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Milestones, tears and lunchbox scrolls

1 Apr scrolls

Kiki's first day of kindyKiki’s little body looked so tiny when her new pink and turquoise butterfly bag was hoisted onto her back.

She wouldn’t let me carry it for her even though with her water bottle and lunchbox it was kind of heavy. She was well chuffed to finally have a school bag to call her own. Maybe she’ll grow up to be lover of fine handbags, or kooky carriers that look like animals.

Or just a crazy bag lady.

Walking up the footpath, heading to her first day of daycare, my heart was as heavy in my chest as her bag looked on her shoulders.

Always fiercely independent Kiki wouldn’t even let me help her by taking some of the weight, so I left her because essentially that’s what this day is about.

The second cutting of the cord.

She’s been looking forward to this day for weeks, always sad when we drop D Man off, always wanting to stay and play with the kids. She’s ready. I have no doubt, it’s just that it’s come sooner than I thought and my heart is a little heavy.

This is a milestone. For Kiki and for myself.

Next Monday I’ll be starting a new job. My first day of work in four years. Technically, between writing books and blogs and scripts and stuff I have barely had a single day off, but now I’m GOING TO WORK.

Somewhere that will require pants and a bra.

Kiki’s first day at kindy is a turning point that marks the beginning of big changes in my life, and all our lives, and her smiling face as she was smearing Clag glue all over paper with more abandon than I would never allow at home reminds me that this the beginning of a new era and not just the end of an old one.

She’s only going two days a week, but right now that feels like a lot.

Kiki's first day of kindyI felt quite brave walking in but 15 minutes later as I kissed her little golden head goodbye I was quite shaky on the insides.

I gathered my things and called goodbye to her one last time, but she didn’t even turn to look at me as she was engrossed in something new and exciting.

It’s lucky, I suppose, because she would have seen tears welling in my eyes and a spectacularly wobbly lip as I severed that umbilical cord just a little bit further and say farewell to my baby.

I’ll pick her up after lunch. Just a short day on your first day, but I made sure her lunch was a special one, because she’s also mega proud of her new lunchbox. It’s just like her big brother’s, you see, and she thinks he’s pretty cool except when he’s licking her hair, sticking dinosaurs down her nappy or stealing her food.

scrolls2Cheesy lunchbox scrolls

Yield : 10 

What you will need :

  •  1 ½ cups plain flour (I used spelt)
  •  1 ½ cups wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
  •  3 teaspoons baking soda
  •  1 pinch Salt and cracked black pepper
  •  60 grams chilled butter, chopped
  •  ¾ cup milk
  •  3 tablespoons Mrs Balls Chutney (or whatever chutney floats your boat)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs or thyme
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  •  1 ½ packed cups grated cheese
  • 1/2 zucchini grated
  •  Extra milk, for brushing (may require more)

scrollsWhat you will need to do :

Preheat oven to 210°C

Fry off your bacon until cooked and yummy. Set aside to cool.

Quick-whisk the flour (don’t forget my whisk trick, just whisk it! Place the flour into a bowl and give it a good whisk to aerate and remove lumps. My cheats’ version of sifting)

Add baking powder, salt and pepper and herbs in a bowl and add the butter then using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles rough breadcrumbs. Toss in your chopped spring onion.

Make a well in the centre. Combine the milk with ½ cup water and pour the liquid into the well. Using a flat bladed knife, cut through the flour mixture until it comes together as a rough dough. If it’s too dry, add a little more water a teaspoon at a time.

Tip the dough onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead lightly until it can form a ball. Don’t overwork it. Roll out the dough to a rectangle approximately 30 x 40cm in size.

Mix your tomato paste and chutney together and smear over the entire surface, then sprinkle with cheese, cooled bacon and grated zucchini.

Roll up to form a big cigar. Slice the roll into pieces approximately 2cm wide and place scrolls so they are touching each other on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Brush each scroll with a little extra milk

Chuck them in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through and crunchy. If the scrolls start to brown too quickly cover with foil

Cool on a wire rack then break apart.

kiki's first day of kindy

Recipe Rewind – 5 beauties from before you were watching.

11 Mar squid and chorizo pasta

When I first started this shebanglang I went hell for leather and posted every day or so. I remember getting up at 5.30 am all pumped to ping some love in your in-box before you got up (all three of you).

I was alternating between food and thought pieces and I was cooking and thinking my ass off all day every day because I was so excited to have the outlet.

