31.7.10

{SOME TOLSTOY...}


"If I know the way home & am walking along it drunkenly,
is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side?"

- Leo Tolstoy

SILLY KIDS CLICK

This week's theme for Kids Click is 'Silly'.

This photo was taken by a 6 year old Goose of her little brother posing with a silly face. Not a bad shot actually.

If you have a child that likes to click with your camera, head on over to Kids Click and get them to take some silly photos for this weeks comp.

28.7.10

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY...



Because I had to add some words....

Warning - Never leave bathwater unnattended, especially not when it is blue bath water. He apparently couldn't wait for me to help him take his clothes off. "Give it a try yourself, you know how to do it, I'll be there in a minute!" I yelled from the kitchen as I quickly cleaned the spill off the floor produced by his younger sister at the same time as exasperatingly asking his big sister for the third time to put her dishes in the sink and all while he busily piled every towel into the bath and just hopped in. Why wait?

27.7.10

The I HATE TO COOK Book

source

The forward reads:
(along with many other humorous words)

"This book is for those of us who want to fold our big dishwater hands around a dry Martini, instead of a wet flounder, come the end of a long day".

Apparently it was first published in 1960 and was a runaway success.

For a full description read here and for a sneak peak of some recipes see here.

It's worth a look!

This fits in perfectly in my search for easy dinners !

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #7

Got this quick & easy vegetarian curry recipe from my sister quite a few years ago.
Back when I, who hated cooking and had a VERY small repertoire, needed some easy recipes to pop on the table.
Being forced to cook a meal every night for kids has given me a whole new confidence in cooking - forced experience really.
My (slightly annoying) children don't like the same meal to be repeated within a two week period, so I had to move beyond the tuna casserole (learned in Home Economics in year 10) & spag. bog. every few nights.
I, unfortunately, don't actually make this one any more because none of my kids eat pumpkin any more. None of them. :( But they all love pumpkin soup - what is with that?!


PUMPKIN & LENTIL CURRY

1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 clove crushed garlic
1 cup pumpkin, diced
1 cup potato, diced
400g can lentils, undrained
400g can tomato pieces, undrained
2 tbspns chopped fresh coriander leaves

1. Heat oil in large frying pan. Add cumin, tumeric & garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

2. Stir in diced pumpkin, potato, lentils and tomato pieces, combining well. Cover & simmer over a low heat for 20 mins or until pumpkin & potato are cooked through.

3. Add coriander leaves and salt to taste and serve immediately.

GUEST RECIPE:
from Simoney at Great Fun 4 Kids

SPEEDY CHICKEN NACHOS

Ingredients:
500g chicken meat, diced
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 can mild chilli beans
1 cup frozen corn

PLUS:
corn chips (large bag)
grated cheese
lite sour cream

Method:
brown the diced chicken in a little oil until cooked through
tip in can of beans
tip in can of soup
tip in cup of frozen corn

On individual plates arrange the corn chips and sprinkle grated cheese over. Microwave each plate on high for 30secs or until cheese is melted.
Spoon chilli mixture onto chips and top with a blob of sour cream.

Enjoy the fact that you have a delicious meal full of goodness ready in 10 minutes flat, fifteen tops.
(serves six)

Simoney's blog is always full of honest, down to earth posts about herself & her family.
She also runs Kids Click which is well worth a look if you parent some budding photographers!

Next week I am hoping to set up a linky to this post, so think about those easy dinner recipes that you whip up every week, pop it on your blog and link it up next Tuesday!

For more easy peasy dinner winners click here.

22.7.10

MY CREATIVE SPACE - {a vintage farm party}


The farm party, for a soon to be 3 year old, is starting to take shape.....

The invitations are all ready to be given out.

"A Day on the Farm" is a regular read at bedtime at our house.
A classic 1960 golden book from my childhood stash.
I was a little excited when I found all the pages already online at this great little site.
Using just a few of the pages, I changed one or two words here & there to include the birthday boys name & the details of the party and made a very basic little story book invitation.
I'm quite excited by how they turned out.

To help set the mood, last week the kids and I whipped up a scarecrow - I kid you not (or maybe it is obvious!) - in about 20 minutes. Couldn't believe my luck when we just found the pieces lying around.

THE SCARECROW:

The body - an old bassinet mattress that had seen better days, an old shirt of the husbands, a small scrap of red gingham fabric & some straw (stolen from some unsuspecting chickens).

The head - an old cushion insert & some white cotton fabric bunched up at the back with a rubber band, a hat from the dress up box & some great texta work from the six year old.

All secured onto a bamboo stake (that was already in the garden holding up a dying capsicum plant) & a long stick (found in the back yard) which was unceremoniously rammed through the fabric on the very, very old (my husband slept on it as a baby) mattress.

My very clever Mum made this bunting for me using four gingham fabrics. I used it on market day & it now hangs up in his room. It goes perfectly with the farm theme in my humble opinion. Thanks Mum!

Stay tuned for more 'farm party' ideas here in the coming weeks.

Head over to Kirsty's blog for a creative fix every Thursday.


