Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Roast chook LFW stylee

I usually do a large roast chicken every other week or so. We try and avoid all processed meats... can't remember the last time I brought any. Too full of crap. So doing a big roast chook makes for supper that night and then sarnies and/or salads the next day or two if having a lunchtime meat craving.

Sooo I have a bit of a fav way of doing a roast chicken and it goes along these lines:


1 large free-range chicken (anywhere between 1.7-2 kilos)
1 onion cut in half
5 tbsp of tomato sauce
Lots of chopped fresh herbs (I usually pick a big handful of basil, parsley - flat leaf and curly and sage from the garden), or can use mixed dry herbs
Small glass of red or white wine
1 or 2 tomatoes sliced
Knob of butter, plus a little extra
Celtic sea salt & freshly ground pepper


First off, preheat oven to 190 degrees.

Wash your chicken and pat dry with paper towel and transfer to oven dish. 

Stick the two onion halves up its bum with a knob of butter and some seasoning. Gently lift up the bird skin, careful not to tear it, and gently massage a little butter under the skin and into the flesh, leaving some little chunks there along the way.

Dollop most of the tomato sauce on top of the skin and spread evenly over the bird. Next sprinkle half of your herbs on top. Add your small glass of wine to the oven dish, and then cover with foil.

Cook for an hour and a half, basting every half an hour or so.

Remove the foil, add the remaining tomato sauce on to the skin and your thinly sliced tomatoes to cover. Drizzle with some olive oil and put back in the oven for a further half an hour.
Take out, check cooked and then sprinkle with remaining herbs before carving.

I always drizzle the juices from the dish over the meat. It's pretty yum and always lovely and moist. Nothing worse than a dry bird!

Tonight we had this with mini jacket potatoes and peas.

Do you have any fav ways and flavours for roasting a chicken? Love to hear!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Perfecto Pesto

Got asked this morning, how I do this, so thought... geeeeez, I better remember now and would share with y'all.

Have recently started making up some yummy big batches of pesto as we've had an abundance of delicious basil growing in the garden. We all love it in this household. I've mixed up the recipe a bit and instead of pine nuts (which I LOVE) have been using cashews instead (which I also LOVE). Reason? The good old cashew is delicious and creamy and cheaper then a tiny pack of pines.

Also started adding some parsley to the concoction, which adds another flavour and is packed with goodness. I read somewhere the other week that parsley offers as good a punch of nutritional good stuff as kale. Go parsley! I usually use a combo of flat leaf and curly as we have both growing here.

So, it goes something like this:


1 & a half cups of fresh basil (completely stuff it in the cup... use LOTS)
Half a cup of parsley (same principle as above)
1 cup of cashews
2 small garlic cloves (some peeps might omit this, but we like a little)
Lots of shredded parmesan* cheese. Approx 70gms
* Try not to buy your parmasen already usually has horrible preservatives added to keep it 'fresh'
About quarter of a cup of good quality, first cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil
Good quality sea salt to taste


Stick your leaves, garlic, nuts and cheese in your food processor or good blender (if you like me don't have a food processor!) and blitz it up, gradually pouring in your oil with a pinch of salt to taste. From here I might add in a bit more oil, nuts, leaves..just taste and adjust to your liking.

If you have lots of basil and parsley, I'd recommend doubling the batch, which is what I did last Saturday, to be used throughout the week. We've had it on pasta, on sourdough, in cheese and salad sandwiches, with salad and straight on the spoon. Yes we love it :)

Enjoy and let me know how it turns out! Love to hear any other ways as well, that you make yours?

Pesto on sourdough. The Bear's lunch yesterday

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Sweet and sour meatless Tuesday

It’s been a little while. Sorry for the absence, we’ve been back in London. More on this later. Just wanted to share tonight’s dinner a la Wolf - Sweet and sour red pepper/capsicum, courgette/zucchini and feta with brown rice - and throw in the recipe, in case anyone fancies it.

It goes something like this and is adapted by moi, from an old English Good Food mag, that’s decades old:

Shopping list:

Visual ingredients list!

