Thursday, April 30, 2015

Soft as a baby's bottom

This post is brought to you by Nuffnang and Baby Bumkins.

One thing that has always amazed me about babies (apart from that delicious newborn smell) is just how soft and smooth their skin is. I suppose the term 'smooth as a baby's bottom' didn't come about for nothing! Babies are so new and soft and perfect, that I'm loathe to put anything either in or on them that isn't as natural and gentle as possible.

I was recently given the opportunity to try the Baby Bumkins range of baby wipes, which are sold through IGA Supermarkets nationally at a very affordable price point ($3.99 for a single pack of 80 wipes, or $9.99 for a pack of 3).

About Baby Bumkins

  • Baby Bumkins is committed to being not just another brand on the shelf, but THE brand to care for your precious bub as they grow and develop.
  • Created by professionals with experience, knowledge, scientific expertise and a genuine understanding of a practical product, Baby Bumkins hold themselves to high standards in crafting baby products.
  • Using gentle dermatologically tested ingredients, there is no Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) in any of their products. MIT is a preservative which has been linked to an increase in reported incidents of contact allergy and adverse skin reactions, so it's certainly not something you want near that soft baby bum!
  • They have both a lightly fragranced and a fragrance free wipe option for bubs with sensitive skin.
I'll admit in the past I have been guilty of grabbing whichever wipes were on sale, because you know, babies go through a lot of nappies, and there is always lots of wiping to be done! But then I started to think about it more - much of what is placed on the skin is absorbed into our bloodstreams. I don't put just anything on my skin because of that, so why should it be any different for my children who I use nappy wipes on multiple times a day? The Baby Bumkins wipes bring superior quality at an affordable price. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ingredient list on the wipes wasn't all numbers, alcohol and chemicals - I could clearly understand the ingredients and there was no real nasties included.
The day the wipes arrived, Jimmy was most obliging about helping me test them. He's been sick, and what with all the mucus he'd been swallowing, his nappies were just a bit awful. I was hesitant about using an untested brand but I needn't have been. The Baby Bumkins wipes are lovely. Not too wet, not too dry. Thick enough to protect my fingers and get all the waste, but not so thick that they aren't flexible enough to get into all the little crevices. The handy little snap opening was easy to use one handed, and the wipes didn't get stuck and clumped coming out (a pet peeve of mine!). The lightly fragranced ones were scented just enough, but certainly not overpowering. I couldn't detect any smell (as you'd expect) in the fragrance free pack.
I don't think anyone can honestly say they look forward to nappy changes, but when I need to do it, I like to know that I'm using a quality brand that nurtures, cleans and cares for my baby's delicate bits.

After all, a happy baby is a lovely snuggly one, and that makes for a happy mama too!

Tell me, do you read the ingredient list for the things you use on your skin? Do you have a bub who reacts to the touch or smell of perfumes? (if so, you should totally try out the Fragrance Free version!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How I reduce food wastage

I plan my meals to eliminate food wastage and to use up ingredients that I have at home, in the garden or that I know are cheap and in season. Here is how my meals worked last week.

Saturday, I knew it was going to be a busy day, so I took the arborio rice that I had leftover from my Hello Fresh box, and I defrosted a frozen soup base that I had in the freezer. It's my cheats risotto - I know that my soups are made with good stock and are tasty, so I thin them down with water and use them to make a risotto. This one didn't turn out quite the way I envisaged - I thought I'd taken out a pumpkin soup but it was a red lentil curry! Never mind, an experimental curried risotto resulted... but probably not something I will repeat again. Ha!
Sunday, I tend to make something that I can feed leftovers to Ellie for lunch on Monday as that is a day she's home with me. I had some fresh eggplants and parsley from the garden, so I diced these up, with some onion, tomato and stock, and turned it into a sort of eggplant stew, which I served over rice. Simple meals are taken to next level delicious with the addition of fresh herbs I think!
Monday, I had some of the risotto leftover, so I turned it into arancini balls. Funny story, I thought I'd invented these and was feeling terribly clever with myself until I saw them on a restaurant menu once and realised I'd been pipped at the post! Oh well. These were quick and easy - I took the risotto leftovers, rolled them into balls using wet hands, added a bit of panko crumbs to the outside and then shallow fried them quickly in some olive oil. I've also baked them as an alternative, but Mondays are a bit hectic with two kids at home, so I tend to go for something easy to prepare. I served these alongside some salad greens. No pictures as quite frankly, I was too hungry and forgot!

