IN AN EMERGENCY…

As I’ve mentioned before, I organise a “craft” once a month for our MOPS* group. Last week at MOPS we made Anna’s Emergency Cookies. It even comes with a free printable….and you know how I feel about those, as well as having a soft spot for things in jars!

As the school holidays were coming up I felt it the perfect item to have on the shelf when looking for an activity for the kids or if someone is coming over. Also a good gift for someone who has just had a baby. Of course we had to test it out…

& there were a couple of very willing helpers, especially when it came to licking the spoon.

It just so happens that we have had such emergencies more than once over the last couple of weeks. I have never been good at biscuits but these are the best biscuits that I’ve made in a long time! Nice and soft and chocolatey & by the fingers in the photo below you can see I’m not the only one that feels that way…


While we are on the topic of Anna… She passed on to me a lovely blog award a month ago now… thanks so much – I’m honored! Anna’s blog Shiny Happy Art is one of my absolute favorites, for her honesty & sense of humour, her fantastic artwork and her shared love of birthday parties & simple meals.

As part of the Liebster blog award, I need to list three other blogs that I like which I feel are worth some “extra attention”…

Sarah from Oesch & Doots – for her beautiful photos & thoughtful thoughts on motherhood.
Brenda from Mira Narnie – whose been a friend right from the start of this blog and has great recipes & craft ideas!
Kate from Loose Change – although she hasn’t blogged in a while (hint, hint) I really enjoy her intelligent and down-to-earth writing. I also feel privileged to have her as a friend in real life!
Lucy from the Kitchen Maid – for her creative writing and yummy recipes – someone else already gave her this award, so I thought I’d just give her an honorary mention!



* Mothers of Pre Schoolers. The other MOPS craft activities that we’ve done this year are here and here. All things that can be made quickly and very easily. The activities are for the Mums while the kids have their own program.

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS … & lunchbox dilemmas

During a conversation about lunchboxes and Goose’s ‘like it one day, but not the next’ approach to school lunches, it was realised that Mr FGB and I are both actually the same as her when it comes to eating! If a meal is served up twice in a fortnight it just feels a little boring…we are not so enthusiastic. We need a bit of variety. While Mr FGB and I are a little more grown up and will eat it anyway (and Goose needs to suck it up girlfriend and do the same) I feel that it may be time to broaden and expand the mealtime repertoire.

I found this hard for most of last year and just too much pressure as quite frankly, if you’re on your own with three kids, you’re exhausted, your brain feels like mush and you’re trying to do a thousand other things at the same time it is much easier and peasier to prepare something you’ve done many times before and just go on autopilot. Preparing something they might like, as opposed to something you know every one does like, has much more appeal! Now that Mr FGB is around a little more I might be able to manage one new recipe a week. That’s the aim anyway.

With the abundance of basil in our garden, I was inspired this week to make homemade pesto. Super easy and so delicious. Head over to Alice Becomes for simple instructions on how to make your own pesto and ideas on how to use it in different meals. I can still smell the basil in the kitchen as I type and the thrill of using lemons and basil from your own garden is priceless.

I have a few more easy meal posts in the pipeline, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, if you’re after easy dinner inspiration, and you’ve checked out all of mine, a blog that I like to frequent is Crumbs – they even list recipes by the time it takes to make them. Check out their pesto with a difference in the 5 minute recipe section.

If you’ve written a post about an easy peasy recipe – leave a link in the comments.
How often do you try new recipes?
Do you have any ideas for healthy lunchbox sandwich alternatives?
All suggestions gratefully received!


Easy Truffles

I’ve been making these deliciously simple truffles* since my childhood. They are probably the easiest recipe that I have ever put on this blog. They don’t need any baking and it’s fun for the kids to help out with. Careful though as they’re very morish…
 
 
EASY TRUFFLES
 
1 pkt marie biscuits, crushed
1 tin condensed milk
1 cup coconut
2 tbspns cocoa
(1/2 cup coconut extra)
 
Mix dry ingredients, add condensed milk and mix well. Roll into balls and roll in extra coconut.
 
 
I was going to link up this post with the lovely Lucy, The Kitchen Maid. Sadly, no more linky :( but I’d highly recommend that you do go and look at her blog… She has such a way with words and some truly great recipes. I have bookmarked too many to count!
 

 
* or rumballs as we used to call them. They don’t have any rum….but you could always add some!

