Christmas Trimmings Recipes

Christmas Trimmings Recipes

CHRISTMAS TRIMMINGS RECIPES

BY SIMON WOOD

_____________________________

Honey mustard pigs in blankets

 

Ingredients

 

30 pigs in blankets

80g Colmans English mustard

80g runny honey

Chopped chives

 

Method

Cook the pigs in blankets until golden, add the honey and mustard in to a medium heat frying pan, heat until it bubbles and then add the sausages, glaze until sticky and serve with chopped chives

    Pigs in blankets
    Pigs in blankets

      Vichy carrots

      Ingredients

      1kg Heritage Carrots with tops

      125g Unsalted Butter

      250ml carrot juice

      125ml orange juice

      2 sprigs rosemary

      1 Star Anise

      4 sprigs thyme

      2 cloves garlic, crushed

      80ml white wine vinegar

      100g sugar or honey,

      Salt and Black Pepper

       

      Method

       

      Pick the green leafy tops off the carrots and drop them into ice water.

      Steam the carrots until just cooked, and then in a sauté pan add in all the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, add in the carrots and cook for 10 minutes, serve with a little of the liquid and the crisp green leafy tops.

      roast potatoes by Simon Wood
      roast potatoes by Simon Wood

      Ultimate roasties

      Perfect Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

       

      Ingredients

      2kg Red Skin Potatoes

      2 Bulbs of Garlic (Halved)

      1 Bunch of Fresh Rosemary

      1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme

      500g Goose Fat

      Maldon Sea Salt

      Black Pepper

      Method

      Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

      Peel the potatoes, cutting any larger ones so they’re all the same size

      Wash the potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch and place a large saucepan on to boil, season with a good amount of sea-salt.

      Add your goose fat into a large roasting tray, the biggest you have. This is to make sure there’s plenty of room for the potatoes and heat to circulate, heat for 10 minutes while your pan of water comes to the boil

       

      Now, add the potatoes to the water and parboil for 10 minutes, you want the outside soft and the inside with a little firmness remaining once ready drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 5 minutes.

       

      After 3 minutes give the colander a shake to help fluff up the potatoes so they look ‘Snowy’ – this will help to help them to crisp up later on.

       

      Carefully remove your roasting tray with the hot fat from the oven and place on a suitable surface, add in half of your herbs and a bulb of your halved garlic and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. After five minutes remove the herbs and garlic. You now have a nicely flavoured oil that will make your potatoes taste amazing! 

       

      If you leave the herbs in for the whole time it takes to roast your potatoes, they will burn and taste acrid! We will add in the rest of the herbs with 10 minutes to go to really lift the flavour!

       

      Tip the potatoes into your roasting tray and turn with tongs slowly coating them in the flavoured hot fat, take care not to break them before seasoning well with the sea salt and black pepper.

       

      Roast for 45 minutes, before turning each one to coat in more fat and ensure even colouring, now add in your remaining herbs and garlic and roast for a further 10-20 minutes depending on how much colour you want on them

       

      Once golden and crisp drain any excess oil on a little kitchen paper 

       

      As a chef I find Its always best to do a little test at this point and eat one just to check the seasoning, sometimes I must do this three or four times, just to be sure!

      Peppers & Spring Onions
      Peppers & Spring Onions

      Simons Christmas gravy 

       

      Ingredients

       

      1kg Chicken Thighs or Wings or a mixture of the two

      Olive oil

      4 large carrots

      2 Sticks of Celery

      3/4 Bay leaves

      1 Sprig of Rosemary

      1 Teaspoon fresh Thyme

      1 Teaspoon fresh Sage

      3 White onions halved

      2 Maris piper potatoes quartered

      1 Tablespoon of your cranberry sauce

      Celery Salt (1 teaspoon)

      Ground Black Pepper

      3 Pints of Chicken Stock

      4 tablespoons cornflour

       

      Method

       

      Set the Stock and cornflour Aside

      Add the remaining ingredients into a roasting tin and cover with olive oil. Roast until golden and the meat is easy to pinch away from the bone, approximately 75 minutes at 180c, 350f, Gas 4. Remove from the oven and shred the meat into the roasting tin and use a fork or a masher to crush all the vegetables Place over a flame or on the hob

      Add 4 table spoons of the cornflour and mix well cooking the flour out and then add in the stock slowly stirring well and crushing all the flavour out of the vegetables and the chicken. Cook until thickened and dark brown in colour.

      Check Seasoning and strain through a colander and then again through a sieve to get a refined finish to your sauce

      Cranberry Sauce

       

      Juice of 2 clementine’s

      400g cranberries

      200g light muscovado sugar

      100ml port

       

      The Method

       

      Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until sticky and delicious, store in sterilised jars in the fridge or give away as Christmas gifts!

        

      Chicken fat brioche bread sauce.

       

      Ingredients

       

      500ml whole milk

      500ml double cream

      100g Chicken fat

      25g unsalted butter

      150g chopped white onion

      10 white peppercorns

      2 bay leaf’s

      10 thyme sprigs

      2 grated garlic cloves

      200g brioche crumb

      1g Ground Nutmeg

      3g Maldon sea salt

       

      Method

       

      Sauté the Onion, Garlic, Thyme, Peppercorns, Bay Leaf and salt in the chicken fat and butter. Add in the Brioche crumb and stir before adding the milk and cream.

       

      Add the nutmeg after 5 minutes and then cook for further 25 minutes and then blend until smooth.

      Simon Wood Christmas
      Simon Wood Christmas
      Simon Wood Christmas

      Buttered chicken sprouts

      Ingredients

      1kg sprouts, shredded
      150g chopped shallot
      300ml chicken stock
      Crispy chicken skin
      100g smoked bacon lardons
      Chopped Chives
      250g butter.
      Ground black papper

      Method

      In a saucepan over a medium heat add the lardons and cook until just starting to crisp up. Add in the chopped shallots and cook for two minutes, next add the sprouts, stock and butter and bring to the boil reducing slightly, season with pepper

      Serve in a bowl topped with the chicken skin and chopped chives.

      Buttered chicken sprouts
      Simon Wood
      Written by
      WoodKraft Cheltenham

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      Related Articles

      Christmas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Christmas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Chrismas Gift Guide and Christmas Present Ideas

      Meet Lou and Steph, the dynamic founders of needi, a thriving tech startup based in Manchester. Their innovative gift-matching service, powered by AI and psychology, is a game-changer for busy parents, business owners and people who love supporting local independent businesses.

      Having led large corporate sales teams in their previous careers, Lou and Steph intimately understand the challenges parents face when balancing professional success with family life. They know the stress of finding that perfect gift to show appreciation to your team or clients, and the hassle of dealing with complex logistics like international shipping. They recognized the need for a more convenient and heartwarming way to shop online, one that spreads joy through thoughtful and responsible gifting.

      Failure was never an option for these determined entrepreneurs. In just two years since launching, they’ve achieved incredible milestones…

      Needi Founder, Steph Scholes

      One of the Needi Co-founders, Steph Scholes

      Needi Clever Gifting

      Investment and Innovation: They secured significant investment from a venture capitalist to advance their gift-matching technology and kickstart phase two of their platform.

       

      Exclusive Partnerships: needi is now the exclusive gifting provider for prestigious businesses in the FT100 and global powerhouses.

       

      Team Growth and Family Expansions: Their team of gift aficionados has grown to ten members, and the most exciting part? Lou and Steph both welcomed three new babies into the world (including twins!) while running their successful startup. They’re breaking the mold for women in business, showing that success and parenthood can coexist harmoniously.

       

      Supporting Small Businesses: Their clear vision is to support small businesses, foster meaningful connections, and deliver endless joy through meaningful gifts.

