white chocolate and apricot torte


apricot and white chocolate cake

I froze heaps of stewed apricots in summer and normally make crumbles or pies but I felt like something chocolatey and this is what I came up with! It is a delicious moist cake, serve it with double cream.

120 grams butter
150 grams white chocolate
100 grams caster sugar
50 ml milk
teaspoon vanilla essence
120 grams stewed and pureed apricot
2 eggs
270 grams self-raising flour

Turn oven on to 180 C. Melt butter and the chocolate by placing them in a large bowl and sitting the bowl on a pot that has gently simmering water in it. Stir the butter and chocolate regularly until the butter and chocolate are melted. Add the sugar and milk and beat well. Add the apricot, eggs, vanilla and self-raising flour and beat well for a few minutes. Pour into an 18 cm diameter cake tin that has been greased and floured or lined with baking paper. Bake for about 25 minutes in a 180 C oven or until golden and cooked through. Turn out onto a cake rack to cool.

In the TM. melt chocolate and chopped butter 3min/speed 1/70 C. add all other ingredients and beat speed 6/30 seconds. Pour into an 18 cm diameter cake tin that has been greased and floured or lined with baking paper. Bake for about 25 minutes in a 180 C oven or until golden and cooked through. Turn out onto a cake rack to cool.

Like this recipe? Find more in my first cookbook The Real Food for Kids Cookbook. When you cook this please let me know how you go with it and share it with your friends!

School holiday fun

we spent a most of the first week of the school holidays at the dancing eisteddfod, but the second week the kids got to catch up on some playdates with their cousins and with my family that means a feast or two.

Maggie was inspired by a little Japanese song she has learnt at school so she wanted a Asian feast. This was also a good excuse to re-test a few of the recipes from my new book, The Real Food for kids Cookbook with a bunch of different age children and also film a bit to make demonstrations for You tube to go with the book, so much easier to learn something by watching it!

dumpling making

Ed, Bernadette, Maggie, Stephanie, Tommy and Oscar spent a lovely afternoon preparing:

albacore tuna spring rolls
Nori rolls
rice paper rolls
pork and prawn dumplings including making the wrappers
chicken and corn soup
Honey soy beef stir-fry

The next day was pancakes for breakfast



When Elise and Oliver visited we made homemade gnocchi to go with a slow cooked Italian Beef sauce.



and the girls made fettuchini for meatballs


Cooking with children is a lot of fun, I bring the food out of the kitchen and onto the dining room table when I have young kids around who need to be careful around hot and sharp objects.

Like this? Find more in my first cookbook The Real Food for Kids Cookbook. When you cook one of my recipes please let me know how you go with it and share it with your friends!

Lunch box ideas

I have heaps of recipes here on my blog suitable for a packed lunch! with a little planning organising leftovers of chicken drumsticks and meatballs from the family meals can be included and reduce preparation time. Nori rolls and sushi rolls take no longer to make than a sandwich if you have the ingredients pre prepared and pizzas, homemade pasties, quiches, muffins etc can be made frozen and ready to de frost and quickly pack.


Sandwich or wrap with jam,  vegemite, jam and cheese, vegemite and cheese, ham and cheese, salad, pesto chicken, egg, curried egg, tuna and mayo

Nori Rolls with vegies such as carrot, cucmber, capsicum with mayo and chicken, salmon or tuna

Rice paper rolls with shredded veggies; cucmber, carrot capsicum with chicken or tuna

Soup in the thermos(maggies current favourite I have made minestrone for tomorrow)  pumpkin,  tomato or cream of vegetable


Salads such as  Potato , noodle salad, pasta or rice salads

saladas and corn thin crackers are always in the cupboard at my place for the end of the week!

Scrolls, vegiemite and cheese or pizza herb and cheese

Cold pizzas, homemade pasties and sausage rolls


cold Quiches, Egg and bacon pies, spinach pies, cold chicken drumsticks, cold meatballs (beef, pork or chicken) Bolied eggs

Snacks and healthier option treats; Boiled egg, vegetable sticks sometimes with dips, hummous parsley, roast pumpkin, fresh fruit, banana cake, carrot cake, muffins cheese and biscuits homemade muesli bars, fruit leathers, savoury muffins, sweet and savoury scones yogurt custartd fruit jelly




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Maggie and Stephanie nori rolling cooking tutorial


 This is the second cooking tutorial to go with my book, The Real Food for kids Cookbook. Steph (4 years old) is a Pro nori roll roller! we don’t bother with the sushi mats, ours always look very homemade! Its fun for the kids to make and a good and easy change from a sandwich for the lunchbox.

step one: press your cooked and cooled sushi rice over 2 thirds of the nori sheet step 2: put your chosen fillings in the middle step 3: roll and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to soften.

