DIY Cereal Mix

Our little man is a foodie. He loves his food, there are not many things that he doesn’t like. We are not sure whether it is all in the genes (we’re really into our food), or it was because we started him on “adult food” pretty young. We also gave him the opportunity to choose what he would like to have as often as possible. Most of the times, he chooses good healthy food, though obviously, just like any other 2 year olds, he’d ask for pizzas and “chippies” for breakfast too ๐Ÿ™‚

Img src: Woolworth’s Online

One of his favourite fun times is choosing his cereal at the grocery shop. His favourite of all cereals is the Uncle Toby’s Plus cereal “with blueberries!!!”. We have been getting these for a couple of months now, until I realised that we go through the box within a week or so (with Mr E’s help). At $4 a pop, weekly, it certainly does add up. We’re madly saving up for upcoming house renovations and holidays at the moment, so I am trying my best to get the best bang for our buck, without affecting our lifestyleย too much ๐Ÿ™‚

So here’s what I did recently:

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I made my own “Uncle Toby’s Plus Cereal” as what they really are, are just pre-mixed bits of cereal and dried fruit. Super easy and does not take all that much time for me to do ๐Ÿ™‚ I already had the dried fruit in the pantry, so our current “box” of cereal only cost us AUD1. If I had to buy the fruit, it would be about AUD2 max with lots and lots of fruit leftover. If I want to be even more cost-savvy, I could also buy Homebrand “Corn Flakes” and Homebrand dried fruit. However, I prefer Sunbeam dried fruit as they’re still nice and plump and juicy (and Australian grown too) ๐Ÿ™‚ There are some things I’d rather “splurge” on but the options are there.

Mr E said that it isn’t the same as the Uncle Toby’s cereal, but still yummy nevertheless. We are already half-way through my premix, so I think the boys really do like it ๐Ÿ™‚

What do you guys do to save up that is easy to do? Please share, I want new a bathroom pronto!

HealthIER Chocolate Fudge Brownies

If you can’t tell already, I am an emotional eater. When I feel down and sad, baking is my escape. I try to give away most of my baked goods, just so that we don’t eat them all ourselves. Last night, I tried a new recipe I found online and tweaked it to make it slightly healthier.

Healthier Chocolate Fudge Brownie

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Ingredients:
1 well mashed avocado
3 beaten eggs
1 cup of self raising flour (can use Gluten Free option)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
300g dark chocolate chips (can use Lactose free option)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup sugar

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Method:
Preheat oven to 180C.

In a pot, heat coconut oil and chocolate chips until well combined, take off heat.

In batches, add flour, sugar, essence and baking powder, continue stirring the whole time.

Stir in avocado until well combined.

When mixture is cooled, stir in eggs.

Pour into baking tray then in the oven for 25 minutes.

Cool for 20 minutes before serving ๐Ÿ™‚

The original recipe uses almond meal, but I didn’t have any. You can’t taste the avocado at all, but it must add moisture in the brownie. I love having a piece of the brownie warm, Mr E said that when cold, it is more of a fudge texture ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!

Fussy little eaters: Wasabi Chicken and Greens

I miss the food in Japan. How I wish we have good authentic reasonably-priced Japanese food here in Canberra. It was great timing that I saw this recipe in a cookbook that was given to me for my birthday this year by Mr E’s uncle!

I didn’t follow the recipe completely as I didn’t have some things and I didn’t want to use too many pots ๐Ÿ˜‰

Wasabi Chicken and Greens

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Ingredients:
1 chicken breast, chop into strips
1 bowl of chopped vegies (I had broccoli, potatoes, carrots, green beans and snowpeas)
Oil for cooking

For sauce:
1 tbs wasabi paste
2 tbs plain yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
Pepper

Method:

  1. Steam vegies until cooked (you can boil too if you prefer)
  2. In a frying pan, cook the chicken until just cooked
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients then stir
  4. When vegies are cooked, carefully mix well with the chicken until coated with sauce (vegies are a tad fragile when cooked so make sure you don’t mix them too roughly)
  5. Serve with salad or over rice (though if you’re having it with rice, I would triple the sauce)

My loves liked this meal, with the little one having thirds! Mr E liked his wasabi so he said he would double the wasabi if it was just for him (it’ll be too strong for babies). You could also steam the chicken with the vegies if you want to be extra healthy ๐Ÿ™‚

Please let me know if you tried this recipe and if you like it ๐Ÿ™‚

Fussy little eaters: Two-ingredients Pizza Base

Here’s our dinner tonight!

The simplest, fastest and “healthiest” pizzas we could make from scratch. Little E ate his whole dinner, with no fuss!

Two-ingredients Pizza Base

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Ingredients:

  • 1c plain Greek yogurt
  • 1c self-raising flour (we’ve tried GF flour before, it worked out fine)
  • Our toppings tonight: cheese, chicken breast pieces, slices of capsicum, grated carrots, BBQ sauce, mixed herbs and garlic

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Mix both ingredients, then knead until they come together into a ball (adjust the flour if the dough is too wet. Unfortunately, different yogurt has different water content)
  3. With a rolling pin, roll outย the dough to about 1cm thin
  4. Put toppings on top then into the oven for 15-20 minutes

Voila! Dinner for the entire family! ๐Ÿ™‚ Easy peasy.

