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Wholefood Salt Caramel Slice ; Simply to die for, plus a Pureharvest giveaway

11 Sep

whole food salt caramel sliceWhen I was asked if I would be interested in receiving a hamper of goodies from Pureharvest I was pretty keen. Although not traditionally a super, mega organics shopper you know I am very aware of what I feed the family, and besides I’m not one to look an organic gift horse in the mouth when it comes to products I’m actually keen to sample.

In my pantry I already stock the Pureharvest Rice Malt Syrup as it’s a low GI, complex carbohydrate blend of glucose and maltose used as a sugar alternative. I like to mix up my sweeteners and Rice Malt Syrup is considered one of the gooduns.

The argument about fructose versus glucose is a valid debate, but I’m not going to be entering into it today. Partly because I’m not that sugar-free chick and partly because I have cracked a ‘healthy’ version of a caramel slice that’s to die for and I can’t wait to tell you that instead.

I’m just going to give you a disclaimer -

THIS IS A SOMETIMES FOOD UNLESS YOU CAN’T STOP AND YOU EAT THE WHOLE BATCH, BUT THEN IT’S GONE AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO THINK ABOUT IT’S DELICIOUSNESS TAUNTING YOU FROM THE FRIDGE ANY LONGER.

Now, where were we?

Pureharvest.

whole food salt caramel sliceI met founder, Don Lazarro, at ProBlogger and he told a story of how back in the late ’70s he had a health food store that sold mostly dried legumes and seeds.

In the early ’80s Don took a punt and bought 1000L of soy milk into Australia on a big, heavy pallet to try to sell in his shop. He had no idea if it would fly, but he thought a non-dairy milk alternative was a good idea.

It was better than a good idea. It was bloody brilliant.

I’m not a fan of soy milk for loads of reasons but I’ll tell you what- Pureharvest have cracked almond milk, rice milk and Coco Quench milk. I’ve been experimenting with them in my cooking – oatcakes, French toast, scrambled eggs have all had the Pureharvest treatment and I reckon it definitely adds something good. Nuttiness? Earthiness?

D Man has gone nuts for the CocoQuench on his cereal. It’s a cross between rice milk (made from brown rice) and coconut milk. Seriously bloody yummy with great nutritional benefits.

Late the other night I made a Coco Quench hot chocolate with organic cocoa, sweetened with rice malt syrup as an experiment. I went one step further and chucked in 2 marshmallows and a fat slug of whiskey. Not sure if that’s what Pureharvest had in mind however it rocked my socks.

Will I completely switch from cow’s to these alternatives?

No. But having options and mixing it up is something I love. Options.

Anyhoo, I’ve been ploughing my way through their products but I wanted to make a little something amazing as I do see a great trend towards gluten free, dairy free, sugar stuff…. don’t screw your face up, it can be even yummier than traditional baking. Give this a shot and tell me it’s not ALL THAT.

whole food salt caramel slice

What you will need : 

For base – 

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cacao (or cocoa powder if that’s what you have)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 270ml tin coconut cream (I like Ayam brand as it’s pure)

For salt caramel – 

  • 140 ml coconut milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • a big pinch of salt

For top – 

  • 2 squares of Lindt dark salt chocolate

What you will need to do :

Line a tin, I used 25 x 15, with baking paper.

Stick all of your ingredients for the base into a food processor and wazz it until it starts to stick together and clump.

Tip into your tray and press down with your fingers so it’s nice and even and then pop it in the fridge.

whole food salt caramel slicePop your ingredients for salt caramel into a saucepan on medium heat and bring to boil. Leave at a medium boil keeping an eye on it until it reduces, thickens and darkens to a rich caramel colour. About 20 mins.

whole food salt caramel slicePour immediately onto your chilled base, spreading it evenly, and using a microplane or the finest grater you can grate the salt chocolate over the top whilst it’s still hot and it will melt on contact.

whole food salt caramel sliceEnsure an even coverage and pop back into the fridge for an hour or so until all cooled.

