I can’t quite believe my word of the week this time.

Does this image give you a clue?

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After months of stumbling on day by day trying to second guess the right moves to make, I sense we have seen a breakthrough.

A little easing of financial pressures.

The ability to relax together.

A step outside the comfort zone with confidence-building results.

I got a day to myself away from it all.

There is a sense of moving forward and the tide turning.

As the Queen song says “Breakthrough these barriers of pain. Breakthrough to the sunshine from the rain”.

I reflected on the word Breakthrough and realised that as in medicine, a breakthrough does not mean everything is fixed.

It is always an improvement and an important milestone.

My word of the week is Breakthrough and I am delighted that in the Queen song, the train is called the Miracle Express.

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I am putting in my cosmic order for a few miracles to head our way and soon.

Combine pasta with asparagus and Parma ham for an elegant dish. The grilled asparagus is lightly browned for a distinctive and divine flavour. It’s important that the butter is great quality as with so few extra ingredients it has nowhere to hide. Making your own pasta isn’t difficult and the difference in flavour is so impressive and absolutely worth it.

pasta

Serves 6

Ingredients

500g (1lb 2oz) 00 flour or strong white bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
Approximately 20 spears of asparagus
75g (3oz) Kerrygold butter, now softer
3 tbsp crème fraîche
8 large slices of Parma or Serrano ham, roughly cut into strips

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan shavings, grated lemon zest and basil leaves, to garnish

Method

Add the flour and salt to a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, then add about two thirds of the egg into the flour and bring together to form a dough — you’ll really have to knead it to come together, adding more egg if necessary.
The dough should be pliable but not wet and sticky. Next, knead the pasta dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth on the surface, then rest for 10 minutes.
Next roll it out. If you’re using a pasta machine you’ll need to roll it out first on the thickest setting, then through the machine again one setting thinner. Keep going until the pasta is about 1mm thick – — you should be able to read a newspaper headline through it when it’s rolled!
Alternatively you can use a good old rolling pin, and simply use a little flour to roll out the dough to the same 1mm thickness.
You now have pasta sheets, which you can cut in to strips about 1cm wide. Dust with a little flour to stop the ribbons sticking. Set aside.
Next prepare the asparagus, snap off the tough woody part at the bottom of each asparagus spear and discard.
Place a cast iron griddle pan on a high heat or alternatively light a barbecue and allow to get quite hot.
Spread half of the Kerrygold Softer butter over the asparagus spears, season with salt and pepper, then place on the barbecue or griddle pan. Cook, turning once for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until tender and lightly scorched.
Remove from the barbecue or grill, then cut each spear at an angle in to about 3 – 4 pieces. Toss in a bowl with the remaining butter.
To cook the pasta, place a large saucepan of salted water on a high heat and bring to the boil. Add the pasta ribbons and cook for about 2-4 minutes until just al dente. Drain, reserving a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid, and return to the warm pan, off the heat.
Add the crème fraîche to the drained pasta in the pan and toss to coat, then tip in the asparagus and Parma ham and season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
Serve in warmed bowls with a few shavings of Parmesan, grated lemon zest and a few basil leaves on top of each portion.

Cooks Tip: If asparagus is out of season use courgettes instead, thinly sliced lengthways.

This recipe was made using Kerrygold butter, now softer; for more delicious recipes visit www.facebook.com/KerrygoldUK

Do you like pasta with asparagus?

Here is my week in pictures.

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We experimented with selfies and this is the one that makes me look least awful. Still awful but less so than on the other attempts.

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This photo is a bit of fun and celebrates some quality time together as a couple this week.

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Things were a bit icy on the school runs this week. Can you see the lady in this photo? Could it be Kate on Thin Ice?

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This photo represents me listening to two very good friends and a supportive husband.

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This was on the back of the train seat in front of me on the way home and made me smile considering what went before.

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I liked the patterns as we washed the car.

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My husband spied these snowdrops in the garden. My late Mum used to love their fragile yet hardy beauty. In a week where I sense things are finally turning a little for us, finding these felt like a message of hope.

I am joining in with the 365 Project.

Here’s a tempting omelette salsa recipe.

Soft flour tortillas are topped with omelettes and a lively salsa, then rolled up. Perfect for breakfast on-the-go or an anytime snack.

omelette

Serves 4 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time 10 minutes

4 soft flour tortillas

8 Big & Fresh eggs

4 tbsp milk

2 tomatoes, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 red, green or yellow pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

2 tsp finely chopped green or red chilli (optional)

2 tsp vegetable oil

80g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Lay out the tortillas on a work surface. Preheat the grill.

2. Beat the eggs and milk together. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomatoes, onion, pepper and chilli (if using), seasoning with salt and black pepper.

3. Heat ½ tsp of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan and pour in one quarter of the beaten egg mixture. Cook on the hob over a medium heat for a few moments to set the base. Sprinkle one quarter of the tomato mixture over the surface, then sprinkle 20g of the cheese over the top. Grill to set the egg and melt the cheese.

4. Slide the omelette onto one of the tortillas. Leave to cool a little while you make three more omelettes, placing them on top of the tortillas as you go. Roll up the tortillas, slice in half and serve immediately, or wrap in foil to serve later.

Cook’s tip: Use plain or whole-wheat tortillas; though remember that whole-wheat ones have higher fibre content.

Nutritional analysis per serving

1669kJ/399kcal

22g protein

23g fat of which 9g saturates

27g carbohydrate of which 9g sugars

2g dietary fibre

516mg sodium equivalent to 1.2g salt

This recipe was made using Big & Fresh eggs, for more information and delicious recipes visit www.bigandfresh.co.uk

Diary of an imperfect mum

I have had a disappointing week on the healthy eating front.

Due to being busy and a lack of planning it has not really happened.

I know it is important to acknowledge this rather than hide from the fact. This allows a fresh start.

I must focus on getting the house full of healthy eating options to prevent temptation striking.

One healthy thin I am enjoying this week is porridge – you forget just how filling, warming and comforting it can be.
The boys are loving it too.

In other news I wore a dress yesterday and thought I looked quite good in it. It also suggests I have not put on as much weight as I might have thought before.

That said, the trousers I am wearing today are straining to say the least.

Onward and upwards – the future’s bright and all that.

How was your week on the healthy eating front?