Tomorrow is another day

hair brushed, good dayI don’t brush my hair everyday but I did have my bra on from a reasonably early hour today so I thought it was going to be a pretty good day.

Little Chop had woken up early in the pitch black and it was 3 degrees outside – I should have been grumpy, but I wasn’t. We got up and I made us porridge with blue balls and apple. Yes…balls, Little Chop’s name for blueberries, which makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Anyway, we were snuggly and warm in front of our big gas heater, eating our blue ball porridge, watching Giggle and Hoot and having a pretty good time. We read a few books, played with trains and danced to Play School songs in our jammies. Lovely.

At 11 I put Little Chop down for her nap, showered, perused eBay with a cup of decaf then set about making a bolognese to re-stock the freezer for lazy days to come. I was just browning the meat when I heard Little Chop wake, so I brought her out to the lounge room and attempted to put her down, but the closer she got to the floor the higher her legs climbed up my torso. Little Chop had emerged from her nap as a spider monkey of sorts. So, Little Chop on hip, I went back to the kitchen and attempted to carry on with the bolognese. Ever try cooking one handed while balancing a 12kg toddler on your hip when your 21 weeks pregnant with a bad back? Frankly, I wouldn’t recommend it.

I managed to unclench Little Chop’s grip on my jumper and peel her off me but maybe I should have abandoned the bolognese at this point because she proceeded to go on a search and destroy mission in the kitchen. Nothing on the bench was off limits – plates, knifes, potato peeler and cutlery were all grasped at on tip toes. Next stop was the bin where packets and scraps were poked and examined. Then the cupboard doors were thrown open and every plate was threatened with sudden death. I must have said ‘no’ twenty times before Little Chop finally ended her spree of chaos, deciding to squeeze between me and the stove to climb my legs and demand ‘mup, mup, MUP!’ instead.

I managed to finish cooking the bolognese but Little Chop required my full attention for the remainder of the afternoon. I don’t know if she’s teething or going through a clingy period, or maybe a ‘wonder week’, but I have never heard ‘Mum’ so many times in one day.

LC: Mum, mum, mum, mum.

Me: Yes, Darling?

LC: Mum….Mum, mum, mum.

Me: Yes, what would you like?

LC: Mum, mum, mum, mum, mum!

Me: Yes?

LC: MUM! 

Me: Argh, what?

So, as I trudge down the hallway to resettle Little Chop for the third time tonight all I can do is remind myself that tomorrow is another day…

Quick monday night dinner – creamy bacon and mushroom pasta

melbournemummy's bacon and mushroom pasta

melbournemummy’s bacon and mushroom pasta

Tonight Hubby is out doing an evening course, so after putting Little Chop to bed I whipped up this delicious bacon and mushroom pasta. I’ve had this recipe in my stockpile for a few years now and it’s a great fallback meal for when I want something simple, quick and tasty.

This recipe will feed two adults or one pregnant woman.

You’ll need:

1 1/2 cups dried pasta – penne, farfale or fusilli will work

2 cups chopped mushrooms – cup or swiss brown

3 rashers rindless short cut bacon, sliced into thin strips

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped – white, brown or red anything goes

1/3 cup thick cooking cream

1 tbs soy sauce, regular or light

1 tbs butter or olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Firstly, boil some water and get your pasta on to cook, drain when al dente and set aside.

In a pan, heat the butter/oil and fry off the bacon on med/high heat until browned and crispy. Add the mushrooms and onions and reduce heat to med. Saute the mushrooms and onions until they are soft and the mushrooms have released their juices. Stir in the cream then add the soy sauce bit by bit, checking the flavour until you reach your desired saltiness. Crack in some black pepper. Simmer the sauce and continue to stir until it thickens a little. Turn heat to low and stir the pasta through.

Serve with a generous grating of parmesan cheese.

You can also add some thinly sliced pan-fried chicken breast or toasted pine nuts if you like. Hubby likes it with the lot but I prefer the simple version. Goes great with a green salad too.

Now, someone bring me a glass of chardonnay…

I know, I know…never mind.

Mum’s treat – banana caramel pudding for one

melbournemummy's banana pudding

melbournemummy’s banana pudding

This will be my last Mum’s treat cup-cake for a little while.

I’ve been dealing with sciatica (pinched nerve) for a couple of weeks now, which my doctor and physio believe is likely to stay for the remainder of my pregnancy, and I’m worried about putting on too much weight due to my physical activity being so restricted.

So, warm gooey cup-cakes are on the way out – along with chocolate, sugary tea, Tim Tams, honey crumpets…sob.

What’s a girl to do?

For those of you who aren’t watching your calorie intake, grab a mug!