       

      Thanks to their cutting-edge Gift Matching service, thoughtful gift givers, and video gift messaging, they’re achieving their vision and more. Today, needi offers you a stress-free and impactful way to shop for your loved ones, whether at home or in the office. Their platform boasts thousands of thoughtful gifts and highlights numerous outstanding independent businesses.

       

      At the heart of needi are its people, from extraordinary independent businesses to their incredible gift-matching team. Their shared passion for people, the planet, and the power of gift-giving creates a shopping experience like no other.

       

      Join the needi gifting revolution and experience the joy of meaningful shopping with Lou and Steph. 

       

      Book a chat with Steph to discover how she can assist you with your gifting needs and simplify your life, all while celebrating the magic of parenthood and business success.

       

      Happy (meaningful) shopping!

      Christmas Gift Ideas for Mum
      BROOD Magazine Christmas Logo
      Christmas Gift Ideas for grandparents
      Needi Clever Gifting

      RELATED POSTS:

      WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

      WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

       

      The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It’s a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice. However, it’s crucial to understand that, ultimately, your individual situation should play a more substantial role in guiding your buy-to-let investment decisions than the current economic climate. Here’s why.

       

      1. Diverse Market Conditions:

      The property market is diverse, with varying conditions in different regions and cities. While national trends may suggest a particular state of the market, local conditions can be quite different. What might be a challenging market in one area could present excellent opportunities in another. Your specific location and property choice can have a more significant impact on your investment success than the general state of the market.

       

      2. Long-Term Perspective:

      Buy-to-let investments are typically long-term endeavors. Property values tend to appreciate over time, but this doesn’t happen overnight. Your investment horizon should extend beyond current market fluctuations. What’s most important is your ability to hold and manage the property over several years. If your personal financial situation allows for a long-term commitment, then the current market climate becomes less of a deciding factor.

       

      3. Financial Preparedness:

      Your financial situation is a critical consideration when entering the buy-to-let market. Evaluate your financial stability, including your savings, creditworthiness, and the ability to secure a mortgage. Focus on your personal financial goals and assess whether buy-to-let investments align with them. Your financial preparedness and goals should be the driving forces behind your decision.

       

      Property Investment
      JMW Solicitors

      4. Risk Tolerance:

      Investment always carries some level of risk. Your tolerance for risk should factor into your decision-making process. While market conditions may influence risk to some extent, your own comfort level with managing potential challenges, such as vacancies or property maintenance, matters more. Assess how comfortable you are with the potential ups and downs of property ownership.

       

      5. Investment Strategy:

      Consider your overall investment strategy and how buy-to-let properties fit into it. Do you see real estate as a way to diversify your portfolio, generate rental income, or achieve specific financial goals? Your investment strategy should be the guiding light, ensuring that buy-to-let aligns with your overall plan.

       

      6. Local Knowledge:

      If you have local knowledge or experience in a particular area, it can give you a significant advantage as an investor. You may have insights into neighbourhoods, tenant demographics, and rental demand that others lack. Your personal expertise can outweigh general market trends.

      In conclusion, while the current economic climate can provide valuable context, it’s your individual situation that should be the primary driver of your decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market. Tailor your choices to your unique financial preparedness, risk tolerance, and long-term goals. By doing so, you’ll make a decision that aligns with your personal circumstances and sets you on the path to successful property investment, regardless of the ever-changing market conditions.

       

       

      Contact Mr Investa today for a FREE 1-1 property consultation on +44 (0) 161-713-3693 alternatively email: info@mrinvesta.com

       

      Ryan Hughes

      Founder of Mr Investa

      Sky TV Property Pundit, As seen on Sky TV, BBC, M.E.N and Liverpool Echo.

      Mr Investa
      BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

      BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

      JMW Solicitors

      © Stephen Farrell Photography 

      © Tom Pitfield Photography

      Ryan Thomas, Lucy Meck and Catherine Tyldesley at BROOD Magazine Launch

      © Stephen Farrell Photography 

      © Stephen Farrell Photography 

      © Stephen Farrell Photography 

      Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

      A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

      Founded by Mancunians; best selling Author Lolo Stubbs, Photographer Tom Pitfield and Dadpreneur Rob Stubbs, BROOD Magazine has created a unique platform for working and entrepreneurial parents to be inspired and share stories of the ups and downs of juggling a career whilst bringing up a family. Now after 18 successful months online, with features including everyone from Helen Skelton, Liz & Kelvin Fletcher to Olympian Rebecca Adlington, BROOD will now be on the shelves of WHSmith stores throughout the U.K with GMB’s Charlotte Hawkins as their cover feature.

      After making such an impact since starting the magazine, it’s no surprise that BROOD has been listed as a finalist in the Innovator of the year category at this year’s I love MCR Awards.

      Catherine Tyldesley who was at the event gushed about her pride for her husband and fellow BROOD co-founders in an instagram post –
      QUOTE from Catherine Tyldesley Insta “@auntiecath17 BROOD KLAXON
      I can’t tell you how unbelievably proud I am of my husband @tompitfieldphotography and his business partners
      @broodmagazine. To say they’ve grafted to come this far is an understatement. Beyond passionate about creating a network of support for busy working/ entrepreneurial parents that are like us- juggling a brood! It’s not easy being a working parent. In fact there are days when one feels like giving up!
      But we don’t. We can’t. Nor would we wish to. This magazine has already helped so many working parents and the quick growth does not surprise me. If you’re in need of inspiration, motivation, business advice, incredible interviews with incredible parents, support,
      and relatability as a working parent- look no further. You can subscribe now @broodmagazine or – wonderfully- the magazine will be available in @whsmithofficial from OCT 11th!”

      Sarah Jayne Dunn, was also at the launch spoke of her pride of featuring in the magazine.
      • QUOTE FROM Sarah Jayne Dunn Insta – @sarahjaynedunn Gorgeous evening @menagerie_restaurant to celebrate the launch of @broodmagazine & Congratulations on your continued success and proud and privileged to be have featured in the mag

      • QUOTE FROM Editor, Author & Mum of 4, Lolo Stubbs –
      “Five years ago I opened my diary and wrote 10 goals in the back of it. One of those goals was to launch and become the editor of a magazine called BROOD.
      A magazine that would inspire, inform, entertain and comfort fellow parents who were busy chasing their dreams whilst juggling their brood!
      Fast forward to today, and myself & my fellow co-founders – Tom Pitfield & Rob Stubbs have made BROOD everything that it is today!
      It is my wish that BROOD is always there for you when you need a pick me up, some parent humour, something to motivate you to keep
      going on the days you feel like giving up, somewhere that reminds you that you are enough and makes you realise that you’re not alone – because you’re not!”

      Images © Stephen Farrell Photography & Tom Pitfield Photography

      Improve your Mood with your Food

      Improve your Mood with your Food

      Improve your Mood with your Food

      October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes.

      I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with…

      There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days are getting more and more. Thankfully, these include crisp, sunny days but so far, there’s been more rainy and dull days. This is the reason why I wanted to quickly discuss something that has been cropping up a lot in my clinic recently…Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

      SAD is a hormonal imbalance between melatonin and serotonin; due to the reduced amount of time we spend outside during the colder months. It affects approximately 2 million people just in the UK alone and is predominantly more common in women than men.

      As the days begin dark and draw to a close earlier and earlier, you may find yourself feeling a bit ‘meh’ more than usual. Here’s the sciencey bit – a small gland in the brain called the pineal gland, produces more of the hormone melatonin during the winter months, which regulates glandular function and makes us feel more sleepy. Serotonin, Melatonin’s counterpart, is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and is secreted during daylight exposure. Therefore, the less daylight, the less serotonin and the more out of balance the two become.

