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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Saturday Arvo's


The baby of the family ( my littlest bro) moved out of home last week. Mumma bird is still sad I think.. and a little happy ;)

Well today he invited our whole family over to his new pad and he made us lunch... He made the softest Scones I have ever tasted.. they were THAT GOOD!

Was great relaxing afternoon and good to know my teenage brother can look after himself!! and keep a clean house:)
Cheesecake made by my brother
Can you see the girls in the stream? This is view from Bro's balcony
Food made for me, Kids elsewhere occupied - Me = RELAXED!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Love Rainy Days...

except when I have to walk in it!! and apparently there might be flash flooding in low lying areas tomorrow - well atleast it is the rain we have been praying for - It hasn't rained not even once since summer.

So while Gabrielle napped a long time due to the darkness outside and warmth of her bed....

I made ~

Pumpkin and Ricotta Canelloni for dinner...

Finger Paint~ See Creative Kids for recipes

1/2 cup cornstarch
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups cold water
food coloring

In a medium pan, mix all the ingredients together to make the finger paint. Cook over low heat 10 to 15 minutes. Keep stirring the finger paint mixture until it is smooth and thick. After the finger paint has thickened take the pan off the stove and let the mixture cool.

After cooling, divide the finger paint into storage containers depending on how many colors you would like. Add a few drops of food coloring to each container. Stir the coloring in to the paint to determine the shade of color. You're ready to finger paint! Cover tightly when storing.

A loaf of Bread
(warm bread after walking in the rain home from school is so nice)


and I have book club tonight... ohhh yeah... hot chocolate... books... chatting.... on a rainy day... it just doesn't get better than this does it?

So this post is the real 150th!!!!!! YAY ME!!

Foody Friday

This weeks recipe attempts - hope you enjoy.

Mushroom and Cashew Pilaf


1 1/2 cups long grain rice
1 cup cashew nuts
2 tbs olive oil
1 onion chopped
300g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup currants
lemon juice
125 g feta cheese
parsley

Cook rice. Heat a frypan add cashews cook for a few mins till heated through. Add oil, onions and mushrooms cook 2 mins until tender. Add currants, lemon juice. Cook 1 min. Add rice, cashews and feta. Toss to combine. Stir in Parsley.

I love anything that combines currants and cashews... I think the feta could even have been left out. We ate this with the Tuscan Bean soup (I made it twice in 2 weeks!! So that means I must like it, since I rarely cook the same things) and crusty bread as it is cold here now - A complete vegetarian meal - I am so proud of myself!!

Savoury Mighty Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
2 cups grated tasty cheese
100g mortadella, chopped
1 zucchini, grated
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup fruit chutney
Method
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 6 x 3/4-cup capacity Texas muffin pan. Line bases of holes with baking paper.
Sift flour into a large bowl. Add cheese, mortadella, zucchini and chives. Whisk milk, egg and chutney in a jug until well combined. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Pour in milk mixture. Using a large metal spoon, gently mix until just combined. Spoon into muffin holes.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Stand in pan for 3 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Source
Super Food Ideas - February 2005 , Page 24

Brownies
These were used for FHE game
8 tbs unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter. Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside. In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes. Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper). On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Creamy Linguine

Ingredients
25g butter
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup pouring cream
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
250g green beans, halved
400g linguine pasta
200g prosciutto, chopped ( I used bacon)
120g parmesan cheese, shaved ( I didnt have any so used tasty cheese)

Method
Melt butter in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes or until onion is soft.Combine cream, and stock cube in a jug. . Add cream mixture to frying pan. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add beans and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Remove beans from saucepan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Return water to the boil. Add pasta and cook, following packet directions, until tender. Drain. Return pasta to saucepan.

Add cream mixture, beans, bacon and three quarters of the parmesan to pasta. Toss over low heat until well combined and heated through.Spoon pasta into bowls. Top with remaining parmesan. Season with pepper and serve.

SourceSuper Food Ideas - February 2006 , Page 36

Ceasar Noodle Salad


Chicken Breast
3 rashers bacon
1 cos lettuce
3 hard boiled eggs
Ceasar salad dressing
100g packet Changs Fried Noodles

Cut chicken breast in half to form thinner fillets. Heat oil and cook. Add bacon, cook 3-4 mins until crisp. Transfer to plate. Cut lettuce into strips. Thinly cut chicken and arrange over lettuce. sprinkle with bacon. Top with eggs. Drizzle dressing over salad. Sprinkle with noodles. Serve.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

What we did today

A special delivery of warm fluffy socks from Grandma (my mum) to the girls. Grandma visits every second thursday after she goes to the temple.

+

Wet, cold, drizzley day?

=

Watching a movie after school all rugged up!!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

And you thought Easter was over...


Well not at our house!!!

