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Tag: recipe

The glory of meal prep

The glory of meal prep

For a long time I thought that ‘meal-prepping’ was reserved for enthusiastic gym-goers who needed to monitor their calorie and protein intake by way of steamed greens and creepy, pale chicken and sad brown rice. HOW WRONG I WAS. Since having Hunter, I have gained […]

Day Thirteen: Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu

Day Thirteen: Christmas Morning Breakfast Menu

When I think of Christmas morning, what tends to come to mind first are the smells that come with it. The smell of the real Christmas tree, the smell of fresh coffee grinds and steamed milk, the smell of bacon and slightly burnt toast and […]

Gnocchi Arrabiata, baby!

Gnocchi Arrabiata, baby!

Last week on my lunch break I was craving my usual chicken and salad banh mi with extra salad and no onion. This particular craving has lasted about six weeks so far with no end in sight. My friend and colleague Mika, on this particular day, felt like pasta from The Italian Bowl on King Street. I have been off past for most of my pregnancy – whenever I make it for Pete I cook some greens for myself and have that instead – but when she got her gnocchi arrabiata, my desire for it became almost insatiable (luckily the serving was huge and she didn’t finish it.. so I did).

The next trip to the shops that I did, I bought some gnocchi. Pete was going to be away and so I knew that I was going to be able to make a simple, spicy sauce (where I usually can’t because he can’t handle chilli) to have with my gnocchi. That night while watching The Holiday, I devoured a huge bowl of gnocchi arrabiata and there is no sign of that craving slowing down now either.

So I thought that this morning I would share my very own arrabiata sauce with all of you chilli fiends today because, not only is it freaking delicious, it is also SO simple and SO quick to make (and it also stores really well for a few days).

 

Gnocchi Arrabiata a la T(O)NM

Ingredients – 

1 x packet of ready-to-cook gnocchi

1 x can of diced tomatoes

fresh basil

minced garlic

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

salt

pepper

chilli flakes (or fresh chilli, whichever you prefer)

Method – 

In a pan or small pot put two tablespoons of minced garlic, chopped basil, salt, pepper, chilli flakes and oil

Heat until aromatic

Add entire can of diced tomatoes, half fill the empty can with water and add that to the pan too

Add a generous amount of balsamic vinegar as well as a pinch more salt and pepper

Let simmer for ten minutes

Bring water to the boil and cook the gnocchi (this will only take a minute or so and you will know when they are cooked as the gnocchi will float to the top of the water)

Serve, eat and enjoy!

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Day Six: Best Christmas Reads for Kids and Adults

Christmas and books and books about Christmas – THIS POST HAS IT ALL. I have always wanted to have a tradition where I read Christmas books throughout December. Until now, this has remained but a thought and a wish.. this year however, I plan on […]

The (Oblivious) New Mama’s 25 Days of Christmas

The (Oblivious) New Mama’s 25 Days of Christmas

It’s December! It’s Summer! It’s the festive season! Our Christmas tree is up! Our cat has discovered a love of tearing baubles off the tree and waking us up at 5am by chasing them down the hallway! Seriously though, I am so freaking excited that […]

Baby Shower Supplies

Baby Shower Supplies

Whether you are going all out and hiring a venue and catering and the whole shebang, or if you are doing something at home with a budget, your baby shower can still ooze fabulousness, instgrammableness and loveliness! I have always loved hand-making as much as I can, mainly because I love doing craft but also because when you make something yourself it is often cheaper and incredibly unique. Of course, not everything can be handmade (that would be the dream!) and heading into parenthood is expensive. Pete and I have managed to cut some corners without skimping on quality goods for us or bub, so I do hope that even SOME of these ideas help for those of you throwing a baby shower on a budget!

Our BUB-beque is this Saturday. We are having it at home and there are about forty people coming over for lunch, drinks, nibbles and frivolity. More often than not, the baby-to-be’s godmother will throw a baby shower for the mama-to-be but that isn’t something that I wanted for myself. Instead, I wanted to be surrounded by friends and family and mot importantly, I wanted Pete by my side. It just so happens that it is Pete’s birthday in mid-December and getting everyone together can be so difficult that it was yet another great excuse to simply throw a party.

That doesn’t mean that our house won’t be all about BABY, though. Oh no.

Last weekend, Shari and I went shopping for the big day and surprisingly we didn’t spend nearly as much as I thought we would (or could have). Everything that we bought for the BUB-beque (except for alcohol and meat) was bought from Kmart, Aldi, Coles or Big W and for a lot of what we got, you wouldn’t guess it!

Food

A few posts ago, I wrote about how we are turning our dining table into a huge grazing platter for the day. There are cheaper options for food which would include salads, bakes and perhaps some meat however, just because of the size of our house and the amount of people that we are having over, a grazing platter for us was definitely the best option. I also don’t want to be running around trying to make sure that everyone is fed on the day, this option means that all of the food is there and ready to be devoured and I don’t need to think about it again.

Having said that, where I could be frugal, I was.

We went to Coles first to get all of the antipasto elements of our grazing table including cheeses, olives, fruit, nuts, pickles and a myriad of other things in jars with oil (pickles, etc.). For the cheeses, we chose a few really nice ones that were a tad more expensive, however the majority of the cheese we bought (we bought a fair bit because there is no such thing as too much cheese) was the Coles brand! I have bought their brand of cheese before and it is just as delightful and creamy and heavenly as their branded counterpart that is triple the price.

The fruit that we bought wasn’t too expensive, and fresh produce is something that I choose not to skint on anyway. We bought a lot of blueberries and strawberries (they were on special), as well as grape tomatoes, carrots, cucumber and a variety of other fruits and vegetables to freshen up the table. Of course if you want blackberries and figs and the more exotic fruits, then yeah, your costs will go up a fraction, however like I said – fresh produce deserves the best.

The same thing applied when selected our antipasto favourites. We bought Coles brand olives, both kalamata and stuffed green, semi-dried tomatoes and dried fruit such as sultanas and apricots. When then filled in the gaps with some branded goods such as mini gherkins and cheese-stuffed peppers. By way of dips, I can almost 100% guarantee you that one brand or another will be on sale on any given day. Although my favourite dips are the Red Rock Deli variety, the line of Mercer Valley dips were half-price so we loaded up on them instead! The flavours that I wanted were exactly the same, and in that one decision alone I saved over ten dollars. Plus, all dips are delicious anyway..

We went to Aldi to buy all of the crackers and chips and although these elements are cheap in Coles and Woolworths and most shopping chains, that dollar or two that you save at Aldi for these staples add up as well (especially when you are buying in bulk).

We didn’t buy the meat, the bread or the seafood elements last weekend as I want them to be as fresh as possible. So, on Saturday morning I will be heading back to Coles to their bakery and their deli section to pick up the remaining elements of the grazing table. It is only very recently that I discovered the Coles deli section whereas I used to just walk along the refrigerated section for all of my deli meats. Not only do you get to choose the exact quantity you want over the counter of the deli section, but the meats are far higher in quality (the prosciutto is always freshly sliced in front of me) and a hell of a lot cheaper than buying multiple packets. For the bread, I love the Coles brand french bread sticks and their olive sourdough loaf. They are a couple of bucks each and go a long way!

By way of sweets, treats and desserts – I spent all of Sunday baking personalised baby shower cookies! I also went to Big W because their confectionery section is legit – they still have Yupi and Trolli lollies so I was all over that. I also bought wafer biscuits from there because for some reason they are always on special at Big W. I will also be making fairy bread with blue sprinkles because fairy bread is life (and cheap). For our cake, I am lucky enough to have Mum and the incredible team at Unwritten baking our cake. Having said that, if that wasn’t an option, I would have made my own cake. I find that homemade cakes (even when you suck at baking) are far tastier than ones that you have to order weeks in advance. Again, I am a fan of the homemade, but if saving money is what you’re after then spending that little bit of extra time making things will result in a fair amount of savings!

Drinks

Unfortunately, alcohol is alcohol. Aside from shopping around at different stores and grabbing things while they are on special, alcohol and drinks will always be one of the most pricey elements of a get together. Pete bought all of our alcohol from Dan Murphy’s and I bought some non-alcoholic sparkling wine from Aldi as well as a bottle of Seedlip for those who aren’t drinking alcohol.

I saw this idea on Pinterest and absolutely loved it – a Mum-osa Bar.

