Real Hummus

Ever wondered why your homemade Hummus didn’t taste like the stuff you eat when dining at a Middle Eastern Restaurant? I’m sure all my Middle Eastern friends who read this will laugh at me… it actually took me about 9 months to test, try and research to finally find the most AUTHENTIC recipe. Honestly!! I would ask anyone I could and they would give me some recipe using canned chickpeas… I mean, there won’t no cans of chickpeas in the old days. I wanted the most original and best recipe I could find.

So here goes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Dried Chickpeas
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2- 2 1/2 Lemons (taste as you go)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp Chilled Water
  • 1/2 tsp Bi Carb Soda

Method:

  1. Soak and cover chickpeas overnight
  2. Boil chickpeas in water with 1/2 tsp bicarb soda until soft
  3. Drain
  4. In a processor add all ingredients. Taste and add a little more of what you desire… could be garlic, cumin, lemon juice.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of Olive Oil, Paprika and flat bread.

Yum.

Jennifer X

Ps: the will give me 3 contains worth. I freeze 2 of them and thaw when needed. I’m our family we go through one a week. So I make a fresh batch every 3 weeks! X

Mama C’s Italian Tomato Sauce

Anything housemade is sure to have the wow factor. What I love about homemade pasta sauce is, it looks impressive! With very little effort. Typical pasta sauce is based around a peasant diet from the 1700’s. So most of these ingredients are around my home most days to add flavour to other dishes.

Ingredients:

2-4 kilos of Tomatoes. Cut in half

4 Onions, diced

7 cloves of Garlic, minced

4 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup Red Wine

4 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

4 Bay Leaves

Small bunch of fresh; Basil, Thyme, parsley.

2 tbsp Dried Oregano

2 tbsps of Pepper (or 2-3 anchovies… don’t be scared they do the same thing, add salt!)

Good pinch of Pepper

2 tsp of Bi Carb (to make it less acidic)

Method:

Fry Onions and Garlic in oil

Once slightly browned add all other ingredients.

Simmer for 2 hours. Be careful not to boil it.

Blitz to your own consistently. We prefer it chunky and organic.

Store in air tight glass jars. Freeze until ready to use.

Simple. Tasty. Enjoy.

Jennifer X

Sausage Rolls (2 Ways)

This is a standard meal in our home. It’s always served with Noah’s famous Greek Salad and plenty of Tomato Ketchup!

500g Organic Beef Mince

3 sheets of Puff Pastry

1 Onion Diced

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 Carrot Grated

1 Zucchini Grated

1 Egg (plus one lightly beaten as a wash)

1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt and Pepper

OR

500g Organic Pork Mince

3 Sheets of Puff Pastry

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion Diced

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 Carrot Grated

1 Egg

1/4 cup Apple, grated

1 1/2 tsp of Fennel Seeds (smash them down a little)

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Dried Thyme leaves

Salt and Pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 190c

Fry onion and garlic in a little olive oil to caramelise. (Add fennel and apple if making Pork Sausage Rolls when almost ready add vinegar, stir in and take off the heat)

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Divide into 3 portions. Place the meat in the middle of the pastry.

Fold pastry gently around the mixture. Secure with egg wash.

Brunch the egg on top and sprinkle with Sesame Seeds.

Cook until lovely and golden.

Enjoy!

Jennifer X

Mama C’s Stuffed Peppers

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.

Ingredients:

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

Tomato 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

Method:

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

Season

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.

Serve with flatbread and garlic dip.

Enjoy

Jennifer X

Some thoughts on Colic and Reflux in Babies.

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)

* Essential Oil Rollers:

2 drops of DigestZen

2 drops of Peppermint

3 drops of Wild Orange or Lemon

Top with fractioned coconut oil.

(Rub on tummy and feet at every nappy change)

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.

Jennifer X

https://www.mydoterra.com/jenniferclanfield//#/

Israeli Pilaf

I’ve been inspired by the flavours of the Middle East for years. I’ve cooked countless Moroccan themed dinner parties and experimented with spices and ways to bring a beautiful meal to the table in a short amount of time.

One of my favourite dishes to bring to the table is an Israeli Pilaf. Every culture in the Middle East serves this dish in their own way. Today I’m giving you a recipe in my own way also…. coming from the ‘Mother of 5, get it done’ recipe! Ha!

What got me feeling good about this recipe was that I could add my housemade Vegetable broth to the dish! Game changer…. I sat there with a winning smirk on my face as my children ate up all it’s goodness.

For the chicken:

1 organic Chicken (save skin and bones to make a broth later).

