Simplicity of Tomatoes

Tomato

“Once you have de-seeded the tomatoes then proceed to…..” – do these words make your stomach turn? 🙂

For some reason the de-seeding of tomatoes had become a horrible task in my mind; something cumbersome and difficult. Something to avoid. Any recipe that required this method was, well, adapted…

Then the other day I realised what many of you probably already are aware of; de-seeding tomatoes is so very simple. So simple.

As I sliced open the tomato, the light pink inner flesh revealing itself I took a few minutes to actually observe the tomato – to marvel at how it is composed and to see the intricate details of the flesh, the seeds and the skin. Suddenly the de-seeding process was very clear.

A tomato has clever departments, if you will, and when you slice it in half, or in quarters, you notice pockets within it. Each pocket is full of seeds and you can slip a little finger into each pocket and gently scoop out the seeds. Very pain-free, very quick and beautifully simple.

When I told my daughter, of 10 years, she laughed and said “Did you not know that mum? I always use my tongue and suck them out of the pockets”… Made me smile. Children have an amazing gift; exploring while keeping things simple.

Morale of the story: Slow down and enjoy every element of cooking – especially  exploring and learning about your ingredients.

What was I cooking? A cold tomato salsa – de-seeded and chopped tomatoes, finely chopped red onion, garlic, chilli, olive oil and salt.Cool in fridge and dollop generously either onto   burgers or on grilled ciabatta bread that has been rubbed with fresh garlic. On top of the salsa you can then throw some buffalo mozzarella and scatter some basil. Perfect summer BBQ starter (no pictures as it was all eaten way too quickly!)

Take a look at the tomato pictures below and enjoy the next time you are advised to de-seed a tomato!

Pocketspockets

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Ways to enjoy your child (ren)

Having recently returned to full-time work (boy what a change of pace!!!) I have been reflecting a lot about home life. Why it feels so difficult when you are in the middle of it and yet, when you are away, you miss it so very much!

I race home every night in the hope that I can manage to get the last precious half hour with our children. Read them that story, listen to their news of the day, cuddle…I am slowly finding more energy, more happiness, more balance – but I do miss the cuddles… 🙂

I must admit though that I have taken the below list from another blogger….copy and paste…no creativity there. I do not want to add to it, simply wanted to re-post to ensure it reaches as large an audience as possible and to credit her. What a lovely post! It made me smile, reflect and appreciate what I have. Made me appreciate my children and the smaller things in life. The simple things.

Hope you enjoy. Happy Mother’s Day to all….

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from: http://awesomelyawake.wordpress.com/

….”There are many ways that you can just be with your children that are not hard work, that are not challenging or tiresome. By just being there, you may discover that your child will reach out to you simply because you are suddenly available. The magic in this list is that it’s just simply being together for a solid half hour or so but it offers up the most beneficial memories we can offer to children. Here are some of our family’s favorites:

  1. Turn off the TV/computer/phones for one hour. (In our house, we limit daily screen time to a total of one hour except on movie nights).
  2. Have a work hour — they do homework and you work on a hobby like art or reading while sitting at the same table.
  3. Just listen to music. At our house, we call this a dance party.
  4. Light a candle for your children — one each.
  5. Surprise them with a celebration for trying hard on a test or homework and eat store-bought cookies and milk.
  6. Sit on the couch while they play and read magazines. They will sit next to you eventually and ask, ”Whatcha reading?”
  7. Grab two balls and challenge everyone to find something fun to do with them outside.
  8. Snuggle under a blanket or put a puzzle together.
  9. Whip up a nice bowl of ice cream and laugh while you eat it.
  10. Watch TV with them if they insist on watching.
  11. Ask them open-ended questions about their day.
  12. Tell them something surprising about your day.
  13. Draw together, taking turns adding new lines on the same paper.
  14. Take a drive, taking turns picking the direction and sitting in silence as the unfamiliar landscape passes you by.
  15. Look at their baby photos.
  16. Tell them a funny story from their younger days.
  17. Tell them a funny story from your own childhood.
  18. In fact, tell them any story you can think of telling.
  19. Ask them to teach you how to do something. This is big. Very big.
  20. Ask them questions about their favorite things.
  21. Help them clean their room or the basement or the garage. Whatever. Lend a hand.
  22. Ask them for help with a problem.
  23. Hold a family meeting to just catch up.
  24. Announce that there will be no cleaning for just one day.
  25. Give them a coupon for a hug to use anytime they need it.

