Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Soy-Free Vegan Quiche Recipe

Since becoming mostly vegan, I have found that I am struggling in some areas. Most things I have found nice substitutes for but I have struggled to substitute eggs in quiche because we do not eat soy. Most of the recipes I have found for vegan quiches use tofu in place of the eggs. I had just about given up hope of ever being able to eat quiche again when I came across this recipe! Turns out I didn't have any dried chickpeas or chickpea flour but I substituted brown rice flour and hoped for the best. time I will use chickpea flour, this version was a bit stodgy so hopefully using chickpea flour will help that.

The above recipe used puff pastry as a crust but I knew I had seen an olive oil crust recipe around that I much preferred the sound of. I did a bit of digging and found this recipe!

Woohoo! Looks like quiche is back on the table in the Mammy Made household :)

I made my quiche using lightly cooked onion and kale as a filling and my kids loved it. I love getting greens into my kids but they definitely make it difficult for me so I have to be a bit sneaky :P

Soy-Free Vegan Quiche (Serves 2)

For the pastry: (original recipe here)

150g plain flour (I originally planned to use wholemeal but I didn't have any so used white)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp chilli powder
freshly ground black pepper
pinch turmeric
30ml olive oil
60ml cold water

For the filling: (original recipe here)

1 tsp olive oil
1 x red onion, finely chopped
100g kale, finely chopped
150g brown rice flour / gram flour
360ml water
2 tbsp olive oil
seasoning (salt, pepper, pinch turmeric, pinch chilli powder, pinch mixed herbs)

First of all, make the pastry. This amount of pastry is perfect for my quiche dish, but mine is quite small. It makes just barely enough for 4 people with side dishes so remember to double the recipe if needs be. I used my breadmaker on the dough setting, just until it formed a ball. I then took it out of the breadmaker and gave it a little knead by hand, adding enough flour to make a soft dough. You can mix it together by hand if you do not have a breadmaker. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet and mix together with a spoon or your hands. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to the size you need then line a greased quiche dish. Leave to harden in the fridge for 30mins before using.

Now on to the filling. Heat 1tsp olive oil in a  frying pan and add the chopped onion. Leave to cook for 5-10mins, without stirring, to allow the onion to slightly caramelise. This is a brilliant tip that I learned from watching cooking shows on TV. The more you stir it, the more water you release from the onion, which prevents the onion from frying properly. Good to know! Wash the kale well then add to the pan, cover and leave to steam cook for about 10mins.

In a jug, mix together the flour, water, olive oil and seasoning. Whisk well to combine then set aside. Take your pastry case out of the fridge and prick the bottom a few times with a fork. Sprinkle with a pinch of oats to stop the pastry absorbing moisture from the filling. Spoon your onion and kale mixture into the case. Pour the flour and water mix over the top.

Heat your oven to GM6/200C/400F and cook the quiche for 35mins or until filling is set and pastry is golden brown.

The kids wolfed this down so I will definitely be making it again!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Mint Stuff I've Seen #24

This Week's Features:

20 Questions : Birthday Q + A Album - Reaves, Party of Four

Leather Sofa Scratch Repair - Mash-Up Chic

Fall Scavenger Hunt - Craft, Interrupted

How To Store Fruit and Veg To Prevent Spoiling - My Thirty Spot

What Is Your Acne Telling You? - The Beauty Gypsy


Feel free to grab my button from the sidebar if you've been featured :)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Crochet Flannel

I recently made this flannel as a way of using up all of my leftover pieces of yarn. You need hardly any yarn to make these and they are so cute. Especially with Christmas coming up, these would make a great gift, maybe paired with a shower gel or bubble bath!

I have also toyed with the idea of making a couple as dishcloths. The pattern on them makes them quite abrasive and they would work really well. You can't beat brightly coloured dishcloths to cheer you up while doing your chores :)

You will need:

DK yarn
4.5mm crochet hook
3.5mm crochet hook

Using the 4.5mm hook, loosely ch31
1. switch to the 3.5mm hook, skip first 4 sts, *2dcs in next st, ch1, 2dcs in same st (shell made), sk1st, dc in next st, sk1st* rep *-* across, ending with dc in last st (7 shells)
2-12. ch3, turn, *work shell in prev rows ch1sp, dc in top of prev rows dc* rep *-* across, ending with dc in top of ch3

13. do not turn, work 2 more dcs in corner, work alternating shells and dcs across in each hole on way up the side of the cloth until you reach the next corner, work 3dcs in the corner space, continue until you have worked 3 edges, do 2dcs in last corner, join with a sl st in top of ch 3, bind off and weave in ends.

