Category Archives: food

Cheesy goodness

Surely, given half the chance, I’m not the only person in the planet who would love a mac and cheese bath? Look at all that creamy goodness!

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Digging for treasure

I am equally delighted and dismayed by yesterday’s unintentional discovery.

I had a rare half a day off yesterday. Had an awesome shoot in the morning followed by what was meant to be mommy and gia day. Then we got a letter in the post to advise of Max’s last developmental health check with the PHN for that very same afternoon! (Eeek! Where did the time go? But that’s a story for another day) So I got to hang out with my kids anyway.

Their cousins are over from England so we headed out to see if they were home to say hello but they weren’t there so we headed for the beach.

After a showery afternoon, it was a gorgeous evening. Warm and sunny with a cool breeze. It was low tide, the beach felt eerily deserted after the weeks of local crowds descending on it with the good weather. I had emptied the beach gear out of the car just that morning to put in my photo props so we didn’t have a single bucket or spade.

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But we weren’t stopping long, just a quick walk before we headed back to see if the cousins were home.

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We foraged for unusual shells to make a beach collage which kept them occupied for a bit.

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Then Gia headed off on her adventure while max was extremely whiney about the green sand. The tide was so far out and the sand had mossy pockets which he thoroughly disapproved of! He kept demanding I pick him up and walked on his tippy toes the whole time cos he didn’t like the dirty sand. He was driving us bananas so we headed back and I noticed a man with a bucket and I was instantly intrigued. What is he doing? What is he collecting? Can I eat it?

I crept closer and started to eavesdrop when I spied a bucket full of seaweed. He told the lady who stopped to chat to him that we was collecting it for his wife for a foot bath, there was chat about healing properties but I half tuned out and max was still whining, until he bent down, plucked something out of the sand and then ate it.

Oooh!! This was more like it. I asked him what he was eating and he said cockles! As if I should have known. Then he bent over again, found another one, opened it up and offered it to me.

And now you’re probably thinking, wtf? I read all this for cockles?

But I seriously cannot explain how amazing this was to me. He may as well have offered me ambrosia. This little raw morsel of bivalve was like gold. It was briny, like the sea. It was sweet and fresh and it evoked memories of my childhood and my dad. I wish I was as eloquent as Anthony Bourdain when he recounted his experience of the first time he ate an oyster. It was that kind of revelation. Joy, closely followed by utter dismay that I’d been coming to this beach for the last 13 years and was unaware of the treasure that lay just beneath my feet.

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Sure, I’ve eaten cockles before, but they came out of a jar. This was digging your fingers into the sand to comb through it to grasp these little molluscs to eat. Raw, on the beach, with the smell of sand and sunshine around you.

It brought me back to summers with my dad when he would bring home bushels of “butil” (a smaller, similar clam like food- I don’t know it’s real name) from cavite and we would sit outside eating it, just the two of because nobody else could be bothered cos it was so tiny and tedious. In fairness, most shellfish have very little ROI when you factor in how hard it is to pick it out of their shells, etc. But it was like “our” thing.

I promptly abandoned my kids on the shore while I had a forage for myself. He taught me how to open them, like turning a key. And my excitement must have been evident cos his wife made her way down to us to see what all the commotion was about. I was that thrilled that both my kids were enticed to try it. My kids! Gabriella with her clean fetish ate something that came out of the ground without disinfecting it to within an inch of its life.

My new friend told me not to tell all and sundry where it was lest the hordes descend on our wee beach but any local will know exactly where this is. I wish someone had shared it with me years ago!

I could wax eloquent for pages yet but this was truly a memorable day 🙂

So much so that I went back today, sans children, with a bucket and spade to dig out my dinner.

The beach was blessedly deserted, I didn’t fancy scaring anyone away with my enthusiasm if they made the mistake of asking me what I was doing.

I had a million things on my to do list today, but the hour I took for myself to dig around in the sand was nothing short of therapeutic. Plus, I got dinner to boot 🙂

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Again, the return on investment isn’t that great, but it made it all the sweeter. This is how cavemen must have felt. I get food. I feed family.

But, in this case, I kind of forgot to share 🙂

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I googled loads of recipes to try but in the end, I ate them standing up over the counter, fresh out of the steamer, no condiments, juice running down my arms. Heaven in a bowl.

Bad mummy

I’ve had a sick feeling in my tummy all day. I yelled at Gabriella (a lot) this morning. We were late, I couldn’t sleep so I couldn’t get up. She was up with the birds as usual and dressed and ready to go before I got downstairs. The usual what to feed my exceedingly picky kids for breakfast game started. She wanted boiled eggs, he wanted fruit trees. So I got breakfast ready and went up for a shower. She came up and asked could she have another egg and I told her to go ahead. She only eats the yolks and we don’t have it that often.

When I got downstairs, she had peeled and discarded all the white bits off all over the table and her tea set and had wiped her dirty hands on her clothes.

I lost the plot.

It seems so petty now but I was so cross and they weren’t paying attention cos they were watching cartoons and I freaked out more than I should.

A lot of it is my own fault. I should have prepared something the night before, I should have got up earlier, I shouldn’t let them watch cartoons in the morning, I should have stood my ground years ago and made them eat whatever I cooked, should have, would have, could have.

Max was delighted he wasn’t in trouble for once and started taunting her. Little @&3*%! So I yelled at him too.

Gah!!!!

So I apologised to Gabriella for yelling at her and rushing them but to be honest, I feel like it was a passive aggressive faux apology which she’ll probably remember in therapy years from now.

So I feel sick to my stomach and eaten up by guilt for being such a bad mummy. I’m working all day and I have a shoot this evening so they’ll probably be asleep by the time I get home. 😦

I need a day off from my two jobs, I need sleep, I need to stop chasing my own tail, but most importantly, I need to reconnect with my kids. To turn off my phone and all the other iDevices and just be. With my kids.