Skincare Regime

Thank you everyone for your comments, PMs and texts with your suggestions from my post last night. I will try all of them and let you know how I go. My plan for today is to write down everything that is bothering me and what my point of attack is for each. I have a suspicion that the list is not going to be big and that I am probably just exaggerating them.

I thought I would post about something different and light today. I don’t know why I haven’t because I love skincare ๐Ÿ™‚

My mum instilled into me from a very young age that maintenance is important when it comes to skincare. She started me off with Ultima II when I was a young teenager, then moved on to Clinique. When I wentย home to Indo, she would take me with her to a spa, get facials complete with painful extraction process. During the ย years, I would try many many different skincare, getting sucked into all the marketing and free samples. I love those mini mini packaging!

Thanking the good genes from her side of the family, I have never had problems with acne – I get the occasional pimple here and there, butย nothing too major. Not even when I was a teenager. My mum had severe pregnancy acne when she was carrying my brother, and I was worried when I was pregnant with Little E. Thankfully, I never got it, instead, I had the much-worshipped pregnancy “glow”.

In saying all this, everyone has problem-areas. Mine is blackheads on my nose, largish pores, freckles and dry patches. Prior to my pregnancy, I had dry skin, with peeling dead skin. I now have “normal” skin, on the err of oily – pregnancy hormones are weird!

Actually, while I was pregnant, I changed most things that would expose me to unnecessary chemicals. I reverted back to old school vinegar and bicarb for house cleaning, I went to plant-based skin products and I was on clean-eating diet.

My skin is very sensitive to my diet. You’d be able to tell instantly that I haven’t been watching what I eat because my skin will be greasy and weird shade of gross. Usually this happens during the holidays or periods of sad.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with my simple skincare regime now. It doesn’t take long to do and it maintained my skin in a pretty-good condition (ie. Not oily/dry, healthy coloured and no pimples).

Skincare

1. Sukin Facial Moisturiser | 2. Curash Baby Soapfree Wash | 3. Clarisonic Mia | 4. Garnier BB cream

Now, if only I know how to get rid of my freckles, as much as Mr E said he loves them. I so envy girls with porcelain skin ๐Ÿ™‚ I have thought about getting some microdermabrasion sessions, but I’m scared of the pain and risk being more sun-sensitive.

What’s your skincare regime?

Fussy little eaters: Vegetarian noodle cups

A recent recipe inside an Aldi brochure got me inspired to make noodle cups. They’re freezable, they’re compact (ie. Not messy) and can be made in advance/bulk. Unfortunately, the recipe calls for instant noodle packets,ย  so I had to change it a bit.

Vegetables noodle cups

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A picture of the picture on the actual recipe – mine look significantly uglier than these but still tasty! ๐Ÿ™‚

Ingredients:

  • 150g noodles/pasta
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1/2 finely chopped (or grated) vegies – I had cauliflower, carrots and capsicum
  • 1/2tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1/4tsp each of cumin, tumeric, sugar, paprika
  • Pepper

Method:

  1. Cook noodles, drain then stir through the spices, pepper and chicken stock
  2. Line a muffin tray, divide noodles into portions
  3. Top with vegies
  4. Then pour in the egg mixture evenly (you will need to put it in slowly else it’ll overflow)
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 180C (preheated)

Little E had one of these for lunch today and he liked it. It was one of the least messy lunch ever, that’s a plus for me ๐Ÿ™‚ Mr E had yet to have one but they’re in the freezer for him to take to work for lunch-emergencies.

Please try this recipe and let me know if you like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Fussy little eaters: Cauliflower Fritters

A dear friend gave us some cauliflower for Easter, along with a copy of a cauliflower fritters recipe. I finally gave it a try tonight and had great success with the boys. I adapted the recipe to our own palate and what we have in the pantry ๐Ÿ™‚

Cauliflower Fritters

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Ingredients:
450g cauliflower, chopped into little bits (see note)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup of SR flour
1 cup of shredded cheese
2 cloves of garlic, chopping
1tsp curry powder/paprika
Pepper
Oil to shallow fry

Method:
Mix all ingredients in a bowl
Spoon some mix into heated oil
Cook over low/medium heat until golden
Serve with yogurt/fruit chutney/chilli jam

Note:
I mixed some cooked pumpkin in my mix to make up the 450g because I have some in the fridge that needed to be eaten. So I reckon you can do it too with any vegies you have on hand. Just make sure that they’re cut uniformly so they cook evenly.

Mr E loved it so much that he had seconds, and told me that he’d have it again and again lol I probably should have served them with a side of salad to make it a “full and proper” meal but I was tired and to be honest, couldn’t really be bothered.

Next time, I will either add some mince or tuna in the mix because it seems that I am the only mother in the world who has to hide meat. Little E doesn’t seem to like them, at least not my meat dishes. He eats all his lunch without fail at daycare, including the meat. But at home? He’s pretty picky! What’s the dealio, Romeo?!

Anyway, please do try this recipe, it’s a great hidden vegies recipe!