Tag Archives: healthy

Healthy goodie goodie recipes, plus Holsby TV new episode!!!

23 Sep

healthy goodie recipesThe thing about treats is – generally speaking – the more sugar and fat, the more delicious it is.

My weakness is ice cream, amongst others of course because I am a bit of a gluttonous foodie, but ice-cream is my one true love.

Not low-fat ice treats, not fruit based gelato, but I’m talking about the full, extra-goodness-swirled, Monty.

I really truly love it.

It has been said that watching me appreciate my ice cream cone is a crazy sensual experience because of the obscene amount of joy I get from it and the languorous way in which I approach the task. Ice cream must be savoured, never rushed, and certainly not bitten.

I think ice cream can be classified as a goodie (or goodie porn in my case.)

Goodies aren’t bad. Goodies are good.

It’s all about goodie management.

Or goodie wrangling if you prefer.

I’m not going to pretend I’m all holier than thou on the goodie front, au contraire – I’m going to admit freely that I find it easier not to have things in the house that are going to both blow my kilojoule intake sky-high, and send my kids into sugar frenzies, because we are loving on the goodies.

This doesn’t mean no treats, it just means day to day treats are smarter options. The kids don’t know the difference between a sugar laden treat and healthy snack. The options don’t have to be chocolate biscuits versus carrot sticks.

I like to think of myself as the master of illusions; a magician if you will, because my day to day goodies are actually goodie goodies, and not secretly baddies.

My theory is that by offering my kids better choices now, they’ll make better food decisions later. It kinda worked for me because my mum reared me on lentils and celery with cream cheese, and now I’m a celery munchin’ lentil lover.

As long as there’s ice cream for dessert.

I’ve done a ridiculous little experiment to prove that kids make better choices when you give them good options to choose from. Check out our work.


Here are a couple of delicious goodie goodie recipes to bust out for your fam bam if you don’t eat them all first…… you know, if you hypothetically run out of ice-cream.




Healthy goodie recipes


ChocCocoCrunch Balls

What you will need – 

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 250g pitted dates
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 cup puffed brown rice, toasted
  • 2 tablespoon desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling

What you will need to do – 

Toss all of your ingredients into the food processor and leave it wazzing until it’s really quite smooth and sticking together.

Switch off machine and using teaspoon sized chunks roo into balls before rolling in desiccated coconut.

Store in the fridge.

Healthy goodie recipes

Sugar Free Pepita Anzac Biscuits

What you will need – 

  • 125 g butter
  • 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soda bicarb
  • 3/4 cups desiccated coconut.
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour 
  • 1/2 cup pepita seeds

What you will need to do –  

Preheat oven to 150C

Place your butter and rice malt syrup into a saucepan over medium heat until it is all melted together and bubbling. Pop your bicarb into the hot water, and when it’s well combined toss it into your butter mix. It will foam up a bit.

Chuck all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well.

Add your butter mix to your dry mix, stirring well to combine.

Spoon tablespoon sized dollops onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Allow room for spreading.



Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re seeing, why not like my Facebook page now?

You can also subscribe via email, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter at The Holsbys to be sure you always Keep up with the Holsbys.


Wholefood Salt Caramel Slice ; Simply to die for, plus a Pureharvest giveaway

11 Sep

whole food salt caramel sliceWhen I was asked if I would be interested in receiving a hamper of goodies from Pureharvest I was pretty keen. Although not traditionally a super, mega organics shopper you know I am very aware of what I feed the family, and besides I’m not one to look an organic gift horse in the mouth when it comes to products I’m actually keen to sample.

In my pantry I already stock the Pureharvest Rice Malt Syrup as it’s a low GI, complex carbohydrate blend of glucose and maltose used as a sugar alternative. I like to mix up my sweeteners and Rice Malt Syrup is considered one of the gooduns.

The argument about fructose versus glucose is a valid debate, but I’m not going to be entering into it today. Partly because I’m not that sugar-free chick and partly because I have cracked a ‘healthy’ version of a caramel slice that’s to die for and I can’t wait to tell you that instead.

I’m just going to give you a disclaimer –


Now, where were we?


whole food salt caramel sliceI met founder, Don Lazarro, at ProBlogger and he told a story of how back in the late ’70s he had a health food store that sold mostly dried legumes and seeds.

In the early ’80s Don took a punt and bought 1000L of soy milk into Australia on a big, heavy pallet to try to sell in his shop. He had no idea if it would fly, but he thought a non-dairy milk alternative was a good idea.

It was better than a good idea. It was bloody brilliant.

I’m not a fan of soy milk for loads of reasons but I’ll tell you what- Pureharvest have cracked almond milk, rice milk and Coco Quench milk. I’ve been experimenting with them in my cooking – oatcakes, French toast, scrambled eggs have all had the Pureharvest treatment and I reckon it definitely adds something good. Nuttiness? Earthiness?

