Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sharing the Harvest

We had some friends round for dinner and they brought us some wonderful 
fruits (and vegies) of their labour!


Monday, November 21, 2011

In the Kitchen This Week

Random Recipe - Chinese Chicken Hotpot  with steamed veg
from Donna Hay's No Time To Cook p96

Roasted Red Capsicum with buckwheat pasta from here

boys - eggs
adults - chilli con carne (we've been trying to have this for three weeks now, plans always keep changing. This week definitely!)

GF pizza, no idea on toppings yet

Sweet potato and chickpea red curry with brown rice and steamed veg


GF bean burritos

Friday, November 18, 2011

An Easy Weekday Dinner

buckwheat pasta
quick, yummy dinner after a busy day out and about.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A New Experience

Baby Oliver is now 5 1/2 months. Oh, where does the time go? He is rolling like a fiend and doing all that pre-crawling stuff, getting up on his hands and knees, working his arms and legs but only going backwards! Adorable!

He's also started to show signs that he's ready to move from a diet of purely breastmilk to introducing solids. His head control is great, he's almost sitting independently and he's showing so much interest in our food and drink that it's hard to keep him from grabbing whatever is on my fork!

So now we're entering the world of solids! We're going to go down the road of baby-led solids, not bothering with purees and mash just giving him little tastes of the family food and some specifically steamed fingers of vegies. We'll still offer cereal (starting with iron-fortified organic rice cereal) for breakfast, just because I think cereal and a healthy breakfast is a good habit to get into early.

Baby-led solids has so many benefits but oh so much mess!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Another Adjustment

It seems like life has been all about adjustments lately.

Some big, some not so big.

One of the not so big ones is this:

For the first time in my life I'm not hanging out washing on a Hills Hoist.

It's brought up all sorts of dilemmas. Where do I start hanging? Should I start at one end and work my way down one line line and then the next? Or should I start at one end and peg on each line?

Oh, these are indeed the big issues!

Monday, November 14, 2011

In the Kitchen this Week

I'll post more about it soon but we're making the transition from a wheat-based diet to one that is wheat-free, attempting to be gluten free.

Roasted pumpkin risotto

Buckwheat pasta with bolognese sauce

boys- eggs and toast
adults- chilli con carne (we didn't end up having it last week)

Pumpkin soup with cheesey muffins

gluten-free pizza


Random Recipe - Eggplant Parmigiana from Rose Elliot's Classic Vegetarian p74

gluten-free bluberry muffins, gluten-free bread, chicken stock, muesli, yoghurt, ricotta

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rocket Pesto

We got a massive bunch of rocket in our F&V box recently and I knew the boys wouldn't like it as salad leaves too spicy Mummy! so I turned it into the yummiest pesto! With brazil nuts instead of pine nuts it wasn't exactly traditional, but what does that matter!

1 bunch (2 firmly packed cups) rocket
1/2 cupbrazil nuts
1 cup olive oil
120g parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Whiz everything up in a blender of food processor until it reaches your desired chunkiness!

Enjoy as dip, salad dressing, a sandwich spread, stirred through pasta. Your imagination is the limit!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Starting Early

It's been a while but I'm joining in with Wordless Wednesday at Faith, Hope & a Whole Lotta Love.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back to Menu Planning!

not that I ever stopped, but back to sharing it with everyone!

Happening in the kitchen this week is:

Broccoli casserole with steamed veg

Zucchini slice with salad

Boys - eggs and veg
Grown ups - chilli con carne


Mushroom risotto

Chickpea casserole (requested by Archie, no idea what I'll actually make though)

no idea yet!

Bread, yoghurt, chicken stock, beef stock

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Organic Homemade Ricotta

The day before its 'sell by' date the organic milk at our local grocery gets reduced to a ridiculously cheap price. Being the food hoarder that I am I buy every bottle that is reduced (sometimes three or four 2l bottles) and use it straight away for cooking or freeze it to use later.

Making ricotta is a great way to use up a large quantity of milk to give a different product that is so versatile. A sweet dip for fruit when mixed with honey, a topping on pizza, a filling in filo pastries, the uses are endless!

