Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

It's one of the toughest but most rewarding roles out there! Being a mum or the primary carer responsible for growing, guiding and shaping the lives of the tiny little humans we love so much.

Like Melbourne weather, being a mum to Ava is like four seasons in one day. She humours me, frustrates me, pushes all my buttons and melts my heart all in a single breath. 

Last week over breakfast she sheepishly said to me, "Mum, a rice bubble just went up my nose." Like it kinda just leapt up there on its own. Seriously? Should I be freaked out, or relieved that it's gluten and sugar free? 

Then there's the spontaneous kisses and proclamations of love. They thrill me and melt my heart, no matter how cheeky she is being. She surprises and challenges me every day. 

We fight, we talk, we laugh and we cry. Poor Brett struggles to understand what the hell we are on about most of the time. The bond between mother and daughter cannot be described, nor can it ever be underestimated. 

These moments will be forever etched in my heart and memory. It's a joy and a privilege to be the Mum of such an amazing little girl. 

Through the sleep deprivation, the inexplicable meltdowns, her sharp wit and heart melting belly laugh and let's not forget the excruciating pain of stepping on Barbie limbs there's nothing quite like motherhood. 

I feel so blessed to be Mum to such an amazing child and incredibly lucky to have the support of a loving partner, family and friends. Because it really does take a village to raise a child. 

Happy Morhers Day to all the amazing mums out there. Whether you're the Mum to your own child/tribe, caring for others, doing it all on your own, mourning an angel baby or trying desperately to conceive - my heartfelt gratitude, solidarity and love goes out to you. 

And of course the biggest shout out of all goes out to my Mum. Thank you for being such a shining example of motherhood. And I'm sorry about those moody gothic teen years... We both know that Ava will pay me back for those painful years tenfold. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I've just found my ideal breakfast

Smoothie and a coffee, what can be better than starting your day with either of these breakfast staples?

Simple. Combine the two into a delicious, filling and healthy wake up smoothie.

I'm trying to cut down on soy, so I ditched the daily soy flat white but could not bring myself to give up my daily caffeine fix. 

After making an especially YUM cacao banana and date smoothie earlier this week, I decided to add a shot of espresso. I mean it couldn't be too bad right. Bad? Hell no, it was amazing! 

Best idea ever! I haven't looked back, I have only been making smoothies that are compatible with coffee. So the green smoothies have taken a backseat this week. Here's today's kick start to my Saturday!

Cacao and banana smoothie
1 large banana
1 cup almond milk
1 cup ice
1 tbs chia seeds
1/4 avocado
2 tbs cacao
1 shot espresso - cooled
4 dates or some honey - only add if you prefer a sweet smoothie
Blitz in your blender or on speed 7/1 min in the Thermomix until smooth and creamy. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Super green smoothie

Kale smoothie that tastes like dessert. 

Most people know that I'm a smoothie tragic from way back. I've been making smoothies for breakie for the last 15 years. Now I make them for my daughter too, using whatever fruit and vegies we have to make a kid friendly combo.

This morning I went through the fridge looking for inspiration. All I had was heaps of random leftovers from the extra long weekend of indulgence over Easter and ANZAC day. 

I wanted to use up some leftover kale and coconut milk. But I didn't have any apples or pears, which are usually a staple ingredient in my green smoothies. 

I did find some frozen banana in the freezer - when it's too ripe for Ava I chop it up and freeze it for smoothies or desserts. She also tends to leave the ends, because apparently the bottom of bananas are gross!

I had some macadamia and cashew chia pudding in the fridge. This was delicious so i threw it into the smoothie to bulk it up a little. 

My daughter won't touch green smoothies. So today I poured it into her juice cup, put the lid on it and a stainless steel straw in and said here's a banana smoothie. Slight deceiving I know. She loved it. 

I then showed her mine and said, "Want some more bubba?"

"No way that's yuck," she squealed. 

But when I showed her it was the same banana smoothies she thought it was hilarious and the best smoothie ever! So fickle and so funny those 4 year olds!

Here's what went into the smoothie:
3 kale leaves stalks removed 
1 frozen banana chopped
4 dates
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbs chia seeds (I like to soak mine first) 
1 cup ice
1/2 cup water

How to blend in the Thermomix:
Chop dates 5 sec, speed 7
Add ice, turbo 2 or 3 times until crushed 
Add remaining ingredients, blend 40 secs, speed 7

Super charged with super foods kale and chia. Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Easy cacao bliss balls

I love chocolate! I have no self control when it's in my house, so I try not to buy it. And without having much time for exercise at the moment I can't have too much.

Sometimes a girl needs to satisfy that craving. So here's a simple and healthy 'choc' treat that is packed full of flavour. It's the perfect afternoon slump pick me up for busy Mammas. This recipe was inspired by super fit and healthy Mamma Willy B Mum.

