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Monday, June 8, 2015

How to make the best Mars Bar Slice

Mars Bar slice, just the thought makes most peoples mouth's water and delight at the thought of it's awesome yummyness hitting their lips.  Yet despite the minimal amount of ingredients that go into it, it's suprising how often I hear of people getting it wrong.

So here are a few pointers to help make your next mars bar slice the best ever!

The basic recipe I use and double it to the amount I need (normally 3 times):

  • 30g butter 
  • 60g mars bar
  • 1 cup rice bubbles.

Additional ingredients:

  • 200g Cadbury milk chococolate
  • 1 tbls vegetable oil


  • Slice tray, I generally make a big one and use a 22x32cm rectangular pan but a regular 18x27cm rectangular pan is good too for a 3x recipe.
  • Grease proof paper
  • Measuring scales
  • Non stick medium saucepan
  • Bowl to mix ingredients in (at least 3 litres)

Here are a few pointers:

Butter:  Buy a butter block, NOT margarine or spreadable butter.

Mars Bars:  Don't try and go cheap and buy no name caramel bars... NO it must be Mars bars!  I don't buy Mars bars any more though as they use to be 60g but are now 52g which throws the whole ratio off.  I buy Mars bar share packs (12 mini mars bars in a pack)  not only can you then use what you want but it adds more chocolate to the mix too.  For a regular 216g share pack thats enough for 3 times the basic recipe.

Rice bubbles:  Once again don't scrimp on the quality, Kellogs rice bubbles are the only way to go.

For a regular mars bar slice fix use three times the regular recipe:

  • 90g butter 
  • 180g Mars bars (share pack plus a few left over to eat or just chuck them in too)
  • 3 cups Kellogs rice bubbles
  • 200g Cadbury chocolate 
  • 1 tbls vegetable oil


Grease your slice container with a little butter (just to hold the paper in place) and line your slice tray with grease proof paper.

In your bowl add your rice bubbles.

Cut up your mars bar share bars into half and add to the saucepan with the butter.  Over low heat stir until fully combined,  This will be around 5 minutes, continue to stir and make sure its low heat so you don't burn the chocolate.

Add the chocolate caramel mixture to the rice bubbles and mix well until all the rice bubbles are chocolate coloured.  
I always add a little rice bubbles back into the saucepan and mix around to ensure I get all the chocolate caramel out.


Pour into your prepared slice tray and using a metal spoon press down into the tray.  Don't use so much force that it crushes the ricebubbles but ensure it is pressed in firmly and into the corners.

Place the tray in the fridge to set while you make the chocolate topping

Add the milk chocolate and vegetable oil into a glass bowl and microwave on low heat for a minute.  Stir and put back into the microwave on low for 20 second intervals till its melted through, stirring inbetween each interval.  Stir till smooth and pour over the top of the slice.  

Tap the slice tray on the bench a few times to remove any air bubbles from the chocolate
Refridgerate for around 1 hour till set.

Remove from fridge for at least 10 minutes till you cut it up so its easier to cut through.
Store your cut up slice in a air tight container for around a week.

I am happy to store my slice in the fridge for a hard slice or on the bench for something softer. Although if stored on the bench it won't keep as long especially in the hot weather and may also get white spots on the chocolate.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Luscious Tangy Lemon Meringue Pie

If there's one thing I'm known for it's my Lemon Meringue Pie.  This recipe has been perfected over the years from the one my Nanna used and then my Mum.

It's a recipe I'm always asked for so I hope you love making it as much as I do.

1 packed Marie biscuits
125g melted butter

Luscious lemon centre
1 can condensed milk
4 egg yolks (XL eggs)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon

Meringue topping
4 egg whites (whites of yolks in middle)
3/4 cup castor sugar

Crush the biscuits in a food processor till smooth (or if you don't have one put the biscuits in a zip lock bag and smash with a rolling pin/metal potato masher or similar)
Add melted butter and mix till combined. (I use butter blocks)
Add the crumb into a pie dish and press into the sides and base.
Refrigerate while you make the centre.