Here's my recipe using just milk and vinegar. Too easy!

2l organic, non-homogenised milk
3 tbls white vinegar or lemon juice

Heat milk slowly to 97C or just below boiling point if you don't have a jam thermometer.
Remover from heat and stir through vinegar or lemon juice.
Sit, without stirring for 15 minutes
Strain through a muslin cloth for 30 minutes or until it's as firm as you desire.

I don't salt my ricotta as I like to have the option to use it for sweet or savoury.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Around our Suburban Garden

One of the biggest adjustments we've had to make after the move back to suburbia is giving up the dream of growing the majority of our own food. Even though we are renting a great house with the perfect backyard for us, it's still not the same, you know?

Anyway, we're doing what we can. There were already not one, but three (!!!) lemon trees so that is a bonus! There is a tank so we can water when there hasn't been rain for a while and there are a few garden beds that we are planting out in between the existing ornamentals.

A capsicum seedling among the ornamentals

Potted carrots, hopefully growing straight!

We're planning pots, pots and more pots!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Baby-Led Attachment After A Caesar Is Possible!!!

There is a lot of negativity within the health community about breastfeeding after c-sections. While I understand the generalities of why there is this negativity (ie baby removed from mum immediately after birth, baby and mum missing out on many important hormones, scar pain, immobility from anesthesia, recovering from all the drugs for mum and baby just to name a few) I wanted to write a positive post about breastfeeding after a c-section.

Knowing that I would be having a third c-section and having done Baby-led attachment with Archie, prepared me to use the same approach after Oliver's birth. It really is the most effective way to get breastfeeding off to the right start and makes every feed after that so much more relaxed. Along with lots and lots of skin to skin time, co-sleeping and true demand feeding it helps really establish proper attachment for those important first feeds. Not to mention wonderful bonding time for mum and babe, getting all those great hormones flowing, so important after a c-section birth!

 Oliver, a few hours old, enjoying skin-to-skin time 
after another breast crawl.

Here is a video of a baby doing the "breast crawl" when only a few minutes old. It is truly amazing how a wee baby, perceived to be so helpless, can find their way to their mother's milk.

It can be hard in the hospital environment to stand up for your baby and what is best for them. For Oliver's first breast crawl we had a midwife standing over us wanting to get her hands in there and "help" him. We had to say quite a few times that "No thankyou, he's fine. He'll get there." And he did, without any interfering hands. In saying that though, the hospital were very supportive of my desire for lots of skin-to-skin time. In fact, because we both had trouble keeping our temperature stable after surgery it was actively encouraged (not that I needed encouragement!) so the first two days after his birth we spent almost every waking moment in bed, skin-to-skin!

As with a natural birth, the key to having a positive c-section is preparation and confidence. Know what you want, discuss it throughout your pregnancy with your doctor or midwife, firmly but gently stand your ground on the important issues. After all, you only get one chance at giving your wee babe the best arrival you can!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Making a Sheepish Return to the Blog World

Well, it's been a while! Sorry, but life has been full!

After a couple of months staying with my parents we're now in our own place and back to regular programming. We are adjusting to life back in the 'big smoke', adjusting to life in suburbia where going for a walk means counting buses instead of cows, adjusting to having a normal sized backyard, adjusting to town water!!!

But there are positives, lots of positives. More time with extended family (the boys are loving having Nan and Pop over for dinner!), being able to walk down to the shops to get that forgotten little something as opposed to getting everyone in (and out, and then back in) the car.

The boys are continuing to grow and develop at ridiculous rates. Elliot absolutely loves his new kindy and is making lots of lovely new friends. Archie hasn't taken the adjustment as smoothly as Elliot has. I suppose that happens when you're 2! Oliver is now 5 months, and just a delight. Feeding like a champ, sleeping well and doing all the lovely things a 5 month old should do.

I'm really looking forward to getting back into the blog world!

Much love,
Vic xx

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Boy, It's a Responsibility!

 Elliot's morning job list. Archie also gets in and gets his jobs done too!

