Flavours and Flair

Monthly Archive: May 2015

Monday

25

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

MELBOURNE- BY TWO OF ITS MOST STYLISH MUMS

Written by , Posted in Places

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Melbourne has been named the world’s most liveable city by millions of people around the globe on numerous occasions – and it’s no wonder- given it’s rich culture, relaxed vibe, delicious food, brilliant architecture, great sporting events and let’s not forget to mention the fabulous boutique shopping!

Now whether you are planning on spending a weekend in this stunning city or thinking of a new location to raise your family- Melbourne has so much to offer mums, dads and kids.

Today, we are excited to chat with two of Melbourne’s most stylish mums- Sandi, from Kids Fashion Blogger (KFB) and Carla, from Styling the Tribe (STT).

These two very chic mummy bloggers are leading the way in Australia’s kids fashion industry- as they share daily inspiration via their popular Instagram pages- highlighting the coolest and latest designs available to little people.

Sandi is a gorgeous mother of two beautiful girls- Bella and Giselle and thanks to her love of kids fashion and fine detail, their IG page now has over 70 thousand dedicated followers. Here you will find her adorable girls modelling the prettiest and most precious items- in a very sweetly styled manner.

Carla is stunning mum to three spunky sons- Tevita, Maikeli and Tomasi- who you will always find sporting the trendiest items on the market. Carla’s passion,  dedication and good eye for boys fashion has led this cool tribe to become leaders of the pack- focusing on all the funkiest threads out there for dapper little dudes.

Today these lovely ladies not only give us an insight into their busy lives as dedicated mums, wives and mummy bloggers- they also reveal their fave spots around their wonderful city.

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ML&S: How long have you been living in Melbourne?

KFB:  10 years.

STT: Born and raised in Melbourne, however had a short stint in Adelaide between 2008-2013.

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ML&S: Can you describe your life in Melbourne?

KFB: BUSY! I still work casually on top of KFB and between Bella’s school, Giselle’s daycare and early learning, plus the girls activities- Bella does ballet, tap/jazz, swimming and Giselle does music- so our days are not stop. I’m pretty good with time management, which follows on from my earlier career and I think with kids and everything else, I need to keep organised and balanced or I would be a crazy mess!

STT: Organised chaos and ‘always on the go’ would be the best description. I’m active by nature and my boys aged 2, 4 and 6 are balls of energy and don’t allow much downtime. Monday to Friday I’m a SAHM, juggling school runs, 3 days of kinder drop offs, swim lessons, tennis lessons, household duties and the blog! We don’t have any ‘help’ so to speak of, but the last fortnight my mother- in- law has spent the mornings with my youngest, so I can solely focus on building my website. Weekends are just as busy, as Saturdays are dedicated to sports, Auskick 9-11 am followed by my husbands football from 2-5 pm. Sundays we try to slow down, head out to breakfast, church and then on to somewhere kid friendly.

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ML&S: Tell us more about your amazing and popular kids fashion blogs?

KFB: KFB started out of my love for kids fashion- I loved styling Bella in cool kids clothes- she was like my mini me from day one! I had no idea how big the kids fashion industry was and how it is in its baby stages- and with so much growth to go- it’s all very exciting!

STT: STT is a blog dedicated to boys fashion- often under represented in the media, I felt it was time to shine the spotlight on the amazing selection of boys fashion available online (worldwide) and locally. Having three 3 sons myself, I have an invested interest in the boys fashion space and find it rewarding seeing my little dudes dressed in the latest trends. The IG blog has evolved since its humble beginnings in August 2013 and will soon go live at www.stylingthetribe.com

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ML&S: What do you love most about being mummy fashion bloggers?

KFB: Sharing ideas and stories with other mums, knowing I can relate to them. I LOVE kids and I LOVE being on this journey with my girls. We are doing this together.

