Thursday, August 14, 2014

{Robin Williams : The Loss of a Ledgend}

This week humanity lost a legend.  One of the greats. 
We will all remember where we were in that moment of disbelief. 
I was sitting in the car on my driveway. Listening to the radio, unwilling to wake my sleeping daughter by bringing her inside. 
The announcers voice trembled slightly as he said those words.
ROBIN WILLIAMS HAS PASSED AWAY.  You could have knocked me over with a feather. The man whose voice and face marked childhood memories for me and now my children. 
His brilliance. 
               His humour.  
                           My heart ached.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

{Prayer Sticks}

I am always on the look out for interesting ways to incorporate our families' faith into our every day moments. I felt God put on my heart recently the need to step up the prayer life for my two boys. I love that whenever they hear a siren now its instinctual to pray for the accident and the emergency workers. However, with their little sisters' sleep and general routine leaving something to be desired, bedtime prayers were either being forgotten or being limited in topic matter. Due to hubby's working hours, I am often juggling bedtime routine and rocking a baby to sleep at the same time. Helpful. 
So, I decided to make it tangible and exciting for the boys to pray for different things. Enter the Prayer Sticks.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

{Meat Free Monday : Eggplant Pizzas}

Last week I found some eggplant at a local green grocer for $3 a kg and couldn't pass it up. I didn't know what I was going to create with it at the time, but love a good challenge and am trying my best to eat as healthy as I can. This recipe turned out to be such a winner and I will definitely make it again!

Before you start, prep your eggplant by salting it to draw the bitterness out. I thought this was common knowledge until a conversation with someone recently and they couldn't figure out why they liked eggplant when cooked at a restaurant but not at home. Turns out they never knew to salt it first. For some good tips on this process, click on {this link} for more info from one of my favourite sites

Once you have prepped your eggplant your are ready. These are the ingredients I used:
1 Eggplant Cut width-wise into circles
Fresh Basil
Tomato Paste
Mushrooms or Lean cut Ham (depending if you want it to be fully vegetarian)
Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Step 1:
Once Eggplant is prepped (as above)drizzle with a little evoo(extra-virgin olive oil) and either grill or bake until they start to golden. 

Step 2:
Spread with a little tomato paste and salt and pepper. I think you need the consistency of the paste rather than a sauce. If you use a pasta sauce type consistency, it may make the end product too watery and hard to pick up.
Add finely cut mushrooms, zucchini, lean ham, salami or whatever you like as your main topping. 

Step 3:
Add a fresh basil leaf or two and sprinkle with Parmesan. Its really worth splurging on fresh basil here, it makes it. Also, if you choose a stronger hard cheese (as opposed to a tasty style) you need less cheese (therefore calories) to achieve a nice taste. 

Step 4:Bake for about another 5 minutes in moderate oven, just to melt cheese really. If you like, tear a few extra basil leaves over before you serve. YUM!

I hope you enjoy as much as I did!
Lauren x   


Thursday, August 7, 2014

{LunchBox Life}

Earlier this week I posted this photo on my Insta feed and part of the caption read: "Today's 'shop the pantry' adventures." I wanted to bake some treats, but not go to the shops for anything.

I am often appalled by the price it costs to feed a family these days, and the more I talk to friends, I am convinced the feeling is also mutual. I have found that shopping at Aldi for most of our groceries has slashed the price significantly. However, my 8 and 5 year old boys are eating a lot and we haven't even hit 'teenager-land' yet! 
I whipped up these snacks briefly in the kitchen and it lasted us a whole week of lunchboxes, afternoon treats and even some lunches. Here are the details:

1. Zucchini Slice: {link to recipe here}
Now, my kids don't think they like zucchini, but I call it quiche and they love it! If the green bothers them, you could always peel it beforehand. You could also add grated carrot or corn into the mix too for a variation. I line a baking dish with baking paper to make it easy to lift out, then cut into squares. I froze half and put the other half into lunchboxes with some salad for a sandwich alternative.

2. Cheesy-mite Scrolls:
There is a "proper" way to do this using dough Details are {here} if you have time, but my life right now is all about making things as easy as possible and store bought puff pastry works fine.
Just spread a sheet of puff with vegemite, sprinkle a good amount of grated cheese on top and roll. Cut into pieces and then lay on tray and bake till golden. Simple!

3. Homemade "LCM's":
I had some cheerios and rice bubbles in the pantry that my boys were not that fussed with. So, I dug around to find something to create with that I had on hand and ended up making a sort of 'LCM' style bar equivalent that my boys now love! You can set into a baking dish and cut into squares or simply scoop into cupcake cases. No oven required, a few ingredients and so cheap and easy! I kinda winged it but found an official recipe for you guys to follow {recipe here}

4. Banana Bread:
A favorite in our house and the link is in the menu bar to the right under my favorite sweet recipes. But I'll also put it here too {recipe}

5. Choc Cupcakes:
I always have a cupcake mix on hand for those emergencies. It has saved me many times. I am not talking top shelf here, its a bag from woolies on the bottom shelf that only costs about 80 cents. I simply made this up to instructions, chucked in a mashed banana and some choc chips I had and Voila!

So, there are 5 easy things to add to your kids lunchboxes this week that wont break the bank. 

Hit me up on here in the comments below or on the Homemade FB page {link here} as to your favourite lunchbox winners! 

Lauren x


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