Recipes for my husband

My grandfather is not well and it was time for a short trip back to SA to see him and help my mom.

So I’ve left my husband and kids to fend for themselves until Sunday.

As we were planning the trip, Paul suddenly turned around and asked where I get the recipes I use to make dinners etc. I looked at him and pointed at my head.

So, in the interest of keeping them fed and to stop them from eating sausages and corn schnitzel for a week, I thought I would write down some of the daily recipes I use.

Honey Mustard Chicken Breasts
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 180C

  2. In a small bowl, mix mustard, honey, salt, pepper and oil

  3. Place breasts in a dish or foil roaster and cover with the honey mustard mix

  4. Cover dish with foil and place in oven to bake for 30 minutes

  5. At 30 minutes, uncover the chicken and continue to bake for a further 10 minutes or more until done.

Recipe Notes

Serve with rice or couscous.

Chicken Schnitzel
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
55 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg chicken schnitzel
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • spices
Instructions
  1. Take out two plates and a large flat bowl

  2. On the first plate, our out some flour, on the second plate pour out some breadcrumbs, mix the spices into the breadcrumbs

  3. In the bowl, crack both eggs, add some water and mix well

  4. In a pan, heat some olive oil

  5. Take a piece of chicken and dip it in the flour so that both sides are covered

  6. Dip the floured chicken in the egg mixture so both sides are coated

  7. Now dip the egged chicken in the breadcrumbs so both sides are coated

  8. Place the chicken in the hot oil and coat the next piece of chicken

  9. After about 5 minutes turn the first pieces of chicken in the oil and fry for a further 5 minutes, you should fit 2 or 3 pieces in each pan depending on the size of the pieces

  10. Remove chicken from oil and place in the oven (on 100C) to keep warm

  11. Add a bit more oil to the pan and carry on frying until no chicken is left

  12. Mix any leftover breadcrumbs, flour and egg into a paste and make small patties that you can fry for a few minutes at a time (the kids love these)

Recipe Notes

You can also bake the schnitzel in the oven if you dont want to fry it. 

Heat the oven to 180C.

Place each piece of breaded chicken onto a baking tray (covered with a baking sheet),  1kg of chicken will take up both baking trays.

Spray the chicken with olive oil spray.

Place the chicken in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

How cool is the schnitzel Paul made?!!!
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless, skinless, chicken breasts Defrosted!
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • pinch salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Place onion, garlic, soy sauce, ketchup, vinegar, salt and pepper in the slow cooker and mix well

  2. Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and toss to coat with the sauce

  3. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set on low

  4. After about 3 hours, turn the chicken pieces over and continue cooking for another 3 hours

  5. After about 6 hours (total), turn off the slow cooker and with 2 forks, shred the chicken and mix with the sauce

Recipe Notes

Serve on rolls or over rice

Homemade Pizza
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 
Course: Main Course
Author: Gina
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Instructions
  1. Place yeast, water and sugar in the bowl of the mixer

  2. Once the yeast has started to foam (about 5 minutes), add all the other ingredients and mix on high until the dough forms a ball

  3. The dough should be firm and not sticky, if its too sticky, add some flour, if its too dry, add a bit of water

  4. Once the dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic and a cloth and let sit for an hour

  5. Roll out balls of dough, cover in tomato sauce, cheese and toppings and bake for 20 minutes at 180C

Hopefully they don’t starve or turn into sausages. And I will be back before they k ow it.

4 years

Another year has flown by. We’ve had our ups and downs. Mostly ups though.

Paul started a new job, we adopted a rescue dog, the kids are thriving.

My Hebrew still sucks and we still don’t have a drivers license between us, but my resolutions for the new year are to sort those two things out.

Every year here seems to be better than the last, so here is to a fantastic upcoming year!

Its school again!

Seriously, the summer vacation just flew by and I have a blog post brewing about all the fun things we did.

But in the meantime, Faith and Aaron have gone back to school.

Faith is now in Kita Gimmel (3rd grade) and Aaron is now in Kita Hay (5th grade).

Can they slow down just a bit please?

The story of our (not so) little miracle.

When we made aliyah, we made the heartbreaking and very emotional decision, not to bring our dashies with us.

You can read about it here. Suffice to say it was the best thing for them. And they landed up going to an amazing family, they are spoiled rotten, go for car rides and vacations to the beach and sleep on the bed. We get regular updates on how they are doing and pics of them all the time.

When Paul started his new job, which is a work from home/remote office job, we decided that we would look into getting a dog.

One of my stipulations was that we would take in a rescue dog, a doggo that needed a new home. Whether because they had been abandoned, or were too old to be adopted or had health issues. After having to give up our babies and seeing the love and care they were given in their new home, we wanted to pay it forward.

So one day a few months ago, I got a call from Vanessa, her pupper’s sister needed a new home, would we be interested?

Well, maybe.

I called the vet who was in charge of looking for a new home for Nessi and got the details of her current human. Within a week we made a plan to go see her and within a week from then we brought her home.

Here is her story.

When Nessi* (and her sister Sox and the rest of their litter) were about 2 weeks old, they were found on the side of a main road, their mum had been hit by a car . The pups were split up and went to a variety of people to hand rear them.

When they were about 5 weeks old, one of the foster moms older dogs attacked Nessi and cracked her skull/jaw. She was not allowed to be adopted out until she was fully healed.

She was then adopted out to a wonderful guy in Tel Aviv. Because of the pups losing their mum so early, they all have varying degrees of anxiety and other issues from not having that maternal protection. Nessi also has a few extra issues from her attack at 5 weeks. Her human spent hours and hours with her and a trainer working through her anxiety and issues and helping her overcome them.

And then her human got sick. Unfortunately his illness meant he was unable to look after a rambunctious, energy full, crazy puppy and he had to make the very hard and heart breaking decision to re home her.

Which is where we came in.

On 4th April, Nessi came to live us.

For the first day, she lay in one spot, refusing to move or interact with us at all. We left her alone, put out food and water for her and basically ignored her even though we just wanted to shower her with love.

When it came time to take her outside before going to bed she wouldn’t let us come near her to put her leash on and Paul spent ages sitting on the floor with treats, tempting her to come close enough to him to get it on.

That night she slept on the couch in the lounge and would not come sleep in her basket in our room.

To cut a long story short, she warmed up to us within a day or two. She has now taken over the entire house. She sleeps on the couch with us when we watch TV. She sheds everywhere. She sleeps in her basket in our room at night or on the mat next to Paul’s side of the bed.

She loves playing tug with her rope or her rubber bone and get super excited when the kids come home from school.

She loves the children and lets them lie all over her and kiss and hugs her. She is very much a puppy and loves to bite and chew everything, especially people!

She still has very bad anxiety and we give her homeopathic doggy anti-anxiety pills twice a day which definitely helps but we need to take her to training. She really doesn’t like strangers, especially when they come to our house, so we need to help her deal with that or we will never be able to have visitors again.

All in all, adding Nessi to our home has been the best decision. We love her and she brings joy into our home.

*Nessi in Hebrew means miraculous.

6 months

No I’m not pregnant. Just been absent. For 6 months.

For some reason I just stopped blogging. No great secret, no shocking reason. I just stopped. I also seem to have stopped using Twitter. Again, no idea why, no real reason. I just stopped.

So, whats happened over the last 6 months?

Paul has a new job. Its a pretty cool position in an awesome company that he gets to do from home.

We got a dog! Her name is Nessi which means miracle in Hebrew. She is the cutest floof ever, even when she bites and nibbles to get your attention. I will write another post all about her soon.

The morning after Nessi came to live with us.

The kids have finished school and are well into summer vacation. In September, Aaron will be in 5th Grade and Faith will be in 3rd Grade. Where has the time gone?

Our third Pesach in Israel. It was a good evening with my family and our friends.

We all finally got our Israeli passports. This means we can travel easily throughout Europe. So give me your suggestions. Where should we visit?

I dyed my hair. Purple and blue! I love it.

Other than that, the last 6 months have been pretty quiet. Just the way I like it.

Hopefully I will be back in the writing mood now and will post more often. Or not. No promises.

 

3 Years

We have been living in Israel for just over three years now.

Some days it feels like yesterday and some days it feels like forever.

My Hebrew still sucks but my kids are fluent.

They are both doing well in school (with some serious encouragement) and have so many friends.

Im still at my awesome job and Paul is freelancing and being an amazing house husband (I hardly ever have to do a load of laundry myself).

We have amazing friends, Israelis and Expats.

You cant ask for anything more.

Life is good.

Wooooosh!

That’s the sound of another year flying past us.

On 1st September Aaron and Faith started their new school year.

Aaron is now in Grade 4 and Faith is in Grade 2.

For Faith this means she is now part of the main school, she gets to play where ever the rest of the school plays. The Grade 1’s were restricted to their own playground that they shared with the Grade 0’s, so this is a big step for her.

It also means there is no more sandpit for her to play in which means no more sandpit coming home in her shoes and pockets. Yay for me!

She is also going to aftercare every day, where they will hopefully help her with homework since I am useless with most of it.

So far she is loving being in ‘big’ school.

Aaron, on the other hand, no longer has aftercare. He is now in Grade 4 so both the school aftercare and the private aftercare say he is big enough to look after himself in the afternoons. 

::puts head between knees, takes deep breaths::

My baby is almost 10 and is now coming home from school all on his own. Making himself something to eat. All on his own. Doing his homework. All on his own. Looking after himself until one of us gets home. All. On. His. OWN!

