28 February 2014

Baked Ravioli Nibbles

One of many attempts to get Ella to something different is these Baked Ravioli Nibbles.  These are really yummy and can be made with whatever flavours you like and are super easy to make.

Ella did eat a couple before she realised there was filling in the middle!  Jordon and I happily devoured them when she wouldn't. I'm sure most kids would love these as a great afternoon snack. I hope your kids think so too!






















Baked Ravioli Nibbles

Ingredients:
  • Packet of fresh kids ravioli
  • Spices of choice (picture is a mixture of BBQ seasoning, sweet paprika and onion powder)
  • Couple of spoons of milk
  • Parmesan cheese (grated) - optional

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Open the packet of ravioli and make sure they are separated as sometimes the pieces are all stuck together.
  3. The packet I get come in a half plastic container where I can just remove the label, so I pour a couple of spoons of milk over them and mix it around so they are all coated well.
  4. Place ravioli pieces onto a silicone mat/lined baking tray and sprinkle on the flavourings of choice and Parmesan cheese if using it. 
  5. Once pieces are all coated, bake in oven for approx 15-20mins or until crunchy.  Take care as sometimes the outside ones tend to burn a bit.
  6. Allow to cool completely and store in an air tight container.

Yum Yum! :-)

27 February 2014

Bread, bread, bread

It was a savoury day in my kitchen today.  Apart from the homemade tahini, white bean hommus, poached and shredded chicken for lunches I also made some yummy bread.  Best part of it was I used the 1 base recipe and created 3 dishes.  I love bread, especially homemade bread!






















Bread Base Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cups warm water
  • 1 sachet of dry yeast (roughly 2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour (I mill mine using 100g of whole buckwheat)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
Method:
  1. In a small bowl mix together warm (not hot) water, sugar and yeast and let sit for 5-10mins until yeast has activated.
  2. In a food processor, bellini or thermomix, mill buckwheat if using it whole.  Add remaining dry ingredients and mix together.
  3. With the processor going, gradually add the activated yeast water. Increase speed slowly until well combined.  
  4. Again while processor is going, add the olive oil.  Dough should form a ball in the machine.
  5. Place dough in a oiled bowl and cover with clean towel.  Leave in a warm spot to allow dough to prove for at least 30-45mins before forming into desired dish and baking.

Instead of letting my dough prove altogether today, I split it up.  Half went into an oiled loaf tin and was put aside to prove.  With the remaining half, I split it in half again as I wanted to make two different flavours.  I oiled a 12 hole muffin tin and with first half of dough I rolled into 6 balls, placed into the muffin tin.  The last quarter of dough I left in my machine and added half a sachet of Leggo's pizza tomato paste to the machine and blitzed it through the dough.  I needed a little extra flour on my hands to work this last bit into 6 balls as the paste made it a bit wetter.  Once rolled into 6 balls, they were put in the muffin tin too and put aside to prove.  Once everything had proved for 45mins I popped the loaf in the oven (preheated of course!).

With the balls in the muffin tin, using 2 little spoons, I created a well in the middle of each ball (like a mini cup).  In the first 6 balls, I placed a teaspoon of onion & chive cream cheese.  In the last 6 balls, I added the remaining sachet of Leggo's paste amongst them, added a scatter of diced bacon and topped with grated cheese.

The bread baked for 25-30mins and the mini buns baked for 15-20mins.  The bread isn't your normal sandwich loaf, its more like a bruschetta bread.  We use it for grilling for sliders or toasted as a side to salad spread with hommus or beetroot dip.

OMG these were awesome.  My bread done 3 ways: Bruschetta, Bread Dip Cups & Pizza Bread Cups... 

Oh and don't worry if you don't have buckwheat, just use all plain flour.  I wanted to try buckwheat out but I normally just use all plain flour.  I use this base for many things, scrolls, pizza bases, pull aparts.... its very versatile for sweet or savoury!

ENJOY! :-)


Printable fun jar labels

I've had these jars at home now for a few months and they are great.  Today I decided to spruce them up a bit with new lovely labels.

Workout Jar - this is good if like me you get bored with normal home exercise.  In conjunction with this workout jar, I use a free HIIT app for my phone and sweat it out in my little garage.  Using paddle pop sticks, I wrote out different quick exercises that I could do on my own such as 30 sec plank, 30 second squats, 60 second treadmill jog, 30 second kettlebell figure 8's.... Pretty much anything that is short and easy to do solo that I can get my heartrate up, kind of like my own little mini cross fit class at home! I love the idea of not knowing what exercise is coming up, fun and variable each day!

Boredom Jar - great for kids.  Even Ella who can't speak to say "I'm bored" needs this jar.  On a heap of paddle pop sticks, I wrote out things that she loves doing but wont normally just go and do it herself like "read a book", "play hide & seek", "dress ups", "go for a walk", "painting", "play doh".  Basically anything your kids like doing.  Then when they say "I'm bored" you can get them to pull out a stick and have some fun doing something they love that they may not have thought about doing at first.

