Cheesy scrolls (& risotto balls)

One of the Mums at playgroup had these hiding in her daughter’s lunchbox! They looked so yum… I just had to try them. They were super easy and I had to seriously stop myself from devouring the leftovers.

1. Take one piece of puff pastry (I prefer the yummy butter variety), thaw it a little, and smother it in leftover, homemade pasta sauce.

IMG_35442. Top with cheese.

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3. Roll the piece up and then slice into 1cm (or so) slices.

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4. Bake in the oven at about 200⋅C for about 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven.

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You could put all sorts of things in these. Spinach and ricotta would be yum!

I also found this fantastic recipe for pumpkin and bacon risotto balls. You don’t need to make the risotto in the traditional way, you just throw the rice in the oven with lots of water and it soaks up the water. I didn’t use stock, just water, and I made it with spinach and carrot. The little one loved them!

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Baby-led Weaning – meatballs, fritters and apples

Life is busy. Super busy. Moving countries is a challenge. There’s so much to think about and time just flies by so fast!!

But, I have a few recipes to throw at you today.

These meatballs are delish. Don’t just feed them to baby, cook them for yourselves! The apple keeps them yummy and moist and adds a nice bit of texture. Plus, they’re a great size for little hands.

Beef, Rice and Apple Meatballs (Original recipe here: Beef, quinoa and apple meatballs):

  • 400g beef mince
  • 400g cooked brown rice (too hard to get Quinoa in Beijing)
  • 1 grated apple
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • pepper
  • 1 egg

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then roll into small balls. Place on baking tray and bake for about 30 minutes until brown all over.

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I also started looking for a replacement for potato fritters to liven things up. I’m trying to get more variation in her diet. It’s so easy to cook the same things. These babies were a little wet and it was difficult for them to stay together. I think either drain the carrots for a while to reduce moisture, or chill them in the fridge for a while before frying. But, either way, yum!Carrot Fritters (Inspiration recipe here)

  • 4 large carrots, grated/food processed
  • 5 spring onions chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin, pounded

  • 1 tsp. fennel, pounded
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 2 eggs

Roll into balls and flatten in the frypan.


IMG_2963Adella has never really like fresh apple. I think she finds it a little too hard to bite into with her little teeth. So, we’ve been making stewed apples – which she loves! Then, I was thinking back to Girl Guides, and I remembered makin
g baked apples on the campfire. Mmmm….

Baked Apples (Inspiration recipe here)

  • Apples
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (or equivalent)
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

Core the apples. Place them in a baking dish and pour over the oth

er ingredients. Bake until soft and cooked through.

No surprises that the family all had these for dessert with a big dollop of yoghurt!

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Masterchef Beijing

When Masterchef Australia finished for the year, I felt that there was a hole in my life. It’s slick. It’s addictive. It’s nail-bitingly tense. It makes you drool. And, it’s educational.

What better way to fill that hole but with more food!! So, we hosted a Masterchef challenge at our place. Every participant was given a mystery ingredient, and that ingredient had to star in 3 courses. We all voted, plus we had a guest judge, in case of any close calls.

The results were fantastic! We had such a wide variety of delicious food – way too much though. Next time, we need to invite extra guests as well.

We had a quite a few dietary restrictions within the group, which made it an extra challenge! By looking at the dishes, you can probably guess what they were.

My ingredient was ginger. For my entree, I made sushi with pickled ginger. When pickling ginger, if it’s young enough, it should naturally turn pink in the pickling process. Mine had no luck  though, so I cheated and used some food colouring. I did a sushi making course ages ago at my fave Japanese restaurant, Hatsune, and I’d been dying to try it out. I think it worked out pretty well! I filled the sushi with carrot, cucumber, daikon and fried enoki mushrooms.

Pickled ginger recipe from: http://www.rain.org/~hutch/ginger.html

My main course was fried tofu in a ginger broth. I really struggled with this one. I think I put a lot of extra thought into my dessert, and lost a bit of focus on the main. It was yummy, just nothing exciting.

My dessert was based around gingerbread. I made edible cups and spoons of gingerbread. Then I filled them with chocolate risotto. I’d seen Jamie Oliver make choccy risotto on TV, and had been dying to try it out. I topped the dish with candied ginger too!

Candied ginger from: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2008/12/candied-ginger/

And here are some pics of what the other contestants cooked:

Andy‘s ingredient was carrot. He made carrot soup with baby carrot rolls, carrot ravioli with pickled carrots and carrot cake icecream with candied carrot. And, he was the champion of the day!

Michelle‘s ingredient was lemon. She made baked fennel stuffed with lemon, lemon risotto and lemon curd panna cotta.

Nic’s ingredient was chocolate. She made mexican chocolate soup, mole and jicama salad, followed by Ancho chilli and chocolate truffles.

Zac‘s ingredient was chilli. He made pan-fried salmon with chilli salsa, chickpea and chilli curry and chocolate chilli muffins.

As you can imagine, after all this food, it was nap time!