Admittedly, I couldn’t sleep for shit at that time because I was 500 weeks pregnant with a baby elephant who prided herself on sleeping directly on my bladder, but at least I was productive…. and let’s face it, shooting my mouth off is more my style that cleaning like a tornado as some up-duffers do.

I busted out some of my bestest, most go-to, week-day, bang-em-out meals in the first couple of months when only my best friend, my Nana and my Mum was reading.

I’ve thought a couple of times how much of a big fat waste it was so I’m going to treat y’all to the recipe rewind.

Admittedly, my photography was pretty bloody awful when I started, but I’m not ashamed.

Hell, I’ve shown you a photo of my arse, and my cans, so what’s a crappy picture of food between friends, am I right?

I can guarantee that although the images may be dogs, these meals are still on high rotation at the Holsby Bar and Grill, and you should totes get on the bandwagon, yo.

fish and misoFive Spice Fish with Miso Broth

Anyone that eats at my table with regularity has eaten this numerous times. It takes me 10 minutes to from board to bowl, so maybe it’ll take you 20 minutes the first time and you’ll just get speedier after that.

My kids eat this happily, I just give less soupy juice because they’re hopeless and will wear that stuff.

Curried Mince

nana and grandpaThis little ripper has been handed down throughout my family. My grandparents eats this, my uncles eat this, their kids and partners, and my brother and mother, and, and, and,….you get the picture. Speaking of pictures, this recipe comes with my crinklies, Nana and Grandpa’s, love story.

Sticky Mustard & Marmalade Pork with Pears

This rocks. Nowadays, if I’m not using a fillet, I’ll get chops with the skin on. I’ll chop that tasty pork fat and skin off and roast it with a liberal sprinkle of salt and crackle that baby right on up and serve with it.

Everything is better with crackling.

squid and chorizo pasta

Chorizo and Squid Spaghetti

Spicy chorizo simply loves to be married with seafood…. particularly squid. Add some hard core pasta carb action and this is such a delicious meal.

squid and chorizo pasta

5 Minute, 5 Ingredient Lime Pie

I simply had to give you a cracking dessert in the list. You think I would leave you high and dry after dinner???

Not my style.

If you have NO TIME to make dessert, make this baby your biatch, because it couldn’t be simpler or faster, and just quietly, it’s yummy enough to be impressive to boot.


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now and receive both the hard copy, and the ebook, plus my new mini ebook A Bit On The Side.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

2 course Christmas lunch for 4 for under $35

18 Dec table setting

pork finishedI have varying degrees of success with Santa photos. They seem to range from average to absurd.

One year my little man was so anti-Santa that I tried twice to get him on the fat man’s knee before I finally dressed up in a red dress and donned some elf ears. I sat on the throne and Santa, the good sport that he was, stood behind us.

I made a noble elf!

The following year I had two babies to cajole into compliance, the photographer tried to squeeze a rubber chicken to raise a smile.

Not content with simply looking at the rubber chicken, I now have a Christmas 2012 image of my son proudly holding a rubber chicken about a metre in front of Santa while my daughter drooledpon Santa’s arm fluff.

But it certainly marks the years, does it not?

I do love Christmas. The feeling of festivity is always a lovely way to end the year. It’s crazy easy to overspend though, and life just seems to get more expensive when you have a family.

I set myself a little challenge and fed 4 adults and two toddlers on a tight budget in order to share how easily you can still eat like Kings, but not over extend the budget this Christmas.

The menu looked like this –

  •  Apple and Thyme Stuffed Rolled Pork with Crackling
  • Crunchy Smashed Potatoes
  • Lemony Green Beans
  • Braised Red Cabbage
  •  ChocCherry Icecream Bomb

To see the rest of this post pop on over to Mouths of Mums here.

choc cherry bomb


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

I’m extending my freebie offer to keep up the Christmas spirit.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

HOLSBY TV Iron Chef:Suburbia

17 Nov

I recently met, and developed a little lady crush, on the wonderful Mandy Dos Santos, nutritionist from Little People Nutrition.

It was refreshing in this day and age of hyper-sensitive eating (for which there is an important place – I’m not poo pooing), to find someone who has a very similar food philosophy as myself.

We discussed this sympatico over a schooner of beer and a bowl of fries and we decided we really needed to do some cool shit together.

