Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Better late than never eh?

Monday - Beef Skewers with Fragrant Rice and the left over dressing from last weeks Asian Noodle salad (which was excellent by the way)
Tuesday - Pork chops coated in a mixture of plum sauce/soy sauce and grilled, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Wednesday - roasted vego lasagne
Thursday - the fish with butter bean salad that I didn't make last week
Friday - Lamb shoulder chops... not sure what else
Saturday- spaghetti with venison sausages I think... might change my mind because I plan to go to the Farmer's Market
Sunday - probably will roast a chook so I have sandwich fillings for Monday

Incidentally - the marinade (below) for the beef skewers was excellent:

3 T tamarind concentrate
3 T kecap manis
3 T oyster sauce
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 t grated fresh ginger
1 t seasame oil

Monday, January 21, 2008

NZ Dare #37

This dare is funny...
dare you to scrap about something that Tickles Your Fancy.
Well, these photos do. Particularly the altered one that looks a bit 50ish. DD loves these drawers and she also has a bad habit of opening the bottom oven. Perhaps one day she'll like to do some cooking and I'll be able to say this to her
"You shouldn't have gone to so much trouble darling!" a la the title of Jo Seagar's cookbook!

Hee hee!

Plus I got to use my tea cup stamp. Yay!

What's a girl to do..

when it is so hot, and Mummy's cooking tea so she can't go out and fill up the paddling pool? Bring on the dish, ice block and lots of towels! Transform your kitchen into a bathing chamber!

Trina has a bunch of sketches up at SBO, and on her blog. I've been printing them off for my reference and finally I did some scrapbooking on the weekend using one of them.

Menu Plan Monday

Been a bit slack in this but never mind - back into it this week. My latest copy of Dish magazine has some nice ideas that I am trying out this week.

Monday - Sauteed chicken with ham and spinach with oven fries
Tuesday - Asian Pork Burgers
Lamb chops with a Puy Lentil Salad
Fish with Butter Beans and Bacon
Friday - might be heading down to a friend's house in the evening so possibly will have takeaways along the way. *sigh* Not my first choice but we hardly ever do have them so once in a while it is okay. It will NOT be Maccers if I have any say in it...
Sat/Sun - Staying with friends so I won't be the major cook! :)

I am hoping to go and visit a beach for a picnic this week. I plan to make this salad (also from the latest Dish magazine) to take in our tiffin tins. I have some large ones for adults but the other day I discovered these child size ones at Mahadeo's (14 Virgina Ave,, Eden Terrace, Auckland) for NZ$9.00. The stainless steel isn't first class quality but it'll be fine for school lunches.

Asian Noodles with Sesame Dressing
Serves 6
300g dried udon or soba noodles
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup sesame seeds toasted
1 t grated fresh ginger
2 T soy sauce
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 T rice vinegar
1/3 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
1/4 cup vege oil
2-3 T warm water
3 spring onions
1 red capsicum
300g Chinese BBQ pork*, thinly sliced (have to remember to pick this up from the shop!)
1/2 cup chopped coriander
2 T seasame seeds

Noodles: Cook in large pot of bioling salted water until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and toss with a little seasame oil.

Dressing: Put tahini, sesame seeds, ginger, soy, chilli sauce, vinegar and coriander in a food processor and blend to a paste. Drizzle in the oil and dd enough warm water to make creamy dressing. Season.

Toss the noodles with enough dressing to coat. Add spring onion, capsicum, pork and half the coriander and toss. Sprinkle over with seasame seeds and more coriander.

* Cooked prawns or chicken can be used. Fried tofu or egg omelette would be a good vegetarian option.

Sunday, January 13, 2008



We had a high tea to celebrate Miss DD's birthday yesterday. I was very pleased how the cupcakes turned out.

We had so much food. I did my usual trick of over catering so we had to "go out into the highways and byways to compel them to come in"... actually we just got on the phone and invited some more people at the last minute. Like half and hour's notice! LOL! They were pleased to come though.

Lamingtons - I forgot these are an Australasian thing until I saw my comments with some puzzled punters queries! ;-) An online recipe is here.
I did pink ones using Greggs Jellytime jelly. You roll the sponge squares in the unset jelly before coating them with coconut. You have to work fast because that jelly sets jolly quick!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Flaunt it Friday: the fridge

themommykelly's theme this week: open your fridge!

Mine is very full right now - DD's party is tomorrow. Hence the pink lamingtons. :)

See the packets of film in the door? They've been there for ages since DH went digital. They are mostly infra red film.

You can see I've started DD on a bottle now and again in an attempt to night wean her. She likes the Tommee-Tippee-booby-shape-teat one which is good. DS would never take a bottle and made it awkward when he went to day care or stay with my mum for a bit. At least this frees me up a little. Not that I begrudge still breast feeding her ... well, maybe at 3.00am in the morning when she just wants comfort I do ... but now she is one, she is able to deal with a bit of bottle time I think. I am happy to let her take the lead in weaning to some extent, though I'd quite like to be finished feeding her by the time she is 2 if possible.

