The Pintester Movement

So, if you’ve ever seen the Pintester blog online you know you’re in for a treat. If you haven’t checked it out…what are you waiting for!? She tests pinterest pins, more often than not with hilarious results. Now, for those that have been reading my blog this past year (Yes, it’s been a year already!) you will know that most of the ambitious stuff I try usually ends a little short of the mark too. And let’s be honest, even the simpler stuff can pose some of their own problems!

So why not join in on her “Pintester Movement” and see how that pans out…logical next step don’t you think? I can’t do any worse than usual…right??

Choosing a pin to do that she has already tried was hard. I wanted to try something outside of my comfort zone yet not time consuming or with lots of steps! I think I spent more time trying to decide which one to do than actually doing it. And I wanted one that the boys could ‘help’ with.

I then threw all that out the window & settled on the natural banana pancakes. Quick, easy & hard to muck up. I even had all the ingredients shock, horror! By all, I mean both. That’s how easy they are.

Mash 1 banana, add 2 eggs, moosh the be-donkers out of it & cook. By cook I mean don’t forget about it & let them burn! True story!


lumpy banana & eggs…breakfast of champions


presentation has never been a particular skill of mine


Master 2 wasn’t as fussy with presentation
And then this happened! Oh so pretty don’t you think?? Master 2 saw the browner side & was most upset “Take black away mum” so I rolled it the other way & he ate it!

Surprisingly yum, especially with some maple syrup. Not quite the same as a real pancake but definitely worth the whole 5min it took to whip up. Master 3 has an unexplained aversion to banana so he wouldn’t even entertain the idea of trying one. But Master 2 & I enjoyed them…

Check out the pintester’s go of it here


Pizza dough…

I saw this pin on Pinterest & was intrigued…could it ACTUALLY work?

“2 ingredient pizza dough” Sounds simple doesn’t it? 1 cup of Greek or natural yoghurt & 1 cup self-raising flour. Knead, roll & cook

THE most amazing pizza dough ever ~ 1 cup of greek yogurt and 1 cup of Self Rising flour.....................that's it! This quantity makes a single pizza, but you can increase the ingredients and feed a crowd if you want to.

Well, firstly, the recipe says that if the dough is a little too wet just add another SPRINKLING of flour….you be the judge. Too wet?

No amount of SPRINKLING was going to do the job! Nor was any kneading!Want to know how I know that?I tried! No photos of THAT little disaster due to the fact my hands were dripping in dough.

I added roughly another TWO cups of flour plus endless amounts of SPRINKLING while kneading. Eventually I got this…

It was about at this point I realised I only had a teeny, tiny piece of cheese!So instead of a “normal” pizza I opted just to make garlic pizza with the small amount of cheese I had & loads of garlic! Trust me, there will be no vampires visiting this neighbourhood tonight!  Note to self : Don’t make this on a weekend when I have to get up close & personal with people who are paying me to teach them swimming…

And this was the final product..

Now, despite the shaky start, it tasted pretty good. The dough was light & not doughy, not even on the puffy edge pieces. Although I will make it a lot thinner next time as I prefer a thin crust I would call this a success. The boys ate it, even with ALL the garlic & Hubby ate more than half of it so it couldn’t have been that bad right? And it went well with the Thai pork & veg stirfry. Followed by strawberries & cream!YUM! Didn’t last long enough to take pics of that yumminess. We’ve been having our strawberries for dessert every night for almost 2 weeks now as well as there being enough for smoothies most days too. Although we have now put a net over the strawberry patch to keep the birds out…they were getting far too greedy! Now just the slugs & ants to fight with!

Cauliflower aversion…

Yip, I avoid cauliflower like the plague…even the itty bitty pieces in stews etc etc I just can’t get past the texture. My philosophy has always been if I want to chomp on trees I’ll head outside & gnaw on the closest branch! Broccoli I tolerate because I know it’s good for me & can usually be disguised or hidden totally in a meal. But the same can’t be said for the dreaded cauli, it even looks like a disease! Hubby loves the stuff & will even eat it raw! The boys will attempt small pieces as long as I tell them its from the trees outside & that’s where birds play. For whatever reason it satisfies them & they eat away…whatever works right??

