#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. 🙂

 

#1511 Day 13 of getting there: a little bit of everything makes Saturday sweet

The day started off, drawing with baby girl.

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Next was the brownie baking.

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The triple choc brownie baking, I might add. 😉

There was taste-tasting, coffee making, and puzzle doing… it was relaxing, and with the wind howling and sheets of rain coming down outside, there was really no better place than to be at home.

Our cat Mister F slept for about five hours on the couch. It was that type of day.

Then at night, on random we started to dance in the kitchen.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while you’ll know that’s a common event in our household. Somehow though, we just haven’t had much of a chance or opportunity to dance all together on a Saturday night.

It seems for the moment though, we will have an indefinite amount of time to dance in the kitchen.

What made it better, was I started off reluctant. All I wanted to do was settle back on the couch. It was like I was so used to doing nothing, that I just wanted to go back and do NOTHING.

But as the saying goes… if you can’t beat them, join them.

Which is what I did. I participated in baby girl’s little dance-off contest, and before I knew it, was galloping and pirouetting across the kitchen floor and almost colliding with Hubbie and baby girl but doubling over with laughter.

And I was so glad I caved in. So glad we mucked about and went stupid and got warm amidst a really freezing day. And though we aren’t all tik tok savvy to have recorded it for the world to see, there is something else I captured…

Our little tennis match. I saw the best idea on facebook a while ago. Take two wooden spoons or other long-shaped utensils, tape it to the back of some paper plates, then using some stools/chairs, drape a blanket/tablecover over it to create…

A tennis stadium IN YOUR HOUSE.

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Oh, and the ball? A balloon. It even acts like a ball if it’s been hanging around the house for a few days, flying irrationally and without care through the air, making it more challenging to hit.

Let it howl. Let it rain. We’ve got the home isolation entertainment down pat.

#1430 Home made pizza

I’m trying to set a good example for baby girl whenever I can.

A massive part of that example is teaching her what I learnt growing up…

Home made is best.

She already tells me that my gingerbread and banana bread is better than any bought variety, and just recently even said she loved my pasta sauce… and she doesn’t even eat that much of it.

What I bake and make doesn’t have to receive world-class awards. If baby girl can see that what I made in our kitchen tastes better than anything commercially bought or packaged, my job here is done.

Learning this is a life-long task though. I still fall into traps of buying things that I think might be okay, but then I end up terribly disappointed afterwards. That’s why I’m always teaching, always talking to baby girl about what is good and healthy for her.

I don’t like to be preachy, or all “Don’t eat that!” with her. Rather like today at the shops, I asked her if she wanted me to buy some watermelon, and she said yes. I then threw in the info that they have lots of water and are naturally sweet, and much better for you than sugary treats and chocolate.

😉

But it wasn’t just watermelon on our shopping list today. We were buying pizza-making ingredients, because baby girl asked for us to make a pizza!

Before I get too excited over my good influence on her, it was TOTALLY NOT MY INFLUENCE.

I know because she told me… she had watched her favourite doll role-play channel on youtube and the dolls had made their own pizza with green peppers and brown onion and pepperoni and that’s why she wanted to make it!

Well what do you know? Youtube is actually teaching something.

So we went on a shopping trip. To buy green peppers (I told them in Australia we say capsicums), pepperoni (only to go on Hubbie’s side of the pizza once she realised they were spicy) and some other delicious and fresh toppings like ham, mushrooms and fresh mozzarella.

FRESH MOZARELLA! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

At home I chopped it up and she helped me top the pizza base… the best bit.

Before…

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And after

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It smelt so good coming out of the oven, and we had created it ourselves!

The only modification for next time…

Make two. We smashed that ‘one’ easily.

 

#1395 Tacos

I have a confession.

I’m 36 years old and have never had a taco.

😮😱😳

Maybe I have, but if I did I sure as hell can’t remember it.

Which is kind of the same thing. 🤷‍♀️

Tonight we ate them.

And…

Nom nom nom nom nom.

I always thought they’d be so annoying to eat. The hard shell, subsequently crunchy and falling apart, with all the fillings inside dropping into a heap in your hands…

Who would want that?

Burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, soft wraps… I’ve done them all. Corn chips as a snack, sure.

But not a hard corn shell as a Mexican sandwich.

But omg! I was wrong. It was delicious and fresh, and baby girl loved it just as much as I did.

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The crunch was definitely there, and the contrast it provided against the other ingredients was amazing.

And sure, half of the filling and shards of the corn tortilla fell onto my plate when my teeth bit into the taco…

But I realised it was still as delicious from the base of my plate as it was when in my hands. ❤🌮

 

 

#1354 Summer salads – quinoa, mango and tomato medley

It ain’t Summer yet, but the weather is definitely warming up, making it the perfect time to start making fresh, healthy and inciting meals that take stock of some Summer staples.

The ‘salad’ I made today could well be a meal on its own – and why not? On those hot days when you just can’t be bothered turning on the heat, well this recipe uses minimal, and combines a lot of great flavours, all fresh and warm and contrasting, so that it really equals a surprisingly filling yet healthy meal.

Oh and there’s coriander. There are some people that hate it… but we are not those people.

Hubbie LOVES coriander. And I gotta say I enjoy the fresh and mild flavour it gives off too.

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Looking forward to a hot summer, with some stunning salads, like the above 😉