Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Recipe- Grilled Chicken Gyros With Tzatziki

 

I know I have mentioned to you before just how much I LOVE Greek food, I adore it! All the flavours that just burst in your mouth when eating, is just pure bliss! Tasty grilled chicken gyros were right up there as one of my absolute favs. Marinated chicken, a simple fresh tzatziki sauce & tomato all wrapped up in a soft bread, it’s something most people can easily love.

Grilled chicken gyros with tzatziki is such an easy meal to make & easy to love. We had it with some Greek salad on the side to make more of a meal, but it’s also great as part to serve a crowd at a party alongside your favorite sides. Great flavors, its a kind of street food dish that’s just as good, if not better, at home. Enjoy!

This is probably one of the quickest & easiest meals I've made so far! With just 10 minutes prep time & 10 minutes cooking time! Perfect for if your looking to try something different on a Friday or Saturday night instead of reaching out for those ever so handy takeaway menus! 

Ingredients- Serves 4-6 

  • • 1½ tbsp lemon juice
  • • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • • 1 tbsp crushed garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • • 1 tsp dried mint
  • • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • • ¼ tsp paprika
  • • ¼ tsp salt
  • • a few grinds of pepper
  • • 1½ lb/675g boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • For tzatziki - You can find the recipe for my Tzatziki Sauce here.

Method

  1. Whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, oregano, mint, cumin, paprika, salt & pepper in a medium bowl. Add the pieces of chicken & turn so they are well covered. Cover and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours, but all day or overnight also good.
  2. Make up the Tzatziki Sauce (see above for recipe & method.)
  3. Warm the grill to a medium heat then put the pieces of chicken on to cook. Turn once or twice & cook until cooked through, a good 3-5min a side depending on thickness.
  4. Once cooked slice up then make up each pitta wrap with a couple slices of tomato, a few slices of chicken and a good spoonful of tzatziki, spread over the chicken.

Ta Da! How quick & easy is that?! Go on, try it for yourself...

 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

It's Totally Normal To Lose Your Shit!

 

“What do you do as a parent, that you said you wouldn’t do?”


Do you know, I didn’t even need to think hard about my answer.


Shout.


I Shout.


I am the Shouty Mummy.


It’s not what I had envisioned pre children, but being a parent is challenging & can test your patience to its limit! What I did (unrealistically) imagine was the calm, cool, collected Mummy who would have the answer to everything, within 5 seconds of my sparkly eyed child asking the cutest question.


The reality is, however, that being a parent isn’t filled with sparkling moments. The reality is that it’s hard work and that sometimes you lose your shit.


I lose my shit, and have done so with embarrassment. That was however before the realisation that everyone, at some point cannot actually quite maintain the ‘okay sweetheart, stop poking your sister in her eye’ pleasant almost singing tone & that at that point that Shouty Mummy comes out. Whether your a Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Grandparent or any other version of cheerleaders that help raise children. They all have their own moments. Maybe not the same as yours, but they do. And if they say they don’t, they do.


I am not however condoning shouting or losing your shit at every opportunity. I mean, who actually wants to lose their shit. However, it is perfectly NORMAL to get caught up in the moment when you feel like you are talking to a brick wall!


It’s perfectly NORMAL to feel overwhelmed with the day and/or stressed in the moment because you’ve had 3 hours of broken sleep or the only food you’ve consumed is the leftover crust from the toast your baby neglected to eat.


So when the baby has screamed “MAAAMAAA MAAAMAAA” for the 43rd time whilst you are attempting to scramble together the food shop, then doing the under arm scrum baby hold whilst whispering FML can be the thing that stops you from having the full blown baby/toddler type meltdown in the middle of the frozen food section. Either that or the mum finger comes out wagging like a Cocker spaniel tail whilst repeating “I’m going to count to 3…”


You are honestly not the only one.


However, it can feel like you are at times. Like you’ve completely got it wrong, that your raising a monster or being a terrible Mother because you’ve shouted or lost your patience. As Mothers & Fathers we are constantly comparing ourselves to others. Especially the others who appear to have all their shit together.


