Toddlers visiting 

Love it.   Hate it. 

  • Interactions for me Love
  • Cleaning up before visits Hate
  • Baking Love
  • Trying to cater to all the crowd’s satisfaction Hate
  • My child crying because another toddler snatched her toy Hate 
  • Moments when they’re all playing well Love
  • Seeing another toddler acting like a inconsolable whiny pain in the butt Love (means mine’s normal plus bonus not mine at that moment) 
  • Cleaning up aftermath when everyone makes a run for it Hate
  • Noticing that while Miss Bee doesn’t mix up the toys too much other children do…  Hence extensive sorting because I’m finding play food in the doll house,  Lego in the toy kitchen,  cars and kitchen cups in the wooden blocks Hate

  • Wondering why it’s literally always at my house Hate
  • Drinking coffee with a chat Love 

Aftermath

I’m making Italian tonight

Mmmm…. lasagne and homemade garlic bread. I mean HOMEMADE, I am currently making the dough for the baguettes. Served with a Greek salad (don’t tell the Italians).

My son and his partner are coming for dinner. This calls for lush home cooked rich comfort food that (to be frank) he wouldn’t /couldn’t make himself.

This is how I make lasagne. I don’t use a recipe but freestyle it. So feel free to adapt to suit your taste. 

MEAT SAUCE:

500g lean mince

2 grated carrots

2 grated zucchini

1 finely (go FINE) diced onion (I use brown)

1 jar of passata tomato sauce (those tall jars) alternatively you can use 2 tins of diced tomatoes

2 teaspoons Italian herbs (or 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil and a pinch of thyme)

1 teaspoon of minced garlic (I prefer organic as garlic is one of the vegetables more prone to holding leached chemicals from pesticides) 

Fry the onion (NOT the garlic!) in a little olive oil (I use light flavoured) gently on a medium heat for around 5 minutes until it becomes translucent. Don’t rush this stage as burnt onion flavour makes the sauce a tad bitter.

Add the mince until browned, now add the herbs, garlic, carrots, zucchini, passata and herbs. Simmer on very low as long as possible up to 2 hrs. (But just use it as is if you’re time poor)… nobody will complain, after all YOU cooked them a meal…and it was lasagne! I prefer not to add salt as the cheese is quite salty. Pepper to your taste. 

NOTE: a good slurp of red wine is an excellent addition if you can spare some. (oh and some for the meat sauce too).

Now my “trick” is 2 cheese sauces.

CHEESE SAUCE #1:

1 500g cottage cheese

4 eggs

2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese (fresh is best but dried works)

1 teaspoon of oregano

 

CHEESE SAUCE #2:

This is the same one I mentioned recently. I am a lazy cook, I confess it.

6 tablespoons plain flour

6 tablespoons skim milk powder

3 cups boiling water

1/2 cup grated cheese (or more if you’re a greedy cheese lover like me) 

2 tablespoons butter or marg

generous pinch paprika

1/4 cup white wine (nice but optional)

 

Blend the flour and milk powder. Slowly add the boiling water stirring until thickening. Add butter then cheese. If you want you can microwave 2 minutes to thicken more. The sauce should be slightly thicker than custard. 

LASAGNE NOODLES:

I prefer wholewheat instant and when being very indulgent I will by fresh (one day I might even try making lasagne noodles! when Miss Bee isn’t 2 that is!)

Layering your lasagne. I do a light spray of canola. ALWAYS start with a tiny smear of the meat sauce as it seemed to stick less,  now add the noodles close together.

Try not to overlap them as they can make thick sections that are chunky and don’t cut well either. Next put 1/3 of the meat, then 1/3 of the egg based cheese sauce, 1/4 cheese sauce.

Repeat until the last layer then make noodles, meat, egg based cheese sauce. Finish with a layer of noodles then add the remaining 1/2 cheese sauce as the top layer.

Bake based on the instructions on your packet of noodles as for time needed. I generally bake in a moderately low oven at least 45-1hr. Turn the oven off and let it sit at least 20 minutes. This makes it sort of gel together. If you want really neat pieces then cook the day before or in the morning and reheat as it get more solid the longer it cools.


Greek salad tonight:

Mix together diced

  • Feta
  • tomatoes
  • cucumber
  • olives
  • avocado (don’t tell the Greeks)

 I’m having mine mostly naked with just a small splash of lemon juice and olive oil. 