D Man has gone nuts for the CocoQuench on his cereal. It’s a cross between rice milk (made from brown rice) and coconut milk. Seriously bloody yummy with great nutritional benefits.

Late the other night I made a Coco Quench hot chocolate with organic cocoa, sweetened with rice malt syrup as an experiment. I went one step further and chucked in 2 marshmallows and a fat slug of whiskey. Not sure if that’s what Pureharvest had in mind however it rocked my socks.

Will I completely switch from cow’s to these alternatives?

No. But having options and mixing it up is something I love. Options.

Anyhoo, I’ve been ploughing my way through their products but I wanted to make a little something amazing as I do see a great trend towards gluten free, dairy free, sugar stuff…. don’t screw your face up, it can be even yummier than traditional baking. Give this a shot and tell me it’s not ALL THAT.

whole food salt caramel slice

What you will need : 

For base – 

  • 2 cups pitted dates
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted cashews
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 heaped tablespoons cacao (or cocoa powder if that’s what you have)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice bran syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 270ml tin coconut cream (I like Ayam brand as it’s pure)

For salt caramel – 

  • 140 ml coconut milk
  • 2.5 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • a big pinch of salt

For top – 

  • 2 squares of Lindt dark salt chocolate

What you will need to do :

Line a tin, I used 25 x 15, with baking paper.

Stick all of your ingredients for the base into a food processor and wazz it until it starts to stick together and clump.

Tip into your tray and press down with your fingers so it’s nice and even and then pop it in the fridge.

whole food salt caramel slicePop your ingredients for salt caramel into a saucepan on medium heat and bring to boil. Leave at a medium boil keeping an eye on it until it reduces, thickens and darkens to a rich caramel colour. About 20 mins.

whole food salt caramel slicePour immediately onto your chilled base, spreading it evenly, and using a microplane or the finest grater you can grate the salt chocolate over the top whilst it’s still hot and it will melt on contact.

whole food salt caramel sliceEnsure an even coverage and pop back into the fridge for an hour or so until all cooled.

Cut into pieces as large as you wish. It’s fairly rich so you don’t need much.

whole food salt caramel slice


Would you like some of this Pureharvest goodness for your very own?

They have offered for me to give one of my peeps a generous hamper like my own if you can just name this slice.

Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, no bake salt caramel slice is a bit of a mouthful in more ways than one.

Leave a comment on my Facebook page or right here to go in the running. Winner will be announced Wednesday 17th September.




Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.







Apple Fritters and A Daunting Dance Card

3 Jun

apple fritters recipeYou know that old expression be careful what you wish for?

I don’t reckon many people would wish for herpes so I figure as long as you’re wishing for something positive that doesn’t leave a burning sensation in your knicks, knock yourself out.

It helps to be specific so the Universe, or the angels, or God, or whomever you wish to doesn’t mess it up. You know, don’t just make a blanket wish for ‘more excitement’ cos that shit can be tres confusing to the powers that be, know what I’m sayin’?

I wished to be a freelance writer who could work from home and be with my kids and balance everything beautifully.

Luckily, farking luckily, for me, it would appear it’s kinda happening.

I admit I’ve put in some yards, and as we know hard work accentuates luck, but still…..L.U.C.K.Y M.O.F.O.

But first things first, let’s talk the about Kidspot Voices 2014 because that is one of the flukiest damned things that I ever did see.

You know how made it into the Kidspot Top 30 Parenting and Personal blogs?


Well, I didn’t really mention it here, because I didn’t wish to be a douchey bragger, and although it’s lurvely to receive a kudos from the community, the competition is well fierce I didn’t really think I’d get far in the comp.

The gorgeous Amanda from the Cooker and a Looker and I at the Voices announcement party (may be a tad squiffy)

The gorgeous Amanda from the Cooker and a Looker and I at the Voices announcement party (may be a tad squiffy)

Which I didn’t……. the Top 5 was announced, I wasn’t in it.

Then, like a goldfish I promptly forgot about it until I received an email recently telling me that one of the original Top 5 had to pull out due to personal matters, and being as I only just missed out by the skin of my teeth, did I want to step up to Top 5 and get back in the game?

This is the part where I did a cartwheel and tore my middle-aged, slightly dimply, inner thigh.

Voices2014-nominee_P&P_TOP_5_Am I pissy that I wasn’t in the original picking?

Are you kidding? I eat cold vegemite toast off the floor, for god’s sake. I have little pride.

As if that wasn’t cool enough, same day I had a meeting with the fab editors over at Essential Kids and you are looking at (well, reading) the very latest Fairfax (douchey bragger) food writer.

