Monday, 14 April 2014

M is for Menu Plan Week 4

Bear and her dad

After a wonderful camping trip last week (thankfully we were back home before Tropical Cyclone Ita swept through) I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of a regular routine.  Thus this post is late.  Sorry about that.  To make up for it I have included next Sunday's meals as well so you can see what we are planning to have for lunch and dinner on Easter Sunday.

Sunday Dinner - Beef and Red Wine Stew
Monday Dinner - Baked Sour Cream Chicken and Veggies
Tuesday Dinner - Sausage Casserole and Mashed Potato
Wednesday Dinner - Cheat's Pastitsio and Green Salad
Thursday Dinner - Chicken in Pyjamas, Chips and Salad
Friday Dinner - Tuna Mornay Vol au Vents and Veggies
Saturday Dinner - Beef Stronganoff and Veggies

Easter Sunday Lunch - Roast Lamb plus sides and Easter Apple Pudding
Easter Sunday Dinner - Lunch leftovers plus Pasta Salad   

Morning and Afternoon Teas include - Malted Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, Cheese, crackers and veggie sticks, Frozen Yoghurt Pops and Strawberry Yoghurt Cupcakes.

Lunches include -  Savoury Pikelets, Fish Finger Wraps, Sandwiches, Chicken and salad rolls,

What is your family planning to eat over Easter?

Sunday, 6 April 2014

M is for Menu Plan Week 3 Campstyle

Setting up camp
Setting up camp

I haven't created a regular menu plan for this week as our family is going camping tomorrow.  Instead I have linked to recipes for some of the meals and snacks we are going to cook this week - some for the first time.

Breakfasts will include cereal and toast as usual but since we are on holidays there will also be pancakes, bacon and egg muffins and scrambled eggs on toast.

With us arriving at the campsite just before lunch tomorrow we will be trying out Tacos in a bag for easy dining.  On other days we will have sandwiches, pita breads and wraps.

I would love to try out some new camping recipes for dinner but many of the ones I am interested in are for cooler weather and wouldn't suit Bear and Bee's tastes at the moment.  So I have bookmarked them for future camping trips.  We are however going to have Meatball Pasta with a salad and crusty bread,  'Gourmet' hot dogs and Chicken Fajitas (on page 32 of the book). 

For snacks we are taking fruit that transports well like apples, trail mix, crackers and vegetables sticks.  For a sweet treat I have packed this Gingerbread and these Malted Milk Chocolate Chip cookies (and are Bee's new favourite cookie) which we baked today.

What are your families favourite foods to take camping?

For more camping food ideas, make sure you have a look at our Camping Pinterest board.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

A is for Aprons on my friends


On my bedside table at the moment is The Smallest Things: Thoughts on Making a Happy Family by Angela Mollard.  This book has been responsible for many a late night reading and as a consequence a few days where I have been less of a morning person than usual - not that I am much of a morning person at the best of times.  More of a wake at a reasonable hour and go to bed at a reasonable hour kind of person which hasn't actually happened since having children.

Anyway back to the book at fault.  The Smallest Things is a fantastic read.  Mollard writes columns for many of our weekend newspapers around Australia and has also appeared on television.  I have thoroughly enjoyed her honest, heart felt and uncomprising style of writing in her columns and likewise in this book. Not all of 'The Smallest Things" makes for a cheerful read, even though the title may suggest it would, but I won't give away too much here.

The chapter titled Sponge Cakes and Spoon-Licking is all about children and food (and where the title of this post comes from).  Mollard covers everything from cooking shows to fussy eaters to why we need to eat meals as a family but not in front of the television.

My favourite quote from this chapter -

"Crucially, if we're to restore a respect and appreciation for good, nourishing food then we need to get kids making their own meals." 

My thoughts exactly!

There's much more covered in this book than food but that's for another blog. I would encourage you to get your hands on a copy of this book.  With school holidays coming up you may even find some time to read it at a reasonable hour.

Enjoy your break if you get one.

PS. If you are interested in buying a copy of this book to read you can click on my affliliate link below.  

The Smallest Things: Thoughts on Making a Happy Family  

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

B is for Bunny Break Muffins

Carrot and Banana Muffins

These Carrot and Banana Muffins are the perfect snack for your hungry bunnies.

Carrot and Banana Muffins

Makes approx 12.  We made 9 regular sized muffins and 12 mini muffins.

Carrot and Banana Muffins
Download the recipe card here.

