Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Third Day of School

She's just kissed me goodbye and put on her backpack and opened the car door and closed it behind her and waved through the window and started up the stairs to school and looked back once (just once?) and then she's gone out of sight, my baby girl, my big first grader, and all I want to do is cry and follow her up and will she be ok? But I take a deep breath and shift the car out of park and pull away from her, from the the curb, and drive into work.


Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wholemeal Spelt Crackers

organic wholemeal spelt crackers for lunch

This may sound crazy but hey, it's all end-of-school-holidays mental in this place. You know how many crackers your kid eats, right? I mean, unlike bread crusts, crackers are a food group unto themselves. Ever run out right when you needed them? Yeah, me too. 

And that's when I had this little inspiration:
Why not get the child to make her own?

And then I remembered that actually, I had a similar inspiration just over a year ago. (I think, I blog, I forget, I think, I blog, I remember, oops and so on. I blame many things for this, including parenthood).

But let's pretend this is a completely new idea around my kitchen.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rainbow Pasta Salad with Roasted Roots and Oven-Dried Tomatoes

Got Valentines plans? How about the greatest pasta salad of all time

This is the greatest pasta salad of all time - so great, in fact, that you might want to make it for your lover for Valentine's Day if you plan to save room for dessert. (And go ahead and take that however you like, friends). 

The only way this isn't going to make your next date night? If your partner dislikes despises detests loathes hates practically retches at the sight of beetroot. Sorry, sweetie. I didn't really mean to poison you. I just kinda thought maybe I could sneak it past you? Ummmm, guess not.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Why It's Ok to Cut the Crusts Off

breakfast today - tahini + banana + raw honey + cinnamon on organic sourdough

"Real" food bloggers might tell you that your kids need to eat their bread crusts - learn to love them like we grown up types do. And let me tell you, I've tried that. You know what? Sometimes I just like to have my crusts and eat them, too. Shall I explain? 

What it comes down to is this: 
I'm quite willing to pay extra money for quality, organic bread - but if I do, I'm not wasting a single crust of it!

What happens when we feed our kids stuff they don't like? 
You know as well as I do.

Scenario 1: Child eats her crusts without complaint. (Uh, never happens in this house - my girl picks the outsides off Turkish bread.)

Scenario 2: Child is presented with crusts on bread, asked to eat them, and then eats all the bread from around them leaving the crusts themselves slobbery and un-pick-off-plate-able. (This scenario makes our dog very happy. Me, not so much.)

Scenario 3: Child is presented with crustless bread, and mummy or daddy tip the crusts into the food processor, whizz them into bread crumbs, and freeze until needed. Or just cut them up into chunks and freeze until needed.

Happy. Especially for AMAZING fresh bread that you've just paid $4 - $7 for.

you paid for the good stuff - don't waste it!

The key is to use the best bread for your chunks or crumbs - expensive, organic crusts and ends otherwise discarded - and to freeze them in completely airtight containers, because bread *loves* freezer smell. So crumb them straight away (or you'll forget) and glass jar them or whatever you have to do to keep them completely isolated from the outside world.

Then, when you need bread crumbs - you've got em! I wrote about saving stale bread (and crusts) previously here - focusing on good bread-chunky recipes, but this here post is different. This post is saying it's ok to cut off the crusts. You're a great parent - and you sure as hell aren't letting your kids or the world or the blogging community out there down by doing so. 

Anyway, here are my 5 favourite ways to use bread crumbs:

1. As a parmesan alternative for pasta - It used to be that fried bread crumbs were considered cucina povera ("peasant" food) for everyday Italians who couldn't afford parmesan. Now they're just delicious. Bread crumbs fried in butter or olive oil with garlic or chili make an excellent topping for your next buttery or pesto-based pasta dinner. Here's a great recipe to get you started.

2. In veggie burgers - like Heidi's "ultimate" recipe over on 101 Cookbooks

3. As a topping for savoury bakes that use up heaps of greens - like Smitten Kitchen's "Best Baked Spinach"

4. As a topping for mac and cheese - and I know this Martha Steward favourite calls for tiny (perfect?) bread cubes, but who are we kidding? I'm sure crumbs are fine. Right?

5. Whatever Nigel Slater says. Because the man is a genius. Great ideas, people.

So get out there and buy yourself some fabulous organic bread! I hope you enjoy every crumb. :)
Amanda xx