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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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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Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake (Happy Birthday my gorgeous Possum!)

Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake - Egg Free

Birthday’s deserve cake, and it’s nice to know this Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake not only passed the picky toddler test, it also passed the tired hungry mum test! Hurray! One mummy friend shouted out “Can you blog this one? Little man is loving it!”.

This time two years ago I was swaying and vocalising my way through early labour. By 7:30 tomorrow morning I would’ve given birth to the most wonderful little bundle I have ever met. My gorgeous little Possum. What a proud mummy I am! This birthday, Possum specifically requested an apple cake, so her birthday cake was a Toddler Friendly Apple and Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing.

Possum asked for there to be one red apple and one green apple in her cake, and I suggested a carrot (as she loves carrots) which she agreed whole heartedly. There was a decent meltdown over whether the gooey seeds (chia) would end up in the cake or in her belly, but a timely arrival of Grandpa and Grandma put all to rest *phew*. There’s some creamy buttermilk and just a touch of cinnamon to round off this moist yummy Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake. Of course this cake is egg free, as little Possum has an egg allergy. I think I’m getting the hang of this egg free baking now though!

We had a little party for our Birthday Girl today at our local park. A handful of happy chatty friends, a bevy of proud family to play and eat and giggle with our precious Possum. I have to say it was a lot more fun than her first birthday and much less emotional. It was so wonderful watching her play with her little buddies, hiding in bushes, sharing the swings, giving cuddles and kisses. What a wonderful age this is.

A big thankyou goes to my Mum who made the cream cheese icing at the last minute at my request. It really topped off this Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake! She recommends even adding a little lemon zest to give it some extra zing.

I hope you and your birthday toddler (or not so little person!) enjoy this cake as much as we did!

grated apple and carrot

Toddler Friendly Birthday Cake aka Egg Free Apple and Carrot Cake

1 1/2 cups SR flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 green apple, peeled and grated

1 red apple, peeled and grated

1 carrot, peeled and grated

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 tsp No Egg replacer with 2 Tbsp water (or use 1 egg)

2 Tbsp butter melted

2 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in 1/2 cup water for 15 minutes

ICING:

Philadelphia cream cheese

Pure cream

Caster sugar

Vanilla essence

Preheat Oven to 180°C fan forced/200°C conventional. Grease and line a spring form baking tin. Mix your chia and water and let sit for 15 mintues

Meanwhile, mix together your SR flour, almond meal, baking powder and cinnamon,

Add your grated apples and carrot, stir to combine.

In a seperate bowl, beat together your brown sugar, buttermilk, vanilla and No Egg (or 1 whole egg if no allergies).Add to your flour/apple mix. Stir through chia seeds and melted butter until all just combined.

Pour into your prepared baking tin and bake for 1 hour.

To make the icing, use a spoon to briskly mix together your cream cheese, cream, sugar and vanilla to suit your taste. (I think my Mum didn’t use a whole block of cream cheese…). Once the cake has cooled, spread icing over cake. Place as many candles as needed/wanted, sing, horray, cut and be merry!

I can't believe she's 2

Carob Almond Poppy Biscuits

Carob Almond Poppy Biscuits

Last night Legoman and I tackled the totally un-fun task of clearing out one of our food cupboards. This meant pulling everything out of the cupboard, checking used by dates and ingredients, and then either throwing out, giving away or putting it back in the cupboard. We hadn’t really done that since Possum was diagnosed with her allergies. Or since I started meal planning. And coming from a long line of hoarders, turns out we could have survived some kind of apocalyptic event just on the amount of almond meal I have stashed away….

