Weekly Highlights

This week has been super busy, and although some of you may think I’m Super Woman and keep up with everything effortlessly, I’m not, and I don’t. In fact, today I feel a bit like my little nephew after a hard day of being Super Man…

(Isn’t he just too cute?)

Yep. That’s me right there.

This week has been: school holidays and lots of kids coming and going; an exciting project I’m working on (which I’ll tell you about soon); lots of cooking (mostly for the exciting project); wrapping up loose ends with my job (I’m scaling down there – can’t do everything!); sight seeing tours with a visitor from overseas; a birthday party with a bunch of noisy boys (plus a few girls who don’t like to miss out on nerf wars and messy fun, ie. my 16 yr old and her friends); plus everything else. Result: exhausted ‘super woman’ with saggy muscles. Lol.

So here’s a quick update, with the highlights from our discussions on the Quirky Cooking Facebook page…


Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton Blog

I bumbled my way through the boys’ birthday BBQ on Thursday. I’m not great at organising amazing kids’ parties. I’d rather just supply some food and let them entertain themselves by running around outside, so a BBQ at the lake seemed like the easiest option. Sadly, the weather turned bad so we arrived at the lake, took one look at the wet and windy BBQ ‘shelter’, then turned around and drove back to town. Thankfully my lovely friend Giselle was happy for a party of 14 boys (plus a few girls) to descend upon her home and run around crazy in her yard, so a fun time was had by all despite the rain.

Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton Blog

Of course, being a country kids’ birthday party, it included things like an ‘epic’ nerf war (I borrowed that word from Mr I, who seems to say it a lot), bushwalking to a waterfall, throwing rocks into a volcanic crater, and eating sausages and fried onions in bread with plenty of tomato sauce. No lollies at this party, or party games or party bags – but I’m pretty sure they all had a good time.  

Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton BlogI managed to get a birthday cake made before dashing out the door in the morning – another Zebra cake (Mr I’s request), but with a few changes to make it healthier and yummier. The kids loved it. It’s a bit messier than my last one as I was in a hurry, but I really don’t think the kids noticed.
Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton Blog

It’s funny how we mums sometimes think that if we don’t do everything ‘just right’ the world will fall apart. I’m always reminding myself that there are more important things to worry about in life than whether a cake is beautifully decorated, or a party is perfectly organised. Sure, if you can do it and enjoy it, that’s great! But getting stressed out over things like that just spoils the fun. So we had a slap dash, informal party, and a fun day was had by all. 

Here’s what’s been happening on my Quirky Cooking Facebook page this past week… 

Quirky Cooking - Whole Poached Pear CakePear recipes: This ‘Whole Poached Pear Cake’ was being tested and tweaked this week in my kitchen. I’m working on a dairy free, grain free version, and although it’s not quite there yet, it still tasted delicious! What are you favourite pear recipes? Try some of these out.

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake: the lovely girls from Confetti Mag shared my cake recipe on their blog – check out the recipe here, and make sure you subscribe to their beautiful online magazine!

I’m also working on a recipe for a gluten free, dairy free shortcrust pastry… lots of pies being cooked here lately! (No one’s complaining.) No recipe yet, all part of the ‘project’.

Quirky Cooking - Grain Free Pie Crust

Weird breakfasts: I explain why I eat weird things for breakfast, like chicken soup and fried rice, here.

How to make soft eggs, poached in the shell: too easy, very quick, and delicious! Photo and recipe here.

Don’t have time for a ‘proper’ breakfast? My quick protein smoothie recipe.

A very interesting version of my Creamy Chicken & Brown Rice Soup: You know that soup that everyone’s making? Well, you may not want to make it like this. Then again, maybe you will, just for fun!!

15 foods that can be regrown from scraps: great tips from Mrs Happy Homemaker

Favourite thermomix chicken recipes: Got chicken? Try these!

Trout recipes: some tips and recipes for cooking trout here.

Homemade two minute noodle seasoning mix: healthier versions you can make yourself!

Healthier biscuits to replace Tiny Teddies: some great ideas here for little homemade bikkies for kids, without the nasties.

10 reasons to make your own bone broth: check out this article by Alexx Stuart – I call bone broth ‘liquid gold’. 

How to dry ripe olives: tips for drying and perserving olives here.

How to make dairy free dulce de leche with honey to sweeten: a reader’s tip!

Homemade fruit chutney: readers’ favourite recipes here.

Chilli jam recipes: find some recipes and links here.

Fig jam recipes: made with dried figs – ideas here.

Pickles: I also made pickled cucumber slices this week, so if you’re wanting to try them yourself, the recipe is here – first half of recipe is in the comment on the photo, second half of recipe in the last comment on the photo. (These are not sweet pickles, they’re the salty, vinegarry type.)

Pickling Cucumbers - Quirky Cooking


Homemade face masks: no need to spend big bucks on fancy schmancy facial treatments! Try these homemade face mask recipes!

10 reasons you should be using coconut oil: here’s why I love coconut oil

Why sugar makes us sleepy and protein wakes us up: …and this is why I eat protein at breakfast time!

A reader’s experience: how a mum got her daughter have more energy by giving her a protein breakfast before school! Her story here.

Sucrase Isomaltase Deficiency: a disorder that affects a persons ability to breakdown sucrose (fruit/table sugar) and maltose (grain sugar). Donna asked for some recipe ideas, in particular snacks & lunch box treats, for her 5 year old with SID – here’s the answers and ideas that were shared.


French Rules for Feeding Children: the French are known for having children who will eat all sorts of things – fussy eaters are just about unheard of! Here’s some tips for developing great little eaters.

Nut milk bags: what do you use to strain your nut milk? Reader’s tips and favourite brands.

How do you store recipes you find online? Here’s readers’ favourite ways to keep track of recipes they want to make.

Have a great week everyone!

Quirky Cooking - Jo Whitton Blog

Miss C and Shadow have the right idea…

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