Sunday, October 31, 2010

One Cheeky Monkey

Been flat out with designing and sewing kids toys recently and selling them on Facebook. Can go check them out here. Have a stuffed elephant designed and made by me and have just finished designing a giraffe =

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Porcupine Meatballs

I remember having these as a kid and man they were good!!!

Serve on spaghetti pasta. Kids love 'em!

Half cooked rice. (still needs a little crunch so that it doesn't fall apart when you mix it up
Bolognase sauce (make your own or buy a jar)
Grated Apple/s (size, amount of mince taken into account)
Grated Carrot
Mixed Herbs
Tomato Sauce
Soy Sauce
Egg (1 per 300-400gm ish of mince.... 1kg mince = 3 eggs)
Spaghetti pasta

(pre-cook rice for about 8 mins in a microwave rice cooker. I dont own one of those fancy electric ones. I dont like them lol. so just cook it without it going soft)

Put mince, mostly-cooked rice, herbs, tomato sauce, soy sauce, egg/s, apple, carrot in bowl. Mix (with your hands! It's fun!!!). Mould into meatballs. If they are flaky and falling apart, try adding some flour to the mince mix. (1/4-1/3 cup for 1kg mince APPROX) Cook in bolognase sauce like normal meatballs.

Serve over spaghetti.

Soooo good!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Love My Man

This morning I woke up to his phone alarm going off at 7.15 (even though it wasn't a weekday which was a little strange). Riley was talking to himself in his cot waiting for mum to get up. Dave wasn't there. I got out of bed, got Riley out of his cot and went out to the lounge room. Dave was in the kitchen doing the dishes. And he did 2 loads of laundry and hung it out. And he cooked me breakfast. And he changed Riley's nappy twice and put him down for both of his naps (10am and 1pm).

Was so happy! He must be banking the brownie points because he is out at a stag do at the moment. Bowling, paintball and drinking. After this morning I am more than happy to let him sleep in until 10am when I put Riley down for his nap ;-)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Some dips for Xmas

2 of my favourite dips ever.

Guacamole (everyone has their own variation... but I love this one. Learnt from my mum who I'm guessing learnt from her mum? Anyway Riley loves it as I can see by his face covered in it and the big grin on his face)

In a food processor (or maybe even make with a stick blender?) place
2-3 avocados (depending on size and number of people)
2 shallots (cut off the roots and about 2 inches from the dark green tips and dispose. chop the section into roughly 3 inch sections to get the in the processor easier)
1-3 garlic cloves (depending on size and how garlicky you like it)
1-2 pinches cayenne pepper (depending on spice factor. start low and just add more if you want it. You can put more in, you can't take it out)
5-15 drops of pure lemon juice (or just squeeze a lemon wedge over)

Process until smooth.

If you do add too much cayenne pepper... it can be evened out with more lemon juice and an extra 1/2 shallot. Once blended to smooth, taste a bit (or the crackers you are serving with it) then add what needs to be added.

Serve with a mix of crackers, poppadoms, grilled pita bread, pieces of bread stick, salami, vege sticks, pretzels and Camembert or Brie

Cream Cheese & Honey with Pistachios

In a food processor...

1x tub of cream cheese (depending on how many people depends on the size)
1-2 tbsps of liquid honey (depending on size of tub. for a 250g tub I start with 1 tbsp then just add more if I need it. Depends on my mood lol)

Blend together until completely mixed.

1/3 - 1/2 cup of shelled pistachios. (Place in a tea towel once shelled and break with a meat mallet or rolling pin until chunky bits are made)

Either make the cheese/honey mix into a cheese ball and roll through the pistachio pieces or place into a bowl and fold through the pistachios.

Super yum!!!

Serve with a selection of crackers, grilled pita bread and pieces of bread stick.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mars Bar Slice Bites

75g butter
4x (standard size) Mars bars (or a "Fun Size 12 pack")
Approx 4 cups of Rice bubbles.

Melt butter and Mars bars together (make sure the nougat is mixed evenly through)

Remove from heat and stir through rice bubbles.

Place spoonfuls into mini muffins trays and refridgerate until set.


Monday, October 11, 2010

Official Starting Weigh In

Check out The Zumba Diaries and join in! Would love to see how you go!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Getting my hands dirty

How many times did you mother tell you not to play with your food?

Did she ever tell you how much fun it was to get your hands into a bowl of mince?

It has been over 10 years since I last (remember) having meatloaf, and oh it was fun to make!

What makes a good meatloaf? I don't know but mine tasted pretty good!!

1kg mince
2 grated apples
1 grated (large) carrot
1 grated (large) potato
3/4-1 cup plain flour
1/4-1/2 cup grated cheese
soy sauce
tomato sauce
mixed herbs
3 eggs

Add a roll of sausage meat.
Try pork mince instead of beef mince
Add some diced bacon or shredded ham

Riley loved it though and ate a whole slice.

And for dessert?

Ever heard of 5 minute chocolate mud cake?

2 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons flour
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
Dash of vanilla essence
(add some choc chips for a more decadent cake. think brownie status!)

  1. Place all dry ingredients inside an average mug and stir.
  2. Add the egg and whisk / mix well.
  3. Add milk and oil gradually, stirring.
  4. Add vanilla essence.
  5. Cook on high in microwave for 3 minutes.
  6. Eat from the mug, or run a knife around the edge to slide out onto a plate.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Doing it BLW Style

Who has heard of BLW? (a.k.a Baby Led Weaning) The general idea that if babies are ready for solids, then they can eat soilds and shouldn't have to have it pureed. Now, I am NOT saying that this is for everyone. In fact I'm not even saying that you should think about it if its not for you. People have been pureeing food for their babies for hundreds of years... but what did they do before pureeing was possible?

