Tag Archives: food

Healthy goodie goodie recipes, plus Holsby TV new episode!!!

23 Sep

healthy goodie recipesThe thing about treats is – generally speaking – the more sugar and fat, the more delicious it is.

My weakness is ice cream, amongst others of course because I am a bit of a gluttonous foodie, but ice-cream is my one true love.

Not low-fat ice treats, not fruit based gelato, but I’m talking about the full, extra-goodness-swirled, Monty.

I really truly love it.

It has been said that watching me appreciate my ice cream cone is a crazy sensual experience because of the obscene amount of joy I get from it and the languorous way in which I approach the task. Ice cream must be savoured, never rushed, and certainly not bitten.

I think ice cream can be classified as a goodie (or goodie porn in my case.)

Goodies aren’t bad. Goodies are good.

It’s all about goodie management.

Or goodie wrangling if you prefer.

I’m not going to pretend I’m all holier than thou on the goodie front, au contraire – I’m going to admit freely that I find it easier not to have things in the house that are going to both blow my kilojoule intake sky-high, and send my kids into sugar frenzies, because we are loving on the goodies.

This doesn’t mean no treats, it just means day to day treats are smarter options. The kids don’t know the difference between a sugar laden treat and healthy snack. The options don’t have to be chocolate biscuits versus carrot sticks.

I like to think of myself as the master of illusions; a magician if you will, because my day to day goodies are actually goodie goodies, and not secretly baddies.

My theory is that by offering my kids better choices now, they’ll make better food decisions later. It kinda worked for me because my mum reared me on lentils and celery with cream cheese, and now I’m a celery munchin’ lentil lover.

As long as there’s ice cream for dessert.

I’ve done a ridiculous little experiment to prove that kids make better choices when you give them good options to choose from. Check out our work.

 

Here are a couple of delicious goodie goodie recipes to bust out for your fam bam if you don’t eat them all first…… you know, if you hypothetically run out of ice-cream.

 

SHOCK HORROR, ANYTHING BUT THAT…..

 

Healthy goodie recipes

 

ChocCocoCrunch Balls

What you will need – 

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 250g pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice, toasted
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling

What you will need to do – 

Toss all of your ingredients into the food processor and leave it wazzing until it’s really quite smooth and sticking together.

Switch off machine and using teaspoon sized chunks roo into balls before rolling in desiccated coconut.

Store in the fridge.

Healthy goodie recipes

Sugar Free Pepita Anzac Biscuits

What you will need – 

  • 125 g butter
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soda bicarb
  • 3/4 cups desiccated coconut.
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour 
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds

What you will need to do –  

Preheat oven to 150C

Place your butter and rice malt syrup into a saucepan over medium heat until it is all melted together and bubbling. Pop your bicarb into the hot water, and when it’s well combined toss it into your butter mix. It will foam up a bit.

Chuck all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

Add your butter mix to your dry mix, stirring well to combine.

Spoon tablespoon sized dollops onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow room for spreading.

 

 

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 seeing, why not like my Facebook page now?

You can also subscribe via email, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter at The Holsbys to be sure you always Keep up with the Holsbys.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strange BBQ beasts, and Moroccan Chicken Pie

15 Apr chicken bastilla

chicken bastilla ingredients***This is a sponsored post courtesy of Steggles and Digital Parents Collective. All ideas are my own and recipe is mine, all mine***

I ate some amazing food in Morocco. Mounds of marinated olives, breads that defy definition and lots and lots of cous cous. In fact, it was where the term ‘Cous Cous Pants’ was coined but we need not go into that here.

They also have roadside BBQs called meshwe but I’m sad to say I never sampled the food…. want to know why?

It’s a tad shameful to be honest.

Our bus would pull up next to a roadside meshwe, nestled on the side of a mountain surrounded by lush greenery, manned by a swarthy, sweaty man toiling over hot coals with rivulets of perspiration running down his face and often no hairs left upon his forearms, but the thought of burning hair or man sweat seasoning my BBQ’d meat was not the problem.