I've made a couple of smaller flannels aswell and to do that, just ch23 then crochet as above, working 8 rows instead of 12 :)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Mint Stuff I've Seen #23

This Week's Features

Acne Scars Be Gone Face Mask - My Yellow Sandbox

20 Mommy - Daughter Dates - Because My Life Is Fascinating

Maddy's Scrappy Tutu - Create Kids Couture

Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo - Munchin With Munchkin

50 Activities Just For Your Toddler - Hands On As We Grow


Feel free to grab my button from the sidebar if you've been featured :)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Pre(Home)school Week 1

Term 1, Week 1

  • Reading - read a few books together then ask questions about the books at the end
  • Writing - colour in, encourage your child to try to stay in the lines
  • Maths -  count out a few pieces of lego and practice adding with them ("what does one lego plus two legos equal?")
  • Home economics - bake cupcakes
  • Art - cut out pictures from a magazine and glue onto a piece of card
  • Music - pretend to be a band, all play instruments together
  • Science - fill the bathtub with water then have your child drop things in the water to see what will float and what will sink - have her guess first what she thinks will happen
  • Physical education - put a cd on that you love and turn it up loud, sing and dance around  the room until you are both too tired to do any more (this is a really fun one!)
  • Role play - put some cushions on the floor to make a car, sit on them and have your child drive you to the park / shops etc, play shopping trip or day out, make it as fun as possible
  • Turkish -  teach your child how to say hello and goodbye in Turkish (I used two teddies and had them saying hello and goodbye to each other)

This week I was most surprised that Leyla already knew how to add 1+1 without me needing to teach her. It's amazing what kids pick up without us even realising. She was really good at adding bigger numbers aswell, I only went up to 11 but she added 5+6 really easily. I had a pile with 6 legos in and a pile with 5 legos in and asked her to add them together. She put them all into one pile and added them up together. I also tried to teach her how to count on her fingers but she was getting bored by that point so I don't think it went in properly. Will teach her that again next week.

The girl's nan has just got back from Spain and she brought them some maracas and castanets back, and Paul had bought them a tambourine so we all got up on the hearth and played band. I even taught them how to bow at the end :P We were mint!

I filled the bathtub up and we dropped in some things I found in the bathroom. I asked Leyla which ones she thought would sink and which ones she thought would float. She did pretty well guessing the hair bobble, ring and bracelet but she thought the soap dish would float and the rubber duck would sink. Still pretty impressive though and gave me the chance to explain that some things that look like they should float might just surprise you and sink.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Our Homeschool Curriculum (Preschool 1 - ages 3-4)

Leyla is getting to the age now where everywhere we go, we have people asking her if she is in school yet and when she says no they ask why. I am planning to officially start her in Mammy's Preschool tomorrow so I have been looking quite a lot into what I can teach her. My confidence in my ability to homeschool both of my kids has been seriously shaky this last year. You may have noticed my homeschool posts have been pretty much non-existant. I have given myself a shake and read a few homeschool blogs and I am confident again that I am the best teacher for my kids, despite what others may choose to say about my decision. I need to remember that it is mine and Paul's decision alone, and everybody else who has an opinion is entitled to it, but I do not need to let it affect me and make me doubt my abilities. With that in mind, I sat down one night last week and came up with this...

Our Homeschool Curriculum (Preschool 1 - age 3-4)

What to Teach:

First of all I had to decide which lessons I wanted to teach. I wanted to focus a lot on teaching Leyla to read and write so I made those lessons the bulk of our homeschooling. We will be doing a little bit of it every day, with structured lessons once a week. She knows 1-10 and is nearly perfect with 1-20 but I wanted to get her a bit further on with her numbers so I decided to add that in. I wanted to make sure to add home economics aswell even though most schools don't offer it as a class anymore. I definitely want my daughters to grow up knowing how to cook, clean and sew! Both of them are very creative so I knew we would have to have art and music in there. I will be making an art corner in the school room as soon as I have the chance so they will probably play with that every day. Again, I will be doing a more structured lesson once a week. I added science since it is an important subject, added physical education and role play and finally I added Turkish. So our lessons are as follows:
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Maths
  • Home economics
  • Art
  • Music
  • Science
  • Physical education
  • Role play
  • Turkish
When to Teach:

I decided to make each day have two lessons. I felt that any more than that and it would become boring. I wanted to have plenty of good old fashioned playing together aswell and I didn't want too much of our day to be taken up by official teaching. Also, Leyla's attention span at the minute is pretty shocking so I don't think she would tolerate more than that. I will probably increase it as she gets older though. The plan I have written is for weekdays with weekends off, but I will probably change that week by week as I find out Paul's rota for work. He usually has Thursdays off so I will likely take Thursday off and teach on Saturday instead.

