Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Weet-bix slice anyone?



I think I’m one of the few people that doesn’t like weet-bix. I think I ate too many of them when I was younger. Miss F loves them so I’m going to make the most of this opportunity whilst it lasts.  I was chatting to a friend the other day about how popular the weet-bix muffins are and I was then informed that there’s an equally good slice that needed to be added to this blog. So here it is, it seems that it’s all over the web, how have I not heard of this before now I ask you? 

Miss F loved this. I just made lemon icing to go with this but you can go crazy and make chocolate icing with hundreds and thousands. I personally didn’t like this slice but that’s because I could really taste the weet-bix and this brought back too many memories sitting at the breakfast table trying to eat my soggy weet-bix. I have real issues with soggy cereal but that’s another story. 


SERVES
8

INGREDIENTS
4 weet-bix crushed
70g butter
1 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tablespoon cocoa
1/4 cup of water

Icing
Icing sugar, lemon and water

METHOD
1. Melt butter and mix into crushed Weet-bix.
2. Add remaining ingredients and press into tin lined with baking paper.
3. Bake 15 minutes at 180ÂșC.
4. Combine icing ingredients, adding only enough water as necessary. The slice may be iced while warm.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oven baked veal meatballs




Here is a great recipe that has been sent in from Yvette. It makes my day when recipes have been sent in. I guess it’s how you feel when you read this blog; any ideas are a massive help to all of us. 

I’ve mentioned before that Miss F is like a little vegetarian so I was a little worried about these meatballs. I asked Miss F is she would help me make these, and I think that really helped. She saw two of her favourite ingredients going into the mixture, corn and carrot. So by the time that these were cooked she was really excited to try these. I kept the plating up extremely simple and just added a little of our homemade sauce and some cheese on top. I know it doesn’t sound like much but if I add too much sauce, she will only eat the sauce and will leave everything else. If I add veggies, she will eat all of those but no protein. So I kept it simple for this meal.

And how did we go? She liked it. She ate two balls. That’s good for her and considering the fact that she had been snacking all afternoon, I was happy. So once again, thanks so much for sharing this with us Yvette. If anyone has any recipes they can share, PLEASE do. Send them here.


INGREDIENTS 
500 g veal mince (or turkey, chicken or beef mince.. it all works)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 brown onion, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten (optional)
125 g creamed corn
1 cup dried breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon basil flakes
¼ teaspoon chilli powder
Pepper, to season

2 tablespoons oil, for frying (If you want to panfry them to get them brown then use the oil)

METHOD 
1. Add all ingredients, except oil, into food processor. Mix on medium for approximately 1 minute until well combined. If mixture is too runny, add a little more breadcrumbs. (personally i didn't put everything into the processor as our takes forever to clean and only comes out for special occasions!)

2. Roll into small to medium size balls and place on a plate. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to cook. 

3. Preheat oven to 180C (fan forced).

4. Place meatballs on a non-stick tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. (you can push them down to become patties)

5. Once cooked and cooled - Flash Freeze these on a clean baking tray in oven then transfer to sandwich bags. 

NOTE
If you want the meatballs ‘browned’ you can pan fry them before putting them in the oven (I don’t do this as its less ‘greasy’)

I take 2/3 out for my toddlers dinner and put them with leftover tomato based sauce or on their own with rice or pasta.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Ten tips to keep you sane!

'My kids won't eat vegetables!' 'How can I get my toddler to eat new foods?'

Do the above phrases sound familiar to you? Do you have kids that are fussy, or unwilling to try new foods? Why not try our 10 golden rules?

1. Children are likely to mimic the eating habits of their parents, so set a good example. Eat healthy foods (and look like you are enjoying them!). Do not make disparaging comments about foods you don’t like. If your kids know you don’t like it, they will be less willing to try it
themselves. 

2. Kids have small stomachs, so small meals with snacks in-between are easier for them to handle than three big meals a day. Try not to pile food onto your children’s plates. 

3. Children thrive on routine, so make sure to keep your mealtimes regular. Try serving the same meal a few times a week with a little variation once you find something that they really enjoy. 

4. Bribes (such as ‘Eat you Brussel sprouts if you want ice-cream’) tend to backfire over time. Children may consume an unappetising food (or medicine) in order to obtain a reward, but that doesn't mean that they will start to like the food. Such bribes can in fact cause children to intensely dislike the food they are being bribed to eat, and to increase their preference for the prize food. 

5. Don't fill your kids up on fluid (juice, milk, cordial, and even water) just before a meal. Their stomachs will feel full and they will not want to eat.

6. Kids tend to eat if they are allowed to serve themselves, or at least help with food preparation. Little ones can be involved in preparing a family meal with activities such as setting the table, calling everyone to the table, washing and tearing lettuce leaves, or timing the cooking with an egg timer.

