Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pea + Ham Soup- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

Today I'm sharing another soup recipe, it's the weather for it at least here in Melbourne. And l do love soup. I'd fit right in at a retirement village l think and not in the unkind way. My love of soups, slowfood, patchwork, crochet and knitting. I really am a Nana type. The older l get the more l respect the childhood adventures l had at my grandparents and the joy of sleeping under floral bedsheets and army blankets. My mint green big bath tub, the old Eames lounge in mustard yellow and the vinyl record collection my brother coveted so much.
When l was growing up and I went to my grandparent's for weekends it was a tradition to make pots of tea served with Manderia cake and play cards. We'd camp out at the table nibbling on our cake, sipping our milky hot tea, betting with match sticks while the soup bubbled away on the stove. My Nana made the ultimate comfort foods- soups, chow mein, Sunday roasts with mint peas and real potatoes and the most amazing Christmas pudding not because they were rich foods but they were made slowly, had great flavour and were made with love.
I wanted a big bowl of Pea and Ham soup the other day as I have been trying to get over the hump after my head cold. I guess l have been a bit depressed. Thus began a mission to find a Nana recipe for Pea and Ham soup and make it. This one isn't my Nana's as somewhere in the move from her house to mine it has become lost but this is Miss Three's Nana's and it is good. I pass it on to you and hope you try it. I'll warn you though one bowl usually isn't enough.

Prep time 15 minutes : Cook time 1 hour and 15 minutes: Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil
1 small brown onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled + 2 sticks of celery cut into 1 cm pieces
2 Sprigs of thyme or a bit of mint
450g of dried split peas
700ml liquid chicken stock
2 litres of water
Half a smoked ham hock approx 600g.

How to make

1) Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium heat.
2) Saute the onion, garlic, carrots and celery for 5 minutes or until the onion is softened and transparent. Add thyme or the mint. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Pour in split peas, stock, water and stir to combine. Add ham hock, cover pan and bring to a low simmer.
4) Cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, or until ham hock and vegetables are tender and peas are falling apart.
5) When the soup is ready, remove the ham hock to a pate and let it sit at room temperature until cool enough to handle.
6) Pull the skin and meat off the bone and shred into bite-size pieces. Discard the bone and skin. Return meat to soup and stir. You may need to add a little water to think out the soup.
7) Divide soup, ham hock and vegetables into 4 bowls and serve immediately.

This soup is great for freezing l made it and had enough for dinner and two frozen containers for future meals. It freezers for up to three months.

Happy cooking and if you are experiencing colder weather this is perfect and if you are in Spring sunshine why not try my take on Mexican here, Spring Lasagna or my Spaghetti recipe here. You can use the search button on the blog and type in Tuesday's in the Kitchen to find all my past recipe posts. Seasonal food and child friendly that's what you want. Have a great week everyone!

x Mummafox

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Top 5: Week 3

Ok I'm managing four out of the five goals from My Top 5 list. My toenails are still unpainted but it will happen. Ads promised me it'll be tonight while drinking a cup of tea. We will see. So I began Mytop5 a couple of weeks ago with Leigh over at sixbythebay
Being mums it's hard to take time for ourselves. With my little fox four months old I haven't had much, if any free time since before he was born. As l blog this two handed he is resting on my arm asleep after waking up and being unsettled. I haven't even got the personal space to scratch at the moment if l needed to. 
Miss Three keeps me on my toes too, she thought it funny to bang on my keyboard as l write and have spent the last few minutes backspacing with one hand. The joy of toddler hood. So I'm setting a goal to do five things for myself a week. Simple things that are achievable and important to me. So join me at poppyfoxathome and Leigh over at sixbythebay doing Mytop5.

So, here are the rules.....from Leigh:
- You MUST try to the best of your ability, accomplish all 5 things on your list!
- If you are a fan of social media feel free to tweet me, fb me or instagram me of your indulgence and hashtag #sbtbmytop5.
- If any of these moments are captured, I would love you to share them with us in the following weeks post.
- By no means does anything need to be of grand scale.

