Pinterest, Nailed it! | Hasselback Potatoes Recipe

Hasselback_potatoes

A couple of weeks ago one side of our family held our Christmas Dinner early so as many of us as possible could get together.  I loved this evening, it felt so relaxed and without the crazy that a bunch of family driving all over the place on Christmas day can sometimes bring.

Of course we all brought something to share, I made a lemon tart which tasted amaze but looked like crap, and I also finally made the great Pinterest stalwart – Hasselback Potatoes.  I had never tried these before but the heady combo of potatoes, bacon, cheese and butter seemed like a failsafe recipe, and it was.

Hasselback Potatoes Recipe

  • As many large roasting potatoes as you require
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Bacon

Par boil potatoes, lay them in the concave part of a wooden spoon and slice them almost all the way through.  I spaced the slices about a cm apart.  Melt some butter in a mixing bowl.  Dunk each potato into the butter and give them a good tumble with a spoon so all of the slices are buttered up.  Pop the spuds on a baking tray or roasting dish and into the oven at 200°.  When the potatoes start to fan out, add a little cm x cm slice of bacon between each slice.  When they are almost done (45 min to an hour later depending on your oven and the size of the potatoes) sprinkle liberally with grated cheese/parmesan etc.  Serve with sour cream and enjoy!

Surviving the 4th trimester | How Baby & I made it to 4 months……happily!

Phew!

Can’t believe it.  Bebe is 18 weeks old.

4 and a half months ago I awoke to contractions {finally} in the middle of the night and had no idea of the body-wrenching pain and heart-rending joy that was to follow over the next 3 months.  A quiet season of finding out a few things about Nixie, and discovering exactly how different he was to his big brother.  Obviously this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo, but, the 8.5 year gap between babies left me feeling like a first-time mama a little more than I ever admitted.

What I did have, was a bit of perspective on my side.  I was no longer a 25yo in a foreign country with no family and friends with kids for support.  Dave and I are the most settled and happy we have been since we moved our family to New Zealand and having my Mum close at hand for support and baby-snuggling-duties has been invaluable to my state of mind.

I was walking with bub this morning, after a failed nap-time, and was marvelling a little at my calm state of mind and lack of anxiety.  I was able to nail it down to a few key coping strategies that have allowed me to steer clear of the baby blues and just be present for Nixon;

Roll with the punches | Be flexible

Babies aren’t born on time (usually!), they don’t have a schedule and they have no concept of what they should and shouldn’t be doing and when.  Nixon had a lot of trouble feeding in his first month and had to learn how to sleep during the day.  He is still not very good at napping.  Once I stopped obsessing about how long he had been awake vs how much sleep he had had that day, life got a lot better.  Agonising over 45 minute naps simply wasn’t going to change anything, at least it was a nap right?  Recognising that every day was going to be different also took some getting used to.  I am a person that likes and thrives on routine and that time will come for Nixon too, but it can’t be expected during his first 3 months.  If he wouldn’t sleep in his bassinet but would sleep in my arms after breastfeeding, that’s what we did.  Letting expectations get the better of you will only promote feelings of failure.  Let your baby do the talking and listen!

Take advice from varied sources

Nix was hospitalised at 10 days old for Failure to Thrive.  Worst.  Mama.  Ever.  Or so I thought.  Hearing those words sucked.  But not once in the first month of his life did the midwife, nurses or lactation consultants ever suggest topping him up with formula.  We did this with the support of our wonderful GP and it was exactly what our boy needed, some ‘easy’ calories to give him the energy he needed to breastfeed properly.  He needed a single bottle-feed each day for only a few weeks, then armed with a prescription to increase my milk supply {again suggested by my GP} he has been exclusively breastfed ever since.  Plunket have been resolutely single-minded and fixated on benchmarking so no thinking out-of-the-box from them unfortunately.

Exercise

I am lazy.  I am not a gym junkie.  I do not own any work-out videos and this is most definitely NOT about losing baby weight.  But, getting out each day for a walk did wonders for my crazy.  If Nix wouldn’t sleep at home he would always doze off in the buggy.  That 30-45 minute walk was respite for me.  Even if he remained awake it was a period of time where I wasn’t ‘actively’ caring for him.  He didn’t need to be held, fed, changed or comforted, he was quite happy cruising in the buggy and my mind was free to wander outside of the realms of our nursing chair!  If you don’t have a good neighbourhood for walking, pack up the car and do laps around the local park – this serves double duty as a good confidence boosting outing and no pressure practice for getting out of the house.

Reassess what’s important

Everyone tells you “forget about the housework” “leave the washing” “who cares about the vacuuming?”.  Well, chances are, you care!  If you liked to keep your house a certain way before baby arrived then this is unlikely to have changed once you are home from hospital.  The reality is that you absolutely can’t do it all, especially if you are recovering from birth trauma as I was.  But, keeping an even keel is what’s important here and if living in a shambles is going to have a negative effect on your mental health then rally the troops!  I realised that there were three things that if done each day, allowed me to feel like I had control over the house and that I was actively contributing and being a productive member of the family.  Here’s where you interrupt and exclaim loudly “YOU WERE TAKING CARE OF A NEWBORN, YOU DIDN’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE!”.  But see, I did have to do other things and I’m glad I did.  I communicated to Dave that making the beds, keeping on top of the laundry and keeping the kitchen clean and tidy made me feel good, he then knew that helping out with Ethan and Nixon in the morning so I could get those things done helped start my day off on the right foot.  Crazy I know but it worked for me.  Dusting be damned I say!

