Sweet potato bake recipe

I love a good oven bake. Partly because they are so easy to make, I mean you just throw everything into ONE dish (less dishes to wash people!), and partly because they always end up tasting scrummy.
Yesterday I walked into the kitchen, recipe in mind, and when I went to get the potatoes there were only two teenie tiny ones left. Just like that I had to reinvent what I was going to make for dinner.
Sweet potato to the rescue!.
I don't know what it's like in your house but we love sweet potatoes, so this dish came together very effortlessly and was eaten very gratefully.

My ingredients were:

1 large sweet potato
3 carrots
1 green pepper and 1 yellow pepper
1 red onion
Olive oil (enough to coat all the veggies)
1 tbsp garlic salt
1tsp Herbs de Provence  

Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
Cut all the vegetables in large chunks and add to oven dish
Coat with olive oil
sprinkle on garlic salt and herbs
stir together
bake in oven for about 30 minutes

I served our sweet potato bake with sweet chili chicken skewers and it was delicious!
Definitely making this again.



I want to be the best dragon trainer!

About two weeks ago we went to see How to train your dragon 2 at the cinema and ever since
Emily has been obsessed with anything dragon.
She has been begging us to go to McDonald's so she can collect the dragons in the Happy Meals, she's been watching videos on You tube where people show their dragon toys, the official how to train your dragon toys are on her wishlist and we've been watching the first movie and the TV series quite A LOT.
It's been quite cute hearing her play because she always appoints herself to be Stormfly or Toothless, the two most important dragons. Even when she's watching the cartoons she always announces this, just so we know...and probably also so her brother can't claim to be that particular character! It's funny actually, she does this with all her favourite TV shows, at one point or another she will shout out "I am Raven" (Teen titans Go) or "I am Pikachu" (Pokemon).
So the other day she was doing some drawing and she told me she made a drawing of what she wants to be when she grows up.
I think It's an absolutely AMAZING drawing! Those dragons are beyond cute...and they've even got tiny little saddles :)
 I'm so proud of my little artist.
Not sure if she'll ever accomplish this dream but if there would suddenly be dragons in the future I just know she'd rock being a dragon trainer! Best one for sure.


Our summer schedule

I can't believe we are 3 weeks into the summer holidays already!
They seem to be flying by this year. Before we know it the kids will be back in school, which reminds me that I really need to start getting organised and start ordering uniform bits and bobs, buy new school shoes, book bags and lunchboxes!
Phew, a lot to do still.
We have really enjoyed our holidays so far, even if the weather has been a bit unpredictable.
At the start of summer I came up with a summer schedule as I didn't want the kids to be stuck behind the computer, X-box or TV all day. I tell you they would happily do so if I'd let them!
I've noticed that my kiddies seem to thrive better when there is a bit of routine and structure to their day and they are quite happy to follow the schedule. One of their first worries was of course if they would still have time to play their beloved electronics games and there was a big sigh of relief when they found out they could!
They also know that the schedule is not something we absolutely have to stick to each day, or even each hour. As we all know life happens and we can't predict what each day will bring. We also don't use it over the weekend as we are usually quite busy and meet up with family.
So far this schedule has definitely helped our days go by smoothly!
We've had lots of fun playing games, I've had  some help around the house and work for school is being done (yes, the kids were given homework over the summer).
Biggest hit on this schedule is the Friday movie night and it's definitely something we'll keep going long after the kids have gone back to school. 

How has your summer been going so far, do you do something similar at your house?



When dad's in charge

I was just browsing through our summer photos and this one made me laugh.
I'd left the kids with their dad while in town so I could do some quick shopping and this is what I walked back to...two children with blinged out caps, one of them eating blue ice cream!
It's not unusual for Dylan to have his ice cream all over his face, I actually think he thinks it's a necessity. Thank God he wasn't eating chocolate ice cream!
As for Emily, I remember her being particularly ratty later that day, I wonder if that blue ice cream had anything to do with it.
I'm am thankful though because I did get a chance to get some shopping done without two kids trailing behind me touching everything and moaning loudly,
the caps are still worn regularly.
Blue ice cream however will NEVER be bought again.


We made scones

We made scones...I say we, I really mean me.
The kids were too busy playing Minecraft and after asking them about 10.000 times I decided to go ahead and make them by myself. I'd never made scones before so was a bit apprehensive, maybe it was a good thing the kids weren't around to "help".
I must say, they turned out far better than I imagined, quite delicious actually and they disappeared just as quickly as it took for me to make them!

