French Toast with Shitake Mushrooms, Bacon and Maple Syrup

I do love a good breakfast. It sets the day up and makes us feel good. Hubby is more of a morning person than I am- but even so, I love the stillness of the day and how give little tell tales of what a fresh beginning looks like.

I wouldn’t call this a “everyday breakfast”. It was more of a brunch for us! Ever since I started to eat clean more frequently, we rarely have bread in the house. Pregnant though, does bring certain challenges and I find myself wanting more carbs than ever. Armed with a few additional slices of bread that is almost at the end of its life, I soaked it with some egg and panfried it.

I have had pancakes with bacon and maple syrup before and thought, hey, we could do a french toast version. My new found love for fresh shitake mushrooms is probably the most healthy ingredients in this dish! Nevertheless, the combination of french toast, grilled shitake mushrooms and a slice of bacon with a drizzle of maple syrup… it was yum!

This little bottle of maple syrup was bought near the markets at Brooklyn Bridge.

I said goodbye to my colleagues last friday. It probably would not be a permanent goodbye, but it invoked so many emotions in me. Sadness, relief, glad, anxiety…. It marks a change in my identity. I recall the first day of work, so full of excitement of what I can accomplish and learn and in my years of being in this organisation, I felt so blessed that I have been invited to into so many homes. Into many distraught families and in one way or another, I learned heaps from them as I work with them to have some clarity of what needs to be done next. On an organisation level, I’m walking away from beautiful colleagues who have a heart of gold and I am proud to be associated with them.

Work does not define me, yet it is part of who I am. As I settled into the idea of being a mum, and dare I say it…. a domestic goddess trainee, I know that the change will be good.

Plus, it gives me a chance to try out and cook up a different kind of storm in the kitchen.

French Toast with Shitake Mushrooms, Bacon and Maple Syrup (Serves 2-3)
2 pieces of bread
3 eggs
1/4 cup of almond milk
sprinkle of sugar
knob of butter

200 grams of shitake mushrooms
handful of chives
1 tsp of chopped garlic
1 knob of butter

2 slices of bacon- make it free range and grass fed
maple syrup

Whisk up eggs with almond milk and sugar. Soak bread into it. Heat pan up and melt butter. Sizzle bread on it.

Meanwhile, in another pan, sauté mushrooms with butter and garlic. Toss in chives. Set aside. Sizzle bacon on it.

Assemble french toast, mushrooms and bacon on it. Drizzle maple syrup. Dig in! You will be full for hours!

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Happy 4th Year Wedding Anniversary! A reflection on Time – and Almond Apple Cake!

Anybody out there?? *echo bouncing back*

I’m not sure where all the time goes, but it sure was a very long time ago since I wrote my last post. During this time,  I have managed to spend more time on my couch than I ever did before, managed to feel bitter sweet about my approaching deadline to leave work for parental leave, attended a few musicals, and oh, yes, celebrated our 4th year wedding anniversary.

The great news is that I am doing well, and am well into my 3rd trimester in pregnancy. I am getting rounder and heavier, but bub is growing well. He loves social events and managed to pack quite a punch when he hears voices (my tummy gets very distorted during meetings) or music.

Every year, I try to reflect on where our relationship is at. It is now June- a good 1.5 months past our anniversary! Hey, better late than never. 🙂

Four years isn’t exactly very long. The past year though, seem a little longer than usual. Perhaps one day I will share with you on how our hearts broke when doctors told us we may never be able to have children, or how much joy we felt when we did fell pregnant. The anticipatory anxiety before our scans and how I thank God everyday when I was spewing in the toilet because that is a sign that hormones are doing its job. Ah yes, I vowed to embrace every single horrible pregnancy symptom because I nearly couldn’t even experienced it.

But that is for another day.

For the past month or so, I reflected on how comfortable we are. And how much hard work it is to NOT take each other for granted. I have always known that marriage is daily work, but after 4 years of marriage, I can assure you that it is a daily conscious effort.

Last year, I spoke about words. That still applies and I am pleased to say I hold my tongue better than I did (although I am not 100% sure that continues in the labour room).  This year, I feel that it is about not taking the time together for granted. Day by day, it is so easy to slip into making everything more important than each other.

I never thought to say that work, spending time on Facebook/instigram/pininterest/email, laundry, cooking or even watching TV take precedence than my husband, but it does creep up on us. I have to make the conscious decision to concentrate on what my husband has to say to me and not wait till it’s commercial time. I have to remember to put my book down and check on him when he disappeared deep into the garage or the computer for work.

After all, surely he is more important than “stuff”.

We took a road trip a week before our anniversary. No TV, no nothing, just us. We found conversations that we have not had in months, and laughs that was just… us. Laughing at each other used to come naturally to us and now.. it’s so easy to get caught up with life that we forgot that’s what we need.

With the pending BIG (ah yes, the pun looking at my rounded tummy) change in our life, I want to remind myself that this will be even more important. A child that we thought we will never have would inevitably means our focus is on him, but yet we need to remember that love starts with us.

Happy 4th Year Anniversary and more special ones to continue… 😉

I made this cake as it was a one bowl food processor cake! Yeah when you want something light but delicious!

Almond and Apple Cake (serves 8) for a special celebration… By Nigella Lawson
4 apples cored and diced
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoon of castor sugar

8 eggs
325 grams of almond meal
180 grams of castor sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
50 grams of flaked almonds

Preheat Oven to 180C. Grease and line 9inch cake tin.

Place apples, lemon juice and castor sugar in a sauce pan. Simmer till apples become soft. Set aside and mash it. This took around 10 minutes.

In a food processor, place almond meal, apple, sugar, eggs and lemon juice in the bowl. Blitz it all up. Spoon into cake tin, sprinkle amond flakes and bake in oven for around 45 minutes.

I had some left over batter and placed them into little muffin wrappers- that took around 20 minutes. Serve with a  dusting of icing sugar if you like.

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