21 November 2014

5 things Friday

Well that was a speedy week, don’t you think?

1. We’ve been loving the warmer weather recently, which is set to continue into the weekend with 36C predicted for Sunday!

2. Summery days = summery meals – and a favourite from this week was this oven baked chicken / capsicum combination.

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3. On the agenda this week? Putting some finishing touches on C’s “big girl’s room”. With only 11 weeks (or so) until the baby comes, time for us to start the room transition. And toilet training…..

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(A sneak peek for you…)

4. Also on the agenda? Getting all our supplies packed and ready for our first family camping adventure which is coming up soon.

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So excited!!

5. Oh – and did you realise that there are only 5 weeks until Christmas? We are keeping it pretty low key this year, but I can’t help but wonder where the year went!!??

What about you? What are you up to this weekend?

18 November 2014

2nd pregnancy – Second Trimester Reflections

Where did we leave off?  That’s right – it was my First Trimester Reflections – and the horrible all-day nausea that came along with it.

Thankfully, my Second Trimester proved to be a far more enjoyable few months. And here I am at the start of the third….

How on earth did that happen?!?!

Mind

On the one hand, I feel as if I have been pregnant for ages. Then, on the other, it seems to be slipping by at warp speed. Working and looking after a toddler certainly makes the days pass by pretty quickly, although I am starting to feel impatient and “ready” to welcome the newest member into our family.

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The last few months have seen some pretty crazy hormones – although a reduction in nausea has meant I am back to exercising! Yep – if the first trimester was all about survival – this second trimester has been all about moving! And boy is my mind grateful for it. Nothing too strenuous, but regular swims, walks and body balance has left me feeling in a far better headspace.

I simply cannot wait to return to running and biking though….

Body

What can I say? It grows.

More and more each day.

I’ve officially banned the scale – and am ignoring all ‘recommended weight gain’ charts (those damn charts). If I’m honest, my constant cravings for carbs and other delicious delights hasn’t exactly helped things in that respect though….

Gluttony aside, there is certainly truth to the idea that you ‘pop’ much quicker in your subsequent pregnancies than your first. For I seem to be looking about 3 weeks further along when compared with my first pregnancy – and maternity clothes are well and truly taking pride of place in my wardrobe.

On that note – I have to give a big shout-out to Even of Eden Maternity for very kindly sending me a maternity clothes “care package” – including these great khaki shorts that I have been living in lately…

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I can’t say I experienced any surges in energy these last few months – and am still falling into bed early and sleeping soundly each night. I had a period of intense headaches, and a lot more hip/pelvis/back pain than I remember from last time – although swimming seems to be helping that.  And, yes, I am acutely aware that this could be one long Summer I am facing….

Soul

The nostalgia continues in full swing – as I reflect on the changes that are about to occur – the most wonderful of which being that Miss C will become big sister! She seems to have a good understanding that a little baby will be joining us soon (“after Santa”) and has affectionately named the baby “broccoli”. Or Pedro.

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(Sporting another Eve of Eden maternity top that will no doubt come in handy when nursing…)

We are keeping the baby’s gender a surprise this time, although my instinct tells me we are having another little girl (*Insert complete panic that I have NO idea re names*) I have a few names that I like, but none that I love, which is a little worrying….

So - the second trimester, in summary:

How I felt? Not nauseous!

What I missed? Running, vino and being able to get off the couch gracefully.

Symptoms? Headaches, pelvis/back/hip pain, braxton hicks.

Cravings?  Carbs, carbs and more carbs. It’s relentless.

Highlights? Kicks, kicks and more kicks! Yes Baby BBB is a mover and a shaker.

Let the countdown to baby’s birthday officially begin!

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PS – For those of you “with child” (or soon to be “with child”) who are looking for some maternity goodies  - head over to www.maternitysale.com.au – where you can enter BAKEBIKE2 at the checkout to receive $10 off any purchase over $60 (one use per customer and expires 31st Jan 2015). And a big “thankyou” to Eve of Eden for offering such a lovely deal to my readers.

17 November 2014

“build your own” chicken cups

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Happy Monday lovely people!

We’ve had pork tacos and chicken wraps, so let’s start this week off with another meal in what is fast a becoming a bit of a “build your own” series.