You know I hate BOOM, but……

apple frittersI’m a lucky mofo, right?????

I bought myself a wall calendar and scrawled all over that puppy because I’m a shocker at remembering dates and deadlines and suddenly there seems to be many of them. HEAPS.

Little bit scary.

I do feel I’ve been neglecting you guys a tad though. I mean, you’re my first love.

It’s you guys and this space and all my hours of spilling my guts that have got me to this point… so let me make you a special little breakfast.

Just pretend we’ve had a sleep over you and I, drank too much celebratory champers, eaten ourselves silly and passed out without removing our make-up. Now I’m whipping this up in my dressing gown while you drink tea and stare at Giggle and Hoot, all the while wishing my kids would shut that infernal racket up.

There’s a banana in the picture below because this rocks with banana too. If you want to use gluten free flour it works, I’ve done that too, but this time I just went spelt.

You can also use plain flour. Your brekky, your choice.

I don’t have an apple corer and I’ve NEVER succeeded in removing the core until this day…. see what I mean?


If you’re not so lucky, just halve it, and a V wedge out where the core is and serve moons rather than rounds like I do every other day.

apple frittersYield : serves 4

What you will need :

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large apples, cored and sliced into rounds
  • Coconut oil, or butter for frying
  • vanilla yoghurt, for serving
  • raspberry jam (or your preference), for serving

What you need to do :

Toss your flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir quickly to combine.

Make a well, dump in your egg, vanilla and milk and stir until smooth as a baby’s butt.

Get your frypan nice and hot with your coconut oil or butter, before dipping in your apple rounds, ensuring they’re nice and coated before you pop them ito the pan.

Flip when brown. Repeat until done. Smear with jam, blob with yoghurt and nosh it up with gusto.


apple fritters

Flukey perfect apple round – B.O.O.M.


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.











It’s ok to be sad and eat Healthy Chocolate Crackles

7 Apr

healthy chocolate cracklesSome people find running therapeutic. I don’t. It helps with stress, sure. It gets me into my body, and gives me time to ponder, helps me quiet the cacophony but it’s not particularly therapeutic for me.

I find my therapy in the kitchen.

I like the ordered routine of finding ingredients in the cupboard, measuring with hands or by eye, throwing into bowls or mixing or chopping.

It has a perfect order in which to do things and I find comfort in that. It’s like a I’m a machine simply working and creating something and it doesn’t matter what else is happening because I’m in the task.

We all feel sad sometimes, but the thing about the ‘negative’ emotions is we all try really hard to hide them. We paste that smile on our dials and get on with things with a stuff upper lip.

Tears in the car, tears in the shower, tears in the dark. Hidden sadness, because that’s what we do. Stash it away so we don’t feel uncomfortable that people know we’re sad, and they don’t feel uncomfortable watching awkward, burning tears trailing down your face and that one rogue tear that sneaks down your nasal crease, plummeting near your nostril and leaves question as to whether it’s snot, or it’s not (sounds the same, right?).

It’s almost as though allowing people to see you in the dark stuff is a weakness, and we must rise above to show how stoic and resilient we are no matter how badly shit may be crumbling around your ears.

I’m feeling the blues at the moment, bigger and bluer than an elephant’s arse in fact, and I’m right in the heart of it and to be honest even if I just tried to shake it off it’s sticking to me like shit in bear fur….. do you know that joke?

A bear is in the woods and a little rabbit hops past and the the bear says –

‘Do you have trouble with poo sticking to your fur?’

And the rabbit answers ‘not at all’ so the bear picks up the little rabbit and wipes his butt with it.

I never thought it was funny. Especially not for the poo stained rabbit.

healthy chocolate cracklesThe whys and the wherefores of my blues aren’t relevant right now, what is relevant is that you hear me (and I hear me say) say it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to let your friends see you cry.

You don’t need to be strong all the damned time.

I was on couch yesterday being blue, doing blue – you know, big sighs, staring into space, having a wallow – for half an hour before I was well and truly over myself and I made myself go into the alchemy space and get busy in the kitchen.

I made a big pot of chilli for during the week but that wasn’t the thing I wanted to eat away my feelings with when I remembered my friend from Dynamic Fitness & Health talks about these cluster things she makes….. I never ate one of hers but I saw a picture and made this up by feel.

Mine is a fruit and nut chocolate crackle packed with good stuff.

What you will need :

  • a handful of puffed corn (health food aisle)
  • a handful of puffed brown rice
  • a handful of puffed quinoa
  • a handful of shredded coconut
  • a handful of chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • a handful of sultanas
  • 5 pieces dark dark chocolate
  • 1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon  golden syrup


What you will need to do :

Turn your oven onto 180C. Chuck your dry stuff minus the sultanas and chocolate onto a baking tray and toast it all up for about 5-7 minutes

Meanwhile, over a double boiler melt your chocolate, syrup and coconut oil together until combined.

