Courgetti Bolognese – A Lighter Family Favourite

This recipe for Courgetti Bolognese is a healthier, lighter version of a family favourite.

Courgetti Bolognese

My boys would live on carbs if I let them. Courgetti is a clever way of getting a big plate of vegetables into the whole family.

Courgetti Bolognese

This can be made with lean minced beef, but I have used Quorn mince in ours to keep it vegetarian.

Courgetti Bolognese

For the Bolognese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 pack fresh basil, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 vegetarian stock pot
  • 250ml water
  • 300g of Quorn mince
For the Courgetti
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 courgette, spiralized
  • Salt and pepper
To Serve (Optional)
  • Grated parmesan
  • Crusty bread

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the onion and fry until tender. Then add the garlic and carrot and fry for a further 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, herbs, stock pot and water to the pan. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 45 minutes, until the sauce is thick and the carrots are tender.

When the sauce is ready, stir in the Quorn mince and simmer for a further 5 minutes until heated through.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan and add the courgette. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until slightly softened and season with salt and pepper.

Serve the Bolognese on a bed of courgetti and top with grated parmesan and fresh basil.

This recipe for Courgetti Bolognese with serve 4 people.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party – Rowan Turns One

Today my Baby Boy turns 1. He is babbling constantly, crawling everywhere and standing and climbing on anything in his path. He is curious and loves making lots of noise with his big brother. Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

Family and close friends came over at the weekend and we celebrated Rowan’s Birthday with a Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party.

I chose the theme because it is fun and colourful, just like the Mr. Men themed party we had for Eli’s first Birthday.

Dr. Seuss is not a popular theme in Ireland, so party supplies and accessories are not easy to come by. There are fantastic customised clothes for first birthdays on Pinterest and Etsy but luckily we had this ‘thing one’ top from a visit to universal studios and it was the perfect outfit for Rowan turning one.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

I created Dr. Seuss First Birthday Party Invitations using Microsoft Word. These can be printed directly onto card or printed on paper and stuck onto colourful card backgrounds. I love to hand deliver paper invites for all my parties. However there are some guests I didn’t get to see before the day so I e-mailed an image of the invites to a few friends and family members. Dr.-Seuss-First-Birthday-Party-Invitation

The ‘Rowan is 1’ balloon banner and the red, white and turquoise fan decorations are from Party Delights.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday

During the past year I have taken a photo of Rowan every month in the same pose and location. It has proven a bit difficult in the last few month because he flips over or crawls away faster than I can say cheese. I did manage to get a few good ones though and displayed them on a colourful Cat in the Hat themed backgrounds.

Of course my Aunt Tracey made the cake. She is amazingly talented.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

The rest of the food may have been slightly odd but “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living” ― Dr. Seuss

There was

Green Eggs and Ham

A baked ham seems to be my go to party food lately. I paired it with avocado deviled eggs to create green eggs and ham.

  • 10 eggs (hard-boiled)
  • 2 avocado
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • 3 Sprigs of fresh coriander, chopped

Carefully half the eggs and remove the hard yolks from the centre.

In a bowl, mix together the yolk, avocado, cumin and coriander until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add this egg yolk mixture back into the egg whites.

Arrange around the baked ham and scatter with chopped fresh coriander.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

Three Cheese Trees

The first tree is a cream cheese ball. I added chopped toasted pine nuts, fresh basil and parmesan to the cream cheese. I then shaped the mixture into a tree a coated in more fresh basil and chopped toasted pine nuts.

The second tree is made up of mozzarella balls, fresh basil leaves and cherry vine tomatoes.

The third tree is a mixture of cubed vintage red cheddar with spring onion and wensleydale with cranberries.

The trees where then surrounded with crackers, toasted breads and grapes.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

Pita Pockets

I filled 12 toasted pitas with hummus, tomato, carrot, spinach, yellow pepper and red cabbage lightly dressed with lemon mayonnaise.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

Truffula Pops

These cake pops were fun to make and look fantastic.

Tools needed
  • Large bowl
  • Cake pop maker
  • lollypop sticks
  • Cake pop display stand
For the cake pops
  • 120g (1 cup) self-raising flour
  • 120g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • 120g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
For the decoration
  • 200g white chocolate
  • Candy floss

Cream the butter and sugar until the consistency is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Preheat the cakepop maker and add 1 spoon of mix to each hollow. Close the lid a allow to cook for 4 minutes. Carefully remove each cake pop and repeat with the remaining batter.