In a medium bowl add the egg yolks saving the whites, lightly beat with a fork or whisk till pale. Add the condensed milk, lemon juice and rind.  Mix till combined.
Add it to the top of the crust and put it back in the fridge.

Whisk the whites with an electric mixer till soft peaks form then gently add the sugar. Mix till thick and glossy.
You can now either put the egg white mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto the chilled pie or add the mixture to the top of the pie with a spoon, smoothing it out and then using a fork to flick up the egg white mix to form peaks.

Cook in a medium oven (around 150 degrees Celsius) for around 45 minutes till the whites are lightly golden.

Cool the pie and eat it slightly warm or chill, either is equally yummy.

Note: the pie will not quite keep it's shape if eaten warm.

I would love to hear what you think so leave a comment below.

Bec xxx

Monday, September 1, 2014

Banana Bread

There are a few things in life that I adore and Banana bread is one of them.  It's so wonderfully filling and awesome toasted with some butter.
I love this recipe which I adapted from a few recipes as it makes a melt in your mouth consistency.


  • 125g butter softened
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 4 tbl maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas (this time I used 2 medium ripe and one still very nice banana, they don't last long enough in  my house to go brown before they are eaten!)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 3/4 cups SR flour
  • 1/25 cup walnuts lightly broken up by hand into smaller pieces (keep a few whole for the top)


  • Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy
  • Add the maple syrup and beat until combined
  • Add one egg at a time beating after each addition
  • Add the cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and salt and mix until combined
  • Remove from mixer and add by hand the banana, almond meal and SR flour, lightly mix together until combined then add to a loaf tin lined with grease proof paper.
  • Sprinkle with a few whole walnuts and a light sprinkling of brown sugar to add a crunch.
  • Bake in a 180 degree oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and when inserted with a skewer comes out clean.
  • Serve warm with some butter or toasted for a wonderful crunchy treat.

Broccoli and cauliflower soup

I know I'm doing a great job as a mum when I place a bowl of green soup in front of my kids and tell them what it is and they get all excited.  One mouthful and their eyes shine and they tell me how delicious the soup is as they praise me as a cook.  I couldn't be any prouder!
But you have to try this soup to truly appreciate how yummy and healthy it is!
I serve it with fresh bread (normally wholemeal but a French stick looked appealing today)


  • 1 onion
  • 2 broccoli florettes
  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 tbls vegetta
  • 2 ltrs boiling water
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 3 tbls corn flour


  • Cut up the onion into small pieces and saute over medium heat in a large pot with a small dash of olive oil.
  • Wash and cut up the broccoli and cauliflower into florettes and remove the stems.
  • Once the onion is cooked add the chopped up broccoli and cauliflower and steam in the pot with around 100mls of water.  Cook stirring every minute or so until the broccoli is bright green.
  • Add the vegetta to the boiling water in a separate jug. Stir until dissolved (making a vegetable stock) and add to the vegetables in the pot.
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are almost cooked. Don't cook till soft but with a bit of crunch still left.
  • Take the pot off the heat and using a stick mixer purée the soup till smooth. (use a blender if you don't have a stick mixer)
  • Return to low heat and once it starts bubbling again add the cream while stirring.
  • Simmer again.
  • In a small jug add the corn flour with a small amount of cold water (around 2-3tbl) and mix till you have a liquid (not a paste).  While stirring over low heat add the cornflour liquid and simmer till thickened (a few minutes)
  • serve with crusty bread

Zucchini Bacon Bites

Today Bella and I took two of our recipes and created these tasty little bites.  Even Bellas brother loved them and he tells us he hates eggs!  I even fed my 10 month old a few for lunch today and he gobbled them all up.

They are awesome hot or cold and perfect in lunchboxes instead of a sandwich.  They freeze well and will last a few days in an airtight container.