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STT: I blog to stay connected. Being a SAHM, I needed to find an outlet and a place whereby I could forge friendships with like minded individuals- without leaving the house! It’s sharing ideas, bouncing off one another, finding inspiration, knowing you’re not alone and above all- staying social and sane! The blog itself is built around my boys, so they are a vital piece to the puzzle. Its a great way to combine all my loves, interests and needs in the one place.

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ML&S: What is your favourite family park in Melbourne ?

KFB:  One which isn’t really a park but play area is on Beaconsfield Parade, in Port Melbourne. They have this awesome play/swing area right on the beach, covered with sun sails- so the kids can use it any time. I’m a big beach girl! Second Yarraville Gardens- it’s such a beautiful big leafy park.

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STT : Hmmm…if you asked my boys, they’d probably say the new Pirate Ship park down by the Maribrynong River, 118 The Boulevard Aberfeldie. Victory Park (corner of Epson Rd and Langs Road Ascot Vale) resembles a wooden fortress and is also popular with my boys – though mum finds it stressful keeping an eye on all three when there! My favourite park would have to be the one adjoined to Cubbyhouse Canteen, located at 43A Union Street Armadale. There are two play areas in fact- one specifically designed for toddlers (completely fenced in) and one for the more spirited (3 years +) also fenced in. The toddler park is right next to the most amazing child friendly cafe- run by the loveliest of sisters and serving delicious coffee and lunch.

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ML&S: What are your top children’s stores in your city?

KFB & STT: Zara, Country Road, Mr Wolf kids, Bardot Jnr, David Jones, Moppit & More, Rasberry Soda, Indie Kids, Cotton On kids, Seed are favourites.

Our online Melbourne designers and store picks  include Sudo, Milk & Soda, Hipkin, Acorn Kids, A little pocket, Tevita Kids, Wilson & Frenchy and Purebaby.

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ML&S: Where do you like to shop for yourselves?

KFB & STT: Zara, Country Road, Seed, Topshop, Decjuba, Style Runner (online), Witchery, Style Milk (online), All About Eve, Sportsgirl, Piink, One Teaspoon, Cue, Cooper Street, Alannah Hill, General Pants Co, Mimco, Myer.

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ML&S: Melbourne is known as the coffee capital of Australia, where are some of your fave places to grab one?

KFB & STT: Brunetti’s (Lygon St, Carlton), Little Sister (East Keilor), Le Petite Cafe (Esesndon) Degraves Espresso Bar (Degraves Lane) Barry (Northcote) Dukes Coffee Roasters (Prahan).

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ML&S: What do you enjoy doing most with your families on weekends?

KFB: In the summer it’s swimming at the beach or any pool- we are a sun water family. We love going to different markets on the weekends, driving to coastal towns, really anything- so long as on a Sunday we do something as a family.

STT: Sport plays a big part in our lives and our Saturdays are devoted to Auskick in the morning and Dad’s footy of an afternoon. On Sundays, when not attending birthday parties or visiting family, we like to explore our amazing city and seek out child- friendly activities. Favourites include watching a touring show, visiting new adventure playgrounds, riding miniature railways, visiting the zoo, Collingwood childrens farm, Melbourne aquarium, Melbourne Museum and horse rides along the St. Kilda foreshore.

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ML&S: What are your favourite restaurants to eat at with your kiddies and with your other half?

KFB:  Anywhere along South Wharf or Lygon St.

STT: Brunetti’s Carlton (quick pizza, lasagna, pannini and ready to eat deserts), Philhellene Provincial Greek Cuisine and Doc Pizza.

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ML&S: Where is a cool place to have brunch in your city?

KFB: Leroy’s in Newport.

STT: Little Sisters (East Keilor), Pillar of Salt (Richmond) and Fifty Acres (Richmond).

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ML&S: Please finish this sentence, “You should never leave Melbourne with your family until you have?”

KFB: Gone to Melbourne Zoo.

STT: Watched an AFL Game at the MCG!

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ML&S: What do you love most about raising your kids in Melbourne?

