Friday, May 24, 2013

Toddler G, Food, and The CONSTANT BATTLE.

I don't know how to feel right now.

I'm feeling a few emotions all at the same time. But mostly FRUSTRATION.

See I have a kid that likes food, no scrap that, she LOVES FOOD! She loves to try new things, and we enjoying feeding her as much variety as possible. And I love that she loves food. She is amazing.

One of her favourite things to say is "More" OR "More?" Nodding her gorgeous little head, and looking st you with the cutest and biggest toddler eyes. She also knows how to turn on the charm with a cheeky smile, to get what she wants. Now normally it is very cute. Adorable actually. But I don't tend to give in. If I know I have fed her sufficiently, I don't give her another helping of whatever it is.  

I know I feed her very well. It upsets me, sometimes, that she keeps saying "more!"

It makes me question myself not all the time. I have a constant voice over in my head:

"have I fed her enough?"

"Is she still hungry?"

I don't want to under feed my child. I have no intention of doing that too her. I want her to have a healthy relationship with food. But when I see someone handing her biscuits, lollies, and just ridiculously colourful junk food, I want to scream FUCK OFF, and slap it out of their hands!!! 

There are so many woman around her that have such a shitty relationship with food, I fear that she will learn this same fear from them too! There is no calorie or even DIET talk in my house. I don't give a fuck about IQS, Paleo, and Detox. Urgh don't get me started on stupid detoxes! 

I have NEVER been like this, I love food way too much to not want to eat it. I will know exactly what I'm eating from the night or even week before. I like to think about the food I'm eating, and I mostly, not always enjoy cooking it too. Even the shopping for food I love. I love seeing fresh food in all its abundance. Makes me very happy indeed. 

I'm a planner, I right down every meal for the week. I try to balance them all with lots of colour and flavour. I try so hard with the food I feed my family. I find G surprises me with the kind of things she loves to eat! The more variety the better. Toddlers get bored too!

I'm sure she will all of a sudden stop eating everything I put in front of her. I hope not though. Food is awesome! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm no saint, we've have "junk" food, but healthier types. I'm very proud to say that my daughter hasn't had lollies. But she does eat chocolate, she actually loves dark chocolate best, like her Mummy. A square of 70% or 85% cocoa Lindt is her favourite. I see nothing wrong in balance. But I'm not going to feed my kid junk, for the sake of it. I enjoy making her quality things to eat, and watching her devour them. This gives me great pleasure.

I've been told to "let her go to town" on food, so many times. Let her get sick from it, and she'll stop the "More Mumma, Peas*?" I can't do this to her, this horrifies me greatly. Its such an old fashioned way to "deal with it"

Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy. I have a super happy kid, that EATS everything i give her! Its so very rare. I want to be left alone is all. Can't you see how happy she is people?

Am I the only one going through this battle? 
WHY do I need to constantly justify what i feed my child? And, 
Why is it ok to question me? 

I don't say anything to people feeding there kids garbage! Its like the whole telling someone they are too skinny! You would never tell someone they are too FAT! So why is this ok?

With the weekend approaching, I know ill have a battle on my hands yet again with certain people. I'm so over it. I'm sick of feeling like the shittiest parent on the planet.

And yes my husband supports me 100%, SO so lucky.


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Wholemeal Pear Pancakes


Man I am loving this cooler weather. I feel like I can be myself again. I cannot even think straight in the heat, let alone, think of what to cook for my family. So we tend to eat A LOT of salads.

Anyway, grateful to have a cooler change in the air, especially the mornings! I decided to celebrate by making my little one and I some pancakes.

Now I can't just make normal pancakes. I haven't made that kind of thing for years! I wanted something a bit more wholesome, filling, and down right delicious.

This pancake works cause it is so light and fluffy, all due to separating the eggs and beating the heck out of the whites. Also adding baking powder helps to create lots of air bubbles, to lighten up the batter.

You can also keep this batter and use it the next day. In saying that though you lose all the air bubbles, therefore the fluffiness of the pancakes, they still taste great though!

Dry ingredients
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 cup whole oats
1/4 cup bran
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
spices as much as you like, i used cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves

Wet ingredients
2 egg yolks
1 1 /2 cups milk
1 pear, like a packham, chopped roughly
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

2 egg whites

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, set aside for a moment.

Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks.

Stick blend the wet ingredients, then pour that into the flour bowl, mix really well. Then gently fold the egg whites through. Use immediately, so you don't loose all the air bubbles.

Heat a pan with a little butter and fry the pancakes.

I served mine with fresh figs, pears, Greek yoghurt, maple syrup, walnuts and a light dusting of cinnamon.

I don't like pancakes that are dripping in syrup, but I do like a little. If I order it in a cafe, I always ask for it to be served on the side. But thankfully, most don't do that anymore!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Salmon With A Warm Chickpea & Brussel Salad

I have a great love of Middle Eastern food. I have had this for as long as I can remember. I was eating hummus as a kid, people re: other kids, were always making fun of me cause of it. My how things have changed now. 

I live in an area that you could only describe as quite heavily populated by Arabic and European people. Turkish, Lebanese, Greek and Jewish food feature heavily, and you know what I fricken LOVE it. Their food is amazing. I should know, my mother is a Ruski, and my father Greek.