20.7.10

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #6

This week's Easy Peasy Dinner Winner is...
'make your own' pizzas!
You can make pizzas on anything really - I usually use tortillas. Wholemeal pita bread is a great healthy option, you can buy premade bases, make your own or just use a slice of bread or a bread roll! There is no limit to what can go on a pizza, but I usually just go the easy option using ingredients my kids like & that I have in the house.

Perfect meal to get the kids to help with and if there is a little bit of eating of the ingredients, and some mess, along the way so be it! There's always the hope that if they've made it themselves, they'll be more likely to eat it.....?

The following recipe is one that has been handed down from my Mum . It freezes very well and doubles very, very well as a pasta sauce. In a nice jar it is a great gift for a new Mum. Mini pizzas are a great party food too! Our Mum always made them on thick slices of a long stick of french bread for parties.

PIZZA SAUCE

1 cup sliced onion
1 tspn crushed garlic
3 dspns oil
1 tspn oregano (dried or fresh)
1/4 tspn basil (dried or fresh)
1 large tin tomatoes
1 1/2 tspn salt
1/2 tspn sugar
1/4 tspn black pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste (optional)
Heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until golden. Add other ingredients.
Simmer for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.

Sonia from Light Shade of Green has a delicious looking simple ratatouille pizza recipe that doesn't use sauce, but involves making your own dough. I'd like to give that a go sometime too!

GUEST RECIPE:

KATE'S KEBABS
from Kate at Loose Change

"Winter (4) is quite adamant that she does not like meat. I try and tell her that sausages, ham & dim sims (three of her favorite foods) are all meat but I am fairly half-hearted as I feel they only just scrape in to the meat category. The only way I have ever convinced her to eat any kind of unprocessed meat is by putting it on a stick. She eats drumsticks and she will sometimes try skewers. I think they are a winner not only because of the visual appeal and novelty of being on a stick, but the meat is pre-cut so the child is not presented with a slab of red flesh, and it can be marinated to be sweeter and more tender for the childish palate.

I tried this recipe last night and it was yum. I often use pork, particularly scotch fillets, as they are hard to stuff up and are nearly always quite tender. Enjoy!"


STICKY PORK SKEWERS
(with Orange & Spinach Couscous)

2 tbspns olive oil
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 500g boneless pork rib steaks, cut into 2cm cubes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 oranges, peeled, segmented
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 50g baby spinach

  1. Combine oil, juice and sugar in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Add pork. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  2. Thread pork onto skewers. Season with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium heat. Add skewers. Cook, turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until just cooked through.

  3. Meanwhile, place couscous in a heatproof bowl. Add boiling water. Stand, covered, for 3 to 5 minutes or until water has absorbed. Stir with a fork to separate grains. Stir in orange segments and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach. Toss to combine. Serve pork skewers with couscous mixture.

Thanks Kate!
I'm keen to give this a go, but I'll have to wait until my husband is home to cook because I seem to have a knack for overcooking meat beyond comprehension no matter how hard I try!

If you have an easy dinner recipe, please email me or forward me the link to your blog, if you've already posted one and I'll add it as a guest recipe (& try it at home) soon!


19.7.10

AT MY HOUSE...




















Not much time to write a post today, but I always like to play along with Lou's 'At my house' on a Monday, so I thought I'd leave you with some pictures of my house, well, my garden. My favourite part of this house would have to be the fruit trees! These are the ones that I see as I pull into the driveway each day. My citrus trees. Mandarines, oranges & lemons. There is also a small lime tree around the back. The oranges & (tiny) mandarines are just starting to be edible now, which is just perfect as our fruit bowl seems to empty itself far quicker than I can keep up with these days! Should probably juice some for the eldest who is home from school sick today.
Last Christmas (as they are still ripe then) I had visions of dried or candied oranges dipped in dark chocolate as gifts for people, maybe I'll get around to it this year.... My husband did have a go at making marmalade last year.... didn't quite work out as planned, but worth another crack at it this year I'd say ...

Any orange recipes, or of course lemon recipes, would be very very welcome if you have any!

Come back tomorrow for my weekly easy peasy dinner winners & you might just see oranges feature in one of the meals.

To see what is going on at other houses, head on over to Lou's house!


17.7.10

A NEW VACUUM CLEANER!


We have a little visitor for the week.

He is on loan while his family is away.

When any food gets dropped on the floor
(quite a lot under our kitchen table!)
it just disappears!

One child,
who will not be named,
emptied & scattered the entire remains of the makings of lunch onto the kitchen floor yesterday
and a few minutes later -
voila... it was all gone!

I think I would like him to come more often!
Perhaps once a week??!!

14.7.10

MY {daughter's} CREATIVE SPACE

Over the recent school holidays Goose, my gorgeous 6 year old daughter, stayed with her Granny in the country for a few days as she does every school holidays. Goose relished the one on one time of pure attention on her and could have stayed for the whole holidays I am sure. On her return I asked the obligatory question - "Did you have a good time at Granny's?" and her eyes lit up - "Yes!"
Special.