Toss your toasted dry ingredients, and sultanas into the chocolate mix and stir until all coated.

Spoon into patty cases (I used small for small people and big for me) and refrigerate until solid and chocolate crackle like.


chocolate crackles



Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.



The Love Bra and Spiced Poached Peaches.

6 Feb

spiced poached peaches ingredientsOn my way home from the city on the train the other I was annoyingly reading the MX over a dude’s shoulder when I saw an article for a new product that cheered me no end.

The Love Bra.

I thought once the kooky Japanese put school-girl panties (ew, she said panties) into a vending machine I would never hear anything wackier, alas they have out-done themselves with a chastity bra that only undoes when the wearer is in love.

Not lust.

Not crushing on, not wanting to get it on… true love.

The bra uses ‘an inbuilt heart monitor and works with a smart phone app that calculates the True Love Rate’.

I knew it was a matter of time before our smart phones could predict our emotions. If they were really smart they’d make the ‘Stop speaking to me this second as I’m about to lose my shit’ app that gently zaps people (read: spouse and spawn) when it’s time to take a step back, but we’re speaking of nicer things today.

We’re speaking of boobs and love.

spiced poached peachesI’m all for modesty, but in my time I may or may not have flashed my cans to people I do not love.

I cannot honestly boast the ta-ta pride I once had, but I am, hypothetically speaking of course, not above wanting to get my norks out from time to time.

It’s nice to have the option at least.

Also, what if your love is of the unrequited kind and whilst making a cup of tea in the work tearoom your lady lumps are suddenly unleashed when the object of your affection asks you to pass the Assorted Creams???

Awks, man. Awks.

Although had I been wearing such a brassiere contraption at the pool last Thursday it may have prevented the undignified Nipplegate incident as Kiki hoisted aside my bikini top mid-class.

I know not how long it took me to notice my alert nip waving hello to the nice people enjoying their kiddie swim school, but I’m going to tell myself it was seconds, not minutes.

This recipe has not much to do with peaches although someone once referred to my bosoms as lovely ripe mangoes. If they could see them now they’d no doubt say over ripe peaches.

Poaching peaches is a great way to hang on to the summer fruits for a little bit longer at the end of the season…. you can also freeze them and throw them into things as you need them.

spiced poached peaches and french toastWhat you will need :

  • 1 kg ripe peaches
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out, or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 5 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 tablespoons raw sugar

What you will need to do :

Place your peaches into a big heavy based saucepan and cover with water.

Add your spices, sugar and vanilla and cover with a plate or pie dish to ensure the peaches all stay submerged.

weighted spiced poached peachesBring to a gentle boil and leave for about 25-30 minutes until the skin begins to wrinkle and bubble.

When they’re ready remove the peaches from the water and run under cold water for a few minutes. Set aside until cool enough to peel.

Turn up the temperature on the spiced water and boil the crap out of it for a further 20-25 minutes until it has reduced a little and become very fragrant and yummy.

The skin should just slide off the peaches, and then you can halves them and store them in the poaching liquid in the fridge for up to a week.

spiced poached peachesI love these with French Toast and Vanilla Yoghurt, or Pancakes, or for breakfast with muesli… or just with a big dollop of ice-cream.

Saw this meme and thought it was apt… screw anyone who doesn’t like juicy peaches.

I reckon biting into a juicy peach is akin to pashing, and pashing rocks.20140201-095713.jpg

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All  head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

From my Garden to my Table – Chorizo, Silverbeet and Quinoa Pilaf

11 Jan

chorizo, silverbeet and quinoa pilaf ingredients Let me just state for the record, my thumb is by no means green. Generally I’d put it closer to the brown spectrum.

You could be forgiven for assuming that I have an epically green thumb. This recipe includes not one, not two, but three things I grew myself in the garden.

Firstly, my silverbeet is actually quite bushy. Not quite as hectic as say, my bikini line mid-winter, but it certainly has a lushness to it that I don’t deserve (spinach, not ‘kini line).

My basil is just coming into its own. For once the arsehole caterpillars haven’t ravaged the shit out of it before I can enjoy it’s pungent fresh Italian-ness…. but I reckon it’s just a matter of time. I lovingly check it, like a child’s hair with nits, but those suckers are the exact same shade of green and not easy to catch until they’re big and fat and full of my basil.

My truss tomatoes have been prolific. One child loves them and the other bites and spits it out after the initial explosion in her mouth so I often step bare foot on half chewed, slightly rotten tomatoes but I’m down with that. It’s all the name of the game.

