Throw Back Thursday – Breakfast Bircher Pots – Morning Hack

For those of you who need to grab and go with your breakfast (snap!) I’ve been trying out breakfast pots, which you can make up the night before and grab from the fridge to eat whenever you get a sec on the train/bus/school run/at work. Continue reading “Throw Back Thursday – Breakfast Bircher Pots – Morning Hack”

Parma Ham Chicken stuffed with Mozzarella & Pesto

Whilst at the supermarket, my trolley of food was complimented by the friendly cashier. We got chatting and she told me of her quick go to recipe. This is it. I’ve had this loads of times, minus the mozzarella. This is for you lovely lady – love the fact that anywhere around the world people share their love of food & recipes!

first off, lay some Palma ham underneath each Chicken breast and then simply slice the top of chicken breast fillets (skin off) 3 times.

Stuff each pocket with green pesto and then add in some mozzarella. Lay some fresh Thyme across the chicken and then wrap with the ham.

Pop into a preheated oven (170•C) for about 35 minutes, until the chicken fillets are cooked through.

Whilst cooking, make up some mashed potato, add a couple of spoonfuls of mustard and plate up. Serve with your vegetable or salad of choice and enjoy!

Christmas Preparations – Week 2 – Sloe Gin

Our Christmas preparations are in full swing and we are loving it. Next up is Sloe Gin – we’re a few weeks behind in the Gin department but it should just be ready in time for Christmas Day, if not then definitely for the New Year. Fingers crossed.

Ingredients;

100ml Caster Sugar

700ml Gin

450g Sloes

Method;

Wash the sloes and remove the stalks. Prick each sloe a couple of times & freeze the batch over night.

Once frozen, place the sloes into a sterile container. Add the sugar and gin and store in a cool, dark place. Every couple of weeks, gently turn the containers to mix it all up.

Once ready (normally 3 months), use a Muslin to strain the drink and store in sterile bottles. You could also decant into smaller sterile vessels and give out as Christmas presents.

Enjoy!

My truth about Yoga

Here’s the thing. I first did yoga back in 2001. I was 22, overweight and totally inflexible ( I still struggle to touch my toes now). I spent the whole class berating myself for not being able to hold the poses, for not being flexible enough, for what I’d not done at work that day. You name it, I was blaming myself for it that day. After what seemed like an hour of torture, the class finally ended and I left thinking about what a yoga failure I was. And that was it. For 10 years I thought my yoga days were numbered.

And then I got pregnant. 10 years later, and I found myself wandering in to a yoga studio full of other slightly nervous expectant mums (lots of us first-time and completely and blissful unaware about what was going to unfold over the coming months and beyond). My yoga teacher was a Doula (private midwife) and she eased us gently into the world of prenatal yoga. I have to say, my favourite part at this point was the Shivasna or final rest at the end of the class – basically an excuse to lie still, in the dark for a few minutes. (Still always a class highlight)

I did yoga until right up until my first little bundle of joy came screaming into the world, and screamed all the way until he reached a year old. That saw the end of my yoga for a while. During my subsequent pregnancies, pre-natal yoga seemed a bit of a fantasy as my over-worked hubby balked at the idea of coming home to me bolting from the door with my yoga mat tucked under my arm.

What seemed like a million years after my third (and final) baby was born (in actuality, probably about 7 months), I finally decided that I needed some me time – I needed to do something about my car-crash of a body, and my tired and addled baby-brain desperately needed some quiet time and reflection. Enter postnatal yoga…

The first session was actually a disaster. I failed spectacularly to be able to hold any kind of plank position, and on further inspection was told by the teacher that I had diastasis recti (other known as a bloody-great big gap between my stomach muscles) which could fit around three fingers in. I left feeling a bit dejected and berating myself for letting myself get into such a state. Great start.

The thing was, on reflection I actually quite enjoyed myself. I was surrounded by a group of like-minded mums who showed patience and kindness when I was struggling to keep up, and who showed me how to get into position (despite not being able to hold it). And Pippa, my lovely yoga teacher telling me to go with my body, and do what felt right (and not what looked great, or worrying about whatever anyone else was doing). Being present, and clear about what I could achieve. Aspiration to what I’d like to achieve (being able to hold plank position for starters). Acceptance from a group of like-minded people.