      Symptoms may include:

      • Low mood
      • Appetite increase/food cravings – when there is insufficient daylight available, the body will try and boost its serotonin levels by craving sugary, starchy carbohydrates and fatty foods
      • Low energy
      • Irritability
      • Difficulty concentrating
      • Low libido
      • Depression
      • PMS-type symptoms
      • Increased desire to sleep – sleepy during the day but unable to sleep at night
      • Increased feeling of ‘feeling useless’
      KATE DEVINE. IMAGE © TOM PITFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY

      I always recommend to my clients to try to get outside as much as possible; for a walk/exercise, enjoy your down time by sitting reading a book outside/drinking a mug of something warm, gardening, walking your dog/cat (that’s a thing, right?). It doesn’t have to be anything too overwhelming, but getting that exposure to natural daylight will help to keep a balance between the sleepy and happy hormones!

      Light therapy is another good way of balancing those hormones for those times when you can’t get outside. A light therapy box or lamp mimics outdoor light. It is composed of fluorescent lights on a metal reflective base with a plastic screen on top to diffuse the light and filter out harmful UV rays. All you have to do is sit in front of it, close enough so that your eyes and skin can absorb the light (follow the manufacturers instructions as they all differ slightly). The machine gives off a bright light that simulates outdoor sunshine, therefore boosting serotonin, melatonin and vitamin D, as well as other beneficial effects. You can find them at www.lumie.com or Amazon but make sure it has no less than 10,000 lux.

      Supplementation of Vitamin D (especially D3) is a must as well, for the same reason as above – lack of sunlight exposure on the skin. Vitamin D is responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone and maintaining teeth and muscle health. It can also help reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation. It is naturally present in only a few foods like the flesh of fatty fish and in smaller amounts in egg yolk and beef liver; but added to some foods like fortified cereals, orange juice, dairy & non-dairy milks.

      I would recommend to supplement during the months of October to March as these are the months we are likely to spend less time outdoors. The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin D supplementation for adults is between 800IU-1000IU per day and babies and children between 400IU-600IU per day, with the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for adults and children age 9 and over is 4000IU per day.

      Avoiding/reducing intake of certain foods and drinks can help alleviate SAD symptoms, such as:

      • Caffeine – coffee, black tea, fizzy drinks/energy drinks
      • Sugary and starchy carbohydrates – chocolate/sweets/processed foods
      • Alcohol – it lowers brain levels of serotonin (happy hormone) so reduce and limit

      Friendly foods to incorporate into your daily diet to help alleviate SAD symptoms would be:

      • Serotonin-boosting foods – poultry (chicken/turkey,) cottage cheese, eggs, spinach, soy, bananas
      • Omega 3 brain-boosting foods – oily fish (salmon/sardines), nuts, seeds, avocado
      • Fibre-rich foods – beans (canellini/kidney), lentils, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bright colour fruits and vegetables
      • B Vitamin foods – liver, poultry, seafood, dairy products (milk, cheese), leafy greens, eggs, legumes (beans/peas/lentils/chickpeas)
      written BY KATE DEVINE

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      CHRISTMAS DAY RECIPES – SIMON WOOD

      CHRISTMAS DAY RECIPES – SIMON WOOD

      The Turkey

      Ingredients

      • Carrots 
      • Celery 
      • Garlic
      • 4 Large Potato’s
      • 2 Large Onions
      • Clementine
      • Streaky Bacon
      • Sage, Rosemary & Thyme

      The Method

      • If you have stuffed the Turkey you will need to remember to Weigh it again and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per 500g/1lb). 20 minutes per pound
      • Cook your Bird from room temperature not straight from the fridge
      • Cover with Tinfoil
      • Preheat your oven to maximum and as soon as you put your turkey in turn it down to 180c, 350f, Gas 4. 
      • Baste your turkey regularly this will keep the meat succulent.
      • I Like to add Sage, Rosemary & Thyme and a halved clementine inside the cavity of my turkey
      • Always use the giblets in your gravy
      • Cover the breast of your bird with smoked streaky bacon and butter this will keep it from drying out.
      • I like to sit my Turkey on some roughly cut vegetables, just to keep it raised from the bottom of the roasting tin and allow the hot air to circulate and cook the bird evenly
      • Remove the tin foil for the last 50 minutes basting regularly still.
      Peppers & Spring Onions

        The Cranberry Sauce

        • Juice of 2 clementine’s
        • 400g cranberries
        • 200g light muscovado sugar
        • 100ml port

        The Method

        • Add all the ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a medium heat until sticky and delicious, store in sterilised jars in the fridge or give away as Christmas gifts!

        The Gravy – Ingredients

        • 1kg Chicken Thighs or Wings or a mixture of the two
        • Olive oil
        • 4 large carrots
        • 2 Sticks of Celery
        • 3/4 Bay leaves
        • 1 Sprig of Rosemary
        • 1 Teaspoon fresh Thyme
        • 1 Teaspoon fresh Sage
        • 3 White onions halved
        • 2 Maris piper potatoes quartered
        • 1 Tablespoon of your cranberry sauce
        • Celery Salt (1 teaspoon)
        • Ground Black Pepper
        • 3 Pints of Chicken Stock
        • 4 tablespoons cornflour

        The Gravy – Method

        • Set the Stock and cornflour Aside
        • Add the remaining ingredients into a roasting tin and cover with olive oil
        • Roast until golden and the meat is easy to pinch away from the bone, approximately 75 minutes at 180c, 350f, Gas 4.
        • Remove from the oven and shred the meat into the roasting tin and use a fork or a masher to crush all the vegetables
        • Place over a flame or on the hob
        • Add 4 table spoons of the cornflour and mix well cooking the flour out
        • Add in the stock slowly stirring well and crushing all the flavour out of the vegetables and the chicken.
        • Cook until thickened and dark brown in colour.
        • Check Seasoning and strain through a colander and then again through a sieve to get a refined finish to your sauce

        The Stuffing – Ingredients

        • 750g pork mince
        • 25g sage, chopped
        • 100g dried cranberries, roughly chopped
        • 75g Chestnuts, roughly chopped
        • 2 apples, grated
        • 2 onions, grated
        • Salt and Black Pepper

        The Stuffing – Method

        • In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients
        • You can use to stuff the neck of the turkey, or put in an ovenproof dish, cover and bake at gas 4, 180ºC, for 1 hour until golden.

        roast potatoes by Simon Wood

        Perfect Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

         

        Ingredients

        2kg Red Skin Potatoes

        2 Bulbs of Garlic (Halved)

        1 Bunch of Fresh Rosemary

        1 Bunch of Fresh Thyme

        500g Goose Fat

        Maldon Sea Salt

        Black Pepper

         

         

         

        Method

        Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5.

        Peel the potatoes, cutting any larger ones so they’re all the same size

        Wash the potatoes in cold water to get rid of any extra starch and place a large saucepan on to boil, season with a good amount of sea-salt.

        Add your goose fat into a large roasting tray, the biggest you have. This is to make sure there’s plenty of room for the potatoes and heat to circulate, heat for 10 minutes while your pan of water comes to the boil

         

        Now, add the potatoes to the water and parboil for 10 minutes, you want the outside soft and the inside with a little firmness remaining once ready drain in a colander and leave to steam dry for 5 minutes.

         

        After 3 minutes give the colander a shake to help fluff up the potatoes so they look ‘Snowy’ – this will help to help them to crisp up later on.

         

        Carefully remove your roasting tray with the hot fat from the oven and place on a suitable surface, add in half of your herbs and a bulb of your halved garlic and put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. After five minutes remove the herbs and garlic. You now have a nicely flavoured oil that will make your potatoes taste amazing! 

         

        If you leave the herbs in for the whole time it takes to roast your potatoes, they will burn and taste acrid! We will add in the rest of the herbs with 10 minutes to go to really lift the flavour!