GENTLEMAN’S RELISH

A while ago I purchased a tiny jar of homemade ‘Gentleman’s Relish’ for Mr FGB at my friend’s regular little backyard market made by my sister’s friend Kat. The ingredients of butter, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and anchovies had me intrigued and I knew it was the perfect gift for a man who fancy’s himself as a bit of a gentleman.*

It is a form of anchovy paste which is eaten on nice warm toast.

After polishing the whole jar off in about 5 minutes flat, he was practically licking the inside of the small jar when he said “WHAT was THAT…and where can I get some in larger quantities!?!”

As we happened to have a jar of anchovies in the cupboard (doesn’t everyone?!), he set about experimenting and making up some of his own. We discovered later that this is the recipe that she used.**

GENTLEMAN’S RELISH

  • 150 g butter
  • a few pinches cayenne pepper
  • a few pinches freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tin/jar anchovy fillets, drained and mashed roughly

1. Put the butter, cayenne pepper and a little grated nutmeg into a medium-sized pan and melt over a gentle heat.


2. Add the anchovies and stir for a couple of minutes until they have melted, but don’t let the mixture boil.

3. Pour the relish into a ramekin. Put in the fridge to set.


4. Serve spread thinly on nice warm toast.

Have you heard of something like this before? Could it be the perfect, quick and easy handmade pressie for the gentleman in your life this Valentine’s Day? …… although on second thoughts maybe fish breath is not quite what you’d be after….. it is apparently quite delicious though!


* And rightly so!
** Mr FGB just blended the ingredients together with electric beaters to get the look you see in the photo instead of melting the butter. We’ll melt the butter next time.

EASY PEASY CHRISSIE WINNERS

These two extremely quick and easy recipes (along with my trusty shortbread) have been my “go-tos” this Christmas season! They could not be more simple or more delicious!

CHOC ROYAL CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS

1 packet Chocolate Royal biscuits
white chocolate melts
jaffas
mint leaves

Dip biscuits in white chocolate or spread on top (please don’t look too closely at mine…) to look like custard on a pudding. Pop a jaffa on the top along with some sliced mint leaves to make it look like a piece of holly on the top.  Make sure your chocolate is not too hot, or the jaffas and leaves will just slide right off!

P.S. Not a good idea to keep them in the fridge as the jaffas can start to fade & turn white.

So simple & quick to do, even the kids can join in with the making of this festive treat. Also makes a lovely gift.

I have never been a fan of rocky road, but this one changed my view completely! My friend Lauren gave me some of this recently & I just had to get the recipe – now I just can’t get enough! Everyone loves it! Thanks Lauren!

LAUREN’S ROCKY ROAD

200g block of dark chocolate
1 pkt of marshmallows
2 turkish delight bars
1/2 cup desiccated coconut – toasted
1 large handful of unsalted peanuts.

Halve each marshmallow and cut up the turkish delight into small squares.
Mix with coconut & nuts.
Melt chocolate and mix well with all ingredients until all ingredients are well coated.
Spread out in a lamington tin and refrigerate until set.
Cut up into chunks.

P.S. If you’re feeling guilty that festive Christmassy food seems to be sooooo bad for the waistline, check these Santa crackers out!

Just for something to do (you need those things during the school holidays…) Goose tried some of these quesedilla snowflakes for lunch yesterday which may or may not have looked just like the ones in the picture….


COCOA IN A JAR…

One of the things we have been making for neighbours and friends for Christmas this year is ‘Cocoa in a Jar’. I’m quite into the ‘jar’ at the moment. This activity may in fact remind you of my ever favorite soup in a jar.

I found this idea here at one of my favorite printable party destinations.

It even comes with free printable gift tags and instructions!

It tastes divine too!
We had to make some first for ourselves, just to see if it tasted OK of course! Using a candy cane as a stirrer and leaving it in the mug…mmm… even better. I am a bit of sucker for hot chocolate.

You can vary the amounts to suit your jar size and add whatever ingredients you like, but mine has:

1/2 cup milk powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder (the unsweetened kind)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 crushed candy canes
enough green & white mini marshmallows to fill the jar

The recipient just mixes it all together, puts a spoonful or two in a mug and just adds hot water.

Enjoy!


EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #22


Oriental Fried Noodle Salad

1/2 – 1 Chinese Cabbage or Savoy Cabbage, shredded finely
6 spring onions, chopped
100g lightly roasted slivered almonds &/or pinenuts
1 pkt Chang’s Fried Noodles 100g

Dressing:

¼ cup White Vinegar
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
1 tblsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (Optional)
½ cup Olive Oil

Mix all the ingredients of the Dressing in a saucepan. Stir well over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Cool. Combine the Cabbage, chopped spring onions and almonds in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well. Just before serving add the noodles and toss thoroughly.

