Thursday, 28 April 2016

5 Tunes Babies Seem To Love

And it turns out, whichever song they love, you end up loving too.  Even if you previously hated it!

Kylie Minogue: Can't Get You Out Of My Head

It has that hip-wiggle beat, it's catchy and babies love to join in with the chorus, which is a nice, easy 'la la la, la la la la la!'

Beyonce: All The Single Ladies

The song itself is great, but put a baby in front of the actual dance video and you'll see them working their own moves, just like Bey.

Michael Jackson: Billy Jean

We all love a beat.  But a base beat is the best beat by far.  Stick in some drums and some 'ooh ooh.  Oooh ooh!' and it's easy to see why baby is suddenly throwing some proper moves to this tune.

Any Old Folk Song

My husband seems to know tons of weird old folk songs which I never even knew existed.  Check out this old favourite, which he seems somehow to know ALL of the words to.  No joke!  I roll my eyes, but the kids LOVE it.  And to be honest, they'll remember these long after Bey has left the building.

The Kinks: Lola


Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Just give me 15 minutes...

Dave has a half hour in the morning before he has to leave.  Technically, this is his time to do what he wishes with - maybe he will have some breakfast, read the newspaper, maybe he'll cruise the internet before he starts work.

I asked him what he does wih this hallowed half hour.

"Ah, I just start work early"


That is half an hour of pure GOLD DUST, my friend!

When I told him this, he kind of just rolled his eyes and looked at me funny.

I looked back at him perplexed.

I am about to spend TEN HOURS holding a baby and doing everything one-handed, including going to the toilet and cutting cheese.

I'm generous.  I told him, I didn't even want the half hour.

Just give me 15 minutes...

In 15 minutes I will:

  • Find something to wear which is not yesterdays clothes/leggings I've slept in for 3 days
  • Shower
  • DRY my hair instead of letting it dry in that horrible frizzy/wavy shape it otherwise dries into. Or at least the fringe.
  • Pee. Alone
  • Eat the only meal I'm getting until 9pm (if I can be bothered to make a meal by then)
  • THINK. 
  • Clean up a little in preparation for the onslaught of crazy baby mess.
  • Check my emails - maybe I won't miss anything important this week if I can just get 5 minutes to CHECK MY DAMN EMAILS!!
  • Take out the massive pile of rubbish which is taking over my kitchen
  • Let the dog pee - it takes me ages to get to the actual point of being able to take the baby out, to get him dressed, pulled the pram out of the car/located the baby sling and found those tiny little baby socks!
  • Find a pair of my own damned socks!
  • Maybe even have a cup of tea... (I can dream, right?)
Never underestimate the power of a good 15 minutes of baby-free freedom!

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Vegetarian Cupboard Staples To Get You Through

Sometimes a wage packet won't stretch as far as you think, for whatever reason.

Sometimes life throws some surprises your way; broken appliances, illness, car trouble.

Don't fret about tough times; why not pick up these staples and keep them in your cupboard to get you through until next pay day.

Baked Beans - So good for adding to a meal, topping on a jacket potato, scooping up with toast or eating on their own.

Frozen Peas - Ah, peas! The bag is good for helping nurse bumped heads and the peas are tasty additions to meals.  Match them with mashed spuds, put them through cream cheese or add them to a pasta dish.  Add a little colour and get some goodness!

Source: BBC Good Food (

Cornflour - Handy as a thickener for macaroni and excellent to use in recipes like this Fatless Sponge

Tomato Puree/Chopped Tomatoes - Handy for curries, stews, sauces - puree is a must for beefing up the flavour.  Check out these ideas for what else you can do with Tomato Puree.


Hot Sauce - Serious Eats lists 25 things you can do with Hot Sauce right here. It's so versatile.  I realise hot stuff in't everyone's thing, but it can add some serious flavour to a jacket potato and cheese, pasta dishes or, well, anything really!

Vegetable Stock - Needed for all things stew, soup, curry and can perk up rice and cous cous no end.  Here I am recommending where you can find recipes based on what you have in your cupboard.  Here's their list of recipes you can make with veggie stock!

Pasta - I find it's always prudent to have a very large bag of pasta in the cupboard at all times.  Maybe this is just a lean back to my student days, but I can do a lot of stuff with pasta!