Cut into pieces as large as you wish. It’s fairly rich so you don’t need much.

whole food salt caramel slice

 

Would you like some of this Pureharvest goodness for your very own?

They have offered for me to give one of my peeps a generous hamper like my own if you can just name this slice.

Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, no bake salt caramel slice is a bit of a mouthful in more ways than one.

Leave a comment on my Facebook page or right here to go in the running. Winner will be announced Wednesday 17th September.

 

***THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST***

I RECEIVED A HAMPER OF ORGANIC GOODNESS FROM PUREHARVEST AND ALL OPINIONS AND RECIPES ARE MY OWN

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite bedroom appliance and Fetta stuffed Greek rissoles.

25 Aug

fetta stuffed greek rissolesAs a ‘domestic’ blogger I often get asked what my favourite household appliance is and I always think “how could I possibly choose?”

I’m rather fond of the kettle but that vacuum cleaner can kiss my arse.
The fridge keeps the wine cold, so I guess we’re firm friends.

Something much easier for me to name as prized is my favourite bedroom appliance.

Not my hairdryer, nor my bedside clock.

My vibrator.

I currently only have one and it doesn’t even work properly any more but I’ll take that over the washing machine or the even my food processor any day of the week.

The food processor definitely brings me a modicum of joy, but my tickle stick?

No competition.

I bought it at Sexpo under the watchful eye of my sex therapist friend Isiah whom I presumed has much experience in these matters. She hailed this one as the bomb. The brand was titled Fun Factory, which was remeniscent of a 90’s dance group so I envisaged hours of solo disco.

My previous battery operated lovers had been lurid phallic looking monstrosities but not so with this little darling. She, yes, she was compact, sleek and looked bugger all like a penis.

She looked gentle and friendly, rather than like a truncheon that wished to terrorise my soft bits. She was almost unassuming enough to try to sneak into hand luggage through an airport, but not quite, because as friendly in appearance as my buzzing friend may be she would still cause an awkward conversation at the X-ray.

I realise discussing self-pleasuring is not everyone’s cup of tea, but whether you keep on the down low or sing it from the roof tops I thoroughly recommend everyone rubs one out from time to time…. or all the time if you wish.

It’s a great reliever of stress and puts you in a better mood. When it’s just you you needn’t care about waxing your bikini line, nor need you worry about how long it’s taking or whether you’re being suitably appreciative.

Or if you say the wrong name – Joe Manganiello for instance.

Joe-Maganiello-June-2014-BellaNaija.com_

If you wish to languorously make love to yourself, rock on, but if you want to jump straight into lift-off position and be back about your business in a couple of minutes flat – power to you.

I didn’t mean to disrespect my food processor before, I really do love it. For turning mundane mince into orgasmic little, creamy centred rissoles my food processor is essential, but my point was if I needed to pick just one household appliance to take to the desert island my mince would be mundane for eternity.

After all this wank talk, before we get onto the food, I do recommend thoroughly washing your hands.

PS Champagne Carolyn, I cannot resist a dare.

fetta stuffed greek rissoles

 

Fetta Stuffed Greek Rissoles, with Crispy Cubed Potatoes

Serves 4

What you will need :

For the rissoles – 

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 spanish onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1.2 packed cup of mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 100g fetta (I used delish goat’s fetta today) cut into 1cm cubes.

For the potatoes – 

  • one potato per person, plus one cheeky extra one
  • two sprigs fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

For the salad -

  • remainder of the bunch of mint
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 2 cucumbers, cut length ways then chopped
  • 1 roast capsicum, home grilled or from a jar
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil

 

What you will need to do :

Pop your potatoes into a saucepan of boiling water and boil until just tender.

Preheat oven to 200C.

Chop potatoes into cubes and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Chuck them in, tossing now and then.

crispy cubed potatoes

Into your for processor toss your spanish onion, garlic, lemon zest, mint and oregano. Wazz it up until it’s a paste. Add it to your mince, chuck in the egg, season well and mix that sucker with your hands.

