We all deserve a treat from time to time.
After my rather messy divorce last year, that ‘occasional’ treat would come in the form of a chocolate bar or two.
Now that I’ve finally put those bad habits behind me, I’ve been looking for alternative ways of treating myself that don’t include packing my body full of fats and sugars.
Thankfully, I’ve found a way of pampering myself that doesn’t involve a multi-pack of an old chocolate covered nemesis.
Face Masks have become all the rage in the last few years, there’s an army of Beauty Bloggers dedicated to reviewing them and hordes of YouTubers who are eager to show the effects of these wonder products. They’re relaxing, good for your skin and affordable: I’d highly recommend them.
I wouldn’t dream of giving you advice on which beauty product to purchase as everyone has their own skin type and different requirements. There are literally hundreds of products to pick from, but the one that I’ve found suits my needs the best is Shill’s Charcoal Peel Off Mask. If you’re particularly into Skincare then you might have heard of this product already, there are a whole bunch of videos on YouTube of people trying them out.
The first time I tried one of these masks on I played a bit of a cruel trick on my boys.
They were upstairs playing whilst I was downstairs prepping dinner (more on that below!), I knew the image of me with my face covered in this black gunk would scare the bejeezus out of them, so I crept slowly upstairs to the bathroom and slathered the stuff on my face. The aim of this product is to pull out the dirt and gunk from your pores, leaving your skin beautifully smooth and clear, but it also doubles up as a pretty great disguise/Halloween mask.
I debated in my mind the best way to surprise them with my new look. I wanted to avoid a ‘Daddy of Five‘ situation, so I resisted the temptation to film their reaction. Instead, I set up a plate of biscuits and filled a couple of tumblers up with Soy Milk. When I surreptitiously knocked on the door, Cody came opened the door with expectant eagerness in his eyes which soon turned to shock.
I really didn’t think he’d scream so much! His scream made me scream, then Dancer started yelling and soon Poncho (our Irish Setter) was up barking along with us. The screaming soon turned into laughter and I left them gasping for air, trying to calm themselves so they could devour the biscuits I brought them.
Still laughing to myself, I trooped back downstairs with Poncho at my heels. Satisfied with a prank well executed, I set about making dinner, a favourite of Cody’s and a super healthy alternative to a classic Mexican meal.
Unlike the meaty version that this wholesome one-pot meal is derived from, this meal takes less than an hour to whip up, so you can prep the whole meal whilst your face mask works away, making you look beautiful!
Sweet Potato Chilli with Beans
[Serves a prank-happy family of 3 with enough spare for the freezer]
For the Chilli:
- 3 good-sized Sweet Potatoes
- Olive Oil
- 2 tsp ground Cumin
- 1 tbsp ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp sweet Smoked Paprika
- 1 bunch of fresh Coriander
- 1 large Onion
- 1 fresh Red Chilli, deseeded
- 2 Red Peppers
- 1 Yellow Pepper
- 400g tin of Beans (Cannelini, Kidney or a Mix)
- 400g tin of Plum Tomatoes
- Brown Rice or Tortilla Chips
Get your oven up 180 degrees/gas 4, then peel and chop your sweet potato into bite-sized chunks – toss these in a tray with some oil and a pinch of each ground spice, then roast these for around 40 mins.
Peel and chop up your onion. Pick those lovely fragrant coriander leaves and chop up them stalks along with your chilli and peppers. Fry all these up in a big pan with the rest of the spices and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes.
Add your beans (with their juices) as well as the tomatoes and give it a good mix around. Leave this to simmer for around 30 minutes. In the mean time, peel of your face mask and admire your lovely shiny face, then think about more inventive ways you can prank your children without putting them in a constant state of suspense.
Shout your kids once the half an hour is up, take your golden sweet potatoes out the oven and stir them into the pot along with the coriander leaves. Season to your liking then serve up with some Brown Rice (or Tortilla Chips if you’re feeling naughty).