Oh - and you see there is a bottle of lemon curd in there. There were 3 full ones. But I've opened one in a moment of weakness. I love that stuff. It's for DD"s party truly! Really it is! I'm just..uh.. testing it.

Entry for wierd root vegetable contest

My garden surprises me sometimes.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

farming funnies

DS loves music but he won't sing at kindy. He will sing by himself at home and his version of Old MacDonald amused me.

"Old MacDonald had a funny farm,
E I E I O"


"On that farm he had a flipping bird
E I E I O"


As we drove home from Kamo the other week:
DS: "Who lives on that farm?"
Me: "I have no idea!"
DS: "Maybe it's Old MacDonald's farm?"

Son of a scrapbooker

Waiting for DH to get coffee beans in Kingsland, DS and I observe a man with tattoos walk by.

DS: Why does that man have stamps on him?


Monday, January 07, 2008

One year today

Today our baby is one year old. It's 4.00pm now... a year ago my contractions were just starting to settle into a pattern. Her birth story is here.

From that helpless bundle we now have a (nearly) toddler! She is taking more and more steps with increasing confidence.

In her honour - 3 layouts I have done over the past few days.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Flaunt it Friday:own your dream | 1 Word

themommykelly's FIF theme combines nicely with some other themes about on the "internets". The thing to do instead of making resolutions for the New Year is to concentrate on a word.

I see Ali Edwards is promoting it and I've noticed other places where it has been mentioned - like this thread at SBO's forum.

It is good to have a purpose each day, a sincere desire to achieve something or focus on something. I do have a number of purposes. Some are related to my spiritual life - something I don't talk much about here but which is of primary importance to me. Some are related to my roles as a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend.

The difficulty I find, is remembering these things when the pressure goes on. When the kids are pulling my skirt for attention, DH is ratttling around trying to find his keys/phone/glasses/wallet and I've got to make lunches or stop something from burning - that is the time when I need to remember the most but it's also the time when I don't!

My friend Amy (Crunchy Domestic Goddess) has decided on an approach to get her through the day:
I wrote some motivational phrases to myself and secured them with a magnet in a stack on the refrigerator. For the past two mornings, I’ve gone through the stack to find a phrase that I wanted to apply for the day and moved it to the top of the stack.

I'm going to combine Amy, Ali's, themommykelly's ideas and make myself a word/phrase stack for my fridge. Here are some of the words I'm going to include:

  • Love (probably the most important, and one that encompasses a whole range of possibilities).
  • Balance
  • Prayer
  • Faith
  • Grace
  • Mercy
  • Acceptance
  • Thankfulness
  • Peace
  • Joy
  • Temperance
  • Live mindfully
  • Forgiveness
  • Today
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Gentleness
  • Endure
  • Choose to be happy
  • Little things
Watch this space! I shall post some pics once they are made. Need to get some magnetic stuff...

Thursday, January 03, 2008



The good thing about marrying a mad photographer is that you get to experience sunsets with him. Sort of.

Bethells Beach, Waitakere.

More pics in my Flickr photo stream (link in the side bar). Also in my new banner! :) All my own composition including the photos.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tagged x 2!

themommykelly tagged me ages ago to do this one... She writes:
We’re blogging all about five gifts we would make to ourselves for Christmas if we had unlimited income.
So these are my thoughts!
1. Since charity begins at home I'd be looking to my family first. I'd like to set my parents up with some income for their retirement because I do worry about when they will be living on pensions. I'd be giving some to my sisters to do what they wish with it. And for my own little family, we'd be getting a bigger house more suited to our lifestyle (i.e. 4 bedrooms, 2 living areas and good indoor/outdoor flow). Preferably one that is sustainable - built with things like solar power, green insulation, grey water recycling systems etc. Oh, and I'd be ditching the x-craft (my car) for something a bit roomier.

2. I'd be giving some donations to the Pindrop Foundation. This charity is one that isn't too well known (I think) and it's not ..uh .. trendy like some others.

Pindrop was set up to raise awareness and funds for cochlear implants (bionic ears) and to draw attention to issues relating to hearing loss.

Over 400 people in New Zealand have received a cochlear implant since 1986. It has been estimated that there are over 400,000 hearing impaired New Zealanders, 4000 of whom could possibly benefit from a cochlear implant and yet a good many of these people aren't aware that the option exists for them to consider.

The funding for cochlear implants is not that great and so some people (including Alice, a friend of mine) have to wait, and wait, and wait until they can have it done.

3. I like to invest in some companies that are trying to make a difference in terms of the third bottom line - their environmental impact and other ethical considerations.

4. I'd like to travel with my family to places overseas.

5. I'd tell DH to ditch his job so he can go back and train to do what he really is interested in. And I'd get him the BWL he wants, just because. BWL=big white lens.

My online friend Jenny tagged me to blog 5 things about myself that people don't know.
1. I get motion sick quite easily. Especially on planes. