pretzel mania

   MASTER 7:

We made pretzels today. I thought it was easy folding it but it was hard. My dad taught me and my mum how to fold it. I learned to wash your hands before and after cooking. I also learned to put flour on your hands before rolling it because if you don’t the batter sticks to you.


Every now and then, I wake up and think: Michelle, you work full time, study hard, and are raising two kids – you slacker. Go challenge yourself.  And then I decide to make something ridiculous. Today was one of those days. What was I thinking?!

I was thinking that Deb from Smitten Kitchen is awesome, and I want to be her when I grow up. So we made her pretzels.

It all started well. The kids learned about proving dough, kneading dough, dusting with flour, and knocking back (and for those of you who have both read Master 7’s post AND eaten his cooking, I promise that he already knew about washing his hands before hitting the kitchen today). Master 7 also learned more about division and ratios. Despite the school holiday maths lesson, they had fun kneading and rolling the dough into snakes, and making a huge mess.


small hands                                                                             Little hands making big results!


And then we had to shape the bloody things.

Suffice it to say that Spunky Tech Guy, who, unlike his wife is not all thumbs, had to come and give tutorials to Master 7 and I. That I didn’t burst into tears and throw the dough into the bin is a miracle. I can guarantee that the pictured pretzels were made by the boys of the house – Miss 4 gave up after the snakes step, but I think I’ll be telling the world that she made my sorry attempts. They looked fine until we poached them. Then they expanded, lost their shape, and just looked like dog turds. Salty, sad dog turds. I really am not good at this kind of thing.


                                                                                    Harder than it looks!                                                      raw

But the boys’ look good, Master 7 learned a lot today, and had fun in the process. And they taste fantastic. Even my lumps of abstract bread art. So it’s a win!                                                                                                                                        finalA very grown up way to enjoy the fruit of my kids’ labourbreadEventually, I gave up shaping the pretzels and made a really tasty loaf. Who says laziness doesn’t pay?!


Zombie brains by master 7


We made zombie brain (blueberry) pancakes and they were EPIC!


If you’re wondering about the stance, yes he is busting a move. I believe it was while he was singing Faith by George Michael. The poor kid never stood a chance.
This is why they’re called zombie brains. Blueberry pancake batter Master 7 is gross.

My favourite part about it was flipping  them. I flipped  6 but my  sister burnt her little finger on her right hand on her  1st go today. She is ok. I’m going to bring them to my excursion.



The Inaugural Post

In order to unwind from a whirlwind week, I hit the kitchen pretty hard today. Amid boiling blueberry bagels, pouring Coca-Cola over a perfectly good piece of pork scotch fillet (awesome, by the way), and trying to work some seriously sticky brioche dough, while also keeping Master 7 and Miss 4 involved and happy, it hit me:

I need a family cooking blog.

After having my final baby, I toyed with the idea of a family cookbook with photographs and handwritten comments to snapshot the hilarity, frustration and satisfaction that comes from cooking with a young family. Deep down, I knew this was never going to happen. Even if I went to the effort of creating something, I’d have lost it well before it meant anything to anyone. And printing out photos of a cake? Oh, please. It just wasn’t going to happen. However, I am one of those irritating people who photographs the more exceptional dinners and updates my Facebook status about lunch. So a blog, requiring minimal resources but meeting my very first world needs, is perfect. It also doesn’t hurt that I will spend the next 18 months blogging for uni, so I can practise over here where I don’t risk failing an expensive postgrad course 🙂

So here we are.

I am hesitant to explain my vision for What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’, because I know it’ll change many times over. But integral to this project is that the kids will be heavily involved. Master 7 will be posting and potentially vlogging, and most posts will centre around cooking I’ve done with the kids. I strongly believe that cooking with kids is beneficial to their life skills, and also their functional literacy and numeracy, their sense of belonging and responsibility within the family unit, their creativity, and also to creating a healthy relationship with food. As such, I involve my kids as much as I can. They are both interested in cooking, which is awesome, and Master 7 is pretty excited about What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’. Hopefully this venture fosters his literacy, ICT skills, his awesome foodie interests and our bond. We’ve got some exciting ideas to get him involved, and also his sister as she gets older.

So stay tuned because, really, who doesn’t want to see a picture of a sushi roll made by a 4 year old with less than perfect vision?