Our Schedule:

Monday - reading and writing
Tuesday - maths and home economics
Wednesday - art and music
Thursday - science and physical education
Friday - role play and turkish

Those lessons seemed to fit well with each other at first glance but they are easily changeable if they don't gel together in practice.

I looked around on the internet a while and came up with a good long list of activities to do for each lesson. I will do one activity for each lesson and drag it out as long as possible without forcing it. I still want it to be fun!

  • read plenty of books that relate to what your child is interested in
  • take your child to a public library and have her select a few books to bring home and read
  • when reading, make sure to keep your voice interesting
  • do not discourage the reading of the same book over and over - this promotes feelings of security and helps your child regain a sense of control
  • use a story aid to make books more exciting (puppet or doll)
  • have plenty of props available for your child to use while you read
  • make a designated reading corner in your school room with comfy cushions and bookcases for easy accessibility - allow your child to take books out to read whenever they wish
  • encourage them to memorise nursery rhymes
  • teach your child the alphabet song and other letter related songs
  • encourage your child to 'read' to you - have her tell the story as she sees it through pictures
  • interact with your child through books by having her point out certain things in pictures for you
  • encourage your child to retell familiar stories
  • read things aloud for her in day to day life, cereal packets, signs, adverts etc
  • encourage your child to ask questions based on things you have read together
  • flashcards - whole words and matching pictures

  • start by teaching your child to write her own first name
  • draw the outline of a path and have your child draw lines following the path without going outside of the lines
  • whenever you need to write something (eg. a list) give her a piece of paper and have her write her own 'list' next to you
  • let her have her own personal notebook to practice her big girl letters in
  • encourage her to write letters to grandparents, siblings, friends etc - do not worry if she wants to use her own set of letters at first
  • make your own book by stapling pieces of paper together or hole punching and tying together with string or ribbon - have your child decorate the pages and write out a story for her as she dictates
  • practice letters with chalk on the pavement
  • help her to make a name sign for her bedroom door
  • sandpaper letters (as shown here)
  • draw some big letters on a piece of paper with a highlighter pen and have your child trace over them with a pencil

  • sing songs that involve numbers and counting
  • have your child count fingers / toys etc
  • count out blocks or lego as you build something together
  • practice shapes and colours
  • draw some big numbers on a piece of paper with a highlighter pen and have your child trace over them with a pencil
  • teach maths language by using words such as big/little, heavy/light, add/subtract, pair, dozen etc
  • help your child learn to identify shapes by pointing them out in your day to day activities
  • make some sandpaper numbers and use counters to explain the quantity of each number / '2 is bigger than 1' etc
  • play with puzzles that teach shapes, numbers and colours
  • go on a scavenger hunt in your garden - ask for 1 stone, 2 leaves etc
  • teach your child what coin values are and practice counting with them
  • practice writing out numbers together
  • flashcards - numbers and matching pictures
  • go on a number spotting walk around the house

    Home economics:
    • teach your child how to fully clean one room in the house 
    • cook something together
    • teach your child how to do the laundry
    • teach your child about basic hygiene and why it is important
    • teach your child how to set the table and how to clean it up again at the end of a meal
    • take your child on a grocery shopping trip, talk through why you need each item
    • have her help you while you put the groceries away, show her where everything is stored 
    • explain the difference between the recycle bin and the regular bin, provide a few pieces of rubbish and ask her which bin they belong in, explain why recycling is important
    • have your child help you to put the laundry away
    • teach your child how to change the bedsheets
    • teach her how to wash the dishes
    • teach her the proper way to welcome guests into your home
    • teach her how to sweep / hoover the floor
    • show her how to tidy up, make sure everything has a home
    • craft something together
    • teach your child how to cross-stitch - provide her with a blunt needle threaded with some embroidery floss and a piece of aida cloth, thread the floss through the first hole to get her started but don't instruct her too much, let her do it her own way
    • show her how to do basic repairs, buttons, hems etc

