This week has been a bit hectic on the children front - Toby moved into a "big boy" bed on Sunday night:
which has meant him (and us!) getting a lot less sleep than usual. That plus his pushchair breaking yesterday (and him therefore being in a new-to-him pushchair that I borrowed from my friend) led to him having a full on meltdown on the seafront yesterday! :( luckily the pushchair was easily fixed by buying a new inner tube for the tyre, so I thought we were back to normal this morning until Izzy, despite having had a brilliant walk to school no problems etc, decided to cling to me and burst into tears when I dropped her off at school this morning. Gah. Sometimes I feel that I'm in a battle that I'm definitely not winning (!) but just got to keep trying each day!!
I've been trying to keep myself feeling positive with some "me time" - lots of nail painting has been going on around here! First they were pink...
At the moment they're purple/lilac...
And in a minute I will hopefully have time to paint them green as the purple has chipped already! At least I enjoy painting them...I may have bought 3 new nail polishes this week, but I used my Boots points for two of them so that doesn't count right?! ;)
Toby moving into a big bed also prompted us to finally give Izzy her new bedding (which was meant to be a housewarming gift to her, oops!). It is quite simple bedding - designed to look like a piece of lined paper - but it came with a pack of washable pens...I wrote "I [heart] Izzy xxx" on the first line but she still couldn't believe that she was actually allowed to draw on her bed, haha, one very excited little girl once she understood!! :)
I [heart] Izzy was quickly followed by the same with Mummy, Daddy and Toby and she then added pictures to each one. Apparently every time we wash the bedding I "have" to put the top line back in as she loves it so much, bless her, at least someone appreciates me!! ;)
Moving onto food. At the weekend I was sent a loaf of Burgen Sunflower and Chia Seed bread and asked to come up with a healthy recipe using it to enter into a competition. I first wanted to try the bread, so had some for lunch on Monday toasted with a peach and some mozzarella...
I've been eating so many peaches lately - love summer fruits! I also really enjoyed the bread, it didn't have as many chia seeds as I'd expected but had a overall balanced nutty/seedy taste.
So the recipe. As you will probably know, I have a big sweet tooth so my first thought was bread and butter pudding. But this recipe was meant to be healthy, and I've been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet lately so I decided to try making a savoury bread and butter pudding. I have also been loving Costa mushroom and emmental toasted sandwiches lately so used that as a starting point and this is what I ended up with. I got rid of the word "pudding" as that was confusing Liam - he really liked the dish, but not when he was thinking of it as a pudding!!
Mushroom and Pepper Savoury Bread Bake
(serves 8, easily halved)
- 4 peppers, chopped
- 500g mushrooms, halved (I used half button, half chestnut)
- 10g butter
- 600ml milk
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 eggs
- 8 slices Burgen sunflower and chia seed bread
- 40g emmental cheese
2. Next, cook the mushrooms in a pan with the butter, over a low heat for approx 10-15 minutes. Drain the cooking liquid off the mushrooms and set aside.
3. To make the "custard", gently heat the milk adding salt and pepper to taste. At this point I also added extra emmental cheese, but to be honest it all seemed to get left behind in the sieve so I would skip that part next time. Or maybe make the custard without heating the milk and sieving...hmm. More thought needed. I was just basing the method on how I make sweet bread and butter pudding and it did work really well, but I might try a different method next time to see if it works even better!
4. Add the eggs to the warm milk and whisk to combine. Strain custard mixture through a sieve.
5. Time to get your dishes ready - for this I made two bakes - one in a traditional bread and butter pudding dish, one in a loaf tin. As written above, you could easily half all the ingredients and just make one.
6. Cut all the slices of bread into 4 triangles. I didn't butter the bread - just put it into the dish to cover the bottom, then layer with vegetables, more bread, more vegetables and a then a final layer of bread. I used 4 slices of bread per dish. In the pudding dish I did two layers of mixed vegetables, in the loaf tin I did one layer of peppers and then one layer of mushrooms, although to be honest it still didn't turn out as prettily as I'd hoped!
7. Finish the dish with a layer with finely grated emmental cheese. You could also put some cheese in between the layers. I didn't this time as I'd been hoping that the custard would be cheese flavoured, but next time I definitely would.
8. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 40-45 minutes.
We ate this on its own, but it would be perfect with some green veg or even just some salad. We all really enjoyed this - Izzy had seconds and Liam has taken some of the leftovers to work today. Liam loved the peppers and the crunchy top layer best, but my favourite part was actually the cooked mushrooms with the softer middle layer, haha, a dish that caters to both our tastes = win! :)
I could not get a pretty photo no matter how many I took - it tasted a lot better than it looks!!
I also enjoyed a slice of the sunflower and chia seed bread for my lunch today, topped with two eggs scrambled with leftover roasted peppers, mmm. Now I need to decide what to have for my 5pm "meal" before spinning tonight. My 16 year-old sister is coming along tonight for the first time, and my other sister can make the same class as me this week too so all 3 of us will be going along!
Oh and final positive note to end the post, I'm just back from my last ever trip to the old house for a "check out" visit, and the estate agents were really impressed with how clean it was
Have you ever tried Burgen bread? Or baking with chia seeds? I love Burgen soya and linseed bread - one of my favourite seedy breads as it's full of seeds without being too heavy. I don't usually like chia seeds but my friend has gotten really into them recently and has tempted me to give them another go. She's been making them into a gel and then putting the gel into juice (so possibly similar to the chia seed drinks you can buy in the US) but she also wants to bake bread with them so was interested to see how Burgen have done it!