I recently made a decision. I need to be a bit more real about things. I need to do this for myself and I need to do this for you. A couple of weeks ago I posted a #keepingitreal post on Facebook. It was a photo of me holding Cooper on one hip, flipping pancakes (that did not really resemble pancakes they were so dodgy) and out of the shot was Ollie on the floor screaming. I was holding Cooper cause that’s the only way he’d stop crying and I was contemplating joining them and letting the tears flow.
Some mornings, really some days are like this. They’re a battle, they’re really hard and sometimes all I want to do is cry. Being a mum is really hard work. There is always something that needs doing and there are two people who for nearly 12 hours a day, rely on me and only me for their every need. The sheer responsibility of that can feel very heavy some days.
When I get out of the house I can almost guarantee that it hasn’t been smooth sailing. That I would have said (or yelled eek) some version of the phrases ‘you need to get dressed,’ ‘let me change your nappy,’ ‘stay still for 5 seconds,’ ‘get your shoes’ at least five times.
On the other side there are days where I just gaze in wonder at the amazing little people we have created. I stare at every detail of their little faces and soak it all in. I kiss them a gazillion times a day (ok that happens even on not-so-good days). I marvel watching them learn and explore. I am amazed every day but the little people they are growing into and how much they change even in a day.
There are so many people that post sparkling pictures of the shiny side of life as if that is the only side to it. Yes it’s uplifting and shiny things are happy but it can make regular people just like me feel like a bit of a failure at times and I didn’t want to be one of those people making other people feel like a failure (not that anything I post is ever perfect anyway!).
I’m just like everyone else. I have my moments, minutes, hours and days where things are far from sunshine and rainbows.
By sharing more of the real side of life, maybe people who are really struggling will be more comfortable telling other people or asking for help. The saying it takes a village to raise a child – it’s so true even if it’s just having some other villagers to share things with.
What’s all this got to do with chicken halloumi and chorizo bake? My wonderful friend came over a couple of weeks ago to visit and she brought lunch. It may not seem like much to some people but to me it meant a lot. I spend all my time looking after people and having someone else look after me just for one meal was such a treat especially when she has her own little people to look after.
It was absolutely delicious and having a cooked lunch – chicken, halloumi bake – and an adult to share it with made this Mumma’s day. Of course I had to recreate it and of course I couldn’t leave the original recipe alone. I added some chorizo and capsicum under the chicken as well as my friends shallot addition and it was good. Really really good. Not only is it delicious but:
- You can make it ahead of time – make it in the morning or the night before and have it totally ready for the oven. I made mine at lunch time then 30 minutes before dinner, threw it and some potato in the oven and dinner was done.
- It’s really yummy as leftovers – I had it for lunch the next day (just heated it up in the oven with a bit of extra halloumi on top)
- It’s pretty healthy
- 1 red capsicum sliced
- 1 small chorizo (about 100g/3.5oz)) diced
- 2 Chicken breast cut into big pieces (about the size of a burger pattie)
- 150g (5.3oz) halloumi cut into 2cm thick slices
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 6 sprigs thyme or lemon thyme
- Extra lemon juice to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C/(400F) fan-forced.
- Lay the capsicum and chorizo out in the bottom of a baking tray about 25x20cm (just big enough to fit all the chicken in a single layer).
- Lay the chicken on top then cover the chicken with the halloumi.
- In a small bowl or I just use a tea cup, mix up the honey, olive oil and lemon zest and pour them over the chicken and halloumi.
- Lay the sprigs of thyme on top.
- Cook for 30 minutes.
- Serve with a rocket salad or potato (I went with potato for dinner, salad for lunch) and a squeeze of lemon juice.