Here's my scrummy recipe:
350g self raising flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
85g butter
3 tbsp sugar
180ml milk
1tbsp lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 220 Celsius.
Add the flour to a bowl, add the salt and baking powder and stir.
Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add the sugar and stir.
Heat the milk until just lukewarm (30 secs in microwave) and then add the lemon juice.
Make a hole in your flour mixture and pour the milk into this, then quickly stir together with a fork, be careful to not over mix.
Dust some flour on a work surface and gently fold together the mixture.
Fold into a shape about 4cm thick and cut out round shapes (I used a cookie cutter).
Place on a baking tray and glaze the scones with some beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Serve with jam and cream.



The enchanted forest

A few weeks back we visited Groombridge Place, also know as the Enchanted Forest.
What a magical day we had!
It is such an amazing place to visit, especially with kids, both mine loved running around and discovering what new surprises were lurking around every corner.
We started off by visiting the beautifull gardens where we admired all the pretty flowers and plants. The kids had loads of fun hiding behind big hedges and then jumping out to scare us, we did pretend they managed to do so of course, even with all the "warning" giggles coming from behind every hedge.

We also found the secret garden where we looked for fairies, but sadly we found none.
Nevertheless it was a very pretty place.
As we continued walking the gardens we came across a giant chess board where we stopped to have a little game. The was definitely a lot of fun. Dylan even asked if we can have one of these in our garden! Hmm, maybe a miniature version...
After we explored the remaining gardens we got on a canal boat which took us to the other part of the forest.
It was so much fun and really relaxing, even if Emily had a bit of a freak out because of a spider being too near to her seat! 
Once we got off the boat the kids ran straight to the play park where we let them play for a bit, but not too long because we had much more exploring to do. Everything was really mystical on our walk around the forest and there were so many interesting things to see.

At one point we stumbled into a teepee village where both my kids quickly got a makeover. Dylan turned into an Indian warrior and Emily into an Indian princess.

My absolutely favourite part of the whole day were the giant tree swings and we spend so much time there, trying out all of them, each swing taking us higher into the treetops. The feeling was magical!
Simon, Dylan and I couldn't get enough, Emily on the other hand wasn't too sure, she was much more at ease at the kiddy swings further down the path. In her defence, these swings did go up quite high as the trees were on a slope, so when you were up, you really were UP!
It really was an amazing day and I can't wait to go back. I'm thinking autumn might be the perfect time for another visit.


The weekend

This weekend has been a quiet one, but nevertheless a good one.
You see, Simon was admitted to hospital last week with kidney stones and while he's waiting to pass them we didn't venture out too much
 Saturday morning we just pottered around the house and I noticed how many little chili peppers we have on our plant, I really should start using them.
It was quite sunny during the morning so perfect to spend some time in the garden and read my book. I'm really enjoying "the night circus" and would definitely recommend it. The kids played some games, although this was really Dylan playing on his DS and Emily nearly sitting on him to watch him, much to Dylans annoyance of course! Simon kept himself quiet inside and our cat was more
than happy to keep him company.
In the afternoon we went to Simon's brother for a BBQ and Emily and her cousins loved playing 
ice cream shop in uncle Stuarts garden house. Their ice creams were a pit pricey though, £10 for a single cone!
We started our Sunday off with a delicious cooked breakfast and it really must have been delicious since both my kids finished their plates, not too unusual for Dylan but very much so for Emily! Later that day Simon's brother came to our house and we cooked a delicious roast dinner together. In between there was a lot of colouring, playing games and watching movies and Dylan made some lovely drawings with his little cousin.
I can't wait to see what this new week brings but I am hoping Simon's kidney stones will pass soon!
Have a great week everyone.



Evening harbour walk

Last week my family came down for a couple of days and we had a fantastic time!
During the day we visited parks, beaches and cities.
Evenings were spent in our garden where we had an epic BBQ one night and one beautiful summer evening was spent at the harbour.
It was low tide and we were able to walk all the way up to the harbour wall, something 
the kids were amazed by! All the fishing boats were stranded and Dylan loved walking amongst them. Emily was more interested in finding pretty seashells and chasing the seagulls.
All in all it was a pretty good night!