Sunday, October 30, 2011

You'll never buy tzatziki again?


Let me apologise for neglecting this site slightly. All was going well until my dear husband put the thought of going back to work into my head. We were sitting in a nice café enjoying our coffees when Hubby asked if I was keen to head back. I honestly hadn’t thought about it as I’m not on maternity leave so the thought of work was pushed to the back of my mind and was being ignored. But the minute it was mentioned I started to get very excited. Not really about the work side of things but more the idea of having to get dressed up, having a coffee when ever I wanted it, going to the toilet without an audience, having a lunch break and finally being creative again. I don’t plan to go back full time, hopefully just a couple of days a week. We shall see. So the past week has been all about updating my CV and portfolio. Who knows what will happen, I’m slightly nervous but in a good way. 

Now here’s a surprise recipe. The other night we went to wonderful dinner at a friends house and they had made this amazing tzatziki dip and after being told how easy it was to make I thought I would I would give it a go and would see what Miss F thought of it. 

To my surprise Miss F loved it, she even nibbled on some cucumber whilst I was making it. CRAZY.This dip is oh so good; it does make you wonder why you would every buy tzatziki again. So for a quick, healthy and easy snack, this is the way to go. I served it with toasted pita bread.

PREP TIME
10 minutes

COOKING TIME
2 minutes

INGREDIENTS (serves 12)
2 (about 600g) telegraph cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthways, seeds removed
1/2 tsp salt
520g (2 cups) Greek-style natural yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
Freshly ground black pepper

METHOD
1. Use the coarse side of a grater to grate the cucumber. Place in a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss to combine.
2. Place the yoghurt, garlic, oil and cumin in a medium bowl, and stir to combine.
3. Transfer the cucumber to a sieve and use your hands to squeeze out any excess moisture. Stir the cucumber pulp through the yoghurt mixture. Taste and season with pepper. Cover and place in the fridge until required.

NOTES
You can make this recipe up to 3 days ahead. Place the tzatziki and beans in separate airtight containers and store in the fridge.

Recipe sourced Good Taste - December 2001, Page 29
Recipe by Michelle Noerianto

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mixed vegetable frittata


I’m off and running away. That’s right, remember that sugar free diet train that I jumped on three weeks ago? We’ll I’ve jumped back off. I loved it whilst I was on there, it was a smooth ride and i saw lots of benifits. BUT we all have colds again and I was craving fruit. I haven’t craved cakes or chocolate just fruit. This cold made me realise that I could not go through summer without feasting on Mangos,watermelon etc, that’s like saying that we won’t have a Christmas tree this Christmas. So hello sugar I am back. I’ve been very good since coming off and have only had dessert one night and that was on a weekend. To me, weekends are here to be celebrated; it’s no easy achievement making it solo through the week. So hello sugar I am back. 

Now enough about me. Here’s a little recipe that I made for the girls (that’s right, they are both starting to eat the same meals as each other). I thought I would give this try as Little SS is getting to the stage where she loves to feed herself. I wasn’t sure how Miss F would go with this so I made a big song and dance about sitting at the ‘big’ table and us all sharing the same meal. This meal went down a treat with both girls. Little SS actually got the odd piece into her mouth and Miss F actually ate more than once slice as a whole (normally everything is dissected to find the bits that he likes - cheese). I had a slice as well, so I was feeling very proud of myself. One cooked meal for the three of us. Too easy (these are two words that don’t often escape my mouth). 

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Mixed vegetable frittata

MAKES
4 slices 

INGREDIENTS
2 tsp Rice Bran oil
150g cooked potato, diced into small pieces
5 tbsp frozen mixed vegetables
3 eggs beaten
1 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tbs grated tasty cheese
1 tbsp full fat milk
15g unsalted butter.

METHOD
1. Heat the oil in a small frying pan, add the potato and fry for 4-5 mins or until golden. Add the frozen vegetables and cook for 2-3 mins or until softened. 

2. Beat the eggs and cheeses together with milk. Add the butter to the pan. When melted pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and cook for 3-4 mins or until the omelette is set and the underside is golden.