Advent Fun

Happy First Sunday of Advent! For me, Christmas can now begin…bring out the decorations, mulled wine, music, cookie baking and crafts!

Christmas is such a special time, I treasure it. The scents of cinnamon and cloves and spruce in the house, the children’s excitement, the candles lit everywhere, more smiles – it seems everyone has that little bit extra time for one another.

It is becoming our family’s tradition to make our own advents wreaths – however these are not necessarily very traditional in their looks!

It all starts with a walk in the woods to collect bits – oh such wonderful things you can find! We let the children loose with baskets and they come back with all their treasure – which may look dull, but put together and with a bit of gold and glitter they transform!

This year we were able to get holly in our own garden…love holly!

We left all the bits to dry out for a few days and then spray painted some of the items…

Clay bought (you can also use oasis but harder to find!) – we spent Saturday morning together – creating! Everyone to their best ability – outcome not really of utmost importance! Rather the togetherness!

All you do is mold the clay into a circular shape and place a candle in the middle. Then cover the clay with spruce, fern, moss and holly – add in acorns, pine cones, berries – any decorations to be honest… The result is lovely (usually!) and we then light one candle each Sunday – as well as the every day one…

Enjoy!

My 6 year old has been at it for a few years now so is getting really good!

My 4 year old is getting there…

My 2 year old loving it and keeping it simple…

And this is mine…still learning!

Skate Wing Salad with Walnuts and Lemon Dressing

I first tasted this when I was 9 and the flavours have stayed with me ever since! The crisp salad with the luke warm skate wing and the tangy lemon….gorgeous.

1 skate wing
2 tbsp olive oil
1 knob butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Handful walnuts
Mixed Green salad – fresh spinach, ruccola, watercress – any combination will do
Handful flat leaf parsley finely chopped
Lemon dressing – see recipe in Lemon section

 

If you have a frying pan large enough to fit the whole skate wing – great – use it! If not, have the fish monger cut the skate wing in half or do this yourself!

  • Heat the olive oil and butter in the frying pan
  • Season the skate wing with salt and pepper on both sides
  • When sizzling, gently lay the skate wing into the pan
  • Over medium heat, keep a close eye on the colour of the flesh of the skate wing. It will change from pink to white as it cooks
  • After about 5 minutes, carefully turn the skate wing. While it is cooking, scrape the flesh off the wing and gently lay on a plate. he flesh should come away from the bone easily. If it does not, wait!
  • Once the second side has been frying for 5 minutes, turn again and scrape flesh from this side. If any of the fish did not come off easily you simply repeat this process until all flesh has come off the wing. It will very much depend on the thickness of the wing you bought.
  • Prepare two plates and lay the green salad down first and then the parsley. Sprinkle the luke warm skat wing onto it followed by the walnuts. Finally drizzle with the lemon dressing.
  • Enjoy with a glass of white wine! Sauvignon Blanc…New Zealand…Dreaming now…

FOMO

Always dreaming about or planning your future? Always thinking about your past? Always running to ensure you squeeze it all in? Never able to say no as you might miss “THE” event of the week, month or year? Spreading yourself too thin?

An intense Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) seems to be growing all around me -highlighted and increased by Facebook, Twitter and the likes. The ability to see what everyone is doing, the amazing holidays people are on, the parties they attend – why is my life not like that?? Sound familiar? Are we the FOMO generation?

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