  • 2 cups/300g almonds 
  • 1 cup/80g shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup / 30g raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or rice malt syrup
  • 2 tbs organic coconut oil
  • Pinch Himalayan pink salt

Here's what you need to do:
  1. Place all ingredients into the TM bowl (or a food processor)
  2. Mix for about 10 seconds on speed 7 
  3. Roll into small balls  
  4. You can then roll them in chia seeds or shredded coconut 
  5. Place in the fridge for a few hours to set
My daughter absolutely loves these. Especially when I roll them in hundreds & Thousands for a special treat! 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Make your own gluten free flour in the Thermomix

Gluten free flour mix made in the Thermomix is so easy and it will save you money too! 

Making your own gluten free flour is really simple with the Thermomix. It's much cheaper than buying it pre-made and doesn't contain all those nasty preservatives and mystery ingredients some brands use.

This recipe was inspired by Thank Heaven's gluten free flour mix. It's my go to site for making flour or finding substitutes when I am missing an ingredient for a recipe. You'll find a few different mixes on her sight and a great summary of the various gluten free flour options and their substitutes.

You can easily double the recipe to makes a big batch if you do a lot of baking. Take note, it does not all fit in the Thermomix bowl at once so my kitchen gets a bit messy when I mix big batches.

My chef trained hubby is always appalled at the mess I make when I'm in the kitchen. He is very methodical and uses only what's required. I on the other hand tend to pull out every appliance I think I may need, along with multiple bowls, measuring cups, jugs and various stirring/scraping contraptions. Plus I go about things the long and hard way, but that's all part of the learning process isn't it!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 100 g white rice
  • 50 g buckwheat (or substitute with dry chickpeas)
  • 50 g sorghum flour
  • 100 g potato starch
  • 200 g tapioca pearls or flour
  • 5 g guar gum

  1. Add rice and buckwheat to the thermomix bowl and mill for 1 min, speed 9
  2. Add Tapioca pearls if you don't have flour and mill for 1 minute, speed 9.
  3. Let the Thermomix cool down, it can get quite warm when milling. Take this opportunity to check that the grains are a fine flour consistency, if not mill for another 30 secs, speed 9. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients and mix for 10 secs speed 6
This recipe is great for pancakes, muffins, veggie fritters and biscuits. I used this one to make my favourite banana bread on the weekend which I am trying to convert to a Thermomix recipe. It's getting there, but haven't quite nailed it in the Thermie yet. 

Please share your favourite gluten free flour recipes and the amazing goods you bake with it. I'm always looking for healthy and simple ideas. Happy baking! 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas love

Who doesn't love Christmas? You get to spend quality time with your nearest and dearest. You eat your weight in food. And if you have kids, there's nothing better than experiencing the wonder of Santa, decorations, Christmas lights and the spirit of giving through their eyes. 

There's all the excitement in the lead up to Christmas day and then the wide eyes and squeals of delight on Christmas morning. It was priceless. 

This year Ava really got right into the Christmas spirit. She was super excited about Santa coming, often trying to negotiate when he would come. Me, "14 more sleeps until Santa comes." Ava, "Three more sleeps?" She likes to think everything is up for negotiation. Aghhhh!

She helped decorated our tree and was thrilled to decorate Grandma's tree all by herself. I even had to let go of my preference for no tinsel on the tree. Ava is a big tinsel fan! 

Ava even loved Christmas shopping. She would track Santa down at every shopping centre we visited to ask him for a new scooter. She loved choosing and wrapping pressies for family and for charity and she sang so many Christmas carols I thought my ears may start to bleed. So I'd have to put this one down as my best Chistmas ever. 

So here I am on Christmas night. Tummy full and bloated, house trashed, fridge full of left overs and I couldn't be happier. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

15 reasons my toddler cried today

Some days parenting a toddler is really hard. There's some things that simply can't be explained or accurately described in those books you read when you are pregnant and blissfully unaware of what you are getting yourself into. 

Nothing seems to go right and you find yourself at loggerheads with a 3 year old who appears to have taken on the personality of Napoleon. Barking orders, screaming when things don't go her way and pushing buttons that I never knew I had. Tears are inevitable and sometimes Ava cries too...

Today was one of those days. It actually started quite early this morning as I left the house to do the first yoga class I've done in 3 years. I thought I'd start my Sunday all zen like. Umm, nice try.

I guess the combination of being 3, fiercely independent, extremely smart and really knowing exactly what she wants at all times can get a bit much sometimes. Today was one of those days, where I just couldn't get it right for my little girl.  

So here's just some of the reasons Ava cried today.
  1. I'm thirsty
  2. I don't want water
  3. Daddy cut my apple into triangles, I want it round 
  4. The blender is too noisy
  5. The hand dryer is too noisy
  6. I fell over, it was Daddy's fault
  7. I don't want chicken soup
  8. I want to butter my own toast
  9. I want Mummy to butter my toast
  10. I don't want toast
  11. I don't want dinner
  12. I'm dirty
  13. I don't want a shower
  14. I want my special shower cap
  15. I'm hungry, I want my dinner
Thanks goodness today is nearly over. Ava is finally asleep and as exhausted as I feel, I'm actually looking forward to her calling out to me at 4am for a snuggle in Mamma's bed. All the meltdowns, rages, defiance and endless negotiation is forgotten as I carry her warm and cuddly little body into our bed for a few hours of precious snuggles.