Monday, November 29, 2010

No Meal Plan Monday

Unfortunately the Random Recipe of lamb biryani got pushed aside last week as we had one night of takeaway (shock horror!) and then last night was supposed to be Carols in the Park, but we skipped it cause of the weather. Not that it actually rained, but I just didn't feel like packing up a picnic and all the other paraphernalia to potentially have to leave after a bit due to a downpour. So we spent our Sunday afternoon and evening putting up the Christmas Tree and decorating the verandah with twinkly lights. Lovely.

I'm not planning any meals this week because it's going to be a short week as we are travelling down to Brisbane so that I can attend the graduation of some of my old students. They are moving on up to high school and are such a lovely group of kids I just couldn't miss it. I'm sure I will cry. I'll blame the pregnancy hormones but really I'm just a big sook, tearing up at the drop of a hat.

Have a lovely week everyone!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Pineapple and Cherry Upside Down Cake

Made by Elliot. Inspired by Playschool

This was Elliot's idea so I just provided the ingredients and he led the way after watching them make this cake on an episode of Playschool.

This is one of his favourite episodes so Elliot has dictated the recipe for you, I've just typed his words.

1. Put brown sugar and melted butter in the cake tin. Then the pineapple and cherries. Make it look pretty with the cherries in the middle of the pineapple circles.
2. Get Mummy's big mixer and mix normal sugar and butter for ages and ages. Put the eggs in (but not the shells) and mix for ages longer.
3. Put in a bit of flour and a bit of milk and a bit of flour and a bit of milk and then some 'wanilla' and keep on mixing and mixing.
4. When the mixing is finished put it on top of the pineapple and cherry and put it in the oven. It's very hot!
5. We can't open it straight from the oven so you've got to wait. When Mummy says it's ok, flip it onto a plate and eat it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Creative Space

Along with my on-going creation, this week I've been working on a beanie for our 4 year old niece for Christmas. I think it's going to be a bit big, I'll have to get El to model it once it's finished. She can always grow into it! I wanted something girly, just cause I don't get much excuse for girly, but not too girly. So a lovely creamy colour with a couple of soft purple stripes and trim is perfect!

It's a really simple pattern from a Lincraft pattern book. Knitted flat and then sewn up, with a simple knit edging and pom pom and braid details. Easy peasy and pretty quick too!

Head over here for other creations!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

New Experiences

Check out the other pics at Faith, Hope & a Whole Lotta Love. Happy Wordless Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Working on Something Special

I am so blessed to be creating something unique and wonderful and amazing for the third time.

I'm working on Baby Number Three!

I love being pregnant and I have relatively easy pregnancies, although having two full-on toddlers at home full-time has been tiring to say the least. Over the past couple of months, the TV has definitely been my friend. Because Elliot isn't a day sleeper I'd put on  Playschool for him when Archie went to sleep because it'd be the only chance I'd get to put my feet up and on more than one occasion Elliot has woken me up after a quick kip on the lounge to let me know that Playschool has finished and he's turned the tele off, can we please go and play now? Now that I'm past the first trimester I'm hoping that the fatigue has run its course and I'll be back to my usual self.

I'm so excited to meet this new bubba and introduce the boys to their new baby brother or sister (for the record, Elliot thinks sister).

I'm (to be perfectly honest) daunted by the idea of parenting three young children, two can be hard work some days! Elliot will have just turned 4 a couple of weeks before the new arrival arrives and Archie will be 2yrs and 2 months, so they'll still be young.

I'm so excited to have started another journey with another new person. A journey that will contain joy, tears, hope, fears, frustration, elation and just about every emotion in between.

This journey of motherhood sure is an interesting one!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Meal Plan

Well, this space has been really interesting over the past couple of weeks hasn't it! Hopefully I'll get back into my blogging groove this week and have some interesting (or not so interesting) things for you to read. But, because I'm a creature of habit and routine (when I get into one) I'm not going to explain my absence today. Today is Monday, Meal Plan Monday!

