Tag Archives: toddler food

A pair of pork chops and sticky BBQ pork.

12 Jul

sticky pork and soba noodle saladThere is no doubt about, I have given birth to a pair of pork chops.

The two kids were sitting in the back of the car the other day, and I could hear funny noises coming from the pair of them and maniacal giggling. I was driving along, listening to Triple J, vaguely aware of how happily they were playing together in the rear when I realised that I was hearing quite deep belching sounds.

I lifted my neck to check them out in the rear view mirror, but nada – nothing suss.

Not two minutes later, I turned to investigate a particularly resounding burp and I discovered my pair of genii (genius plural) were tickling their gag reflexes and guffawing wildly at the results.

‘Quit it, you two. You’ll make yourselves vomit’

‘It’s funny!!!’


Funny until someone tickles too deep.

Suddenly D Man, his seat, and the back of my seat were not in a funny way.

He immediately started to panic and cry.

‘Am I sick?’ he asked dramatically, as though he was waiting in the doctor’s for test results.

‘No, darling. You are a Pork Chop’

I have no idea why a pork chop is known as something silly, because a pork chop, in reality, is all kinds of wonderful.

soba noodle salad


This soba noodle salad is an awesome Asian salad. It goes beautifully with fish, pork or chicken, and I even love it just on it’s own. It’s a fabbo all rounder and we eat it so regularly I can make it in my sleep.



Sticky Pork Chops with Soba Noodle Salad

Yield : 3 adults and two kids, or four adults

sticky pork and soba noodle salad

What you will need :

For the pork -

  • 4 pork chops, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons kecap manis (sweet soy)
  • 2 tablespoons apricot jam

For the soba noodle salad – 

  • two bunches of soba noodles, about 180g
  • 3 large spring onions, julienned long ways
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 red capsicum, julienned
  • a good handful of snow or sugar snap peas, julienned
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 heaped tablespoon pickled ginger
  • 1 bunch coriander, picked and chopped
  • 1 bunch mint, picked and chopped

For the salad dressing – 

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar, or caster sugar
  • chilli flakes for serving to adults

Cut the skin and fat off your pork chops and throw away….. only joking. Rub that piggy goodness with salt and whack it into a 220C oven until you’ve crackled that pig up good. Set aside to cool.

pork cracklingCombine the kecap manis and jam in a flat dish big enough to house your chops. Rub your chops, both sides, around in the marinade and leave for at least half an hour.

Pop a saucepan of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Add your soba noodles and cook for three minutes, as per packet instructions, and then drain. Set aside.

Into a large bowl, add all of your julienned vegetables, your ginger and sesame seeds, and finally your herbs. Top with the cool-ish noodles.

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and throw over your salad, mixing well to coat everything.

Turn on your BBQ, or griddle pan, and cook your pork chops about 5 minutes each side, basting with marinade as you go.

Rest for 5 minutes, and make a big yummy pile of salad, throw your sticky chop on top and then, get this -

chop up the crackling finely and sprinkle over your meal.

Mmmmmmmm, pork crackling.


sticky pork and soba noodle salad



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Hooking up with the FYBF gang at With Some Grace. Any bloggers keen to come along for the next DP Bloggers Drinks on the 27th July at the Argyle in the Rocks, be sure to RSVP here.


Altruistic Pizza

21 May

homemade pizza ingredientsMister H’s favorite food is pizza.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Too cheesy.

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

Too greasy.

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

Too doughy.

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

Too much by way of topping.

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

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

Stolen goods, and dodgy pizza.

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

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

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

This recipe will make four pizzas.

What you will need :

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

What you will need to do :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

perfect homemade pizza Some topping suggestions are -

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

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

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

D Man eating pizza

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

Check it out, yo.

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


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

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

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

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The Holsby Lunchbox Experiment

28 Feb lunchbox 4 result

lunchbox 4 resultWhen the divine Zanni, at Heart Mama asked if I could do a Nurturing With Food post for her site, I was thrilled. Zanni’s gentle mothering techniques are an inspiration to me, so I wanted to do something really cool for her readers.