Tuesday was pasta bake day. We love pasta bake in our house. We always bake big batches as Mr Fork takes leftovers to work for lunch, and I have them at home for lunch. Ellie loves pasta and cheese so it's an easy way to get vegetables into her diet by including them with favourite foods of hers. I took the remains of my eggplant stew, added extra tomatoes for more liquid and some mushrooms that were looking sad in the vegetable crisper, and added this to some pasta before baking. Easy peasy! Since the oven was on, I also put a loaf of garlic bread in as its a special favourite of Ellie's.
Wednesday was designated a hunt and gather day. I've spoken about these before, but basically, it's a day where we all hunt through the cupboards and refrigerator to use up things that are open or cooked. First in, best dressed in terms of portions. It's a bit strategic to have H+G days on Wednesday as well, because Thursday is our bin day so we make sure we minimise anything we would throw out.

Thursday we usually go out to one of our local restaurants for a family takeaway night. We are big fans of our local Vietnamese restaurant - they know us there and always look after us.

Friday is always a quick and easy meal. It's the end of the week so everyone is tired, but also it's well into football season at the moment, so Mr Fork likes to have dinner done and dusted and the kids in bed so that he can watch his game in peace. I don't mind - Fridays, after the kids are down, I tend to take to bed and read a novel or catch up on blogs or social media via the iPad. So, Friday was homemade pizzas. I am starting to get Ellie more involved in the meals we prepare, so she was allowed to top her own individual pizza (bases were just premade wraps as I hadn't had time to make some dough). We put out a selection of ingredients and everyone assembles their own. Here's hers - tomato paste, mushrooms, cheese and some fresh basil from the garden on top.
So that was our week of meals!

On Saturday, Mr Fork and I make a point to sit down and write up the meal plan for the next week, doing the grocery list at the same time while we're checking the fridge/freezer/pantry supplies. If it's not on the list, we don't buy it. This also helps prevent tantrums from Ellie while shopping, as we've already discussed treats and what we are buying at home as a family, so she understands.

Do you meal plan and chain meals together?

Friday, April 24, 2015

This week I am

A bit late with my Thursday post, so here is Three Things Friday! Blog post writing is so heavily influenced by the here and now. The mood that you're in while writing, your surroundings and the moment surrounding you. So this post is probably a reflection of this for me right now.
1. Tired. I started writing this post at 3:45am on Thursday morning, with the intention of posting it later at a decent hour! It's cold - the thermometer in the kitchen shows me that it's about 10C in my house. I'm wearing a tracksuit and socks, but no slippers, as I left those in the bedroom and Jimmy is wrapped against my chest and currently screaming blue murder so I don't want to take him in there and risk waking Mr Fork. Jimmy has a cold (thank you Ellie and daycare drop offs!) and he is so snotty he can't breathe while lying down. He can barely breathe upright and he's most grumpy about it. Mr Fork and I have been taking it in turns to stay up with him. It's not improving anyones mood at all to be honest. In fact, I'd do almost anything for a good night's sleep at the moment. Baby colds are the worst. You can't give them anything, you can't do anything for them, they can't even blow their nose. Poor things.

I shared this picture on Instagram because after being up allllll night, Jimmy fell asleep after the daycare drop off yesterday. Yes, he's on a pillow and that doesn't really meet SIDS guidelines, but I didn't care. Of course, fate made it so I wasn't the least bit sleepy, but I did lie down and have some much needed quiet time. How cute is the teddy on his head?

2. Cold. Winter is coming (like that GOT reference??), but it feels like it's already here. There has been a definite change in the air in the last week - mornings are chilly, and a glance around at fashion shows that scarves, long sleeves, boots and layers are all making a reappearance. Of course, it's all well and good to be cold outside when I'm tucked up in bed with lots of blankets to keep me toasty. It's quite another to be cold when I'm awake all night with the small man.... serenity now!

