Bad Melbourne weather + Sunday mornings means a hot breakfast and my kids just love it when we make pancakes. I have a super easy way of making pancakes that is my go to recipe, but I was getting a little bored of this so I tried a new recipe that I got from my new cookbook 100 Days of Real Food Fast and Fabulous.
These pancakes are called "Applesauce and Oatmeal Pancakes". Oatmeal in the USA is just plain oats, the ones you buy in the cereal aisle that you cook in the pan with milk to make porridge.
I think they are delicious and quite filling. My boys wipe me out with my usual pancake recipe - even when I make double!
Here is the recipe:
Applesauce and oatmeal Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1.2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup applesauce (store bought ok)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons honey
Mix all together until just combined and as per normal pancakes cook in a pan over a medium heat until bubbles form and then flip. Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit and cream!
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!
My daughter has a little friend over this afternoon and I was going to buy a treat for afternoon tea as I'm feeling a little time poor with the impending house move, but I decided " no I can whip up something quickly if only to save a few pennies!"
I grabbed the iPad as all my cookbooks are packed away and quickly googled a recipe for choc chip cookies ... Yes I know sounds like sacrilege for a mum advocating eating healthy chemical free foods to enlist the aid of some random internet recipe. Surely I'm a domestic goddess that was born instinctively knowing the right amount of self raising flour in a choc chip recipe?
Not so. In fact I'm hopeless with recipes. My brain does not retain them, hence an iPad and the internet are a match made in heaven for a mum like me. You see most recipes on the internet are pretty much the same basic recipes with slight variants. A basic cookie mixture doesn't have to be hard and it's pretty easy to make sure it's additive free.
I just made sure I used natural vanilla not vanilla flavouring and Dairy Fine Choc Chips. If I wanted to be really good white choc chips would be better. You could even add some cocoa powder for a double choc chip cookie. Much better than store bought and saves you some cash too as you would have all the basic pantry ingredients already right? (By that I mean you have my book and have the basic pantry as recommended?)
Now when you Google that awesome little recipe, Pin it for next time on your Pinterest Board ... Or look at my board for the cookie recipe #Cookbook-Cut-The-Chemicals!! Too easy!
We have been trying to get more vegies into our diet here in the Taylor household and tonight's dish is a traditional roast. Really on a Tuesday - I hear you say! Yes, it's true. It's not a whole roast chicken as we need to cut down our protein size but 3 chicken breasts are enough to feed our family of six and give my husband a little bit left over for a chicken salad tomorrow for lunch.
This is how I did it:
1. Cut up vegies in small chunks, all the same size. I used pumpkin, potato, mushrooms and zucchini. Hold the zucchini back as it is a softer vegie and requires less cooking time.
2. Put in large roasting pan and toss in oil.
3. Add chicken breasts whole beside vegies. Cover in oil too.
4. Sprinkle Masterfoods Italian Herb Roast Chicken and Vegetable seasoning on top. It is nasty free. Cover the breasts in foil and cook in the oven for 20 min on 180C.
5. Add zucchini and remove foil so that chicken skin crisps up. Remove when chicken is lovely and brown and vegies roast looking (techinical huh?).
6. When ready to serve use the pan juices to make a gravy (that is only plain flour added to juices, stir until hot, add cold water and stir until thick. Amount of water depends on whether you like thick or thin gravy, season to taste and that's it!).
YUMMMY!!!! And all done in under an hour. The Taylor taste testers love a roast dinner any night of the week!
We were a little light on snacks this Monday morning for school lunches today (kids ate me out of house and home at Little Athletics on Saturday) so I whipped up this easy as blueberry muffin recipe. The kids can have one for breakfast while their nice and warm and then I'll pop one in their lunch for morning snack.
Fresh blueberries are expensive here in Australia and not quite in season so frozen is fine. I always keep a packet of these and other berries in the freezer. Berries have loads of color so the kids think they are getting a real treat when it's a recipe with berries. Enjoy this recipe on me for breaky tomorrow!
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp custard powder
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
Sift flour, baking powder and custard powder into a bowl.
Add sugar and blueberries.
In a separate bowl, mix milk, eggs and oil.
Add to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spoon into 12 hole muffin tin. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
Dust with icing sugar if desired.
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!