I thought I’d do a little study on lunch boxes. I get sick of sammidges, so I wanted to offer some easy, yummy ideas that were sure to be eaten.
I did a 5 day study of before and after shots to see what he was actually eating, and what came home untouched……

It was fun. Sometimes surprising, and sometimes depressing!

My toddler, D Man, started pre-school a couple of weeks ago so I’ve had to turn my hand to the art of the lunchbox.

Easy enough, you may scoff, but alas, I discovered the taste bud of the toddler is most discerning in the matters of the boxed lunch.

The Earl of Sandwich would be sorry to see how outdated his mode of lunch is these days, but if you don’t sandwich, what do you do?

I’m determined not to send any pre-packaged food, and I really want to keep his lunch boxes interesting and delicious, but of course, they must also be healthy, nutritious and nut-free.

To read more, click this.

Pork and Fennel Pasta Bake…..just a little bit fancy

11 Dec

pork and fennel ing Out here in the Boondocks there are not so many great restaurants. I guess after living in Sydney’s dining epicentre, we were always headed for gustatory disappointment moving to the ‘burbs, but we live in hope, because even sub-urbanites need to eat, right?

For my birthday, back in July (July 7th, feel free to send gifts, money and/or champagne), Mister H and I ventured forth to one of the most expensive and well known dining spots in our locality – Black Water.

People had talked it up as one of the best, if not THE best restaurant in these here parts, and my man thought he’d give me a little birthday treat.

Let me preface this by saying, we don’t mind paying for great food, and great service is always such a delight…..did we experience this here?

Not so much.

The service was a tad underwhelming and the food was, well, it most certainly wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t as great as the price would suggest.

One of the things we ordered was a pork ragout and something timbale. I thought that sounded interesting. I have an extensive experience in fine dining as I worked in about a gazillion great restaurants, so I know the lingo. I knew what to expect when I see the word timbale, but what I didn’t expect was pasta bake.

With a fancy name.

pork and fennel dex

That was a tad well-done and over-caramelised on the edges……..burnt pasta bake.


Mister H tried brains, they were ok if you’re into that kind of thing (I’m so not), and the mains were good. Dessert was by far my favourite with an apple tarte tartin and some kind of yummy ice-cream (it was a while ago, I’ve eaten a few meals since!), but I will never forget that regrettable pasta bake.

I thought today I’d show those guys how to make an uptown pasta bake.

pork and fennel to cook

Yield : 6 serves

What you will need :

  • 120g speck or bacon, chopped
  • 600g minced pork
  • 1 spanish onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 350g penne pasta, or whatever shape floats your boat
  • 420g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 red capsicum, sliced
  • 1/2 cup red wine, or white if that’s all you have
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
  • a good handful of fresh herbs like parsley, and/or oregano
  • 100g cheese, grated

If you want to go right uptown, you can add a layer of béchamel. Black Water did not…..nor did I this time, but I have before.

This time I just did a super thin layer of simple white sauce, flavoured only with a bay leaf.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • a cup and a half of milk
  • a bay leave
  • salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan, add flour and stir. Leave to cook for a few seconds. Add milk and whisk to ensure no lumps. Toss in bay leaf and season and continue whisking until it thickens to coat the back of a spoon.

pork and fennel fini

What to do :

Fry up onion and garlic in a large heavy based pan. When translucent, add your speck and cook until fragrant and a little browned. Add your fennel seeds.

Toss in your pork and stir until cooked through. Throw in your capsicum, tomatoes, tomato paste and wine. Stir well to combine.

Chuck in your herbs and season to taste. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer with a lid on for about half an hour until sauce is thick and rich.

Meanwhile, pop on a pot of salted water and getting it to a rolling boil. Add your pasta and cook according to packet instructions.