         

        Tip the potatoes into your roasting tray and turn with tongs slowly coating them in the flavoured hot fat, take care not to break them before seasoning well with the sea salt and black pepper.

         

        Roast for 45 minutes, before turning each one to coat in more fat and ensure even colouring, now add in your remaining herbs and garlic and roast for a further 10-20 minutes depending on how much colour you want on them

         

        Once golden and crisp drain any excess oil on a little kitchen paper 

         

        As a chef I find Its always best to do a little test at this point and eat one just to check the seasoning, sometimes I must do this three or four times, just to be sure!

        Peppers & Spring Onions

        Pomegranate and Balsamic braised red cabbage

        • ½ Red Cabbage, Shredded
        • 75ml Balsamic vinegar…. The best you have!
        • 250ml Pomegranate Juice
        • 1 Pomegranate 
        • 1 Star Anise
        • Salt and Pepper
        • Olive Oil

        The Method

        • Shred the cabbage and add into a large pan with a little olive oil
        • On a medium Heat stir until coated and starting to soften
        • Add in 250ml Pomegranate juice and the star anise
        • Cook until softened 
        • Add in 75 ml Balsamic (Adjust to taste)
        • Cook down until golden and sticky
        • Sprinkle with Pomegranate Pearls and serve
          Simon Wood
          Written by

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          SALLY ROWE’S TOP MAKEUP CHRISTMAS PICKS

          SALLY ROWE’S TOP MAKEUP CHRISTMAS PICKS

          SALLY ROWE’S TOP MAKEUP CHRISTMAS PICKS

          Whilst we are amidst the countdown to Christmas Day and our  present lists are ever growing. We put ourselves under more pressure each year to buy for our nearest and dearest……and in my case, also the window cleaner, postman etc etc!! 

          Is Christmas time all about giving to others? 

          Well I believe it’s the perfect time to pop yourself on that Xmas gift list and treat yourself too…….you count too right! So spoil yourself. 

          There’s nothing like a little indulgence at this magical time of year. 

          Whether you want to splash out or be savvy, look no further as here, there is something for everyone 

          Here are my 5 top beauty must haves this season that will inspire you and have you feeling fabulous and a festive sensation.

          Skincare: Splurge

          Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream £47

          https://www.spacenk.com/uk/skincare/moisturisers/day-moisturiser/protini-polypeptide-cream-UK200021928.

          ____

          Skincare: Dupe

          e.l.f. Holy Hydration! Face Cream £12

          https://www.superdrug.com/skin/sun-care/face-sun-cream/elf-holy-hydration-face-cream-broad-spectrum-spf-30-50g/p/823819?gclsrc=aw.

          ___

          Foundation: Splurge

          Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Hollywood Filter £36

          https://www.charlottetilbury.com/uk/product/hollywood-flawless-filter-shade-5-5-tan?

          ___

          Foundation: Dupe

          e.l.f Halo Glow Liquid Filter £14

          Halo Glow Liquid Filter Complexion Booster

          https://elfcosmetics.co.uk/halo-glow-liquid-filter/82116.html

          ___

          Bronzer: Splurge

          Chanel Bronzing cream £43

          https://www.chanel.com/gb/makeup/p/185390/les-beiges-bronzing-cream-cream-gel-bronzer-for-a-healthy-sun-kissed-glow/?

          ___

          Bronzer: Dupe

           

          W7 Bronze Chic Bronzing Balm £5.95

          https://www.w7makeup.co.uk/products/bronze-chic-bronzing-balm

          ___

          Brow: Splurge

          Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz £25

          https://www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com/brow-wiz/brow-wiz.html

          ___

          Brow: Dupe

          NYX Micro Brow Pencil £8

          https://www.nyxcosmetics.co.uk/eyes/brows/micro-brow-pencil/NYX_181.html

          ___

          Highlighter: Splurge

          MAC soft & gentle mineralise skin finish £29

          Mineralize Skinfinish | MAC Cosmetics – Official Site

          ___

          Hightlighter: Dupe

          e.l.f  baked highlighter £5

          https://www.elfcosmetics.co.uk/

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          HOW TO CO-PARENT AT CHRISTMAS

          HOW TO CO-PARENT AT CHRISTMAS

          HOW TO CO-PARENT A HAPPY CHRISTMAS

          I love Christmas as much as my children do.  When I was younger I used to get so excited on Christmas Eve I used to give myself stomach ache and my mum would get cross with me and have to calm me down. Now I’m a parent myself I don’t get the Christmas Eve stomach-ache (now it’s usually the anxiety of how many presents there is left to wrap) but there’s an added layer of excitement to Christmas when you get to experience those feelings all over again with your own children.

          But what if your divorced or separated and have to share the holidays with your ex-partner? It can be a tricky one, Christmas is an emotional time for many of us and navigating it so everyone’s happy can be a juggle.

          In my research for this piece, I spoke to parents whose experiences were positive and negative.

           Suzanne told me she finds Christmas a depressing and lonely time as she’s completely alienated at Christmas. ‘I’m not the residential parent of my girls so I find Christmas awful as my girls prefer to be with their dad. I find it difficult as we don’t share the holidays. Fortunately, I have a lovely supportive boyfriend who I will be spending it with and pray that one day that things will get better’

          Laura Naser, family lawyer and author of ‘The family lawyers guide to separation and divorce – How to get what you both want’ advises planning early and considering the lone parent in your discussions Although the focus is on the children, and from a legal perspective the decisions about arrangements for children are always based on ‘what is in the child’s best interests’, I commonly see solo parents having concerns about the Christmas period in particular because if it means the children are with their other parent, it often also results in that parent spending time alone. Depending on when the handover is between the parents, it is frequently an issue for the other parent to not have enough time to travel anywhere to be with family or friends because they need to stay local to do a handover, meaning they not only spend Christmas without their child, but they may also spend it without their extended family or friends.

          Alice on the other hand has a great relationship with her ex and even though they both now have new partners they still spend Christmas morning together for the sake of their son Jesse and split the rest of the day. “We make it work even though we have different partners, they have to accept this is how Christmas is for us. They can join in or do their own thing, but this has worked well for us for 11 years, so we stick to it”

          I separated from my husband some years back and while I dreaded the first Christmas we weren’t a full family unit it’s always been something that’s turned out happily. We are lucky that we get on as friends well, (arguably better than we ever did as husband and wife) so my situation is unique in that we are still close enough that we do things together as a family and my ex-husband  still likes to spend Christmas day with me, my children and my extended family. We did it once successfully and it sort of set a precedent for all future Christmas’s. I feel torn somewhat in that my parents still traditionally host Christmas dinner (I’m a good cook but my Christmas dinner doesn’t come close to my mum and dads, and they aren’t ready to pass the baton on yet thank goodness) I can’t invite my ex-husband without them offering first but care about him enough that I won’t leave him alone either. The children understandably just want everyone together and we always put them at the forefront of our decisions. We split the rest of the time between us equally and alternate bigger days like Boxing Day and New Year etc.

          If you don’t get on with your ex-partner communication is key in any decisions about co-parenting but especially for the holiday season. Kids don’t want the burden of choice around who to spend it with as they will feel guilty about whichever parent is left alone so its preferable if you can sit down amicably and do it together as early as you can. Make sure to stay as busy as possible if you are the lone parent to distract yourself from overthinking about what you are missing out on. Have a photo of the children in front of you while you discuss it together can serve as a visual aid in making them the priority in your decision making. Keep going back to the same question, what would make the children the happiest? and you will be at a great starting point for negotiation.

          For the parent who won’t be able to be there for wake up and present opening arrange a separate time for opening gifts, not forgetting grandparents and extended family as well who may still want to see them.

          Consider a fake Christmas where you do all the festivities again on a different day meaning no one is left out and the children benefit from two separate days of celebrations.

