Be my veggie guest! Barbecue edition

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IMG_1634While plenty of you are not vegetarian, I know lots of people like to try a meat free day or two most weeks. And isn’t it nice to look beyond meat at a barbecue? Do you really feel great after craploads of grilled burgers and sausages? So whether you’re veggie yourself (woot! woot!) or just want to add a few options for the not so carnivorous amongst us, here’s some quick ideas for your scorching hot al day al fresco meal.* Featuring no frozen fake meat, at all!

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Unbreakable! Headline Coming! Kimmy Schmidt Season Two!

If you didn’t watch Season 1 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, go do it now because Season 2 is available from today, April 15th on Netflix. Last year I got so into this show, that I may have sung the theme tune in public with fellow bloggers Sinead & Kate at an awards ceremony. If someone plies me with enough prosecco, I may reprise my performance. This time round Kimmy is a little more at home in NYC; she’s looking for a new job, and we get further development of – the foils to her Season 1 naiveté – Titus, Jacqueline and Lillian.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I have a severe want for Kimmy’s denim bomber, I won’t lie.

Some of my favourite American comedians guest star; Tina Fey and Amy Sedaris make return appearances, and Fred Armisen of Portlandia, Jeff Goldblum and David Cross show up too. The TV is booked for my viewing pleasure this weekend, after all I deserve some comedy – the last thing I watched on Netflix was Montage of Heck, the HBO Kurt Cobain documentary. I was the archetypal 90s grunge-obsessed teenager, crying on the phone to my best friend, sitting on the stairs in my Nevermind t-shirt when he died.

So yeah; some light relief is in order.

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Control Freak: Inside the Mind of a Threenager

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Time to go, time to schmo.
Time to go, time to schmo.

I’m cold! Coooold!

He lies on the floor at the bottom of the stairs. I’m halfway up, carrying a basket full of wet clothes and a sizeable Batcave toy. I have refused to carry him and his fully able hardy little legs up the stairs. This is standard practice; if I say I can’t lift him, he tells me he’s cold. Because he knows from previous experience if my child is cold I will wrap them in my arms and snuggle them til they’re warm. In this case, and in 95% of the protests about his temperature, he is lying through his baby teeth. I cuddle him endlessly, he gets no shortage of hugs but sometimes life, laundry and large toys get in the way. But he wants to know he’ll get his way every time.

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Midweek Madness: Speedy Peanut Stir Fry Sauce!

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Stopped momentarily on the way in from work to appreciate these beauties.

Things have been a bit haphazard since… ooooh, well, all this year basically. Continuing along the meandering path that is my career, I have two sort-of jobs. I’m adulting hard – I’m self employed now you see, it says so on the 76 page form I sent to the tax office.

In job number one I worked all through January, and have done the odd shift since then. Then I took on a few weeks work (job number two) in a different company at the beginning of February and two months later I’m still there. So I’m basically working full time until I’m told otherwise – it keeps getting extended (yay!) and we have a very understanding creche. I have to turn down shifts that I’m offered in job number one just in case I get more work in job number two (I prefer it you see). But I am conscious of ‘keeping in’ with job number one and not forgetting how to actually do the job, so I have committed to sporadic weekend shifts there.

Which is all to say my meal planning and organization is disastrous at exactly the point that I could really do with it being the opposite. I do have a couple of speedy midweek specials that I roll out and one of them is a stirfry – rice or noodles, tofu or quorn or neither and whatever veg are to hand. Always topped with nuts or seeds, and often with this super good peanut sauce.

Now, don’t laugh. I signed up to Snapchat (@jillo_properfud). Luckily I don’t have a child old enough to point and laugh at me. When I told my husband he looked confused – though strangely not threatened – and said is that not just for teenagers sharing nudie pics? Loads of great bloggers are on there, and even though I’m not sure I have exactly cracked it in terms of how to best use it, I did realize very quickly that the Story function is perfect for recipe videos. This is my first one. It’s very rough and ready. VERY. But I’m not entirely ashamed of it, and I don’t care what my voice sounds like after a good conversation with fellow bloggers made me realise everyone thinks they sound like a dickhead at first.

Super Easy, Ridiculously Tasty Peanut Sauce

I keep chunks of peeled chopped ginger in a ziplock bag in the freezer. When you need to use just steep it in some boiling water for a couple of minutes before sticking it in the blender.

  • Blitz a big garlic clove & and inch or so of ginger.

Now add everything else and blitz it till smooth.

  • ½ a cup of smooth peanut butter. I use the Meridian brand for all my nut butters.
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. I’m probably a bit more liberal with this.
  • Juice of half a lime.
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. I’m not sure that it matters if it’s dark or light, I just like to use the soft one, not demerara or anything like that.
  • Chilli flakes to taste. You could use half a red chilli either if you and yours like a bit of heat
  • ½ a cup of water (less if you want a thicker sauce)

That’s it! It’s that easy.

This keeps in the fridge for a few days, so you can be nice and prepared and make it in advance. When you’re ready to use it just toss it over your veg and stir it through until warm.

Because I was actually trying to feed my family in a hurry I didn’t take any actual nice pictures of the dinner as well as snap chatting so instead, here are a couple from a trip to Cork last week. Don’t be fooled. It rained for 75% of the time, but when it was good, it was very very good.

IMG_1097Dreamy rockpool

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#tbt to this day forever please

IMG_1192Pondering jumping fish. Rarely is he ever transfixed for so long.

A Proclamation of Sorts.

Proclamation For A New Generation by Dominic Jordan

The Egg Drop didn’t work out. Well on a macro level it did – the school yard was full of amazing creations. Ours was not one; a simple unfussy box containing the egg within its attic-insulation nest. We’d have been vindicated if it worked, but it didn’t. It did at home in the days before, but Dominic reported back that in school it had been thrown up into the air to begin its journey rather than just dropped. A factor we had not accounted for in our home experiments.

Strewn around the yard were toy chickens with plastic bag umbrella parachutes, tubs full of foam tied to giant bunches of balloons,  straw tripods with eggs in nets. Yes there were both parachutes and helium balloons, the very things we actively didn’t use. Ever the teachers pets we stuck to a very literal interpretation of the rules, eschewing showmanship for nerdiness.

All this is by way of introduction to the next project. They had Proclamation Day in primary schools all over the country this week. Young children had the opportunity to create their own Proclamation for a New Generation. Classroom discussions were had, and in Dominic’s class each kid wrote their own on the back of those discussions.

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