Friday, 31 July 2009

someone needs to stop me

I've come home today and locked my MasterCard in my keepsake box where it shall now stay. Went to go and exchange Son's suit we bought him for a smaller size and again under the suggestion of Heavenly Housewife (Who is now totally my "go too" woman for all things shopping) went to TX Maxx to hunt for a bargain. I was looking for a bag mostly because husband had pointed out I had a hole in mine (he instantly regretted this when he realized what it would open me up to saying, "guess I better go shopping then!"), but of course one can't go into TX Maxx and JUST come out with a bag! I did get a great XOXO bag, I love that brand because they're classy but also a little punk, just like me. Also came away with another dress and pair of heels. AND found an amazing bargain! Prada perfume and Fuel for Life by Diesel cologne each for 20 quid. 20 quid!! That stuff is 80 in the shops. Crazy. This also means I got hubby a present so maybe he'll forgive me, he loves presents. :)

You know how women tend to be either shoe or bag women? I'm a shoe woman for sure. I own a lot of shoes and a lot of BIG heels, though I don't get to wear those often because Hubby is (much to my dismay) only 2 inches taller than me as it is, and he hates it when I tower over him. But I've never ever owned more than one bag, I've always just had a everyday bag (which has to be big to fit all the books/notepads/makeup/baby paraphernalia) and a couple of clutches for the special occasions (though I'm not classy enough not to just stuff money down my bra if I can get away with it). But I think I could get into bags.... think I wouldn't mind doing that at all.

In other fantastic news my son just had a poo! This usually (obviously) is not an exciting thing but he hasn't pooped for three days and I was starting to get worried.

And now, my 'Note from the Universe' for today:

Playing make-believe, Mystical, is always the start of believing.
Where shall we go today, Mystical?
The Universe

so fitting. Oh, yes btw, as it's Friday today this means it's the day after I see my therapist which means I'm awfully thoughtful so you may want to expect some sort of deep, mindful post later. But it's totally possible it'll only end up being about more baby poo and so forth. We shall see how the day develops.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

screw the "In which..." from now on!


Anyone have a miracle cure for ingrown hairs? .... I'd go into more detail and all but, well, you'll thank me for not doing so. But yeah, miracle cure?


Last night when getting ready for bed I was having a little dance in front of the mirror (Now, I must explain here despite popular belief my "dancing" is not gyrating and hip flicking and boob shaking (you need boob's for this apparently). I like to knot my hands into fists, stuff them under my arm pits with my elbows sticking out and stomp my feet as fast as I can until I burst into a fit of giggles. Some say my 16 month old has more rhythm that I do...And yes, I do dance for Husband like this) when husband came in to the bedroom. He watched me for a minute, use to my self amusing antics and climbed into bed. I, feeling quiet energized by my dance, bounced into bed and with a little wiggle slid up against him. And then it went a little something like this...

Me: Do you think I'm pretty?
Him: Yes.
Me: Do you think I'm clever?
Him: Yes.
Me: Do you think I'm strong?
Him: Yes.
Me: Do you think I'm funny?
Him: Yes.
This went on for about 10 minutes. Me asking questions about myself and him answering, always with a yes and (I'm pleased to say) he rarely hesitated... Eventually he looked at me, giving my knee a light squeeze and said
"Are you feeling a little bit insecure at the moment, baby?"
Me: No...
Him: Then why are you looking for reassurances about all those things?
Me: Oh, I'm not. I was just making sure we're in agreement... you know, on the same page.

I'm so fab.

In which I fancy a drink

There are only so many "In which...." blog titles I can come up with. It started as a clever (notsoclever) theme as a sort of nod at the Friends TV series. You know, how all there episodes are titled "The one with...."... maybe you don't know and maybe I'm just an obsessed loser. :) BTW randomly the best episode of Friends ever is "The one with the embryos" when they do the quiz and bet the apartment. SO funny.

Ahem.

I mentioned murdering a frozen margarita last night. Still feel that way and would totally take up morning drinking if it was offered to me right now. My one wish at this very moment would be to be perched on bar stool at The Texas Embassy sucking down a few frozen peach margaritas and munching on some chips and salsa for a whole day. Screw world peace, forget poverty and world hunger. I'll get to that tomorrow, right now though, give me a frozen margarita.

I remember once, pre-baby, this was possible. Husband and I would meet there at lunch and then just "forget" to go back to work. It worked what with Husband being his own boss and my boss loving me and letting me get away with murder. Those were he days.

But, alas, moving on to this thing (despite my attempts to bat away like an annoying fly) called reality.

Does anyone know of or have a good Burek recipe? I was reminded of this Yugoslavian tasty treat yesterday (random pre-married day dream when I would...GASP... Travel) and after scouring google for a good part of an hour did not find anything to my satisfaction. MIGHT make a first attempt at trying to create something without a recipe but would much prefer one of you kind souls to guide me.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

In which I give you a quickie

Today has been hell, not like bad hell, just busy. Productive. Work I didn't have a second to breathe and was just non-stop all day. Got home around 5.30 after picking Son up from nursery. He was exceptionally well behaved this evening as I was slaving in the kitchen whipping up his favourite home made chunky vegetable pasta sauce. After dinner we had some piggy back rides then settled down for story time and bed. Husband got home just as Son was put too bed and right away I started on our dinner. Husband requested Calzone's so I made Pepperoni and Black Olive Calzone's. Went down a right treat.

I have been thinking much about my blog today. Have quite a few funny stories to tell and also a complaint about Husband (just to get it off my chest, you know?) but right now all I can do is curl up in bed and maybe read a bit of my racy novel.

My blog roll is getting extensive now and I'm really enjoy all the different blogs I'm being introduced too and such. I WILL find time tomorrow too spend time commenting and also compiling the many silly hours that once compiled I like to call 'my life'.

sorry for the lack of gusto too this post, but I'm sure if anyone understand it'll be you lot.

I could murder a frozen margarita right now, let me tell you!


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Joy of reading award


My most favorite selfish but funny housewife (her own words and I totally love she used them) Heavenly Housewife has tagged me for The Joy of Reading award. Not only am I absurdly flattered (eek! my first award of sorts! Excuse me while I do a Hallie Berry) but also excited and a little apprehensive of the task that goes in hand with this award.

The rules are.

1. Collect the book that you have most handy
2. Turn to page 161
3. Find the 5th complete sentence
4. Site the sentence in your blog
5. Pass it on to 5 other bloggers

Apprehensive, you say? Dear Eve, but why? When you have such a full and diverse book shelf. SURELY your reading habits will do your intelligence justice. EXCEPT, you may have caught me on the one week when I decided to "try something a little different" and decided to read a biography/erotica. Hey, I like to mix things up, you know? I DO actually also have "The miracle of mindfulness" sat next to me as well but that's been sat there for weeks collecting dust while I tell myself that eventually when I start on the path to self enlightenment, I'll want to read that, so best to have it handy. Until then though, I'll stick with my porn thankyouverymuch.



The following insert is from "Daddy's Girl" an Erotic Memoir (though I have to say it didn't say that on my cover and I picked it up expecting it too be quite tame. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I was wrong wrong WRONG). This book is about how Stella Black (a famous erotica author) got her inspiration. It revolves around a relationship she had in the early 80's when she meets a father figure and perfect lover. It's hot, it's erotic, it's cringe worthy but it's also really touching because you can feel despite the whippings and paddling's (when she's a bad girl) how much they love each other and how he is in fact, never aggressive towards her despite his actions.

