Peanut Chocolate Slice

Uncategorized

Hi, remember me? There has been a lot of life happening round here which has meant that posting recipes on my blog has not been my priority. Mostly school related stuff, particularly a 5 day field trip away from my family and preparing for the Education Review Office visiting. I realised last weekend that I had spent 19 out of 21 days working, but luckily I am not going anywhere near school or anything related to it during our current long weekend!

We also had a serious flood in Kapiti in which many people’s properties were damaged, our street became a lake and our garage was flooded. Nothing of ours was damaged, but my husband had to spend a day battling the elements and moving stuff to ensure that all our things were kept safe! And our house renovations are almost finished after about 3 months – yay!!

Today we had our monthly crafternoon tea – 2 and a half hours of gossip, tea, treats and crafting which is always a pleasure I made this slice, which is an old favourite from my childhood, and someone asked for the recipe so I remembered I have a blog I can put it on!

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Peanut Chocolate Slice

90g butter

3/4/c brown sugar

2 t honey

2 T peanut butter

1 1/4 c flour

1/2 t baking powder

3/4 c rolled oats

3/4 c skinned peanuts, you can chop these up a bit if you want

1.Turn the oven to 180 C and grease a 20cm x 30cm baking tray.

2. Melt the butter, brown sugar, honey and peanut butter together.

3. Mix all the dry ingredients together and then stir through the butter mix.

4. Press into the greased dish and bake for around 20 minutes.

5. When cool ice with chocolate icing and slice.

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Feijoa and Date Cake

baking, Uncategorized

I was not intending to include a huge number of baking recipes in this blog, but I do like to bake! I have lots of favourite recipes which need to be stored somewhere before the ancient pieces of paper they are written on disintegrate.

Feijoas are everywhere at the moment, and feijoa cake is delicious. Here is my version:

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100g butter, softened

1/2 c sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 c flour

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1 c chopped dates

3/4 c chopped feijoas

3/4 c milk

1. Turn the oven to 180 C and grease and line a 20cm square tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and beat to mix.

3. Fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.

4. Fold in dates, feijoas and milk to make a stiff batter.

5. Spoon into greased tin and bake for 45 minutes.

6. Serve dusted with icing sugar if you want to make it look pretty!

Basic Pumpkin Soup and garlic parmesan toasts

soup, Uncategorized

Soups generally take a while to prepare, but this one is really quick. You could have it on the table in under 45 minutes from starting the preparation. While I prefer my pumpkin soup to have some spice to it, this one is milder and child friendly. Feel free to add some sweet thai chilli sauce to the adults’ if you want a bit of kick.

The toasts were a big hit with my girls and are really quick to make. Similar “garlic bread” in the supermarket is really expensive – much cheaper to make your own!

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Pumpkin Soup

1 T butter

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 kg pumpkin or squash, peeled and de-seeded, and shopped into 2 – 3 cm cubes

5 c chicken or vegetable stock

1 t finely chopped fresh thyme

Cracked pepper and chopped chives or parsley to serve (adults)

Garlic Parmesan Toasts

1 french stick

3 T butter

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 T chopped parsley

Grated parmesan cheese to top

1. Melt butter in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft.

2. Add the pumpkin, stock and thyme. Put the lid on and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. While the soup is simmering prepare the garlic butter for the toasts. Mash the softened butter with garlic and parsley.

4. Slice the french stick into 4 chunks, and slice each of these in half horizontally to make 8 big slices of bread. Spread these liberally with the butter and place on an oven tray. Top with the grated parmesan.

5.  Once cooked, place the soup in the food processor and pulse until smooth and creamy.

6. Grill the bread until butter and cheese is melted and golden.

7. Serve the soup topped with pepper and chives, with garlic toasts on the side.

Hint: One of the most time consuming things in making this soup is preparing and chopping the pumpkin. You could do this the night before, or in the morning, or even in the weekend if you wanted to speed things up on the night you were going to cook this. Just place the pumpkin in an airtight bag and it will be fine for a few days.

Lamb Pita Pockets

fast, lamb, salad, Uncategorized

Pita pocket dinners are so quick to make – you could have this on the table in about 20 minutes. The only step which takes time is marinating the lamb. I put the marinade together before work and left the lamb in it all day, ready to cook when we got home.

