Monthly Archives: February 2013

Lunchbox Legends: Sneak Peek #5

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Lunchbox Sneak Peek #5

 

This was yesterdays lunch and it was extremely well received. Clean lunch boxes all round.

  • Leftover pasta with my veggie packed Winning Pasta Sauce and some grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 mini chocolate magic bean cake
  • Corn cake
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fruit salad of apple, rockmelon and grapes
  • Frozen water bottle to keep everything cold & fresh
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Lunchbox Legends: Sneak Peek #4

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Lunch Box Sneak Peek #4

Left overs from last nights dinner and a chocolate treat from a dinner party on the weekend make for a delicious lunch today.

  • Left over home made fish & chips with a little pot of tomato sauce
  • Fruit salad of apple, grapes and rockmelon
  • Chocolate Brownie (totally decadent Maggie Beer recipe)
  • Boiled egg – I peel all the shell off except for the little face so it doesn’t take the kids too long at school
  • Frozen water bottle to keep everything cold & fresh

Read Sneak Peek #5

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Tiny Teddies & Co

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Arnotts Tiny Teddies appear to have universal appeal to children of all ages. I prefer not to buy commercial biscuits so except for the odd packet of Tiny Teddies from a party bag or as a treat on holidays they generally don’t make an appearance in my cupboard. However, with a few cute cookie cutters and a very simple recipe you can easily whip up a batch of your own little biscuits at home. I’ve found that these keep well in an air-tight container for up to a week and they’re a big hit with the kids.

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The basic recipe is the Foundation Biscuit Mixture from the Nursing Mothers Association Cookbook (a must have in any kitchen!) and I’ve added a TMX version below.

Ingredients

  • 125g butter
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 125g self-raising flour
  • 125g plain flour
  • For chocolate biscuits omit 1 tbs of plain flour and replace with 1 tbs cocoa powder

TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven 180C
  2. Place raw sugar in TMX and blitz 3 sec, Sp 9 to make castor sugar
  3. Place castor sugar and butter in TMX and cream 20 sec, Sp 4
  4. Add egg and mix 10 sec, Sp 4
  5. Add flours and knead, closed lid position, 2 min
  6. Roll dough on a floured surface to approx 3mm and cut out shapes
  7. Place on lined baking tray and bake 12-15 min

Non-TMX Method

  1. Pre heat oven 180C
  2. Place castor sugar and butter in mixer and cream together
  3. Add egg and mix thoroughly
  4. Add flours and mix to a smooth dough
  5. Roll dough on a floured surface to approx 3mm and cut out shapes
  6. Place on lined baking tray and bake 12-15 min

I have this great set of cookie cutters – the small cutters slot inside the round cutter and are interchangeable, or can be used on their own. It is ‘Baker’s Secret’ Brand which I purchased at Myer a few years ago. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find them online but i’m sure there are similar products at good homewares stores.

IMG_3651 Tiny Teddies & Co Raw DoughIMG_3591

 

 

 

 

Lunchbox Legends: Sneak Peek #3

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Lunchbox Sneak Peek #3

  • Salad tub with chopped cucumber and cherry tomatoes
  • Puffed Corn (Abundant Earth brand; 100% corn – available in the health food aisle at the supermarket)
  • Gingernut biscuit
  • Fruit Salad of apple & grapes
  • Wholemeal sandwich with strawberry jam
  • Frozen water bottle to keep everything cold & fresh

Read Sneak Peek #4

Lunchbox Legends: Sneak Peek #2

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Lunch Box Sneak Peek # 2

3 lunch boxes at ours today as my little boy is off to Montessori Playgroup for the morning.

  • Pot-Set Natural Yogurt with berries or honey in Squeeze Em’s
  • Tub of Garlic & Herb Dip (recipe in the EDC)
  • Rice & Corn Cakes
  • 1 mini Chocolate Magic Bean Cake
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fruit salad of apple slices (with lemon juice squeezed over to stop it browning) and grapes
  • Frozen water bottle to keep everything cold and fresh

Read Sneak Peek #3

Lunchbox Legends: Sneak Peek #1

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This Sneak Peek series gives you a little look into what I pack in my kids lunchboxes each day. Hopefully it will give you some inspiration for your lunchboxes too.

