Super Juice!

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I have seen this juice around different places, but this week when I was visiting my friend, she had a jug of it made up so when I got home I had all the ingredients and threw it together!

I was calling it “Super Juice” and my son thought it was going to be delicious because he loves the carrot/apple/raspberry juice that they get in on special in Lidl and he calls that “Hero Juice”. He wasn’t too impressed when he tasted my drink though!

It tastes fine, but having the jug out on the counter really does encourage you to drink the water. I topped it up with water all day. Lets hope it has super hero properties!

Have any of you any healthy drinks that you’d like to share, or ways of encouraging me to drink enough water?

Happy St. Patricks Day!

Happy St. Patricks Day everyone!

We had a lovely family day today. We all got dressed in green, and headed down to the parade. My son was walking in it with his playschool so that added more excitement. After the parade we went to the carnival but there was nothing age appropriate, so we got an ice-cream and went to the park for a play. We came home and had a treat dinner (chips and sausages!) and watched another family movie. And now the kids are in bed, we’re having a few cold drinks together! Its been a lovely day 🙂

How have you guys celebrated St. Patricks Day wherever you are?!

Any of you have little bird children?

My children remind me of little birds a lot of the time, and always at the oddest times.

I try to cook lovely healthy food for my children, and often when I put it on their plates, I get little moans and “those faces” (the ughh mum faces!) and the “do I have to eat the onions/peas/meat/insert relevant food”.

So when I make myself a nice healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner (currently sometimes different to the kids, as I’m trying to follow the SW plan, so not having bread or certain other things), I am suprised to have a child stand beside me with their mouth open wanting my food!

It happened the other day, two of my children wanted to eat my porridge, then I made a cous cous and tuna lunch and I had to give most of it to my 4yr old because he had his mouth open again before I had the fork back the plate.

Last night I made a SW spinach cannelloni (basic recipe taken from  http://www.slimmingworld.ie/recipes/baked-cannelloni.aspx but I also added the onion/garlic/pepper mix from this one http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/recipes/513451/spinach-tomato-and-red-pepper-cannelloni and used Quark instead of cottage cheese used in the original, and a small bit of grated mozzarella thrown in)

DSC_0181  Cooked up the onion, garlic, peppers and spinach, added the quark and a bit of grated mozzarella and stuffed the cannelloni tubes, and covered with tomato, garlic and basil mix. Next time I would definitely use more tomato sauce or maybe a lower heat because the liquid dried out quickly.

But the point is that all three of my children wanted it. I cooked it after dinner time, to have for lunch the next day, but of course I wanted to try it. I ended up with my three children standing beside me with their mouths open wanting more and more. My 8yr old even asked for it for her school lunch today (she always brings sandwiches, has never wanted an alternative no matter how much I suggest it!). So thats a successful meal for the family for future. But I found it so amusing the image of the mouths opening up beside me looking for food, like baby birds!

Have any of you got meals that your children would turn their noses up at if it was on their plates, but can’t get enough of off your plate??

Spoilt for Mothers Day!

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I was completely spoilt today! I got lovely morning cuddles from my babies, then a delicious breakfast in bed along with flowers and chocolates! I was given two bunches of flowers, because when the other half brought the kids to the shop yesterday, they both wanted to choose a bunch!

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After breakfast the kids went off on a “Granddad Adventure” and the other half got a roast dinner into the oven, gave me time to ready and plied me with tea. After a delicious late lunch/early dinner, we played for a while and then snuggled up on the couch together and watched a family movie. It was lovely 🙂

We also learnt that it will be a while before we can have movie time with popcorn again! The baby kept following the popcorn bowl up and down the couch as we tried to keep it away from her, so we had to abandon the idea of popcorn because it wasn’t fair on her! I have heard too many things about not giving popcorn under a certain age, so wouldn’t risk it (even though she did manage to get a few bits!!)

Did you have a nice day? I know it wasn’t Mothers Day in America, but hope you had a nice day anyway! 🙂

Rainbow Cake

It was the baby’s first birthday a few weeks ago, and I had seen rainbow cakes last year and I really wanted to make one. I had planned to make it for my other half’s birthday but when I looked up recipes I realised I needed to use gel colours or it could look wishy washy. So I ordered the gels and planned it for the 1st birthday instead.

A friend, who had a cake business, told me the key to good colours was to use a yolk free batter, so I found a recipe for an angel food cake. The recipe I used had 12 egg whites, and you beat them to nice and puffy – but of course once you split it between six bowls (it loses a bit of air, and “puff”) and then mix in the food colour gels, it had lost all its air and all its puff. Which I think then affected the texture and taste.

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I had a bit of an issue with my orange layer. I decided to work through the rainbow starting at red, then orange. I put in equal amounts of red and yellow food gel to make the orange, not realising that the red dye was extremely strong. I ended up having to put about half the jar of yellow food gel into it, and still in the bowl it looked red. It didn’t look at bad once it actually baked.

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Once they were cooled, I wrapped them in clingfilm and put them in the fridge overnight.

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Next morning I made a lovely white chocolate buttercream icing (that I found the recipe of here: http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/16140/white-chocolate-buttercream-icing.aspx) and added a layer in between and on top. The fun began when I tried to do the sides. I just didn’t have the patience, it kept falling off.

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Luckily, the other half stepped in, with a hot knife, and his nice calm patience!

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And so it was all ready for the big reveal! I was more excited than the kids! 🙂

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I was very impressed. Now, I must admit that the sponge was not lovely and light, or moist and tasty – it was dense and rubbery to be honest. I think that if I was to make it again, I would just use a normal cake batter, egg yolk and all. What do you think, taste or looks – which is more important in the case of a rainbow cake?

Best Brown Bread!

So when when my other half started on the healthy arthritis diet, he was only allowed to eat wholemeal. I have often baked bread over the years, and although I used to have a lovely recipe, I found the results were inconsistent. Sometimes I got lovely brown bread, and sometimes I didn’t. It was so disappointing when you cut it open and it wasn’t nice. So I went looking for another wholemeal brown bread recipe, and I came across this one on the Supervalu website:

http://supervalu.ie/recipe/wholemeal-bread/

It is very easy. I make batches of the dry ingredients, where I weigh them all out and bag them up. And because I’m keeping it all wholemeal, I don’t add the 50g plain flour, I just use 400g wholemeal flour. Dry ingredients are 400g wholemeal flour, 50g porridge oats, 2 level teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

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And then when I want to make a loaf, I just take out a bag of the dry ingredients and pour into a bowl, put a tablespoon of molasses and dessert spoon of sunflower oil into a pot and warm a bit to melt, stir in 500ml buttermilk and then add that mix and 2 eggs to the dry ingredients. Super easy!

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And I line my loaf tin with this magic greaseproof paper. I love it. I found it in Dealz a while back, and it is the only greaseproof paper I’ve used that really is non-stick. I used to spend ages trying to peel greaseproof paper off loafs of bread, homemade pizza bases or cookies that all got stuff to the bottom. And then I found this, and I LOVE love it!

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Then pour the mix into the tin and pop it into the oven at 160C for 45 minutes, then tip it out of the tin and leave in the oven for another 15 minutes and take it out.

This is the easiest brown bread I’ve made – and it has turned out delicious every single time!