My top 5 list from last week

1) organise a thermomix demonstration at my house, just so l can actually understand it.

It was interesting l had a fall getting out of the shower minutes before it started trying to get to Miss Three who was throwing the biggest tantrum. Could have been much worse and l am thankful it was just a sore back. l sat through the demo hoping the painkillers would help my hurt back. Remarkably, although l felt like l was dying it was a great demo and the food was a winner with Ads and Miss Three.
I decided to get one, we are paying it off. It's been on our wishlist for a while. I'm committed to organic + wholefoods and reducing the sugar and additives in our foods. Can't wait to make my own flour and then bread all with my thermie.

making risotto

2) read some of my favourite blogs with a pot of tea

I managed this three days out of the week. I had chai on the first day, a pot of chocolate chip chai the next day and on the third day l went a little crazy and had a pot of Melbourne Breakfast and cheese on crackers. A date with my bloglovin and T2 while Miss Three played and little fox slept. By the way you can follow me on bloglovin just click on the icon on the right of my blog or http://www.bloglovin.com/en/blog/3752403/poppyfox

Playdough monsters were great fun 
3) do yoga
I had a fall Friday morning and hurt my back. The plan was a yoga lesson with Miss Three followed by a visualisation and chai which didn't eventuate maybe in a week or two. Yoga is defiantly on hold until my back heals. Thankful for Anica and panadol.

4) garden
Gardening with Miss Three, starting to weave tee pees, weed the leek and celery seedling rows of weeds. Still so much to do. Fingers crossed this week I'll be well enough to continue.

such a great moment when we looked over our garden
 and realised we had company

5) watch a movie
I watched two Under the Tuscan sun and the Holiday. What can you do when your getting over a head cold and exhausted and then you do your back in. I confess that I put the kids through watching it too but you know l have seen Ice Age, Toy Story and Charlie and Lola enough that l think l deserve some me time. What can I say I love a chic flick. 
I cleaned before l rested l thought that qualified as
 deserved me time and two movies. Fairs, Fair.

This weeks list

1) finish reading my Frankie magazine

2) buy myself something kitsch to brighten my sewing day

3) spend some time catching up with a girlfriend

4) listen to music or reruns of Murder she wrote while I quilt (yep, l love the old shows)

5) weave my pea tepees, have a cuppa looking out at my garden and plant some more seeds.

What are your Top 5 going to be?

Even if you make a decision to just do one thing for you it'll do you a world of good. 

See how we go completing My top 5 this week + be inspired to do five things for yourself.
Follow me on Instagram during the week (http://instagram.com/thepoppyfox), join in and use hashtag #sbtbmytop5.

x Mummafox

17/52: a portrait project

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Sitting at the table painting, deep in concentration choosing her colours wisely.
I love that moment when she's deep in thought and she sticks her tongue out.

Miss Three playful with her many animals weaving a story of the great migration.
Lines of picked wild flowers in a line on the floor as a boundary to her play.

This week little fox started solids.
The delight in apple, rice cereal, sweetcorn and pumpkin.
discovering his toys, holding his head up + moving side to side.

a portrait of my people once a week, every week, in 2013 ~
I'm joining with jodi and taking part in the 52 project
Come join us