Positivity Jar - I started this jar when I was having a really bad week.  It made me come up with something positive, no matter how small, that was happening in our lives.  It's been great as it makes me see a bad day in a different light.  I just got some small post it notes and stuck it to the top of the jar so there was always note paper handy.

These jars are also a great way of using up containers that you have laying around.  For the workout & boredom jar I used some of Ella's empty vitamin containers and for the Positivity jar I used an empty protein shake container.  And now I have some cute labels for them that I can share with you!

Get the kids together and make it into an activity of its own setting the jars up!






















Download labels here.  :-)

26 February 2014

Muesli Cups

Most days I have a lovely super cold fruit smoothie for breakfast but every now and then I feel like something different.  While scrolling through pinterest yesterday (howI love that site!) I came across an idea that I thought would make a nice change for breakfast.  What I didn't like was the list of ingredients, way to complicated for my liking so I re-created it "Carley Style", simple and easy and you can do the same with whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand.

These were so yummy, I can see me having it for afternoon tea or even during my after dinner snack attack!






















Muesli Cups
Makes: 8-12 (depending on size tin used)

Ingredients:
  • 100g oats
  • 50g cheerios
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 50g cashews
  • 65g of dried fruit (I used 2 snack packs of apple & sultanas)
  • 75-100g honey
  • 75g applesauce (homemade)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and spray a muffin tin with oil.
  2. In a food processor or similar machine, blitz up oats, cheerios, seeds and nuts until slightly crushed (not too much as you want some texture).  If using large pieces of dried fruit, you might want to blitz them too, but because I used small ones I didn't.
  3. Place in a medium - large bowl (need room for mixing as I learned the hard way!)
  4. Slight warm up honey (for easy mixing) and then add it and applesauce to the dry ingredients.
  5. Mix together well and scoop into muffin tin of choice.  (I used my rectangle muffin tin as it was getting left out never being used, but a round muffin tin would do the same trick!)
  6. Using wet hands, press mixture around (down and sides) to form a cup and bake for 15-20mins or until slight toasted on edges. Be careful as some fruit will burn faster than the rest, like sultanas (again what I learned making these!).
  7. Allow to cool slightly in tin before removing gently so they don't break.
  8. Once cooled store in air tight container until ready to use.
I made mine last night and was hanging out for breakfast this morning.  I served mine with natural yoghurt and fresh fruit! YUM YUM!!!!


Remember, this is just the ingredients I used because I had them already (shopping day tomorrow!).  Feel feel to mix it up to suit what you have on hand. I'm a HUGE believer in finishing off items I already have.  The cashews for example were a bonus this week as I made butter chicken the other night, otherwise it would have been normal peanuts!  If I had any coconut left I would have used some of that too.  Have fun experimenting like I did!

ENJOY! :-)

25 February 2014

Protein Bliss Balls

We love these little balls.  I try to have a container of these always ready in the fridge/freezer as they make a great little healthyish snack!






















Protein Bliss Balls
Makes: 38 balls (approx)

Ingredients:
  • 50g dates (pitted)
  • 50g sultanas
  • 50g all bran
  • 60g LSA
  • 100g oats
  • 2 weetbix
  • 75g seed mix
  • 80g protein powder (chocolate)
  • 85g applesauce (homemade)
  • Coconut for outside of balls
Method:
  1. In a food processor, blender, bellini or thermomix (whichever machine you use), blitz up dates and sultanas.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until all blended together.
  3. Using melon baller, scoop mix out and with wet hands roll into smooth balls and roll in a tray of coconut.
  4. Store in air tight container in fridge or freezer.

ENJOY! :-)

24 February 2014

What is missing printable activity

Ella has so much fun doing these little activities, I hope your kids do too!

We always laminate them so they last for ages and then she can do them over and over again.





















Download printable here  :-)

23 February 2014

Beetroot Dip

Is there anything better than a yummy healthy dish... yes... one that is easy to make. Well this recipe is both, super easy & healthy...  1 step and you have a delicious healthy dip.  We also use this dip for spreading on salad wraps or toasted crusty bread for sliders instead of butter or avocado. Yum Yum!






















Beetroot Dip

Ingredients:
  • 450g can beetroot, drained
  • 200g natural greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 200 - 250g sunflower seeds
Method:
  1. Place all ingredients together in food processor/blender and mix until well combined.

TIPS
~ Add more sunflower seeds if you want a thicker consistency.
~ Try using other nuts or seeds for variety



ENJOY! :-)

22 February 2014

Its a cupcake kind of day!

I love waking up on a saturday morning and doing a bit of baking... and my favourite go to baking recipe is my trusty cupcakes!  These are the easiest cupcakes to make and they always go over a treat. After a good week of Ella eating my popcorn chicken, I thought I'd try these, normally she just licks the icing, but today she ate most of the actual cake! Wahoo!!!  So happy!!!!

