Posted in Fast Receipes, Recipes, thermomix

Try it, time it, taste it, blog it!

*I lost my cooking mojo over the last few weeks. With 1st birthdays to organise (which I love doing) and then Easter, things went a little off skew in the dinner department. Yes the kids had baked beans one night and heaven forbid we did eat McDonalds! Guess what? They survived! But I needed to get my mojo back and with the return to work drawing closer and closer I need to increase my go to meals. So I set myself a challenge this week. A new recipe every day. Test it, try it, time it, blog it! I have to say I feel a bit like the girl in the movie Julia and Julia ( I think its called that) but I’m not cooking my way through the Julia Childs cookbook, that’s way too big a challenge for right now!

Recipe 1 Skinnmixers Pork Belly with Apple Sauce Recipe Here!

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Pork belly with Apple sauce

Having never cooked Pork Belly before I was a little apprehensive. It was super easy using the thermomix (yes it can be done without of course). I loved how easy it was, and it was superbly delicious! The boys discovered the joys of crispy crackling and devoured a plate full of veggies with the apple sauce. Winning! The only down fall was it took an hour and half all up to prepare and cook. Not one I’ll be putting on the weekly rotation but a fabulous one for a Sunday night roast!

Recipe no 2 was Homemade Chicken loaf.Recipe here!

This is perfect for sandwiches for the next few days and obviously has way less crap in it that store bought stuff. Master 5 gave it the big thumbs up and will have it for lunch tomorrow! Super fast and easy to prepare, cooking took about 30 mins then 2 hours in the fridge. Was quite surprised by this one.

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Home made chicken loaf

And finally Recipe no 3 (yep 2 today!) is Malaysian Satay Chicken with rice noodle stir fry. Recipe for satay chicken here! Skinny mixers again! 

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Malaysian satay chicken with rice noodle stir fry

 

I’ve had tremendous luck in the taste department this week but this one is a definite pre- prepare meal. No way I can marinate and thread meat on a stick while I have three starving beings around. The marinate was super yum and made the chicken really juicy. And let’s face it kids love anything on a stick! For the stir fry I pre boiled the rice noodles, stir fried some ginger, lemongrass and garlic and added any veggies I could find in the depths of the fridge. Stir fried it all up added 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, a pinch of Brown sugar and about 100 ml of coconut milk. It was pretty delicious if I do say so myself! So to sum up, if I had the meat already marinated and on sticks it could be a great quick meal full of nutrition, so long as I’m organised…😜

I I haven’t decided what to try tomorrow but I’ve got my mojo back! Stay tuned!!

 

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Posted in Recipes

Savoury Muffins

As a long time lover of sweet muffins I was a bit apprehensive to try a savoury muffin. However I was pleasantly suprised! The original receipe I had used olives and sun dried tomatoes however the fridge was quite bare! So instead I used bacon, egg and zucchini with a pinch of rosemary. With the help of Mr. 5 on his pupil free day we whipped them up in Thermie and had a delicious lunch. The advantage is they freeze well, and the kids love them.. I say that’s a win! Here’s the receipe…

Savoury Muffins

250g bacon diced

1 egg

1 zucchini grated

1 cup SR flour

1 cup grated cheese

pinch paprika

Sinply mix all together and spoon into muffin tray or muffin cases. Bake at 180 for about 30-40 mins until golden.

So easy and delicious! I’m now a savoury muffin convert! image

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Posted in Lifestyle, Recipes, Time Saving Tips

The kids plan the menu!

One thing I’ve been dabbling in over the years is menu planning. I’ve always wanted to do it ‘better’ so I set myself a challenge to do a meal plan each week  then do one big grocery shop for the week. Well I did it!! I went once to the supermarket and did not step foot on one until the following week!! I’ve done it now for 3 weeks and it’s fabulous!! The best thing is I seriously spent less money on food and there was no wastage. All over the Internet you’ll find weekly menus and plans.. Anyone can make one! I needed to make sure that the meals chosen were gong to be eaten by all members of the family. Sorry Mums but I’m not one for making separate meals for the kids.. So I asked them!

