Posts tagged breakfast

Turning fruit-bowl slop into dessert-bowl mmmmmmm

A few bit of fruit that have seen better days....

How was your Christmas, did you overindulge? I did. There’s just so much to tempt me, so much that’s ‘special’ and delicious to eat. In fact the days are barely long enough to fit in all of the eating. There are the breakfasts, brunches, lunches, afternoon teas, early drinkies, dinner, dessert and supper. It’s hardcore, trying to find the time to sleep when you’re so busy shoving good tasting stuff down your gob all day.

Anyway, needless to say, I’m feeling a little worse for wear now. I made the mistake of looking in the mirror. In profile my tummy is sticking out further than my boobs, which is a BAD SIGN. So I’m thinking detox and healthier foods. But to be honest, I suffer a bit of emotional trauma if I go from feast to famine too quickly. Far better for me to ease out of the festivities slowly.

Which is perhaps why I found myself in the kitchen this morning dreaming of fruit compotes. They’re perfect; the right mix of fruit freshness with a naughty sweet treat edge. And justifiable at this time of year, when stone fruit is so abundant. I do that thing in the supermarket where I just buy four peaches and four nectarines and four plums and four apricots (for my family of four). But of course I get home and they’re all too hard to eat. And the next day we check eagerly and find them still like rocks. And the next. Finally we forget about them, and after a particularly hot day I find myself with an expensive fruit bowl soup of wrinkly skins and too-soft bits that are starting to mold together.

So really with this dish, I’m not avoiding detox, I’m just being a frugal homemaker, ensuring that I just don’t waste anything. Of course, I wouldn’t serve this on icecream (noooooo, never), just a bowl of vanilla yoghurt is a better choice.

vegie smugglers peach and apricot compote

And abracadabra! Fruit divinity awaits you.

Peach & Apricot compote

2 peaches
3 apricots
¼ cup brown sugar
Juice of 1 orange
8cm lemon peeling
1 cinnamon stick

Cut a cross into the bottoms of the fruit. Pop in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over the top. After a minute or so, remove them and peel off the skins. Chop roughly (I like a non-uniform texture).

Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. After 5 minutes or so, turn off the heat and leave everything to stew together for a bit.

Serve warm or cold over yoghurt, pancakes, French toast (or icecream). And if you have it, a little drizzle of lime juice on top makes this really zingy and delicious.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Comments (8) »

We love you dad!

It’s Father’s day in Australia this weekend. We don’t do much to celebrate in our house. Particularly since both kids are now toilet trained. That used to the best part of birthdays and special parent days – sending the child with the poo in his pants to your partner, knowing that you just weren’t going to have to deal with it. For his final hurrah last mother’s day, a 3-year-old Mr Meat & Potatoes decided to poo three times in the one day. The bliss! The joy! Escaping multiple sticky revolting messes and knowing that he was all cleaned out for the next day too.

So without nappy avoidance, it’s back to more traditional, servitude methods of celebrating my husband’s greatness. I’ll cook and clean and give him a day off. And I’ve made this week’s craft with a decidedly male bent. No dad will be able to resist these soccer players. They’ll immediately be down on the floor with their little champions screaming “ole ole ole ole”.

Soccer craft sheet for father's day

Ole ole ole ole! Fun for dads too!

Mr Meat & Potatoes is modelling here. The PDF of the Italian football team comes complete with the pitch and 11 players with two different finger hole sizes – one for dad and one for his little protégé. Keep in mind I’ve allowed for big fingers – you might need to cut the size of the circles to suit the digits of your loved ones.

Soccer craft

Baggio has nothing on Mr Meat & Potatoes

And while they’re immersed in their blokey fun, why don’t you whip up these oaty banana pancakes for breakfast. Then later in the day, when they’ve moved to the couch to watch footy finals, you can present them with these healthy and tasty sausage rolls.

Don’t worry, just smile, grin and bear it. Life returns to normal tomorrow.

Like this project? You can find it, along with 39 other boredom busters in the ‘Craft for non-crafty Parents’ e-book. There’s a stack of silly fun stuff, projects that encourage healthy eating and a bunch of worksheets covering preschool education and school readiness. You can buy it at the shop now!

128 pages, 40 projects, 85 pages of printables…

Comments (5) »

How to avoid the sneering barista

Where will you be this Sunday, will you be tucked up at home, savouring your children and some home-cooked treats, or will you be valiantly going forth and trying to deny that your ‘parent’ status has impacted on your café lifestyle?

Ah the joys of brunching out with children.