Just be.

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Gia and mummy day

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Technically, my day started at 4am when max threw up all over me. But let’s not dwell on that or the mt Everest of laundry waiting to be done.

Gia had an appointment in LGH today and it was an awkward time so she got to play hooky from school today.

So did I!

Anyway, it went well and hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We went shopping afterwards for paddy’s day. The brief was wear as much green as you can to school tomorrow. So green it was. Lots of it!

She also spotted this:

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She has been bugging me for months for a detective outfit and none of my DIY costumes were doing the trick so when she spotted this, I think the people in the next town heard her excitement!

Next stop was a hat for the detective outfit. And not just any old hat but a Sherlock Holmes one. Needless to say, the magic of penneys only extends so far. So she settled for this:

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At least she amused herself while I was trying not to get too depressed while trying on clothes.

Anyway, she wanted to go to crèche for an hour to show off her new outfit and I waited outside the door when she went in. I heard her BFF exclaim, “Gabriella, you’re a detective!!!”. It obviously worked and she was well pleased with herself 🙂

So we always try to craft or bake for special occasions and we settled on green cupcakes!!!

We used this recipe: http://frugallygreenmom.com/2012/03/leprechaun-cupcakes.html

Now, I have to say, I always halve the amount of sugar in recipes but didn’t for this one, thinking the spinach might be too strong otherwise. Well, it’s not. Far from it. You can’t taste the spinach, I think the primary taste is the apples but its really sweet!

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Still, it’s super green, which was the point and instead of leprechaun cakes, max christened them Hulk cupcakes! 🙂

Whether the kids will eat it remains to be seen tho 🙂

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Yum!

Day 3. Something on my plate

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Divine! 🙂 I was out for dinner the other night and ordered a bleu steak and it came well done. The Irish, as a majority, prefer their steak cremated. I was so annoyed. So I had to make some myself. 🙂 yum!

Running on empty

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Talk about running on empty, I don’t think we stopped all day. Work appointment, hair appointment, buying birthday presents, blessing of daniel’s garden, birthday party then shrek the musical to end the day.

I’m beat!

Catch up!

Day 30. Your Personality

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A little bit crazy, a little bit desperate. That’s me.

Day 31. Something beautiful

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A perfectly seared filet steak, cut paper thin. Served in a seaweed hand roll with rice, Japanese mayo, wasabi, scallions and Japanese pepper. Beautifully delicious.

June 2012

Day 1. Morning

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Wakey, wakey, monsters! 🙂

Hello, June! How did you get here so fast?

Sweet

27. Something sweet

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I would have lived my life quite happily if I had never discovered dolly mixture. It’s an British sweet that is pure sugar. I don’t eat them often, but when I get a hankering for them, I will eat a full pound bag and be sick for the rest of the week. Even my kids won’t eat it cos its too sweet!

Snack

17. Snack

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The bane of my existence, snacking. I could graze alllll day on crap. My latest obsession is Japanese rice crackers. Yummy seaweed and soy sauce undertones and let’s face it, I like the crunching.

In contrast, we broke out the marshmallows at work. Soft sugary pillows of tooth decay. Charming. 🙂

Monster (food) post

I have about 5 or 6 blogs on the go covering different topics but I don’t know how I delude myself into thinking that each and every one of them won’t end up as a food blog. Because let’s face it, we write about what we know/love and we love food. Yes, we do.

So, I was off today and instead of taking advantage and sleeping because of an awful night’s sleep last night care of both my children (Max with a bad chest, poor baby. And Gia because she lost her doll and would not go back to sleep for 2 hours til I found it.), I cooked. Lots. Well, not LOTS LOTS but lots.

My friendly neighborhood butcher text me the other day to see if I wanted a pork shoulder and of course the answer was “Yes, please!”. So off it went into a vat of brine and then into the oven overnight last night. And TA DA! Pulled pork.

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Yummy goodness.

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Max has been teething then sick over the last couple of weeks and I am heartbroken trying to get him to eat. In the last few weeks, he’s only eating one proper meal a day at creche where they have no problem feeding him. Whereas at home, he’s refused to sit in his high chair, opting for the table (which is fine) and grazes for the rest of the day. Breakfast is a bust and dinner is the same. He’s also become more independent only eating if he can feed himself and I’ve been trying nearly every recipe known to man to get him to eat. He likes finger foods and will pick on bits of meat and vegetables separately. And despite both his Irish and Filipino heritage, he’s not fussed on eating potatoes OR rice. *tear* But if there’s one thing Max will eat, it’s meat. Chicken, pork, beef, fish. So at least he’s getting protein, right? Max can put away two adult portions of pulled pork! So tonight wasn’t too much of a bust. We’ll try again tomorrow. :)

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Enjoying some pulled pork. Yummers.

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It’s Roy’s 65th birthday today and following the upheaval at work with the yard flooding last week, I thought I’d make them dinner to give them a break. Now, I’m no gourmet chef but I have a pretty varied repertoire of dishes I make often. But over the last few years of trying to get them to try different foods, I’ve learned to stick to the one dish that I know they’ll enjoy and is easy peasy. Chicken and vegetable pie. Can’t be beat.

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And lastly, cake. Birthday chocolate courgette cake. I know I only made it last week but Roy really enjoyed it and it’s relatively low in sugar (I never put in the amount in recipes, I normally halve it or more) plus we still had a few too many courgettes in the fridge waiting to be used. And we know that two cakes are better than one, especially when I am making something for someone else. No matter how many times I’ve made something, I need to taste test it to make sure it’s okay. 🙂 So candles went on to the round one and well, the loaf didn’t see the afternoon.

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