This comes highly recommended abd I am linking up with the Recipe Shed where you can find more delightful recipes including rice.

Stage 1: the smooth Balti tomato sauce

2tbsp butter, or ghee
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2tsp freshly grated ginger
2tsp Fairtrade organic curry powder
125g chopped tomatoes

Add the butter (or ghee for a richer balti) to a heavy bottomed pan and heat to sizzling hot. Add then stir fry the onion and garlic until translucent which will take about 4 – 5 minutes.

Add the fresh ginger and stir once. Add Fairtrade curry powder, turning for about half a minute, making sure it does not stick to the pan. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Blitz the sauce either with a hand held blender or take out and pulse in a Magimix until smooth. Return to the pan and keep on a very low heat with the lid on.

Stage 2: the Balti stir fry

3tbsp sunflower oil
500g chicken breast, cut into 2cm x 2cm cubes
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into small pieces
1 – 2 green chillis, deseeded, halved and thinly sliced
150g onions, chopped finely
200g button mushrooms, chopped in half
½tsp cumin powder
1tsp paprika
¼tsp fenugreek powder
1tsp Fairtrade organic turmeric
¼tsp Fairtrade organic cinnamon powder
¼tsp Fairtrade cardamom powder
2tbsp chopped tomatoes
1tsp Steenbergs Fairtrade garam masala
100ml water
Handful chopped fresh coriander leaves

Heat the oven to 100C. Add half of the sunflower oil to a wok and heat until smoking hot. Stir fry the chicken cubes in batches until sealed. Put the cooked chicken pieces into the warmed oven. When complete, clean the wok. While frying the chicken, measure out and mix the ground spices together.

Add the remainder of the sunflower oil to the wok and heat until hot and smoking. Add the red and green peppers, green chilli and button mushrooms and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly, making sure it does not burn and is fried well. Tip in the mixed spices and stir through twice, then add the smooth Balti tomato sauce and mix in, plus the tablespoons of chopped tomatoes. Heat until simmering, then add the water and reheat to a simmer, mixing all together. Cook on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the cooked chicken pieces and mix together. Add the garam masala. Cook for a further 10 minutes. About 2 minutes before the end add the chopped fresh coriander and stir through.

Serve hot with Fairtrade rice, dhal and naan.

Are you a would-be writer? There are lots of us out there and a fair few of us are bloggers I imagine.

I write mainly on my blog and I want that to change. Are you like me happily blogging away whilst not really pursuing those other writing ambitions? Would you like to join a group of like-minded people wanting to commit time and effort to their creative writing?

I have set up this blog hop as I know if I involve others I will actually feel accountable and do some writing on a regular basis.

Here is how it works and be warned, it really is incredibly simple.

You write something either on your blog and send me the link or write a word document and submit it to me via email to mums-the-word@live.com.

Next Wednesday and every Wednesday thereafter, I will post submissions and that wonderful world out there can read our efforts and leave supportive comments and constructive criticism. Who knows? Your efforts might reach the eye of people who can help you on that journey to making all your writing dreams come true.

I am not going to set any harsh guidelines about how many words you should write or on what topic. You decide.

However, past experience on blogging and writing suggests that prompts are useful to some of us so here are some prompts but only use them if you wish to do so. All creative writing efforts are welcome.

Here are the prompts for those who would like to use them.

1. Write about a revelation.

2. Write about losing something

I know this blog hop will encourage me to get on with writing. I hope it does the same for you too.

When talking about this blog hop on Twitter and other social networks please use the hashtag #wordsmithwednesday

Ready, steady … write!

Britmums ask us about pleasure this week and as part of that we are to highlight the 5 blogs we love and why we like them so much. I have so many blogs that I read and enjoy that it is so difficult to narrow it down So here are 5 blogs that do different things for me and thereby bring me a pleasure of sorts. I have avoided mentioning those who have mentioned me as it would be too obvious and I will cover them in a feature I am planning for later this year. I have also not gone on about the wonderful women who do the world-famous blog hops as largely I have covered them in another post.

1. The blog that made me learn most is here http://cazandbelle.blogspot.com/

Caz is an Angel Mummy to Annabelle. To my shame, I had not really called mums who lose a baby mothers before. I am not proud to say that by the way but I am pleased that through Caz’s blog I woke up to the reality that if you have carried a child you are a mother. Caz is am amazing lady sharing her feelings so openly whilst fundraising for SANDS too. Caz’s blog is not always an easy read but it is an essential one in my view to understand the impact of babyloss. Caz last posted 8 days ago and I hope her next post will be sharing very wonderful news indeed. Please pay her blog and visit and offer your support for this inspirational woman.

2. Here is a recent find http://dichotomyof.wordpress.com/

If you want to know what I think is good writing, head over to this blog right now. I wish I could write as well as Laura does. I just write words but she paints pictures and has the most poetic way of expressing things. I like her also for her apparent healthy attitude towards authority (as I am a rebel, I will leave you to decide what I would see as a healthy attitude lol). Her blog also has wonderful recipes and anecdotes on family life. She is someone I would like to converse with into the early hours of the morning.

3. A blog I love to read but also a blogger I like to communicate with http://theramblingpages.blogspot.com

If you like my blog, I think you will like this one. It is this Mum would say all over her blog a work in progress but then aren’t we all works in progress as women and as blogs? I like the honesty of emotion and struggles in this blog, the questioning and the discovering. Here is a Mum coming to terms with the reality of children that society chooses to define as “special needs”. I could come up with other reasons but one of the main ones is that I would love to meet this woman and make her a friend.

4. http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com is my fourth choice.