"she would scrutinize me with undisguised suspicion as I pranced around Daddy's sick room in short skirt, knee-high socks and a tight t-shirt portraying the face of a very wonderful Tom Verlaine"

I'm actually really enjoying this book, it's hot enough to get me thinking about doing things to Husband when I get home but not hot enough that I'm *ahem* as Stella Black would say; creaming myself while reading on the bus. The perfect mix, no?

Right, so who to pass the award on too? Forgive me if you have already been tagged for this award but here you go :) An appreciative nod in your direction for continuing to give me a good read whenever I log in to Blogger.

  1. Grace at A Southern Grace
  2. Yummy at Yummy Mummy on the Edge
  3. JennyMac at Lets Have a Cocktail
  4. Miranda at My Food and Life Encounters
  5. ModernMom at How to Survive Life in the Suburbs

Now, a quick move on too how my day attempted to improve after the ridiculous day at work. I came home today to a brown box on my door step, a delivery from *SQUEE* Karen Millen. My dress my dress! Of course I was practically stripping as I walked in the door and promptly began to pull the dress over my head, I pulled it down, squeezed it down, sucked in hard and wigged it over my hips and bum, held my breath and stretched out on the bed as I attempted to zip it up... pinched my waist between zipper.... gave up. I wanted to cry. NOT a good time to have a fat day. So it's going back, I'm obviously too ambitious to fit into the size I ordered (they don't have a size bigger on the site!) and thus STILL do not own a Karen Millen dress.... I'm telling you guys, I'm going to own an expensive pretty dress if it's the last thing I do. Any suggestions on other shops I can spend my money at?

What a downer.

In which pills are the only way

I'm having one of those days at work where I really don't know if I'm coming or going. I'm leaving work in 30 minutes and although I feel like I've been non-stop all day I just looked at my "accomplished" pile and have just realized I've done naff all today. 4 letters. I've typed up and proof read 4 letters in 8 hours work. I'm on fire.

How this has happened I do not know. I don't feel like I've been procrastinating, though obviously I have. Maybe I've just gotten so good at doing nothing that It's second nature now and I do it on auto pilot. This is totally plausible of course.

I think it's ok being this out of it though since I was up late having a "good seen too" as Husband puts it. I have to say when he walked in last night I was so so nervous, like first date nervous. But I played my part well and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Sometimes I forget how good Husband is.

Will probably do a more thorough update later once I have wrapped my head around this thing called consciousness.

See ya.

Monday, 27 July 2009

In which it's a monday

I left you last time with the inclination that I would go for a nap. I didn't. Son woke up shortly after I finished futzing around the house. Well, I don't know if it actually is son because he went to sleep my perfect little angel and woke up the son of the devil. The rest of my afternoon has just gone to pots.

Firstly there was the constantly screaming baby. And not screaming like upset but just screaming for the sake of screaming because "lookatmemummy!". Which mostly, I can tolerate as I am aware my son has not yet (and probably never will) developed his "indoor voice". But not today, not today when I broke 4 nails (IKNOW!), stubbed my toe, managed to spill hot oil on my hand while baking and then while whisking managed to drop the whisk.... If you've ever dropped a whisk (a whisk with batter on it) then you know what a mess that is. Also burnt dinner and feel fat/ugly today because a spot brewed over night and I ate a LOT of muffin today. It's just been one of those days when I want to slap the first person that says "hi".

The only good thing we did get done was found suit for son. Heard about a local place that does that type of thing for babies down a back road somewhere near me, so I went, I saw, they conquered. Spent 50 pounds. 50 pounds on an outfit he'll wear once before he grows out of it. It hurts, you know? but god is it cute! red bow tie and waist coat with gold trim. little black leather shoes. SO cute. It still adds to the pain of today though.

Son, god bless him, did just settle down for bed perfectly without one peep of noise. I love him now more than I ever have. My shoulders are tense. I can feel a hothot shower coming on. I WAS going to pamper myself by doing a manicure but after today I have no damn nails left.

Husband isn't due home until midnight which I'm grateful for now, I need a peaceful house. BUT I do have to prepare for his arrival. You see, (a slight warning here, the rest of this post may be too graphic for some) every valentines day husband and I exchange letters which detail one fantasy we want to be fulfilled within the year. His this year was quite pervy (his always are actually) and he has requested me to wear my shortshort red plaid skirt, a blouse (with the top buttons undone, easy access) frilly old fashion knickers, knee high socks and mary janes. Classic school girl. Blagh. The stereotype makes me cringe but what ever pleases. So I'm meant to be wearing this while bent over the kitchen counter with my back to husband playing with myself when he walks in, and then I am simply to request he fucks me and not turn around until the act is finish. To some it may seem quite lewd, but this is how Husband and I roll. anyways, this will be the first opportunity I'll have to do this since he usually doesn't come home too late and letmetellyou, I am SO not in the mood. Would much rather lounge in my fuzzy robe eating chocolate until the crack of dawn than trying to be sexy. I feel SO unsexy today. I'm determined to do this though, I know he will not expect it and it will be nice for him. Maybe I'll go work myself up and try and get in the mood. Unlikely though... God, is this what kids does to you?

The fantasy I wrote him to do will be fulfilled I'm told in the next month. When that comes around I may need some advice from you lot. Should be interesting.


In which there is more shopping to be had

Afternoon everyone.

Son is napping, the house is quiet and I want more than anything to crawl into bed and have a nap. But I shall not, I know I'll feel worse for it later. I feel wrecked today. Yesterday as I mentioned in my last post, was busy. As soon as I was awake I started baking, wanting to make For the love of Cooking's Coffeecake muffins. Which turned out beautifully and I will be making them again for sure. we continued to be busy after this leaving the house early (for a Sunday) for a quick lunch at KFC (son loves the corn on the cob) and then off for some shopping.

Shopping this time for the boys wedding outfits.

First on the list was Son. After going into every shop that sold baby/toddler clothes (and picking myself up yet another dress!) I came to the conclusion there is nothing. I want him in a waist coat rather than a jacket because I know he'll just rip the jacket off, and the only waist coat I found was at Next and it was gold and good lord does my son ever look horrible in gold. nonono. I could not do it too him. He's a red head you see (I don't know where he gets that from because neither hubby or I are) and gold just would not work.

So we gave up. I'm thinking a trip to London next weekend might be the way to go, because I didn't see anything online last night either.

Next a suit for Husband. This was not as easy as I thought it would be, mostly because husband enjoys shopping and taking his time and he likes "quality". After an hour or so in the shop Husband chose a beautiful 3 piece gray suit teamed with a rose colored shirt. He looks stunning in it. And I made him promise to wear it next time we go to dinner because I won't be able to keep my hands off him.