Drain pasta and toss it into your finished sauce. Toss well to ensure all is well coated and throw into your oven dish

I did a really quick little white sauce that was about half the amount described in my bechemel recipe as I only wanted a thin layer rather than a lasagne type layer, but if you want to keep it simple, just throw on some cheese and be done with it.

Bake in the oven on 200C until it is browned and delicious looking.

Take that Black Water……that’s how you do an uptown pasta bake.

pork and fennel dex 2


If you want to see some more Toddler Friendly recipes, why not check out my books here.

Breakfast of Legends – Red Porridge

14 Jul red porridge

D Man’s all time favourite colour is red. Everything is red. Even blue things are red.

He loves red shoes, red pants, red cars and, although fond of all hats, his favourite – by a country mile –  is his red fire chief hat.

I’ve been feeling like a bit of a fraud lately, you know being a foody/mummy blogger and all…..It would seem that D Man’s tastes have changed and my toddler, who was eating sushi back when his peers were eating rice smoosh and mashed everything (he didn’t use chopsticks though, just in case you were going to call Ripley), has become a bit picky.
I hate picky eaters, as much as I hate dog poo so I sincerely hope it’s just a passing phase.

He still eats sushi with gusto, and pretty much anything that can be eaten on the run with his hands. I think it’s mostly because he’s just so damn busy all the time. He’s currently a cracking multi-tasker. Playing with blocks, whilst watching tv, whilst eating something that will leave crumbs all over the Persian, whilst probably filling his pants.
I wonder if he’ll continue to be able to multi task as he gets older? I think it’s something that most guys lose the ability to do by about 4…..but I digress.
Breakfast has been a real bitch. He might have a couple of bites of toast, a few nuts or half a banana, but he’s gone from devouring large amounts of breakfast to picking like a supermodel. When I asked him yesterday what he wanted for breakfast, he answered,


What the f&*k is red? Red is not a food? But instead of going into the semantics of the English language I thought perhaps I could accommodate my little red-loving friend. I made us red porridge….apples, berries and some food colouring. Figured he’d poo poo it and I’d end up eating the lot, but I’m ok with red porridge.

He noshed that red pap right up, muttering “Yummy, red. Niiice”, like a mini, blonde Yoda.

I sure fixed his little red wagon, so to speak.

This morning, when I asked him what he wanted he said, for the first time EVER,


When I put his bowl of banana, date and blue porridge in front of him, he breathed a happy sigh and said,

“Mmmm, red’.

Little weirdo.

So, today’s recipe is nothing amazing for people with no kids (perhaps inner children will be excited?), but for people with kids, this may revolutionise your mornings. If you’re going to be all ‘oh no, we don’t do food colouring because it’s unnatural, and stuff’, then fine. Stick to grey old porridge.
I ain’t bovvered.

Yield : enough for he and me (yes, grammar spotters – I KNOW!)

You will need :

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 small red apple, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries, chopped
  • a few drops of red food colouring

Do you really need me to tell you? Ok, I’d better, just to keep up appearances.

Place all of the ingredients into a pan and cook until thickened, and squidgy. Like porridge…..but red.

Other rocking combinations are banana and date (and blue, if you so desire), and pear and apricot (yellow, I would say – but there are no rules)

Boot Camp and DateCocoBana Loaf

21 Jun dcb fg

So, I’ve mentioned that Mister H is all, like, triathlon-tabulous and stuff, and I’ve noticed that there has been some rather positive changes in his physique over the last few months, i.e. he looks quite good, like va-va-va-voom quite good.
He’s lean, he’s ripped and he’s really, ridonkulously, fit, you know, if you like that kind of thing. As I sat on the couch eating my ice-cream the other night, I thought perhaps it was time I got back into some form of exercise regime. Although I was a keen workerer outerer before my pregnancy, hip issues prevented much athleticism during my second and third trimester, not even much walking was allowed, so I think we could safely say I’m a little on the pleasantly soft side. My belly is rivalling my cat’s dangly pouch, however, I did just make a person, so pouchy tummies are totally a go-go. It lies beside me when I lie on my side and I’m considering giving it a name. Perhaps, something cute like Waldo.