But I think this child will be just fine. No, I know he will. He is a smart, independent, compassionate boy.

Here’s just one of the reasons I think this child is awesome!

Yesterday when he went home, the downstairs neighbours dog was outside. He called me to ask what he should do. I told him to knock on the door and if no one answered to try open their garden gate or try pick her up and put her over the fence.

They were not home, he couldn’t open the gate and she was too heavy (and growly) for him to lift, so I told him to leave her, I was sure her humans would be home soon and its not the first time she has been out, she never strays far and waits near the door for them anyway.

He wouldn’t hear of it. Told me it was too hot and she couldn’t stay by herself. So he coaxed her into our place, gave her a bowl of water and she then proceeded to climb on my couch and lick and bite herself for an hour, leaving a big wet slobber patch and half her hair all over my couch.

But my sweet, kind hearted boy refused to leave her vulnerable. He makes my mama heart so proud.

Here’s to a new school year. May it be as awesome as my children are!

Retro TV

 

What does one do in winter, when it is too cold to go outside, you don’t have a car and there is no public transport on a Saturday?

Why, one pops some corn, cuddles under a blanket with the family and watches childhood favourites on Netflix!

A while back we decided to introduce the kids to an 80’s classic, Back to the Future.

They LOVED it!

We have since watched the following two Back to the Future sequels, The Never Ending Story, The Princess Bride, Jurassic Park, A Knights Tale and Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

We have also introduced the kids to such classics as He-Man, She-Ra and most recently Inspector Gadget.

I love that our kids are excited by the movies and TV shows that we enjoyed when we were their ages. And its a kick to go back and enjoy those shows again ourselves.

What are some of your favourite childhood movies and shows?

Things I have recently learned…

Boys are gross

OK, so not something I didn’t already know but still. 

I could not look at Aaron’s room for a single minute more on Friday. So I asked demanded that he clean everything. I made him pick up and throw away every last piece of paper, string, broken toy, piece of crap off his floor. He had to clean out his toy box, bedside table and computer desk. He had to dust everything, wipe down all the surfaces and then sweep the floor. I then came in and used my awesome steam mop thingy to clean the floors. The best part was when I told him I want the floor clean enough to eat off. His eyes almost bugged out until I told him that it was a saying and we were not really going to eat off the floor.

So now his room is pretty clean, except for the cardboard boxes he is turning into a plane. Lets see how long it lasts this time.

Winter – Pic taken by Paul

The vacuum cleaner wasn’t broken

About 2 years ago we bought a really cheap vacuum cleaner from the local grocery store. It was cheap but it worked really well. For the last little while I’ve noticed that it wasnt working as well as it used to. We cleaned it out. Paul pulled out a fair bit of fluff and hairballs and it worked a bit better but no where near as well as when it was new. I thought that was that. Its a cheap machine, obviously has a short lifespan. I asked Paul to give it a clean so I could use it on the above mentioned boy’s room. Paul landed up taking the thing apart and actually washing one of the big sponge filters, which was disgustingly dirty. 

Let me just say, the machine now works like I just took it out the box. It even picked up glitter off the tiles and carpet. 

Moral of the story? Clean and service your appliances before throwing them out. 

Jerusalem – pic taken by Paul

You can make cake using plain Greek yogurt and no sugar

I felt like making a cake for tea yesterday and I didnt have any diabetic cup for cup sugar replacement available. What I did have was stevia liquid. I searched online and found a simple trick for using liquid stevia as a replacement in a regular recipe.  Basically 1 teaspoon stevia for each cup of sugar as well as 1/3 cup liquid for each cup of sugar. In my case I used plain yogurt.

The cake came out delicious!

Greek Yogurt Lemon Cake
A dense and yummy lemon cake with no sugar.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
55 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 3/4 cups flour
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 tablespoon butter (you can use the equivalent in oil)
  6. 3 eggs
  7. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  8. 2 teaspoons stevia liquid
  9. 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  10. 1/2 cup lemon juice (you can also add a bit of lemon rind if you used a fresh lemon but its not necessary)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C
  2. In 1 bowl mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a 2nd bowl mix the butter/oil, eggs, vanilla, stevia, yogurt and lemon juice.
  4. Slowly add the dry bowl into the liquids bowl, mixing well as you add them together.
  5. Mix well until there are no lumps.
  6. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes.
Notes
  1. We ate this cake straight from the oven. It was totally delicious.
A Bit of This A Bit of That https://gnatj.com/

Its been a crazy few weeks

So the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of school holidays, Chanukah candles, fried foods, family dinners, Faiths (belated) birthday party, a visit from Wendi’s daughter, Sivan, a visit from our Australian family and my mom came to visit for two weeks.

I think I will just let some of Paul’s photos do the talking…