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Valentines Day

I had planned to go all out celebrating Valentine’s Day with the children this year. I really wanted an excuse to celebrate a happy day all about love and kindness. As always when I plan too much things don’t quite go the way I had in mind.


Marley has been in and out of hospital most days since Christmas. It’s been exhausting for him and the whole family and on this particular day he certainly wasn’t up for doing the activities I had in mind. Rule one of motherhood – have a back up! With Marley I need one all the time. I make sure I have different options depending on how tired he is. So he never feels he’s missing out and can be made tailored to his condition on that specific day.


So this blog post accompanies the YouTube vlog I made which we managed to release, surprisingly on the Valentine’s deadline. I’m really enjoying the filming side of things and Marley is proving to be the little movie star. He loves it and it really brightens both of our days. I thoroughly enjoy planning things he might like to film and he loves being the centre of attentions as per usual.

Treats for mummy...

As my cooking extravaganza went to shit I filmed a few of my own Valentine’s Day treats for myself and the kids. The first being my amazing long lasting candles by Glade. The regular size ones I could use up with one use so these larger ones are perfect for me. I’ve been a fan of the Winter Warmer scents like apple and cinnamon and red fruits recently. There is nothing like your home smelling inviting and cosy.

Vinho!

I also got an alcoholic treat for myself. There was a fantastic wine sale on in Continente which I made use of. A fabulous bottle of red Papa Figos at a third of its normal price! A fantastic light well rounded red which was a really nice find. My favorite white has always and will always be Luis Pato here in the Algarve. I can never find it anywhere to get it easily so if you know anywhere drop me a line!

Treats for the kiddies...

In our Valentine’s Day video I’ve also mentioned some treats the kids have been enjoying. Something simple but brings us fun every day is the magnetic letters which I bought a massive box of from Amazon. Really reasonable and multiple of each letter so I don’t run out when I’m spelling my Monday morning swear words! But in all seriousness these are fantastic and really helping both of them connect their phonetics to the letters.

Snack time

Snacking is always a constant preoccupation with both children in my humble abode. With Marley having massively lost his appetite and consequently lost weight recently I have wanted to at least tempt him regularly. I found some great healthy pre made snack boxes from Continente called Good4Me. There are various types all filled with different healthy options such as nuts, seeds, egg, cheese, chopped fruit etc. Each little box comes with a variety of three of four foods so it’s great for kiddies. Healthy fast food!


Only if I was in a pickle would I buy one for him, maybe more for myself if I was hungry. We all know sometimes there just isn’t the time or patience for pre planning snacks. For him though I’ve been enjoying making my own snack boxes. I’ve been using empty decorated pill boxes, the ones people use to organize their daily dosages. They are amazing to use for snack time with each individual compartment holding a different snack which makes it exciting to open and eat. Even I like to open the little compartments and I’m meant to be a grown up!

Kiss me Kate

Then there is our lip treat for Marley and me. Since his treatment started he’s been getting awfully cracked lips to the point they’ve bled and I wanted to find something that would help. I got him an un perfumed and organic lip balm by Nuxe made with bees wax. It really does the trick! Bit more expensive than I’d normally pay but it’s for him so 100% natural.

Delish!

As he was so up and down in himself on Valentine’s day we just drew a quick card. I asked him who his Valentine was this year. A little confused with that question... His first answer was me, then his sister and then after much deliberation he chose his Tia Mary. A pretty good choice bearing in mind how gorgeous she is.


Instead of baking we made a cheat cake. All we ended up doing was decorating a pre bought sponge with chocolate sauce and red fruits. Check it out on the YouTube video below. Marley really is proving to be the next Jamie Oliver. Or with his outbursts do the similarities lie more with Gordon Ramsay? That’s the question...


So my culinary plans for the evening included a starter of a goat’s cheese and strawberry bruschetta. For main I was hoping the kids would get involved in making heart shaped pizza and for dessert I was going to do a passion fruit mouse. So here are the recipes below for you to try either February 2019 or any time during the year when you fancy spreading the love on your average week night!

Strawberry and Goats Cheese Bruschetta

Ingredients

• 4 baguettes or crusty bread slices

• Pullet of fresh strawberries washed and chopped

• Soft goats cheese chopped into thin slices

• Thick balsamic dressing

• 8 fresh basil leaves, torn or chopped

• 1 or 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


Method


1. Place the bread on a baking tray and toast both sides under the grill until golden brown or just chuck it in a toaster.

2. While the bread is still warm, place the goats cheese, strawberries and a little fresh basil. Drizzle olive oil over and balsamic vinegar the top and serve.


Forget Valentine’s Day I actually adore this for lunch some days or think it’s such an easy dinner party favorite. It used to be one of my bestsellers in the cafe.

Heart Shaped Pizza

Ingredients

• Ready made pizza dough unless you are feeling brave

• Tomato sauce

• Grated cheese

• Your favorite toppings – I like onions, black olives and something spicy!


Method

1. Grab a ball of pizza dough. Set it on some grease proof paper.

2. Shape/flatten it into a circle. If your dough won’t hold its shape, let it sit for 5 minutes then try again.

3. Pinch and pull the bottom of the circle to form a point.

4. Take a finger to the top middle and push down toward the center of the pizza. Then tweak and shape a bit here and there if you’d like.

5. Top just as you would any pizza!

6. Bake following your pizza crust instructions


This recipe is great for the kids to make their own hearts and top it with whatever they fancy!

Passion Fruit Mouse

Ingredients

• 200ml of sweetened condensed milk

• 200ml of double cream

• 150ml of passion fruit concentrate


Method

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (make sure to scrape down sides and bottom of blender to make sure sweetened condensed milk doesn’t get stuck on the bottom.)

2. Pour into a bowl, or small individual serving dishes and chill for at least 4-6 hours, but preferably overnight.

3. Makes about 5 cups mousse. Feel free to half the recipe for a small batch for two.


And there you have it the perfect meal filled with love for you to try with your mini mes to be honest any night of the week to spread the love whenever you need it! Let me know how you get on.

Valentine's Day Treats!

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