As the Mum of boys, I have an awareness of my responsibility to raise them to be good men. Men that treat women well, men that will make good partners and husbands, men that pull their weight around the house. While that is all years and years away I strongly believe in planting the seeds of this responsibility early. Children are much more capable than many people give them credit for. If you scaffold and guide them, if you make it possible for them to succeed then they will generally rise to the challenge.

 El's self-made bed, complete with pj's under his pillow and baby asleep and tucked in.

A few months before Kindy was due to start this year I started to talk to Elliot about jobs that he needed to do in the mornings to get ready to go out. Together we came up with a list. At first he needed help with everything on the list. Luckily for me he's a lover of a routine so it took him oh, about a day to remember everything on the list! Over time the list has been added to, amended and changed to suit our changing circumstances. Elliot has also changed in that he now completes the list independently (apart from cleaning his teeth, I have a turn after he's had a turn). He even makes his bed and Archie's bed, usually as part of a surprise for me which also involves choosing clothes and getting himself dressed.

Archie's bed after Elliot has made it. Sideways quilt, rumpled blankets and all!

Sure, he often has his clothes inside out, back to front or completely mismatching. The beds are always rumpled and lumpy but I wouldn't have it any other way. He's showing me he's capable and responsible. He's proud of his success in doing these 'grown up' tasks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

In the Kitchen this Week

As we will be moving in a few short weeks we're eating from the freezer and pantry. We're planning on putting everything in storage and staying with my parent's until we find a new place in Brisbane. So we need empty fridges, freezers and pantries.

Along with eating from the freezer and pantry, we've had lots of friends drop meals around to help us out with new baby Oliver. We've been so spoilt, having yummy homemade meals delivered, soups, stews, pies even cassava cake and ice cream! Yum!

But, by me, nothing exciting is cooking, nothing exciting is being planned, no cookbooks are being consulted.

Every morning I've been standing at an open pantry or freezer and surveying the offerings. We've been eating lots of pasta, lots of tinned lentils in soup or sauces, usually with tinned tomatoes too!
Hopefully soon I'll be able to be back in the kitchen, planning and cooking up a storm!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Something I Love

Some pretty flowers, a surprise from the boys when they went shopping with Daddy. 
A couple of cross stitches by my Mum. 

One of the clocks we received as a wedding present. 
Some op-shopped canisters. 
A teapot given to Matt by his late Grandma.

I love this wall in my kitchen.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oliver's Arrival

So our dear wee Oliver has made his grand entrance into the world. Settle in for a read, you may want to get a cuppa now. I do have a tendancy to waffle!

You may remember that I had been hoping his birth would be a Maternally Assisted Caesarean (MAC) as I'm a huge natural birth advocate, but have only had caesars! A Maternally Assisted Caesarean was going to be the closest thing I'd get to being involved in his birth but alas and alack, he had different plans!

After much negotiation with my Doctor we'd agreed on what would and wouldn't happen, how things would go, who would be involved in terms of aneathestists, paediatricians, midwives etc. As his arrival was going to be a planned c-section, we knew who all these people were going to be and so my Doctor had been talking with them in advance. The delivery was booked for a Monday morning, the day after my due date.

The Wednesday before my due date was my Mum's birthday and she mentioned a few times throughout the day that if he decided to come today then she wouldn't mind sharing her birthday with him at all. My response was to roll my eyes and exclaim "He's so not coming early, I feel fine!!!" Ha! Just goes to show what I know!

That evening while making dinner I felt a tightening and made a comment to Mum that I may have just had a contraction. That was about 5:30pm and was followed by another tightening about 15 minutes later. At this time Matt was on the bus on his way home so I sent him a quick text message letting him know that something may be happening but I wasn't 100% sure. I got on with dinner but didn't have anything myself, I was feeling a bit funny in the tummy, plus if it was labour I didn't want to eat anything as you are supposed to be nil by mouth for 7 hours prior to surgery.

Matt got the boys bathed and into bed while Dad cleaned the kitchen and Mum and I started watching the tele and then bam, at 7:30pm a really strong, long contraction followed by another 10 minutes later, and then another and another! By 8pm I knew that this was the real deal so rang the hospital and the midwife said to come in. Matt was back after getting the boys settled so we finished packing the bag (I thought I had a few more days to get things ready!) and headed off leaving the boys in the safe hands of a very excited Nan and Pop! On the drive to the hospital the contractions were stronger and closer together but very typically they slowed down once we got the hospital. Luckily the midwives believed me that I was actually having strong contractions and after being hooked up to the monitor for a while she called the Doctor.

