Tag Archive | cooking

I’m BA-ACK!!!

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to write a quick note to say that I am still around….apologies for not writing much but life has been hectic with work, a couple of birthdays, and Cameron recently had his CF annual review, with a check up for Eva…both of which are some of future topics that will hopefully come out soon!

A big welcome to all the new followers that have signed up from the advertisement in the recent Great Southern Disability Services newsletter. It was awesome to see the link to my blog there (and I hope you enjoyed my witty little post “Expectations of the Modern Mum”…there are many more like that!)
A few of you also signed up from the recent rafflecopter. Hope you won something and keep an eye out for the upcoming one launching soon!

So while I am still getting my act together, have a look around at some of the older blog posts. Or if you are bored, or want some new recipes, check out my other blog (which I have unfortunately also been neglecting lately) www.athomewithbella.wordpress.com

Chat soon everyone!!
Bella 🙂

Recipes for CF

Thanks to a friend, I came across this great Facebook page of CF fat boosting recipes.  The CF diet is a total learning curve, as it is high fat, high salt, and high energy. It takes a lot of getting used to, and you can sometimes struggle for ideas of how to boost meals.

I am going to add a few of the photos on my blog, but you have a child with CF, head on over and check out some of the comments as well.
I am also going to write a blog post soon about some recipes and tips for preparing meals for CF children, when you also have non-CF children who can’t have the same diet.

Try not to be *too* naughty and cook some of these recipes for yourself. They really aren’t the greatest in nutritional value for the “average” person!

Bella 🙂
























This recipe is by far my favourite! It is of Italian origin, from when times were tough and it was a way to use up stale bread.


1 serve= 129 calories

2 slices of toasted bread, chopped (or 2 cup of croutons)

2 tomatoes, chopped roughly

5 fresh mint leaves, shredded

1/4 red onion, chopped

1/4 cucumber, chopped roughly

2T red wine vinegar

2T olive oil

1) Add tomatoes, bread, mint leaves, onion and cucumber to a bowl, and toss.

2) Add red wine vinegar and olive oil, mix until stirred through.

3) Chill for about half an hour before serving.


I like to add a few extra thing like a little bit of feta cheese, or some chilled cooked/peeled prawns to bulk the meal up a bit more.

There are a lot of variations to this recipe, but this is the most simple.

Bella 🙂

CF fat boosting tips

Learning to cook for CF person is a total learning curve. From a young age, it is drummed in to you LOW SALT!! LOW FAT!! So when it comes to cooking in the total opposite manner, you struggle to know where to start!

This is a topic that I have come across in many online CF support communities, and just recently a blog follower and fellow CF-mum asked me for some ideas on how to boost the fat content in our children’s meals, so I thought I would share a few ingredients that we have used over the last couple of years as boosters.

Avocado can be used in a variety of ways

Avocado: It is filled with natural fats. I have read somewhere that a teaspoon of avocado has about 13g fat. Add a bit to casseroles, mix with banana and yoghurt, or even add a touch to pureed potatoes for the younger ones who are just starting on solids (if they don’t like it on its own that is!)

Cream: Smother fruit with cream at snack times. Use it instead of milk when making mashed potato (or any other milky dish for that matter) Use in scrambled eggs or omelettes. You can also add dollops into pancake mixes (or any cake mix). Add to custard, which can also be used over fruit, or as a yummy snack on its own.

Use whipped cream on desserts, or hey…squirt it straight from the can into your mouth…we have all done it!

Yoghurt: Use over fruit, or a snack on its own. At breakfast, use it over mushy weetbix (good for those starting on solids) as it gives better flavour than using cream, not to mention all the healthy cultures in it help little tummies!

Gravy: It’s not necessarily fatty (depends on how you make it I guess) but its great for boosting salt. It’s also great for hiding a child’s arch-nemisis…..vegetables!

Cheese: I use a lot of cheese in my potato dishes. You can also put it over pasta, or vegetables. Macaroni cheese, omelettes or add to hotdogs…there are heaps of ways you can use cheese!

Ice cream sundae, anyone??

Full cream milk: Milkshakes are a yummy way to boost calories and get calcium intake.

Ice cream: With topping, of course!

Lamb: It’s a good fatty meat, great for all sort of dishes.

Biscuits: Cover them in icing, or butter, to help boost fat content.

Chips, crisps or popcorn (covered in butter and salt) make great snacks too!

Dont forget to add oil, butter and salt (the “goodies”) to as many meals as possible. Deep fry or shallow fry when ever you can, if it’s not possible, spray with a bit of cooking oil before serving.

If you are feeling a bit out of your element and are struggling to come up with meal plans for your little CF-er (like I did in the first twelve months!), buy some frozen meals (tv dinners like Lean Cuisine meals) and add your “goodies” to them to boost fat until you feel confident in preparing meals. I had found it hard to cook a meal for my older children, a high fat meal for my youngest, then a different meal for my husband and I (who eat considerably later) so to throw a frozen meal in the microwave while cooking for the other kids took a considerable amount of stress off me.

