Happy New Year!

I hope you all had amazing New Years celebrations. My evening was pretty quiet. I was going to let O stay up but she was getting cranky, so put her early to bed. I had a relaxing night colouring and drinking Rekorderlig.

I was able to finish my only New Years themed picture. I was hoping would be done in time for today. It is from the Japanese Disney Coloring to decorate the four seasons (Boutique Mook no.1255). I used Prismacolor Premier pencils, Mungyo Pastels and gel pens. I was a fun one to do, but after colouring so many Mickey pictures for my Christmas Colouring, I’m excited to start some of my new books. I can’t wait to start Serene, Inklings 1 and 2, the Romantic Country series. If you would like to see more pictures from this book, see my gallery Disney Coloring to decorate the four seasons.



My New Years day was a bigger deal. I made a big lunch for my family, with some of my new Christmas gifts. I used my Kitchen Aid Pasta Roller and Ravioli Roller to make Lasagne and Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Ravioli.

I did a trial of my pasta making attachments the other day, so I knew what to expect. I originally didn’t realise that the Pasta Roller only makes pasta sheets, for lasagne, to use with the Ravioli Roller, or to be cut by hand to make other types of pasta. Kitchen Aid sells the 3 Piece Pasta Roller Attachment, which is for pasta sheets, spaghetti and fettucini. I actually have a little manual machine that does all three-in-one, so I think I would use that when making those long pasta.

I wanted to make a traditional lasagne today, since its such a crowd pleaser. There was nothing healthy about this lasagne except that it was made with real, good quality ingredients.

I first made my pasta sheets with the recommended Kitchen Aid recipe of 4 eggs and 3.5 cups of plain flour. The dough turned out beautiful today. It wasn’t dry and went through the machine really well. I think I left it to rest a little longer today. For my ragu, I used pork and lamb mince, onion, garlic, carrot, passata, sundried tomato, fresh basil, dry herbs and pecorino rind. I also made a bechamel sauce with unsweetened soy milk, flour and pecorino cheese. I layered the pasta sheets, ragu and bechamel with mozzarella cheese. It turned out beautifully. I think it has to be one of my best lasagne yet.


While the lasenge was cooking I used the extra pasta dough to make the ravioli. It was filled with Hot Smoked Salmon and Ricotta and was dressed with asparagus, peas and sage. I won’t give too much away about this one, as I intend on posting up the recipe soon. It was also really delicious and perfectly balanced.

I actually found this New Zealand Hot Smoked King Salmon from Aldi. I was really excited to find New Zealand salmon. I am conscious of not eating any farmed Atlantic salmon and I buy wild Alaskan salmon from Costco. When I was pregnant all the information in books and government websites say to avoid farmed fish for pregnant woman and young children.

I had the opportunity to try New Zealand King Salmon on my short tour of New Zealand and I remember reading it was a really good quality product. It was also the most amazing tasting salmon I had ever tried.

According to Aquaculture New Zealand “In New Zealand, our focussed farming practices, strict bio-security procedures and absence of any native salmon species mean that our King Salmon are raised without need for vaccines or antibiotics. New Zealand farmed salmon are fed food pellets specially formulated for king salmon and contain no steroids or other growth enhancers.”

I originally thought I would have to cook this salmon as it looks quite raw in its packaging. However, once I opened it I realised it was completely cooked through. It still has the skin attached on one side and the chilli and spices on the other side. When I used it previously I just heated it through some pasta and grilled the salmon skin on its own. Octavia and I love salmon skin.

So stay tuned for my Hot Smoked Salmon and Ricotta Ravioli recipe. This will be my first recipe on this blog that isn’t plant-based, but I’m proud of it so it’s going on.


Also a big thank you to Momma M from Your Average Momma, SKS from Exquisite Life and R.K. Sandhu from A Moment with your Book for all nominating me for the Liebster Award! I will be writing a post soon responding to this award and nominating a few of my other favourite blogs.

19 thoughts on “Happy New Year!