Shari and I bought a cheap metal container from Kmart where there will be bottles of champagne sitting in ice, as well as four plastic jars that we will fill with fresh fruit and three glass bottles filled with different kinds of juice. I bought a cheap frame from Kmart and designed and printed a little size to slip inside it, as well as wooden swing tags and twine that I will write on to identify each juice! We also found some stunning champagne glasses (as I didn’t have any) that came in boxes of six. I bought two boxes and then a packet of glittered plastic champagne glasses in case we needed any spares. The disposable ones from Kmart are actually really pretty and photograph really well, so if you didn’t want to spend the extra money on proper glasses, these are a great option!

We also bought boxes of canned soft drink on special from Big W!

Decorations

Once again, Kmart and Big W provided the goods when it came to Shari and I choosing the theme and buying the decorations for this weekend. Like I have mentioned, we are going for a very rustic and natural colour theme with pops of blue throughout. To start things off, I handmade a Woodland Creature Bunting as well as a cake topper both of which only took about an hour all up (and cost next to nothing!).

At Kmart, they have a wide range of buntings that are insanely cheap! I went for the hessian flag bunting as well as two of the DIY blackboard buntings that come with chalk. I chose these two because it ties in with our theme and the DIY buntings means that I can dedicate one to our baby boy, while the other will be a birthday one for Pete!! I am planning on having the buntings layered throughout the house, rather than just stringing each of them up against a wall!

We ordered the balloons for the baby shower from Big W. I ended up going for two bouquets that will sit on the floor instead of table-top ones. The balloons are in metallic green, pearl white and some really pretty clear latex ones, some that are being filled with rose gold confetti and others that aren’t. I personally didn’t want any balloons that said ‘boy’ or ‘baby’ – however there are a number of cheap options available on eBay that you can purchase and then get filled with helium closer to the day! We also bought some really creepy looking plastic babies that are meant for a baby shower game called “My Water’s Broke” but 1. I don’t do games and 2. I thought that they would be great to dot around the table.

When my mum and I hosted my godmother’s baby shower for her baby girl, we bought a number of toys that we used as a part of the grazing table. Not only did it look great they were also some extra presents for her to take home at the end of it! For our little man I bought some Hot Wheels, some Lego Duplo and a few plush toys. If you are having a baby shower where you don’t know the sex of the baby, there are some great neutral toys you can get including teething rings, fabric books and neutral soft toys all of which are available at Big W and Kmart!

Also for the table, and for around the house and on top of the cake, Mum is going to Sydney Markets on Thursday morning to pick up some Australia native flowers. If you want to include flowers as a part of your decoration for your baby shower, I strongly suggest hitting up the markets. The flowers are always incredibly fresh and SO much cheaper than they are at the florist. It does get hectic at the markets and it can be a pain, so if you can, get there early in the morning! Again, these suggestions are all to save some cash and although it will take that little bit more time and effort, the flowers will be fresh and vibrant and lovely.

Back at Kmart again, Shari and I managed to find some really sweet napkins! I originally wanted simple napkins, however when we saw these three options, we knew that they would work together and play off the theme nicely. We have the pop of blue, the rose gold lettering matches the champagne glasses and the ballon and the black, white and gold ones suit everything! I found it difficult to find nice looking plates.. but we landed on these silver striped zig-zag kinda’ ones. We found them at Big W in the party section and they were also available in rose gold and standard gold. Most of the plates that we came across were really bold colours and flimsy plastic. These are sturdy enough that if we wanted to, we could wash them and use them again – though I doubt that we will do that..

I also bought some hanging decorations from Big W – just those white crepe-papery ones – they come in packets of four or five and you need to pull them out and make them yourself. They are extremely cheap but if you can get creative and intertwine them with a few different types and colours, and maybe some smaller balloons then you will have a really pretty (AND SUPER FANCY) decorative feature goin’ on!

After the weekend has passed and we have celebrated our little man with our family and friends, I will be sure to post photos of everything that I have mentioned here, as well as things that I probably missed! Also, just a little side note, you will have to excuse me if this post seems rambly or doesn’t make sense – I am still adjusting to the third trimester and it is hard and I am big and constantly hot (so much so that I think I may evaporate) and tired and have reflux so my brain is a tad foggy. Apologies.