The problem was that I dug in my heels in agriculture class at high school.

chicken bastillaWTF, Where is this going? I hear you cry……

You see, although I was never a vegetarian and I was happy as a pig in proverbial to dissect as frog, I was not so keen on agriculture class or as it’s affectionately referred to – Ag.

Rhymes with gag.

I got myself excused on the day they branded pigs, and I think I bunked the day they docked sheep tails, and then I promptly forgot that sheep have tails.

Cut back to Morocco – there I was standing in front of what was probably the best lamb BBQ I was ever going to nosh in my life, but I was certain that poor, flayed, long-tailed creature was a dog.

I couldn’t do it. As mouth-watering as the aroma that tickled my nostrils may well have been I walked away; I ate some fruit, bread and olives and got back on the bus with a rumbling tummy thinking how delicious BBQ dog smelled.

Another thing I wished I’d tried was squab bastille, or pigeon as it’s more commonly known. I’d heard so much about the famed pie, but in all of my Moroccan adventure I never saw anyone eating anything other than tagine and cous cous.

I don’t often think to use chicken mince, but when Steggles offered to send me some of their über lean minced breast and thigh to try I knew I’d be able to pull something outta the bag.

It boasts being a lean source of protein and carries ye olde Heart Tick of approval and Coles is selling two 500g packs for a tenner (except WA for some reason. Sorry Perth), so it’s cheap as chips.chicken bastilla

Chicken Bastilla with Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Serves 4-6

What you will need :

For the pie – 

  • 1 kilo chicken mince
  • 2 small or one medium leek, white part only
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup blanched almonds
  • 1/2 cup sultanas
  • 1/2 cup each of parsley and coriander
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • a good grind of fresh black pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 11 sheets filo pastry
  • olive oil spray, or melted butter
  • icing sugar and cinnamon for sprinkling and dusting

For the salad – 

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pinenuts
  • 2 tablespoons crystallised ginger, chopped
  • 2 lemons, juice and rind finely grated
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • a handful of chopped coriander

What you will need to do :

Pop a little olive oil into a large frypan over a medium heat and fry off your garlic until it’s fragrant. Toss in your leek and give it a good sweat.

Next, add your chicken mince ensuring you have enough heat so as to cook it fast, cooking off the juice as you go and not stew it.

Ensure you keep stirring well until your chook is browned off. Chuck in your cumin and cinnamon, stir.

Next up add your almonds and sultanas, lemon zest and herbs giving it all shimmy.

chicken bastillaAdd your stock and then throw in your beaten eggs ensuring you stir it up like a Bob Marley song.

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Next, lightly spray or butter your pie dish. I use olive oil spray because I’m lazy and it’s easy. There, I said it.

Lay one piece of filo across ways in your dish, and then lay another the other way, forming a cross. Spray lightly with oil, dust with a little icing sugar and cinnamon (sounds weird, but trust me!).

chicken bastilla filo pastryRepeat until your have 5 layers (10 pieces – 2 pieces per layer, know what I mean?) and then pop your mince in.

Gently fold each bit piece by piece until you have just a couple of bits left then place your remaining sheet over the top sop it looks tidy. Fold up your last pieces and crinkle them around the edges and do a final spray and dust.

Toss her in the oven and leave her then until golden brown and crunchy, about 30-40 minutes depending on your oven.

For the salad, lightly steam the carrots until they are just al dente and toss together with the remaining ingredients.

 

 

chicken bastilla and moroccan carrot saladChicken mince is a cracker for fussy eaters because the flavour is fairly innocuous. It would work it’s butt off with my San Choy Bow recipe, or my Curried Mince.

If you need some more minced chook inspo, check out the Stegglers ideas.

Steggles are also offering a motza gift pact to one lucky reader of my choice. All you have to do is leave a comment on either Facebook or this post of what you would like me to make with chicken mince. I will make your request and send you on through a prize pack.

Not bad, eh?chicken bastilla

  • The motza Steggles gift pack includes:

o   2 Cooler bags

o   a couple of aprons

o   4 caps

o    a couple of Picnic Blankets

o   Footy and Frisbees

o   Recipe Cards

 

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.

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