Husband today left for work early (5am) as they had some filming going on or something and tonight he his home late because the exec team is off to the horse races this evening and then out to dinner. I'm planning a chick flick, a bath and some pampering tonight. I can't wait.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

In which I do the movie and a take-away thing

Saturdays at Eve's place tend to be shopping a pint at the pub and then fish and chips at the local. This usually is all done down by the In-Laws but yesterday Father In-Law had come down with a bad stomach bug so husband and I headed home early and decided to dine in. As I never have anything prepared for dinner on a Saturday (since we are always out) Husband suggested we treated ourselves to a kebab from the shop down the road, I jumped (and maybe squealed) at the idea. We are lucky enough to live two blocks down from the BEST chippy/kebab house this side of London, and Husband and I are very picky about our kebabs. Very. Generally I associate buying a kebab as the second biggest mistake you can make on a night on the town (the first mistake being taking the funny looking fellow home with you). They tend to be rotten and cheap and god knows what kind of meat.

OH but not ours. not ours. Not only is the place when you walk in sparkling clean, so much so that you can see your reflection in all the stainless steel appliances. But also the salad is so fresh it still glistens with water. Is still crisp. We've never ordered a donor kebab (I fear them) we always order a Chicken Shish Kebab, freshly grilled with piles of crisp lettuce, cabbage, onion, cucumber and tomato all stuffed in a toasted pita and a side of garlic mayonnaise and a few hot peppers to accompany it all.

Gorgeous. This again is one of those foods that I rave and rave about, one of those things that if you ever came to visit me I would insist you try it and then watch with glee as you came to the same conclusion I did and always do.

Perfect.

While enjoying our perfect kebab (just writing about it makes me want another one. I would happily get fat one these...these and Baklava) we watched "Seven Pounds" with Will Smith in it. I can't come up with any intelligent thoughts for this movie. I think it was good. I love Will Smith. Another brilliant performance. But just wasn't sure about the movie. I'm pretty sure I liked it but it left me feeling... like I wanted more. but not because it was so good but because I think I deserve it for sitting through it.

Tonight we watch "Burn after reading". Actually looking at the time that will probably have to happen tomorrow now because I'm about to get in the bath and I don't think I can do a late one tonight, it was a busy day. Which I will elaborate on later tonight or maybe in the morning.

Hope your weekend was good.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

In which I discuss two of my favourite things

Shopping and Dessert.

I'm such a happy girl right now. Husband, Son, The In-Laws and I took a trip to Freeport to do a bit of shopping. I under Heavenly Housewife's advice homed in on Karen Millen. Oh how have I stayed away from this shop before!? The dresses! THE DRESSES! I was in heaven. I must have spent an hour in the dressing room trying on every single dress I could get my hands on. They were the kind of dresses that if I owned I would wear them at home just to be wearing a Karen Millen dress. 2 were top favourites. Unfortunately these 2 were either a size too big or a size too small. I was very disappointed. But it's ok because I've ordered it online :)

Did I mention I am now a huge fan of Karen Millen? I would marry her.

I also came away with a bargain at Next. several items that totaled to 30 quid which I couldn't figure out until we were sat at lunch later and I read the recipe and realized she hadn't rung up two items. Am I a bad person for not going back to let her know? ... I'm leave someone else to think about that.

Also bought a few beautiful items at Lipsy and Morgan. Am surprised I came away with no shoes. I'm a shoe girl you see, usually I come away with at least 2 pairs. not today, though we are shopping again tomorrow so might make up for it then. Tomorrow though is boy shopping, get my two fella's their suits for the wedding. oh I love shopping.

On to dessert.

I love dessert though I don't tend to have it often at home, but yesterday while I was out I came too a Turkish market and there was a stall selling Baklava. I have no hesitation in saying Baklava is my most favorite dessert ever. If you haven't had it before go have it and then join my club. We had it last night with a nice cup of tea and when I took that first bite, savoured it, paused, I just felt like everything in the world would be ok. The world would become peaceful, wars would stop, no one would starve and I would win the lottery (what?). It was a beautiful moment.

Here is an awesome recipe for Baklava courtesy of Closet Cooking.

Friday, 24 July 2009

In which dinner is served!

This sald is my husband and I's favourite summer dish of all time. It's filling (this of course is ALWAYS important) and it's so packed with flavour it's like an explosion in your mouth (yeah, you like that?). Sweet potatos cornered off with salty chorizo and gooey eggs all with a kick of citrus at the end! Could you ask for anything more?

I'm generally quiet adverse to having salad for dinner. Just salad that is, because it just seems so...well, girly. But no no, this salad has ball's people while still being able to comfort my tender emotional side. If I could, I'd have this salad's babied. I would.

Also I'll eat ANYTHING with Chorizo in it. yes, even that.

















Warm Chorizo and Egg Salad
(taken from EasyCook magazine)
(Serves 4)

2 Large sweet potatos, unpeeled and sliced diagonally
1 tbsp olive oil
85g chorizo, sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
juice of 1/2 a lemon
130g bag of mixed salad leaves
4 hard-boiled eggs (We soft boil them because YUM), quatered
100g pack cherry tomatoes, halved

Boil the potatos for 10 minutes, until just tender. Drain and tip into a bowl.

Heat a griddle or frying pan. Toss the potatoes in 1tsp oil, season well and fry for 2 minutes until charred.

Tip the potatoes back into the bowl, then fry the chorizo for 2 minutes. Lift into the bowl, leaving the juices behind. Add the garlic and the rest of the oil and let sizzle for 30 seconds. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Arrage the hot ingredeients on top of a salad and drizzle over the hot dressing.

Voila!

Oh yes, Husband asked me to make sure everyone knows he boiled the eggs. Yes darling, eeeeveryone knows.

In which we should consider

I'm taking a break from the bathroom in fear that if I stay in there any longer I will fumigate myself (I got a bit carried away with my Ciff spray gun).

I'd like to share something with thoughts of my previous post in mind

vain

–adjective, -er, -est.
1. excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited: a vain dandy.
2. proceeding from or showing personal vanity: vain remarks.

I like that word. I'm going to reclaim it I think. So what if I'm proud and concerned about myself? In a world where there are so many insecure women and there is so much pressure from the media for women to conform to a certain way (with often conflicting messages) I think I'd much rather be vain than insecure and ashamed.

Yes, I know I am beautiful.
Yes, I know I am funny.
Yes, I know I am a great mother
Yes, I know I am an amazing wife
Yes, I know I am great in bed
Yes, I know I am smart
Yes, I know I am confident

But most importantly

Yes, I know I am capable.

What about you guys?

In which I am taken down

Husband so won this round. Last night he made Caramelized Onion and Goats cheese tarts, you may recall I made them a week or two ago.

Anyway, yeah, he decided to "show me how it's done". and I'm sad to say he did. He made his own pastry, he used red caramelized peppers (which he made himself) instead of mushrooms and he added cream and red wine. They were beautiful! The pastry was amazing, the flavor was a perfect mix of sweet and savory. At the end of the meal Husband looked at me and asked who's was better and I took the humble route and admitted defeat, which I got rewarded for later of course in the bedroom. Oh sweet husband, how i love thee.

Right, now, moving on to mememe (One of my favourite subjects...what?).

It might be known that I recently after a year of careful eating hit my target weight (When pregnant I took the opportunity to let the fat girl in me to come out and play and oh did she ever play) of 135lb (my ideal weight is between 128-138 apparently) Size 10 (in the UK...not sure what that is US). Was well chuffed and started focusing on maintaining my weight.

I've been wearing a lot of dresses and skirts recently and this morning decided to go down the jeans and t-shirt route because it's time to clean the bathroom (which I'm actually putting off at the moment to write this). Pulled on my first pair of jeans, didn't fit. Pulled on another pair, didn't fit. Tried on all my pairs of jeans and all of them were hanging off me. I frowned. No way I've lost weight because I've made a point this month to get reacquainted with chocolate and cupcakes. I check the labels. nope size 10's. So I get on the scale. 128lb. Huh? I am still baffled as to how I managed to loose more weight. Now, I don't want to be one of those women that says "oh I just can't put weight on, it's so annoying" who everyone hates. But well... Hate me if you must, but, HAHA. It's a bit nice after spending 24 years battling with my weight to be able to say that. Credit card is coming out this afternoon and Son will have to suffer through some well needed shopping for size 8's.

Also another reason you may hate me, I happen to be one of those annoying women that wakes up with my hair looking fab. I've never had to do much to my hair, mostly because I pull of the "wind blown" sexy look quite well, you know the one some celebrities spend hours getting done to their hair so they can say it's natural? Well that's me, I can give my head a shake and it falls into a mussed place, or I can grab a pencil give it a twist and it's a perfect sexy knot.

I'm sorry, but I'm feeling pretty damn pleased with myself and I figure no one else is going to say these things about me so I might as well do it.

Son is sleeping at the moment and my bathroom is calling too me.

oh sigh. I suppose I should do something, but I would much prefer to browse through littlewoods and order a few flashy dresses for an up-coming wedding and then maybe make an attempt at For the Love of Cooking's Coffeecake muffins.

Am I a bad person?

Do I care?

What do you think? :)

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Nigela Lawson is a bit of a hero for me. It started with a crush, in which I would watch her cooking shows wondering how someone could make beating an egg sexy, it soon after turned into admiration. She comes across as not only an extremely passionate chef, but also a attentive mother, wife and host. I wanted to be her. She knows how to make people feel comfortable, fed and looked after. At the time this crush started to develop I was living with my cousin who isweartogod is just like Nigela. You can pop by her house unannounced and some how she'll "russel" up a 4 course fine dining type meal and serve it on her best china while making sure you have a drink and tottering around in her heels and cocktail dress, all the while still being a successful magazine editor. She amazed me. I use to just sit in the kitchen at the breakfast bar and watch her work. I could NOT grasp how she managed it. I wanted to know.

Shortly after living with my cousin I got married and pregnant (shortly as in actually while I was still living with her... Husband and I didn't mess around) and started to think about my future as a mother and wife. Now generally I've always been extremely maternal. I practically raised my kid brother. So I was prepared on this side of things, BUT domestically I was hopeless. My mother is not very domestic nor is my father so I had no one to learn from. It was around the time I started thinking about weaning son that I knew I needed to ditch the microwave meals and start cooking fresh, good old home cooking. This was a year ago now, and I think I've come a real long way. But not nearly long enough.

I'm a perfectionist you see, I like things to be perfect, I like my house to be presentable, I like my food to be enjoyable, I like the satisfaction I get from "looking after my boys". But there is also this battle going on inside me. This dream to be that sexy, perfect housewife (Nigela Lawson) and also this dream to be the me I use to think I would be before marriage and kid came into the picture. This independent, brave, spontaneous individual who didn't care about anything but herself and enjoying life. I don't think I was ever destined to be her though, because I have always been a homebody, "put others first" kind of gal. And that's ok with me, I'm good at it.

And I've also kind of gotten use to constantly having itchy feet. I'm young still though... Plently of time to do it all.

In which I bite my tongue

I think Husband must have a 6th sense to when he is in trouble (well not in trouble but when I am at the time of the month) because he is making me dinner. Goats cheese and caramelized onion tarts, but his own recipe... He is trying to out do me, i think.

Don't worry all, I'll take pictures and we'll discuss the evidence tomorrow.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

In which yes I am aware I am going to be posting a lot today

You may recall me mentioning the book man at my office previously. I love him. Today he came to see me (well not me specifically but that is just a minuet detail) and bought me two books I strangely was discussing with my sister-in-law last weekend.

Reggae Reggae Cookbook and GET THIS The ultimate Mrs Beeton Collection.

Brilliant. I am getting both. My sister-in-law and I have been using Reggae Reggae in only one way (marinaded the chicken and then stuffed it with mozzarella and fresh Oregano) and we were discuss possible other recipes we could use it in with no luck. Book man has saved the day.

Mrs Beeston... Well we all know Mrs Beeston right? Author of the all mighty bible for the domestic goddess, more commonly known was "Mrs Beeton's Book Of Household Management"
This is a collection of individual subjects which include; The Best of Mrs Beeton's Puddings & Desserts The Best of Mrs Beeton's Kitchen Garden The Best of Mrs Beeton's Christmas The Best of Mrs Beeton's Household Tips The Best of Mrs Beeton's Jams, Pickles & Preserves The Best of Mrs Beeton's Easy Entertaining The Best of Mrs Beeton's Easy Everday Cooking The Best of Mrs Beeton's Cakes & Baking

I'll post a picture next week when I get my copy. So exciting though. And yes, I am easily pleased. :)

In which I am thoughtful

Sometimes there is nothing like a good cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit to sooth the heart.

In which I want to be popular


I really must take a class in photography or something to spare you guys my ghastly photos.
Last night was Veggie night! Partly because I like to exercise my vegetarian recipe knowledge (since all of my family are vegetarian) and partly because I forgot to defrost any meat and couldn't be bothered to trek to the shop.
OK, actually the latter is only true and the first excuse was thought up brilliantly just now. But my family (the state side ones) are all veggies.
In the end though I made a baked sweet potato with goats cheese and thyme butter. Husband loved it, I thought it was o.k. and Son looked offended I would offer him such a thing. Wotever.
I feel a long post coming on concerning the perils of married life and an older husband, I want to word it correctly and not just have it be a post in which I vent.
I'm also (as pathetic as this will sound) have decided I am on a mission to make new friends. On here and in RL. I have 4 great friends in London, I have quiet a few more "acquaintances" (people's who company I enjoy but wouldn't call for a chat), but despite this my social life is of nothing. Most my friends work shifts, so it's difficult to see them, they are also all childless and so under the impression that I am not allowed out, and so I am never invited anywhere, and even then because they ARE all childless and single when I am invited out it's too a thumping club. Which, yeah, I know, I'm 24, that should be my scene, but it is so not my scene. Don't get me wrong, I like a good boogie every so often, but I'd much rather have a partner in crime to have a fortnightly dinner date with where we make our way through all the restaurants we always talk about trying but then never get around too.
This is going to sound even worse but; I want grown up friends. I want friends who understand the responsibility and weight of marriage and kids, of juggling work and time for yourself, who understand the guilt I feel if I AM selfish. Or maybe not understand but at least are willing to pretend too. I've just felt lately that I could be doing a lot more with my life. So, lets make it happen eh?

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

In which I love thy neighbor

You may recall I mentioned on Sunday that my neighbor had announced she was cooking for us that evening and would bring dinner round. We were not invited to join at hers because she had guests over but she wanted me to try what she was making so insisted on bringing round some for us. I wasn't going to argue.


