Easter is always a tricky time for Frankie and his allergies but this year he is feeling it even more so.
For a few months he had been allowed dairy and it had opened up his eyes to the world of real chocolate.
We had all really hoped that this would be the first year he would be able to get a Easter egg the same as his siblings but sadly this isn’t the case.
Stomach problems, bad skin and mood swings had all come on in force again and the doctors decided it was probably down to the dairy so we had to say goodbye to it again.
It’s been a hugely tough couple of months as he was so enjoying everything that came will the inclusion of dairy so this Easter I’m going to have to go that extra mile to make it special for him.
These cupcakes that mimic a chick cracking from an egg have really put a smile on his face and could easily be converted to your usual ingredients.
Allergy Friendly Easter Cupcakes
- 100g gluten free self-raising flour
- 100g caster sugar
- 100g dairy free spread
- Egg replacer for equivalent of 2 eggs
- 1tsp baking powder
- Pack ready roll fondant icing
- 12 decorative chicks
- 12 cupcake cases
- Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/400F and lay out cases into cake tin.
- Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix with electric whisk until combined.
- Place ingredients into cases as bake for 13/16 mins.
- Once cook allow to cool on rack.
- Whilst cooling roll out a small amount of icing to about a thickness of 2cm.
- Cut out a circle slightly larger than the cakes and create a cross in the middle.
- Lay on top of the cake and peel up edges of the cross to open a whole in the centre.
- In this gap place one of the chicks to create the look of a hatching chick.
All any mother wants is the guarantee that when her precious little bundle arrives she will be able to keep them safe, healthy and happy.
We all go out of our way to give our babies the best start in life that we possibly can…but what if this taken out of our hands and problems arise.
When I had number four as many of you will know we had a really tough journey after his was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.
I had never really considered what a huge impact this would have on us and it took months of hospital visits and teams of wonderful staff that managed to get this issues under control so that we could go be safe I the knowledge that we could bring up our son so that he would grow and nourish like any other child.
I was lucky enough to manage to breastfed for two years by excluding all allergiens from my diet, but as he got older his diet was so limited that he struggled with weight gain and up until the age of four he was prescribed a formula milk that was suitable for him.
Along with this and up to the present time we also get safe bread and pasta for him that have been a huge help as they are so costly to buy and the bread alone that is only available online at the cost on nearly £5 for one small loaf.
Sadly I have just heard that the Clinical Commissioning Group for the borough of Croydon are now going to stop providing infant formulas and gluten free products on prescription.
Can you imagine having a newborn baby that needs feeding and having to find the money to pay sometimes as much as £45 for one small tin of formula.
With an average of two tins being used per week I would struggle to find many families that would be able to find upwards of £360 a month to feed one baby, infact this amount would probably equate to what most families would spend on a food shop for their entire family.
I fully understand that the NHS is under extreme pressure and cuts and changes need to be made so that this fantastic service can be kept for us, but taking food from the mouths of babes
is a step to far and will have serious implications for so many families in this borough.
If this affects you in any way or you feel this is unjust then please feel free to sign this petition ‘here’.
My life sometimes seems to be filled with me wondering what I am going to cook for the family, and most importantly when I do are they all going to eat it!
I can count on one hand how many meals I prepare that please them all, but eating out is always a different matter.
One of our favourites is Wagamamma and what I love about this restaurant is their use of fresh and healthy ingredients that also taste great.
I timidly tried to do my own take on this with a mildly spicy broth filled with rice noodles and tasty meatballs.
If you want to have a go yourself then take a look at my super easy recipe. It is also free from most major allergens so great for my little allergy boy.
Vegetable Broth With Ginger And Chilli Meatballs
- 450g minced chicken
- 225g rice noodles
- 3 pak choi
- 8 spring onions
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 400ml vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp wheat free soy sauce
- 2 tbsps grated ginger
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp grated lemongrass
- Place the chicken into a large bowl and then with you’re hands mix in the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, half the spring onions and half the chilli flakes.
- Roll into balls that are about 3cm in diameter and place into a hot pan to cook for around 10mins, turning occasionally.
- While the meatball are cooking I a large pan lightly fry the pak choi and remaining spring onions for a couple of mins.
- Add to this the broth, soy sauce and remaining chilli flakes and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat and add the rice noodle and meatballs and simmer for a further five minutes.
- This will now all be ready to serve in deep bowls…with chopsticks if you are brave enough!
It is coming up to nearly two years since I started my blog and my love for it is a strong as the moment I hit publish on my first post which now seems like a lifetime ago!
Blogging has bought me so many wonderful opportunities and I never in a million years thought it would be something that I could turn into a job and I am absolutely over the moon that my little pipe dream has become a reality.
