Sunday, January 26, 2014

Quick baked beans

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On a rare day every now and again someone who won't be named decides that naps are not required. On these days, by the time the clock hits 4.30pm she wiggles herself onto my lap and refuses to move. Thankfully these nights don't happen often, but when they do it needs to be a quick dinner… something I can cook while a certain small person is attached to my legs.

Normally when I make homemade baked beans there is a bunch of ingredients, some sautéing here, simmer this, wait for something to boil etc. etc. enough to require actually moving around the kitchen which can't happen with my little concrete block weighing me down, so now I've come up with a  smokey baked bean recipe, a cheap and quick substitute that can be made in just under 15 minutes.

I used a can of cannelini beans and a can of red kidney beans, but you could just do 2 cans of cannelini if you have or 2 of red kidney beans.
Quick Beans
Quick Baked Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and ground pepper
1 can of cannellini and 1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup tomato ketchup
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
1/4 cup of molasses or if you don't have use 1/3 cup maple syrup mixed with 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the olive oil and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes
  2. Add beans and 1/2 cup water to the pot and simmer for 6 minutes
  3. Add your maple syrup/brown sugar mixture or molasses, ketchup, BBQ sauce and mustard to the pot with some salt and pepper
  4. Simmer for approx. 5 minutes until sauce has thickened
We served ours up last week with some of Bill Grangers Sweetcorn Fritters (recipe)

Quick Beans

Friday, January 24, 2014

Coconut Berry Muffins

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Playdates at home this week meant a batch of muffins was required, so I went back to an often used recipe and thought I would share. I find muffins easy when you have a bunch of kids over, no need for plates, forks etc… just give them a muffin and send them in the direction of the yard to eat on the grass.
Coconut Berry Muffins
I never (ever) have buttermilk at home so make it myself but for these I wanted a little bit of coconut flavour so decided to try coconut buttermilk. Did you know why buttermilk is preferred for muffins? While reading up on making my own coconut buttermilk, a few sources said the acidity of buttermilk reacts with the raising agent (either in Self Raising flour or baking powder/soda) to get a better rise. Anyway, back to the recipe..

To make your own buttermilk you just need 250ml milk with 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. Plain milk + vinegar will make your normal buttermilk, but I replace the milk with coconut milk or coconut cream. Now coconut milk is probably a better substitute, but I had some leftover cream in the fridge to be used,  so cream it was this time. Mix the milk/cream and vinegar together and leave for 5 minutes and voila, buttermilk.

Coconut Berry Muffins
Makes 10

300g (2 cups) self-raising flour
155g raw caster sugar or brown sugar
280g frozen berries
60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly whisked
250ml (1 cup) coconut buttermilk or buttermilk (instructions above)

  • Preheat fan-forced oven to 190°C and line your muffin trays with muffin papers
  • Combine flour, milk, berries, coconut buttermilk and egg and stir until everything is just combined.
  • Spoon batter into muffin papers and bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. 
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, January 19, 2014


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Holidays Summer 2013/2014
One week of holidays left and everyone is still being relatively friendly to each other. A few last playdates to squeeze in the last week and then it's back to school...

Plans for this last week; swimming for Eva starts again, a couple of playdates and maybe I will get some sewing done... maybe... ok probably not. Sheesh the days go quick in the holidays!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New cookbooks

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We always end up with new cookbooks at Christmas, and a couple of days ago I broke them open for the first time.

I received Baking Day by Women's Weekly from my best friend. She knows me too well. Almost every page has something I want to make so I know it will be well used, but first up was a Caramel Apple Pull Apart.
Looks good right? I wasn't sure how the pull apart was going to turn out when it was at dough stage, I had terrible trouble rolling the dough with all the mushy apple inside and had to reduce the amount, but fresh out of the oven and oh my goodness it was good. So good I made another for a picnic with friends.
Sweet potato fritters and homemade chips
Sweet potato fritters and homemade potato wedges

And for dinner a couple of nights ago, we tried Jamie Oliver's Sweet Potato Fritters from Save with Jamie that I gave my husband. During cooking, I found the best results from using smaller fritters and on a lower heat than suggested and used coconut oil. I made homemade potato wedges from Allrecipes to accompany them. Definite winner.

Friday, January 3, 2014

1 Year

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Print by Burbia

1 year ago today our lives were in boxes... again. But we had just handed over copious amounts of money to real estate agents, removalists, banks, and lawyers and were on our way to our brand new home. 12 months later and I still love our new home as much as the first time I looked at it and went home to my husband and told him "love it, but there is no way we will get it"...

This week we have been doing a MAJOR clean. Christmas decorations and new presents are all in their places, kitchen cupboards have been tidied, and a full carload is ready for the tip as well as a (huge) pile to donate to charity. It feel so good to have it all done and start the year!

One of my favourite pieces at home, is the print above from Burbia that I gave my husband for his birthday that hangs above the dining table, but I put my DIY hat on to make something for him at Christmas.
Running holder Running holder
He has only been running for such a short time and we are so proud of him. With some supplies from Bunnings, a custom vinyl label and some crafting, he now has a place to hang all his bibs and ribbons proudly on the wall beside our bed instead of stuffed in a drawer. Hung up today, 1 year after we moved into our home.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

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To everyone, wishing you a Happy New Year. We spent our night with our oldest friends and our combined 6 children... the parents were seriously outnumbered! Slip and slides, blow up pools, sparklers, fireworks, good food and lovely friendship... perfect way to end a great year and start a new.

We bought in the first day of the new year with requests for Mummy's pancakes, followed by Lucy's first trip to the local dog beach. A lovely start to the year and with Daddy home for 2 more weeks, perfect family relaxation time.
Pancakes with banana, honey and pomegrante
Pancakes are often requested for breakfast around here, and I keep a big glass jar in the cupboard of Nigella's Home-made Instant Pancake Mix, great for making quick brekky, although we do need a double batch to feed everyone. Recipe here.