Just a little bit different

I told my business coach that I wanted ‘new experiences’ and when she asked for examples (given that I had just said I was all about stability) I clarified that going to a local trampoline park on a Saturday morning would meet the brief. I also realised on holiday a couple of years ago that lying on a sun lounger for 4 minutes feels like a two week holiday and then there’s that meme that’s always going round facebook that ‘You know you’re a mom when a 15 minute shower with the door closed feels like a spa day’. And this is true. I bet the Sainsbury’s marketing team would be thrilled that I’m channelling their campaign, but little twists is what it’s about. That’s a longwinded way of saying I’m back on beans.

In an effort to make beans more vegatabley (as now we’re supposed to be on 10 a day – another thing I’m lagging behind on- AND while I’m on things I’m lagging behind on, I’m supposed to be cleaning my toilet every day according to Good Housekeeping. I had assumed these two facts were unrelated, but now I’m not so sure…) I made a kind of beefed up beans.

Onion chopped toddler small, some smoked paprika and a little bit of cumin (less than the smoked paprika, a tentative ‘not sure if this really fits here, but it feels right’ kind of amount) in pan with oil, cook down a little and add tin of tomatoes, cook down a little again and add tin of beans, forget about it while cleaning bathroom, run downstairs to smell of burning, salvage and serve with grated cheese and natural yoghurt on baked potato.

Trying to do the right thing

I’ve never really seen eye to eye with health visitors. Whenever I’ve been to see them for a Tete a Tete, it’s always ended up more in a head to head. Horns locked (and head-based metaphors exhausted), I’ve argued about vitamins, sleeping, signing, weight gain etc etc. But I also secretly want their approval – god, parenting is full of contradictions. So, today’s lunch was that health visitor favourite – cauliflower cheese. Or more accurately – cauliflower and broccoli macaroni (penne, not buying different pasta for one dish) cheese. Plus apparently pimped mac&cheese is de rigeur, so maybe I’ll be talk of the slide down at preschool.

Cooked penne, adding in frozen veg to cook in same pot. Made a white sauce in other. I promise – white sauce only took same length of time as cooking pasta. Butter in pan until melts, sprinkle of flour until it’s sort of coming together (less flour=more forgiving, took me ages to twig this), splash of milk, whisk until smooth, keep adding splashes of milk until a sauce, slightly thinner than you think, add grated cheese which thickens it slightly. Drain pasta and veg, mix. Add in handful of leftover and heated up roasted butternut squash randomly. I would have added some breadcrumbs and done under grill, but no time. Baby seemed particularly put out every time she ate a bit of cauliflower because it wasn’t pasta, giving me a look that fully conveyed the depth of my deceptive betrayal, but I enjoyed it.

Balance

Word of today – balance. Lovely, lovely day meeting up with friends. Play versus work versus money versus children discussed by adults; sentiment mirrored by toddlers – ‘I’m a bit bigger’, ‘I’M a bit smaller’. Fresh air and woodland play in the morning balanced at home in the afternoon by 4 back to back episodes of current favourite TV programme for overtired toddler. And so it was for food. It’s the end of the week – ha, self-employed, no end to the week – the end to the bit of the week where I’m the only one allegedly in charge, and we’re all tired. Hello again, baked potatoes. However, the potatoes I had were totally inappropriate sizes for the job in hand and so wedges it was with ‘mini crustless quiches’ and that same soup from the other day to provide the veg. Thank god for soup.

Eggs beaten in jug, good splash of whole milk mixed in. Little bits of ham and grated cheese on bottom of cupcake tin, egg mixture poured over top. In oven for 20-25 mins, came out as overcooked as I feel. 15 would have been fine I reckon.

Always a place in my heart for cheese on toast

A few days off with a stomach bug where even watching a bird pull a worm out of the ground made me feel sick, but now back on track. Scarily, I seem to have developed some kind of gastro Stockholm syndrome, as beans were the food of choice when I could face it again.

Today’s lunch was just going to be cheese on toast, but I pushed myself a tiny bit because, obviously, THE INTERNET is watching. Looking in the fridge, I spotted some elderly basil. Suspecting that basil wouldn’t freeze well given that it’s more sensitive than Trump, I made some pesto. Dropped on with the cheese before it went under the grill and served with the inevitable grapes.

Into the hand blender beaker – basil, olive oil, tiny garlic clove (I’ve made that mistake before), flaked almonds (would have used ground but run out and no-one has the money for pine nuts) and grated mature cheddar (I’m assuming more baby friendly than aged Modenese Parmigiano-Reggiano, it does the job for a toddler lunch anyway).  Whizzed up (completely due to pesky spiky almonds) and added to toast. Ideally more evenly, but was against the clock, and it was winning.