So husband and I are sat on the couch, twiddling our thumbs, smelling our food through the open back door, waiting...waiting. Waiting and expecting just a couple of plates of food. 7.30pm knock at the door and her son is at the door laden down with food. My god. The woman cooked enough for 6 people! Seriously! I felt so bashful that she didn't just fob some off for us but actually made a separate meal for us.

The rice dish was chicken and rice with...God...Everything? Spiced potatoes (almost like Aloo Potatoes), herbs, spiced.. I could taste mint, thyme, coriander, sage, cumin, turmeric. Seriously it's like she just chucked them all in and it worked.
The meal also included two salad dishes. One of grated Apple, Carrot, Cucumber with a mint, lemon and olive oil dressing. The other tomatoes, red onions, mint and olive oil.
I have no hesitation in saying this was the tastiest meal I have had since I dined at Le Cafe du Jardin. It was beautiful and so very full of flavour. It wasn't spicy although it had a slight kick, but it was perfect. So perfect I even went back for a second full plate! Which I never do (waist line, ya know?).
I'll be knocking on her door tonight to return the plates and will inquire for the recipe then. Sorry about the poor pictures but was in a desperate hurry to sit down and sample the delights.
In completely unrelated news, I love the book man. Do you know the book man? He comes at least twice a month to my place of work and always has some great recipe books for cheap as chips. I've for got 6 on order, on is focused on baking, I'm hoping to really tone up my baking skills this summer. Wish me luck.

Monday, 20 July 2009

In which I again ask

I'm in the process of writing a more hearty blog post but have a quick question (because I'm multi-tasking and also doing my online grocery shopping) mostly aimed at Hevenly Housewife (because she seems to be in the know).

Tomato Sauce in America is like tomato paste with spices and sugar sold in a can....If I remember correctly. What would be a fitting substitute for this in the UK? Tomato Sauce here is ketchup and thinking back to when I've scanned the tin isle of the supermarket I only remember seeing chopped/plum tomatoes, but nothing similar.

Suggestions are welcome and needed!

Thanks again.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

In which everything is wonderful

How's your weekend been? Mine, pretty darn good. From Saturday afternoon onwards it's be really positive, productive and fun (I say Sat afternoon onwards because as you may know I was having a very frustrating fiasco with a certain cupcake recipe. more on that later). We went to Hyde Park for a picnic and to cheer on the participates of Race for Life. I spent the morning (from 7am till 9am) juggling between baking my jalapeno cornbread, shredding bbq'd chicken and preparing sandwiches, frying squash (thanks to a recipe from A Southern Grace), packing the picnic basket/cooler, and trying to get myself and two boys dressed (Boys...I am still awaiting for my husband, at 40, to become a man. I say this with love). It could have been manic but I have to say everything just seemed to flow perfectly and I left the house (clean as well mind you!) feeling very pleased with myself.

It wasn't raining when we left, although the sky looked very ominous, and it wasn't too cool either. So we headed too the tube and caught the Central Line right down too Marble Arch. Of course as soon as we crossed Park lane and entered Hyde Park the heavens opened and it began to rain...And when I say rain I mean it poured. I got completely soaked as I tried to unpack the bottom of the pram in a bid to get the pram rain cover out and on to shelter Son, and then had to re-pack before being able to take the umbrella off Husband (who was suppose to be holding it over me but was too busy watching all the ladies in wet t-shirts to do a good job) and start our trek again. Did I mention I was wearing 3 inch heeled sandals? Well I was. Wet feet in sandals is the worst thing in the world. In case you didn't (although I am sure you do) know.



So we headed to the finish line of the race too set up underneath a perfect tree, huge canopy of leaves to keep us sheltered (although by this time it wasn't raining and didn't rain again until we were heading home). We unpacked, laid the blanket down and let Son run free. It was a lovely picnic, we all really enjoyed it, Son was very well behaved and so was husband. Husband's work colleagues (and my arch rival) didn't join us until after the race (an hour and a half later), they arrived with a sandwich platter and cakes and arch rival and her son in tow. It was great actually too see everyone. The thing about arch rival is her and I really get along and our sons really get along, but there is this unspoken rivalry between us due to getting married on the same day and then having our due date on the same day... I think it is fulled by our husbands (who work together) as they are constantly trying to out beat the other as far as baby milestones go, but it's flowed over into us and I find myself in her company wondering if I am a good mother. Because she is very good, on appearance of course. She is not too strict, fun, involved, good at organizing events/crafts/games... Things I am also good at but I am constantly aware of the 10 year age gap and it makes me wonder if even though we've both been parents for the same amount of time, if her age gives her one up on me. I am aware it is petty and silly to compare myself as each child is an individual blahblah, but there it is, in the back of my mind, even though I do totally believe I am pretty darn good at this mothering thing. I'm happy to say when I saw her though I definitely won the round on 'who can shrink back to their pre-pregnancy size first'. Hurrah.


Moving back to the picnic, and importantly the food, everything I made went down a right treat. The Jalapeno Cornbread was especially popular, and the cupcakes (peanut butter with Cream cheese icing and margarita cupcakes, as mentioned in previous post) were a smash too. I impressed, and ended up pissing off the person who had bought the store bought sandwich platter (Which no one really ate) because they apparently had only come so as to support the runners with food. Well no one told me, so too bad.

Regarding the Margarita cupcakes (a recipe I was guided to thanks to Family, Friends and Food) I had real difficulty with them and I'm wondering if it has to do with the cake mix I used. The recipe calls for White cake mix but Sainsburys only had Victoria Sponge...which I was under the impression was the same. No? Advice would be greatful because I plan on trying these again. Also not sure if you can get just White cake mix in the UK. I didn't see it at least.

Anyway, we ended up heading off home at about 2pm, got in the door at 3pm at which point I broke the news to husband that I didn't have anything at home for dinner (big shop tomorrow), and as if by magic my neighbor knocked on the door and announced us not to eat because she was bringing dinner over for 7pm. Result! I am constantly in our back garden sniffing the air when she cooks because it smells delish! Here's to hoping it tastes as good as it smells (her husband told me other wise, but I think this was in jest).

Cornbread

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk (buttermilk for me makes it just that much better, so try to use this!)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil or shortening, melted, cooled
Sift together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Add eggs, milk and oil or melted shortening. Beat until just smooth-do not overbeat.

Turn into a greased 9x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake in a 425: oven for 20-25 minutes.

Can add drained corn, bacon, finely chopped jalapeno peppers etc. for a different taste.

This recipe I found on Recipezaar by Janic412 after trolling through hundrads for one that sounded familar to the recipe I had back in the USA (where sadly most of my cook books still reside). It's brilliant, easy and I'm going to making it weeky from now on. I can honestly say that when I took my first bite I cried (leaving husband thinking I had lost it) because it reminded me so much of home. Just what I needed.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

In which I fail

These margarita cup cakes are going to be the end of me.

It is not working. I completely ruined one batch because I forgot to convert us measurements to uk measurements and now this time... I don't know, they just aren't working either, least I don't think so... but I followed the recipe.

I'll keep you updated once they are done.

In which I go to war

I've been thinking a lot since Thursday about my life, this is a weekly occurance. Since Thursday because I have therapy on Thursdays and I then tend to spend until Sunday thinking about where I am and where I am going, then come Monday I put it all in my handy little box and leave it there because I don't want to have to deal with it... Until I go to Therapy again and my Therapist brings it all up again.