3. Sick. Hence the lateness of this post. Jimmy's snotty nose has morphed into a cold and with the close proximity he and I have, I was bound to get it. The terrible thing is I can't take anything good to make myself better as lots of things transfer through breastmilk. So I'm dosing myself with plenty of fresh lemon and ginger tea, and some probiotics to boost both our immune systems. I feel rubbish, but a mama rarely gets to indulge that... so on I trudge! The view isn't too bad with all the snuggles we are having for comfort though... look at those tangled lashes and rosy cheeks!
How is your weekend looking?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Keeping pests at bay

Disclaimer: I received samples of Mortein products to use. All opinions are my own.

Ants. They're the bane of my existence I tell you! I don't mean to imply that I have a dirty house, although it certainly isn't at the same sparkling standards I had pre children! However no matter how much I clean, with a toddler, a 5 month old who is just starting solids, and two hounds living with us, there is bound to be food crumbs, sticky substances and unidentifiable objects around which must look pretty attractive to the average ants which might be lurking around the place.

I have a confession to make. I'm terrified of creepy crawlies. I hate having to get close to them to evict or eradicate them as required. That's why I'd much rather stop them from coming into the house (and therefore anywhere near me!) in the first place. Luckily, there are some great products on the market that let you do this, and if you're time poor (and lazy) like me, you can choose a set and forget automatic option like Mortein Naturgard Auto Protect. It comes in both a Eucalyptus and an Odourless option, but I prefer the scent free choice for our house.
Tip: Don't give ants the chance to find a food source. Cover food (check fruit!), clean cooking and eating utensils and make sure your bin is sealed.
You simply set up the device in an appropriate location and the odourless spray (which is made with 98% natural ingredients) is released at regular intervals according to the time selected. Genius! You can also switch it off for the times and days that you don't need it. Now, I feel much safer from infestations of cockroaches, ants, flies, mosquitos and moths. Hurrah!

Now, you may note that of the pests I listed above, spiders (ugh) and a few other common ones aren't mentioned. Let's be honest here. I live in Australia, home of venomous spiders and other scary pests. So in addition to my automatic pest protection, I also like to have a portable solution to use the instant I see a crawling beastie.

A staple in my cupboard is therefore a crawling insect spray, and Mortein do some great ones. The one I have kills cockroaches, spiders, ants, fleas, silverfish and more. It even has a built in attractant made from oranges that lures cockroaches, and keeps killing crawling insects for up to six months!
Tip: Cockroaches feed on rotting garbage and food scraps, so mop up spills, empty rubbish bins regularly and keep an eye on your compost bin!
I like to use it as a preventative measure as well, and spray it around inaccessible places to offer a bit of barrier protection when a pest decides to show up.

Coming into the rainy season, many pests will be trying to find shelter indoors. Be prepared and make sure that you won't be sharing your house with anything you haven't invited in!

For more information about pest control at home, visit http://www.mortein.com.au/

Disclaimer: I received samples of Mortein products to use. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Recipe: Healthy vegan Anzac biscuits

It's a rainy afternoon and I have both the toddler and the baby home with me. It's too wet to go out and play, so what better way to distract them than by baking? With Anzac day approaching, I thought I'd have a go at making the traditional Anzac biscuit a bit healthier and these turned out nicely. Just the thing for a yummy afternoon snack!
Historically, Anzac biscuits were sent to soldiers during the first world war by wives concerned about the nutritional value of rations. The biscuits were designed to be as nutritionally dense as possible, and able to survive a journey of two months or so with no refrigeration. The traditional recipe uses no eggs (as poultry farmers were off fighting so eggs were scarce), but it does contain butter. My version uses neither, and I've done away with the faffing about melting ingredients - just one bowl and some mixing here!

