Saturday, 31 January 2015

Mixing business with pleasure!!!

Anyone who knows me, know I love to cook!

It’s my pleasure!

Late last year I went to a “tasting” for some blends of spices, dip mixes, flavoured oils and the like.

It is mostly organic products, which I am super passionate about and I really felt I could use and help others with simple recipes with these products…

I didn't intend to blog so much about the products as I have another platform for that, but is was bound to organically happen! (Like what I did there???)

Anyway, a few weeks ago Daughter E and I were watching Judy Joo on TV she has a great show called Korean Made Simple…. If you are that way inclined do yourself a favour and watch that show!!!

So she did this dish called Bulgogi and it featured these amazing little things called rice cakes. This is the first time I had seen them and they looked delish!! And Judy did a great job of selling them too us via the description as she chowed down.

Now we are blessed to live in a very multicultural neighbourhood, with a strong Asian grocer presence and we LOVE IT!

I thought no doubt I can find these rice cakes locally and I did, first shop we asked at… BINGO!

So I have used them a few times and thoroughly loved, but tonight was something different and a bit more special.

Maybe it was the fact Daughter E cooked almost the entire meal or that there was only a few ingredients that made it just so darn tasty.

Anyhoo… it was an amazing dinner and I want to share.

There was only mumma bear, Daughter E and Baby O so to be honest 2 serves but you can double/quadruple this no worries.

Now for the sauce it really was a true balancing act of flavours – a few sploshes of this a sprinkle of that – taste and repeat… sorry that’s the only way it worked but I urge you to try too.

I’m calling this Tasty Chicken with Rice Cakes and Greens:

5 Chicken Tenderloins sliced thin

1 bunch of Asian Greens (anything at all) sliced

½ bag of Rice Cakes

Tablespoon of Rice Bran Oil

I then used in both marinating my chicken and my base sauce a Spice Blend called Asian Stir Fry from YIAH

For the base sauce: A few sploshes of Tamari, a heap tablespoon of raw sugar, juice from ½ a lemon, a small knob of grated ginger and a splosh of Mirin and a tablespoon of Asian Stir Fry spice blend.. Mix taste and adjust as required… I added more sugar but that was about it! Stir and leave…

So I sliced the chicken into strips and added a tablespoon of the spice blend and left in a bowl to marinate.

While I did that Daughter E placed the rice cakes in a bowl and covered with water.

Daughter E then chopped the greens and set aside.

Then she grated the ginger into a bowl, and added everything else for the base sauce. And left to sit.

I then got out the wok and out on high heat with the rice bran oil, once hot added the chicken and cooked for about 2 minutes.

I then added the greens, rice cakes and base sauce, gave it a big toss and put the lid on the wok.

We went to set the table and pour a drink (very essential).

Then I took the lid off and gave another big toss…and we were done!

I tasted for any seasoning but it was all good.

We served and we ate and we enjoyed!!!
Prep work done!

Base Sauce

OMG does not even come close to how tasty this was...

Rice Cakes.. Sorry can not translate that!
If you want any info on the YIAH products please visit me here.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Pancakes make everything a little better!

Sadly one of the things I love doing rarely gets done.

I love cooking and writing about it and my life on my little blog.

When I signed in today, I saw it’s been about a year since I came in and sat down here and put pen/clicks to paper/blog.

Really sad for me…..

But it is pretty much a reflection of how busy life has been for about a year now and I think I would like it to slow down a little.

I had a really rough trot into the end of the year, with finding a dreaded lump in the old boob which turned into MANY biopsies even one on Christmas Eve. For anyone who has had to go through that, it’s just bloody horrible! It’s horrible finding something, sitting in waiting rooms, having the actual biopsies, more waiting and finally results! For me I am one lucky chook! Sadly for others in that waiting room it was not the same result. And the other horrible thing is I have to go back every six months to be checked again, which I hate! As I now have this timeline hanging over my head that I must adhere to!

I know I am super dooper lucky and should not be here complaining, but I am!

I have had that and a whole heap more going on and I am feeling all a bit sorry for myself at the moment.

But when I woke up today I just wanted a little time away from all the problems.

See Daughter E has been in Sydney for over a week with her grandparents, so I just have Baby O at home. And he likes to wake pretty early to start his marathon of cartoon watching. I thought let’s start the day with a good hearty, healthy-ish breakfast!

Pancakes it was!

I made a nice little platter of strawberries, blackberries, banana, shredded coconut and some goat’s yoghurt and of course some maple syrup!
Baby O had already stared on the Strawberries :)

Baby O and I smashed those bad boys and it really made everything a little better!

Pancakes, a nice cup of tea the sound of the rain tapping on the window and Dora the Explorer exploring in the background has made for a nice start to the day!


