Grain and Egg FREE -Chocolate and Coconut Cake

 

This cake is amazing, chocolate and coconut moist cake, and it’s grain and egg free!! Yes completely grain and egg free so perfect for people with intolerance’s! In our family we have my niece Phoebe who is anaphylactic to egg and nuts, we also have my mum who is wheat intolerant so it makes desserts hard, especially cakes.  But this cake ticks all the boxes, and it tastes great! Chocolate and coconut cake.

vegan chocolate cake
Chocolate Cake

GRAIN, EGG AND DAIRY FREE CHOCOLATE & COCONUT CAKE RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

400ml Coconut Cream

1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

200 ml vegetable oil

1 cup coconut four

3 teaspoons baking powder

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 170 C

Blend together the coconut cream, brown sugar and cocoa.  Slowly add in the vegetable oil until combined.

Sift in coconut flour and baking powder, mix well until combined.

Pour into greased caking tin.  Bake at 170 C for 40 minutes.

Allow to cool in tin and then carefully turn out.

I used the icing from this recipe.  But it would be equally delicious without icing and eaten warm!

Note:  The coconut flour does make it a fragile cake, but it does not detract from the great flavour you just need to be careful!

Delicious as a birthday cake for the whole family - grain, dairy and egg free
Delicious as a birthday cake for the whole family – grain, dairy and egg free

 

 

 

Greek Chicken Marinade

This Greek Chicken Marinade is easy, delicious recipe that anyone can make.

Simple greek marinade recipe perfect for chicken
Simple greek marinade recipe

Ingredients

Juice 1 lemon

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon oilve oil

1 teaspoon Oragano

I put it on chicken breasts and leave for an hour. That’s it! It adds a lovely taste – I normally serve on a salad of spinach, avocado, feta, cucumber and capsicum.

I added the marinade to the chicken popped it into a ziplock bag and froze – ready to go for your next BBQ or easy dinner!

Things to buy before baby arrives.

Stocking up before the baby arrives is a great idea!  The less stress the best – when you get home you just want to drink in as much as you can of that bundle of joy!

Items to stock up on for the house hold before the baby arrives
Things to stock up on before the baby arrives.
  1. Pet Food. Stores easily & doesn’t go out of date quickly, so watch out for good specials leading up to the birth.  I also wrote out a very specific feeding guide for Penny – much to my Father in Laws delight (he thought the detail was hilarious). But we had a couple of people helping out with Penny so I wanted to make sure everyone knew what was going on!
  2. Hand Soap/Sanitiser – you want everyone to wash their hands before the touch that bundle of joy you will need extra.  And you will be washing you hands constantly with all those nappy changes – so stock up!
  3. Wipes – So many wipes. It will take you a while to work on your technique just stock up so you are ready to go.  6 months later I still haven’t bought wipes!
  4. Panadol – for you and the baby (after 4 weeks) you don’t know when you will need it so it’s best just to have it. Better safe than sorry.
  5. Snacks – you’re exhausted and people will keep coming over. Nuts, muesli bars, a batch of bliss balls, crackers – stuff you can grab out of the fridge or pantry with one hand while your holding a baby who doesn’t want to be put down.  I once ate a packet of strawberries and cream lollies for lunch because that was literally what was at the front of the pantry.  And if people offer to bring stuff over – ask for fruit (easy to eat with one hand fruit)
  6. Frozen food – Dinners that can be put in the oven. Crumbed chicken and chips is not a nutritious dinner – but when you are exhausted that crumbed chicken out of the oven will be easy and possibly the most tasty thing you have eaten that day!
  7. Toilet Paper & Tissues – because you don’t want to run out of the necessities.  Anything to stop running to the shops.
Paddy and his teddy
Paddy doing his ‘Blue Steel’

Anything else that you were glad that you had stocked up on before your baby arrived?

 

8 things you must do before you baby arrives.