You’ll need:

1 1/2 tbs milk

1 1/2 tsp butter

1 1/2 tbs castor sugar

3 tbs self raising flour

1 tbs mashed banana

1 pinch cinnamon

1 tbs brown sugar

3 tbs hot water

Place butter and milk in your mug and microwave for 30 seconds. Mix in castor sugar, flour, banana and cinnamon. Sprinkle brown sugar over the batter and gently top with the hot water. Microwave for 60-75 seconds on high until the top looks spongey but moist and the sides look saucey. Let stand for 1-2 minutes.

Serve with cream or ice-cream.

Ah, cup-cakes, I’m going to miss you.

Fussy toddler tuna mornay with broccoli, cauliflower and white beans

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I made this for Little Chop’s dinner tonight and it got the Fussy Toddler tick of approval. Creamy, cheesy, yummy – what’s not to like? I almost got stuck into it myself!

I must admit, I don’t really use recipes or measurements when I’m cooking at home, unless I’m baking, so these quantities are estimates, but it’s not an exact science – so don’t worry! Plus, you can substitute in other veggies like pumpkin or sweet potato if you like, or use some leftover roast chicken instead of tuna.

This recipe will feed one fussy toddler, so just multiply it if you need to.

You’ll need:

1/4 cup broccoli in bite size pieces

1/4 cup cauliflower in bite size pieces

1 tbs tinned tuna

1 tbs white beans (cannellini, butter beans or even chick peas)

2 tsp butter/ margarine

2 tsp plain flour

150 ml milk

1/4 cup grated tasty cheese

Put the broccoli and cauliflower on to steam. When they’re nearly tender, add the beans and steam for a further 3 minutes or thereabouts.

Meanwhile, melt the butter on medium heat in a small saucepan, add the flour and stir in until smooth. When the mixture begins to look frothy, remove from heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to stove and stir over medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in most of the cheese – set aside a little for the top.

Stir the veggies, beans and tuna through the cheese sauce – smashing the veggies and beans a bit as you go. Spoon into a ramekin. Top with the leftover cheese and put under the grill until bubbly and a little bit browned.

Allow to cool a little as the cheese will be very hot.

Serve to your aspiring food critic.

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*I’m thinking about writing a regular post called ‘Fussy Toddler Friday’ – assuming I can come up with a new recipe every week that satisfies Little Chop’s discerning taste buds. Scrap that, it’s never going to happen.

Maybe every second Friday…

The Sunshine Award

Anthony at Anthony Leonard’s Sexy Cuisine has very kindly nominated me for the Sunshine Award!

sunshine_award_x

I’ve only been blogging for a short while and I’m continually surprised by the friendliness and sense of community amongst my fellow wordpress bloggers.

So, it’s with great pleasure that I accept this award – thanks Anthony.

In the spirit of the Sunshine Award, I have answered these ten questions:

1. Favourite colour? I love jade and emerald green but I’m also a sucker for pink

2. Favourite animal? Cats, elephants

3. Favourite number? 16

4. Favourite colour? Didn’t I answer this already?

5. Favourite drink? English breakfast tea, white with one

6. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook

7. What is your passion? My family

8. Giving or getting presents? I’d be lying if I said that I don’t like getting presents, but it makes me happy to give them too

9. Favourite day of the week? Saturday – if I’m going to get an extra hour of sleep, saturday is the day!

10. Favourite flower? Roses, especially when hubby surprises me with them

I’d like to pass the Sunshine Award on to some blogs I’m enjoying at the moment:

Dinner of Herbs

Little Dinosaur Baby

The Adventures of Fanny P.

angie and james do stuff.

Life at no.2

Hungry Hannah

a nugget of joy for a lifetime of cupcakes

The Dissocial Mom

To accept this award please:

a. Display the Sunshine Award logo on your blog

b. Provide a link to the blog that nominated you

c. Answer the ten questions below

d. Pass the award on

Questions for my nominees:

1. Favourite colour?

2. Favourite animal?

3. Dream destination?

4. Wings or fins?

5. Favourite food?

6. Favourite song of all time?

7. Coffee or tea?

8. Peanut butter or vegemite?

9. Favourite blog at the moment?

10. Favourite book of all time?

Fussy toddler muffins with blueberry, banana and oatmeal

Blueberry, banana and oatmeal muffins

Blueberry, banana and oatmeal muffins

These muffins are great to have on hand for morning or afternoon tea. Little Chop loves the blueberries and goes to great lengths to eat them one by one before eating the rest of the muffin.

You’ll need:

100g butter, melted and cooled

1 cup milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup castor sugar

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour

1 ripe banana, mashed

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup rolled oats

Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. The batter will be a bit runny and lumpy. Spoon into the muffin pan. Bake for 25* mins.

Serve warm with some butter or jam.

*My oven is not fan-forced, so if yours is, check muffins at 20 mins.

Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to three days or wrap individually in cling film and store in the freezer.

Great for mum’s breakfast on the go, too!