Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pinterest Creation #3

This post will be short and sweet (like this amazing cookie) since I only remembered to take a photo once I was literally done baking them and storing them in Tupperware.

The recipe worked out well for me, although I will tell you that instead of baking the cookies immediately after the batter was done, I instead put the batter into the fridge overnight. Mostly I did this because I didn't have the time to bake them, but also because the batter seemed runny to me and I wanted to ensure they would bake well. Also, be very careful not to over-bake them. The recipe called for 10 minutes of baking time, but I only did about 8.

They are really quite good -- not too sweet either. It really is like eating a piece of brownie. The only thing I was considering this morning whether or not I should make a little chocolate icing topper for them.

The recipe I used can be found here:


- Brown 1 lb ground beef (also works well with ground turkey)
- I season mine with onion, Mrs. Dash Original, and 1 or 2 cloves garlic
- Add in 1 can cream of mushroom soup, and 1/2 can milk (add more milk to thin if necessary)
- After meat is cooked through, I add in frozen peas or corn, or even a pea / corn / carrot mix to get in some veggies
- Serve over rice, egg noodles, or orzo! Voila!
(submitted by Ashley J.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mini Tacos

Mini Tacos:

- Put cooked shredded chicken in a skillet and add ¼ c of frozen corn and beans if you like
- Add tex-mex seasoning and the juice of half a lime
- Put whole wheat tortilla cups on a plate and fill each with chicken mix and whatever other veg your kids will eat (shredded carrots/tomatoes/lettuce/avocado)
- Put a squirt of catalina dressing and sour cream in each (if they like it) and top with cheese
- Melt in microwave for a few seconds

(Tammy M)

Chicken/Broccoli Casserole

Chicken/Broccoli (veg) casserole:

- Steam a few cups of veg (broccoli/cauliflower/carrots)
- Cube up 3 chicken breasts and brown them off with salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, mix ¼ c mayo, 1 can cream of chicken soup, t. of curry, squirt of lemon juice and ½ c of milk
- Spray a casserole dish with pam, put in veg and chicken and toss with the mayo mix
- Top with grated cheddar cheese
- Bake at 350 for ½ hr

(Tammy M)

Parmesan Chicken

Parmesan Chicken:

- Pound a few chicken breasts to an even level (1 inch), season with salt and pepper
- In a small bowl, mix ¼ c mayo and 2 tbsp parm cheese
- Slather the mix onto the chicken and sprinkle with bread crumbs
- Bake at 400 for 20 mins

(Tammy M)

First 30 Min Meal Recipe: Spaghetti Pie

Hi Everyone!

I am experiencing some technical difficulties trying to figure out how best to post these 30 minute-meal recipes...and the long and short of it is that in order to structure it the way I wanted to, I would have to switch to wordpress instead of blogger (which I use now). I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say this process is complicated AND instead I have an interim plan.

I will post the recipes on my blog as they come in and then I will add a list of the recipes we have received on the 30-min meals page. Then, you can easily search for the recipe on the blog and print it out (if  you want to).

So....the first recipe is one submitted by Tammy M! Quite fitting I think, since this was really her idea in the first place. Tammy submitted four great recipes so far, and I love them because they are super easy to follow!

Spaghetti Pie:

- Cook a few cups of spaghetti or any type of noodle
- Brown a package of ground beef – add salt and pepper
- If time permits, grate carrots/onion/zucchini into meat mixture
- Add a jar of your favourite jarred marinara sauce (preggo mushroom for us!)
- In a small bowl, mix ½ c of sour cream and ½ c of cream cheese
- Spray a casserole dish with pam, put in spaghetti, top with cream cheese mix, then meat sauce
- Top with grated cheddar cheese
- Bake at 350 for 20-30 min

(Tammy M)

Friday, June 7, 2013

When Your Mother Says She's Fat

My sister posted a link today on Facebook to an amazing article that I would like to share with you all. It ties in really well with a post that I have been working on about body image and weight. My own post isn't done yet, but in the meantime, I think you all should read this...

