Family dinner: Tuna Mornay

Tuna Mornay
{There really is no way to make it look pretty…}

I feel like I can’t avoid writing about tuna mornay right now. I am making it A LOT. It is Pebble’s very favourite meal, especially when mixed with a little pasta or rice. I can make it in about seven minutes, and she eats it every time. What’s not to like?

My mum will dispute this, my siblings will support it: when I was a child there was a period of time where Tuesday night was Tuna Mornay night. It was the night that we had netball practice, and Tuna Mornay is quick, easy, nutritious and can be made in advance. Perfect! Except that I grew to hate that stuff pretty damn quick.

I’m still waiting for the day that Pebble turns around and says NO to Tuna Mornay, but for now I’ll be quite happy to tempt fate and keep it as a regular on the menu. Here’s my quickest, easiest and most toddler friendly version.

Tuna Mornay

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 can corn kernels
1 cup grated cheese
1 large tin tuna

  1. Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in the flour until combined. Cook, stirring for about a minute.
  2. Gradually stir in the milk until the sauce is thickened.
  3. Throw in grated cheese, corn kernels and tuna, stirring to combine and break up the tuna chunks. Season to taste.

Seriously, dinner couldn’t get any easier than this. You can bulk it out with extra veg, and serve it with rice or pasta. Or mashed potatoes if that’s the way you roll. Some people like to put breadcrumbs on top and toast it under the grill, but we keep things super simple around here.

What’s the winning dinner at your place right now?

Rainbow Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes

This week our six year old niece came over for the day and I knew I’d need a few tricks up my sleeve to keep both a six year old and a two year old busy and happy. What could be better than baking and decorating rainbow cupcakes!?

Here’s how we did it:

1. Have your child slaves pop the cupcake liners into the a 12 cup muffin tin and preheat the oven.

2. Help them to whip up a packet mix of vanilla cupcakes.

3. Divide the cake batter into four bowls (or as many bowls as you have colours) and try to minimise the splatter as your the kiddos go to town with mixing.

4. Colour each bowl of batter using food colouring.

5. Drop a teaspoon of each batter into each cupcake liner.

Making Rainbow Cupcakes with Kids

6. Bung em in the oven, set the timer and get reading for some more colour mixing!

7. Make up your icing according to packet directions. I added a little extra butter and icing sugar for my over enthusiastic cake decorators.

Making Rainbow Cupcakes with Kids

8. Divide the icing into separate bowls and mix in the colours before spooning into individual zip lock bags and snipping off a corner reader for piping. Or you can just spread it straight onto the cake. Sprinkle with your favourite cupcake toppings.

Making Rainbow Cupcakes with Kids

The girls had so much fun with this and each step was easy and really hands on for them. I brought out the cake making when they were starting to get to logger-heads, the pulled out the decorating when they started up at each other again. It was a great way to break up the day, and give it a sweet finish.

Making Rainbow Cupcakes with Kids

Have you baked anything with your kids lately?

Strawberry and Banana Parfait

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I recently noticed that a few of my blogger mates were writing about the Chobani yoghurt they got sent to try. I was all HEY! I want some yoghurt. A couple of emails later and I had a big box of yoghurt delivered to my door. Thanks Chobani! They didn’t ask me to write post, but I can’t help but share this little story.

I asked Pebble (non-yoghurt eater since way back) if she’d like to help me make a special fruit cup, with yoghurt AND strawberries AND bananas! “Yes, please Mummy!”, she said.

I scrummaged around in my pantry and came up with a cute little plastic cup for Pebble to make her parfait, and a more sophisticated glass for myself. Pebble helped herself to the sliced fruit, arranging it just so in her little cup. She chatted away to herself, “I can just try some yoghurt, can’t I Mummy?…… I try things sometimes…… I might just have a little bit of it……. But Mummy, I think I won’t have yoghurt today…… No, not today. I don’t think so………. Just fruit today, Mummy. THANK YOU MUMMY!”.

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And so, in the space of 20 seconds she went from Yay to Nay on the yoghurt and happily skipped off with her yoghurt free parfait. I enjoyed mine anyway, and offered to share it with her (“I don’t think so, Mummy”, she said).

