Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Cooking for a tribe and cinnamon sticky buns- Tuesday's in the kitchen

There is something incredibly sensory with turning the pages of a new magazine and discovering the treasures hidden within. We have a rule in our home that we can't buy a magazine unless we are going to make at least half a dozen of the recipes from it. My tribe's been sick. With croupy coughs, runny noses and sad dispositions. I haven't had much time to rest and my body has suffered for it.  So Ads brought the new Donna Hay magazine home for me to escape into for a few hours. Being foodies, Ads and I love to cook and since having little people it gets harder to carve out time to create and enjoy cooking. Our kitchen is a wonderland of spices, appliances and pantry filled goodness but I still struggle to find time to try new recipes or plan what we are going to eat. Since getting the thermomix we have pulled out our recipe books and old copies of Donna Hay and reinvented our weekly meals. OK converting them for thermie is a challenge but it's getting easier. When you can cut the cooking time down by half and make the steps of a recipe easier by using the one appliance it's a real lifesaver. Now we bake our own bread and the smell of it in our home on cold nights is glorious.It's taken time to rethink what we do and why we eat the way we do. The leaves are turning on the trees, leaves of red, yellow, ochre, it's getting cold and your attention turns to images of lush, flavoursome slow cooked casseroles and soups. Potatoes, carrots, parsnips and beans. Spices that provide warmth and colour, thick tomato sauces and spicy broths. Caramel, dates, nutmeg and cinnamon. Over the weekend we made a laksa, a pumpkin soup and these sticky buns. Today l thought to share this recipe for sticky buns with you and the soups next week with a couple of my favourite longstanding seasonal soup recipes that get me through long days.


ingredients


basic dough1 1/4 tsp (7g) active dry yeast2/3 cup (160ml) lukewarm milk2 tsp vanilla extract3 cups of plan flour (450g)1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar 1/4 tsp of fine sea salt2 eggs, lightly beaten125g unsalted butter, melted
maple glaze1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup1/3 cup (60g) brown sugar75g unsalted butter, chopped 
cinnamon butter100 g unsalted butter, softened1/2 cup (90g) brown sugar2 tsp ground cinnamon1 cup (120g) toasted pecans, chopped




how to make
STEP 1to make the dough place the yeast, milk and vanilla into a bowl and mix to combine. st aside in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface. Place the flour, sugar, salt, egg, butter and yeast mixture in an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment and beat on low for 1 minute until just combined. increase to high and beat for 5-8 minutes or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
STEP 2To make the maple glaze, place the maple syrup, sugar and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium, bring to the boil and cook for 3-4 minutes or until smooth. Pour a lightly greased 20 cm x 30 cm tin and set aside.
STEP 3To make the cinnamon butter, place the butter and cinnamon in an electric mixer and beat on high for 5 minutes or until pale and fluffy. Set aside. Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non stick baking paper to make a 60cm x 25cm rectangle. Spread with the cinnamon butter, leaving a 10cm boarder. Starting with the longest side, roll tightly to enclose the filling.
STEP 4Trim the edges of the bun and cut into 12 even pieces, place the pieces, side by side and scroll side up in the tin. Cover with a dame tea towel and set aside for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 12.





how to make in the thermie
STEP 1Place the flour, yeast, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, egg, butter and yeast mixture in TM bowl 6 seconds /speed 6 till combined. Then knead for 2 min/knead button. The dough should come away from the sides of the bowl. Work the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm place for at least an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

STEP 2To make the maple glaze, place the maple syrup, sugar and butter in the TM bowl for 1 mins/80 degrees/speed 2. Blend for 5 seconds/ speed 5 to combine. Stir with spatula to check if butter and sugar are completely dissolved. Consistency should be runny and smooth. Pour into a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm tin and set aside.
STEP 3
To make the cinnamon butter, place the butter and cinnamon in dry TM bowl, insert butterfly. Whip 1-2 mins/speed 4
STEP 4
Roll the dough out between 2 sheets of non-stick baking paper to make a 60cm x 25cm rectangle. Spread with the cinnamon butter, leaving a 10cm boarder. Starting with the longest side, roll tightly to enclose the filling.
STEP 5
Trim the edges of the bun and cut into 12 even pieces, place the pieces, side by side and scroll side up in the tin. Cover with a dame tea towel and set aside for 40-45 minutes or until doubled in size. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminium foil and bake for a further 15-20 minutes or until cooked through and golden. Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Makes 12.

Enjoy! I would love to know what you are baking- leave a comment below-send me a picture or recipe to share at poppyfoxathome@gmail.comBecome a member of the blog and be notified of blog posts as they happen. Tell your friends about Poppyfox, share the love.If you're interested in doing a guest post please get in touch at poppyfoxathome@gmail.comand if you have a favourite recipe share it.We'd love to hear from you.
x Mummafox


Saturday, May 25, 2013

21/52: a portrait project

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






Miss three enjoying dress ups. We've been inside attempting to get well. No matter how sick she is it's always playtime.