7. For every food, there is almost always a substitute. If your children hate vegetables, offer them more fruit or legumes; if they won't drink milk, buy yoghurt or cheese; if they dislike chewing meat, try mince dishes, chicken, fish or baked beans. Don’t give up on foods that are disliked – keep on trying every now and then to help your kids develop their tastes, even for disliked foods.

8. Don't ignore problems that interfere with eating, such as teething, a sore throat, a blocked nose, or an upset tummy.

9. Keep offering new foods even if your kids reject them at first. They need to see and taste new foods several times before they become 'familiar' and are accepted.

10. Fussy eaters are often slow eaters who dawdle over their plates. Trying to hurry children to eat can cause them to become stressed, and put them off their food. Be patient, and let kids eat in their own time.

And remember: don't lose your cool at dinner! Simply remove left over food from the table (and perhaps offer it again)…. but don't let your kids have a snack an hour later!

http://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/panicky-parents-fussy-eaters

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It doesn't get much easier than this...vegemite chips




Here is a recipe that I have just fallen in love with. It doesn’t get any easier than this. Vegemite chips, who would have thought? This great recipe was sent to us from Belinda. I don’t know how I have survived before this recipe. Can you tell that I’m pretty excited about these?

I made these yesterday and they were a massive hit. I had to remind Miss F that we must share, as she wanted all of these to herself. I haven't seen her this excited about food for a while now. We nibbled on these for the whole afternoon, and I was surprised that these didn’t go soggy after a few hours. Turns out that they were just as crispy as when they came out of the oven. So these would make great lunch box fillers or would be great for a party.

Thanks so much Belinda, we will always have some mountain bread in our cupboard now.


Also, don't forget to check out our facebook page for more hints and recipes from other Mums. 

INGREDIENTS
1 packet of mountain bread
Butter
Vegemite
Cheese (I added some grated cheese onto one slice and it was delicious)

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees
2. Spread butter and vegemite over mountain bread.
3. Place on a tray and bake for 15 mins

NOTE
If you want nice neat squares, cut the bread before placing the bread into the oven.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Little (rice) balls of love



Happy Monday everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend. We went down to chilly Canberra for a lovely couple of days with our family.

Here’s a recipe that totally surprised me. I wanted to cook this Vegie smugglers recipe because I loved the look of these little balls. I’ve never really seen anything like them before and I thought that they looked like something that would capture Miss F’s attention. 

These were super easy to make. When I was making them I was cursing myself for not halving the recipe as Hubbie and I had a roast cooking and I didn’t think these would tickle our fancy. Boy was I wrong. These were a hit with all of us. They were so good, not unlike something that you would get at yum cha. The Hubbie and I went a little crazy with these. We needed a lie down after eating these and then the roast! So next time, we will all sit down together and this will be the perfect dinner for all of us (no roast needed). There are some dishes that I highly recommend and this is one of them. Give them a go and let me know what you think.

Something that has helped Miss F eat more, is a set of kiddie chopsticks that was given to her for her 2nd brthday. She just loves to use these and now the eating experience is more about play, so she forgets what she’s eating and it's more about getting something into her mouth. Give it a go, it’s worked for us. 

Also, we now have a facebook page that is up and running, so come and like our page. I’m trying to encourage everyone to take a quick photo of some of the meals that you cook, as it might inspire us for tomorrow night’s dinner. The photos certainly don’t need to be fancy, just grab your phone and snap away. 

SERVES
2 adults and 2 kids

INGREDIENTS
1 cup long grain rice
500g pork mince
3tbs soy sauce
1 egg
½ tsp cater sugar
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
½ cup mushrooms, very finely chopped
1 tsp crushed ginger
¼ tsp five spice

Dipping sauce
2tbs soy sauce
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs sweet chilli sauce
2tbs tomato sauce
1 tbs shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry or mirin

METHOD
1. Soak the rice in cold water for 30mins. Drain well and spread over a large plate.
2. Combine the rest of the rice ball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use hands to roll into bite-sized balls. Roll the balls in the rice to totally cover. Set aside.
3. Line steamer with baking paper and place over a wok or saucepan of boiling water. Steam the rice balls in batches for 15-18mins until cooked through.
4. Combine all the dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with rice balls with the dipping sauce. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Puff and edible paints for those rainy days


Hmm, it must have been a tough morning if i'm trying to entertain Miss F
before she's even out of her pj's! 



I thought I would post this out now as I can see the big clouds rolling in and I think there could be a chance of us being stuck indoors again for a couple of days. A couple of weeks ago we suffered torrential rain for a week or so and it was a total nightmare. After trying everything and anything to entertain the little ones, I searched some blogs and found this great puff paint recipe from I-mama. I was amazed by how simple this was to make and true to its word, after a quick blitz in the microwave the paint puffed up. We loved it; it was so easy here’s the recipe. 

PUFF PAINT
Combine the following in a little bowl:
1 tablespoon self-raising flour
A few little drops of food colouring
1 tablespoon salt
Then add some water to make a nice smooth paste.