The problem when you don't visit your grandma often enough? She gave me the easter present she had for the girls - 3 bags of easter eggs and a bunny!! OH MY!! The kids have been on a sugar high all afternoon.

We can celebrate Easter again right?

Family History


As I don't have a car, I don't get to visit my family as much as I would like. I have had a goal to visit both my Grandmas and go through their photo albums and take digital photos of their photos.

Today I got to visit my Nanna Jean. We sat and chatted and went through album after album. It was wonderful. I was able to photograph alot of my history. As my father died before I was born, I was able to get some photos of him - which is great as I only have one very faded one. Apprently he didn't like to be photographed as an adult - so there are very few of him not as a child.

Old photos are just so nice to hold and touch. They have substance to them, thick card, and I loved touched up make up photos from those times. So elegant.

A wonderful way to spend a morning.

Dad as a child at school.
My Grandmother as a baby and her parents
My Great Grandfather (Grandmas father)
Great Great Grandparents. My Great Grandfather is the baby. This photo taken on Thursday Island, a remote outpost in the 1880's

150 Posts ~ Wooo Hoooo


I'm feeling the love... thanks for all your wonderful feedback and please keep reading!!

* I just checked... I think the counter includes drafts and deleted posts, but the side bar tells me I am at 146 really... oh well.... almost at 150

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Photos



Here is a little sneak peak of some of the photos my sis in law took of the wedding. I think she took around 600 photos for the couple, so these are just a few.

Go to Zanabelle Photography and check them out.... and if you need some photography....I can recommend Elizabeth and her great way of making you feel comfortable.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Why don't I work out? This is why ~


Yes this is a photo of me attempting to do pilates this morning..

We got a free DVD on a box of cereal - so I thought I would try it out.. it was actually pretty good. Now I have attempted my Yoga and Pilates DVD's many a time and it nearly always looks like this - as soon as a position requires lying down - the litte rascals take their chance to climb on me.

p.s. Yes I know dressing gown and fluffy winter socks are not ideal working out clothes.. but hey its cold in our house!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I MADE YOGHURT





I AM THE DAIRY QUEEN...
I MADE YOGHURT....
WATCH OUT WORLD!




Ok I was inspired months ago after reading this post by Kashann to start making yoghurt for our family... but most recipes suggest having a candy thermometer... which I don't - so I lazily postponed my venture into the world of dairy creating...

well not anymore.. after this week when a mum came to mothers group with a beetroot dip (you rock Jenny) that was homemade.... then she said she even MADE the yoghurt!!! What!? Now that is ultra domesticated!! So I research some recipes. I tried this one from Hillbilly Housewife featured on Blue Yonder that suggested just putting the ingredients in a jar, then place in a warm oven overnight... but I think because it is winter here, the oven didn't stay warm enough... so I woke up to a runny milk mixture that tasted like yoghurt! But never fear Hillbilly Housewife to the rescue with a recipe that uses failed yoghurt attempts! Custard Style Yoghurt

But today I got out my trusty easiyo maker (really a glorified themos) and made yoghurt - that turned out nice and thick!! YAY!! Success!!

Here is the recipe I used.
3-3/4 cup tap water
1-2/3 cups instant nonfat powdered milk
2 to 4 tablespoon store-bought, plain yogurt with active yogurt cultures (read the label to be sure) You can freeze the rest of the store bought yogurt in ice cube trays to use in later homemade batches.

I placed above ingredients into easiyo, which you then pour boiling water around and leave for 6-10 hours, when thick - refridgerate.

Above mentioned friend who found her easiyo missing, just used a container with lid and placed into drink cooler/esky etc and poured boiling water around it. (The smaller the container the better) to keep it warm.

Once it is made you can add flavouring - vanilla, sugar, honey, jam, maple syrup etc.

Good Luck... and don't be scared off if your first attempt fails!! Because at around $1 a litre... you can't beat that! Especially if you have crazy hungry kids!

Party Weekend

Had my sis in laws 22nd birthday friday night
Me and Gabs getting ready (older girls went off with Aunty)... so just me and her... was very nice.. Party Theme Pink and Green (Fav colours of sis in law) so this was our attempt.
My beautiful sister and the awesome birthday cake she made from the Bakerella PoP Cupcakes recipe. These are divine... and recommend you make them! even if you dont go to all the effort of shaping them.
The lovely birthday girl.

Then we spent most of Saturday involved in a temple sealing and then the ring exchange (neither newlyweds families were church members)and reception. The bride decorated (with a litte help from some muscley guys) the WHOLE thing herself.. it was amazing!!
Even the Womens bathroom was decked out with expensive perfumes, deodorant, hand creams for us guests... I tell you this bride was soooo thoughtful.

