There have been a rash of these sorts of posts on blogs I love to read; Sarah Wilson, Laura Valerie's blog Life.Beauty.Laughter and also Lemon Butter's blog. I'm not too keen on picking ideas so directly, but them I'm new to blogging, and what's more they are some of the more interesting posts to read.
As this is a food-centric blog, I'll try not to get too far from the point, but obviously cook books are pretty essential too.
My mecca. I love how simple they make it to browse and buy books. Not to mention knowing that you need to pay in AUD, and free postage. I've been buying way too many cook books - I make myself feel a little better about this by slipping in the odd children's book for my daughter.
My favourite purchase in the last little while has been Sophie Dahl's 'Miss Dahl's voluptuous delights' , and as you might expect of a multi-career gal, she has a lot to say about food, eating, being fat and being thin. The physical book smells so special too, it's printed on the most beautiful, but slightly coarse paper, and the photography takes me straight back to England. So many recipes to try out - I'm loving her Dhal with saffron rice recipe at the moment.
Something I've been experimenting with only in the past few months. It's got a slightly nuttier flavour than either couscous or rice, but could replace either in your meals. The major benefit is that it's healthier - with higher levels of protein, and a lower GI than either couscous or rice. And it's gluten free, and although I don't have a particular problem with gluten or wheat, I've become much more conscious of how many foods contain wheat, and that our bodies can become overloaded with it when it is a 3-meal-a-day staple.
I've been eating it instead of couscous, warm, with salad leaves, mixed beans and goat's cheese. Or whatever else I have in the house to throw into a salad and give a bit of variety. It involves a bit more work than couscous (it is essential that you rinse it to get rid of the slightly toxic outer layer) and it needs to be cooked with water for about 15 minutes.
It also makes a wonderful porridge - just place half a cup of quinoa, apple (finely sliced), cinnamon and sultanas in a small pan for 15 minutes with a cup of water or milk and stir every now and again until the quinoa 'pops' open and softens. Yum, and a brekkie full of vitality.
Full cream milk
But truly going back to the full fat stuff has really changed the way I eat.
There have been a few reasons for going to the full cream version - firstly, kids need the full quota of fat and protein that is only available in the full cream variety. My little girl has milk in porridge and cereal and loves it already. I'm looking forward to her first birthday when I'll be able to let her drink the stuff, unadulterated, instead of measuring out formula and all those hassles.
I'm also not going to be one of those mums who has 5 types of milk in the fridge - I just can't be doing with it.
I also had problems with my thyroid a few months back - I was on the hyperthyroid side a few months after giving birth. I'm back to normal now, more or less, but am keeping an eye on it, and also learning a bit more about it. Thyroid problems really can have so many knock on effects that are so undesirable - and I found about the link of thyroid problems to soy milk a few months ago. I'd drunk soy milk for a couple of years - that is a few large lattes a day, plus maybe on breakfast cereal. That's a lot of soy for your body to handle. I can't conclusively say it was a soy-related problem, but I thought it was best to drop it for now.
So I'm back to the good old-fashioned stuff. I can't tell you how creamy it makes everything it touches. um, full cream milk in tea feels so decadent and right.
I have previously eaten full crates of mangoes by myself - by mid-summer you can find these on the side of the freeway for about $15-20. At the moment they are still a bit on the pricey side, but still maybe $3 each.
The ones with that really deep, slightly pungent flavour, set my day off on the right foot. I have them with a bit of yogurt, and maybe some passion fruit or blueberries.
They also make for the best pavlovas - looking forward to that already.
Organic Bubs food
No, this isn't really for me. But I do eat a bit of them. It often goes a bit like this in our house; ' mummy try' - then I taste, then I can get my little girl to taste too. She's been a fussy drinker first, then eater, really this whole year. I think we're getting there, in that days of food refusal and the ever pleasant retching seem to have passed.
But mummy's food really wasn't smooth enough for my little girl - and I did have those aspirations of making delicious, organic and interesting food. I just wasn't worth it - and the added frustration of having made the food that is then refused was just too much. After all we all cook food to be loved for it, don't we?
Organic bubs has been a lifesaver. Great products, amazing combinations (Raspberry, apple and rosehip or Pumpkin, apricot and fig, or even Banana and apricot power porridge with quinoa!). The best part is that they have a 'lumps and bumps range' which get your child into more adult textures. I dream that one day we might even eat solid food!
What's even better is that they are local, in our postcode area in fact, in Brookvale. And now you can get them in Coles & Woolies. Thank you Organic Bubs.