A pair of busy mums, living a good two hours drive from each other, cool shit was hard to co-ordinate…. and then there was this.

Going head to head in the kitchen two suburban Iron Chefs battled it out over the kitchen bench only to be judged by the harshest critics in the world.

Those Japanese actresses are a piece of cake compared to…

The Toddler.

I present to you


Our guest iron chef was victorious this time, but stay tuned for more opportunities for Mrs H to win the crown.

To see the complete recipe for the brown rice sushi check it out here

To see the complete calamari recipe check it out here

I am launching my new book on the 28th November. 11 days….The countdown is on!

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  - A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning :-)

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

school of the world and brown rice sushi

22 Sep brown rice sushi

brown rice sushi ingredientsI think one of the best gifts you can give your 18 or 21 year old is a plane ticket. One way if they’re a turd.


I am super fortunate that I have traveled my whole life. Being born in the Channel Islands to intrepid parents ensured that my childhood had a bit of adventure and I got a few stamps on the old passport.

I think that taste of travel as a child was one of the biggest catalysts to me wanting to travel so much.

The Caribbean on my Dad’s yacht, the foul smelling tannery in Morocco, the oldest bullring in the world in Spain, a full moon in the desert in India, the biggest bird poo ever on my back in Madrid, the food, THE FOOD, everywhere.

The tastes and smells of adventure… so many memories of cultures so different to ours. So many people who live in ways so unimaginable unless you’re sitting on the dirt floor of their hut, playing charades with someone who doesn’t speak your language in order to communicate, getting ripped off, swindled, charmed or wooed, or drinking beer under a palm tree with a kid who has grown up in a parallel universe.

If nothing else, and is there a lot else, you learn to be grateful for this country we live in.

I was pretty clueless, as I’ve mentioned. Did all sorts of dumb shit, but it’s that dumb shit that taught me what I was capable of, and that I, too, am intrepid.

All I know is the more I travel, the more I want to travel. I’d love to trek with the kids on our backs (maybe we’d get sherpas for that), andI don’t know if I’m still up for camping at the end of the day.

Glamping maybe. With good pillows.

Oh, god, maybe I’m not as intrepid as I used to be.

brown rice sushi rice mixBabies and mortgages have temporarily shackled us at this present moment, but Mister H is a bit of a traveler too. It won’t be long before we can go exploring again and instil a love of travel, and exploration and different cultures in our children.

I’ve never been to Japan, and I’ve never really been attracted to it, but I know one thing I would love about it is the food.

I love brown rice sushi and when I recently saw Brenda from Brenda Janschek Health and Nutrition make her sushi rice loaded with goodies, she totally inspired me to push my growing edge and get my sushi on…. Our only regular fast food is sushi, and now that I’ve mastered it, I think it’s fast food at home all the way.

brown rice sushi rollingYield : 20 pieces of sushi

What you will need :

  • 1 salmon fillet, you can use a chicken fillet or tofu if you prefer
  • 2 tablespoons ketcup manis (sweet soy)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 5 tablespoons sushi rice seasoning (I buy all in one but you can make your own with 5 tablespoons rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt)
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup of coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of pickled ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frypan
  • 1/2 an avocado, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons good quality mayonnaise. I like Thomy.
  • 3 sheets nori
  • one bamboo sushi mat
  • wasabi and soy for serving

brown rice sushiWhat you will need to do :

Pop your rice with 3 cups boiling water in a saucepan on the stove, turn it down low, stick a lid on and leave it until the water is absorbed and your rice is cooked (30-40 mins).
When cooked, remove from pan and place it into a flat dish, pouring over your sushi vinegar seasoning. Stir well to combine and leave to cool.

Roll your salmon in the ketcup manis and cook in a little coconut or peanut oil in a frypan (or BBQ is even better) until just cooked. Remove from heat.

Toss your carrot, zucchini, coriander, chopped ginger and toasted sesames through the seasoned rice and stir well.

Place your nori on your sushi mat and spread a generous layer of your sticky rice over the nori, leaving a bit at the edge bare.

Flake off your salmon and lay a nice chunky line through the centre, along with some sliced avocado and a little smear of mayo.

Using your bamboo mat, roll your sushi quite firmly to ensure it sticks nicely together. Roll until it is a tight cigar and set aside.

Repeat until all ingredients are used. I sometimes have rice leftover which is fab in a salad.