And Mechelle.. NO our kids were NOT there!! YAY... so thanks to Grandma and Grandpa for babysitting!!
Happy us... Without the kids for a change!!

Even my husband cried.. the wedding was very moving!! We were so happy the Bride and Groom involved us (well my husband was their bishop and has been involved in all the preparations for the last 6 months)


and the dress debarcle.... I had one hour (with a car) on friday to buy presents for both parties and to get myself a new dress... UMMMM>.... so I ran around like crazy and being almost winter here almost NO shops had dresses in them!! This dress was from the only shop selling dresses - in my price range!! I wanted the black and white one - UMMM only size 8!!!!! WAY TOO TIGHT!!! AND BUTTONS POPPING>>> so I had to settle with the red.... I am glad it looked OK and even better it was $10!! so it does pay to shop out of season!!

Sabbath

A Quote my husband used during the ring exchange.
" I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance, as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well being of one's companion. Any man who will make his wifes' comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughtout their lives and through the eternities to come" ~ Pres Gordon B Hinckley

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Where is Bobbie?


I havent posted in three days (the food entry was composed earlier - but auto posted ;)

I am partying hard at a Birthday and attending a big wedding to do....

see you soon... here is a sneak peak at my new dress!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Foody Friday

Tried recipes (that turned out) this week are

White Chocolate and berry Cheesecake

Cottage Cookies White Choc and Macadamia biscuits
300g frozen berries
2 tbs boiling water
3 1/2 tsp powdered gelatine
180g white chocolate chopped
2x250g block philadephia cream cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
185ml can light evaporated milk

Method
Line base of round springform pan. Arrange biscuits in a single layer. Top with half the berries. Place boiling water in a small jug, sprinkle over gelatine whisk until dissolved.

Microwave chocolate until melted and smooth. set aside. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in evaporated milk, chocolate and gelatine mixture. Pour into pan. Scatter with remaining berries. Cover and refigerate overnight or until set.

Tuscan Bean Soup

olive oil
1 leek chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large potato
2x420g cans cannellini beans
1 litre chicken stock
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 tsp lemon juice

Method
Heat oil add leek and garlic. Cook 5 mins until soft. Add potato and beans, add stock. Bring to boil 10 mins until potato soft. Stand for 10 mins. Blend half the soup until smooth. Return to pan, add thyme and lemon. Simmer 5 mins until heated through.

Vegetarian Spaghetti

olive oil
1 brown onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 zucchini, chopped
200g yellow squash, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped
1 can lentils
2 large tomatoes, chopped
jar pasta sauce
300g broccoli
parsley
spaghetti pasta
parmesan/cheese to serve

Method
Heat oil add onion and garlic, cook until soft. Add zucchini, squash, eggplant cook stirring for 5 mins. Add pasta sauce cook covered 20 mins. Add broccoli and lentils cook 10 mins. Meanwhile cook pasta. Toss and serve with cheese.


White Choc Chip Cookies

9 oz brown sugar
9 oz white sugar
10 oz margarine or butter
2 eggs
12 oz chocolate chips, or chocolate cut into chunks
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
18 oz plain flour


***Method***

Mix butter/margarine with sugar until creamy and fluffy.
Add the eggs, chocolate chips and vanilla essence and mix well.
Mix the bicarbonate of soda and salt with the flour and add to the other ingredients. Stir to form a thick cookie dough.
Take golf-ball size amounts of the mixture and place spaced apart on a greased baking tray. Flatten slightly.
Bake for 12 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C. The cookies should be slightly golden brown (for a crispier cookie, bake for longer).
Place on a cooling rack.
Store in an airtight tin, they keep well for at least a week.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We are Jack, from Jack and the Beanstalk... GIVEAWAY!

After seeing these CUTE beanbags on The Crafty Crow I just knew we had to make them. So many possiblities/games to be had when you have a few beanbags. So far we have thrown them in a bucket, balanced them on our heads while walking/bending down etc, juggled and I am sure we will think of more things.

I made so many I even have these 3 to give away. Perfect for boys (or if your daughters are like mine - perfect for them) as they are made from dinosaur material.


If you would like to go in the draw to win these 3 little bean bags, tell me in the comments in ONE word something that describes your family.




We felt like jack and the beanstalk.... counting our beans... we filled the bags with dried borlotti beans, so they could be true BEAN bags.

Felt Necklaces


Inspiration for this idea came from Wondertime and I thought it would be fun, since I have girls and lots of felt around the place.

I precut the flowers, leaves and straws. Last night using big wool needles they threaded them through and made lovely necklaces - which apparently they are going to wear to church on Sunday!!

I think it was a good activity for using fine motor skills and the girls were pretty good - but we need to do more threading activities. If you have sons, I am sure you could come up with a masculine version as threading is good practice for them too.





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