  1. Wow! You are quite the multi-talented mom, Vanessa! All of these dishes sound absolutely delicious, even for a [mostly] vegetarian. I was proud of myself just for making it to midnight. We had family in town visiting and staying with us over the holiday. It was great to see all of the family back in San Diego. Happy New Year, Vanessa! Hugs to Little O!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Lane! Happy New Year to you! That must of been nice spending it with family. Well it isn’t the usually faire around here lol For years I refused to make anything but vegan or dairy free dishes but it gets hard feeding the kids and some of the guys. Although they all loved the vegan pasta bake I made on Boxing Day. Marco calls himself a Flexitarian now since he’s forced go without meat mostly at home. It’s still a joke to some friends and family though. Do you and your family make vegetarian dishes for celebrations?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard Flexitarian but I’m still not sure which word to use to describe our lifestyle. We eat 98% vegetarian and 98% fresh home-cooked meals. We still eat dairy. We occasionally eat fish. And we very rarely still have some meat. We’ve only been eating vegetarian for 9 months now, but we have always been very good about cooking our own meals and buying fresh, whole and even organic foods, so going vegetarian didn’t feel like a big change. For example, green smoothies were often lunch and homemade fresh salads with homemade oil and vinegar dressings made with the Vitamix were common for dinners… especially during warm summers. My kids were very picky eaters, but they are grown now. Does Octavia give you a hard time about eating?

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      2. Hi Lane, sorry its taking me a while to reply, we’ve been quite sick. It’s sounds like you guys eat really well! Did you start eating like this after the kids were grown up? I found it much easier to eat like this when I was working and before I had O. My biggest problem is that she won’t touch salad, raw vegetables or fermented foods. She loves fruit and smoothies but she can’t have too much because of the sugars and juices are out because of the sugar rush and lack of fiber. She will eat most vegetables so long its cut small and I feed it to her, but it needs to be in a sauce or a grain. Others are really surprised how ‘healthy’ she eats and rolled their eyes on how ‘healthy’ we are. But I think everyone has a different version of what ‘healthy’ is. I know we need to eat more raw salads, smoothies and juices and I’m hoping we can start to add those back in now shes a bit bigger and may start to get more curious to try them.

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      3. Sorry you are not feeling well, Vanessa. Sending you positive vibes… hope you feel better very soon. Kids and eating well don’t always mix. I’d like to think that it is the media and their peers that influence them to eat poorly, but even from a baby some kids can be a challenge. I always said that my oldest would “eat anything that didn’t eat her first” 😉 However, my younger two were incredibly picky eaters. Take heart… all hope is not lost. Their tastes can change over time. Just keep modeling positive behavior. You WILL find healthy recipes that they like too. Curried chicken was one of her favorites… that was back before we were vegetarian. Whole grain brown rice was my savior…. my youngest would eat almost anything over whole grain brown rice!

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      4. Thanks Lane. We are nearly back to normal 🙂 I think your right about the media. I see that alot with my nieces and nephews. They are now asking for wonderwhite bread, because they see it on TV. I would of dreamed to eat any bread other then wonderwhite as a kid. Bakery bread was a treat only for the weekends. Octavia has been shielded from mostly from the media, so she doesn’t eat lollies, chocolates, chips etc. She didn’t know what an biscuit or ham was before she went to kindy. I just try to make sure we make or buy healthier altheratives to these kind of things at home and decline when people offer them to her. I can get her to eat most cooked veggies at home, but as soon as we have guests or are eating out it becomes harder and then she will only eat meat, pizza, pasta. I’m hoping that will change with age. I’m just about unsure with using supplements like spuralina and other superfoods, if she is too young to add them. I also wasn’t sure if she was too young for brown rice because she doesn’t chew all her food. My health nurse thought her diet was way to low fat and we have had to add more fats and grains and I agree thats great for her but not so great for me. I think perhaps I need to eat a different diet to her and need to push her with more variety. I know I probably I worry to much but being a parent of today is all about creating good habits for life and its gets a little overwhelming.

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      5. You are a great mom! You care about the things that really matter. But, I get it, the world is a much more complicated place now. I try not to over-complicate it. I believe in eating fresh, whole foods that we cook for ourselves. Our choices just happen to lean to plant-based, local, organic and seasonal. I try to stay away from any marketed or “canned” diets, eating fads, etc. I just feel like there is an inherent conflict of interest if someone is trying to sell me their food product, To each his own. We all do the best we can with the time, resources and knowledge available to us!

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