1 medium sized ripe banana, mashed
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable or light olive oil
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup finely grated carrot

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Line muffin pan with paper cases. This is a good step for all young children to help with.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla.
4. Sift flour and cinnamon over the banana mixture.  Add carrot and gently mix together.  Be careful not to mix too much or the muffins will be tough.
5. Spoon the mixture evenly among the paper cases.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when lightly touched.
7. Cool on a wire rack.

Carrot and Banana Muffins
Carrot and Banana Muffins

To make these muffins even more Easterish (I'm sure that's a word), we iced them with Cream Cheese Icing and used fruit stick lollies and mini marshallows to make carrot and flower decorations.

Carrot and Banana Muffins
Bee decorating the muffins

Cream Cheese Icing
Beat 30 grams soft butter and 80 grams soft cream cheese in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.  Gradually beat in 240g (1 1/2 cups) icing sugar.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

M is for Menu Plan Week 2

Naan Bread

Menu Plan Week#2

Here's our menu plan for the coming week.  We encourage Bear and Bee to help with meal preparation wherever possible.  Things like setting the table with cutley and cups of water are activities they can do every night even when it's not appropriate for them to help cook.  This week Bear and Bee will be helping to make the Naan Bread to accompany the Curry.  This is something they have done before and both girls love to make and shape the dough.

Sunday       Dinner - Chicken and Cashew Stir Fry with Brown Rice
Monday      Dinner - Spaghetti Bolognese
Tuesday      Dinner - Roast Chicken and Vegetables
Wednesday Dinner - Sausage Hotpot and Vegetables
Thursday    Dinner - Curry Chicken, Brown Rice and Naan Bread (Kids cooking night)
Friday         Dinner - Fish Burgers
Saturday     Dinner - Barbecue with family

You might notice that we have brown rice as a side dish on two nights this week.  I am thankful that Bear and Bee actually prefer the healthier brown rice to regular white rice so I try to include it on our weekly plan where I can.  The downside to brown rice is how long it takes to cook so we use microwavable brown rice which is much more convenient.
Morning and Afternoon Teas include – Yoghurt, Biscuits, Fruit, Crackers and Cheese, Muffins, Pikelets, Weetbix Slice, Muesli Bars and Sandwiches.

Lunches include – Meat and salad rolls, Wraps including Chicken and salad wraps (using leftover chicken from Tuesday night) and Fish finger wraps, and Sandwiches.

Friday, 28 March 2014

3 Finds for Friday #2

3 dolls

This post is a return to a feature that I started about this time last year and then promptly forgot to do each month. Sometimes these posts will be more regular than once a month and other times I will just stick to once a month.  It depends on what I find interesting and what I think you will find interesting too.

1. Lunch box Dad. What a great blog. This dad has so many fantastic ideas for kids lunchboxes.  I am working my way through the archives and writing a long list of ideas.  If you need inspiration for your kids lunches check out this blog.  I am definitely going to try the Frozen inspired lunch idea.

2. 40 Tips, Activities, Games and Recipes from A Mom with a Lesson Plan.  I have found a few great lists and checklists for camping in preparation for our trip on the school holidays.  Many of them I have added to our Camping Pinterest Board.  This one has so many good ideas that I wanted to highlight it.  I plan on using the collapsible bins idea for laundry and rubbish.  As well as the light up bug craft.    There are so many good ideas on this list.

3. Bee is very interested in learning how to write and do 'schoolwork' at the moment.  She loves any activity to do with her name and loves to point out her letter (the first letter of her name).  This list of 10 ideas for helping children to write their own names from Living on a Latte, will definitely come in handy.

Enjoy your weekend :)

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

C is for Camping 2014


In a little under 2 weeks some states of Australia are lucky enough to start their Easter school holidays.  Now that we live in the tropical north of Queensland we are going to take advantage of the wonderful holiday locations and, along with our new tent, get to know this part of our home state a little better.

And since I am always looking for ideas on how to do things better I have been scouring Pinterest for Camping Food and Organisation tips. 

Jillian from A Mom with a lesson Plan has a great list of ideas to make camping easier and fun.  I am definitely going to try out the Walking Tacos, number 6 on the list of Yummy Camping Recipes. Although I will probably use a healthier style of corn chip bought in bulk and divided up into small zip lock bags.

It's not food related but placing solar powered garden lights near the tent ropes is a great idea from One good thing by Jillee.   As is the clever camp kitchen organiser.  Check it out!

For more great camping ideas, head on over to our Camping board on Pinterest.  There's a link in the sidebar.

Do you have any sure fire tips or menu items for camping with kids?