When your mother says she's fat

Last updated 05:00 06/06/2013

Dear Mum,
I was seven when I discovered that you were fat, ugly and horrible. Up until that point I had believed that you were beautiful - in every sense of the word. I remember flicking through old photo albums and staring at pictures of you standing on the deck of a boat. Your white strapless bathing suit looked so glamorous, just like a movie star. Whenever I had the chance I'd pull out that wondrous white bathing suit hidden in your bottom drawer and imagine a time when I'd be big enough to wear it; when I'd be like you.
But all of that changed when, one night, we were dressed up for a party and you said to me, ''Look at you, so thin, beautiful and lovely. And look at me, fat, ugly and horrible.''
At first I didn't understand what you meant.
''You're not fat,'' I said earnestly and innocently, and you replied, ''Yes I am, darling. I've always been fat; even as a child.''
In the days that followed I had some painful revelations that have shaped my whole life. I learned that:
1. You must be fat because mothers don't lie.
2. Fat is ugly and horrible.
3. When I grow up I'll look like you and therefore I will be fat, ugly and horrible too.

Years later, I looked back on this conversation and the hundreds that followed and cursed you for feeling so unattractive, insecure and unworthy. Because, as my first and most influential role model, you taught me to believe the same thing about myself.

With every grimace at your reflection in the mirror, every new wonder diet that was going to change your life, and every guilty spoon of ''Oh-I-really-shouldn't'', I learned that women must be thin to be valid and worthy. Girls must go without because their greatest contribution to the world is their physical beauty.

Just like you, I have spent my whole life feeling fat. When did fat become a feeling anyway? And because I believed I was fat, I knew I was no good. But now that I am older, and a mother myself, I know that blaming you for my body hatred is unhelpful and unfair. I now understand that you too are a product of a long and rich lineage of women who were taught to loathe themselves.

Look at the example Nanna set for you. Despite being what could only be described as famine-victim chic, she dieted every day of her life until the day she died at 79 years of age. She used to put on make-up to walk to the letterbox for fear that somebody might see her unpainted face.

I remember her ''compassionate'' response when you announced that Dad had left you for another woman. Her first comment was, ''I don't understand why he'd leave you. You look after yourself, you wear lipstick. You're overweight - but not that much.'' Before Dad left, he provided no balm for your body-image torment either.

''Jesus, Jan,'' I overheard him say to you. ''It's not that hard. Energy in versus energy out. If you want to lose weight you just have to eat less.''

That night at dinner I watched you implement Dad's ''Energy In, Energy Out: Jesus, Jan, Just Eat Less'' weight-loss cure. You served up chow mein for dinner. (Remember how in 1980s Australian suburbia, a combination of mince, cabbage, and soy sauce was considered the height of exotic gourmet?) Everyone else's food was on a dinner plate except yours. You served your chow mein on a tiny bread-and-butter plate.

As you sat in front of that pathetic scoop of mince, silent tears streamed down your face. I said nothing. Not even when your shoulders started heaving from your distress. We all ate our dinner in silence. Nobody comforted you. Nobody told you to stop being ridiculous and get a proper plate. Nobody told you that you were already loved and already good enough. Your achievements and your worth - as a teacher of children with special needs and a devoted mother of three of your own - paled into insignificance when compared with the centimetres you couldn't lose from your waist.

It broke my heart to witness your despair and I'm sorry that I didn't rush to your defence. I'd already learned that it was your fault that you were fat. I'd even heard Dad describe losing weight as a ''simple'' process - yet one that you still couldn't come to grips with. The lesson: you didn't deserve any food and you certainly didn't deserve any sympathy.

But I was wrong, Mum. Now I understand what it's like to grow up in a society that tells women that their beauty matters most, and at the same time defines a standard of beauty that is perpetually out of our reach. I also know the pain of internalising these messages. We have become our own jailors and we inflict our own punishments for failing to measure up. No one is crueller to us than we are to ourselves.