Well, I am of the mind set that you do your best. You do what you can, at that moment in time because you are a frigging amazing mother/father/cheerleader & being good enough is all they need.


Perfection only gives children a screwed perception of the world, and who’s perfection are we living up to? Why do we want children who are seen & not heard?


I definitely don’t.


Each & every question, or paddy, or kick off shows me that they are developing & learning to understand the world. Each & every funny & random story Jamie & Gracie-Mae tell me, shows me how I’ve given them the space to be creative & test out the world.


So sometimes I shout, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have more patience than other days. Some days I just about make the food & employ the digital nanny (Tele/iPads/Xbox ).


But that’s okay.


It’s better to not be perfect.


You are good enough & you need to give yourself a break. If you have had a shitty day, let it be just that- a day. It’s not your life, it’s not all the time. Even though it can feel that way sometimes!


And if you ever need a rant/cheerleader/moan/winge/cry/laugh…. then come over to this little corner of the Internet & leave a comment/ have a natter because the likelihood is that someone else has felt that way too!


Don’t ever feel like your in this alone.


Your not.


We are all in this together.

 

Much love,


Gemma xx


 



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Just A Few Reasons Why Mum's Drink

 


Wine, wine, wine – it seems Mum's everywhere are obsessing about wine, counting down the hours & minutes to wine o’clock begging many to ask the questions why Mum's drink wine? Well if this is you…..


 


then it’s time to set the record straight about why Mum's drink wine….


1. It passes off as Ribena or apple juice

So that when you need to pretend  that you’re not actually drinking wine when you actually are…well then, you can.


2. It reduces our chances of having a heart attack (on any given day!)

As Mum's, on some days – you know when EVERYTHING is going wrong & you’re racing around like some maniac & the kids are being utter s***s & you feel like you’re one step away from having a cardiac. Well, on these days, you can at least drink some wine & perhaps head off that stress & cardiac at the pass by knowing that drinking a little wine will in fact do your heart some good – hurrah! (ok, probably not the main reason we drink it though!)


3. The empty bottles make you feel like a rock star!

Nothing says rock star more than a recycling bin overflowing with wine bottles – well, that’s basically as close to rock star-dom any of us are likely to get to anyway.


4. It makes your crap dinner taste better

Let’s face it, when you have knocked out another disaster of a dinner for the family, you can either cry into your plate OR pour yourself a glass of wine, which will make it all taste so much better!


5. Because you don’t need to leave the house to drink it

Yup wine, our old friend, can be drunk without you having to leave your house or  getting out of your stained clothes & hurrah! can be drunk with your bra off too. Best enjoyed sitting on the sofa in front of Netflix.


6. It makes us less vile

Picture the scene: Pre glass of wine = vile mood, hell on earth. Post glass of wine = happy, happy, happy without a care in the world. And a happy Mama makes for a happy household. Yup, wine is the ultimate in mood enhancers (that are legal) & stress reducers so when the day is going to crap, there’s nothing wrong with bringing wine o’ clock forward by an hour or two (judge away!). P.S. did you know that  a glass of wine a day can makes you less prone to depression? And Lord knows we could all do with some help on dodging that bullet.


7. It makes all that mum guilt disappear into the ether

You know it to be true – once you’ve had a glass of wine all that mum guilt just goes…poof! & vanishes away in a puff of smoke.


8. It makes you feel sexyyyyy

Yup amazing what a transformation a glass of wine can make happen. Before a glass of wine, you probably feel about as attractive as a bucket of smashed crabs. After one glass of wine….woahhhhhh mama! You better watch out. Someone’s going to be in for a surprise when they get home. Well, you’ve got to keep the fire alive somehow, and it’s a good a way as any in my book!


9. It’s cheaper than therapy

Seriously, just think of all the things you need to get off your chest! You could go and hemorrhage money sitting on a therapist’s couch…or you could just go and pour yourself a glass of wine and take the edge off.


