‘Where’s Wally’ Halloween Costume (homemade)

Technically I made this costume for ‘World Book Day’ for my son Max’s nursery. However, if you are looking to quick pull together a costume for Halloween this is such a cheap and simple costume to make.

For the top I visited my local charity shops and found the stripey red t-shirt. Technically it’s a girl’s top and I had to have him wear it inside out as it had a logo in it, but you couldn’t tell. You could also try eBay.

The hat was a Christmas hat that top the bobble off, but you can easily search and find hats online (https://amzn.to/3VtzaRL). This hat on Amazon includes the glasses but I took ours from a Harry Potter toy we already had. What made it easier for Max to wear was that I sewed the glasses to the hat so it would stay on all day.

Have fun being creative making your own costumes from whatever clothes or toys you have in the house this Halloween.

New book: Baby Max Explores it all

I’ve a new book out! I’ve written a book all about my baby boy Max and plan to write about George in future. It will be released in multiple countries on July 28th.

Explore the world with Baby Max as he discovers technology. Technology can often be a magical thing for children (and adults) to understand, so learning about them very simply is critical for children to make sense of their actual world. 

‘Max Explores It All’ is a series of books exploring some of the less covered areas for very young children such as technology, modern transport and the weather.

Enjoy learning along with Max, and in the future with his baby brother…

https://www.austinmacauley.com/book/max-explores-it-all

Amazon

I’m back. Life update: Lots of babies!

It’s been a while… Sorry for my extended absence from this blog but I do have a good excuse and some great content to share in future as a result.

As the COVID pandemic hit in February 2019 I was pregnant with my first baby. Max was born in the August and then in very quick succession I was pregnant with my second baby George who was born in November 2021. As you can imagine between the pandemic and two babies under 2 I’ve been incredibly busy. I adore my boys and family and can’t wait to share our family recipes; baby tips and learnings.

Baby George relaxing in the park
Baby Max enjoying the beach where we live

My spice collection (best low carb keto flavour additions)

One of the best things I’ve doing over many years is building up my spice collection. Every recipe I’ve tried has generally meant I needed a particular type of spice. I don’t like spending too much money so I tend to buy different brands and get the most volume for my money. I also like to pick up different spices and herbs when i’m on holiday if I’ve had a recent local meal and want to try and recreate it at home so I ultimately end up with a whole load of ugly; mismatched containers.

As a result I bought a load of glass jars (see link below) and some labels that I think are usually used for making jam. Every time I now buy a new spice I create a new jar.

I also have larger jars with my homemade gravy mix (which I’ll include a recipe for soon) so using the same labels on them keeps my whole collection looking a bit organised.

A tip though if you do this is to make a note of the expiry date of the spices in a little book or an a spreadsheet online. The alternative option and a general rule of thumb is to completely replace and refresh your spices every couple of years if you are worried. This isn’t just for health reasons but really old spices just don’t taste the same.

Spice collection Homemade gravy mixture

If you want some of the types of jars I bought see below:

https://amzn.to/3ExBily

Homemade Burgers (loved by Max)

This week I finally managed to make the simplest and best burgers I’ve ever made before. Myself and my husband are not into very elaborate and expensive burgers. We have our own burger rankings and like to classify new burgers we try across the world.

Making a burger therefore is an interesting recipe challenge. I’ve tried recipes with chopped up little onions; breadcrumbs, eggs to bind and lots of different seasonings.

And now on keto I needed to adapt and make sure I was making as carb free as possible.

Here is is where I’m at with the more simple and best recipe.

  1. Buy the best beef ground meat you can afford.
  2. If you buy mince you can always grind it down a bit further if it stays chunky with a food processor. I like to do this a little so you get a good mix of textures.
  3. Add salt and pepper.
  4. A fun keto addition is crumbled up pork scratching (rinds)

5. Shape into thin patties. I’d rather have two think burgers than one fat undercooked burger. Press them down with your hands. Try and let them come to room temperature before cooking.

e2387e38-c326-4e7c-bb81-b6f939816991

6. Then cut your buns in half (my husband was having the buns) and I like to smear with butter and dry fry on a hot griddle or frying pan to give some crunch but keep the insides soft.