You see, I grew the vege patch in the first place to show my kids where food comes from. As for what happens next, I’m not totally fussed.

I am a 100% bonafide seat o’my pants gardener. I buy a seedling (did seeds once. Fail), stick it in the ground; which in my defence I will toil and mulch and mix with stenchy cow and horse produce that I don’t like to consider too much; and then I water it until something happens.

Or not.

garden 15Let’s say I’m hit and miss.

My beets were like testicles. My lettuces became trees. My garlic was minuscule, if pungent and my recent fennel and beetroot seedlings appear to have, well, disappeared.

And I’m down wit dat.

However, sometimes, my poo brown thumb is a little closer to khaki and we actually get to eat something. This meal is a fine example of gardening success.

Yield – 2 to 3, but it’s easy to double.

What you will need : 

  • 1.5 fresh chorizo sausages per person
  • 1 tin cannellini beans
  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 bunch of silver beet, stalks removed and chopped
  • 1/2 a spanish onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
  • 10 olives, squished to deseed and halved
  • 1 whole roasted marinated red capsicum, seed it and chop it
  • a good handful of basil, chopped
  • a generous glug of balsamic vinegar
  • lemon wedges, for serving
  • fetta, for serving

What you will need to do :

Pop your quinoa on the stove to cook. Remember to put 3:1 water to quinoa on a low heat with a lid.

Pull the chorizo meat out of the skins in little chunks and chuck into a dry frypan on medium high heat. I like to render out the fat to cook the rest of my stuff in, but today’s sausos were actually quite dry. Add a little oil if you need.

When they’re almost cooked, toss in your onions and move it all around so the flavours marry nicely.

Add your halved cherry tomatoes, and leave them for 5-7 minutes until they start to break down a little.

Throw your spinach in, stir it around. Add your balsamic and keep it all moving until spinach is all nice and wilted.

Bash your olives to get the seed out, chop them lightly and add them. Throw in the capsicum, add your cannellini beans and basil.

Season generously.

Add your quinoa , toss it all together ensuring it’s all beautifully combined and serve.

Sprinkle with crumbled fetta and a good squeeze of lemon.

I also like tabasco…. cos I’m a hot tamale.

chorizo, silverbeet and quinoa pilaf


Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lr

Cook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. Hailed by Mouths of Mums as the ‘must have recipe book for all families’, this book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now.

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.

Keep it together, don’t crumble… Unless it’s Rhubarb Crumble.

27 Nov

rhubarb and pear crumble ingredientsToday is day 11 of the 12 Days of Awesome. Tomorrow is the big launch day.

Holy fuck balls. (Sorry Nana, but nothing else quite captured the sentiment)

I’ve had an awesome Awesome so far. Posting every day has been an interesting experiment.

I’ve made new friends, reconnected with old, sold heaps of books and had heaps of feedback and I’m feeling good…. unless you count chronically sleep deprived, butterflies the size of pterodactyls in my tummy, and up to my armpits in canapés for the launch.

I’ve been thrilled to write for some peeps that I admire so a mega thanks to Fox in Flats, My Little Sunshine House, and Life, Love and Hiccups for having me over to play. The sense of support and love I’ve felt from my online community has been both uplifting and humbling.

It’s nice to feel love when you’re doing something that feels so big. It’s imperative to your success, because doing it alone is scheisse.

Someone recently asked me why I put so much pressure on myself and it’s actually quite a hard question to answer.

This whole process has made me feel slightly nude.

Not like that dream where you dream you went to school and you forgot your clothes and everyone laughs at you, but more like I’m at a day spa and no one really cares that I’m nuding but I’m slightly self conscious none the less.

I reckon that’s a good type of naked.

Expanding boundaries. Baring your all.

Anyway, one more sleep. Or no sleep as the case may be.

Today I pick up the books. Nothing like cutting it fine, eh? I do work well under pressure…. but I won’t crumble. I’m too damned excited.

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

pear and rhubarb crumbleRhubarb and Pear Crumble

What you will need :

For the fruity bit – 

  • 1 bunch of rhubarb, washed and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 2 pears, cored and chopped
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup of water

For the crumble topping – 

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup flour (I used coconut flour, you use whatever you like)
  • 1/2 ground linseed, sunflower and almond (LSA)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter (I used half & half)

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place all of your fruit ingredients into a heavy based pot with a lid over a medium heat.Cook for 10-15 minutes until soft, but not mushy.

Rhubarb and pear crumbleTip it into an over proof dish. I reckon shallow and bigger is better so the covering of crumble is lighter and all gets toasty and yum. Mine was too deep in this instance.

Place all of your crumble ingredients into a bowl and rub with your fingers until it resemble coarse breadcrumbs. You may need a little more butter (fat is flavour, don’t be scared).

