There’s nothing like a Good Old Burger Bar! Over the weekend we had long time friends over for lunch. We try to get together a few time’s a year. They are what I call refreshing to my heart and soul. Truly God given friends! My girlfriend and I organised food last minute… realising we needed to feed 14 mouths for lunch, it needed to be fast and go the mile. When was the last time you created a burger bar? Or have you ever made one? It’s too easy to create. Looks impressive and everyone is so satisfied. My go to tips on creating a fun concept; •Always buy organic beef mince. •Don’t add anything to it other than an egg and well seasoned. •The best burgers are how you layer it. Eg; Fried eggs, Jalsburgh Cheese, housemade pickles. •Make your own condiments if you can. •Serve condiments in little jars. •Use different heights to display elements.eg; place condiments on a makeshift shelf. •Create an easy line up method •Always serve your burgers on fresh buns and add loads of hot fries! WINNER WINNER!
Bagel Bar Ready to entertain this weekend? I’ve discovered in this season of motherhood my favourite time of day to entertain is breakfast. Guests arrive around 9:30-10am. The breakfast ideas are endless. The chats can be long and the day isn’t over by the end of the gathering. Most importantly, I have my most energy to serve! I also love hosting a good lunch too. But as for dinners… That season can wait. I am exhausted from huge days wearing other hats. My mission by 4pm is to get 5 children to bed as happily as possible. Bagel Bar is definitely worth a try! Don’t forget to buy free range eggs and organic bacon/ham! Help our local farmers that are doing the right thing.
Who doesn’t love a good curry. And making your own paste will give it an authentic taste that will see you NEVER buying store bought pastes again. Not to mention it’s a slow cooker recipe. No fuss meals!
3 generous Tbsp of yellow curry paste
1kg of Organic Chicken Thighs cut into large portions. Cut off as much of the fat as you can
2 yellow onions slided
2 carrots peeled and sliced
5 white potatoes peeled and cut in half
3 cups of my chicken or veggie broth
1-2 Tins of organic coconut milk (to your taste)
Rice to serve. I’m currently loving black rice.
Place paste, chicken, onion and stock into the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 3 hours
Add chopped potatoes and continue to cook on low for 2 hours.
For the last 1-2 hours add the thinly sliced carrots.
Turn off slow cooker and now add the coconut milk.
(Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5.)
Alternatively you can brown onion and chicken in a pot with some olive oil, place to one side. Add more oil and fry the paste for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients except the coconut milk and simmer until potatoes are soft. Stir in coconut milk once you remove the saucepan from the heat.
Note * this is a larger serve because we are a large family. Halve it if need be or better yet freeze up the leftovers!
Who doesn’t love Mexican night?! And who doesn’t love salsa. In my home I try to do a cook up every few Saturdays. I will clear my schedule to cook and get on top of sauces, stews, broths, pastes.
If you own a blender or processor this is the perfect way to eliminate those nasty numbers and sugars by making your own. Simply throw all ingredients into the processor and blend to your likening. Chunky or smooth!
Please note: I have a large family so I make everything in huge batches. Fresh salsa keeps in my fridge for 1 month.
I’ve said it before, I can’t get enough of Middle Eastern flavours. Each bite feels like I’ve been teleported back in time to an age long ago. And in the beauty of it- these flavours are still used and cooked to this day. Recipes are handed down from generation to generation and special secrets are added along the way. The spices are just as beautiful and vibrant and the flavours never disappoint.
Here’s my own take on Stuffed Capsicums. You can always use Zucchinis or tomatoes. This is one I’ll be passing down to my children and I they no doubt will pass the recipe along to their families too.
6-8 fresh Capsicums (a variety of colours looks pretty)
500g Organic Beef Mince
1 cup of Basmati and Wild Rice combined.
3 Tbsp Pine Nuts fried in a little butter
3 Tbsp Olive Pil
2 Large Onions finely chopped
4-6 Cloves of Garlic crushed
100 g Fresh Tomatoes crushed or canned (organic is best)
1 Grated Carrot
¼ tsp Tumeric
½ tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper
Handful chopped fresh Coriander
Small handful chopped fresh Parsley
½ cup Chicken Broth
400g can chopped Tomatoes
2 cups of Chicken Stock (or as much as required to cover the vegetables half way up.)
