Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Welcome to my new site.....sort of......

Testing, testing, are you receiving me?

I am going to have to call this a 'soft opening'. As usual, my best laid plans turn to poo.

Plan was to have new blog design, new url, new facebook page, all ready to go in one beautiful, orchestrated 'boom!'. But, unfortunately, technology got in the way and I haven't been able to do a few things I had wanted too. And just like me in real life, it is all a bit wind swept, thrown together with a few holes in the t-shirt for good measure.

But first ....... doesn't it look pretty! I love the colours - kept from the old design, so it has the same aqua and fairy floss feel, but just a different name. The wonderful Sass from MooZoo Designs did it, I am in love with it's prettiness! I am not totally in love with having my face on the page, but will have a play with it - I think it distracts from the cartoon/ logo thingy a bit, but it may just be that old self conscience thing seeping through. 

Why BossyMummy????
Well, the original name (pinkelephantsandlemonade) was on a whim - I was tossing up between different song lyrics for the title of this little blog I was starting. I was going through all these cool bands, with cool names - then somehow, I ended up with a Madonna song - yep, go Madge!

When I began to use social media more and more, I wanted to get my full name away as much as possible - not hard to find, I know, but I wanted to remove it a bit. As I wrote more and more posts, I realised that no matter how cool I tried to be, I mainly wrote about Master Z, and family life. For that reason, I succummed to a 'Mummy' title and changed my twitter handle first to @bossymummy. I know some people don't like being called 'Mummy', or a 'Mummy blogger', but I tell you, nothing makes my heart melt more than my 2 year old calling me 'Mummy'! 

I was reading through some of my report cards from primary school and noted that a number mentioned I was extremely  had a tendency to be bossy. I mused out loud that 'nothing has change, I am still bossy, aren't I Z?' He turned to me and said 'I love you Bossy Mummy', so it stuck from then. I don't find Bossy negative, I have been a boss, I am a mum, I do have a tendency to delegate very well - it fits.

Sooo, as part of this, I have a facebook page finally - Yay Chantel, welcome to 2012! Please head over to the very funky button to your right to view it. Only started last night, so it's a work in progress, but I am really looking forward to using it to collate and share all the awesomeness that is the interwebz. I need to fiddle around with it, as at the moment, the profile picture shows Ossy Ummy, so not that helpful!

I have some more pages coming - I only just worked out I could add them myself (baby steps people, baby steps!), so hopefully I will get my 'About Me' page set up finally!

I also have the url www.bossymummy.com waiting in the wings, so will be able to transfer / redirect on the weekend and then all will be sweet.

With this new name, look and feel, I am looking forward to getting in the mood to write more, post more photos, share recipes and general musings. I would also love to spend time writing about play - one of my passions as an OT and a Mum, so expect a bit of that over the coming months.

So, this is the new me, you can find me here, or @BossyMummy or the newly minted
facebook page or good 'old fashioned' email.

Welcome, and enjoy the ride with me!
(oh, and nab my 'button' if you wish - isn't it cute :) )

Linking up with Jess  at Diary of a SAHM for IBOT as always. Even if I don't do much writing, IBOT is always posting day. Head on over for some great reading - would recommend a warm blanket, open fire and cup of tea sorted before you start if the weather where you are is anything like Perth at the moment!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


I hate coriander!

from here

It's in my bio. I can't stand the taste and find it ruins my whole meal. I reckon I could smell it from 50,000 feet. (That's cilantro to those playing stateside). 

Now, I am reasonable. I am quite happy to eat the ground coriander seeds, and can even stomach the ground root in cooking. But, I CANNOT abide the leaves and feel it is the most useless, horrible tasting thing I have come across.

I have eaten many weird and wonderful things in my travels. I enjoy trying new foods. I am more than happy to give things a go. I happily gnaw on chicken feet at DimSum, I have eaten shark fin soup (before I was old enough to understand the eco ramifications), I have eaten battered goats intestines, Haggis, tripe, black pudding, yak in all its forms in Tibet, sour yak milk and sheeps eyeballs (or maybe that one was an Indiana Jones movie, but there was some type of eyeballs!)

Coriander, to my palate is the most totally objectionable.

TBone knows this.

So why, would he have thought that he could sneak some of Gourmet Garden's Coriander paste into our Burrito chilli on Friday night? He ruined Mexican night for me (favourite meal of the week!!!) and I had to resort to having baked beans in my burrito.

