We’re into the dog days of summer and the weather has gotten exceptionally warm here in London. No complaints here – I adore hot weather and any opportunity to spend some time getting some vitamin D.
Happily, my enforced furlough at work has coincided with this heatwave and I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen, playing around with new recipes and ingredients.
Last week, I tried the Beetroot Crisps recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s new book, It’s All Easy. It wasn’t successful for me, so I made my own twist on the recipe. I knew it was successful when I got a text from M telling me they were ‘the bomb’. 😊
What you need:
2 large sweet potatoes, washed. (don’t bother peeling them – the skin has loads of nutrients!)
4 tbsp dukkah spice blend
4 tbsp olive oil
How to make it:
- Preheat your oven to 175C.
- Place your mandoline over a small bowl and use it to make circles of sweet potato. Slice up both sweet potatoes.
- Use a baking brush and brush 1 tbsp of olive oil over a large baking tray.
- Place the sweet potato circles on the tray, making sure they are evenly spaced and don’t overlap.
- Brush 1 tbsp olive oil over the sweet potatoes, making sure they only have a light coating. Too much olive oil and the sweet potatoes won’t crisp up.
- Take 2 tbsp of the dukkah spice blend and sprinkle it over the sweet potatoes.
- Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the sweet potatoes.
- Place the tray into the top shelf of the oven for ten minutes.
- After ten minutes, move the tray to bottom shelf of the oven.
- Take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl and repeat steps 3-10 with the rest of the ingredients.
How’s your week been? We’re planning a fun weekend, mainly geared towards pre-birthday celebrations for J.
He’s turning three (3!) and I think we’re more excited than he is. We’ve got a trip to Whipsnade planned for Saturday and then a trip to see a working Thomas The Tank Engine train on Sunday. J is going to love it and I can’t wait to see his reaction.
WINONA FOREVER. (NY Mag)
Have you gotten into the Olympics yet? It’s taken me awhile, but I’m there. I’ve been devouring articles and think pieces about the athletes and events. Something that consistently irritates me is the intertwining of female athleticism and femininity. Why do we need to be reassured about their femininity? (The Atlantic)
We’re currently in throes of tackling a very specific fear of monsters with little J and we’re focused on not amplifying the fear – tricky when it’s 3am and you have a crying child on your hands. (The Cut)
I love the sound of this summer gazpacho, especially on these hot August days in London. (Bon Appetit)
Could you cut out all food with added sugar? (Self)
And what about all the sugar in fruit. Wrongly demonised, the sugar spike from whole fruit is modulated by the fibre and phytonutrients in the fruit. (Nutrition Facts)
I love this so much. Reminds you that the way your loved ones (especially your children!) is so different from the way you see yourself. (Cup of Jo)
My little boy turns 3 in two weeks. 3!
I know what motherhood is with a baby. It’s a steep learning curve, moments where you’ve never loved anyone this much and in this way before, indescribable exhaustion, a new sense of self as a woman, wife and mother.
And then all of sudden they’re no longer babies and want nothing to do with babyhood.
I’m now learning that life with a little boy toddler is joyful, heart stopping and exasperating in equal measure. But that’s motherhood.
It’s those moments where they test the boundaries, along with your patience.
The moments where they strain to assert their independence in the most amazing ways (Mama, I will get it. Mama, I will put my shoes on. Mama, I will put the alarm on(!)).
The moments where their total lack of fear and sense of danger send your heart into your throat.
And those little, sweet moments that make everything worth it. When they give you an unprompted thank you, an unprompted kiss. When they turn to you and say, “Mama, I love you so much, I like you so much.”
I got my exam results this week and I’m officially out of my funk! Without fully realising it, I’ve been really stressed out about getting my results back and it’s had a knock-on effect on other parts of my life. When I got my mark and saw that I had passed (with flying colours!), it felt like a weight off my shoulders.
And now the weekend’s here and I’m looking forward to pottering about, heading to a few children’s birthday parties with little J (he’s almost 3 and he has a fabulous social life!) and checking out Soho Farmhouse with some friends. Here’s hoping we have some great weather too!
I have been really getting into using my pressure cooker this week and I’m really enjoying going through Nom Nom Paleo’s pressure cooker recipes. The Instant Pot really is a game-changer!
It’s amazing what Olympic / professional athletes eat and utterly unsurprising they gain so much weight in the off-season. (Bon Appetit)
More reasons why breast milk is amazing. There are compounds (human milk oligosaccharides) in it that were previously thought to be indigestible, now known to there specifically to good bacteria in the baby’s gut. So cool. (The New Yorker)
Is your gut making you sick? (The Guardian)
How community supported agriculture is becoming messy in the US. (New York Times)
I really want to try this earl-grey glazed salmon. (Hemsley + Hemsley)
6 things you need to know about marketing yourself as a practitioner. (Dr. Jill Carnahan)
I made these very moreish date, cashew, seeds and cinnamon balls on Saturday and needless to say, they were almost all gone by Monday morning. Hence the name, more balls – you know, because you want more!
They’re a really nice variation on the date bars I usually make and seem to hold their shape better too. Perfect for picnics, lunch boxes and post-workout snacks!
What you need:
25 medjool dates, pitted (I really like the Ocado own brand dates – they’re really good quality and inexpensive)
100g cashew nuts
75g sunflower seeds
75g sesame seeds
3 tablespoons cinnamon
1 blender (I prefer to use my Magimix to break down the dates and seeds)
How to make it:
1. Add the cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon into a blender and pulse until the mixture is crushed and blended.
2. Drop the dates into a blender and pulse until they are combined. It’s super important to stop before the dates turn paste-like, as this will make it much harder to roll the mixture into balls.
3. Add the dates to the dry mixture and combine with your hands until the wet and dry ingredients are fully combined.
5. Wet your hands slightly (this makes the dates less sticky), take some of the mixture and roll it into golf sized balls.
6. You should be able to make about 20 – 25 more balls from the mixture, depending on how generously you size the balls!
7. Take the rest of the cinnamon and dust it over the top of the finished more balls and enjoy! They should keep for about 5-7 days, if covered, but I bet they go faster than that!