Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Calm in the Kitchen

It's probably a fair assumption that not many people find cooking with kids calming, especially two male toddlers under the age of 3! However, after the stressful morning that I had today I couldn't wait to get home and stuck into some cutting, mixing, kneading, baking and then, eating!

Tuesdays are Playgroup days. Most Tuesdays I enjoy Playgroup, but sadly not today. For a start Elliot and I had been up since 4am. That's enough to put anyone on the back burner, but then Archie didn't go down for his morning sleep so I had to get everything ready for Playgroup plus all my other jobs done with both of them following me around. Once we got to Playgroup (oh, we were late too) it was my job to set up the Mother's Day craft activity with two tired and clingy boys. Then there were some fundraising issues (I'm fundraising coordinator). Anyway by the end of it I was just wanting to get home, get the boys into bed and have a sit down. So I did. They both had good sleeps at the same time so I got to have some lunch and a cup of tea in peace while I planned our afternoon in the kitchen.

First on the list was Muesli, then wholemeal bread rolls and Spiced Pumpkin Soup for dinner. It was a whole afternoon affair with Elliot wandering in and out to help as he felt like it and Archie making a mess with the Tupperware drawer and generally getting underfoot, but that is cooking with toddlers and why I like it so much. We're at home, doing the things that make us happy.

Muesli is so good to make at home because you can easily change the ingredients around to suit your tastes. I'm yet to find a packaged muesli that I love as much as homemade because there is always either something missing or something there that I don't like! The base recipe that I use is from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food but I add and change all the ingredients around every time I make it.

Today the recipe would have looked like this:
400g of a mix of organic traditional rolled oats and rolled spelt flakes
a handful of bran straw thingys
300g mixed nuts (macadamia, brazil, hazel, cashew)
100g seeds (I use pepitas and sunflower seeds)
100g dessicated coconut
sprinkle each of mixed spice and ground ginger
150ml macadamia honey
50ml molasses
100ml of oil
300g dried fruit (apricots, mango, sultanas)

Mix all the dry indredients except fruit in a large bowl.

Add combined wet ingredients and stir to coat.

Spread onto an oven tray and cook at 180C for about 20 minutes stirring every 5 minutes so that it browns evenly.

Return to large bowl and mix through dried fruit. Cool and store in an airtight container.

I make a big batch like this so that it'll last a few weeks with enough spare to give some to my Dad who is a big muesli fan.


  1. That looks so yummy Vicki. I too have made muesli/granola over the years, but haven't done so for ages! Thanks for the reminder :) xo

  2. No worries Saminda! I love being reminded of an old recipe, glad I could be of help! :)

  3. OK, trying this one next. I recently made granola, but it's a bit soggy.

  4. I've found that using organic rolled oats (we get Kialla brand) make it crunchier than using instant oats from the supermarket. Good luck!