Taking Mini-Me to the Extreme!

I’m back! Did you miss me?

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What a time we’ve had of it! I think Hubby & Mini-Me were tag teaming to see who could break me first!

Hubby is doing better after his heart attack but still a way to go on his recovery. The problem arose after an accident in our digger whilst at work. He sustained a broken rib & bruised kidney. Unfortunately, somehow, this led to an infection, Influenza A, pneumonia & all resulted in a heart attack. We choose to see the positive in this, however, for the heart attack has exposed a rather serious heart condition which we can now make appropriate lifestyle adjustments for.

Meanwhile, Mini-Me dropped weight rapidly into a critically low area, ringing alarm bells! Her Nutrition was good with adequate calorie intake for her ballet training so the hunt was on to solve this mystery ASAP!

Every parent fears the word Leukaemia. We were so incredibly relieved when her test results proved negative…..but then what was causing her weight to free fall where no matter what the doctors did, they could not stop it?!

Never underestimate having a bloody good Paediatrician on your side.

Several tests later & we have a break through – Coeliac Disease!

Thank goodness I am already all over this (like Hubby on a cupcake!) having it myself. I recall though, several years ago now, the almighty learning curve of the Gluten Free Diet! I am just so enormously grateful that I got to trial & error on myself instead of my precious child. It was actually such an incredible relief to hear the words Coeliac Disease over the alternative!

Now that they are both on the path back to good health & I’ve been medically ordered that I am NEVER allowed to EVER get sick myself with these two, I have finally had time to breathe. That is always a dangerous thing for me as then I have the time to think!

When Hubby had his heart attack, I became suddenly aware of how truly precarious my privileged life as a Homeschooling House Wife really is. This is the lifestyle that we worked so hard to place ourselves in a position to achieve & maintain before having Mini-Me. Yet it could all be snatched away from us in an instant.

I confided my feelings to my beautiful Ballet Mum tribe. They’re such an extremely supportive & truly empathetic group of ladies. Upon the realisation that reigniting my former career would be unsustainable, a suggestion was made for me to return to study. Train for something new, something that I love, something that is meaningful to me, something that will restore my financial confidence.

Searching for my great unknown, I stumbled across a piece of advice that said something like Find Your Purpose – we’ve all seen this cliche emblazoned everywhere, but what made this one different to grab my attention was that he went on in the video to actually say HOW to find your purpose! Pay attention to what you always think about, always watch, always read, always listen too. I don’t think I need to issue any prizes to anyone for guessing what my brain is obsessed with! FOOD!

But……as well as food, I am equally invested in my family’s health! So not so quick there on the old Culinary School route peeps 😉

I’m leaning towards finding something to do with Food, Nutrition, Health, Elite Performance & Optimum Clean Living. I just haven’t found it yet, but I will.

Nutella Milk Ice

Just 2 common kitchen ingredients

are all that’s needed to whip up this fabuliciouz treat!

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This is a real Kids in the Kitchen classic that Mini-Me absolutely loves to make for a tasty post ballet cool down.

Simply pour some milk in a jug & scoop in some Nutella spread (I’ve used 450ml of milk to 2 groaningly huge tablespoons of Nutella).

Next, grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to whizz it all up before filling some ice-block moulds with the mixture & popping the stick/lids on.

Whack that lot into the freezer overnight to set & enjoy the next day.

Neapolitan Marble Cake

It’s a classic which is now rarely seen,

but the swirls of pink, chocolate & vanilla are well worth the effort.

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It has been a chaotic week! Last Wednesday was Mini-Me’s birthday so off we popped to Melbourne Zoo which lays claim to being the oldest zoo in Australia! We treated her to an exclusive behind the scenes member’s tour before exploring the zoo at our leisure until just after lunch when she got to have a close encounter with her all time favourite animal by feeding the Giraffe in it’s enclosure. She was just so deliriously happy & her delightful giggle is simply magic to my ears as well as my heart.

The rest of the week was spent in absolute panic as I madly threw together her party which we hosted at our mountain top home on Sunday. Twenty hyped up children having the time of their lives & the snow machine went down a real treat! Their limbo moves were super impressive & let me tell you, those tiny ballerinas have a mighty mean swing on a piñata! Food was plentiful but, of course, the star of the culinary show is always the birthday cake!

Mini-Me loves Neapolitan Ice-Cream so I took my inspiration from that to wow her when we cut open the cake.

Bung into your mixer bowl 125g of room temperature softened butter along with 3/4 cup of caster sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Cream that until it’s nice & fluffy.

