Chocolate Frangipani Balls

I decided to revisit the frangipani ball recipe from a couple of weeks ago and see what they’ll be like if I make them a bit smaller and dipped them in dark chocolate. This can be a treat for us. I’ve been dreaming about them. I’m hoping they’ll be like a healthy zesty version of a Bounty Bar but who knows? 

Verdict – Amazing!

I made myself a strong coffee in my old moka coffee machine that’s travelled with me since my 20’s. That familiar coffee smell fills my home, I sit in my favourite chair and savour the combination of coffee and chocolate.

This recipe is based on one from the Cut Out The Crap website but wouldn’t qualify now! 

The carb count was done by me and I’m not a health care professional so please check!

 

   

 

Advertisements

Numbers

My life is ruled by numbers. My son’s blood glucose levels.  I am well trained in waiting to ask him how they are when I first see him when he comes in from school. I exercise remarkable restraint but it’s not easy. He tells me about his day. We talk about what’s going on or we don’t speak at all.

Sneakily I grab his meter the minute he goes to the toilet, carefully putting it back in exactly the spot he left it. He knows how to carb count and he does his own injections. Not something you ever expect to see your own child do.

I look for patterns. Is there a trend developing here or there? Is today just a blip caused by lots of sport/assessment task or who knows what? Numbers that scared me last year have become more common in the thick of the teenage years.

I quiz myself: high numbers = Possibly needs more insulin, low number = hypo = sugar. As simple as it sounds, it took a long time for these simple facts to sink in. There is nothing that makes me happier than the number 7. 

We ‘decided’ some time back that he would write his levels down every day but has a Wednesday off. It feels really tough making him do this but I feel obliged to get good habits in place whilst I can. He will choose his way when the time comes but for now he knows that if he doesn’t, he risks losing his best friend, the iPhone,  for the day. Not something we’ve had to do yet but his 395 facebook friends need to know what he’s up to so best he writes those numbers down!

I hate these numbers and the power they hold over us but I love my boy and we soldier on together.

Thursday Nights

I leave work on Thursdays with a vague plan for meals in my head and the ‘Buy Me a Pie’ app on my phone. It’s shopping night. I try to make a list on this app of the ingredients required and all the extras we need for the next week. This does not fill me with joy!

Work has been busy and I shop in a rush to get back in time to take my eldest to his second rugby training session of the week. My husband is training our youngest’s soccer team then he has his own soccer training. 

I get home, beg number two child to get the shopping out of the car whilst I put it all away. I have no pride! I have tried to suggest that it’s a great idea to help unpack the bags as then you know the food that’s been bought for the week ahead. That plan was fine if I didn’t care where the food went and made preparing dinner interesting the next week.

Child number one is thrown in the car, thrown out at the rugby field then I rush home to make dinner. He gets a lift home from friends. At this point, I stop and pour myself a gin. I’m not superwoman!

Our go to dish is Tuna Pasta. They all love it and if I make extra then there’s enough for lunches the next day. Sometimes I throw some broccoli in to the pasta in the last few minutes of cooking. My son with Type 1 loves his pasta and we are lucky that it doesn’t seems to make his levels spike.

Then comes my favourite part. Thursday night treat!  A family tradition. Three bars of chocolate are placed on the bench. Tonight it was Cherry Ripes (28g carb) . I leave them there, clearly visible whilst we have dinner. Now comes the fun. The chocolate is only given to boys with tidy rooms. Watch them run:  the eldest two, long limbed clumsy antelopes,  falling over themselves, whilst the youngest is reminded that shoving clothes down the back of the bed is not tidying up.

Three boys chomp on their chocolate. I put the kettle on, sit down on the lounge and try to stay awake for at least a while.

Protein Breakfasts

We are trying to increase the protein we have at breakfast and after lots of bacon, eggs, and smoothies with LSA, I’ve been researching high protein breakfast biscuits. 

I spend so much of my life planning meals and snacks. Trying to get the balance between healthy and still letting my kids eat what their friends have, especially when they are out and about. Their idea of heaven is a white loaf or a cheese and bacon roll from the bakery up the road. They really are simple souls!

When I was making the top first lot of biscuits, they looked a bit green with all the zucchini so I threw in some cacao to disguise the ‘shrekiness’.  They really do taste quite nice even if they aren’t very pretty! I didn’t make up the name of the recipe and it’s not one to say after a couple of gins!

I’m not so sure about the second recipe. It just seems too ‘chalky’ from all the peanut butter and they are much less sweet but that might be a good thing. I’ll need to play about with this recipe. They are really low carb so maybe I’ll bring up the carb value by adding some more flour and a little more sugar. I have a feeling I’ll end up eating this batch. I did add some icing to try to fool my kids but they’re not daft!