3. Preheat the grill to high and cook the top of the omelette for 2-3 mins until it is golden and the egg mixture is set all the way through. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This recipe has been modified from the Gina Ford weaning book. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cheese and spinach pies (and a sneaky pasta dish thrown in)


At the moment we are stuck in pastaville. Every time I ask Miss F what she would like to eat, I always get the same excited response, pasta please Mummy. Sometimes I love this as I can make the same pasta dish for Miss F as I can for Little SS. I must mention this dish as it’s a bit of a fave at the moment. All I do is steam whatever vegetables I have in the fridge, often it’s pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower. I then make up a tiny amount of white sauce. Mash the veggies, combine with sauce and pasta and hey presto, there is a healthy pasta dish that actually gets eaten. 

But I’m not here to talk about that; I’m here to talk about these lovely spinach and cheese pies (or cheesy pies and I told Miss F, best not to mention the spinach part to the littlies!). Angela sent this recipe into us and it proves to be a popular dish not only with her 18 month old but everyone in her family enjoys these and now I see why.

We made these today and they were delicious. I gobbled one down with Freya, I like to think of it as an entrée to my dinner (hmm, eat much Sascha?) These were soooo good. I made these in ramekins as I thought these would be great lunches for all of us the next day. Miss F actually ate about half of one of these. That’s great news in our household. Granted the spinach was all piled up on the plate, but everything else was demolished. So thank you Angela, these were great and will be a regular lunch for us. 


I hope you all have a great win. Ours is going to be full of rugby. Go Australia!

MAKES
5 ramekin sized pies. 

INGREDIENTS
2 or 3 leeks chopped
1 bunch English spinach- hot washed and drained well
250g ricotta
150g Parmesan grated
4 eggs
Filo pastry

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 170
2. Wash, dry and thinly slice the leek then place into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with damp paper towel and microwave on High/100% for 11/2 minutes or until leek is soft. Set aside to cool.
3. Mix cheese and eggs, then add spinach and leeks. 
4. Take fillo sheets and put into dish (any deep oven dish or ramekins) hang over edge. Layer. You can brush butter or spray olive oil between sheets if you want)
5. Pour cheese mix onto the layers.
6. Fold pastry edges over the top so completely covered and brush top with butter.
7. Cook until pastry is brown and the mixture has set (around 45mins)


Monday, October 10, 2011

This quiche gets everyone's tick of approval


I’m feeling old today so I admit to being a little down. You would think it was my b’day but it’s not. Yesterday we spent half a day putting together Miss F’s brand new BIG bed. We were all so very excited about this massive move. Miss F has been ready for this transition for a while but we’ve have been putting it off because it meant spending half a day out at IKEA. I don’t need to explain what those outing are like as I’m sure most of you have experienced this yourselves.  Needless to say we all came back in one piece and Hubby and I are still married! 

So the bed took us about 4 hours to construct. Hubbie was in charge of construction and I had the hard task of trying to keep the girls away from the screws, wooden planks, and the harsh swear words that were coming from Daddy’s mouth. 

After the bed was up, Miss F was jumping around having the time of her life. This is when the feeling of being old hit me like a brick wall. I saw myself doing the same thing when I was a kid. I now have a daughter that can jump out of her bed when she chooses to, she can have friends over for sleep over’s, she can jump off her bed and break a bone or split her chin. I guess the fact that I can remember myself doing all of these things has really hit home that I’m old and supposedly mature. 

Thinking about it now, I might also be feeling down because I haven’t had sugar for two weeks. Am I enjoying this new diet? No. Am I seeing the benefits? Yes (god dam it!). 

Well enough sulking for today, I’m supposed to rev you up and inspire you on a Monday. So here is a recipe that I have found on the heart foundations website. They have set up a great group that is called Mum’s united. I have signed up to their facebook page and it’s basically a forum where other Mum’s share their tips and tricks to help their families have a healthier life style. 