Taking dessert spoon sized chucks, roll into balls then dig a hole with your thumb. Insert a cube of fetta and close the mince back up over it. Continue until you’re all done.

fetta stuffed greek rissolesCook your rissoles on the BBQ until they’re cooked through and the cheese is melty. 6-7 minutes a side.

Toss your salad ingredients onto your serving plate and mix well with lemon juice and olive before serving the rest of your stuff on the platter and chucking it on the table.

Dinner is served.

 

fetta stuffed greek rissoles and crispy potato cubes

 

 

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.

Baby nightmares and Spiced Pumpkin Soup

26 Jun

spicy pumpkin soupD Man was a late talker so when he cried out in the night I just had to guess it was a nightmare and rub his nappied butt till he drifted back off to  the Land of Nod.

You can tell by the cry if it’s just a ‘Mama, come give me some sugar’ moment, or a true night terror.

Whenever it was blatantly the latter I’d wonder what it is a toddler has nightmares about?

Not so much mystery with the Kikster. She’s a talker, my girl. I guess some apples fall pur-ty close to the ol’ gnarly motor mouth mama tree.

She has quite a few bad dreams, say, a couple of times a week and they range from calling out things like “go away!” or “stop it!”, and then rolling over, no intervention required, to full blown terror and needing loads of calming, stroking, and cooing.

She dreams of sibling violence which she describes through sobbing tears.

“D Man.(sob) Bit.(sob) My.(sob) Finger.(sob) Go away, D Man!”(sob, sob sob. Coo, coo, coo.)

“D Man. Pushed. My. Back. Kiki fall over.”

Big sobs. Huge.

You know those dreams where you dream your partner has slighted you in some way and you wake up cranky with them?
Sometimes I’m glad she’s trapped behind bars so she can’t commando roll across the hall in her pink flannelette camoflage pj’s,  slip soundlessly into his room and commit acts of revenge unbeknownst to me as I hunker down on the couch with a glass of wine as big as my head and a bowl of ice-cream as big as my arse.

You may think it sounds far fetched (the commando roll, not the size of the wine) but she’s a feisty one and a sleeping sibling is easy pickings.

It’s not all domestic aggression that takes up space in her nocturnal dreamscapes, however. She also gets prehistoric hysteria, or prehysteria.

We spend a lot of time talking, exploring, examining and discussing dinosaurs during waking hours in this house so it’s not a great leap to discover they penetrate her impressionable subconscious.

“Dinosaur. Ate. My. Teddy.”

“Dinosaur. Chasing. Monsters.”

Trying to explain the relationship between extinct dinosaurs and non-existant monsters to a sobbing two year old at  3A.M. is not really worth the effort so we’ve done a spot of bed hopping of late.

I used to be all “Oh no, never let the stinkers into your bed or you’ll never get rid of them” but you know, schnuggling up with a child that’s clinging to you for comfort, drifting off with their feather soft hair tickling your nostrils, waking up with sharp little toenails digging into your cheek, it’s is all part of the gig.

And I kinda like a stolen cuddle.

It’s comforting to wake with a sleepy warm kid because it’s winter and I never think of utilising my hot water bottle. They’ve gotta be good for something, right?

Another way to keep mega warm sans hot water bottles or sproglets is spicy soup.

Not in bed.

That’s weird, unless you’re that way inclined, in which case I recommend a water proof mattress protector because this vibrant soup will stain the crap out of your mattress.

spicy pumpkin soupSpicy Pumpkin Soup

What you will need : 

  • 1 butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cm ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder.
  • Fresh coriander, for serving
  • natural yoghurt, for serving

What you will need to do : 

Whack it in a pot minus the coriander and yoghurt.

Simmer till it’s mushy.

Wazz it in the food processor.

Serve it. Sprinkle it with coriander and drizzle it with yoghurt.

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

spicy pumpkin soup

 

 

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.

 

Apple Fritters and A Daunting Dance Card

3 Jun apple fritters

apple fritters recipeYou know that old expression be careful what you wish for?

I don’t reckon many people would wish for herpes so I figure as long as you’re wishing for something positive that doesn’t leave a burning sensation in your knicks, knock yourself out.

