Monthly Archives: May 2011

Kinder Cakes and Sugary Crap

Photo by Clare and Dave

I am not a strict, no sugar, no fat, no colour, no fun food kind of mum by any stretch of the imagination but I am aware of what my son is eating and I like to at least try to get some balance in his diet. Sugary snacks like cake and chocolate are not a daily occurrence in Millar’s diet.

Until recently.
It started at Easter…
Millar goes to kinder three days a week and occasional care one day a week. These all take place at the same community centre but each day is a separate session run by a different teacher. So the week before Easter, there was an Easter egg hunt on the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday session. On Thursday he was just given chocolate without even having to hunt for it. Then of course it was Easter Sunday and there was chocolate there in our own Easter hunt.

He is back at kinder after the school holidays and it seems it is birthday season. The first three weeks there was maybe one or two birthdays each week and he would come home with a cupcake.
Then last week he was given a chocolate freddo on Monday AND Tuesday. He was away sick on Wednesday and Thursday. But on Monday, as he left, he cried because he wasn’t given any chocolate. I tried to explain that he doesn’t get chocolate every day. Or rather, he shouldn’t get chocolate everyday.

Today is Tuesday and he came home and told me he had cake in his lunch box. I opened his lunch-box and sure enough there was cake. He also hadn’t eaten his sandwich, which never happens, he eats it every day so I ask, was there other birthday food today? “yes, lots and lots from the white box that the man bringed” he says.
It is hard enough to get Millar to eat vegetables without filling him up with cake and chips and chocolate at kinder.

Everyone brings something when it’s their birthday. It is not something we did when I was at kindergarten but it’s definitely something that is done now and something that continues into the workplace later.
But in the adult working world we can make health based decisions when someone brings a cake to celebrate their birthday. (Or when the boss buys one if you have that kind of workplace).

Three year olds don’t balance morning tea chocolate cake by having a salad for lunch. Nor do they politely decline when offered chocolate because they think they’ve had enough this week.

It is starting to really annoy me that he is given these “sometimes foods” all the freaking time and I feel kind of powerless as a parent. Shouldn’t I be able to say what he can and cannot have? I don’t want Millar to be excluded from celebrations at kinder if everyone else is getting cake, (can you imagine the tantrum?) and I don’t mind the occasional treat, but every day is too much.

The enrolment pack sent out to me at the start of the year advised me to send a healthy snack with Millar each day and had some suggestions as to what to pack. Fruit, yoghurt, cheese, sandwiches etc. This is a joke if they are going to allow cakes, chocolate and party food in on a regular basis.

I think it’s time to say no to bringing cake and treats to kinder. Leave the party food for the party at home.
Let me decide what food my child will be offered each day..

Dear Millar. 3 years, 2 months.

Today we went to the movies together. It was your first ever movie and you were pretty impressed with the big screen. You also enjoyed being surrounded by other kids and running up and down the stairs.

We were supposed to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse today too, but they were nowhere to be seen, so we had lunch and went to Build-A-Bear instead. You chose a puppy and called him Bobby. You loved the machine that “made him bigger and bigger and bigger!”

It was great spending time together today, just the two of us.

I love you


Nachos and White Chocolate Cheesecake. A Rapturous Meal

It was supposed to be the beginning of the end of the world last Saturday night so it seemed fitting to have a great feast before the rapture, especially since May is food month.

I am lucky enough to have been given Eight Mini Cookbooks from the Daily Telegraph Food Month series of mini cookbooks.
These cookbooks have been available every second day this month for only $2 with the Daily Telegraph. They are real celebrity chef cookbooks, reduced down to a handy mini size. The titles are from such big names as, Jamie Oliver, Maggie Beer, Kylie Kwon, Tobie Puttock, Guy Grossi, Stephanie Alexander, Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris and more. There are 15 cookbooks in the series and here’s what the Daily Telegraph says about the promotion:

Take 15 cookbooks from the best celebrity cooks. Add a special collectors case to keep them in. Reduce, then serve. That’s what we’ve done to create the new 15 part Mini Cookbook Collection. Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Does… is the first book in the collection. Along with a handy collectors case, it’s FREE with The Sunday Telegraph on May 8. Then every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday during our Food Month, you can collect a different book for just $2. With over 20 recipes in each, by the end of the month you’ll have a library of over 350 inspiring recipes from some of our most celebrated cooks. The Mini Cookbook Collection. It’s going to be big..

Find out more about the mini cookbook promotion including which books were available on what dates HERE

I pored over my eight cookbooks for hours and decided on two dishes perfect for the final supper before the Rapture. A hot hellish main and a white heaven-esque dessert.

I chose Nachos from The Great Aussie Family Cookbook by Kim Terakes and White Chocolate Cheesecake from Grossi Florentino, Secrets and Recipes by Guy Grossi and Jan McGuinness.

My husband cooked the nachos. Which weren’t actually hot and hellish. They were nice and mild and family friendly actually. We have nachos on a semi regular basis and consider it a quick and easy meal that is a lot like having junk food at home. But, we learnt that it is a good idea to fully read a recipe before starting to cook as my husband started cooking with an aim to have dinner served within half an hour and then he got to the part of the recipe that said to leave it simmering for two hours. Oops. We managed to let it simmer for 90 minutes and it was worth it. The flavours were great and the mince tasted soft and delicious instead of the dry flavourless stuff I usually dish up.
I have decided to simmer all of my mince meals for much longer that I currently do.

The white chocolate cheesecake was absolute heaven. I think white chocolate and raspberries were made for each other. I don’t normally like raspberries that much, but they were perfect in this gorgeous baked dessert. 
Following the recipe, I melted the chocolate first and then started combining the cream cheese and caster sugar. By the time I was ready to add the chocolate, it had hardened again so I had to melt it again. I would recommend combining cream cheese and caster sugar first and then melting and adding the chocolate.
I did not have a 21 x 28 cm dish so I just used what I had, which was a much larger dish making the cheesecake much thinner. I adjusted the cooking time roughly and dropped the temperature by 10 degrees. It still tasted awesome. I also used frozen raspberries instead of fresh. I didn’t dust with icing sugar as the recipe suggested either. I think with the changes I made and it still turning out great makes this a fail safe recipe. It would probably look prettier in the correct size dish, with icing sugar on it but don’t let a lack of such a dish stop you from making this cheesecake. 
I’m extremely glad that the rapture didn’t happen because I still have leftover cheesecake. Nom to the Nom Nom. 
And p.s, it’s even better the next day. It’s one of those dishes that benefits from a night in the refrigerator.

I know this promotion is nearly over but there is still a week left to get your mini cookbooks with your Daily Telegraph. If you don’t live in Sydney, you can probably get the Daily Telegraph at a good newsagent. It is definitely worth it.

Have you collected any of these cookbooks already?

Who is your favourite celebrity chef?

Do you have a meal that you cook that makes you feel like a masterchef?

Check out these posts from the other Food Month bloggers.

Writing Out Loud: Lamb Rissoles, Nectarine Tart, Hotcakes and Cinnamon Butter, Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

My Little Drummer Boys: Coffee and Chocolate Self-Saucing Pudding