Home-grown parsley

Extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion roughly chopped
2 red peppers/capsicum, cut in to chunks
25g sultanas
3/4 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/4 tsp chilli powder (I usually add some chilli flakes too, cos I like a kick... but this one was for Essie too, so I bypassed the flakes this time)
3 garlic cloves crushed
3 courgettes/zucchini cut in to cubes
2tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 and a half tbsp of rice syrup (or could use raw honey)
Big handful of freshly chopped parsley 
Packet of feta cheese, crumbled
Half teaspoon of Harissa paste at the end of cooking (optional and not for bubbas!) 

What to do...

Heat your oil and add your onion, cook for 5 mins.
Add the red pepper and cook for another 5 mins.
Add your sultanas, Celtic salt, chilli powder, garlic and courgettes and cook for 10ish mins - keep an eye on it and make sure you give it a good stir every now and then to stop it from catching
Add the balsamic vinegar, rice syrup and 200ml of cold water to the pan and bring to the boil
Reduce the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 mins
Remove the pan from the heat and add the parsley and feta cheese

We then had ours with pre-soaked brown rice, but also yummy with couscous. PW and I then added a tinsy dollop of smoky Harissa paste and mixed it through. OMG! This is also yummy with aubergine/egg plant. Enjoy! x

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Bear's 1st birthday party

Did you know that we had a very huge and momentous occasion last week? I might have mentioned it a few (hundred) times. Baby bear turned ONE. What a fantabulous year we've had, watching our baby girl grow in to a gorgeous, fun, determined and spirited little munchkin and to celebrate we felt compelled to throw a party. Wooohoooo. I love a good party. Well, I love going to other peoples. I, in all of my years, had never ever thrown one. EEEK the pressure was on!

So, I tried to take heed from the likes of the Natural New Age Mum who wrote a really great blog on Tips for a Stress-Free kids party and another good article from the brilliant Mamacino on perfectionism. But did I take note? Well yes I did, but it didn't stop me stressing exactly. D'oh.

The biggest stressors for me. FOOD. What to have? NUMBERS. Maaaaan, so hard trying to keep these down. We did have a fair few that we wanted to invite and share the special day, but didn't want to overwhelm the birthday bear (or ourselves)... keeping it modest we still had 30 adults and 8 kids. In a very small way, lucky the London massive were missing, or we'd have had double the numbers. In all seriousness I would have taken the nervous breakdown in numbers to have them all here though. Decorations. THE CAKE! Oh and the invitation.


Had planned to send an email invite on FB, but than the creative juices started flowing and Papa Wolf and I spent a week working out our design and compiling it. Ahhhhhh. Why do we do this to ourselves??! Still, we thought it would be a beautiful little keepsake for Essie.

Ze invitation


This was the easiest decision for us. Did think about doing it at the park, but opted for home instead. Home is where the heart is. And the toilet. And the changetable. Fridge and oven. You get the picture.

We have a lovely big undercover patio outside and large garden for the kids to play around in. We got a load of toys, picnic blankets, beach tent, and borrowed Essie's bestie girlfs ball pit and voila. Little Feather Wolf adventure playground complete.

Decorated outside patio, Essie (far right) and some of her little and big pals


Next stop, the decos. The decorations were the most fun for me to do. I decided I wanted to make a personalised bday banner. So, off I went to the local budget crafty bits and bobs shop near where we live and spent at least an hour rummaging. It was me, the nana's and their granddaughters pouring over all the craft. Poor Essie, when she's bigger I'll be dragging her along, whether she likes it or not hehe.

I picked up some coloured and textured card and paper, ribbons, ladybird pegs, glue and I even found a little hole punch, that punched out baby bears. Next stop was Spotlight. How cool is that store??! Here I picked up a booklet of some gorgeous patterned paper - perfect for my banner, pink table cloths, balloons, more ribbon, 1st birthday candle. We decided we weren't going to do a theme as such, but had a bit of colourway going on - red, pinks and white with a burst of bright colours here and there.

Banner made. Next I cut out some simple number ones in pink and white card, which (Gran)pa Wolf stapled to the outside celing beams for me. Got some crape ribbon and made some of those old fashioned twists, which we draped from the poles outside. It was slowly starting to come together!

