Watermelon & Honey Slushie

Warmer weather on our mountain top gets us in the mood to party!

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Who doesn’t love a refreshingly cool fruity concoction on a warm day?! This combination of juicy watermelon with the sweetness of honey will definitely give your taste buds a tingle! And I’m sure that the booze hounds among you out there will very quickly work out how to sully this one 😉

It’s another easy 3 ingredient wonder of awesomeness from me to lift up your Summer!

Simply start with 6 crushed ice-cubes, add in some roughly chopped watermelon (about 2 cups worth which is a smaller wedge of the melon) & drizzle in a teaspoon of honey (I always use a local raw honey).

Grab good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) to blitz that lot into a fabuliciouzly cool slushie!

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Thai Green Chicken Curry

A fabuliciouzly quick & easy curry that’s sure to please the whole Fam-Bam!

This is another gem of a dish from my post ballet arsenal that I can not believe I haven’t shared with you all already! Forget stopping for takeout on the way home, you’ll have this whipped up quicker than the store can!

Simply pop a pot of water on to boil, salt & cook off some rice before draining.

While that’s happening, grab a medium pot & bung in 2 diced up chicken thighs then pour over a 400ml tin of coconut milk. Get that onto a medium heat to cook off the chook.

In a small pot, pour in a 400ml tin of coconut cream & gently heat it up before popping in 2 tablespoons of Thai Green Curry paste along with a splash of soy sauce. Stir it well to incorporate & then add it into the chicken pot. Give the whole lot a jolly good stir.

Whack in the cooked & drained rice & dish up!

Now that’s the base recipe! Back in the day, before Mini-Me, I used to use 4 tablespoons of the curry paste which makes it really pack a spicy punch! Also, if you have a wee bit of extra time, load that curry up with a gazillion veggies for a more substantial meal.

Pan Fried Ricotta Gnocchi

Delightful wee pillows of fluffy potato that simply make you smile.

I’ve always loved making my own gnocchi. There’s something which I find just so satisfying about taking a humble potato & creating a fabuliciouz meal from it. Now that Mini Me & I are both Coeliac, I thought my “fluffy pillows” ,as she calls them, were yet another distant memory of our culinary past but NO! I have discovered a Gluten Free recipe which is a somewhat acceptable alternative.

Start by popping 3 large, starchy tatties into a pot of water & bringing to the boil. Make sure you leave their skins on so that no water can get into them. Once they’re cooked through, peel them whilst hot (careful not to blister the prints off your fingertips!) then use the fine side of your grater to mimic what a potato ricer would do with a nice fine shred.

Make a well (hole) in the centre & add 1 egg yolk with enough ricotta cheese to knead into a dough.

Heat some oil in a pan to shallow fry before pinching bits of the dough off to roll into balls then use your thumb to add a slight depression in the middle before placing gently into the hot oil.

Turn the gnocchi carefully to crisp up both sides before removing to drain any excess oil.

You can team them with your favourite pasta sauce or whack them through a fresh salad.

Strawberry Jam

My Fam-Bam loves my Homemade Strawberry Jam

declaring it to be sticky yumminess!

Honestly, making your own jam is dead-set simple! You’ll be amazed at how easy it really is using your slow cooker! Imagine the delight on your loved one’s faces when you give them a jar of your very own homemade jam, made with love.

So grab yourself a kilo of strawberries, give them a quick wash then chop the tops off & cut them up roughly. Bung them into the slow cooker along with a chopped up green apple, ensuring you leave the skin on (this is where the pectin is which is what sets your jam).

Pour in a kilo of caster sugar & 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Give that lot a jolly good stir & whack the setting on high for 4 hours with NO LID.

Then all you have to do is just give it a blitz with good old Mr Buzzy (aka stick blender) & pour into sterile jars.

https://foodforage.net/2016/09/07/how-to-sterilise-jars/

Yep, that’s it! Homemade jam! YUM!

Yellow Fish Curry

A surprisingly easy curry to whip up in a flash!

This taste of Thailand will surely become a post ballet quickie favourite for my Fam-Bam!

Simply heat a glug of peanut oil (or whatever type floats your boat) in your wok over medium to high heat before adding in 1/2 cup of Thai yellow curry paste. Stir fry that until it’s beautifully fragrant, another way to tell it’s done is when the oils start to separate.

