Sorry, no posts happening at the moment - flat out with parent teacher interviews, after-school stuff, and blah blah blah.
I don't even have any good pictures of the week, so you'll just have to suffer.
Or... y'know, go on with life. However you roll.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
I'm quite enjoying this 'feature' of the blog - certainly having a schedule makes me much more conscious of needing to do it, to find a meal to photograph, and to work on my photography skills. Unfortunately, it coming into winter here, the days are getting shorter and darker, so the lighting of the photos is usually pretty crummy.
This week, I wanted to share a recipe that gets used a lot in our house. We have a sunday morning ritual, where Nic makes pancakes, and then we watch Grey's Anatomy. We've modified a few versions of a pancake mix to be vaguely more healthy, so that we can then load it up with maple syrup and cancel out any health savings we made. Logical, right?
Prep time: Maybe 10 mins. Cooking: About 15-20, depending on how many you make.
This recipe makes about 5-6 pancakes (depending on the size you make them) and we find that two each for breakfast is MORE than enough, but a lovely little indulgence at the same time.
Enjoy! As always, feel free to add or remove bits and pieces as you prefer- our recipe originally had sugar in but doesn't any more (syrup is sweet enough), but you may want to cut down on syrup and therefore add a little raw sugar to the mix.
Add your dry ingredients to a bowl. The little black things you can see aren't poppy seeds, they're Chia seeds and you don't notice them at all in the pancakes (and if you can get additional nutrition in without consequence, why not!?).
For this installment, lovely Nic is doing our cooking, while Mallei waits hopefully below. Make a well in your dry mix and add two eggs, stirring them in, and then yoghurt.
Adding cinnamon and nutmeg to the mix- it's a bit thick at this point and will be thinned out with a bit of soy milk.
Stop! Kitten break.
Here it is! Flipped, with raspberries. They look a little burnt but don't stress. You can't taste it.
Unless they are burnt.
Don't cook them so long that they burn.
Try not to spill maple syrup all over yourself (I usually do.)
Somewhat healthy raspberry pancakes.
- 1/2-3/4 cup of both wholemeal self-raising and white self-raising flour.
- 1-2 tblsp Chia seeds
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (if desired)
- 2 med-large free range eggs (or substitute)
- 3 tbsp apple sauce (unsweetened)
- 3-4 large tbsp natural yoghurt.
- "Two big glugs" of non-cows milk until slightly runny.
- Cinnamon/nutmeg as desired.
- 1/2 cup (approx) raspberries.
- We also used to add oats.
Mix dry ingredients and add sugar if you're using it.
Make a well, add eggs and stir through.
Add apple sauce, stir.
Add yoghurt, stir.
Add milk until mix falls off the spoon, but isn't watery or too liquidy.
Heat pan over low heat. If using non-stick, don't bother with butter/oil. Take about 1 cup of the mix in a scoop and pour onto pan. Drop 4-5 raspberries on pancake.
When bubbles appear at the edge, flip and wait.
Serve with more raspberries (any you didn't use!) and maple syrup.
Monday, April 23, 2012
So, I've officially been writing on this blog for over a month now, and therefore, Nic and I have been vegetarian for over a month now, and yesterday I realised something surprising:
I don't miss meat.
I recall before we made the change fully, that we'd debated it- how we'd miss bacon, and how would we ever cook without using chicken as a staple? And what would we do if we couldn't have ham sandwiches for lunch?!
And I think that a lot of people struggle with these things, and think about them, and wonder how they'll get by, but... it's fine.
We've learnt a bunch of new recipes, and we're trying new things all the time- that's really exciting.
We're eating with a clearer conscience and voting with the decisions we make, and I love that feeling of empowerment.
We go to the supermarket and bypass huge sections, usually hitting up the fruit and veg, the dairy, and the tinned veggies. Yum.
We feel healthy and full.
I don't know whether it's because of the reasons I went vegetarian that I've found it so easy to not 'yearn for' meat, or whether that's just something we build up in our heads, because we're so used to it being a big part of how we eat, but it's genuinely surprised me that I have no desire to 'slip' and get that ham thing at the cafe. Maybe we thought of it more like a diet, where you deprive yourself even though you secretly want that slice of chocolate cake, and eventually you want it so bad that you go an eat the whole damn thing... But it's not.
There's been two times- once at a country, rural bakery where there were one or two veggie options and all of them were depressing, and I felt like throwing my hands up in the air and giving in (but got fried rice instead and it was ok.)... and once in the supermarket walking past roast chickens, when I thought: smells yum! ... not worth it! And moved on.
So that's progress so far.
And in other news, I've begun eating mushrooms like there's about to be a Great Mushroom Shortage and I'd best stockpile them (inside my stomach) which is really bizarre because I've never liked mushrooms before.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
as the title suggests, your regular photo-of-the-week has been replaced by a complete series, mostly involving various angles of Mallei's mouth and teeth as he destroys various sticks that I am feeding him and pulls funny faces. What's not to love!?
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
As a younger person, I always felt that veggie sausage rolls were too 'veggie' - read - I don't like peas & they always contained peas.
So recently, when Nic and I developed (read: amalgamated several different recipes into one) a veggie sausage roll that was tasty AND had a smooth, dare I say 'almost-meat-like' texture (though not really), we were stoked. These make a great meal for lunches - we often have ours as leftovers, microwaved, even though microwaving kind of makes them soggy, they're still good.
Allow about 20 mins prep, 45 mins cooking.
