Cup Day Menu

Melbourne Cup Day is always a highlight for me…when I was working it used to be the busiest day of the year for me, a late night beforehand setting up the TAB and then an early start and barely time to look up from the terminal for 8 hours straight. Sounds terrible but I loved it!
Now I’m a SAHM, Melbourne Cup is usually a day to have friends over for a nice relaxed lunch and a few bets. The weather is great to sit outside today and enjoy what I’ve prepared. I did most of the desserts yesterday, so today all I’ve done is pop the meat in the barbeque to slowly cook and prep the salads. These are the recipes I’ve used today:

Maggie Beers double marinated lamb via Beth at Baby Mac
Easter Salad using up some vegies before the next delivery later today
pumpkin and chickpea salad

Peach and basil shortcake
Apple & custard tart…the recipe was adapted from one on the pastry packet 😉

Cranberry and orange iced tea

Hope everyone has a splendid day!

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Meal Plan 38/2014

I’ve missed out on gym the past couple of mornings with the little man being sick and today, said little man who pretended to still be sick so he could sleep in…kids!! Am quite antsy at having missed a couple of days surprisingly and cannot wait to get there again. Luckily they have plenty of classes available so there is always something to do. I’m looking for meals this week I can prepare ahead and hubs can serve up easily whilst I go the gym when he gets home from work. Gotta get ready for summer!
Monday: last night we had the tacos we were supposed to have the night before but didn’t because we had leftovers :-)
Tuesday: seafood lasagne not necessarily the healthiest of meals but so warming and comforting when not everyone is 100%
Wednesday: fish balls with carrot chips. I’ve already made the fish balls & frozen them ready to quickly cook on the night
Thursday: spaghetti & meatballs, these meatballs have plenty of veggies in them which makes them a winner in my books
Friday: baked salmon with potato & salad
Saturday: hub is off to watch his beloved hawks play in the AFL preliminary final so kids and I are having an extremely unhealthy but very footy dinner of hotdogs and pies!
Sunday: lamb chops in ratatouille….we haven’t had ratatouille for ages, it’s about time to have it again!
I have signed up to get fruit and vegetable deliveries again, from a local company that I have heard a bit about but not yet tried. Hopefully they are as great as they sound and by getting weekly deliveries I will have one less ‘outside the home’ chore to do so I can get the non sleeping baby into a better routine AND get more done around the house. All about simplifying and outsourcing at the moment!
For anyone watching The Block, how good did Michael & Carlene’s bookcase look all colour coded??! I loved it. Really want to do it with the kids books but feel it won’t last for more than a day and will reawaken my OCD tendencies! I used to have a slight issue when it came to pegs on the clothesline…with the amount of clothes five people create I’ve managed to get over this “quirk” thankfully! Who else has little OCD things around the house? Please tell me I’m not alone ;-)

Meal Plan 37/2014

I started at the new gym in town today. I got a foundation membership, a multi-visit crèche pass and have a wish list for some new sporty attire once I attend x number of times…aka prove to myself I will go regularly! This is number one on my wish list:

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Speedo Cosmic Lion one piece $100 that’s right, I’m going to brave the pool!! For those who know me, this is a big deal as I don’t like pools….the chlorine is just so yuk and makes me feel icky but until the bay heats up a bit more it’s my best option for swimming. I’m hoping swimming will be nice and meditative.
Anyways, with all this time at the gym ( ;-) )and the sick season (fingers crossed anyways) practically over, I need to get back into proper meal planning and cooking and less takeaway. Otherwise known as getting organised and back into the swing of things. And although I love slow cooking and hearty, wintery meals, I’m also getting excited about the prospect of salads and bbqs again. Last night for Father’s Day, I whipped up a very tasty, yet quite easy to prepare, steak recipe from the gorg Jamie Oliver. It was so good and a definite repeat recipe in my book.
The rest of the week is as follows:
Monday: salmon with basil mayo & tomato salad
Tuesday: schnitzel & coleslaw
Wednesday: baked indian fish pilaf
Thursday: braised lamb shanks with barley
Friday: we have an engagement party to attend, yay!! So kids can have pizza as a treat :-)
Saturday: prawn caesar salad
Sunday: tacos…I might even go all gourmet & make a couple of different varieties *gasp!!
Ella is sick of eating and I’m sick of making sandwiches at the moment so we’ve been having wraps for which I’ve found some yum fillings and I’m also going to do these vegetable pikelets. I made mini quiches last week which Alex liked but Ella didn’t so am hunting for other ideas…anybody?!
On the smoothie front, my fave from the week past has been this sunshine in a jar recipe from simple green smoothies. Pineapple and citrus are just so summery! Add in some maco powder for an extra protein/energy boost and voila, morning snack is done :-) Am really loving our smoothie maker, definitely my fave appliance at the moment!
My gorgeous girlfriend Lana and I won a Moccana competition on Instagram which scored us a massive jar of coffee each and made us organise a play date for next week so we can share said coffee and maybe a few coffee sweet treats…stayed tuned on the LL&L fb page for recipe ideas.
Have a splendid week peeps, and I hope you get some yummy sunshine xxx

Green smoothies

Like many a trend, I am very late to jump on board but I’ve finally joined the green smoothie movement and one week in, I’m loving it! Our lil family has had a bad winter health wise with colds and coughs doing the rounds without relief. It’s been a very long and tiring few months for us all. And whilst I can’t prevent the germs the kiddies pick up at school and kindy and kindly share with the rest of us, I CAN boost our immune systems with delish smoothies as well as increase energy, bolster digestive systems (!), detox, improve skin and so on and so on. With the right combo of greens, fruit and additives such as chia seeds, spirulina, hemp, protein and the like you can help the body fight, increase, improve and balance. Ah-mazing!!!
We popped off to The Good Guys to get a smoothie maker and came home with this one…

