OUTDOOR PLAY

Today I’m joining in with my friend Jane from Mama Pea Pod with her regular Outdoor Play linky. Jane lives in Hungary (how cool is that?!) and the weather is getting warmer there, while it is getting much cooler here. We have, however, had a little bit of sunshine over the last few days which has been glorious.

Frog & Bear got the paint brushes out again quite a bit this week for a spot of water painting in the back yard. Our paintbrushes live permanently on the window sill at our back door, along with some bubbles and some sidewalk chalk. I feel very grateful to have an enclosed backyard and when the kids are under my feet I just herd them outside – calms everyone down (especially me!)

Sometimes, you just can’t tell when something is going to capture your child’s attention. You can spend a long time setting up activities but they play with it for 2 minutes and they’re on to something else. Yesterday we struck a winner when I suggested, in a flippant attempt to get the kids out of my hair, that they go & hide their toy cars in the garden in a twist on ‘hide ‘n’ seek’ and they played for what seemed like hours. You just can’t predict these things.

Can you spot the cement mixer in the picture below?

Where have you been outdoors this week?

EASY PEASY LUNCHBOX WINNERS

I’m on a quest for healthy (ish) school lunches for Goose and in particular – sandwich substitutes. So far the stand out favourite has been the ‘Mini Egg & Bacon Pies’.

This is a recipe that has been in our family for as long as I can remember. These were requested at every single birthday party without fail when we were growing up and my sisters & I have carried on that tradition.* They are always a hit and perfect to freeze and pull out for school lunches, when friends come over for lunch or when you need to bring a savoury plate. They are great warm and great cold.

MINI EGG & BACON PIES

250g shortcrust pastry
3 rashers bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon chives OR 1 onion, chopped
3 eggs
1 & 1/2 cups of milk OR cream
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
125g cheese, grated
salt & pepper

1. Set oven to 190 C.
Fry bacon & onion in frying pan. (Or just the bacon if you are using chives)
3. Beat eggs & add all other ingredients.
4. Line a greased muffin tray with pastry rounds. I use the top of a wine glass or a scone cutter.
5. Put tablespoon or so of mixture into each one & cook for 15 mins.

* This can be made into one large pie also. Just blind bake the pastry first for approx 10 mins and cook at 180C for approx 40 mins.

Coming close second in the lunchbox stakes are Zucchini & Ricotta Muffinsstay tuned later this week for the recipe. I am keen to try these, these & these which I think could be winners also.

What are your lunchbox winners?

If you’ve got a healthy lunchbox recipe, whether sweet or savoury, that you’ve already posted about – please link it up below. Or you could always write a new post – just to link it up here! It would be great to have a resource of lunchbox ideas, that are tried and true by bloggers & their kids, that we could all go to with just one click!



*With the exception of the Japanese party & the Pink Party as it just didn’t fit the theme ;)

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 #11

This week’s easy peasy dinner winner is Taco’s.
Of course the easiest option is to buy a packet of taco seasoning, but one day I hadn’t bought any and knew there must be a DIY alternative out there. So, I did what I always do and googled it. This version only takes a minute or two anyway.


DIY Taco Seasoning

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

If you want it a bit spicier – add some cayenne pepper. If you want it less spicy, omit the chili powder.

You can keep this in an airtight container in the cupboard for whenever you need it.
When I need it, I add it to 500g beef mince and a chopped onion.

The favorite in our house is to use soft tortillas for tacos. These are delivered each week in our Aussie Farmers delivery (Our shelves would be bare without Aussie Farmers!). I also use tortillas for lunch wraps, as pizza bases or for thin toasted sandwiches.

As I do when we make our own pizzas, I just put lots of small bowls on the table full of things like:
grated cheese
grated carrot
shredded iceberg lettuce
chopped capsicum
diced tomatoes
slices of avocado
and everyone makes their own.
It’s often a big mess and the cheese gets eaten first, but some of the vegies do manage to go in at some stage. In some more than others.

After being inspired by seeing some great easy peasy desserts on many of your blogs and realising that, unlike me, many people do have dessert after a meal more than once a month, I’ll now be including a quick dessert every now and then on a Tuesday. So, feel free to link your easy peasy desserts as well as your easy peasy meals each week.
The following is one I have been known to do when unexpected guests arrive…tastes divine. Came from the Donna Hay ‘Food Fast’ cookbook. Another title I like!


EASY APPLE TARTS

2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
2 apples (pink lady or sweet apples)
brown sugar
melted butter

Preheat oven to 220C. Cut each pastry sheet into 2 pieces. Core the apples and slice thinly. Place the pastry on baking trays lined with baking paper and top the pastry with a layer of apples down the middle. Brush the apples with melted butter and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes or until puffed and golden. Serve with thick cream or ice-cream.

Now it’s your turn!
Take a photo of your dinner tonight, or sometime this week, & link your easy peasy recipe down below, so that we can all give it a go. Don’t forget to link back to here in your post so others can join in the fun and have access to some great new easy dinner recipes.
Alternatively, feel free to just link up an old post that you’ve written if it contains what we’re after.
Remember – no dinner is too easy!
Bring on the easy peasy desserts as well – yum!


EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #7

Got this quick & easy vegetarian curry recipe from my sister quite a few years ago.
Back when I, who hated cooking and had a VERY small repertoire, needed some easy recipes to pop on the table.
Being forced to cook a meal every night for kids has given me a whole new confidence in cooking – forced experience really.
My (slightly annoying) children don’t like the same meal to be repeated within a two week period, so I had to move beyond the tuna casserole (learned in Home Economics in year 10) & spag. bog. every few nights.
I, unfortunately, don’t actually make this one any more because none of my kids eat pumpkin any more. None of them. :( But they all love pumpkin soup – what is with that?!
PUMPKIN & LENTIL CURRY

1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cup pumpkin, diced
1 cup potato, diced
400g can lentils, undrained
400g can tomato pieces, undrained
2 tbspns chopped fresh coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in large frying pan. Add cumin, tumeric & garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in diced pumpkin, potato, lentils and tomato pieces, combining well. Cover & simmer over a low heat for 20 mins or until pumpkin & potato are cooked through.

3. Add coriander leaves and salt to taste and serve immediately.

GUEST RECIPE:
from Simoney at Great Fun 4 Kids

SPEEDY CHICKEN NACHOS

Ingredients:
500g chicken meat, diced
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can mild chilli beans
1 cup frozen corn

PLUS:
corn chips (large bag)
grated cheese
lite sour cream

Method:
brown the diced chicken in a little oil until cooked through
tip in can of beans
tip in can of soup
tip in cup of frozen corn

On individual plates arrange the corn chips and sprinkle grated cheese over. Microwave each plate on high for 30secs or until cheese is melted.
Spoon chilli mixture onto chips and top with a blob of sour cream.

Enjoy the fact that you have a delicious meal full of goodness ready in 10 minutes flat, fifteen tops.
(serves six)

Simoney’s blog is always full of honest, down to earth posts about herself & her family.
She also runs Kids Click which is well worth a look if you parent some budding photographers!


Next week I am hoping to set up a linky to this post, so think about those easy dinner recipes that you whip up every week, pop it on your blog and link it up next Tuesday!

For more easy peasy dinner winners click here.

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