10. It’s the only thing that makes sleep deprivation better

If you’re acting drunk because you haven’t slept properly for days on end, well then…you might as just go ahead & be the real deal!


So there you go….if you’re wondering about whether to have a glass of wine tonight & needing any convincing….here it is. 


Cheers everybody!


 


Wednesday, 14 June 2017

To The Mother's Who Feel Like Throwing In The Towel

 


Don’t quit.

I know it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders & that it really doesn’t matter if the dishes are done or that no one really cares that you stayed up till 2 am folding laundry or that you are just overlooked. I know you sit in the car & put your head on the steering wheel & the tears roll down at times. I know that sometimes you just want to throw in the towel & whisper (or scream) that you’ve had enough of all of this.

I know. I know because I have felt that way.

I remember sitting in the bathroom behind the door with my head in my hands thinking that I couldn’t do this motherhood thing anymore & that I really didn’t matter or make a difference & that I would never ever catch up on laundry – which, by the way, I’ve never really caught up on. And because I’ve felt that way I’m writing today to tell you that you, right now, matter more than you might ever realize.

You & your life, your voice, your giving of self, and all of that matters.

There will be days that are hard. Weeks that are hard. Months that are hard.

But, you can do this. I know you can.

You can pick yourself up, brush off the words that hold you back & you can be Mum today. You can look in your children’s eyes and tell them how much you love them – even though you are remembering how much they sassed back to you this morning – & you can love them unconditionally. You can make those ham salad sandwiches for lunch today & sliced apples and can actually get the straw in the juice pouch on the first time. Or the second. You can drive those kids to football or ballet or to school or to where ever & you will tell yourself that you sitting in the car with them matters.

Quitting means stopping. And you don’t stop.

A wise friend of mine told me this weekend that we only fail when we quit.

Motherhood doesn’t look anything like I imagined when I was young. Motherhood doesn’t look like those pinterest boards full of birthday ideas with perfect fondant cakes & party favors that take three hours to make. Those moments are there. But seriously, listen to me, those things don’t make a Mother. Those things, while they are beautiful, they don’t really matter in the life journey. Do you know what matters? You. Right now, reading these words, who is about to give of herself for her family.

 Do you realize what an amazing impact you are leaving? 

Don’t tell me about all the times you’ve messed up. I’ve got them as well. But do you remember all the times where you have done well? Or the times when you’ve been there? Sitting up at one am rocking a toddler with a bad dream. Making dinner out of cupboards that are bare. Giving up on something you need so that your child can get what they need. Helping with math. Reading a story. Folding those clothes. Making lunches. Teaching. Listening to their stories. Being silly. Laughing. Holding the puke bucket. Wiping faces. Putting art on the wall. Watching them sleep.

Those are the moments in life that you are blessed to live.

So you may feel like you want to quit. Don’t. Pick up the Motherhood towel right now and instead tell yourself you can do this today. You can. You can for your family. Don’t look at how everyone else is mothering, or what the facebook status states, or the pinterest picture of the perfect Mother. You are the perfect Mother for your children today. Do not let the world qualify your motherhood. There is no price tag large enough that would ever illustrate the true value of motherhood. You are an amazing gift to your family.

I believe in you.

What are you waiting for? You can do this, sweet Mother.

You totally can.

~Gemma 

X

 

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Recipe- Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

 

A warming slow cooker vegetable curry, using up all the veggies from the bottom of the fridge.

In my house we certainly suffer from ‘forgotten vegetable syndrome’. I buy specific vegetables with a recipe in mind, then our plans change & I make something else &the aubergines, peppers or carrots, or whatever else I have bought, get forgotten about until I find them a few days or a week later. I am sure I can’t be the only one, surely?!

I often use up these forgotten vegetables in soups or casseroles but a vegetable curry is also a great way to use them up. The addition of spices & coconut milk hides a multitude of sins and brings the flavour of the vegetables out. All kinds of vegetables go well in a curry & I like to include sweet potato as it helps the sauce to thicken. Plus this is a nice healthy option if you are trying to eat well.