Rice - Great as a main meal or a side. Risotto is my favourite go-to.  It's filling, tasty and you can add pretty much any veg to it too! Check out my recipe for Comfort Risotto here.

Easy Bake Yeast - Pizza dough, bread...yeast is so handy for making a tasty carby meal.  It's funny, I always surprise myself by how often I find it useful.

Butternut Squash - I buy a Butternut Squash and it can sit there for ages!  They keep really well, they are so versatile and can be used in so many ways. Why not try my Butternut Squash Pie recipe here?

Onions - Onions are the base of most stews, soups, curries etc.  It's always a good idea to have some on standby!

Of course, these are just a few things you can have on standby and different people like different things,but these are the things that I always try to keep handy.

What do you always have ready to go?

Do you have any go-to fail-safe recipe?  I'd love to hear what you prepare when times are tough!

Monday, 25 April 2016

Tingling my Tastebuds...a round up of recipes

I'm Veggie and have been all my days.

It was never a massive decision, more of a happening; being a vegetarian is something that happened to me.  I do not like the taste of meat.  I hate the texture of meat.  I therefore hate meat substitutes.

I am also fairly fussy; I'm getting better in my old age, but being a hater of certain textures, like mushroom and aubergine, it kind of narrows down my choices a wee bit.

I am very fortunate however to live in the golden age of internet, where I can make specific searches for recipes I can actually get excited about, which with my self-placed limitations can be difficult.

Here's a wee round up of recipes I've been drooling over this week, along with links to see for yourself.

1.Tomato and harissa stew with cheddar dumplings
I'm not going to lie - it's the dumpling bit that's doing it for me - check out the recipe here.

I'm a massive carbohydrate/cheese fan, but I love some spice too, so this ticks a lot of my boxes.  It pretends it's a bit healthy with all the veg and the chickpeas, but it's luring you in with the oh-so-yummy promise of dumpling naughtiness.

I've never tried harissa, and being a busy mum of three who rarely has time to shop alone, let alone search for something new, Id probably substitute in red and yellow peppers instead, which would still sit nicely in amongst the tomatoes and chickpeas.

2. Chickpea and Vegetable Curry

Source: The Vegetarian Society (
A veg curry is always my go-to favourite if I can't think of anything else, and it never fails to satisfy.  It's quick, it's easy and it's a really satisfying make, which if you portion up just right,can last a couple of days.

A veg curry is the best - you can pretty much chuck anything in, add some chopped tomatoes or even some coconut milk and you can mix up the flavours no end.  I love a chickpea curry - there's something really satisfying and filling about one, and you can find the recipe for this one from the Vegetarian Society here.

3.Easy Pizza Dip with Cream Cheese

Oh holy monkeys, this really tickles my tastebuds and makes me drool a wee bit.  This is ridiculous - a dip which tastes like pizza, but one which you can dip vegetable crudites into and thus feel a little bit less guilty (just try to forget about the cheese!)

Have a look at this glorious recipe from my good friend Jac at Tinned Tomatoes.  This is definitely a good one to pull out when you have visitors or if you want to settle down to a good movie with some tortilla chips and beer; why no go all out? Heaven in a dish!

4. Greek salad with Feta

Source: Oh, sweet Basil (
I LOVE a Greek salad.  I've been to Greece a few times now, and it's definitely my best and most favourite part about going there - you cannot beat the absolute freshness of the food and the zing of all the different fresh flavours hitting your tastebuds. Delicious!

Coupled with tzatziki and some frsh bread, this has to be my ultimate dish.  Simple, quick, but totally flavoursome - and healthy too. Have a gander at Oh, Sweet Basil's take on this classic, here.

5. Battered Halloumi

Dear good god. Battered Halloumi for the win!

I did say I hate meat substitutes, but I think this is the closest I will ever come.  The texture of halloumi is odd.  It's squeaky.  It's a bit rubbery.

But boy, does it taste good in batter!

I've had battered halloumi a few times - it seems to be quite fashionable at the moment as the vegetarian opton of choice for bar and restaurants, but I am so very glad when I see it n the menu instead of bloody macaroni or stupid stuffed aubergine. Again.

Planet Veggie is right when she proclaims she now wants to 'batter all the things'. Check out her recipe here.

Long live battered halloumi!

Right, now I am very extremely hungry.  I'm off to do some cooking!

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