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I literally asked each member including dear husband to choose one meal. I was immensely surprised by the results. Not only have the meals been healthy but everyone has enjoyed eating ‘their choice’. Each night the kids seriously discuss who’s choice the meal was and who’s meal it is tomorrow night. At first I was unsure what they might come up but some of their choices have included lasagna, burritos, chicken kebabs and cous cous and chicken curry. The kids love having some power over what we eat and it makes for a great discussion with them! Give it a try, see what meal plan your tribe comes up with!

I’m hoping to develop a spread sheet for weekly plans in the near future. 😳

Posted in Uncategorized

Ten Meals to cook when you only have ten minutes

TEN MEALS TO COOK WHEN YOU HAVE

After a long day at work you collect the starving monsters that used to resemble your children and the last thing you feel like doing is slaving over the stove. I’ve been thinking about this one for a while and have compiled a list of Ten meals to make when you have ten minutes. These can be made ahead and then reheated, pre-prepared and cooked when required or cooked and on the table in ten!

  1. Good old Bolognaise.

Bolognaise can sit on the stove simmering away until required or cook the pasta of choice at the same time as your sauce and serve it up in under ten minutes. Grate some veggies into the sauce if you want to boost the veg intakes!

     2. Burritos/Tacos

Cook up the meat of choice, while that’s cooking, chop your tomatoes, lettuce and grate your cheese. It can all be saved in the fridge until you need it. Whether you like the crunchy taco shells or soft tortilla wraps its a quick super healthy meal.

 

    3. Pies

Whatever your filling of choice, mine is definitely Chicken and Leek, it can be made when you have a spare ten minutes and then when ready for dinner put the filling in a  ramekin and top with puff pastry, bake for 10 minutes in a hot oven and its ready!

 

4. Jamie Olivers Seared Beef Salad

This is tried and true on in my house (in fact it was tonights meal) and it doesn’t even take the 15 minutes that he claims! Super fast and super delicious.

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5. Hamburgers

Home made hamburgers.. is there anything better. My Dad used to make burgers every Sunday night, it was our tradition and the one meal he was willing to cook (and pancakes!) Big chunky beef patties, heres a basic burger recipe if you need one, slices of tomato, lettuce, cheese, and anything else you desire. I put everything on the table and everyone makes their own, the kids enjoy this more and tend to eat more!

6. Chicken Caesar Salad

We are here because we need time saving not because we are gourmet chefs so yes.. I use dressing from a bottle! Boil some eggs, cook the chicken and bacon, chop some Cos lettuce and cook some toast. Mix it all together and bam! Instant dinner.

7.Lamb chops with cous cous and greek salad

One of my favourites! Sprinkle your chops with lemon and oregano before cooking, its delicious. Greek salads are super easy to prepare, chop cucumber, tomatoes, chuck in olives and crumbled feta. Cook the cous cous according to the packet (although I just add boiling water and let it sit while I cook the meat). Mmm Mmm!

8. Watermelon and feta salad with Chicken and Rice.

A fabulously light salad, great for this warm weather. Cook the rice! Chop feta and watermelon into small cubes and mix together ( you can add red onion if you like), Cook the chicken ( I prefer thighs for this as they are not as dry) and squeeze lemon juice over it while its cooking. Once the rice is cooked, stir through chopped olives, feta, baby spinach and some olive oil.

9. Tuna Mornay

A simple go to recipe. I add peas and corn kernals to increase the vegetable intake!

10. Fried Rice

A great way to use up leftovers and get veggies into the meal. I add corn, peas, chopped capsicum, egg and we love pineapple pieces in ours. I use pork pieces in my fried rice but you could add prawns, chicken or beef. Season with soy sauce, garlic, onion, and sweet chili.

