Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vegetarian Enchilada

Since having a baby I'm looking at saving money, and eating really quick but healthy meals. I have always budgeted my food bills, I love to plan :) I plan out my meals for the week and try to use produce that is in season, so it's a bit cheaper. 

This is one of my favourite go to meals. I find it easy to make and really, really tasty.

Serves 4

wholemeal flat lavash bread
1/2 cup dried red kidney beans
1/4 cup brown rice
1 small onion diced
1 garlic
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoon massel beef stock powder
1 tomato diced
1 large flat mushroom diced
frozen corn or a small can drained
fresh coriander, or parsley
fresh chili, optional, of coarse I did not add any!!!

store bought sugo
grated cheese, whichever you prefer, tasty is really good with this dish

Salsa, optional
1/2 avocado cubed
1 tomato chopped into cubes
juice of lime/lemon
garlic to taste
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
coriander or parsley whichever you prefer
salt and pepper

Rinse and soak the red kidney beans in hot water for 1 hour.
Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil, until translucent. Add all the spices and fry until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add the tomato and the stock powder. Next add your beans and rice, cover with enough water for the beans and rice to absorb and soften, about 1 1/2 cups. Simmer gently for 1 hour until rice and beans are cooked. add in salt and pepper to taste. Evaporate as much liquid as possible and set aside to cool. You could even make this the day before and chill in the fridge till you need to assemble.
spread a 1/4 of the beans and rice mixture over the lavash bread, top with corn, still frozen is fine. Roll up and place in a lined baking tray.
top each enchilada with 2 tablespoons tomato sugo, and grated cheese. Bake in a preheated 190C oven for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile toss the salsa ingredient's together and once the enchilada's have finished baking in the oven, top with the salsa and a small dollop of sour cream or Greek yoghurt.

This was a budget meal for us, but I had a lot of the spices etc in my cupboard. The most expensive item would be the avocado at $3-4 each!!! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Welcome to the World!!

I just wanted to announce that I had my baby on Thursday 7/711. A baby girl Georgiana, weighing 3.3kilos and 52 cms in length. This is the first opportunity I have had to really sit in front of a computer.

She is perfect. I was quite lucky my birthing experience took about 6.5 hours. Mind you, contractions started the day before, but nothing that I couldn't handle. Once in hospital it was on!!! It was quite frantic, but surprisingly I stayed quite calm, so unlike me! I still had an epidural though, and it was heaven, so happy I did this!!!!! The contractions came thick and fast and she was ready to meet mum and dad. I got her out in about 45 minutes. Getting little G out was the most difficult thing I can say I have ever done. The cord was around her neck a few times, and I had to concentrate and get her out quick!! My obstetrician, midwife and husband were brilliant, and all 4 of us just focused on getting her out safe.

The moment I met her instant love. I haven't felt that ever before. I know I'm supposed to say I felt that when I met my husband but I didn't, sorry hubby....But this was different. I felt exhausted and unbelievably over joyed. That moment holding her just after the birth I will remember forever.

My husband was brilliant. He was everything I needed and more. He kept me hydrated, focused, kept dampening my forehead and making sure I was always comfortable, and in really good spirits through amazingly painful contractions. There were a few in there that made me think I was going to pass out lol. He also fed me chocolate eclairs which I love :) throughout the experience. If it wasn't for him I don't think it would of been so quick and calm for me.

I can't believe how frightened I was of giving birth. I though there was no way I could get through this. I had the best team of people helping me to relax and get through it. And it turned out to not be as bad as what I had imagined. I was laughing, talking and eating eclairs, in between the contractions. What better way to bring a baby into the world.

The 'birth' day. I was so excited to meet my little girl, even though I was having contractions.


After milk.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Raspberry Cheesecake Choc Chunk Brownie

I knew what I had a craving for. I love baking brownies, and nothing better than experimenting with new flavours or recipes. They are so easy to put together and way too easy to eat! I also love baked cheesecake. I knew when I jumped online what recipe I was searching for. I wanted something rich, and delicious and made with berries, chocolate and something cheesecakey. 

