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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