And then I saw this on pinterest…

Buffalo wing cauliflower! I headed to  to read the recipe & thought I might try it out (I’m not sure what quite came over me at this point to be honest!) And then I remembered seeing it on a friends vegan blog awhile back. It was a sign…I had to try it!(minus the old-feet cheese sauce of course!) And while I was there I grabbed her edamame bean dip recipe as I had most of the ingredients already. I did leave out the miso as I didn’t have any & probably wouldn’t use it much again anyways. Surprise surprise it was delish!!!

Back to the cauliflower…I made my own buttermilk (1 cup milk, 1 tbls white vinegar, leave to sit for 5min), added the flour, tossed the cauli through to coat well & cooked. Then came the peri peri sauce with butter (eeeeek) & a few more minutes of cooking & voila!! Wait for it people…it was yummy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I shit you not. The hot sauce was perfect for it, I would probably cook it a little bit longer just to make it a tiny bit softer. And it was even a hit with Hubby(boys weren’t too keen but it was quite spicy so I don’t blame them really) The dip not so much….more for me I say!

I entered the ingredients on sparkpeople for both recipes to get nutritional info. The cauliflower recipes made 4 servings at 241cal per serve but upwards of 1000mg of salt PER SERVE! Maybe a lower sodium sauce next time & possibly without the butter, still not sure what it’s purpose was. And the dip also makes 4 serves, at 205cal per serve. 1 serve each & a couple of rice cakes was a great light dinner (for me. Hubby & the boys had lamb too)

Definitely something I would repeat, especially the cauliflower one! Bet you didn’t see THAT coming after reading the first paragraph!


Octopus sausages..

A strange title I’ll admit, but it’s straight to the point. Having seen the idea on a friend’s facebook page I decided to try it. Maybe Master 3 could be fooled into eating spaghetti pasta I thought!

Master 3 certainly enjoyed the preparation part…

cut into smaller pieces…

Poke raw spaghetti through the pieces…

so much concentration


Hmmm, not the prettiest of dishes but Master (Almost) 2 thought it was yummy! Notice how my targeted child was left out of that sentence! As predicted, Master 3 wasn’t impressed with the presentation! He declared it yuck without even trying it so I removed the ‘tentacles’ and he deigned to nibble. Not the roaring success I had hoped for but he did eat a whole pile pf potato & kumera (sweet potato) mash AND some peas & carrots (although, in fairness,the amount equated to a teaspoon fill I’d guess…but I’ll take what I can get!)

Rainbow rice & more

How to kill time when the weather isn’t exactly keeping up it’s end of the bargain, so this Mama doesn’t end up with 2 bored kiddies? RAINBOW RICE! So easy to make up…I didn’t follow online instructions that said to prepare it the night before, like I’m EVER that prepared! Some say add rubbing alcohol or vinegar before adding the colouring…I say be like me & just throw some rice into a ziplock bag, add a few drops (or if, like me, you get a little heavy handed & the colouring gushes in, just add more rice) and shake/rub until all the rice is covered. Pour onto a plate or bowl or whatever you have handy to dry for a few minutes. Repeat with however many colours you want. In my case I used 4 colours with 1 bag of rice. Add a few scoops/toys/cars etc etc PUT THE KIDS OUTSIDE (this is important,trust me!I have learnt from experience) I have a large plastic tray thingy that I put this sort of thing into so they have a larger area to play without losing all the fun materials on the grass in the first 5 minutes.

2 of everything of course!

This was a spur of the moment idea at 7.15am this morning, by 8am they were dressed & playing with it outside while I had my coffee & took photos. THAT’S how easy & quick this is to do. I don’t use too much rice as it usually ends up being thrown all over the place but today we managed to keep 99% of it…ah–mazing! I haven’t done this activity with them for months so I was fascinated to see how they would play with it this time.  Master 3 was particularly captivated…usually he will spend 10min TOPS on an activity but he was busy for an hour. An hour!! Master (Almost) 2 wasn’t that enthusiastic after the initial 10min or so. He played right near to his brother though but, more often than not, it was to size up the exact moment he could swipe to cause maximum destruction & then run like hell. Master 3 handled it pretty well considering his track record, although he managed to clout Master (Almost)2 a beauty at one point. It just wouldn’t be the same if every game didn’t end in tears I say!




