Monday, 6 June 2011

Sun and Rain

Hi everyone! I’m so happy to be writing this – our internet decided to break yesterday so my “take Friday and Saturday off blogging to enjoy the sunshine” turned into “stuck inside due to rain on Sunday and still not able to blog” grrrr…let’s just say I’m glad to be back! Smile

I’ll try not to make this post too long – I’ve taken so many photos over the last few days, but I’ll try to select the best of them so I don’t make you all fall asleep!!

As it’s still grey and miserable here, let’s look back to sunnier times. Friday. Friday was a lovely day here in Devon, the sunniest and warmest I’ve seen for a while!

I started the day with a homemade iced vanilla chai latte…


this was good, but not quite as nice as the ones I had in Starbucks. I think I needed a greater ratio of powder to milk. I already had this tub of vanilla chai latte in my cupboard. The ingredients are a bit worrying though.


Great that it’s gluten free, but sugar as the first ingredient and vegetable fat not far behind? Hmm, not so good. Luckily when I was in the health food shop on Saturday I found some more natural looking Chai tea (as well as some brown rice noodles and some coconut water…I couldn’t resist!)


I haven’t tried the tea yet, but I’m hoping it will make a healthier chai latte…which means I’ll be happier to have them more often!

Anyway, back to Friday. In the afternoon we headed to the beach to meet some friends. The weather was just gorgeous…I even wore a dress for the first time this year!


Our friends had a couple of disposable BBQs (one for meat, one for vegetarian stuff) so we had a late lunch on the beach, such a perfect way to spend the afternoon! I hadn’t brought any food with me as I didn’t realise we’d be BBQing, but when Liam went to the butcher’s for more burgers, he also popped into the health food shop to pick up some gluten free nut burgers for me. Not the most attractive (especially once they’d been slightly burnt!!) but these were really tasty…


and really filling too! I just had them with some ketchup, yum.

A few more beach pics to remind me of sunnier times…


…and after a few hours it was time to head home. Despite re-applying the children’s sun cream regularly, I pretty much forgot about myself. And I paid the price. Ouch! Today is the first day I’ve been able to dress normally – I’ve spent all weekend wearing halter neck bikinis under my clothes as bra straps were too painful! I must look after myself better in future – sunburn is neither pretty nor clever!!

As a result of my sunburn, I wasn’t really feeling anything hot for dinner. So I stuck with a trusty green smoothie, this one contained banana, frozen pineapple, spinach, milk, strawberries and sweet freedom…


So refreshing! I also had a couple of DCD covered fudge babies straight from the freezer…


Yum! I’d forgotten these were in there!!

Next up, Saturday. Still lovely and sunny, but with a bit of a breeze. We met my Grandparents on the seafront.


It was so windy that we skipped the planned ice cream (well except for daughter, she never turns down ice cream!) and went for coffee instead. My latte had a pretty pattern on top…


The coffee biscuit was given to daughter, mainly because she asked for it, but then I realised afterwards that it would’ve contained gluten so that was lucky…there are so many things to think about!

Once home, it was lunchtime. Everyone had poached eggs, but we only had enough eggs left for me to have one, so I first had toast with crème de st. agur and strawberries…


and then the poached egg…


I should’ve really eaten them the other way round to finish on a sweet note, but I was too impatient to wait! Both were delicious though. Still loving the cheese and fruit combo! :)

Dinner was a recipe I’d been meaning to try for a while. Maria’s Pumpkin Tofu Pasta Bake. I made a big pasta bake for the others and an individual one using gluten free pasta for me.


I also topped it with grated cheddar before baking, and served it with broccoli instead of putting spinach in it (I love spinach in smoothies or salads but not a fan of the texture when cooked)


This was really good. Liam surprised me by loving it! The only thing was that I didn’t have any sundried tomatoes…I should’ve replaced them with something as the sauce was a bit lacking in flavour. A bit of sweet chilli sauce soon sorted that out though and I’ll know for next time! I’ll definitely be making this again, thanks Maria! It made enough for the kids to have it again last night too, which was great as I was too exhausted to cook dinner!