Unfortunately though, not my Doctor. It was her night off so one of her colleagues was called in. At that point I knew that my plans for an MAC were out the window as the birth would officially be classed as an "emergency" as I'd gone into spontaneous labour and MAC's are only considered for elective caesars. Plus, all the people that my Dr had been talking to were not on that night.

So Oliver's arrival was your traditional caesar. The Doctor and midwife delivered him, lowering the screen so Matt and I could get our first glimpse of our little man. Then he was taken over to the table where the paediatrician checked him over and gave him the OK, he was weighed and measured (2.9kg, 52cm). He was brought over to me all wrapped up for a quick cuddle before heading to recovery with Matt. They waited there while the Doctor delivered the placenta and finished up the procedure.

It really, aside from not being an MAC, was my ideal situation. I wanted the baby to choose his own birthday. I wanted to at least labour for a little bit (it was almost 6hrs from the first funny feeling to when he was born) so that the baby and I would both benefit from some of those wonderful labour hormones. I wanted him to be ready to come into the world instead of being told "you're coming now!"

Our wee babe entered the world pink and screaming and ready to feed! Just perfect!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

He's Here!!!

Just a quick one to let you know that our third baby boy, Oliver, has arrived! He's now 10 days old and is just divine. Feeding brilliantly, sleeping well, just being an adorable newborn really. The big boys are loving him, showering him with kisses and cuddles.

I'll be back soon to share his birth story. :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chicken Tractor Update

I've posted before here about our chicken tractor and how fabulous it is, and it is. But there are also a couple of design flaws.

The first (and biggest in my opinion) is that the nesting box is on top of the roosts. You can see it in the picture in the above link. Now, not being all that knowledgeble in chicken husbandry even I knew that this was not the way things should be. Chickens like to roost in the highest possible place which means that all 6 of ours girls cram into the nesting box, jostling for a comfy place to sleep. This means that they generally are laying on the floor of the tractor, usually under the nesting box. This leads to design flaw #2.

Design flaw #2 is that when the girls lay on the floor they can't be reached from the top opening (over the nesting box) so the only way to get them is to crawl through the teeny tiny door, dodging the hanging water and feeder, and reaching through the roosts to get it. This is nigh-on impossible when in the last stages of pregnancy!!! Luckily I've got children to do the leg work for me, but this brings it's own problems. Elliot is good at manouvering through the cage and climbing through the roosts, but doesn't like getting the poo on him, and was completely freaked out when one egg had a really big bit of poo and muck on it. Archie on the other hand doesn't mind the poo, but is not so good at the manouvering and him going in usually ends up with him falling, tripping and doing other such clutzy things that mean he comes out covered in poo, straw, kitchen scraps and chicken food.

We certainly do things the hard way in our house!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Pitiful Garden Update

Since we made the decision to put the house on the market and move the garden has been neglected to say the least. Actually neglected doesn't even describe what has happened to the huge area we once had planted with heaps of edibles, some successful, some not.

We planted out two gardens using the chickens to prepare the soil for us and then our moving news came. We have kept tending those two areas (one with a mixed planting, one with potatoes) and the rest of the area has been mown and is regressing back to lawn.

I can't begin to explain how sad I feel when I look out and realise that all that potential is gone. I look through the seed box and wonder if there is any point starting a new planting when we could be gone soon. But what if we're not? But what if we are? Argh!!! The unknowns are killing me, so I'm being lazy and not bothering.

In the meantime, we're trying to save the last of the tomatoes from some pesky nocturnal animal that picks them just as they are starting to ripen, then nibbles them and leaves them around the yard for the dogs to play with.

