Salt and Sichuan peppered squid with lemon aioli

I finally got my first squid for the year, it is so tasty when fresh! My Husband has recently got a new (old) fishing boat, we are so lucky where we live to be able to get so much fresh food. I didn’t catch any the day we went but he got a few when he was fishing for carp a few days later.

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This salt and pepper flour is great with oysters and other fish too, here we had some boar fish.

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4 squid tubes (and legs if you like them)

2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper (or ground white or black pepper)
Oil for deep or shallow frying


Lemon aioli
1 egg
350 ml oil
10 ml white vinegar
2 lemons
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

To make the aioli: blend the egg, vinegar, juice and zest of the lemon, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then slowly add the oil in a slow drizzle.

Clean the fresh squid by removing the head and guts and pulling all the skin from the tube, remove the cartilage and flaps.

Cut the squid tube into squid rings about 1 cm thick or score by cutting the tube down one side so that you can open it and lay it down flat. Make incisions halfway through the flesh side of the flat squid tube on angle 5ml apart and then slice the squid tube into 2cm pieces. Put flour and salt and pepper into a plastic bag and give it a shake then add squid and give it a good shake so that all the tubes are covered.

Pan Fry over medium heat in a heavy based pan with a light covering of oil turning regular until golden brown and cooked or Deep fry in oil 170 C for approximately 2-3 minutes and drain for a minute serve with the aioli


salt and pepper squid

And Pink eye chips are the best, great with the homemade Aioli too!

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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!

Stephanie baking Scrolls

This is Stephanie cooking the scrolls from my book, The Real Food for Kids cookbook, we did use the thermomix to  mix the dough but she measured all the ingredients into the bowl.

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This is the ‘warm spot’ steph picked for the dough to rise! she cracks me up!


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for soft bread you can leave the dough to rise a few times, knocking back in between rises, and use warm water (not hot it will kill the yeast)


Stephanie has rolled the dough out into a large square (kind of??!) and spreads butter over 2/3rds

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then vegemite over the same 2/3 rds  (?) and sprinkle with some grated cheese



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Steph loves cutting!




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Yummy lunch of freshly baked scrolls. The rising time takes a while, but if I am home anyway for the day, they really do not take much time to make. Having the scrolls wrapped and frozen to pull out to defrost for a busy morning actually makes packing the lunches in the mornings a lot easier!!

There are heaps of different filling ideas your kids will enjoy creating their own, pizza scrolls are always a hit!

Like this? 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!

Beetroot dip

If you are a fan of the beetroot dip from the shop you will love this, I have been practising for years and this is by far my favourite!

3 medium (400 grams) beetroot
3 cloves garlic
1 onion
olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
teaspoon basil
teaspoon oregano
250 grams cream cheese

peel and dice the beetroot into about 2 cm pieces and roast in a baking tray with a little olive oil the peeled garlic and the onion peeled and diced into 2cm pieces. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the beetroot is soft  add the brown sugar sprinkled over the beetroot, onion and garlic for the last few minutes of baking to caramelise. Leave to cool.

Blend well with the cream cheese and herbs until smooth season with the salt and pepper

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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!

Sesame and oregano lavosh crackers

These tasty little bickies are a very fun cooking project for kids. Kids love rolling out the dough and cutting it into shapes to bake, will keep them engaged for hours… well at least 10 minutes. I will try them soon with bacon, different cheese, herbs and spices. They are great for kids lunch boxes and snacks. Also great for adults to serve with your favourite cheeses and dips and super easy.
2/3 cup wholemeal flour
2/3 cup plain flour
4 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
½ cup warm water
Topping for baking: Olive oil and sea salt
Turn oven on to 170 C.
Mix all ingredients in the Thermomix knead for 2 minutes or mix in the blender or mixer until it is a smooth dough. Rest for 10 minutes and roll out to 3-4 ml, you can do this through the pasta maker and cut into shapes, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, and bake until golden brown and cooked through.

Lavosh crackers

Lavosh crackers

Stephs Lavosh crackers

Have fun making them with your kids!

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!

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.








Poached eggs

Poached eggs: To poach perfect eggs add about 10 cm deep water in a pot, bring to a gentle simmer with a dash of white vinegar and a pinch of salt, carefully crack fresh eggs in and poach for 2-3 minutes for soft longer for hard. They will float to the top when ready. Carefully scope them out with a holey spoon and serve straight away. Eggs must be fresh and make sure the water is a gentle simmer barely any movement.

Here I have the poached eggs with sautéed spinach, smoked salmon and goats cheese


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!

Mayonnaise, Aioli, seafood sauce, tartare sauce, dill mayo & Honey mustard mayo


The only bad thing about making your own mayonnaise is wanting to eat it with everything it tastes so good!

Basic mayo
1 egg
½ tsp Dijon mustard
tablespoon white vinegar
pinch salt
pinch pepper
200 ml (approx.) Extra Virgin Olive oil

Traditionally we just just the yolk to use mayo but then what do we do with the whites? for home cooking I just use the whole egg and it works out fine! Whisk the eggs, mustard and vinegar together and while still whisking fast pour the oil in a slow drizzle until all combined and thick season with the salt and pepper. Or use a food processor or blender

In the thermomix put the egg, mustard, salt and pepper and vinegar in the bowl blend speed 4 slowly pour the oil in in a slow drizzle until thick, can pour onto the lid with the mc on and wiggle the mc up a little to make the slow stream.

Tartare add one tablespoon of each chopped gherkins, capers and lemon juice to mayo

Aioli add 2 blended cloves of garlic to the eggs and vinegar before starting, or whole garlic cloves in the thermomix at the start with the eggs

Caper balsamic substitute the white vinegar with balsamic vinegar and add 2 tablespoons of chopped cappers

Dill mayonnaise add 2 tablespoons of dill to the mayonnaise

Seafood sauce add 1 tablespoon tomato sauce, ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a few drops to your liking of tobasco sauce to the mayonnaise

Honey mustard mayonnaise (awesome with salmon or chicken!!) Add 2 tablespoons honey and an extra teaspoon of Dijon to the eggs and vinegar before adding the oil


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!