Lady bird pegs, bear hole punch, cut out number ones, birthday banner

Popped on over to Ikea (yeah right - takes about 40 minutes once in, just to find the exit without even browsing!!) and brought a stack of brightly coloured BPA free plastic platescups and cutlery - bonus being that I could stick them all in the dishwahers, woop woop. Thanks Sash for the idea.

Decos ready to be put out first thing on Sunday morning

Saturday afternoon I went and got 10 brightly coloured helium balloons which I tied to either end of the table, five each side and lastly we blew up Essie's birthday invite to poster size, framed and hung it outside.

birthday banner

patio party


So next thing. FOOD. To make it nice and hard for ourselves, we decided that we wanted to, of course, home-make the food - avoid any ready made party food, have some healthy snacks and some yummy treats. We decided against doing a barbie - only so we could enjoy the day and not be glued to cooking. So, the cooking and prep all needed to be done beforehand. Here's what we made...


Gourmet Traveller's Lamb, harrisa and pine nut sausage rolls. I didn't make the puff pastry - but did find some made with butter - with a really short ingredients list, yay, so it avoided all the crap you get from the ones made with margarine.

My first ever carrot cake, made with sour cream. Recipe donated from one of my lovely mumma friends.

carrot cake

Delicious strawberry, passionfruit and whipped cream filled meringues (mini pavs!) made up by PW

strawberry and passionfruit pav

Roasted beetroot and hummus dip with: carrot, red pepper (capsicum) and celery sticks for dipping

Obligatory fruit salad bowl: melon - water and honey dew, grapes, papaya

feeling fruity

Then we enlisted the help of Essie's Auntie Shar, who's doing a patisserie course (how lucky are we to have one of these in our nest!) and she cooked up a total storm:

Open sandwiches with different toppings

open plan sarnies

Deconstructed cheesecake, with fresh strawberries (pictured below)

Heart shaped biccies

love heart biscuits

The most divine chocolate peanut butter cups (I think I devoured most of these!!)

choc peanut butter cups

Pea and ricotta dumplings (pictured below) made by Auntie Kat. These went in a flash.

Delicious mini quiches cooked up by KD.

Granny J's spinach and egg slice. Yummo.

Number 1 cup cakes (pictured below) baked by Sash.

some of the food, including Auntie Kat's dumplings, Auntie Shar's 'cheesecake' & Sash's cupcakes

Ok. As you can see, we prob went a bit overboard. We were very lucky to get help from our lovely family and friends. Big shout out to them. Was so scared of not having enough... however, it ALL got eaten... mostly on the day, with a bit to spare for playgroup on Monday. Happy full tummies all round.

Me... caught on camera eating all the peanut butter cups

THE cake

Geeeeez, that must have been the scariest thing to do. The birthday cake. We did have the chance to get one made but decided that for Essie's first taste of cake and for her very first birthday, this was something that WE had to do ourselves. WE - being mumma and Papa Wolf. What a team. Sooooo, what was it to be? You may have heard me mention a few zillion times about the lovely Jude Blereau. Wholefood goddess who's inspired sooooooo many of Essie's meals with her Wholefood for Children cookbook. Well she very thoughtfully brought a new cookbook out to coincide with Esme's first birthday: Wholefood Baking, which I quickly snapped up in the hope of finding something special in there for the bear and what-da-ya-know, we found it. Jude's Raspberry and white chocolate layer buttermilk cake, made with spelt flour.

To ease the stress somewhat we did a trial sponge bake off two weeks prior to the party and it went great. The only issue we had, was it took a little longer than Jude's instructions to cook. Why? Because ours was three times the size. We had a lot of mouths to feed! So, for time and stress-saving purposes the sponge baking was done in two parts over two consecutive weekends. Once cooked and cooled, we wrapped our layered buttermilk cake ever-so tightly in clingfilm, put in an airtight container and froze. This was then brought out to defrost the day (first thing in the morning) before the party. We whipped up the raspberry and then the white chocolate buttercream and then dressed it that night. Just about managed to fit it in the fridge - it was pretty bloody huge, ready for the morning.