Pancake Recipe:

Crazy simple recipe which I’m sure I have written about before on my Facebook. This batch I made smaller just for the 2 of us…but it still made heaps!

Just remember its 1 cup of Self Raising Flour, 1 cup of Milk and 1 Egg!

All in a bowl and mix – THAT IS IT!

Cook in a pan with a little Coconut Oil or Butter, whatever you like.

You can double it to 2 of each for a bigger family and add whatever you want to the batter.

When I am missing Bali I add Banana straight into the batter, or grate up Apple…it really is endless.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I'm in LOVE!

I have been bitten by the Paella bug.

It started a few months ago when I had a really bad one at a work function. We all said how sad it was to receive such a terrible dish seeing it’s usually so amazing.

Then at my work Christmas party I had another, and it was AMAZING!

Seeing my family love rice I thought it might be worth trying to get this one under my belt and break it out for special occasions.

So my first go was at our Boxing Day catch up with my family back in Adelaide. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to make a dish I had never made before on this day when I had to cater to around 20 people. But I did and it was really good.

The next time was when we returned home to Melbourne and had the in laws here. Again it was seriously good. I love love love seafood and this just ticks so many boxes for me. I think you could do just about any combination and it would come up pretty tasty.

The recipe I used was off the SBS website (Paella) but I used chorizo, prawns, squid, mussels and baby octopus in the one below. I added the chorizo the same time as the onions and then all the other seafood when the recipe says to do so.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

And the New Year is here!

Last year I faced so many challenges and changes to my life. It seemed that all the things that made me happy were put on the back burner. I realised in October that it just wasn't working and I needed to do something's to change my/our life.

A few little things have happened but there are a lot of things that still need to happen and put in place for my little family to really thrive.

What I realised is that I had made many good decisions over 2013 and then some really bad ones. The bad ones effected the whole family and I see now how that is just not fair. Especially to the little people in my life and of course not to the hubby.

So this is the year for more "them time" as I got a lot of "me time" last year.

I have decided that Daughter E doing dancing is more important than staying late at the office. So I will finish work on time to make that happen.

I have decided that playing on the floor with Baby O is more important than rushing around the house trying to clean things that are going to be dirty in the morning anyway.

I have decided that having date night with Hubby must happen more than once a year. Even if it is just some time together once the kids are in bed.

I also decided that not going to University and studying was my biggest regret. So I enrolled in Teaching Period 3 last year and am now on my way.

So this is my starting platform from where I are going to leap into a great 2014 and beyond. I will continue on with my simple, healthy home cooked meals for my family and share all the good ones with you. I would LOVE to say I'm going to get fit and exercise this year, but I know that is never going to happen.

Hope you have had a fruitful 2013 and it has given you some things to reflect on and work with for this year.

Feel free to share if you have, I would love to know!

Thursday, 14 March 2013


We are by no means a well off, wealthy family.

We earn just enough to make it through to the next pay day at the moment.

Seems I forgot that going back to work part time meant I lost most of my der!!!

Anyway, as we are originally from Adelaide we have a huge love for AFL and our home team Adelaide Crows.

Even though we live in the home state of AFL we never get to go. We use to take Daughter E but now with Baby O on the scene there is no way we would actually see the ball with the amount of entertaining he currently needs.

So we had been playing with the idea for the past 2 years to get Foxtel, (as most of our Crows games are not played on Free To Air TV). We decided seeing we don't have buckets of cash to blow on Fox we would have to get a real basic package just so we could watch some sport!

Well Hubby was really sick 2 weekends ago (it was his birthday weekend of all things!), so I decided while he was in bed sick I would go ahead and get us Foxtel.

The most basic of basic me!

When he was better I let him know and he seemed pretty happy I had bit the bullet.

So after a few attempts of failed installation we finally had it up and running.

The night it was installed we all sat around the remote and flicked away. What we did notice was that we had every channel. I thought seeing we were so nice to the guys who installed it maybe they hooked us up with some "extras".

So for the first few days we were watching everything I had every dreamed of watching....
Cake Boss
DC Cupcakes
Anthony Bourdain
30 Rock and the Kardashians (my guilty pleasure).
We were freaked out by Honey Boo Boo and Toddlers & Tiara's but none the less we had it all...

Daughter E & Baby O had Dora every morning and we could actually get ready for work without stress, crying and screaming.

But then just as it was here it was gone. 

Gone I tell you...did you hear me all gone!!!!!

Every good channel gone :(

So I am guessing that they do this to you so you have a mental breakdown and slight panic attack so you will call up and ask for every channel back.

Well played Fox, well played....

But no I wont fall for that (and cant due to the $$)

We have the sport channel and that's all we wanted (wipes a tear from eye).

So next weekend we will be happy in the comfort of our lounge room watching some footy finally!