The coconut oil makes the biscuits crispy on the outside but they're still soft in the middle - just the way I like them! I know that some people like a flat crispy biscuit, but I'm firmly in the high and soft camp, so that's how I've made them. While desiccated coconut is more traditional, I prefer the texture that the shredded coconut lends to the biscuit.
Healthy vegan Anzac biscuits
printable link

Ingredients:


  • 1 cup wholemeal flour 
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup raw sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp water


Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 150C and line two baking trays with paper
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well combined
  3. Form into small balls. I got 24 cookies out of this mix. Divide onto the two trays and flatten slightly, leaving room to spread
  4. Bake for 25 minutes or until the biscuits are golden brown
  5. Transfer to a rack to cool - biscuits will harden slightly as they cool

Do you have favourite Anzac biscuit recipe?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

This week looks like

Well Thursday, we meet again. The weeks are rolling on by far too quickly for my liking. The year is more than a quarter over already! I feel like I just gave birth a few days ago (although frankly I remember those newborn days far too well and wouldn't wish to have them back!).
Here's the week in three points:

1. Triumphant! My passionfruit vines, which admittedly were rather neglected for a patch, are now starting to repay the attention I've been paying them. I have a large number of lovely flowers and am also starting to notice some of these are bearing fruit. Woohoo! I'm picturing lush homemade cordial, fantastic baked goods and just plain eating them fresh from the garden!
2. Tired. Literally and mentally. Literally, because Jimmy is having massive sleep regression at the moment. If he's not waking up every two hours at night (he is), he's screaming, wanting to be fed constantly, or in a chatty mood (which isn't a bad thing but whhhhyyyyyyy does he want to do it at 1am?!). He isn't much better during the day, but at least then I have coffee and a wrap so I can wear him (rather exhausting now he's over 8kg) and walk around. Here's a picture of a rather nice muesli I ordered while out rambling because Jimmy was close to sleep and I couldn't pack him up to go home as he'd wake. Various seeds and nuts, with fruit in a coconut yoghurt. Yum

Tired mentally because well, it just seems like everyone wants something from me at the moment, whether it's time, work, decisions, comfort, dinner... and I'm feeling stretched a little thin. Very thin actually, and quite a bit fragile.

3. Content. I realise this doesn't really jive in with my previous point, but there have also been a few moments lately where I just felt like I got it. That I was winning at life. On Monday for example, I bundled up Ellie and Jimmy and we went to our local shopping centre to see Shaun the Sheep. Ellie got to meet the sheep (she was all enthusiastic until he was up close and then she was terrified), and also got to paint a little plaster sheep. Because we were on a roll then I took both kids to a cafe and sat down and had cake. There were no meltdowns. Then I packed everyone into the car and they came home and napped at the same time. I was able to sit down and have a solitary lunch and read a few chapters of a novel. Right then, I felt like I was doing it right. Let me reiterate: two kids, free range at a shopping centre, painting, cake in public, napping simultaneously, solo lunch! So it's not all bad.

How has your week been?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review: Hello Fresh food box

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed a couple of rather delicious looking meals popping up over the last week or so.

A friend of mine gifted me a free Hello Fresh food box to try. I wasn't really sure that I would use a box, but I think we all know how frugal I like to be so I'm not one to turn down a free sample. Also, we were going on holidays and the delivery day for our area was scheduled for the day we'd come back and I thought, "sweet, that will save me rushing around doing grocery shopping". I was also won over when I saw there was a vegetarian box available, which is a one-up over a lot of those other food delivery box companies.

I received the Vegetarian box, which was 3 meals for 2 people and usually costs $74 delivered.

At first, I thought well that's pretty expensive, but then I got the box and saw the quality of the ingredients and the attention that goes into each recipe. Also, each meal really made about 4 servings,  so that meant that there was enough for dinner, leftovers for lunch the next day and a little bit extra as well.

The ingredients were fresh, high quality and delicious, and all the cold things were delivered in their own little insulted box with a cool pack.

If I was to cook the meals and buy the ingredients myself, it would probably cost about the same. Although, if I'm honest, it'd probably cost a bit less because this is a vegetarian box, not a vegan one, so I'd leave out the eggs and cut down on a lot of the dairy by using alternatives. However, I'm really pleased to point out that all the cheese in the box are rennet free. There is no gelatine or other nasties in the yoghurt and although I don't eat them, the eggs are from free range hens.