He thought he could get away with it, he swears he only put half a teaspoon in, he was sure I wouldn't even notice. 

He was wrong!

I smelt it before it entered my mouth, but was sure he wouldn't have been silly enough to put it in something we were eating together.  
I took measures to ensure it NEVER happens again. 

Not impressed - but luckily for him, I got the giggles that he was being so quietly smug and thought he could get away with it and I called him on it immediately. He was also lucky that it was Friday night and there was a beer in my hand. 

Next time he might not be so lucky..........

Is there any food you find objectionable?

Linking up today with Jess for IBOT - head on over and enjoy!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb and Poached Pear Dessert

I had scheduled a post for today, being the last day of the Gourmet Garden Blog Off / Cook Off and it was my show piece. I was happy with my post and hopped online to check out if anyone had viewed it. Only to find it had vanished, it was non-existent! I must have deleted it in my excitement last night - aaarrrggghhh!!! Anyway, lucky I saw it today, so here is a belated, probably not as shiny version.

I have enjoyed experimenting this week with the Gourmet Garden products. It is certainly convenient to have them in your fridge and there is not the concern of them spoiling like you have with fresh herbs. I have also found that they seem to be quite strong in flavour - a little bit goes a long way.

Today's recipe is a Lamb rack, with a herb crust, served with veges. As an added bonus I thought I would do a dessert and the Poached Pears was the best I could think of to highlight the Gourmet Garden pastes. I have never poached pears before, so it was trial and error, but I really liked the result - hope you enjoy it too!

Main Course

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Ingredients - serves 2
2 slices grainy bread
1 rack of lamb - I used 600g for 2 people and it was more than enough
40 g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Crunchy Garlic
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Rosemary
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Basil
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dijon Mustard
Veges to serve

1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan forced)
2. Toast the bread, then whiz in food processor until breadcrumbs form
3. Mix the Gourmet Garden herbs, garlic and half the oil together in a small bowl. 
4. Add the breadcrumbs and mix together - I found mixing by hand was best at this stage
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

6. Rub the lamb racks with some of the remaining oil
7. Add the rest of the oil to a heated frying pan, and heat on high.
8. Once hot, add the rack, fat side down and sear - 2 minutes is usually enough
9. Remove from the pan and place on a baking tray - fat side down
10. Spread mustard on the top of the lamb, then cover with a layer of the breadcrumb mixture to form the crust

11. Cook in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes - so the lamb is pink
12. Remove from oven and allow to rest for five minutes - I usually cover the tray with foil at this stage
13. Cut racks in half and serve with fresh veges - I roasted some cherry tomatoes and microwaved (I know, sinful!) some asparagus and snow peas with salt and pepper, oil and the Gourmet Garden Crunchy Garlic Paste 


Lemon Grass and Ginger Poached Pears

2 pears, peeled, but stalks left on
1 litre Water
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Lemon Grass
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Ginger

1. Heat the water in a medium saucepan
2. Mix together the sugar, lemon grass and ginger to a paste and add to the water
3. Bring to the boil
4. Add the pears, reduce to a simmer

5. Simmer for 25 minutes, turning pears occasionally
6. Remove pears from the water, drain briefly on paper towel.

I served with some custard I had mixed up the the thermomix, but a chocolate or caramel sauce would be divine!


Wow, a whole week done. Check out the other recipes I have posted this week using Gourmet Garden products:

You can also head over to Gourmet Garden's Blog Off / Cook Off page and check out everyone else's great recipes.

Have a great week

Disclaimer: I received some products from Gourmet Garden to try out and am taking part in their Blog Off / Cook Off competition 

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Herb Stuffed Chicken Wrapped in Prosciutto

It has been lovely having fresh herbs at my finger tips. I only shop once a week, and usually buy 2 bunches of basil and one of parsley. The last few days of the week, the herbs wilt and go off. It has been great to have the Gourmet Garden herb pastes in the fridge, fresh and ready to go. TBone has mentioned how much more flavour the dishes have had - might be something in that!

So to continue the recipes using Gourmet Garden herbs, today's post is herb stuffed chicken, wrapped in Prosciutto. This is another one of those meals that is quick and simple, but packs a bang and seems a bit posh.