Spread your crumble mix over your fruit mix and pop into the oven until it’s golden brown and delicious.

Serve with cream or ice cream for dessert, or I love it for breakfast with yoghurt.

pear and rhubarb crumble

Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow. It’s only a day awaaaaaaaaay.

Cook Once Feed All launches tomorrow. Today is the last day to get your three book deal so get in quick if you’re keen.

Cook Once, Feed All COVER_lrCook Once, Feed All is about making your life easier whilst preparing nutritious and quick food for your family. This book is a collection of family friendly recipes, all accompanied by stories from my life.

If you subscribe now to the Keeping Up With The Holsbys mailing list you will automatically receive my new mini-eBook ‘A Bit On The Side’  – A collection of fabulous summer salads and side dishes.

To pre-order your hardcopy of Cook Once, Feed All ($35) head to the Holsby Shop right now and you will be the first to receive the hard copy book after it launches on the 28th. You will also receive the Cook Once Feed All eBook (worth $15), plus the new eBook ‘A Bit on the Side’ (worth $5) as a bonus gift in your inbox today.

Three for the price of one, and you save $20.

Winning 🙂

If you like what you’re reading why not like my Facebook page now or subscribe via email, to be sure to always keep up with the Holsbys.


Rainbow Fruity Icy Pops… a feat of engineering.

29 Oct

rainbow fruity icy polesWhen my Dad was turning 50 (a decade or so ago) my step-mum – AKA Wicky Steppie –  wanted to throw him the most amazing party ever.

They lived on Waiheke Island, off Auckland, and the plan was a big day of canyoning, followed by a raucous knees-up at dinky yacht club that we’d hired exclusively.

The plan was, well, debauchery. Lots of it. Wicky Steppie wanted an old school, spaghetti-slinging, cream-pie throwing food-fight, and dancing til dawn, but most importantly, she wanted a vodka luge.

I’d worked at some amazing functions with vodka luges that defied the imagination. One in particular you poured vodka into the neck of an ice sculpted torso, and the vodka swirled through in the internals before being slurped by the slurpee at the money end. Front side.

One for the boys. One for the girls.

As we were no ice sculptors, we decided on a large bucket of water that we were going to freeze and my genius idea was to take a length of garden hose, feed a piece of wire through it, bend it into a spiral, freeze it into the water and create an amazing luge through which we could drink frosty vodka until we all had slurry- drunken ice-cream headaches.

The plan was to simply pull the hose out leaving my awe-inspiring spiral. Sadly, once frozen, the hose was not going anywhere and no-one, but no-one, could pull that Excalibur from it’s icy rock.

rainbow fruity icy poles in test tube shot glassesWe ended up unceremoniously gauging a channel in the top and creating a piddly vodka rivulet.

Although the effect as somewhat similar, we decided we had grossly over-engineered the project.

A number of times in the making of these delicious icy poles, I wondered if I was doing the same thing?

Initially, I wanted twice the layers, all of them to be perfectly divided like the amazing ones you see on Pinterest. Alas, who has the time or patience??

Not I, it would appear.

That said, these are by no means difficult. They’re a piece of cake, and totally worth the effort. If you have neither time nor patience, just fill each one with one of the different flavours and be done with it, but if you can be bovvered, you’ll be as popular as I am around the homestead. These were absolute winners.

The long pops were made in test tube shot glasses I found in the party favour aisle of my local supermarket and the sticks were wooden chopsticks. I stood them in a deep plastic container filled with my baking beans (the beans I always use for blind baking my pie crusts, but you could use rice or whatever) to make them stand up. You can also use plastic cups with plastic spoons for handles or the old fashioned icy pole making kits.

fruity rainbow icy poles

Yield : 12 icy poles

What you will need :


  • 2 cups watermelon flesh
  • 1/2 cup lemonade


  • 1/2 tin crushed pineapple in juice

Mango Yoghurt

  • flesh of 1 mango
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla yoghurt (five:am organic all the way)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon almond meal

Blitz your watermelon flesh until smooth then add your lemonade. If you prefer them totally sugar free, omit the lemonade, but I love a little tingle of effervescence in my top layer. Half a cup between all the pops is nothing to stress about in my humble sugar loving opinion… not that I’m an expert.

Divide between your icy pole holders, and pop into the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until the top has hardened.

Blitz your pineapple (you could add some coconut cream if you wanted. I nearly did but decided against it last minute – you could totally do Pina Colada adult ones too…..YUM!!), and add that as your next layer when the time is right. Freeze again for 30-45 minutes.

Blitz your mango with the yoghurt and add the almond meal to give it a little more body. Add that to your pops, and slide your sticks or spoons in, or place the icy pole lid on before sticking into the freezer for a good few hours.

