{The Nest Cooks} Sunday Bakeday

I am trying this new thing, basically to make life easier I am trying to bake on Sundays so that during the week for the hubby-bird’s lunches I have food already made so it is as simple as pulling from the freezer and chucking it into his bag.

Plus, I have snacks on standby the the little birdies when the dreaded hunger monster appears. I really enjoy knowing what ingredients are going into their little bellies.

This week we stumbled across a great recipe from the team at The Road To Loving My Thermo Mixer for Apple Crumble muffins.

They are delicious! Plus, they look WAY impressive (like, look tots harder to make than what they really are!)

You can find the recipe here -> Apple Crumble Muffins

apple crumble

Now, do not fear if you are yet to purchase a Thermomix (or similar) because the brilliant team at The Road To Loving My Thermo Mixer offer a non-Thermomix version as well!

Happy cooking Nesters!

{The Nest Can Cook} Bringin’ salad back…

Hi, my name is Kayana and I am addicted to mason jars. Well, actually jars of all types.

I take responsibility for my addiction, well, I blame Pinterest and all other websites that make them look so bloody cool.

The best thing about them is their ability to be used for food. Here is one of my new favourite finds to help bring salad back.. -> Buzzfeed – Mason Jar Salads

healthy mason jar salads

What’s your favourite combo Nesters?

{The Nest Can Cook} Stuff my kids ate: Meatballs

I find that feeding little birdies has two extremes, firstly there is the I-can’t-get-enough-and-cannot-seem-to-fill-up. This usually occurs with fun, bland food like Vegemite sandwiches, biscuits and cheese.

Then on the other end of the spectrum is the mum-you-may-have-spent-five-hours-in-the-kitchen-but-I-am-not-going-to-eat-it-anyway situations.

As a secretive dictator (well, I tell myself I am in charge) I am always on the search for secret ways to hide nutrition in food that my birdies will actually eat. An imaginary gold star is also added to my chart if it is food that the hubby-bird and I enjoy as well.

Earlier this week the toddler-bird and I made Meatballs. Surprisingly enough, they were tasty, nutritious and devoured by both of the birdies.

Here is the recipe (p.s I use the word recipe VERY lightly, we did kind of make it up as we went along)


  • 500g mince (beef, chicken, turkey, pigeon whatever tickles your fancy really)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 zucchini grated
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup rosemary (or to your taste)
  • 1 chilli, finely chopped (or not, depending on your family)
  • 1 egg
  • splash of barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • several cherry tomatoes (we used the lonely few leftover in the bottom of the vege drawer)
  • Splash of olive oil


1. Mix mince, onion, parsley, rosemary, chilli, zucchini, carrot, egg, barbecue sauce and tomato paste together in a large bowl.

2. Heat olive oil in frypan on medium heat and cook garlic until fragrant.

3. Roll mince mixture into small balls (well, it’s up to you if you like big balls make them big!)

4. Brown the balls in the frypan until sealed

5. Add cherry tomatoes and stir around. Season with pepper and salt.

6. Once cherry tomatoes start breaking down and meatballs are nearly cooked, pour in canned tomatoes and bring to a boil, before lowing temperature to a simmer.

7. Simmer for about 20 minutes or until tomatoes have reduced.

8. Pour a glass of wine (or full sugar lemonade if you are really feeling dangerous)

9. Give yourself a high-five for being so awesome.

10. Serve with rice, or wholemeal pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top. Cheers!meatballs copy

Both my birdies demolished it, as did the hubby-bird. Best of all the kiddies kept asking for more and they didn’t even realise they were eating vegies!

{The Nest Eats} All aboard the taco truck

This is a genius way to help your little-birdies eat tacos!

Such a simple idea that your little ones are sure to enjoy.

taco truck

At only $18.95 (two trucks) this is a fun, clever addition to any kitchen table.

You can get your own Taco Trucks from the awesome team at Lime Tree Kids

Happy Mexican eating Nesters!

{Food} Snack on this, and no it’s not a soggy pear or ‘gourmet’ Vegemite sanga..

Some days I am very motivated and my children eat the proper serves of fruit and vegetables a day, drink copious amounts of water and spend the afternoon snacking on organic hummus and carrots. Then, more commonly are the other days where a Vegemite sandwich is turned gourmet because I slap on a slice of Kraft ‘plastic’ cheese and cut it into triangles. one handed

Preparing healthy, delicious and nutritious meals some days is tough but is made easier by the fabulous team at One Handed Cooks.

I can honestly say they have saved my kids from a future of honey on toast and a soggy pear cut into quarters.

They make meals that are easy, practical and completely possible whilst holding a sack of potatoes on your hip (read: unhelpful, teething 10 month old) at the same time as negotiating with toddler bird on the pros and cons of wrapping the cat in toilet paper.

