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Buckets of colourful bubbles for waterplay

I desperately needed a cup of tea and my darlings desperately needed an engaging activity where they could be creative and get soaked in the process.

So, buckets of coloured water and bubbles it was! So easy!

We moved onto the back deck with an old cloth on the floor to prevent slipping over. In three buckets I added warm water and a small amount of washing up detergent. I added food colouring to each bucket, red, yellow and green.Image

Various utensils, cups, brushes, washers etc were placed around on three trays for pouring and cleaning and off they went. My children LOVED this activity. A new brown colour was worked on until it was just “perfect Mummy”.

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Once the buckets were almost empty, then my darlings washed their cars and bikes. Fantastic!

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Oh- and I got my cup of tea, and drank it while it was still hot 🙂

Hope you have a lovely week.

xx

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Rainbow salad with creamy, lemon dressing

Delicious before dressing...
Delicious before dressing…

This salad dishes up delicious flavours and a variety of nutrients from the colourful vegetables. My toddler gobbles it all up every time.  Of course, she helps prepare the dressing and finish off the salad. Any version of this dish is served with quiche, fish, roasted free range chicken, marinated tofu or bbq skewers in our home. Yum!

I blanch beans, cauliflower and broccoli for an extra few minutes to serve my infant too.

Ingredients
Vegetables
1 carrot grated
1 medium zucchini grated
¼ large red capsicum very finely diced
1 head broccoli, in bite sized florets
½ head cauliflower, in bite sized florets
3 generous handfuls of green beans, topped and cut in half
1 handful baby spinach leaves

Dressing
½ cup full fat natural yoghurt
1/3 cup egg mayonnaise (made from free range eggs)
2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice to tast
cracked black pepper
2 tsp olive oil (optional, but nice)
½ to 1 tsp runny honey

Method
1. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower for a couple of minutes. Blanch the green beans for four minutes. Once out of boiling water, immediately rinse all blanched vegetables with cold water in a colander, shake dry and add to large bowl.
2. Add remaining vegetables and optional extras to the blanched vegetables and stir gently to combine.
3. Prepare dressing. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with a spoon. Adjust lemon juice and mayonnaise to taste.
4. Add dressing to vegetables. Gently stir through and serve immediately.

Cook’s Note:
Any colourful vegetables that don’t release too much water suit this salad. Fresh corn is good. Pre-cooked brown rice and toasted flaked almonds add carbs, protein and complexity making it a complete meal.

This salad keeps well undressed in the fridge for a couple of days, but it never lasts that long in our house!

Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.
Wholesome, delicious food made to fuel growing bodies.

Activist note:
We are connected to the hens that lay our eggs. Let’s choose a free range life for them by buying higher animal welfare products. Ban the cage. Note if you live in Australia, Coles brand egg mayonnaise is made from free range eggs and very reasonably priced.

Wholemeal banana cake with chocolate chips

Delicious, fragrant and addictive.
Delicious, fragrant and addictive.

This delicious, generous sized cake is easy and quick to prepare. It is my usual adaptation of several recipes over time. My toddler loves to sit on the bench and help with mashing, pouring, mixing and sampling along the way! Yum. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine.

Ingredients

Spray oil to grease tin
2 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
½ cup wholemeal plain flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup non-dairy milk
4 tbsp (more or less) dairy-free chocolate chips
2 free range eggs
80 g melted butter or dairy free spread or 4 tbsp rice bran oil
5 over ripe bananas, mashed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan forced). Spray oil in 26 cm non-stick spring form pan to lightly grease. Line base with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Combine flours, cinnamon and chocolate chips in large bowl. In a medium bowl, stir well to combine milk, eggs, melted butter and banana. Add banana mixture to flour and stir until just combined. Spoon mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  3. Bake in pre-heat oven for 45 or so minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and cake springs back lightly to the touch. Remove from oven and rest for 5 minutes. Place onto wire rack to cool completely.
  4. If cooking with toddler, clean bench and toddler from head to toe!
Crystalised brown sugar is a nice texture contrast to the beautiful soft centre
Crystalised brown sugar is a nice texture contrast to the beautiful soft centre

Cook’s notes

This is my favourite version with chocolate chips but you can omit or substitute with nuts to suit your taste. For dairy free, substitute milk products with non dairy alternatives. For vegan, omit eggs. There is enough mashed banana in this recipe to not worry about substitution.  Coconut is nice too. Just substitute comparable amount of the plain flour.