Standing at the ready…

Nothing like adding playdoh to the mix!

I still can’t believe that NONE of that rice ended up outside that plastic tub…yet! I have it ready for them again for later today if they’re interested.

They weren’t interested in helping me make pancakes for morning tea, they sat at the table expectantly, watching me slave away. I thought I’d try whipped Coconut cream as a supposedly healthier alternative to normal whipped cream, to go with the banana & honey topping…turns out coconut cream is a pain in the buttocks to whip! I have an electric hand beater & could only get it to the consistency of thick, frothy milk…I had it going for almost 20min before I gave up. The boys weren’t interested in it so I tried some & threw the rest(luckily I only used about a quarter of the tin so not all was wasted)Yes, it’s the white stuff in the photo below.


I did put them to work while I cleared up…


And, despite the chilly weather, the morning wouldn’t have been complete without some watery fun!The water is warm in case you’re wondering…



They lasted 20min before I popped them into a nice hot shower. And, just like that, the morning was over, it was lunch time swiftly followed by a nap!Ahhhh, coffee time…

Craft much?

Monday morning means 3 hours alone, to myself, sans kiddies! Oh how I relish those 3 hours once a week & oh, how they fly by in a blink of an eye!! I think I do more in those hours than I do in an entire day. I always try & get at least one thing done that I know is impossible when I have the boys nipping at my heals & today was no exception. The mission…repaint the wooden oven I got the boys last week. It was a little tired looking & just needed a bit of a face lift.

Before…Hubby had taken it upon himself to rewrite the numbers BEFORE I repainted!

Needless to say I had to paint about 12 times over those numbers!! And then I decided to replace the milk bottle lids, make them more uniform (‘coz I think I have a touch of OCD, it’s been bugging me that whoever made this used 3 different types of lid & the nails didn’t match either!) Of course I had a slight ‘blonde moment’…how was I going to get a hole poked in the middle of the lids? Dare I try out Hubby’s drill???

I was momentarily distracted as I snooped in his garage…how many screwdrivers could you possible need!?


I found where all the Sharpies(permanent markers) have disappeared to!!!


Located the drill without a problem but was faced with this! After a quick debate with myself (yes, I actually had a debate with myself, out loud!Hey I’m used to always having little ones around) I phoned Hubby to get his opinion on the likelihood of my success. He was ever so nice , yes seriously, & urged me to have a go but did suggest I could probably just use a sharp screwdriver with a bit of pressure! I went with that..turns out those many screwdrivers above came in handy



Did the job brilliantly. hmmm seems in all my excitement of getting it all uniform, I forgot to take a photo!I’ll do it tomorrow…

As the boys slept for 3 hours this afternoon (yes, you read that right, that’s THREE hours) I got time to make hummus


Not very pretty but it tastes good

1 tin of chickpeas

0.25 cup olive oil

1 tbls lemon juice

1 teaspoon cumin

Wizz together & keeps in an airtight container for 3 days

I didn’t have any tahini which most recipes require, so went with this version & it came out fine.

Next on the list was Thin Mint Brownies (the recipe below is directly off Chocolate Covered Katie’s site)

Raw Thin-Mint Brownies

  • 1 cup walnuts (120g)
  • 1 and 1/3 cups pitted dates (230 grams) (I highly recommend Sunmaid, because they’re softer.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • A few drops pure peppermint extract (depending on how minty you want them… Start with less; you can always add more.)
  • Optional: for even more chocolate flavor, add chocolate chips. Or add cacao nibs.
  • Optional: tiny dash of salt (I always add this and recommend it.)

Directions: Combine all ingredients, using a food processor. (No need to blend the dates first; I just blend everything all at once. But if you use a Magic Bullet, you might want to do it in batches. I’ve not tried this in a regular blender and therefore can’t vouch for it.)Form into brownies or balls or bars… or even cookie-cuttered shapes!

I didn’t have walnuts so I subbed in salted peanuts. I only put in 2 teaspoons of cocoa powder as the boys don’t like it too bitter & next time I may leave out the peppermint as I only had the essence not the extract & I’m not a fan (after an unfortunate reaction to cheap-ass peppermint liqueur a few years ago!) Other than that, I loved them! Master 2 was a massive fan too! I was so busy trying to keep his fingers out of the finished paste that I couldn’t take any photos of his chocolate covered mouth! Who knew dates could have so many uses?!