Having a baby is such a exciting time, but having these couple of things done before the big arrival will make it all that little bit easier!

things to do before your baby arrives
things to do before your baby arrives
  1. Make some frozen dinners!  I was very smug and thought that we would have this sorted.  CJ had 5 weeks off so between us definitely would get dinner sorted.  But between the dog not sure of this new ‘thing’, the feeding, guests, endless washing, nappies, no schedule and a new human – it’s hectic.  So make some extra food.  I did make 6 lasagnes and froze them in foil containers (so there was no dinner) and we loved them! So easy and homemade.  I also made cookies and froze the dough, brownies in the same disposable foil containers for the snacks.  YOU NEED ALL THE SNACKS!  If you are giving breast feeding a go you will need snacks!
  2. Washing the baby clothes.  Wash them in something nice and gentle for the babies skin.  I used softly liquid as I didn’t want to have to dissolve flakes first because we have a front loader and it smelt amazing. Also don’t be afraid to let people do the washing for you.  My mum kept asking if she could do it, it kept saying no.  But why? I was tired towards the end and I washed all the adorable outfits and let mum have the boring wraps and sheets.
  3. Packing bags – both yours and the babies.  I went into hospital with labor pains at 35 weeks.  It was a bit of a scramble to throw stuff in a bag.  Luckily for me they only kept me for 6 hours and let me go home because the pains had stopped. The next day I packed our bags! HA don’t wait! Don’t forget the snacks! Not just lollies, crackers, muesli bars, nuts are all good ideas.
  4. Have your thank you cards sorted – if possible send out your thank you cards for your baby shower.  This is something I didn’t do and 5 months later still haven’t completed it!  Get you baby shower thank you cards out and then it’s done.  You’re not worrying about it with a newborn. When people give you a gift when the baby arrives keep a list.
  5. Pick your photographer if you are going to have one before your due date! You may want to meet with them and explain what your vision is and to see if they can fit you in your approximate dates. You may also need to ask if you need to supply some of the props or they supply everything.
  6. Have your car seat fitted.  Most baby stores fit car seat even if they haven’t been bought from them.  But check your local auto stores and ambulance station as well. I would get your car seat installed around 35/36 weeks.
  7. Some new “after”clothes.  I didn’t do this until 2 weeks after I had Paddy.  I went to K Mart and bought a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of tops.  CJ calls it my mum uniform – and I guess it is.  Its easy to throw on – no ironing and comfy.  Just what you need in the first couple of weeks when you are at home more than usual, or have visitors and not your daggiest clothes so you can still get a coffee or run to the shops and feel comfortable.  5 months later and I still wear my mum uniform when I’m at home because there is no thought required!
  8. Do a dry run to the hospital.  Most maternity wards offer tours, so you know how long it will take to get there, where to park, what ward to go to etc.

LATE ADDITION – One thing I wish I did but didn’t have the money.  I wish I got the house properly cleaned.  Towards the end of my pregnancy I didn’t clean, CJ did everything but I wish I paid for a deep clean of the house, ovens, base boards etc.

Good luck to you and your upcoming baby! I hope you get everything organised before your baby arrives!

6 – 12 week baby routine – For awake babies.

If you are lucky like me, you might get a baby that doesn’t sleep! To be fair – Paddy did sleep at night – just not during the day. Which was good for my evening sleep, but not so great for getting anything done during the day.  So here is the routine that worked for us, we fell into this and tweaked it until it worked for all of us.  You can see that this routine was from 6 weeks – before that we winged it a little and as I said we ‘fell’ into this.  It took us a couple of days to realise Paddy wanted to be fed all afternoon/night and wasn’t that fussed during the day – so thats what we went with.

