Category Archives: Cooking

10 on Tuesday 21st February

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1. Seriously? It’s February 21st? Thanks goodness it’s a leap year because this 2012 lark is just flying by and we need all the extra days we can get! I swear they just went back to school after Christmas like yesterday but no, we’ve had half term already!

2. Our new porch is still not finished. The walls and door are up and the roof is getting their but it’s soooo slooooow! Our roofer lives next door, he makes great roofs, he makes them slooooowly! Oh well at least I have a dry dumping ground for the buggy, shoes and coats.

3. We have all been poorly again this week, hubby has the kind of flu symptoms that require play station 3 therapy (!) 3yr old is recovering from a tummy bug, the 1yr old is still teething (will it ever end! There should be a grown up tooth fairy to reward adults when their children get new teeth!) and I still have a sore throat which has never left since I had flu over a month ago!

4. In happier news, we have a holiday booked and I am so excited, if you like holidaying in this country then I cannot recommend south Devon highly enough, we are returning to Ladram Bay, my husband has holidayed their since he was a child and our own kids think its heaven on earth! Having a holiday booked is essential to my state of mind, I cling onto having something to look forward to!

5. The children’s birthday party is coming together, invitations have gone out to preschool friends today, husband has announced the party bag budget and I’ve been Pinteresting cake ideas! If you aren’t on Pinterest yet you must try it it’s sooooo addictive!

6. I need to find time to write a business plan, a proper one, not an overgrown to-do list! My photography business is steadily building up, much to my delight, but I have so many ideas and they will each take planning and preparation, if only I had a spare week to get it all written out properly?

7. Yesterday I ate utter rubbish ALL day! I must be premenstrual or something because I ate more cake, pastry and chocolate than any human reasonable should, I just couldn’t stop, a total carb craving all day! I am proud to say that I have NEVER been on a diet in my life and I am not about to start now but bloody hell do I need to stop and think about the sheer volume of junk I consume followed by days of not having time for breakfast or lunch, it’s just not sustainable!

8. I have felt the warmth of the sun on my back he last few days! Isn’t it amazing how that feeling is like an injection of endorphins or whatever those feel good critters inside us are called! Sunshine makes me happy. I may have to move our little family to warmer lands! Great that the sun stays up longer though, blue skies and sunshine at 5:15pm yesterday so not sure why all the cars felt the need to have their lights on?

9. The 3yr old is getting interested in writing, she loves to copy letters and words and trace dots so I found a dotty font on the computer and have printed a load of sheets with words and sentences for her, it got me thinking though what level they are supposed to be at when they start school? She starts in September and will be 4 and a half by then, hopefully writing her name and some other words confidently… Is that good enough… Is that something they’d rather we didn’t bother teaching them yet? She has a hunger for learning!

10. I need To find a hairstyle that actually suits me and doesn’t require hours of styling, I had planned on a trip to the salon yesterday but time ran away with me again and I didn’t get round to it, which is probably a good thing as I had planned to ask for ‘something shaggy, that looks ok if I just flop out of bed and out the door!’ my standards have slipped way too far… I need to put a little glamour back in my life…. Lip gloss and red knickers just aren’t enough!

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Why does everyone else seem to cope with everything else 100% better than I do?

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I’m hiding in my bedroom as I write this, it follows another dismal mealtime where the kids refused pretty much everything. Having tried the gourmet freshly made with lovely produce approach already this week I thought I’d give Heinz a go at my daughters request… Sausages and spaghetti! I’m sure Italians all over the world cringe at the description and pigs throughout the farming industry laugh at the claim to be a sausage!

I’ve long thought that pretty much all the weaning advice we get these days is ridiculously flawed! Introducing a wide range of new tastes and textures is supposed to make for a great and varied palate as they grow… Well that’s tosh! Mine we anything during weaning but have become fussy little trouble makers since learning the words ‘no’ and ‘more’ and ‘dip dip’.

I’m wondering if as bland a diet as nutrition would allow would not be better until they are at least 2 and then new flavours and textures might be thrill rather than a reminder that they are not having their favourite homemade spaghetti bolognese again tonight because they have already had it 3 times this week!

I have tried involving the children in cooking, telling them they get what they are given, smaller portions, larger portions, different plates, new cutlery, delicious puddings for empty plates, choo choo’s for delivering mouthfuls, songs and stories to keep them motivated, but nothing works, not nagging, moaning, shouting, crying or banging my head on the table.

The other weekend when we had a rare opportunity to all eat a meal together as a family my daughter did something incredibly annoying… “eat up Mummy, the carrots will help you to see in the dark!….. Finish your potatoes Mummy, come on I haven’t got all day!…. Make sure your plate is clear or you won’t get any pudding Mummy!”…. It was the single most annoying thing ever! Having someone watch and scrutinise every mouthful, to be constantly demanding I move onto the next one, to be in my face at what should have been enjoyable family time!

So… I’ve not cracked it yet but I’m trying to remember 3 really important things:
1. They’ll l eat when they’re hungry
2. They’re never going to like everything… I don’t.
3. Being moaned at to eat is really, really, really pointless…. And annoying!

As always tips from the wisest amongst you are welcomed!

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Slow Cooker Slump…and other failings in the kitchen.

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I bought a slow cooker in the January sales and for a fortnight I couldn’t get enough of it but a dreadful dose of flu and some lazy takeaway days and I’m back where I began… A culinary failure!

I want to be great in the kitchen and I want my children to eat good healthy food! I’m lucky that they will guzzle fresh fruit and vegetables without much persuasion and that they enjoy knowing where their food comes from as a result of our allotment but it’s the actual cooking I suck at!

It wasn’t till I met my husband that I really understood that great cooking is actually a skill much like being able to paint, or write or sing or dance. It takes talent and skill and some inbuilt ability that you just can’t magic up from nowhere. So give me some paints or a camera or a song and I’ll do you proud but I do NOT have a talent for cooking!

I CAN cook a roast, make a casserole, bake a cake or spaghetti bolognese but what I lack is that skilful palate to season correctly, choose the write herbs and spices and the quantities of each… My husband on the other hand oozes with these skills. He makes the most delicious meals and try though he might I know he finds my cooking bland, tasteless and a far cry from the enjoyable experience of his own meals!

The trouble is that my husband works full time and I should be preparing the meals, my repertoire is shamefully limited and my dependency on the freezer embarrassing! So I am going to make a promise to myself to try and master a new recipe or meal each month ( yes I know I should be saying each week but let’s be realistic!). I have all the Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith and Mrs Beetons books that anyone could possible need along with several others, so of I go to choose the first challenge…. Any suggestions?

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