Little fox with his toys in the garden enjoying Autumn sunshine. He turned 5 months old, said mama and rolled. It's been a big week of milestones for him. 

This week I've enjoyed visiting other blogs participating in the 52 portrait project.

The simple joy of first time experiences moderndaymummying 

Autumn's sandy light over little faces from a verydarkhorse.

Pirate's are just so cool over at capturing moments.

A snapshot of a father and child that's simply beautiful at littleearthstories

And over at sassandspice - don't you just love childhood. While I'm battling with the flu I just want to be her swinging, with the wind rushing over my face. 

~I'm joining with jodi and taking part in the 52 project. Come join us.~

My top 5- week 6




This week my goals were undefined. to open my eyes and be more aware of my opportunities for joy. There was cloud watching, inspired by yellows and bag envy, new salties and resting in bed attempting to get well. It was only a matter of time till I succumbed.

My sewing machine stopped working and went off to the doctors. I sat on the floor and played with Miss three. We counted blocks, talked colours and made a palace with hues of blue, neon yellows and an assortment of primary colours. We told tall stories of kings and their gold, pharaohs and their queens, the mummies and the grandness of pyramids. She's been learning about Egypt this week. Miss Three enacted the journey of treasure hunters with blocks and figurines. And I enjoyed weaving love and play into my time with my daughter. We got creative in the kitchen making crumble, baby food and baked. I've held and soothed my little ones sick with croup. We cleaned out naba's pa try and put it to rights. There's nothing like a organised kitchen. Ads helped by reorganising my cultery drawers and pantry and I just love the space now.  And I've been mindful to make time for me even as I've cared for my little one's while sick.

The sun shone, the rain stopped + I spent time getting grounded in the garden with Little fox. Lettuce, peppers, eggplants, garlic, celery, leeks  and beans growing. Seeds of climbing peas, snow peas and flowering sweet peas were sown in the newly dug soil and watered in.

There were moments for rest, play, for living and pondering the flow of family life. A trip to a farmers market as a tribe with Tracy, collecting Autumn leaves, running down hills, buying fresh produce, buying amazing fabric and coming home to homemade laksa and our couch. I'm going to focus on completing unfinished projects and to make time for me in the new week. Right now I'm concentrating on getting better as my head is so congested and my limbs sore. Mytop5 list for this week undefined but I'm going to practise self-awareness, patience and gratitude and see how I go. 
What are your Top 5 going to be?Even if you make a decision to attempt to carve out a moment and do one thing for yourself it will be a start. Follow me on Instagram during the week (http://instagram.com/thepoppyfox), join in and use hashtag #sbtbmytop5.
x Mummafox


BITS + PIECES




:: 
Two little ones sick with croup 
Tears and little smiles through out the day. There have been trips to the doctors and chiropractor 
Time spent creating and cooking. 
A new baby born and a dear friend became a mother. 
Book owl, quilts, stories and indoor play 
We have been living the slow + simple life 
Weeding the veggie patch 
Harvesting herbs for meals 
Hot coffee, a book and tissue box 
Montessori lessons with colour, music and dance 
Comfort foods, new recipes and yummy smells coming from the kitchen. 
Resting on the couch with the fire on. 
Visiting kookaburra's and cockatoo's 
The sun shone on thursday and the garden overhauled 
Spiritual practise in being grounded in the earth. Honouring God's work. 
The digging + turning over of soil, mushroom compost poured in. 
Seeds and garlic seedlings replanted. 
Little fox staring at the cloudy blue sky, inspecting the garden from his blanket 
We might be unwell but my tribe are a blessing. There is so much love found in a simple cuddle, a little person's smile or this morning when Little fox rolled for the first time. Embracing those moments, the changing seasons, the overflow of shared stories + all that goes with it.
X Mummafox
::



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Apple and rhubarb crumble- Tuesday's in the kitchen

Since getting our thermomix Mother's day weekend l have been experimenting with it and trying old favourites and new recipes. Miss Three has really gotten into bread making with Ads and the smells coming from the kitchen are wondrous. Autumn shines through the windows most days. The sun peers through the cloudy, blue skies this morning, the garden green and lush, the ground still wet after all the rain over night. It just begs for puddle jumping and woolly socks. 
Whilst l don't love cold weather there is something profoundly romantic and heartwarming about the colder months. Perhaps it's wearing wellies, beanies and winter woollies and the fire on that makes you feel warm through and comforted. I often spend my nights this time of year reading, sewing and drinking cups of hot, sweet tea. 
My tribe have been sick with colds and croup, we have nestled under quilts watching cartoons and telling stories. It's been exhausting caring for sad munchkins and l have craved comfort food. Apples are plentiful at the moment and apple crumble one of my favourite late night treats. This recipe is based on a crumble recipe found here. I adapted it for the thermomix and for stove top cooking and found that it was thick with chunky apple and crumble goodness just what the doctor ordered with warmed custard. Miss Three had some for breakfast and l followed suit. It didn't last long but it was YUM!