Using a sharp, wet knife, slice your sushi in half, then in half again, and then in half again…. unless you prefer a large roll.

Serve with wasabi and soy… and Asahi beer. Not for the kids.

brown rice sushi

Hooking up with Our Growing Edge over at Sweets and Brains. Thanks for hosting, guys!


If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my twit twaddle @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

Daddy’s Day Hero Worship

27 Aug

How is that that even though I do all the grunt work, like wiping endless butt, snot and tears, Daddy is the one who gets the true hero status in the kid’s eyes?

Thankfully, Mister H is a bit of alright, otherwise this Daddy Worship business would probs get right up my nose!

In honor of the impending Daddy’s Day this weekend, I hopped on over to Woolworths Baby and Toddler Club to talk up Daddy’s and make a little special brunch to show him that we appreciate him.

Brunch Pikelets with Goats Cheese and Bacon



I don’t know how it is in your house, but in my house, Daddy is a bit of a hero.

Even though I change a gazillion nappies, wipe endless snotty noses, and kiss grazed knees and bruised elbows aplenty, as soon as Daddy walks in the door, he’s Number One.

Lucky for my hubby, I think he’s pretty cool too, and more often than not I’m so relieved that the reinforcements have arrived that I feel like giving him a hero’s welcome.

My three-year-old son and I have a little game whereby we hear Daddy’s key in the door and my toddler quickly hides. I must admit, he’s not a very sophisticated hide-and-seeker, but in the name of good parenting we never let on that he’s as obvious as an elephant in a phone box.

To see the rest of this post click here, make sure you follow the links through to the uber yummy Brunch Pikelets with Bacon and Goats Cheese.

Leave a little comment love on the Woolies site if you’d like to see me feature there more often!


Hooking up with the IBOT gang over with the essentially wonderful EssentiallyJess.


If you dig this post, be sure to like my Facebook page, or follow me on twitter @theholsbys, so you can be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

A comforting word from a stranger, and Lamb & Barley Soup

16 Jun

Lamb and barley soup ingredientsI was out with the munchkies last week going for a scoot and trike ride along the bayside promenade just like a David Lee Roth video clip, but with more clothes, and less roller skates.

Mister H was busting out a quick swim (yes, ocean swim in winter – freak) so we went up to a play area to eat a little picnic and play whilst waiting for him. When we arrived, we were sitting near another family with a girl similar to D Man in age and a babe in a pram, when suddenly D Man started his age in an exchange that went a bit like this.

(Capital letters indicate screaming in high-pitched, brain piercing frequency that attracted attention of everyone in a 5 mile radius.)

Me : Hey babe, want to take your helmet off and have a little play over with the kids?


Me : Oh, ok. Come and have a bite of lunch then and we can play later.


I stepped towards him and he made a run for it.

Him : DON’T HURT ME!!!

Nice play, D Man. Awesome. People were really looking now.

That’s his new favorite thing to yell if he’s about to get into trouble. I don’t know where it came from, but it’s very effective, as you can imagine,.

I dashed over, leaving Kiki sitting on her own on the grassy knoll, and I grabbed him by the top of his arm and squatted down in front of his face. In my nice calm, quiet, mummy voice I said -

You don’t yell at your mummy like that or we will go straight home right now. Do you hear me?

Sorry, Mama.

We walked back to Kiki, ate some carrot sticks, smeared some banana and enjoyed 30 seconds of peace and quiet before he decided he wanted to ride Kiki’s trike and she had to ride his scooter. Reasoning that she couldn’t even walk let alone scoot was a minor detail to him and held no weight.

A minor meltdown ensued.

I could see the lady near us looking. I knew what she was probably thinking.
At least, my paranoia thought it knew.

This is shit, I thought. It was supposed to be fun, I thought.

Let’s go find Daddy.

The lady looked me square in the eye and said in a soft voice -

I can see you’re really trying.


Yes, I was jollywell trying. Trying not to yell at my kid in public or have some kind of mental breakdown. I was so relieved she said something nice to me I just blurted  -

Three, man. Terrible two ain’t got nothing on that stuff, eh?

She smiled a gentle smile and said -

Yep, it’s definitely three.

We chatted for a minute and she revealed to me that she was struggling. She had a three month old and a three year old and she was looking at me wondering how I was coping with the two…. and here I thought she was looking at me thinking my child was naughty and I’m a terrible mother for not being more in control.

