1 cup plain self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup honey
¾ cup (180ml) full cream milk
25g unsalted butter, melted
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
Banana & coconut
2 bananas, ½ cup mashed banana & remaining sliced
¼ cup shredded coconut<
Apple & cinnamon
2 apples, ½ cup grated apple & remaining sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Strawberry & vanilla
10 strawberries, ½ cup diced strawberries & remaining sliced
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
For the pikelet batter, add flour and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl, stirring to combine.
In a large jug add honey, milk, melted butter and egg, whisking to combine. Pour over the flour mixture, stirring to combine. Add fruit combination of choice, stirring to combine.
Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add a little extra butter to the pan until melted. Using a tablespoon as a measure, drop spoonfuls of batter into the pan, placing a slice of fruit on top and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. Using a spatula, carefully turn pikelets and cook for a further 2 minutes or until golden.
When it comes to packing the over 2000 school lunches you’ll make for your child during their school journey, there are some ways you can make it simpler, yummier and more fun!
Otherwise known as the most important tool in lunch making, the lunchbox really determines what you can pack, how fresh it will stay and whether lunch gets eaten.
I have to send crunch and sip (fruit and veggies only), recess and lunch every day, so we use three containers per child. Having tried many lunchboxes, I have a few favourites.
Yumbox Panino: Super versatile and perfect for kids who want to keep their crackers separate from their yoghurt. It’s leakproof for wet food – think the consistency of apple sauce – and works for kids up to around 12 years of age. I use the Yumbox MiniSnack for recess. yumbox.com.au
B-Box: Great for kids who like whole pieces of fruit, we use their smaller containers for crunch and sip. bbox.com.au
Boxi: Great for older kids (or kids who have all their food for the day in one box) and super hot climates as it contains an ice brick that goes under the food. boxi.com.au
PlanetBox Rover: Great for avoiding plastics but still having a bento style lunch, match it with a cooler bag and you’ve got plastic free lunches. biome.com.au/808-planetbox
KEEPING YOUR COOL
No matter what lunchbox you get, the lunch the kids eat is only as good as your ice bricks!
We love the Arctic Zone Cooler Bags (from Mini Hippo) or Montii Co Cooler Bags. Ideally we need to keep food between 1–4 degrees and the best way to do this is to store it in the fridge until it goes into the cooler bag.
Teach kids how to open and close their lunch bags and make sure they close them securely between meals.
SOME LIKE IT HOT
If the kids love a hot lunch, then a thermos is a good investment – just make sure to prep it with boiling water for 5 minutes, then empty and add the food when it’s too hot to heat. This means it will be the perfect temperature by lunch time.
Don’t forget to pack a fork or spoon!
Things like carrots, cucumbers, capsicums, celery, can all be prepped in advance and kept in the fridge in water. This helps with variety too, as you don’t have to finish every veggie on the same day in the lunchbox.
Cut fruit is more likely to be eaten in our household, so I chop apples, watermelon, oranges, pears, strawberries, the lot! We use qukes as the kids like them better than whole cucumbers.
Soak apple slices in cold water before popping into the lunchbox. Pop a paper towel under wet fruits like watermelon so they don’t leak. If your kids like yoghurt in their lunchboxes, consider reusable yoghurt pouches to save dollars!
USE YOUR FREEZER
By utilising your freezer and making lunchbox snacks in batches, you will have more variety on hand and won’t ever be panicked to fill the lunchboxes in the morning.
Kids quickly get sick of something if they have it every day for a week, so make a batch of something like scrolls, freeze and pull them out when needed, so as to avoid lunchbox boredom.
Some freezer friendly ideas:
…and even cookies!
It’s simple to make lunches easier and rely less on packet food when you take the time to get prepped in advance.
Lunch boxes are not the place to experiment with a new food that hasn’t been tested at home!
Make a habit of trying new stuff out with the kids, rather than just putting it into the box and hoping for the best.
Some of the most popular things that my kids always want in their lunchbox:
At the end of the day, if the kids don’t eat everything, it’s annoying, but it could simply mean you have overpacked, or that there was something on at school that was more interesting than lunch! Ask them why it wasn’t all finished, and if at all possible, get them to finish it for afternoon tea!
