I’ve been meaning to make this meal planner for sometime now. Every Sunday I tell myself “I’ll do that this week” then another week flies by and another meal planning session slaps me in the face. UGH. Things have moved on a little (only a little) since I made this last meal planner. We’ve added new foods to the regular hit list and have a bit of a theme to each day.
Pebble LOVES the daily theme and it’s really helped her to accept that some days she gets her favourite and some days she doesn’t. I like it too, it kind of makes meal planning easier, it reduces the overwhelming “what to cook” feeling a little bit. As for Rocky – he hates anything that isn’t sausages or yoghurt. We just keep trying *sigh*
I plan for Mondays and Tuesday to be most labour intensive, as that’s when I have my days off. Then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are meals that are super quick and easy or cooked ahead. Saturday and Sunday are a breeze, as you’ll see!
Below is a screenshot showing a planner filled in with all our family favourites. Following that is a screenshot of the empty planner.
If you want this meal planner just click on the images above to download.
What are the favourite family meals in your home?
Want some food inspiration? This doco on Netflix is pretty mind blowing.
*Disclaimer: I’m a part of the Netflix Stream Team. Netflix provided me with a 12 month subscription. I am not obliged to nor do I get paid to write about Netflix. If and when I do write about Netflix, all opinions are my own.
Yo, this is how I do Christmas! Whatever is easy and fun, that’s my gig. Like these GLITTERY white chocolate Christmas trees. Pebble only eats white chocolate (personal preference, strange child), so she thought these were fabulous. The kids had fun stirring and pouring and licking and sprinkling. Here’s how to make these cute glittery trees (though they barely need instructions!).
Glittery White Chocolate Christmas Trees
You will need:
- 250g good quality white chocolate (I buy it in blocks and break it up, but it’s up to you, melts are good too)
- edible gold glitter
- Christmas tree chocolate mould
- Melt your chocolate using your chosen method. I am a bit old school and put the chocolate in a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. I’ve had mixed results with the microwave!
- Pour the chocolate into the chocolate molds* and leave in the fridge to set. Or if you’re super impatient, like me, put them in the freezer.
- Pop the set chocolates out of their molds and onto a plate then sprinkle them with the edible gold glitter.
* I totes confused myself about the correct spelling of ‘molds’ and I hate getting spelling wrong. The internet says ‘mould’ and ‘mold’. Who knows? Help a girl out, please!
Note: if you’re thinking of colouring the trees green, like I was, be careful with water based food colourings. I used the squeezy bottle kind and we had to throw away a whole block of chocolate because it seized. Boo hoo! I hear that gels work well but I haven’t tried it. Good luck!
Don’t you think these would make a super sweet Christmas gift?
This week has been ridic. There’s something in the air, I reckon. I’ve been feeling randomly teary and emotional, along with many of my mates, who all seem to be in struggle town with their emotions right now. And everything seems to be going wrong. I’ve lost stuff. I’ve broken stuff. I’ve forgotten ALL THE STUFF. Ok, those who know me will know that I do lost-broken-forgotten quite often. But this week has been off the charts. And everyone is sick! I’m sick, Rocky is sick, Paul is starting to get sick. Friends and their kids are sick. Hang on. Pebble is healthy! Yay!
Perhaps it’s just the end of the year, the end of something, the beginning of something. The C word looming large. All the pressure of all the things. Break ups and farewells and catch ups and charity gifts and present buying and event planning and…. wait. WAIT!!!!! I’ve been here before. I’m prepared for this moment. *wait right there, k?*
You GUYS! I just went and read my letter to myself from last year: How to have a merrier Christmas! Oh! Clever me! I just made myself LOL. I’d forgotten so much of what happened last year but there it all is. The best bit is the slap in the face to shut up and stop. bloody. moaning.
If you’re feeling stressed and freaked and need something to fill up your guts without actually making your guts pop out of your pants, then try this. It’s DELICIOUS. And perfect when your fridge is full of eggs, as mine is right now (thanks, Dad).
