It's nice on the school holidays to be able to offer the adults a nice biscuit to have with their cup of tea. If your children don't mind ginger they will love these too. These Ginger Snaps are far better than a bought one and easy to make. Double the batch and freeze some for lunch boxes.
200g plain flour
2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon
100g unsalted butter, softened
100g brown sugar
1/3 cup golden syrup, warmed in the microwave for 20 seconds (treacle is fine too)
Preheat oven to 180c fan forced and line two trays with baking paper.
Rub butter into flour until like breadcrumbs (if butter isn't soft enough, grate into flour with a cheese grater)
Add spices, bicarbonate, baking powder and lemon. Stir through.
Str through sugar.
Pour in syrup and work into stiff mixture.
Roll mixture into walnut size balls and place on sheets leaving a 5 cm gap.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. The biscuits will crack and harden when cool.
Store in an airtight container or freeze.
Today is the start of the winter school holidays here in Victoria, the least favourite holidays as that means (for me at least!) lots of children inside getting ratty on rainy days.
I actually like winter holidays, it means sleep in under a warm doona while it rains outside, afternoons by the heater with a good book or board game, arts and crafts, lots of baking and afternoon movies while still in your pj's.
The food is an important part of any school holidays as is the playdates! Having other peoples hungry children over for a playdate can be a little stressful, so it's a good idea to be a little organised. I have just spent the morning making a batch of biscuits for the freezer, ready to pull out, but I also have made homemade Sausage Rolls.
Homemade means no artificial additive and preservatives to make them more flavoursome. You can whip these up super quick, and then pop in a container once cooled and pop in the freezer. Take out and put in the oven to reheat like you would store bought ones - too easy! I used Coles Puff Pastry as it has no bad additives or colours. It makes about 52 rolls. Better than a bought one!
500g sausage mince
1 1/2 cups homemade bread crumbs
1/2 cup dick smith tomato sauce
1 grated carrot
1 grated onion
2 tablespoons parsley (fresh or dry)
Salt and Pepper
Coles Puff Pasty (6 Ready Roll Sheets)
Another egg for pastry.
Combine all ingredients for filling in bowl. Season to taste.
Slice one sheet down the middle and run filling down the middle of each sheet.
Brush egg down the right hand side of pastry.
Fold over left side onto meat and then fold the right side.
Place right side up on lined baking tray.
Slice into roll sizes, brush with egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 20 minutes in 180c fan forced oven.
I've been focusing a lot on our Facebook page this week on what I pack in my children's school lunches.
I was inspired by a post from the 100daysofRealFood Blog and the tools Lisa Leake uses in her school lunchboxes.
I want to share with you a new tool in my school lunchbox arsenal. These are silicone cupcake cases and I'm using them as little snack holders in the lunchbox. They are on special at Coles today, two packs for $10 so that's a saving of $2 for 12 in total.
Tune in tomorrow to see how I plan to use them!
Egg, mayo and spring onion sandwich on whole meal bread
Vaalia yoghurt with frozen raspberries
Nutella hot cross bun
Cucumber and carrot rounds
Bread and hot cross bun courtesy of my local baker and friend Marlene from Brumbys bakery at Heritage Springs here in Pakenham.
This lunch box has protein, fibre, dairy, fruit and vegetable with small fats in the Nuttelex sandwich spread. Plus a little sweetness for energy and fun!
Even though I endorse the use of packaged foods as long as they are additive and preservative free; we still practice moderation, particularly in school lunchboxes .....
Do you find it difficult to think what to put in school lunches that is free of nasty chemicals? I thought I would share with you our typical lunch box that I made this morning.
I have a couple of rules for my lunches:
1. It must have a dairy product
2. It must have at a minimum one piece of fruit
3. Whole grain bread is used for the sandwiches
4. Sandwich must have at least one vegetable
5. Only one manufactured snack (beside the yoghurt)
I try and do as much homemade as time allows so in the second picture is a slice of homemade orange cake coloured with Hopper Foods Natural food colourings. No icing.
So today's lunch was:
A Vaalia yoghurt
Sandwich with Brumbys wholemeal bread,
Coles home brand tuna with mayo and corn
Home brand Coles plain potato chips
Home made orange cake.
Note the portion sizes? A child doesn't need a whole packet of chips or a large size yoghurt. Buy your chips in bulk rather than individual packets and buy fruit that's in season. This all helps to keep the cost down.
And because we are in Australia always remember to put in some ice blocks to keep cool.
What did you pack today that is additive and preservative free?
Bec Taylor is a lover of all things quick, convenient and tasty. Her favorite foods are sloppy, cheesy and hopefully cooked in one pot as she hates doing the dishes!