Enjoy x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Opportunities

image Missed, lost, not taken; all words that are used frequently to describe opportunities that we don’t take. Often as a Mum we have to make a choice to intentionally not take that opportunity and just hope that it comes again later down the track. Sometimes though, you just have to make a decision that’s right for you and your family at the time. At least that’s what I’m  telling myself. That Mummy guilt that sits on your shoulder and judges your every thought. It looks at you with the orange eyes and just questions you.. “Really?” It says “you think you can do it all?” Well sometimes it’s probably right. Where there’s smoke there’s fire.. An opportunity I had been looking for before having my third beauty has arisen but I’ve chosen to leave it alone. Returning to work might be a big enough shock to the system without adding to it any further demands. My dear husband and Mum will be stepping up to the plate to help just so I can get to work- hopefully on time! The reality of it all is settling is fast, not to say I’m not looking forward to it, I am in some regards, not in others. The adult conversation and using my brain to think about more than school lunches and dirty nappies! But let’s go slowly and settle in to a routine and get life in balance before taking on another new challenge. It is a bit disappointing isn’t it, when you want something but you know it’s not in the best interest of your family to go for it? You feel guilty for even thinking about it. I’m ok with my decision now but I imagine there’s many Mums out there who aren’t ok with their decisions. And there’s probably many Mums who are super brave and take those chances when they arise. They are likely the leaders of this world, or large companies😉 Gold star to them for going hard and getting what they want.  I’m not yet ready for that. I know that , and that awareness in itself is an achievement!

 

And when all else fails.. Dinosaur Spaghetti is a well balanced meal!

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Posted in Recipes, Time Saving Tips

Pinwheels and Pullaparts

Well I’m officially a school mum now, lunches everyday, uniforms organised.. I have a new appreciation for school holidays and it’s only week 1! Mornings are chaotic with the three being so young but we’re getting better at it! They are learning their jobs and roles for the morning so it’s getting there.. Slowly!!

I made Pinwheels for an afternoon snack on Friday. They are super easy and delicious, could be made healthier if you’re so inclined! I was quite surprised to learn a friend had never had them!

Pinwheels

On a sheet of Puff Pastry spread a layering your favourite sauce.

Sprinkle evenly with cheese and ham.

Roll the pastry into a tight scroll and cut into 2-3 cm pieces.

Bake for 10 mins or until golden and ‘puffy!’ (Yes very technical I know!)

Anything can be used as fillings in pinwheels. Ham and cheese, cheese and vegemite, basil and cheese, tomato and basil, the opportunities are endless!!! Get creative! They freeze well too so they are great for the lunch boxes or after school snacks!

 

For a quick and easy Sunday lunch I made a pizza Pullapart. Made a quick dough, let it rise, then roll it out to a flat rectangle. I spread it with pizza sauce, ham cheese and pineapple. Twisted it all up and baked for around 20mins. Super yum!!! Again any filling can be used. Pizza, ham and cheese, cheese and vegemite, basil and feta (oh this is delicious!) feta and olive.. Mmmmm.. X

Posted in Fast Receipes, Time Saving Tips

Morning caos avoided.. Hopefully!

Picture this, cold coffee waiting patiently to be drunk, baby clinging to legs demanding Weetbix, Mr 3 having a passionate debate about not eating or getting dressed, Mr 5 can’t find his left shoe as he runs around with only jocks on. A typical morning in our house and as of Monday we now have the thrill of getting out the house by 8:30 with hopefully everyone dressed and fed.

In order to save precious moments of sanity in the mornings I am making sandwiches to freeze and pre chopping fruit and veggie sticks to last at least a few days. In the evening I will pack the lunch box with fruit and various snacks and put the whole lunch box in the fridge. In the morning all I have to do is pull out the box, add a frozen sand which and we good to go! The sandwhich defrosts by lunch time with the advantage of staying cool.

Some sandwhich fillings are not good for freezing–

-anything with salad, it has too much water content and when it defrosts it makes the bread soggy!

-cottage cheese

-tomatoe

-cucumber

-egg

However there is so much more you can freeze and if you are so inclined you can add your salad in the morning or send it separately.

-ham and cheese

-chicken and mayo

-tuna and cream cheese/mayo

-vegemite and cheese ( a staple in my house!)

-fritz, sauce and cheese

-schnitzel and cheese, pickles

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The options really are endless, the big tip though is to butter your bread. This stops the bread going soggy on defrosting. I have found that snap lock bags work best for freezing as they are much easier to get airtight and stop freezer burn. I pull out the frozen sandwhich and put straight in the lunch box and reuse the bag!