Addition 02/11: This recipe just got even easier! Chang’s have now put out a bottle of the dressing that goes on this salad! That just cut down the prep time by half!


This delicious recipe, from the back of the packet of Chang’s Oriental Fried Noodles, is a very well known salad recipe and can be found at many a group BBQ when one is required to bring a salad. It is so easy to make and tastes amazing. Add about 300g of shredded BBQ chicken or BBQ pork and you have a meal on it’s own.


You may have noticed that today is Wednesday and not Tuesday, the regular day for easy peasy dinner winners. It’s just getting too hard for me to do a regular post every week. So this will be the last regular easy peasy dinner winner post with linky. I would like to say a huge thank you to all of you for the fantastically easy recipes that you have passed this way over the last 6 months.

Addition – as the linky tools are no longer free all of the links are no longer accessible :(

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #21

It’s party time at our house at the moment with the little Frog turning two this week. So I thought I’d share a recipe that we have been having at parties for years, but at this time of year would be perfect for a lunch or a dinner with a bit of a salad on the side. You could even make them into giant rolls. It’s always a hit with both vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Savoury Rolls

{AKA Vegetarian Sausage Rolls}

source: Sanitarium

420g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 small onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander

½ cup rolled oats

1 egg*

½ medium capsicum, finely diced

2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

2 sheets reduced fat canola puff pastry, defrosted

Milk for brushing


Method

Place kidney beans, onion, garlic and coriander in food processor and pulse until blended but still coarse. Transfer to large bowl. Add oats, eggs, capsicum and chilli. Mix well.

Cut each pastry sheet in half. Spoon mixture down one of the longer edges. Brush opposite edge with milk. Roll, starting from the mixture edge, to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining pastry sheets.

Brush logs with milk and cut each log into 5 even lengths.

Bake in hot oven, 200° C for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden.

Makes approx. 20.


Serve with Sweet Chilli Sauce.

I’ve obviously sprinkled a few sesame seeds on mine too, just for that extra touch;)


*I have substituted the egg for some grated zucchini when making this recipe for vegans and it works really well and I’ve brushed the pastry with rice milk.


For a ridiculously easy sausage roll recipe (of the carnivorous variety) check out this Cheats Sausage Roll recipe here.

Now it’s your turn. Link in below with your easy peasy recipes sometime this week.
If it’s party food, dessert or a main meal, it doesn’t matter.
Just don’t forget to mention this linky in your post so that other people can join in the fun!

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #20

So, today’s recipe isn’t exactly a dinner, but it is easy peasy!

As I am still at my Mum’s I forgot to pre-upload the photos that I had planned for today, but this one was in my camera. Next week stay tuned for a winner of a vegetarian sausage roll recipe.

I quickly whipped this up the other day when some friends were coming over around afternoon tea time. I had hardly anything in the cupboard as being without a car for the last few weeks (due to a certain incident) had meant few trips to the shops. What I love about this recipe is that I always, always have these ingredients in the cupboard and it only takes 20 mins. in the oven. I’ve been known to quickly put this together 5 minutes before impending arrival of guests on many an occasion.

EVERYBODY’S FAVORITE SLICE*

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup SR flour
1 tbs honey
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup sultanas
125g butter

Place in a mixing bowl all dry ingredients. Melt together the butter and honey and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly. Press into a greased, flat tray and bake in moderate oven for approx. 20 mins. Top with lemon icing if desired.

You may or may not have read in this post, that my very clever sister Clare made a new header for me and a new button for easy peasy dinner winners every Tuesday. Please feel free to put this on your side bar or on your easy peasy post and link it back to here.

Now it’s your turn, link in below with your easy dishes, dinners, desserts, snacks, whatever, but please remember to link back here so that others can join in too!

* ‘Taste & See Anew’ – Bible Society of Australia.
This recipe from B. Hall, Stawell Branch.

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #19


I have been finding it even harder than usual to find time to blog, so I actually don’t have a recipe for you all this week. Photos of meal times just didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t do with some more from you all!

If you haven’t already, I recommend you go and have a look at some of the recipes from previous weeks that people have linked in. There are some great recipes. I am building my repertoire constantly, thanks to you generous people! I haven’t tried them all, but I’m on my way! Last week, we made this roast chicken and we’ll definitely be repeating that one – easy and delicious!

Link in below with your easy peasy dinner winners! Please! I’m always desperate for inspiration. Don’t forget to link your post back to here so that others can join in the fun!

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