Sunday, October 16, 2011

Old favourites

Spaghetti meatballs
With the rain keeping us in indoors we have been cooking toddler friendly food more often as it gives us something to do during the day! Oscar loves to help cut and mix but his favourite job is taste tester. This week we made the old favourite 'Spaghetti Meatballs' and some home made pizza using pita bread.

I've provided photos of the pizza making but have not listed a recipe as pizza is really a choose your own adventure. I love very plain pizzas but we added some yellow capsicum, mushrooms, ham, cheese and fresh tomato. Oscar had lots of fun making his pizza and the way he made it is the way we left it.

As for spaghetti meatballs, I make the meatballs different every time as it depends on what I have in the fridge. Below is the recipe I used for this time. It made about 35 small meatballs which I freeze.

Here's what you need:
400-500g beef mince (or chicken)
1 carrot grated
1/2 grated onion
1 tablespoon chopped basil
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (or flour if too runny)
*other times I have added: grated zucchini, mashed potato, crushed garlic, mashed broccoli

All ready to go
Here's what you do:
If baking meatballs, preheat your oven to 200C and grease an oven tray with a little olive oil. You will need to bake the meatballs for about 20 minutes. I pan fried mine in some olive oil over a hot plate over medium heat.

This recipe is great because almost all ingredients just need to be grated into a bowl. Mix all ingredients together with your hands and add more flour or breadcrumbs if too runny. Scoop teaspoon sized portions of the mix and roll into small balls. Repeat till all mixture is used. Once cooked, you can freeze what you don't eat but wait till they cool down first. I freeze them in batches of 4.

I cooked 3/4 packet of spaghetti which gave us 2 adult, 1 toddler & 2 lunch portions. To make the tomato sauce I lightly fried the remaining 1/2 of the onion used in the meatballs, added 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a tablespoon of chopped basil, a 700g bottle of Passata and a can of chopped tomatoes. I also had a heaped teaspoon of sugar and a little bit of worcestershire sauce. When the sauce is ready mix the pasta and meatballs all together.

Pizza Making 
Our pizza toppings

Fun pizza making

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Afgan Biscuits!

Yum - even with watery icing!
At the school I used to work at in Singapore we used to have a fantastic "Mum's Canteen". The mum's that ran it were the best and they made great food that always made me homesick for Australia. My all time favourite treat was Afghan biscuits. Years later I shared this story with my mother-in-law who promptly found a recipe and now makes them for me every time we visit home. Thank you Sandy! 

On this rainy Saturday morning I decided to make some Afghan biscuits with my 22 month son. We had lots of fun and obviously the best bit for him (and me) is licking the spoon at the end. He loved how crunchy the biscuits are and I just love them!

Keep your eyes on the mix!
Here's what you need for the biscuits:
200 g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup corn flakes, slightly crushed
1/2 cup desiccated coconut 

Here's what you need for the icing**:
1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons water
walnuts (to decorate if you want) 

Here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 180c and use baking paper to line some baking trays (I use pizza trays). When the butter is soft place it and the sugar in to your mixing bowl. I used my KitchenAid to cream it together until it was light and fluffy. In a separate bowl mix the flour and cocoa together. It is better to use a sifter but I am not sure if my son would have the patience for this so I just mixed them both straight from the packet. When mixed through add it to the butter and sugar mixture.

Lots of fun
Add the crushed cornflakes (my son had lots of fun helping with this) and the coconut to the bowl . Mix through until all blended well. Spoon teaspoon sized portions of batter onto your lined trays. It's important to know that the cookies won't spread or rise. If you want flat cookies be sure to press them down.  Bake in your oven for 15-20mins. This recipe made abut 24 small biscuits. When ready let cool then make the icing and ice. Traditionally afghan biscuits are served with a walnut decoration but also delicious on their own. Enjoy! 

**my icing turned out very watery. If you have a great recipe for icing please leave a comment and share!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

change of ways...

I haven't been able to post any new recipes for a while as we have been on holiday for 7 weeks. Being teachers on the European school calendar means that we get to go home to Australia for an extended amount of time and visit family over winter. The holiday was great & fortunately/unfortunately I didn't do too much cooking - although I made a great sweet potato mash with orange juice!

Anyways, we are back home in Bangkok and getting back into our routine. I can't wait to get back into the kitchen and try out some of the recipes from my new birthday present cookbook from my mum, Hopscotch & Honey Joys. I LOVE this book and think I will buy it for others as a gift.

Also I have decided to expand my blogging and as well as cooking, I am going to share some of the crafty, fun things I do with my son. Now he is 20 months old we are having serious fun and I am tapping into the long-forgotten art & craft side of my brain. Upcoming activities (& posts) include wooden spoon puppets, coloured ice cubes to chase in the bath & maybe a cardbox box fort of some kind... still thinking on that one. In the meantime, below are some photos of the play kitchen I just made and I am off to explore my new cookbook and choose some new recipes to cook!

it started with a box

add some contact, cd's, plastic tubes & a bowl...

hours of fun!