So I've frosted a couple for treats over the weekend and frozen the rest for her lunchbox treat. 
Cupcakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes (18 if they a bit smaller) or 24+ mini cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 100g butter, soften or close to room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups SR Flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
Frosting:
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4-1 cup of icing mixture (depending on taste)
  • splash of vanilla
  • Food colouring of choice

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake tray with cases.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar then beat in 1 egg at a time.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and beat on low until all combined.
  4. Just over half fill each case and bake for 15mins or until slightly brown on top.
  5. Allow to cool completely on wire rack before frosting.
For frosting, beat together ingredients until well combined.


ENJOY! :-)







21 February 2014

Coconut Rough Cakes

In an attempt at eating a little bit healthier, I came across some 'clean eating' chocolate muffins so I gave them a try.  Jordon loved them even with all the healthish substitutions!  So I made a double batch the second time around with some tweaking to the recipe to suit what ingredients I had on hand (wouldn't be my style cooking if it wasn't tweaked a bit!).

Jordon has named them Coconut Rough Cakes, which is kind of true, so it stuck. The original recipe can be found over at SkinnyMS, below is my version, simplified a bit (not GF or vegan, but still yummy!)






















Coconut Rough Cakes
Makes: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups oats
  • 60g brown sugar
  • 140g applesauce
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yoghurt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut (I used shredded but could use any)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and get muffin tray ready with cupcake lines.
  2. In a food processor, blender, bellini or thermomix (whichever machine you use), grind up oats similar to a flour consistency.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except chocolate chips and hot water.
  4. Gradually add the hot water in until you get a good cake consistency.  (I say this because my first go at making them it was super runny so I had to add flour into it, second time around I gradually added the hot water so it didn't happen again, thus needed less than original recipe.)
  5. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into cupcake liners.
  6. Bake for approx 15-20mins.

I enjoyed mine warm with some natural yoghurt, Jordon eats them hot, cold, frozen - just about anyway he can! LOL

ENJOY! :-)

Menu Planning Printables

In case you missed it over on my facebook page, here is another set of printables!

I love meal planning. I've tried and paid for ipad apps but for me I prefer doing it manually! If you do too, I hope this set of 4 printable pages helps you out! My biggest money saver is using the inventory, often I can get almost a weeks worth of meals out of what I already have, big money saver on the groceries! Recipe pages are great for jotting down a meal you invented

I have a special ring binder to keep all  my planning pages in as well as the stores current weekly catalogues so I can see whats on special in which store which make my shopping list easy to do! 






















Download PDF's here

20 February 2014

Scissor practice printable

On days like today when its too hot to go outside or rainy and you want something to keep those little kids occupied, Ella loves doing a couple of little homeschooling activities, cutting is one of her favourites!

These printables are good as they have 2 uses.  Print and use as scissor practice or you can laminate and using a whiteboard marker, they become tracing practice!  Or do both!

Hope your little ones like them as much as Ella does.























 Download printables from here


:-)

Finally something my daughter will eat!

My first blog post for my new little project and I thought what better way to start it off than with a super positive food experience (which in this house is something to scream from the rooftop about!)

As most of my friends know, I'm always on the look out for recipes to try that Ella will eat.  For those who don't know, Ella has MAJOR food issues, partly due to a very traumatic tonsil surgery and party from her ASD sensory issues.  Anyway, we have tried everything, and I mean everything (food school, psychologists, therapists, natural remedies, you name it we've done it) and everyone we've seen have said it just a matter of time.  So each day I try, unsuccessfully, to get her to eat something I make and every week I find new recipes and think, maybe one day.... Well that day has arrived... While reading through one of my favourite food sites, I found her recipe for popcorn chicken.  I didn't have all the ingredients she used but since I'm more of an inventive cook, I thought its a good starting point. 

So off to the kitchen I went and made my version of popcorn chicken... well you wouldn't believe it, over 2 years of persistence has paid off because she ate it!!!!!  So I made it again last night and she ate it again!!!!  To say we were over the moon would be an huge understatement. Seriously this is huge.  Ella eats 4 foods (ONLY!) and none of which are homemade, up until now. We are so excited and I don't care if I have to make it every night for her, she is finally eating something, anything and its homemade! WOOP WOOP!!!!

Anyway, in recognition of this wonderful achievement I thought I'd share my version of the recipe.  The original recipe can be found over at The Road to Loving my Thermomix and here is my adaption of it.

I hope if you have fussy eaters this gives you as much success as we are currently having, fingers crossed now it continues!























 
POPCORN CHICKEN 
Makes: 2 chicken breasts

Flour Mix:
  • 180g plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp BBQ seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
Other Ingredients:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs
  • Oil for frying
Method:
  1. Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.  Put half of the flour mixture on a plate (add more to plate when needed so as to not waste any if you don't use it all).  
  2. In a small bowl beat eggs together very well.
  3. Dice up chicken breast into small pieces and coat in egg wash then flour mix. If you want a really crispy coating, do a second egg wash and flour mixture dip.
  4. Shallow fry in a hot frypan, or drizzle with oil and bake on a silicone mat/oven tray until golden brown.  As the pieces are small it doesn't take very long, so don't walk away!
Although this makes enough for 2 chicken breasts, I only make one at at time. I put half aside in a tupperware container (uncontaminated) for use the next night.

ENJOY! :-)