Green tomato chutney anyone?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Meal Plan Monday

We're staying at my parent's this week, awaiting the arrival of babe #3 next Monday. It was great to meal plan with 6 people instead of 4, although the boys did still pick their usuals of 'sausages' and 'eggs and toast'! It's great to be able to share the cooking too. I still try and cook as much as I can, just because Mum insists on doing all our washing while we're here! What a woman!

So this week looks like this:

BBQ with sausages, tamarind and lime chicken pieces, salad, creamy potato bake, salad and garlic bread

Beef Burgandy with horseradish dumplings and steamed veg

Mum's birthday dinner of Chinese takeaway and chocolate mudcake for dessert

Pasta prima vera

Boys: eggs and toast
Adults: Chilli con carne

Potato and leek soup

Happy menu planning!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Fellowship of Women - Part 2

Following on from this post about some special 'women's time' I'd shared recently, I thought I'd share some more special 'women's time' that I'd had.

Some of my local friends got together and organised a baby shower for me! It was so much fun and so nice to see everyone all at once. We don't all get together as often as we'd like (how much is that the story for most friendship groups?) so it was lovely to sit down with everyone and chat and play some very silly games and just have a morning (which turned into all day) of fun. I was completely blown away by the lengths they'd gone too, I was expecting us to just sit around and watch the kids play while we had a chat but one industrious couple (yes, the one man present was the Master of Ceremonies) devised all sorts of crazy antics for us.

The kids, big and little, had a great time! I love getting together with homeschooling friends, the bigger kids are so caring and considerate towards the littlies!
The first was your usual baby shower fare, everyone had to bring a photo of themselves as a baby and we had to work out who was who. Some were easy, some were tricky!

The second game was by far the funniest (and potentially most disgusting) "What's the baby eaten?". The couple had gotten about 8 disposable nappies and smeared them with all sorts of household items. The players had to sniff and smell the nappies to figure out what it was! Ick! We did get some funny photos though of all of us with our noses stuck into the nappies. They used all sorts of tricky things like vinegar, Vegemite, perfume, vanilla and eucalyptus oil.

Trying to figure out what was in the nappy. It was harder that it sounds!

I also got showered with gifts! A voucher to a lingerie shop in town to treat myself to a new maternity bra or two, some kids books and outfits, some chocolate and a lovely package from Pepper Place that I'll post more about once I've actually used them and have pics of them on the new babe!
I'm so blessed to have met these amazing women and formed such close friendships in the short two years that we've been here. I'm so going to miss them when we move!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why You Shouldn't Believe Everything You See

After a discussion with some friends about body/self image and the media's role in how we view ourselves we got onto the subject of photoshop. I have absolutely no photoshop experience so when one girl offered to 'do' some of us I jumped at the chance!!! I emailed away a pic of myself and she 'fixed' the image, getting rid of blemishes etc etc.

So here is the original:

And here is the photoshopped version.

Still looks like me (minus freckles, wrinkles and red spot under my eye), she worked on the lighting, teeth, eyes and a few other bits and pieces. I like that it's not too dramatic, but it really made me think. If this can be done so easily and seamlessly, how much 'fixing' is done to the images we are bombarded with daily?

It's no wonder women and younger and younger girls feel the need to buy the latest moisturiser, cream, cleanser or pill when they are comparing themselves to unrealistic and unobtainable images.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Don't forget to head over to check out more Wordless Wednesdays here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Another Short Week in the Kitchen

Yet another short week as we are travelling again, this time not to return home until the baby has been born! Woohoo!

I've been trying to stock the freezer with meals, homemade bread and baked goodies so that once the wee babe is here I can focus less on the cooking and more on the baby, big boys and of course myself, recovering from a c-section.

So this short week looks like this:

Pumpkin soup with homemade rye bread (with extra serves to go in the freezer)

Steak, steamed veg and mashed potato

Easy dinner - eggs and vegies!

bread - wholemeal and rye for the freezer, berry and yoghurt muffins, yoghurt

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Fellowship of Women - Part 1

Quite a few weeks ago I was so blessed to have been given a Blessingway by a wonderful group of women I've known in the online world for a few years now. I had the pleasure of meeting them all in real life and realising that we all get on in real life just as well as we do in cyberspace!!!