Add in 2 eggs, but one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Fold through 2 cups of self raising flour & a pinch of salt alternating with 1/2 cup of milk.

Divide the mix into 3 bowls. Leave one plain, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa to another & a few drops of pink food colouring to the third. Give them a jolly good mix.

Layer the 3 batters into a well greased cake tin & use a sharp knife or a bamboo skewer to create swirls.

Whack in a 175c oven for an hour.

You can serve this cake plain, dusted in icing sugar, with buttercream or even covered in ganache! Let your imagination run wild!

What If…….?

I wonder what would happen if I put down all of this toxic self doubt I have burdened myself to carry?

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Over the past year, you have been following me on a journey of self discovery as I stumble my way along this culinary pathway. It certainly has been a roller coaster!

I would dearly love to evolve & grow this blog into a wee web show, yet every time I begin, some of you may recall I came very close to it last Christmas, I end up sabotaging myself as the horrid seeds of self doubt sprout & spread their evil tendrils.

I get all excited & pumped up – I plan, I experiment, I practice what to say & then I let that little voice in my head take over!

  • You’re being ridiculous
  • Who on Earth would want to watch to you
  • Who do you think you are
  • You’re a nobody
  • You’re not a chef
  • You’re not pretty enough for telly
  • You don’t know anything
  • You can’t plate up
  • You’re food isn’t fancy enough
  • You’re not good enough

I’m sure you are now getting the picture. Food is my passion. It’s what I want to share. It’s all I want to do.

It’s true, my food is not fancy, it’s not fine dining & I’m certainly not good enough for MasterChef!

I’m just a stay at home mum living on my mountain top with a strong desire, a dream if you might, of sharing my simple food from my humble kitchen.

To learn the knowledge of our Grandparents generation of how to grow my own food, how to prepare it with great love & to enjoy a blissfully uncomplicated life.

Is there really anything wrong with that?

Am I alone in my desire for simplicity?

Would you watch me?

Cheese & Bacon Soufflé

Here’s an easy peasy recipe for the kids, and dads, to make this Sunday to WOW mum with more than just burnt toast.

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First, daddy, get that oven cranking to a stonking hot 220c!

Use spray oil to generously grease some pretty ramekins, hint – do this in the sink so that the wee cherubs don’t mess up the entire kitchen! One gratin dish could be substituted as well.

Then, depending on the age & abilities of the kidlets you can divvy up the steps between daddy & offspring as to whatever way floats your boat.

Heat up a glug of oil in a frypan to cook off some diced bacon before plopping into the bottom of the ramekins.

Next, sprinkle some grated cheddar cheese in there too – YUM!

Grab a mixing bowl to whisk together 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of thickened cream, salt & white pepper until frothy bubbles appear. Hint dads – make sure you have extra eggs as they’re bound to be smashed outside of the bowl 😀

Carefully pour the mixture into the ramekin bowls to just cover the cheese & bacon, they’ll probably be about half full.

Finally, daddy, I shall let you in on the secret trick to get those soufflé’s to rise & shine! Simply run your finger around the edge! Yep, that’s the big technique involved with this show stopper! Wipe your CLEAN finger around the edge of the ramekin from the mixture to the top – this creates a pathway for the soufflé to rise sky high!

Whack that lot in the oven (place them on a baking tray to get them easily in & out) to bake until they’re light & fluffy. Do not open that door! Just keep a watchful wait through the glass – this ain’t perfect on the timing as every dish is different. Plan for about 15 minutes but hey, if they over cook, it’s no drama – simply tell mum you’ve made her quiche & she’ll still be stoked at your culinary prowess.

Mid-Life Crisis!

Is it just me or is everyone faking this whole life thing?

I mean, I never expected to reach the age of 42 & still be absolutely clueless about my direction in life!

Just when we’d made the decision to move to the Gold Coast to be near to our family & friends, life has thrown us, yet again, another plot twist.

Mini-Me has been selected to become a Classical Soloist Ballerina! Now that is EPICALLY huge for her to receive this wonderful opportunity & is a real achievement in reward for all her extra hard work she puts in towards her Professional Ballet career. I know, I know, she’s only 6 but she has known what she’s wanted to do practically since birth! This kid is Born to Ballet!

I simply can’t fathom how focussed & together she is as I’ve always been a total screw up mess my entire life. Yet from the moment she slipped her delicate toes into her first pair of ballet leathers at the ripe old age of 3, she has been destined for greatness.

Now, in Australia, if she was to be focussed on becoming an elite athlete in the sporting arena, nobody would bat an eyelid at us making serious family life choices based on our young child’s career, however, as her talent is in the Arts, people have been less understanding. As a Professional Ballerina, she will be an elite athlete of incredible abilities!

