Thursday, May 12, 2011

Warm food for cold nights..

The past few nights we have been craving wintry foods as the weather has gotten so much cooler. I found these two yummy recipes that iv found are family friendly & super tasty too :)
Cheesy ham and macaroni bake

3 cups of Macaroni (when cooked)
2 cups of whole milk.
1/4 cup of plain flower
60g Butter
100g of ham or bacon diced up.
1 cup of grated cheese (for sauce)
extra cheese to top with.

How to make it;

1.Start by boiling you macaroni as per manufacturer's instructions in a salted pot of water.
2. In the meantime.. add 60g of butter to a saucepan on medium heat, heat until butter is bubbling then add 1/4 cup of flour to the butter and combine (mine went to a dough like texture)
3. Take the saucepan off of the heat and add 1 cup of milk to the butter mixture. Whisk until the butter, flour and milk is smooth - once smooth, add the remaining 1 cup of milk and continue to whisk until smooth. 
4. Return to the heat and constantly stir with a wooden spoon until the sauce thickens, add chopped ham and 1 cup of grated cheese to the sauce and continue to mix.
5. When the sauce is thick, you can pour it over the cooked macaroni.
6. Once combined add it to a greased baking dish and top with grated cheese.
7. Pop it into a preheated 180 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.


Shepherds Pie
You will need;

500g of Beef Mince
1 cup of mixed peas/corn
1 brown onion diced
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 x Beef Stock cubes
2 Carrots, diced or sliced.
1 cup of grated tasty cheese to top before baking.

1. Wash, peel and cut up 6-8 potatoes and cook them in a saucepan til soft. Once soft, mash them with some milk and butter and set aside.
2. Brown the mince, onion and carrot in a frying pan.
3. Mix the tinned tomato's and stock cubes in a cup and pour over the top of the beef mixture.
4. Add the peas and corn.
5. Mix all together and let simmer (keep stirring) until the carrots soften.
6. Pour this mixture into the bottom of a casserole or baking tray and top with the earlier prepared mashed potato.
7. Top with grated tasty cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Bake in a preheated oven of 180 degrees for approx 30 minutes until cheese is melted.


We served the macaroni and cheese with a side salad and the shepherds pie with chips and additional vegetables.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Happy Mothers Day

As I fall into bed tonight,  I feel like one of the luckiest Mums in the world - I have had a wonderful Mother's Day and was spoilt terribly. From the moment I woke up I was given a big cuddle from my six year old Son and told I should be sleeping in because it was Mothers Day - How sweet.. He then bought me in an adorable little tea pot card and ferero rocher chocolate he had made at school, with more cuddles included :) 

I was then showered with gifts that my husband, son and stepkids chose the other evening - 2 gorgeous pairs of owl PJ's (cant get enough of owls at the moment), chocolates, Babushka doll drinking glasses and some little magnets in the shape of cakes - very cute.  I was then confined to my bedroom and left with a Better Homes and Gardens magazine (and my box of chocolates) whilst they cooked me Mother's Day Breakfast.

My Son wasn't impressed that I could smell bacon cooking as it would ruin my surprise, so he insisted on blindfolding me and leading me out to the breakfast table so I wouldn't know what my surprise breakfast was.. bacon, poached eggs, tomato's, mushroom and onion with toast & the cup of tea made from the tea bag that came with his school gift. So cute.

This afternoon was spent visiting my Mum at her place, was great to catch up and nice to spoil her on Mother's Day,  I have a great Mum who is my best friend, she is always there for me and is a wonderful person who is the only person I know in this world that can talk and shop as much as I can.  We are a perfect match!  

This year we focused primarily on handmade gifts that both I or the kids had made and its probably a tradition we're going to become more accustomed to, because it felt so nice to make something for someone over a shop bought gift, ill put a seperate post up about some of the Mother's Day craft that we did a little later on. 

So overall a very special day topped off with my Son's favourite dinner, tortelini with creamy sauce and garlic bread.  We were going to watch a movie tonight, but we were all a little tired, so we'll save that til tomorrow night when my Stepkids are home and we are going to do a little dinner rerun as they weren't able to come back for Mother's Day this year unfortunately.

So yes, as I fall into bed tonight I do really feel like the luckiest Mum alive, like im sure many other Mums around the world feel tonight.. I am a Mum, Stepmum and Mum to Be and with 5 special children, I couldn't ask for much more, the past 6 years have been the best years of my life and there is no where I would rather be, than waist deep in all of the washing, housework, cooking, fighting, homework, cuddles, laughter and craziness that being a Mum brings..

Happy Mother's Day to all of the special Mum's out there xo