    • provide art smocks or aprons to protect clothing
    • teach her to clean up after use and to lay an old sheet down on the floor before starting to play to limit mess
    • keep a junk box in your art corner filled with old cereal boxes, empty toilet roll tubes, scrap bits of paper etc
    • provide a few different types of paper along with other materials to promote creativity - watercolours, brushes, sponges, crayons, glue, beads, buttons, googly eyes, scissors, sticky tape, hole punch - obviously with some of those materials they will need close supervision
    • include things like old diaries and notebooks
    • take care not to give too much direction - encourage natural creativity to flow
    • provide colouring book pages that relate to your child's interests
    • do texture rubbings by laying a piece of paper over the bark of a tree or a coin and drawing over it with a crayon
    • tape a large piece of paper to the floor, lie your child down and draw around them, have them colour themselves in and add features/clothing etc
    • allow your child to cut pictures out of old magazines or patterned paper to make a collage of things they like
    • make a shoe box doll's house together
    • help them to make seasonal decorations for your home
    • draw pictures based on a favourite story book
    • put water in plastic containers, give your child a large paintbrush and have her 'paint' the pavement with the water
    • play with homemade play dough
    • provide a shoe lace knotted at one end and encourage your child to thread beads on the other end to make a necklace
    • draw several shapes on a piece of paper and encourage your child to practice colouring within the lines
    • have your child trace pictures in a colouring book to promote good hand eye co-ordination

      • spend lots of time singing, dancing, and listening to music
      • keep a basket full of instruments to bring out when needed, both of you choose an instrument and make a 'band'
      • compare how different instruments sound
      • sing nursery rhymes and do finger plays
      • play some music for your child then ask her to describe it - fast / slow / loud / quiet etc
      • fill an empty (and dry) water bottle with dried pasta or rice and glue the lid back on to make a shaker
      • allow your child to bang away on a saucepan with a wooden spoon
      • go on a music hunt around your neighbourhood - listen out for birds singing, radios, wind chimes etc

      • take your child on a nature walk around your neighbourhood - go slow and give her time to explore, make sure not to hurry her along
      • learn about animals living in the area and learn their different body parts, what they eat, what they like to do etc
      • teach your child all about flowers, names of different parts etc
      • read books relating to her interests and go on plenty of field trips
      • show her how to plant flowers/vegetables in the garden - help her to look after them, teach her what they need to survive
      • discuss wild animals and their habitats and diets
      • teach her the names of the planets and tell her a few facts about each
      • collect pictures of mother and baby animals, mount them on cardboard and have your child match the mother and the baby 
      • take a large piece of card, divide it in half then label each side with an opposite (hot and cold / hard and soft / day and night) help your child to cut pictures to stick on the appropriate side
      • fill some jars or the bathtub with water then have your child drop things in the water to see what will float and what will sink - have her guess first what she thinks will happen

      Physical education:
      • encourage your child to get 2 hours of moderate activity every day
      • play hide and seek / tag / follow the leader / simon says etc
      • tape masking tape in a straight line in your backyard and have your child play walking the tightrope, you could also make wavy / zigzag lines and have her walk them if she gets bored quickly
      • on a sunny day have a water balloon / pistol fight
      • take your child to the park
      • set up an obstacle course in your garden
      • teach your child how to play skipping games
      • play ball games in the garden
      • dance around the front room
      • go for a walk for as long as she will tolerate
      • take her trampolining

      Role play:
      • provide dress up clothes for a couple of different jobs and discuss the different responsibilities held by people in these positions, how they help us etc
      • play shops - provide a till, a shopping trolley and some play food and play shop, encourage your child to go round and collect which food she wants then bring it to the cashier (you) who will scan it and take the money for it
      • assign your child a baby (doll) which she should provide care for - show her what needs to be done then have her repeat the actions
      • have a tea party or picnic for her dolls and teddies
      • provide a doctors kit and have your child check to make sure you are not ill
      • have her pretend to be mammy and you pretend to be the child, play a day in your life with her making you breakfast, taking you out for a walk, reading you a story before bed etc
      • put some cushions on the floor to make a car, sit on them and have your child drive you to the shops / restaurant etc, play shopping trip or meal out, make it as fun as possible
      • practice a fire drill

      • write out some familiar English words in Turkish along with a picture onto index cards, use as flashcards
      • play alphabet games using Turkish words, eg. "a is for araba", "b is for balik" etc while showing the letter and a picture
      • put a language CD on and listen to it, explain to your child what they are saying and doing
      • sing some Turkish nursery rhymes together
      • make up a number counting song in Turkish
      • teach your child how to greet in Turkish and how to say goodbye
      • teach your child how to say her favourite foods and drinks in Turkish

      I used quite a lot of websites in my search for the perfect curriculum for us, all of which I have pinned to my pintrest board so be sure to check them all out here.