The only downside to staring this journey has been my ever increasing waistline!
All my time and energy are being engulfed by my family and my blog and my passion for exercise has fallen to the wayside and been replaced with a far more sedentary lifestyle.
I was always a five times a week girl when it came to training in the gym and this would always be a priority, which in turn managed to keep my love for food under control.
In the past two years I have managed to gain a considerable amount of weight that has been really getting me down…yet apart from some sporadic training I have done little about it.
With the New Year started I have decided that with some organisation and getting my butt out of bed they little earlier in the morning I have the ability to give just as much effort to losing weight as I do to my blog and I’m feeling really positive about the changes I have been making.
Last year I attempted to get my old self back by tracking my progress on here.
This was an epic fail so this time I am going to put less pressure on myself, throw away the scales and just get back to a healthier and happier new me.
Wish me luck X
Just before Christmas we made our way into Guilford to the launch evening of the brand new Jackson and Rye restaurant that has just hit town.
Jackson and Rye are already a very well established chain that have bought a touch of London style dining to the heart of Guilford.
The dimly lit restaurant and dark decor set the tone for the New York style dining they are famous for.
Once seated we were shown a menu that was so hard to chose from as the variety was so great.
We started with mini corn dogs that had caught our eyes a few minutes before ordering, a huge plate of flavoursome crunchy chorizo prawns and some wonderfully crispy buffalo chicken wings.
Our eyes may have been bigger than our bellies as the portions were so generous that after the appetisers we were already pretty full.
Mains arrived promptly and my Cajun spiced chicken was super succulent and accompanied perfectly with a fresh sweetcorn succotash that was a welcome change from the richness of the starters.
My steak loving husband picked his favourite fillet steak and was more than happy with the juicy cut of meat and the crispy fries that set it off perfectly.
Literally bursting at the seams I still made room for a sticky potted cheese cake that was served with a tart berry compote.
We went along as a couple but this restaurant would also cater well for our large family; we looked on at a table full of little ones throughly enjoying a large variety of food from the menu.
Jackson and Rye was a welcoming, relaxed restaurant that still had that feeling of something a little special.
They have taken the usual American dining experience and given it a touch of class.
After chatting with the friendly waiting staff we found the restaurant is infamous for their weekend brunch and we will certainly be back soon to sample this soon!
Hot dogs are always something that most children will eat and are so quick and easy to prepare.
I decided using a couple of great Quorn products to create a vegetarian chilli dog that allows you to sneak a few veggies into one of their favourite foods.
Quorn Chilli Dogs
- Pack Quorn sausages
- Pack Quorn mince
- 4 brioche hotdog buns
- 1 chopped red onion
- 3 chopped cloves of garlic
- 400g tin tomatoes
- 400g tin kidney beans
- 1 chopped red pepper
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 300ml water
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tbsps tomato purée
- Pre heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and then begin to fry the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a little olive oil for a few minutes until softened.
- Next add the red pepper and fry for a further couple of mins.
- Add to this the spices and and allow to release the flavours for a few minutes.
- Add the Quorn mince, tomatoes, tomato purée, kidney beans, stock cube, water and oregano and allow to simmer for 20 mins.
- Whist the chilli is cooking place the Quorn sausages into the oven for 15 mins.
- Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven and place inside the brioche buns and top with the chilli.
- Serve with a portion of skinny fries and a mini corn on the cob.
With a large family I love nothing more than a big dish that can be quickly popped into the oven and ready in a short time for us all to enjoy.
This dish was originally made with chicken, but I have easily replaced with Quorn pieces or steak strips and it tastes just as good, if not better!
Quorn, Broccoli And Leek Cheesy Bake
- Pack Quorn steak strips
- 2 medium sliced leeks
- Head of broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbsps plain flour
- 500ml milk
- 60g butter
- 125g cheddar cheese
- 20g Parmesan cheese
- 4 slices white bread
- 1 tsp English mustard
- Preheat the oven to 200c/Gas Mark 6. Place the broccoli florets into a pan of boiling water whilst lightly frying the sliced leeks in a little butter.
- Once the leeks are golden brown and the broccoli is slightly softened put to one side and prepare the cheese sauce.
- For the sauce melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once melted whisk in the flour to make a roux.
- Remove the pan from the heat and slowly whisk in the milk.
- Place back on the heat to cook out the flour until it begins to bubble.
- Remove from the heat again and stir in the cheese and mustard.
- Once the cheese has melted in add the Quorn slices, leeks and broccoli and mix well.
- Transfer to a deep dish and put to one side whist blitzing the slices of bread in a food processor to make breadcrumbs.
- Mix the Parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the top of your mixture.
- Place into the oven and cook for 20 mins and serve with a big salad of your choice.