Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Anzac Day.

Just thought I would share some photos I took of Smidge and I preparing for Anzac Day. A wonderful friend of mine provided lots of yummy Anzac biscuits and drinks for the diggers after the march so I was very pleased to help out with making some of them. As you can see, so was Smidge.

Well, first we need a cute outfit...

We tip the 'stuff' in

You can tip it low, or tip it high. High is more fun!

Mum will do some fiddly stuff on the 'ooo hot!' but then you can mix it

And use your hands to mix it a bit more...

Roll it into balls...

Try not to worry about spills- that's what Mum is there for...

And cook until they are golden brown. Yum!

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QLD Branch Conference!

Wow, how lucky am I?

I have had the pleasure of spending the last two days surrounded by passionate, intelligent and gorgeous women. 

I have been attending the Queensland Branch Conference for the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

When I signed up to attend conference I knew a couple of the girls from my local group and a few friends that I had met from the ABA online forum (yep, I’m a geek, I know!) Now, within 48 hours I feel like I have met a team of amazing Mums who I will have the pleasure of working with over the next 10, 20 or 30+ years. They have come from far and wide with all just one thing in common- breasts that have been used for their true purpose.  🙂

Other than that, there is no one thing that defines us. We do not all share the same age, height, colour, age, religion or taste in chocolate (but hey, chocolate is a very sacred private thing, no one choice is wrong. Actually except dark chocolate, that’s just gross)

So I’m wondering, how can a group of strangers with only this in common make me feel so comfortable, so relaxed, so at home? I feel so at home actually that I would like to propose bringing in the men and the older siblings and perhaps converting the conference centre into one, big commune. Maybe I should put that on the feedback sheet?

I am feeling so excited and so inspired by these women and wish every Mum could feel this way when they enter the wonderful world that is Motherhood. The ABA does an amazing job of supporting Mums, from the early day (daze) of that first time your eyes meet your childs and your world becomes so much smaller (and huge-er) at the same time, to the Mum who is up on stage, proudly announcing her sons engagement. For all the parenting stages- rough and smooth, the ABA is there for Mum to Mum support.

A couple of Did You Knows….

  • ABA runs a Counselling Hotline that is available 24 hours a day and is a free call. They can even provide information and advice by email. Some months they even receive more than 7000 phone calls!
  • The conference is so friendly and relaxed that I could even wear my fisherman pants, my out of the house version of pyjamas- score!
  • In 2014 the ABA will celebrate it’s 50th anniversary!
  • For only $85 an expectant Mum and her partner/support person can attend a Breastfeeding Education Class. Not only will they get some invalueble insight and information about breastfeeding but included is a year long subscription to the ABA.
  • The first weekend in October is Baby’s Day Out, a great chance to get out in public with your bubs and show that babies should be seen and heard.
  • The 3-9th of May is National Mothering Week and this years theme is Mothering- Together we do better! What a great chance to get along to an ABA meeting and show your support to other Mums, or get some support from them  😉

For more info on the Australian Breastfeeding Association see www.breastfeeding.asn.au

Cooking with Kids: Salads

Salads are very popular here, they’re a great healthy meal and something kids can very easily be involved in.  There are lots of advantages in having the kids involved in cooking dinner, the most obvious of which is that then you don’t have to entertain them!  Plus we’ve found with our 4 year old that she’s more likely to eat something if she’s helped make it.

The 4 year old is now known as ‘Queen Salad Maker’ and she is very proud to teach her little apprentice.  Just about every evening she asks if she can make a salad.  Some of the things they can do with minimal supervision:

  • Use scissors to open packets.
  • Tear lettuce leaves
  • Use a spoon to scoop out avocado.
  • Use a small, fairly blunt knife to slice peeled cucumber.
  • Use a fork to get olives or corn out of the jar or tin.
  • Wash and add cherry tomatoes.
  • Pull off florets of cauliflower.
  • Chop up sliced ham – even a butter knife will chop up most cold meats.
  • Chop cheese slices or tear it into chunks.
  • Mix the salad in a big bowl.
  • Add dressing, so long as someone else has measured it out!  Don’t let them loose with the bottle on their own 😀

Then they usually stand there and self serve while the rest of dinner is done, which is a pretty good way for them to eat vegetables!