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This is the Kambrook Blitz2Go which we paid $45 for plus purchased another 2 bottles as an extra giving us 4 large bottles and 1 small, a far better amount for a family.
I spent half the night researching recipes (although it did come with quite a few yummy sounding ones), and found a few great sites. There are so many out there so I’m sure you’ll be able to steer me towards others also! The ones I found though, in case you’re interested, are Deliciously Ella, I Quit Sugar, The Healthy Chef and Simple Green Smoothies. I picked some simple, not too out there recipes from these sites and made a list….I love list making!!
The next day I popped down to the shops with said list and came home laden with greens (baby spinach, cucumber & herbs) and fruits (strawbs, pineapple & an array of citrus) and some coconut water. I got all organised chopping up all the ingredients in ready to use pieces and freezing them so prep is easier and food doesn’t go to waste. I then made up 4 different blends to pop in the fridge for hubs for the week ahead so in the morning all he has to do is get up, grab a bottle from the fridge, quickly blitz and go! He is loving them as are the kids, which given how green some of them have been is surprising! I thought I would have a much harder time of it but call a green drink The Hulk and they can’t get into it fast enough ;-) These are the recipes we have had so far…
hulk smoothie highly recommend this for the little people!
Immune Boosting Green Smoothie more juice than the normal thick smoothie but hub loved it
Green Goddess Smoothie…I may have told the mr it was called the green GOD smoothie so he wasn’t put off ;-)
Fountain of Youth Smoothie…I’m also having this one today, I haven’t had hubs verdict yet but for me it’s very strong flavours, wouldn’t be an every day smoothie for me but maybe a few tweaks to tone it down and it would go down easier!
– another immune boosting one with spinach, oj, water, banana, carrot, strawberries & blackberries…I can’t find a link for it sorry!
I’m keen to start gathering all the booster bits- hemp powder, spirulina etc, does anyone have a good source of these for a newcomer to the scene?
I am sharing more on my fb page here each day so check it out! Have a great day and a green smoothie if you’re into them…and if you’re not you should be!! <3

Parenting wins

Parenting is hard work. Every now and then though you get a reward that makes all this hard work worth it. Tears, tantrums, sleeplessness and mess all disappear behind tears of happiness and pure love for the small person you have been ushering through life for the past near on six years. These years have been amongst the hardest of our lives but her actions and words this morning showed me we must be doing something right to have produced a babe as kind hearted as this. Our teeniest babe has been unwell the past couple of weeks and sleep has been a priceless commodity. Last night was no exception, I think she and I got about 2hours of interrupted sleep. This morning our big babe Ella came and stole our teeniest babe Anna out of our bed so I could sleep. Hubs had headed out for a ride early on and Anna and I had finally nodded off for a bit. Of course she woke after an half an hour so Ella popped in, stole her out of the bed and took her to the the lounge to play. This gave me an hour of pure, blissful, uninterrupted snoozing. Hunger eventually hit and big babe brought little babe back in to bed fed. As I was feeding her I could hear some strange noises coming from the kitchen. I called her back in to find out the happenings and she told me:
mum, I’m cleaning the kitchen table and the chairs for you. I’m going to do all your jobs for you today so you can rest. Dad and I will make dinner too so that you can rest cos you’re tired.
Cue massive surprise and teary eyes from me. She and I have a somewhat difficult relationship at times which is something I’m not proud to admit. She has a very strong personality and we clash more often than not, tiredness from us both being a big contributing factor. We adore one another to bits and pieces but with one thing and another we forget to show each other at times. I take the blame for this being the “grown up” but together we are working on this to strengthen our bond and improve areas of our lives. But today showed me that while I may be down on myself quite often in regards to my parenting abilities, I have very obviously done something right along the way to produce a daughter who at just 5 years of age can see how tired her mumma is and decide off her own bat that her mumma needs to rest and deserves a day off. I am as proud as punch of her and am feeling a little more rested thanks to her beautiful soul. I can only hope that I make her as proud of me one day as I am of her.

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Shoes on my winter hit list

I have no idea what shoes I wore last winter, perhaps I just lived in my slippers for most of it especially after the lady arrived but I seem to have no shoes this year! I have several requirements-they must be comfortable and practical-no stilettos here! They need to be flexible so can be worn with many different outfits and they need to have a certain something to them, I do like a metallic or self patterned shoe. Oh, and budget friendly also. That’s not asking too much is it?!
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seed heritage amber sneakers in rose gold $59.95

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therapy Breton shoes in leopard $39.95

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spurr Amy gusset boot in black via The Iconic $49.95
Now, what is the best way to sneak these into the wardrobe without hubs noticing??!

meal plan 28/2014

finally have a meal plan sorted for the week (or so) ahead, yay! trying to incorporate more fish is quite tricky as I only have a few recipes that I use regularly, and that work for the kiddies so mixing it up to keep it from getting boring is tricky. anyways, incorporated I have and there are 4 fish meals in the 9 I have planned. hello omega 3 and all those good fishy proteins and nutrients! have used quite a few recipes from the healthy chef.

Saturday: tomato fish & baked potato/sweet potato/carrot chips

Sunday: family dinner- no cooking!!

Monday: beef stroganoff with greens

Tuesday: fish cakes with fennel salad

Wednesday: roasted salmon with a herb crust & roasted tomatoes & greens

Thursday: minestrone

Friday: salmon risotto (this uses the leftover roasted salmon from Wednesday night)

Saturday: stuffed eggplants

Sunday: beef, blackbean & pumpkin burritos…recipe adapted from a coles recipe (can’t find the link)

other baking/cooking:

  • chia seed puddings
  • bircher muesli
  • biscuits
  • cheesecake

whats happening in your kitchen?