Child-friendly restaurants in Canberra: Ricardo’s

Ricardo’s
02 6251 2666
Jamison Plaza
Bowman Street, Macquarie ACT,2614
Ricardo’S Cafe on Urbanspoon

Cronuts.

Delicious delicious cronuts. The sole cause of me getting my pregnancy body back sans the human baby inside.

I, once again, went to get my fix this morning. My excuse was I wanted my friend to have one as she never heard of it, and what a fine excuse it was.

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The many times I went to Ricardo’s, the place is never empty. Always packed with “ladies who do brunch”, mummies with bubs, young and old families, all sorts of people! Today was no exception, it was nicely filled with little kiddies running amok 🙂 I personally think they’re in such a great location, situated right next to a playground! So parents can sit nearby, consuming yummy food while the kids can go crazy playing (obviously where they’re more of mobile ages).

The service is prompt and friendly, the meals are delicious, and the coffee (again, as far as decaf go) is one of the good ones in Canberra. I rate their blueberry macaron as the best out of the ones I’ve had, that include Zumbo’s and Laduree’s 😉 I also like the redskin and popcorn flavours as well, and of course, the pièce de résistance, the cronuts, are amazeballs! I’m not so keen on their other dessert though because most are mousse-based and pretty pricey, but they’re beautiful looking. I wish the centre has an undercover parking too, at least some sort of shades, because I hate strapping on Little E in the rain like this morning.

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Little Man’s OOTD and my “light” lunch at home of Caprese Salad – I am so proud of myself, doesn’t it look restaurant quality? 😛

I will be making my way back there as soon as this Friday, again in order to enlightened people’s lives and make them so much more complete with the introduction to cronuts.

Let me know if you’ve had cronuts before, do you like it? or do you think it’s just a gimmick? A dear friend tried KK kronuts and didn’t like it.

Child-friendly restaurants in Canberra: Kusina

Kusina
02 6288 8461
Weston Creek Shopping Centre
Canberra
Kusina on Urbanspoon

I’ve been to Kusina several times this year, mainly with my mummy friends. The place is always immaculately clean, the service friendly and the food is delicious. A number of times I went for morning tea, and as far as decaf coffee go, Kusina does it pretty well. I love their selection of sweets, especially the pandan cake and the red velvet brownie. They’re always so accommodating with us moving furniture around to make room for our prams 🙂

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I’ve also tried a few of their meals, with my favourite being the pork belly – crunchy, salty, fatty goodness 🙂 Served with rice and two choices of sauce, it’s hard to stop even when full (their serving size is amazing!). Their curry and the marinated beef are yummy as well. A word of warning though, if you dislike pork belly, don’t order any of their pork dishes as they use the same cut for all of them.

I went there during my elimination diet and they were very accommodating. They told me which dishes would be okay for me and didn’t seem to mind me asking the same questions repeatedly. I’ve yet to go for dinner as we really are on the stricter side of keeping Little E’s night routine. I would imagine they’ll be just as good as during the day.

If you’re looking for a restaurant to go to that is child-friendly with good food and friendly service, I’d vouch for Kusina 🙂

 

Fussy Little Eaters: Zucchini chocolate cupcakes

Well, I didn’t have an early night, read my book nor watched any funny videos last night. I did, however, made some cupcakes, and it’s almost as relaxing, if not, more.

I found this recipe while doing an elimination diet. I was craving chocolate and cakes but was saddened that everything had dairy, soy and eggs. From the second I found it, I have made numerous of it since.

I also am obsessed with adding hidden vegetables in everything, mainly grated zucchini and carrots. Ask my husband and he’ll agree haha (he hates zucchini). I just find it so easy to use to up our daily vegetables intake.

When I found out that we had run out of milk and had an almost dead zucchini in the fridge, combined with not having anything to bring to my Mothers Group meetup today, I decided to make zucchini chocolate cupcakes.

They aren’t exactly dairy-free and soy-free as per the original cake recipe, because I halved the sugar and added dark choc squares instead. However, you can definitely make it as per the recipe (slightly modified to include the grated zucchini).

Here’s what I did.

Zucchini chocolate cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini (to save washing up, I just grated mine straight into the mixing bowl)
  • 12 Dark Chocolate squares or 1/2 cup chocolate bits (I would exclude this if you want to make it dairy and soy free, unless of course you have ones that are made without dairy and soy)
  • 4 tbs coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or normal white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (unless you dont have any chocolate chips, then perhaps add 3/4 cup of sugar)
  • 3 tbs cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cup of self raising flour

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the chocolate squares
  3. Add zucchini and all wet ingredients
  4. Mix well and pour into cupcake cups
  5. Push chocolate squares on top of each cup (if you have chips, then you’re welcome to mix through with the rest of the ingredients)
  6. Bake for 15 minutes

Then eat eat eat eat eat guilt-free (almost)! It’s basically salad, right??? 🙂

I over-baked mine, because Little E started crying so I went up to see him, and totally forgot about them…. so they’re a little….. DRY!!! *sadface* I gave some of it to my little one, without the chocolate squares for morning tea and he loved it! However, his favourite food is zucchini! 😛

Fussy Little Eaters: Pumpkin Fruit Cake

My little one today with a girly hat stolen from one of his friends

My little one today with a girly hat stolen from one of his friends

A friend recently came over with her little one (Hi, Tam!) bringing Pumpkin Fruit Cupcakes for morning tea, and they were really nice! Little E absolutely loved it that I can’t not make him more. We had a picnic with the mums, dads and bubs from my Mothers Group today, so it was a good enough reason for me to recreate. My friend did give me a copy of the recipe that she used, but she didn’t tell me how much flour, and it was just as easy to look it up than bother her, so here’s my take on the recipe (based on two different ones).