The other pretty life-changing thing for me was taking time to meditate. Taking time to reflect on what was important, and letting go of things which were weighing me down. Growing my self-belief and sense of worth. Showing myself that I can achieve things with my body that I never thought I could. I felt like this was a real turning point in my fitness journey, and also in my life. Growing self-belief, learning to let go of things and taking time to evaluate what was really important to me. Pretty powerful learnings.

I’m not sure I ever told these people how much they did for me, so thank you. If you’re reading this, thank you. Thanks for starting my journey back to fitness, back to self-belief and back to finding myself again. It really has meant the world to me. Namaste. X

Want to get in to Yoga, but don’t know where to start? My tops tips for finding the right yoga class for you are:

Take time to find the right style class for you – try a few until you find once which feels right. There are so many approaches and styles of teaching – it’s not one-size fits all.

  • DON’T compare yourself to everyone else. Go with an open mind, set your intentions for the class and enjoy yourself. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you struggle with a pose – go home and work on it!
  • Try and practice yoga at home. There’s a fab YouTube Channel from Adriene Mishler aka @yogawithadriene with an enormous selection of yoga to try at home (no equipment needed other than a mat!) https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
  • If you want to improve flexibility, strength and technique you have to work at it – you won’t improve by practicing just once a week so stick with it if you want to see results!
  • Try and find someone to go with – it’s much less daunting than going alone, and you can motivate each other to keep going regularly.
  • Get some clothes you feel comfortable in but make sure it’s not too baggy – loose fitting tshirts can be a pain when you’re doing downward facing dog or inversions (basically anything upside down!)

Christmas Preparations – Week 1 – Yorkshire Puddings

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s never too early to start preparing for feasts that are coming our way. This week we’ve started with Yorkshire Puddings – my family go crazy over these – I’ve made a few batches and they are now in the freezer. On Christmas Day, I’ll pop them onto a tray and they’ll go straight into a hot oven for 4 minutes. This is such a time hack and removes unnecessary stress when preparing your Christmas meal.

I have tried numerous Yorkshire recipes over the years and this is my tried and tested, fail safe method.

Ingredients:

4oz plain flour

2 medium eggs

300ml milk

1/2 tsp salt

Oil

Method:

Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C Fan) has Mark 7 and pour enough oil into the Yorkshire pudding tins to cover the bottoms. When the oven is ready, pop the Yorkshire tin in to heat up the oil (usually takes about 7-8 minutes).

Measure out the flour and place into a large mixing bowl. Mix in 150ml milk and beat in the 2 eggs until smooth. Season well and add the remaining milk. Transfer to a large jug.

Remove the tray from the oven and place over a medium heat on the stove. Evenly pour the batter mix into the tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes until well risen, golden and crisp. Leave in tins for a couple of minutes and then place on a wire rack. If freezing, leave to completely cool before bagging up and placing into the freezer.

Enjoy!

Something For The Weekend: Beef & Guinness Stew

As the chilly air creeps in & the evenings become darker earlier, we are thinking of mouth watering stews to warm our tummies.

This gorgeous beef and Guineas stew does just that.

Let’s get started!!

Ingredients;

500g diced beef

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 celery sticks, cubed

3 large carrots, cut diagonally

1/2 a bunch of fresh rosemary & thyme

500g swede, cubed

500g squash, skin on and cut into chunks

4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced

1 litre beef stock

1/2 x can of Guiness

Start off by preheating the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Place a large casserole pan onto a medium heat & add 1tbsp of oil. Add the onions to pan and allow to soften for a few minutes. Stir the carrots & celery into the pan, then add the rosemary & thyme.

Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Stir in the beef, swede and squash. After a few minutes, add the stock and Guinness, stirring gently.

Bring up to a be gentle simmer and cover with a wet scrunched up sheet of greaseproof paper and pop into the oven for an hour.

After an hour, remove the paper and cook the stew for another hour (ish) until the meat is tender.

Next up, it’s time to make the dumplings. Mix 2oz of suet and 4oz of self raising flour together with 4tbsp of cold water. Mix in well and form into a ball. Divide into 8 dumplings (or if you prefer big dumplings, divide into 4) and roll into balls.

Place the dumplings on top of the stew and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before plating up. Serve with chunky bread and enjoy!

Hassle Free Chicken With Chilli, Lemon And Mint

Every now and again I really get stuck in a rut at meal times. As you probably know by now, I love flavour. This is something that my kids don’t always agree with me on! And who can blame them right? I don’t remember eating the type of food I try to cook for them. Our meals were always the same most week days. I always knew Tuesday would be Lasagne, Friday would be fish fingers and we’d almost always have a roast on a Sunday. Nothing wrong with that. Absolutely not. It’s just not me these days.