Yesterday morning was the morning. After a 5 month hiatus, I fished my trainers from the back of the cupboard, donned an appropriate ensemble (think ‘Flo Jo goes ghetto’) and I went to boot camp. For anyone considering doing the same, let me advise you – don’t……or at least if you do, heed your trainer’s advice when she suggests (multiple times) that you take it easy first day back after creating a human being. Someone we know, who shall remain nameless (but is currently typing this with voice command, like Stephen Hawkings, as she is too sore to support her laptop) disregarded said advice. That same someone may today be having extreme difficulty bending, sitting, lifting, walking or indeed, laughing. Which she would do, at herself, if it wasn’t so painful.

It’s such a double edged sword, isn’t it? I know it’s good for me, and, hell, it even feels great at the time – Blood’s pumping, heart is in gear, face is turning beetroot, and pits are springing a leak. You feel alive! This is how humans felt before we became sedentary, ice-cream-on-couch-loving, non hunters. My once strong arms are decidedly T Rex like in their pathetic-ness, and in the aftermath of boot cramp I’m scarcely able to lift my t-shirt over my head. Luckily, I don’t have to go back until friday, when I get to do it all again.

I was feeling most abstemious (and ravenous) after my workout and decided I deserved a teeny, little reward……what I really wanted was a big, fat gooey something naughty, but I opted for something that would satisfy my craving and not undo my good work. Hence the DateCocoBana loaf was born. I used barely any sugar as the dates and banana provide sweetness, and I used half wholemeal so, really, it’s practically a piece of lettuce and perfect for the regime.
Now I just need to get in there and eat it before the boys finish it off. 

Yield : 1 loaf

You will need :

  • 2 over ripe bananas, smooshed with a fork
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup skim milk (or whatever you have)
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 50g butter, melted and cooled
  • 125 g dates, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Pre-heat over to 180C. Line your loaf tin.

In a small bowl, add orange juice to your dates and leave to soak for 20 mins. Throw your flours, baking powder and coconut into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar and make a little well in the centre. Place your eggs, milk, banana and melted butter into a separate bowl and stir until all is well combined. Add your date mixture. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Give it a good stirring until just combined. Spoon into your loaf tin and pop in the oven. Cook until a skewer comes out clean (do not test in a crack), about 40 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack. Spread a slab with butter and pat yourself on the back.

A Chicken Leg? Sesame Drumsticks

13 Jun

I’ve got a funny story about drumsticks….it’s pretty crass but cracks me up whenever I think of it. Do not read this if easily offended by bottom humour.

I was telling my girlfriend, who shall remain nameless, the story of how Dirty Sanchez (the butthead guys that do dumb stuff, like Jackass but more revolting and idiotic) did this crazy thing where two of them stuck a drum stick up their butts and then had a ‘sword fight’ and whomever lost their drum stick first, had to lick the other one’s. Gross. Awful.
I was relaying the story and my friend looked confused.
‘A chicken leg?’ she queried.
‘No, babe, a drum stick’ was my reply.
‘Oh, an ice cream.’

I laughed so hard I nearly wet my pants.

Anyway, unlike this M15 rated story, this is a recipe that is purely for the kids, or anyone who rates a drumstick. That said, this marinade is awesome on any cut of chicken and I have even been known to marinate salmon in it, before bbqing it.

D Man loves a drumstick, a chicken leg that is, not to be confused with anything else. This is one of those easy ‘go to’ meals that I know he’ll eat. I pick most of the meat off for him, but let him gnaw on the bone like some mini-caveboy.
I learned recently that if you marinate your meat in a zip lock back (with air removed) it only takes a fraction of the time. Handy, hey? If you have zip lock bags it is, otherwise, just do it the normal way and leave it for a bit longer.

