Tag Archives: kids

Easy Lunchbox Fillers

Ruby has been going through a spate of not eating her school lunch. Day after day she comes home with a lunch box still full of the lovingly made healthy meal – which takes up a fair bit of time each morning for the lunch-maker (aka Me). She said her friend has quiche for lunch and it’s yummy – so I thought I’d make a batch for this week and see how it goes down.

Here’s the recipe. It’s super easy.


4 eggs beaten.

3tbs grated tasty cheese.

1 red onion diced finely, sautéed gently for 5 minutes until transparent.

3 slices ham diced small. *Omit ham for a vegetarian option

Gluten free pastry sheets (you could use any savoury pastry or puff pastry).

2 tbs cream

Salt and pepper.

1 x 12 muffin tray

Olive oil for greasing.


Preheat oven to 180° C. Mix eggs, cheese, onion, ham, cream, salt + pepper in a bowl. Grease muffin tray with butter or olive oil. Cut out rounds of pastry – if you have an egg ring this can be helpful – and line the muffin tray by pressing the pastry into the bottom of each greased indent. Spoon in egg mixture and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

These will freeze well. You could take them straight out of the freezer in the morning and put into lunch box to defrost.

Bon appetit!


School Night Checklist

Last Sunday night we got home late from a weekend away – kids were asleep in the car when we arrived. We put them in bed and scrambled to unpack everything and get ready for the morning before hitting the sack.

Next morning I was not prepared for Monday – jumbled disorganised mayhem getting ready for school. It WOULD have to be one of the mornings that Paul was at home and he admonished ‘you need to be more organised in the mornings’ arghh!

For my business, the week begins on a Sunday when I plan and prepare the week ahead. For the kids too – a checklist like the one below saves me from a mad Monday morning and we can start the week with a smile instead of s.t.r.e.s.s.

Alexander Graham Bell said “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” and that includes that starting off the school week well !

This is my checklist for tomorrow – if we had swimming at school I’d have added: check swimming bags / goggles and towel are packed and ready.

Wishing you all a fab start to the school  week …Mums and kids 🙂

school night checklist

Flat Bread

Auckland’s North Shore locals are lucky to have a selection of cafes and restaurants offering good food and excellent coffee. One of my all time favourites Sausalito adjoins the cute Bridgeway Cinema on Northcote Point. Famous for cranking out tasty meals in extra-quick-time Sausalito has a wood-fire oven lit early in the morning which burns all day long in the heart of the restaurant.

This recipe is an adaptation from Peter, Sausalito’s head chef. The recipe is quick to prepare and will take one minute to cook in  a wood-fire oven. If you are using a conventional oven make sure it’s piping hot and if you have a pizza stone pop it in the middle of the oven and crank up the heat before placing the bread to cook on top of the hot stone.

Makes 4 medium sized breads.

2.5 C self raising flour
2 C natural unsweetened yoghurt
1 tsp salt

Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbs approx
1 head of garlic chopped finely / crushed
1 small onion chopped finely
Parmesan – optional
Fresh herbs – I used thyme, you can also use rosemary, chives, oregano, marjoram.
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Turn oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
Mix bread ingredients together in a large bowl with a fork. When combined turn out on to a floured surface and knead for one minute, adding flour when the mixture gets too sticky.
Form into a ball and stand for 30 minutes. *You can stand for longer – this recipe can be prepared ahead in the morning if you have lunch or dinner guests – simply smear a little olive oil over the top of the dough, cover with cling film and store in a cool dry place.

To Cook
Divide dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Take a ball, place on a floured surface and with a rolling pin or your fingers flatten it until about ¼ cm thick. Smear olive oil all over the top of the dough and then sprinkle with your choice of topping. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in a hot oven (on baking parchment if using a conventional oven) / wood-fire oven until starting to turn gold and bubbling.
Remove from heat, cut and serve immediately.

NB** If you are GF you can make this with GF self raising flour – it doesn’t stretch as easily as flour with gluten in it so remember to be gentle when rolling it out or flattening with your fingers.

This makes an excellent pizza base ! Roll out dough and cover with your favourite pizza toppings then bake as above.

bread 1

bread raw

bread fire

Black Rice Stir Fry with Tamari


We had this last night and it took precisely 10 minutes from lighting the gas hob to plating up.  The rice was pre cooked – add another 20 minutes if you are starting with uncooked rice.

The main difference between Tamari and Soy Sauce is that Tamari contains little or no wheat – good news if you are GF – check the label before buying.  Tamari and Soy Sauce are both made from fermented soy beans, Japanese Tamari tends to be thicker richer and more salty.


Serves 2


1C cooked black rice (can sub brown rice if you like)

2C roughly chopped mushrooms.  I used field mushrooms you can use whatever is fresh

1C cherry tomatoes halved

1 large shallot, sliced finely

1.5C cauliflower cut into smallish florets

1Tbs oil for sautéeing  (olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil)

1 large garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced

Tamari and fresh cracked black pepper for seasoning


Place a heavy based fry pan on to a medium heat and add oil.  Sauté shallot and cauliflower for three minutes stirring gently so that the shallot doesn’t brown.  Add mushrooms and rice and cook for a further two minutes stirring.  Add garlic and tomatoes and stir to combine gently. When mushrooms are looking ready (slightly wilted but not mushy) remove from heat and season liberally with the Tamari: stir through and taste after adding 1 tbs Tamari and then add more if you like (we had about 1.5tbs in ours).  Grind fresh cracked pepper over the top and serve immediately.

*This amount served myself as a main vegetarian meal and Paul as a side to his hunk of sirloin.

For the kids I sautéed the shallot, added the cauliflower and rice and then sliced up a rasher of bacon finely and stirred it all in until the bacon was cooked.