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Cigarettes and Calpol

Attempting to make sense of parenthood, life, love, and my own mind.

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Cooking

Super Simple Chicken Risotto

Yesterday I had zero inspiration for what to do with the two chicken breasts sitting in my fridge. I hate trying to come up with ideas for dinner at the best of times but when overdue in the ridiculous summer heat it seemed even more of a challenge.

So I asked Instagram to decide.

Loads of suggestions came flying my way (all of which sounded delicious and actually made my job harder) but when Harriet (from Life With Mrs Lee) suggested risotto I suddenly remembered probably the easiest recipe in my collection. And it’s delicious! Oh and super low fat and healthy, if you’re into that kind of thing.

So risotto is what we had and as a few of you asked – here’s the recipe!

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Unicorn Cake

This cake nearly drove me to a mental breakdown.
This cake nearly got thrown out of the window at 11pm.
This cake caused me to cry five times and bleed once.
This cake almost lead to me cancelling my daughter’s sixth birthday.
But some of you asked me for the recipe, so here you go.
It involves a lot of butter

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Matt’s Mega Mackerel

You know when somebody has that one dish that they just totally nail and it’s so good you could eat it forever? This is that dish in our house. Thanks to Honest Fish and morning sickness ruining fish for five months we have a freezer that is still pretty well stocked with the most beautiful, local mackerel.

This is the perfect dish if you’re not to sure about mackerel or are fairly new to fish (which I was, I’m such a fish wimp!), the sauce stops it being too ‘fishy’ and the super crispy skin is amazing! Even my mum liked it, and my mum is the ultimate fanny when it comes to fish.

You may notice something different about this recipe post, there are shit loads of photos. Matt is so much better at this blogger life than me (although funnily enough I still have to be the one to type it up…)

There was a disagreement on the name of this recipe. Matt wanted ‘Matt’s Mega Mackerel Surprise’ or ‘Roger’. This is my life. Sympathy flowers welcome.

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Damn Fine Lasagne

This is another recipe that’s taken from a Jamie Oliver one and adapted to be easier, less pretentious, and (not to toot my own horn) more delicious!

I’ve made a lot of lasagnes in my time; from the basic, shit, sugar-filled jarred types with associations of a certain (quite racist?) puppet family, to the most dry, bland, homemade attempts – usually with added peas, why did I add peas?! The one thing that’s always gone to shit with my lasagne attempts is they always go sloppy. It’s more of a soup with some pasta sheets. They might have tasted good but it don’t look pretty on a plate! Finally I think I’ve cracked it with this one!

This recipe looks long and complicated, but it’s not actually that bad! Plus you have leftovers to freeze and there’s a dinner ready for another night. Boom! Mum win!

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Fish Fingers

Fish fingers. Every parent’s go to ‘shit I forgot to cook dinner’ dinner. Nobody is denying the use, ease, and tastiness of a certain bearded man’s frozen fish finger. However, there’s something really satisfying and fun about making your own. Especially if you have one of your kid’s friends round for tea, you’ll look by far the most accomplished in the playground.

Luckily, it’s also really bloody easy (as we know, my favourite kind of cooking) and you can get the kids to do the messy bits! Hurrah!

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Emergency Pizza

Yes, you did read that correctly. Because what is a more serious emergency than a lack off pizza!? This was my mum’s go-to quick meal to fill me up and shut me up as a kid.

As it’s the school holidays that’s exactly the kind of cooking we’re all after. We can’t compete with school dinners and their midweek roasts, mostly because we can’t be arsed. Luckily this is delicious and literally only takes five minutes.

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Seriously Badass Chilli

I’ve been a bit slack with recipe posts recently, mainly because I never think to take photos of the prep stages until after I’ve already finished my third helping. But this recipe is too good not to share, you’ll have to imagine the photos of chopped up, raw beef and spice mixes for yourselves. This was originally a recipe from Jamie’s America that I have butchered and changed so much he’d probably rather have a recipe for Turkey Twizzlers associated with him…

The key to this one is to cook it for as long as you possibly can. I made it at the weekend and cooked it for about five hours on Saturday evening then another five Sunday morning. Low and slow, that’s the key to this one-pot-wonder.

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Cajun Fish Tacos

I officially have a new favourite food. And it comes in the form of Cajun fish tacos.

This is the perfect meal to make when you want to impress, with minimum effort. All the prep work can be done hours in advance with just the fish needing to be cooked directly before serving. Ideal for when you want to make sure your BBQ is the one people will be talking about for months on end. Take that Carol.

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Crispy Chilli Chicken

Recently I’ve decided I need to do something to defeat my ever-expanding waistline, I’m not about to give up weekday drinking and annoyingly my boyfriend is too nice to me to trigger any extreme stress weight loss so I decided maybe lowering our takeaway consumption from five nights a week to one…maybe two…

However I have a problem. I crave disgusting, greasy, MSG-ridden food like an addict. SO I decided the best option would be to create my own, slightly healthier (and a damn site cheaper) versions of my favourite foods. And because I’m a generous, loving type, I’m going to share some recipes with you.

First up, Crispy Chilli Chicken.

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