10 May 2011

Giving veggies a hiding

My mum used to make me eat brussel sprouts. Not the tiny little gourmet buttered brussel sprouts with roasted chestnuts that you find on a lavish European Christmas table. Oh no - these were 1970s Australian versions - bitter, olivey-grey, egg-sized, boiled monsters of torture that would keep me sitting at the table twisting my fork idly over my plate until bedtime. One day I refused to eat them, and I got them back again for breakfast.

In my house, the monsters are not on the plate - they're eating off it. Or, more truthfully, they are running around the living room avoiding what is on the plate. I have absolutely no control of my children. They eat what they want, when they want, in the manner they want. I have no idea how my mother managed to handle me - I was far from perfect myself. 

So, with an utter lack of a firm parental hand or the juvenile respect for authority, the only way for me to get kids to eat healthy food is to disguise it in yummy form. I have hundreds of ways - they involve all manner of slicing, dicing, pureeing, grating, mixing, stuffing and coating. One of the favourites is the meatballs below. Bear in mind, these are for children (or grown men who won't eat their veggies), so are appropriately bland. I also make them for us, but with plenty of extra spice.

04 May 2011

This time it's not thyme

Roast Chicken. It used to be one of the best known comfort foods. Delicious, easy to cook, dripping with juicy salty goodness. Then the supermarket rotisserie came along and spoiled it all for everybody. They sold cooked chooks for less than a fresh one, and so all the sensible people went and purchased them instead. 

Or were they sensible? A supermarket rotisserie has great skin, but that's where the comparison to a home-cooked chicken stops. They're dry, spindly little battery-hens, often overcooked, flavoured either too simply or with truckloads of horrible stuff like MSG.

Wouldn't you rather have the juicy free-range one in this picture?

02 May 2011

Roasted Honey Pumpkin

It's amazing how many of my my greater achivements in the kitchen have come from a desire to get good food into the mouths of my children. Mother is the necessity of invention, they say, and it is so true. 

I love pumpkin. Soups, curries, roasted, scones, pie - all are great. But my children hate it. So to make them like it, I partner it with something I know they love, and I make sure they are in the kitchen helping me, so they can see the honey going in. This is the easiest way to cook delicious pumpkin - prep is less than 5 minutes, and the rest of the work is done by the oven.

01 May 2011

Wedding Fever

I'm not a monarchist. In fact, there was a referendum in Australia some years back, and I voted to make Australia a republic. Luckly, at that time, more than half the population was over 50 (baby boomers), and they like ER and what she does very much, thank you. I say luckily, because if Australia was a republic, we would have lost touch with the British Royal Family, and I wouldn't have been at all excited that there was a royal wedding this weekend.

I probably wouldn't have decided that because I was going to a birthday party on the day of the royal wedding, that I should make my own version of english muffins, just because I felt the occasion needed to be celebrated via baking.

And so, we have English Muffins by Sarah. Complete with St George's cross (albeit baked in wonkily). Full of 'sweet as a princess' wedding white chocolate, and absolutely nothing like a standard English Muffin.

Please Stumble Me!