Yield : 4 drumsticks

You will need :

  • 4 chicken drumsticks (or whatever cut of chicken you like)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 heaped tablespoon honey
  • juice and rind of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1cm ginger, finely chopped (not pictured)
  • sesame seeds to sprinkle

Combine soy, honey, juice, sesame oil and ginger in a zip-lock bag with the drumsticks and marinate for 20 minutes.
Put chicken onto a tray lined with baking paper and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place tray in a medium oven (180Cish) for 30-35mins or until chicken is cooked.

So easy……..

Heartache and Playdough Therapy

5 Jun sleeping baby

My heart broke a little bit yesterday.
Firstly, whoever coined the phrase ‘sleep like a baby’ needs a good kick in the shins. For the uninitiated, babies sound like pygmy hippos when they sleep. They grunt, they groan, they snuffle, they fart, they shart and they sigh. Sleeping right next to that is reminiscent of a night camping in the wilds of Africa. I’m a very light sleeper, but even with earplugs I could hear KiKi’s eyelashes fluttering.

With both my precious babies I had dreams of rooming in for 6 months of cuddles and getting to know each other. It didn’t happen with D Man, in fact after three short weeks I was forced to stretch our imaginary umbilical cord to another room, and yesterday, after a shocking night before, four week old KiKi and my rooming came to an end. I can feel our umbilical cord pulling at my core but I know in just a few days we’ll be used to it. I got even less sleep last night as my ears were awake all night straining to ensure I wouldn’t miss her if she needed me. Alas, our house is not actually that big so we were fine!

D Man and I recently went to a monster playgroup over in North Sydney that was run by the Early Childhood Dept of the TAFE. It rocked. It was seriously playgroup on steroids. There were so many stations set up, many with an Early Childhood Development students sitting there ready to interact with the kidlets and potentially realise that they were seriously insane to covet a career in childcare and have a lifetime of childhood illnesses and other people’s children’s poo.

D Man was practically speed dating in his haste to try all of the available activities in our time there…..and there were so many, it was hard do them all. He totally loved the play dough table. He sat there for the longest time, happily squishing, rolling and cutting the play dough. I loved watching him discovering the textures and the shapes. He also started flirting with the student monitor girl and soon she was putty in his hand, if you’ll excuse the pun.
Naturally, I sat down with him and got into the moulding of the dough and realised how incredibly therapeutic it was to repeatedly squish the dough in my hands. This is a win:win activity. Quiet toddler, Mama stress relief. Perfect for rainy days. perfect for any day for that matter.

It’s easy to make, incredibly economical and your kid will think you’re really cool when you hand over the colourful, doughy balls of joy.

I make half portions of this recipe to get two colours out of one batch. It’s still a good handful of each.

Yeild : 2 portions

You will need :

  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • food colouring

Split the ingredients over two bowls and stir, combining well. Place one of the bowls into a saucepan over a medium heat and add your colouring, stirring well. A chemical reaction happens all of a sudden and your gloopy mess will become quite sticky, then clumpy, and then ball up into your Play Dough. Repeat with remaining mixture and a different colour.

There you have it. Instant Fun + Destressed Mum.

Mother’s Day Every Sunday – Banana and Berry Pancakes

26 May pancakes

Some concepts are worth fighting for. Remember when the French rioted in the name of the four day week? That was totally worth fighting for. They lost, and still work 5 days like the rest of the Western world, but it was definitely worth a shot. I’m going for Mother’s Day every Sunday. You don’t need to give gifts, although they are appreciated. You don’t need to bring flowers, although the dining table looks surprisingly less cluttered with a full vase amongst the crap. Husbands, you don’t need to give foot massages, although you will probably increase your chances of sex……You just need to be nice to Mums, all Mothers, every Sunday.

Now, I really think that’s worth fighting for.

Nothing says Mother’s Day like a spesh breakfast. Preferably made for you…..preferably while you’re still in bed, but sometimes you just need to make yourself feel special if you think you may die waiting for said meal. I will proudly state that I do get a cup of tea in bed every non-training day. Before triathlons, that was every day, after triathlons, it’s twice a week…….stoopid triathlon training.

