30 Jul 2014

Love last week #8

Some happy from last week.
1// smiley selfies with my boys - cuddles are awesome. 2// we went to pick your own farm and the boys had so much fun! Loads of raspberries. 3// a place where he is happy - his highchair. loves his food this boy. 4// I finished clue1 form the Halloween town sampler. 5// a survived a trip to London with both boys. we went on tram tube car bus - and visited two museums. phew. 6// M has been attending Kung Fu classes and this week his concentration, and listening was greatly improved!

28 Jul 2014

Cook Book Addict : A Salad for all Seasons

I love cookbooks and have stacks. I will be getting some more reviews up and running. (I love all sorts of cookbooks so they will be varied) and to kick it all off we have.....

 A Salad for all Seasons by Harry Eastwood.

First thing off this book is beautiful full of stunning food photography - pretty pictures definitely inspire me to get cooking. Every recipe in the book is accompanied with a full page gorgeous photo with some amazing styling. It feels lovely too - a nice weight to the book, hardback and just looks pretty. 

And well the salads in this book are not your run of the mill mixed salad leaves plonked on the plate as a side. These salads are presented as plates of food, full on dinners, side dishes or light bites for lunch. She mixes flavours and textures together giving interesting ideas. The book is split into seasons - and works with salad leaves and vegetables which are in season at the time. Some flexibility on this but still i love the idea. Not that we stick strictly to seasons in this house. 

I will admit I often think as salad as just a summer dish, something that you serve as a side. Not something which is the main thing. I have had my eyes opened to some amazing ideas of mixing things up. Each recipe offers ideas on changing it up - either adding in meat or taking it away. or mixing up the flavour combo.

Some of the recipes which have jumped out at me and I am mentally adding to our must try list include :

Asparagus, Gnocchetti and Proscitto // Pimms Fruit Salad // Yellow and Green Courgettes with Feta, Mint and Almonds // Courgette Ribbons, Pappardelle and Pancetta // Roasted Squash with Thyme and Taleggio // Orzo Pasta with Roasted Squash, Pine Nuts and mint.

The back includes some glazes, vinaigrette's and pestos - all that can be used to dress up those salad leaves.

I do love a book that leaves (see what I did there!) you feeling inspired and giving you new fresh and interesting ideas. The recipes show the calorie content and offer a serving suggestion too on them. Some of these salads can serve up to 6 people. It really is a book that I can sit down a read as well. Getting inspiration on the ideas and suggestions on changing things up.

Florette Salad sent me out this book along with a rather fetching pinny and bag to get my salad game jazzed up! Florette also do a weekly #saladwars challenge on instagram and facebook  - where you could win some #saladwars tossers. Get hashtagging, and get those salads looking yummy - let me know to!! 

27 Jul 2014

Kitchen Adventures : Strawberry & Banana milk pops

Sometimes it is the simplest ideas that make the yummiest desserts.

My biggest boy is obsessed with ice lollies at the moment and who can blame him in this heat! He's also a fruit monster. Devouring bowls of fruit each week. By combining the two I made one little boy happy. I had bought these ziplock reuseable bags for making ice poles - we have a small freezer and as much as I would love a nice big ice cream machine or ice lolly molds, I have to work with the space and money we had.

We chopped some strawberries ( ones which we had hand picked earlier in the day ) whizzed them up with a banana and some milk. Poured into Zipzicles bags and voila. We only made two but a really quick fresh and healthy treat. It was a good way to use up the bananas - you know the ones that start turning brown in the fruit bowl and either get binned or turned into cakes. Nice to have something new to do with them.

They got the thumbs up from big son too. Always good to know.

A couple of linking up for this summery treat post.

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots100 July challenge. If i'm chosen, I would like to visit Sherwood Forest.


The Family Foodies Challenge-  hosted by Bangers & Mash and Eat Your Veg with their monthly challenges. This months was Chill Out Baby  - a cold treat or drink to tempt you with. 

24 Jul 2014

Kitchen Adventures : Lamb mince = two meals

It was in all fairness supposed to be 3 meals - but the mince did not last that long!! Instead I managed two meals, bot happily eaten by both boys. I must get some kind of mummy points for that.

First meal. Lamb and carrot meatballs. I grated a carrot and mixed in with the mince along with some BBQ sauce. Once all squished together I rolled them into small meatballs and into some cruchy coating. I fried them first to get a nice crunch before finishing off the cooking in oven. Served with couscous and peas - with added broccilli on the side. They were yummy and the carrot gave them a nice sweetness, which went down well with the boys.

Second meal (which made a lot of mince - so much that I was able to freeze some for a small serving for N). Fry onions until soft, add mince and fry until browned - drain off some oil if too much fat. I added gravy and a couple of handfuls of mixed frozen vegetables to the pan. Cook until all combined and cooked through. To make it the cheats version - I baked potatoes in the oven for an hour - cut in half and mashed the potato together with some butter in the skins. Topped with cheese and popped back in the oven to melt. 

Mince seems to be a dinner choice for the boys - quick to cook and soft for M who is a rather fussy eater and in small pieces which is great for N to pick up and eat. I was planning as my 3rd meal to make some child friendly tacos. Another time i'm sure.

Happy cooking.