I wanted to choose a blog that talks honesty about post-natal depression. I had several to choose from but I have chosen this one as through it you are likely to find out more a very fabulous organisation that is actually trying to ensure that mums who are struggling do get support and understanding and that any stigma surrounding the issue disappears. When I think of the impact on post-natal depression on the woman herself (I was there too!) and the children of that woman, her partner, wider family, friends and colleagues, something must be done. Kate over on http://mrsshortiesmind.wordpress.com/ is trying to do something positive and I salute her for that.

5. It Could Be You! What I mean is that if I look at the other Britmums blog prompt this week about how I would spend a whole day to myself, the likelihood is I would be investigating new blogs for part of that day. That is the real pleasure about blog reading, there is always a new delight to be discovered. To do it for me, you are likely to be quirky or funny, challenging or questioning, funny or heartfelt, honest and true. I look forward to finding you.

Meringue with vanilla cream & fruit

You will need:
2 large baking trays
Baking mat or baking paper
Piping bag if possible

4 Eggs – separated
150g Billington’s Golden Caster Sugar
¼ tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract for meringue
150ml Double or Whipping cream
¼ tsp Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract
Raspberries, passion fruit or fruit of choice
25g Icing sugar

Method
• Cover the baking trays with baking parchment, preheat the oven to 100C (200F Gas 1)
• Take a clean, dry bowl and add the 4 egg whites and a ¼ tsp of vanilla extract. Whisk continuously and slowly add the caster sugar until it forms stiff peaks
• If you have a piping bag, spoon the mixture into it and pipe 6 4” circles of approx ¼” thick. If not just spoon the mixture thinly onto the parchment
• Place in the oven and leave for 2 hours. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in to dry out further without browning
• While the meringues are cooling whip the cream until stiff, stir in a ¼ tsp of vanilla extract and prepare the fruit
• Once cooled spoon on cream and some fruit and place another circle of meringue on top, repeat
• Dust with a little icing sugar and decorate with more fruit

Tip: this recipe makes individual meringues but you can make a large Pavlova by piping 3 large circles of meringue and then layering in the same way

6 precautionary measures every new parent should take

As a new parent, the safety of your child will understandably be a top priority. Having little ones is a life-altering event. You might even start off with extreme paranoia about how childproof the world is. But you can easily take a logical approach to making their immediate environment safe and secure. It doesn’t need to be stressful – you’ve just got to be aware of how risks evolve as your child becomes more mobile.

If you can get ahead and take precautionary measures for safety in the home, you’ll feel more at ease when your new-born arrives. To help, we’ve gathered six steps you can take to make your home a safer place for a growing child.

1. Secure furniture

Children become increasingly inquisitive before they’re aware of surrounding hazards. As such, Vouchercloud says you’ll have to view each piece of furniture with suspicion. For example, your child will eventually see your bookcase as a heavily disguised ladder. Any piece of furniture that could be pulled over must be secured. You can use several varieties of straps and brackets to do the job, just remember to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

8.9.12

2. Consider radiator covers

The RoSPA explains it can cost as much as £250,000 to treat one severe bath water scald. But this figure doesn’t reflect the child’s suffering, or long-term costs of prolonged treatment and rehabilitation. When running a bath, always turn the cold water on first and learn to test the water temperature with your elbow. But burns and scalds can be caused by a number of things. For example, a hot drink can still scald a child 15 minutes after being made.

Radiators are also a concern. You should run your domestic hot water system at 46°C, but even this could create radiators that are too hot for children to touch. You could choose to cover radiators with towels as a temporary measure (e.g. towel radiators while your child is in the bath), or consider investing in permanent covers to put your mind at ease.

3. Buy a baby sleeping bag

Pillows and duvets aren’t safe for young children, as they pose a suffocation risk. Until they’re able to move their own weight easily, sleeping sacks are one of the best options. It’s essentially a wearable blanket that’s safe for babies to sleep in. What’s more, unlike a blanket, babies can’t wriggle out of sleep sacks – so you won’t be woken up to crying only to find your child has come out from under the warmth of a blanket. Check out the best options available here.

sleep sack

4. Adapt your habits in the kitchen

There are loads of safety practices you can put in place before your child is born. One of the most important is to start behaving differently in the kitchen. Hot pans and drinks are a common source of danger – so start using hobs at the back of your cooker and get in the habit of keeping hot drinks within your sight, and never near the ledge of a surface. You’re preparing for when your little one will be able to get up and reach further.

5. Look for hard edges

Look at your home through the eyes of a small child. Get on your hands and knees if you have to. Search for hard edges at their height which could easily pose a risk when they start crawling. The earlier you get these tasks done, the more comfortable you’ll feel when they start exploring.

As babies start to get more confident and develop their skills at manoeuvring, you won’t always be there to catch them if they have a tumble. But you can make sure there’s nothing sharp by protecting corners with sticky edge cushions. Again, the kitchen is one of the riskiest places – so start there.

Apex Cottage White Kitchen

6. Position the cot carefully

You’ve painted the nursery and carefully chosen safe accessories and toys. But where’s the safest place to put the cot?In Baby Centre’s five steps to creating a nursery, they recommend creating a safe zone around the cot by positioning it away from windows, heaters, lamps, wall decorations and cords, as well as placing any other furniture that your baby could clamber on to at a safe distance. Also be sure to check the following:

• The mattress fits in the cot snugly
• The distance between each bar is no more than 6.5cm
• The cot conforms to BS EN 716-2:2008

The temperature in a nursery should be between 16 degrees C and 20 degrees C for a baby to sleep comfortably.

What steps have you taken to improve the safety of your home for young children? Share your tips and recommendations with us.