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Maggie and Stephanies cooking Tutorial- Pasta making

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I have just uploaded the first of a few cooking tutorials for pasta making to go alongside my cookbook, The Real Food for kids cookbook. I know I learn things heaps easier by watching rather than reading instructions! Being my first the filming is dodgy and the editing worse so be kind! and the directions got a little lost when I had had enough and just put most of it in fast forward… sorry. But the girls are cute!!


Pasta Making

100 grams flour to 1 egg
step one Mix well
step 2 Knead
step 3 Knead through the pasta maker by folding in thirds and rolling through the largest opening (you can skip this kneading if you have made the dough in the thermomix or mixer), flouring lightly in between each roll
step 4 roll out from the largest opening until the smallest, my machine is 0 and I stop at 6 for fettuchini and lasagne sheets

Feeding my babies

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I thought I would post this as a reference for parents with young babies, its all pretty common sense and you are probably not reading anything you don’t already know, but it might give you some new ideas. I think the best advice I have read or been given about babies, Robin Barker- Babylove, is you should be aiming for your baby to join in with the family meals, by about 9 months old and if they are not able too you probably should have a good look at the food you are feeding yourself and your family. And that is such good advice, all the: baby, kids, ages 1-2, and supermarket aisles full of ‘healthy snacks’ food out there is really just another marketing ploy to get us to spend more money on more things we think we ‘need’. And I wont get started on all the waste and the packaging! even though I did make all the pureed vegetables for all my children and have never bought jars or pouches (which are very handy option for holidays or out and about) I did for my first baby buy all the expensive baby branded porridges and cereals, my baby brain thought they must be a better & healthier choice for my precious baby, on closer inspection the $5 for about 200 gram ‘organic’ ‘healthy choice’ ‘natural’ porridge does just actually only contain ‘oats’. Oats are $1.35 a kilo!!

First foods

When I had my first child the recommendation for introducing solid food was about four months, with my second child it was not before 6 months, the recommendation is now between 4-6 months I started all three of my children at about 4 months, its worked for my first so I went with that.

Everyone that knows me well knows that I am far from a health fanatic, but highly processed foods do bother me, and my dislike of pre-packaged food is also simply because it is just a waste of money! I personally have not used many jars, pouches of baby food and I do often wonder what is in them for them to be able to sit on the shelf for a few years even if they are ‘all natural ingredients’. Making your own and freezing it is not at all time consuming. I am absolutely loving my thermomixers to make baby food, but I did manage fine pre thermie with the first 2 children using the stovetop pot and blenders, and its SERIOUSLY more economical, and again the waste that goes with all the little packets is enormous. You can feed you baby well with the normal fruit, veg and groceries you buy without any special packets or food.

I did have a good look at the pouches at the supermarket recently thinking of putting a few away for when we are out, but at about $2 for 100grams ($20 kilo for vegetables) I just couldn’t do it.

I start with steamed or boiled vegetables, pumpkin, carrots, potato, sweet potato individually or together pureed with butter, freeze the first few batches in ice cube trays (about a tablespoon) and offer one for lunch for a few days and then lunch and dinner.

I then Introduce breakfast after a week or so, cooked porridge, pureed rice cereal, you can make your own grind the rice and cook with milk, I froze the porridge and rice cereal in portions and then heated it mixed it with stewed purreed fruits or mashed banana. I stewed and pureed heaps of apples, pears and quinces when I picked them from my trees but you can buy them when they are in season and do the same. And weet-bix are a economical option for a older baby.

Eventually adding other vegies such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, peas beans and corn to the vegetable purees. After a few weeks adding steamed chicken, fish, beef or lamb mince and fresh or dried herbs.

When you baby is a bit bigger and doesn’t have any problems with different flavours ( onions garlic spices etc) I use leftovers as a base for the frozen vegies (I always cook more), starting out with plainer slow-cooked beef/lamb/chicken & vegetable stews can be pureed with some extra cooked vegetables and frozen. This makes it easier as you are not cooking a separate meal just storing up some ready to go in the freezer for the nights when your family are not eating a meal that your baby can eat too, like our favourite family meal burritos. By preparing my babies food this way, I am stocking the freezer up with meals for my baby with minimal extra cooking really, and most family meals can be used.

Eventually Rissottos, cous cous and morrocan fish stew, osso bucco and polenta, homemade baked beans any casserole type meals pureed with some extra steamed or boiled vegetables, I always cook these dishes mild in heat anyway for the other kids, and then the spices are ‘watered down’ with more veg anyway. Plenty of family recipes on this blog.

Fruit purees, custards and yogurts (homemade or from the big tub of natural with some pureed fruit) is also be offered after the meal. Sometimes a broken up piece of banana cake or similar homemade healthier choice treat.

And then when they are old enough I offer them pieces of cooked vegies and toast to munch on themselves.