Ingredients
600 g rhubarb roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon in strips/or for stove top grated
180-200 g raw organic sugar
1 vanilla bean or tsp of vanilla bean paste
150 g water 
600g apples roughly chopped
100 g dark brown sugar
50g of shredded coconut
120 g Butter , cubed
80 g rolled oats 
70 g plain flour 



Preparation for stove top/oven cooking
Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
1. Cut rhubarb and peel, chop apples in small pieces.
2. Using a micro plane use the lemon zest of one lemon, add raw sugar, vanilla and water in a pot and place on low heat for 30 mins to cook through till soft.
3. When cooked through set aside and prepare the crumble.
4. Butter a baking dish
4. Add all other ingredients in a blender and mix through for 8-10 seconds till combined.
5. Pour in apple and rhubarb mixture into the buttered baking dish.
6. Sprinkle on top of the apple and rhubarb mixture
7. Place in oven for 30-35 mins until crumble is golden and the fruit mixture bubbling.
Serve warm with custard and/or plenty of whipped cream and/or ice cream.

Preparation for Thermomix/oven 
1. Place rhubarb and chunks of peeled apple, lemon zest, raw sugar, vanilla and water into TM bowl and cook for 12 minutes at 80ÂșC on Reverse and at speed 1.
2. Butter a baking dish and turn on the oven at 180 degrees.
3. Set apple/rhubarb aside in large rectangular baking dish.
4. Place remaining ingredients into clean dry TM bowl and with dial set to closed lid position, press Turbo button 2-3 times until crumble mixture forms. 
5. Sprinkle on top of rhubarb/apple mixture and bake for approximately 30-35 minutes until fruit is bubbly and fragrant. The crumble should be golden in colour.
Serve warm with custard and/or plenty of whipped cream and/or ice cream.




::

Enjoy!
I would love to know what you are baking- leave a comment below-
 send me a picture or recipe to share at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com
Become a member of the blog and be notified of blog posts as they happen. 
Tell your friends about Poppyfox, share the love.
If you're interested in doing a guest post please get in touch at poppyfoxathome@gmail.com
 and if you have a favourite recipe share it.

We'd love to hear from you.

x Mummafox

::

Monday, May 20, 2013

20/52: a portrait project

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



 

a pink tent blessing with little fox. 
He's four and a half months old.
My two little ones unwell, lying on the couch resting.

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.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

BITS + PIECES

::
It's been a slower pace this week. Dress ups at mother's group, an afternoon play date with dear friends. Montessori lessons, indoor play and storytimes near the fire staying warm. Time spent playing with my little ones. The tribe have been unwell. The immersion of caring for two little ones, a huband sick with a tummy bug + keeping the house afloat has taken all my time.  Miss three has been waking teary with a cold and an early case of winter blues. Since last night little fox has been unsettled needing more feeding, comforting + holding for sleeps when tired. We think it's a cold and teething. We ventured to nana's for a few days of sewing only to find my machine in need of a service, my stitching needing to be unpicked and my quilting spray not working. I'm hoping to put my machine in the shop on Tuesday to get fixed. Later in the week we checked out four year old kinder, practiced floating and diving under at the water at swimming, baked bread and had a cooking class using our thermomix with Miss Three. Times where we stopped to rest, read and play. Little fox and l went to a belly blessing for my dear friend sophie in a beautiful pink tent. A ritual of celebrating womanhood and transition. A Celebration. As I sat nursing little fox l embraced the honor it is to enter motherhood. When l got pregnant and birthed my babies I knew I was fulfilling my destiny and dream. It's a beautiful realisation even with a sick tribe. No matter how tired l'm feeling right now, l'm lucky.
X Mummafox
::










