Easy delicious home made mini sausage rolls

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melbournemummy’s home made mini sausage rolls

My baby girl is miserable with croup this week. Fortunately, we’ve been able to manage it at home and haven’t had to make any late night visits to emergency. If your child has had croup, you know it’s just awful – fever, laboured breathing, a barking cough, trouble sleeping plus a runny nose, sore throat and everything else you get with a normal cold. Little Chop hasn’t wanted to do anything much except watch The Wiggles and Alice in Wonderland curled up on Mummy’s lap under a blanket, which suits me fine after three sleepless nights.

Melbourne is cold and blustery at the moment so we’ve been staying home and keeping warm, which is what Little Chop needs at the moment, but it’s sent us a bit stir crazy. We usually head off for a walk late morning, pick up some milk, a decaf for mummy and bagels for lunch, then have a run around at the playground before heading home for a nap. Yesterday, Little Chop had her nap two hours early so I had a little time of my hands, and I was desperately craving a sausage roll from my favourite bakery. I haven’t craved much during this pregnancy except for these sausage rolls, so I decided to have a go at making something similar with what we had in the fridge. They turned out so delicious, I don’t think I’ll be needing to buy them anymore, plus I know exactly what’s in them, which means no processed meat.

For my sausage rolls you’ll need:

500 gms pork & veal mince (if your supermarket butcher doesn’t sell this, you can use 250 gms of pork mince mixed with 250 gms of beef mince)

3 sheets puff pastry

100 gms fruit chutney

1 tblsp dried rosemary

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1 tsp salt

note: You don’t have to be exact with these measurements. I didn’t measure anything out, I just threw it all in.

To make:

Preheat your oven to 220C. Prepare a baking tray by lining with baking paper or well-greased foil.

Place the pastry sheets flat on the bench to defrost.

In a large bowl, mix the mince, chutney, rosemary, breadcrumbs and salt with clean hands until well combined.

When your pastry sheets are almost defrosted, you can begin to assemble the sausage rolls.

Slice one sheet of pastry in half horizontally so you have two rectangles. Each rectangle will make a row of sausage rolls.

Take a small handfull of mince and roll it into a sausage shape. Place it lengthways along the middle of one of the rectangles and continue to shape it until it is evenly spread from end to end of the pastry. The mince strip should be about 2.5 cm (1″) round.

From the top, fold the pastry over the mince then gently roll it towards you to close the sausage roll. Trim about half a cm off the ends of the roll, then slice the roll into 4 cm pieces.  Place on the baking tray so that the bit where the pastry folds over is on the bottom.

Repeat this process with each pastry rectangle. You may not get a full roll from the final rectangle so use what mince you have left and trim off the extra pastry.

Gently brush tops with milk.

Place in oven and bake for about 40 minutes or until brown.

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melbournemummy’s home made mini sausage rolls

*As the meat cooks, the juice will come out and pool in the bottom of the tray. Don’t worry. This will evaporate and create a nice caramelisation on the bottom of the sausage rolls.

Makes about 34 mini sausage rolls.

Hint: If you want to make these ahead of time, you can par bake them until light golden then leave to cool. Freeze in bags until needed. Remove from freezer to defrost for 30 minutes while preheating oven. Bake until brown.

Enjoy!

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My tips for feeding a fussy toddler…

…and they don’t involve Tiny Teddies (although they are delicious).

Little Chop & Ted

Little Chop & Ted

Toddlers can be fickle. I know this because I have one – a fickle one.

One week she loves bananas, can’t get enough of them, will eat a whole one without coming up for breath. The following week she’ll take a bite, screw up her nose, toddle over to the rubbish bin and drop the whole thing in.

Food was a big part of my upbringing and I always felt truly loved when my mother prepared my favourite comfort foods, so on occasion my heart has been broken when my daughter has refused to eat the meals I’ve lovingly made for her.

I’ve spent hours cooking delicious food only to be left feeling defeated and frustrated when she’s flatly refused to take just one bite. Tears have been shed more than once.

It’s taken a while but I’ve finally learnt not to take Little Chop’s food fussiness so personally.

Here are some of my tips for feeding a fussy toddler.

1. Don’t push the issue

If your toddler refuses to eat or taste something you’ve made, don’t force them to try it or get frustrated with them. This will only cause stress and negative emotions towards new foods. Stay calm. Put the food in the fridge and try again tomorrow, or freeze it and try again in a week or two.

2. Have a backup plan on hand

Keep something you know they’ll eat in the freezer or pantry as a backup. For Little Chop, I keep pots of home made bolognese, fish fingers and Weet Bix.

3. Build up your recipe collection

The more recipes you know, the more options and back up plans you’ll have for feeding your fussy little food critic. If they refuse to eat the risotto, you can whip up a batch of pikelets in five minutes flat. If they don’t like rice learn some pasta dishes. It can’t make things any worse.

4. Learn what works and adapt it

If your toddler loves rice offer them a variety of rice dishes, e.g. fried rice, risotto, paella etc. Same goes for pasta, beans, bread – learn what it is that they will eat and present it to them in a variety of ways. Little Chop likes a particular combination of finely chopped vegetables so I use that mixture to make her bolognese, stir fry, soup and fried rice.