On this occasion – it was “build your own” chicken cups – inspired by a recipe in a HFG edition.  A simple version of San Choy Bow – a favourite we often order when dining out at Asian restaurants.

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The veggies were chopped – namely carrot, spring onions and some wombok.

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Before being thrown into a wok with sesame oil, chicken mince, soy sauce and a bit of sweet chilli sauce .

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As is the case with “build your own” meals, there was no fancy plating going on. Rather, it was simply a matter of laying everything out on the table for all to enjoy.

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Fried noodles, the chicken mixture and some crispy iceberg lettuce leaves.

The noodles were these ones…

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no preparation required Winking smile 

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Then it was spoon, and enjoy! With even the little Miss enjoying putting her dinner together (although, to be honest, she was happy to eat the chicken, and left the lettuce cups behind).

13 November 2014

Meal Box # 1

When we first brought Charlotte home from the hospital, all that time ago now, one of the sweetest and most thoughtful gifts we received was a meal. Pre-cooked, and only needing a reheat, it was a perfect gesture to two first time parents who were in awe of their newborn and still finding their new routine.

So when I heard that a close friend had a medical emergency, that would see their little girl spend a significant period of time in hospital, I figured a meal would be a welcomed gesture. For shopping and cooking would almost certainly be the last thing on the family’s mind  right??

And so this “meal box” came to be.

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On the menu?

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Tomato and zucchini pasta – cooked and then sprinkled with some extra cheese, fresh tomatoes and herbs. Packaged into a disposable container, with instructions for a quick reheat.

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And, on the side?

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Another little container – filled with salad, dressing and some rolls.

Then, to finish, we threw a few little extras in. Some mineral water, and some chocolate biscuits (oh and a couple Freddo Frogs for the youngest members of the family!)

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All packaged up – and ready to go. In a bag that doesn’t need to be returned.

And, from all accounts, it was well received (and beat the Hospital cafeteria options….) I’ll have to put my thinking cap on for Meal Box #2!

What about you? What do you think would make a good Meal box meal??

11 November 2014

Dukkah lamb salad

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Warm nights call for easy, speedy dinners. Ones that don’t require too much effort – but tick all the boxes when it comes to flavour and healthiness.

And this dukkah lamb salad, was just that.

Simply – lamb backstrap – sprayed lightly with olive oil and coated generously with dukkah (I cheated and used store bought….but you could quite easily make your own dukkah).

Baked in a preheated oven for 20 minutes or so, at 180C.  Then rested, and sliced.

While the lamb was baking, I steamed some green beans, and prepared the rest of the salad – spinach, cherry tomatoes, and marinated feta.

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Topped with slices of the dukkah lamb, and then drizzled with caramelised balsamic vinegar.

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And that was that.

Yes, it doesn’t get much simpler. A perfect dinner to end a warm summery day.

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What about you? What is your favourite “salad for dinner”?

06 November 2014

“build your own” chicken wraps

Yes, my friends, the “build your own” theme continues in the BBB household. Last time it was pork tacos, but on this occasion, it was chicken wraps.

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And, again, it could not be any easier.

Simply – chicken breast – that I had cut into strips, grilled, then coated in a mixture of hoisin and sweet chilli sauce. Served at the table – with an array of wrap fillings including spring onions, avocado, carrot, purple cabbage, red capsicum and kale leaves.

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Piled high on some warmed wholegrain tortillas, and dinner was served!

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A lovely little meal for the warmer weather – no oven required!

What about you? What is your favourite wrap ingredient?

03 November 2014

Herbed chicken burgers

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As is usual with my cooking, I tend to lean on a certain book or source for a particular week. So, I was not surprised to remember these lovely chicken burgers that I found in this cook book, which also happened to be the inspiration for the pork tacos – in my last post.

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And what a delightful little burger they turned out to be. Simply – chicken mince – flavoured with lots of herbs and spices, then bound together with an egg and some wholemeal breadcrumbs.

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Shaped into patties, and allowed to rest in the fridge for an hour or so.

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I prepared the burgers to this step one late afternoon. Then, when Mr BBB arrived home from work, all we had to do was throw them on the BBQ (with a few slices of pineapple for good measure), and “plate up” with a simple side salad and some burger buns.

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The little miss was also a big fan – and although she probably is not the most ‘food focussed’ toddler – she will try pretty much everything.

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Delish!

What about you? Tried any interesting burger combinations lately?