I'm a firm believer in Baby Led Weaning, but I am not going to get on my soap box and start preaching about it. Everyone has their own opinions and as long as it works for you, why should I care? But Riley is mine and Dave's child and this is about our experience.

Riley LOVES getting his hands on a chunk of banana, a whole snack size cucumber or some peach slices and his favourite food is a vegemite sandwich. We started soilds ealier than the "recommended" age, but he was showing us the 'signs' that he was ready to move on from his liquid diet. As we chose to formula feed (if you missed that post you can check it out here) I was able to see just how much he was feeding on formula.

During the week before we started him on solids, he was taking in as much as 1400mL (1.4L) of formula during a day. (the recommened amount for his age at the time was about 1000mL) so this equated to 2 extra bottles and he never seemed full afterwards. He was trying to grab everything we ate and was trying to eat everything he could get his hands on.

I had been thinking, discussing and researching Baby Led Weaning since I was about 5 month pregnant with Riley and it just made sense to us. Riley eats (essentially) what we eat and he loves nothing more than to feed himself. As I sit here typing this, he is chewing on a snack cucumber and he has gotten so good at biting, chewing and swallowing.

Its no messier than puree (especially when they try to spoon feed themselves) and its so rewarding to see him try new flavours on his own. If he doesn't like something, he won't eat it. (He can tell the difference between pumpkin and carrot just by looking at them. Love carrot. Hates pumpkin. Just like his mum!) When he is full, he stops eating. (It normally ends up being thrown on the floor)

I love not having to spend time cutting, cooking, mashing/blending, mixing, sorting, freezing, defrosting and spoon feeding Riley, when I can just make myself a fruit salad for lunch, and give him a chunk of my apple. Or just make an extra sandwich. Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to eat as a family instead of feeding baby, then feeding yourself? Do you have any idea how much nicer it is to go out for lunch, and be able to buy your baby a half sandwich and let them eat while you eat? Or even buy a baby-friendly lunch and let them get into it with you.

If you are almost at the beginning-solids stage and have ever had this pass through your mind as a fleeting thought... I highly highly recommend at least looking into it a little more. If its not your thing, then its not a problem! If it is, give it a go, you can always go back to puree!

Banana - His first food. Eaten off my thumb because it was too slippery for him. This is the closest to puree we ever got with Riley. Even then it was small chunks on my thumb.


Mummy's chin

Shaved ham

Cruskit (Crispbread)

Carrot, Potato and Pumpkin that he didn't eat

His favourite - Vegemite sandwich

Peach slices

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Nothing like fresh veges direct from your garden! As Dunedin is so incredibly *blurgh* over winter, not knowing if it is going to rain, hail, snow, be foggy or nice and sunny, it is incredibly hard for a novice gardener such as myself to grow anything.

But come Spring... that's a whole different story! Planter box #1 was done today with carrot seeds, when they germinate and sprout we will transfer them to the garden. Planter box #2... I wanted to experiment with onion as I had one in the back of the pantry i had forgotten about and has started to sprout new roots so I took all the good layers and chopped them up for the slow cooker (Waste not.. want not!) and planted the core of the onion in planter box 2 last week. I was curious how it was going so I did a little digging and its sprouting!!

We also have a mini plastic hothouse specifically for germination and sprouting, so Will be working on some lettuce and other spring/summer veges.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Laughter: The Best Medicine

I was heavily pregnant with Riley over the summer... Due in March, I had a big baby belly from Christmas time... Every night was spent in bed with the sheets kicked off and my fan on high (I even had a remote for my fan!!)... Was too hot to sleep and that on top of reflux and kicks made for not alot of deep sleep.

Isn't it amazing how your body just gets used to it and you can function on alot less sleep than you ever planned on.

Isn't it amazing how after months of this (and the newborn sleepless nights) you can function [reasonably] well on as little as 4 hours of 'sleep'. (I have been really lucky that Rileys has been sleeping through since about 2 months old, but I still wake up during the night to roll over... I don't move in my sleep!)

Isn't it amazing, how when you have a great sleep right through... you wake up with a headache and you feel even more tired than normal?

And what may be the cure to this? I hear you ask... Pretending to eat your childs feet just to hear the squeal with excitement. (Ok the squealing.. not so much, but the laughter is contagious!)

The Zumba Diaries

Check my pages (under my photo) to follow my Zumba weight loss diary. Weekly follow up photos and the occassional complaint about the biscuit I wont let myself have or about how I'm sick of peeing all the time from all the water I'm drinking.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mum, Love, Mess

Real Mum = Sitting on the couch in my dressing gown blogging, feeling like I'm ready to puke, Riley is asleep and Dave is doing the dishes.

Real Love = Spending the morning blowing raspberries on Rileys bare tummy just to hear him laugh

Real Mess = Baby Led Weaning and carpet don't mix ;-)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Camo Pants

Well as Riley gets bigger, his clothes are running out lol. He is growing too long too fast! Anyway I got on the sewing machine today and made him some blue camo pants. (Dave was really excited!)

Super easy pants and with no pattern. 

If anyone wants some quick instructions let me know and I will make another pair and take pics. 

They turned out really well!

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