Last week I managed to make a couple of quiche like slices for my children to try as lunch options. I made No Green Stuff Veggie Slice which I took to my friends house for lunch with a small group of ladies. There were a couple of slices left but my children didn’t try it. I also made Bacon and Sweet Potato Slice which my son & I had as part of our lunch for most of the week. I made it gluten free but my husband didn’t try it.
This post about Individual Leftover Chilli Pies inspired me to make my own pies with some leftover Quick Chilli Beef. I was planning my dinner menu for the week when I saw the post about making pies with leftover chilli mince. As we usually have leftovers but not enough for a full second meal, I thought mini pies might be a way to stretch the leftovers. However, I decided to use my pastry recipe which is loosely based on the pastry in this apple crumb pie recipe. Continue reading
It’s been a while since I’ve posted about what I’ve been cooking but thought I would start this again. I’m not sure that I’ll do it every week especially as I sometimes end up doing the same things.
Anyhow here is what was on the dinner menu last week:
Monday – Ham steaks & pineapple with homemade sweet potato & potato chips, along with carrots & peas. My daughter made this as we were watching my son’s futsal game, so came home to a cooked meal.
Tuesday – Beef Stroganoff served with rice, carrots & peas.
Wednesday – Leftovers
Thursday – We went to Mum & Dad’s for dinner where we had Quick Chilli Beef.
Friday – Homemade Pizzas. My daughter & her friend made theirs on a bought pizza base. For the first time I tried the yoghurt dough. I used coconut yoghurt & GF flour. This was yummy & will definitely make this again.
Saturday – Chicken Risotto that had been stored in the freezer around Christmas time as we had so much food.
Sunday – Fish & Chips at Sandgate. We had a church social gathering on the waterfront & everyone bought their own fish & chips for dinner, from one of the local Fish & Chip shops.
Other things I made last week were:
My son has been enjoying the LCM bars & muesli bars in his lunch box.
What have you been cooking lately? Do you have any good lunch box recipes?
My children don’t particularly like sandwiches. Though they both often have bread rolls for lunch. I struggle with what to give my son for lunch. He will like something for a while and then go totally off it.
Sometimes if we have leftover chicken I will make a quick, easy Caesar salad.
This week I have made it with chicken left from my Creamy Tomato Chicken. If I have no hard boiled eggs I just fry an egg and put it in the freezer for about 5 minutes. Instead of croutons I just toast some bread before cutting it into small squares (good for using up crusts that no one seems to eat). I love crusts but generally don’t eat wheaten bread anymore.
I put the salad in a small container & send to school in an insulated lunchbox with a freezer brick. Don’t forget to pack a fork.
So here is my easy recipe:
Quick, Easy Caesar Salad
- few lettuce leaves
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 egg
- leftover cooked chicken
- 1 slice ham
- 1 slice of bread
- 1 tablespoon whole egg mayonnaise
- 1 tsp perinaise
- Heat frypan & add oil. Put bread into toaster and toast well. Crack egg into frypan & fry.
- As the toast & egg cook, tear up lettuce leaves and put into bottom of serving container.
- Once egg & toast are cooked place into the freezer for 5 minutes while preparing the rest.
- Chop up leftover chicken & ham and add to container.
- Chop up egg, once cooled and add to container.
- Chop up toast & add most to container, leave a bit to sprinkle on top.
- Add mayonnaise & perinaise (if using) to the salad & stir to combine). Add rest of toast croutons.
- Put lid on container & add to lunchbox.
What alternative to sandwiches to your children have for lunch?
I made this recipe last night and was thinking that I should blog about it. Then I saw this blog challenge about Transcript and thought that this is the temporary thing that I can share and reflect upon.
As you can see the original recipe is looking old and is torn in half with a little bit missing but I love using the original recipe whenever I make this recipe. I always think of the story behind us having this recipe whenever I make it.
My husband first made this recipe just over 22 years ago. It was the first meal he made for us after we were married. I think it must have been on or about Monday 28 November, 1994; as it would have been when we went back to work after our honeymoon and I would have been on a late shift. As he was home first he cooked dinner. I believe he rang his Mum from work about the recipe and she wrote it out for him, then he picked it up on the way home.
I’ll share the original recipe below and then share how I normally make it now a days to be intolerance friendly.
The recipe as written out by my mother-in-law is as follows:
Place oil in saucepan & add mince, chopped onion, herbs, tomato paste & a little water & stir & cook for 15-20 mins.
Cook pasta in boiling water & cook for 10 mins.
1 tablespoon of butter melted mix in 1 tablespoon of flour & stir & then add 1 cup of milk & stir in & place in microwave oven for 2 mins then stir until thick & add grated cheese.
Mix sauce & pasta & then mince.
Somehow my husband managed to make this recipe despite the lack of quantities, not sure how many phone calls occurred during the making of the recipe. Here is the recipe as I normally make it now.
Mince & Pasta
- 1 tbsp oil
- 500g mince
- 1 onion chopped
- dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- a little water if needed
- chopped vegetables (optional, I often add zuchinni & mushrooms)
- GF pasta
- 1 tbsp butter or non-dairy substitute
- 1 tbsp corn flour or tapioca flour
- 1 cup of milk of choice (I often use almond milk)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- handful of grated cheese (if tolerated)
- 1 egg (optional, good to use if not using cheese
- Heat oil in frypan or saucepan. Add mince, chopped onion, chopped vegetables (if using). Stir until mince is a little browned.