Baby routine for 6 - 12 week baby that doesn't like to sleep

4-5am – Feed (depend what time he woke up)

5-9am – Sleep

9-9:30 – Feed

9:30-1pm – Awake/Play

1-2pm Feed

2-4pm Awake/Play

4-4:30pm Feed

4:30 – 5 Bath

5 – 5:30pm Tummy Time and Story

5:30 – 6pm Swing

6 – 6:30pm Feed

6:30 – 8pm Quite Time

8 – 8:30pm Feed

9pm  Sleep

As you can see, we fed more often in the afternoons – this was baby led and help him sleep through the night with only 1 wake up at 4am.  He would often have a 1 x 20 min sleep during the day, only one nap would make him a little bit grumpy during the day.  We were lent a swing – this was a life saver.  We found that even if he didn’t sleep the swing (which also vibrated) made him relax to the point that he would have a cat nap (20 mins max) or relax so much he was rested and wouldn’t be grumpy.  At this age he only would sleep in his swing or in our arms so the swing was our savour, as soon as we put him down he would lose his mind.

We were pretty stressed about the not sleeping thing – we went to the Pediatrician but he told us that he found “smart ones normally didn’t sleep.”  Haha good one – I’m 100% sure he said that to all new mothers and changed it to be a sleeper or a non sleeper just to make us feel better!  But if you are lucky enough to get a non-sleeper like me then know you are not alone!

 

Here are some of the things that I did find to help him to have a nap

  • Vacuum cleaner (apparently sounds like the womb) Paddy would sleep so much longer when I was vacuuming and I would literally vacuum around him. Sometimes i would vacuum the house twice just to get him to sleep longer that 20 mins.
  • The swing – the only thing at the beginning that worked besides holding him.  Also handy if you have vibrate on your swing – amazing for babies with wind.
  • Muslin Wrap – Paddy has hated being swaddled since about 2 weeks old so we use sleeping bags at night.  But he is also a hot sleeper (would get super sweaty) so I didn’t like to put him in his sleeping bag during the day, but I found a light wrap over his legs does the trick – I don’t know why but he sleeps much longer with a wrap draped on him.  I understand this is a SIDs risk and so I only ever did it when he was being totally supervised but it helped.  I think he likes to touch and grasp something?
  • A dummy.  I’m not a massive dummy fan but a dummy is very helpful when the are grumpy from being over tired.  The sucking motion really relaxed him.

Chocolate Banana Wontons

These bites are super quick, easy and most importantly deep fried deliciousness. The combination is perfect – but feel free to mix it up.  I personally think that chocolate, strawberry and peanut butter would be delicious but someone (my husband) doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate together… Grounds for divorce I think.  But we all make compromises… haha  Any way I made these in uni, and it wasn’t until recently I thought about them again… Then I couldn’t get them off my mind, so I had to make them, it was the only solution.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Chocolate Banana Wontons
Chocolate Wontons

Ingredients

1 pk wonton wrappers

100 gram chocolate

50 grams raw cashews (or any unsalted nuts)

300 ml vegetable oil

1 Banana

chocolate and banana wontons
Chocolate and banana wontons

Method

  1. Chocolate Banana Wonton Recipe
    Chocolate Banana Wontons

    Slice banana into rounds.

  2. Place a piece of banana, 2 pieces of chocolate and 3 cashews onto centre of the wonton
  3. Fold wonton edges into the middle.
  4. Fry in batches of 3-4, turning after 1-2 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towel.
  6. Chocolate Wontons
    How to fold the wontons

    Serve with ice cream & devour!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 ways to build your milk supply

Milk supply, isn’t something that you really think about until it’s a problem.  For me it was a massive problem – as in it was non existent!  Unfortunately mostly you either have way too much or not enough! I really struggled mentally as I wasn’t prepared for it and I felt really guilty for not being able to supply my baby with what he needed.  He was losing weight, didn’t have any wet nappies and had a temperature.  Luckily I was still in hospital when all of this went down and I had a Lactation Consultant with me every step of the way along with a very supportive husband!  So here are 3 things that I have found to work well and I have done a ton of research, spoken to everyone I could & researched the hell out of – so this is what worked for me!!!