          If you do feel completely alone consider reaching out to like-minded individuals if not friends in a similar situation, then online apps such a Frolo a single parent community where you can meet up and make friends with local people in your area.

          Laura Naser says the most common arrangement for Christmas is to alternate each year and to remember that whatever you argue for this year you will experience the flip side the following year, so try to visualise what both sides of the schedule would look like for you.

          Laura says it’s a rare few in my situation that have a joint Christmas and gifting joint presents but if you can manage it, it’s bound to be something that your children will benefit from.

          Natalie Ferrigno is a writer, health coach and single parent of two boys.

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          Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

          Sarie Taylor: Overwhelm

          Overwhelm – anxiety, stress & worry

          Feeling overwhelmed? Our resident Psychotherapist, Sarie Taylor gives us some tips to reduce our stress and anxiety when juggling work and family life…

          Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

          There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

          Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

          Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

          I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

          “I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

          “I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

          “I feel selfish but I just need a break”

          We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.

          The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

          ‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

          “I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

          “I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

          I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

          How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

          *Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

          *Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

          *Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

          *We are enough!

          *Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

          *Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

          – will it all get too much to handle? (Not sure how you want to start it or how you plan to do the title)

          Let’s start by looking at what we even mean by overwhelm? Usually we are talking about when we feel like we have too much on our plate! Too much to do, or to think about, and we often get to a place where we feel like one more thing will happen and it will tip us over the edge!

          There is often an innocent misunderstanding about overwhelm in that we believe it stems from the challenges we face, the external things in our lives that cause us to get overwhelmed, our work, our family and so on. I really get it, and believed this wholeheartedly myself for many years until I was able to understand more and see things differently. Bare with me whilst I explain!

          Life does throw so many challenges our way, as well as opportunities, and at times it can feel never ending as though we are being faced with one thing after the other, and we have no control! Now there is some truth in this in that the majority of things day to day are actually very much out of our control. The issue comes when we find discomfort in what we can’t control, and so we try to control the uncontrollable using the gift of thought, our minds, queue the worry!

          Lets just say it was the external stuff that caused the overwhelm directly. We would all have the same levels of overwhelm and stress about the same things and yet we don’t. Something I find stressful may be a breeze for you, and then something you really fear may be an everyday easy occurrence fo me? It’s our response to the challenges we face, our perspective and our thinking about what is happening that creates the overwhelm. Overwhelm comes from the inside out, not outside in!

          I would actually go a far to say that the overwhelm is caused 99.9% of the time from the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves, often habitually without even realising, we just get so good at it. Let’s take guilt as an example, parental guilt is talked about a lot. Our feelings always come from our thinking and this includes guilt. Feeling guilty as a parent often involves feeling that you are struggling to be all things to all people and somehow not quite hitting the mark (your expectations). This is not a reflection of your ability as a parent, it does not correlate with whether you are enough, doing a good enough job or getting it ‘right’. It is simply an indication of where your thinking is at…

          “I feel bad I haven’t spent much time with me kids”

          “I am behind at work because my child has been unwell”

          “I feel selfish but I just need a break”

          We could go on, and I am sure we could all add hundreds if not thousands of comments and thoughts to this! All of these thoughts create feelings of not quite being enough and then naturally cause us to feel overwhelmed. What if you could change the goal posts yourself? What if you could lower your expectations? Even with all the challenges we face as parents, we can still change the pressure and expectation we put on ourselves. ‘Yes but’ I hear you say! Well you can come up with all the reasons as to why you cant reduce the pressure or expectations, but ultimately if you don’t, your body will slow you down anyway, through feeling burnt out, overwhelmed, catching every cough and cold you come into contact with amongst many other things. It’s our bodies job to slow us down when we don’t take notice. We are humans not robots.  

          The other aspect to overwhelm, that we don’t always notice, is that we are not often concerned with that present moment, (as we are actually managing and more capable than we give ourselves credit for), but again we are more in our head about what happens next! Let me give you some examples.

          ‘My child is ill and I feel overwhelmed’ – usually translates to, what if they get worse, what if I am off work for another day, how will I manage (future what ifs)

          “I just don’t get a minute to myself” – usually translates to if I carry online this what will happen, when does it end? (Future what ifs)

          “I keep getting terrible headaches” – usually translates to what is wrong with me, is this something serious, how will I manage if it is, who will take care of my children? (Future what ifs)

          I would love you to reflect on how much of your suffering is really about the here and now, or if it is in actual fact more about the what ifs, the stories we create trying to predict the future and believe we are in control!

          How can you start to reduce your overwhelm starting right NOW? Even just picking one will make a difference!

          *Treat yourself with compassion NOT criticism

          *Adjust your expectations, lower that pressure

          *Remember we are only ever doing the best we can given our thinking at the time

          *We are enough!

          *Ask yourself…would you treat your closest friend or family in the same way you treat or talk to yourself?

          *Ask yourself…right in this very second am I OK?

           KEEP UP TO DATE WITH BROOD:

          * indicates required
          Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Brood Magazine:
          You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.
          We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

          Related Articles

          LIFE WITH THE BYES: JAMES AND VICTORIA BYE

          LIFE WITH THE BYES: JAMES AND VICTORIA BYE

          “-WE JUST WANT THEM TO KNOW THAT THEY CAN BE ANYTHING THEY WANT TO BE, BUT THEY HAVE TO WORK HARD FOR IT.”

          Parents of three, (soon to be four) Actor James, and Blogger Victoria Bye, have had a whirlwind few years, as their children came along at the same time as their careers started to soar. Having relocated from London to Cheshire just before they had their first child – Edward, James then got the part as Martin Fowler in one Britain’s best loved soaps – Eastenders. Consequently they made the decision to move back down south, so that James wouldn’t be separated from his family for the majority of the week. The couple have since welcomed another two boys to their brood over the years, and James took part in last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, and they are looking forward to welcoming their forth boy into their hectic lives this summer. We had the pleasure of chatting to the lovely couple, about how their lives have changed over the last few years, how they juggle everything and their ambitions for the future.  

          James & Victoria Bye and their family

          What did your careers and life look like before you had children?

           Victoria – “Well career wise James was a struggling Actor, we lived in London, but we used to spend a lot time heading to Edinburgh doing the festivals, as he did a lot of theatre. And in terms of our lifestyle it was soo different from what life is like now! [They laugh] We would spend our weekends having picnics in the park, leisurely drinking a bottle of wine. We used to spend a lot of time actually in London, enjoying the city and spending time in pubs and restaurants, but obviously that all changes when children come along!”

           

          When did it all change both in terms of your career and becoming a family?

          Victoria -”So Edward was only 6 months old when James got the part in Eastenders, we had actually moved up north to Cheshire at the time and we were very happy there. James had still been auditioning, and had a few small parts alongside his regular job, but obviously Eastender was a complete game changer!”

           James – “Yes, I still remember my agent calling me, he did a bit of a Simon Cowell, ‘It’s not good news, it’s bloody great news!’” [He laughs]

           Victoria – “It was amazing, but we knew James couldn’t commute to work and obviously with Edward being so young we didn’t want to be apart, so we moved back down south, not to the centre of London this time though, we decided on Buckinghamshire as we thought that would be better for us now we were a family.”

           What have you found to be the biggest challenge about juggling family life, alongside your career so far?

           James – “I think for any soap stars, who are in people’s living rooms most nights of the week you have those moments when you’re out and about and people can either say hi because they think they know you; or they watch the show, and instantly recognise you, and they will come over, and I think that can be a bit overwhelming for the kids at times. It’s part of my job and I’m used to it, and it’s fine, but for the kids it can be hard when people they don’t know are asking for selfies or for you to sign something. One thing that helps that though is that they haven’t known any difference as they have only ever known me on the show.”

