Do you ever get those days when you just want to eat? Is that just me? Please tell me it isn't 😳
Today was one of those days. It started early, I had dropped Stew off at the station, Mr 7 off at school and Mr 3 and I were driving home. Our drive home takes us past several fast food places and as we drove past Hungry Jacks Mr 3 said, "Mummy, please can we get a milkshake?" I explained that it was still breakfast time and that Hungry Jacks weren't doing milkshakes yet (not sure that is entirely true, bet if I had driven through and asked for one I could have got one....but the principal that milkshake isn't a breakfast drink holds true) He took this news pretty well but I was left with the visions of hash browns. The whole drive home I couldn't get them out of my head. So I did what ever sensible person does, I put the craving down to hunger, came home and had toast and coffee. That did not help. Luckily Hungry Jacks is 20 minutes away so I thought that I'd be safe, now I was home. I wasn't.....The 'I need to eat everything I can think of' mentality was well and truly with me today.
I did some cleaning and whilst in the bedroom I picked up an old magazine, on the front was a roast chicken. Bam the start of another 20 minute food obsession...again not one that I could easily give in to. Roast chicken involves having a chicken to roast and my fridge was lacking. I admit I checked, even though I do the shopping and I knew I hadn't bought a whole bird, I still felt compelled to check. Mental I know! Whilst checking the fridge, I noticed the cream cheese I had bought in vast quantities last week (read about my Philadelphia hoarding here) so Mr 3 and I had crackers with cream cheese, apple and Vegemite for morning tea. That stopped the chicken cravings, but I had opened a tub of cream cheese so that set my mind going again. What should I make to use up the remaining cheese. I asked Mr 3 and his response was "Throw it in the bin" (I have yet to teach him my frugal ways!!!)
The cream cheese quandary tied in very nicely with Mr 3 learning the letter C. Although he wasn't that happy that cheese began with a C, he much preferred using cookie as an example. You can tell he is my boy. 😉
Cookie and cream cheese all mingled together in my head and I started thinking about sweet cream cheese treats, and I remembered my strawberry cheese tartlets. Delicious miniature pastries filled with sweetened cheese, home-made jam and drizzled with a icing glaze. Totally yum! And for the next hour it was all I could think about! Now you maybe thinking that I am going to stop there and leave you with a recipe for the tartlets, ha! Nope. My crazy food craving brain didn't stop there. Once I had mentally put my foot down and told myself, rather firmly, that I wasn't baking today, I moved away from the tartlets and started thinking about lunch. Determined to be good and give myself a filling nutritious lunch, I put together a yummy salad using pearl barley (which I love) and snow-pea shoots, which I rarely buy as you get so many of them in a packet and I am the only person who eats them.
"They look like plants Mummy!"
"But all vegetables are plants darling."
"I know that Mummy but they don't look like plants and these do."
Who can argue with logic like that!
So my salad, I am pleased to tell you that it filled me up and almost stopped the food cravings, almost 😉 I did at least manage to make it through the day without succumbing to a trip to the fish and chip shop. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day and I won't spend it obsessing about foods I have no chance of making or eating.
I love pearly barley, it reminds me of hearty stews and warming bowls of vegetable soup. Here the pearl barley is cooked, mixed with a delicious lemon maple dressing and served at room temperatue. I served mine with an almost soft boiled egg.
- ½ cup dried pearl barley
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 1tsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup of frozen peas
- 2 eggs
- Handful of snow pea shoots
- salt and pepper
- Place the pearl barley in a small saucepan with the stock, a good grind of black pepper and the whole, but peeled clove of garlic.
- Bring to the boil, then clamp on the lid and turn down to a very low simmer.
- Cook for 40 minutes. After 25 minutes check your grains and add more liquid is necessary. You want the grains to be soft but still with a bit of texture. After 40 minutes add the frozen peas and cook for 5 minutes more. Drain the pearl barley into a sieve to ensure it is dry.
- In a small jar mix together the maple syrup, lemon juice and olive oil.
- Once the pearl barley is cooked and drained, place it in a bowl and pour over the dressing. Mix well and set aside to cool slightly. This salad is best served warm or at room temperature. Please don't serve it cold, everything becomes flat. 🙁
- Place your eggs in a small pan of boiling water and simmer for 6-7 minutes. Cool the eggs under running water and peel.
- Place three spoonfuls of the pearl barley salad on a plate, place the egg on top and serve with a generous helping of snow pea shoot.