Saturday, April 27, 2013


Playdough + selfie shots of creations by Miss 3
Miss 3's view of the ceiling, sibling play,
 it's amazing to watch the complexity of Miss 3's story
animal bath times, practising her writing and Mr sleepyhead
little fox's first rice cereal experience
baking session Zumbo's chocolate brownies were a winner
Cooking lesson with dad making pancakes, video games + chalk art
Thermie cooking at home, a Poppyfox pinnie + Miss 3 feeding little fox
learning to write, exploring our garden + Saturday morning swimming
Our week has been filled with bits + pieces. 
One day moving into another a woven story of my tribe, our adventures and tribulations. 
My little fox began eating rice cereal this week one week shy of four months old but he was ready. His eyes grew wide as he took his first mouthful and it's been nom, nom ever since. Miss Three has enjoyed feeding him to our great delight. We moved onto stewed apple, cinnamon and rice cereal + the smile Little fox gave us was priceless. It takes us back to the early days with Miss Three and how wondrous first food experiences were.
There have been three year old emotional tsunami's at home, the waves of joy, freedom, peace then sadness and defiance leading to destruction. We stayed on the couch trying to find our rhythm and rest. Those sad eyes, weary limbs and constant need for cuddles it's been nice to simply stop, breathe and take the time to cuddle on the couch and read books and tell stories. We've had cooking lessons, how to make Zumbo's chocolate brownies, cookies, soups and pancakes. A couple of play dates with mother's group at my place where we all stayed in our trackies, made coffee and I didn't leave the house. Oh it was heavily. Playgroup was a day of sunshine, cafe bought coffee, friends and pregnant bellies. There are lots of us with newbies, who are pregnant or running after little ones it must be the season. Such a strong sense of community, togetherness and understanding.
I've been doing Mytop5, catching up on washing and then I had a fall. Slipped on a wet floor after a shower and am resting with back pain. I'm on the couch restricted in my movement but it could have been worse. I'm grateful that l can still walk, hug my little ones, feed Tully and move around even if l walk like I'm in need of a walking frame.

What have you been up to this week? 
We'd love to hear from you.

x Mummafox

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Today we will remember them
When l was backpacking with Ads through Turkey we stood at Anzac Cove and l was forever changed. I understood for probably the first time the sacrifice made for our country and the cost of lives much younger than I was. At 25, l stood on the shore and realised just what had taken place. It was an incredibly emotional experience. 
On Anzac day it's a tradition in our home to make Anzacs. l have been doing it with Miss Three for a while now. This morning once again we make them while telling her the story of her of all those who trained and served. Today l thank all that have kept us safe. 
We will remember them.


1 cup (90g) of rolled oats
1 cup (150g) plain flour
I cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (40g) desiccated coconut
125g of Butter
2 tbls golden syrup
1 tbls water
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

How to make

Preheat oven to 160/140 degrees (fan forced) grease oven trays and line with baking paper
Combine oats, sifted flour, sugar and coconut in large bowl.
Stir butter, syrup and water in small saucepan over low heat until smooth; stir in soda. Stir into the dry ingredients.
Roll level tablespoons of mixture into balls, place about 5 cm apart on trays, flatten slightly. Bake about 20 minutes, cool on trays.

Prep Cook time 35 mins
Makes 25

Nutrition per serve:
Protein: 1.7 g
Total fat: 5.7 g
Saturated: 1.7 g
Carbs: 8.1 g
Sugars: 2.7 g
Fibre: 1.2 g
Calories: 89
Kilojoules: 375

I sourced some other versions on the traditional Anzacs from thehealthychef here.

Version 2:  


1 1/2  cups  (150 g / 6 oz) rolled quinoa (quinoa flakes)
1/2  cup (40 g / 1  1/2 oz) desiccated coconut
1/2 cup (60 g / 2  1/4 oz) flaked or chopped almonds
2  1/2 tablespoons macadamia nut oil, cold pressed coconut oil or olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or your alternative such as organic maple syrup or yacon, rice syrup…
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

How to make

Combine quinoa, coconut and almonds into a food processor or dry jug in the Vitamix.Add the oil, honey and vanilla.Turn on the food processor and mix well for about 15 – 30 seconds or until combined. Add the water and process again. The addition of water will help the cookie mixture stick together. Form into 20 small spoonfuls and place onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Flatten down with enough room around each cookie. Bake for 20 -30 minutes in a low 150 C (300 F) oven or until golden brown. Cool completely before eating and enjoy.
Makes 20 delicious Anzac cookies
Store in an airtight container for 5 days.
Nutrition per serve:
Protein: 1.8 g
Total fat: 5.8 g
Saturated: 1.7 g
Carbs: 7.9 g
Sugars: 2.9 g
Fibre: 0.6 g
Calories: 91
Kilojoules: 383