           Victoria – “We just try and make sure everything is normal at home though, we don’t want them to be affected by anything, we just want them to enjoy all the ‘normal’ everyday things in life such as going to the park and shops. Them being grounded is really important to us.”

           James – “One of the biggest struggles for any working parent is time away from your kids. Sometimes at Eastenders we do really long days and so I always make sure to hop on FaceTime in between scenes. With Strictly, I knew it was going to be tough schedule wise, but I don’t think I realised how hard it was going to be! I missed the kids so much! Family means everything to me and I’m always excited to get home.”

           Victoria – “You always try to get back for story time don’t you? Because James does much better voices than I do when reading them a story!” [she laughs]

           Did you manage to find any balance at all then whilst James was on Strictly as well as filming Eastenders?

          Victoria – “It was tough at times, there were some really long days so there was lot’s of solo parenting by me which wasn’t easy.. We relied quite heavily on family to help, especially as I was going to the show at weekends to support James too. Our weekends became quite crazy for a while.

          We tried to keep certain things as normal as possible and one of the great things to come out of it was showing the boys that dancing is for boys too! They loved watching their Daddy!”

          James – “It was a great experience but we’re glad to be back to normal now.”

          Victoria – “Yeah, we had a family holiday in January that was very much needed and it was lovely just to spend lots of quality time together after such a crazy year!”

          Cath Tyldesley talks BROOD Live Manchester

          What are your dreams for both your careers and family life, going forward?

          James – “I think for me moving forward it’s all about consistency and longevity in the workplace. We want the kids to understand a good work ethic that you do have to work hard, no one is going to give it to you on a plate. And if you do work hard you reap the rewards. But above all else, if youve a supportive family around you. Youve got everything you’ll ever need..”

          Victoria -”Yes, we just want them to know that they can be anything they want to be but they have to work for it. That’s something they can see from James’ career path and hopefully his career will continue to flourish. Who knows it is an unpredictable industry to be in but we’re hoping it will be bright and as a family we have a new baby coming along this summer and I just want us to continue being there for each other and continuing to support each other, which as james said, is what it’s all about really. They are your ‘why’, the reason you go to work. We’re just trying to build a lovely life together. So we try to make time for special family times, whether that’s a walk, or a movie day or just making time to all sit down together for dinner, Just spending time together away from work, homework, anything like that is really important to us.

          And personally for me career wise we’ve got our blog, Life with the Byes, which has been growing and I love doing that as I get to write which has always been a passion of mine. And I’m hoping going forward I can continue to write and see where that takes us!”

          James – “It’s exciting times for you, you’re on your way up! I hope I can keep up with you!”

          Victoria – “ You’re not doing too badly twinkle toes” (they both laugh)

          What tips would you give to other parents who are juggling busy career schedules alongside bringing up their family?

          James – “I think what really helps us during really busy times is we are very fortunate that we have a really amazing group of friends, and we all help each other out. I think you have to find the courage to reach out and ask for help, and once you start doing that, you can all work together. So, I definitely think that’s a really important tip – don’t be afraid to ask for help – especially reach out to those closest to you.

          Victoria – “Yes, totally. And for me in terms of the family side of things, when you do get those moments together, to remember to put your work down, and be present. At the end of the day, work is just a job, it’s replaceable, family isn’t.”

          Cath Tyldesley talks BROOD Live Manchester
          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

            The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

          A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

          SALLY LINDSAY: CHILDCARE CAN BE SEEN AS A ‘DIRTY WORD’, BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT

          SALLY LINDSAY: CHILDCARE CAN BE SEEN AS A ‘DIRTY WORD’, BUT THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT

          Interview With Sally Lindsay

          by Tom Pitfield & Lolo Stubbs

          Sally Lindsay is one of Britain’s best loved actors and presenters, best known for her roles as Shelley Unwin in ITV’S Coronation Street, Lisa Johnson in Sky One’s comedy series Mount Pleasant, and as Kath Agnew in the BBC sitcom Still Open All Hours. As well as Sally’s impressive on screen career, she is also co-founder of the award winning production company – Saffron Cherry – and is responsible for creating and writing a number of hit shows such as Scott and Bailey and Madame Blanc Mysteries. Alongside her accomplished career, Sally is also a loving and dedicated mum of 4; Step Mum to her two step children – Kristabel and Curtis, and Mum to her twin boys – Victor and Louie, aged 12. We were lucky enough to chat to Sally, and we couldn’t wait to find out all about her journey, how she managed to juggle family life alongside such a successful career and what she has learnt along the way!  

          Sally Lindsay front cover of Brood Magazine

          You’ve had and still have such a successful career, how have you managed to juggle that alongside being a mum?

          “Well, I’ve never not had kids really, ever since meeting my partner, Steve; he already had two children when we got together – my step children Kristabel and Curtis – they were 7 and 9 when I first met them, they are now 30 and 29 – which is crazy! And our boys, the twins, Victor and Louie, are 12 years old. 

          When I physically had my babies, I couldn’t really work whilst I was pregnant – as no-one really wants to cast pregnant people! So, I didn’t really work for a while, but I did sign for Mount Pleasant when I was pregnant though. They were really good, and waited for me throughout my pregnancy, before they started filming, but then they couldn’t wait any longer, so I physically went back to work when the boys were just four and a half months old. It was very, very hard filming again after having the boys, because I was just exhausted! I didn’t have a night nanny or anything, so it was really tough – in fact the first two years were really tough. I did other things as well as Mount Pleasant, but that was my main job. Although it was hard, it was a very supportive environment and I was allowed to have the twins on set if I wanted to, although that didn’t really work for me. I tried it for the first couple of days and the nanny came along too, but it just devastated me. I just couldn’t focus on my work. I already felt like I had brain fog, because I was so tired, but having them there made it so much harder for me to concentrate, and I had a lead role, so it just didn’t work. I think people have to find their own path and their own way of doing things and for me I have to separate work and kids. I know other actors that can have their children on set and that works for them, but the best piece of advice I would give anyone is that if it doesn’t work for you it’s fine. You have to find what works for you.

          Having said that, I’ve just been over to Malta to film Madame Blanc, and the kids came out whilst I was over there. It was lovely, but it was still hard, as even though they’re older, when they arrived it overlapped for four days of my filming, so there were a few days where they were hanging around waiting for me to finish work, and I was very aware of that.” 

          What did you find was the best way to help you separate work and the kids?

          “Childcare is obviously a massive aid to help you to separate the two, and I think sometimes childcare can be seen as a ‘dirty word’, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it! We have Lisa; who has been with me since the boys were 9 days old. I was down in London on my own after the boys were born and I needed help, that was when I was introduced to the concept of a doula and they are known as ‘Mother’s Helpers’. At the time I didn’t want someone to look after the children. I wanted someone to help me –  you know around the house etc, and that’s what Lisa did and she is still with me to this day. So, Lisa is like a second mum to the kids, so I can relax knowing they are with someone both they and I are comfortable with. For example last week I had a huge event in town, and then a photoshoot early the next day, and Steve had a recording, so she stayed overnight with the boys, and although it’s very unusual that will happen, (as we normally time everything so that at least one of us is there), it’s very reassuring to have that person that can just take over when things like that do happen. When we’re up in Manchester, it’s my mum that steps in, but when we’re in London it’s Lisa. I think it’s trying to get over the fact that having help with childcare is perfectly ok, or that you’re not a great parent if you hire a nanny. It’s just b*ll*cks, because you need that support!  I’ve got mates with different jobs, who only get to see their kids on Saturday and Sunday morning and that’s it, whereas I don’t have that. I have periods of intense filming, where I’m away and I might only get a chance to fly back for the odd weekend, but then when filming is done, I have lots of time at home with the boys and I can be very present. Then, whilst the boys are at school, I will go into my office and write, and run our production company, but as soon as they are home from school, I’m there for them – although when they get to 12, they start ignoring you anyway, [she laughs] but if they want me I’m there. And that’s how I juggle it.” 

