Nutella French Toast Rolls for the soul

Little Pencil has been sick with the flu for the last week. It’s been a bit awful. He’s been “proper” sick – lying in his bed only moving to come and lie in my bed so that he can watch TV.  He hasn’t even gone downstairs to play x-Box which is more of an indicator of his illness than his 39.6 fevers.

But yesterday he started to nag me for Grand Theft Auto again so I knew he was feeling much better. Next step was to get him to eat something because seriously he’s thinner than paper after not eating much for a week (even though I made him proper Chicken Soup!). When he woke up this morning and asked for Nutella French Toast Rolls I knew recovery was complete.  I made them faster than he could change his mind and quickly put up a picture on Instagram (because they look scrumptious).  SO many people asked for the recipe I decided it was worthy of a blog post.
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I need to diet so don’t tell me not to. Especially if you’re a size 8

I spend a lot of my time online, I read a lot about body acceptance and self love, I read about diet and nutrition mainly because I am always trying to improve mine. Sadly I have yet to find a diet that advocates eating toast and nutella and drinking sweet, milky tea everyday.

The one thing that I have noticed, perhaps as a broad generalisation, is that most of the people who are spouting the “love your self, you are worthy, drop the diet and learn to love your inner beauty” message are of a certain body type themselves. And, to be honest, I am quite sick and tired of size 8 women telling me how I should feel about my size 12 body.
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I’ve joined a cult

There is no easy way to say this, I have joined a cult.

It started late last year when a friend asked me if I would come and see a demonstration at her house, food was involved. Because I really like food I thought it would be remiss not to go, I really like my friend as well and food and her company while watching a demonstration seemed like a perfect thing to do.

And so I was lured into the cult of the Thermomix.

It’s pretty bad. And I’ve only just joined.

I didn’t have very long with it yesterday due to the fact that I had a life before I joined the cult, but in the two spare hours that I had, I made polenta, using vegetable stock made in the Thermomix, then I made a cake and a batch of icing. We were out for dinner so I had to be dragged away from creating several other culinary masterpieces but the whole night I sat itching to leave to go home and make butter. I knew it would only take about 7 minutes in the genius machine.

Today I found myself buying wheat that I can turn into flour and yeast so that I can make home-made bread to eat with the butter that I eventually managed to whip up.

I used to love cooking but this is different – this isn’t cooking, it’s playing and it’s creating and it’s living in the future where you don’t actually have to think but you can if you want to.  It’s all kinds of perfect and wondrous and, even if I wanted to, I can’t actually think of anything negative to say because they’ve inserted that Thermomix chip into my head and I am part of the cult.

I’m afraid I am going to turn into one of those people who tell you how their lives have been transformed, one of those people who tell you how much time and money they’ve saved. But I’m not really afraid because I am one of them already.  Please continue to read my blog, I’ll try to temper my cultish adoration.

I’ll miss my previous life, but if you have a Thermomix tell me what I should be making.

And watch this – it’s laugh out loud hysterical. Seriously. If the first few lines offend you stay with it because once they start talking about us cult members Thermomix owners, it’s worth it.

Finding my calm… at the bottom of a bowl of soup

Yesterday was one of those days. Not a good one. My mind was racing, I could not regain my calm. I was snappy. Ready to fight, unable to breathe with ease. And so I cooked.  I cooked to calm myself down because when I am  in the kitchen with loud music and cooking to distract me I feel like the order of methodology and measurements and instructions gives me the boundaries I need and the music washes away the thoughts that try to interfere with the boundaries.

Such an intense introduction to a recipe, you probably didn’t need – but the recipe I am going to share will make you glad you sat through it.  It’s deeply comforting food and although no one but me is eating soup at this time of the year you can always keep the recipe for when “normal” people eat soup (ie winter)

Tomato and Pumpkin Soup

You need:

1kg Roma tomatoes

400grams butternut

1 leek

1/3 cup olive oil

5 cloves garlic

2 tbs sugar

1 cup stock

salt and pepper

1 tbs ginger

Method:

Place tomatoes, butternut, leek, olive oil, garlic and sugar in a roasting pan

raw vegetables

Place everything in a baking tray

 

Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 40 minutes

cooked veg

Put it into a pot

Once they are all soft and squishy put the vegetables into a pot and add the ginger and stock. Then blend it all together with salt and pepper.

Pour it into a bowl (or cup) and eat

soup

Ta da

And that’s it – my comforting soup recipe which I made at the same time as I made a zillion other things last night because I was looking for lots of calming.

What do you do when you need to find your calm?

 

 

I no longer have pre-diabetes

 

Today I went to the specialist again. The specialist was in fact an endocrinologist, because as much as I like trying to kid myself I go to the specialist because I’m special, I’m actually seeing an endocrinologist because my endocrine system is special. Although I just made that bit up.

I actually really wanted to see the Consultant guy below but my GP hadn’t written me a referral.

anti-ageing

Anyway I had been to the endocrinologist sometime back and he had sent me to have my entire blood supply syphoned by the pathology department. I also had to donate a LOT of wee to those pathologists. But that’s getting into specifics you probably don’t want to know about

Today I sat down across from the endocrinologist (whose parents must be my age )and I thought I heard good news

“You are no longer pre diabetic” he said.

“Yay me!” I thought fantasising about celebrating this win with a huge packet of fruit chews. And a jar of Nutella. And some marshmallows.

“You have diabetes” he said.