Nourishing Lunch for One (Tired Mama)
otherwise known as Poached Egg Salad
For the salad:
- 2 eggs
- 1 -2 cups mixed salad leaves
- 6 or so cherry tomatoes, quartered
- handful of green beans, topped and tailed
- a scattering of sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, for crunch
- dried chilli flakes (to taste)
For the dressing:
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- lashings of salt and pepper
- Throw your salad leaves into your serving bowl along with the cherry toms.
- Pop a small saucepan on the stove top and pour in just enough water to cover two eggs – roughly 2 inches deep? I’m not sure why I’m writing in inches right now, but go with it, ok? Bring the water to the boil.
- Chuck the green beans into the boiling water and boil for about one minute, then remove from the water with some tongs and place them in a bowl of cold water. This stops the cooking process and avoids you getting limp beans. No one likes a limp bean.
- Bring the water back up to a simmer, then gently crack your eggs, one at a time, into the simmering water. Set a timer for three minutes (perhaps two and a half minutes if you’re using smaller eggs, I always use jumbo). This method works for me every time, I’ve been using it for about a year every since seeing my gorgeous friend Vicky (yes, really) do it. No swirling the water, no vinegar, no cling wrap (!), no magic tricks. Just keep the water level low, the eggs don’t have anywhere to go! Thanks Vicky!
- Whisk all your salad dressing ingredients together while your eggs are gently simmering away. Drain your gorgeous beans and throw them in the bowl with the salad leaves and tomatoes.
- When your timer beeps remove your eggs from the water with a slotted spoon. They should have bright yellow-orange yolks and have a little wobble in them, but the whites should be completely cooked. Plop your lovely eggs on top of the salad, drizzle with the dressing and finish with a sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and chilli to taste.
- Stuff your face!
p.s. If I hadn’t been farting around with making a pretty photo, these eggs would have been perfectly runny and make even better salady-dressingy awesomeness. See how I sacrifice myself for you guys? That’s love, I tell you.
What’s your favourite lunch, when you have time to make yourself something decent?
In the last six months my hubby, Paul, has had some belly issues. He had some pretty bad pain for a while there, bad enough that he took himself off to the docs to get checked out (that’s really saying something!). After a few tests and pokes and prods they came back and let us know that he’s just fine but more than likely has irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Maybe that’s the answer they give you when they don’t know what else to say? Anyway, he’s been trying to eat a little healthier to help with this issue, which suits me just fine.
So, when Weet-Bix contacted me and asked if we’d like to try their new Gluten Free Weet-Bix it sounded like the perfect fit. You see Paul has eaten Weet-Bix for breakfast for as long as I’ve known him (that’s almost ten years now). But lately he’s been eating fruit instead and he really misses his cereal fix in the mornings.
Since our goodie pack has arrived I’ve been eating Gluten Free Weet-Bix for breakfast on my work days with milk and a sliced banana – it’s a perfect quick breakfast on a busy morning. I can honestly say that if I wasn’t told that it was a different product, I wouldn’t notice any difference in taste to the good old Weet-Bix that I’ve been eating since I was a kid. It’s slightly darker looking in colour, but otherwise, same-same!
I decided to put this Gluten Free Weet-Bix to the test and use it to make a Weet-Bix Slice. Do you remember this slice from your childhood? I do! This recipe is SUPER easy to make. Just don’t do what I did and travel in a hot car for an hour before serving it to party guests on a hot Aussie afternoon. Keep it chilled until serving time, mmmkay?
Gluten Free Weet-Bix Slice
For the slice:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup rice malt syrup
- 125g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup crushed Gluten Free Weet-Bix ( 4 Weet-Bix)
For the topping:
- 100g milk chocolate
- 100g dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Grease and line a slice tin.
- Combine all the slice ingredients in a bowl then press into the prepared tin. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Pour over the cooled base and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares using a hot knife and serve.
