ £1 instead of £5.99 – perfect for using as kids birthday cards

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Monkey backpack @ £2 instead of £12.99

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Mini skittles game @ £1 instead of £4.99

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Headband/necklace making kit @ £1 instead of £4.99

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I also picked up this stunning winter coat by the designer Jil Sander, which is in as new condition and would have cost hundreds, for the measly sum of £7.99! Potentially my best charity shop buy ever, and I’ve had some good coups before.

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If I want to stretch my maternity leave out for a whole year, then I need to be as thrifty as I possibly can. Seems fitting to make my #WotW Thrifty. What’s yours?

Linking up The Reading Residence and VeViVo’s

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