I adore winter. It truly is my favourite season.
As the days shorten and the weather turns frosty there is nothing I love more than retreating home to spend long lazy afternoons nestled by the kitchen bench slow cooking beautiful cuts of meat or baking up a storm. Filling our home with hearty warming dishes during these frosty winter months delights me like no other. I treasure these precious moments with my little family and love nothing more than spending an evening snuggled under a warm cozy throw watching movies and sipping my favourite glass of red.
There is, however, one down side to my love and adoration of winter and that is the nasty colds and flus that always seem to come with it. The last two weeks have been hijacked by one very nasty flu and unfortunately my little babies felt the worst of it. After lots of cuddles, a little pain relief, plenty of rest and a good dose of pumpkin soup I am very happy to say we’re all well and truly on the mend.
That said, to ward off any future winter born bugs I’ve been incorporating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables into our diets as well as a gorgeously green smoothie most mornings (I’ll be sharing our smoothie recipe next week). I’ve also made a conscious effort to incorporate as many healthy ingredients into our baking repertoire as well. My latest love is H2CoCo’s delicious organic virgin coconut oil. I’ve been using it in lieu of olive oil when I cook and have even managed to incorporate it into our baked goodies including these apricot pistachio quinoa bars and blueberry banana and chia loaf.
Today’s wholemeal lemon, ricotta and chia muffins also use the organic and 100% raw and natural oil. The coconut oil not only provides the muffins with gorgeous moisture to create a very tender crumb but gives the muffins a slight coconut flavour that works beautifully with the lemon and ricotta. The kids absolutely adored them for morning tea and gobbled up a muffin each along with a few sliced perfectly ripe strawberries.
To create your own batch of wholemeal lemon, ricotta & chia muffins simply…
Today I am sharing one of my all time favourite simple suppers…ricotta fritters with tomato and basil sauce.
These ricotta fritters are my version of an easy peasy gnocchi. It’s quite an intense and very time consuming task to make your own gnocchi at home so these little gorgeously golden dumplings are my cheat’s version but please don’t be fooled, although they come together almost effortlessly they are no way any less flavourful than their laborious counterparts. These ricotta fritters are light, fluffy, delicious and marry perfectly with a simple tomato sauce. I can have the little imitations frying away to gorgeous goldenness in well under ten minutes and the kids just adore them. So does my hubby.
The ricotta mixture consists of only a few flavours, lemon zest, nutmeg and parmesan however they work together beautifully to create a delicious treat even when eaten without the tomato basil sauce. Miss G. gobbled up a couple whilst our sauce bubbled away.
Todays simple tomato basil sauce is also absolutely delicious and is the result of mere moments of work. After I have fried the ricotta fritters, I heat a little olive oil in the same pan, gently cook a clove or two of garlic, add the diced tomatoes, passata, brown sugar and basil and bubble away for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. This tomato sauce is fresh, full of flavour and makes the perfect pond of yumminess for the fried ricotta fritters to nestle in.
Mr H. loved this supper. The fritters were the perfect texture for him to pick up easily and nibble away on. He also adored the tomato sauce, gobbling most of it up only leaving behind what was smothered on his face and arms.
To create your own delicious ricotta fritters w’ tomato and basil sauce simply…
It’s not often Miss G. becomes fanatical about her food but of late our little miss has become utterly obsessed with sweet corn.
Each and every time I make my way into the kitchen and stand at the bench I hear the chants of a toddler demanding ‘corn, corn, corn’ pacing incessantly behind me.
So not to disappoint (or more importantly to avoid the dreaded terrible toddler terror tantrum) I’ve managed to work the bright yellow kernels of sunshine sweetness into most meals of late and this sweetcorn pasta salad is our favourite corn incarnation by far.
Not only is this gorgeously zesty salad chock full of nutritious goodness but it couldn’t be simpler to prepare. It can be on the table and ready to devour in the time it takes to boil a little pasta and stored in an air tight container nestled in the fridge this salad is just as wonderful the next day.
