This week we are starting off a new 6 part series on healthy eating. I have invited Becky back to the blog to talk to you all about healthy dinners. Becky has already been on the blog talking about healthy breakfasts and healthy lunches so each Monday for the next 6 weeks Becky will be giving us a tasty dinner recipe.
She will be starting off today with green smoothie’s, then looking at Frittata, Roast chicken and Roasted Vegetables, Fish, Rice and Greens, Slow cooked Casserole and Salmon/chicken, salad and spicy sweet potato wedges. I hope you enjoy getting some tasty and healthy ideas for your dinner.
I’ll pass you over to Becky…….
By dinner time we are all often tired and hungry, and just want something easy. The secret to healthy food is having a few easy meals in our repertoire that we can cook without thinking. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few easy meal ideas to get you thinking and cooking!
We all have foods we do and don’t like, so I will be adding options for each of my suggestions to amend a dinner if you don’t eat certain ingredients, in particular, I have added meat, Vegan and Vegetarian options for each meal idea.
As with my previous blog posts on healthy lunches and breakfasts, all my suggestions are made from REAL food and follow the theory that a plant based diet will give optimum health. Most people do not need to cut out grains, meat or dairy, although there are some people that will see a great improvement in their health if they do. My advice is to try a 2 week elimination diet if you suspect a particular food/food group of having a negative impact. But for most people, increasing plant based foods, and reducing grains, meat and dairy will be fantastic for both health and waistline!!
I hope you try a few of the ideas– they are all meals that I turn to when I can’t think of what to cook.
And finally THE RECIPES ARE NOT EXACT.
I think we all need to learn to experiment with our cooking. It is the only way we will ever learn to quickly whizz up meals from fresh ingredients using what’s available from the fridge.
I don’t think I’m alone in being exhausted and starving when I get home late from work. I highly recommend whizzing up a green smoothie as a quick ‘pick me up’ when you immediately get home from work to keep you going whilst you prepare dinner. Please don’t think of this as needless calories. Calories are not all equal. Green smoothies offer pure nutrition and hydration; they are bursting with fibre, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and water. (more…)
I have a new writer to introduce to you today, a lovely lady who will be sharing lots of lovely recipes with us over the next few weeks and months. It’s Myriam Perez from Bizcocho Pastries. Myriam is a professional cake maker so will be bringing us lots of lovely recipe ideas with easy step by step instructions to follow. Today Myriam is sharing with us this tasty Cheese Scone recipe.
- 500g plain flour
- 120g unsalted cold butter
- 300ml buttermilk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbl caster sugar
- 90g grated cheese (I use red Leicester)
- 1 egg
Makes 9 large scones (using a 3’’ cutter) or 15 small scones.
I do love family photography,especially the more natural type that I like to feature here on the blog. There is something so free and easy about photos of children playing in their natural environment and todays family shoot is a wonderful example of just that! Photos of posed families taken in studios are all well and good but photos of families out in their natural environment, whether that is at home or out and about playing and having fun are so much better. These sorts of photos really bring out the personalities of the children and act as lasting memories of how those children really are. I’d like to say a big thank you to Helen from Schryver Photo for this gorgeous collection of photos.
Here’s Helen to tell you more about the shoot……..
This fun family photo shoot with Jude, Lucie and George took place on the beach at Whitstable, Kent, before school on a blustery July morning. I pretty much always shoot outdoors – it’s so much more fun for all involved! The more relaxed and free the children are, the easier it is to capture their genuine expressions and unique personalities. For me it’s all in the details – the wind blowing their hair across their face, the way they throw their head back when they laugh, the mischievous grin as they splash in the sea and soak their new shoes, and the way they gently hold a sibling’s hand in theirs…..These are the things that are so easily forgotten as our children grow, and so the little details and genuine moments have become the focus of my photography, as opposed to countless posed shots complete with forced grins!
Whitstable is a favourite location of mine – there’s so much variety and I’m a sucker for the multi-colours of a beach hut or two! I work all over Kent and London, and occasionally further afield. I have my favourite spots for family sessions but also love it when a client asks me to shoot somewhere new. (more…)
Today we are back with Kirsty and baby Kailin. We met Kailin a few weeks ao when she was just 3 weeks old. She is now 13 weeks old and coming on in leaps and bounds. However it hasn’t all been plain sailing! Kirsty had the fright of her life a few weeks ago when she found her self in hospital with her baby girl, something I’m sure every parent dreads!