Please let me know if you make any of our recipes, and how they turn out for you, if you add or change anything. I'd love to know. :) Similarly, if you have any suggestions as to how I can improve the recipe write-up, do let me know.
Not too many pictures on this one because I was tired, and then I was selling a camera while Nic was making them. Most of the first part is just putting stuff in a food processor anyway. You can figure that out without pictures, right?
Not-Sausage Rolls.First, collect your ingredients.
Chop up the veggies.
Yep. Not the most attractive photo but that's a whole lot of processed veggies & bread for you.
Put the veggies in the food blender (hope you have one) and whiz until they're very small chunks, but not a paste or puree. You should be able to see liquid build up.
Squeeze the liquid out.
Put the mix in a bowl, and rinse out the food processor.
Put the bread slices (torn up) into the processor and make into breadcrumbs.
Add the bread, eggs, cheese, curry and herbs to the mix and stir through well.
Cut your pastry in half down the middle, and spoon the mix into the middle of one of the halves.
Fold the inside edge to the middle of the mix, then the outside edge over the top, pressing down gently so they stick.
Putting the 'seam' face down, load your rolls onto a baking tray. We used to use foil but it always stuck to the bottom. Hopefully baking paper will work better.
Brush the top with soy milk, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Place in the oven for approx 45 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown. Serve with sauce, or, if you feel like being especially fancy, with some kind of homemade relish.
- 3 slices of reduced fat puff pastry
- 3 free-range eggs
- 2-3 large slices of wholemeal/rye/healthy bread (more/less according to liquid value of the mix)
- 1/2 a red capsicum
- 3 small-medium carrots
- 3 cup mushrooms
- 1 small zucchini
- 3 spring-onions (or regular onion, whatever you prefer)
- Corn if desired (we would but we always forget)
- Peas if desired (yuck).
- 1 level teaspoon mild curry powder
- 1 handful of basil (preferably fresh, chopped)
- 1/4 block of fetta OR cup of shredded tasty cheese
- Sesame seeds
- Soy milk (to brush on)
- 1 handful oregano (preferably fresh, chopped)
- Chop up the veggies into manageable pieces.
- Put them in the food blender and whiz until they're very small chunks, but not a paste or puree. You should be able to see liquid build up.
- Squeeze the liquid out.
- Put the mix in a bowl, and rinse out the food processor.
- Put the bread slices (torn up) into the processor and make into breadcrumbs.
- Add the bread, eggs, cheese, curry powder and herbs to the mix and stir through well. Add any salt or pepper.
- Cut your pastry in half down the middle, and spoon the mix into the middle of one of the halves.
- Fold the inside edge to the middle of the mix, then the outside edge over the top, pressing down gently so they stick.
- Putting the 'seam' face down, load your rolls onto a baking tray.
- Brush the top with soy milk, and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Place in the oven for approx 45 minutes, until puffed-up and golden brown. Serve with sauce, or homemade relish.
Monday, April 16, 2012
As an avid reader of A Practical Wedding, I have come across the phrase: 'Wanting/needing ALL THE THINGS' in regard to the wedding industry often enough.
It means that when you start planning a wedding, people will inevitably tell you all the things you 'need', or, the industry tells you that your wedding won't be 'perfect' unless you have 'all the things' - eg. the mason jars, the perfect makeup, the expensive flowers, the three tiered cupcake tree with custom designed icing decorations that taste like spring.
You know what I mean.
Looking at buying a house has brought out a new breed of 'all the things', and it isn't necessarily an industry pressure the way that planning a wedding is, but I am feeling a new sense of stress because I need all the things.
We saw a house on Saturday, and it's great as it is. You can move in and all you'd need to do was floor the bedrooms (though it's not like they don't have a floor, it's just not a 'real floor). The kitchen is huge, the bathroom is big, there's a yard up the back ready for Mallei, there's a huge drive and a carport. It's a great house, even though the kitchen is dated and too 'country' for me and the stove is electric hotplates (bleurg, ugh), and the bathroom is 1980s-salmon-pink... it works, it's fine.
I want all the things.
I want a new kitchen, right? Gas stove, yes please. Beautiful beautiful island with wood benchtops and an impractical place for recipe books...
I want to fix the bathroom, make it more pretty.
I want the floors to be lovely.
(Keep in mind, too, that we haven't even put an offer in on the house yet- it's not ours).
I want to plant Japanese maples out the front.
I want to buy bar stools, and armchairs, and a new couch, and a new dining table, and new chairs because mine are from 1991 or so.
I want RUGS.
I want to have a brilliant, functional vegetable garden out the back, with a little mini fruit tree orchard, and a chook pen and chickens with eggs.
I want to sell my car for a little diesel car so that it's more economical to drive the longer distance to work and back.
I want bird feeders, wind-chimes and herbs hanging from the front balcony.
I want more artwork.
I want to have cool, unusual and interesting recycled timber furniture.
So... not a long list, right.
All the damn things.
And I need to stop feeling so stressed about having all the stupid things right now. Floors? Probably a priority in that house. Everything else? Couches are still sittable. Table still has legs, chairs? They're pretty stained and fur-covered, but they work for now... These things will come, when they come. This needs to my mantra.
First thing's first: get a house. Everything else will come in time. And if it doesn't, at least we'll have a place to call our own, with room to move, and places to put plants in the ground because we'll be there for a while. And walls that we can put hooks in, because it won't be carefully documented with the threat of a reduced bond looming.
And that will be lovely.