  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbl vegetta
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • handful fresh parsley cut up (or a few shakes of dried parsley)
  • 1 tsp dry coriander (or some fresh)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 shortcut bacon rashes 
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated tasty cheese
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 carrots grated
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 1/2 cups SR flour


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • Beat the eggs till combined.  I like to use an electric mixer for about 2 minutes.
  • add vegetta, mustard powder, coriander, parsley and milk and beat for a further minute till all ingredients are combined.
  • cut up the bacon into small cubes (around 5mm) and lightly brown in a frypan, cool then add to egg mix
  • cut up 1 onion into small pieces and add to egg mix.
  • Then add the grated carrot, zucchini and cheese and mix with a spoon till combined.
  • Finally add the SR flour and mix with a spoon till all ingredients are combined.
  • using a spray oil grease some small muffin tins.  (I made 10 regular muffins and 36 small muffins (bite size) with this recipe.
  • add your mixture to the greased muffin trays, filling each muffin hole till almost the top. 
  • Cook for around 25 minutes for the small ones and 30 minutes for the bigger muffins or until they spring back and are lightly golden brown on the top.  Let cool before removing from trays and cooling on a wire rack.

Bella helping to add the mixture to the pans

A bit messy but thats the fun of helping 

Zucchini Bacon bites, yummy!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Melting Moments

I adore these biscuits and have been making them with my mum since I was a child. They are so deliciously soft and melt in the mouth and perfect for afternoon tea,
This recipe I have perfected over the years from her recipe.

250g butter
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup custard powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tbl cornflour

100g butter
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
zest of half a lemon (I use a microplaner to get a small thin zest)
juice of one medium lemon

Beat the butter and sugar together till its light and fluffy, reduce mixer to medium speed and add vanilla essence, sifted flours and powder.  When all combined put into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe small cookies or alternatively roll out little balls and press lightly with a floured fork.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden,
Let cool

Filling method:
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add the juice and zest and mix until combined.
Pipe onto one side of a cookie and sandwich another cookie of similar size on the top.

Store in an airtight container out of the fridge for around 4 days.

Enjoy :)

Peanut Butter Florentines

I have come across two types of florentines in this world, the toffee variety with a handful of almonds and fruit and the corn flake ones, both of which I love!  This recipe uses the latter, a crunchy mix of corn flakes, fruit, nuts and condensed milk and in this case peanut butter!

3 cups cornflakes
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup raisins
can condensed milk
120g slithered almonds
100g glace cherries (cut in half or quarters)
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup peanut butter
50g melted butter
250g dark chocolate
30g copha

In a bowl add 2 cups of the cornflakes as well as the sultanas, raisins, almonds and cherries and mix together.  In another bowl mix the condensed milk, peanut butter and melted butter together. Add this mix to the dry ingredients and mix together. Then add the other cup of cornflakes and lightly mix. (The reason I do this is as in the first mix the cornflakes get a bit crushed, this way you still have a few larger flakes in the cookies)

You can then do what I did and get a cookie mould (I used a heart) and add a tablespoon of mixture into each mould and press into shape, or make balls of mixture and flatten onto cooking trays lined with greaseproof paper.

I made mine quite thick, about 1cm, the thinner you make them the crunchier they are.  Mine have crunchy tops and sides but are soft and slightly chewey inside.

Cook at 180 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly brown.
When cool remove from oven and let cool on trays.

Melt the chocolate and copha together (either over the stove on low or in the microwave on medium heat)
once melted dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and scrap off any excess. place back on the grease proof paper or on a sheet of foil to cool.


Notes for next time:
I might melt the butter, condensed milk and peanut butter in a pot on the stove and caramelise before adding to the dry ingredients...

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Peanut butter slice

You're lucky theres an image of this slice before it was all eaten!

OK, I am not going to beat about the bush with this one... It's Amazing!!! but with Amazing comes calories!!!  Try stopping at one piece... you can't but if you cut the pieces small enough it's ok ;-)

Have you tried the peanut butter slice from Mrs Fields?? well this is as good if not better than that!!
I got the peanut middle part recipe from the ever talented Nigella and tweaked it a bit (as I do)

For the base:
packet of chocolate ripple bisuits
120g melted butter

Middle layer:
70g dark muscovado sugar
180g icing sugar
60g butter
200g smooth peanut butter

Top layer:
300g milk chocolate (I use cadburys, around 1.5 blocks)
1 tbls butter
1/4 cup cream

Line the base of a slice tray (around 18x24cm or there abouts) with grease proof paper, you might like to add some butter to the tray first to keep the paper in place.

