Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

Like cake? Love cake? But feel a little guilty when you eat it? Have no fear! My loaf is here! This Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf is totally guilt free, low in added sugar and loaded with healthy goodies like chia, buttermilk and raspberries.

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

Not too long ago Legoman and I sat down to do a cupboard clear out in our kitchen. A whole bunch of unfun was had. But, I did realise we had a lot of certain things. Apparently I hoard almond meal, carob powder, pasta and macadamias. There are worse things I could be hoarding! Don’t judge me!

Macadamias are Australia’s gift to the land of nuts. They are a little buttery ball of good fats, antioxidants and even have natural plant sterols to keep your cholesterol in check. Plus, they’re Australian so of course they’re wonderful! They work beautifully into both sweet and savoury dishes (did someone say Macadamia crusted fish??). Next time you’re out shopping, try some macadamias and try not to eat them all before you bake this Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for your tummy. Perfect as a toddler treat too!

The day I baked this was our local Winter Magic Festival which is held each year to celebrate the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is such an amazing outpouring of community spirit and love. This year was the first year I haven’t gone in a while, but I was feeling very pregnant and very uncomfortable that day. So I baked instead (and did laundry, cleaned the toilets, did the dishes….). But gorgeous Legoman and Possum had a fab morning together. Here’s a little happy snap of Possum in her get up. Dressed proudly by daddy! She said she was a strawberry, and apparently I was a rainbow. Love her so much!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

Pear, Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf – Makes 1 loaf

1 cup SR flour

2 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup LSA

1/2 cup macadamias, chopped and toasted

2 pears, peeled, cored and chopped

1/3 cup frozen raspberries

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

75g butter melted

1/4 tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp coconut sugar

1 tsp No Egg with 2 Tbsp water or 1 egg

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Soak your chia seeds in water and let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Combine dry ingredients (except coconut sugar) and nuts in a large mixing bowl.

4. Beat together, in a separate bowl, the buttermilk, NoEgg and coconut sugar until bubbly.

5. Stir wet, chia and dry mixes together. Add butter, pear and raspberry. Stir to just combine.

6. Pour into a baking tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check with a skewer. Allow to cool before chowing down!

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf. A delicious, guilt free treat for you mummy tummy. Also a great toddler snack!

And just an aside, I’ve been having a local tour of local hospitals the past few days thanks to by placenta previa. This has left Legoman flying solo with Possum at home. He sent me this picture of our kitchen tonight. It looks AMAZING! And I just want to publicly say a HUGE thankyou to my husband for being such a wonderful support for me and such a loving daddy to our Possum. I love you Legoman! xxx

Pear Raspberry and Macadamia Loaf

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Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

I must be missing summer at the moment. Pina Colada Muffins one week, Mango and Coconut Smoothie the next! We live in the Blue Mountains, Australia, which is a remarkably beautiful place. But come winter time, it’s really bloody cold! Our fruit bowl is full of pears, apples and bananas. Nothing like the melons, mangoes and stone fruit we devour in the summer months. Thankfully I have found that you can buy 1 kg (yes 1kg!!) of frozen mango for around $6 at Aldi! Woohoo!!

And the other week, while I was in hospital, a foodie friend of mine not only brought me two trays of Italian pastries (he knows me well!) but he also brought some amazingly delicious coconut milk. I’m so used to coconut milk in tins from the supermarket, that this cold bottle of light sweet coconut milk was a revelation!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

Now I know smoothies are all the rage at the moment and people are loading them up with avocado, quinoa, protein powders and the milk of yaks from outer west mongolia. In our house smoothies are a much more simple affair, with one main purpose. To cheer up a tired and cranky two year old. This Mango and Coconut Smoothie can be prepared with a toddler in one hand and your ingredients in the other. It comes together in a moment so little people don’t have to wait. And it is super delicious!! And healthy too! Huzzah!

This Mango and Coconut smoothie was a mega super amazing hit with my little Possum. Initially she wanted to save some for Daddy, but poor Legoman never got to taste it as Possum decided the extra glass was probably better off in her belly.