Melt the white chocolate over a bain maire. Pop the cakes onto lollypop sticks and dip into the melted chocolate.

Allow the chocolate to cool on the cake pop, but before they dry completely add the candy floss so they resemble truffula trees.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

Cookies

Follow the link for these delicious Dr.Seuss one fish two fish sugar cookies.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies

Pink Yink Ink

I mixed 1 part berry and apple juice with 3 parts sparkling water for a light pink drink that resembled pink yink ink.

Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

I made fun Dr. Seuss Birthday Party Food Signs to show the inspiration behind all of the food and drink.

The kids had so much sugar throughout the day so I didn’t think their parents would be overly happy if I sent them home with more. So the party favours were Dr. Seuss Books. Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party

I hope you enjoyed reading all about Rowan’s Dr. Seuss Themed First Birthday Party and find some of the templates and links above useful :)

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” ― Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies

I have always loved the look of beautifully decorated iced biscuits. It is only very recently that I tried them out myself.

During a visit to America last year, I bought a ton of cookie cutters and food colourings and was very excited to get home to make pretty snowflake cookies for Christmas. I also bought some super hero themed cutters for the boys and now I think I may have started yet another hobby (aka addiction to buying baking items that I think I will use but actually might not)

Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies

These Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies were for Rowan’s first birthday party yesterday. They were a tasty treat for the guests and the bright colourful designs added to the party décor.

Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies

Tools needed
  • Cling Film
  • 2 baking trays
  • Parchment paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutters
  • Standing mixer (beater and whisk attachments)
  • Multiple bowls
Ingredients for Cookies
  • 320g (2 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 110g unsalted butter
  • 150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ingredients for Royal Icing
  • 250g (2 cups) Icing sugar
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • Water to thin icing for flooding
  • Food colouring
To Make the Cookies

Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined.

Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and beat into the wet mixture until just incorporated.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces, wrap in cling film, shape into disks and refrigerate until firm (approx. 1 hour)

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line 2 baking trays with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out the dough on a floured surface, dusting with flour as needed, until about 1/8 inch thick.

Cut out shapes and arrange 2 inches apart on the baking trays.

Bake, switching the pans halfway through, until the cookies are just golden, 14 to 16 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly on the baking trays before transferring onto wire racks to cool completely before icing.

To Decorate with Royal Icing

Using a stand mixer, whisk the egg white on high until frothy. Continue to whisk on a low-speed while gradually adding the icing sugar. Add the lemon juice and whisk on high until glossy peaks form. This is now the perfect thick consistency for piping borders and adding detail to the cookies.

The icing can now be divided into multiple bowls and food colouring, glitter and shimmer can to added, depending on the level of detail you want on your cookie.

Begin by adding some of the icing to a plastic piping bag, snip a very small hole at the end and pipe an outline border around the cookies. Then add a few drops of water to the icing to thin the consistency so you can flood inside the border and cover the cookie completely. Once this has hardened slightly you can move onto the next colour of icing.

I also added finer detail to these cookies using a black 2mm icing pen.

This recipe for Dr. Seuss One Fish Two Fish Sugar Cookies will make approximately 24 cookies

Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos – Vegetarian Mexican

We are big fans of Mexican in our house. With my parents both being vegetarian I now make these bean and sweet potato tacos more often than beef tacos.

Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

They are spicy, sweet with the addition of the potato, and the choice of toppings is endless.

Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

My favourite toppings are fresh coriander and sliced avocado.

Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into thin battens
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red bell peppers, finely chopped
  • 1 birds eye chilli
  • 1 tsps. cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of black-eyed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 200ml can of chopped tomatoes
  • Juice from ½ lime, cut the other half into wedges for serving
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10 taco shells
Toppings
  • Iceberg lettuce
  • Grated cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sweet corn
  • Jalapeños
  • Fresh coriander
  • Sour cream

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Toss the sweet potato in ½ tbsp. olive oil and arrange on a baking tray. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers and chilli and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the spices and cook until fragrant, approx. 30 seconds.

Add the beans and chopped tomatoes. Reduce the heat and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until thick.

Stir in the lime juice and use the back of the spoon to roughly mash the beans.

Prepare the taco shells as per packet instructions.

Layer each shell with crisp iceberg lettuce, topped with the spiced bean mixture and then a handful of sweet potato fries.

Serve with a variety of additional toppings.

This recipe for bean and sweet potato tacos will serve 3 to 4 people.