Not indicative of how tasty the pops are. Honest.

Not indicative of how tasty the pops are.

Kicking it on Tuesday with the IBOT gang over with the essentially gorgeous EssentiallyJess.

If you liked this post be sure to like my Facebook page or follow my tweet wit @theholsbys to ensure you can always keep up with the Holsbys.

What in your kid’s snacks? Little Bellies giveaway

24 May

I have never claimed to be a nutritionalist, nor a dietician.

I am a mum and a cook, and I know what my kids will eat if I only give them the choices. I believe education with food is the biggest thing for both carers and children.

I was recently very fortunate to be invited to a ‘Blogger Playgroup’. Being a mostly hermit blogger I jumped at the chance, and lucky I did because I met the lovely Mandy, from Little People Nutrition. 


She’s got me thinking more about not just WHAT we feed our kids, but HOW we feed them. I’m not referring to TV on, or eating with hands, all sinful traps I’ve fallen into much to Grandpapa’s horror (Hi, Dad!).

We’re teaching our kids habits for life, and there are simple things that we may not realise we’re doing that can impact them forever.

Responsible portions. So simple.

We eat too much. We like to be full after a  meal, but in reality, we should stop before we feel full. Kids don’t eat until they’re stuffed, like some people I know who shall remain nameless (ok, it’s ME).

That said, when our kids say they’ve had enough, we need to respect that they, as a general rule, have a natural full point that they stop at. Bribing kids to finish what’s on their plate to get dessert is only creating bad habits.

Doh. I bribe.


D Man will also sometimes say he’s full before he even has a bite… little stinker.

What then?

This usually only happens if he thinks he doesn’t like it, so I encourage him to have one bite of each different thing on the plate. If he still doesn’t want it (rare), fine. I’m not going to battle, but there is no Plan B. No cooking multiple things until he likes something, because, well, frankly, I’m sitting with them at the table having my own entree in liquid form and chatting about our day as they try to look past me at the telly.

Making Hungry Little Caterpillars out of vegetables....brilliant!

Making Hungry Little Caterpillars out of vegetables….brilliant!

I’ve noticed schools and pre-schools talk less about good food and bad food these days but more about sometimes foods and every day foods. This is a much healthier way to look at food. With eating disorders and a ‘diet’ mentality starting in our kids earlier and earlier (I’ve heard children as young as 7 are becoming diet conscious WTF? Eat ice cream and run it off, kids), we need to arm them with as sensible and rounded a way of looking at what fuels their little machines as we can.

Using positive communication about food like ‘this food makes me feel strong‘ or ‘helps me see in the dark‘ may help with positive associations from a young age.

Snacking is great as a way to tide our little Energiser Bunnies over until the next meal, but too many snacks means they won’t eat their meals. Not rocket science, but a trap I can fall into if I’m not paying attention. D Man loves to snack.

So do I.

Little Bellies Ginger Bread Men

Little Bellies Ginger Bread men….. just waiting to be eaten

If I’m buying snacks, I always read the sugar content. I’m not super mega-anti-Satan’s sweetener but I don’t think we should hold illusions that we’re giving our kids ‘healthy’ snacks if we’re not i.e. some brands of kid specific yoghurt have four teaspoons of sugar in a pouch.

4mg of sugar is one teaspoon, so if you start doing your four x tables, you’ll soon see how the numbers add up.

I’ve been so focused on my sugar factor, than I’ve barely given salt a thought.

Have you?

Mandy brought to my awareness that sodium content in snacks is equally full-on for our kids. Their kidneys struggle to process it thereby putting their systems under stress. So if you opt not to feed your darling the packet of Tiny Teddies, and reach for the Rice Crackers (like me) then perhaps you’re actually not being as goodie-two-shoes as you think you are.

When I was told that a good low salt option snack would have no more than 100mg sodium per 100 grams, I turned to my cupboard to see what I was feeding my kids.

My cupboard has three difference types of rice crackers, corn crackers and wheat crackers all of which I feed my young. They range from 275mg (relatively low) to a whopping  900mg of sodium per 100g.


I’m not going to throw out all of the food in my cupboard, but I will mix it up with some better options. Knowledge is power, or at least, less salty snacks.

The main reason for the Blogger Playgroup, hosted by Brand Meets Blog, was to introduce us to a new product range by a fabbo Aussie company called Little Bellies.

Little Bellies is an Australian owned company that makes organic and healthy snacks for the munchkins. They’re thoughtful about the salt and sugar quantities so you don’t have to be. Winning!

