1-pot 10-minute SOS Veggie Breakfast

Save Our Stomachs! We are living on coffee and catnaps at the moment… it’s been 3 weeks now of the babies sleeping like newborns i.e. NOT A LOT AT NIGHT. When they do sleep, they take it in turns, so there’s pretty much always one baby on the go.

Time and energy for food prep is in short supply, so I’m falling back on some old favourites. This breakfast/lunch/saviour meal takes 10 minutes, all in. It is protein packed, healthy, hearty vegetarian fare. And it tastes so good.

One pot breakfast: maximum flavour, minimal washing up

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 fresh chilli / generous teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 Cauldron sausages
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 Mushrooms
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 tortilla wraps
  • Cream cheese
  • Large handful grated Cheddar cheese – I just buy it pre grated at the moment. If you don’t, you will need to grate it on your own time.
  • Large handful fresh coriander
  • Sriracha sauce / whatever chilli sauce you are partial to

A note on Cauldron sausages: these are the best vege sausages on the U.K. market in my opinion. Whenever I try other brands I am generally a bit disappointed. If you prefer something else, by all means substitute it, but you are going off piste and I can’t promise it will work!

A note on proportions: you know how hungry you are; increase portion sizes accordingly. Twice the sausages is good if you have a large enough pan, or you could make fewer eggs if you’re that way inclined.

Method:

  • 12:00 Get out in ingredients and a big non-stick frying pan
  • 12:01 Slosh of olive oil in the pan, medium heat, add sausages, shake to coat them in oil. Note: these cook in 8 minutes, turning regularly.
  • 12:02 Mince the garlic, slice the chilli, add to the pan. Stir & shake.
  • 12:03 Chop the mushrooms. Chop the coriander.
  • 12:04 Sweep the sausages to one side of the pan. Add mushrooms to other side of pan and stir to coat in oil. Stir half the coriander into the mushrooms.
  • 12:05 Get out 2 plates and put a tortilla on each. Spread with cream cheese.
  • 12:06 Turn sausages, stir mushrooms, make room in the pan. Carefully crack in the eggs.
  • 12:07 Chop the avocado and scoop out half onto each tortilla
  • 12:08 Turn the sausages, gently stir mushrooms if you think they need it. Everything should be almost cooked; if not, consider turning up the heat for a minute
  • 12:09 Divide the contents of the pan between the two tortillas. Put the pan in the sink and make sure the stove is off
  • 12:10 Scatter on the grated cheese, the remaining coriander leaves, and a generous dash sriracha. Eat!

Do you have any trusty SOS meals you fall back on in times of crisis? Let me know in the comments – we can virtual comfort-eat together 😉

Do they sleep?

Why yes: but only on me. 😬

It wasn’t always like this. They are now 22 weeks old, which puts them right in the middle of the tricky (hellish) period known as the “4-month sleep regression”.

Until I had babies I’d never heard of sleep regressions; until a fortnight ago I wasn’t sure if I believed in them. Now? I’m pretty convinced!

It’s not that they no longer sleep at all, but rather that they like to sleep in our arms. For short periods. And very lightly. From an evolutionary perspective, I get it: they want to be safe from jaguars. Very sensible baby behaviour, frankly!

They’re gaining new skills daily (chief amongst them: flipping over and getting stuck) and I guess their accelerating metabolisms and growing brains have stimulated their appetites again. So we’re back to hourly feeding, which is fine, except for when it’s not, which is whenever I want to do anything else. Like SLEEP.

Anyway. There comes a point in rolling sleep deprivation where you admit defeat and live on coffee… This is my fave at the moment.

Cold milk on ice, a dash of maple syrup, and a double espresso. ☕️ #survivalmode

Ingredients

  • Half a glass of milk
  • Large handful ice cubes
  • 25ml maple syrup
  • 50ml espresso

Method

Everything in the glass

Stir

Down in one! 😉

Double-F Flapjack

In the early weeks of learning to feed my twins, I was breastfeeding them both every 2 hours, including overnight, as well as giving top-up bottles, and expressing, every 3-4 hours.

Each night felt like a surreal marathon running parallel with the time when I should have been being rejuvenated. By 6am each day I would already be a wreck. These flapjacks helped. A lot.

Ingredients:

  • 450g oats
  • 300g margarine (or butter if richer & greasier is appealing)
  • 80g demarera sugar
  • 120g golden syrup
  • 60g treacle
  • 100g chopped almonds
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g golden linseed (“flaxseed”)

A note on ingredients: oats, almonds and linseed are all supposedly good for stimulating milk supply. Anecdotally I would agree but there is no published evidence for their efficacy. However they were definitely good for sustaining my blood sugar and sanity during otherwise dark and hangry times.

If you know someone who is in the early stages of learning to cope with a new baby, these would make an EXCELLENT gift.

Method:

  • Melt the margarine, sugar & syrups in a big pan.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the nuts, raisins & seeds.
  • Stir in the oats (slowly but surely the mixture will come together)

Get a standard-sized baking tray. Line it with baking paper. Scoop the mixture into the tray and press down.

Bake at 180’C for 20 minutes; longer if you want it crispier, however the longer you cook it the more the sultanas will be scorched.

The kitchen should smell great by the time it’s cooked.

I scour it into columns and rows with a knife whilst it’s still hot and soft, then leave in the tin for at least half an hour (realistically: until I next get 2 minutes off from baby-wrangling).

Once cool, I lift out the whole slab on its baking paper and break it into squares. Bits that fall off get eaten first. The rest goes in a tin that goes on the kitchen counter by the kettle… or on the bedside table.

When Lightning Strikes Twice…

⚡️🍀⚡️

Hey, we thought. Let’s have a baby! 

or rather, we thought: Let’s stop trying not to have a baby, whilst very aware that when a woman’s in her early thirties (me) the chance of getting pregnant straight away is pretty small (just under 1 in 7, or about 15%), and fully content with the idea that it could take months or even years to actually conceive said baby.

Oh really? Said fate, or Sod’s law, or whatever you want to call the power that makes unlikely things IMMEDIATELY happen at maximum intensity.  Feeling pretty relaxed about all this, are you? We’ll see about that! 

Lightning struck twice that first weekend; exactly 8 months later, our tiny twin girls were born, and it’s fair to say that nothing since has been the same…

⚡️🍀⚡️

We’re now 4 months in and I have come to realise that I need a place for the whirligig of rants, ruminations and eureka moments that form the mosaic of early parenthood in the internet age. It’s remotely possible these bits and pieces might be interesting or helpful to other people, but if – as is way more likely – they are not, then this will still be a tidy little time capsule for me, which my future self might return to, to re-live these strange early days with the wry fondness of hindsight, that would otherwise have been lost in the mists of sleep-deprivation…

AKA if I don’t write it down it’ll be gone forever as I currently have the memory of a cartoon fish. 🐠