7. Set aside and add slices of your favourite cheese.

8. Put a pan on a high temperature and add the meat patties. If they are thin even they will char and brown quickly but the insides will cook too. Cook on both sides and lay on the buns.

9. I like to serve mine with copycat Mcdonald’s sauce. See my previous blog for this recipe.

Weber Steak and Chop seasoning on Amazon:

https://amzn.to/3fXqUcy

We cooked our burgers this time on the BBQ and as you can tell they were a complete hit with our son Max.

Poached Eggs

Poaching a egg in a microwave

I give full credit to an older article I read recently when searching how to cook eggs quickly from the Independent below:

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/poached-egg-how-to-cook-microwave-make-instructions-a7966351.html

I really adore eggs and often buy them in my work canteen but paying what I would consider a high price per egg didn’t sit well with me. Being really honest I only recently learned how to make a proper poached egg in a pan actually, but it does take a little time to get a deep pan to the right temperature and I don’t really have that time before work.

So off I went searching for a recipe. I’ve tried a load of variants for this including shop bought egg poachers and microwave containers but the easiest way that works for me is to simply fill a cup with water and microwave it for 1 minute to get it up to temperature and then crack your egg in. Put back in for another minute and it’s done. There’s lots of advice about adding vinegar and salt but I haven’t really needed it. I did once have a popping noise when the yolk burst but if you put a plate on the top it stops the splashing and ruining of your microwave. It rarely happens to me though and I buy super fresh eggs.

On a side note I do have a blog about cleaning your microwave so feel free to read that if you need to.

https://wordpress.com/post/modernmrsbeeton.blog/1562

Keto find: Seaweed crisps

I had to share this little keto friendly find from this week. I’m missing crisps; really badly. Well actually I’m missing all carbohydrates but the crunch of crisps is definitely a texture I’m missing as most foods on keto aren’t particularly dry (if that makes any sense whatsoever).

These little seaweed crisps taste just like the seaweed you get in a Chinese takeaway but are light and crunchy. More importantly they are a super source of iodine but being honest I just like the crunch and lack of carbs!

Buy on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3rPmzLd

Life update: Weight loss so far and exercising plan

I thought you might want a mini update on my weight loss so far. At the end of the first week I’d lost 8lbs. As of week I’ve now lost 9lbs. My best guess is that I lost a load of water weight in the first week and 9lbs over 2 weeks is crazy good.

I haven’t just done keto alone I’ve been exercising as much as I can with a new born baby. My aim at the moment is to walk fir one of baby’s naps which is usually around an hour or so, which isn’t a lot but I am pushing a pram the whole time.

I’m averaging about 3.5 km a day with a rest day so that’s really about 4km a day with a pram.

Keto fried halloumi sticks

Whilst making my husbands dinner which included mozzarella sticks (and discovering the carb count if each one was 10g) I went in search of the fridge contents to make something similar. As this was on the fly I didn’t have the time or energy to coat cheese in almond or coconut flour and fry them but I did have in a block of halloumi cheese. Simply laying these in a pan with olive oil and frying them like are chips makes super fabulous melting sticks of cheese that rivaled my husband’s mozzarella.

Ingredients:

1 block halloumi cheese

Olive oil

Method:

1. Slice into chunky chip sized chunks

2. Fry in olive oil until lightly browned turning regularly

Tip: Drain off the water so they don’t just steam part way through

Trying hot apple cider vinegar bedtime drink

I’ve seen many variations of this recipe online so I’ve kept it simple in the hope I can add to it in future. I won’t go into the benefits of apple cider vinegar as there’s so much info out there already. I will say this was lovely, reminiscent of hot Christmas cider and made me feel very calm before bed.

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

1 cup of chamomile tea (nothing added)

Couple of drops of vanilla stevia

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Method:

1. Add all the ingredients to the cup of camomile tea

Camomile tea and cider vinegar on Amazon to purchase:

https://amzn.to/3eo4sc3

https://amzn.to/3yAhWsc