So go grab yourself some frozen mango, some coconut milk not in a tin and some healthy bacteria packed yoghurt to whip together this delicious Mango and Coconut Smoothie. Enjoy!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie – makes 1 big smoothie or enough to share with a hangry toddler

1 cup frozen mango

1/2 cup plain full fat yoghurt (or a few big spoonfuls)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1. Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz together until smooth.

That’s it! So simple and delicious! A great snack for pregnant mums, breastfeeding mums, busy mums, tired mums, happy mums, hangry mums and your little folk too. Add frozen mango to your shopping list on your meal plan this week (click here for your free printable meal planning template)!

Mango and Coconut Smoothie

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Baby Led Weaning Shopping List

Baby Led Weaning Shopping List Essentials

Are you new to Baby Led Weaning? Not quite sure what things to have on hand for your little one? Use this handy shopping list at your next grocery shop!

Life with little ones can be so much easier when you’re prepared. I learnt this lesson when Possum started solids. It’s basically what led me to try meal planning!

Here I was in the kitchen everyday at 5pm with a hungry tot and absolutely no idea what to feed her let alone Legoman and myself! That’s not a happy head space to be in everyday. Since then meal planning has saved our hungry tummies and tired brains many times over.

But the other little trick that worked was getting to know what foods were easy, quick and nutritious for Possum to have. I would make sure these would go on our shopping list each week so that I knew there was always something in the house Possum could eat if she wasn’t too keen on whatever it was we were eating at that meal.

Here is a shopping list of great foods for baby led weaning so that you can have a quick reference and help your day run a little smoother. Is there anything you would add? I would love to hear and I can add to the list.

  • Banana – and here is a little trick to make it easy for bub to hold: use your little finger pushed into the end of a peeled banana to split into three segments. Game changer!
  • Sweet potato – makes sweet potato wedges super easily. Cut into wedges and roast at 180°C for 30 minutes or until starting to brown.
  • Field mushrooms – possum loooooooved to demolish a roasted field mushroom for dinner. Roast at 180°, smooth side down, with some olive oil for around 20-30 minutes. Cut in half to serve.
  • Cucumber – or cubumber as Possum now calls it. Cut into sixths for easy to hold chunks. We never bothered to peel it.
  • Oats – mix 3 Tbsp oats with 3 Tbsp water in a rounded dish then microwave for 2 minutes. Easy! Comes out as a very easy to hold oat biscuit.
  • Pear – allergy friendly and easy to munch.
  • Avocado – the perfect foot for baby led weaning! So much messy fun! Cut into chunks and have the bath (and camera) ready!
  • Yoghurt – plain full fat yoghurt. Offer on a preloaded spoon or put in a bowl and embrace the mess! A great substitution for sour cream in recipes too!

Now our Possum is two! We are really pleased to have gone down the Baby Led Weaning path. It was such a fun and enjoyable way to introduce food into her world. We are due with bub #2 in August and I am certainly going to choose to do Baby Led Weaning again. You can read a bit more about our Baby Led Weaning experiences here and here.

How’s Baby Led Weaning going for our family?

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Looking for some recipes for your little one? Here are some Baby Led Weaning winners:

Pina Colada Muffins

Pina Colada Muffins

Ahhhh sweet summer nights, sipping Pina Colada’s on a beach front somewhere wonderful… all just a dream for this heavily pregnant mother of a toddler! Doesn’t mean I can’t bake some super tasty muffins! Because cocktails and muffins totally compare. Excuse me while I go sob in the corner for a moment…. Rightio! Back again! This pregnant mumma is also living in the icy start of winter, where our pipes are already starting to freeze in the mornings and our windscreens need to be scraped of ice before driving anywhere. So sure, why not tropicana on your tastebuds! Liven things up!

These Pina Colada Muffins are a delicious combination of some of my favourite things.

Coconut, lots of coconut.