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp parsley

For the Rice:

2 Tbsp olive oil

400g basmati rice (wash and soak for 1 hour)

300g Organic Lamb mince

700g Vegetable or chicken broth (housemade is best)

1 brown onion

3 garlic cloves

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp all spice

Salt and pepper to taste

50g butter

30g blanched almonds

30g pinenuts

1 pomegranate

1 bunch of Coriander

1 bunch of Parsley

500g Greek yoghurt

150ml Veggie broth

2 garlic cloves

After shredding the chicken toss in the cumin and cinnamon. Cover and set aside.

Heat oil in the pan, slice onion and cook until golden. Add in the garlic and spices. Stir for 1 minute.

Add in the mince and allow it to brown.

Place the rice into the pan and coat it in the oil and spices.

Carefully pour the broth in and season.

Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Once cooked allow to stand for a further 15 minutes.

In this time add yoghurt, broth and garlic in a bowl. Mix and set aside.

Place chicken in a pan and reheat quickly with parsley.

Melt butter in the pan. Cook almonds for a few minutes. Add pine nuts and cook until all golden brown.

Assemble rice on a large platter. Place chicken on top.

Then the nuts and melted butter.

Parsley and coriander.

Finally organically throw your pomegranate jewels on top.

Serve with yoghurt drizzled on top and on the side with Lebanese bread.

Enjoy.

Jennifer X

Family Life in the Midst of the COVID-19.

It’s 7 am on a Tuesday morning, I roll over half asleep, my hand searching for my phone. Trying to wake up, I focus on the screen. I open the news app and check to see how many more cases of this enemy there are. How many more victims has it taken from us. How many more restrictions we must live with. 

I get out of bed and get on with my day with the children. It seems I’ve forgotten what’s happening outside my walls. I’m fortunate enough to not personally feel the brute force of this virus. We school, we play, we are just doing life… then my phone ‘pings’. I pick it up unaware and suddenly I’m brought back to reality again with another announcement from the Prime Minister, or President or a news breaking story. I sit down slowly, engulfed with another article. Another statistic, another plan for action. My children calling my name for attention is drowned out by the photographs I’m seeing of desolate streets in New York City and Europe, the hustle and bustle of the major airports look like a ghost town. 

‘Mum, mummmmmy’ snaps me out of the chill I feel running down my spine. Surely this isn’t for real. It feels like I’m looking at photographs and video footage from a apocalyptic movie, not real life. 

I get on with my day. We get ready for soccer. I hear another ‘ping,’ it’s the coach, explaining soccer us been cancelled. I have to sit down and explain to my son why this is the way it is for the next little while. He seems fine. I’m happy it hasn’t worried him. Now onto the next thing, dinner, baths, stories and Bible, we pray, we pray for our land, for the drought, for our family and friends and the homeless, poor and sick. This time we add something new into our prayers… we pray that Corona Virus will stop. 

‘Mummy what’s the Corona Virus?’

I look to James, I think, I speak calmly. I explain as best as I can…

‘It’s like a cold or flu darling, but it can effect people with low immunity very harshly or the elderly. We need to try our best to keep distance to help the virus to die out.’

Seems like a good enough explanation, the children understand at least to this level. We pray, we tuck them into bed and come back downstairs. James flicks the TV on. He’s watching a documentary about the virus. Trying to become as knowledgeable as he can on the subject. I’m glued to my phone, reading statistics. Reading Facebook updates and statuses. A mutual friend shares a light hearted thought, another shares a funny meme. I scroll on, I then read another status- a sobering one. A warning. I read through the comments, I write some words of comfort. ‘Click’ I send it through and read it. Nope, it doesn’t sound genuine enough, ‘click,’ I edit it and change words around. There, that’s better. That should bring light to the situation. That should help stop the fear. I type the words as if I’m bold and brave as I sit behind my keyboard. Thinking I’m slowly saving the world, one ‘like’ and positive comment at a time. 

James turns the channel over, it’s our latest news report. The crowds of people are lined up to shop. To stock up their pantries. Thinking only the worst. We watch women literally fighting over toilet paper. Empty aisles and shelves are all that’s left for the anchor woman to report on. She stands in front of where the flour and rice would be. It’s all bare- it’s like the Boxing Day sales have come to the local supermarket.

I’ve been ok up to this point. I’m doing my bit, I’m keeping my family at a distance and safe and clean and writing all the feel good social media comments. But now, now I feel a pressure in my chest, I feel that brave keyboard warrior has left. I look over to my husband. ‘ I wasn’t worried.’ I said, ‘I wasn’t worried at all, but now I am, for food.’ 

My thoughts escalate quickly, I realise, it’s not pay week. We can’t get to the shops this week. We can’t stock up for this ‘lockdown.’ We have six mouths to feed, six bums to wipe, what do we do? 