1 cup (125 g / 4 oz) organic wholemeal spelt flour
1 cup (85 g / 3 oz) desiccated coconut
1 cup (160 g / 5 1/2 oz) coconut sugar or natural unrefined brown sugar
1 cup (100 g / 3 1/2 oz) rolled organic oats
125 g (4 oz) quality butter or (cold pressed coconut oil or macadamia nut oil)
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
pinch bicarb soda
1 tablespoon warm water

How to make

Combine spelt, coconut, sugar and oats into a large bowl.
Melt the butter, vanilla and honey in a small pot over a gentle heat.
Combine bicarb soda and warm water to dissolve.
Stir into the butter and mix well until it all foams up in the pot.
Remove from the heat and pour into your spelt mixture.
Combine well until a dough forms.
Rest for 30 minutes covered at room temperature.
Form into biscuits and press down onto a tray lined with baking paper.
Bake in a preheated 150 C / 300 F oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden.
Cool for 30 minutes then enjoy.
Store in an airtight container for unto 1 week.
Makes 30 small portions

Nutritional info per serve
Protein 1.0 g
Total fat: 5.5 g
Saturated: 3.8 g
Carbs: 11 g
Sugars: 6.8 g
Fibre: 1.1 g
kilojoules: 403
Calories: 96

x Mummafox

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Two Soup Warm up- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

It's getting cold here in Melbourne. The rain falls more often, the leaves are changing and the mornings are cool and crisp. Being unwell with a cold has fed the need for warming soups, cups of hot tea and time on the couch under my quilt. It's true I love soup. My earliest memories are homemade chicken noodle soup in my Polish grandmother's lino kitchen made with alphabet noodles and stock made from her own chickens. Over the course of the past week I thought I'd revisit some old favourites. While I've been busy cutting fabric + sewing a quilt these soups have been a great meal. Now more than ever l want something warming and comforting. Give these a go. You can vary them and make them really kid friendly.

My take on Curry soup two ways + 
Two potato and leek soup.

Bok Choy and Carrot curry broth

1 large Carrot
1 large onion
1 bunch of Bok choy
1 cup of Arborio Rice
1 litre of Chicken Stock (use vegetable stock if you vegetarian)
Olive Oil for cooking onions
1 Tsp of Keen's Curry Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Coriander to garnish at the end (optional)

How to Make it
Place 2 tbsp of Olive Oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Dice finely one large onion and cook it til golden. Add Curry powder (this could be the traditional Keen powder or any curry powder) to onion and 1 cup of rice, stir til the rice grains are coated. Grate 1 large carrot finely and add it to the saucepan along with 1 litre of chicken stock. For Vegetarians add vegetable stock to soup. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally. When grains of rice are cooked add the chopped Bok choy to the soup and continue to cook for 1 minute. Turn off the heat. Season soup to taste. This might mean an extra pinch of curry powder or some pepper and salt. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander to the soup.

This week's variation:

I added a chopped chicken fillet and one chopped red onion. I cooked off a half cup of rice, added a litre of chicken stock. And then I added two grated carrots, sliced green beans, asparagus stalks, broccolini, sliced baby mushrooms, small Asian Bok Choy. It was so good. I'm even thinking this week l will try it with egg noodles instead of rice as Miss Three would love it.

Other variation ideas:
For those that are vegetarians or like more veggies. Use Vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. Try adding any or all of these peas, corn, small diced potatoes, snow peas, beans, broccoli, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, zucchini to the soup. Any short grain rice would work l like Arborio rice as its a short grain rice it's high in starch, absorbs liquid well and stays firm to the bite. If you don't eat rice then try pasta, little shapes or macaroni noodles, or rice noodles. For those that need to be gluten free try quinoa as it would work too. I like using the white Quinoa but you can also buy an organic white, red and black Quinoa. I would cook this separately in stock and then introduce it to the soup at the end to make sure the grains are perfectly cooked. Along with legumes like lentils + chickpeas. Serve with garlic bread or a toastie.
If freezing the soup l suggest cooking the rice till cooked but firm and leave out the Asian greens. When you defrost the soup then add this or any other leafy green or watery vegetable like zucchini in the reheating phase on the stove.