      Bring on preschool!

      Friday, 7 September 2012

      Men's Tshirt to Off Shoulder Knot Tied Crop Top

      The other day I found one of Paul's tshirts that he had left here. Rather than take it back for him I figured I would make it into a top for me instead mwahaha.

      I started off with a basic men's size medium tshirt. These are so easy to find in charity shops if you are unable to steal borrow one from your husband's wardrobe :P

      The first thing I did was fold it so the side seams were in the middle of the tshirt. I wanted to make sure I had it nice and even for when I made my cut. I made sure I was cutting the front but you can do this on the back if you'd rather.

      I cut out a rounded off rectangle from the bottom middle of the front of the tshirt. I cut it to go just above my belly button. Feel make to make it longer or shorter at this point.

      When I had done that, I tried it on and decided I needed to do something with the neckline. I cut off the ribbing and then cut a bit more to make it more like a boat neck. I had to keep trying it on and adjusting to get it to where I wanted it. I made it big enough to wear as an off one shoulder top but small enough that I could still wear it as normal if I wanted to.

      I love my new Off Shoulder Knot Tied Crop Top :)

      Thursday, 6 September 2012

      Meals on the Cheap: Ezogelin Corbasi

      Sorry I didn't post yesterday. We had my little cousin Alex round to stay so we had a fun family day. Made her some treats, watched some TV and had some girly time. 

      Today I want to share a delicious soup recipe. I have been in Turkey for nearly a month now and I have loved being able to eat all the scrummy Turkish food again. I used to love this soup but, since the one I used to make was out of a packet and full of MSG, I couldn't eat it this time around. I decided to try and come up with my own. As far as I knew, it was just lentil soup with grains in so I went with that. It doesn't taste exactly like the packet but still very nice, very filling and sooo much healthier!

      1/3 cup red lentils, soaked overnight
      2.5 cups cold water
      1 x small onion, diced
      1 x garlic clove, minced
      1 x  potato, diced
      1 x carrot, diced
      1 tbsp tomato puree
      1/3 cup extra fine bulgar
      1 cup boiling water

      Rinse the bulgar and add to a small pan along with 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and set aside until the soup is ready.

      Meanwhile, rinse the lentils then add to a large pan with 2.5 cups of cold water. Bring to a rapid boil and cook for 10mins, removing any foam that appears on the top. Add the potato and carrot, bring back to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 mins.

      While the lentils are cooking, heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry over a low heat, without stirring, but shaking infrequently, for about 10 mins or until starting to caramelise. Add the tomato puree and allow to cook for about 20 seconds before stirring in. Add the onion to the soup pan.

      When the vegetables are cooked through, blend the soup. Return to the pan and reheat if necessary. The soup can be frozen at this point, do not freeze once the bulgar has been added. Allow to defrost before gently reheating.

      Rinse the bulgar, fluff with a fork then add to the soup. Season well with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add a good pinch of dried herbs and a good pinch of red chilli flakes. Mix well together. If your bulgar has lumps in it like mine did, just break out your potato masher and mash all of the lumps out!

      Serve with a good squeeze of lemon juice and some extra chilli flakes if you like it spicy. Delish :)


      Find more Meals on the Cheap posts here.

      I don't know about you but we are really struggling at the minute with our money situation and I am in need of some cheap but nutritious meals to keep us going and keep our food bills down.

      I have been scouring the internet for recipe ideas to help me plan the next months meals and I will be sharing a new one every Wednesday.

      I have decided to cut down our meat by half and bulk meals out with beans and chickpeas. I find that we spend quite a lot on meat as I don't like buying the value range at our supermarket, but this obviously ends up being pretty expensive.

      I hope by the end of this, we'll have saved quite a lot of money on our food bills!  

      Monday, 3 September 2012

      Mint Stuff I've Seen #22

      This Week's Features:

      Side Gathered Shirt - Sugar Bee Crafts

      Bean and Oats Vegan Burger - Holy Cow Vegan

      Grocery bags - Wisdom of the Moon

      What I Wish Someone Had Told Me About Homeschooling - Raising Arrows

      Embroidery Hoop Clock - Just Craftin


      Feel free to grab my button from the sidebar if you've been featured :)

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