I used the cheeses and yoghurts in the recipes, but elected to leave out or replace the eggs as appropriate. I'll include Mr Fork's opinions in the review, but my husband is a die hard carnivore so he pretty much just sampled the bare minimum of each dish and ate a separate meaty meal.

Okay lets get into it!

Meal one - Superfood Quesadilla with Spicy Salsa
Did I follow the recipe? Pretty much yes, except I omitted the fried egg from the top
Were there any leftover ingredients? I was left with half a block of cheddar cheese and half  packet of cumin
Anything missing? No
How many servings did it make? Closer to 3 than 2
Rating out of 10? 8. Mainly because although I love chilli, for most people one large whole sliced chilli in a punnet of tomato is totally overwhelming.
Did my family eat it? I liked the whole dish. Ellie said the salsa was too spicy but asked for quesadilla seconds. Mr Fork turned up his nose at the whole thing but asked if I could use the leftover cheddar and some of the feta to make him a plain cheese quesadilla with some wraps I had in the freezer. He loved that one so I'll call it a win.
Meal two - Pumpkin and Potato Frittata with Ricotta
Did I follow the recipe? Instead of moo milk and butter, I used soy milk and nuttelex. Instead of the eggs, I used some chickpea flour. So if I'm honest... er, no I didn't follow the recipe
Were there any leftover ingredients? No
Anything missing? No
How many servings did it make? Probably closer to 3
Rating out of 10? 5. I don't think this one adapts well to being vegan
Notes? I don't really consider this a whole meal. It was more of a side dish for me, and so I served it along side a salad and some extra vegetables - corn and broccolini
Did my family eat it? I didn't really like it. Perhaps if I'd made it the way it was written it would have been more of a hit. Strangely, Mr Fork liked this one. Ellie was ambivalent even though I smothered hers with ricotta.
Meal three - Lentil and Cauliflower Dahling
Did I follow the recipe? Yes! Pleased to report, no changes at all
Were there any leftover ingredients? Yes, I had leftover curry powder and vegetable stock powder
Anything missing? No
How many servings did it make? About 2.5
Rating out of 10? 9
Notes? I love dahl so I was really looking forward to this dish. It was really tasty, but I think it could have benefitted from being served with either some rice or some naan on the side
Did my family eat it? I really liked this dish. Ellie ate some of it, but asked for something else to eat after. Mr Fork had a tiny spoonful and declared it 'ok'
Summary
  • I felt very Jamie Oliver as I was writing this review, making notes about cooking times and ingredients the like.  While I didn't use all of the ingredients sent or indeed, even cook all of the meals as they were intended, I think the box is pretty good, especially for those weeks where you are time poor (new mum present perhaps!). Meals were generally cooked in the time stated, and as I've mentioned, I got more servings than 2 from each one.
  • I am rather pleased that for a vegetarian box, some thought has gone into the 'iffy' sort of ingredients. Cheeses are rennet free. Eggs are free range. Yoghurt has no gelatine. I'm not sure if this is across the board always or just for the box I got, but I was impressed.
  • The food miles of things concerns me. Although I am in Brisbane, my punnet of cherry tomatoes was from a Victorian grower. Some of the items (cumin, curry powder, rice etc) are pre-measured out into little packets, so I have no idea where they are sourced. I'm not sure about fresh grown produce such as kale, beans or lemons either although it does say Australian produced, just not where. I understand that Hello Fresh is a national company, so it may be difficult to cater on a state by state basis.
  • After all that, I also have a random packet of arborio rice which wasn't mentioned in any of the recipes and didn't really make sense to add to any... so I'm not sure what that was for. I have small amounts of other ingredients left (stock powder, spices, garlic) but those are staples in my pantry so they'll be absorbed easily into other recipes.
  • I admire that the company is trying to be environmentally friendly and suggests leaving the styrofoam cooler box out for pick up and reuse at the next delivery, and promotes recycling/upcycling of the paper box the order comes in.
If you'd like to give Hello Fresh a go as well, I've got a Mate's Rate discount code to share. You get $35.00 discount off your first order if you use the code MPZM99

If you do give them a go, let me know what you think!