So these delicious Carob Almond Poppy Biscuits were a result of all the wonderful things I rediscovered hiding in my cupboard! I found Carob Powder left over from doing the elimination diet with Possum, almond meal (lots of almond meal), poppy seeds and an awful lot of self raising flour.

carob biscuit 1

Quite often when you mention carob people screw their faces up and remember the waxy little carob buds sold at school canteen’s across Australia in the 80s and 90s. But I have found the most delicious Australian made carob and it’s an absolute winner! I’m not paid to say how tasty it is (they don’t even know I exist!), but The Carob Kitchen’s carob products are to die for. Especially their Carob Almond Bar and their little Banjo Bars (which I often scoff after doing the grocery shopping!).Why carob? It’s gluten free, caffeine free (hello pregnancy and breastfeeding!) plus their bars have no added sugar or sweeteners as the carob is sweet enough. Winner!

carob biscuit 2

I love the texture the Poppy Seeds add to these Carob Almond Poppy Biscuits. Little bursts of POP when you bite in. Yum! The little bit of cinnamon adds just a hint of spice and the combo of almond and butter gives them a certain richness.

So go clear out your cupboards! Who knows what you might find in there!

carob biscuit 3

Carob Almond Poppy Biscuits – Makes 16

1 cup self raising flour

1/2 cup almond meal

1/3 cup carob powder (The Carob Kitchen if you can get some)

6 tsp poppy seeds (I couldn’t find my Tbsp!)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

125g butter melted

1 tsp No Egg mixed into 2 Tbsp water or I egg whisked

1/4 cup raw sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/3 cup maple syrup

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 220°C conventional/200°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Mix together flour, carob, almond, poppy seeds, cinnamon, and raw sugar.

Meanwhile mix together your No Egg or whisk your egg.

Melt the butter over a low heat then add the vanilla and maple syrup. Swish to combine.

Make a well in centre on mixing bowl. First add your No Egg mix or egg, then add your melted butter mix. Stir until just combined.

Spoon mix onto baking tray. Bake in oven for 13 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before gobbling them all up!

carob biscuit 5

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Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones

Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones

After Mother’s Day on Sunday you may have some roast pumpkin swimming around in your fridge. Or maybe you totally forgot Mother’s Day and are looking for a way to make it up to the person who gave you life! Either way, these  Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones are delicious!

Mother’s Day was a bit of a non event in our house. Legoman went to work and Possum and I went to a birthday party. I did get to stay in bed an extra 30 minutes and we had croissants for breakfast. Win! Possum gave me a very sweet book called I Love You Mummy and Legoman gave me/us welding gloves, a small shovel and a metal bucket. Romance hey! The romantic thing is that they are all used with our fire place, and they have already been put to good use.

The scones were made for the birthday party Possum and I went to, which was a combined 2nd birthday party for Possum and a few of her little buddies. We had such an amazing afternoon on a friend’s property in the Kanimbla Valley. Amazing views, a beautiful large creek, heaps of space for happy toddlers plus we even all chipped in and got a jumping castle. Needless to say poor Possum was beyond tired by the time we got home.  And the scones were a success!

These Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones are great for kids as they are low in sugar and actually have some veg in them. If you like you could play around with the buttermilk and pumpkin ratios if you want more pumpkin in there. Possum and I just had to do some quality control when they came out of the oven! Yummo!

Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones – makes 12-15

2 cups self raising flour

1 Tbsp caster sugar

pinch salt

60g butter chilled and chopped

3/4 cup buttermilk

freshly grated nutmeg ~1/4 tsp

1/3 cup roasted pumpkin

extra buttermilk for brushing

Preheat oven to 220°C standard/200°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Add flour, nutmeg, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Combine. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs (I used to love doing this as a kid growing up).

Make a well into the centre of mix. Add buttermilk and pumpkin. Use a butter knife to combine until it forms a sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface (also put a little flour on your hands). Knead gently until smooth.

Press out the dough until ~2cm thick. You can either cut into desired number of scones or use a cutter to make shapes (I did love hearts, surprise surprise!). Place the scones on the baking tray so that they are just touching. Brush the tops with some buttermilk.

Bake in the top half of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve with butter, ricotta or even mascarpone for a special touch of yum!

