Saturday, June 22, 2013

A little Stepford Pink Polka Dot First Birthday Party

So this is how to cheat a bit at throwing a gorgeous, allergy friendly party for 25 people at minimal cost - where everyone is able to eat and you don't spiral into a stress induced migraine by 4pm :)

It's all well and good to be Stepford but perfection is the enemy, and if you can appear that way without the pressure then all for the better I say!

As I've mentioned before, in our family we have gluten-free, dairy-free, vitamin C allergy, vegetarians, those who can't eat preservatives or additives, people breastfeeding and plenty of fussy kids! Anyone who hosts a family event bends over backwards and usually leaves someone out who ends up nibbling lettuce to get by.... But I think I may have cracked it!

The lunch

I stole a fab idea from Pinterest and made a Mexican feast. Every single person could eat Natural Corn Chips, and I bought stacks of regular and gluten free tortillas.

The day before I made beef and bean mince with a little passata,

a slow cooker chicken filling from here

and a mexican rice recipe from here

and popped them in the fridge in throw away aluminium trays to reheat just before the party.

Served with Chopped lettuce, grated cheese, chopped tomato and cucumber, Sour cream and Pickled Jalapenos

I served it all buffet style and everyone was happy -some of the worst allergy offenders went back for thirds!

Dessert was the biggest stepford secret of all!

I made birthday cake (well two because I'm a slight over achiever and I couldn't decide which one to make) White chocolate mud cake - have you tried it? Melt and mix! No Creaming the butter and sugar! It's a revelation. Super yummy and the easiest cake I've ever made, plus an excellent texture for carving into shapes, even when it's fresh.

And! I bought some cheap cardboard cake stands, got out my vases and here's the biggest secret of all - every time someone asked me if they could bring something I said something 'Sweet, small and pink or white'

Beforehand I set up an empty dessert table with flowers and marshmallows, lolly bags and the birthday cake and as people arrived set up their sweet treats on it- It looked so gorgeous and impressive but cost next to nothing and everyone felt good about contributing. It was the best!

So happy birthday to my gorgeous One year old. We love you little monkey!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Mini Raspberry Cheesecakes

And so we jump from me freezing meals for the baby on the way, to me making raspberry cheesecakes for mothers group!

In between the two episodes there came along a little Stepford baby called Kate Rose who is beautiful and lovely and perfect.

So here's my cheesecake recipe! It comes from one I've cut out of a magazine at some point but to be honest I've changed it so much that I don't feel any obligation to give any credit to whoever invented it!
I love this because it could be any flavour depending on what you have on hand. My favourite part is popping a biscuit in as the base... no melting butter or crushing cookies - woo!

It was supposed to make 6 but I easily got 12 out of it with plenty of gooey batter left over for licking out of the bowl- which is the best part :)

100g White Choc melts
2/3 cup thickened cream
1.5 tsp gelatine
250g Cream Cheese
1/4 cup Icing sugar
1 cup defrosted frozen Raspberries

Pop 12 muffin cases in a muffin pan and place a Raspberry Shortcake biscuit (I think they are Arnott's brand) in the bottom of each.

1. Melt together in the microwave for about 30secs 100g White Choc melts and 1/3 cup cream and stir til smooth. Leave to cool.

2. Combine 1.5tsp gelatine powder with 2T Water. Pop in the microwave for 25secs and stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.

3. Beat together 250g Cream Cheese, 1/4 cup icing sugar, 1/3 cup thickened cream and 1 cup defrosted frozen raspberries.

4. Stir chocolate mixture  and gelatine into the cream cheese mix, Fill the muffin cases and chill for at least 2 hrs (or overnight)

And that's it! No baking, no pans, really quick and so yummy - the best kind of recipe. And by changing up the biscuit base and swapping the raspberries out for other flavours you could make anything!

I'd like to try-
Gingernut bases with lemon filling
White Choc Macadamia bases with vanilla filling
Mint slice bases with green peppermint filling

Have a lovely day!! xxx

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Fragrant Pumpkin and Lentil Curry

Trust me, I'm not the kind of person who usually cooks things with lentils in them, or who makes curry for that matter, but this dinner is so easy and so not lentil-y or curry-y that it makes up for it's name completely.

I think the original recipe was off a lentil tin somewhere and it was passed amongst my mum's friends for a while before she had a go and I actually loved it. 30mins work guaranteed and most of it is just dumping tins into one saucepan!

I've pulled this one out this week for two reasons.

One- with baby on the way and friends having babies left, right and centre, freezer meals are my new deal.  Anything that will make and freeze in enough portions to do a meal for a friend as well as one for our freezer in preparation for the apparent mental state that is coming when bub arrives, is a winner at the moment!

Two - I have another friend stressing out over an elimination diet to identify her allergies. This dinner has so few ingredients that it is great for people who struggle with diet.
 There is no-


or any of the things that usually set those poor folks allergies off.

Basically you fry in a saucepan for 2 mins-

1 Tablespoon Oil
1 clove garlic (I used 1 teaspoon of minced garlic from a jar)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground tumeric

Add 1 cup diced pumpkin, 1 cup diced potato, 1 can lentils, 1 can diced tomatoes.

Simmer for 20mins. Serve with Coriander! and it's great with naan if you can eat such things.