I’ll pass you over to Kirsty to tell you what happened…………
My last blog post was when my gorgeous little button Kailin was three weeks old. I was wrapped up in a baby bubble and so content with my life and my little family. My two daughters were perfect, my husband was loving and my life felt complete. The following week I got .
One Tuesday evening I was giving Kailin her usual bath before her big sister, got her into her jammies and ready for bed. She usually drifted off to sleep after her bedtime bottle at 7.15pm but this night she never. She let out a low, strained cry and seemed in obvious distress. Wind was my first thought. After rubbing and patting her back for what seemed like an eternity she still wasn’t settled. I tried her with a dummy, tried cuddling her, tried leaving her in her cot all swaddled up…nothing worked and she was getting more and more agitated. It was then I noticed she was hot, very hot, and a rash had developed over her chest. By this time it was around 2am and I was worried sick. She hadn’t slept a wink and was refusing her bottle too. I phoned NHS24 who called me back within the hour and told me to make my way to the nearest emergency department. When I answered the call I was already in the carpark at the hospital – I wasn’t going to risk waiting for them to return the call.
Upon examination my the out of hours GP I was sent to Ninewells hospital where Kailin was born. They have a designated childrens ward and I was told it was important she was seen by a paediatrician as soon as possible. The twenty minute drive to the hospital had me in tears – everything seemed to flash before my eyes. Four weeks earlier my husband and I drove this same road in darkness knowing we would meet our baby girl in a few weeks. Now I was taking her to the childrens ward. My heart was beating so fast while she as silent in the back of the car.
As soon as we arrived Kailin was taken from me and surrounded by a number of doctors and nurses. Her rash was worse, her temperature was 39’c, her skin was mottled and she was motionless. This was it, I thought I was losing my baby. My little angel was hooked up to lots of machines while the doctors carried out lots of tests including a lumbar puncture. Possible meningitis. We were then admitted to the high dependency unit. Heartbroken.
Last weeks Real Travel feature saw us stay within the UK as we looked at Northumberland and Bath, today we are getting off in search of some glorious sunshine to the Spanish city of Valencia. Laura Babb from Babb Photos, takes us on an alterative trip round this amazing Spanish city which is actually the third biggest in the whole of Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.
An Alternative Guide to Valencia
We look at lots of different travel destinations on the blog, and so far I have taken you all across the world looking at people’s recommendations on where to visit. Today however we are looking at places closer to home as we stay in UK, looking at Northumberland and Bath, courtesy of Lucy Oates-Dibnah from Boutique and Breakfast. Lucy Oates-Dibnah counts herself extremely lucky to be able to visit wonderful places to stay in the course of her work. Here she recommends a great destination for a family break and the perfect choice for a weekend away with the girls…
I’ll pass you over to Lucy………
I recently discovered the magic of Northumberland and really fell for its rugged charm; endless, unspoilt beaches; and sleepy little villages. I visited with my husband, our little girl and our two dogs, and we can’t wait to return…
Stroll among the sand dunes at Bamburgh: This is the best way to get a close-up view of one of Northumberland’s most iconic sights – Bamburgh Castle. The recorded history of this sprawling fort, which occupies a lofty position on a rocky outcrop, dates back to 547, although much of what you see today was built in Victorian times. We picked up fish and chips at Seahouses and parked up close to the castle to enjoy an al fresco lunch with a view before heading out into the dunes and down onto the beach.
Have a crab sandwich at Craster: This picture postcard village is actually the home of Northumberland’s famous kippers and, although you may want to pick up some of those too, the crab sandwiches at the Jolly Fisherman pub are the freshest I’ve ever tasted. When we visited, the skies were grey and moody, and enormous waves were crashing ominously beyond the tiny little harbour, but Craster’s beauty still shone through.
Drive down the coast from Warkworth to Amble: The drive from Warkworth (which has a stunning castle and is a lovely place to shop and lunch) is particularly picturesque as the road closely follows the course of the River Coquet towards the sea. Although we were not lucky enough to see them, it’s sometimes possible to spot seals.
Spend time at Druridge Bay Country Park: Located south of Amble, the park comprises three miles of beach – one of the most beautiful that I’ve seen – and sand dunes, alongside a large freshwater lake surrounded by woods and meadows. There’s a children’s play area and visitor centre, although the café was unfortunately closed when we were there. There are plenty of spots to enjoy a picnic and you could easily spend a full day there in warmer weather. As it was rather chilly when we visited, after a walk on the beach we continued down the coast to Widdrington, where we enjoyed delicious homemade cakes and hot chocolate at The Country Barn farm shop.