Pregnancy enigmatic moments and Nigella Lawson’s Mushy Peas

When the smell of bananas makes me gag (not helped by finally locating the smell in Oscar’s bag – a R.O.T.T.E.N banana) but I eat two banana toasted sandwiches for dinner.
How chocolate no longer holds any sway over me whatsoever. At all.
That – for the first time since Oscar’s pregnancy (there are two in between) – I can’t bend down or get on an angle to do up shoes.
Similar to Oscar’s pregnancy, if I stand for too long or “do too much” (read stand a lot, run around a lot, pick up Jasper a lot) I get early labour pains and have pinkish-brown mucus.
Sorry, I know that last point caught many of you off guard.
I have had three of these “shows” since Sunday week ago.
It give the tail end of pregnancy an interesting ‘edge’.
I am absolutely craving red wine.
This hit the spot last week – Nigella’s mushy peas

  • 300g frozen peas
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbl creme fraiche
  • 3 tbl parmesan, finely grated
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil with the garlic clove in it.
  2. cook peas, drain and discard garlic
  3. puree peas w/ the creme fraiche and parmesan
  4. season to taste
  5. I added more creme fraiche and parmesan on the top at the end because I’m pregnant and I can.

Name updates:
I am (still) loving Grover (although now I’m leaning to Grosvenor as – believe it or not – I am conscious of the child being cranky about being named after a blue muppet, even though no-one EVER makes the Oscar the Grouch connection w/ Oscar or the Felix the Cat w/Felix) Sebastian, Theodore, Oliver, Baxter and Banjo.

Chef is adamant on George, in fact, last week announced “It doesn’t matter what we call him, I’m going to call him George.”

I finish work on Friday.
This fills me with so much excitement.
I feel like I will finally be able to be pregnant.
If that makes any sense at all.
Here’s hoping I don’t go into labour on Friday night as I finally relax.



Lamb with garlicky tahini and sweet potato rosti

I made another kick-arse dinner.

It came about from a post by Blackbird the other day, that she didn’t get Nigella and me trying to find the recipe for these cute little prosciutto parcels she prepared on one of her Christmas cooking specials.

Somehow I fell upon her recipe for lamb with garlicky tahini.

A sensation.

She used lamb noisettes (whatever they may be) so I used some lamb rump chops I’d had kicking round the freezer for long enough to be annoying. I sort of halved/altered the recipe to suit what I had and the crowd I was feeding – for the official details see the link above.

Nigella Lawson’s Lamb with garlicky tahini

  • 4 lamb rump chops
  • a good lug of olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced thickly
  • a sprinkle of cumin
  • grated rind of 1 lemon

marinate like so

In the meantime, I prepared my sweet potato rosti. I can’t remember where I got this recipe, but I’ve been making it for about 6 years and hadn’t made it in ages.

Sweet Potato Rosti

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and then sliced using the peeler
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (although tonight I used some pecorino pepato, which worked a treat)
  • salt and pepper

Mix the sweet potatoes with the other ingredients.
Spread out on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper, like so:
Bake at 220C for 15 minutes. (that’s right, it only takes 15 minutes, how good is that!?!)
It looks like this:

As the potato is cooking, sear the lamb in a skillet for 1-2 minutes on each side like so:

Then cook in the oven for 10 minutes or until it’s cooked to your liking (I should have only cooked it in the oven for about 5-6 minutes). Nigella says to put it in a new baking pan for the stint in the oven, but I thought bugger that and while the meat was searing, had put the marinade dish in the oven. Then I simply transferred the chops back into the warmed/cooking marinade for its oven component.

The garlicky tahini
I halved Nigella’s recipe and it was plenty for me and the boys (if you were feeding all adults, probably do the full recipe as below). it was divine and the kind of food I could eat by the bucketload. There’s about a tablespoon left which I am planning to eat on warmed pita bread tomorrow for lunch.

  • 8 tblsp tahini
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • approx 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper

– mix the garlic into the tahini
– add the lemon juice – it will go very stiff
– add enough water to loosen it. Don’t make it runny, just spoonable.
– season.

I served it all with some green beans. The boys loved it, I loved it, a sensation! (And all done in under half an hour.)

Jamie Oliver bocconcini marscapone and chilli salad

Jamie Oliver’s bocconcini, marscapone and chilli salad

  • bocconcini
  • marscapone
  • lemons – zest and juice
  • long red chillies – seeded and sliced finely into long thin strips
  • marjoram
  1. Rip the bocconcini into pieces
  2. Mix enough lemon juice through the marscapone to your preferred taste and season with some sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
  3. Smear dollops of the marscapone over the bocconcini
  4. Scatter lemon rind, chilli and marjoram leaves over the top
  5. Serve with crusty bread and eat until your head falls off.


This weekend TOTALLY rocked. I had t.h.e. best weekend.

  1. Soccer was cancelled because of the rain – wooobloodyhoo!
  • We had a birthday brunch for my BIL – it was just great to hang with family and catch up.
  • Because of the weather, the Fox was quiet so Chef surprised us and arrived – and was home for the day.
  • We washed the dogs and had them inside for most of the day – and went to the petshop and bought a dog kennel that Chef now has to build and paint. Mwhahahaha. Expect to see photos of it here, when it’s finished, in probably 2008.
  • The Doyles came over for dinner – dinner being a loose term for catching up after they’d been back to the States for a month. None of us felt like eating that much, but we all sure felt like drinking.
    – So, I made up a few nibbles type dishes, Jen brought over the weirdest dip ever that – not unsurprisingly – tasted better as the night progressed.
    – The kids picked over it and ate leftover linguine and we just hung out.
    – So, seven bottles of wine later they all stayed the night.
    – Yep, them and their three kids. Hilarious.
    – It ended up with Me, Chef and our bigger boys in our bed, their youngest in Oscar’s, Jen in Felix’s, Oscar initially in the spare bed in Jasper’s room, their middle on a mattress in Jasper’s room, their eldest and Bri on the lounges.
    – There were a few bed changes throughout the night, but just like last weekend – I had my favourite thing – a house full of people for breakfast on a Sunday.
    – So, I cooked up bacon, eggs, toast, pancakes, coffee and more coffee and we all just hung out.
  • Then today, I just mooched around with the kids. I did vacuum, but that was really it. No cleaning, no running around, just hung out.
  • For dinner tonight, I made fajitas.