Friday, May 30, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Slice

I last wrote about making Easy Brownies which had Zucchini in them and even though I liked them and the kids liked them in the beginning, they ended up not being that fussed about them.  Perhaps I should have kept the fact that they had Zucchini in them to myself as I'm sure some of this stuff is mind over matter.  That being said, our absolute go to Chocolate Slice Recipe is here.  It uses brown sugar instead of white sugar is delicious.  I either sprinkle coconut on top or coloured sprinkles or half and half.  I then slice it up into portions and put it straight into a container in the freezer and then just take a few pieces out for afternoon tea.  Give this one a try as I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A trip to the Nursery

You'll be pleased to know that we walked to school 4 mornings last week which was great and the kids love it.  James went on camp yesterday and we had to be at school at 6.30 am and I had also decided that I didn't want to walk on Monday's and we would attempt to walk any of the other four days.  This morning after getting up early yesterday instead of walking to school I said to Sienna we would walk home from school in the afternoon.  It was a glorious afternoon with stunning clouds (we love looking at clouds in our family) and we stopped in at the Nursery to pick up some lettuce and leeks to plant in the garden.  We purchased two punnets so we could still walk home with the backpack, the camera, a bag and the plants.  Here's a few photos of our afternoon.

I love love love looking at cloud formations against a blue sky.

This line was caused from an aeroplane in the sky, also very interesting.

Another part of the local mural we walk past on the way from school.

This indicates I've made it to school.

Sienna at the Nursery.

We spotted one of my favourite flowers.

More plants to discover.

These flowers smell great Mum.

Right, now back to the walking home from school bit.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Around Here

Here's what's been happening around here this week.

Veggies are being chopped for stir fry dinners.

Messages are being left on black boards.

Little girls are doing crochet in bed by lamp light.

Afternoon pikelets are being made and consumed.

Lunch boxes and water bottles are being filled.

Electronics are being played with before and after school.

Skate parks are being visited on weekends.

Waiting it out on the sidelines at AFL until someone comes off the field.

Friends are coming home with us for a play date after school.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Our Morning Walk to School

Life with 2 small children is pretty busy and naturally I get tired trying to fit everything in.  That being said this year we moved to a school closer to home and I had promised the kids we would walk to school because we are only 2 kms from school and it would keep us fit.  With the start of school in summer with sweltering 30-35 degrees it's just two hot to walk and quietly I admit I'm just plain lazy and of course it's easier to drive.  Well today we embarked on our little 2 km walk to school, well for them anyway, I had to walk back home which is mostly up hill but just the same we really enjoyed our little walk being out in the fresh air and sunshine.  I took the camera along with us to document our journey to school.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Brownies & Pizza Scrolls

Yesterday I spent the morning in the kitchen trying a couple of new recipes.  The first one was from Kate Berry at Lunch Lady called "The Easiest Brownies on the Planet" and the second one was "Pizza Scrolls" from Be a Fun Mum.

The brownies are delicious and I will be making this recipe again and again.  I have a really nice chocolate slice recipe but Kate's brownie recipe has zucchini in it which means another form of vegetables into the kids without them noticing.  I did tell them what was in it after they had eaten it but it was way to yummy to worry about zucchini being in it and the zucchini gives the brownie the moisture.

There are no eggs or butter in this recipe and when you mix it altogether you think, I must have left something out because it's not a wet mix, quite dry and I thought when I cooked it, it may just crumble because it was so dry.  It didn't however I would probably leave the final mixture sit on the bench in the bowl for 5 minutes or so to let the moisture come out of the zucchini before putting transferring it to your baking tray and pressing it down.  Seriously you have to make this recipe as it's a winner in this household.  It ends up with a nice crunchy top and moist inside and I just sprinkled icing sugar on top and then cut it up into bite size pieces and put them into a container and straight into the freezer before I ate anymore of it.

I've made lots of pizza's in my time however I've never made pizza scrolls and they were pretty easy.  Roll out your pizza dough thinly, top with sauce and toppings and then roll up and cut and place the pizza scrolls on the tray and bake in the oven.  The kids have gone off to school with a couple of these in their lunch boxes so I'm keen to see how they like them cold for lunch.  They tried one at afternoon tea yesterday and enjoyed them.  I know Sienna will love them cold, James is a little bit more fuzzy with his food.  I've popped the rest of them into a zip lock bag for the freezer so I can just take them out as needed.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Chicken & Leek Home Made Pies

Last week was the start back to school for Term 2 and as there were only 3 school days I was still on holiday mode when it came to my "Menu Planning".  That being said, the Menu Board wasn't filled out at all and we had been having eggs on toast, toasted sandwiches, nachos and more casual meals.  Sienna decided to fill out the menu board herself and decided we would be having "Chicken Pies" for dinner.  When I saw it and she told me we were having Chicken Pies I said "are we now" and then thought, why not.  I got out our fabulous "Chicken & Leek Pie" recipe which was given to me by a neighbour at our previous house and whipped it up.

It was basically very simple and it required store bought puff pastry, a store bought chicken, leeks, spring onions, garlic, chicken stock and cream.  I love this creamy chicken onion flavour mixture and you can make it into a pie yourself with homemade pastry but I was going for simple individual pies due to shortage of time.  I cooked up the chicken mixture first and then it's just a matter of cutting some puff pastry.  The pie maker comes with the circle cutter for both the base and the top of the pie and then it's just a matter of putting some mixture in each pie and close the lid and in 6-7 minutes you have 4 fabulous individual pies.

This chicken and leek pie recipe is AMAZING and I can't get enough of it.  The funny thing is I last made this recipe well over a year ago and I don't know why I don't make it more often.  Normally we would have had some veggies or salad with our pies however it wasn't to be on this particular Saturday night and so we just ate our pies by themselves for dinner.  Hey, I figure there are some veggies are in them already and it warmed us up.


50 gms (1 3/4 oz) Butter
2 large leeks, washed and finely sliced (I only used one leek and it was sufficient)
4 spring onions (scallions) sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
30 gms (1/4 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) chicken stock
125 ml (1/2 cup) cream
1 medium barbecued chicken chopped
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
60 ml (1/4 cup) milk (I didn't need to milk as mine was going in the pie maker however if you were putting the pie in the oven to bake I would use this).

1.  Preheat Oven to 200 degrees (400 degrees F). 
2.  In a frying pan, melt the butter and add the leek, spring onions and garlic.  Cook over low heat for 6 mintues or until leek is soft but not browned.
3.  Sprinkle in the flour and mix well.
4.  Pour in the stock gradually and cook, stirring, until the mixture is thick and smooth.
5.  Stir in the cream and add the chopped up chicken.

The above is where I then used my puff pastry and the pie maker however the rest of the recipe is here if you would like to cook your pie (one large one) in the oven.

1.  Put the mixture in a shallow 20cm (8 inch) pie dish and set aside to cool.
2.  Cut a circle (or rectangle - the shape of your dish) out of one of the puff pastry sheets to cover the top of the pie.
3.  Paint around the rim of the pie dish with a little milk.
4.  Put the pastry on top and seal around the edge firmly.
5.  Trim off any overhanging pastry and decorate the edge with the back of a fork.
6.  Make a few small holes on top of the pile to let out any steam and brush the top of the pie with milk.
7.  Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy.
8.  Serve with fresh garden salad or veggies.