Anyway, this breakfast is a cracking start to the day. I always keep frozen berries in the freezer. They’re great to throw into muffins, smoothies and bircher muesli to give them a lift. Fresh berries actually dry out a bit when cooked so frozen is the way forward for things like this. If you want to thrown in a spoon full of LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal), go for it. I’m out at the moment so I didn’t.

Yeild – 2 adults and 1 toddler

You will need – 

  • 1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml milk
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 2/3 cup frozen berries, I chop the large ones into bits for even cooking
  • butter for cooking
  • yoghurt for serving
  • maple syrup for serving

Place mashed banana into a small mixing bowl and add the egg and milk. Add the flour, gently mixing as you go. Stir in your berries. Heat a little butter in a fry pan and spoon in your mixture, cooking three or four at a time. Cook until little bubbles appear in the top and flip. Fry until golden brown. Cook remaining pancakes.

Share out the pancakes and top with a dollop of your favourite yoghurt and a splash of maple syrup. If you’re really going for the Mother’s Day sensation, serve with crispy bacon. Mmmmmm, crispy bacon. Oink.

Love and Carrot Cupcakes

21 May cracking up

Saying goodbye to my parents was tough, but my sadness was sweetened somewhat by the arrival of one my oldest and dearest buddies, Kirsten. You have heard me bang on about her as she’s my friend who’s handy with a camera. I recommend everyone who’s a megalomaniac has a friend who is a great photographer. I never tire of Kirsten’s photos of myself or my family. Call me vain, and well, you’d be about right. Anyway, she’s not here for long so my sadness will only be put off for a couple of days but I will be left with much photographic evidence of how sweet my kids are and how huge my cleavage is.

Before Kirsten arrived, my little family ventured out for our first social outing as a foursome. We went to a BBQ and en route it began to rain, not a great start to our foray. Plan B was born and we had an indoor not-BBQ at our dear friends’ apartment. There were 4 toddler boys running around and KiKi was a hit with the other mum’s, who were super eager for a newborn hit. We were saying how lucky it is that we have a girl in the clan now so we have a lead singer for the band. I took a batch of cupcakes………..

Carrots are healthy, right? And ginger is awesome for gastrointestinal health and stuff ‘n’stuff……And cake is made from eggs and flour, that is also quite good for you……so by that rationale, Carrot and Ginger Cupcakes are a veritable health food, which means I’m in luck because I really love them. As does everyone whose lips these pass. The original recipe is the Best Ever Carrot Cake recipe from the Cake Mistress, but hers does not have the ginger and is a cake. I love the chewy, sticky ginger pieces, but you can leave them out if the original recipe is more your thang. My icing is also a little different from hers. Same vibe, less sugar (more butter, but who’s counting?).

Yeild : 12 cupcakes or one large cake

You will need :

For cupcakes – 

  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
  • 2 cups Self Raising Flour
  • 2 cups finely grated Carrot (around 3 large carrots)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup crystalised ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Nutmeg

For icing – 

  • 150g Icing sugar
  • 125g Cream Cheese, cold
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, room temp

Heat oven to 180C degrees.
Beat your sugar and oil until thick, then add 1 egg at a time and keep beating for a few more minutes until it’s thick and luscious. Add salt, bicarb soda, carrots, flour, walnuts and spices and stir with a wooden spoon until all nicely combined.
Put batter into cupcake patties in a cupcake tin and pop into oven for 15-20 minutes. If you’re making a cake, line your cake tin and that will probably need to cook for more like 40 mins or until light golden and a skewer comes out clean. Baking time might vary depending on your personal oven.

For frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together with an electric mixer until well mixed. Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until it is completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium high. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy. Garnish with a little sliver of crystallised ginger.

Guess who took these awesome shots of D Man and I? …… kirstencox.com


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