It's suffice to say, Essie bear LOVED the cake. She had a huge piece, not to mention nicking a load of the fresh raspberries on the top, after she blew out her candle. That bear has a great appetite (don't know where she gets that from).

Blowing out the candle

Berry nicking!

Cutest raspberry thief ever

Cutting the cake

The moral of the story? Whatever you decide to do to celebrate your little bear's first birthday, try not to stress. Yeah right, I can talk. But really, NOTHING really matters, other than you and your precious bundle ENJOY yourselves.

Happy First Years. Lots of love, from LFW x

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Day in the life & new recipe tries: silverbeet bake and nutty seedy slice

Ok, so I'm getting a quiet moment now. Finally. Kitchen's clean, baby's asleep (since 7pm actually), mumma and papa bear fed and Masterchef half watched.

Been quite a day really, much like all the others. Lunch pulled together at 6am for me and Mr Wolf (left over roast pork sarnies with salad and wholegrain mustard). Washing (that's pretty much a staple) - today changed the beds. Made sure bubba bear fed: organic baby cereal with stewed dried apricot and apple, plus raw pear puréed for brekky. Sardine pâté and steamed broccoli for lunch. Mashed parsnip, carrot and egg yolk with fresh paw paw for supper. Riveting reading: The Gruffalo's Child (borrowed from the library), No Matter What & Puppy's Garden Game (an Essie FAV!), coffee with a girlfriend, quick dash to the supermarket, naps x2 - Essie, not me (unfortunately), a quick game of ball. Kitchen chaos as I cooked up a couple of new recipes, in between all of the above.

We'll start with something sweet...afterall, this was my order of doing things. Yesterday I discovered (thanks to another fav blogger of mine: Mamacino - check her out!) Marinya Cottage Kitchen and some of her lovely recipes. I've been wanting to pull together some sort of raw nutty slice or bliss type balls that I keep hearing about and M's Cottage Kitchen had just the thing. Not nutty, but seedy: raw choc-mint slice, plus I had some coconut cream that I needed to use up which was called for in this recipe (see link). Big win win for me.

I followed the recipe almost exactly by throwing together in short: dates, plus raisins (didn't have enough dates!), pumpkin seeds, cacao powder, coconut - oil and desiccated, vanilla bean, peppermint essence, honey and almonds - didn't have sunflower seeds. My version was also a lot more chunky and less blended. Next time, I would probably whiz it up a bit more.

The results... super special and healthy lunchbox treat. Sooo much nicer, if you have the time, than any store brought version. Know what Papa Wolf (and moi) will be having for morning tea tomorrow! Note to self: don't eat it all.

While pulling together my seedy slice, I also worked on my silverbeet bake, well I put the rice on! I know I'm a woman and I'm supposed to be great at multi-tasking... not me in the kitchen though. Maybe one day. So, once my sweet treat was sorted, it was on to the main course: Jude Blereau's chard, mushroom and rice bake. I didn't have chard and Jude said it was fine to use silverbeet. I pre-soaked my rice last night, to help make it more digestible and then it was a case of a bit of chopping: onions, garlic, mushrooms, my 'beet, sautéing it off and then mixing together with cheese: parmesan and ricotta, lightly beaten eggs, salt and pepper and baking in the oven, with sliced tomato and sprinkled pine nuts on top. Bloody yum!

And, what I love the most is that there's enough for lunch tomorrow. Now, that's my favourite kind of multi-tasking. Off to bed now. Goodnight! x

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Coconut crazy

I really thought I was the last to know, but just in case you were like me a couple of months ago, I wanted to spread the word on the wonders of coconut oil.

You like me, probably heard all about how saturated fats are bad for us for us. Yes, this is true but not all of them. The bad stuff that we should avoid is the man-made processed stuff (hydrogenated). Coconut oil however is made up of naturally occurring saturated fat, and apparently is really good for us and has some amazing health benefits.

Why's it so good?

Coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which is deeply nourishing and the same type found in mumma's milk. Seeing as the latter's not always easy to comeby and not quite a tasty (unless you are a bubba), this is your next best bet. It has antiviral, antifungal and antimicrobial properties. It's also a rich source of  medium-chain fatty acids, which means it's easily digested in the gut (doesn't need to be broken down) and is immediately burned by your liver for energy. So, not only a great food for our kids, but also for us big kids.

So, some of the health benefits I've been reading about that coconut oil boosts include and are not even limited too:
  • Supporting your immune system
  • Improving your heart health
  • Increasing your metabolism
  • Promoting a lean body and weight loss
  • Hair and skin care

What to choose?

So, next step is choosing the right one. When you start to look there are a few types and it can be a little confusing. From what I've read, what to look for is the unrefined, cold pressed stuff. Why? Well, the unrefined is minimally processed and made from the first pressing of raw fresh coconut, without the addition of any chemicals and so has the higher nutritional content. Cold pressed is better than expeller pressed which again retains the most nutrients by pressing the coconut and extracting the oil at low temperatures. You'll just lose a few more nutrients when it's expeller pressed, as temps get higher. Some say, it's not that huge a difference.


Talking of high temps though, coconut oil is great for cooking - in fact the word on the street is that it's the only oil we should be cooking with!  Why? It's the only oil stable enough to withstand the heat of cooking. Even extra virgin olive oil which was our preferred cooking oil, should only be used on salads, to add to your dips, or drizzle on steamed veg... basically on dishes that don't require heating. This is because the heat destroys the antioxidants and can actually oxidise the oil.


You'll find that your coconut oil is either solid and pearly white, or transparent and oily and this can change throughout the day! It's all dependent on the room temperature. Coconut oil solidifies at temps below 26ish degrees celsius. So, if it's warmer than this, you can expect it to look like runny oil. If you have a preference for keeping it solid, you could always store it in the fridge. If you want it runny, you can spoon out what you want to use and place in a bowl, over some hot water. It doesn't take long to melt.

Other uses

As well as using internally, there are lots of other things you can use your coconut oil for... body moisturiser, leave in hair treatment - will make hair greasy, so you have to leave it on when at home and have no visitors, before washing off, nappy rash cream. Papa Wolf loves it for after shave! i.e. For soothing razor burn and moisturising skin. Some even use it along with some other ingredients as a deodorant and toothpaste. I've yet to try this!

Currently we're trying Flannerys own, Certified Organic Extra Virgin, cold pressed oil (pictured above), which was on special at $12.99 for 650mls. We have a jar in the kitchen for cooking and one in the bathroom for making us beautiful!

Anyway, if interested in this wonder oil, there's sooooooo much info on it on the net and is defo worth looking up.

Has anyone got a favourite brand of coco oil? And any cool things you're using it for? Love to hear.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Etsy in Springwood: Creative Markets

Not sure if it's come through yet, but I love a good market. Yesterday we went along to the Creative Markets at Springwood. It's like a mini Etsy! Lots of really cool homemade goods - from baby clothes and soap to bread and jewellery and cushions and candles. 

There were lots of highlights, and I wanted to buy everything, however I was a little restrained this time and just picked up a few bits:

Rosita's Creations

Rosita had some gorgeous handmade crochet pieces. My favs were these little booties, just $12. I've actually put an order in for a bespoke pair (hehe, sounds so flash), so will take a pic, once I have them. I also love her bobble beanie hats!

Papa Wolf went off with Essie and found this lovely fabric stall Fabrics 4 u 2, sporting some lovely hats. We picked this one! The hats are reversible, so we can go floral or spotty (as modelled below!) with our chosen bonnet. If you can't see what you like, they'll also make to order. $22 for our lovely bucket hat.

Knead Dough

Can't go to a market without buying something to eat! That's a rule. Yesterday we tried out Knead Dough's preservative free onion and parmesan cheese focaccia with fresh basil. 'The best foccachi I've ever had' quoted PW.


For those who've been before, and those who haven't, the location is about to change to Springwood Road State School. You should find the info on their website. The Springwood Creative Markets are the last Sunday of every month and I can't wait for the next one!

* Also Creative Markets run another one, boutique stylee, at Mount Gravatt. Will have to try that one out out too. Wooohoooo, more markets here we come.