Have you ever used a food delivery box service? What were your thoughts?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Odd bunch produce

I like odd things that other people sometimes find strange. If I'm offered a plate of something, I'm the sort of person that will choose the weird shaped item because I feel sorry for it. I'll pick the runt of the puppy litter as my favourite (both of our hounds were runts and the last of the litters), and I always check out the wilted and marked down seedlings at Bunnings in case there is anything there I think I can save.

So, you better believe I was super chuffed when I discovered a small section in my local Woolworths devoted to 'Odd Bunch' produce. This is produce which is perfectly fine and edible, but perhaps doesn't meet cosmetic standards of 'good looking' food.

 

Look at that! I'm a bargain hunter from way back (blame the Asian heritage!) and at a time where 'perfect' apples are going for $5.98 and carrots were $2.48 in store, there is no good reason not to get these odd fruits really ($3.98 and $0.98 for comparison).

I also loathe that I was shopping at Woolworths for produce anyway, but if I can't get to a farmer's market and pay the farmer directly, I see no reason why Woolies should get extra money if I can help it. Besides, I feel sorry for those 'ugly' foods that people would likely pass over.


Someone in marketing has a sense of humour:
Peculiar Pears: A bunch of pear shaped fruit who dream of being pureed or eaten as they are.

Abnormal Apples: A bunch of ridiculously delicious apples who dream of being an apple pie or eaten as they are.

Misshapen Potatoes: A bunch of imperfect potatoes who don't have a chip on their shoulder, they just want to be mashed.
I understand that there are Blemished Beetroots, Peculiar Parsnips, and Motley Mangoes, as well as a couple of other things depending on availability and season. I was a bit sad to realise I didn't get a proper photo of the tomato description and there were no carrots to giggle at, but it just gives me an excuse to go back and rescue more of this odd produce!

Note, this is not a sponsored post, I was just chuffed to see this initiative in store. I'm big on a small eco footprints and reducing waste, so I'm pleased to see Woolworths doing something like this. Besides, when I grow my own food I know full well it doesn't always look shop perfect but it's still perfectly tasty.

Do you like odd things? 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thursday this week looks like

After a long weekend and therefore a rushed start to the week, Thursday in our household this week looks a bit like:



1. Exhaustion. As soon as we got back from holidays, Mr Fork had to go away for work overnight. I grudgingly wished him a safe flight and told him to enjoy his sleep. Know what he said? He told me it wasn't going to be relaxing at all, because he had to take clients out for drinks and dinner and socialising. OH THE POOR MAN. My heart bleeds for how hard he had it. Meanwhile, I was up all night ping ponging between Ellie and Jimmy. This is after the 8 hour drive home where Jimmy had screamed constantly for the last 200km. Mr Fork is home again now, but I remain in a fuzzy sleep deficit. I should catch up oh... in about 5 years or so I'd say! :)

2. Hangry. Jimmy showed signs of wanting to seriously start on solids while we were away. So I let him. I'm a strong proponent of baby led weaning, so I just handed him some of what I was having and left him to it (and fended off the grandparents who kept wanting to give him vegemite, honey, lamb shanks and other 'goodies' as first foods). I filled him up with mama milk first and then let him play with the food - best I can say is he went at it like a rabid piranha. Here he is grabbing at a sourdough crust with gusto!


3. Nostalgic. Though I complained about driving 600km+ each way with two small children, I really am more than a little in love with the journey. When I was younger, we used to drive quite a distance to see my grandparents all the time, so it's a trip down memory lane for me, and I hope the beginning of many wonderful road trip memories for my children too. Also, this sunburnt country of ours is pretty spectacular, with its sweeping plains, mountain range, droughts and sweeping rains - and rainbows! I should add that these photos were all taken within about a half hour of each other!