Pineapple. Mmmmmmmm

Lime. Sweet, sweet (or sour) lime.

Pina Colada Muffins

Plus a few other healthy yummos like chia seeds, yoghurt and banana to make these Pina Colada Muffins totally guilt free. They are both egg free and nut free making them perfect for school lunches and toddler afternoon teas. And with only 2 Tbsp of coconut sugar added you can confidently even give these as a little baby led weaning treat too!

Legoman’s verdict… “They’re sweet. They’re good.”

Possum’s verdict… “Deliiiccccciiiiioooooooooouuuusssss. I want more muffin!”

Pina Colada Muffins

I have really wonderful memories of sipping Pina Colada’s on Tonsai Beach in Thailand, with the freshest of fresh coconut and pineapple in them. Swinging in a hammock. Watching the lightning flash across the ocean. Off I go day dreaming again…

These Pina Colada Muffins are quite a moist mix so when baking make sure to give them a little skewer test to check if they are done. I had to keep putting them back in the first round, I think I was a bit too excited to try them!

Pina Colada Muffins – Makes ~16 mini muffins

225g tin pineapple pieces in natural juice

2 Tbsp chia seeds

1 cup SR flour

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 tsp baking powder

270ml tin coconut cream (I use Ayam brand as it’s 100% pure coconut, not watered down or thickened)

2 bananas, mashed

2 Tbsp coconut sugar

2/3 cup full fat plain yoghurt

2 Tbsp coconut oil melted

Zest of 1 lime

1. Strain off the juice from the pineapple into a medium bowl. Add the chia seeds to the juice and let soak for 15 mintues

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C and grease a mini muffin pan.

3. Combine desiccated coconut, SR flour, baking powder, coconut sugar and lime zest in a large mixing bowl.

4. Mash bananas and stir through pineapple pieces.

5. Whisk together coconut cream and the chia seed mixture.

6. Combine chia/coconut mix, pineapple/banana mix, dry mix and yoghurt.

7. Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, check with a skewer that they are cooked right through as this is quite a moist mixture.

Pina Colada Muffins

I had to add in this photo of the pineapple pieces. The sunshine through the bowl was making such beautiful patterns. And that photo of the whisk is actually a colour photo, looks black and white. Pretty groovy 🙂 I hope these Pina Colada Muffins add some tropical sunshine to your day! Enjoy!

Pina Colada Muffins

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Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup

Do you remember having alphabet soup as a kid?? When I saw these alphabet pasta shapes at our local ALDI I just had to buy some! More for me than anyone else. Possum has been really getting into the alphabet lately and can even sing the whole alphabet song (proud beaming mumma over here! hello!). I thought this would be a fun way for her to play, learn and enjoy delicious homemade chicken alphabet soup. Possum makes soup at most meals. This involves putting a bit of everything into her cup of water, stirring it and then drinking it……… delicious……

This Easy Chicken Alphabet Soup is the perfect way to use up leftover roast chicken. A nice bonus when you’re using meal planning is this 2 for 1 kind of cooking! Less fuss, less stress and less cost. Bingo!

And yes I did have just a bit of fun picking out the letters to spell “alphabet” for my nice pic up the top 🙂 You likey? I used a Lego keyring (guess who owns that one!) as my lighting. So fancy! So professional!

Alphabet Noodles

As a little side story, it’s funny how sometimes the universe knows things way before you do. I cooked this soup on Saturday night. I did the grocery shopping during Saturday day, I normally do it Monday. I also strangely had the house pretty darn clean and organised by the time I went to bed that night. Plus Possum hadn’t had any Mummy Milk for 3 days… That night I was rushed to hospital with bleeding. I am 30 weeks pregnant and have placenta praevia. Legoman was out bush and out of phone reception. Not a fun situation.

To cut a long story short, I am now home again after a couple of nights in hospital. Both baby and I are absolutely fine. I was joking that had the hospital had a kitchen, a DSLR and wifi I could’ve happily blogged whilst there! Instead I used up all my data on my phone reading everyone else’s blogs (I found a few new ones here and here)!