One of the activities in this very full few days was the making of a headband. She searched through Granny's fabric drawer and Goose chose this broderie anglaise fabric as her favourite. Despite Granny's prompting to perhaps choose something a little more colorful, I think she chose well - it'll go with everything.

She was so very, very proud.
"I did all the sewing myself and Granny only helped a tiny bit".
I think I am a little bit proud too.

If you'd like to make your very own headband, you'll find a fantastic tutorial here.

Last holidays she sewed her own skirt and learned to knit and was sooo excited about it. A little crafter in the making who is so very privileged to have both a Granny and a Grandma who take the time to pass these skills on to her.

If you'd like to be inspired by many other crafty people and their creative spaces, head over here.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY...


13.7.10

EASY PEASY DINNER WINNERS #5

After a very haphazard start, I am going to aim to post these Easy Peasy Dinner Winners (for want of a much better name...!) every Tuesday. This week we have a bit of a baked dinner theme.

ZUCCHINI SLICE

375g zucchini, grated
1 large onion, finely chopped or grated
3 rashers bacon (optional)
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup SR flour
1/2 cup oil
5 eggs
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients. Put in greased dish & bake at 180C for 30-40 mins.

* I also add finely chopped capsicum, grated carrot & canned corn to mine to add some more vegies. Great for lunch boxes the next day too! It works really well in muffin form as well. Just put the ingredients in a muffin tray using some baking paper in each muffin hole.

GUEST RECIPE:

A dinner that Cooks Itself:
Baked Mushroom, Bacon & Spinach Risotto
from Kim of Cuggles! Creations

I LOVE any dinner that can be thrown in the oven and forgotten about until it's time to eat. This recipe is a favourite in our house, there is a little bit of prep on the stove and then it all goes in the oven.


Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 rashers bacon, rind removed, roughly chopped
1.5 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
2 big handfuls of spinach leaves
1 cup finely grated parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method:
Preheat oven to 180°C.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.
Add garlic, mushrooms and bacon and cook for 5 minutes/ until browned.
Place in a ovenproof dish with the rice and stock, stir to combine. Cover with lid/ aluminum foil
Bake for 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and rice is al dente.
Stir through the spinach, parmesan, butter, salt and pepper.

Be sure to check out Kim's 'tips to streamline' the above recipe and
while you're there, check out her Mum's easy recipe for Chowmein also. It looks just like the one my Mum used to make when we were young. Thanks Kim!

If you've got an easy peasy recipe - let me know and I'll post it as a guest recipe! No recipe is too easy!
Yes Louise, even if it is a can of flavoured tuna stirred through some pasta with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top - it is perfect and one that we can all certainly use!

P.S. Just as I decide to have my regular easy peasy dinner winner post every Tuesday, I discover the Tasty Tuesdays bloghop where people post their recipes every Tuesday. Not all easy peasy, but they all look yummy. I'll be linking up there each week too.


12.7.10

SUNSHINE AWARD

Thanks to Melinda from Here We Go Loopy Lou
(check out her gorgeous fabric covered cards!)
I have been given my first blog award.

Not really sure what that means, except that I need to tell you 7 things about myself that you may not know....

1. I grew up in a very very small town in country Victoria, with a population of 380, where my Dad was the local vet.

2. I was a youth worker prior to having my 3 kidlets and I have a Bachelor of Arts in Youth Affairs.

3. I have lived in more than 10 houses in the last 10 years, thanks to my husbands work, of these the most exciting was Alice Springs and the favorite was Bendigo, and I'll always have a soft spot for the others.

4. I once had a little business going in high school selling scrunchies, that I made on Mum's sewing machine using her material scraps, to my friends.

5. I do not drink tea or coffee as I just do not like the taste.

6. I absolutely love to read and do Sudoku puzzles - although I can't really stay awake to do much of either these days.

7. I learned classical ballet for 9 years when I was a child.

Now to pass on the award to some other wonderful bloggers out there......

Kate from Loose Change
Hannah from Chicken Willow
Aimee from Greentree
Emily from ScreamStress

Consider yourselves tagged!

AT MY HOUSE... {truck party}

About the only creative thing done at my house this weekend was making 'truck' biscuits for my nephews 2nd birthday party.
Because I am slightly obsessive with these things, I wanted to have them matching the blue & red theme of the printable decorations she was using. I was quite happy with how they turned out.
Of course, even our present, card and wrapping had to match the theme...
I do love a good themed party, as I may have mentioned one or two times before.
For more details for this fabulous party - head over to Lou's blog. Especially for a closer look at that truck cake (far left of photo) and the mud crackles (with the traffic signs stuck in them). Being a dietitian, she had lots of healthy food, but still presented in a fun & enticing way! My favorites were the traffic light melon skewers stuck into rockmelon and the mini yoghurts in a bowl of ice with plastic spoons (very popular!)

Always the mark of a good party...asleep before you are a few metres down the road.
Why not play along with 'At my House' today over at Buttons by Lou Lou, who just happened to be the host of the fantastic truck party!

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