A trio of summer spreads – hummus, tzatziki, tuna pâté

Greetings and Happy New Year everyone! I have had a lovely break, albeit a busy one packed with get togethers with family and friends, bits of admin that we did not get to during the year and plenty of feasting. We even managed to end off with a few days away in beautiful Franschhoek – just my little family, which was a perfect way to end off a busy holiday. It almost made up for the administrative portion of the holiday – because nothing screams “holiday fun” more than having to queue for five hours to renew your car licence and another eight hours for passports! Hey ho.

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Date and nut balls (with video)

Date balls for snacking.

Warning: parental ramblings ahead! I am sure parents everywhere are breathing a collective sigh of relief as school resumes for the third term. If I am honest I actually quite enjoyed the 3 week break from lunchboxes, school runs and most of all the dreaded “lurgies” that always make their way home from the playground. Yes, the holidays can push any parent’s patience to the limit at times, but all too often I am reminded of how quickly time goes and that this chapter in our family journey is really so fleeting and special. Even when I am knee deep in stuffed toys, picking tiny bits of muesli off the soles of my feet (did I not just sweep that floor 5 minutes ago?!?) and answering the same question for the tenth time whilst pureeing a chicken and veggie concoction for the babe. All to the soundtrack of the washing machine and Disney radio. Special times, chaos and all!

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Roasted butternut and rice pizza

This week we got back to basics with a new challenge in the Freshly Blogged campaign. Round 7 saw us presented with a list of some of my favourite kitchen staples – butternut, leeks, tinned tomatoes, fresh thyme, rice and a baguette. I almost always have these ingredients on hand, they are the building blocks of many of my favourite meals. The challenge here would be to combine them in an interesting and creative way. And including rice, baguette and butternut in one delicious carbo-loaded dish was going to require some thought!

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