Now on another note I mentioned on my Facebook page that I cooked an awesome meal the other night.

Well here it is...I was super inspired by Vegie Smugglers Salmon Piklets, but had to make some modifications to what I had in the house.

So I made Corn & Zucchini Piklets with Smoked Trout. It was rough measurements so please have a play with it and see what works for you.

1C of Wholemeal SR Flour - Sifted
3 Free Range Eggs
3/4C Soy Milk
1 Cob of Corn - cooked and cut off the cob
1 Zucchini - Grated and squeeze out excess liquid
1 Handful of Coriander - chopped up
S&P to taste
Rice Bran oil for shallow fry
1 Smoked Trout - take all the flesh off and keep aside.

I placed everything into a bowl and mixed away. If the mixture is too runny add some more flour is its too dry and another egg or some more milk.
Heat up a pan and add a couple tablespoons of oil to fry the pikelets. I just used a soup spoon and spooned the mixture into the hot pan. For the adults I used a couple spoon fulls.
Cook for about 1-2  minutes each side and drain on some paper towel.

Then just pop the pikelets onto a plate and top with some smoked trout. For the Adults I then poured over some sweet chilli, natural yogurt and big squeeze of lime.

I just wish I made more as the kids loved them and asked for them again the next night!

Super good any night of the week
Oh and check out these photo's....
Daughter E wanted to make her dad a Star Wars Cake for his 30th....With no time to plan that seeing she told me about an hour before we were going to cut this beautiful store bought mud cake, this is what she came up with.

Cute hey!?
Add caption

Thursday, 7 March 2013

MIA but with good reason.

I know I have been very absent from my blog of late, but it is with good reason....

Well actually not good, pretty bad to be honest.

Baby O is still recovering from Pneumonia and is also being treated for Asthma (not diagnosed though).

It has been tough times...seriously never before tough.

And to be honest I'm over it!

I know it's not his fault and try not to get too angry around either of the kids, but I'm tired and stressed most of my days.

To make matters even worse this heat is killing me!

Summer you can now be gone!

So the simple home cooking has been a bit non exsitant too.

We have had many a roasted chook, done every way possible. And a lot of pasta with pesto!

But I am hoping after next week when this insane heat goes away (fingers crossed) I can get back into the swing again.

I did have the hankering for a Curry though the other week. And I saw a really good one on Good Chef, Bad Chef (Yes I have been watching even after I said never again when the dropped Janella Purcell).

So below is the link to the curry, it was pretty darn good. It is not a thick heavy, creamy curry, it is more soupy...well that's how mine turned out.

Sri Lankan Style Chicken Curry

Forgive the messy bowl...but it was so yum!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Living in the land of the lost

Over the past few weeks thing's have been mental!

We got through the Christmas School holidays..just!

We had many nights of little to no sleep.

We had 2 VERY tired kids...and 2 VERY grumpy parents!

We had a dreadfully sick little man and a daughter feeling a bit unloved!

We have had very little good food, due to all of the above!

So now I am hoping we have turned a corner and we can get back on track. 

Below is a story of a spanner that was thrown in our works last week:

After 7 weeks of a sick little man I decided to see another Dr as the first one didn't really do much.

Baby O had been coughing all night for about 7 weeks upon our change of Dr's and I basically told him there is something not right and we need some help.

Dr was great he sent us straight off for a chest X Ray. That was on a Friday....on the Monday I came out of a meeting to have a message on my work phone to call the Dr back ASAP.

So this is when the initial panic set in. I called the Dr back he asked me to get my husband and go the see him straight away.

By the time my husband and I got to the Dr we were both a mess...crying the works!!!

Finally we go in and get told the Baby O has Pneumonia.

We didn't know if that was good news or not...but would take it as we had something more horrible in our heads!

So now we are on some hardcore antibiotics to help get rid of saying that we are back to the Dr today to get new meds and he cant take the one we were given.

So I really have been living in the land of the lost. I feel like I have been a walking zombie for the better part of those 7 weeks. 

It really put hubby and I to the test...again!!! And poor Daughter E was unintentionally put on the back burner while we just tried to make it through a day.

Back on the up and up now (fingers crossed).

Daughter E has started Grade 1 and is so super proud that she can walk herself to school.

Baby O has started walking or should I say running around.

And hubby and I are still just trying to make it through each day!

Ah the joys of it all..... are some pic's from the last few weeks!

Sibling love
Some park time
Flying Fox time!
First day of Grade 1
Baby O trying to get in to Daughter E's room
He waits patiently
My Australia Day looks like the map doesn't it!?

This is what my street looked like for the past 3 weeks!
Busted out a Veg Lasagne one night!

Crumbed A LOT of Flathead
But it was delish!