#2045 Decadent dessert

I made this tiramisu on Saturday night.

I have been eating it EVERY SINGLE DAY.

I have to. I mean, it’s not like I can just go to somebody’s house and be like, here, have some alcoholic/caffeinated super decadent dessert… there is no one close enough like that within my lockdown kms.

(I would share, honestly, seriously I would).

Yes, I said alcohol. Frangelico my dears, an entire cup’s worth!

And the same quantity of coffee too!

Topped off with a sprinkling of chopped up hazelnuts mixed through cocoa powder…

Nom nom nom nom nom.

#2000 Woo hoo!

I’ve made it to 2000 posts!

I considered some time ago throwing in the towel for this gratitude blog, just because I felt I had done what I set out to do.

That is, I now know how to practice gratitude daily in novel ways.

But a part of me feels like I’m not done in this area, not yet anyway.

So for now, I’ll keep going. 💪

How did I celebrate my blog milestone today? Well after not being sick all winter, my body went ‘stuff this’ and threw in its own towel today. 🙄

Enter panadol and tea.

But in true gratitude, glass half-full fashion, I made chicken soup, and Marion’s hoisen beef noodles, and I’m happy that I made some food for my body (and soul) that’ll hopefully get me back into tip-top shape.

There’s always worse out there to put your own woes in perspective, and remember, there’s always better waiting for you. ❤❤

#1944 Saturday DIY pizzas

We’re enjoying our Saturday nights in more and more.

Maybe because we know we have our freedom, and can go out if we want to.

Plus, Winter, and that other thing, BALANCE.

When we knew we were staying in, Hubbie suggested we get pizza… and I was like, “but we have all that ham in the fridge!”

So he said, “why don’t we make our own?”

BOOM! Idea born.

It’s not the first time we’ve done it, but we definitely don’t do it near enough.

I went out earlier today with baby girl to buy the bases and some toppings, and I got several bases because they weren’t really huge to be honest.

This ended up being a blessing in disguise, because when it came time to the ‘decorating’ part…

Well, we each had our own! I got the toppings ready, and then we all set about constructing our own idea of a delicious pizza!

And man, it can vary, heaps. I did long strips of ham and big mushrooms chunks, with heaps of mozzarella cheese piled on top.

Baby girl wanted her mushrooms in teeny tiny bits, even breaking up bits of spinach into pieces that looked more like parsley garnish.

And Hubbie did loads of sauce, with hot salami on top of all the usuals, AND pineapple! I know!

It was so good, and it felt heaps healthier after, there was none of that heavy feeling or anything.

I think this will be a regular addition to our dinner menu. 😋

#1930 Lockdown food

Lockdown ain’t much different than a Winter’s night.

I don’t know. It just felt like, same-same to me today.

And though it isn’t Winter yet, we’ve gotten PLENTY of previews lately. We were planning on staying in tonight anyway, so when lockdown was announced, we just upped our Saturday cook-at-home plans, and put on the heater.

I made some vanilla muffins during the day from the Rachael Finch program…

I pimp these up with bits of chocolate, because make these healthy treats a little more ‘family-friendly’ that’s why, and also we have enough chocolate from Easter to last us ’til Santa comes around again.

And at night, I made a recipe I had bookmarked, perhaps last lockdown? LOL.

Marion Grasby’s Hoisin Beef Noodles

Now this, OMG. Droooool.

That is all.

The longer we are in iso, the longer I’ll just make more recipes, read and write more, and clean the house more in a mad frenzy (OK that one not so much, but a little more 🤣🤣)

#1852 My little chef

I’ve been making a heap of food tonight to last, and as I set about making my lasagna earlier, I tried to sell it to baby girl.

She LOVESSSSSSSSSSSS her pasta.

Lasagna, she does not.

The type of lasagna she would eat? A deconstructed one. Like, a sheet of pasta… some cheese sprinkled on the side, or perhaps a smear of bechamel beneath the sheet… and like a dollop of bolognaise sauce on the side, too, of course.

So really, just her regular pasta with bolognaise. 🤦‍♀️

But I’ve been trying to break it down to her lately, and tonight was my example I set for her. As I made the lasagna, I told her –

“Really, it’s no different to when Mummy makes bolognaise! There’s pasta, sauce and cheese, but just all layered all over each other!”

Anyway, I’ve found the best thing is when she watches me cook. She becomes very interested, tries to help out, add this, stir that. She loves to stir.

And she also becomes curious.

Willing.

Experimental.

Brave.

So I threw it in.

“Here, take a spoon and try the bolognaise, go on.”

And then later, when I was done layering the bechamel.

“Lick the spoon, try it.”

As the foil went over my oven-ready lasagna dish, she said with enthusiasm –

“Mmm, maybe I will try some lasagna!”

😁😁

Watch this space…!

#1833 Plum dumplings

I’m like a bull.

Sometimes I get a thought in my head, and I just charge, straight for the target.

Nothing can stop me. No one can distract me.

I won’t be satisfied until I’ve done what I set out to do.

That’s what happened today as I went to prepare, “Knedle.”

Otherwise known as ‘dumplings’ with plums.

I had seen an interesting recipe some time ago, and then when my parents picked all the plums off their trees in their old house before they moved, well we had an abundance of plums, didn’t we…

And I thought, wouldn’t it be great to make this traditional recipe, using homemade plums?