- Add herbs, tomato paste & water if needed. Stir and leave to simmer while preparing pasta & the white sauce.
- Boil water and add GF pasta. Cook for about 6 minutes until tender.
- Meanwhile make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a microwave prove dish. Stir in the flour and slowly stir in 1 cup of milk, add the nutmeg. Microwave for 2 minutes on high & stir. Repeat process until sauce is thick. Add the cheese or egg once thick and stir to combine.
- Mix the sauce into the pasta & and then mix it all into the mince. Serve with carrots & peas.
Do you have recipes that have been passed on from family members or friends?
This may be a bit late to share for Christmas this year but I made them after Christmas. I ran out of time before Christmas and we had more than enough cakes & biscuits anyhow. I also thought I’d go with the whole 12 days of Christmas as well. We were meeting in the park for afternoon tea & an early dinner with extended family, so I decided it was a good time to make them. I had seen the reindeer cupcake or biscuit idea in a number of food magazines but none of them were gluten free so I made my own based on the ideas I had seen.
The cupcake was made using this coconut cupcake recipe from Alexx Stuart. I used brown rice flour and tapioca flour instead of the buckwheat flour. I also added a couple of tablespoons of cacao powder to make them chocolate cupcakes. I then iced them with chocolate butter cream and added half a gluten free arrowroot biscuit for the snout; 2 itsy bitsy bears for the antlers; white icing for the eyes and to stick the nose on; black writing icing in a tube for the pupils & mouth; and a red M&M for the nose. M&M’s in Australia are not gluten free but that small amount is ok for my husband. Originally I was going to use pink musk live savers as they are gluten free. I discovered this Nestle list which shows which of their products are gluten free, so I knew the musk lifesavers were gf.
The cupcakes are best eaten soon after they are made as the biscuits go soggy fairly quickly.
What have you been baking for Christmas?
I was giving a few gift cards for Christmas and looking for ways to present them that was a bit more exciting than the gift card in a Christmas card. I saw this teacher gift idea with a gift card presented in a jar of M&M’s with a poem. However as it wasn’t a teacher gift and both my dad & brother enjoy savoury more than sweet, I kept looking. I didn’t find anything else totally appealing & easy so I decided to put the gift cards in a jar of nuts.
I labelled the jars “We’re nuts about you! So this jar contains a sweet gift.” The jars contained a layer of Cashew nuts, followed by Brazil nuts and some Ancient Grain Twists. I added the gift card after a small layer of nuts on the bottom and then put the other nuts & twists around the gift card. The Ancient Grain Twists were hot & spicy so I knew my father and brother would enjoy them. As my other gift cards were going with other gifts I just wrapped them with the other gift.
What different ways have you presented a gift card?
“What’s for Dinner?” has been the catch cry of my children since they could talk. Often this would be one of the first things my daughter would ask in the morning when she was little.
I started menu planning a few years ago and have found that it helps. I usually plan and shop for a weeks worth of meals at a time. So on Monday I normally sit down with my calendar and add what we are going to have for dinner for each day of the week. It can be easy to have the same meals every week. To help me remember all the different dishes I can make I decided to write a list of all the meals we like to eat. I decided to add this as a new “Menu Ideas” page on my blog. This way it is easy for me to find and it might inspire someone else as well. As I try new recipes or remember things that aren’t on the list I’ll keep updating it.
Do you menu plan and do you have a list of go to meals?
Recently my husband sent me a link to this article about 10 skills you should practise everyday. The top 2 were Practise Gratitude and Keep a Positive Mindset. This is something we have been focusing on in our family, particularly for my teenage son. It is very easy for him to see the bad and not the good, especially when it comes to school.
A few years ago I read One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to live fully right where you are, a book about counting your blessings. I have been trying to notice goodness since reading this book and some articles on Ann’s blog. There is so much research that shows that Gratitude is good for us physically, psychologically & socially. This article shows that even just practicing gratitude for 2 weeks can make a difference in teenagers.
So what do we do to cultivate an attitude of gratitude. I often ask my son to look for the highs or good things in his day. Often when I ask something like “What was the best thing about school today?”, he will still generally answer “lunch” or “the end of school” but we are trying. I often talk to him about perspective and that if you think things are going to bad then they will be bad and vice versa. Still working on helping him have a positive mindset.
A few times a week after dinner we read a Bible passage using either the YouVersion Bible app or the daily reading from our Church App. We then use Ann’s Joy Dare which I printed a few years ago. Sometimes we use the joy dare for the day or from a few days ago that we might not have done. Now my husband often asks”What are you grateful for, it doesn’t have to be from the joy dare?”. I think after reading the article he sent me he has got it more as well. Then we finish with prayer. There is usually lots of other conversation and going off on tangents during this time but hopefully my family is developing more of an attitude of gratitude. Occasionally, I even remember to write down what I’m grateful for in my gratitude journal.
There are many ways to practice gratitude, I’ve just shared what we do. I also like this idea of taking a photo a day of something you are grateful for. My daughter was given a photo a day journal for her birthday and is trying to take a photo a day to help her record what she has done.
How are you helping your children have an attitude of gratitude?