KFB: It’s not too big of a city. It’s so multi-cultural and with such a huge European influence- the people are friendly, the food is amazing and the fashion is fabulous. There are so many opportunities here.

STT : There is so much to do and see in Melbourne. We’re so spoilt for choice when it comes to food, coffee, fashion and local attractions. Everything we could possibly need is at our fingertips and almost aways accessible- 24/7. We also live in a very culturally diverse city, which I believe makes our city so rich and desirable. I love that my children will grow up alongside children of various ethnicities and can learn about their culture alongside their own. It wasn’t until I lived interstate for 6 years that I appreciated how amazing the city of Melbourne is and how fortunate I am to call it home.

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ML&S: Where do you like to go for a close family weekend getaway?

KFB & STT: Along the Great Ocean Road or Daylesford.

ML&S: Best place for mums to grab a glass of wine in Melbourne?

KFB & STT: Movida, Supper Club, Morris Jones, Captain Baxter, Siglo, Eau De Vie, Chin Chin (downstairs bar).

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Make sure you follow KFB & STT’s fab blogs on IG @kidsfashionblogger IG @stylingthetribe

FB @Kids Fashion- Blogger FB @Styling the Tribe

W kidsfashionblogger.com.au W stylingthetribe.com

 

 

Monday

25

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

TRADITIONAL MOUSSAKA

Written by , Posted in Savoury

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Moussaka is one of Greece’s most famous dishes, that is much loved and recognised all over the world.

Here is my Mum’s recipe that has been in the family for generations and is by far the best I have tasted- it includes layers of grilled eggplant, potato, zucchini  and a rich mince sauce, topped with a delicious béchamel.

Yes it is very time consuming, but the end result and taste is definitely worth it!

Ingredients:

The Meat Sauce

- 1/2 kilo x beef mince
- 1 x large white onion, chopped
- 2 cloves x garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons x parsley
- 5 x fresh tomatoes, grated
- 1 x tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/3 cup x olive oil
- salt and pepper to paste

Vegetables

- 2 x large eggplants
- 6 x large potatoes
- 2 x large zucchinis

 Béchamel Sauce

- 1 x litre full cream milk
- 1 x cup all purpose flour
- 250 grams x Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 x tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 x eggs, whisked
- salt & pepper to taste

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Method:

- Slice eggplants thinly, sprinkle with salt and set aside for one hour.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan and saute the diced onion over medium heat. Add the beef mince to pan and break it up thoroughly. Keep stirring constantly over a medium/high heat for a few minutes or so, to brown the meat.
- Once meat is completely browned, add the garlic, parsley, fresh tomato juice, and tomato paste to the pan along with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Bring to a boil and make sure to immerse them in the sauce, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or so. Stir the sauce occasionally.
- Peel and thinly slice potatoes.
- Thinly slice zucchinis lengthways.
- Lightly oil vegetables (with olive oil) and grill or lightly fry and set aside.
- Start making bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a deep saucepan over a medium heat, then using a whisk, slowly incorporate the flour by adding it to the melted butter in stages, while stirring continually to avoid the formation of lumps. Once flour has been fully incorporated, slowly add the milk while continuing to constantly stir the butter and flour paste to ensure a smooth consistency. Remove saucepan from heat and add whisked eggs, while continuing to rapidly stir the mixture. Set aside when smooth and well mixed.
- Brush sides and base of a large baking dish with olive oil and place a layer of potatoes and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Place layer of zucchinis and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Add layer of eggplants and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.
- Spread half of the mince sauce on top of layers.
- Repeat method by placing another layer of potatoes, zucchinis, eggplants all lightly sprinkled with Parmesan.
- Add remaining mince sauce on top.
- Pour over béchamel sauce, covering entire surface of dish.
- Add remaining Parmesan cheese on top.
- Place the dish in a pre-heated 200 degrees celsius oven and bake for 50 minutes, or until the béchamel is a golden brown.
- Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

 

Thursday

21

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

YIAYIA NIKI’S BAKLAVA

Written by , Posted in Sweet

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Baklava is a traditional and rich Greek dessert made with layers of fillo pastry, which are filled with chopped walnuts and then drenched in syrup.

