Friday, 28 June 2013

Food Friday

A somewhat "healthy" date loaf recipe.

I love date loaf, and remember mum always making it when I was a kid.  This isn't her recipe though...sorry mum :)  This one is a bit simpler.


1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
60g butter or margarine (chopped)
1 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups sifted SR flour
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Simply put the chopped dates, sugar and butter in a heatproof bowl.  Add the boiling water and mix until the sugar dissolves and the butter is melted. Add the vanilla essence.
Add the sifted flour and bicarb soda and mix until all combined.
Pour into a greased loaf tin (not a very big one, this isn't a big cake) and bake for 30-35 minutes at 180 degrees.  Every oven is different so check if it is cooked before taking it out of the oven.

And there you have it, quick and simple "healthy" date loaf recipe!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

a day OFF

This week my husband surprised me by giving me a day off.  The BEST surprise!

I was presented with this lovely card and chocolate bar (because I am a marvellous creation...aww)

and this Royal Decree.  (He is fun like that)

With babysitting arrangements taken care of, he planned some activities for me so I wouldn't be tempted to stay home and clean!  He knows me very well.

First stop - Thai Foot Spa.  This was AMAZING!  When you wake yourself up with your own heavy breathing (that moment before you start snoring) you know you are relaxed! I could have stayed there all day.

Next stop - Lunch with Mr Incredible.  I can't remember the last time we had lunch together by ourselves.  It was so peaceful.

Last stop - The beauty salon.  Just to make me feel beautiful.

I managed to squeeze in a few hours of sewing as well!

I had some time for reflection on this day off.  Being a mum is a tough job.  Even though I only have one child (those of you with 2, 3, 4, 5... children - you are AMAZING!) there are some very hard days.  I always feel guilty if I spend time and money on myself and generally don't. So this was the best surprise my husband could give me!

Mums - you need to look after yourselves!  If you haven't had a "day off" in a while....or ever...go and have one! I don't think we always need to spend money and do extravagant things, but just having a little time to be you helps you to be a better you!  They're my thoughts anyway.  :)

If we could only do this more often - 

“How beautiful is it to rest and then do nothing afterward”  Spanish proverb

I feel rejuvenated, ready to tackle the next 18 months....although I'm hoping I get another "day off" surprise before then ;)

Friday, 21 June 2013

Food Friday

A winter warmer - Thai Green Curry (chicken)

This is a favourite in our house.  I used to make it once a week, but I got slack and hadn't made it for a while...until last night...


It is so EASY!

You will need this:

Follow the directions on the jar for a very delicious green curry.

I like to make it my own.  This is how I usually make it (I have had to tone down the curry spice for E. For some reason she doesn't like it spicy :) so this is a mild version):


Chicken breast (usually about 300 grams)
1 small onion
1-2 tbspn Valcom green curry paste
2 tbspn fish sauce
2 tspn Castor sugar
2 x 400ml cans light coconut milk/cream
green capsicum
3 cups basmati rice

Slice the chicken breasts and the onion and chop the vegetables.  I will usually use any green vegetable I have, so don't be scared to use other vegetables.

Cook the rice now.

Heat some olive oil in a pan (about 2 tablespoons).  Cook the onion for 30 seconds and add the curry paste and stir for another 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Don't burn the paste!  Add the chicken and cook until just cooked.  Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and bring to the boil.  (I use two tins of coconut milk to reduce the spice.  If you like it spicy, and without much sauce, just use one).

Add the vegetables and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

This quantity will feed our family of 3 for two meals with some left over.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Life's a Happy Song...

E has just started singing (it's more like a hum). It is so fun to hear!  She goes about doing her things and hums along.  It means she is happy and there is no greater feeling than knowing your children are happy, no matter how old they are.

 "Those who wish to sing always find a song"

Have you ever tried to sing while you are angry or upset?  It doesn't work.  You either can't sing, or it changes your mood into a happier one.  There is something about good music that just washes your woes away and brightens up your day. 

  “Music is truly the universal language, and when it is excellently expressed how deeply it moves our souls.” -- David O. McKay,

E loves playing her instruments and tinkering away at the piano...and doing things she shouldn't to the piano...

I love that she loves music. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

The "To Do" list

I'm not really one to write lists for things, but sometimes when the list in my head gets too long I need to put it on paper. 

Today was one of those days.

My "To Do" list is mostly self inflicted.  I am not good at doing nothing, so I'm constantly coming up with new things to do (as if I don't already have a million things to do), and then every now and then everything seems due at once. I find myself avoiding doing anything on the list, which actually makes me feel worse.  I don't think procrastinating makes anyone feel good (doing a blog post is not on my list of things to do today).

Food for thought:
 “Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you won’t do anything with it.” ~ M. Scott Peck
I've often heard that things we want to do should be on our list along with things we need to do.  Life would be so dull if we only ever did the things that need to be done!