Everyone knows how my weekly meal plan is my saviour so I'm not going to bang on about it anymore. I'll just get on with sharing what will be on our table this week, including Matt's meals and our Random Recipe.

Pasta Primavera

Pork sausages with mashed sweet potato and steamed veg (Matt)

Chilli Con Carne (Matt)

Stirfry veg and noodles with boiled egg

Lamb and spinach curry (slow cooker)

Whatever takes our fancy!

Lamb Biryani (Random Recipe)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Meal Plan Monday

We're back again from a long weekend away and we planned our week's meals last night over dinner. I realised last night that since our move Matt's dinners have become somewhat non-existent, so he is cooking two meals this week.

The Random Recipe this week is from Darina Allen's Irish Traditional Cooking, another one of my many cookbooks I've never actually cooked from! The recipe that I'll be cooking is Pot Roasted Beef (p 107) so nothing overly new or exciting but we haven't had a roast for a while so carnivores Matt and Archie will be pleased! I've also planned to use some of the leftovers in a risotto for another dinner and also for sandwiches for Matt's lunches.

So this week the plan is:

Curried sausages with brown rice and steamed veg (Matt)

veg and rice noodle stir fry with boiled eggs

pot roasted beef with roasted root veg and steamed veg (Random Recipe Darina Allen's Irish Traditional Cooking p107)

pasta primavera

risotto (with left over pot roast)

BBQ (Matt)

No idea, we'll see how the day takes us

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I've Been Tagged

Last week Catherine from A Time to Create tagged me with 8 'getting to know you' questions and it's taken me a while to get around to answering them! Oops!

1. What is one thing you cannot stand?
hmm, I've got a few. I can't stand hypocrisy. I can't stand people being rude or mean to their children. I can't stand bad manners. I can't stand it when Matt doesn't put the lid on the milk properly!!!!

2.  If you could go back to your childhood what cartoon or TV show would you pick to be your favourite?
My brother and I absolutely loved The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Ooo, Astroboy was pretty good too, we'd play Astroboy and I'd make my younger brother dress up as Astroboy's sister Uraine while I got to be Astroboy! Good times, good times.

3. What is something you do or have done that would surprise a lot of people?
Almost all of my new friends (who I've made since moving 18 months ago) are really surprised that I used to be blonde. Super blonde, foils, the whole kit and kaboodle that involved 3 hours in the hairdresser on a Saturday morning every 6-8 weeks. And too much money to mention. I did love it though. Oh to have two incomes and that much spare time again!

4. Do you believe in ghosts?
I don't know. Sometimes.

5. When you go into a store what's your weakness? Something you just can't help buying more of.
Cookbooks. I have so many, almost 2 shelves of our bookshelves are cookbooks. I read them like novels. Absolutely can never have too many, and they are one of the few things that I'll buy for myself.

6. What's the funniest story you have on your significant other?
This one is tricky, there are a few! My favourite though is when we were living in Cairns and Matt had a job to do up in Cooktown (he works in property). Back then, Cooktown was really small, no street names and definitely no house numbers on any of the properties. We had a map of the property he was supposed to look at, but that was all. We followed the map (with me navigating, Matt driving) to the property, Matt got out and had a wander around and decided we were at the wrong place. I told him it was right, but we still had to drive around for another hour (maybe more, it was 9 years ago) looking for the property. We got completely befudddled and he eventually conceded that the first property was the right one so back we went. He still (9 years later) refuses to admit that I was right in the first place! Ugh, men and maps!!! Oh, he absolutely refused to stop and ask someone too!

7. What is your proudest moment being a parent?
I think it has to be whenever Elliot just turns around to Matt or I, or his Nan or Pop or uncle and gives them a big cudle and tells them he loves them, completely out of the blue. He does it quite often and it melts my heart every time.
Oh, there was also a time we were at the shops and a baby in a pram near us was crying and screaming and Elliot turned and asked me why the baby was crying. I said it may be tired or just upset about something and he replied "Oh, it's Mummy should give it a cuddle. Why doesn't she put it in the sling? That'd make it happy" I love my boys!