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

The (Oblivious) New Mama Personalised Baby Shower Cookies

This coming Saturday is our baby shower, and over the weekend Pete and I were all systems go. Over the weekend, Shari and I did a huge shop for all of the food for next weekend, as well as ordering the balloon bouquets and buying […]

Homemade Meat Pies

Homemade Meat Pies

Meat pies – one of the staples of the Australian way. Four n’ Twenty, Mrs. Mac’s Pies and Harry’s Cafe de Wheels, collectively as a nation, we appreciate the meat pie in all of its simple, wonderful glory. Me, as a pregnant woman and someone […]

Seedlip x The (Oblivious) New Mama

Seedlip x The (Oblivious) New Mama

It’s Tuesday and the sun is shining and I got a little (a lot) bit sunburnt at lunch which means that it is time to get ready for summer and picnics and cocktails. It also means that it is time for me to announce my official collaboration with Seedlip.

Haven’t heard of them? Neither had I.

I have never had to buy non-alcoholic drinks – to be honest, I have rarely thought about non-alcoholic alcohol. I knew going into the pregnancy that there is a myriad of non-alcoholic sparkling wine but that that was pretty much my only option. Now, although I have been enjoying the odd bit of alcohol here and there, for the majority of my pregnancy I have neither wanted to nor felt like drinking alcohol. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss mixing a cocktail for myself of a weekend that is laden with spirits. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t sorely miss going out for drinks and participating in said drinks. I also don’t really like champagne or sparkling wine whether there is alcohol in it or not.

It got me thinking – if I felt like this, then so many other pregnant women must do as well. So I started researching.

99% of my search results yielded various types and brands of non-alcoholic sparkling wine, until I came across Seedlip AND EVERYTHING CHANGED.

Let me introduce you to Seedlip. The world’s first distilled non-alcoholic spiritsSeedlip is London-based company that is, “on a mission to change the way the world drinks with the highest quality non-alcoholic options.” The company’s legacy of ‘what to drink when you’re not drinking’ is based on the distilled non-alcoholic remedies from The Art of Distillation written in 1651. They offer three unique and complex blends Spice 94, Garden 108 & Grove 42. All of the blends are made with natural ingredients, some of which you may not be expecting! Mandarin, lemongrass, oak bark (yep, bark!), peas, hay.. the list goes on, and the result is absolutely astounding. The blends are both sugar and sweetener free and contain zero calories.

I am completely and utterly in love with Seedlip, not just because it feels a niche in the market that has gone unanswered until now, but because of the ingenuity, the creativity and the dedication that the company and its founder have for their work – their art. I celebrate anyone who thinks outside the box and succeeds in their vision. Seedlip is stocked in some of the world’s most exclusive bars and restaurants including Dandelyan in London, the #1 bar in the world, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Soho House in West Hollywood. HUSTLERS, BABY!

The branding, packaging and bottling of Seedlip is next level stunning/gorgeous/everything. It really is a beautiful, artisanal product and I cannot recommend it highly enough – not just for pregnant women either, but for those of you who are alcohol afficiandos as well! Seedlip offers flavours that a lot of other alcoholic spirits just don’t have. Discovering Seedlip has allowed me to partake in my partner’s and my ritual of cocktails on a sunny weekend which, up until recently I have had to forgo. The blends are designed to be able to be served with just tonic or soda water, however they are also ideal for cocktails. On their website, Seedlip have curated a cocktail menu that you can use for inspiration, separating the recipes between each blend.

Seedlip generously sent me Spice 94 (which I will also be including in that all-elusive secret project I have been mentioning since the beginning of this website) so I went straight for their Espresso Martini.

Seedlip Espresso MartiNO

50 ml Seedlip Spice 94
50 ml cold brew concentrate (or a shot of espresso, cooled. I just used a pod at home and chilled it in the freezer for ten minutes)
15ml sugar syrup
3 coffee beans (for garnishing)

Add Seedlip, coffee, sugar syrup and ice into a cocktail shaker, double strain and serve garnished with coffee beans

Drink and be fabulous

 

I want to thank the incredible team at Seeedlip for sending me Spice 94 – you guys are just excellent x

@seedlipdrinks

Gingerbread Voodoo Dolls à la T(O)NM

Gingerbread Voodoo Dolls à la T(O)NM

Halloween has never been a big deal for me however I never need an excuse to participate in some themed baking.. I looked online for some inspiration and absolutely fell in love with Donna Hay’s Gingerbread Skeletons – but, I am a realist and I […]