It helps to be specific so the Universe, or the angels, or God, or whomever you wish to doesn’t mess it up. You know, don’t just make a blanket wish for ‘more excitement’ cos that shit can be tres confusing to the powers that be, know what I’m sayin’?

I wished to be a freelance writer who could work from home and be with my kids and balance everything beautifully.

Luckily, farking luckily, for me, it would appear it’s kinda happening.

I admit I’ve put in some yards, and as we know hard work accentuates luck, but still…..L.U.C.K.Y M.O.F.O.

But first things first, let’s talk the about Kidspot Voices 2014 because that is one of the flukiest damned things that I ever did see.

You know how made it into the Kidspot Top 30 Parenting and Personal blogs?

No?

Well, I didn’t really mention it here, because I didn’t wish to be a douchey bragger, and although it’s lurvely to receive a kudos from the community, the competition is well fierce I didn’t really think I’d get far in the comp.

The gorgeous Amanda from the Cooker and a Looker and I at the Voices announcement party (may be a tad squiffy)

The gorgeous Amanda from the Cooker and a Looker and I at the Voices announcement party (may be a tad squiffy)

Which I didn’t……. the Top 5 was announced, I wasn’t in it.

Then, like a goldfish I promptly forgot about it until I received an email recently telling me that one of the original Top 5 had to pull out due to personal matters, and being as I only just missed out by the skin of my teeth, did I want to step up to Top 5 and get back in the game?

This is the part where I did a cartwheel and tore my middle-aged, slightly dimply, inner thigh.

Voices2014-nominee_P&P_TOP_5_Am I pissy that I wasn’t in the original picking?

Are you kidding? I eat cold vegemite toast off the floor, for god’s sake. I have little pride.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, same day I had a meeting with the fab editors over at Essential Kids and you are looking at (well, reading) the very latest Fairfax (douchey bragger) food writer.

You know I hate BOOM, but……

apple frittersI’m a lucky mofo, right?????

I bought myself a wall calendar and scrawled all over that puppy because I’m a shocker at remembering dates and deadlines and suddenly there seems to be many of them. HEAPS.

Little bit scary.

I do feel I’ve been neglecting you guys a tad though. I mean, you’re my first love.

It’s you guys and this space and all my hours of spilling my guts that have got me to this point… so let me make you a special little breakfast.

Just pretend we’ve had a sleep over you and I, drank too much celebratory champers, eaten ourselves silly and passed out without removing our make-up. Now I’m whipping this up in my dressing gown while you drink tea and stare at Giggle and Hoot, all the while wishing my kids would shut that infernal racket up.

There’s a banana in the picture below because this rocks with banana too. If you want to use gluten free flour it works, I’ve done that too, but this time I just went spelt.

You can also use plain flour. Your brekky, your choice.

I don’t have an apple corer and I’ve NEVER succeeded in removing the core until this day…. see what I mean?

L.U.C.K.Y M.O.F.O

If you’re not so lucky, just halve it, and a V wedge out where the core is and serve moons rather than rounds like I do every other day.

apple frittersYield : serves 4

What you will need :

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large apples, cored and sliced into rounds
  • Coconut oil, or butter for frying
  • vanilla yoghurt, for serving
  • raspberry jam (or your preference), for serving

What you need to do :

Toss your flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir quickly to combine.

Make a well, dump in your egg, vanilla and milk and stir until smooth as a baby’s butt.

Get your frypan nice and hot with your coconut oil or butter, before dipping in your apple rounds, ensuring they’re nice and coated before you pop them ito the pan.

Flip when brown. Repeat until done. Smear with jam, blob with yoghurt and nosh it up with gusto.

BOOM!

apple fritters

Flukey perfect apple round – B.O.O.M.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Satay Chicken Burgers and Bringing Home The Bacon

18 May satay chicken burger

satay chicken burgersYou may have noticed a distinct reduction of me on your interwebs of late.

I’m still around and about floating and fluffing and shooting photos (and my mouth off) and wildly pontificating but the frequency of writing it here has declined.