Easy Chicken Noodles Soup cooking

Easy Chicken Alphabet Noodle Soup – Serves 4

For the broth:

Leftover Roast Chicken (I had nearly half a chicken left), skin and bones included

3 carrots very roughly chopped

1 onion peeled and quartered

2 bay leaves

10 peppercorns

a pinch of salt

1/2 red capsicum very roughly chopped

5 cups of water

large handful fresh parsley

For the remainder of the soup

1/2 cup of alphabet soup noodles

2 carrots sliced

2 cups broccoli florets

1. Place all ingredients for the broth into a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 10-11 hours. Or do as I did and start it on high for a few hours while you go do the grocery shopping then turn in to low until close to dinner time.

2. After cooking the broth, strain it through a pasta strainer. Strip chicken carcass of as much meat as you can. I still had nearly half a chicken on my leftovers so this was quite a meaty soup.

3. Add the strained broth and chicken meat to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add your sliced carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add your alphabet pasta and broccoli. Cook for 5 minutes.

4. Then serve! It’s really that crazy simple!!

If you don’t have a slow cooker you can easily make the broth by sitting all the ingredients in a large saucepan on very low heat on the stove top. You could reduce the cooking time this way too.

I could’ve tried to style this soup, but really it’s such a kiddie classic and nostalgic wonder, I just had to put a picture of Possum’s cute little pink bowl and teaspoon instead. I hope your family enjoys this Easy Chicken Noodle Soup!

Toddler Serve of Easy Chicken Noodle Soup

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Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme

Everybody loves a good homemade roast chicken! Well maybe the vegans and vegetarians don’t… but everyone else loves a homemade roast chicken! I love the simplicity, ease and minimal cost that comes with such a delicious and soul satisfying meal. I also love that my whole family enjoys sitting down and sharing a lovely roast chicken. It makes an ideal toddler dinner and is wonderful for baby led weaning too.

My Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme was just what the doctor ordered today after a day at work, a toddler who hadn’t slept, plus minimal supplies in the fridge and pantry. Hello trusty garlic and home grown herbs! A few minutes chopping and prepping and you will have a wonderful meal in the oven. You can then spend the next hour that it’s cooking catching your breath, enjoying a hot cup of tea (put Play School on, seriously) or getting some odd jobs done (that cup of tea is looking mighty fine).

Roast Chicken Possum

The wonderful thing with Roast Chicken is that the story doesn’t end at that first meal. Leftovers can be used to make:

  • freezable sandwiches for work and school lunches. Simply put chicken and mayonnaise on a sandwich, wrap in Cling Wrap then freeze. On the day you want one, take it out and let thaw in your bag. By lunch it will be perfect!
  • healthy and delicious homemade chicken stock
  • kid friendly Chicken Noodle Soup

Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme – serves 4

1 1-1.5kg chicken (preferable free range or organic)

3-10 cloves of garlic, peeled (depending on how much you love it!)

5 fresh sage leaves finely chopped

a few sprigs of fresh thyme

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

1 leek (secret ingredient!), sliced and rinsed

3 medium potatoes, washed, cut into wedges

1 medium sweet potato, washed, cut into chunks or wedges

1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Slice your leek and rinse in a colander under running water. This is very important as the many layers of a leek hide a lot of dirt and grit. Place sliced leek in a large roasting pan.

3. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Place chicken on top of the sliced leek.

4. Place desired number of garlic cloves in the cavity and you can also pierce the flesh and push the bulbs into the chicken itself. I also like to cut one clove in half and rub it over the skin.

5. Place your chopped vegetables around the chicken.

6. Drizzle both chicken and vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place herbs over the top of the chicken.

7. Place roasting pan in the oven to roast for 25 minutes per 500g of chicken. I had a 1.4kg chicken and roasting for 1h 15 minutes.