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Lamb

500g lamb leg steaks, sliced

1/4 c lemon juice

1/4 c olive oil

2 T chopped rosemary

1 t crushed garlic

1 T oil to cook

Salad

1/2 bag baby spinach

100g feta

100g olives

8 – 12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 cucumber, cut in half vertically and then sliced

A small handful of basil leaves, torn

2 T olive oil

2 T balsalmic vinegar

Extras

Pitas to serve – dependent on how hungry you are!

1/4 c hummus

1/4 c plain unsweetened yoghurt

1. Mix together the lamb marinade and place the sliced lamb in it to marinade for several hours.

2. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat.

3. While it is heating mix together the spinach, tomatoes, olives, and cucumber. Mix the vinegar and oil together and toss through the salad. Top with crumbled feta.

4. Fry the lamb quickly, don’t overcook. This will only take a couple of minutes on each side.

5. The easiest way to heat pita breads is in the toaster. They will puff up and go slightly crispy. Once you have heated them chop a small piece of the top off – just enough to fit the fillings in.

6. Fill the pitas with salad and lamb and top with a sauce made of the hummus and yoghurt mixed together. You can serve extra salad on the side.

Kids: My kids would not eat this salad. My 6 year old will happily eat a pita pocket filled with salad and meat, while for my 4 year old I serve raw veges, brush half a toasted pita with garlic butter and serve the lamb separately.

Kia ora!

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Welcome to my new project, where I share my attempts to plan and deliver fast and nutritious meals to my family each night. I hope that you enjoy the recipes and ideas which I will be sharing each week.

About me

I am a 30-something (OK – verging on 40-something) year old mother to two young girls, aged 4 and 6. Both my husband and I work full time, so each evening is a rush to serve up something tasty and healthy for dinner that can be cooked as quickly as possible.

In order to avoid food wastage and falling back on processed food, I am a big advocate of meal planning. Unfortunately I have learned through trial and error that if the meal is too complicated and takes too much energy, or if it is boring and not tasty, then sometimes I don’t stick to the plan.

This blog is going to be my attempt to plan child friendly, fast and tasty meals for my family. I figure if I’m going to come up with the recipes, I need somewhere to file them for later reference, so I might as well share them with others.

I have loved playing around with food since I was pretty young. As a 13 or 14 year old I would offer to cook meals for my family, trialing recipes and building up a cook book collection before I even left school. The cost to my poor parents was cleaning up the 50 utensils I somehow managed to incorporate into my cooking and then use the line “But I cooked dinner so I’m not doing the dishes!”. These days I am not much of a recipe follower. I tend to get an idea from something I have eaten, or a recipe I have seen and then tweak it to suit the ingredients I am willing to buy and the tastes of my family. Before I had kids I loved throwing dinner and lunch parties, spending all day producing food for a crowd. Now with kids, that is out of the question so the focus now is on food which isn’t boring for the adults, but that kids will eat, and which can be cooked quickly.

What this blog aims to do

  • Avoid wastage by trying to use almost all perishable ingredients in recipes for that week e.g: If one recipe uses half a cauliflower, then the other half will either be used in another recipe, or a suggestion on how you could use it for a lunch or weekend dinner will be offered.
  • Get my girls to try a variety of foods. Miss 6 is great at this (unless it is spicy!), Miss 4 is much fussier.
  • Keep our diet varied and healthy. I have a lucky dip system with a variety of key ingredients which I use to plan the menu each week so we aren’t eating the same thing week in and week out.
  • Make things easy for both you and myself, I figure that I can go back and use and recipes when we are having an awful week and I can’t be bothered dreaming up new ideas.
  • Use seasonal produce – yay for our local Saturday vege market!

What this blog is not:

  • A budget meal blog, or a gourmet cooking blog. The meals will be very much middle of the road. Sometimes there will be some flash ingredients like nice cuts of meat. Other times there will be recipes revolving around cheap ingredients like rice, veges and legumes.
  • Something I am being paid for. Therefore I am allowed to have weeks where sharing recipes is just too much!

Whose keen to join me!?