Base:  Using a food processor crush the biscuits till they form small crumbs.  Note: you can put the biscuits in a zip lock bag (let the air out first!!) and hit them with a rolling pin or a potato masher if you don't have a food processor
melt the butter in a jug in the microwave for around 40 seconds then add to your crushed biscuits.
Add the mixture to the tray and push down till its flat.  Put it in the fridge

Middle: Add 50g of the muscovado sugar and all the icing sugar, butter and peanut butter to a mixing bowl.  Beat on high till its light and fluffy. Add the remaining muscovado sugar and mix together by hand.  There will be small lumps of the muscovado sugar but thats ok.
Spread over the chilled base and refridgerate again.

Top:  Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl on low in the microwave (I use 50%) for about a minute, stir then back in the microwave for another minute on low, stir, if not melted add back in again on low for 20 second intervals till melted.  You do not want to over cook your chocolate!
Alternatively you can melt on low on the stove in a non stick pot.
add the butter and let it melt, then add your cream and mix.  This should make a thick runny consistency, if not add a little bit more cream till it does.  Pour over your peanut butter layer and refridgerate till set.

Cut into small squares once set and enjoy.

Cheese and Bacon muffins

Here's a recipe I have been perfecting over the past year.  My friend Andrea suggested chives last attempt so I have added that to the line up too!  If you give them a go and have a suggestion feel free to leave a comment below.


  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetta
  • 60g butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • a handful of fresh chives cut up, or a few good shakes from the jar of the dried variety
  • a handful of fresh parsley or like above a few good shakes of the dried kind
  • 120g grated carrot (around 2 medium carrots) dont worry if you go a bit over
  • 150g cheese (mix it up, I used 100g tasty, 20g parmesan and half a block of danish fetta from the deli)
  • 10 spring onions
  • 30g salami (adds a bit of kick but omit if you don't have any or don't like it)
  • 8 pieces rindless bacon 

Cut up your bacon and salami and fry in a pan till lightly brown (do not over cook as they will be hard)
To a large bowl sift in your flour, baking powder, mustard powder and vegetta. Make a well in the centre and add your melted butter and eggs. Mix.
Add the rest of your ingredients and mix together (saving some grated tasty for the top of the muffins)

Grease your muffin trays, I used a small mini muffin tray with 24 holes and a regular muffin pan with 6 holes.
Add tablespoons of mixture to each hole, only filling around 3/4 full and add a small amount of tasty cheese to the top of each one (grate some more if you need to) I also like to add some sesame seeds on the top too.

Bake the small ones in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for 18-20 minutes or until lightly brown.
The larger muffins will take around 25 minutes.

These muffins lasted around 3 days in an airtight container and were perfect for dinner that night with a salad on the side as well as my sons school lunches for the next few days!  Perfect!

Bella with the small muffins
 Bella loved to add the cheese to the top and help mix it all together.  She loves crumbling up the fetta too!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Marble Cake

This recipe is really easy and versatile and the kids will love to help out with this one.
Thanks to Play School for baking a marble cake which my kids then decided they would like to bake too.

You can mix and play around with colours and flavours and create something different each time.

We went with three colours this time, chocolate, rapsberry and to be a bit different peanut butter!

180g butter
3/4 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups SR flour
food colourings

Optional ingredients (see method)
2-3 tbl peanut butter smooth
1 tbl cocco (with some extra milk)
raspberry essence

Preheat oven to 160 degreen fan forced or 180 degrees if not.
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.   This normally takes around 4-6 minutes depending on your mixer.  You will need to use a scraper to scrape the sides of the bowl down to ensure it all mixes properly.
Its ready when its pale in colour and fluffy. Then add the vanilla essence

Once fluffy add an egg one at a time, mixing between additions.  I let the kids crack the eggs in a separte bowl this time, My son who hates eggs did not like the feeling of the egg yolk and shivered, was pretty cute.

Now to add the milk and flour in alternate batches.  Add half the sifted flour then mix again for around 30 seconds on medium speed till combined, then add half the milk, mix, then rest of flour, mix, then rest of milk, mix)
The kids can help to add the flour and milk, be sure to turn off the mixer when adding the
ingredients and keep hands and hair away from the mixer while going.

