So, the world cup is over for another four years, but sports fans needn’t worry as the Commonwealth Games are just around the corner, and as I am sure you know they are being hosted in Scotland this year.
The Commonwealth Games
In 1940 the first Commonwealth Games were held in Canada, where just 11 countries took part, sending around 400 athletes in total. Over the years the Commonwealth Games have grown and this year over 70 countries are expected to compete, comprising of over 4000 athletes taking part in almost 300 events.
To celebrate the games this year Betfair challenged me to come up with a recipe from one of the competing countries. I chose Cyprus and used a traditional recipe for keftedes (fried pork meatballs). Traditionally these meatballs would be deep-fried and served as part of a meze, however, by shallow frying them in fry light, I have made them healthier and added them to kebabs to make a filling, healthy meal for the whole family.
- 500g lean pork mince
- 1 medium potato, grated and patted dry
- 1 egg
- 1 medium onion – grated
- 2 tsp of ground cinnamon
- small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- pitta bread
- Mix all the ingredients for the meatballs together and season well. Form into small balls, then flatten into patties. There is no need to chill the meatballs.
- Spray a non stick frying pan with fry light and cook the patties for a few minutes on each side, until cooked through. You may need to do this is batches, so keep the cooked patties in a warm oven until you are ready to serve.
- Lightly toast the pitta bread on both sides and then fill with the salad and meatballs.
- Serve with a good dollop of tzatziki
Disclosure - I was sent a food shopping voucher to cover my ingredients
It’s always nice to have a semi healthy homemade sweet treat to take on a picnic. Recently, myself and a few friends all got together at Sherwood Pines after school. Sarah bought along a camping stove and the kids had hotdogs for tea – I was of course tasked with bringing dessert, and this banana and chocolate picnic loaf was perfect – able to feed lots of hungry mouths and easy to transport in this hot weather. It was also easy to cut at home beforehand, to save messing around once we got there. The kids loved it and it gave them plenty of energy to run around and play!
Banana and Chocolate Picnic Loaf
Banana loaves are a great way of using up left over bananas, the blacker the better for this recipe! Bananas can also be frozen, so there’s no need to throw them away if you aren’t ready to use them there and then – you can even add them to smoothies or milkshakes straight from the freezer!
- 225g self raising flour, sifted
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 175g caster sugar
- 100g butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
- 150g milk chocolate chunks – plus extra chocolate for decorating
- Grease a loaf tin and preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Add all the ingredients, apart from the chocolate chunks into a bowl and whisk until fully combined, then fold in the chocolate chunks.
- Pour the mixture into your loaf tin and bake in the preheated oven for around 50 mins – when a skewer inserted comes out clean, the loaf is ready.
- Turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.
- Melt your remaining chocolate and either use an icing bag, or just drizzle the melted chocolate over the top – you can also add some dried banana chips for extra decoration if you like.
- When the chocolate is cooled, slice your loaf and serve.
And its here again, my turn to host the wonderful Parenting Pin it Party! Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and a biscuit and get all your parenting posts linked up, then relax and read some amazing posts from bloggers old and new alike!
Last week saw the lovely Carolin from Mummy Alarm hosting the party for the first time – and yet again there were a great number of entries. I chose the following 2 posts as my favourites from the last week.
I loved these leaf creatures from over at Dabbling Momma – so cute and great for any age, it can easily be made into a full days activity over the upcoming summer holidays by going out and collecting your leaves and then coming home to make your pictures (who can guess what I will be up to?)
I really loved the sentiment of the following post from The Daily Rythms of Life – it really rang true to me, that sometimes (read often) there are more important things than jobs to be done – our kids will one day fly the nest and make their own lives, but our housework will still be here then. Its important that we make the most of every second, and this post really made me stop and think what I could do differently.
New to the Pin it Party?
We are pretty laid back around here, but we would love it if you could follow a few simple guidelines.
Have a read through some of the other entries, its a great way of finding new blogs to read. If you could follow the hosts of the party on Pinterest, that would also be much appreciated and feel free to grab the badge, to let others know you have taken part.
So what are you waiting for? I can’t wait to read what you have all been up to lately!
I feel like lately we have made a breakthrough with Sophie and her eating habits. As a newly weaned baby, she would eat anything. She loved veg and would try most things. However as she hit 2 that all changed. She decided that she will only eat certain veg (peas, carrots and sweetcorn) although luckily she has always enjoyed fruit, so it is easy for her to get her 5 a day.
In the last year she has gone through phases of refusing pasta, tomato based sauces, all meats and all veg. Its been tough as I obviously want her to eat a wide range of different foods, however I feel like we have finally turned a corner and she has eaten all her meals this week with no arguments, and no ‘I don’t like it’ so I am immensely proud of her!
Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the fussy eating phase – of course every child is different and what works for one, maybe won’t work for another, but this is what has worked for us.
- Try not to make a big deal of your child not eating certain things. If you ignore them and they don’t gain attention from it, then it is less likely to become a long term problem. If they feel they have a choice, a stubborn child won’t dig their heals in even more.
- Keep trying small amounts of different foods. Make the disliked foods a regular feature on the plate – despite the fact I know she won’t eat it, I always put different veg on Sophie’s plate, alongside things she will eat. At times she has tried small amounts of this food and some of it she now eats on a regular basis.
- Don’t pander to them. If you start cooking separate meals now, you will still be cooking separate meals in years to come. I have always taken the approach of you eat what you are given. Don’t be scared to send them to bed on an empty stomach, a glass of milk will fill them up if you are really concerned, but a child won’t starve themselves!
- Don’t give an afternoon snack. If your child is getting to dinner time each day still full from the afternoon, then they won’t feel the need to eat things they aren’t particularly keen on, or try new things.
- Bribery! Yes, I use it all the time, and it does work wonders – it seems like I’m not the only one either – check out this post I wrote about bribing kids at mealtimes. I only offer pudding (which is only ever fruit or yoghurt) if Sophie has made a good attempt at eating her dinner – although at her age I don’t insist on her eating it all. You have to make the ‘treat’ achievable.
Hopefully these tips will help you survive the fussy eating phase – it can be so stressful and frustrating especially when you have spend ages making a fresh home cooked dinner and your child demands cereal instead!