Ingredients - for 2 people
2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Chunky Garlic
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Parsley
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Basil
180g light cream cheese
150 g feta cheese crumbled
1 packet prosciutto - usually 6 strips

Veges to serve

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan-forced) 
2. Mix together the herbs, garlic, cream cheese and feta. 
3. Flatten chicken breast to 0.5cm thick - I do this with the chicken under some cling film with a meat tenderiser 
4. Scoop half the herb mixture onto the chicken and roll up - repeat with the other breast
5. Wrap the chicken roll in 3 strips of prosciutto and secure ends with toothpicks and place in a pan over a low heat to lightly brown off.
6. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes, turning once
7. Serve with your choice of veges
Could do with some food styling help, but you get the idea!
I also served with a small amount of some tomato pasta sauce I had left over, but it is quite juicy, so doesn't really need it.

Disclaimer: I received some products from Gourmet Garden to try out and am taking part in their Blog Off / Cook Off competition 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Work Night Thai Green Chicken Curry

Continuing with the showcase of Gourmet Garden's herb pastes, today's recipe is one that can be done very quickly, so is great for those nights when you get home from work late, or really can't be bothered.

Thai Green Chicken Curry
1 chopped onion
2 Tbsp oil
500 g chicken breast (or thigh)
2 Tbsp Green Curry Paste
2 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Thai Seasoning
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tin coconut flavoured evaporated milk (I use this as a light alternative to coconut milk or cream)
1/2 cup water
1 red capsicum chopped
300 g pumpkin chopped into cubes and steamed through (I usually just boil for 5 minutes, don't want it too soft)
1 head of broccoli

1. Heat oil in pan and add onion. Lightly sauté. 
2. Add chicken and cook til browned
3. Add curry paste and Gourmet Garden Thai Paste and heat through

4. Add fish sauce, water, capsicum and pumpkin and tin of evaporated milk - simmer for 10 minutes (be sure not to boil if using evaporated milk, as will separate)
5. Add broccoli, some extra liquid if needed and simmer gently for a further 5 minutes
6. Serve with rice and some lime wedges
Sorry, here's the crap food styling at play - definitely tastes better than it looks!

This is the only time I have ever had coriander in the house (in the Gourmet Garden Thai Seasoning). TBone is ecstatic, and thinks I should get over my hatred for it. I will admit when done this way, it is not that offensive......
But no leaf coriander - EVER!!!!

Do you have a quick easy work night meal? Let me know, I am always looking for new ideas.

Chantel x

Disclaimer: I received some products from Gourmet Garden to try out and am taking part in their Blog Off / Cook Off competition

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Chilli Mussels with some Herby Bread

Continuing with a recipe each day for Gourmet Garden, this recipe is one of my all time faves. I saved the best for Tuesday as I link up with Jess for IBOT!

This recipe is simple and decadent and people think you have put a lot of effort into it. Using the Gourmet Garden herbs, your preparation time is cut in half. Very effective - not so good for a date meal though, lots of slurping and sauce on white shirts!

I used the Thermomix for both of these recipes, so will try to translate throughout.

Herby Bread
300g lukewarm water
1 sachet dry yeast (or 20g fresh)
20g Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
500g of Plain Bakers Flour
1Tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil
1Tbsp Gourmet Garden Parsley
1Tbsp Gourmet Garden Crunchy Garlic

Thermomix - 
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan forced)
2. Place water, yeast, Olive oil and salt into Thermomix bowl and mix for 5 seconds on speed 6.
3. Add flour and mix for 10 seconds on speed 7
4. Set dial to closed position and knead the dough for 3 minutes on Interval speed 
5. Add the Gourmet Garden herbs and garlic, knead for a further 30 seconds on Interval speed
6. Place dough onto slip mat and allow to rise for 45 - 60 mins in a warm place - will rise to double the size
Not that attractive......

7. Once the dough has risen, shape into the rolls or shaped loaf you want, or place in a bread tin
8. Allow to rise a further 30 mins and then brush lightly with milk or water
9. Bake in pre-heated oven on 200 degrees C for 35 minutes or until crusty golden shell.
That's better!

