Killing the neighbours hens – a right to feel guilt

This week has been VERY eventful, which considering it is Wednesday lunchtime is quite something. If they say life begins at 40, it unfortunately also ends…

Chickens eating in the garden

Sunday evening Mr M and I watch About a Boy – it is pouring with rain and it is a pretty uneventful evening to be honest. We hop to bed without a care in the world.  At three I wake up… I am feeling like I have forgotten something.  At 3.05 I realise what…. the neighbours hens that we are looking after have not been penned in for the night.  Mr M runs across in his PJ’s and wellies…. comes back after about 5 min, but why oh why I am lying in bed missing that very soothing click of the door locking. Unfortunately a very good reason no hens!  Ho goes back out and comes back sometime after 4 in the morning. No hens, but a lot of feathers.

Monday morning I get up early to look for hens, there is one in the hen house sitting on her egg (there were 5)… she looks worse for wear and is not the happy chicken she was running around at my birthday part last week.  She has very few (read none) feathers on her bottom, but except for that and a look of fear she seems ok.

Now proceeds, looking for the other 4, but we realise pretty quickly they have gone to hen heaven, or rather into a fox… Then it is feather clean up time. Speak to the neighbours who are very understanding and off to get 4 more hens, as they are pack animals.  The farmer says they should all play nicely so another 4 hens get picked up and placed in the hen house.

A few hours later we also get the ‘old’ hen into the hen house for the night and they all look like they are sitting pretty on nice straw and saw dust well fed and watered.

Tuesday morning – plenty of eggs and 4 bullies.  Overnight they have picked on their new friends bottom so much it is in a terrible state. Mr M and I realise we have to do the dirty deed and send her to hen heaven too.  This is not a job I EVER want to do again, albeit I can very much understand the statement ‘it is kinder to the animal’ now.  Now there are 4 hens – they seem happy and I will NEVER forget to close the hen house door at night again.

Just to ensure that Karma is in full working order on Tuesday night the cellar filled with poo water… Luckily our insurance company was very efficient.

I realise the little I have spoken about me highlights a lot the guilt I feel – this was justified guilt.  How awful can I be – one thing I forgot with some serious consequences for the poor chickens.

To make my self feel better I had the leftover raspberry crumble on greek yougurt and cherries for breakfast. Oh so delicous!

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Tacos and Ice Cream

This morning was another wet and non summery morning hence I made some seed bread and some ice cream. Our neighbours have hens which we are looking after hence I had 4 VERY fresh eggs to use.  I am ridiculously proud of the fact that for nearly 2 years I have had home made seed bread (or frökex) in the house.  Makes me feel like a domestic godess which is quite a nice feeling.  To make the ice cream (which is not dairy free i´this tie sorry!) I did the following in the morning and the kids had it in cones after dinner.

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 5 dl of whipping cream (40% fat) – whipped firmly
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of birch sugar
  • 2 tbsp of coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla and add it ot the whipped cream (you can use the same utensils!).  I was rather fancy in my domestic bliss that I then churned it for 25 min in the ice cream maker.  If not just mix it after 15 in in the freezer.

Of course you can skip the vanilla and ad fresh raspberries or something else…. I served this is cones (bought in the shop with gluten sugar the whole lot… easy and very happy girls) if I hadn’t been so tired from doing very little for the rest of the day I would have made chocolate sauce to go with it – it is very easy to make ‘healthily’. I include a picture below – excited girls means very little focus – sorry!

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BEFORE the ice cream we had tacos – another thing that is very easy to make without any bad stuff in it. I fried the mince with my taco mix.  Then I made some guacamole with 2 avocados, some lemon juice, salt and pepper and dried chilli.  Salsa with dried chilli, olive oil, salt, pepper and lots of chopped coriander and then served it in an ice berg lettuce leaf with grated cheese, creme fraiche, chopped cucumber, jalapeno’s.  Really tasty and so easy and easy to make dairy free or vegetarian. Face it guacamole is good with anything!

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No longer in my 30’s

…and so far being 40 is rather wonderful, to be honest I do feel age is just a number. Albeit  I feel a bit like my mum, she is 40 I am not; obviously she is no longer 40…. Confused? I am, maybe it’s age! They say life begins at 40 so looking forward to it! 

 

Cod, Cauliflower, Hardboiled eggs and melted butter – Oh sooo good

When I was little I had two favourite dishes – cod (or to be honest any white fish) potatoes, melted butter and chopped hard boiled eggs. I read the other day that Cod is back which is nice to here, also the fact that trying to save an endangered fish seems to work. The other was chicken (or I believe we had hen…) rice and curry sauce – I may have to resurrect this one too. Now I swap the potato for cauliflower and it is equally delicious, unfortunately the lack of summer and sun here in Sweden makes this a good dinner choice.

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Cod, Cauliflower, Hardboiled eggs and melted butter – Feeds 4 (30 min)

Boil the kettle so you have boiling water – it makes this faster. Also put the oven on at 175 degrees C. Do all of the above straight after on another, then it should be ready all together.

1. Steam the cauliflower in florets for 15 minutes or until soft with a bite – during this –

2. Hard boil 4 eggs – about 8 min from boiling.

3. Place 25 grams of butter in an oven proof dish, pour over 3 dl of boiling water so butter melts and add some herb salt. Place the fish on top and place in the oven for about 15 min or just when it starts turning white.