So anyway, here I was feeling a bit stuck. Dinner needed to be quick and tasty. My fridge was also looking a bit on the bare side. I therefore decided to get some inspiration from my recipe books, and I came across this little beauty. To make matters better, I had all of the ingredients to hand. That is always a bonus. Especially when you live in the back end of nowhere.

This recipe is lifted straight from Nigel Slaters classic guide to comfort food. It really did hit all the right notes and was so easy to make.

Ingredients:

400g Chicken fillets

1 medium sized red chilli, seeded and chopped

1tsp dried chilli powder

2 pinches of saffron

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

Handful of mint leaves (about 20)

4 tbsp olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Halves of lemons to serve

Method:

Cut the chicken into finger size strips and pop into a dish. Blitz the fresh and dried Chillies, the garlic, saffron, most of the mint , olive oil and most of the lemon juice for about seconds until you have a lumpy marinade.

Spoon the marinade over the chicken strips and set aside for half an hour or so.

Next up, heat a frying pan (or you can use the grill) and lightly oil it. Add the chicken to the pan and gently fry for 4-5 minutes on each side until they are golden brown in places (make sure the chilli doesn’t burn). Season the dish with some salt and the remaining mint and lemon juice.

I served this (as suggested by Nigel Slater) with some well buttered couscous, flecked with coriander and coriander. I also added a blob of Creme Fraiche on top, which I mixed some finely chopped mint leaves into.

Bon appetite lovely people! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

How to make exploring UK Towns & Villages fun for kids!

Sharing this great blog 👍🏻

How to make exploring UK Towns & Villages fun for kids!

https://livingprettyhappy.com/2019/10/16/treasure-trails-review-rye-trail/
— Read on livingprettyhappy.com/2019/10/16/treasure-trails-review-rye-trail/

Demelza *Halloween Competition Time* Win 7 Tickets

Looking for things to do in Half Term?

We have two adult tickets, and five children’s tickets to give away to the Demelza Hospice Care For Children Rochester Pumpkin Hunt on 24th October.

All you have to do is go to our Facebook page https://m.facebook.com/mumsinreallife/?ref=bookmarks like and share this post, and tag a friend below who you’d like to take along with you.

Winners will be chosen from all entries at 9pm on Monday 21st October.

To enter you’ll need to:

1. Like & share this post

2. Tag a friend you’d like to take along in the comments below

3. One lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook page and by messenger (tickets will be sent by email)

Go go go! Happy hunting lovely

Salmon And Cod Laksa With Soba Noodles

Originating from maritime South East Asia, Laksa curry is a must for curry fans. It’s fragrant smells will drive you insane!

This is a really simple version that I put together on a week night. But just because it was quick (think 10 minutes) doesn’t mean it lacked in flavour! It packed the punches and hit all the right taste buds. I made up my own version of a Laksa paste, however they are readily available in the shops should this be your preference.

Ingredients for the Laksa paste;

4-6 small dried red chillies

1tsp ground coriander

1/2tsp paprika

1/2tsp cumin

1/2tsp turmeric

1 small onion, roughly chopped

1tsp lemongrass paste

3-4 cm piece of ginger, shredded

2 cloves of garlic

1tbsp sesame oil

Ingredients for the Curry;

500g Salmon & Cod fillets, skin off and cut into chunks

200g Coconut milk

1 1/2 pints of Vegetable stock

1tbsp olive pil

1 onion, finely sliced

200g green beans, trimmed and cut into quarters

225g shredded white cabbage

3 tbsp Laksa paste

Handful of frozen sweet corn

2 bundles of dried soba noodles

1 spring onion, sliced diagonally

1 lime, halved

Method for Laksa paste;

Pop everything into a mixer and blitz for a few seconds into a smooth (ish) paste.

Method for Laksa Curry;

Warm up a large saucepan and add the olive oil. Gently fry the onion and cabbage for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the Laksa paste and cook for 2 minutes.

Next up, add the coconut milk, stock and green beans and season well. Bring up to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Add the fish chunks and gently stir the mixture.

Leave to cook for about 4 – 5 or until the fish is opaque to their centre.

Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to boil and add in the soba noodles.

Cook for 4 minutes and drain and return to the pan.

Once the fish is cooked, stir in the curry. Serve out into large bowls and garnish with sliced spring onions and halves of limes.