It's this stupid cycle and I know I really need to face what I am thinking about and come to a decision or at least accept how things are. Not so easy when you spend all your childhood and young adult life dreaming of better places and things and living in your head. My therapist says this was my coping strategy during my childhood, and it served me well in those times when I didn't want to be where i was and experiencing what I was, but now I still do it, even though I have an amazing husband and a perfect little boy. I still live somewhere else, wishing for somewhere else... Even though I am happy. Am I happy? I am pretty sure I am but then I wonder if that's me just making myself believe that so I don't have to deal with what it means if I am not happy.

I am happy. yes. But I did not expect to be here. Not in England. I know I yearn for my homeland, I crave it so badly but with the economy it is a waiting game of when my husband will get a job over seas. A waiting game...Just an FYI here, I am the most impatient person in the world.

Husband and I are going for a drink and a "talk" today so we can discuss the current situation with moving back to America and so we can make a plan. I am nervous. My husband, he is a very good man, he is my best friend, we have so much fun, we work... But I need him to step up now and take responsibility and more than anything, reassure me.

On a final note I don't actually want to leave the UK right now, I just want to know I am going to be home by the end of next year.

I've got Margarita cupcakes in the oven, my house smells like alcohol. I'll blog about these when they are done because I did have a few problems due to the fact its an American recipe.

Friday, 17 July 2009

In which it's a race for life


quite a few people from my husbands work are running the Race for Life this Sunday in ... Hyde park(?) I think. Anyways, there are even more people going to support them and have a picnic etc. (all assuming the weather is nice enough for it).

What should I take.

I was thinking to take, BBQ chicken in rolls, coleslaw, tomato/cucumber & feta salad, some lunch olives and then I was going to (finally) make Peanut butter cupcakes (for the kids) and Margarita cupcakes (for the adults).

Should I take something else? Or does anyone have any suggestion for things that will keep well from morning till lunch in a picnic basket? That's the thing... I don't think I've ever packed a real picnic so I am conscious of things going soggy etc.

I'd love to hear suggestions! I'm looking for a mix of sophisticated food for the adults and fun food for the kids.

Cheers in advance.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

In which thunder all through the night

Is anyone else in the UK experiencing this storm? It is about a mile from where I live I am guessing by the time delay from lightning to thunder. It's pretty intense and the first clap of thunder managed to shake our windows so much two of them popped open. God knows how my son is staying asleep through all this. I love and hate storms. Love them for the adrenaline and beauty of it all but hate them for the vivid memories I have of being a kid (about 8 years old) living in Illinois and having to sit in the living room in the middle of the night as storms rocked our house and waiting to hear the tornado warning sirens.

This kind of ends my day nicely I think though, I had a pretty busy day at work (despite managing to blog twice!) and then I had a very intense therapy session (which I may or may not blog about later depending on how I feel). So yes...fitting.

I'm about write out my "loose monthly meal planner" this is more so that on days I work and know I am busy I can have an idea of what to make for dinner. Weekends are free for all, always, but I like to at least have something I know I can refer to and find in the fridge if needed. Also I love a good list. I am the queen of lists. Lists rule my life. Sad, no?

While I am writing my meal planner I have been listening to a song I have heard a million times written by a very musically talented someone very close to me. I've never really listened to this song though since it is not one of their singles nor is it a hugely popular song off their album...But now I just listened to it... And the lyrics really sum up a lot of how I have felt lately. So thought I'd share.

These are the sounds of days that are passed.

I’m so high that when I look down
I can barely make out my feet on the ground
Don’t you dare grab my hand, try to lead me around
I just wanna lean back, black out and listen to the sounds

Of days that have passed me by

One too many dramatic coffee time chats
A few too many drunken nights that were nothing more than that
I never did get, down and dirty yet
My shoes feel worn and my feet feel wet

It’s in my

Mind you I’m not sure how hard I tried
Though I’d dream of Hawthorne and fantasize
I never took full advantage of the night
The city offered up I just shrugged and let it slide

How selfish am I

I’m a rubber ball, I’m a wooden peg
I’m a broken alarm clock
I’m bouncing around from place to place
Trying to fit in and failing to wake myself up

To opportunity slipping me

By and by I’ve squandered my time
Is this a learning experience or just a sign
Just a second ago I was on track, turn it all back
And give it one more chance

You don’t have to start over
I’m not starting over
I may be going back
But I’m not giving in
And I’m not starting over

Again

Maybe I try too hard to believe
This built personality
And maybe I need to say goodbye
To this time and concede

It never did anything for me
It’s okay to say it’s been a waste
“It’s been a waste



In which I am pleasently surprised.

I cannot believe I did not mention this as soon as it happened.

The other night, I was laying in bed when Husband walked in with a bottle of baby lotion and asked if I would like a massage. No kidding. It's not like he'll never give me one but they usually only happen after a few days of me hunched over complaining about my back. too shocked to say anything I of course just stripped and assumed the position to receive a lovely 30 minute massage from my man. It was well needed! Maybe the Calzones swayed him...

This was so surprising though that through out the massage I kept thinking about that damn glove in my garden...Maybe it is magical and these are some of the effects...ooOOooo. Hah.

But really I am sure the cause of this massage was the inevitable outcome he knew he would receive (which would be somehow me ending up on top by the end of it, ifyouknowwhatimean). Silly man only had to ask, not that I'd tell him that if it means a guilt free massage.

In other un-related news, since I really am domestically just starting out I'm coming to realize that my kitchen is incredibly badly stocked. I don't have the right pans/utensils/tins/equipment... I have minimal herbs/spices/dry goods and what I constantly hear are "cupboard essentials"... So my question is, to the "real people", what should i stock my kitchen with? What will I really use? and what is something that will assist in those days when I need a quick and easy dinner?

All and any suggestions are welcome.

I ask this because yesterday I realized I did not own a wooden spoon....

In which I make a note

I have so much I want to blog about. Little things keep coming to mind that I desperately want to share. Usually I sit procrastinating at work just cruising blogger and writing random things but I've been given new responsibilities at work (horror) and something seems to come over me in which I am actually doing said work. Crazy I know...

I plan on tonight coming home, making a nice pot of tea and curling up with my laptop and doing a bit of a weekly catch up.

See you then!

Unless of course I decided to go back to my old ways and procrastinate at work, which is entirely possible.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

In which I think dried cranberries are yummy


My post title is totally unrelated to this post. But it is true non-the-less.

I have to say again (and I know I said it yesterday), I'm really enjoying reading my blog roll. So many great bloggers out there. I sit at my desk laughing, smiling, nodding along and being inspired as I read through them. I'm so glad to be a part of this. I'm also really enjoying blogging again. Loving it in fact... Would even go as far to say it makes me a better person. This is so not true, but who cares?

I might slightly be in love with many of the recipes For The Love Of Cooking and Closet Cooking have been posting. Fucking beautiful.

There is one thing I have got to ask though; what the hell is the difference between a RL Lesbian and NOT a RL Lesbian... Can you be an internet lesbian but as soon as you step into the real world girls are yucky? ... Strange. I, if it is unknown am bi-sexual but only by technicality. That technicality is my husband because if it wasn't for him I would totally be full blown lesbo, but he's kind of an exception to the rule because; HAWT.

ahem, s'cuse me.

