Baby number two coming very soon!

This post is very, very late. I am already 37 weeks pregnant with baby number two! We are expecting a little girl in early January and cannot wait to meet her to ‘complete’ our family. Truthfully, the reason I haven’t posted about this pregnancy is because I have been permanently exhausted! Being pregnant with baby number two is quite a different experience than with number one!

baby number two

Don’t get me wrong, we are so happy to be having another baby, and the fact she is a girl is so lovely. We would have been just as happy with another little boy, but having a daughter will be amazing and is something I’ve always wanted. We feel so lucky that we will have ‘one of each’! Although I do feel so programmed for boys, I almost can’t imagine having a girl yet!

This pregnancy has gone smoothly with no health  issues (fingers crossed) and I am so grateful for that. In saying that, I have found it all quite tough! My morning sickness lasted from week 7 to week 23, which was pretty awful! I’ve had all the usual symptoms on top of that, but thankfully nothing of concern.

I suppose the biggest difference this time around has been the fact that ‘it’s not all about me’ anymore! Having a toddler to look after can be tough going at times, but when you are pregnant, it’s exhausting. Harry is such a great little boy and I am happiest when spending time with him, even when I feel tired and cumbersome. However, squeezing in everything else that goes with being a working mum means you literally have nothing left at the end of the day! That is probably what I have found hardest. There is a certain level of expectation to ‘carry on as normal’, as you have been pregnant before and can handle it but I think this is what makes it so challenging.

Anyway, enough moaning! I feel so fortunate that all is well with baby girl and I am praying it stays that way. I have just started my Maternity Leave and I am hoping I love it just as much as I did the last time.

I am on the home stretch now and am so excited to meet our daughter and take on the challenge of being a mum of two!

Love, Laurel

Nadiya’s Cheesy Feet Biscuits and the BBC Good Food Show Belfast

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to the BBC Good Food Show at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. My husband Terry and I went with Harry, who despite being two and a half, really enjoyed it!

We had a good look around the food stalls first, and tried some tasty samples from Mash Direct, Tayto, Fivemiletown CreameryBallymaloe Relish, Bushmills and Jawbox Gin.

Good Food Show Waterfront Hall Belfast

Mash Direct

BBC Good Food Show

Jawbox Gin

Then it was time to visit the ‘Big Kitchen’ – a live demo in the main auditorium. We saw Michel Roux Jr. and the atmosphere was great.

BBC Good Food Show

Good Food Show Waterfront Hall Belfast

I decided to try one of the recipes from another Celebrity Chef at the show, Nadiya Hussain. I have never tried making savoury biscuits before, so Nadiya’s ‘Cheesy Feet Biscuits’ sounded like a good option, despite the name!

Cheesy Feet Biscuits (adapted from Nadiya’s Bake Me a Festive Story)

Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour, sifted (plus extra for dusting the surface)
  • 200g unsalted butter, chilled
  • 200g mature cheddar cheese, finely grated
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 5 tbsp water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan/gas mark 5.
  2. Cut the cold butter into small cubes then rub into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Now add the cheese, mustard powder and garlic. Add the water and bring the dough together into a mound.
  4. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  5. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper. Dust the work surface with flour and roll out the chilled dough to the thickness of about half a centimetre.
  6. Using a cookie cutter, cut out your biscuits and put them on the prepared baking trays.
  7. Chill the biscuits in the fridge for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch.
  8. Prick the base of all the biscuits with a fork. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray for 15 minutes.
  9. Transfer the biscuits to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

Nadiya Hussain BBC Good Food Show

Nadiya Hussain BBC Good Food Show

The biscuits were really easy to make, and tasted a bit like cheese twists. Served with some cheese, olives, chutney and grapes they were a really nice weekend treat!

We really enjoyed the BBC Good Food Show, I would recommend it as a great family day out.

Love, Laurel

Homemade Granola Bars with Mango and Goji Berries

I made these lovely homemade granola bars with mango and goji berries a few days ago with Harry. I decided it was a ‘toddler appropriate’ activity – this ended up with me frantically trying to mix the ingredients together while Harry grabbed handfuls of it and stuffed it in his mouth! At least he liked it!

homemade granola bars

 

I was kindly sent a selection of dried fruit recently from Forest Feast so that was another reason to try out making these bars. I decided mango and goji berry sounded like a good combination and along with the toasted sunflower seeds, they tasted really good.

Ingredients (makes approx 16 small bars)

  •  75g butter plus extra for greasing
  • 200g porridge oats
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 5 tbsp honey
  • 50g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g dried mango, diced
  • 50 dried goji berries, chopped

Method

  • Roast the oats, and sunflower seeds in the oven for 10 minutes, at approx 150 degrees Celsius.
  • Slowly warm the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan, stirring until melted and combined.
  • In a large bowl add all of the ingredients and mix together until all the oats are well coated. Tip into a large tin or dish, and press down to flatten.
  • Chill in the fridge for 1 hour, then cut into bars.

granola bar recipe

 

These toddler friendly bars may not be the healthiest in the world due to the addition of some butter and sugar, but they taste great and still contain plenty of lovely healthy ingredients. You could swap the butter for peanut or almond butter to make them healthier, but this was a no go for us as Harry has a nut allergy. They keep really well in the fridge and are handy snacks at any time of the day.

Love, Laurel

 

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