But this madness has to stop, Mum. It stops with you, it stops with me and it stops now. We deserve better - better than to have our days brought to ruin by bad body thoughts, wishing we were otherwise.
And it's not just about you and me any more. It's also about Violet. Your granddaughter is only 3 and I do not want body hatred to take root inside her and strangle her happiness, her confidence and her potential. I don't want Violet to believe that her beauty is her most important asset; that it will define her worth in the world. When Violet looks to us to learn how to be a woman, we need to be the best role models we can. We need to show her with our words and our actions that women are good enough just the way they are. And for her to believe us, we need to believe it ourselves.

The older we get, the more loved ones we lose to accidents and illness. Their passing is always tragic and far too soon. I sometimes think about what these friends - and the people who love them - wouldn't give for more time in a body that was healthy. A body that would allow them to live just a little longer. The size of that body's thighs or the lines on its face wouldn't matter. It would be alive and therefore it would be perfect.

Your body is perfect too. It allows you to disarm a room with your smile and infect everyone with your laugh. It gives you arms to wrap around Violet and squeeze her until she giggles. Every moment we spend worrying about our physical ''flaws'' is a moment wasted, a precious slice of life that we will never get back.

Let us honour and respect our bodies for what they do instead of despising them for how they appear. Focus on living healthy and active lives, let our weight fall where it may, and consign our body hatred in the past where it belongs. When I looked at that photo of you in the white bathing suit all those years ago, my innocent young eyes saw the truth. I saw unconditional love, beauty and wisdom. I saw my Mum.
Love, Kasey xx

This is an excerpt from Dear Mum, a collection of letters from Australian sporting stars, musicians, models, cooks and authors revealing what they would like to say to their mothers before it's too late, or would have said if only they'd had the chance.
All royalties go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Published by Random House and available now.
- Daily Life

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pinterest #2 (A mix of my own, Pinterest inspired)

I am a toast-and-peanut-butter-for-breakfast kind of girl, and really have been for as long as I can remember. I just love the taste and textures of a really good crispy piece of toast (like Sidewalk Citizen Sourdough) with the melti-ness and sweetness of smooth peanut butter. In fact, I love it so much that it would likely be my "last meal" if I ever had to chose one...except of course I would eat the entire loaf since calories would no longer be a concern ;)

Now having said all that, I am aware that I maybe should be eating more protein during this "most important meal of the day" and have wanted for quite some time to experiment with one of the many Pinterest recipes for these kind of "egg muffins". This creation is Pinterest inspired, but actually is my own recipe. I used to make frittatta's a lot for dinner, but the idea of a cute little individual frittata seemed like such a great idea.

When I made frittatas for dinner, I found that they always needed some sort of "big flavour" inside for them to be yummy enough (in my books anyway). In the past I have often used prepared pesto bought from the supermarket, but this time I added some of this crazy concoction called "umami paste". (Here is a link to the website because I know you might be wondering what the heck that is: Apparently, it's the "scientifically proven fifth taste and literally means 'savoury deliciousness' in Japanese". Who knew?

Anyway, you should all go out and buy some umami. It's mysteriously amazing.

Breakfast Egg Bake (Individual)

6 eggs
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
2 cups sliced mushrooms
½ cup diced red pepper
1 cup cheddar/mozza cheese mix (or parm)
1 tbsp Epicure Pesto Herb Mix
¾ tsp umami paste
salt & pepper to taste

Pan fry the mushrooms on medium heat until browned and a little crispy on the outside. Add the red pepper and pan fry for another minute or two until heated through. In a medium sized bowl, crack the 6 eggs and beat. Add the spinach, pesto herb mix, umami, cheese and then the slightly cooled off mushroom and red pepper mixture. Mix well. Add to 5 large muffin tins (pre oiled). Place in the oven at 350 for about 20-30 mins or until golden brown.

Tips for Managing Stress & Anxiety (plus a smoothie recipe!)

Read my latest blog post on You Ate: And my smoothie recipe!