Thursday, May 30, 2013

Recipe: Buttermilk & Papaya Impossible Pie #PapayaOz

Buttermilk & Papaya Impossible Pie

250g Papaya or Pawpaw, skin and seeds removed, diced into small pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup flour
100g butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Heat oven to 175 deg C.

Scatter the diced pawpaw around your pie dish.

In a large bowl, beat together all remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour gently into your pie plate on top of the Papaya.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

Serve warm with custard or ice-cream, or in slices by itself. 

Hint: I quite often make this earlier in the evening before I make dinner, then let it sit until we are ready for dessert.  It is just as nice eaten slightly warm as well as straight out of the oven.

I have created this Pie from a family recipe to take part in the #papayaOz promotion over at CRAP Mamma

Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Coles Mix Baby Essentials

Even after having had 3 children, it always shocks me how quickly they grow in the first months and years of their lives.  They can literally go from one size to the next size up in a matter of weeks.  So it stands to reason most Mums look for great value clothing that doesn't break the budget when they wear it only a few times.  It is wonderful to have a couple of things that are good for going out, but generally speaking we all opt for easy to wear and inexpensive items (especially considering those first few months when you might change bub's clothing a few times a day due to sick-ups etc!!).

Coles is now coming to the rescue with its new range of 'Mix Baby' clothes and other essentials.  The first thing to tell you about this range is that ALL items are priced between $4 and $12!  Whether buying for a gift or yourself you can certainly find some bargains in the range.

I was lucky enough to be sent a selection of the range of the new items for my daughter and we have been road-testing the easy-fastening bibs, socks, face washers and towel (I was also sent some singlets but unfortunately they were too small to use boohoo).

The socks are fantastic - nice and stretchy, they actually stay on, and they come in either nice thin low cut styles or lovely thick fluffy terry styles.  As you can see below they fit beautifully.

The 8 pack face washers are an essential in your toolbox.  A poly/cotton washer, I have been using them for bathtime, mealtime, general mess wipe up, and heaps more.  Not too thick and nice and soft, which makes them perfect for newborns in particular.

 The 5 pack of easy fastening Bibs have been perfect for a messy 13 month old.  They are quite a generous size, and thick enough to soak up most messes.  The prints on them are very cute, and being a 5 pack I have one stashed most places I tend to need them (in the car, nappy bag, kitchen etc).

The embroidered bath towel is just perfect.  With a cute little embroidery on it, and in pink (of course) we use it every day.  Even with it being washed constantly over the past few weeks, it has held up great.  At a handy 60 x 120 cm size my daughter will not outgrow it like many baby towels.  I have been keeping my eye out in my local Coles to grab another one of these!!

I highly recommend the new Mix Baby range from Coles.  Such great value, and good quality products that you can use again and again with confidence that they will hold up to any heavy use you might put them to!

Disclaimer: I was sent a pack of the Coles Mix Baby Essentials to try with my baby.  No payment was received for this post and any opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Bosisto's Plant 1 Million Trees + Giveaway

One of my favorite Australian Brands is currently running a pretty incredible community project of planting 1 million trees in Australia in 2013Bosisto's Eucalyptus new plantations will help support local farms and farmers while benefiting the environment.

The best thing is how easy it is for us all to help - All you have to do is purchase a specially labelled bottle of Bosisto's pure Oil or Solution, and Bosisto's will plant a tree for you!!  If you are not sure how you can use Eucalyptus Oil around the home, click here to request a free handy hints brochure to get you started.

Bosisto's have also very generously supplied 3 $225 Bosisto's Eucalyptus Packs for me to giveaway to readers of the Your Cheeky Monkey Blog.   In each of the packs you will get all of the following:

A pretty fantastic prize I'm sure you will all agree with me!  And there is THREE up for grabs!

Simply use the Rafflecopter form below to enter, making sure to complete all fields to be eligible.  Australian entries only please.  Giveaway starts on the 21st May 2013 and runs for 2 weeks.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: Bosisto's sent me a pack of Eucalyptus Oil and Gardening products to let me know about this promotion.  No payment was made for this post, and any opinions expressed are my own.

WINNERS - Melissa P, Renee M & Marleisa C

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Recipe: Papaya Banana & Buttermilk Cake #papayaOz

Papaya Banana & Buttermilk Cake


125g Butter, well softened
1 ripe Banana, mashed
200g mashed Papaya or Pawpaw flesh
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups Self Raising Flour
1/2 cup Buttermilk
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Place all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer.

Mix 30 seconds at low speed to combine.  Scrape bowl down then mix for 1 minute at medium speed (if you don't have a stand mixer use a large bowl and electric beater or food processor).

Scrape batter into cake pan of your choice (I like to use my Tupperware Silicone Mould for all my cakes as it doesn't require greasing or lining with baking paper).

Bake 45 minutes at 180 deg C (or until a skewer comes out clean).