4. Drain and chop the cauliflower into smaller pieces into an oven proof dish, place a little butter (25 grams ish) in lumps scattered on top. Some pepper and herb salt cover in foil and put at the bottom of the oven to keep warm.

5. I served it with some steamed broccoli, some spinach or peas is also good. I just think it needs something green or it is too white and looks a bit yuk. Put the broccoli on to steam.

6. On the residual heat of the broccoli place about 50 grams of butter in to melt.

Tale everything out of oven and off heat and serve – cauliflower, then fish, some chopped egg and some melted butter with broccoli on the side. Needs salt and pepper!

Sugar sugar and more sugar….

I read this article today about British new sugar guidelines. In Sweden Ann Fernholm writes a lot about the stress sugar puts on our bodies in Ett Sötare Blod / A Sweeter Blood. It is odd that low carb diets have been fashionable for a long time but for me at least it feels like sugar is more and more being identified as the villain. Both Ann and now the British government confirm this. The fear of fat – at least for me does not exist. The beauty of fat is that it fills you up so it is hard to eat way to much of it!  Obviously there are good and bad fats too, but I eat a lot of fat, but try and keep refined sugar out as much as I can.  In the same way asy sugar consumption however I eat ‘pure’ fat; cream with 40% fat, proper butter, coconut oil etc. My only apprehension on calling my way of eating LCHF – Low Carb High Fat – is that I am not so keen on rules. I.e. I eat all fruit and veg, my limits and foods to avoids are really only the processed or the refined. 

Now I am off into town to play with my sister, was meant to move rubbish in the garden so now feel guilty. Mr M did not seem overly troubled, I think if I could give up guilt like I can control my sugar intake I would find the happy and healthy pill, wish me luck. 

 

Baked Beans – cooked breakfast… hair of the dog!

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Last night I had some chicken with a nice feta sallad. Unfortunately I got a little carried away and had many too many glasses of wine (this also meant I forget to take a photo of the meal) and hence I was in need of some grease this morning. I even had a black coffee (this is a coke in a coffee cup so the kids don’t notice).  I don’t really drink soft drinks but today it was required. It annoys me that I can get so carried away still, why don’t I ever learn. Felt a little sad and psycho all day.

So I had some scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and home made baked beans.  Delicious and I always make quite a few beans as they are almost better the next day.

Baked Beans

  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • one red onion
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme – if you have it
  • a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce – again if you have it
  • 1/2 tsp of paprika
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp pf tomato puree
  • 2 tins of cannellini  beans
  • lots of salt and pepper

Fry the onions and garlic in the oil. Add all the ingredients and place a piece of wet scrumpled piece of parchment paper (bakplåtspapper) on top of the mixture (no lid) in the oven at 175 degrees C for 30-40 min.

Serve in a cooked breakfast, with just sausages or on their own with lots of grated parmesan.

Quinoa Tabbouleh and Guilt

Quinoa Tabbouleh

I felt a little guilty as there was Bulgar on the LifeofMilne page – stupid I know as I eat a lot of stuff which is not so strictly gluten free at friends and out and about. However in this instance the Quinoa version is just as good hence there is no excuse.

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Here I also added some extra lemon juice and a small red onion. Great picnic food, so on that note I am off into the sunshine!

Quick Sausage Summer dinner

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Get someone friendly to grill some GOOD quality sausages.

Make some tabbouleh – as I was away I made it with bulgur but Quinoa is a good gluten free choice.  I make it simple and add to cooled quinoa or bulgur (I made 4 portions according to the packet – i lied my friend made it):

  • A lot of parsley chopped
  • A lot of min chopped
  • juice of a lemon
  • 2-3 tbs of good olive oil
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • a chopped tomato

I also made a buffalo mozzarella, tomato and avocado sallad with some lemon juice, basil infused olive oil and salt and pepper. And last but not least a ‘sauce’ with Turkish (or Greek or dairy free alternative) yogurt:

2 dl yogurt of some kind (plain!!)

Juice of half a lemon

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tsp herb salt

black pepper

Serve it all in the not so sunny weather with a BIG jumper on!

Zucchini pasta with chicken and bacon – Leftover bits and bobs

I often have some leftover bits and bobs in the fridge, this time I had 3 chicken thighs, a very old courgette/zucchini and finally my basil plant came back to life after playing sudden death so yet again I have mounds of basil.thumb_IMG_1023_1024

Zucchini pasta with chicken and bacon (serves 2)

  • 1 zucchini – Spirlize the zucchini
  • Boil some water
  • 3 chicken thighs – season lightly and cook ( I cooked them in a frying pan with some oil to give them some colour and them put them in the oven whilst I did the rest of the meal).
  • 140 grams of bacon – fry to a crisp in bits
  • 1 dl frozen peas

Add the frozen peas to the boiling water and add the zucchini after 1 min and then boil the two for a further minute.

Walnut pesto

Mix the zucchini, peas, chicken and pesto. Sprinkle with bacon.  A very satisfying meal that feels decadent.

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Pop corn old style

 
I remember my mum swearing making popcorn when we were little and ow realizing it was probably quite expensive … The amount if pots she binned due to having made miniature charcoal…

Anyway my kids get popcorn every Friday night and as it is holiday time I have no idea what day of the week it is. Popping popcorn is easy – using coconut oil means it doesn’t burn!

Popcorn

Enough coconut oil to cover bottom of pan

Heat it to seriously hot

Add one layer of popcorn kernels 

Pop away! It has been so hot this last week the salt fix has been very welcome, enjoy.