Mini chalkboards

We have just received a big shipment of our chalkboard accessories back in stock this week and I just had to share. They are so perfect for all sorts of parties and occasions and they even look great around the home.

chalkboards

Clockwise from top left:

Mini chalkboard signs – Use these to leave messages to your loved ones at home, hang on the front door to let your guests know that you are out the back or maybe use them to indicate areas at your wedding.

Chalkboard pegs  - These are perfect for labeling dishes on a buffet, organising containers around your home like Alicia has done here or use them as name cards on your table settings.

Cloud chalkboard pegs – Use these to personalise party favours, organise your kids craft containers or as a gift tag attached to a present.

Chalkboard sign - These are great for marking out wedding table numbers, labeling your seedlings in the garden or as personalised cake toppers.

 

These chalkboards are super budget friendly too, ranging from $1.50 – $5.50.

 

 

 

Hot cross bun French toast

Looking for a way to use up those leftover hot cross buns from the long weekend? Why not try this yummy looking French toast with figs and maple syrup from Taste.com.au?

hot-cross-bun-french-toast

Did you know you can also find me on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter?

 

Washi tape Easter eggs

I was playing around with washi tape and boiled eggs the other day and decided that these are a pretty cute craft for kids (or big kids!) to do at Easter. Even better, they are super easy and there is no mess!

washi-eggs

If you are in to traditional Easter egg dyeing, check out this post.

Fancy making a sweet treat as well? Why not try these peanut butter rice krispie eggs?

 

Spelt, orange and date hot cross buns

I am still undecided if I really have a thing for spelt or whether I just use it because we have it…. Either way, I figure it has less gluten making it a little easier on the digestion, so it’s a win!

As baked goods go, these buns are really not too bad for you. With only a little added sugar via the maple syrup, and the spelt flour, well they’re positively healthy! (Ssshhhhh I won’t tell if you won’t)

spelt-and-date-hot-cross-buns
See that butter in the pic above? Well it’s an amazing homemade vanilla cultured butter popped in one of our cute mason jars. You can get the butter recipe here. One tip I will give you is to chill the cultured milk before whipping.

 

Spelt, orange and date hot cross buns

1 cup milk, warmed

1 tablespoon active dried yeast

1 teaspoon maple syrup

4 cups white spelt flour + extra for dusting

1 1/2 cups chopped pitted dates (fresh or dried is fine)

1/2 cup currants

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind

100g butter or coconut oil, melted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons maple syrup, extra

for brushing and topping

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon water

1/4 cup white spelt flour

1/4 cup cold water

 

Combine the warm milk, yeast and maple syrup in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.

Place the flour, dates, currants, mixed spice and orange rind in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook. Mix until well combined.

Add the yeast mixture, butter (or coconut oil), eggs and extra maple syrup. Beat with the dough hook for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. It will be a sticky dough. If you don’t have a mixer, you can knead the dough for 10 minutes on a floured surface.

Scrape the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for a minute or two.  Divide into 16 pieces and shape into buns. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Place the buns on the tray, leaving a little room in between for spreading. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 180°C (conventional). Combine the maple syrup and water (from brushing and topping). Brush the buns with half of this mixture.

Combine the flour and cold water (from brushing and topping) to make a paste. Spoon into a small snaplock bag and snip the corner to create a piping bag. You could obviously use a piping bag if you have one. Pipe o’s and x’s (or just the traditional crosses) onto your buns. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Brush with remaining maple water mixture. Enjoy!!

 

Makes 18

 

oOo If not serving straight away, I suggest splitting and toasting the buns before eating.

oOo If you want to have these in the morning, you can start them the day before. Once the dough has doubled in size for the first time, refrigerate overnight. Pull the dough out early and bring back to room temperature before shaping into buns and proving again.

oOo If you do make the homemade butter, it will last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

 

Healthier eggplant parmigiana

Okay so I am not saying this is the healthiest thing you will ever eat but it is definitely a healthier twist on the classic eggplant parmigiana, and it’s still totally delicious.

Instead of frying the eggplant I baked it, and I used a mix of light cheeses and ricotta so you still get that cheesy satisfaction without the extra calories. I also threw in some silverbeet, which adds a little bit of extra nutrition, what with leafy greens being nature’s superfood and all.

This dish is a great vegetarian main, just add a leafy salad. It’s also a lovely warm side with grilled meats and a bit of crusty bread.

healthier-eggplant-parmigiana

Healthier eggplant parmigiana

1kg eggplant, peeled, cut into 1cm slices

sea salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion (red or brown is fine), finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes

800g can diced tomatoes

1 cup tomato passata

2 teaspoons caster sugar (optional. I find it takes the sour edge off the tomatoes)

2 cups finely sliced silverbeet

3/4 cup plain flour (any will do, I used spelt)

2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs

olive oil spray

1 cup fresh basil leaves

350g low fat ricotta cheese

1 cup grated light mozzarella cheese

1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese

 

Toss the eggplant with salt and place in a colander over the sink for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion, garlic and chilli for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Add the tomatoes, passata and sugar. Season to taste. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir through the silverbeet. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 220°C (fan-forced). Line two large baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the flour and mixed herbs in a bowl. Drain the eggplant on paper towel. Dip the eggplant in the flour, shake to remove any excess. Place on prepared trays. Spray with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Flip and bake for a further 10-12 minutes or until golden. Set aside.

Reduce oven to 180°C (fan-forced). Line a large baking dish with baking paper.

Spread 1/4 of the tomato sauce on the base of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the eggplant. Spread with another 1/4 of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the basil and cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, finishing with cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.

 

Serves 6-8 as a side or 4-6 as a main