Serve warm with cream, or cold as a normal cake.  Great for school lunches!  Oh, and I never ice cakes as I find with children they always end up eating the icing and not the cake ;-)

I have created this recipe to take part in the #papayaOz promotion over at CRAP Mamma

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Top Tips for Using a Slow Cooker

My favorite cooking appliance in the kitchen is by far my slow cooker.  Whether you are a pregnant Mum at home with children, someone who works long hours, or just love to eat casseroles and soups, the slow cooker is for you.  I use mine probably a couple of times a week to cook anything from lamb to beef stew to soups to honey chicken to meatloaf.  It is the most versatile appliance, and there is nothing better than knowing your dinner is simmering away all day ready to dish up at dinnertime.  You can also use cheap cuts of meat that make your meals extremely budget friendly (as well as tastier than expensive cuts of meat!).  Please be aware that I am in no way a professional cook or trained chef... I'm sure some of them would disagree with my thoughts!  But having said that I thought I would share some of the things I have discovered through many years of trial and error with the slow cooker, and what works for me on a day to day basis.

  1. I never brown meat before placing in the slow cooker.  I really don't find it makes much difference to the end dish, and it sort of defeats the purpose of using the slow cooker in the first place.  By the time the meat bubbles away all day it develops a nice rich flavour and texture anyway.
  2. Slow cookers are VERY versatile and forgiving.  Don't be afraid to experiment with recipes or your own creations.  I find I can pretty much chuck in anything in the cupboard to cook and it works out fine.  The best combinations I like are meat + veggies + tomato of some sort (either tinned tomatoes or bottles of tomato based pasta sauces).  Then at the end you can even add sour cream or satay sauce for some different meal ideas.
  3. Always remember slow cookers produce a lot more liquid than other methods of cooking.  What this means is that you don't need to add much sauce or stock to begin with, and in fact your creation usually looks dry to begin with (unless making soup of course).  If your meal is too liquidy at the end, thicken with cornflour mixed in a little water.
  4. Things that need to cook quickly don't usually work very well in the slow cooker.  The best example of this is seafood - I haven't really found any recipes that I like with fish or seafood made in the slow cooker.
  5. The cheaper the cut of meat the better.  For example use chicken thighs, chuck steak, lamb shanks etc.  Expensive low fat cuts of meat can tend to turn out a bit dry and tasteless.
  6. Don't keep lifting the lid to stir the food or check on it.  You usually only need to stir once late in the afternoon.
  7. Always cook way more than you need - I like to have enough for 3 meals out of one slow cooker dish (one that night, one the next night, and one to put in the freezer).
  8. Loan some slow cooker cook books from the library, and photocopy some of the recipes that sound like they would suit you.  Then keep a folder of your favorites to have on hand for when life gets busy (and keep the basic ingredients in your pantry and fridge).
  9. Add any diary products a little while before serving, they only need to be warmed through not cooked.
  10. Then serve in a variety of ways - I find slow cooker meals all work well with either mash potato, rice, or lovely fresh crusty bread.

What are your favorite meals to cook in the slow cooker??

Some other posts you might enjoy:
Oh Baby
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?
My top bathtime tips for a new baby
BubbaLog makes those first few weeks easy

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Review: Table of Plenty Hot or Cold Muesli

With winter well and truly on its way I'm sure you, like us, are electing to have yummy warm oats in the mornings rather than cereal with cold milk.  For quite a few years now there has been the standard quick cook oats available, but this year there is a yummy new alternative out from one of my favorites food companies - Table of Plenty.

Hot or Cold Muesli is a pack of 8 sachets of muesli which you can actually eat either cold (as normal muesli) or hot (as porridge).  After trialling both ways, my family most enjoy eating it hot!
I also thought I would show you the difference between normal quick cook oats (on the right in the picture below) and the Table of Plenty Hot or Cold Muesli (on the left below).  As you can clearly see, the Table of Plenty Muesli certainly has a much bigger variety of ingredients (raw oats with cinnamon honey flavours and sultanas and pepitas).  I know which one I prefer to give my family!

The only suggestion I would make is that I would love to see bulk packs of 16 or 20 available - when you have 4 people in your family (or more!) a pack of 8 certainly doesn't go very far!!  But overall, this new product is absolutely delicious and pretty good value at $5.99 per box for a nutritious breakfast.

Disclaimer: I was sent a box of Hot or Cold Muesli to try.  No payment was received for this review.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Who remembers these?

Having a 13 month old Bub around the house means there is always a trail of emptied out drawers and shelves wherever she goes.  Which on one hand is a royal pain in the butt, but on the other hand it has given me a great excuse to empty out some drawers myself and have a good clean-out.

A couple of weeks ago she got into the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet in the office.  Which was definitely not a drawer she should have been into, but it kept her occupied for ages and I didn't have the heart to put a stop to it.  So we ended up cleaning this one out, and believe me when I say there was stuff piled in there from 25 years ago.

I filled up a big rubbish bag with all sorts of (to put it nicely) crap, and what did I find right at the bottom??

A Sanyo Portable Cassette Player!!!

Whoever thought there would be any of these left in existence!!! So now the question is, do I turf it, or do I keep it for a laugh??

FYI, I'm loving the cleaned out bottom drawer of my filing cabinet now.  Extension cords and adaptors easily to hand, and all the batteries safely in a clip top box so little hands can't get ahold of them.  Fantastic! ;-)

Some other posts you may enjoy reading:
10 Things to do in the First Trimester
10 Things to do in the Second Trimester
10 Things to do in the Third Trimester
Your Cheeky Monkey Review at Hip Little One
What products do you really need for your newborn baby?

Having a Baby?
Check out our Hospital Bag Checklist