So, speaking of yesterday. The reason I was so exhausted by the end of the day was that I woke up at 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep! I eventually gave up and came downstairs at 5am. At least it meant that I was up to make Liam a cup of coffee to wake him up for work, rather than the usual kicking him out the bed as the alarm goes off at 6.20am! I obviously had a coffee too, and then snacked on some strawberries dipped in peanut butter whilst getting the children breakfast (they had a more balanced peanut butter & strawberries on toast!)


Yum. Anything dipped in peanut butter is bound to be a winner!

It was then time for my actual breakfast. I had some tinned pumpkin from the pasta bake, and some coconut cream from Thursday's Cookie Dough Baked Oats that needed using, so I decided to combine the two…

Pumpkin-Coconut Mousse
  • 100g tinned pumpkin
  • 80g coconut cream
  • 150g Rachel’s coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 15g Sweet Freedom, or sweeten to taste
All blitzed together in the blender…this was easy and tasty…requirements for Sunday morning breakfasts when I’m feeling tired!


This was so smooth and creamy. More of a luxurious mousse than a smoothie, delish!

When Liam came home for lunch, we were both too tired to cook anything ‘proper’, a bit of a change to the previous Sunday when I’d had Spanish omelette waiting for him as he walked in the door! We settled on egg mayonnaise sandwiches (on toast for me as my gf bread was in the freezer) for a quick but energy-giving lunch…


Egg mayo is one of my favourites anyway, and these eggs were local free range ones – the yolks are so much more vibrant than in the eggs you buy from the supermarket!

Dinner again relied on bread. I normally only eat maximum of 2 slices of bread a day, but sometimes ‘things on toast’ are all I have energy to make! As already mentioned, the children had leftover pumpkin pasta so they were sorted. Liam and I ate cheese on toast once they were in bed. My cheese on toast had a twist though – Genius bread and sliced cheddar, but with a layer of mashed avocado under the cheese!


Absolutely rubbish photo due to poor lighting and the fact I was using the last of the cheddar so no full slices of cheese! But this was amazing! So filling too – normally after eating cheese on toast I want to go back for another 2 slices, but after this I was stuffed! I love avocado!

I did manage to sneak in an evening snack though. Liam had some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but it had gluten in so I couldn’t have any. Liam to the rescue!

Icecream tweet
t didn’t quite turn out as ice cream (I forgot to tell him about the joys of xanthan gum, and the ice he added watered it down rather than thickening it) but it was delicious nonetheless, and really cold!


Thanks Liam!

Well, that’s me up to date until today anyway! I will post about today another time – I think this post is long enough already!! Amazingly baby is still asleep – his nap has lasted almost 3 hours now! But we need to go to Waitrose before lunch, so time to wake him up! Have a great day everyone!


  1. Yay glad you liked the pasta :)
    I add beetroot to it as well sometimes, and that is lovely too.
    I love that chai tea (the dragonfly stuff)- it is caffeine free too so I often have it in the evening. Plus I think it is on offer at Waitrose at the moment. :)

  2. Oh, to be by a beach. It looks like you had a lovely few days out in the sun! :)

  3. Your weekend looked wonderful, it must be wonderful to live near the beach!
    Coconut water is popping up everywhere at the moment! I really want to try it but it's bit pricey.

  4. Maria - beetroot sounds like a good idea, I'll try that next time, thanks! Still haven't tried the chai tea but good to know it's caffeine free...I've been drinking way too much coffee recently!

    Jemma - living by the beach is great :) it's weird, living so far away from London I find myself being really envious of people who live in London/bigger cities (ie with access to decent food shops!!) but when it's sunny I'm glad to live near the sea instead. Positives and negatives to everywhere I guess!

    Leigh - thanks, it is lovely here, especially with the children...nice to see their enjoyment of everything! :) To be honest I didn't like the peach and mango (I think that was the flavour anyway!) coconut water that much. I've had plain coconut water before which I really liked, but this one just tasted like too-weak squash to me. Meh. And like you say, a lot of money for what it is...I must stop the impulse buys in health food shops!! :D

  5. You have such a precious little family! Looks like you guys had the best time soaking up the rays! :) And there is so much delicious food in this post - love it!


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