For the last few months my aim has been to really get on my own two feet financially. No mean feat for someone who has been stay-at-home Mama Bear for 4.5 years, has very limited hours in the week she can work and is not entirely sure what the hell she wants to do when she grows up.

I once referred to myself a ‘go-getter’  in a conversation with someone I cared about very much but they shut me down and asked -

“what did you ever go and get?”

As none of my pursuits were deemed a ‘financial success’ this person questioned my achievements, and made me question my worth.

At the time I was heart broken by the careless comment but now I think what-flippin-evs, dude.

If you’re are brave enough to try something, and you get a kick out of it, and make a little cash to float your boat then you have achieved something, because you weren’t afraid to try.

Not doing anything, that’s non-going, nor getting.

I get scared sometimes, but it’s mostly when I project too far into the future. I fear the unknown future jungle out there; the imaginary one inhabited by creatures with large teeth waiting to swallow me whole.

When I just get front and centre in my body, in my day, there’s nothing to fear.

satay chicken burgers lemongrass You do what you need to do, right? Moment to moment.

Do the things you need to do in order to do the things you need to do. Like Inception, but without Di Caprio and Hardy.

Or something.

After I spent an evening at my local brothel and wrote a piece about what I experienced, a few people suggested I try to seriously get into writing, and I guess that leads us to where I am now.

I am being commissioned for writing work, which is the dog’s bollocks, the chick’s tits and the cat’s whiskers all at once.

In fact, it feels rather go-getty actually.

So, if I’m not here as much, it’s because I’m out there, bringing home the bacon and getting myself on my two feet.

I’ve also delved back into the TV world, which is super interesting and kinda fun. I didn’t think I’d go there again but sometimes the perfect opportunity is presented by the universe exactly when you ask for it. I’m one of those annoying lucky people like that.

When I ran the Chicken Bastilla recipe for Steggles recently I ran a little competition where I promised to make a recipe for the winner.

Kristi asked for Chicken Burgers, and these Chicken Satay Burgers are the flipping bomb so I guess she’s lucky too.

satay chicken burger
I’m cracking them out again for the kids’ Monster Birthday Party today.

This whole things looks like quite a lot of ingredients and you’re right, but it’s well worth it.

Trust me.

I’m a go-getter.

satay chicken burgers What you will need :

For the burgers – 

  • 500g lean chicken mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 6 coriander roots, finely chopped
  • rind of 1 lime
  • lemongrass, white part only, bashed and chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the satay sauce – 

  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon shao xing wine
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey

For salad – 

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cabbage, finely sliced
  • a good handful of chopped coriander
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled ginger

Buns for serving.

What you will need to do :

Throw all of your burger ingredients into a bowl and mix it well with your hands. You cannot really do this any other way. Don’t be scared.

Make them into the burger sized burgers you desire and set aside (covered in the fridge, of course) until you’re ready to cook them. BBQ is always king when it comes to burgers but on the stove will suffice if that’s your option.

Stick all of your satay sauce ingredients into a food processor or a bowl in order to blitz it with a stick blender. You want it to be smooth as a baby’s bottom. Once you’ve blended it, pop it into a saucepan and cook it off until it’s nice a thick. If it get too thick you can add a little water or coconut milk.

To make your salad you toss your veges and herbs together, and put your dressing stuffs into a little bowl, stirring well to combine. Add your pickled ginger, toss the lot until it’s all covered and you are good to go.

Construct your buns any way you see fit and chow on down.

satay chicken burgers

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s ok to be sad and eat Healthy Chocolate Crackles

7 Apr healthy chocolate crackles

healthy chocolate cracklesSome people find running therapeutic. I don’t. It helps with stress, sure. It gets me into my body, and gives me time to ponder, helps me quiet the cacophony but it’s not particularly therapeutic for me.

I find my therapy in the kitchen.

I like the ordered routine of finding ingredients in the cupboard, measuring with hands or by eye, throwing into bowls or mixing or chopping.

It has a perfect order in which to do things and I find comfort in that. It’s like a I’m a machine simply working and creating something and it doesn’t matter what else is happening because I’m in the task.