Adventured into the world of calzones last night and I think I hit them right on the nose. Easy and kind of fun to make too. Husband loved them, especially the size of them! Who knew you could get so much out of such a small ball of dough! I made Mushroom and ham but you could use anything, I think I'll try black olive and pepperoni next time.

Mushroom and Ham Calzone
(Serves 4)
  • 100g pack cooked ham (lunch meat), chopped into pieces
  • mozzarella cheese ball, torn into pieces
  • carton of creamed tomatoes
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 1tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 6 large closed cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 290g pack pizza base mix (or for those more talented kind feel free to make your own pizza base! just don't ask me how to do it.)
preheat the oven to 220c, fan 200c, gas 7. Empty the 2 sachets from the pizza base mix into a bowl. Add 250ml hot water and kneed well on a lightly floured board for 5 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, then cover and leave to sit for 10 minutes.

In a bowl combine the ham, mozzarella and mushrooms.

In another bowl combine the creamed tomatoes, tomato puree and mixed herbs. Mix well.

Divide the pizza dough into 4 even portions. Roll each piece into a 20cm circle and cover half of each circle with 1-2 tablespoons of the tomato mixture and then 1/4 of the filling. brush the beaten egg on the edges of the circle and then fold the dough over to encase the filling. Crimp the edges of the calzone and brush with more beaten egg. Bake the calzone in the oven for 20 minutes or until a golden color.


Tuesday, 14 July 2009

In which I get hothothot


Check this out fellow foodies.

Is anyone else deadly curious?

I am.... And seriously considering a trip to Selfridges food hall this Friday just to try it.

In which I use my prerogative as a woman

My following list today is to die for. Everyone is blogging all kinds of interesting/yummy and pretty things. Loving it.

Yesterday was not one of my best days unfortunately. Felt very much that the mundane was getting just a little too mundane for my liking. Questioned if I was a good mother, and if I wasn't how could I be a better one, questioned if I really wanted "this life", Just one of those days. You see, if you had told me not that long ago that when I was 24 I would be married, with a kid and striving to be a domestic goddess I would have laughed in your face and then taken a long swig from a tequila bottle before climbing on a table to dance. Ok, that's an exaggeration because I was never a party animal, not a "girls gone wild". But I was very independent, stubborn and convinced i would travel the world alone being beautifully selfish. Then love knocked me right off my feet and I find myself here, never happier but also a little shell shocked. So yes, I think I'm allowed a "what the fuck" day every so often.

Due to my mood yesterday I was feeling homesick which means I fancy eating Mexican, but also could not be bothered to cook, so I adapted a Sweet and Sour Chicken recipe I have for my crock pot and it went a little something like this:

Crock Pot Mexican Chicken

1 1/2 cups Par-boiled rice
600g skinless-boneless chicken thighs, cut in half & trimmed of fat
I tin of Kidney Beans
Jar of Mexican sauce (any kind would work I suspect. I used Fajita sauce but Enchilada or Taco would work)
1 cup Chicken Stock
2 cups Grated cheese

Use cooking spray to grease the crock pot and then layer ingredients in the order shown above. cook on low for 4 hours.

It was tasty but i think I over cooked the rice from the beginning because it was very mushy, so of course, son LOVED it. I was so happy to see him eat so much, Felt very accomplished, nothing like feeding my boys.

Monday, 13 July 2009

In which I ask a question...or two.

Excuse me if I sound nieve for this question, but just wondering if anyone knows.

Where could I buy Garlic Scape?

And also I've been looking at making a key lime pie for donkeys but am hesitant because I am unsure of the difference between key lime juice and ...well...lime juice. Is there a difference? All the recipes I have call for key lime juice specifically (which I would like to use) but I've only ever seen just lime juice or fruit in the shops... never specifically key lime. There might not be a difference but thought I'd ask.

Ta.

in which something is afoot

My son has started being very difficult to get to sleep and put down for a nap and I am finding it particularly hard to stay patient as I am so use to him being so good at nap/bed time. since 3 months old he has been able to settle himself and would sleep from 7pm-7am so for him to start acting up now I am finding it hard to adjust. He is breaking my heart today, playing up, doing things he knows he isn't allowed to do (like swinging on the curtains) and I hatehate having to be tough/firm on him, but I know I can't just let him run amok... It breaks my heart though because I don't want him to think I'm a mean mummy... Like I said, hard to adjust.

last night son wouldn't go to sleep until 9pm which means Husband and I don't eat until 10pm which means we go to bed still feeling full which means no sex for yours truly. It's a hard life.

Maybe his acting like this has something to do with the twilight-zone like atmosphere in our garden as of late. On Friday morning I woke up to find a ratty old garden glove (not one of ours or our neighbors) sat in the middle of our lawn, Husband disposed of it by throwing to down the side of the shed (Where he throws all things I ask him to take to the dump/get rid of. So helpful). Every morning that glove has reappeared smack in the middle of our lawn, every day husband chucks it again down the side of the shed, and then again that following morning it will be lying in the middle of the garden as if nothing was ever done about it. Spooky.

Last night while husband was struggling to get Son to bed I decided to make husband's most favorite treat; caramelized red onion and goats cheese tarts. I've never made them before but he always orders them in restaurants, I had the ingredients too hand and so thought why not give the recipe a go.

On hind sight I would add maybe 1/2 - 1 tsp more of brown sugar because I found the onions weren't quiet sweet enough and I'd also use short crust pastry (although the recipe does call for puff), although husband liked the puff-pastry I would have preferred a bit of a bite too it. Oh also, as you can tell from the picture I only had that soft goats cheese in my fridge, but I would recommend the soft round one you can get that had rind so when you slice it it'll hold together.

Red Onion and Goat's Cheese Tarts

1 packet puff pastry, rolled out
4tbsp olive oil
4tbsp butter
4 large red onions, sliced thinly
1tsp brown sugar
3tsp balsamic vinegar
3tsp soy sauce
salt and pepper
200g mushrooms, sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2tbsp finely chopped parsley
100g soft goats cheese

Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6. Line four greased 15cm flan tins with pastry (I used a tart tin :P)

Heat 1sbsp of the olive oil and half the butter in a saucepan, add the onions and over with lid. Leave to cook for 15 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the sugar and allow to cook until the onions begin to caramelize.
Add the vinegar and soy sauce, stir and leave to cook until onions begin to sweat. Season to taste.

Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the remaining butter in another saucepan. Add the mushrooms and garlic and gry until the mushrooms are golden bron. Add the mushrooms to the onion mixture, along with the parsley.

Fill the pastry cases with the filling and place two slices of goats cheese over each tart. Sprinkle the remaining olive oil over each.

Bake tarts for 5-8 minutes until the cheese starts to brown. Serve with rocket salad and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

In which I moan about my boobs

My garden is coming along nicely I think. The flower bed is starting too look more like a flower bed than just a weed garden...I managed to pick the only flowers in B&Q that were ugly as hell unless they were in full bloom. So 5 hours a day the garden looks pretty and colorful, then as soon as the flowers go back in it looks...well, like a bunch of over grown shrubs.