Here is my Mum’s (Yiayia Niki’s) sweet and crispy recipe that she has been making for years and is loved by the entire family.

I can assure you, it tastes just as good as it looks!

Ingredients:

Filling
- 750 grams fillo pastry
- 3 cups chopped walnuts
- 400 grams unsalted butter
- 1 x cup sugar
- 1 x teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 x teaspoon ground cloves
- cloves to garnish

Syrup
- 2 & 1/2 x cups water
- 3 x cups sugar
- 2 x tablespoons honey
- 1 x tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 x cinnamon stick

Method:

- Melt butter and lightly grease your baking dish.
- Combine chopped walnuts, sugar, ground cinnamon and ground cloves in a bowl and mix all together.
- Layer one third of pastry packet, brushing each sheet with melted butter.
- Sprinkle half of your nut mixture over the fillo.
- Layer next third of the fillo, again brushing each sheet with melted butter.
- Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture on top of second layer of fillo.
- Continue layering the remaining fillo, brushing each sheet with butter.
- Cut into diamond shapes, cutting all the way through to the base. Place clove on top of each piece.
- Pour remaining butter on top.
- Place in 180 degrees celsius pre-heated oven and bake for around 1 hour or until golden brown.
- In the meantime place all ingredients for syrup in a small saucepan and bring to boil- for around 10 minutes, or until it becomes slightly sticky.
- Allow baklava to cool and then pour syrup over baklava.

 

 

Wednesday

20

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

ANNABEL KARMEL- WORLD’S LEADING BABY FOOD EXPERT

Written by , Posted in People

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Annabel Karmel is a best- selling international author, world leading baby food expert, the UK’s number one children’s cookery author and a trusted nutritional specialist for millions of mums around the world.

The first time I heard about Annabel, was when Nikoleta was born and a friend of mine who had been living in London for years bought me Annabel’s amazing  “Top 100 Baby Purees” cookbook. It was by far one of my favourite gifts- as it can become quite daunting being a first time mum introducing solids, and finding  inspiration to create new meals for your baby each day. I was so glad I could flick through this easy and simple baby cookbook, with it’s endless list of purees and taste combinations that are nutritional, healthy and appealing for babies.

Today, Annabel chats to Mummy’s Life & Style about her passion for baby and kids food, dealing with fussy eaters and the importance of beginning healthy eating at a young age.

She also tells us about her exciting new kids frozen food range recently launched in Australia, how her successful business venture began and her key piece of advice for mums who are looking at starting their own business.

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ML&S: When and how did your passion for baby and kids food begin?

Annabel: It was actually the tragedy of losing my first child Natasha, who was born healthy but who died at 13 weeks old from a viral infection that led me to change direction into the field of nutrition.

It wasn’t a diet related illness but I was understandably cautious when it came to ensuring that my second child, Nicholas, was provided with foods that optimised his health. Feeling vulnerable when he became fussy I struggled to find enticing recipes to encourage him and so set about devising my own, which is where my passion started.

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ML&S: Can you tell us how you turned your passion into a successful business over 20 years ago, when you launched your first cookbook?

Annabel: I started by sharing my recipes with other mums and, fuelled by the discovery that they were proving popular with others, set about compiling a book – The Complete Baby and Toddler Meal Planner. It was a struggle trying to get it published as it was rejected by over fifteen publishing houses.

Each rejection letter could have been enough for me to doubt the viability and worth of my idea but I continued to believe in my pitch. New to the publishing world, I wasn’t afraid to break the rules, so I kept approaching people and broadcasting my vision. Fortunately a friend of mine introduced me to a small dynamic book packager, who created book ideas and sold them on to mainstream publishers. They understood what I was trying to achieve and worked with me to shape a mock up, which they took to the Frankfurt Book Fair, where it was sold to US publisher Simon & Schuster who ordered 25,000 copies.