Try not to over-analyse everything about your baby

I was definitely guilty of this, but TRY not to let paranoia seep in.  Remember; every baby spits up, a lot!  Every baby is going to lose weight, then gain weight.  Every baby will wake at night and not sleep during the day.  Just pat yourself on the back for making it through another day or another difficult night because it will get easier – and quickly!  The newborn fog is a really short, challenging season but you will emerge at the other end equipped with the tools you need to carry on being an awesome mama.

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Weekend Love

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Loving all of these days, even the ones with no naps, which actually are most of these days who am I kidding!  Loving that this month our Big Boy turns nine and I won’t be dry heaving with morning-sickness and I can take him out to Sushi for lunch – and EAT the sushi.  Loving that I got my veges planted last week and that we have had some awesome rain to give our tank a much needed top-up before the heat of what I’m sure will be another dry summer starts eating away at our bank account.  Because I need all of that money to fund my growing Crown Lyn white vase collection.  Dave’s hash tag on a recent Instagram picture was #goingbrokebuyingvases lol.  Sorry about that Dave, there have been some excellent bargains on Trade Me lately!

Loving

Also loving our passionfruit vine which is going off this year!  So many flowers and fruit on this wee plant it’s amazing, loving Ethan doing his homework by reading to his little brother, I am hoping this scene will be played out over and over in the years to come.  

One of my extremely talented bloggy friends Sarah has published her first book and we were so excited to receive our copy of The Little Tree this week.  It is the most darling book introducing some of NZ’s fabulous natives and would make a very special gift for a little one this Christmas.  The first run sold out but you can purchase from the second run here.  

After reading about cronuts all over the inter webs we finally tried one this week.  OMG.  Croissant, filled with lemon buttercream stuff, shaped like a donut, deep fried then dusted with sugar and chocolate.  And they available approx 3kms from my house WHICH IS FAR TOO CLOSE!

Finally, I am SO loving my new Tupperware pantry set which I won from Simone at Great Fun For Kids.  There is no WAY on gods green earth that I would ever have invested $200 in a Tupperware set so I am so thankful to have won such an amazing prize, especially as I know this will last pretty much forever {going by my Mum’s Tupperware that is still being used in our pantry – it’s older than me!}.

Have a lovely weekend!

Cook Eat | Easy Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Meatballs

This recipe {my own!} has been on our weekly rotation for a month or so now and we LOVE these!  Dave and I were inspired to make chicken meatballs after eating at our local {Hallertau}, where Dave enjoyed their Chicken & Leek Meatballs.  These are better, I promise.  Chicken mince is a favourite of mine as it requires no chopping, de-skinning, de-boning and it is usually WAY cheaper than chicken breast.  I have trouble finding it at some supermarkets but Pak n Save seems to always have it in the butchery.

Chcken_meatballs_recipe

Chicken, Spinach & Mushroom Meatballs Recipe

You will need;

500 grams or more of chicken mince

Half an onion or leek

4 good sized mushrooms cut into quarters

Half a red capsicum

Some spinach – I used 4 of the round frozen spinach portions

Some celery

Some garlic to taste

Salt and pepper

Oil for the pan

1 egg

Breadcrumbs

{sorry about the ambiguous measurements, I’m a chuck-things-in-the-blender kinda girl!}.

Rough chop veges, garlic and seasonings in a food processor, combine with chicken mince, egg and breadcrumbs in a medium sized bowl.  Heat oil in your pan and add your meatballs – usually about 1 1/2 tablespoons of mixture for each meatball.  Cook until golden.

Last night I served the meatballs on a salad for a {mostly} carb free dinner but for the boys I made chicken pies using this mixture.  One sheet of flaky puff pastry cut on the diagonal, add a mound of mixture to the middle, top with some cheese and fold into a parcel.  So yummy!

This is such a quick and delicious dinner, and with the added veges 500 grams of chicken mince goes a long way!  It made two pies and 16 meatballs!

 

Hello Nixon | 4 Months!

Nixon_4Month_Shots

Nixie my boy, you are large and in charge.  There is nothing subtle about you, everything you do is magnificently exaggerated and full of sass.  I am so glad you are not a girl as I fear I would have met my match.  You have quickly skipped over cooing and babbling and now spend your days yelling at us and shrieking like a feral cat.  You are quite simply the loudest baby I have ever met.  Not that you cry at all.  Sadness is not an emotion you currently seem familiar with, if you are tired, hungry or bothered you don’t wimp and cry, you roar with anger.  Only one lonely tear has ever rolled down your cheeks.  Just one.  No time to cry as you are too busy practicing what sounds like new baby cuss words and perfecting pulling everyones hair.  This morning your daddy tried to put you down for a sleep and you told him {what sounded like} NONONONO until he thought better of making you angry and waited until I got back from walking the dogs.  You have trained your father well.

You are;

reaching out and grasping toys with both hands, spinning them around to try and find the right angle to get them in your mouth

frustrating yourself because though you still want to soothe yourself with your dummy you are constantly taking it out and inspecting it

eating rice cereal and pears once a day and loving it

charging your Jolly Jumper like it’s an Olympic event

splashing like Shamu and flooding the bath every time we put you in it

making your mama so deliriously happy it’s almost embarrassing.

I love you so much little hippo x

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