How does your week look?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What's in my kitchen... April 2015

Happy April! As we've just celebrated Easter, I had planned to show off all the yummy Easter things that have been in my kitchen. Unfortunately, as I refuse to buy Easter things too early (I saw hot cross buns in the shops the week after Christmas!) they're hot commodities around here when I do relent and get some. It's the quick and the dead with my family and Easter goodies. We were also away visiting family so I haven't been in my own kitchen for awhile too. So you will just have to imagine the Easter chocolates, buns and cakes that have been in my kitchen as there was no way I could hold back the hoards long enough to get some photos!

Instead I have some fresh produce to show off...

In my kitchen is...

Some home grown assorted citrus. Not grown in my garden, but gifted to me by my dad (who did grow them) when we were visiting. On uploading this picture I realise they all look a rather lurid shade of green, but it was just the light, as they are actually a lovely shade between yellow and lime. In this bowl (which I was given as a pre-wedding present) are unripened lemons, a lime and a grapefruit. I plan on eating the grapefruit and using the lemon and limes to add to my water bottle. As the weather cools down, I find that I need a little more incentive to keep the hydration up...


In my kitchen is...

Dragonfruit. Again, homegrown, but again, not by me. These were from my mother-in-law, who grows lovely dragonfruit (alas, I do not). I swapped some of my eggplant glut for these babies.


I ate them sliced up plain, drunk in smoothies, and added them to Ellie's lunch plates (appropriately sliced and shaped with a heart shaped cookie cutter for extra appeal). Unfortunately, she gobbled them before I could photograph my culinary artwork. Somehow it seemed wrong to hold back a toddler from a meal so I could style it for photos! Instead I do have a plain shot of the insides. I can't decide whether I prefer the red or white dragon fruits. I don't think there is a huge taste difference myself, but I do love the bright colour of the red variety.


In my kitchen is...

Handfuls of snow peas (or sugar snap peas depending on where you're from). They don't look like much, but Ellie and I pick a handful a day, and munch on them as we wander around outside. Sometimes that means we are tending other edibles, as I believe it's important for my children to know where food comes from. Other times we race around the lawn or lie down and blow bubbles. Jimmy rolls around on a picnic rug and squints at his enthusiastic big sister as she attempts to share the peas and blow bubbles for his amusement (this generally means they both end up crying - him because he gets soap in his eyes and her because she thinks him ungrateful). I can usually placate her with peas when that happens :)


In my kitchen is...

A delicious apple crumble slice (meander on over to see Liz of Mother Hubbard's Cupboard for the recipe, which I followed faithfully except I subbed something in for the eggs and used a vegan butter). This was taken as my contribution for a sweets plate at a birthday party, and made so much that I froze some as well for play dates and morning teas for Ellie. I'm happy to report that it defrosts beautifully as well.


In my kitchen is...

The results of coriander gone wild! My dainty little bushes turned feathery and bolted in the heat, but they obligingly have produced plenty of seeds. I'm pleased about it because these were great plants and I want to grow their babies!! So I've harvested a bunch of the seeds and these will be hung up to dry out in a paper bag. Some will be used for cooking, and I'll save some of the others for planting when the moment is right.


I am linking this post in with Celia of Fig Jam and Lime Cordial's monthly In My Kitchen event. Go have a peek through other kitchens around the globe!

What's in your kitchen this month?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Three things Thursday



1. I don't know what possessed me, but I took Ellie and Jimmy on a road trip to visit their grandparents, sans Mr Fork. It's usually a six hour drive and I allowed nine hours for it with the two kids... I don't really know what I was thinking. All I can say is that we are here now, and I'm very much looking forward to Mr Fork flying to meet up with us tonight. It's hard work being the sole parent... kudos to all those FIFO wives and full time single parents. I salute you! I am very much not looking forward to the drive back home though!

2. It's not all bad though. I mean honestly, we are at the beach. And it's stunning! And I get to wake up to ocean sounds every morning (not to put too fine a point on it, but if I'm going to be accurate, thanks to Jimmy I also get to wake up to it several times a night). And once everyone is awake, then I get to hear Ellie ask continually if we can go to the pool/beach/somewhere yet...

3. Happy Easter long weekend! I hope everyone celebrates it with plenty of relaxation, plenty of hot cross buns, plenty of chocolate, and whatever else floats your boat.

How are you spending your Easter?

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