Wednesday, 23 January 2019

So how is it going??

Well here we are.. tonight is episode three of Tom Kerridge fresh start and I can't quite believe the weeks are flying by.

Week one was incredibly exciting as we were Kindly invited to Toms restaurant The Coach in Marlow along with all of the other families and production crew to watch the broadcasting of episode one. It was lovely to see everyone and we were all incredibly nervous to watch it go out and see how we came across! We posted a little video on our insta stories, go and check it out and you can feel the nerves!

The topic of episode one was get cooking - basically the focus here was to get people cooking. It was a little different for us as we did like cooking but had kind of fell out of love with it and had become swept up with busy family life, so for us it was a re focus moment, a moment to say ok, we need to re order our priorities and the realise that food impacted every area of our lives including the ones we wanted so desperately to change, like fitness, weight and family time.

Episode two was even more scary as we knew this was going to focus more on us! The title of episode two is Boss the kitchen. This really is something that resinates with me and came up a lot in our pre filming chats. The things I really found hard are time, time to be organised, to ensure that the busy nights are sorted and that the food is under control. Our boys, like im sure sure so many others, come in from school and are like locusts, they are starving and I felt like they literally ate everything before I could blink. Tom stopped me in my tracks and made me think of it in simple terms - planning! We plan our work diary, our appointments so we need to take control of our kitchen and food and plan! The planning has made such a difference. Just having and making a list at the weekend, doing it as a team means we can see what we have coming up. We make list of our shopping and we know what we need. Doing this has meant that so far, we waste less and stick to our food plans. 100% this is my top tip! I know its simple, I know it sounds like a pain but honestly... do it! It really really helps!
The plan also means I know the busy nights, I can see when the temptation to reach for a frozen pizza (which believe me I don't have an issue with every now and then,) is coming and I can pre prep anything that I can. If you know you have a crazy family week, take an extra hour on a day when you have it and pre make and freeze a dish, or chop everything and leave it ready for tomorrow, it just leaves you feeling in control and organised, I own the kitchen! Its not controlling me and making me feel like a moody teen, I know whats coming and I can do it.

I will come back to my planning an organisation, I think it deserves a blog of its own or I am going to ramble on!

After episode two I was asked to join Tom on Radio five live with Nihal to talk about the show and my feelings. This was a fabulous experience and I loved every moment.

Episode three was get them cooking and made us all think about getting the children cooking. I really think we are all so busy that it is so tempting to "just do it," and the children don't help much in the kitchen. This really made me think about my role as a parent, about how I need to equip the boys to be good adults, to know about food, nutrition and cooking. Believe me it was hard! Not because I didn't want the boys to cook or to teach them but the thoughts of the mess, the thoughts of what could go wrong and the thought of how long was this going to take! BUT..   I can tell you hand on heart, this has been a revelation! Yes the mess is a little more, but they can help! Who knew... this has shared some of the kitchen roles and means that things actually get done quicker.

So tonight is episode four - get moving! Oh how I am not looking forward to this one! My red, hot sweaty face, working out in front of my tv! I think I will leave you there with that wonderful thought and chat more about it tomorrow once its been aired.



Vegan Banana Bread!

Once again, the I hate waste kicked in and as I stood looking at some very sad looking bananas in the fruit bowl I decided I must be able to rescue them and turn them into something that the boys and I will love… about an hour later a voila, yummy banana bread. 

It didn’t last long, it was gone by the afternoon. 

So, if you have some left over bananas and don’t want to waste the recipe is below – 

Over ripe bananas
75g Sunflower spread
100g brown sugar
225g Plain flour
3 heaped tsp baking powder
a good shake of cinnamon. 

*Heat the oven to 180ish fan
*Mash the bananas with a fork and then add to a mixer 
*Melt the sunflower spread and add to the mixer, mix with the bananas.
*Add all the dry ingredients – mix until just combined, don’t over mix. 
*Bake in a pre-greased and lined loaf tin for approx. 40mins.

Easy peasy and yummy! 





Saturday, 5 January 2019

                 So, Christmas and New Year have passed…

I’m still a little out of sorts as the boys don’t actually start back at school until Monday but I am trying to re-focus and get organised again in the kitchen.

One thing I HATE – Food waste! It really, really annoys me. So, as I stood looking at lots of carrots and parsnips that were looking a little sad I decided it’s time to get back in my kitchen, get organised and use things up. 

So today I have made Spicy Carrot and Parsnip soup.I actually think the title is misleading as our boys don’t like lots of spice and it really wasn’t that spicy, it does have warmth from some curry powder and the ginger but the sweetness of the carrots and parsnips really balanced it out. 

It was super easy, took about fifteen mins to prep and 30 mins to cook, plus I have popped some in pots and frozen for busy days. Mum win! 

As a basic summary – Spicy Carrot and Parsnip Soup

·      Chop two onions – pop in a large pot and fry off with a splash of olive oil. 
·      Peel and Thinly chop three cloves of garlic.
·      Grate about an inch piece of ginger.
·      When the onions are soft add the ginger and garlic and cook for another couple of minutes. 
·      Add a table spoon of curry powder of your choice (I used a tandoori powder as its all I had in the cupboard!) and cook for a further couple of mins. 
·      Chop up your parsnips (I had five big ones) 
·      Chop up your carrots (I had quite a few)
·      Pop them all in the pot with the spices, onions, ginger and garlic and give a quick stir. 
·      Add one litre of stock – I used chicken as I didn’t have veggie stock!
·      Simmer for 30mins or until veg is tender (soft to a knife going in!)
·      Whizz up with a hand blender or in a food processor and you’re done!

I served ours with a swirl of cream (Left over from new year!!) and a handful of pumpkin seeds, alongside some nice sour dough and easy bake baguettes. 

I have to be honest – Jack cried when I put it on the table as apparently, he hates soup – however, he ate it all and said it was the best soup ever! I think the sweetness of the veggies helped! 

We all loved it and it really is super easy. 

Hope you enjoy! 



A fresh Start! 
 The Johnsons

Back in the spring of 2018 we were faced with a simply amazing opportunity and we are so pleased to finally be able to share everything with you all. 

As a busy family with three boys and our own business life is always a little manic and fitting everything in, especially food planning and organisation in general is hard. So, as you can imagine when we were asked if we would be interested in taking part in the new Tom Kerridge television series for BBC2 to be titled a fresh start, our ears pricked up! 

The premise of the show is to basically make a fresh start to our approach to food. All of the families involved had different reasons for wanting to take part, but ours was to take control in the kitchen, to bring back some enjoyment in cooking and not let time slip away so that we end up eating rubbish. We hoped that by doing this we would not only change our approach but change our lifestyle, get more active with the boys, improve our health in general and have a blast. 

The process was fabulous, it really made us focus. Before starting it, we obviously did cook, but it felt like a real chore, I would dread the thought process each day of, “what will I feed them!” I felt like a moody teenager dropping my shoulders in a sulk each time I “had” to do dinner and on busy nights it was even worse. 

I’m super proud to say that has really changed! I love my kitchen (although I am a realist and it needs a jolly good sort out after Christmas) and being planned and organised has made life so much easier. 

We aim to share our journey with you both here and on social media, with tips and tricks we have learnt, things we find really work, what doesn’t seem to work for us and how we found each stage of the process. I’m not an insta perfect mum, with a full face of make-up and prefect posts every day, I real and I hope that really comes across. 

We would love you to join us along the way, so please do like and share – I’m surely not the only mum in the world that found the kitchen a little overwhelming. 

Much Love B x
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