We spent the day out at a local dam, eating cheese, dips and crackers. Those of us not pregnant (ie everyone but me) shared some wine and local seafood. Most of us were child-free for the day which made it even more special!

A Blessingway is a celebration of womanhood, a time to reflect on the amazing gift that women have - the ability to create new life.  We meditated, we sung a little, we shared, we cried and we joined ourselves with red yarn.

Please excuse the quality of the pic. I took it at night with my phone.

This was the most special part of the ceremony for me. With one long length of yarn passed between us we each wrapped it a couple of times around one of our wrists, each of the women present sharing their hopes for this babe and it's safe arrival. We then cut the yarn linking us and tied it to our wrists, to stay there until each woman hears of the baby's safe arrival.

I love looking down at my wrist and thinking of these beautiful women. I love thinking of all the strong women that have been there before me and the many, many women that will come after me. This business of pregnancy, birth and motherhood is so timeless, so precious, so sacred. I wouldn't be a man for all the money in the world!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Through the Eyes of Babes

Elliot is loving taking pics with my phone lately and he just had to get a snap of his cereal at breaky the other morning. He was so excited, there was an E in his cereal!!!!

Another almost Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back to the Meal Planning!

So even though things have been ever so quiet on the blogging front for a while, things are never that quiet in my kitchen! Every week, week in and week out, I meal plan. It doesn't matter what is happening in our lives, where we are, what we're doing, there is always a meal plan. Sometimes written out, sometimes just in my head.

So, this is the plan for this week:

Bean burritos

Chicken schnitzels with mashed sweet potato and steamed veg

Zucchini and pea risotto

Thursday and Friday:
two nights off! Yahoo!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Sunday lunch:
Vegetarian Shepard's Pie with Sweet Potato topping, recipe from here

Mini cheese muffins (for the freezer), wholemeal bread, labna (yoghurt cheese)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Celebrating in Style!

Celebrating your birthday in style when you're four means

Going on a steam train ride with family

 Spotting all sorts of exciting things out the window

 Experiencing the wonder of going through a tunnel

Getting to ring the old bell

The excitment of presents wrapped in brown paper

Receiving exactly what you were wishing for, even when it's as simple as a much longed-for book.

Choosing your birthday cake (and Mummy being able to somewhat replicate it)

Waking up on your birthday morning to more pressies!

 Helping to decorate patty cakes to take to Kindy to share.

I can't believe that 4 years ago he was just a babe in my arms. 
What a reminder to cherish every moment!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

36ish weeks!!!!

Baby #3 at 36 weeks.

Taken by baby #1, who turns 4 today!

It was kind of a Wordless Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fessing Up

After my friend Kelly's recent post and link back to this blog about using bi-carb as deoderant I thought I'd better fess up.

I don't use deoderant. There we go, it's out there for the world to know. Only Matt, my mum and a couple of friends knew before today. I promise you I don't stink, well, no one has told me I do anyway!!!

I just got sick of trying every different brand out there and nothing working the way I thought they should, considering all the chemicals and nasties in them, not to mention the cost. Then I read (somewhere, can't remember now where) about using either straight bi-carb or mixing it with different flours, herbs, oils etc and I haven't looked back. It's probably been two years now and it really is just so easy, cheap and effective.

I keep it in a parmesan cheese shaker that I got from the grocery and then just shake a bit on after I shower. It seems to last for ages **warning: another confession coming up** if I haven't showered for a day or two, it's still fine.

So go on, give it a go. I dare you!!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Chickens are Laying!!!

Well, at least one is, maybe two.

We returned from a day or two in Brisbane last Saturday to find an egg in the chicken coop! We've had one egg each day since then, with two the other day! One of the two though had a very thin, papery shell so we're thinking it was the first egg from another layer.

The boys are very excited to check the coop each morning even though we seem to have early-afternoon layers. Every time they check they return very disheartened with the response from Archie being "nothing cep a golf ball" (Matt put a golf ball in their nesting box thinking it'd inspire them.)

Then, when that elusive egg finally arrives he runs back to the house yelling "Chickens grewd an eeeegggggg!!!" at top note.

