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.
Last month I told you about how I was chopping up all the vegetables we needed for practically every meal we were eating for a whole month and then freezing it. Thus freeing up my precious time in the evenings with meal preparation.
Well this certainly worked and the added bonus was that we also had home cooked meals that were chemical free and jam packed full of healthy vegetables. And guess what? Since we were bulking out our meals with more veggies I also had left overs enough for other night time meals or lunches. I even ended the month with a meal or two spare.
The only lesson I would say I did learn was that for my stir fry vegetables it may pay to blanch the zucchinis/courgettes before freezing, as they do defrost a little mushy.
I plan this week on having a chopping session again for this months food. I also plan on taking it a step further and having a once a month baking day. I'll let you you know how that goes.
Below is a list of what my meals will be this week. I also have included for you to download a free blank meal planner for the month, so that you too can have a go at planning your meals for a whole month.
Monday 2 June
Meatloaf with Potato and Sweet Potato Mash
Tuesday 3 June
Wednesday 4 June
Rissoles with roast vegetables (Rissoles are made from half the meatloaf mixture and rolled into balls to bake in the oven - serve with the vegetables and gravy!).
Thursday 5 June
Homemade Pizza Night
Friday 6 June
Sweet and Sour Chicken
Saturday 7 June
Fish with Homemade chips
Sunday 8 June
Roast Pork with Roast Vegetables
Cut the Chemicals Blank Monthly Meal Planner
Once upon a time there was a very tired mummy. After a week of rushing around at work and after the kids and husband she looked in the pantry to find something for dinner.
The cupboard was almost bare but for a packet of Continental Pasta and Sauce and some chicken fillets in the fridge.
In almost robotic fashion the mummy prepared the meal on the back of the pack and in 2o minutes the family were fed and happy.
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR TO YOU? Well now that we are Making Our Own I decided to fashion this family favourite from scratch. Above is the result. It was delicious and had no added chemical flavourings and colours. And it was just as quick to prepare!
500g pasta of your choice
1 small onion chopped
500g chicken fillets or thigh diced
1 cup of diced vegetables of choice (i.e. frozen peas, carrot, capsicum)
1 can carnation evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 tsp chicken stock
Sprinkle of Onion Salt
Pepper to taste
Prepare Pasta in pot as per packet instructions. Drain and leave aside.
In pan with sides melt a tablespoon of butter and then fry of onions until clear.
Add chicken and cook until brown.
Add vegetables and toss through heat for 2 minutes.
Mix cornflour, chicken salt and onion salt in with Evap Milk. Add to pan and stir.
When thick add some Parmesan cheese and stir through sauce.
Add pasta to pan and stir through vegetables and sauce.
Serve in bowls topped with more cheese and pepper to taste.
Note: If you don't have Evap milk use normal milk or cream! Change the recipe to suit other flavours just like the packet varieties i.e. add mushrooms and pepper, tuna and bacon for Carbonara!
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!