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Oven Baked Pumpkin, Leek and Millet Risotto


oven baked risotto

As a working mumma, my favourite part of my working day is coming home. And not because I’m getting to leave work (which some days I can’t wait to get out of there!), but because as soon as I step through our front door I hear… “Mummy’s home!!! It’s Mummy!! Hello Mummy!!” and have a little bundle of curls come running with her arms wide ready for a big cuddle. Not much can beat that. I have friends with bubs much younger who can’t crawl or talk or who are literally one week old and it’s like knowing that the awesome scene in a movie is coming up in a room of first time watchers. Smiling on the inside and the outside knowing that so much awesomeness is ahead for them.

How that relates to tonight’s recipe I have no idea. But to all you mums who may be having a hard time at the moment, the craziness will pass. The feeling overwhelmed isn’t forever. One day that little face is going to say “I love you Mummy” or you’ll be dancing together in the kitchen, shaking maraccas and trying hard not to cry at how freaking awesome being the mum to YOUR child is.

Now the feels are out… here is some warming autumn food to fill your belly with love.

Oven Baked Pumpkin, Leek and Millet Risotto – Serves 4

1/2 cup arborio rice

3/4 cup millet

500g piece of pumpkin peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 leek sliced into 1/2 rings and well rinsed

1 Tbsp butter

Zest 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup grated parmesan + extra for serving if desired

1L vegetable stock (I used 1.5 stock cubes to make this up)

Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced or 220°C conventional.

Place pumpkin, dried herbs, salt and pepper with a good glug of olive oil in a baking dish (you will use this dish to hold the whole risotto, I used a large pyrex baking dish). Stir to combine. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, cook stirring until soft and golden ~ 5-8 minutes. Add rice and millet, stir to coat grains. Add hot stock. Bring to a simmer. Take off heat and stir in parmesan.

Add rice mixture to the roasting pumpkin. Stir to combine. Cover with foil and return to oven. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, then remove foil. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes, the excess liquid will soak up and the top will get just a little crunchy. Enjoy!

My little bundle of awesomeness xxxx

My little bundle of awesomeness xxxx

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Toddler Cooking Adventures!

quick and easy microwave popcorn

It’s all been feeling a bit like Noah’s ark at the moment. Crazy rain and wind throughout our state for days on end. Weather like this makes me want to crawl under a blanket, eat lots of food, drink hot chocolate and binge on TV series on DVDs. Alas being the mother of a toddler, this scenario pans out a little differently…. “mummy! mummy! mummy! I want to watch a mooooooovie!! mummy! moooooovie!” normally this has started at about 8:30 in the morning. Depending on my level of sleep, patience and general awesomeness I can sometimes hold out until about 3pm. Then it is not just a movie, but popcorn and movie time! For Possum AND mummy 🙂

Possum has been really enjoying getting into the kitchen lately and pretending to cook constantly. Making microwave popcorn from scratch has been a really fun, simple and easy way to include her in the kitchen as well as make a super tasty and reasonably healthy snack for the two of us to share.

Here is how to make it! What movie will you be watching? Our favourites are Madagascar Two (Possum calls it Lion Movie), Ratatouille (Rat Movie) and Rio 2 (Rio Movie).

Easy Microwave Popcorn – serves 4

1/3 cup popping corn

a decent chunk of butter

a shake of salt

Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl (I use my Pyrex mixing bowl) for around 30 seconds in the microwave, making sure you have a cover over the bowl. Take bowl out of the microwave, add your salt and popping corn (this is Possum’s job). Stir to combine (also Possum’s job).

Possum's cooking adventures

Possum’s cooking adventures

Stir stir stir

Stir stir stir

Place bowl and cover in the microwave for 3 minutes 20 seconds for a 1000W microwave.

Don't forget the cover!!!

Don’t forget the cover!!!

Stay close by to listen for when the pops slow down. Take your delicious hot bowl of buttery popcorn out of the microwave using oven mitts. Divide among movie watchers or share from one big (but still hot so be careful!) bowl. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

Delicious hot popcorn!!

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