After waiting since Christmas, we're never been so thankful to see an egg! Now we just need the rest of the chooks to follow suit so we can stop buying eggs!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Making a Sheepish Return ...

I've decided it's time to resume the blogging. Lots has been happening over the last couple of months, none of it overly interesting to read about on a blog! :)

In a nutshell, to catch you all up, Matt has taken a new job which sees us planning a return to Brisbane. I say planning because while we had originally thought we'd be there by now, we're not. Well, not all of us. Matt is working in Brisbane through the week while I am up here with the boys. He's coming home on weekends or we're all travelling down when I have Dr's appointments for the new baby. I think I'll be fine with this arrangement until the baby comes. After that I've got no idea. It's pretty tiring at the moment being 35 weeks pregnant with a 2 year old and an almost-4 year old. I've absolutely no idea how tiring it's going to be adding a newborn to the mix as well!

On the topic of the new baby! I've got less than 5 weeks to go! It has come around so fast that I just can't believe that in 5 weeks they'll be another little man in the house, another soul to meet and get to know. I'm now in the care of the obstetrician in Brisbane who delivered both the boys and she is just wonderful. She gets me and some of my 'things', I don't need to explain myself to her, she's just fabulous. I'll post in a while about how we're progressing with having a Maternally Assisted C-Section, but she is open to the idea in some form so that is positive.

Other than that, life is progressing along as usual! I'm trying to continue our lives as regularly as possible, while having to deal with some pretty big changes. I'm still cooking a lot. I'm still menu planning every single week. I'm still attempting to sew. I'm trying to knit more (I've had a pair of slippers on the go for a while now, poor El!). I'm trying to get to that home-duties nirvana of no washing needing to be folded or put away, though I'm not sure it even exists!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Just Popping In ...

... amid the gazillion trips to Brisbane to look for a new house (no easy task after living in this beautiful home!) to remind you to head over to KK's to check out the second instalment of Real Mummas on Mondays. It's fair to say that this week's question had us all fairly stumped so I can't wait to read the other Mumma's responses!

Much love to you all, hopefully I'll have some clearer headspace soon to get back to regular posting.

Vic xx

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Teeny Tiny Update and a New Monday Read!!!

Ok, so life in our house has gotten very crazy all of a sudden. I'll come back soon with a longer version of the story but the abridged edition is that Matt has accepted a fantastic promotion with his employer and we are making the move back to Brisbane. This decision has been very difficult for all of us and I've just not felt the urge to blog or talk about it anymore than I have to, so for this I'm sorry.

On a much lighter and more enjoyable note I've been asked to participate in a new Monday meme "Real Mummas on Mondays". A wonderful friend Kate King has set it up and it involves her asking a few Mummas a series of questions about ourselves and motherhood. It is promising to be very eye opening and very interesting and lots and lots of fun! I'm not sure how many weeks it'll run for but it's starting today! Head over to KK's place to read my answer to the first question!!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meal Plan Monday and Random Recipe Review

Last week's Random Recipe was Pot-Roast Meatloaf from Jamie Oliver's Ministry of Food (p161). If I had been as organised as I had planned to be it would have been better, but I was having a lazy day so skipped half the recipe! I was going to make the meatloaf earlier in the day and then just pop it in the oven when dinner time rolled around but I got caught up in other things so I had to do it after I picked Elliot up from Kindy. By the time dinnertime rolled around I really could not be bothered dirtying more dishes to make the tomato and chickpea sauce that went with it so we just had it as it was. I think the sauce would have made it, without it was just another boring meatloaf. Not bad, just nothing special. As we're not big meatloaf eaters at the best of times it definitely won't be on our list of regular meals.

Pot-Roast Meatloaf

1 medium onion, chopped finely
olive oil
1tsp groun cumin
1tsp ground coriander
12 Jacob's cream crackers*
2tsp dried oregano **
2 tsp Dijon mustard
500g minced beef
1 large egg
4 rashers of bacon ***

1. Fry the onion in a little olive oil with cumin and coriander until soft and fragrant. Put in a large bowl to cool.
2. Smash up crackers until fine **** and place in bowl with cooled onion mixture.
3. Add remaining ingredients except bacon and mix with hands until thoroughly combined. Shape into a log/meatloaf shape and rub with a little olive oil.
4. Place the meatloaf in a casserole dish or baking pan and then cook in a preheated 200C oven for 30 minutes.
5. Lay bacon over the top of the meatloaf and return to the oven until crispy - this took another 15 to 20 minutes.