Funny, isn’t it? I assumed she was judging when she looked at me, but in that one tiny exchange I felt a ‘Solidarity with the Chicks’ moment and I knew that I wasn’t alone in this business.

I took comfort in those words at the park, they were comforting like warm soup on a winter’s day.

All four of us Holsbys are loving soups at the moment, for a few reasons. Partly because it’s great winter fare, but also because it really is a one pot feeds all jobby….for a few days. I also freeze some for those days that I haven’t got my act together.
lamb and barley soup

What you will need :

  • 1kg lamb forequarter chops
  • 2L beef stock
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2/3 cup barley
  • small tin of baked beans
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper

Chuck everything into a large pot, except for the baked beans. Get it up to boiling then turn down to a simmer. Leave it to cook for about an hour or until the lamb is falling apart.
Remove the lamb chops and set aside to cool.

Toss in your tin of beans.

Once cool, pull apart your chops into little chunks and discard the gristle, bone and fat.
Return meat to pot and make sure all is warmed through and delectable.

lamb and barley soup


If you think this soup looks yummy, you should like my Facebook page, or subscribe via email, to be sure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

Hunger Aversion and San Choy Bow

1 Jun

san choy bow ingredientsIn my past life I think I was hungry.

I don’t mean hungry as in  -

Mmmmm, I could really go a tast-y bur-ger

I mean hungry as in on serious rations, or even starving.

Work with me here………

I have an intense NEED to keep a well stocked pantry. If I don’t have what I feel is sufficient dry goods, I feel like we’re running low and it makes me feel uncomfortable.
I don’t feel this way about convenience foods, as Mister H will purport. He will often look into our fridge or pantry and be all -

There is nothing to eat in this house!

When in actual fact if he fancied soaking some lentils, boiling some quinoa or rice, and opening some tins, there’s enough to feed a small, yet hungry, army of legume lovers.

I have met people better stocked than myself, but as far as the average family larder looms, I am dry store personified…..and let’s not even start on my herb and spice cupboard. It’s stocked yet shameful.

I can’t find a damned thing.

One time, (not at band camp) I was climbing Mount Ramelau, East Timor’s highest mountain, approximately a 5 hour round trip and I was so freaked out about rations that I got nervous when we bumped onto some locals and my climbing mates wanted to share our rations. We’d been driving since pre-dawn,  and had a light breakfast of bread rolls and oranges and watched the sun rise before setting off.

We did take the long way, meaning, we got lost, and ended up walking up some twisty turny goat tracks and ended up doing some proper mountain climbing. Sort of.

I was terrified of being stuck up that mountain with only the box of Arnott’s Barbeque Shapes and my emaciated corpse one day being discovered clutching the remnants of a chewed box.

Mount Ramelau, East Timor

Mount Ramelau, East Timor

Needless to say, we found a road and walked down with ease and we were home in time for a hearty lunch and all of my woes were forgotten in a flurry of fish and beans and rice.

San Choy Bow is not East Timorese, in fact, I have no idea how that story popped up just now….I’d forgotten it.

I had a beautiful time in East Timor. I learned some stuff about life there.

Some big stuff.

I met people who had lived through horrific things and yet they still smiled and laughed and lit up when they saw us.
I went to an orphanage and saw the most divine little angels, some scarred physically, all scarred mentally and watched those kids jump around trying to catch bubbles in the afternoon sun, giggling with delight when they burst and disappeared.

Yep, I learned some big stuff in East Timor.

san choy bow

What you will need :

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cm, ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 500g pork mince, or chicken if you prefer.
  • 100g water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions
  • 100g rice vermicelli
  • 2 tablespoons shao xing wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • a big handful of chopped coriander
  • friend onions and chopped peanuts or cashews for serving
  • chilli sauce for serving


What you need to do :

Wash your lettuce leaves and set aside to dry.

Pour boiling water over your noodles in a bowl and leave to sit for ten minutes or until soft. Drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a heavy fry pan, on a medium stove, and chuck in your garlic and ginger. When deliciously fragrant, add your mince.

When the mince is cooked chuck in your carrots and celery stirring well to combine.
When they’re softened toss your spring onions, water chestnuts, shao xing, oyster and soy sauce and pepper in and give a good shimmy.

Cut your noodles into 1.5cm(ish) pieces and stir through, adding the coriander as you go.

Place your mince mix into the lettuce cups, garnish with fried onion and nuts.
I love this with Chinese chilli sauce, so sauce away and banish hunger!