My parents plums?

I HAD TO.

Today, through much effort, I got these done.

I am now satisfied, but I tell you, sooo tired. I feel like I didn’t stop. On a day when I was catching up on so much already, then I started making this time-consuming dish, now I’m just like –

DONE.

I have dessert to last me all week. If anyone wants to swing by, you know what you’ll be eating. 🤣

#1539 Day 41 of getting there: the ultimate bolognaise

Omg.

I’ve discovered the most amazing bolognaise sauce, and tonight as a change from takeaway, we cooked, and I made it, along with a big pot of steaming spaghetti.

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I found the recipe online, and it’s called ‘great grandma’s pasta sauce’… and you just know when a recipe has the word ‘grandma,’ it’s gonna be SMASHING.

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So lip smacking good. 😋🍝

#1538 Day 40 of getting there: Egg drop soup

Something inside me twigged when I saw the above recipe video, and I didn’t quite understand why.

After some thought, I remembered that growing up, my Mum would sometimes make this egg-type soup as a breakfast meal!

It might seem weird, but if you think about it, eggs are a primarily breakfast meal, and this just happened to come in a comforting and seasoned broth that made for nice cold mornings.

I’ve been loving Marion Grasby’s videos on facebook. I really find the meals the former MasterChef contestant makes on her channel, fascinating, easy and seemingly delicious.

I was keen to put the latter to the test today, as I’ve been slowly planning my attempt at her incredible egg-drop soup.

I was soooo excited. (I always get excited making something new!) The only thing I didn’t have was the dried shrimp to add to the broth, but oh man the amazing scent of ginger, spring onion, pan fried chicken filling the kitchen tonight… mmm!

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It was so delicious. I am in love. Another great soup to add to my repertoire of soups. 😉

Follow her on facebook or insta, it will be worth your while. ♥

#1536 Day 38 of getting there: the never-too-late Anzac biscuits

I had the ingredients for these bikkies on Saturday, but after the time, effort and dishes required to do my sweet potato gnocchi, I was feeling like I didn’t wanna do any kind of cooking/baking task anytime soon.

Only the thing was, these Anzac biscuits are the easiest to make.

Either way, I had a break on the weekend, and today on this cloudy and rainy day, I whipped these up really quickly.

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Now I’m no massive Anzac bikkie fan. But when I come across a recipe that –

a) I have the ingredients for, and

b) is soooo easy

I just can’t help myself. It’s like the recipe is calling me.

These gave off the most wonderful smell as they baked in the oven, and the crunch and deliciousness were most definitely there when it came time for taste-testing.

As I get progressively more and more ‘over’ store-bought sweets, I am so happy to now have a massive batch of these guys to keep my coffee company over the next week. 😉

#1531 Day 33 of getting there: homemade sweet potato gnocchi

I haven’t been writing as much as I like, and that’s got a bit to do with this cv business and balancing working from home with schooling baby girl from home, but it’s more to do with the OTHER.

The other is me fuelling all my creative energy into cooking new recipes.

It isn’t hard to find them after all. So many more people are putting together live recordings and sharing extra recipes to help us deal with this isolation, and just as well because we need something to do with all the extra time we aren’t going out.

And just the other day, I fell in love with a recipe idea I have been toying with for years now.

It was gnocchi. Rather, it has always been gnocchi. But this version was a sweet potato gnocchi.

Nom nom nom.

You know, some time ago I bought a packet of gnocchi from the shops, at the height of the shopping-covid frenzy when pasta was getting low to nothing on shelves… and I thought, being from a nice grocer and all, that this gnocchi would also be, nice.

I have only ever had, smooth, delicious, pillowy puffs of homemade or restaurant high-grade quality gnocchi.

So imagine my disappointment when this gnocchi tasted like plastic.

It was NOT nice. It honestly had a fake, manufactured taste, and I was spurred by the idea of homemade gnocchi even more.

So earlier this week when I saw Leah Itsines, self-taught cook, post on facebook that she was doing a live and making sweet potato gnocchi, I knew that soon, I would be too.

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How great is technology? I knew I couldn’t follow her to make it at the exact time she did, but she was posting the video on YouTube later, so all I had to do was go to her channel today and voila!

The instructions were all there.

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My gnocchi was deliciously homemade. It was so refreshing, to have it not taste like plastic! What do you know??? In fact, it tasted anything but. I think I made a pretty great first time gnocchi, and I even have extra that I have frozen for another time so that is SUPER EXCITING.

But that’s not even it. No folks. Topping that homemade sweet potato gnocchi was Jamie Oliver’s 3 minute tomato pasta sauce… another food guru I have started following lately!

And just as well that I had a 3 minute sauce recipe, since it took me hours and 26 dishes to make the gnocchi.

(All hail the dishwasher).

It’s so satisfying to make your own food. It’s amazing to experiment with different dishes, flavours and ingredients, and even to go out on a whim and try something you’ve been scared to for so long.

I can’t believe I made gnocchi, I am still so excited about it!

Next on my experimentation list? Well Leah has also made dumplings, and I LOVE DUMPLINGS… Marion Grasby has an egg drop soup that looks incredible… and Jamie Oliver and Oprah Winfrey recently made his Singapore-style fried rice together, over video call of course… ahh.

Ain’t technology just the best. 🙂