I was a little apprehensive at first about living here, ashamed to say because of this, but now not knowing what in the world I feared in the first place! It was all the years of being brought up in the Eastern suburbs. It is very very sheltered, and not in a good way. It makes you hate what you fear, or what you don't understand. RIDICULOUS! Its not a good thing to breed this in children, it makes them hate when they are adults. Anyway I could go on and on, this is something I'm very passionate about.

I have always got sumac, and other "exotic if you will" spices etc on hand. Lucky enough to buy it so fresh, it tastes so different to the Woolies variety. I love to throw them into everything. The lovely tang sumac lends to dishes is delightful.

This dish came about from my love of Middle Eastern food, as well as a MAJOR love of brussel sprouts. Brussels are so polarizing. I don't get it, I adore these little babies so much, I'm trying to grow my own ATM. I was so happy the night I saw little G enjoying them as much as her Mummy does!

Serves 2

2 pieces fresh Salmon

1/2 red onion
2 garlic
4 large mushrooms

1/2 glass wine

1 tablespoon sumac
pinch cumin
1 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 can chickpeas rinsed and washed, or use dried
brussel sprouts
1/2-1 lemon juice, I used a whole lemon
bunch herbs, I used coriander and parsley

tahini sauce to serve

I use my stick blender to make the tahini sauce, and I don't add garlic. But you can add a small amount if you wish. I prefer it without cause I like to have it in sandwiches etc.

Meanwhile start cooking the salmon to your perference, I like it fried, still slightly pink with this dish. In the time that this has finished cooking, the salad will be ready!

For the salad, start by frying the onion and garlic in olive oil, gently until it has softened, this takes about 15 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and let them sweat and colour slightly. Then add everything else, except the lemon juice and fresh herbs.

Cook this to your preference. You might like the sprouts slightly crunchy or cooked through. Then add the lemon juice and fresh herbs. Cook for a minute or two, at this point you can add a knob of butter to create a bit of a sauce. Serve it up!

Modern Arabic:
(bil-hanā' wa ash-shifā') بالهناء والشفاء / بالهنا والشفا
may you have your meal with gladness and health

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sweets For My Sweet AKA Gooey Brownies

I have possibly an indecent love of Jamie Oliver, well not really the man, but the food! This man makes the kinda food I love! But let's face it I love all kinds of food!

Now I am loving the "new" series 15 minute meals, but Im not the biggest fan of anything low fat. I dont care about calories and whatnot. I only want to make fresh and healthy food for myself and my family. And that doesn't include anything low fat *gasp*

This brownie is from his 30 Minute Meals series. Seriously adapted. Less butter, and NO sugar. It still tastes amazing, trust me...Im a chocoholic. I really am, I prefer to eat the good stuff and savour it, you know? The darker the better.

The husband spends a lot of time away now. I am slowly getting used to not having him around all the time. Its not the ideal situtaion, but you have to soldier on. Otherwise you get lonely. So very very lonely. No matter how many people you have around you, its not your partner. Its not the same.

Does his absence make the heart grow fonder?.... Possibly?

Does it make me love him more?.... Maybe?

I hope this all happens for the greater good, cause i'm sick of being on my own.

When he is going to be home, I love nothing more than spoiling him with food, "how very 1950's of me" you say! I know and I LOVE IT! This is who I am. I relish looking after my family, the cooking and cleaning. This is my job. This is what I do. I take pleasure in doing it, and doing it well.

I am not perfect by any means, the house can be tragic and feral sometimes. But really who cares when you are having so much fun!

I'm no Martha Stewart, I don't sew, iron (I'm sure they make you do this in HELL) or fashion clothes out of curtains, or any curtains for that matter, but I can clean and cook!

These brownies make everything better. They hide the fact I haven't ironed my husbands work shirts....EVER. The smell alone makes most very happy. Imagine walking through the front door and having that smell smack you in the face.

Please feel free to adorne this beauty however you like. We like fruit and nuts. And it is mandatory that you lick the bowl and spoon! 

Makes 8-12

200 grams dark chocolate
180 grams butter
6 tablespoons cocoa
4 tablespoons self raising flour
4 eggs
pinch of salt
and up to 200 grams sugar, I don't add any. YEP NONE!
berries, chocolates and/or nuts, whatever and however much you wish to add.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Melt the butter, then add the chocolate to melt that gently.

Mix all the ingredients together, no need to sift and be precious, this is why I love baking it. Then pour into a baking paper lined brownie tin. I have a small rectangular tin, not square. So you will have to bake a little longer if you own a square tin.

Bake in 200C oven for 12-14 minutes.

They come out gooey/soft in the middle, just the way we like them. They also continue to cook in the pan slightly.

Also I always use a dark eating chocolate with about 40% cocoa solids, like Lindt or Nestle. I never bother with cooking chocolates. I find that this is sweet enough for us without adding extra sugar. But in saying that, we don't like anything too sweet, and have been eating like this for a while. 
I would rather enjoy a little sweet every now and then, than quit sugar forever. I find this silly. Very very silly...