How Are YOU Celebrating this Mother’s Day?

This year marks the 6th Mother’s Day since my mother died. It’s always a bit of a funny time for me. I tend to try and focus on all the memories. What she was like.

How she LOVED asparagus. How she loved lashings of cream on her desserts, especially if they involved passion fruit. How she loved her garden and playing tennis on a Tuesday.

But there’s always a bit of sadness that creeps in around the sides.

This year it’s worse than normal. Which is understandable I guess since it’s also my first Mother’s Day where I have any claims on getting flowers OR breakfast in bed*.

I just really wish she was still around. So many questions. And my Mum just adored babies (she had 5 of her own). Whenever there was a baby anywhere near, she’d be the first to volunteer for cuddles and the last to hand them back to their mothers.

There’s no doubt in my mind that she would have been a champion grandmother. I can just imagine how ‘in her element’ she’d be with 4 special grandchildren and 2 more on the way (my sister is expecting in August!).

And the Love Is Free

3D cover

If you’re new to Stonesoup you might be surprised to learn that ‘5 Ingredients 10 Minutes‘ isn’t my first print book. I actually self-published a collection of my Mum’s recipes back in 2009.

The book is called ‘And the Love is Free and I’m so glad I wrote it. I just love having my Mum’s recipes and stories all in the one place.

There are only a limited number left. So why don’t you order a copy of my first print book today?

To make sure you don’t miss out go to:

GF tuna dish-2

Super Quick Tuna ‘Dish’

Adapted from ‘And the Love Is Free‘.

Growing up, tuna ‘dish’, as we called it, was easily my favourite meal. You may know it as tuna bake or tuna mornay.

But whatever it’s called, it’s still the thing that comes to mind when I need something super comforting. The original version is made with pasta instead of beans and bechamel sauce instead of the ricotta. This simplified version has the advantages of being much quicker and easier AND being gluten-free without losing any of its comforting goodness.

Enough for 6-8
1 large can tuna in brine (425g / 15oz), NOT drained
500g (l1b) full fat ricotta
250g grated melting cheese, I used emmental but see below for other options
3 cans white beans, (400g / 14oz each), drained
2-3 handfuls almond meal, optional

1. Preheat oven to 180C (350F).

2. Mash tuna with a fork until combined with the brine. Stir in the ricotta.

3. Place a thin layer of tuna & ricotta mixture in the base of a medium ovenproof dish. Scatter over half the beans and a little cheese. Top with more tuna mixture, then the rest of the beans. Cover with the remaining tuna mixture and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Dust with almond meal, if using.

4. Bake for 20-30 minutes until everything is hot and the cheese on top is melted and browned.

bean-free – replace beans with 400g (14oz) short pasta such as penne, cooked until al dente.

nut-free – just skip the almond meal or replace with breadcrumbs.

vegan / dairy-free - the cheese is really essential here. Sorry!

vegetarian – try this warming onion and white bean bake instead.

different cheeses – try a mixture of cheeses instead of the emmental. Cheddar is good, so is raclette or gruyere. You’re just looking for something that will melt and go all golden. My mum used to use processed cheese slices, so feel free to give them a try.

Video version of the recipe.

Do you have something special planned for the mother(s) in your life?

I’d love to hear about it. Please share your ideas in the comments below.

With love,
Jules x

* For the record (you never know which Irishman might end up reading this) I’m happy to skip the breakfast in bed tradition. The thought of crumbs in bed just doesn’t do it for me. BUT breakfast sitting in the sun on the lounge room floor with lashings of hot, milky Irish breakfast tea sounds like my idea of heaven.

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