Now separate the mixture into three even batches.  I put two batches in bowls and left one in the mixer.
To one of the mixtures I added a tbl of cocco and 3 tbl of milk.  Mix until combined
To another we added 5 drops of pink food colouring and 5 drops of raspberry essence
To the mixture in the bowl I added the peanut butter and used the mixer to mix it together.

Grease your cake pan (around a 19cm one) and add baking paper to the bottom of the pan for easy removal.  Lately I have been using canola oil spray or you can you butter.

The kids can help cut out the baking paper
(excuse the mess in the background, we have been sewing too)

Drop large tablespoons of the mixture around the prepared cake tin, then using a butter knife swirl them together.  Kids love this part.
Looking good
Bake for around 40 minutes, test by checking if the cake bounces back when you touch it on the top.  If not pop back in the oven for around 3 minutes and then test again.

Once ready let cool in pan before transferring to a plate.
Note: a good way to get the cake out of the tin is to run a butter knife around the edge
then it should come out easily. Be sure to remove the paper from the bottom.
For the icing I mixed 120g butter and 2 cups of icing sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy (scraping sides around twice)
add around 5-7 drops of food colouring, I added pink this time. Mix till combined.
Add to top of cake and your ready to serve. (I also added pink beads for decoration too)

Pretty on the outside....

And on the inside ... Enjoy

Remember you dont have to add the peanut butter, you can leave the white section as a vanilla cake if you like.  If you don't want a chocolate section then maybe add another colour food dye to that batter.  You can make the three batters any colour you or the kids like. Be creative and have fun.

You can also use the basic batter as cupcakes too if you like, baking in the oven for around 20-25 minutes till they spring back.  You could add choc chips, food colouring, berries to the mix too.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Simple easy dinner option - Quiche

Eggs are a tricky one in our house, our son for some reason has decided he doesn't like them!  Who doesn't like eggs?  But I can get him to eat my yummy quiche!  Here's how...

1 sheet of shortcrust pastry
5 eggs
1 tbl vegetta *
1/4 cup cream
1/4 sour cream
1/2 tsp garlic
50g danish fetta (about half a piece from the deli)
100g shredded tasty cheese
6 spring onions chopped
10 cherry tomatoes quartered
10 rashes of rindless bacon
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle nutmeg (around 1/2 tsp)

* Vegetta is a vegetable stock available from the supermarket, I use it in everything! its great as a stock, chicken salt on chips, in lieu of salt in food.  Its amazing!


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • grease a quiche dish (I use canola oil spray)
  • defrost your shortcrust pastry and mould to fit your quiche dish. I cut off the 4 overhanging corners and add to the middle portions so the pastry fills the dish nicely.
  • add baking paper to the top of it and fill it with blind baking weights or rice at a pinch.  Blind bake your pastry for around 20 minutes. remove the weights and baking paper and bake for a further 5-10 minutes till baked but not crunchy brown. remove from oven.
  • Using an electric handheld mixer (or whisk if you don't have one) mix the eggs, vegetta, garlic and creams till light and fluffy.
  • cut up your bacon and brown till just baked (do not let it go crunchy)
  • cut up your fetta into bite size pieces add to your eg mix along with the browned bacon, onion, fetta, 1/2 of the tasty cheese, cherry tomatoes, pepper and nutmeg.
  • mix with a spoon and add to your quiche dish.  
  • Top with the remaining tasty cheese and bake for around 30-35 minutes till golden brown.
  • Let sit for around 3-5 minutes to allow it to set and then cut and enjoy.
  • you can also use this recipe minus the pastry if you dont want to blind bake it or don't have any.
  • I also use this egg mixture minus the fetta and tomatoes to make my mini quiches for parties, I make mini circles of puff pastry and add it to mini cake pans.  Add the egg mixture and then bake for around 20 minutes till brown and cooked through.
  • I leave out the garlic too sometimes as my mum doesn't like it.

