Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Healthy(ish) Apple Crumble Pies




Here's some yummy rustic cooking if I ever saw it! We made our shortcrust pastry and wanted something yummy to use the off cuts for. Well, yummy it was, I ended up having one for afternoon tea that day with ice cream and it took ALL of my self control not to eat more!

Ingredients
Topping
4-6 dates
1 handful of raw almonds
1 handful of desiccated coconut

2 apples
shortcrust pastry offcuts (or make a batch for one big apple pie!)

Method
1. Blitz all 3 topping ingredients to make the yummy crumble
2. Place pie pastry circles in pie dishes or muffin trays
3. Add thinly sliced apple pieces to each dish
4. Cover with the crumble mix
5. Cover with foil and bake in 180'C oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes

Enjoy these yummy yummy treats! I served mine with icecream! (Perhaps I should take healthy out of the title!)
Use any leftover crumble mix on yogurt, oats or just spoon it out on it's own! :) Yummy!


Recipe:: Shortcrust Pastry

It's no secret that we love to bake! I'm so pleased to be passing on a love of baking to my girls (and eventually my boy sitting in the back stalls there!)

For those of you who follow along here you'd know our kitchen makeover is now finished, so you'll notice these photographs are from a few months back! But this is a recipe we are using all the time! It's really basic but it's how we love to do it so I thought I'd share with you!

Shortcrust Pastry Recipe
Makes 1 30cm pie base

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
145g butter
2-3 Tbs iced water

I use my Breville food processor to mix the dough.

    

    

Method
1. Process the flour and butter in food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs
2. While the motor is running, add enough iced water to form a smooth dough
3. Knead lightly then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes
4. When ready to use, roll out on a piece of baking paper until 3mm thick. I like to use cling wrap over the top to prevent sticking.
5. To blind bake, peel off cling wrap and pick up dough. Spread evenly over greased pie dish and push into edges. Cut off excess dough. Place baking paper over the pastry and fill with uncooked rice.
Bake at 180'C for 10 minutes, then remove rice and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Note: If you want a sweetened base  for a dessert you can add 2 Tbs of caster sugar in step 1.

    

    

We love to use this recipe for lots of yummy baked goods. And it's perfect for little ones to help.

We've been enjoying adding this pastry to my roast vegetable frittata for an added element of yumminess!

                                                             Roast Vegetable Frittata Just For Daisy

Monday, February 23, 2015

Allowing our children to 'do it yourself'


Parenting and family life seems to come hand in hand with busyness and chaos. I like to think I live in a kind of organised chaos - my brain just often works faster than my physical (and time) capacity to get things done!

So put into that a gorgeous two year old who has found independence in dressing herself...Or a four year old who insists she can roll and cut the pie pastry herself and you have to decide how important these experiences are for your child compared with the extra time that particular task may then take! 


Miss Daisy enjoyed lining up at the cafe at the hardware store last week. I watched her as she tapped her toe, waiting for the cashier to make the man in front of her his coffee. As she tut tutted him for taking so long! *blush* And I watched on as she passed the lady her juice, followed by the money.
It actually gave me great joy to watch her do this for herself. Something that I could've rushed to do myself but by allowing her to do it she gained skills and confidence. She had to work out how to open the big fridge, carry her goods and money to the desk and line up, listen as she was called, follow the cashiers instructions and then bring her change and juice back to me at the table. And the glowing smile on her face was proof that those experiences were invaluable.


Little Peppa is really enjoying cooking. She'll request to make scones almost every day! And if she so much as hears a mixing bowl and spoon touch she's running into the kitchen and asking 'What are we making?' and 'Can I do it!?' Yes, of course you can!



Cooking is one of our favourite things to do together. And the girls are getting real good at it. They can identify so many ingredients, kitchen utensils and also orally explain the method for cooking some of their favourites! 
Cooking is fabulous because it's also how we bless our neighbours. We love to make cookies, scones or slice for delivering to our school age neighbours for afternoon tea. Or we sometimes make double dinners where we cook for ourselves and double the recipe so we can deliver dinner to a neighbour as well. (and dessert!)


Another area where the girls often take the reins is in their play and creative pursuits. Here Miss Daisy wanted to be like her Poppa and so she drew her own 'still life' drawing of the vase of flowers she picked. 
The large blue area is the water in the vase, and you can see the flowers carefully drawn above. 
For some reason she then drew the peach tree with all it's leaves over the top of it. I didn't know why. I didn't particularly think it was relevant. But she wanted to draw it there, so I didn't speak.

Then when she was done she explained to me that because the vase would go on the windowsill she drew the peach tree behind the vase because that's what's out the kitchen window! Amazing!

I want to live these moments often. To be less rushed, not to feel less rushed but to be less rushed. To allow a task to take an extra 5 minutes or an extra 15 minutes because those precious minutes are so valuable and so cherished by these beautiful children of mine!

Do you think it's important to allow children to 'do it yourself?'

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Here are some great posts from some of my favourite bloggers on why allowing our children to do things for themselves is so important:

Kate from Living Loving Laughing wrote this lovely post about her daughter making her own lunches

Kate from Peaceful Parents Confident Kids wrote these great posts about

Kate from An Everyday Story has written

Kate from Picklebums wrote about

Danya from Danya Banya recently wrote this interesting post 
- should I let my daughter cut her doll's hair which is food for thought

I will add more to here as I find them but I know there are so many wonderfully written posts on this in blog land to inspire you! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This space intentionally left blank due to lack of creativity in naming this post....

I have been reading some wonderful blog posts lately. Encouraging things. Exciting things. Interesting things. And I came to realise that I'm getting little bits of time in the evenings once again. I really missed the hour or so of having time just for me while we had a fussy baby in the house! Just time to read, sit on the laptop, take a bath or prepare for the next day.

It's probably been this way for a good month or so now and it's helping with everybody's sanity! Our little lion cub is sleeping SOOO much better in the daytime and sticking with his routine of waking once or twice in the night and at 5 months old I'm still happy to oblige him with a quick feed each time and pop him back into bed!



The girls and I have been keeping busy in our new kitchen! Bad blogger that I am I didn't take many before/during/after shots. I'm just not really stylish like that!! But it's really neat (in the cool way not the neat and tidy way!) And it's making life so much better having a dining table that's not on carpet and not in a separate room! Hooray for a super clever hubby who gutted, installed and revamped this space into something fabulous!


           

We're all easing into life with new commitments this year. Prep for Miss Daisy, preschool for Li'l Peppa and one day where the little Lion Cub and I get the day to ourselves! :) I really want to ease into an even more consistent rhythm with the girls, especially relating to morning and evening routines. Do you have a rhythm/routine that works for your family? 

Anyway, there is laundry to be folded and Valentine's Craft to be prepared for playgroup tomorrow which thanks to the promise of rain will be here tomorrow! Eeep! 
We're going to paint some cute little love bugs on stones and some other love heart themed story stones! My partner in crime just asked me if she should bring glitter... my response... I'm allergic to glitter with that many children! ;)
Are you a lover or a hater when it comes to glitter?!