Cooking With Kids: Savoury Crepes

I had no idea this was so simple, I had to check several recipes because I had this image crepes were really hard.  No, they’re 18 month old easy!

Ingredients:

  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 435ml (1 3/4 cups) milk
  • 2 eggs at room temperature

Method:

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl.  Use a really wide bowl so it doesn’t get flicked everywhere.
  2. In another bowl put the eggs and milk and whisk them with a fork.  A deep bowl for this bit, even baby girl at 18 months can do it.  She gets really excited when she manages to pop the yolks.
  3. Pour a little bit into the flour and mix, gradually add a little at a time and keep mixing until you have a thin batter.  I do the pouring and let the girls mix, it’s easier for little ones when the mix is thinner.
  4. Whisk until smooth, but not too much or the gluten will make the crepes rubbery.  But whisking is so much fun we often end up with tough crepes!
  5. Cover and let it rest for half an hour at room temperature to relax the gluten.

We generally do this in the morning then go out, but it’s also a good time to get your fillings ready.  We use all sorts of things, corn, olives, mushrooms, spring onion, ricotta cheese, tomato, capsicum, ham, pretty much anything you like.

Use a little bit of oil in a pan on medium heat, pour in some of the crepe mixture and swirl it around to cover the pan.  Cook it until golden on that side.  Turn the crepe and put your fillings on one side, not too much.  When it is almost cooked, fold the other side over on top.  When the base is cooked you can flip it over again to heat the top.  I generally cook them from youngest to oldest, that way their’s has time to cool while the others are cooking.  I also slice them up. Enjoy!

Cooking with Kids: Homemade Muesli Bars

This is such a popular one in our house, it evaporates very quickly! And it’s a great recipe for simple skills even little ones can do.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of things to put in.  I try to go for 3 cups of dry and 2 cups of fruit but you can do any ratio.
    • muesli, rolled oats, oatbran, wheat germ, cereals, …
    • sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds (yum!), coconut, hazelnuts, almonds, …
    • All sorts of dried fruit, glace cherries are a hit here, so are prunes and dates.
  • 125g butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar.

Method:

I get the kids to help measure out the ingredients.  Depending on how chunky you like it you can use it as is, or whizz the nuts in a food processor.  I like to toast the dry ingredients while the girls use butter knives to chop up the dried fruit or pull it apart and put it into a measuring cup.  I put a little bit in a dry frypan on medium heat until it is golden, do it in batches and put it into a large mixing bowl.

While the dry ingredients are cooling, start the syrup.  Add the butter, honey and brown sugar to a saucepan and stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.  Turn the heat low and simmer without stirring for about 7 minutes, until it forms a little ball when dropped in icy cold water.  (Actually I’ve never done that, I just leave it to simmer until everything else is ready and it looks like a nice thick syrup.)

Mix all the dry ingredients and fruit together in a large bowl, the kids can do this.  Then stir in the syrup and make sure everything is mixed.  Press it into a foil lined tray with the back of a spoon then put it in the fridge for about an hour.  This is why you use the foil – when it is set you can pull it straight out and chop it up, then put it into another foil lined air-tight container and keep it in the fridge.  It will keep about a week if it lasts that long!


Wordless Wednesday – Dinner Last Night

Play Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and Wordless Wednesday

Cooking with Kids: Frozen Banana

This is so simple it really doesn’t deserve to be called cooking.  On the other hand, I’ve done it with both my girls since they were about 15 months, and they love the fact they can do it themselves.  And it’s perfect for summer – healthy, quick, fun and cold.

 

Ingredients:

  • Banana
  • Toothpicks
  • Knife
  • Airtight container
  • Freezer

Either cut the end so your child can peel the banana or peel it for them if they are very little.  Give them the toothpicks and let them go!  At 4 big girl does a straight line of beautifully spaced toothpicks, at 18 months baby girl sticks them in all over the place.  It doesn’t matter.  Gvie them a blunt knife, even a butter knife will work on ripe bananas, and let them cut between the toothpicks.  Big girl can do this all by herself, I guide baby girl.  Put them in an airtight container and freeze!  Time depends on how thick the slices are.  When you get them out, you have little banana iceblocks with their own handle.  Kids love them.

I tend to do this at morning or afternoon tea time and use several bananas, the girls eat as much as they want unfrozen then we put the rest into the freezer.