Gluten Free Weet-Bix is made from sorghum grains, an ancient grainthat originated in north-eastern Africa.It has all the usual benefits of Weet-bix, it’s low in sugar, high in carbohydrates, a great source of fibre, Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, high iron AND it’s gluten free. It’s available from all supermarkets right now.
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I’m still trying to change my ways with food and sugar. It’s a long process after a life time of eating lots of sweet things, always eating dessert and constant yo-yo dieting to fight the impact of all the sugar, fat and large serves. I will admit that last weekend I made a proper, hardcore, old school chocolate caramel slice. I made it to take to my nephews birthday party because it’s my very favourite party food. I ate about
three six eight squares in one day. Small squares! Party sized squares! But still. That’s a lot of sugar and butter in one go. I felt like I had a hangover the next day. And now my pants are a little tight. Ugh!
With the support of my friend and nutrition super star, Tatum, from Make It Look Easy, I’m trying to quit with the dieting, stop overeating and follow an 80-20 style of living. 80% of the time is all the good stuff, 20% of the time I enjoy socialising and sipping a champagne or sharing party food or a sweet-something after dinner. Perhaps eight slices of caramel slice is a little more than the 20% accounts for… but baby steps, right?
With this health focus in mind (and inspired by the blogging adventures of Katie 180) I’ve been playing with recipes to see how I can modify them and pump them with a little more nutrition. That’s how this Peanut Butter Choc Chia Slice was born! Here’s the low down on the ingredients:
- I love oat-y things – porridge, muesli, oat biscuit and slices. So it makes sense that any baking I do includes oats. They are packed full of goodness (go Google ‘oats nutrition’ if you want nutrition info, I’m no nutritionist).
- I only have white flour in the pantry at the moment, so I used that but it’s such a small amount in this recipe that that’s all good. If you have any in your pantry you could substitute with your flour of choice (wholemeal, almond, coconut etc).
- I have been given some organic rice malt syrup to try out, thanks to Pureharvest, and decided to throw that in instead of sugar. But if you’ve got sugar, use sugar! Just use a little less of it than a traditional recipe calls for (eg. the half a cup in this recipe is fine).
- I had coconut oil in the cupboard, and used that instead of butter, but again, butter ain’t bad. Just steer clear of your vegetable oils. Yuck!
- I used natural, smooth peanut butter, which is awesome for baking. It gives a fab peanuty flavour. I will admit it’s not going to give you that stuff-of-your-childhood-sugar-salt-peanut hit on your toast in the morning, but my taste buds are adjusting to it.
- I used 70% dark chocolate and cut it up into small pieces, instead of my usual milk chocolate chips. The more intense flavour of the chocolate is delish against the peanuty oaty goodness of the slice.
- Chia seeds! Cos they be a super food, yo! Um, yeah, go Google ‘chia seeds nutrition’ for more info on that.
Peanut Butter Choc Chip Chia Slice
- 1 1/2 (150g) cups rolled oats
- 1/2 (75g) cup plain flour
- 1 (3g) teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 (15g) Tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 (180g) cup rice malt syrup
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 cup (200g) natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon (3g) vanilla extract
- 70g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F). Grease and line a medium slice tin. Mine is 30cm x 15 cm and 3cm deep.
- In a medium bowl, stir in the oats, flour, baking powder and chia seeds.
- In a separate microwave safe bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave until it’s runny (but not hot) then stir in the rice malt syrup, eggs, peanut butter, vanilla and chocolate. Combine with the oats and flour mixture.
- Press the slice mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the oven for approximately 15-20 minutes, or until golden.
- Allow to cool for five minutes before removing from the tin and cooling completely on a wire rack (or stuff some in your face while it’s still warm!). Cut into bite sized pieces and store in the freezer for healthy baked treats on demand (dude, defrost that before you eat it).
The good news is that if you eat more of this stuff and less of the gooey, sugary caramel slices you will fit in to your pants. And that’s important for wellbeing and happiness and a reduction in wardrobe tantrums. It’s a proven fact.
You can catch up on my previous ‘Finding My Style’ posts here:
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