I was being brave when I decided to try this lovely recipe, as quiches have not gone down well in this household. In fact I never wanted to hear the word quiche again but time heals all and I thought why not, it sounded perfect. We were more successful with this recipe as Miss F loved the pumpkin, egg and pastry. Like with any meal she picked out her favourite parts. My Hubbie loved it and it was great for lunches as it kept in the fridge for a few days. 

Click here if you would like more information about Mums united.


Has there been something that your little ones have done that has made you feel old recently?

Ham, pumpkin and spinach quiche 

Ingredients
600g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces 
Olive oil cooking spray 
2 sheets frozen ready rolled reduced fat puff pastry, thawed
1 leek, pale section only, halved lengthways (see tip)
4 free range eggs 
100ml reduced fat milk 
100g 97% fat free shaved ham, chopped (Don brand)
25g baby spinach leaves 
3/4 cup reduced fat grated cheddar cheese (Mainland brand)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced. Line a roasting pan with baking paper. Place the pumpkin the lined pan. Spray lightly with olive and season with pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender and light golden.
2. Meanwhile, wash, dry and thinly slice the leek then place into a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with damp paper towel and microwave on High/100% for 11/2 minutes or until leek is soft. Set aside to cool.
3. Cut 23cm round from 1 pastry sheet and 3x5cm wide strips from the second sheet. Press the pastry round over the base of a lightly greased, 6cm deep, 22cm (base) springform pan. Use the strips to line the side, press strips and base together to seal. Place a sheet of baking paper over pastry. Half-fill with dried beans. Bake for 18-20 minutes until edges light golden. Remove the paper and beans and bake a further 10-15 minutes until the base is golden. Remove from the oven.
4. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a jug and set aside 5 minutes to allow the bubbles to subside. Combine the pumpkin, leek, ham, spinach and cheese then spoon into the pastry case. Pour egg mixture evenly over the filling, return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes (mine actually took about an hour) or until set in the centre. Stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

Tip You can replace the leek with 1 large red onion, thinly sliced if you wish. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Banana & muesli slice


It feels like its been ages since posts. There has been so much going on here in our household. My lucky Hubbie was sent overseas for a couple of weeks for work. Little S is suffering badly from not only teething but separation anxiety, now there's a phase i had completely forgotten about. The minute I’m not smiling at Miss S the crying begins. I know it’s only a phase but it tends to get a little boring. 

The other day I received the greatest surprise when I opened up my Toddler Tastes email account, there was a pile of recipes sent in from readers. I can’t tell you how happy this made me. Thank you, that is what I wanted this blog to be about, Mums sharing recipes with each other.

So I’m back in the kitchen again and here’s the first of many recipes. This was sent if from a friend of mine from my mothers group. Michelle sent this in as she used to eat this even before her beautiful daughter Alyssa came along. That's the great thing, this slice is great for both young and old. 

As I have previously mentioned I’ve started a sugar free diet for a while. It was a strange experience for me to make a cake and not consume half the cake or slice before it has even been put into the oven. Once this came put of the oven I had the tiniest nibble and it was oh so good. Miss F absolutely loves it as well. I can’t tell you how much I want to give up this diet so I can have a piece (obviously the withdrawal phase is still happening). 

Thanks so much for this Michelle. I think this would be a great slice to make for a birthday party. It’s one of the healthier slices going around. 

Once again if you have recipe to send click here and for extra information, come to our facebook page.


MAKES
15 squares

PREP TIME
15 minutes

COOKING TIME
30 minutes

INGREDIENTS
100g butter
¾ cup firmly packed raw caster sugar
1 cup self-raising flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups full fruit muesli
2 large bananas, mashed

Lemon glace icing
1 ¼ cups icing sugar mixture
2 tablespoons lemon juice

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan. Grease and line a 19 x 29cm slice pan with baking paper, extending 5cm over each long side.
2. Beat butter and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until combined. Stir in sifted flour and cinnamon, muesli and bananas. Spread mixture evenly over base of prepared pan.
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until firm. Stand at room temperature until cold enough to ice.
4. To make lemon glace icing, sift icing sugar mixture into a bowl then slowly stir in enough juice to form a paste. Spread icing over slice and sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon if desired. 
5. Cut into squares and enjoy.