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  • Pot-Set Natural Yogurt, one with berries and one with natural honey, in Squeeze Em’s pack  (see below)
  • 2 zucchini quiches
  • 1 mini chocolate magic bean cake
  • 2 dried apricot & oat bites (I will post the recipe for these soon)
  • Fruit Salad of cut apple (tossed in a little lemon juice to stop it browning) and red & green grapes
  • 2 Cruskits spread with cream cheese (I’m trying to find time to experiment with more homemade cracker recipes but I haven’t managed it yet)
  • Frozen water bottle to keep everything cold & fresh

Squeeze Em’s are my latest purchase and I am in love with them already. They are reusable food pouches, perfect for baby food, yogurt, fruit puree and custard. My kids absolutely love sucking the food out the little spout and they are really neat, no spoon or bowl required. BPA free, recyclable, dishwasher safe and easy to use. These little pouches are very reasonably priced and shipping costs are low too. Check out the Squeeze Em’s website for more info.

*Since publishing this post I have learnt that our school prefers children not to eat from squeeze packs at school. I’ve gone back to putting yogurt in a little pot with a spoon for my lunchboxes. My kids still enjoy Squeeze Em’s at home and for picnics.

Read Sneak Peek #2

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Gingernut Biscuits

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I made a batch of these biscuits for play group last week they were a big hit. They have that gingerbread flavour that my kids love, but are a bit quicker to make than gingerbread people. Inspired by Quirky Cooking’s Crunchy Gingernut Cookies, these are a softer biscuit with a crunchy outside.

Gingernut Biscuits

Ingredients

  • 400g plain spelt flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 140g rapadura
  • 180g butter
  • 90g molasses
  • 1 egg

Method

This recipe makes approx 45 biscuits. I often place half the dough in the freezer to defrost and bake when needed.

  1. Pre heat oven to 180C
  2. Place flour, baking soda, ground spices, salt and rapadura in TMX
  3. Mix 10 sec, Sp 6
  4. Add softened butter, molasses and egg
  5. Mix 30 sec, Sp 6
  6. Roll tablespoons of dough into balls, place on lined trays and flatten gently with two fingers
  7. Bake 10-12 minutes

Little People: Arancini Balls

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After posting this recipe for one of my family’s favourite risottos, I thought I should share my favourite way to use left over risotto. Arancini balls are simple to make and great for kids dinner, lunch boxes and party food. They work best with left over risotto that has sat in the fridge overnight or has been frozen and defrosted.

Ingredients

  • Portion of left over risotto (works with any risotto)
  • 1 beaten egg for every 400-500g risotto
  • 1 more beaten egg
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Rice bran oil 

Method

  1. Mix beaten egg through left over risotto
  2. Take 2tbs risotto mix and shape into a ball
  3. Roll in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs
  4. Refrigerate for 30min if you have time
  5. Shallow fry in hot rice bran oil and place on paper towel to drain
  6. Eat hot or cold

Feeding the Funky Bunch: Risotto with Roasted Capsicum & Pumpkin

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This risotto recipe is a family favourite at our place. I like to roast the capsicum and pumpkin separately in the oven which gives a really great flavour to the dish. This risotto is equally as delicious as a vegetarian meal – simply omit the chicken and add an extra 100g of water.

Ingredients

  • 50g parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 leek, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley
  • 2 x 20g rice bran oil
  • 150g white wine
  • 350g arborio rice
  • 400g chicken (optional) cubed approx 4cm x 4cm and seasoned with black pepper
  • 1 capsicum (red, yellow and/or orange), sliced 1-2cm wide
  • 1/2 pumpkin, cubed approx 2cm x 2cm
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1000g water
  • pink salt and black pepper
  • 20g butter

Method

(leave MC off for all cooking time)

  1. Pre heat oven to 200C
  2. Place capsicum slices and pumpkin cubes in a bowl, season well with pink salt and cracked black pepper, drizzle with 20g rice bran oil, toss until coated in oil and seasoning, place on a lined tray and roast 20-25min
  3. Place parmesan cheese in TMX and grate 10 sec, Sp 9
  4. Set parmesan aside in a separate bowl
  5. Place leek, celery, parsley and 20g rice bran oil in TMX
  6. Chop 2-3 sec, Sp 6
  7. Saute 4min, 100C, Sp 1
  8. Insert Butterfly
  9. Add rice
  10. Saute 1min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft 
  11. Add wine
  12. Saute 4min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft
  13. Add chicken, stock and water, and season well with cracked black pepper
  14. Cook 20min, 100C, Rev, Sp Soft
  15. Pour into ThermoServer and mix through parmesan cheese and butter
  16. Add roasted vegetables and gently mix through
  17. Rest for 10 min in ThermoServer, then serve and enjoy