Sweet Potato Brownies, The World’s End and The Life You Want #littleloves

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I finished The Girl on the Train and even though I did find the middle section to be a bit too drawn out, the ending was well done. After watching Eat Pray Love last week I decided to look out something along the same lines but then realised that I’ve had the Emily Barr novel The Life You Want sitting on my Kindle for a while now. It’s the story of a woman, this time a mum of two young boys, who decides to take off to India to help out a friend and try and re-capture some of the excitement of her backpacking years. It’s actually the sequel to her first novel Backpack – following the same character a decade on. I read Backpack a long time ago but I do remember enjoying it and consequently read a couple of Barr’s other books so I’m hoping I’ll enjoy this and it’ll be interesting to see a different kind of take on this story of travel as an escape from more mundane life, but this time factoring in motherhood.

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Love the Little Things 07.11.14

I haven’t linked up with Little Things for a while – Thursdays and Fridays are always so manic both in and out of the blogosphere! But I think it’s time to slow down and, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, appreciate the good things that I’ve been up to lately so I’m back!

Read

My current book, Skios by Michael Frayn has been on hold for a while now as I just haven’t found the time. However, I started up my very own (Tuesday) linky last week, The Truth about… offering the chance to share some of the unvarnished truths of parenting and life in general that, essentially, gives both writer and reader the reassurance that they’re not alone, a good laugh, a fascinating insight, support and encouragement when the going gets tough. I’ve been able to share some brilliant posts this week including The 20 Week Scan by Louise over at Little Hearts Big Love (made me cry a bit!) and On Highwaymen by Michelle over at Learner Mother which really made me laugh!

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Cake pop tutorial (what not to do!)

Clown cake pops pre smudging

Anyone who has been reading my blog lately will know that I’ve been up to my eyeballs in party preparations – possibly to the detriment of all other rational thought, and a big element of my ‘home-made’ circus theme was to be my clown cake pops. I’d never made these before, or even tasted one in real life. In fact the closest I’d ever come to a real one was probably behind the glass counter at Starbucks.

Looking at Pinterest had given me the idea though – they are clearly something a bit different and unique for a beautifully crafted party theme – a bit of a show stopper if you will.

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Love the Little Things Week #8

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Still deep in summer reading mode! I’ve started reading One Step too Far by Tina Selkis – I thought I’d better give myself an Emily Barr break! This is the third of three that my Kindle recommended to me when I’d finished Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, the first being The Husband’s Secret by Lianne Moriarty (bit pants) and the second being Emily Barr’s Sleeper – neither of which were in the same league as Gone Girl in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about this one – apparently it has a serious twist to it!

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Peach and Banana lollies #TastyTuesdays

Banana Peach lolly

It was quite hot last week. I thought I might try my hand at some home made ice lollies but I wanted something a bit unusual and I found this recipe on Pinterest. It includes plain almond milk – I’m experimenting with various dairy alternatives at the moment – for no good reason other than curiousity really but I hope that this will appeal to anyone who is lactose intolerant or suffers dairy related allergies.

Ingredients

peach & banana lolly ingredients

I used one ripe banana which had been frozen in advance (this apparently helps with the texture of the final product); about half a tin of peach slices (although you could use a fresh ripe peach), about 250ml of almond milk (I used plain); a tsp of vanilla essence and a squirt of agava nectar (to taste – I probably used a bit too much as my banana was really ripe and very sweet already!); and a pinch of cinnamon.

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F is for… Fridgeful of Food #alphabetphoto

Fridgeful of food in a filmstock frame

Maybe a snapshot of the inside of someone’s fridge is as revealing as a snapshot of their bookshelves… In which case I am letting you into my higgledy piggledy, colourful world. And its all wrapped up in a Filmstock Frame just for poetic license you see? 🙂

The Snack Trap

jelly babies

I realise lately that one of my major battlegrounds with my children is in the arena of food. JJ has always been a fussy eater, preferring baked beans to any other kind of veg, refusing to eat rice, and for quite some time pasta, hating peas, shunning pretty much anything green really. He is also a fiend for demanding unhealthy snacks and I have had very little opportunity to curtail this trend as his father is a lifelong ‘bad snacker’ and huge multi-packs of crisps, cupboards full of chocolate bars and ice cream are always ‘appearing’ in the house unannounced! On the two days of the week when the hubster is alone with the children for any length of time he invariably takes them to the Golden Arches ™ for lunch – I know this because our house is absolutely littered with Happy Meal toys!

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Chicken and sweetcorn burgers with courgette and apple

chicken and sweetcorn burgers

Last week I decided enough was enough and I needed to get my children’s diets back on track a little bit with something a bit healthy and which would include some veggies that they would actually eat happily! I’ve made Annabel Karmel’s Chicken and Apple Balls before in the past, so when I came across this recipe on the Sainsburys Little Ones web site and noticed the similarities I thought it was worth a go. The kids love finger food and these burgers could almost be described as a meal in a burger as they have chicken, breadcrumbs, courgette and apple in them, all bound together with an egg. I swapped out the grated carrot from the Sainsburys recipe with grated apple as I know my four year old will object to too many obvious ingredients that he can examine in any given foodstuff and also, I had a couple of half gnawed apples from the two of them which needed using up!

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Sunny Sunday Lunch

Woodmansterene the place to be!

This Sunday was a working day for the hubster, which normally means that my ‘go to’ location with the boys is my mum and dad’s, however they were away at a wedding in Lyme Regis this time, so I immediately wondered if it would be possible to get together with my sister and her family (who we only get to see sporadically these days due to distance and busy lives). Originally I invited them to come to us, before remembering that they are currently without a car and the 40-odd mile journey would be much easier for us to make by car.

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Homity Pie #TastyTuesdays

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Homity Pie is an old English classic. I first heard of it back in the 80s when my family had a Cranks recipe book. I’m not sure if the younger generation will have heard of Cranks – I read today that it was shut down in 1991 by it’s parent company – the owners of Nandos. It’s a shame really because Cranks were pioneers in wholefood, vegetarian fare and one of their specialties was the Homity Pie.

I decided to attempt to broaden the range of food I offer my family and as my boys are very much lovers of ‘cheesy potatoes’ (baked potatoes cooked in the microwave in five minutes, skinned and then mashed up with grated cheddar), I thought this might be a winner. This is also pretty versatile and you could add just about any other ingredients – mushrooms, bacon, or other root vegetable – if you fancied.

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