Dash of Cumin
Dash of Paprika
2 cloves of Garlic crushed
Preheat oven to 185c
Cook rice according to packet instructions. Rinse. Set aside to cool
Slice the tops of the capsicums off and reserve to use later as a lid
Cut out the inner seeds and white flesh
Char around the outsides of all capsicums giving some nice black bits. (Adds a great flavour)
Heat oil in a pan
Cook onions and garlic
Once they look translucent add your spices and cook through
Add the beef and brown nicely
In a bowl mix the meat mixture with the rice, stock, pine nuts and fresh herbs.
In a deep dish fill each capsicum leaving 1cm for filling to expand then place the capsicum lids on top
Combine tomato broth ingredients and mix well.
Drizzle all over the Capsicums, filling it up to half way. Add some filtered water if you need to.
Cover with foil and cook for 40-50minutes until nice and soft.
I’ve been kicking myself for the past few years. I can count the amount of times I’ve cooked this dish on one hand. Don’t let that change your mind about trying this recipe. I should of cooked it A WHOLE LOT more! And I intend to. I’m not lying when I say, it’s the best lamb I have EVER tasted! It falls apart, it melts in your mouth and the flavours. My oh my! I’ve really made this dish my own. Don’t be scared to play around with it to create your own special version of this stunning recipe.
Okay, Let’s do this!!
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small brown onion, chopped
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves
1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons mild paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
Organic Lamb shoulder (nice and large)
2 Red Onions quartered
2 Fresh quinces quartered
5 Fresh whole figs or 8 dried
Small handful of Apricots
Manuka or Raw Honey
Butter for frying
Preheat oven to 150c
Blend all Chermoula ingredients in a processor. Cut small incisions all over the lamb. Smother the lamb shoulder in the paste. Allow it to marinate overnight.
Using a large Dutch Oven add a few tablespoons of olive oil.
Brown the onions and quince. Once brown transfer to a plate.
Brown the outside of the lamb all over to seal in the flavours. Place onions, quince, apricots, figs all around the lamb. Fill the oven with filtered water up to 1/3 of the way. Making sure it’s not covering your lamb.
Drizzle with honey all over.
Place in oven and cook for 1 hour.
Take out, baste the lamb in its juices. Add a little more water if it looks dry. (Mine never does, I’m sure you’re on the right track.)
Drizzle a little more honey and cook until your liking.
Take out if the over, keep covered.
Fry a handful of almonds in butter until browned.
Scatter almonds, pomegranate seeds and some parsley and corriander leaves.
In my household I continuously have an internal debate over how to get a full amount of fruit and veggies into my babies bellies. My take on a Minestrone Soup has been a crowd pleaser in our home and ticks off so many vegetables it has me feeling all the warm and comforting feels as I watch everyone slurp it up!
2 brown onions diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
3 celery stalks sliced
2 large carrots diced
1 large sweet potato diced
3 (or 2 large) zucchini’s diced
3 tins of organic crushed tomatoes
A few stalks of kale shredded (or beans, spinach)
2 litres of my vegetable broth
250g peeled button mushrooms
2 400g tins of Cannelloni Beans (washed)
2 sprigs of rosemary roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese to serve
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry onions and garlic with Rosemary for 3 minutes.
Add carrots and celery for 3 minutes.
Transfer all ingredients (except beans) into a slow cooker and cook on a slow setting until done.
Too with more filtered water if too thick.
Once done add your washed beans for another 20 minutes.
Serve with Parmesan on top and fresh crusty Sourdough.
One of my all time favourite memories from living in Canada is having a roast dinner after church with Yorkshire Puddings. The way they perfectly soak up the gravy, then you pour more gravy just to have with with your pud. When Jennifer said, “hey you should see if there is a recipe for Sourdough Yorkshire Puddings” I was on it… anything to use Gus (my sourdough starter) and add to @sourdoughstory. Simple and delicious, check it out
PREP – 5 mins BAKE – 30 to 35 mins
1 cup (227g) milk (any works)
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (113g) sourdough starter, active or discard (I used active for mine)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (120g) White Flour
In the microwave or in a small saucepan, warm the milk until it feels just slightly warm to the touch.
Combine the warm milk with the eggs, sourdough starter and salt, then mix in the flour. Be careful not to over-mix; if it still has some lumps thats OK. The batter should be about the consistency of thickened cream.