Dex ate this as is, and I put a couple of tablespoons through some mashed avocado for Kiki. They were most happy to have their hunger banished in this style.

Altruistic Pizza

21 May

homemade pizza ingredientsMister H’s favorite food is pizza.

When we first met he probably had a pizza once a week. A big greasy, cheesy yummy one with pepperoni and anchovies. We had some rockin’ pizza delivery places in our old ‘hood.

Many evenings, when exhaustion ringed my eyes, he would altruistically suggest we get a pizza delivered.

If I called him at work saying I was having a terrible day, he would suggest pizza.

When I’m sick and unable to cook, he will suggest pizza.

If my arms were broken or amputated, he would suggest pizza.

He will always take one (‘za) for the team, my man. (Disclaimer: may or may not have exaggerated slightly – sorry, darling.)

Since moving to the ‘burbs we’ve been in a pizza wasteland. With much anticipation and hope in our hearts we’ve had deliveries of all kinds of pizza.

Too cheesy.

Hard to believe there could be such a thing, but when your entire mouth is cloyed and cemented, you gotta call it how you see it. We could barely make it through a couple of pieces and we threw the rest away. Sacrilege!

Too greasy.

Shouldn’t drip oil down to your elbow. Just wrong.

Too doughy.

Shouldn’t need a set of Jaws of Life to chew through your pie.

Too much by way of topping.

Suburban pizzerias think more is more when it comes to their skyscraping pizza. The Godfather would roll in his grave if he saw these atrocities against Italy.

I started making my own, and I have to say, I’ve actually mastered the art, except that one time I was talking myself up hard but in the midst of my dough making the police arrived to take a statement about a break-in and I forgot where I was up to. I forgot to add the olive oil to my dough and it is integral it seems. That was a sad day.

Stolen goods, and dodgy pizza.

homemade pizza dough A chip off the old block (of cheese), D Man loves pizza, so this is an awesome recipe to do with your kids. It’s easy for them to be involved and not create too much havoc.

For the best dough, you need a good strong gluten filled dough, as the gluten is what gives it the brilliant elasticity needed to fling that pizza dough like a real pizza man, but in light of the wheat reduction around these here parts, today I’ve use half wholemeal spelt, and half gluten-free flours.

It didn’t get the stretch, but I rolled it out, and it crisped nicely…. no complaints from the two pizza connoisseurs anyway!

This recipe will make four pizzas.

What you will need :

  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, plus extra, for greasing
  • 4 cups flour, plus extra, for dusting. I used 2 gluten-free, 2 wholemeal spelt, but I reckon plain i
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
  • tomato paste
  • garlic
  • basil and oregano, dried and/or fresh
  • your favorite pizza toppings

What you will need to do :

Mix the lukewarm water, yeast and sugar together in a small bowl until combined, then leave in a warm place for 5 minutes or until frothy. Stir in your olive oil.

Pop your flour and salt together into a large bowl and whisk it to remove any lumps because we’re too lazy to sift.

Pour the yeast mixture over the flour and use your hands to bring the mixture together to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto your clean counter and use the heel of your hands to work the dough for 5 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Gluten free flours do not become elastic, so don’t panic if you’re trying a reduced gluten dough.

Lightly grease the inside of a clean dry bowl with oil and place the dough inside. Chuck a tea towel over the dough and leave in a warm place to prove for 45-60 minutes.

Normal flour will double in size, but wholemeal spelt, or GF only rises a little.

Dust a clean work surface lightly with the extra flour and tip out the dough. Give it a couple of hits to knock back any air, and roll into a nice ball, then cut into quarters. Roll each quarter into a ball and then work it into your desired shaped.

I used rectangular baking trays instead of the traditional round, just because it’s what I have. D Man preparing his own pizzaPlace the dough balls on a lightly greased baking tray, cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 15 minutes, while your prepare your toppings.

I squirt a wad of tomato paste on the dough, and throw my crushed garlic on top and then sprinkle dried herbs. That way, when I smear it all over the pizza it all combines.

Then I do a modest sprinkle of cheese for myself and D Man, whilst Mister H likes it a bit cheesier. The thing about making them at home is you can create them exactly how you like them.