Recipe 2:

Two Potato and Leek Soup


4 Potatoes + sweet potato cut into even pieces
2 leeks washed and sliced
1 litre Chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
butter for cooking the leeks

How to Make it
Dice potatoes and slice leeks. Heat a pot and melt 20g of butter for cooking the leeks. Cook leeks for 3-4 minutes till transparent and pale yellow. Add potatoes, chicken stock, salt and pepper and cook on a medium heat till bubbling. You want to cook on a slow simmer until the potatoes are soft. Using a hand mixer blend cooked ingredients till smooth.
Great for eating straight away or freezing.

What are you cooking in your kitchen? I'd love for you to share a recipe, photos of your latest cooking successes. Become a member of the blog, email us your favourite recipes to share and remember to tell us where you got them from so we can share it with everyone. You can follow us on Instagram @thepoppyfox or over at facebook just click on the icon on the right of the blog. Thank you for stopping by, reading the blog and most of all leaving comments. It really means a lot hearing from you as sometimes taking a moment for myself happens when l am reading your comments and remembering life is sweet. Remember to join us in MyTop5 just scroll down two blogposts and link up. 
I'll share our families' Pea and Ham soup recipe next Tuesday oh it's just so good.
Have a great Tuesday and rest of the week in the kitchen everyone.

x Mummafox

my helper in the kitchen today

Monday, April 22, 2013

My top 5: Week 2

I began Mytop5 last week with Leigh over at sixbythebay
Leigh just happens to be married to Tim my old mate and surfing buddy back in the day and I began following her on Instagram via her husband and reading her blog. Being mums it's hard to take time for ourselves with my little fox only a week shy of four months I haven't had much if any free time since before he was born. Miss Three keeps me on my toes too, so I'm setting a goal to do five things for myself (simple things + achievable) that are important to me. So join me at poppyfoxathome and Leigh over at sixbythebay (http://sixbythebay.blogspot.com.au/)

So, here are the rules.....from Leigh:
- You MUST try to the best of your ability, accomplish all 5 things on your list!
- If you are a fan of social media feel free to tweet me, fb me or instagram me of your indulgence and hashtag #sbtbmytop5.
- If any of these moments are captured, I would love you to share them with us in the following weeks post.
- By no means does anything need to be of grand scale.

My top 5 list from last week

I sat by the sewing machine, watching Miss Three and drank
+ savoured a coffee. I drank it all before sewing a stitch, oh it was so good.
I got wifi and i love it
i took time to play
I bought frankie, had a coffee and enjoyed a little reading before heading
back to Miss Three + little fox and the sewing machine
I was spontaneous I went to a thermie cooking class with only a few hours notice
I got something just for me before my birthday, another year older
+ forever changed
I spent my birthday in the chai tent with my tribe in nature
enjoying the slower pace, the sunshine and the space
Enjoying a birthday moment

My top 5 list for this week

1) organise a thermie demonstration at my house, just so l can actually understand it. 

2) read some of my favourite blogs with a pot of tea

3) do yoga

4) garden

5) watch a movie

See how we go completing My top 5 this week + be inspired to do five things for yourself.

Follow me on instagram during the week, join in and use hashtag #sbtbmytop5.

x Mummafox

16/52: a portrait project

A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.

Miss three beautiful, intriguing and surrounded by nature 
My tribe still exhausted from illness hanging out on the couch
my little fox 16 weeks old such a treasure

a portrait of my people once a week, every week, in 2013 ~
i'm joining with jodi and taking part in the 52 project
Come join us
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