For a never ending supply of lunch box ideas and kid friendly fare, head to Kylie’s Instagram:
When thinking of kid-friendly fare, it doesn’t get more ‘no-brainer’ than spaghetti and meatballs. But all meatballs are definitely not created equal, whether they’re too dry or they fall apart, or they just don’t taste like anything… meatballs can be hit and miss depending on how you make them. But this recipe from the Adelaide Central Market for spaghetti and meatballs is all hit and no miss with just the right amount of flavour and hidden goodness to please the kiddos and the parentals! The hardest part will probably be cleaning it off their faces afterwards!
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 large brown onion, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 large carrot, peeled & finely diced
• 150g button mushrooms, finely diced
• 700ml bottle tomato passata
• 600g Italian pork sausages
• 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
• Grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat half the oil in a large non-stick saute pan over a low heat. Add onion, garlic, carrot and mushroom, stirring to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until onion is soft.
2. Meanwhile to make meatballs, squeeze sausage mince out of casing into ½ tablespoon measures and shape into balls. If the mixture is sticky, roll balls with wet hands.
3. Heat remaining oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add meatballs in two batches, cooking for 4-5 minutes and turning regularly until evenly golden. Place meatballs on a plate until required.
4. Add passata and 1 cup water to the onion mixture and increase heat to medium. Add browned meatballs and cook for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add basil.
Like coq au vin, its sister dish from the Burgundy region of France, beef Bourguignon is a stew of meat slowly simmered in hearty red wine along with pink shallots, mushrooms and crisp, smoky bacon. Using a good wine – something simple but drinkable – will make all the difference in the finished dish.
1kg braising steak, cut into bite sized pieces
⅓ cup olive oil
200g pink shallots, peeled and halved
250g button mushrooms, halved
1 brown onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 celery stick, diced
250g pack smoked bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup plain flour
2 cups (500ml) dry red wine
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
1. Season diced beef with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish or saucepan (with a lid for later) over a medium-high heat. Add beef in batches and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil and cook the shallots and mushrooms in batches for 5 minutes each or until browned. Remove and set aside.
4. Add remaining oil, onion, carrot, celery and bacon, stirring to combine. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden but not crisp, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and flour for the final minute of cooking.
5. Return the beef to the pan with the wine, stock, thyme and bay leaves, stirring to combine. Slowly bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for 1.5 hours. Return the shallots and mushrooms to the pan and cook for a further 30 minutes or until meat is tender.
6. Serve beef bourguignon with baby new potatoes, tossed with a little butter and chopped parsley or creamy mash potato and steamed green beans
The easiest homemade gnocchi – using ricotta instead of mashed potatoes – can be made from scratch in just 30 minutes! Yes, you read that right, that’s one episode of Playschool! This ricotta gnocchi recipe from the Adelaide Central Market is light and fluffy, like mini pillows of ricotta goodness.
RICOTTA GNOCCHI WITH NAPOLETANA SAUCE
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
500g fresh ricotta
1 cup grated parmesan
2 extra-large egg yolks
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup plain flour
Salt flakes & freshly ground black pepper
500g Napolitana pasta sauce
Baby basil leaves
Line a sieve with kitchen paper and drain ricotta, pressing down gently with extra kitchen paper, to help absorb any additional moisture.
In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta, ¾ cup parmesan, yolks, zest, basil, salt and pepper, stirring until well combined. Add flour and gently knead mixture to a smooth dough, on a clean lightly floured surface.
Evenly divide dough into four pieces and roll each into 2cm wide sausages, dusting with extra flour. Lay sausages side by side and using a knife cut gnocchi into 2cm pieces. To shape gnocchi, use a gnocchi board or fork to create grooves on one side and an indent on the other, to help the sauce coat the gnocchi.
Heat napolitana pasta sauce in a large saucepan, over a medium heat.
To cook gnocchi, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a gentle boil. Carefully place gnocchi in water and cook for 2-3 minutes or until gnocchi floats to the top. Using a slotted spoon remove gnocchi from pan and add to sauce, tossing gently to coat.
To serve, sprinkle over basil leaves and remaining parmesan.