Will that garlic bread work?  I hope so.  I bought fresh yeast today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza night

Homemade pizza night. Bases from scratch. Such a yummy base recipe. Two types of cheese…  Tasty and mozzarella.

Miss Bee and big sister helped make it which made for a fun chef experience.

Spinach,  pesto,  chicken and avocado with a hint of mayo. 

Bacon,  capsicum, cherry tomatoes and black olives.

Chicken,  pineapple,  avocado and bacon.

BBQ sauce,  bacon, capsicum, pineapple and eggs. 

Miss Bee was eating dessert of icecream with sprinkles… I got told “you finish that first”.

Mother’s Day dinner menu

Has to gluten free, vegetarian options,  no mushrooms, no capsicum, no walnuts or peanuts, diabetic suitable.  Thankfully dairy is ok.  

Chicken drumsticks in mayo marinade (using GF mayo)

Stuffed pumpkin (veg,  adapted GF using 3/4 rice 1/4 quinoa) 

Parmesan baked zucchini

Cinnamon baked sweet potato (just cut then coat in a little olive oil,  Cinnamon,  dash of honey if not diabetic,  salt and pepper before baking)

Lemon and garlic broccoli

Steamed carrots and green beans

Dessert will be lemon delicious pudding made up with GF SR flour 

With coffee I’ve made Betty Crocker GF chocolate chip cookies (I can and do bake but GF cookies can be disappointing so I’m trying these out). 
Mother’s Day.. . Planning the menu,  buying the groceries,  cooking it all.  Cleaning the house with Miss Bee then cleaning it all up after. Yeah. Got to love Mother’s Day. I’m glad it’s once a year. 

Easter Sunday

Knocking hello to her big brother on his cottage door with her little friend Miss Eva.

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Egg hunt in the sunny garden.

Miss Bee ate way too much chocolate, my job as a mummy is a success!

Lots of supervision required though as just beyond that fence is a little river perfect for drowning it. Moments after the bottom photo (above set) I took this next photo then had to run to relock the gate and herd them back into the yard as they had escaped while everyone else was chatting oblivious to the danger that was just avoided.

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Playing a café game with potions in a cubby nook tucked away in the garden.

 

Sweet Time Out, Wee Hooing and chooks

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March was a busy birthday month so somehow our monthly Twelvetimes date night was lost into the ether. Yet determination and the ability claw my way back to my plan made me accept that this weekend was close enough to March to count as our March date. Big sister Kitty took our little angel while we ran quickly into the distance.
Don’t get me wrong.  I adore being a mummy.  I fought a very long hard battle for this miracle child.  She is inquisitive, exceptionally agile and an undeniable magic radiates from her wide grin as she excitedly explores the world.  The room lights up like sunshine when she giggles.
Yet she is also relentless. Pushing boundaries, demanding attention, grabbing, touching and moving.  Constantly moving. Like a bumble bee starved of pollen stumbling upon a flower meadow.  She buzzes frenzied from blossom to blossom.  Her enthusiasm and pace is exhausting. Which is why I treasure those snippets of time when I can remove the robes and hats of mummy,  teacher,  entertainer,  cleaner and supervisor stripped bare to me. Just a me who is at times forgotten even by myself.
Coffee by the Kingston foreshore with a sumptuous Italian meal and nothing but the quiet moments to talk with my hubby.  Yes these rare time are precious. Reviving.  Essential remedy. Renewal.
Today,  I am refreshed.  Although we did meet another goal- Pizza night with friends last night. I think we had fun as we polished off 2 bottles of wine and they didn’t leave until nearly 1am. Today we set out on our monthly bike ride with Miss Bee in her Wee hoo bike trailer.  She loved it.  Indeed so much so that when we returned home she wasn’t giving up on the helmet and a classic toddler tantrum ensued.  We let her wear her helmet around the house.  Sometimes with toddlers you need to pick your battles and helmet wearing was really a non issue.

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Here it is. ..late.  She’s fed and bathed, in her PJs and ready for bed, having one last play with her dolls YET again wearing her helmet. Little funny bunny.

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An afternoon of tea, chooks and visiting friends on a farm was toddler heaven. Miss Bee made a little friends to run amok with! I used the opportunity to take some memory photos of the visit. Many were portraits and I have been told I am not allow to share them with you all… sorry._MG_8538

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Born to hunt?  Haaa haaa….

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