It seems that the things which are most important are never on my list.  We don't write lists for these things, yet they are what make us happiest:  tell your family you love them, play with your children as if you have nothing else to do, smile!

Perhaps a "To Be" list is more important than a "To Do" list.

Be kind
Be patient
Be happy
Be present

I have found that whatever kind of list we have, it's best to just tackle one thing at a time.


This is perfect:
 “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could.” ~ Emerson

Friday, 14 June 2013

Food Friday

Friday sure does come around quickly!

It has been a lazy cooking week this week so I don't even have anything really fun to share.  Only 3 weeks in and I'm already falling behind.  Yikes.

One snack that we have really been enjoying though is these banana pancakes I found on Pinterest.
Banana Pancakes

It only takes 5 minutes from the thought to make them to devouring them.

1 ripe banana (mashed)
2 eggs

Add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon for extra flavour. 

Whisk is all together, cook in a frying pan for 20-30 seconds, flip and you're done!

Great served with berries or ... maple syrup of course (but then I think that takes the "healthy" out of them)

A great afternoon snack.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Rainy Day Monday

What to do on a rainy day?

After what seems like a week of grey and bleak weather, and spending far too many days indoors, I thought I should try and come up with something a little bit out of the ordinary to help us get through another day inside.

This is E's favourite thing to do...

But instead we found some balloons!

Every child loves balloons, right?  You can throw them, kick them, bounce them, run around them...hours of fun (well, minutes if you're a one year old, but I'm sure they will still be fun when she wakes up from her nap!)

We can't go past the felt board activity.  E still loves it!  I have the board tucked away beside a cupboard but she knows exactly where it is and pulls it out at least once a day.  It's perfect for a stuck inside rainy day too.

and for lunch....

A pancake picnic!  This was fun.  Although by the time I got it ready E had already eaten a pancake whilst lying down on the kitchen floor.  I guess she was ready for bed already :)  But she still joined us for some more on the picnic blanket.

The best and easiest pancake recipe ever (thanks to some wonderful friends ;) )

1 cup of SR flour
1 cup of milk
1 egg

That is all!

Top with whatever you like (works great with yoghurt and fruit...or unhealthy like us...lots of maple syrup!)

And now that she is sleeping peacefully, I can do the best rainy day activity of all...SEW!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Food Friday

Homemade Pizza! 

Nothing beats your own homemade pizza with your own homemade pizza base!

After many different pizza base recipes over the years I have settled on this one.  It works perfectly every time and tastes great!

This one is from Jamie Oliver (see link here)

Makes 6 to 8 medium-sized thin pizza bases



1 kg white bread flour or '00' flour, or 800g strong white bread flour or Tipo '00' flour, plus 200g finely ground semolina flour (I use the '00' flour and then plain flour for kneading if required) 

1 teaspoon fine sea salt 

2 x 7 g dried yeast sachets 

1 tablespoon golden caster sugar 

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

650 ml lukewarm water

Visit Jamie Oliver's page for the recipe instructions :)  Click here

Top it with your favourite ingredients!

I freeze the left over dough in 2 base lots.  Just put them in a freezer bag and seal!  They thaw easy and still make great pizzas.  I love being able to pull them out of the freezer during the day when I don't feel like cooking dinner.

We use a pizza stone in the oven to cook our pizza, but if you don't have one I am sure a normal tray would work well too.  

Do you have a pizza base recipe that you love?  Please share it!

I think we might have pizza tonight! :)  

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mummy more?

This morning I sat down to have my breakfast.  E had already had her own but for some reason she liked the look of mine.  The same thing happened at dinner tonight - she had finished hers and then wanted to get started on mine!

I actually remember doing this as a kid.  Mum's food always seemed better than mine, although I can't remember wanting to eat her dinner - just the "snacks" she would make, and always her drink!  I am sure she shared more times than she wanted to.

I loved it when I could eat whatever I wanted to without having to share!
Lately I have found myself sneaking to the cupboard and very quietly getting something to eat so that I don't have to share it ha ha!  Surely I'm not the only person who does this?  As soon as there is a crinkle of paper, or even a slight noise in the cupboard, I hear an instant patter of footsteps making their way to the kitchen..."mummy more?"
"Sharing is good because it makes everyone happy"
Maybe I should apply this to my life...

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Little wet kisses

The other night, as I was preparing dinner, E came up and put her arms around my legs and let out a big MmmmAAAHHH (that's her interpretation of a kiss).  As she held my legs for that brief second I couldn't help but feel an overwhelming sense of love for this little person.  How blessed I feel to be able to be her mother, and what a great responsibility I have to teach her what is right.  

Of all the joys of life, none other equals that of happy parenthood. Of all the responsibilities with which we struggle, none other is so serious. To rear children in an atmosphere of love, security, and faith is the most rewarding of all challenges. The good result from such efforts becomes life’s most satisfying compensation.     - Gordon B Hinckley

She proceeded to find her daddy and give him some kisses as well.

These little moments are the best!

You might also like:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...