Fruit cups have been a big hit in this house ever since. Sans yoghurt, of course.

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Without further ado, I give you my banana and strawberry parfait “recipe”. Though, this is hardly a recipe at all!

Strawberry and Banana Parfait

Serves 2

6 strawberries
1 banana
1 tub yoghurt

1. Slice the bananas and strawberries.

2. Layer the bananas and strawberries with yoghurt in a glass or plastic cup.

3. Eat!

This is perfect for little ones to help with. They could choose any fruit to go into the parfait, and even add some chocolate sauce, some crumble mixture, bits of broken up biscuit, honey, you name it, you can add it!

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Thanks again to Chobani for all that delicious yoghurt. The pineapple was my absolute favourite, I’ll definitely be trying that again. Who knew that pineapple and yoghurt could taste good together?

Have your kids tried any new foods lately?

Apple Pie Oats and Pumpkin Pie Oats

pumpkin pie oats{Pumpkin Pie Oats}

So, right now I’m in Sydney having a blast, probably shovelling eggs and bacon into my mouth after staying up way too late. However, when at home this winter I have become addicted to nice hot bowl of oats (porridge). I have a few different twists on the regular porridge – two of my favourites are Apple Pie Oats and Pumpkin Pie Oats.

These two recipes are actually very, very similar. The only real difference is that one has pumpkin in it, and one has apple in it. They are sweet and warm and spiced, and sooooo filling. You won’t need to eat anything until a late lunch when you’ve got a bowl of this stuff in your belly.

apple pie oats{Apple Pie Oats}

Apple Pie Oats / Pumpkin Pie Oats

Serves 1

1 small apple, peeled and grated or 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin*
1/3 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon sultanas/dried cranberries
1 teaspoon of sugar or Natvia for sweetness if needed

*for pureed pumpkin, cube a small wedge of pumpkin, pop it in the microwave in a small bowl and a dash of water for about 1 minute or until soft, then drain and mash it with a fork. I make the oats in the same bowl that I cooked the pumpkin in. Less dishes = winning!

1. Add all ingredients to a microwave safe bowl and stir.

2. Microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds on high, then stir before microwaving for 1 minute more on high. Stir again, then wait about 1 minute to cool enough to eat without burning the roof of your mouth off!

It’s super quick, easy, healthy and filling. You can adjust the spices, fruit, nuts and sweetness to your liking, or substitute non-dairy milk if you choose. You really can’t go wrong for an awesome winter breakfast!

What’s your favourite winter breakfast? Do you have your own version of oats?

Corn and Feta Fritters

Recently one of my Instagram food idols posted a pic of their breakfast:

gourmetgirlfriend{Gourmet Girlfriend’s Zucchini & Corn fritter with Bacon, Dill & Fetta}

I thought it looked divine. Then I thought… I’ve got corn, I’ve got feta … let’s do this! I googled a few recipes and decided to make up my own based on five minutes of research. How could this go wrong? You know what? It couldn’t possibly.

Within about ten minutes I had gorgeously crisp, golden, melty-feta stuffed corn fritters that make the perfect weekend breakfast. I whipped out this recipe again for a shared breakfast and they didn’t disappoint (though the sticky date pancakes with caramel sauce were hard to beat). I’ll absolutely be keeping these fritters in my breakfast repertoire.

Here’s my recipe (not a patch on the amazing Gourmet Girlfriend, of course!):

cornfetafritters
{My humble but oh-so-delicious corn and feta fritters}

Corn and Feta Fritters

  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 150g feta, crumbled (I used Danish feta)
  • 1 x 440g can corn kernels, drained
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oil (I used rice bran)

1. Chuck it all in a bowl and stir to combine.

2. Form smallish patties, slightly smaller than the size of your palm.

3. Pan fry the patties in a little oil until golden on both sides.

These are best eaten warm, when the feta is just slightly oozy. Most recipes call for creamed corn, but I love the pop of whole corn kernels. Eat them on their own, or serve them all fancy like with some bacon and dill.

Who has been inspiring you in the kitchen lately?