Anyways, I'm pleased with it considering this is my first year at really attempting to maintain a garden (though I don't have nearly enough time to keep on top of the weeding...least that's what i tell myself)

Son has been watching me when I do the weeding though and so now has taken to helping, except he goes for the heads of all my flowers and plucks those off, proudly tossing them into the compose heap before clapping for himself. So sweet.

Husband, Son and I are about to venture out of the house (at 2pm on a Sunday. I think that's pretty good progress) to head into town for a bit of food shopping and bra shopping! exciting! I am sure the boys are pleased to be joining me on this trip. Needs to be done though, I haven't bought a bra since I first stopped breast-feeding...When I was a fun size 34DD... Now, shamefully I am a A cup. I mourn this loss often; hence a boob job being in my "Current needs" bar on the right. I have to say though, it's not so much that I am an A cup that upsets me, it is that I am hardly any cup, my use-to-be pert and firm bosoms have turned into little flaps of loose skin. I'm in my early 20's guys... It's just not fair.
I'd like to fully blame this on breast-feeding (not that I would choose not to do it again) but I think it's mostly the fact that I was 50lb heavier when I gave birth than I am today.

It's a shame though... It took me a year to loose all the weight I put on when I was pregnant (I gave in to every single one of my cravings) and I finally have a nice slim/trim figure again...but for some reason I was under the impression that when I was fat, underneath it all was this perfect super-star type body. Firm abs, pert boobs, tight little waist, round bottom. Alas... No... No one told me I would also have to...gasp...tone up!

The amount of "Get a perfect body FAST" DVD's I own is shameful. One day I might do them too.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

In which I consider all things baking


I really have an urge to get back into baking lately. I've mastered cooking (when I say mastered I mean I can follow a recipe, which although may not be an achievment for you it's a huge one for me considering how un-domestic I was this time last year) and now I want to be able to bake. Bread, cakes, deserts... Everything.

I made Heavenly Housewife's English Muffin Bread (As seen above) this morning, which wasn't a total disaster although it didn't rise hardly any (yeast problems?) and I then forgot it was in the oven so it got a bit crisp (and brown as you can see), Husband devoured it none the less, so I suppose in a way it was a success, though I feel I could have done better. I now have a huge bag of cornmeal left over from that recipe, so I'm thinking...American Cornbread? They don't sell powdered buttermilk in this country and the only recipe I have calls for that. I will do some searching later today. Was thinking of putting jalapenos in it. mmmm.

I have a vague memory though that cornbread is...sweetish. No? I haven't had cornbread since I last had Thanksgiving in America, which was 6 years ago, so my memory is fuzzy. Is it cornbread I am thinking of or a different bread? muffins? ... like those muffins they sell at KFC in America? what are those?

time for some domestic research it seems. I'll let you know how it goes. Oh, and yes, might attempt the cupcakes tomorrow.

Friday, 10 July 2009

In which I am hopeless


Son was exceptionally well behaved today. He's such a good boy, so easy and fun. He didn't sleep much for his nap though so Husband is now putting him to bed a little early, if he'll go to sleep that is, of course. (edit: Husband tried to get him to sleep at 7:30pm...It is now 10pm and he's finally drifting off)

I am about to make a second attempt at making Heavenly Housewife's English Muffin Loaf. God I hope it works or Husband will laugh at me, I am sure. He was not here to witness the first attempt, which was diabolical. Fingers crossed.

It amazes me how I can completely screw any baking up even if it is a piece of piss to make. How do I manage it?

anyways, dinner tonight was baked potato topped with fresh baby leaf spinach, tender steak strips, chunky red onion quarters and blue cheese salad dressing. Was yummy but with hind sight I think I'd prefer it with ranch salad dressing next time, although both of us love all things blue cheese i found it too overpowering for this dish.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

In which I try to be a good person

I have just finished reading Nick Hornby's "How to be good" and it got me thinking. What constitutes a good person? Who decides what is good and what isn't? Is it not all a matter of opinion? The same as what some people find is "normal" other do not...?

I am going to have to sit on this for a while I think, really think about it and come to a decision for myself. But in the mean time I'd love to hear what others thoughts are on this.

Do you consider yourself a good person? Why?

I always have considered myself a good person, but now I am wondering other wise. Are there any good people in the world other than, you know... Buddha, Mother Theresa, Will Smith and Jesus. I mean really good. Like totally selfless... Is that what makes you a good person? Selflessness? But is it not human to be selfish? even just a little?

Ah, like I said, I shall have to ponder this for a while. I'll leave you with a quote though.

This one said to me today by my therapist: We can only find perfection in imperfection

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

In which Tex-Mex fish fillets are made


Husband and I served this on Mexican style rice with tortilla chips and salsa on the side. It was the perfect summer quick 'n' easy meal.

Tex-Mex fish fillets


4 boneless white fish fillets
2 tbsp fajita seasoning
2 tbsp sunflower oil
200g pot guacamole
handful coriander leaves (I think it's called cilantro in the USA) roughly chopped
lime wedges to serve

Dust the fish in the seasoning and heat the oil in a shallow frying pan.
Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until crisp.

Seve each piece of fish with a spoonful of guacamole on top, a scattering of chopped coriander
and a lime wedge for squeezing.



Oh, and in case you are wondering... No that is not how mine looked. I wish. I took a shot of the photo in the magazine I got this recipe from, because by the time I thought to take a picture of our meal half of it was gone.

In which I make small talk and say whats on my mind


Today it smells like Christmas. I'd like to say that I can smell holly, egg nog, Christmas pudding, apples and cinnamon, a Sunday roast, anticipation, excitement, cheer. Nope. I can smell wet, fresh, clean air. This smell always reminds me of Christmas... Maybe because I only started celebrating Christmas when I moved to England, and well...we all know England is wet. I don't know what it is but that cool, wet but fresh smell makes me think of Christmas. I love it.

And on that note it is way to early to be talking about Christmas.

I have been very busy at work today, I'd go into detail but then you all might shoot yourselves and I don't want to be responsible for that kind of blood bath. Not yet at least. God, that was dark... Anyways, I'm about to leave to go collect my little 16 month old bundle of terror and joy. I will walk into his nursery he will run at me smiling and calling "Mama" and then he will rugby tackle me in a hug and then we will walk home and the whole way home he will smack me in the face. I don't know why he does this... I can only assume it is punishment for being a bad mother and leaving him at nursery (even though he loves it there and never complains upon being dropped off). I'd like to point out though that he never hits Daddy when he picks him up. Why does he smack? He has never witnessed smacking... When he does smack I encourage him not too (in many different ways, hoping that one day, one of them will work). What I don't get though is that when he does it, I swear, the look on his face is EVIL. He's a good, happy, fun toddler. And I think (and am told by others) easy and a joy to look after... But my god, it's like he stares me down while he goes to smack me and his little lips purse and it's like he's really thinking about what he's doing, testing me too see what I will do. I am told though he does not smack at nursery or when he's with others... It's just me... I like to pretend it's because he loves me and trusts me more than anyone else and knows I will still love him no matter what... It's easier to tell myself that.

I made Mexican Fish for dinner last night for Husband and I. I was very apprehensive about this because the recipe just didn't work in my mind, but it was delicious, husband loved me a little bit more and I was pleased because he took me a whole 2 minutes of minimal effort. Which is always a plus when you are a working mum.

I'll post picture and recipe when I get home.

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