I have been a Mum for fifteen years today. It seems like yesterday that he looked like this, I can still feel that cheek and I know what those shoulders feel like in that baby grow. I can smell his warm baby smell and it makes me smile.

Yesterday we strolled by the canal and ate ice cream, I didn’t have to mop anyone’s face or worry about someone falling in. I still know what that cheek feels like and how those broad shoulders feel in that shirt and he still makes me smile!

I am so proud of  my boy. FIFTEEN!

Tonight he gets to choose what we have for our family dinner, the birthday person always chooses. We are having veggie lasagne and spicy chips, I am baking him a fruit cake and he will probably want rhubarb crumble too!

Here’s our recipe for his favourite lasagne for today’s Meat Free Monday. (He made the one in the photographs but I won’t make him cook it himself today!)

Ingredients (serves 6)

100g puy lentils, boiled for 20 minutes (I pop a spoonful of vecon veg stock in the water to add flavour)

1 large onion, chopped

1 courgette, diced into chunks

200g mushrooms, sliced

2 large carrots, diced

100g baby corn sliced

1 tin chopped tomatoes

2 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped

1tsp dried mixed herbs

1 tsp sun dried tomato pesto

½ – 1 tsp tamari soy sauce to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

6-9 lasagne sheets (depending how many layers you get out of the mixture!)

For the bechamel sauce you will need:

40g butter

40g plain flour

½ litre milk

1 tsp dijon mustard

100g grated cheddar


While the lentils are cooking, gently fry the onions, mushrooms and courgettes in little olive oil. Add the carrots, corn and garlic and fry for a few seconds more. Add the tomatoes, sun dried tomato pesto, dried herbs, soy sauce and pepper and bring to the boil. Add 200ml of the lentil stock and the lentils and cook until the sauce has reduced by about half.

Meanwhile make your bechamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook through gently for two minutes. Add the milk and whisk in (don’t faff about with gentle stirring with a wooden spoon, a hand whisk takes all the fight out of a lumpy sauce!) Bring gently to the boil, whisking occasionally if it looks like misbehaving and turning lumpy. Simmer gently until thick and delicious. Add the mustard.

Now you need to construct your lasagne. Layer a third of the veg mix in the bottom of your dish (mine measures 25cm x 20cm and is 7cm deep, I have bought many, many dishes for this meal as the family has grown but this fits us at the moment!), top with a layer of lasagne and repeat twice more ending with a layer of lasagne. (If your dish is wider and shallower you may only get two layers, go with it!)

Pour your bechamel over and top with the grated cheddar. Bake at 180°C for about 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown (or according to your packet instructions!)



Filed under Chris Cooks, Cooking With Kids, Meat Free Monday, Motherhood

32 responses to “Fifteen!

  1. Happy Birthday, wow 15 years, you dont look old enough Chris!

    We love lasagne, my bro makes a mean meat free one using cottage cheese, sounds horrible, but is delicious

  2. Happy Birthday. You’ve done a good job!

    My stepdaughter is about to turn 16 and my husband is going through a mourning process.

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! And oh my isn’t that baby photo just the cutest thing ever?!?! They are so so precious! The lasagne looks delicious! Well don DS1 for making it!

  4. Camilla

    Happy Birthday, lovely T. xx

  5. Happy birthday and congrats to you both xx

  6. Happy Birthday to your Son, hope you enjoy your special day together.
    I have to say the baby photo is so cute!!

  7. Happy birthday to your growing boy, and congratulations on 15 years of being a a Mum!

    That lasagne looks delicious!

  8. Happy Birthday 15 year old & congratulations mum & dad for the past 15 yrs!!

  9. caradonovan

    Happy Birthday to him, happy birth anniversary to you! He is a son to be truly proud of if he can make a lasagne like that – i’m impressed.

    My eldest is 16 in a couple of weeks, I’ve just packed away the Peppa Pig banners of the 2YO’s and it’s all garden party and tea lights next – extreme motherhood.

    Have a lovely birthday tea. Cx

  10. We had our son’s 15th birthday at the beginning of March. I can’t believe the years have flown by so fast. Your boy is a credit to you – making lasagne! Mine can just about manage to put bread in the toaster.

  11. Wow 15! A big happy birthday being sent over and I have to agree you don’t look old enough. That lasagne looks lovely xx

  12. Oh I loved this post! what a beautiful baby he was, and a handsome young man to boot. HEART BREAKER ALERT!

    And the lasagne ain’t bad either. I’ll try that one, looks delicious. xx

  13. alisonwells

    He’ll always be your lovely boy and it’s obvious you are a lovely mum too. Very best wishes and well done! x

  14. Happy birthday to him. It’s funny that your own childhood seems to last forever but as a parent your own kid’s childhood seems to be over so quickly.

  15. Happy birthday to your baby boy🙂 He is sweet, have a lovely birthday dinner.

  16. Happy birthday to your ds…hope he enjoys his birthday meal.

  17. Oh I had a little smily weep then. I love the comparative pictures, and I can see the young man in the baby. That is the most beautiful baby photograph. Congratulations on 15 years of being a mummy and Happy Birthday to the Tall One.

  18. Happy Birthday and I hope you have a wonderful evening and many more laughs, hugs and smiles together

  19. Happy birthday to your fab boy! Your post has cheered and moved me. Gorgeous pictures – he is a lovely boy x

  20. mum

    Happy Birthday handsome Grandson. Congratulations lovely Mum and Dad.

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