3 ways you can build lactation
3 way that you can help improve your milk supply.
  1. Galactogogues! Funny name but it basically means a substance that helps milk supply!  Exactly what you want – the 2 that are most highly recommended are fenugreek and milk thistle.  My naturopath and LC both recommended Fenugreek over anything else – I took this in combination with Milk Thistle.  Fenugreek I was taking 4 tablets 3 times a day (12 total) but the difference is remarkable.  I was pumping 2 ml at hospital (both sides combined 4 days PP) and after about a week at home it was up to 60 ml combined (after feeding).  If we have another child I will actually pack this in my bag for the hospital next time! Other galactogogues include oats and brewers yeast – both which I’ll talk about in my next point.  If you are interested in other Galactogogues I found this article helpful Common Galactogogues.

    Galactogogues
    Fenugreek and Milk Thistle – great for building milk supply
  2. Lactation Cookies – I used the recipe at Just Mommies you can get it here.  I added an egg to the mix because I like eggs! but it is not necessary. The oats and the brewers yeast are both galactogogues so be sure not to leave them out or substitute them.  I used just regular rolled oats from Coles but I bought the Brewers yeast from the health food section in our local chemist (FYI – it is not nutritional yeast).  If cookies aren’t your thing there a ton of smoothies & bliss balls on Pinterest. Follow me here.

    Lactation Cookies
    Lactation Cookies
  3. Motilium – I add this as a last resort as it is a prescription drug which is found to boost milk supply.  I was prescribed this by my obstetrician and I do think it worked however if I was to do it again i would take the more natural steps of 1 & 2 before I took Motilium. (but that is person preference.

Is there any that I missed or that you found works really well? Let me know so I can add it to the list!

13 Back to school lunches

Back to school, for me this year is a bit of a non event.  I’m not going back to school  – I still have a couple of months left to enjoy my Paddy!  But every other year I am normally still on a high from my new years resolutions to make better food choices or be better organised (there is definitely a theme to my life! haha) so I TRY to start the year strong!  This collection of recipes are aimed for both the parents and the kids so your not making two lunches! Keeping in mind that so many schools and day care centres are now nut or egg free, which is something I whole heartily support as my niece is anaphylactic to both nuts and eggs.  For some families it can seem a bit tricky to get your head around but for other families it is the difference between life and death of their child!  So I have made this list of 13 recipes – so hopefully you will find something that is suitable for your little ones and the requirements of your care centre.

13 Back to School Lunches and snacks
13 Back to school lunches and bread substitutes
  1. These delicious little savoury muffins – with vegetables hidden inside are from Roar Sweetly you can check them out here, and they are nut free
https://roarsweetly.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/savoury-muffins-for-toddlers/
Roar Sweetly – savoury muffins

2. Frozen Banana Yoghurt Bites – Easy for the kids to help make and easier for the adults and kids to eat! From Eats Amazing these are nut and egg free, check them out here

Frozen Banana Yoghurt bites
Eats Amazing – frozen banana yoghurt bites

 

3. Cheddar Cheese Bites! OMG Yum, easy savoury snack that is cheesy what is not to love and egg and nut free! Check it out here from Love Bakes Good Cakes

Cheese Bites
LoveBakesGoodCakes – Cheese bites

4. PIZZA – YUM. Check out these pizza pinwheels with their own dough recipe! Egg free and nut free from – Butter with a side of bread. Recipe Here

pizza pinwheels
Butter with a side of Bread – Pizza Pin wheels

5. This zucchini slice is easily eaten hot or cold it contains egg but no nuts.  Check it out Zucchini and Bacon Slice

Easy Lunchbox Fillers
Quick and easy zucchini and bacon slice

6. Yoghurt Dots – such an easy idea that makes nearly into a treat! Check it out at One Good Thing by Jilliee Here and of course both egg and nut free!