* I subsituted these for a good handful of breadcrumbs
** I substituted oregano with some finely chopped rosemary from the garden
*** The original recipe called for 12 rashers but 4 were enough to cover my meatloaf
**** Omit this step if using breadcrumbs

What I'd do differently:
  • I'd definitely make the sauce that is in the recipe. It was a basic tomato sauce with some chilli, Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar thrown in along with a tin of chickpeas.
On to the plan for this week! We're having a short week, heading to Brisbane for a long weekend so only three nights of cooking here and then I'll plan with Mum the meals for the weekend. Also, we're trying to eat the freezer and pantry down so apart from some fruit and veg from the markets on Thursday morning I won't need to grocery shop! Hurrah!

Sausages, mashed sweet potato and steamed veg

Marinated steak, steamed veg and some sort of potato side dish

Pasta with lentil sauce

Don't forget to link up if you're menu planning this week!

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Bit of a Break

Just a quick post today to let you all know that I'll be taking a bit of a break from the blog for a while. We've got some family stuff happening, nothing serious, Matt and I just have some thinking and chatting to do about what is going on.

I'll still be hosting the Meal Plan Monday link thingy because I will definitely still be meal planning!!! So pop in on Monday if you're planning to share what's happening in your kitchen.

Other than that I'll see you all on the flip side!

Take care and go gently,
Vic xx

Thursday, March 3, 2011

My Creative Space

I've not sewn or created anything crafty since finished Mia's apron. In fact, the other apron gift for our little friend is still sitting in the sewing room on the dining table along with a half packed up sewing machine. Life seems to have gotten in the way at the moment. I'm involved in starting up a Transition Town in our town (more info to come) and the kindy committee meetings have begun and the boys just seem to be going through a phase of being more demanding of my time.

Anway, it's a bit of a stretch but I still wanted to participate in My Creative Space this week so we've been creating a new flavour (for us) of ice cream .... HONEY!

This little man was so excited to make some ice cream!!!

Look at this amazingly thick cream! When I went to the dairy I spoke to the lady who makes the butter and cream and she said the thick cream (instead of the thin I usually get) makes much better ice cream and she is soooooo right!

When we went to the dairy to get milk yesterday Archie announced from the back seat that he'd like to make ice cream. Alas we don't have any vanilla so I bought some cream and tried to come up with something different to do, we're out of peppermint essence too so choc-mint was off the list. Then it hit me - honey!

I just omitted the sugar and vanilla and added 1/2 cup of honey. I used Iron Bark honey, it is really strongly flavoured so I thought it would go well with the richness of the cream but I think it's too much. Matt (not at all and ice cream person, odd man that he is) and the boys really liked it though. Plus I just wanted to use up a good chunk of the Iron Bark cause it is way too strong for me, I prefer a Macadamia or Brushbox but anyway, that is another post!

So the recipe looked like this:

Honey Ice Cream

1.5 cups milk
3 cups cream
1/2 cup honey

Warm the honey slightly to make it easier to mix with other ingredients
Mix together all ingredients and churn 25 - 30 minutes or until frozen like soft serve
Transfer to container and freeze until hard

Of course two boys wanted to help do the dishes!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Daddy Play

There are just some things that Mummies and Daddies see differently and I suppose that is one of the things that makes co-parenting so interesting.

The other day the boys (including Matt) were in the sandpit before dinner and I called out that it may be time for a bath soon. This was meant by muffled laughter from all of them! Hmmm, they were up to something, I knew it! I poked my head over the verandah to see three boys with face and body paint made from crushed up rocks! Matt was crushing the rocks and smearing it on the boys and also mixing it with some sand to make coloured sand. No way in the world it would have occured to me to do that if I saw two rocks just sitting there.

Needless to say, they had great fun and now the rocks are taking pride of place on the edge of the sandpit!