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Enter a caption

 

I wouldn’t keep sandwiches in the freezer longer than 2 weeks but for an exercise that takes 10 minutes to pre make a pile of sandwiches it’s a huge time saver in the mornings. Chuck in some chopped up fruit and sultanas and walah!

imageEasy right?! 😏

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Time Saving Tips

Plasticware…

Everyone has one.. It’s usually ridiculously untidy in my house.. Hopefully in everyone’s! The plasticware aka the Tupperware cupboard! I have. I have been trying to sort out the dreaded lunch box situation for Mr 5. In the last few weeks I have purchased 4 new lunch boxes trying to scout out the best option. It would help if the cooler bag that was chosen (because it had rockets on it!) was a little more spacious. I do believe I’m over thinking the situation!! 😂

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So in order to try sort the best box I had to organise the dreaded cupboard- to fit all these new containers.

what an assortment of randomn lids and containers that didn’t match! Isn’t it amazing how things disappear? Maybe the same fairy that steals odd socks takes lids?! So I played match and ditch and made it all look pretty. I didn’t  keep anything that didn’t match!

Still didn’t solve the lunch box negotiations but at least it’s organised!

 

 

Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized

Vanilla slice- oh so nice!!

Happy Australia Day! We do live in fabulously free Country where we can be ourselves and do what we want and live the life we dream. Today lots of people are celebrating in various ways, friends are having beach days, bbqs and fireworks. And of course the cricket. The boys are a little obsessed with all things sport at the moment so we are endeavouring to take them to the international 20/20 tonight. We’ll see how that goes!

I wanted to do some ‘Australian’ cooking today.. I looked up lamination recipes and pavlova (which I must say I love a good pav) but decided on my Mums Vanilla Slice. Biscuits, custard and icing- how can you go wrong?!!

Vanilla Slice (Thermomix style)

2 packs of Arnotts Lattice Biscuits

50g of cornflour

1/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

500g milk

1 quantity of icing- I choose pink!

coconut for sprinkling on top.

METHOD

-to make the custard I use the Thermomix but of course I can be done on the stove top.

  • place corn flour and sugar in bowl and mill sp9 for 10 secs.
  • Add eggs, milk, vanilla and set at Sp 3 90 degrees for 7 mins. ( using the stove top- continually stir until thickened) it needs to be quite thick.
  • line a slice tray with baking paper, and place a layer of Lattice biscuits on the bottom.
  • Spread the custard out on top of the Lattice Biscuits.
  • place another layer on top of biscuits on top of the custard, and place in the fridge for at Least an hour.
  • Spread a layer of icing on top of the biscuits and sprinkle with coconut.

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My hot tip is to cut the biscuits in half when serving (use a serrated bread knife) so the custard doesn’t ooze to much when you bite into the creamy deliciousness!!

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Posted in Fast Receipes, Recipes, Time Saving Tips

The cheats quiche

It’s been a long time family favourite the ‘egg and bacon pie’ my mum calls it! It’s simple, delicious and great as leftovers the next day or two! I recall many evenings mum would have them already baked ready to to reheat and eat after a day at school. Then I moved out and started making my own! I even made this ‘pie’ for a friend on her wedding at so we could eat something nutritious before the festivities… And champagne! I make it oftentimes to cut up and have a piece for breakfast.

My Mums Egg And Bacon Pie

( I use the Thermomix to chop and mix mine but of course it can be done the traditional way!)

1 Brown Onion

100g of cheese

3-4 eggs

500ml of milk

500 g of rindless bacon

1/2 cup of pastry mix (can be substituted with SR flour if your stuck)

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Method

Chop onion and bacon into small pieces (sp 5 for about 10sec)

Add grated cheese, eggs and pastry mix and mix well. (Reverse, sp 3, 10 sec)

Add the milk and mix until combined and hopefully no lumps of pastry mix! (Reverse sp 4, 10 sec).

Pour into a quiche dish and bake at 160 for around 45 or until golden brown!

Serve with your favourite green salad, or in my house huge dollops of my Nanna’s home made sauce. Yummo!!