This deal unlocked doors that had previously remained shut, and I’ve since gone on to write 40 books, selling more than four million copies worldwide. I’ve also turned my hand to pre-prepared meals, weaning equipment and recipe apps. I’ve also grown a vast online following of mums in need of advice and inspiration.

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ML&S: Where do you draw inspiration from for creating new baby and kids recipes?

Annabel: When Nicholas was born, I would try his baby food and really didn’t like it. It was so bland and boring and I didn’t want to feed it to him so I started creating fun flavour combinations to liven-it up.

For example I struggled to get him to eat chicken, so I added some apple to the minced chicken and it worked a treat. He absolutely loved my Chicken and Apple Balls, which have now become a family favourite in our household. I’m a big believer in giving babies herbs and spices to make the food really tasty and delicious. My favourites are garlic, thyme and garam masala.

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ML&S: Being a mum of 3, how did you balance work and mummyhood- especially when your children were younger?

Annabel: It’s all about finding your guilt threshold. Of course everyone feels guilty about leaving their children to go to work but some mums wouldn’t be good mums unless they had a career, as they would be miserable and frustrated, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes real confidence to return to the working world after having children – whether that’s as an employee or becoming your own boss.

It’s important for women that motherhood is valued in its own right but equally true that having children shouldn’t necessarily be the full stop at the end of a CV. Shattering the glass ceiling with a changing bag over your shoulder is no longer limited to the realms of fantasy. However, it’s vital that you believe in yourself, which makes confidence as important as competence.

The great thing about running your own business whilst raising a family is that you have the freedom to work to your own schedule. Juggling the dual demands of work with family life is no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination; I remember completing my first recipe book in between the children’s naps, managing a busy toddler group and running a household. It’s difficult keeping all the balls in the air without dropping one occasionally!

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ML&S: What are a few of your best tips for mums with fussy eaters?

Annabel: It can be hard finding foods to tempt your tot – especially when almost every child will go through at least one phase of fussy easting. If you have a fussy eater in tow, I would get them helping out in the kitchen. Most children love cooking and it’s amazing how being involved in planning and preparing of a meal can stimulate a child’s appetite. Children like to assemble their own food, so you could lay ingredients out in bowls and let your child fill and fold their own wraps or choose their favourite toppings for their home made pizzas.

I would also get together and eat as a family, as this really can make a difference- taking the focus off your child’s eating and refocusing on social chit chat at the table could help.

Presentation is also another key to getting a fussy eater eating. The way your child’s food is served up can make the difference between your child accepting and refusing food. Cutting up fruit and popping it onto skewers or straws or making mini portions in ramekins immediately becomes more appealing.

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ML&S: Tell us about your new & exclusive food range available at Coles supermarkets around Australia?

Annabel: It’s a delicious frozen food range of 33 products that takes youngsters on a flavour adventure, whilst ensuring all the goodness of a homemade meal. The range is also free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives with the meat and veggies sourced locally from Australian producers.

Within the new range there’s something for every stage of a child’s development, starting with my delicious frozen purees. They are made with 100% real fruit and vegetables and come in an easy peel and pop tray meaning you can feed your little one with ease. They come in 8 delicious flavour such as Apple & Pear with Cinnamon Puree (stage 1), Pear, Mango & Strawberry Puree (stage 1), Lentils & Vegetables Puree (stage 2) and Salmon with Hoki and Orange (stage 2).

My new tasty finger foods are a quick solution to helping mums when faced with a hungry toddler. I’ve designed them for 1 – 4 year olds and they are a great alternative to sugary snacks. My bites are ready-to-go in a resealable pouch and come in four tasty flavours such as Tasty Thai Pork Bites and Famous Chicken & Apple Bites.

Then there’s my new toddler meals (1 – 4 years) and older kids’ meals (3 years +) which are packed with a delicious helping of vegetables, not to mention my Toddler Treat range (1 years +) for balanced puddings in portion controlled snap pots.