I was going to make a baked cheesecake. But I wanted something different, so when I came across this recipe, I knew this is what I wanted to bake. Of coarse I had to tweak the recipe, especially the amount of sugar and butter. The recipe also said to bake for 40-45 minutes, but I thought it would be too dry. I wanted the cheesecake to still be creamy and luscious, and the chocolate bits in the centre to be oozy. For me baking this for 30 minutes was perfect. It was set to perfection.

The creaminess of the cheesecake, with the richness of the dark chocolate brownie was to die for. It is always a winning flavour combination.

Brownie Base

150 grams butter
200 grams dark chocolate
1/4 cup cocoa
3 large eggs
3/4 cup caster sugar
vanilla extract
1 cup plain flour

Cheesecake Topping

1/2 cup frozen raspberries,
180 gram block cream cheese, at room temp
1 egg
vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup vanilla sugar
70 grams sour cream

reserve 1/3 chocolate mix to swirl/blob through

Brownie base with dark chocolate chunks.

Cheesecake brownie before baking.

Brownie after baking, smells sooo good.

1. Place 160 grams of the dark chocolate, reserving 40 grams for brownie base, into a saucepan with the butter. Melt that on a low heat. Take off the heat to cool slightly.
2. Whisk in 3/4 cup caster sugar into the melted chocolate and butter.
3. Add 3 eggs into the mixture, one at a time, making sure they are mixed well after each one.
4. Add the vanilla extract.
5. Whisk in all the flour and cocoa.
6. Set aside 1/3 cup of the brownie mix for the topping.
7. Preheat oven to 170C
8. Spread the remaining brownie mixture into a baking paper lined brownie tin.
9. Roughly chop the dark chocolate into big chunks. Stud the brownie mix with the chocolate, pressing in slightly.
10. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, 1 egg and vanilla extract together until smooth. Pour over the brownie base.
11. Press the raspberries into the cheesecake topping.
12. Dollop on the reserved brownie mix randomly.
13. Bake for 30 minutes, until just set in the middle. Take out let it cool completely before cutting.  You can also chill in the fridge to make it even easier to cut.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cranky Pants..... My Week So Far

I just wanted everyone to know that I'm still around. I may take some time off from my blog, I'm not too sure yet.

I'm having a baby. It's just a matter of time now when this is going to happen, and boy have I been a cranky woman. On top of being so excited awaiting this baby, I am so uncomfortable, and haven't been getting much rest.

I even had to spend the night in the hospital a few days back. I threw my back out, and was in so much pain every time my little one moved around, or if I tried to stand. I am mostly all belly weight, and it has been very difficult for me to carry this heavy load up front.

Besides all that, I'm so excited, and very nervous all at the same time. I really can't wait to meet my little butterfly. I am an impatient person at the best of times, Christmas and birthdays etc kill me. This has been almost 40 weeks in the growing. Now that I'm down to the home stretch, if feels like I'm always going to be pregnant!!!

I have had my beautiful sister in law here with her baby. She is the cutest niece ever. And she was making me so excited to have my own little one. She is such a happy baby. Who was busy this week finding her little voice.

It was so lovely to have a baby in my house, even when she was cranky or upset. I actually wasn't sure how I would be having her around, I never had a baby living with me. But I never had a problem. When my niece smiles at you it is so amazing, and really warms your heart.

Me very pregnant! I have grown so much in the last few weeks it is incredible. Excuse the lovely outfit, but I am so uncomfortable in almost everything else! 

Hubby spoilt us with this for breakfast. He makes the best french toast with raisin bread, fruit, cinnamon and sour cream, I think Ill have to post the recipe one day...

My little niece so relieved after a nappy change.

I bought her this toy, Sophie the Giraffe. Great for teething bubs. I was so relieved she loved it!

Little zucchini lover.