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Holiday

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I can’t believe tonight is the night that my time on Master Chef is shared with the world! I hope you are able to tune in… I mean…. eek… sort of! 😛 I’m so nervous. Already as I’ve been watching the other heats I’ve felt the anxiety that the Master Chef Kitchen causes starting to creep back into my tummy but I will power through and watch through my fingers as I cover my eyes! >.<

20150702-1Master Chef was quite the commitment on top of an already pretty intense Mummy Juggle and the need to get away with the family was needed. Being the American girl that I am, I’m still quite intrigued to see what the UK has to offer rather than go abroad. My husband loves it because it makes things much simpler and cheaper. In laymen’s terms ‘I’m a cheap date.’ So we went on a forest retreat to Thorpe Forest in Norfolk. Now the response I get when I say this to most people in the UK is one of puzzlement. Seems like Thetford isn’t a destination spot for many. I’d like to respond to that by saying that I want to see ALL that the UK has to offer and seem really into discovering new and exciting, undiscovered tourist spots that many don’t choose to travel, truth is that Sherwood Forest and New Forest were both fully booked. The need to go fully outweighed the fact that it wasn’t our first choice… sorry Thetford peeps.

20150702-2What we got was family time with no interruptions. We completely unplugged from the digital world and took time to fully focus on spending time together just the 3 of us plus 2 dogs. Max and I cooked food together, took long walks in the forest with Willow, Ty and Q, well actually Q decided that he was not about to walk and instead demanded to ride in the bottom of the pram! (He can be such a little prince sometimes.) Once we got Willow tucked away at night sleeping peacefully we would have a glass of fizz, spend time in the Jacuzzi under the stars and watch films. Marital bliss if you ask me! One night I couldn’t find Q until I finally looked in Willow’s room and saw him curled up sleeping next to her in his favorite spot… the bottom of the pram. I think Q loves Willow. 😛

20150702-3Since my time on Master Chef I’ve really been inspired to continue my cooking escapades and find ways to cook really yummy healthy food that tastes great. One of my newest inventions is Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Ball on a bed of Butternut Squash and mushrooms with a drizzle of Sweet Chili Sauce. I tried it once on Father’s Day for a barbecue and although they were good I now think I have nailed it. Recipe is included below! Takes about 30 minutes and is super simple, healthy and very tasty! Could be your next family favorite – at least it is for me!

Max and I love to stay active and fit because it makes us feel good and although we ate like a King and Queen and Willow like a Princess with her Mummy Made Purees we also found time to keep fit. Luckily there were fitness stations along the nature trail for Max and Willow and I played it safe doing Mummy and Baby Yoga in the Cabin. Even Cupid joined in, well sort of, he likes to sit close by.

20150702-4Everything was lovely and perfect except for the dreaded, monstrous hay fever, which was absolutely horrendous! No amount of honey or antihistamines did anything for me! I was stuck with swollen, red, itchy eyes, a nose that ran like tap water and pressure so intense it felt like my face might just pop off my head. The one thing I will miss from LA is that my hay fever was cured! I hit a Mrs. Rogers low when I had to stuff tissue up both nostrils in order to sleep through the night, not my sexiest of moments. (smh) Now erase that image from your mind forever and don’t judge me… I KNOW many of you have done the same thing and in fact could quite possibly be doing it as you read this right now… I’m on to you!

20150702-5Now I’m back home and getting back into my #healthyhabits. No more caffeine, little to no sugar, juicing of a morning, eating lots of greens, and cooking healthy meals. My lunch at the moment is my favorite broccoli recipe. Steam the broccoli and soybeans with ginger, add soy sauce, honey, and cashews once cooked, stir and eat! It’s delicious, I promise, I even crave it now! Give it a try.

Willow Jane is 7 months old today! With each stage come more and more rewards. She reaches for me now and gives the best cuddles. At first each milestone was amazing but came with a bit of reluctance as everything goes by so fast and most of the time a bit too fast for my liking but I’m getting the hang of it now and see that watching her grow and become more independent and blossoming into the little character that she is…. it’s awesome.

20150702-6It was great to see her fall even more in love with her Daddy during our time in the little Norfolk cabin. She is a Daddy’s girl! Everywhere he goes she watches and when she gets his attention she quickly puts her hands up to her face with little rosy cheeks, squeezes her shoulders to her chin and curls up into a little bashful ball. I gave Max feeding duties once and only once while we were away because when I came back from what might have been 5 minutes the porridge made it on to her face much more then in her mouth! Porridge face anyone?!

All right – time to get to my yoga class – I got to go! Enjoy the recipe below and see ya on Master Chef tonight!

ARTICHOKE STUFFED CHICKEN BALLS

20150702-7What you need:

For the chicken balls
Chicken Breast (4)
Parmesean Cheese (2 T)
Artichoke Hearts (1 jar – I love Jamie Oliver’s)
bread crumbs
buffalo mozzarella
egg (1)
Coconut Oil
Sweet chili sauce
Large Pan

For the sweet potatoes
1 Butternut Squash
Mushrooms (4)
Salt
Pepper
Coconut Oil
Medium Size Baking dish

Method
Set Oven to 180C
Cut Butternut Squash into natural shapes, slice mushrooms.
Spread Coconut Oil over baking dish and insert Squash
Sprinkle Salt and Pepper and shake so all pieces are coated in both oil and S+P
Pop into the oven for about 15-20 minutes
Add mushrooms for last 5-10 minutes

20150702-8In Food Processor wiz up chicken and artichoke, add parmesan cheese and mix.
Add one egg and mix again (I like to use my hand to ensure it’s mixed properly)
Once mixed pack the mix into balls – I did bigger balls for my main dish but you can do smaller if you’d like to use this as an appetizer.
Now stuff a piece of buffalo mozzarella into the middle, roll around in breadcrumbs and pop them into your large pan coated with oil.

Depending on how big or small your balls are it will take anywhere from 3 minutes each side to 6 minutes each side. I sacrifice one ball to make sure they are cooked through.

Once all is cooked – place it on a plate and make it look like a Master Chef dish, then drizzle sweet chili sauce over the top! It’s a crowd pleaser! I promise!

Tune into Master Chef on BBC One TONIGHT!!!

2 thoughts on “Holiday”

  • Loved reading this! So nice to see you sometimes holiday in the UK, we are doing a forest holiday this year too! I’m definitely gonna try the artichoke chicken balls xxxxx

  • Glad you had a good break, you’ve been non stop lately! 🙂 Willow is getting so big, so fast! As she gets older I can really see more of you in her, Lisa and I both think she looked like Max when she was born, but with your eyes.

    Glad I’m not the only one rocking the tissue in nostrils look (actually laughed when you typed that, considering it’s what I was doing as I read this!) You’re definitely on to me. I’ve been dealing with hayfever too 🙁 Alongside my antihistamines I’ve recently started using sea salt spray. It’s for anyone with sinus irritation and/or hayfever. It ain’t pretty (so don’t say I didn’t warn you) but it does work.

    Lots of love, as always. xo

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