  

  
 

   

Precious Friends

How I see the world has really changed since my son got Type 1. Initially, it was so all consuming that I could hardly voice how I felt without crying so I only spoke about it with a few close friends. 

I let go of friendships that probably weren’t strong anyway and now almost 18 months later, I have less friends but I am so thankful for those I have. I am incredibly lucky.

Nowadays my son’s health doesn’t dominate my every thought and sometimes it fades into the background. The other day at work, an amazing friend, who I know quietly and gently looks out for me, asked how he was travelling.

I can be completely honest with her and told her our crazy breakfast story. My son had woken up, had his insulin but then waited too long for breakfast. The result was that he felt really weird in the middle of his breakfast and lay down on the floor. We passed him his meter and he tested at 1.9 mmol (scarily low).

A year ago this would have freaked me out but now, we gave him his popper of juice and he lay there as we continued to get ready for our day. He talked to us, we packed his lunch, got all his gear organised  and when he felt ready, he got up off the floor and got dressed for school. His blood glucose levels were fine by the time he caught the bus with his brother. Although I was pleased that he had gone to school and his levels were good, I was slightly worried that I’d handled this the wrong way.

She looked at me in amazement and said, “Wow”.

Later that day, once I was home,  my friend texted me, sending me her love and telling me how great she thinks I am to do what I do every day.

It meant so much to me that she realised this. I never judge others for not understanding, as two years ago I was the same. You have to be living this to fully understand, but to feel someone’s genuine empathy is really a special thing. 

Slow Cooker Face

I drove to work today with flushed cheeks and the smug look of a satisfied woman. It’s not what you’re thinking!

I went to work knowing dinner would be ready when I got home. For a working mum with four males to feed this is pure joy!

I jumped out of bed when my alarm went off and set about browning the meat and combining all the ingredients in the slow cooker so that when I get back home this evening, things will be just that bit easier! I often don’t even care what is cooking and what it will taste like. It’s just the fact that it’s done! There have been some disasters but over the years I have a few dishes that pass muster.

Today’s meal is a one pot stew with the carbs worked out in advance so I don’t have to think about a thing,

1 kilo of chunks of beef (not too lean a cut or it’s too tough) is browned and placed in the slow cooker with 2 roughly chopped red onions, half a kilo of green beans, 900g  (115g carb)of potatoes (skins on, chopped into quarters), a red capsicum cut into large chunks. I then pour over 750ml vegetable stock and a jar of good quality pasta sauce (sacla brand – favoured by my Italian friends = 30g carb for the whole jar  ) or if I’m really on the ball I’ll have some homemade pasta sauce instead. I cooked this for 8 hours.

It may not win any beauty contests but fills 4 bellies and ticks the boxes for being healthy!

The smell in the house after a slow cooker has been on for eight hours is not my favourite but that’s when the scented candles come out. I get my trackies on and I’m at one with the world.

 I had a couple of oranges which needed to be used and a lovely friend had given me some almond meal. I remembered this recipe and made it. I’ll heat it up and serve it with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt.

    

Cutting Loose – eh…. or not!

Going out to friends’ for dinner tonight. A catch up with a few families. The family hosting the  get together are so lovely and have sent me the menu for the night – BBQ, vegetarian lasagne, potato bake and salad then icecream for dessert. We were even asked what the ideal time would be for my son to eat. This was done without that clawing intensity that makes you feel like you are such a hassle. Just a couple of quick texts.

My friend sent me a cheeky text saying she had had a hard week and encouraged me to join her and ‘cut loose’.

I don’t think I know how to ‘cut loose’ any more. I’m more of a ‘chill out’ kind of chick. Cutting loose suggests forgetting all your worries, being wild and breaking free. Not really an option!

Chilling out, on the other hand is much easier. I can put my worries to the side, relax and have fun. Have a drink, have some fun but happily remember all I’ve done and said the next day. It’s not a criticism of my friend. I envy her!

I’m making a salad with:

spinach, rocket and sweet potato (560g = 80g carb)  with walnuts (1 cup = 4g carb) toasted in maple syrup (1 tablespoon = 16g carb) with little blobs of White Castello (Camembert would be nice too) on top. I’ve mixed up a dressing with olive oil, white wine vinegar and Dijon mustard in the jam jar to take and serve with it.

  


Then for a little treat these Chocolate Caramel Cups. 

They are a family favourite and I played about with the original recipe to get the carbs down a bit.