The next morning James races up to the shops to stock up on a few non perishables. An employee approaches the area, ‘Only one pack of toilet paper mate.’ James smiles, takes one six pack while watching the single guy next to him take the last twenty four pack.

He comes home and explains how eerie it feels. People walking around aimlessly trying to figure out what to cook with nothing left. The opening hours are now shorter, he walked past a woman wearing a mask, another shopping in gloves. Later I questioned ‘should you be doing this? Should we be following these ideas?’

The next day I’m driving with the kids. My hand sanitiser is making a ‘tap, tap’ sound as I drive us to the park. It now sits in the cup holder. It’s been promoted from my hand bag. Ready for wherever we go. It’s become second nature now. We stop at the traffic lights. A man pulls up next to us, wearing a mask. We all stare. I tell the kids to just smile and look away. As we drive on Noah asks ‘why is he wearing a mask?’ I remind him of the virus. They seem to forget and are only reminded again when we get back to the car and I’m even more pedantic about using the sanitiser than usual. Will the children catch onto this uncertainty I’m feeling? After playing at the park, they wait while I grab my trusty hand sanitiser, and pump it onto their little hands. As they rub their hands together Scarlet lets out an ‘ohhhhh,’ followed by blowing air on her hands. I ask her ‘what’s wrong?’ She explains she must of scratched herself, ‘the sanitiser is killing germs and it stings.’

That night after our routine with the children we come backdown stairs to what seems like our new routine. Check the news, search for the latest information, the latest statistics. It’s the Prime Minister on channel 9. Addressing our nation. He’s firm, he’s disappointed and he says very clearly to ‘stop it, stop the hoarding, it’s unAustralian.’ He then reminds us that if we do go into lock down we will still have food. The shops will still be open and when this is all over. Our nation will continue under strict rations until our shelves are full again. He estimates about six months. 

I shake my head. I realised I felt that fear, I felt that anxiousness. I read into it. I saw those shelves bare and I thought we had to go and stock up. Once I heard these words from Scott Morrison I was jolted back to a right thinking.

Do I fear this virus? Do I just expect the worst? Do I worry myself sick? Will we be the next to contract it? 

I make a choice, I will not live in fear. There is one greater than this virus. There is one who can annihilate this enemy. There is one that says, “Put your trust in Me.”

I choose to be wise and act accordingly. To be kind to all people and show consideration. I choose to not be afraid but stand firm in the face of adversity. I choose not to run with hysteria but calmly face this as it comes.  

I stop. I pause. That’s enough. That’s enough worry, that’s enough what if’s, that’s enough what do we do? I live in hope.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay Kind,

Jennifer X

Have you thought of everything when preparing for baby?!

Here I am, 38 weeks pregnant with our fifth child! It’s all getting so close now. It’s all so exciting… the kids are buzzing, heck mum and dad are buzzing. I’ve finally set up my birthing area and it feels quiet and cosy. I have my diffuser with oils, candles, towels, soft mats and Bible Verses scattered around my room to provide me with the assurance I need. I look at my birthing space multiple times a day and know soon I will be there. I picture myself in that little area. I can see me breathing through each surge- preparing to welcome our baby. 

I find the more times I prepare for the arrival of each of our children the more prep I do. I add another idea, something to make our lives easier or healthier or manageable. Just little things to keep our family strong while we are in that little newborn bubble of love. And let’s face it. We are a large family. These little tricks done early enough bring about the peace and quiet time I cannot wait for. A time where we just be together, not doing, just being. No distractions, slowing down.

So here it is, my list of ideas provided you’ve already got all the baby essentials and your hospital bag packed. (See here for my baby essential ideas).

The month or two before bub arrives I make litres and litres of broth and chicken stock (if I’m in a hurry). I then create soups, stews, bolognese And lasagnas out of the rich nutritious broth! We pack all these into the freezer in containers. And it lasts us months! Mama gets a break and daddy has the pressure taken off him also. 

I will say here, be kind to yourself and pick recipes (because you are heavily pregnant) that is slow cooker friendly or where you can leave it simmering without watching over it! Summer babies are a little easier with food preparation. We had plenty or fresh salads and BBQS!

So, you’re food is sorted. Let me ask you, when was the last time you changed your bedding? Technically we should be doing it once every two weeks. And we certainly try to. HOWEVER, right about now is a good time to strip the beds and wash them. You want to do this one or two weeks before baby is born. 