8. If you could go back and relive one day of your life which would you choose?
I've got two, the day each of the boys were born. For Elliot I'd be more demanding of his time with me in the recovery room after delivery, I'd stand up more for myself. For Archie, I'd wait longer before going into the hospital so his labour could have been really established and maybe have avoided another c-section. Oh the 20/20 vision of hindsight.

So there we go, a bit more about me!

Now, I'm tagging

The Clip Cafe
Gina at Clutterpunk
dillpickle unfinished

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Creative Space

Elliot and I have been working on a joint project this week, stamped Thank You cards to send out for Archie's Baptism.

We bought blank white cards and a 'thank you' stamp which we used with a regular green ink pad. We then potato stamped a cross onto the cards with regular blue paint.

Simple, cheap, quick and a great craft project for toddlers too!

Check out more creative goodies at Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Up in the Air I Fly!

Head over to Faith, Hope & a Whole Lotta Love for more Wordless Wednesday pics.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Playing with our Food

I have been so blessed with my boys that I haven't had to struggle to find healthy food that they will eat. Sure, Archie picks and chooses his vegies (he's going through a zucchini phase at the moment) and he's always been a big lover of meat and carbs. Elliot on the other hand, lives for vegies and cries if he can't actually see them on his plate (funny wee man that he is) but on the whole, I have two healthy, strong, growing boys who love good food.

This doesn't mean though, that we can't have fun with our food!

Over a year ago our town hosted a Children's Day in the Park where all the local Kindys and Pre-schools, Child care centres, ABA, and basically anything child related set up a stall and had activities for the kids. Despite the snakes and lizards, fire engines and police cars, painting and playdough Elliot's favourite stand was the Government's Health Department that were giving away 'apple slinkies'. Now, I had no idea what an apple slinky was, but thought it sounded fun so over we went. Well, was it ever fun! A fancy machine that cored and sliced the apple into a spiral! (They were giving away the apples, not the machines! LOL!) After he devoured the first one, he asked me for another, but being the altruistic girl I am I said that one was enough and we had to make sure there were enough for everyone else. Turns out they were donated lots of boxes of apples and they didn't have many takers! Well, after a friend who works for QLD Health told us that I had to limit Elliot to 4!!!

So after all that waffling, here is the point of this post, a while back, I found an apple slinky machine! Yippee! Both the boys love having apple slinkies and it actually has proved to be a useful appliance for grown ups too because it can peel the apple, I use it when making apple crumble or stewed apples. It makes the job so much quicker! All I do is run it through the maching, which cores, peels and spirals the apple, then I just cut it into quarters. Done and done!

My wonderful boy loves the 'green spaghetti'!

Who wouldn't love this?

Food has never been so fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Monday Meal Plan and Random Recipe Review

Last week our Random Recipe was Maggie Beer's Lamb, Barley and Cinnamon Casserole from her wonderful book Maggie's Harvest. I absolutely love this book, I've read it cover to cover several times since I got it for Christmas last year from Matt and the boys. The cover is a beautiful fabric with embroidery and it is full of wonderful photography and sentimental stories of Maggie's journey in food. Oh, and heaps of gorgeous, seasonal recipes.

While I randomly chose from the 'Spring' section, the dish was really a very wintery one, but still very yummy. It was a bit of an all day affair because I made the chicken stock in the morning and as the casserole took 4 hours in the oven, it had to be in by 1:30 so we could eat at our regular nanna hour for the boys. The lamb and pork was deliciously melt in the mouth and the barley had soaked up all the juices and it was very much like a risotto. I was just about to type out the recipe but in the book Maggie mentioned she made it one the TV show, and all their recipes are on the web, so here is the recipe and a pic, a much better pic than I could have taken!

A short week this week:

Bean Burritos

Peppered porterhouse steak with mashed sweet potato and steamed veg

Steamed fish with brown rice and steamed veg