5. Keep trying

Just because your toddler won’t try something new today doesn’t mean that they won’t try something new tomorrow, so keep offering. Don’t give them the same thing everyday, this will only perpetuate the issue.

6. Keep it simple

You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to make a toddler happy, just keep it simple and tasty. Don’t spend an hour cooking their dinner unless you are cooking it for yourself too. You will feel much worse when something you slaved over gets rejected than something you whipped up in fifteen minutes.

7. Don’t take it personally

You might feel personally rejected when your child refuses to eat what you’ve cooked for them, especially when you associate food with love as I do. Remember this is just a phase – a learning period – and it won’t last forever. Your child loves you just as much regardless of whether you feed them Weet Bix or roast lamb.

8. Offer what your having

Your toddler is more likely to be interested in trying a new food if they see you eating it. For example, tonight I offered Little Chop some pasta with osso bucco in her Bunnykins bowl. She took one bite and wouldn’t eat any more. I made the same thing for my own dinner and she had about ten mouthfulls from my bowl. She wanted to eat it because I was eating it. So, try offering your toddler food from your plate.

I hope that parents of fussy toddlers find something useful in these tips. If you try them out, let me know how you go. Please remember, I’m not an expert, just a mum trying to help other mums and dads who may be struggling with a fickle, food-rejecting toddler.

Good luck!

Fussy toddler banana and yogurt pikelets

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Hot on the tail of the popular apple cinnamon pikelet recipe I shared a little while ago comes this equally delicious offering – a new addition to my Fussy Toddler recipe arsenal.

I love pancakes and I’m always on the lookout for new recipes so when I stumbled across these ones on a foodie blog I follow I had to try them, and they didn’t disappoint.

Until now, I’d never seen a pancake or pikelet recipe quite like this one but it produces the most delicious, moist, fluffy pikelets that are sure to please even the most hair-pullingly fussy toddler’s taste buds, and maybe your own as well.

If your a fan of ricotta hotcakes, you’ll love these!

I’ve adapted the recipe to make it my own so try both versions and see which you prefer.

For my pikelets you’ll need:

3/4 cup thick natural yogurt, can be Greek, I used Jalna pot set yogurt with bush honey

1 egg

1/2 cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 over ripe banana

1-2 tsp milk

Mash the banana and mix with egg, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the milk bit by bit to loosen until you get a smooth, thick consistency.

Heat pan on medium low and add a little bit of butter. If the pan is too hot, the outside of the pikelets will burn before the middle cooks through, so a lower temperature is better.

Spoon smallish dollops of the batter into the pan, you should be able to fit 3-4 at a time, and cook until the outside is golden brown and the middle is set enough to flip. Then flip and cook on the other side until equally golden brown.

Because these pikelets are thick and the batter is heavy, they take time to cook through. Be patient – make yourself a coffee – don’t turn the heat up!

Serve warm with a little drizzle of honey and some sliced fruit like strawberries or kiwi.

Voila, happy toddler, happy mummy.

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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…

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!

Fussy toddler pikelets with apple and cinnamon

When you have a fussy toddler, you need a fallback recipe, something that’s quick, easy and sure to please when all else fails.

Jamie's pancakes -http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/breakfast-pancakes

Jamie’s pancakes -http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/fruit-recipes/breakfast-pancakes

These delicious apple cinnamon pikelets come from a Jamie Oliver pancake recipe that  I have adapted to better suit little hands and taste buds. The thing that makes this recipe a winner is that it seems like a sweet treat, but it’s actually quite nutritionally balanced (in my uneducated opinion).

To feed two fussy little people, you’ll need:

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup milk

1 small apple or pear, grated

1 egg

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. The batter should be quite thick, so if you use a particularly juicy pear or apple add a bit more flour.

Heat a little butter in a pan on medium heat. Spoon in smallish dollops of batter and spread them out a bit using the back of the spoon. When small bubbles are forming all over the surface of the batter and the middle has begun to set, flip the pikelets over and continue to cook until both sides are golden brown around the edges.

The pikelets are naturally sweet and delicious on they’re own but you can add a little topping if you like – honey, jam, a bit of butter – or do as Jamie does and serve with some natural yogurt.

Whether you serve them for breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea, these pikelets are sure to please any discerning little food critic.

Fussy toddler mini pizzas

Hi Everyone, just a quick one today.

We’ve been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to blog but I did whip up these simple and tasty mini pizzas as a mid-week dinner for Little Chop and thought they’d be a great addition to my Fussy Toddler recipe series.

This mini pizza recipe serves one fussy toddler:

1 English Muffin, split & toasted

1 Tbs Red Capsicum, very finely chopped

1 Tbs Cup or Swiss Brown Mushrooms, very finely chopped

1 Tsp Spanish Onion, very finely chopped

1-2 Tbs Pizza Sauce, Passata or Tomato Paste

1/4 Cup Cheese Tasty Cheese, grated

*Very finely chopped = 3 mm pieces, tiny!

Thinly spread which ever tomatoey sauce you have on hand on to the English muffin pizza bases. Mix the finely chopped veggies together and spoon evenly onto each base. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over each mini pizza and place under grill until melted and bubbly.

Let the cheese cool a little then cut into quarters and serve.

Voila, happy toddler!