Try your best to use low to no toxins in your wash. It can be incredibly harmful for you and your children’s skin. Pick a sunny day to dry them out on the line if you can. Sunshine is a natural steriliser. It kills germs. When you make your new baby’s bassinet/cot up with bedding, don’t make it too early. It becomes a dust catcher. You will know when it’s a good time, do so and then cover it with another sheet. That way the sheet catches the dust and you can wash that easily, not worrying about setting up the bed all over again…. I know, you’re welcome 😉 

I’ve linked the wash I use here. (Check out my gorgeous friends Essential Oil page. Well worth it!). 

My friend, if I can make time to make this simple, pure, clean wash then I know you can. Try it out!

HOLD ON!!!! Before washing those extra clean, soft sheets you need to do something hardly anyone I know does! Clean you washing machine and dryer! Look at your user manual… get it out and read about how to clean these machines. If not, call the manufacturer and ask them to email you a copy. It’s worth it. As for the barrel and where you place your washing detergent this is how I like to clean it. 

  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons of bicarbonate Soda
  • 6-10 drops of lemon essential oil 

Then put a small amount of this recipe into where you place the detergent and fabric softener. 

Click the self clean cycle, or your longest cycle. I like to have my water nice and hot also! Easy peasy! Don’t forget to drain out your pipes to clean out that dirty water also. All this takes us 5 minutes! Then we come back 2 hours later to a sparkling and fresh smelling washing machine. 

Ok, we’ve washed the sheets. CHECK. Made the fresh beds up (who am I kidding, I can’t do anything at this stage in pregnancy when it comes to manual labour. Find someone to help you! James makes the beds in our house.) 

We also use these last few weeks to get a check up at the Drs. The whole family goes. We don’t want to pass any little germs onto baby. They go through enough with labour. It’s their time to get strong and chub up!

Besides the food, bedding and doctors we buy those yummy little chocolate worming tablets…. um, no, I’m happy to report we’ve actually never had worms (maybe it’s the homeschoolers environment, not surrounded by tonnes of kids. Ha) but we try to remember to do this at least twice a year. And also one week before baby is born. 

Tick!! That’s another strange thing we do that not many people think about. 

If you have other siblings for baby, think about what you would like them to wear for those first precious photos. Have a place where they are packed away and ready for daddy to dress the kids. That way there’s no confusion and you’re not bombarded with questions right after birth like ‘what do I put the kids in? Is it warm enough? Where’s such and such’s pants?

It’s a good idea to show the kids what they will be wearing too. So they are on board and there’s no tantrums etc. 

We also disinfect everything. I make a simple spray using EDENS GARDEN Guardian and Fighting Five. I also have a spray to cleanse the rooms where I just buy it. I don’t make this one myself. Click here

Have all your vitamins and healthy kits ready to go for when bub arrives. So everyone is building up a strong immunity. We are about to purchase our very first homeopath kit. I’m so excited! And begin to make incredible Elderberry Syrup. I’ll add my recipe to the blog in the next few weeks! I promise it will be easy. 

Now let’s talk mama to be. What will help you most to be ready to endure labour? Exercise, plenty of water, meditation, reading? All these things I believe are vital! Do them! And do them as often as you can.

I’ve been meditating on God’s promises to me through His word. This is strengthening my mind for the road ahead. Drinking lots of water and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea! Giving my body the energy stores it needs. Taking the right tablets for my body, trying to sleep (damn insomnia) and one week before baby girl is due I have my hair booked in, mani, pedi and a lash treatment! (I know!!! I won it with the best in the biz. Genesis of Nellie and Ellie! I keep saying this will be my most glamorous labour haha). But seriously, be ready the way you want and need to be. Talk to your partner about what you need and how he can support you best. Talk about your birth plan and how you would like it to go. They are your biggest support. After all, you are carrying their child 😉 

Talk often as a family and pray together about your life and the new baby. Chat to your children about what you expect from each of them. According to their age and what they can manage. At the moment Noah has the idea baby will be sleeping in his room (at 3am I will be wishing ha ha) and Scarlet thinks she will be wearing her all day when she is playing and schooling. Aquila acts out where she will sit on my bed to rock the bassinet! It’s all soooooo cute! And I adore them with all my heart for thinking like this- and they can do some of those things. Just not to the full extent. Welcome it, explain how important they are in this family and how much you appreciate their help daily and even more once baby arrives. But also remind them, they too are your babies and you love them just as much and want to dote on them also! Allow for those moments too… probably when baby is sleeping!

And that’s it from me… for now! Just a few little extra things you can do to prepare and to be the best for your family. You can feel ready for baby to grow and thrive. 

I would love to know if there is anything out of the box you do to prepare for a new baby? Something no one ever talks or thinks about! 

Here’s to preparing your home now to reap the rewards later. Breath, and be in the moment. In the present, with your whole family.

Jennifer X