Perfect for a control freak pizza connoisseur. C’est moi.

perfect homemade pizza Some topping suggestions are -

  • thinly sliced potato, rosemary and Italian sausage
  • roast capsicum, olive, pepperoni, sliced tomato and fresh rocket on top
  • pumpkin, fetta, bacon and spinach
  • Super Supreme – The Lot!

Chuck into a preheated 200C oven and cook for about 25 minutes, until browned and crisp.

Cut into pieces, and allow to cool for a minute so as not to burn the knobbly bit behind your teeth as you bite.

D Man eating pizza

PS I made a Holsby TV episode using this exact recipe and my minion cooked it whilst I kicked back and raised money for charity.

Check it out, yo.

Hooking it up with Jess because I blog on Tuesdays…. Hiya, L’il J.


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All  head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Toddler Guerilla Tactics and a Sausage Roll

15 Mar Homemade sausage rolls

sausage roll ingredients Before I had children I had a very clear image of the type of parent I would be.

I would always maintain cool composure, because everyone knows children can smell fear. I would never, ever smack, nor allow junk food, and enforce a strict bedtime. My children would be clean, and my house would be tidy with just one little play area for toys.

Oh, and I would always remain fun. Naturally, I’d be the funnerest mum ever.

Fast forward almost 3 years and I can pretty much see y’all sniggering into your cup of tea.

Lego, Little People and dinosaurs are all over my floor, my kids’ faces are smeared with snot and breakfast and the piles of washing, both clean and dirty, are mammoth, and I’m sitting at my computer instead of getting onto it.

I’d like to say I’ve learned to pick my battles, but I probably haven’t. Sometimes I feel like I’m getting beaten by a little guerilla toddler.

Toddler terrorism is rife in my house, and I’m ashamed to say that I am not above bribery, and depending on the circumstance, I may even just succumb to the tyranny.

One fine example was at oh five hundred hours this morning, after I’d been up a gazillion times with a sick Kiki, and having a supremely snotty nose myself, I heard D Man saying he didn’t want to sleep anymore.

I wasn’t havin’ that.

rolling the sausage rolls

Usually, I can stealthily commando in, shove Ratty in his arms, cover him up, and be out of the room before he could say ‘I want milk’, but this morning he said -

I want the fluffy blankie.

Shit. I’d put it away. In Kiki’s room.

I said gently, No darling, it’s sleepy time now, we’ll get the fluffy blankie out of Kiki’s room in the morning. Stay in bed until it’s light outside. Night night.

I WANT THE FLUFFIE BLANKIE, shrieked my little dictator, (and I’m sure I heard a German accent – is that reference kosher? Probably not.)

A few things ran through my mind, and of course, I know I should have stood my ground, but all hell would have broken loose, everyone would have been crying and up for the day and I just wasn’t ready for that shit.

So, Mini Despot got his blankie.

And I got half and hour more sleep.

Was it worth it?


Another one were having currently is over tomato sauce. Boy has discovered the joy of the tangy, sweet/sour condiment from the Heinz Gods, and I agree that some foods must have sauce. A pie, fish and chips, hell, even shepard’s pie, but not everything to cross the dinner table needs to be doused.

Broccoli, for instance, does not need sauce.

I put my foot down over this one, and I put it down good.

Perhaps it’s easier to stand my ground in the light of day……thankfully, these little sausage rolls a begging to be loved with sauce.

When it came to these, Boy had his way.

sausage rolls fresh from the ovenHealthy Mini Sausage Rolls

Yield : 25, depending on how big you make them

What you will need :

  • 350g pork
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 zucchini, finely grated
  • 1/2 carrot, finely grated
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 3 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sesame and poppy seeds
  • sauce to serve

What you need to do :

Preheat oven to 200C

Place your fennel and mustard seeds in a dry frypan over a medium heat and toast until lightly golden and fragrant. Pop into a mortar and pestle and give them a good bashing.

Lightly fry your onion until it is translucent.

Toss your pork, veges and onion and spices into a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Season well.

Cut your sheet of pastry into three equal slices and using a tablespoon to measure out your mixture, roll up your little sausage rolls until the mixture is finished.

Brush rolls with egg yolk and sprinkle with the seeds, before popping them into the oven until they are golden brown – about 20 mins.

Serve with sauce, of course.

Homemade sausage rolls

If you need inspiration for Toddler Friendly food, why not check out my ebooks?
For a measly $15 you can have two books worth of kid friendly food ideas that the whole family will love!

I’m flogging my blog with Grace today over at FYBF


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