Heat a muffin pan in the oven while it’s preheating to 230°C.
Remove the hot pan from the oven, and spray it thoroughly with non-stick pan spray, or brush it generously with oil or melted butter. Quickly pour the batter into the muffin tin, fill cups just below the top; this leaves room for expansion.
Bake the Yorkshires for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 190°C and bake for about an additional 10 minutes, or until the Yorkshires are golden brown.
Remove the Yorkshires from the oven and serve straight away.
After some investigating, I finally found the best Sourdough Cinnamon Scroll recipe, with my own few little tweaks of course. Simple process, over night ferment, no stand mixer or a second rise, they turn out fluffy and super yummy (oh, and addictive!)
Prep Time – 20 mins Cook Time – 35 mins Fermenting Time – 12 hrs (Overnight)
Mix the dough 12 hours before you plan to bake: (I did mine at 8pm) Use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into a mixing bowl. Add the flour and use a bench scraper to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour. Add the sourdough starter discard, milk, lemon and honey. Mix with a spatula until the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover the bowl and let rest on the counter for 12 hours.
MAKE SURE YOU DON’T add the salt, baking soda or baking powder. This will be added right before rolling out the dough
THE NEXT MORNING (8am – depending on your 12 hours)
Preheat oven to 190°. Grease lightly with butter a large cast iron skillet (Baking Tray would also work).
Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside. Melt butter to also set aside
Mix the salt, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl with a fork until there are no visible lumps. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the dough and mix it in with your hands. Generouslyflour your bench and turn the dough onto it. Flour the top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 30cm x 50cm rectangle.
Coat the top of the dough with the melted butter and spread cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the surface leaving a couple centimetres bare along the edges. Starting on one side, roll the dough into a log shape. Use the bench-scraper to cut the log into 12 pieces. (approx. 4cm) Place the portions in the cast iron skillet, leaving space in between each piece to expand.
Bake the cinnamon rolls for 30-40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar while hot.
Would you believe all five of my children have had it. Watching their little bodies squirm in pain is heartbreaking.
I must admit the more children I’ve had with it the more we’ve learnt about the strange positions we would manoeuvre our children to get the gas up or to help the pains to stop.
When Noah was two weeks old we saw the colic and reflux in full force set it. As first time parents I wanted to do the best I could although I was so far from being an expert on babies! I needed help pronto! A mothers intuition is strong and I knew something wasn’t right. Noah wouldn’t settle in my arms, no position helped. After taking him to our local Dr, he recommended a strong medicine to ease his tummy and stop the silent reflux.
Personally, I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t put strong medication into my sons body. I pushed further and saw a paediatrician. I explained to her right off the cuff I didn’t want to medicate. Asking if there was another way?
This woman was sensational. She explained to us that all three of her boys had both symptoms also. She lived around the corner from a little old Chinese lady. That lady recommended she drink ginger tea every single day. In a few days it would come through her milk to feed her sons. Ultimately easing their tummies.
On top of that information she also shared with me different positions to nurse my baby. Breastfeeding him on an angle so the milk stayed down. Keeping him sitting up right for half an hour after his feed and then finally eliminating foods that are high triggers for colic babies.
I changed my diet to have:
* Ginger tea morning and night
* No citrus foods at all
* No foods that contain seeds
* No acidic foods. (That is no tomatoes, onion or garlic)
* Brauer baby and child colic natural medicine. It’s a formula that’s been created hundreds of years ago. Now traditionally used in homeopathic medicine. (I’ve hardly used this, however so gentle on the tummy)
I got to say by day 3 I could see a difference with Noah. His tummy pains were easing. We positioned his mattress on an angle which also helped to keep his milk down.
I was really strict with this and the results were wonderful to see. Plus the bonus of a good nights sleep for us all. I see the pain always set back in when I have a sneaky pizza or dinner party. So I try to cleanse quickly with more Ginger.
My children are normally in this pain for four months. We rock them in the bassinet, baby wear them, dance around the house trying to position them to ease their symptoms. In the end friend you do what you need to.
I highly recommend implementing these strategies for best results.
And remember you’re not alone parent! I’m always here to chat it out with you too. Sending you strength and peace in this season. They are only little for but a blink of an eye.