Our main focus of the week has been seeing the 1 year old recover from her sickness!! If I had 10 thumbs, this would receive 10 thumbs up!! Nothing makes your life feel like it has meaning, then seeing your favourite 1 year old smile and laugh… oh and sleep.. sleeping is good!!
I had attempted at many times during the week to update my blog on my iPhone (was even going to risk shredding my fingers thanks to a cracked screen… another story to be left in the past ) but unfortunately when you have a sick one year old, you basically have a siamese twin joined to your hip. This means typing on an iPhone requires one hand for typing and one hand for swatting away the one year olds fingers as she tries to help. It was a pretty hectic week to be honest, as the 1 year old was not letting me out of her sight for anything and demanded to be carried around at all times. I didn't mind, as 1 year old snuggles are up there with the best things in the world. This also led to the housework being neglected (oh dam…) and the house looking like I may or may not have hosted a rave (minus the alcohol bottles being strewn all over the place). The only place in the house that looked normal, was the kitchen… because when the 1 year old was sleeping, I was cooking. I'm not sure if cooking is the best term to use… maybe destroying things. I could have basically taken $50 out of my wallet and set it on fire because thats what was happening with the amount of ingredients that were getting binned…. BUT it was all in the name of finding a winner and I did end up finding quite a few.
The 7 year old has always been my harshest critic when it comes to my Fructose Free attempts at baking. He literally has an opinion on everything and most of them sound like Gordan Ramsey without the f-bombs. The funny thing is, we seem to disagree on most things. I might find something amazing and on first taste he runs gagging to the bin (not dramatic at all) and other times I will declare how much I hate it and he will come running back asking for seconds. We do agree on some things, but then I seem to go to hard on that certain recipe and we get sick of it and it no longer sits in our "favourite" category.
Everytime we head to the shops the 7 year old reminisces of all the good times he had with his favourite foods. He literally walks beside me as we pass items and makes comments like "i really loved that muesli bar…" "I wish I could have a rollup just one more time" "remember when I used to get to pick a chocolate to take to school, that was really good, hey mum"… These memories are always accompanied by sighs. He always maintains eye contact with the item until we leave the isle...(I hate to see how he is going to be when he breaks up with his first girlfriend).
The first couple of times he would do this, I would launch into a speech about the merits in what we are doing, I would explain that his muesli bar had 8 teaspoons of sugar, that we are trying to make healthy choices. He would always throw in a few "but mums" and "just one" but we would manage to get home without him breaking down.
However it was pretty obvious that by maybe the 6th shopping trip, that we were living in Ground Hog day because he kept saying the same statement, about the same foods. I soon knew what was coming and I would beat him to it. As soon as we would get to the muesli bars I would say "I really loved that Muesli bar…" He would agree, not realising I was taking the pi$$ out of him.. I did notice however that his declarations changed from that of love and lust to anger directed at me.. the words "I really loved that muesli bar" were spat at me followed with "but mum won't let me have it anymore.."
In the end we were both over the whole charade and instead of me being all mature, when he commented "oh there is my favourite yoghurt that I can't have any more… thanks mum", I replied with "seriously if you love it that much, why don't you bloody marry it then?".. I'm lucky the 7 year old has a twisted sense of humour like me, because he replied "well why don't you marry the gross no sugar yoghurt then"..
This week I decided that I didn't want another "Groundhog day" of grocery shopping. I gave the 7 year old a mission! Armed with my iPhone, he was to follow me up the isles and take photos of anything he would put in the trolley if it was up to him, regardless of sugar or judgment (yes lollies and chocolates). I told him that this will put me on track to see what sought of things I could try and replicate. He then said "oh great more gross cooking". I told him his face was gross and can he please just try and amuse me. He then declared that every time I try and make something, it's not the same, so we should just get the real thing. I told him that things will never be the same but sometimes just sometimes, we might make something even better!!
The rules for this mission were:
1 - Take photos of anything you would like to eat at home for lunch, snacks etc
2 - Try not to take photos of random people
3 - Dont drop my phone…
This made the shopping expedition go for about 2 hours but after looking through his pictures, I had a pretty good idea of what things I could and couldn't make.
On Sunday, I decided to tackle sesame snaps, lamingtons and salt and vinegar chips and make a fructose free alternative.
To be honest, the 3 of them were easy. The hardest thing was not burning the sesame seeds (which i kinda did for the record) The second attempt were amazing though.
The 7 year old loved the Sesame Snaps (burnt bits and all). The lamingtons were too "chocolately" when he tried them fresh from being dipped in the chocolate. However after sitting in the fridge overnight, they were declared "better than the store ones". The only huge fail were Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas… I had to agree that there was something not right about them. So 2 out of 3 got his approval.
The 1 year old devoured all 3. Her favourite were the Salt and Vinegar Chickpeas ( random) closely followed by the lamington. She didn't see to mind the Sesame Snaps either!! However they were a little chewy for her straight from the fridge, so I had to leave hers out at room temp before giving them to her. The BONUS is knowing that I could pack these 3 food items in her daycare lunchbox and she would eat them.