8. Now for the hot tip… When you take the chicken out of the oven, place it upside down either in the pan or on a plate to rest, covered in foil. This allows all the lovely juices to run back into the chicken breasts and keep them lovely and moist. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving up.

Serve your delicious Roast Chicken with Garlic, Sage and Thyme with the roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and some steamed vegetables (Possum loves her carrots and broccoli). Nom nom nom.

roast chicken

***Want something delicious for dessert? Check out my Egg Free Spiced Pear Cake.

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Delicious and Easy Chicken Schnitzel

Easy and Delicious Chicken Schnitzel

Once you’ve written Chicken Schnitzel a few times it starts to look super ridiculous! Chicken Schnitzel. Chicken Schnitzel. Chicken Schnitzel. Teehee. Anyway! This delicious and easy, very easy, chicken schnitzel was a way to use up the last bit of Buttermilk in the fridge after making Possum’s Birthday Cake and also these delicious Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones. Every meal planners dream! No food waste!

The weather in the mountains yesterday was cold and misty, perfect for a belly warming schnitzel teamed with creamy (and I mean creamy, I used pure cream and butter) mashed potato, roast pumpkin and steamed vegetables. Nom nom nom nom.

This version of Chicken Schnitzel is also egg free, so allergy friendly. Hurray! If you can’t do gluten you can substitute the bread crumbs for rice crumbs or gluten free bread crumbs. Rice crumbs actually turns out super crunchy.

This would be a great meal to make if you had a bit of mummy anger going on after a rough day as you get to bash the chicken with something heavy. Just watch your knuckles! I learnt the hard way.

This is a lovely meal for the whole family to enjoy with enough variety on the plate to ensure something for everyone.

I was thinking this would be a big hit with Possum as she loves chicken. But by the end of dinner she had eaten all her vegetables and wanted more vegetables but had hardly touched her chicken or mash. Clearly what her body wanted. Poor old mummy got to gobble up her serve of chicken schnitzel after Possum was asleep. Yes, I am a human seagull.

Can I just say, as delicious as Chicken Schnitzel is, it ain’t very photogenic. But the photo below shows you my secret weapon to a good Chicken Schnitzel. My marble rolling pin. This also doubles as my home security system. This baby has some serious weight to it and flattens out a chicken breast in minimal time and effort. Possum was also using it to practice her weight lifting skills (with my very nervous supervision).

Chicken Schnitzel Secret Weapon

Delicious and Easy Chicken Schnitzel – Serves 2 adults and 2 kidlets

2 chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthways (to make them a bit flatter)

1/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard (amp this up if you like a bit more of a kick to your schnit)

salt and pepper

1-2 cups of breadcrumbs

Olive oil for frying

After you have sliced your chicken breasts lengthways, lay down a large piece of baking paper, place 1-2 chicken pieces on the paper, then cover with another equal sized piece of baking paper. Use something heavy to hit the chicken (thanks to my marble rolling pin I don’t have to hit very hard) until the chicken is 5-10mm thick. Set aside flattened chicken and repeat with remaining pieces.

In a bowl mix together buttermilk, mustard and salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces and stir to coat. Allow to soak for 30 minutes. Then, using tongs, remove each piece and coat in bread crumbs. To make this easier I place the crumbs on a dinner plate, starting with ~1 cup, and add more if needed (another little kitchen hack is to place crumbs and chicken in a plastic bag and shake to coat). Place crumbed pieces on a clean plate ready to cook.

Meanwhile get your vegetables sorted. I roasted pumpkin pieces in the oven at 180°C in some olive oil, boiled some potatoes (ready for mashing) and steamed some broccoli, beans and carrots.

When you’re ready, heat oil over medium heat in a non stick pan, preferably cast iron (I love my cast iron pans). There should be about 2mm of oil in the whole base of the pan.

Place 1-2 chicken pieces in the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes each side until beautiful and golden. Place cooked pieces on paper towel. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Serve with all your delicious veg and enjoy!

Easy and Delicious Chicken Schnitzel 2

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