Bung in 1 cup of coconut cream & stir it through. Bring it to the boil, then reduce your heat to medium-low. Whack in a couple of diced fish fillets (I use Basa but love Barramundi too – any white fish will do) & just let that cook gently, giving it the odd push about the wok now & then.

When the fish is cooked through (it turns lovely white, sort of like a self timer!), turn the heat completely off & stir in 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of brown sugar & 2 teaspoons of fish sauce.

Serve it up with fluffy white rice & It’s Chompin Time!

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.

Layered Tatties

This is a recipe from my Mother in Law, which I’ve adapted.

Traditionally, in Hungary, they use cabbage rather than potatoes.

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Start by steaming some peeled whole potatoes until they’d pass for par-boiled then slice them up into thin discs.

Heat a wee splash of oil in a frypan & brown off 500g of mince (I use chicken mince but whatever type floats your boat is fine) along with a teaspoon of minced garlic. Remember to season generously with salt & white pepper.

Pop 1/2 cup of rice into a pot of boiling water & once cooked, drain & bung in with the mince, combining well.

Grab a nice baking dish & let’s layer up – tatties on bottom, then mince/rice mix, more tatties, more mince/rice mix etc making sure you end with tatties on top.

Next, make the sauce by simply combining 1/2 cup each of thickened cream & sour cream seasoned with salt, white pepper & paprika. Pour over the layers then simply drizzle extra thickened cream around the edges of the dish to ensure it remains nice & moist.

Whack that into a 200c oven for 40 minutes.

Coconut Chocolate Truffles

Voluptuous Dark Chocolate enrobes seductively moist Coconut

that’s sure to send your taste buds into a Mouthgasm!

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Grab yourself a mixing bowl & bung in 2 & 1/4 cups of desiccated coconut, 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil, 1/3 cup of coconut milk, 1/4 cup of maple syrup (the real stuff guys!) & 1 tablespoon of vanilla paste then give that lot a jolly good stir until it’s nice & sticky so you can form balls with it – if it’s too wet add a wee bit more desiccated coconut or if it’s too dry add a splash more coconut milk.

Form the mix into ball shapes (this requires some gentle squeeze & pushing action rather than traditional rolling) & pop those onto a baking paper lined tray & whack in the freezer for at least an hour – you can leave them in there overnight if you want to get prepared for a party or something of the sort.

When ready, break up some good quality dark chocolate into a bowl & place over a pot of simmering water, be very careful for the water NOT to touch the bottom of the bowl or your chocolate will seize, & allow that to melt before dipping the coconut balls into the chocolate to cover them completely. Let them set on another baking paper lined tray.

You could get fancy with decorating them with some shredded coconut or use a fork to impress lines in the still wet chocolate.

When all the balls are dipped, simply set them in the fridge before devouring greedily!

Taco Bites

This is my spin on reinventing a classic to make it finger food friendly.

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Most people love tacos, the spiced meat, luscious sour cream, a tang of cheese & a splash of sauce usually are a crowd favourite. But it’s just a wee bit messy sometimes trying to juggle a drink whilst scoffing down even the daintiest of ‘cocktail’ tacos as you try to remain the epitome of elegance. So, I have played in my kitchen to come up with this Taco Bite to give you all the fabuliciouz flavours of a Taco in the easy to handle form of a ball. You may applaud me now & call the Nobel Prize people.

Brown off 500g of chicken mince before seasoning with a 30g packet of Taco Seasoning Mix which you’ve blended in 3/4 cup of water. Give that lot a jolly good stir then allow to simmer gently whilst you crack on.

Next, bring a pot of water to the boil, add salt & cook off 1 & 1/2 cups of rice. When done, drain & bung in with the chicken mince, stirring well.

Throw in 2 handfuls of grated cheddar cheese along with a whole tub (300g) of sour cream. Mix that lot well then allow to cool & refrigerate overnight.

The following day, crush up a bag of plain salted corn chips to crumb consistency then place in a dish.

Retrieve the meaty taco mixture & roll chunks of it into whatever sized balls float your boat, then coat them in the corn chip crumb before placing them onto a tray. When all done, put the tray of taco balls into the fridge to set for about an hour.

When your guests arrive, heat up some oil in a fry pan & shallow fry the balls to golden perfection before draining on some paper towel & serving with salsa dipping sauce.