Easy Chicken Pasta Bake (with hidden veggies)

You're going to love how easy it is to make this pasta bake for the family. Not only is this bake quick and easy to prepare, it has a bonus...hidden veggies!

My 3 little (not so little these days) pickles are pretty good with eating their vegetables but I strongly believe there is always room for more.  Growing kids need it.  Big kids too.
A little while back, the sweet peeps from Vetta sent me some of their healthy pastas to try. The Vetta Super Veg Pasta - with hidden vegetables was the biggest hit so it has been on the grocery list every week since we first tasted it.
One serve of pasta (50g) has approximately one serve of vegetables in it. Peas and corn to be to be precise. And they are in a toddler friendly elbow shape...perfect for this recipe.

Easy Chicken Pasta Bake (with hidden veggies)
I chopped up leftover roast chicken and vegetables from the night before but you could also use 1 chicken breast, sliced into bite sized pieces and pan fried.1 pack of Vetta Super Veg Past…

Road trip overload

We are finally back from another 3pickles road trip adventure.  I feel like I've been away from this blog for such a long time since I started working again but because I've been on the road for the past couple of weeks, I've had plenty of time to think if I wanted to keep blogging here or not.
I do. 
I hope you'll stick with me. I've have so much catching up to do with all of you and so many things to share from our latest adventures across this wide brown land.
As always, this blog is still a mixed bag of family, food, beauty for women 40+ and home renovations but you're going to see a lot more of our road trips ( I think we've taken 4 in the past 12 months and my camera is about to explode! 
I'll  be sharing lots of little tips for travelling with the family, doing it in style AND all without breaking the bank.
I hope you'll join me with the first installment very soon.
See you then. Marnie x

Once - The Musical

The smash-hit, multi-award winning musical Once has premiered in Melbourne  at the Princess Theatre and Mr Pickle & I were privileged to be invited to the opening night's performance last night. 

We have lived in Melbourne for 12 years and have never been to a live theatre performance other than the little pickles' school productions (which are totally entertaining too). This was a rare "grown up" evening for us as most of our nights out involve family activities. 

My kids would not have gone the distance with this one anyway....the show began at 8pm and runs for 2 hours and 20 minutes, including intermission. If you have young ones who like musical theatre, I'd suggest a matinee. As much as I loved Once, I doubt it would be my kids cup of tea. They'll wait for Nintendo the musical....

We chose to catch the train into the city so we didn't have to worry about parking. Parliament station is a very short walk from the theatre....easy peasy getting there an…

Spring Salad

We ate this salad today.
Loved it.
Will be making more of it.
Here's what's in it.

RocketCapsicum (red peppers)Fresh corn Red OnionCherry TomatoesGood 4U+U Crunchy Combo (a mix of legumes like mung, peas, chic) I got them from Coles, next to the rocket. I have also used canned 4 bean mix and canned chic peas.CarrotFreshly steamed, green beansA drained can of red salmonAvocadoSalt & pepperSalad dressingToss to combine & serve with Turkish bread if you like.

x Marnie

Homemade Lemonade with Ginger

 ’This post is an entry into the Nuffnang ‘Fresh Recipe’ Network Competition, thanks to BRITA. Check out for inspiration and exclusive recipes by Gary Mehigan’.
After nearly 2 years of TLC, our 25 year old lemon tree is back in action.  Although tiny, the lemons are just as sweet and tangy as they have always it's time for homemade lemonade.  But this time I'm adding a spicy twist. Ginger!

Our lovely old lemon tree has tried so hard to recover from the wasp damage and I feel I owe it to her to use as many lemons as possible this season.  My 3 little pickles love the occasional sweet drink but I'd much prefer to give them something that is fresh and I'm fully aware of the's why we like to cook from scratch as often as possible.  I also love the idea of using filtered water in this recipe because I feel secure in knowing that the water I'm using is also fresh and clean. It's often the one ingredient we forget about, y…

Poached Eggs & Smoked Salmon on Rye

This is a quick, easy & tasty meal that is high in protein and healthy fats. You could lose the toast if you were wanting to reduce the carbs. It would be yummy served in a cup of lettuce instead.
This is the first time I have added a nutritional label to my recipes. I get my labels from Calorie Count   and it is to be used as guide only. I cannot guarantee perfect accuracy, but I have found this site useful for my own diet and calorie counting. If you know of a better site (I'm still looking) then please leave your suggestions and links in the comments please.
Ingredients: 1 free range egg 100g smoked salmon slices 1 slice light rye bread, toasted 1 teaspoon capers, drained green salad to serve

Method: Use your favourite method to poach egg. I like to place a small amour of water into a small frying pan and add a teaspoon of white vinegar. I bring the water to the boil and then turn heat down to a simmer. I crack the egg into a cup and then gently pour into the water. Use a spoon to c…

Braids for Spring Racing Carnival...a hair how to.

This fun hair style is a great idea for Spring Racing Carnival, especially if it's a windy day. Pantene were kind enough to share their step by step with me. You can see my DIY version and everything I used to create the look at the end of this post. This look was inspired by the SS14 Moschino show, which marked the 30th Anniversary of the Fashion House and created by Sam McKnight, Global Pantene Stylist Ambassador. Two hair looks were created for this special show – good girl vs evil girl. The ‘good girl’ hair look was inspired by innocence and youth and comprised of a braid on either side of the head that met in the middle above the nape of the neck and was twisted into a delicate bun.  This ethereal and angelic look juxtaposed the sharp side parting and slick finish of that of the ‘evil girl’.

Get the Good Hair look:
Start with freshly washed and conditioned hair using Pantene Ice Shine Shampoo and ConditionerApply Pantene Styling Treatment Foam Soft Curls through the hair from roo…