Saturday, 15 June 2013

Caramelised walnuts, salad and pizza night

So this is one of my new favourite things, caramelised walnuts. I've seen this recipe all over the net but hadn't tried it. So finding myself with an abundance of walnuts i thought it was the perfect time to give it a go. The idea was to make a healthy, sweet snack to avoid the not so healthy kind but turns out i enjoy these more in a savory salad.

Now these are super easy to make and last well in an airtight jar. I hope you'll try them out.

Caramelised walnuts

2 Cups of walnuts
2 T honey
pinch salt

Firstly toast the walnuts in a frypan for 3-4 minutes until golden. Stirring frequently. Be very careful to watch them, toasted walnuts can turn into burnt walnuts very easily.

Once toasted, add the pinch of salt and the honey and cook for a further 2 minutes on a low heat until caramelised. 

Mine were on the borderline to getting burnt! but luckily i saved them in time.

Turn out onto a non-stick plate or mat to cool. Once cooled eat or store in a airtight container.

I sprinkled these on a green leafy salad with some shaved parmesan and a balsamic dressing. It was so delicious i had two helpings. The walnuts aren't super sweet so they were perfect on a salad. I think they would be yummy with some blue cheese too.

It made for a yummy dinner alongside some hummus pizza and my first movie night with my little man.
'just keep swimming, just keep swimming' - excellent advice from Dory.

Have a great week everyone.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Back from the edge

Hello toe everyone still following along. It's been a while since i have been in this space. Life definately took over this past month and i'm so so happy to be on the other side of that craziness. In short i took on some extra work over the past few months to prepare a group of organisations for audits. Please don't go to sleep quite yet, i know auditing is a not a riveting topic for most but for me i love helping an organisation to find value in an audit and to move forward to better and bigger things.

So for the last month i have lived and breathed it and in truth - it was awful. As i've said i enjoy auditing but with a small son this meant extra long days, extra time in care, dropping out of activities like music groups, play group etc...
I'd like to say first up that some mum's do an amazing job working full time and raising kids but i'm not one of them. The stress piles up, i stop doing as much housework, i'm checking emails while playing with Cohen, i stop eating and cooking, takeaways and snack foods start to take up residence. And the whole while i'm tired, frustrated, stressed and have no energy for my family. Everything i enjoyed dropped away - yoga, coffee with friends, crafts, this blog and quality play time with my son.

And for all that - I am grateful.
- Grateful my mum came and took up residence for the final week, cooking, cleaning and caring for my son. - That is the most valuable thing she could have done.
- Grateful that it is finished.
- Grateful i can choose not to do that again
- Grateful i don't need to work more than is right for our family.
- Grateful to be home
- Grateful to be up to my elbows in stickiness, cartoons, cars and parks.

Life is back in balance and nothing makes me feel better.
So coming back is the crafts, the sewing, the cooking, the baking and the playtime. Life is good this week.

Simple broccoli salad

1 head broccoli, cut into florets and boiled for 2 minutes
2-3 rashers bacon, chopped
parmesan cheese
2 T pinenuts

In a fry pan cook the bacon in a little oil until cooked, then throw in the pinenuts and toast for 2 mins until golden.
Then in a bowl assemble the cooked broccoli, bacon and pinenuts. Top with shaved parmesan to taste and a simple vinegarette.

I used 
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 clove finely crushed garlic
1  whoelgrain mustard
1 t honey
 1 T olive oil

Serve cold alongside roasted meat or with a handful of cooked chickpeas as a main.