Frozen Yoghurt Dots
One Good Thing by Jillee – Frozen Yogurt Dots

7. Something sweet and only 37 Calories!!! Brownies from Broma Bakery – check them out here – these are nut free

Brownies
Broma Bakery – Brownies

8. No food processor needed for these great bliss balls – check these out here. These are egg free but do contain nuts, but you could swap them out for seeds.

lunch snacks
No food processor bliss balls

9. Healthy muesli bars which are both egg and nut free!!! Check them out at my clean plate here.

Muesli Bars
My Clean Plate – Muesli Bars

10. Hulk nuggets! Haha brocolli nuggets with only 5 ingredients. The perfect lunch snack, serve plain or with a little dipping sauce!  Check out the recipe here, unfortunalty this recipe does have egg but no nuts!

Broccoli Nuggets
Kannamma Cooks – Broccoli Nuggets

11.  Something that’s a little bit of a treat, and its Elvis’ favourite combination and as Elvis is my favourite also my favourite combination! This has unfortunately both eggs and nuts – but I had to include it – it was my moral duty! Check it out by Taste and Tell here.

Peanut Butter and Banana Bread
Taste and Tell – Peanut Butter and Banana Bread

12. Avocado and Corn fritters, delicious both cold and hot.  Perfect for dinner one night and lunch the next!  This recipe does have eggs but is nut free! Check it out here.

Corn and avocado fritters
Give Recipe – Corn and Avocado fritters

13. Good old Pikelets!  Always a winner and easy to make – this is my grandmother recipe always light and fluffy.  This recipe does contain egg but no nuts – check it out here

fresh piklets
fluffy piklets – fresh from the pan

If after all these suggestions you still decide a sandwich is the way to go then check out this list of sandwiches without the bread!  Everyday my mum would ask what I wanted on my sandwich and everyday I had a cheese sandwich.  Everyday of my school life, and then once I left school and started teaching it was the same – the tuckshop ladies joked that Paddy would come out holding a cheese sandwich – FYI he didn’t! haha but I know some people love sandwiches so here are some suggestions if your ever sick of bread!

Bread Alternatives
Bread Alternatives

Boiled Chocolate Cake

This is THE chocolate cake recipe you neeeed in your life.  First of all its a basic recipe, nothing fancy, nothing expensive but the result is a moist chocolatey chocolate cake – that you will make again and again!  The best part is only one saucepan to wash up at the end!  Read the tips at the end of recipe to make sure you get the best possible result!

Boiled Chocolate Cake Recipe
The best chocolate cake -Boiled Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups water

1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

4 tablespoons cocoa

250 grams butter

________________________

4 eggs

3 cups self raising flour

Method

Preheat oven to 180

In a large saucepan add sugar, water, bi-carb soda, cocoa and butter (ingredients above line)

boiled chocolate cake
Ingredients ready to be boiled

Bring ingredients to the boil.

boiling chocolate cake
boiling chocolate cake

Cool mixture completely.

cooled boiled chocolate cake
allow the boiled ingredients to cool

Beat in eggs and flour until smooth (whisk or electric beater)

Pour into cake tin lined with baking paper and spray with oil. (Either round or rectangle)

Prepping my baking tin
How I prep my cake tin – the nanna way!

Bake for 35 – 40 mins for rectangle cake or 60 – 70 mins for round.

Allow to cool, slice in half and ice using this chocolate icing

Eat, and make again and again.