1. Paint away on a thick sheet of cardboard. 
2. Microwave the cardboard painting on high for approximately 30 seconds until the paint puffs and it’s all nice and dry.

And if that doesn’t satisfy your paint recipe desires and you want more, more, more well I have more. Yep, thanks to a great friend at playgroup I have loads of edible paint recipes for you. I think I will be trying one of these this afternoon. 

FINGER PAINTS
When you are crafting it up with your little one, getting messy with finger painting, it is one less thing to worry about if you know it’s safe and non-toxic if your child happens to stick their paint-covered fingers in their mouths. Here are some fun “edible” finger paint recipes. You may have these ingredients in your pantry already, so pop an art smock on your kids and get mixing, cooking and painting.

NB. These measurements are approximate and not fine dining recipes so go by feel - it’s finger paint after all!

Basic cooked flour finger paint:
2cups Flour
4cups Water
Food Colouring

1. Mix flour and water in a pot over a low heat till thick. Cool. Add a pinch of salt.
2. Divide and add colour.
Can be stored in covered jar in the fridge for a month or two.

Jelly finger paint:
1 packet jelly (any flavour/colour)
Hot water

1. Mix packet of jelly with enough hot water, little by little until mixture is consistency of paint.
2. Allow to cool.
You can also divide and add colour to create new colours.

Pudding finger paint:
Instant vanilla pudding
Food colouring

1. Mix according to directions on pack.
2. Divide and add colours.

Powdered milk finger paint:
½ cup powdered milk
½ cup water
Food colouring

1. Mix together.
2. Divide and add colour.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Chicken sausage rolls with little vegie surprises


Here we are, can you see us? We are still stuck here in the land of the flu. I thought we were on the road to recovery but Little S and I are still swimming in tissues and Vicks. My taste buds have only just started to function again, so it’s time to hit the kitchen again. 

As you know, this blog is all about sharing recipes and helping each other out. Wendy from Vegie smugglers sent me one of her great cookbooks. These books are filled with not only great recipes, but they also have some great nutritional facts, hints about freezing and great facts about each vegetable and fruit. If you would like more information, head over to vegie smugglers

So thanks to the Vegie smugglers we have this great chicken sausage roll recipe. Miss F is a fan of the old sausage roll, so I had a feeling that she would be a great fan of these. There was no real surprise when she devoured one. There are a few things that I loved about these, they contain lentils and I have a freezer full of them now. These are so easy to make, there's no excuse not to make them! 

MAKES 
10 sticks (40 pieces)

INGREDIENTS
5 sheets frozen puff pastry
500g chicken mince
1 carrot, peeled, grated
1 zucchini, grated
1 onion, grated (or you can whizz these 3 ingredients to save time, but avoid pulping out all the texture)
3 medium mushrooms, finely diced
125g can brown lentils, rinsed, drained
1 egg
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil and chives are good)
Salt & black pepper
1 egg, whisked, for glazing

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 200C. Lay out your pastry sheets on a bench. Cut each in half to make 2 rectangles.
2. Mix together all the remaining ingredients until combined.
3. Spread the mixture lengthwise along the middle of the rectangles. Ease pastry over from one edge, brush egg along top side then roll other edge over to seal.
4. If cooking immediately, cut each stick into 4 pieces, place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, brush with egg and cook in middle of the oven for 25 minutes until golden and cooked through.


FREEZING & DEFROSTING INSTRUCTIONS
Prepare these quickly. Wrap uncooked sticks of sausage rolls in plastic wrap. Freeze immediately on oven trays to maintain their shape before transferring to plastic bags for an extra layer of protection. Defrost in the fridge (still wrapped in plastic) for 24 hours before cooking. Ensure they are completely thawed before cooking. Cut into four, brush with egg and cook for 25 minutes until steaming hot in the centre.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Berry smoothie and D grade celebrities


I have to apologise for the lack of blogs over the last week. My Hubbie brought the man flu into the house, not one of his better gifts that he has given us! This has taken on a domino effect throughout the house. Miss F was hit hard and is only just coming out of it now. Little S is now suffering and I’m just starting to show signs. Not happy Jan. 

So even though I have a massive list of things to cook, it just hasn’t been the right time as my little tester has been off her food. She is just starting to eat toast now, so it won’t be long till we are back to normal. I will however put in this little recipe for a smoothie that we have been having every morning.  I’ve been using rice milk, as Miss F has been way to congested to have any dairy. 

Berry smoothie

MAKES
Enough for Mum and Bub

INGREDIENTS
1 cup frozen berries
1 tb LSA
1tsp honey
11/2 cups of rice milk (or normal milk for a creamy result)
(I normally add ¼ cup of natural yoghurt but not whilst Miss F is sick.)

METHOD
1. Put everything into the blender and press blend. That’s it. Too easy.


Some great news from yesterday is that we had a little article about us in our local paper, the Manly Daily. It was all very exciting and both Miss F and I felt like D grade celebrities for the day. The photo looked a lot better than what I was expecting as the whole shoot was a real debacle.