I still clung to my confectionery fantasy because I bloody love lollies and I thought I was going to need them to get through this diagnosis

And then he said it about 15 more times. In fact during the rest of the appointment I don’t think he said another batch of words without including “you have diabetes” except of course when he kept repeating “we are now treating you as a diabetic”

He gave me “gifts” of medication and books and glucose meters and a nifty set of needles and strips and asked me if I wanted to see a diabetes educator as well as a dietitian.

I  asked him if I was going to die. He didn’t answer no immediately. I think he sad something like “you have diabetes”.

I cried a little bit – because I cry whenever I hear any news.

He told me that I had diabetes.

And I walked out with a shopping bag full of stuff, a referral to a dietitian (who I will find it hard to listen to)  and a diagnosis of diabetes.

Nice. *sobs over lost opportunity to eat all the lollies*

lollies

 

 

An open letter to Coles Supermarkets about caged eggs

 

Dear Coles

When you announced that all your Coles branded eggs were going to be free range or barn laid and approved by the RSPCA I applauded you. I thought that as a major supermarket you were going a long way towards improving the welfare of the chickens in Australia. Given you know and understand what a caged chicken goes through you know how important this is.

So I walked into Coles confidently knowing that I was supporting a chain that was making an ethical choice in at least one line on their supermarket shelves. But instead I noticed that your shelves are full of caged eggs. At least three brands that I saw in my local Coles supermarket yesterday.
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My week and the huge taste of deliciousness

It’s been a long and busy week for me, a week that I’ve spent so much time just in awe of people who work full time, blog, stay in touch on social media and have time to still brush their teeth.

I’ve been doing some extra work for Kidspot this week and it’s been bloody fantastic. Possibly one of the highlights was going into the office and meeting some of the team face-to-face. As much as I’ve loved working on my own this past year, I’m prepared and thrilled to say that it’s really uplifting to be part of such a cohesive, committed and generally awesome bunch of women.
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Alphabet Dinner brought to you by the letter I

I know how much you have been missing my Alphabet dinners and you know how much I hate to disappoint, so look no further for our dinner that began with I.  To get the back story read here.

I was for Italian and we ate at my place.
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Dinner with an H

Last week our culinary journey through the alphabet stopped at H and it was my sister’s turn to provide the food. No one went hungry although she went for Hungary (boom tish)

We started with soup and matzo balls (kneidlach or dumplings). I felt like I was at home. It’s a dish we literally grew up on

 soup with kneidlach
Next was chicken schintzel. I love my sister to the earth and back for not using veal
schnitzel

and I am more than appreciative of the fact that she made eggplant schnitzel for her fussy vegetarian sister

eggplant shnitzel

Served with red cabbage and sauteed potatoes the delicious meal looked like this
plated meal

And because I am the sugar loving fiend that I am I paced myself because I know that my sister is a bloody wonder child when it comes to dessert. Hungarian desserts are no exception. Just check out this cherry strudel that she MADE (not bought). I cannot emphasise its deliciousness enough. The flowers were pretty rad too.

strudel

As regular readers are becoming aware, we love to serve more than one dessert in our family and this was dessert number two which must have taken a bazillion years (and much patience to make). It is a traditional Hungarian dessert called Palatschinke and is basically layered crepes. It usually layered with jam and chocolate but the best aunt in the world  (ie my sister) knows that Little Pencil has a jam aversion and so it was simply layered with nutella.  I know how jealous you are feeling right now, I’m sorry.

palacsinta

Check out our Greek dinner here, our French dinner here, our Ethiopian Feast here and all the delights from the Dominican Republic here

Stay tuned for I this week – Indian? Israeli? Italian? Indonesian?

This baklava ice cream will make people fall in love with you

Due to popular demand (my sister has asked me twice) I am posting the recipe for the baklava ice cream loaf that I may have mentioned more than once in my Greek dinner post. Seriously it is so good you won’t even mind that I am boasting about it.

Here’s what you need

  • 8 sheets of phyllo pastry
  • some melted butter for brushing
  • about 150grams almonds
  • about 150grams pistachios (shelled of course)
  • 2tsps cinnamon
  • 2tsps castor sugar
  • 1 litre ice cream (I used Sara Lee French Vanilla)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup sugar

The instructions I am going to do in pictures – because, well because I can. Except for heating the oven, that I will tell you straight up so preheat the oven to 160′ centigrade

nuts for baklava ice cream

Mix the nuts with the sugar and the cinnamon in the food processor

crushed nuts

Process the nut mixture

phyllo pastry for baklava ice cream

Brush 2 sheets of the phyllo pastry with melted butter and place one on top of the other

spread the nuts

Spread 1/3 of the nut mixture over the phyllo

cover with the pastry

Repeat the same procedure twice so you end with a phyllo top

Cut diamond shapes into baklava

Cut the pastry in half vertically to make 2 large rectangles
Cut diamond pattern into the top of each rectangle

baklava ice cream

Bake each side until golden (about 30 minutes). Then cool
This will form the “bread” of your sandwich

Meanwhile mix 2/3 cup of sugar, 2/3 cup of water, juice of half a lemon until it gets syrupy.

Line the sides of a loaf tin with foil. This will make it easier to get out of the tin when you serve

ice cream on the top

Place one side of the pastry on the bottom of the loaf tin and pour over half the syrup
Spread the softened ice cream over the top of that
Pop the other side on the top, pour remaining syrup over it and stick it into the freezer

baklava ice cream 1

Take it out of the freezer about 20 minutes before you serve to soften the ice cream

baklava ice cream

It looks quite impressive

inside baklava

and it is bloody delicious

Recipe from Sharon Glass Absolutely Delicious