I Love, Love, Love my Slow Cooker! I would be absolutely lost without it. I love how you can chuck together a healthy & substational meal in one pot, with zilch effort put in & it still tastes amazing! 

This is like every other of my recipe posts, super quick & easy to make, with about 10 minutes preparation time & 6hrs cooking time. 

Ingredients- Serves 4

  • 1x Red Onion, diced
  • 1x Tsp Lazy Garlic
  • 1x Tsp Lazy Ginger
  • 1x Tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 2x Tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2x Tsp Ground Coriander 
  • 1x Tsp Ground Tumeric
  • 1x Tsp Garam Masala
  • 1x Red Chilli, deseeded & chopped finely
  • 1x Tin Reduced Fat Coconut Milk
  • 3x Tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 2x Large Sweet Potatoes, peeled & cut into chunks 
  • 2x Medium Carrots, peeled & sliced
  • 150 g Mixed Broccoli/Carrot/Baby Corn
  • 75 g Mange Tout
  • Fresh Coriander, to serve

Method

  1. Place the garlic, ginger & spices in a large bowl.
  2. Add the coconut milk & tomato purée, mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Place the onion, sweet potatoes, carrots & other vegetables (except the mange tout) into the slow cooker pot.
  4. Pour the coconut milk mixture on top & stir to combine in the pot.
  5. Cook on low for 5 hours.
  6. Add the green beans & cook for one more hour on low.
  7. Mix well and serve with rice and/or naan bread, with fresh coriander to serve.

     


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Recipe- Tandoori Chicken Naan Pizza

 

Worried about making pizza dough from scratch? Keep calm and carry naan.

These are not your typical pizzas– instead of tomato sauce, pepperoni & mozzarella, we’re using tandoori chicken, mango, red onion, mint, cilantro, & yogurt… oh, and mozzarella, because in the end, you just can’t nix the mozz.

Really simple & quick to make & tastes  

 A-M-A-ZING! 

It is about an hours prep but that's due to some ingredients needing to marinade but it's totally worth it, I assure you. And with just 15 minutes cooking time! Yep that's it, just 15 minutes. You will be eating that pizza in now time! 

  • Ingredients- Makes 3 Pizzas
  • • 1/2x Cup Plain Yogurt, plus more to top (optional) 
  • • Juice of 1 lemon
  • • 2x Tbsps Vegetable Oil, plus more for brushing
  • • 4x Cloves Garlic
  • • 2x Tbsps Ginger
  • • 1x Tbsp Hot Paprika
  • • 2x Tsps Ground Cumin
  • • 2x Tsps Garam Masala
  • • 1/2x Tsps Cayenne Pepper
  • • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • • 2x Tbsps Tomato Paste
  • • 3x Pieces Naan Bread
  • • 1/2 Red Onion, sliced
  • • 1x Cup Mango, sliced
  • • 1x Cup Shredded Mozzarella
  • • Mint, to garnish (optional)
  • • Cilantro, to garnish (optional) 
  • • 2x Green Pepper, de-seeded & sliced
  • Method

    1. 1. Combine the yogurt, lemon, oil, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, garam masala & cayenne pepper in a food processor. Process until smooth to make the marinade. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt & place in a freezer bag with half of the marinade, turning to coat well. Reserve the remaining half of the marinade in a separate container. Refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
    2. 2. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Grill the chicken 5 minutes per side, or until it reaches 160 degrees F. Remove from heat & cut into chunks.
    3. 3. Brush the naan with oil. Mix the previously reserved marinade mixture with 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Add additional yogurt to thin, if necessary, to give a spreadable consistency. Spread the naan with the tomato-yogurt mixture. Top with the red onion, chicken, mango, green peppers & mozzarella. Turn down the heat on the grill & place the naan pizzas on, or put the naan pizzas on a shelf above the grill grate. Close the lid and grill until the cheese melts. Remove from heat
    4. 4. Top the pizzas with mint leaves and cilantro, drizzle with yogurt, and serve. (Optional) 
    I served my slices with a side of leafy salad.