Plus, you now have less of an excuse for baby bird (and the whole family) to eat poorly when out-&-about or snacking. One Handed Cooks have provided a generous list of healthy snacks you can make and take with you. Some of the fabulous choices are:

  1. Edible necklace
  2. Kale chips
  3. Fruit skewers
  4. Roast pumpkin loaf
  5. Quinoa balls
  6. Muesli bars
  7. Apricot coconut balls
  8. Vegetable sausage rolls
  9. Mini spelt pizza
  10. Roast veggie tarts
  11. Meatballs

one handed

I really recommend putting One Handed Cooks into your favourites, for in time your little birdies will thank you for it.

Happy cooking nesters!

Chilli tomato mussels will build your muscles!

Originally this recipe came from Taste but over the times of making it in our nest it has been changed slightly. It is a fairly healthy, delicious meal for the whole family. Our toddler-bird loves popping open the mussels (and I am all for any food which she finds fun!)

Delicious mussels Photo: Mark O'Meera

Delicious mussels
Photo: Mark O’Meera

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 small red chillies, deseeded, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1kg tomatoes, finely chopped
1 small can of tomatoes
1 lemon, rind finely grated & juiced
2 teaspoons caster sugar
1/2 cup dry white wine
1kg mussels, without their hairy beards
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon thyme, roughly chopped
hot crusty bread, to serve

To make:

1. Heat oil in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and chilli. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until onion is soft. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add tomatoes, lemon rind, lemon juice, sugar and wine to pan. Stir until well combined. Increase heat to high. Bring sauce to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Add thyme. Simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add mussels to saucepan. Cover and cook, shaking pan occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mussel shells open. Discard unopened shells. Ladle sauce and mussels into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with bread.

We guarantee this will become a favourite in your nest as well!

Let the nest butter you up…

O how deliciously, delightful are croissants! I LOVE them. I don’t eat them often (well because you know, hello butter butt) but some days are just croissant kind of days!

As nice as they are to buy (and about 3 hours less effort) once you make something from scratch you develop a whole new appreciation. The clever people at Top with cinnamon have spelled out exactly how to do it! Plus because they are awesome they even have pictures of each step! Holy French croissant I love technology!

The French just do things better

The French just do things better










Bon appétit my little nesters xx

Get your cookie on

There is nothing nicer than the delicious aroma of baking cookies on a cold winters day. This is a recipe I find on the Taste website a while ago. It has definitely been a hit in our family.

Thank you TASTE for this delicious recipe

Thank you TASTE for this delicious recipe

You will need:

  • 150g softened butter
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate bits


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 2 baking trays with non-stick paper. Beat 150g softened butter, 1/2 cup caster sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and well combined. Beat in 1 egg.
  2. Stir in 1 3/4 cups plain flour in two batches. Stir in 1/2 cup dark choc bits and 1/2 cup milk choc bits until evenly distributed. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture into balls and place on the lined trays. Press down slightly.
  3. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until light golden and cooked. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

THE NEST NOTES:  You can substitute any additive to this recipe. On occasions when we have not had chocolate we substituted and gave them new names. We have added sprinkles (Princess fairy cookies) or sultanas (lumpy rock cookies) or even lollies such as smarties (clown cookies).


Handmade pasta with pesto alla genovese

Masterchef silk handkerchief pasta with pesto alla Genovese

This recipe is simply delicious and quite easy. It was our first experience at making pasta from scratch and we succeeded (much to our amusement). The only thing we changed was the amount of salt we added, I would recommend adding about half the amount. Definitely recommend this recipe.

masterchef pasta

Cooking time: 30 min
Serves: 4


  • 200g”00″ flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2eggs
  • 40g coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tbsolive oil
  • 1 large bunch small-leaved basil, leaves picked, plus extra for garnish
  • 10g coarse sea salt
  • 40g pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 80g pecorino or parmesan, finely grated
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1 Tbsgreek or natural yoghurt


  1. For the pasta, place flour in a bowl or on a work surface, and make a well in the centre. Add eggs and start to combine with a fork to a rough paste. Dusting with flour, knead dough until smooth but not sticky.
  2. Divide dough into quarters. Set a pasta machine to the widest setting and lightly dust pasta dough and rollers with flour. Dusting with flour throughout, feed dough through the machine, folding the pasta in half before feeding it through until you have a well-combined and strong sheet. Gradually narrow settings until the dough is about 1mm-thick. Tear sheets of pasta into 15cm pieces, and dust with flour to prevent them from sticking together.
  3. For the pesto, pound basil and salt in a mortar and pestle until the leaves have broken down. Add pine nuts and garlic and pound to a fine pulp, then stir in pecorino. Gradually add oil and continue pounding until the mixture is smooth, then add yoghurt and stir to combine.
  4. To cook the pasta, bring 4L of water to the boil. Add salt and oil. One by one, add pasta sheets to pan, cook for about 1 minute or until al dente.
  5. Gently heat pesto and add 1/3 cup boiling pasta water in a frying pan over low heat. Remove pasta sheets from the water using a slotted spoon and transfer to the pesto sauce, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls and garnish with basil leaves to serve.


Full credit to Antonio Carluccio (Masterchef) for this recipe.