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan forced)
2. Place water, yeast, Olive oil and salt into a large bowl and mix together with a spoon
3. Add flour and mix with hands until dough formed
4. Remove from bowl onto floured surface and knead dough for roughly 10 minutes
5. Add the Gourmet Garden herbs and garlic, knead for a further 3 minutes
6. Place dough back into bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rise for 45 - 60 mins in a warm place - will rise to double the size
7. Once the dough has risen, remove, punch out the air and knead for a further 3 minutes. Shape into the rolls or shaped loaf you want, or place in a bread tin
8. Allow to rise a further 30 mins and then brush lightly with milk or water
9. Bake in pre-heated oven on 200 degrees C for 35 minutes or until crusty golden shell.

Whilst the bread is baking, prepare your mussels

Chilli Mussels
1 kg black mussels - scrubbed, de-bearded - any open or cracked ones discarded
1 onion finely chopped (or peeled and halved in Thermie)
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Chunky Garlic
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Hot Chilli
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Basil
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Parsley
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden's Oregano (I used Thyme in this case as I was out of Oregano - you could also use 3 Tbsp of Gourmet Garden's Italian Herbs instead of the individual herbs)
50 g olive oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes
200 g dry white wine
Thermomix -
1. Place onion in thermomix bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 6. 
2. Scrape down sides of bowl and add garlic and chilli and oil
3. Sauté on 100 degrees, reverse speed for 5 minutes
4. Add the Gourmet Garden herbs, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes and wine. Cook for 15 minutes at 100 degrees on speed 2
5. Place the cleaned mussels in the varoma and place on top of the bowl. Continue cooking at 100 degrees, speed 2 for 20 minutes. 
6. When done, place the mussels and sauce in a large bowl and mix together

7. Serve with herby bread

1. Place olive oil and chopped onion and chilli in a large saucepan and saute until onion golden brown
2. Add tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, wine and Gourmet Garden herbs
3. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes
4. Bring back to the boil. Add mussels, stir, cover and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the majority of mussels open
5. Serve in large bowls with the herby bread

What's your go to dish to impress?

Chantel x

Disclaimer: I received some products from Gourmet Garden to try out and am taking part in their Blog Off / Cook Off competition

Monday, 14 May 2012

When Mum Put Me to Work - A Recipe

Today, as part of Gourmet Garden's Blog Off / Cook Off, I have made one of the dishes I remember learning from my mum as a child, her lasagne. It was far from the classic Italian most would be familiar with, so anyone with Italian heritage, please don't berate me! Mum's cooking was more meat and three veg conservative, country style, but it was always a hit with anyone who ate it.

I also remember it being very labour intensive - which was probably why Mum always got me to help her. I remember her being very finicky about the amount of meat in each layer - she certainly stretched her mince as far as she could - and stirring the white sauce definitely built some guns!

My lasagne keeps her soul in it, but uses some cheats to make it very quick and easy. I also use my thermomix to make the Bechemel (white) sauce as I am lazy and don't have a need to show off my guns anytime soon - and it gives such a silky smooth sauce, with no lumps, something I never have mastered on the stove top.

I apologise in advance if I switch at all from metric to old school and if instructions seem off. Please let me know if anything doesn't make sense. 

My herb garden for the week - looking a lot healthier than the one outside!

Meat Sauce
20 ml oil
1 finely choppped onion
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic
1kg lean mince 
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes 
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Basil
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Oregano
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Thyme
1 Tbsp Gourmet Garden Rosemary
(you could use 3 Tbsp of Gourmet Garden's Italian Herbs instead, but I was not that prepared!)
1 cup Port or any red wine you have lying around
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Water (if required)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C (fan forced)
2. Place the oil in a deep saucepan or large fry pan to heat. Add your onion and garlic and lightly sauté for around 5 minutes.

3. Add mince and cook until brown
4. Add tomato paste and tin of tomatoes
(Any other chopped veges could be added at this stage, such as celery or carrot - like I said, I take short cuts to make it as quick as possible, so only use the basics)
5. Add all your Gourmet Garden herbs, mix thoroughly and heat through
6. Add wine and balsamic vinegar - I will sometimes put about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce if I have any open in my fridge - adds flavour and good for any left in the jar!
7. Season with salt and pepper to taste
8. Bring to the boil - add some water if needed. Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, checking regularly to make sure there is enough liquid so it doesn't stick. While that is cooking through, prepare your white sauce.

White Sauce
1 litre milk
100 g plain flour
60 g butter
1 tsp salt
Pinch nutmeg

I did this part in the thermomix, so put all the sauce ingredients into the bowl and cooked for 12 minutes on 90 degrees C, speed 4.

