Oh so simple lunch

I love keeping chickens. Aside from their funny little personalities and curious habits I love the fresh eggs they give us (plus, at the rate we go through eggs it works out a lot cheaper to keep chickens than to buy them).

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Meet Sarah (aka the boss), top of the pecking order.

I often have eggs for lunch and one of my favourite ways to eat them is with smoked salmon and simple stir fried vegetables. Here was today’s lunch:

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Dry fried egg on a couple of slices of smoked salmon, stir fried mushrooms, tomatoes, chilli, spring onions and red peppers, drizzled with a cheeky bit of sweet chilli. Delicious, satisfying and oh so simple.

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Double Chocolate Chequerboard Cake

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I’ve seen these all over the internet and various cafes recently and have been waiting for an excuse to make one for a while. With two of our congregation members leaving to go on long term mission in Sierra Leone, we’re having a bit of a leaving do for them tomorrow evening at church. Perfect opportunity to test this out. You’ll need to make a batch of your favourite chocolate cake and your favourite vanilla/Victoria sponge cake. I added white choc chips into my vanilla sponge mix too to give the double chocolate element of the cake. Once they’re cooled cut each layer into three equal rounds…

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Now whip up a batch of your favourite chocolate icing. I made a chocolate ganache but whipped it up with a tub of mascapone to lighten it. Spread the inside of each circle with the frosting to act as glue, then put the layers back together alternating the colours.

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Now transfer one layer to a cake stand using a blob of frosting to secure it. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on top of the layer then top with another layer ensuring you alternate the colours. Repeat until you’ve used all four layers. Pop it in the fridge for an hour.

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After an hour take the cake out of the fridge and cover with the remaining frosting. Decorate as you choose and put it back in the fridge.

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Here is the inside…
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Quinoa Patties

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Whilst scrambling through the fridge after hitting the gym the other day, wanting something that satisfied my carb craving, packed a protein punch but that didn’t drag me off the wagon, I found a bag of cooked quinoa left over from the night before.

I chopped up some fresh spinach and spring onion and mixed with the quinoa which had already been seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and stock, threw in a couple of beaten eggs and approximately a 1/4 cup of coconut flour.

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I misted a hot frying pan with oil and dolloped little rounds of the mixture in, pressing them down to form little patties and flipping them when they had turned golden on the underside.

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Yum! For lunch I plated two up and served them with sautéed mushrooms, an egg and a little drizzle of sweet chilli sauce. Delicious.

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Naff off Nits! Natural head lice repellent

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Here in the UK the kids have just started back at school, and no doubt it won’t be long before word of “an outbreak” is given. Head lice, or nits, have always grossed me out and I’m scratching my head just thinking about them. As the old adage says, “prevention is better than cure” and with that in mind I’ve concocted a balm which can be dabbed behind little ears which should repel those itchy little critters. The rationale behind this is that the lice hate the smells of certain essential oils.

I made a huge batch, but to make your own manageable amount I suggest using the following:

1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
1 tablespoon shea butter
1/2 tablespoon beeswax
Tea tree, lavender, camphor and eucalyptus essential oils to your liking.

Put the wax and oil ‘s in a ban marie and heat gently. Remember, I did a huge batch, you’ll only have a tiny amount so it won’t take long!

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While the mixture is melting prepare your container/s. I chose lip balm tubes which are pretty hard to fill, so to make life easier, I covered a shallow baking tray with foil, made little slits with a knife and pushed a tube into each slit to stop them toppling over.

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Once the oils have melted they’ll be a rich amber colour.

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Now add your essential oils a drop at a time until you’re happy with the fragrance. I added more tea tree and lavender than the others, but it’s personal choice really.

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Once you’re happy with the aroma, fill the tubes or pots… I ended up using a piping bag to do this but it was messy (and rather hot)! Think I need to rethink my method!

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Let them set, then put the lids on and label.

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Dab behind your child’s ears each day to help keep the lice away.

If you liked this post, check out my Frankincense and Cinnamon Winter Balm post for another homemade, natural idea.

Caramelised doughnut peach

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I was craving something sweet after lunch today, but didn’t want to fall off the wagon too catastrophically. So, what do you do when a piece of fruit won’t cut it? Caramelise it and serve over Greek yoghurt. This is so simple it doesn’t warrant the title of recipe; merely a method for serving fruit is more fitting.

Simply slice a doughnut peach (or pretty much any fruit you fancy), add to a dry, non stick, searing hot frying pan for a few minutes tossing frequently, until the natural sugars start to caramelise and the fruit takes on some colour. Now, for the super health conscious you could serve it as it is over yoghurt and it would be fine, however, adding a little knob of butter to the hot pan means the residual natural fruit sugars are picked up and you’ll be left with a tiny amount of delicious buttery caramel to elevate your pudding to a new high. Spoon over some yoghurt, drizzle over the caramel and sprinkle with fresh mint. Yum!

Save Syria’s Children

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It could have been my child. It could have been your child. This can’t go on. Be the change. There’s lots that you can do from the comfort of your own home. Please don’t turn a blind eye. Do Something to help. Whatever you decide, don’t chose apathy.

Check out this video some of my fellow bloggers have put together using pics of our own children to highlight this simple point; it could have been me, it could have been my child. It could have been you, it could have been your child.

#SaveSyriasChildren

TEXT 70008 and the word SYRIA to donate £5 via Save the Children. For the terms and conditions click here.

Web donations can be made via the
Save the Children website here.