That is it!!

I actually suspect that this may be a good meal to adapt for a toddler meal if you cook it until it softens a bit more and squish it up a bit, there's no heat to it and the flavours are very mild - I'll test the theory out in a year or so when I have one!

1 month to go until baby time!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sticky Date Cupcakes with Butterscotch Frosting

And I'm back into the normal food! Thank you so much baby for giving my poor distressed tummy a reprieve!

A quick one - but SO good.
This one is a mish mash of recipes from all over the net. All I knew I wanted was Sticky date cupcakes so I found a base recipe on and then modified it to suit my pantry contents (as usual), comparing with other recipes out there to make sure my little changes wouldn't be bad :) I switched white sugar for brown - which just seemed more appropriate and then trawled about looking for a frosting recipe.
All in all it turned out well but the frosting was way too stiff and needed extra cream.
I did a double batch of the cakes and this amount of frosting was perfect - imagine doubling the frosting and using 10 CUPS of Icing sugar - even my sugar tolerance isn't that high :)


Sticky Date Cupcakes (makes 12) - I doubled and made 36 teeny cupcakes
• 200g Diced Dates
• 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
• 60g unsalted butter
• 200g SR Flour
• 125g brown sugar
• 2 eggs
• 250ml water
1. Preheat your oven to 180C.
2. Put the dates and the water into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take off of the heat and stir in the bicarb, then add the butter and stir until all melted.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl, add the sugar and combine. Add the date mixture and eggs, and stir until all just combined.
4. Divide into cupcake cases and bake for 17-20 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Butterscotch icing (but don't double this)
100g butter
2/3 cup soft brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup cream
5 cups pure icing sugar
Combine the butter, sugar, golden syrup and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Turn heat up to high and boil for at least 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Add sifted icing sugar, beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Toobs and Green Apples

No this is not a recipe, (I hear you all sigh with relief!)I realise it's been a long time between posts but that's mostly because this little Stepford Wife is expecting a little Stepford baby.

And I'm here to tell you that already - food is no longer my friend.

My poor dear Husband has been getting the lamest of meals. Nothing at all blog-worthy unless there's many of you out there that need the instructions for

1. Boil water and insert spaghetti

2. Brown mince and dump in jar of sauce

3. Simmer both for 10mins and serve together. (Don't forget to drain pasta)


Cakes and cookies and lovely treats are way too much effort and at the moment the little babe only seems to want Green Apples and Toobs - thank goodness for the apples to make me feel somewhat righteous!

I did make an attempt to see if there is a home-made version of Toobs I could impress you all with, but no luck - apparently that's a secret only the people at Smith's know.

-and incidentally I wouldn't google 'recipe for Toobs' - apparently there's something somewhat pornographic about that innocuous seeming phrase!! Who knew!!

Only God has the secret to making those awesome green apples so I have nothing to offer you except for comfort if you happen to be one of the zillions of pregnant folk I know - It is getting better! Hang on to your version of Toobs for a few more weeks - not much longer!

xxx S

Monday, August 29, 2011

Salted and Malted Chocolate Chip Cookies

So a quick one but a great one! This recipe I stole from Raspberri Cupcakes and was intrigued from the moment the title popped up on my RSS feed - what an absolute winner! These cookies are rich and deliciously sticky with malty milo goodness. I obviously used Milo instead of regular malt powder so my cookies are much darker than hers but they were awesome and disappeared really quickly.

The combination of Dark and milk choc chips adds a really nice extra dimension (as if these gorgeous creatures needed one more!)

They are dead easy - I hope you have a go!

x S

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Spaghetti Pumpkin

So yes, It has been a really long time. I know that if other bloggers go for this long without posting I take them off my RSS feed so I completely understand if you've done the same to me!
I've spent the last year preparing my accreditation paperwork for work - and there's still 40 days to go! so I've been giving priority to that - whenever I open up the laptop I feel compelled to look at research articles or write programmes rather than write about yummy food. But trust me the cooking is still happening. I can justify that as a basic human need :)

This one is more of a review than a recipe. Last year my nanna got 'Spaghetti Pumpkin Seeds' with her Burkes Backyard magazine as as she is getting on a bit and we have a bizarrely flourishing vege patch (apparently neglect is an excellent gardening technique- especially when your house is built where there used to be a cow pasture :) she asked us to grow some so she could see what they looked like - and this is the result!

It looks like an elongated yellow pumpkin and if you cut it while uncooked the flesh is firm and yellow with a few seeds in the centre. The trick is to cook it whole for 1.5hrs in the oven and then slice it open lengthways. In this way the inside steams up and the flesh separates into long strands that look a lot like spaghetti or glass noodles.

Perfect for the gluten free types and a good way to get veges into you, this pumpkin was easy to grow and cook, but what about the flavour? well I wouldn't equate it with spaghetti. In the picture we tried it with a basic tomato sauce and neither of us were particularly fussed. Both of us felt it was more like a noodle than a pasta and so we tried it the next night with a sweet and sour sauce and found it much more appealing.

Interesting and fun to try though, if (through no effort on our part) we happen to get a crop next year then I'll treat it in a more asian style and perhaps even try a vietnamese noodle salad with the cooked strands!

Have a great day everyone - back in 40 days or so :)!