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Monthly Munch: March 2016

By the time you get to March you start feeling like it really should be warm already.  Apart from a few tantalisingly spring-like days, it has stayed stubbornly chilly.  Between sniffly noses, headaches, and fevers; job-hunting and website construction; rain and cold and missing mittens, we haven't always been in the best of moods this month.  But we managed our usual few outings to beautiful places like Carsington Water and Beacon Hill, spent a few days with each set of grandparents, and of course, enjoyed a bit of Easter chocolate.  So we're still smiling!



Toby

Front view


- was Peter Rabbit for World Book Day - in a home-made costume!

Back view!
- did a lovely Mother's Day assembly with his class at school.

- rode his bike through all the puddles at Carsington Water, proudly asking Graham, "How do you think my bike looks now, Dad?" as it (and he) got muddier and muddier.

By the lake at Carsington Water

- spent several days curled up on the sofa with a high temperature, and missed the last week of term at school.  Glad he's better now (even though he is lovely and quiet when he's ill...).

Bunny face for the Sudbury Hall Easter egg hunt

Theo

Sticks...
  - loves to carry things around - gravel, stones, sticks, cereal boxes, shoes...
...and stones

- is the cutest now that he's learning to be polite: "Milk, pweese", "Sowwy.  Toby."

- comes up to Toby's shoulder already.
On the rocks at Beacon Hill

- loves spotting Minis.  I never knew there were so many Minis driving around before I got alerted to every single one.  "Miniiiiiii!!!"

Thankful for:


- lighter evenings.  It's lovely when it's still light after the boys have gone to bed.

- the launch of my new website Cafes with Kids after a lot of hard work (and plenty more to come).

- Easter Day!

Oooh, money!  (Thanks Auntie Rita and Uncle Stuart!)


Recipe of the Month: Super-Easy Vegetarian Lasagna


After trying Nigella's Calabrian Lasagna, I realised that the problem with the ones I had been making was a lack of liquid.  Having remedied that, I think I've now perfected my easy lasagna.  And the boys will even eat it, despite the spinach.  We had it for dinner last night, but I didn't take a photo, I'm afraid.  Quantities are rough and ready, and you could probably throw in some sliced mushrooms or hard-boiled eggs if you happened to have some, too.

About 12 sheets of no-pre-cook lasagna
300g tub cottage cheese
250g-ish chopped frozen spinach (maybe 10 lumps if it comes in lumps like mine does)
1 egg (optional)
20g grated Parmesan or Grana Padano
nutmeg and pepper
1 500g jar pasta sauce of your choice

Defrost the spinach.  Don't bother to drain.  Mix in the cottage cheese and about half of the grated Parmesan.  Season with nutmeg and pepper, and a little salt if you think it needs it.  Beat in an egg if you have one (I forgot it yesterday and it didn't seem to make much difference).

Pour the pasta sauce into a jug and add maybe a quarter as much water.  Stir to mix.  Pour a little of the sauce into a baking dish, and add your first layer of pasta.  Slop a bit more tomato sauce over that, and spread a third of the spinach over the top.  Repeat twice: more pasta, more sauce, more spinach.  Finish with a final layer of lasagna sheets and tomato sauce on top.  Pour the rest of the sauce carefully around the edges.  Sprinkle the other half of the Parmesan over the top, and cover with foil.  Put in the oven at 160-180°C for an hour or more, until nice and soft and bubbly.  Leave to sit for a few minutes, then enjoy.

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