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 ;)

SIMPLICITY CHOCOLATE CAKE


SIMPLICITY CHOCOLATE CAKE

2 tbpsn margarine or butter
1 tbspn cocoa
1 cup SR flour
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 tspn vanilla

Grease an 8″ ring tin. Heat oven to 180C. Melt butter.
Put all ingredients in bowl & add butter. Beat for 3 mins. Pour into tin.
Bake for 30 mins.

A scary addition to this recipe (now in hindsight 35 years on) is that it suggests that this cake
“can also be cooked by placing tin on asbestos mat in frypan at 220C” !!
Not likely!

There you have it.

It then goes on to list many quick and easy variations to the recipe to change it to another flavour, eg. banana, orange, etc.
Lou has tried a few if you wanted to give them a go.

Ever since a friend made these fun cupcakes at playgroup a few months ago, I have wanted to give them a try! You actually cook them in the cones – fun! I found a Donna Hay recipe on line. I didn’t have much time, so I thought I’d substitute her recipe for the simplicity chocolate cake and it worked fantastically well! (even with the four that somehow oozed out the bottom of the cones onto the tray…..) I did follow Donna’s suggestion of putting some chocolate pieces at the bottom of each cone before putting in the mixture though…. yum!
It also works well in little muffin cases, which I tried this week also. Moist and yummy.

Reality check – I often think that I can do more than I actually can – all that baking did not all eventuate. I did have to tell myself that, although I do really love to be involved in the community and do my bit – and surely a cake is an easy way to contribute – that one just can’t ‘do it all’ and sometimes you just need to hand jobs over to others… but 3 out of 5 ‘aint bad. On that same note, my odd socks have reached new heights and this morning I counted 35!

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #10

As promised, this weeks’ easy peasy dinner winner is from my beloved ‘Nursing Mothers Cookbook’ circa. 1975.

The subtitle says it all – Recipes for Busy Mothers.

My copy was a gift from my mother when I left the nest at the tender age of 18. I have spoken to many others who were gifted the same book for a similar departure. The recipes that I use are easy for me to find as they are covered in the splatters and spills of regular usage.

This weeks’ recipe is a little like Lou’s delicious salmon in foil recipe that she linked in a couple of weeks ago.
STEAK IN FOIL

500g rump or oyster blade steak
butter
1 packet brown onion sauce mix
1 tablespoon each chopped onion & green pepper
125g mushrooms, chopped
salt & pepper

Grease foil with butter. Sprinkle half the mix over. Place the steaks on foil. Chop green pepper & onion & put on top. Add mushrooms & rest of sauce mix. Put dob of butter on each steak. Sprinkle with pepper & salt. Fold up into parcel & cook in moderate oven for approx. 40 mins.

The recipe must have been adapted by my mother as her recipe was even more simple:

some oyster blade steaks
cover with a couple of tbspns of ‘mushrooms in butter sauce’ (see photo)
sprinkle with some brown onion sauce mix &
1 onion, diced.

Wrap in foil.

Bake at 180C for approx. 40 mins.

I wrap each steak in it’s own individual parcel, but you could do them all in one.
Meat comes out beautifully tender (if not overcooked) and is great served with mashed potatoes & vegies.
I found a similar recipe in this funny, yet perfect book &
Mum’s version may just fit into the ever popular 4 ingredients cookbook too!

And just when you thought you’d seen the end of this ‘farm’ party…this book even comes in handy at party time!

Apart from being the source of the shortbreads and mini egg & bacon pies (that we’ve had at every party since I was born!)….

…for the first time I tried the classic and all time favourite ‘Simplicity Chocolate Cake’ from the same book!
My mother-in-law has used this recipe for every birthday in her family for the last 35 years!
True to it’s name – it is very simple.

As a side, and on the topic of easy….this year, after nabbing the idea from one of Goose’s friends birthdays, instead of using icing, I just whipped some cream with a little bit of castor sugar and a dash of green food colouring. Much quicker and easier to ‘frost’ and much easier to eat!

I have a ridiculous amount of reasons to bake this week. Both Goose’s school and our church are being polling booths for this weekend’s election and have asked for baked goods to sell at their obligatory cake stalls and sausage sizzles. A cake for a family function on the weekend and I also need to produce something celebratory for Bear’s birthday at playgroup and creche at ‘craft’ this week so I think this ‘simplicity chocolate cake’ recipe page may just get covered with the spills of regular usage also. I’ll post this simple recipe in a day or so when I get a chance, so stay tuned.

Anyway, off my little soap box.
No, I was not paid by NMAA to advertise their book.
(Or the Australian Breastfeeding Association as it is now known).
It’s just that it did seem to fit so well into the easy peasy theme ….
I’m sure some of you have a copy of this book – surely! If you don’t it is actually still in print (now that says a lot!) and you can buy it here. Or ask your Mum, she may just have one on the shelf that you can borrow.

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! Thanks to all those who have posted in the last few weeks. Go and check them out if you haven’t – there are some real winners there!

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