Friday, May 17, 2013

Reflecting on Montessori learning + motherhood

When I birthed Poppy + became a mother it was a re-birthing for me also. Motherhood grounded me in a way my career never did. I took what was good and life giving from counselling and social work and planted it in my soul + parenting. Training in Expressive therapies and sandplay encouraged everyday rituals to become a spiritual practise and the use of symbols a language of it's own which I could share with my children through play.
I awoke to see the world in a new light. I loved so strongly, was open to learning as a new mum and found myself opening up to my surroundings, nature, friendships and my husband in a new way. I began to rebuild an identity based on the simple life and not working myself into the ground. The joy of playing, watching and creating a home for my little ones was life altering. Little else seemed to matter as it once had. Gone were the days of striving to work more than live I was finally at a point where l could stop and breathe in what was important.
One of my constant lessons is to embrace life, love fully + learn to accept/love me. I doubt and question so much, hold back when I should be moving forward and letting go. I still hold on to control more than is healthy. So I've made a mindful change in my life to be committed to doing 5 things for me with MyTop5 to self-nurture and attempt to impart love, honesty and transparency in my parenting of my tribe.
When Patchworkcactus began Montessori in May it was the perfect opportunity to guide and  create a learning space for Miss Three. I'm exploring four year old kinder and thinking of Miss Three's future education. The interweaving of nature, life skills and play are a big component to Montessori learning. I thought it would be fun to tell a ongoing story of our  Montessori lessons and home happenings as the months go by. Because every story is captured either through emotion, word or picture I'm going to weave a story through photos and the written word. I'm sure there will be numerous to share with you as the Autumn days get shorter and the opportunities for learning with Miss Three grow longer.

The story so far....
Day 1 water a plant, she loves taking care of the veggie patch and harvesting each day. I'm teaching her the importance of caring for the garden during it's many cycles. From soil to seed, from seedling to plant and then to harvesting and composting.
Day 2 Wipe a table, Miss Three could already do this so she set the table for the first time. Since then every night she wipes down the table, sets it and lays out the cutlery and the plates. It's her thing now.

Day 3 Pour your own drink.
Day 4 Clean up after yourself. Miss Three is great at tidying up after herself l had to laugh at this kitchen clean up though it took a while and went in stages but she got there in the end.

Day 5 Smell some herbs. Miss Three really got into this lesson we explored the garden. Found thyme, sage, rosemary, olive plant, oregano, mint, apple mint, chives, garlic chives, parsley and coriander. Miss Three planted the coriander and is excited by it's growth. She then harvested pineapple sage leaves and mint for tea. I wanted to extend the lesson so we boiled the jug, she laid out the table with her T2 things and made tea with my help. I picked up a aluminum teapot like l had when l was little for her to use and create her own everyday tea rituals. She then poured the tea and we had tea and biscuits. We made the biscuits together that morning so it felt like a great completion of the lesson to finish enjoying the fruits of our labours.

We had our afternoon tea and then practised her spelling. She longs to read and write so over the course of the year we will provide opportunities for learning. She learnt the letter e and how herbs was spelt. We both decided afternoon tea rituals are fun and should be repeated.

Day 7 Look at a world map or globe. We decided building one was more fun. It's her favourite puzzle at the moment. I sat and watch while she found the pieces and pieced it together. We then talked about the different countries as she has been learning about the world at kinder on Thursdays too. A very happy, little girl at the end.

Day 8 Walk in a line- We hadn't practised this before it was fun joining her in the kitchen and walking lines while our dinner was cooking on the stove. Lots of giggles ensued.
Day 10 Drink out of a glass- Miss Three already does this so I got Nanna to bake a cake with Miss Three from start to finish including breaking the eggs. She's been cooking daily with me since she was two it's never to early to start, she's good at it and she loves creating something and getting to lick the spoon.

Day 9 Butter some bread- she buttered bread for dinner after kinder and then spread her favourite berry jam on a slice for a snack. Stories- We then finished with a bedtime story with Miss Three and little fox. The first sibling shared story time such a precious moment captured. Day 11 Put on shoes- this is a skill mastered already we have moved onto choosing our socks and shoes + practising to put them on.
Day 12 Collect leaves- Autumn leaves are plentiful and many now reside in our house.  Miss Three often creates landscapes or pictures with symbols and things from nature or her toy basket that tell a story.
Day 13- Paint a picture- it is always a crafternoon at Poppyfox Hq. Day 14- Talk about shapes, incorporated into our crafternoon with art and shapes. We then talked about the crescent moon and full moon we had seen in recent drives home. A circle and a crescent which Miss Three thought could also be a smile. It's amazing the opportunities for learning that exist if we remain open to creating and living in a learning environment.

Day 15- Scrub a table. Miss Three scrubbed and washed the table and then set it for dinner.
 Day 16- Try a new food. Miss Three and I created a story in play then introduced the new food which she loved- blanched almonds. Ads then taught her how to make bread, a great rainy day activity as we get over mild illnesses.

Day 17- Pour some raw rice. I got a mini muffin tin out a small glass cup and the rice in a bowl. I made it difficult by ensuring that Miss Three would need to take the time to measure the rice to fit in the holes in the tray. We practised it a couple of times with Little fox watching his sister intently. It's never to young to start learning. He thought she was fantastic as did I.

Come join us over at Instagram as we do Montessori through May and the following months. Just use hashtag #pcmontessoriaday and throw a link over here + on Instagram so l can check you out.

x Mummafox
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