Let your kids help but mixing the egg mixture

Blind baking the pasty (these are blind baking ceramic beads)


Anzac fruit slice

Todays baking treats for this weeks lunches comes from one of my favourite cookies and a method that my mother in law uses.
Its a quick easy slice that can be whipped up in minutes and popped in the oven till toasty brown.
It contains fruit and you can choose what you would like to add, today I added currants and sultanas although it is super tasty with dried apricot as well.

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cocconut
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup of dried fruit, such as currants, sultanas, apricots etc.. add whatever you have
160g butter
3 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbl boiling water


  • preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  • line a slice tray (approx 26 x 17cm) with baking paper.
  • mix oats, flour, cocconut, sugar and dried fruit in a bowl. 
  • in a saucepan melt butter and golden syrup till disolved. 
  • Boil water and in a teacup add the 1tbl boiling water and the 1/2tsp bicarb soda.
  • Add this to the butter mix and then add to the bowl of dry ingredients.
  • Mix together then press firmly into the baking tray.  
  • Bake for around 30-35 minutes until the slice is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in tray until ready to cut up and eat.

Unbaked, pressed tightly into pan          

Ready to eat

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Peanut Butter Choc chip cookies

This week we have spent a bit of time in the kitchen creating some tasty treats.  These cookies are always a big hit so I thought this would be a good recipe to share first.

In my experience kids love being in the kitchen and if you give them the opportunity will enjoy helping you create wonderful creations.  Its a great way to spend time together and share in special memories.
Bella loves to sift in the flour and watch the mixer beat the butter and sugar.  She watches and lets me know when the mixutre has become light and fluffy.  Please ensure you watch your kids around electric mixers at all times, hair and hands can easily get caught.

Peanut Butter Choc Chip cookies
  • 125g butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter or there abouts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • packet of choc chips

preheat oven to 180 degrees or 160 fan forced
line oven trays with baking paper
beat butter, peanut butter and sugar with an electric mixer or hand held mixer till light and fluffy. 
Beat in egg mixing well after addition
stir in sifted flour and bicarb soda. mix again till all combined
stir in choc chips. (I use milk but dark or white will work too)
roll tablespoon size balls in lightly floured hands
place on lined oven trays with space to slightly spread ( I generally fit around 9-12 on a tray depending on how big we have made them)
lightly pat them flat (a great task for kids to help with)  Note: the flatter you make them the crunchier they will be so if you like them soft and chewy don't flatten them too much.
bake for around 14 minutes or until lightly golden.
Cool on baking trays until ready to eat!

Makes about 50 depending on how big you make them.

Bella waiting by the oven for the cookies

Straight from the oven, yumm! 

The fun in baking with kids is that every cookie is different, big, small, flat, round or oval, in the end they all taste the same... delicious!  So let your kids create, let them flour their own hands, roll out the cookies and flatten them.  You will both enjoy your creations all that little bit more when you sit down and share your treats you made together.  I love watching the kids choose from the cookie container wondering if the one they have chosen is one they made.

Lets talk Baby Food

It seems these days that convienience is the way to go when it comes to baby food. Let's stop for a minute and think about what we put in our bodies... does it all come from bottles, cans or jars? If the answer is no (which I would hope it is) then why would we subject our babies to food full of preservatives when baby food is soo simple to make and just as convienient.

2 months ago our newest little baby started solids, when the other two were young we started them at 6 months but this little guy was ready at 4, and at the moment this seems to be the magic age to start.
Making baby food doesnt have to be fiddly and different just one vegetable or fruit in each cube is all you need. I started with nectarine (I know an interesting one but I got a bag of nectarines cheap at the supermarket). You could start with something more generic like apple, pear or sweet potato.

For fruit:
To start all you do is peel and core your fruit, removing any pips etc so all your left with is the flesh. I generally do around 8-10 apples or similar each batch.
Then cut the fruit up (for an apple I cut each quarter in half) and put it in a pot with about a cup of water and let the fruit simmer on the stove till the fruit is soft. Depending on the fruit this could be any where from 10 minutes to 30. Remember to watch the water level, you don't want lots of water but just a small amout to prevent it burning.