I was lucky enough to nab a bag of goodies and we’ve been munching our way through them with fantasmagorical results. The Fruit Choo Chews were a winner and the Muesli Choo Chews were pretty close behind.
There’s a cereal (which D Man loves) and biscuits that are sweetened only with grape juice concentrate rather than sugar. You can’t see the Ginger Bread Men in my picture because they were eaten.
Check out their website for full range.

I met the family behind the company and I really liked them. Their ethos was great, and their whole vibe is about teaching good habits, forming healthy associations and setting kids up for life.

Little Bellies have offered a free goodie bag to be sent out to one lucky Holsby-ite, so I’m a hostin’ a give-away…..

Little Bellies product range

All you have to do is be an Australian resident, and be sure to like my Facebook page.
You don’t have to follow my blog by email, but if you wanted to I would surely be much obliged.
If you wanted to like the Little Bellies Facebook page you would also potentially have seven years great sex. Not from them. Or me. You’ll also stay abreast of all their exciting news.

The main thing you need to do is leave a comment on the blog or Facebook page telling me the worst thing that you have found in your child’s mouth or caught your kid eating.
I once stopped D Man from putting a stick in his mouth at the park, before discovering it was a little dog poo. Ewwwwwww.

Can you top that???

I will choose a winner in 7 day’s time. Just click link below and you could have a SUPER MEGA LITTLE BELLIES SNACK ATTACK PRIZE PACK ON IT’S WAY IN A JIFFY!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer : I don’t think whale’s have scrotums.

Flogging my blog on Friday over at With Some Grace. Go see who else is flogging.

Cowboy-tastic Healthy Cherry Ripe Muffins

14 Aug

I am a self-confessed cowboy boot-a-holic. If I’m really honest about it, I have way more boots than I have places to wear them, but I can’t bring myself to enter a 12 step program for it as I fear it would actually be boot scooting. Get it? 12 steps – boot scoot?? Dear Lord, did I just make a boot-scooting joke? Are there no depths I won’t stoop to????
I need to get out more.

As a completely uncoordinated gal, sky-scraping Manolos or Jimmy Choos were never going to moisten my knicks, but I do get my kicks over a hot pair of cowboy boots…..I’m also quite partial to a cowboy, but that’s an entirely different blog. One my Nana doesn’t read, perhaps?
I have 4 pairs (of boots, not cowboys), one brown fairly straight forward pair, one maroon with white stitching- my first love, one cream with an ostrich leather toe and one gold Xanadu style with studs.
I really love my cowboy boots. The only person I’ve ever heard of that loves cowboy boots more than me is BootMan. He was quite the fetishist. My love does not run sexual. Strictly above board.

Bootman was a customer in a bar where a dude I know worked. This dude was a bit of a Rock Dog and he has a collection of boots that kicked my ass. Anyhoo, BootMan gave Rock God an indecent proposal he could not refuse and once a month BootMan came to his house, and while my buddy read the paper and drank cup of tea, BootMan licked his boots while he wore them.
It was an easy $200, but still, how fricken’ weird is that?
I would totally have drunk coffee.

If one was to say I was a cowboy in the kitchen , one would be fairly bang on the money. I love reading food magazines and recipe books but then when it comes to making recipes, I have trouble not going all renegade. I think it’s because I’m such a know-it-all. I always think that I can make it better.
I do love to create in the kitchen but as with all inventors, sometimes I make a dog of a dish. Not often, but sometimes.

I recently made Turkish Delight muffins. Chocolate and rosewater muffin with dark chocolate chips and chunks of Turkish Delight in the middle. I made them with half almond meal and they were amazing in my head……..in reality, hmmmm, not so much.
They were dry, and kinda strange and even my darling D Man, with his two year old’s love of cake, wouldn’t eat it. I think when a kid won’t eat the chocolate muffin, you’ve truly stuffed it.

I ate them. Of course I did!

Waste not, want not, but they were not my finest.
However, like a scientist I let the concept evolve and from those dry, powdery nuggets something beautiful was born.
Chocolate, coconut and cherry muffins. Just like a Cherry Ripe, but almost healthy. They’re moist and yummy and not too chocolatey……..mmmmmmmm.
Boo ya.

Yield – 12 muffins

You will need –

3/4 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cocoa powder
40g dark chocolate, chopped into little bits
1 cup frozen or tinned cherries, halved (better than fresh as they’re more moist)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup vanilla yoghurt (low fat if you want – I didn’t because I don’t believe in it!)
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg

Pre-heat oven to 180C.
Throw all of your dry ingredients into a bowl and combine.
Make a well in the middle and remaining ingredients, stir until all combined and place into your muffin cases.
Pop into the oven for 35-40 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
Grate a little left-over chocolate over the cooled muffins to make them all sexy like.

I accidentally ate three straight up. I will endeavour to give some away tomorrow or I may eat the rest!

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