I could have called this recipe banana bread, but really, we all know it’s a cake…

It takes a village to raise a mother

"How's your motherhood travelling?"
“How’s your motherhood travelling?”

Welcome to the Whistling Kite Collective’s Journey of Wellness series.

Motherhood has been an incredible journey. One thing I have learnt, it takes a village to raise a mother. Catching up with people face to face has helped me enormously, especially in the early days when I felt like I was running downhill in the dark. My transition from woman to mother was made so much easier by being surrounded by the collective wisdom and support of others. Yes I could have done it alone, but who would want to? Being surrounded by others’ life experiences has expanded who I am and surely improved how I parent. Being able to reach out and pat someone on the back, snort into my drink, giggle at the ridiculous and cry with exhaustion has been so valuable.

This past week has been one long lesson in relationships. Each of my roles as a person has been challenged in some way.  I have felt a wide range of human emotion in a short period of time; sadness, empathy, grief, sympathy, joy, nervousness, shame, anger, excitement, shock and delight. I attended a funeral of a young, lovely person who passed very suddenly. I ran into a friend who is almost ready to birth her first baby. I spent time in nature with an amazing person and her wonderful little boy. I was lucky to spend a few hours with two dear friends that I have hardly seen since my second baby was born. When my first friend arrived at my door, I was so incredibly happy to see her I could have jumped on her! I settle for a hug and kiss. When my second friend arrived unexpectedly, I opened the door and burst into tears. My people, my village, hooray!

This week has reminded me how lucky I am. I have everything I want and need. Sure there could be more; or much, much less. Do my friends really know how special they are? Does my family? What about my favourite man? Do I really show these people how fabulous they are?

My dear friends and family near and afar have inspired me to be a better mother, to seek help, ask advice, laugh at myself, to rest when I can, to be grateful for my time and to enjoy the company of others. So, to my village, I thank you. I am blessed to be a part of something bigger, wholesome and very, very real. I also thank you internet, for connecting me to my worldwide village, where I can plug in at any time, catch up with loved ones around the globe and feel a part of it something tangible.

My favourite lessons from my village:

  1. Surround myself with positive, nurturing people.
  2. Listen and filter out any unhelpful or confusing information.
  3. Value myself and my inner voice.
  4. Quoting a very clever someone “You don’t need a book to tell you how to love your babies”.
  5. Value my people.
  6. Keep in touch.
  7. Say thank you.

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Baked corn fritters

Fast as a flick of a lamb's tail! Delicious for everyone and great for little hands.
Fast as a flick of a lamb’s tail! Delicious for everyone and great for little hands.

Baked corn fritters

I made this recipe in response to my little baby being extremely needy one day and my subsequent inability to fry anything on the stove with said child attached to my hip. So I made my usual corn fritter recipe and piled it into a mini muffin tin. Well, they worked out superbly! These little treats are moist and loaded with extra goodness from the chick pea (besan) flour. My toddler exclaimed “cupcakes!”, then proceeded to eat two straight up. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 cup chickpea flour
¾ cup wholemeal self-raising flour
2 tbsp sesame seeds + extra for sprinkling
1 425g can of creamed corn (low sugar variety if you can get one)
2 free range eggs
2 tsp minced coriander
2 tbsp rice bran oil
1 pinch salt + a grind of pepper

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 160 degrees celcius fan-forced (180 regular temp)
  2. Combine dry ingredients in bowl
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry and fold through
  4. Coat 24 hole mini muffin tin with spray oil
  5. Fill holes with mixture and sprinkle on extra sesame seeds
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden.

Note: These are dairy free. To make this recipe egg free, add another tbsp of rice bran oil. These are really nice with vegan cream cheese.

Perfectly sized for little hands.
Perfectly sized for little hands.