For Vegetables:
Most vegetables respond well to steaming. I am lucky enough to have a steam oven and a pressure cooker (both work fabulously) but a steamer pot on the stove, a bench top steamer, microwave steamer or even just in a pot with some water in it on the stove will do.
Potatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin and any other starchy vegetables work well in a pressure cooker or in some water on the stove. Brocolli, carrots, beans, zuchini etc work well steamed. Basically any way you cook your vegetables will work.
I generally steam cut up vegetables for around 7 minutes but check your appliance for more detailed timing.

Once your fruit and vegetables are cooked:
Once soft, depending on the fruit/vegetable, you can either just mash with a fork, use a stick mixer to blend or use a ninja mixer or similar. I recently have been using a mistral gourmet wizard which is like a ninja. These little mixers are great but they tend to puree and I like to keep some texture to the fruit. Some vegetables or fruit need a little bit of water as they could be a bit dry and thick (such as carrot or potato) just add a bit of cooled boiled water till the food becomes the right consistence (thick enough to stay on a spoon but not so much that its dry and will be difficult for your baby to swallow, perhaps think thick tomato sauce)

Don't forget when making vegetables for yourself just make more than you need and freeze the rest for your baby.

Now to freeze your food. I have two different types of cube containers, Tupperware cool cube ice trays and some Happy Baby ice cube trays I got from Big W (see pics below). You can use any type of icecube containers but I like the ones with lids to keep the food clean.
Spoon the mixture into the trays, secure the lids and pop in the freezer for a few hours till set.
Once set remove the cubes (with clean hands of course) and put into zip lock bags. I always label the bags with whats inside and the date created. You would be surprised how much food is orange and looks the same!
I generally keep all vegetables and fruit separate as you can then create your own meal each night, ie potato, carrot and zuchini.
Store the zip lock bags in the freezer and when ready take out a few cubes to create your babies meal.
Pop in a microwave bowl and cook in the microwave for around 30 seconds till defrosted or alternative leave on the bench till defrosted. I like to heat up the vegetables till luke warm before serving.
Any food your baby doesn't eat should be discarded. You can defrost the cubes and store in sealed containers in the fridge for a few days.

Every baby is different but for our 6 month old we have been giving him 2 fruit cubes with 2 tbls of farax or similar with 4tbls of cooled boiled water for breakfast
and for dinner around 4 ice cube vegetables.

be creative, mix it up each night. Some of our favourites are:
sweet potato. pumpkin, carrot and zuchini
potato, apple, carrot
sweet potato and potato
pear, carrot and zuchini

with an hour or so you can create some home made, delicious, healthy baby food your baby will love.
I generally create two different items, tonight it was apple and pear, every few days till I have a supply and then when im running low I cook what I need.

Carrot, Zuchini and some apple cubes ready for the freezer.  The back right containers are tupperware cool cube trays and the green, purple and blue containers are made by Happy Baby.  All these  ice cube containers have lids.  As you can see the the carrot in the back is much thicker than the zuchini cubes in the front.  This makes a great combo together as is has different textures and creates a nice mix.

This pic has pear and apple in the containers.  The mix is smooth and easy to eat as I mix it with farax for breakfast.  You can also add a fruit cube to a dinner time meal too.

In a few weeks I will cook up some meats to add to his diet too, I will post on this when done.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Welcome to my new blog, Bec and Bella's Kitchen, a place where I will bring you recipes, tips and tricks in the kitchen.
Both my daughter and my elder son love to participate in the kitchen and a lot of the posts will be how to include your kids in the kitchen, giving them life skills and a joy of cooking and baking.
Cooking with kids, while not as quick and clean as baking yourself is a fun and rewarding way to spend time with your kids. It doesn't have to be hard or time consuming but has a life time of reward for both you and your children.

I will also be sharing some of the recipes I have tweaked and created which I get asked for by friends and family.
Anyone who knows me knows I love being in the kitchen creating a masterpiece. I have a great since of enjoyment watching peoples faces light up when they taste one of my baking creations. Baking calms my mind and nourishes my soul ( and my tummy) and I hope some of the recipes I post will give you a similar feeling.
Thanks for taking this journey with me and Bella.

Alex, Bella and I.

Alex, Bella and Blake