          Looking back, has there been a time you have missed out on something career wise because you were a parent?

          “Well, I created Scott and Bailey, and it got commissioned the same week that Mount Pleasant got commissioned, which was also the same week that I found out I was pregnant! But because they could wait to start filming for Scott and Bailey, it had to go ahead and so I was taken off the job. Whereas with Mount Pleasant they waited to start filming and they were adamant they wanted me as their lead.  

          We’ve also a got a new drama coming up with our production company, and that’s really exciting, but because I already film 10 weeks of the year in Malta for Madame Blanc, I cannot commit to this new job, because it would just mean that I would be away to much – and that is definitely that makes a difference in your career when you become a parent, because I simply cannot be away for that long. So whenever any jobs come in I have to find out where it’s going to be filmed, and for how long, before I can consider it.

          But a job came in this last week that meant I would be away for November for 5 weeks, but I could manage that, but I do have to really question how long I’m going to be away each time a job comes up. Steve is extremely supportive of my career, in fact he does all the music on our productions, so it’s in his interest to develop the company too. But we’re at the start of a lot of growth with the production company and I’ve got to start making some decisions and deciding which of the shows I’m going to be in. That is purely down to me being a mum – both from a childcare point of view, and of course, me just not wanting be away that long from my boys. I don’t want to miss out on them growing up, I mean they’ll be adults before I know it!”

          A lot of people talk about feeling guilty as a working parent; is that something you have dealt with and if so how have you learned to deal with that?

          “When I look back, yes I have worked a lot, but most of the time I think we have gotten the balance right, because on the whole it’s myself and Steve that have brought our children up and I remember everything. We have had so many wonderful times together as a family. I think that’s the thing especially in our types of careers, yes, you do work a lot at times, but you also get chunks of time off. I found that the key really is to use those times wisely, so in a way it’s quality, not so much about quantity. I know everything about my children and I feel very close to them – even now as they approach the teenage years, and yes, of course they missed me whilst I was away, but they are very independent because of it as well and I think that’s a good thing. 

          I think when they were babies it was a bit easier for them when I was filming, because they weren’t aware of where I was going or what it meant. The second year I did Mount Pleasant was really hard though, because they were 18 months old, and every time I left for work they would cry and scream for me at the window, and I used to cry all the way to work. I found it really difficult, then in the end Steve videoed them for me, to show me what they were like a minute I had left, and they were just crawling around playing with their toys or having their milk and they were absolutely fine. I remember thinking that’s just survival instincts from a child. They are programmed to cry if they see their Mum, or their caregiver leave. People used to say, ‘Oh, you must feel so guilty!’ and I’d say

          Guilty for what? Providing my family with a future? Of course I miss them and that’s hard, but no I don’t feel guilty because I’ve got nothing to feel guilty for!’

          Sally Lindsay and her family

          Sally Lindsay and her family, for BROOD Magazine ©

          Brood Live

          Do you have any routines or staples that you do as a family to help to make sure you have that quality family time together?

          “We’re really quite conscious when I’m at home about eating together, we always sit down and eat together every single night. If we’re at home, we make sure we all sit round that table! We might only have 20 minutes while they’re eating, but we get to talk to them about their day etc. And we also make sure we go out to eat somewhere every week, as that means we’ve got their attention for at least an hour and a half, and we can properly chat. We also make a big deal of Sundays – I’ll cook and their dad will take them to football in the morning with their Grandad, and then they come back and then we all eat together, so Sunday’s are really important for us. That’s something we’ve always done from day one and I find that really important, and even when I’m away the three of them will eat together and send me pictures. We also like to pick a box set series to watch together. And another thing we do like to do is walk the dog together at weekends, because myself or Steve will just do it during the week, but we all go together at weekends and it’s during that walking time that they ask the most random questions, and there are no phones to distract them, or us so that’s always nice. I always want my boys to be able to talk to us, no matter what they’ve done, or how bad it is, we always want them to know that they can tell us. It’s a funny period as a parent at the minute, as they are growing up there are new things every week that I have to learn to let go of, and as much as they are learning to manage things for themselves, it’s important for them to know that we’re still there whenever they need us.” 

          What benefits do you think your children have gained from watching their parents have such successful careers?

          “I think that because of our busy lives and the fact they have always been around that, and seen us working, it has given them a level-headedness and independence that I don’t think they would have had if we’d have always been around – hovering over them. I can see that more and more as they are getting older. Don’t get me wrong we’ve done plenty of taxiing for them and taking them to various after school clubs etc, [she laughs] but essentially the boys had to fit into our lives when they came along.”  

          What is the one major tip that you would give any other parents who are juggling a career and bringing up their brood?

          “Diary syncing is so important if you’re both busy parents. That’s what we do. We have a Friday diary check, where we sit down and forensically go through our diaries for the next week. And it’s surprising because even though we’ve been through it a million times, there is always something that we’ve forgotten. I think if we didn’t do that every week our entire lives would fall apart! [She laughs]”

          Brood Magazine
          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

            The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

          A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

          CATH TYLDESLEY TALKS BROOD LIVE MANCHESTER WITH THE BEAUTIFUL BABY IRIS

          CATH TYLDESLEY TALKS BROOD LIVE MANCHESTER WITH THE BEAUTIFUL BABY IRIS

          Cath Tyldesley discusses BROOD with Sarie Taylor

          CATH TYLDESLEY TALKS BROOD LIVE MANCHESTER WITH THE BEAUTIFUL BABY IRIS

          Actress, Writer, Producer, BROOD Food Columnist, mum of two and Guest Speaker Cath Tyldesley talks about our upcoming event BROOD Live

          Brood Magazine’s 1st Live Event will be hosted by legendary Hits Radio presenter and Dad of 2 Mike Toolan, with special guest speakers including Masterchef Winner, Award Winning Owner of Wood Restaurants and Dad of Four, Simon Wood; Dragons Den Entrepreneur, Social Media Mogul and Dad of Two, Aaron Branch; Celebrity Chocolatier, Steph’s Packed Lunch Guest Presenter and Dad of One, Oli Dunn; Founder of Worldwide Wellbeing and Physiotherapist and Mum of two Sarie Taylor: Ex Olympian, Life Coach, Motivational Speaker and Mum of 3 Michelle Griffith Robinson: Entrepreneur, Menagerie Founder and Mum of 2, Karina Javid; Philanthropist and many more to be announced soon…

          Includes: Breakfast & Two Course Lunch

          • Gain valuable business knowledge
          • Hear motivational stories from our VIP guest speakers
          • Enhance your social media skills
          • Grow your confidence
          • Learn how to improve your work-life balance
          • Networking with fellow parents in business
          • BROOD Live Workbook
          • Goody Bag
          • Refreshments, Breakfast & Two Course Lunch

          Tickets are limited for this fun and innovative event, so book your tickets now. Individual tickets or tables of 8 or 10 are available.

          Click here to book your tickets

          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

            The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

          A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

          IS GUILT A GIVEN WHEN YOU ARE A WORKING PARENT?

          IS GUILT A GIVEN WHEN YOU ARE A WORKING PARENT?

          Is guilt a given when you are a working parent? 

           

          I talk to so many parents about trying to manage the ever changing and ever growing guilt around trying to be all things to all people. It can often be a difficult and challenging juggle when you have a job to do, the house needs sorting and your children need taking care of 24/7. This doesn’t even include contemplating what your individual needs are, and that its important to have time and space for yourselves, whether that be to rest and reset or to spend time socialising and having fun with friends. 