Not pretty but I was too lazy to artfully plate them up…

All in all a very productive day…I even managed some sewing(will post about that ordeal adventure soon) & the hoovering!Yay me!

Dinner with no oven

Yes, it’s the thermostat; no, they didn’t have the part in stock when he came out yesterday! Apparently, what was happening was that the control thingy wasn’t kicking in when it reached the set temperature. If I set it for 180 deg c, it would get there & then just keep going until it reached the max temperature of the oven!Hence the setting off of the smoke alarms!

But he assured me as long as I didn’t use the oven, I could still cook on the stove top. Taking him at his word I set about cooking sausages, mash & veg on the stove top without touching the oven dials. All was going well until I noticed smoke curling sneakily out of the oven door!!Cue fire alarms & copious amounts of curses directed at the electrician! I’m sure his ears were burning. All was not lost though as it was thankfully right at the end of my cooking & dinner did in fact get done.

Still no part today so slow cooker food for us tonight. Having not taken out anything to defrost overnight & only finding chicken in the freezer(how did THAT happen?!) wasn’t the best start but I valiantly pushed on & decided on chicken noodle soup. I know, I know no chicken thawed out but I did have a small pack of thighs I was sure would thaw in time. Although, according to some you can cook a frozen chook safely in the slowcooker. I’m not entirely convinced, what with salmonella and all! But by 11ish the chook thighs were less frozen & ready for the slowcooker. I found an easy recipe here & set about gathering ingredients. Of course, it being me, I didn’t have all the ingredients exactly how they suggested, it’s only a suggestion right?You can play around with recipes, right?That’s what I thought *grin*

No leeks, so I subbed half an onion. These needed to be browned in oil, no stove so not alot of browning happened. Same for the roasted garlic cloves….in went a quarter teaspoon of crushed garlic instead. These 2 I put in first on high while I prepared the rest of the ingredients. Amazingly, I actually had chicken stock on hand!Score! 2 medium potatoes – check! I hate when a recipe says small, medium, large of an ingredient as it is so subjective. My medium may not be their medium but I assume it’s not vital to the recipe. I randomly chose 2 out of the bag & grated & then measured them…you know, for future use. Or if anyone out there is inspired to have a go….I got 300g, I’ll let you know how that works out.

I didn’t have the herbs so I grabbed some ground coriander & chucked it in. I reckon coriander usually goes well with anything don’t you think?As mentioned earlier, I had chicken thighs not drumsticks & 2 were “nicey spicey” (I kid you not, that’s what the label said) & 1 was thai coconut…that should add a different dimension to the flavour! Hmmm, seems no Vermicelli rice noodles either but a scrummage at the back of the pantry revealed some Udon noodles, they will have to do. I’ll let you know…

I plugged the ingredients into one of those calorie counter websites that tell you how many calories are in your recipe & came out with about 370ish per serving (I’m assuming I’ll get 4 servings easily) not bad! No gluten or dairy (if you follow the recipe exactly that is… there was some gluten listed on the chicken which is in the flavouring & I don’t know if Udon noodles have gluten…)

Ideally, I would like a freshly baked loaf of crusty bread to serve alongside this but alas, no oven! And the corner store charges about $100 per loaf! *slight exaggeration I know, but I like to elaborate for dramatic effect*

Now to convince my boys it is edible…therein lies the challenge!

Picture evidence to follow later….

The actual recipe:

Slowcooker Chicken Noodle Soup

Gluten Free and Dairy Free

Recipe submitted by Zenda Laracy

  • 6 chicken drumsticks / lovely legs
  • 1 litre salt reduced chicken stock
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves
  • 2 leeks finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of tuscan herbs
  • Vermicelli rice noodles chopped into small pieces
  • 2 medium grated potatoes

Cook leeks in the oil (use butter for better flavour)

Put in the slow cooker everything except the noodles cook for 6 hours till chicken is falling off the bone pull out the bones and shred the chicken.  Put chicken back in the pot throw bones away. Place noodles in cook for another hour then serve.

I serve with garlic bread or sundried tomato bread

Can be frozen and tastes better the next day.