Pumpkin Fruit Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mashed cooked pumpkin (I boiled mine)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of caster sugar (I used closer to 1/4 cup)
  • 100g glazed cherries, halved (If I was to make this just for Little E, I probably won’t add this in)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 125g butter
  • 1 tbs of mixed spice (I didn’t add this today, but I will next time)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C (Fan-Forced)
  2. Cream butter and sugar with a handmixer
  3. Add pumpkin, eggs and flour
  4. Stir through cherries
  5. Pour into a cake tin (I used a loaf tin today) and bake for 45 minutes

Mr E doesn’t really like pumpkin, but he likes this recipe. It could have a lot to do with the glazed cherries (he loves them!), but most importantly, my little man likes it. I gave him a slice with a small pat of butter for afternoon tea today.

More on Mothers Group, if there’s any new mums out there, who are thinking of joining one, you really should! It is amazing how much support you need from the other mothers who are going through the exact same thing at around the same time. I know it is a matter of luck, since I have heard many mums not liking their group members, but you have nothing to lose. I am lucky in that regard, as we all really get along quite well 🙂

Fussy Little Eaters: Easy Orange Chicken + OOTD

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I love denim overalls on babies!

 

Easy Orange Chicken Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Thigh Fillets – cut into strips
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbs brown sugar (more or less depending on the tartiness of your OJ)
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed OJ
  • half a carrot cut into thin strips
  • half an onion, diced
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Method:

  1. Sautee garlic, ginger and onion until the onion becomes transparent, then add chicken
  2. When chicken is half cooked, add in carrots and the rest of the ingredients
  3. Simmer until chicken is cooked and the juice reduces down to about half the amount

I served this with cous cous for us, however, you can have it over rice as well. Little E had it with buttered toast soldiers 🙂 Since it is so citrus-y, it is perfect to cook with fish as well. I would normally just pan fry the fish, and cook the rest in a separate pot. I would then pour the sauce over the fish before serving. It is quick, easy and both my loves enjoyed this dish.

A word of warning though, make sure your little one has “home clothes” on, as the turmeric stains like no other! 🙂

Tupperware Lovin’

I love Tupperware.

Every time I browse through the catalogue, I want to redo our pantry and make roasts. Unfortunately, I couldn’t bring myself to do that with the price, so I buy in bits. Or buy them from Vinnies/Salvos. Actually, most of the ones we have are from there. It’s great, as they’re usually pretty old so in the last stages of their life. When they finally break, I ask for replacements (making use of their awesome Lifetime Guarantee) and presto! NEW Tupperware for a fraction of the price! Wooooo #cheap

Did I just let you guys on it? Please don’t buy all the Tupperware at the op-shops. Leave some for me.

Anyway, imagine my excitements when I was given the amazing chance to review Tupperware’s new baby range, Grow with Me. Free Tupperware to keep just for me to play with? Don’t mind if I dooooo!

The ones I will definitely buy myself

Tupperware GROW WITH ME STRAW TUMBLER

Little E is obsessed with water, so I take a bottle whenever I go. I have been using this non stop since I got it. He’s been so rough with it, he would drop it from his highchair, throw it around, bite at it, and still no leak. It’s in a great size, small enough not to be bulky but big enough for me to drink as well. It comes with its own brush for cleaning and you can buy replacement straws. It’s awesome, I wish they come in a range of colours though! I also wish I knew how to take off the yellow lid to clean easily?

Tupperware GROW WITH ME FEEDING SET

I love the larger green container (with the blue lid) and have used it heaps for when we’re out during one of Little E’s mealtimes (like here and here) It’s a perfect size width-wise and not too thick, so you can fit a lot in without taking too much space in your bag. The lid is tight and I haven’t had a leak so far. I also like the smaller blue container as I needed a container for when I’m packing a hot meal like congee or soup (instead of bits of finger food). Again, the lid seals very well and it’s a perfect size for a meal. I have yet to use the cutleries for feeding, though Little E loves to play with the spoon as a teething toy. They’re ergonomically designed, and they come with their own container. So when you’re out and about, you don’t have to wash them or have them dirty everything else in your bag. They’re sturdy too, definitely made to last!

The ones I most probably will not buy myself

Tupperware GROW WITH ME TUMBLER AND SNACK CUP

The lid of the snack cup is amazingly tight! I guess that’s a good thing for leak-proof purposes,  but I almost always have a problem opening it. But that’s not why I wouldn’t buy it. Mostly because I already have small containers and for what I need them for, I won’t pay the price for it. I also have been given a million sippy cups already so I don’t need any more. Moreover, once Little E can drink out of a cup by himself, I would probably prefer to give him a plastic/melamine cup instead. For travel, I think the Straw Tumbler (above) is still the best.

The one I wish they also sent me

Tupperware SHAPE-O

I love this thing! My mum in-law said that she still has the one that Mr E had when he was a baby! The one that his other brothers also played with! It’s amazing how Tupperware products last. I want to get one for Little E, as I think it is educational AND fun. I am still waiting for my local op-shop to have these for sale (good luck me!), and you now know how I feel about toys too, but if I don’t find one before his first birthday, I will buy one as a present 🙂

I really hope this review is helpful for any of you thinking of getting these products. You can contact Tupperware directly if you don’t have your own consultant and they’ll put you in contact with one.