It goes something like this; stressful car trip, struggle to find a parking spot. Carry offspring to avoid stroller jam. Outdoor table so that tantrums blend into the traffic noise. Wedge kids into hard edged chairs. Mr Meat & Potatoes headbutts table (first of 7 times) and wails. Look around café and see it is half packed with family scenes just like yours and half packed with childless folk, who are hating us.

An unimpressed waitress finally appears to take order just as Miss Fruitarian screams “I WANT SMOKED SALMON”. Smile apologetically – you have no idea how your child learnt how to be so pretentious. Order raisin toast.

The service is slow, so the kids have played maracas with all the sugar sachets, sucked them, busted a few and put them back in the container before the food finally arrives. Inevitably the wee arrives then too.

Drag sugar covered-sticky child to the grotty bathroom. Child assures you “don’t worry, mummy, it’s just a little bit wet”. Fish out spare undies from bag (which also stocks baby-wipes, nappy bags, spare cars, books, crayons, notepads, water bottles and sultanas). Child then decides they actually need to poo. Settle in; try not to touch surfaces. Wait. Finally done. Dress, wash hands, back to find food is cold. Other child being restrained by partner who is grimacing but assures you they’re having a great time.

Eat cold food as partner goes straight to counter to pay – you don’t have time to wait for hungover waitress to get your bill. Back to car. Strap in. Drive home only to realise you left blankie behind.

Next time, do everyone a favour and just stay home. Make these healthy hashbrowns and avoid all those (other) wretched children.

Oven-baked, healthy hashbrowns.

Save yourself on Sunday mornings with home-made hashbrowns.

Oven-baked hash browns

The combination of onion and parsnip is absolutely delicious in this dish. Microwaving the whole vegies first speeds up the cooking time and gives a nice creamy texture.

1 potato
1 swede
1 sweet potato
1 parsnip
1 onion, peeled, grated
1 tsp parsley or chives, finely diced
Salt & black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for cooking

Preheat oven to 200C. Line a large oven tray with baking paper.

Soften the vegies individually by cooking them whole in the microwave. Try 3 minutes on high for the potato, 2 minutes for the swede, 2 minutes for the sweet potato and 1 minute for the parsnip. Allow to cool slightly. Peel off the skins and grate the soft insides. Transfer to a mixing bowl, mix through the onion, herbs, seasoning and olive oil. Use your hands to combine well.

Form thin patties. Place on the oven tray, drizzle with oil and cook for 25 minutes, turning once during cooking.


Like This!

Comments (7) »

The best mother’s day pancakes

It’s Mother’s Day in Australia this Sunday. Time to ooohh and aaaaahhh over colourful bits of cardboard stuck together and a painted footprint trodden on a paper love heart. Time to dig coins out of my purse to give to Miss Fruitarian to spend on pot pouri at the school Mother’s Day stall.

Luckily this year, things are looking up. Miss Fruitarian has won a prize in the local council’s “my mum’s a star…” competition, which means she and I are off to a local playcentre to collect our mystery prize. I’m hoping for a lovely pamper pack, but might have to settle for a free entry voucher at a local ladies gym.

I asked what she had to do for the entry, and wondered if perhaps she had submitted the portrait she did of me a few weeks back which included every single wrinkle. I looked like a cross between a cabbage patch baby and a zebra. It would win the pity vote for sure.

Apparently it was just a 25 words or less thing, and she wrote that “she gives me big squeezy cuddles”. Which is nice, but considering the amount of time I put into catering for the family I would have hoped for more of an ode to my cooking. When I pursued this line of questioning, she looked at me a bit blankly “But Dad’s the good cook”.

Yes. Here’s why… Sunday mornings at our place are Dad’s tribute to all breakfasts sweet and salty. Just saying. Not complaining. At all. Because here’s a good example of something that Dad whips up quite often. And he does the dishes afterwards too, which means that every Sunday is Mother’s Day at our place….

Oaty pancakes with strawberries

Mum will really love you if you whip up a couple of these

Oaty Banana Pancakes

3/4 cup oats
1 1/4 cups milk
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small banana, mashed
1 tbsp melted butter
Spray oil

Place the oats in a bowl and pour over the milk. Leave them to soak for 10-15 minutes (up to 30 minutes if you have time).
Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.
Mix the sugar, egg, banana and butter through the oat mixture. Pour this mixture into the flour and mix gently. If you have time, leave the mixture to sit for 20-30 minutes, otherwise it can be used straight away.
Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with oil. Add 1/3 cup amounts to the pan. Turn once bubbles appear and the pancake is golden. Each side takes 2-3 minutes.
Serve them with maple syrup and more fruit – diced rockmelon and strawberries are really fantastic.

Did you try these? How did they taste? I’d love to hear your feedback…

Comments (6) »