I think I have just about run out of ideas now, and I hope this is of use to some people, and please feel free to share your tips!

Bella 🙂

A love affair

I am in love. Every day, I think about the next time I am with them, and the great things we can achieve together.

I am completely in love with my electric steamer!

I had a stove top steamer, which was a present from my grandmother many years ago. I used to live with them (around the time I met my husband) and loved using it. So when we moved into our own home, they gave us a stove top steamer for ourselves. It has had almost daily usage, especially once the kids came along and were starting their solids.

At Christmas last year, my mother-in-law gave us an option for a present, and electric steamer or a soda stream. We had recently sold our soda stream in a garage sale after it had sat, unused, in our cupboard since, well…probably before we even started dating!

So the logical choice, an electric steamer, please!

On Christmas Day, 2010, I had forgotten all about what were about to receive. I was pleasantly surprised once the paper had been ripped off, then the “oh, yeah….” sunk in. I had to giggle at myself for my momentary memory lapse (as no doubt some of you are now)

A couple of days past Christmas, I decided to pull it out of its box. I found a three-tiered machine, which took a little bit to figure out how to put it together. I have to admit, I’m not great with manuals, but I was pretty disappointed with the instructions. It didn’t really show how to put it together, nor did it mention any sort of cooking times. So the first time I used it, it was a guessing game.

My first cooking attempt was the humble potatoes and two veg. That was the “courting” period.

I noticed how much better the electric steamer was over the old stove top one was. The veggies were firmer, juicier, and the potatoes didn’t go all sludgy up against the sides (making it hard to pour out once cooked) like they do in the stove top counterpart.

I tried steaming rice. After ten minutes, I realised that it needed water added to the rice container as well. I had no idea! Like I had already mentioned, there weren’t many instructions in the manual. But it came out much better than expected. There was no need to rinse the starch out after. It was nice and softer than any boiled rice I have had. Although, the rice is almost too soft to be used in a stir-fry once cooked. It can turn into one big gloop if your not careful.

After a few days of sitting a top of my kitchen bench, I grew a little bored, and wanted to experiment a little. See what the new things in my life was up for.

After a bit of searching on Google, I found you could do cupcakes…..CUPCAKES!!!

My oven cooks horrible cakes, black on the outside, but sludge on the inside, no matter what temperature I cook at. I have since mastered a way that cooks mediocre cakes, that involved a low temperature, and having the oven door open for period to let heat escape.

I had read on this one particular website, that once you have a steamed cake, you never go back. Once I saw that, I HAD to try it! I’m no Betty Crocker or Julia Childs. So the trustworthy packet cake mix made its regular appearance (actually, on this occasion, I think I did use a Betty Crocker cake mix!!)

I did one tester cupcake. I placed the mix in a paper patty and set the timer for ten minutes (since I had no idea how long to cook for!) After five minutes, I came back to a flat patty pan and cake mix all over the tray, and dripping down on to the next tray underneath. So I decided to use some of my small plastic containers to help mould the paper.

Within ten minutes (and most of my plastic cupboard ransacked!) I had just over a dozen cupcakes cooling. They cool so much faster than an oven baked cake. You could have cakes cooked, and iced, ready to eat, within about twenty minutes!! That is just pure evil!

The first bite…OH MY GOD…that first bite! It was heaven! I hadn’t had a homemade cupcake like that in years. The website was right. Once you have a steamed cake, you never go back! They are fluffier than any baked cake I have ever had. If you watch them, it is easy to get that gooey top (if you’re in to that sort of thing)

I very quickly bought some silicone cupcake moulds in my next shopping trip, as they don’t flatten in the steam. They are one of the most used kitchen trinkets in this house now! My plastics can stay hidden away in my cupboard now, aswell, instead of spread out over my kitchen benches, trying to find that container that is just the right size.

By now, I was well and truly in love with the new household contraption. All I could think about was, “What can I do next?” So good ol’ Google offered its knowledge once more.

My next attempt, eggs! Instead of boiling them, I stuck them upright in the holes of the trays and steamed them for fifteen minutes. It worked beautifully! They peel easier, you don’t get little bits of egg coming away with the shell, and that little coating just on the inside of the shell, (you know, that annoying white film you try to rub off and up taking egg with it?) you don’t get that with a steamed one!! You also don’t get that rubbery texture that comes with a boiled egg. I even had family comment how the texture was better.

I have yet to try anything else. I know you can steam fish, even chicken. But I admit, I’m a little nervous! I want to try it though! But if there are any readers out there who can recommend a trick or recipe…PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!

So, to sum up, I am recommending that each and every one of you to go out and buy yourselves an electric steamer, even if it’s a cheap one. You will NOT be disappointed! If you already have one, dust it off and experiment. If you are like me, and absolutely adore it, shout it to the world and let me know what you use it for.

Cook, bake, steam!!!

Bella 🙂