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Our Australian Adventure finally begins...


I can't believe I am finally here, It's like a dream!
This time last year we were changing all our plans following my diagnoses of Hodgkins Lymphoma. But I BEAT it, I'm here and our Australian Adventure has begun! 

Now getting here was an adventure in itself, especially as I did it on my own with Ben. It was long, tiring and a massive lesson in keeping calm and being patient. It took over 24 hours, 3 planes, 2 changes, a few small bottles of wine, 1 very kind stranger and a hire car to finally get me and Ben to our final destination... Condingup. It was all worth it though, to see Ben run into my mums arms and to just be here with family is just the most precious gift for Christmas.


Since arriving we have had days full of fun, laughter and sunshine. We have seen wild Emus, walked the most amazing beach and fall asleep to the weird and wonderful sounds of the banjo frogs every night.

I don't think I have ever seen Ben so happy and that's saying something as my child is one very happy boy!


 To finish off our week and first few days in Australia  we went to the Condingup Taven and had the most AMAZING steak! It was my first Aussie steak and it didn't disappoint! It was so tender and delicious...I am hungry all over again just thinking about it :)


The last few days have really been amazing and I am so unbelievably thankful to have another 5 weeks here, soon to be joined by my OH and brother. It will be a real family Christmas and New Year! And like I said before...  A dream come true!

Mr Benjamin...


" I never knew how much love my heart could hold until someone called me mummy "



I speak about my son alot in my posts and thought it was about time I introduced him to you all properly and show him off a bit as I am one proud mummy! :)

Benjamin John came into our lives on May 1st 2013 at 2:30am. I had a terrible pregnancy and long labour but that was all forgotten once I saw this little monkeys face. Like my opening quote says I never knew how much my heart could hold until I had Ben in my arms for the first time. He was my very own piece of perfection!


This little boy has brought so much joy to my life! His constant smile and infectious personality can brighten up any day!

Of course he is not an angel all the time and motherhood has defiantly been challenging, especially when I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in November last year. But even then although hard, he proved a wonderful distraction and a reason to get well.


He is a typical boy boisterous and rough. One that adores water, music and dancing. At night he loves to kick a ball about with his dad and then falls asleep in my arms.

My life would be totally lost without him!



To finish this little post of cuteness, boasting and red boots I'l say in the words of Mr Benjamin... BYE!!!! - blows kisses with a little kissy sound!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Crispy Potato Skins...



Winter is setting in meaning shorter days and colder nights, which is perfect for cozy nights in with a hot bowl of soup. 

This gently spiced roasted pepper soup is so rich and warming and incredibly simple to make.

 

Ingredients

4 - 5 red peppers, roughly chopped
1 small bulb of garlic, cut in half
salt and pepper
good 1 tsp paprika
300ml chicken/vegetable stock
1 tsp creme fraiche
fry light
tsp chopped parsley
a good couple of handfuls of baby potatoes



Method

1. Heat your oven to 180 fan. Place your peppers and garlic in a roasting tray with a little fry light, salt, pepper and paprika. Roast for 30min or until the peppers are nice and soft. At the same time place your potatoes in the oven whole. You want them to get nice and crispy, but keep an eye on them.
2. Once the peppers and garlic is cook add to a pot with your stock, cook for another 15 minutes and then blend, remember to squeeze your roasted garlic into the pot too. Then Pass through a strainer and check for seasoning. Serve with a tsp of creme fraiche and sprinkle of parsley.
3. While your potatoes are still a little warm cut in half and scoop out the flesh and set a side to use at a different time.
4. Sprinkle your skins with a little salt and serve with your soup as a great alternative to bread.


I love dipping the skins into the soup, its like a crispy edible spoon. So scrummy.


Don't forget you have that left over potato, why not use it to make fishcakes?

for my SW lovlies this recipe is Syn Free :)

Teriyaki Salmon...



Its Friday night and the OH is working again, so I am having a quiet one in watching Burlesque and snuggling with my Benji. Well I was till he fell asleep and then I thought I have been neglecting the blog lately and a post with a delicious recipe was in order. I know... you're welcome :P

As you can probably tell, if you follow me on Instgram and Twitter, I love my Asian flavours and this dish is definitely a favourite.

serves 2 - 4 

Ingredients

4 tblsp soy sauce
2 tblsp sweet chilli
finely grated lime zest and juice (1 -2 limes)
1 red chilli, finely chopped
2 tsp ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 - 4 salmon fillets
250g wholewheat noodles
1 red, yellow and green pepper, sliced
200g Pak choi, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp sesame oil


Method

1. Mix the soy sauce, sweet chilli, ginger, garlic, lime zest and juice together with half your chilli. Place your salmon in the marinade and coat.
2.Preheat your grill to medium and then grill your salmon fillets for about 8 minutes or so.
3. Meanwhile cook your noodles until just about done and start frying your vegetables in a wok with a little bit of fry light.
4. When your noodles are ready, drain and add to your stir fry with the sesame oil. Then pour over the rest of your Marinade, mix to coat and serve straight away with your salmon and a sprinkle of lime zest and chilli.


Quick, easy and Super delicious.

For my SW Lovelies this is 1 syn per serving.

This is Halloween...



' This is Halloween, this is Halloween
pumpkins scream in the dead of night '

My favourite holiday has come and gone and what a great Halloween it was too!! 

In the morning Benji  and I carved pumpkins and baked cookies for the neighbours. I thought it would be nice to do something a little different then just handing out candy.




Then that night we all dressed up and attended a little Halloween Disco for the kids. If you havent guessed we went as the Frankenstein's :)



It was so much fun seeing everyone from the neighbourhood dressed up and my little Benji  was having so much fun running in and out the room, stopping for a little dance every couple of minutes. We literally had to drag him out screaming when it came time to go home.









Our night ended with family cuddles and scary movies, well the Adams Family until Benji fell asleep :) 

Now to start planning for next year!

In case anyone else would like to do cookies next year here is my recipe...

 Halloween Cookies


Ingredients

250g Unsalted butter, softened
250g Golden caster suger
2 eggs, beaten
tsp vanilla
500g flour
1 tsp baking powder

Halloween cookie cutters
icing - fondant ( different colours/ or use food colouring)
tsp apricot jam
tsp warm water

Method

1. preheat your oven to 160 fan. Cream the butter and suger together then mix in the egg and vanilla.
2. Slowly mix in the flour until it comes together, then tip onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
3. Wrap in clingfilm and place into the fridge for half an hour.
4. After 30 minutes roll out and cut out your shapes. Place on a baking tray and bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
5. Once baked leave to cool completely. To ice use your cutters to cut of the shape in the fondant icing and then using a little of the apricot jam and water mixture stick it onto your fondant onto your cookie.

This cookie are also great for Christmas, just add a few Christmasy spices :)