But, back to this whole Mid-Life Crisis thing……

I’ve been quite strongly guided lately to return to writing. I had another blog, a few years back, which was far more successful than this one, which I shut down for various reasons. I had thought about starting another whole new blog, in addition to Food Forage, in order to do this. The problem is that I already struggle with the high demands of my small fam-bam to get the time to even do this one properly! I’m sure you’ve noticed my sporadic posts which is what is to blame for my lack of success here. So, what shall I do in order to write again?

I’ve decided to do these random open diary entries to you, a glimpse into my madness if you like, as my Fam-Bam Files category & see where we go from there.

I’m desperately trying to rediscover who I am now as more than just a wife & mother. I’m sure a lot of you have been here before me! Who I was before Mini-Me came along simply is not who I am anymore. So who am I now?

This is why I believe I’m struggling to make real, deep friendships here in Melbourne. I’m very difficult to get to know as a person, not because of any ‘walls’ as I simply don’t have them, but because I am so extremely open about being so lost. People get confused by my being so very scattered. I’m always into something new every time they turn around & I’m an all or nothing sort of gal! I only have 2 speeds, either completely obsessed or completely uninterested. So yeah, I’m not the easiest of people to be friends with as you never know what I’m up to next! At least I’m never boring.

All I know for sure is that I am being guided to make a return to my writing & also my healing. I am a Seichim Healer but haven’t healed since before Mini-Me was born. I’d also like to reignite my passion for watercolour painting, even though I’ve never actually been any good at that. Plus my chocolate work is calling me louder & louder to create again.

But where, oh where, shall I ever find the time for me?!?!?!?!

Potato Soup

Lusciously creamy hot soup with a flavoursome crunchy surprise,

this is Hubby’s second favourite soup that I make.

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This is hands down so dead set easy to make, you’ll be sure to whip it up all Winter long!

Heat up a good glug of oil in a pot & bung in 3 large spuds, which you’ve peeled & chopped. Pop the lid on & let them do their thing over low heat for 10 minutes.

Next, pour in 1 litre of chicken stock before throwing in 2 bay leaves & bringing to a simmer. Whack the lid back on for another 10 minutes cooking time.

Meanwhile, let’s crack on with the potato chip croutons!

Peel & dice 1 large tattie, heat a good glug of oil in a deep sided frypan, throw in 2 teaspoons of minced garlic along with the diced potato & simply toss those about to cook over a high heat until they’re gorgeously golden – how easy is that?!?!?!

Back to the soup – remove the lid & take out the bay leaves, they’ve done their job, then remove from the heat before adding in 250ml of sour cream. Give that lot a jolly good stir. Now it’s time for good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to make his grand appearance! Whazz that soup up until sumptuously smooth & finally season with salt & ground black pepper.

Ladle soup into bowls & plop the potato chip croutons into the middle.

Fabuliciouz!

Oh, & in case you’re wondering, Hubby’s favourite soup is my Nan’s recipe I use for my Pea & Ham Soup!

Easter in Eden

Sometimes all you need is to spend some time in a beautiful place to figure it all out.

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After 5 ever so long years living in exile as somewhat reluctant nomads, it’s finally our time to go home.

Before leaving on our beautiful holiday, we had a knowledge that something BIG was going to happen to accommodate a shift in our mindset.

You know that feeling you get when you just know that something EPIC is about to happen?!?!

Well, as soon as we arrived back on our beloved East Coastline we felt the definite shift in energy as we continued to drive further north. The energy of the East Coast is so much lighter & more gentle than anywhere else in the country we’ve been. It’s what matches our own personal energies which is why we tune so harmoniously to it. It’s home, It’s us, We need to return.

Every day we blissed out with our toes in the sand as we made our

Life Plans so effortlessly, so easily, so carefree.

It all came together in such magical clarity that we simply can’t be wrong.

All of our answers simply fell into our laps as we attuned ourselves completely to the lovely East Coast energy.

We will be actioning our plan over the coming months ahead of moving home to the ever so fabuliciouz Gold Coast & hope you will all enjoy this transition as we share snippets of what will be our final nomad relocation.

Once we’re home, that’s it, we’re done!

Miss Milly has already been SOLD, our camping gear is next followed by miscellaneous items that we no longer require in our lives.

Whilst we will forever treasure this time spent exploring our Nation, we are beyond looking forward to going home to our loved ones, back to our beloved East Coast energy & enjoying our unique Gold Coast Caldera lifestyle again.