We all feel sad sometimes, but the thing about the ‘negative’ emotions is we all try really hard to hide them. We paste that smile on our dials and get on with things with a stuff upper lip.

Tears in the car, tears in the shower, tears in the dark. Hidden sadness, because that’s what we do. Stash it away so we don’t feel uncomfortable that people know we’re sad, and they don’t feel uncomfortable watching awkward, burning tears trailing down your face and that one rogue tear that sneaks down your nasal crease, plummeting near your nostril and leaves question as to whether it’s snot, or it’s not (sounds the same, right?).

It’s almost as though allowing people to see you in the dark stuff is a weakness, and we must rise above to show how stoic and resilient we are no matter how badly shit may be crumbling around your ears.

I’m feeling the blues at the moment, bigger and bluer than an elephant’s arse in fact, and I’m right in the heart of it and to be honest even if I just tried to shake it off it’s sticking to me like shit in bear fur….. do you know that joke?

A bear is in the woods and a little rabbit hops past and the the bear says -

‘Do you have trouble with poo sticking to your fur?’

And the rabbit answers ‘not at all’ so the bear picks up the little rabbit and wipes his butt with it.

I never thought it was funny. Especially not for the poo stained rabbit.

healthy chocolate cracklesThe whys and the wherefores of my blues aren’t relevant right now, what is relevant is that you hear me (and I hear me say) say it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to let your friends see you cry.

You don’t need to be strong all the damned time.

I was on couch yesterday being blue, doing blue – you know, big sighs, staring into space, having a wallow – for half an hour before I was well and truly over myself and I made myself go into the alchemy space and get busy in the kitchen.

I made a big pot of chilli for during the week but that wasn’t the thing I wanted to eat away my feelings with when I remembered my friend from Dynamic Fitness & Health talks about these cluster things she makes….. I never ate one of hers but I saw a picture and made this up by feel.

Mine is a fruit and nut chocolate crackle packed with good stuff.

What you will need :

  • a handful of puffed corn (health food aisle)
  • a handful of puffed brown rice
  • a handful of puffed quinoa
  • a handful of shredded coconut
  • a handful of chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • a handful of sultanas
  • 5 pieces dark dark chocolate
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon  golden syrup

 

What you will need to do :

Turn your oven onto 180C. Chuck your dry stuff minus the sultanas and chocolate onto a baking tray and toast it all up for about 5-7 minutes

Meanwhile, over a double boiler melt your chocolate, syrup and coconut oil together until combined.

Toss your toasted dry ingredients, and sultanas into the chocolate mix and stir until all coated.

Spoon into patty cases (I used small for small people and big for me) and refrigerate until solid and chocolate crackle like.

 

chocolate crackles

 

 

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.

 

 

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

Supermarket mayhem and spelt hot cross buns

22 Mar spelt cranberry hot cross buns

spelt hot cross bun ingredientsPeople with no children really don’t understand the pain that is grocery shopping with children.

They cruise blissfully up and down the aisles, maybe gently comparing products, reading labels and chatting on their phone. Parking their damned trolley in the middle of everything as they dawdle.

Every time I enter the supermarket with my two kids I feel like I’m on an episode of It’s a Knockout, or maybe one of those wacky Japanese game shows where a massive flesh eating lizard will bite your arse if you’re too slow.

I wish I was more organised and a meal planning type person but I’m not. I never know what I want to eat three days in advance so I end up spending a lot of time at the supermarket. I’m there at least three times a week on average.

The staff at my local know us by name, and I often ponder the fact that I’m there more regularly than them.

They’ve helped me find my lost children, watched me lose my shit, seen me forget my wallet after scanning a trolley load, and watched D Man ride the Guide Dog Association dog wearing Raybans and a smile.

I’m finding the usual mayhem has doubled or tripled now that there are shiny wrapped Easter eggs lurking down every aisle just waiting for chubby hands to knock over the display.

Which is imminent, no doubt.

spelt hot cross bun dough provingAnd will be as embarrassing as the penis in the meat department, I’m sure.

