Sunday, 27 September 2015

Healthy Chicken meatballs with hidden veg

I really struggle to get my little one to eat veg, so when I came across some homemade hidden veg chicken nugget recipes on Pinterest I was keen to give them a go.

This time, I opted for using basically the same recipe, but turning them into meatballs instead. My son loves meatballs and pasta, so i thought they would be a quick and easy dinner to do him on school nights. Once they have been cooked, they can be frozen and simply defrosted and heated up when you need them. Sometime soon I will look into making a hidden veg tomato sauce that I can freeze in small one portion pots too.

The recipe is super easy! If you can get your little ones involved in making them too then that's a  bonus! The amount of each ingredient you use is not particularly important and neither is the veg you use. This is just a rough guide of what I happened to use this time round.

You will need

Chicken mince (I used one 500g pack. You can use any kind of meat you like.)
2 cups of finely chopped/grated veg (I used grated carrots, tiny chopped peppers, onions and broccoli)
Salt and Pepper
1 or 2 eggs (depends on the amount of mince and veg you use, helps to bind the ingredients together)

Optional Extras

1 tbl spoon Chia Seeds
1/2 - 1 cup lentils or cooked rice

To make

Super easy! Just mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure you have enough egg in the mixture so that it sticks together. Use your hands to roll small amounts of the mixture into balls.

You can either fry the meatballs in a little oil (try coconut for something a little healthier) or bake them in the oven.

Its just that quick and easy. Once the meatballs have cooled you can bag them up and pop them in the freezer.

To add a personal note... my son is crazy fussy with veg, if he sees it in his meal, he wont eat it. I did find the chicken meatballs quite pale and therefor the colourful veg did stand out to him, as long as they were covered in a tomato sauce he didn't notice it though. If you are planning on using them as nuggets, try coating them in crushed corn flakes or breadcrumbs.


Friday, 25 September 2015

Creative Corner: Fidget Quilts

I was recently asked by a lady called Francesca, if I could make her a Fidget Quilt. I had heard of these before but not made any. After a quick pinterest search, I found tons of them! Basically, a fidget quilt is a small quilt or blanket which features lots of little things to keep fingers busy. So zips to pull, buttons and press studs to do up, tassels, beads, sequins and trimmings all to help with nervous hands.

The quilt was for Francesca's elderly mother who was living in a care home back in England. She had just suffered a stroke and confined to a chair/bed. Francesca wanted to have a fidget quilt made for her mother, firstly so that it gave her something to do, something to think about and fiddle with. But also, one particular requirement was for it to have a space to put a picture of Francesca. She was saddened to hear from her mother that she didn't think of her unless she was there with her. So to combat this, we added a plastic wallet to place in a photo of her for her mother, so she was there every time her mother used the quilt.

I began by making a simple patchwork front. I used squares from fabrics Francesca had chosen especially for her mother. I then attached various trimmings and components to the quilt that would give her mother something to play with. Francesca chose a lot of the pieces herself, things she thought her mum would enjoy. I also helped by adding a few crochet twirly tails and some hearts and flowers.

It was important to include as many different textures and surfaces as possible, to give interest for her fingers to touch. Some things move, like the zip, buttons along pieces of ribbon and the ribbons and fabrics to plait and run your fingers through. Some parts are securely sewn on in place, but provide other sensory distractions, like light reflecting off sequins, soft microfiber yarn butterflies and hearts.

The whole blanket has been quilted onto wadding and finished off with a nice spotty cotton back and bound round the edge with homemade matching binding.

After showing the quilt on my facebook page, I then had another request for one. This time, a smaller handheld one for a ladies daughter. Her family had not long moved to Dubai and her young daughter was finding all the change a little hard to cope with, showing anxious and nervous energy. So I made this smaller one just for her, using colours that she likes and much of the same fiddle ideas from the first one.

I have really enjoyed making these fidget quilts. Not only because I love getting the sewing machine out and working with fabric again, but also because I feel they are really filling a need. They look lovely, but also hopefully will help them mentally also. I hope both girls, young and old, enjoy these quilts and get some enjoyment out of them.

If you have ever made a fidget quilt or anything similar, I would love to hear about it! If you are thinking of making one and would like more info, feel free to contact me! 

Summer Time Catch Up

Appologies, it has taken me too long to sit down and catch up after our summer holidays. We had a fantastic break; escaped the tremendous heat of Dubai and headed for the UK. We spent quality time with family and friends and William had a blast!

I think we managed to tick off quite a few of the things from our Summer bucket list. Playing with gloop was the only one we didn't manage to fit in so I call that good going! Did you all have a good summer? I'd love to hear about it!

A few of the things on the list were achieved by our family adventure in Italy. We spent two weeks exploring Tuscany, staying in Rome, Florence and Venice. As and when I get time I will pop back with more detailed posts about our times there. The food, the sights... it was all gorgeous! After a long time away visiting people, it was so nice to have some time just the three of us before heading back to Dubai.

Once back in Dubai, life has been on full speed. We have lived here for two years now, with myself being a stay at home mum with William, while the husband went off to work to support us. This year is seeing some big changes. Firstly, William has started school. Eek! My little boy is growing up! Im not sure how I feel about this still. I am mostly happy as I can see how well he is getting on already, his teacher is amazing and so kind. William is loving every minute of it and its so nice to see him interacting with other people and really enjoying his time there. I too have stated back at school. I have returned to work as a teaching assistant in year 2, in the same school that William and my husband are at. Its been great so far and I a feel like I am getting back to being me and not just mummy all the time! It keeps us very busy, but I am only working three days a week for now so I still get some time at home.

Anyway, I better get on. We have an extra three days off school this work for Eid celebrations so we are enjoying some quiet time at home. The husband has been off in Singapore for 11 days on a school trip so we are enjoying having him back.

I have also been working on a few sewing projects so will come back to show you those soon!