For those not part of the cult:

1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir (here is where the labour starts)
2. Once the butter and flour has formed a paste, slowly add half the milk, whilst still stirring.
3. Keep stirring and add the rest of the milk
4. Keep stirring
5.Add salt to taste, keep stirring.
6. Add nutmeg, keep stirring.
7. Keep stirring.
8. Just when you think you can't stir any more (child labour Mum????) the sauce should start to thicken and if you are really lucky, there won't be any lumps.
If there are any problems with thickening, you can make a paste in a separate small saucepan by melting some more butter and flour and add this - I have often done this, then gone too far the other way and had to add more milk - luckily its an easy fix.

To Prepare
1 pack instant lasagne
1 cup grated cheese

1. Spray a lasagne tin - or any square or rectangle tray you have that is at least 2 inches deep - with cooking spray, or grease with butter.
2. Scoop enough meat sauce to thinly cover the base of the tin.

3. Cover the meat sauce with one layer of lasagne sheets
4. Scoop one layer of meat sauce
5. Cover with a layer of white sauce
6. Add a layer of lasagne sheets and repeat the combination until the sauce is finished. Sprinkle grated cheese over the top. I find it is best to finish with a sheet of lasagne, topped with white sauce, that way when you sprinkle the cheese over, it sits in nicely.

7. Cook in a moderate oven (180 degrees C - fan forced) for 35 minutes and until cheese is golden brown.

8. Remove from oven, allow to cool and serve with a garden salad and a nice glass of red wine.
The quantities I used feeds 6 with left overs for lunch

Are there any dishes you can remember learning from your Mum as a child? Was she involved in the same child labour racket as mine?

Chantel x

Disclaimer: I received some products from Gourmet Garden to try out and am taking part in their Blog Off / Cook Off competition

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Welcome to My Herb Garden

I was waiting for my blog makeover before I ramp up any content on here, but it seems to be taking foreeevvveer, so thought in the meantime, I would amuse myself with a good old fashioned cook off.

The people at Gourmet Garden are running a bloggers comp of cooking over the next week and I thought I would have a crack.

Have a blog - check!
Love to cook - check!
Great food styling to look pretty on the plate - not so much.......I will try though!

Over the next 7 days, I will be posting some of my favourite recipes using the fantastic products that Gourmet Garden have sent me to try. Some of the recipes I will do in the thermomix, but I will try to translate the recipes back as well. 
TBone is very excited at the menu he gets for the week, and so far, I have had a great time cooking them - the food photography leaves a lot to be desired though.

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend

Chantel x

Friday, 4 May 2012

My Weekend Starts Here

I am fortunate enough to have Fridays off, so thought I would start posting something frivolous and light hearted on Fridays to get everyone in the mood.

I found this last night when I was stalking  trying to see who Jason Segal's girlfriend is. 

It's the cast of one of my favourite shows, How I Met Your Mother on the The Megan Mullally Show in December 2006.

Two of my favourite funny guys do an impromptu performance of one of my favourite musicals (I am Geek!)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Chantel x

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Haircut Take 3

Master Z has been needing a haircut for a few weeks, but I have been putting it off. This is only his 3rd haircut, the first was a disaster at my hands and the 2nd one he cried the whole time, trying to escape the chair and not much was able to be taken off.

Today, I decided to make a morning of it for him. We have been talking about having a haircut for the last few days and he knew he was going to have a haircut and the lady would play with his hair and go "snip, snip, snip".

The before shot

We went to a cafe near to the hair dressers and he had a milkshake 


and I had Spanish beans with an egg - Yum! - and of course, a loooonnnng black coffe as I was trying to avoid thinking about the disaster of our last effort. I was armed with a bag of toys, books and Tiny Teddies to try to bribe the tears away.

We headed over to Banana Skin's in Applecross,

where he was the perfect angel! I could not believe it. 

No tears, no tantrums, sitting still and quietly. All my fears of a repeat performance were put to rest.

It may have to do with The Wiggles being on the TV, I prefer to think of it as my baby is growing up!

Finished product (with the finishing bribe - hey, good enough for doctors, good enough for hairdressers!)

People might say it was a waste of money for me to take him to a place like this, but if you read this, you will see that it will work out heaps cheaper than having to pay for therapy bills later in life!

How do you go with haircuts? Easy street? or Disaster Zone?

Chantel x

Linking up today with Jess and all that is fabulous for IBOT