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ML&S: Can you also give us a brief about your smartphone app – Essential Guide for Feeding your Baby & Toddler?

Annabel: The Essential Guide to Feeding Your Baby and Toddler app features over 220 of my most popular recipes from my cookbooks. It’s a handy guide to help mums who are in need of quick and easy mealtime inspiration whether they’re cooking for baby, toddler or the whole family. The app is complete with step-by-step instructions and tips because after all, we all know that family life is busy enough without having to spend hours in the kitchen. My app recently made it to No.1 in food and drink on the App Store, which was fantastic to see!

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ML&S: How important do you think it is to introduce healthy eating habits and a balanced diet from a very young age?

Annabel: It’s very important as there isn’t a ‘best before’ date on learning how to cook. Whilst starting young equips children with the knowledge and skill to make good food choices as they grow-up, if you want to instil a love of good, healthy food then I would recommend preparing recipes from scratch. They’ll learn all about getting the balance right between wholesome options and occasional treats.

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ML&S: You also have a treats range for toddlers and kids, can you tell us about that?

Annabel: Every mother will know how much children love sweet treats, which is why I designed my Toddler Treats for 1 years plus. They contain 40% real fruit and come in 6 delicious flavours including: My Beautiful Choc Berry Brownie Pudding, My Charming Jam Roly Poly, My Special Summer Fruits Pudding, My Enchanting Tropicana Coconut Pudding, My Dazzling Apple Crumble, My Dreamy Choc Caramel Pear Pudding. I love them!

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ML&S: Your fabulous book “Mumpreneur” gives mums amazing advice on how to start their own business and to become successful. From your own experience, what is the most important thing to keep in mind when beginning your own venture?

Annabel: It takes real confidence to return to start-up a business after having children – and self-belief is absolutely vital in order to succeed. Confidence is just as important as competence – if not more so.

The more you believe in yourself and in your chances of succeeding, the more likely you are to do just that. Of course, we all have doubts from time to time – the danger is if those doubts spiral out of control, creating unnecessary anxiety and negative self-limiting beliefs, which prevent us from doing something that we really want to do (and, deep down, know that we can do).

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ML&S: What do you love most about your work?

Annabel: I love that no two days are ever the same. They say that if you love your work then you’ll never have to do a day’s work in your life. One minute I’m livening up bland baby food by devising new recipes and flavour combinations and then next, I’m in a meeting discussing my supermarket range.

ML&S: What is the best piece of advice you can give mums when it comes to eating time? 

Annabel: Never give up – especially when it comes to dealing with a fussy eater. It’s so easy to feel frustrated and powerless when your child simply refuses to eat certain foods but the key is to not give in or give up. It’s actually the way that we deal with the situation that impact on their eating habits.

Annabel Karmel’s new frozen range is available from Coles. Based on her favourite cookbook recipes and tasting just like homemade, check out her line-up of tasty purees, toddler meals, older kids meals, independent bites and toddler treats. For more information visit www.annabelkarmel.com/au/

Tuesday

19

May 2015

0

COMMENTS

CRUSTLESS SPINACH & RICOTTA QUICHE

Written by , Posted in Savoury

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If you are looking for an easy brunch, light lunch, picnic or snack idea- our crustless spinach and ricotta quiche is ideal.

Not only is it quick and easy, it is also delicious and tasty.

Ingredients:

- 800 x grams spinach, chopped
- 4 x eggs
- 300 x grams ricotta
- 100 x grams milk
- 4 x teaspoons olive oil
- 1 x small bunch shallots, chopped
- 300 grams x self raising flour
- 1/2 cup x water
- salt and pepper to taste

Method:

- Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
- In a large bowl add your chopped spinach, shallots, ricotta, flour, 3 x eggs, water, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix ingredients thoroughly.
- Pour mixture into a pie dish, lined with baking paper.
- In a small bowl whisk 1 x egg with milk and pour on top of mixture.
- Place in oven and cook for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.