 

DSC_0145

Tips

  • This makes a large cake – what the USA would call a sheet cake (if baked in a rectangle tin or pyrex dish.)  Perfect for birthday parties & school things.  But equally great round when you can cut in half and ice and the end result is an impressive large cake.
  • Saucepan choice is important, this is a large cake and it all goes in here and is boiled so make sure it is a large saucepan!
  • Do not over boil – i did this the first 847 times I made this cake – don’t get distracted! Boiled sugar is not easy to clean up.
  • Make sure the mixture is cooled before you add the eggs you don’t want scrambled half cooked eggs in your cake.
Boiled Chocolate Cake
Boiled Chocolate Cake

 

Why I use RE-USABLE nappies

Re-usable or modern cloth nappies – what ever you call them I think they are great!

why you should use reusable nappies
Why you should use reusable nappies

I have to be 100% honest to start this post.  I never really set out to use re-usable nappies, it didn’t really occur to me when I fell pregnant and not something I really thought about, I was more interested in trying to get my babes name across the line (I didn’t win, I wanted Ari but we have Paddy!) or designing the right nursery (Here). So this is an honest account of  why we use re-usable nappies and why I recommend you do to!  So to start I was given a 12 pack of nappies as a gift from one of my best friends (nothing to do with the company – this isn’t sponsored – just true love), so that is how we came about to using them to start with – but now I am a total convert!

  1.  Its not that gross – When I pregnant and thought about changing nappies I thought number 3 and poo-explosions – the worse case scenario.  But it was/is rarely the case.  Yes they happen but honestly it’s a bucket load more 1’s than 2’s and whole lot less of the 3’s!  Using  re-usable nappies is exactly like changing a disposable nappy, so not any extra gross. (ps you get use to it very quickly)
  2. Bamboo liners – makes it uber easy peasy. When I use the re-usable nappies I normally also use a flushable bamboo liner. The brand of nappy I use Bonnibuns doesn’t require these at all. I only started using them because to be honest I was a bit queazy about re-usable nappies in the beginning – but they are so easy I continued using them.  You lift them out of the nappy and flush, the liquid goes into the nappy liner and solid stays on the bamboo liner and into the toilet!  I use these
  3. Easy clean – 1 load of washing a night with a dash of washing liquid. Nearly all re-usable nappies recommend only a small amount of washing liquid (about half of a normal load) so there is no build up and the liners stay super absorbent! With my nappies the shell is super quick drying but the liner takes a little longer (liner clips out) you can buy extra liners if you need to.  As I said above I use bamboo liners most of the time but when I haven’t and it was a number 2 I flipped as much as I could into the toilet and washed as normal (no pre-soaking needed just washing machine).  Once I dried them on the line I couldn’t tell which liner it was – so they wear and wash very well!
  4. Multi – fit so you can use these for 2 years (or however long your babe is in nappies!  Disclaimer: I did use new-born nappies.  Think of all the land fill you will save if you use re-aseable nappies! Bonnibuns come with snap clips which are super easy and clips last longer than velcro on other brands!
  5. They are Cute – if you have a summer baby like me, a nappy and singlet and away you go.  Heaps of different colours so you can match your singlet!
  6. Cost – I own 12 nappies (which I find more than enough).  I use on average 6 per day, and I still use a disposable at night.  Bonnibuns come with an extra liner for night time, but I have never used them as Paddy sleeps through and we have never had a leak with disposables overnight.  (If it ain’t broke – I’m not fixing it, or in this case making any changes to my baby’s sleeping patterns!) So I wash every night and I have 6 on the clothes line to dry the next day and 6 ready to go for Paddy) The original outlay is about $270, a box of Huggies is about $28 on special.  So a set of re-usables equals 9 1/2 boxes of Huggies! Trust me 9 boxes of Huggies isn’t going to get you through 2 years like a set of re-usables will.  And you can re-use your re-usable nappies for all of your children or neices and nephews.  Getting cheaper and cheaper ever time!  If you choose to use the bamboo liners they are about 10c each and a disposable nappy is about 40c, so still ongoing cost but as I said before optional and not necessary.

These are my best reasons why you should at least give them a go.  Most brands have trial packs that you can buy and see for yourself how great and easy to use they are!  Let me know if you love them as much as me!

why i use modern cloth nappies
Why I use re-usable nappies
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