As patient and lovely as my local supermarket may be, I do have one complaint about them.

They don’t make great hot cross buns….. in fact, they don’t actually bake any on site, and by the time I get to the measly table stocking them there are only fruitless or chocolate chips ones left.

spelt hot cross bun makeshift piping bagFruitless hot cross buns are not the real deal, and neither, my friends, are chocolate chip.

However, if you’re looking for real deal hot cross buns, these are the shizzle.

They’re a little heavier than the traditional, you could use plain flour if you wanted, but we just fell in love with them and I’ll make these babies all year long.

Easter Schmeaster.

spelt cranberry hot cross bunsWhat you will need : 

    • 2 1/2  cups wholemeal spelt flour
    • 2 1/2 cups plain spelt flour
    • 1/4 cup caster sugar
    • 2 teaspoons yeast
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    • 1 teaspoon allspice
    • a few grinds of black pepper
    • 1 1/2  cups sultanas
    • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
    • finely grated zest of one orange
    • 1 egg

300ml milk

  • 100g butter

For the glaze :

  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

What you will need to do :

Set aside 3 tablespoons of plain spelt flour to make your crosses with and combine the rest in a large bowl with your wholemeal flour. Give it a quick whisk to get any lumps out.

Combine with fruit, sugar, yeast, spices, salt and orange zest. Stir through.

Pop your chopped up butter and milk on the stove and warm gently until the butter has melted. You only want your milk to be just above luke warm, not hot.

Make a well in your flour mix, crack in your egg and add your milk and give it a good stir to mix together.

Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead, baby, knead, until it’s nice and smooth. Probably looking at no less than 7-10 minutes.

Lightly oil and clean bowl and put your dough in and cover with a clean tea towel and place somewhere warm for 40 minutes or until about double in size.

Knock it back and knead again, then cut into 12 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place them into an oiled square baking tray and cover again, leaving for a further 40 minutes. Once more they should about double in size.

Preheat oven to 220C.

Mix remaining flour with 1/4 water and make a smooth paste. Using a piping bag with tiny nozzle or a sandwich bag with the corner cut out pipe on your crosses. Mine were a bit manly but rustic is good.

Pop into oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 200C and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden brown. They should sound hollow when tapped.

To make your glaze combine the sugar, spices and 1/4 cup of water and stick onto a medium heat in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and leave to simmer for 1-2 minutes, not stirring. Brush glaze over buns straight from oven.

spelt cranberry hot cross bunsThese are best eaten the day they’re made with lashing of butter. The following day they’re great toasted, and the day after that……

Italian Bread and Butter Pudding. The recipe for the pudding is in my book, not on the blog.

If you have the book, check it out, if you don’t…. what are you doing???

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.

5 Snack Series with Mouths of Mums

18 Mar date slice

smoothies for toddlers (1 of 1)You may have recently seen me spruik on my Facebook page my recent article for Mouths For Mums.

It was 5 Great Snacks for Toddlers.

What I failed to mention was it’s actually a 5 part series over the coming weeks whereby we cover snacks for every age group (including grown ups. There will be wine and chocolate in that one as they are their own angelic food group which is as important and vegetables in my mind).

Snacks are the things we eat between meals that keep us going.

date sliceThere is a mood that occurs when you wait too long between meals and that is known as HANGRY.

As it suggests it’s a combo of hungry, and angry. I get moody (cranky ass, impatient, short tempered) when I’m hungry, as do my spawn.

As do most people, possibly you.

Although snacks are largely interchangeable and anyone can eat any of them, I’m really working on the idea of concentration spans at snack times, i.e. little kids have NONE, packing in nutrients and fruit and vegetables (sneaking them in), and energy required for growing bodies and busy minds.

Today we’re taking a look at the Pre-Schooler. They are a strange and wonderful species with boundless energy and curiosity.

Head over to Mouths of Mums and check it out – 5 Great Snacks for Pre-Schoolers.

banana coco maple yoghurt

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.

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.

lime-pie-larger

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.

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