           

          It may feel familiar, as so many of us do this, that you put yourself at the bottom of that list, and then may actually find yourself occasionally resenting your life, wishing you could find more hours in a day, and wondering how other people and families seem to manage and have it all! Now when we do make the time and effort to put ourselves first occasionally, this is where it can lead to feeling guilty, as there is always something else we ‘could’ or ‘should’ be doing. I don’t think I have met a parent yet who doesn’t find themselves trying to manage everything as best they can and yet still feel guilty in and amongst everything else, its almost like we can’t win. 

           

          A number of years ago I was able to understand guilt and see it for what it really is, and I want to share that with you now as it was a great relief for me. Guilt is a feeling just like any other, and feelings always come from our thinking, not our external circumstances, but our thoughts about our external circumstances. We can often be tricked into thinking that we feel guilt because its an indicator that we need to do better, that we are not enough, and we need to make some changes or improvements. However, guilt comes from our thoughts about ourselves and our situation, so the feelings of guilt come from thoughts such as, I need to do more, I should be spending more time with my kids, I am not on top of my work and so on. 

           

          When I started to really see that my feelings of guilt came from the thoughts I had about myself, I started to see guilt as a wonderful alarm and indicator for me to actually lower my expectations of myself, relieve the pressure and be much more patient and compassionate with myself! It is simply and indicator that our thoughts have gone off in an unhelpful direction. When we see thoughts for what they are, thoughts and not facts, we can much more easily let them come and go, creating much more space for thoughts around how amazing we are at managing the juggle even when we lose sight of that. If you can do one thing for yourself today, remember you are only ever doing your best and that is more than good enough! 

           

          Brood Live Speakers
          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

          WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO INVEST IN PROPERTY

            The decision to invest in the buy-to-let property market is not one to be taken lightly. It's a significant financial commitment that requires careful consideration, and there is often debate about whether current market conditions should dictate this choice....

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          BROOD Launch Party at Menagerie Restaurant Manchester with a host of GUESTS AND Celebrities

          Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ryan Thomas, Cath Tyldesley and Sarah Jayne Dunn join the party of working parents to celebrate the launch of BROOD Magazine.

          A host of guests from the media and business world came together at Manchester’s landmark party venue Menagerie to celebrate the launch of the innovative BROOD Magazine’s first printed edition sponsored by JMW Solicitors.

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          Improve your Mood with your Food

          October, the month of spookiness and seasonal changes. I can’t tell you how many time I’ve discussed the weather with clients over the past month. A strange sentence to begin with, I know, but bear with… There’s been a definite shift in temperature and autumnal days…

          TASTY GARLIC AND HERB SALMON PASTA BY SIMON WOOD

          TASTY GARLIC AND HERB SALMON PASTA BY SIMON WOOD

          Simon Wood Brood Live

          Looking for a quick, low-budget, yet delicious dish to cook for the family this weekend? Try this tasty Garlic and Herb Salmon Pasta by Master chef winner and Award-winning Wood Restaurants owner – Simon Wood.

          Garlic and Herb Salmon Pasta

          Ingredients (Serves 4)

          • 1/2 Pack of Spaghetti or Tagliatelle
          • 1 Tub of garlic & herb soft cheese 
          • 1 Tin of Salmon

          Optional Items are:

          • Dill and Parmesan Cheese, but they are not essential,

          Method

          1) Place a pan of salted water on to boil, once boiling add your spaghetti and cook for 11 minutes

          2) Open your Salmon

          3) In another saucepan, on a low heat, gently warm your soft cheese, add 4 tablespoons of pasta water and if you have some, black pepper.

          4) Carefully drain the pasta and add it into the soft cheese, add the salmon, and stir, before serving.

          Garlic and herb salmon pasta
          WoodKraft Cheltenham
          Simon Wood
          Written by

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          CONFIDENCE

          CONFIDENCE

          CONFIDENCE

          Confidence is a preference, as Damon Albon (Blur) once stated.

          If confidence was indeed something we could choose, would we choose it?

          I’m not sure that everyone would drink the magic potion even if it was that easy, as I think confidence can be associated or frankly confused with arrogance, it’s ugly second cousin.

          In my opinion you can be confident but not arrogant, you can be proud but not a “show off” you can have self belief and not a “big ego”, but the key ultimately is to be yourself.

          Confidence is a combination of your energy, passion and self belief.
          Fear is the one to watch out for, it can tear down your confidence, it’s down to you as to how deal with fear.

          Confidence is like magic, the secret ingredient, the wind in your sails, the powder beneath the snowboard or in my case the electric propelling the OneWheel forwards. No momentum without confidence.

          What is it… Self-belief?
          An affirming validation of our own worth.
          If we all kept in mind everything we had achieved in our life so far we’d be oozing confidence daily and propelling forwards at an incredible rate. But we forget and somehow we need external validation to help remind ourselves of our strengths to build our confidence.

          Oliver Dunn
          Oliver Dunn for BROOD MAGAZINE © 

          Clearly it fades, confidence needs nurture.
          I think it’s important to remember this and respect it. It’s not like some qualification or trophy you can win and that’s it for life, you have to keep earning it, keep nurturing it. Surround yourself with people who fill your cup, who fuel your confidence and remind you of your worth.

          We must all relate to a lack of self confidence at some point on our lives, perhaps from our childhood, school days, the feeling of not being enough or not being good enough at something which caused a lack of self belief and low confidence.

          I’ve battled with that my whole life, but it’s silly really isn’t it, I mean we can’t be good at everything, okay so maybe some people are, but good for them, be inspired by that, not discouraged, bitter or disappointed by it, just be YOU. That’s all you can do. Be proud of the things you are good at and grateful for the things you enjoy. Stop comparing, stop judging yourself.

          Fear kills confidence, but what is fear? Fake events appearing real?
          Or a worry about other people’s opinions/ judgement?*
          A worry that you’re not good enough?
          Well fuck that, all of it, if something brings you joy, do it, keep doing it, that way you will continually get better at it, it’s a fact.
          Then comes self belief, the perfect weapon to combat the fear, that’s what I’m prescribing here. I’ll say that again, if something brings you joy, do it and keep doing it!

          *It’s important to recognise here that it’s not other people’s judgement that is the problem, it’s your opinion of other people’s judgment, which quite simply might not even be correct, this might simply be something we conjured ourselves in our little worried minds.

          Remember “worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.“ (Baz Luhrmann Wear Sunscreen/ Class Of ‘99/ from original speech by Mary Schmich.

          Repetition equals confidence just like practice makes perfect. Experience will bring you a strong sense of self belief which will naturally give you confidence.

          Fashion.

          I simply couldn’t write about confidence and not talk about fashion.
          Going back to my school days I remember my confidence being higher when I had a new coat or pair of shoes, as I write this images of said coats flash into my mind along with the smell of a brand new pair of Kickers. Nostalgia.
          That new leather smell, the smell of confidence, like a fresh new haircut.
          What you wear speaks before you do. I am very mindful about what I wear and the priority is walking tall.

          I always advise Kim “dress for you, not for anyone else, also dress for you and not for a place or environment where the expectation is that you either dress down or dress up, just dress for you” – to a certain extent of course.

          I try my best to take my own advise and dress for me, to wear what inspires me, you never know who you’re going to see and potentially make an impression on, be memorable, wear what lights you up inside and makes you shine.

          Inspiration is exactly how I shop for clothes, Kim always inspires me to try new styles I perhaps hadn’t considered. I might also be inspired by a place, a personality, an artist or a piece of music which has made me feel a certain way and inspired a vibe (it just flows, it’s cool, laid back and without judgement) that I wanted to express.
          I love the LA vibe and I love to see what people wear there, it helps me feel connected to the energy of the place, so whether its the tie die Pe