* Safe for babies… unsafe for upholstery. Delicious for adults. Vegan!
I love dressing up, festivals and frippery, and most years I manage to attend a costume party or dance macabre to celebrate all that is gruesome, exciting and escapist at Halloween.
This year… not so much! I was home alone with two 7-month old babies, who are now in a fairly set routine of dinner, bath, PJs, feed to sleep (albeit with mighty protests at every transition). It’s a lot to do on one’s own and recently the monotony has been starting to get me down.
Social media was filling up with other people’s party pics, everyone and their gorgeous offspring seemed to be out Trick Or Treat-ing, and I was looking blankly into the fridge trying to plan a nutritious yet mutually-palatable meal for one adult and 2 babies… when a vacuum pack of beetroot caught my eye.
ZOMBIE ATTACK!!! 🧟♀️
Featuring Sleep-Deprivation-Zombie Mummy & the Two TinyTerrors
No make up needed when you haven’t slept in 7 months 😉
Actually the tastiest fake blood I’ve ever made!
2 beetroots (not pickled ones!)
Large handful frozen dark cherries
100ml freshly boiled water
A banana (you might only use half)
1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
Put the cherries in a blender (I have a Nutribullet Ninja which I love) and pour on the boiling water. Leave 5 minutes
Add the beetroot and whizz to a smooth, sanguineous consistency
You now have a brilliant, vivid, semi sweet, vitamin-rich fake blood. Remember that actual blood is not bright red once out of the vein. Now think about the consistency you desire, and add the banana accordingly.
If you want smooth, sweet liquid “blood“: whizz in the banana until smooth
If you want semi-sweet blood that is starting to clot: fork-mash the banana then mix in well.
If essentially what you want is a bowl of blood clots, whizz in half the banana and a tablespoon of chia seeds, then fork mash the rest on the banana and mix in. Wait 10 minutes. Stir & marvel at its disgusting gloriousness.
Hello October! 🍁 The season has definitely changed here in London: after an endless-feeling hot summer, there is a chill in the air and it’s downright cold in the shade. There are still lots of bright blue skies (alternating with drizzle and gales) and we’ve had a fair bit of sunshine this week, but the foliage is turning, the evenings are shortening, and – surest sign of autumn setting in – everyone I meet seems to be fighting a cold!
This smoothie is great for a quick cheerful blast of bright autumn sunshine on a dull grey morning, as well as being a delicious powerhouse of immune-boosting vitamin C. The warming ginger spices up the luscious, icy mango and apple, giving their classic pairing an autumnal twist.
200ml fresh juice – apple & pear is wonderfully autumnal, but you could also choose fresh orange juice if you’re fighting a cold
Generous handful of frozen mango pieces
2x cubes frozen ginger purée, or a thumbnail-sized piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced finely across the direction of the fibres (this is why purée is preferable; see pictures below if you’ve not tried it before).
Blend, pour, enjoy!
A note on convenience ingredients: I am all about convenience ingredients! I have two babies. 😬 If it’s not convenient, it’s not getting made!
A note on frozen fruit: I like using frozen fruit for smoothies, because I think if you have a ripe fresh mango it’s best enjoyed there-and-then, unadulterated, rather than blended up with other things. Also a big bag of frozen mango pieces is about £2 in my local supermarket, keeps for ages, and is a pleasing ingredient to have on hand for smoothies, puddings, the occasional Thai massuman curry…
One of the joyous things about breastfeeding is the ravenous hunger that must be sated with tasty things, which taste all the better because your body is crying out for sugars and fats like it’s running a marathon (which, metabolically, it is!).
The only hunger I’ve felt like it before is post-scuba-dive hunger, where you’ve spent an hour underwater metabolising like crazy to keep warm but too distracted by all the fish and coral and beautiful dangerous things (hello shark! Hello anemones!) to notice, and then you heave yourself and your tank back onto the boat or beach, and peel off the heavy wetsuit, and dry off in the sun, and suddenly: starving. And everything tastes so good!
Anyway, multiply that by 50 and it’s comparable with breastfeeding hunger, in my experience.
And while often I just want to eat, like, several handfuls of chocolate biscuits, or half a tub of ice cream, or cereal bars spread thickly with Nutella–sometimes I have the wherewithal to make a healthy plate like this, which is so good in a different way, and actually sates the cravings for longer.
Note: this is only good if you can get ripe avocados.
Avocado, basil & chilli sourdough
This is the simplest thing in the world to assemble, but as I’m just getting started with recipe blogging I’m going to write the whole thing out. 😊
1 avocado per person (half if barely hungry)
2 slices of sourdough per avocado
1 large handful cherry tomatoes, halved
Few fresh basil leaves (coriander if preferred), rolled then thinly sliced, to form ribbons
1 dried chilli, finely chopped
Wedge of fresh lime
The nicest olive oil in your kitchen
Toast the toast
Halve the avocados 🥑, slice within their halves then scoop out with a spoon. Use any remaining avocado as a spread first, then fan the slices on top.
Arrange tomatoes as desired
Scatter with chilli and basil
Drizzle with oil and lime juice
Season with flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste