– I wrote letters in the sun
– We drank Supreme coffee (!)
– We took many (many) walks
– I cooked baby-friendly, delicious vegan pancakes (twice!)
– We hosted a family lunch in our courtyard
– We attempted to take group photos of cousins (see above)
– We did an insane workout
– I made oat milk and applesauce
– We read lots of books and played many games of peekaboo with Mika
– We didn’t go to the lagoon (for like the first weekend ever!)
– We went on a nice date to the fancy movie place
And last night we attempted to get rid of the 2am feed. I’m assuming it’s a chicken and an egg thing – If she eats all night, she doesn’t eat as much during the day and so if I don’t feed her all night she’ll hopefully be hungrier during the day. This resulted in 75 minutes of trips into her room, lying her back down, staying with her til she was calm, leaving the room, and repeat. After 75 minutes (3:15am) I decided to give her some boob. She fell asleep and stayed in her bed until 6:40am. I fed her again and she fell asleep in our bed til 8:30am.
She woke up really hungry and so I’ve been trying to give her as much food as possible during the day, because tonight we’re trying it again. If we can get her to sleep from 10pm through til 5am then I’ll be a very happy person. And then we can look at addressing the 10pm feed and then maybe try stretching out the mornings to 6am. One can only hope.
Anyway, if you are a) interested in eating less dairy/egg or b) have a baby/child who is intolerant to dairy/egg then here is a very well tested and delicious recipe for weekend pancakes.
There’s a few variations you can do here – if I was cooking for just Ivan and I, I would probably use nut milk and maybe use ground walnuts instead of the wholewheat flour to make them gluten free. But since I was cooking for baby, I used the following.
Weekend Pancakes (Dairy, egg, sugar and potentially gluten free. OK so they’re Vegan – I said it.)
Adapted from My New Roots
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ripe banana
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp olive oil (or oil of your choice)
- 2/3 cup oat milk (or nut milk, or soy milk)
- Put rolled oats in a processor or blender and pulse until they turn into a shaggy oat flour
- Tip into a bowl and add wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
- Put banana, vanilla extract, olive oil and milk of your choice in to blender/food processor. Blend.
- Mix the wet ingredients with the dry and stir until just combined.
- Cook as you would normal pancakes, on a hot pan with a little oil.
These pancakes are delicious and you don’t even need to cook them all the way through because the batter tastes amazing too. We served ours with some finely chopped walnuts, homemade applesauce and slices of banana. Mika just ate hers plain and she loved them!
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The weekend was spent working, cleaning (the cleaner didn’t come…first-world problems?), skyping with best friends and cooking for family. Highlights included: cooking amazing potato fries (recipe below), ending a dinner party with a game of apples to apples on our living-room floor that lasted until 2am, doing crosswords in the park on a picnic blanket while Mika clambered around us and investigated the grass, trying out a new sushi restaurant, getting my ass kicked at scrabble in a coffee shop while Mika was with her grandma and having lots of sleep-in time thanks to an amazing certain someone whose name starts with I and ends with ‘van’.
The kitchen sink bath is a result of letting Mika crawl around in the nude. I think she poops on purpose so she can get her midday ‘swim’.
In other news…
I miss kumara fries. Ivan misses kumara fries. Once, Ivan ate nothing but kumara fries for 4 weeks. We really miss kumara fries. Mexico doesn’t have kumara and they don’t do sweet potato well and so we have had to resort to the plain old potato to get our fry fix. Not a huge favourite of mine – but in chip form it’s not so bad. The problem is, it’s hard to get the chips perfect and they take a long time to cook. Usually you’re looking at at least 30 – 40 minutes for the perfect chip. And how much oil? Do you heat the oil first? Arghh so many questions!
So this weekend I managed to perfect the 15 minute potato frites recipe. Perfect if you (like me) enjoy a crispy, not-very-oily fry.
Potato Fries in 15 minutes
Obviously you need potatoes. As many as you like really.
- Heat oven to around 200 C
- Take your large potatoes and slice them really thinly. Like maybe 1/2 centimeter thin.
- Pat them dry with a tea towel or paper towel.
- Slice them into matchsticks.
- Rub a very small amount of oil onto a baking tray. Use your hands or a piece of paper towel to spread it around evenly so the tray is just kinda greasy.
- Lay the matchsticks out on the tray.
- Sprinkle some curry powder over them. (Optional, but delicious).
- Place tray in oven and keep an eye on them – mine took around 13 minutes, but it depends how you like ’em. When the edges are just starting to get black, that’s my fav.
- Take out, place in a bowl and toss with salt. Enjoy with some homemade aioli!!
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OK so the last bread recipe I posted is pretty much amazing. But it’s got nothing on these little 5 grain (or more!) buns. Again, there’s no kneading/bread-maker required, but these are as easy as throwing some ingredients together in a bowl before you go to bed. In the morning you just need to give yourself 30 minutes for oven time and voila…hot, healthy bread rolls!
Healthy little grain rolls
Adapted from My New Roots
- 3 cups whole grain or whole wheat flour
- 1 cup of mixed grains (ie. rolled oats, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, rye kernels – just whatever you like!)
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and seeds for topping (optional)
- Put flours, grains, yeast and salt in a bowl.
- Add water and oil.
- Stir til it’s all combined.
- Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel. Go to bed.
- In the morning, heat the oven to around 200C.
- Oil and flour a baking tray and place little balls of the dough onto them. I made them quite small. A bit smaller than my palm.
- Sprinkle with salt (trust me, it’s gooood) and some seeds if you like.
- Bake for around 30 minutes or until they sound hollow when you tap ’em.
So in light of living and enjoying each moment – nothing says ‘life is amazing’ quite like freshly made bread.
I’ve been keeping this from you for a while now. Since arriving in Mexico and discovering that there is no bread here without sugar or high-fructose corn syrup (I joke not), we have been breadless unless I get my act together and whip some up from scratch. The first loaf was shit. Not even worth talkin about. But I am now the master of bread. Well, master to the point where it tastes damn fine to me, Ivan says ‘can you make more?’ and Mika gobbles up the crumbs faster than you can say ‘baby led weaning is awesome!’
Over the next few days I will share my pizza dough recipe, my delicious warm perfect soft center crispy/chewy crust white bread recipe, my 5 grain bread roll recipe and my wholewheat baguette recipe. Are you ready for an overload of amazing bread in your life?
First up: The easiest loaf of bread you will ever make, but one that you will probably wait the longest for.
Embarrassingly, I don’t have my own photo because we eat this bread too damn quickly. However, this is almost exactly what the bread looks like and I stole the photo from here. The recipe is from the no-knead bread craze started in 2006 by this article in the NY Times.
- 3 cups of white flour
- 1/4 tsp of instant yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- just over 1.5 cups of water
- Put flour, yeast and salt into a bowl. Mix in the water until the dough is all shaggy like. It will look ridiculously shaggy and wet. This is AOK.
- Cover with plastic wrap and put the bowl somewhere safe on your counter for 12-18 hours. (A LONG TIME). Make it for tomorrow’s dinner.
- After 18 hours, flop the bread onto a floured surface and sprinkle generously with flour. Fold the dough over on itself a few times, sprinkling flour as you go to stop it sticking to you or the counter. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Grab a couple (clean) dish towels. (Cotton ones that aren’t fluffy). Sprinkle one with quite a lot of flour. Take the dough into your hands and kinda mush it into a ball. Place it on the towel, sprinkle with more flour and cover with the other towel. Leave for 2 hours.
- Turn oven on to HOT. I put it at about 220 C. Put a pan (or the original recipe suggests a skillet. We don’t have a skillet, but this would probably be awesome) into the oven to heat up. When it’s hot, take it out and dump the dough, shaking the tray a bit to settle the loaf. Place in oven for around 20-30 minutes. Check on it. Maybe put it back in for another 10-15. You’re looking for a nice lightly browned crust that sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Take it out, cool, and try to fend off the hoards of people who will be swarming your house as they catch whiff of your freshly made bread. You’re amazing, and you just made the most AWESOME loaf of bread.
It’s Thursday and I’ve just finished building a website.
Mika and Ivan both have rotten colds, although Mika seems to be handling it a lot better than Ivan.
For all the work, sickness and exercise, there’s nowhere near enough sleeping going on in these parts. I hate how so many people and general life advice tell you to ‘get plenty of sleep’ cause I’m all like ‘where is your 10 month old child who refuses to LET you sleep? Please propose to me a way that I can get more sleep AND calm my insomniac baby AND manage to maintain a peaceful and orderly home. Please someone tell me.’ But they don’t. So I will continue to get by on minimal sleep, operating in hands-down the most sleep deprived state I have ever been in and thank the universe that we have such awesome support and that we’re generally such an awesome couple that neither of us have died from exhaustion…Yet.
And somehow I still can’t help but love making lunch/dinner every night. This one is so super easy and crazy delicious. I call it ‘chicken chili for the sleep deprived’. But no really, try this.
Super Easy Chicken Chili
Adapted from somewhere! But not sure where.
- 2 big onions, chopped really small
- tbsp oil of your choice
- 3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 red capsicums, diced
- 2 yellow capsicums, diced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you’re adventurous)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 cans chopped tomatos with the juicy goodness
- 2 cans of beans (black, kidney, bayo…any of the above)
- a small can of sweet corn (or some freshly cooked corn kernels)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (unless you’re cooking for Tess)
- Cooked chicken breasts (enough for 4 people) shredded
- Optional for serving: sour cream, avocado, corn tortillas
- Heat oil
- Add onion and garlic. Stir til soft.
- Add capsicums and stir til soft.
- Add spices and salt.
- Add chopped tomatos and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer for about 30 mins.
- Add beans, chicken, corn and cilantro.
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Serve with sour cream, avocado and corn tortillas.