Tuesday I decided to attempt his beloved muesli bar… I knew this was going to be hard, as the love of his life had choc chips and the 7 year old hates dark chocolate, so it was going to be impossible to put choc chips in them. I decided that my main focus and goal would be to create a muesli bar that he enjoys and worry about the chocolate part later.
I decided to wing this one, using an old muesli slice recipe that I had made in high school. It was super easy to whip up and very forgiving. I didn't have half the ingredients listed but was able to use something else that was similar in density.
The only thing I would not add again was hazelnuts. They were too strong and overpowered the first batch. The 2nd batch was much better without them.
The 7 year old loved them but he thought it was more of a slice then a muesli bar (oh of course it is Gordan Ramsey Jnr) but he would still love it in his lunch box. The 1 year old took a couple of bites and I thought she had eaten it all, until I found it in my work shoe the next day. I am toying with the idea of cutting the muesli bar in half and adding a very thin layer of my chocolate slice icing down the middle and sticking it back together for that chocolate taste.
Tuesday also saw me deciding to tackle the rollups on his wish list. This only came about because Strawberries were on sale. I am aware that strawberries contain fructose but they are on the lower scale of fruits to choose from. I also knew this would have to be a "treat" and not something that would be in his lunch box daily. I was scared to even try this recipe to be honest, as anything sticky always ends up sh*t when I make it. I couldn't give up… Did I also mention that this bastard takes 4-6 hours to cook… yep, so don't plan on having a life or anything on the day you plan to make this.. Like usual, I was too estatic that I found a sugar free recipe for rollups and went like a bull at a gate. It wasn't until I had poured it ready to go, that I even realised it had to cook for that long.. Oh happy Days!! 6 hours later and it looked perfect!! Seriously I was beyond happy, but that is where my happiness stopped. The paper I had used had wax parchment and it stuck to the bloody roll up. Nothing in the recipe I had used mentioned anything about types of paper to use with it…. Hell the one I used, mentioned using glad wrap as long as it was a "good quality" one. Unfortunately I do not have a degree in glad wrap and thought I would just go with the baking paper… bad choice… The other site I found mentioned using a silicon baking mat (which I have) and making sure the baking paper contains no wax (nice to know now). So in the bin went my 12 dollars of strawberries and the 7 year olds hopes and dreams.
Wednesday I woke up with a runny nose… pfft thats to be expected when the temps are the coldest that I can ever remember for our town… By Wednesday afternoon when I clocked off from work, I was feeling like I had been hit by a bus. The 1 year old was also suffering from the dreaded snot nose too. Bed time couldn't come soon enough but my body was aching and I could not get to sleep. I toyed with the idea of calling in sick for work Thursday but trusted in the array of medication and herbal remedies I was going to load my body with (did i mention how hard it is to find sugar free cough lollies that aren't laden with chemical sweeteners or honey)…By the time I finished work, my nose was literally running like a tap and I felt like I had run a marathon. Every muscle in my body was punishing me. By the time my work day was over, it was nearly 8pm. I rang the husband who had decided on subway since I was going to get home so late and suggested I get the same. I told him that I had no energy to get out the car and get anything, so take away drive thru it was. One chicken wrap without mayo come at me… although I could have eaten cardboard because I seriously could not taste a single thing. (I also ate chips.. those things I swore off…. my bad)
Friday I literally slept the whole day and so did the 1 year old. It was like she knew that I needed some rest and recovery and our morning nap went from 11 - 2:20… (which is a good thing when I had to pick up the 7 year old at 3… that could have been awkward). My body was craving soup. I had found a Cauliflower Soup with Shredded Chicken that had rave reviews. The last thing I felt like doing was cooking, but it was a thermomix recipe and was very straight forward. It was AMAZZING!!!!! For a soup that had no cream or milk whatsoever, it was creamy as hell!! Everything about it was perfect. I served it with warmed garlic sourdough bread and i'm pretty sure the family nearly devoured the whole loaf in one sitting. Everything about this recipe was so right! The shredded chicken on top was a bonus. We had a fair bit of shredded chicken left over, that I will happily add our home made mayo too and save for sandwiches . Such a belly warmer!!
Recipe will be posted asap!!
I also attempted a breakfast recipe off the same site called "Winter Warming Porridge". It was ok but nothing to rave about. I liked it, but then I didn't and everyone in the family pretty much had the same response. It was as though it was missing something.
The husband tried to make up for the so/so breakfast by making me an avocado, kale, cheese and poached egg on seeded bread. It was much better then the porridge!!
Today I have set myself the challenge of kicking the ass out of that fruit roll up!! I will keep you posted. You may have won round one, but you will not win round two (i hope….)
I have also added a new section to this blog where I will try and continue replicating my son's lunch box wants. So all those photos he took… Im gonna try and find a fructose free version!!