Although Miss G. concentrates most of her eating efforts on the corn and pasta, she also manages to gobble up a good amount of fresh tomato, cucumber and mint as well, making for a very happy mummy.
To create this gorgeously fresh and zesty sweetcorn pasta salad simply…
Todays lovely lemon loaf really couldn’t be more simple.
It so simple that Miss G. and I managed to stir the batter together and have this heavenly loaf baking away in the oven in less than 10 minutes.
And the results though couldn’t be more sublime.
This gorgeously golden loaf is not only heady in lovely lemony scent but is chock full of wholesome, totally good for you ingredients; yoghurt, macadamia nut oil, agave syrup and wholemeal flour.
Along with a little fruit, this loaf makes the perfect baby led weaning morning or afternoon tea snack and is also the perfect addition to any lunch box.
To create this lovely lemon loaf simply…
Today’s pea, asparagus & mint pasta with lemony ricotta sauce has to be one of Grace’s all time favourite pasta dishes. Even more so today thanks to the cutest little elk pasta shapes I bought over the weekend.
Miss G. adores the ricotta, lemon and mint flavour combination as well as the bright green peas studded throughout and I love this pasta dish because it couldn’t be simpler to prepare. This is the simple supper I most often turn to when I am all out of time and patience and just need to get dinner done and on the table. It really is that easy.
For the little ones first beginning baby led weaning this dish is a winner. The pasta, chicken and asparagus are simple for the little ones to hold and nibble on and once your little one has mastered the pincer grip the peas will be no trouble at all.
To create this easy peasy pea, asparagus & mint pasta w’ lemony ricotta sauce simply…
Miss G. is officially walking!
Watching her take those first wobbly steps, smile beaming, eyes lit up with a mixture of amazement and excitement was just beautiful.
R. and I cheered her on whilst her beautiful tubby little legs carried her across the living room floor all the time knowing it was one of those magical family moments we’ll treasure forever.
To celebrate her big girl moment I decided to put together one of our favourite family meals, chicken tacos.
Miss G. loves mexican food, especially salsa so I knew this was the perfect simple supper to celebrate with.
Todays taco incarnation consists of softly toasted tortillas topped with lightly spiced chicken and a gorgeous salsa.
The chicken nestled in these tacos is perfect for the little ones because I ditched the usual hot and spicy flavours usually associated with mexican food and instead opted for a more mellow spice mix of a little cumin, sweet paprika and lemon zest. The coating is just enough to give the chicken a sweet subtle flavour without any of the heat, Miss G. loved it! Also, rather than chopping the chicken, I decided to roast the breasts whole then use a couple of forks to shred them creating the perfect shape for little hands to hold and nibble on with ease.
Whilst the chicken was baking I decided to grill a little corn to add to the salsa and am so happy I did. The sweet kernels of just charred corn added a beautiful brightness to our usual salsa of avocado, cherry tomatoes, coriander and lime and had us coming back for more. And more. And more. It’s seriously moreish.
These tacos are a joy to prepare and a complete pleasure to eat. A beautiful way to celebrate.
To create these gorgeous chicken tacos with grilled corn and avocado salsa simply…
Summer seems to have arrived early.
Our afternoon summer storms are already here along with the heat and sticky humidity.
Instinctively we’re craving salads.
Fresh, simple, cooling and refreshing salads.
Ones that can be put together effortlessly, are light and nourish us just enough until the next meal time.
Miss G. loves them.
Wearing just a nappy and singlet she sits happily in her high chair nibbling away on cool pieces of cucumber, juicy tomato wedges and refreshing salad leaves.
For lunch today I whipped up this super simple greek salad.
Just a mix of mint, rocket, cucumber, tomato, red onion, kalamata olives and feta. All dressed in a gorgeously zesty red wine vinaigrette and served alongside homemade tzatziki and toasted flatbread.
For such a light lunch this salad is truly satisfying.
Miss G. and I sat on the balcony, feeling the breeze carry with it a little cool respite and enjoyed our salad for lunch.
To create this divine greek salad, tzatziki & flat bread simply…