Wednesday, 6 June 2012

A Picnic Without Sandwiches?!?!?!

Well now...After yesterdays pics of our impromptu run to the beach I thought I would tell you all about our picnic.

                                                Typically you cant see Maddies pasta salad 
                                                  as Squealy has his big head in the way!!!

Picnic? Easy! What's to tell?  You make some sandwiches, pack some crisps and off you go right? Er... Aaaaand then there’s Mads. Time to lose the dairy, wheat and gluten. Bye bye sarnies!
It’s not hard though and I really wanted to write this to show you that our glutey-free chums or family don’t need to feel left out or different.

To be honest when Madison was first diagnosed we avoided all instances where we had to eat outside the house, it just seemed like a potential minefield as I couldn’t see beyond the fact that you always have sandwiches at picnics! Always bread, always cheese, maybe some yoghurt? And 9 times out of 10 you eat in the car watching the rain pelt down on the windscreen obscuring the pretty view. No? Is that just an Irish thing? LOL.

                                                      This was the 10th day out of 10.

Now Madison’s “bread” is far from appetizing.  It really needs toasted to make it appear close to edible. She doesn’t care but enjoys it as she has little comparison. We are working on a gluten and dairy free bread for her that can be used in sandwiches without her looking like she is chewing on sawdust!
These days we are confident enough to cater for her wherever we happen to be so last weekend the usual mayhem was put on hold for lunch on the beach. And the main tummy filler of the day for our Mads was to be mixed veggie sauce and pasta. This is such a quick and easy meal. All of our kids love it!

I use:
2 carrots
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
Tin of sweetcorn
1 red onion

Whizz it up in the food processor and add:

Tin of chopped tomatoes
A healthy splash of balsamic vinegar
A generous sprinkling of oregano

Whizz it up again and then pour it into a pan. I bring it to the boil and then simmer it for 5 minutes or so. Our kids don’t like their veg too mushy so have a taste while you are cooking and judge for your al dente-ness.
Next, the gluten and dairy free pasta swirls (available from the big supermarket chains). When they are ready I mix with the sauce and leave it all to cool. Ta Dah!! Instant and easy pasta salad with an Italian tomato sauce.

If dinner time creeps up on you this is a great stand by as its quick, easy and healthy. If you don’t need to avoid gluten and dairy then you can use ordinary pasta and add some grated cheese on top. Or use it as a pizza sauce. It’s also a sneaky little trick for kids who are a bit picky about their greens. The more you whizz it, the less you would know there is any in it. Mwah ha ha haaaaa……Sneaky, sneaky.

So there's a basis for you that is easy to adapt. Swap balsamic and oregano, add lime juice, chilli and a few chunky cut pieces of veg and you have a spicy salsa style for example. 

I am a great believer in "bucket" in buck it in and see what happens? Half the fun of cooking is figuring out how you like it. Food is personal. Just because I like something one way doesn't neccessarily mean you will. Taste as you cook. Add stuff. Make it your own. Be smug about how good it is. Enjoy yourself.

Love & kisses

Suzi. xx

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Can I Sit Down Yet?

WOW!!! I feel like I am slacking with the whole blogging thing! This past fortnight has been absolutely insane. If I have managed one cup of tea for every ten times I have boiled the kettle and my posterior has forgotten what a seat feels like! So I have pencilled in a quick five minutes to talk to you between switching the oven off and going to re-organise the chook pen. Fingers crossed.

Right then...I neeed your help on this one.  Trying to get a bit of blog balance. I can warble on about our lives as it happens "Nice Life" or about cake "Nice Buns" or about both "Nice Buns, Nice Life" What  would YOU like to see? What interests you most about our little corner of the world? We have so many things going on or going wrong that sometimes I don't really know where to begin! Or what is even worthy of posting. There's a lot of paperwork and stuff that I'm sure you are even less excited by than me.

Shall we have a weekend in pictures?

                                         We had a small army of sugarcraft Moshi Monsters
                                         for a birthday party order. Hubby's patience here was
                                         impressive. Some very fiddly stuff going on.
                                         Would you like a sugarcraft blog post? It's fun!!

                                          We saw this cute little Fiat 500 Bambino while out
                                          on deliveries. We now want one!!!! Sweeeeeeeet!!

                                         Since it was a long weekend (Cheers Queenie) and
                                         the sun was shining, we decided to sit on the dock of
                                         the bay watching the tide roll away.
                                         (You're singing it now, aren't you? Me too!)

                                         And went to the beach, where one collected shells....

                                practiced his Kays Catalog poses...

                                         ...and one, frankly, lost the plot!! This is the Ards
                                         Peninsula of Ireland remember, not the Adriatic
                                         Coastline of Italy. Nice day but that water is COLD!!

 That was our impromptu, shoehorned in weekend! I think we all needed to go and let off steam.  The poor kids have been stuck between the house and the garden with one thing and another. It was lovely to see them running amok.

In other news, my apologies for the delay on the blog about Aaron's respite care and The Clown Doctors. It is still in the pipeline as I really want to spend a bit of time with those involved so I can get a better feel and more accurate insight into what they do.  Hopefully doing that this week so I'll keep you posted.

Right, the chickens are calling, catch you all tomorrow.  Have a lovely day

Love & Kisses

Suzi. xx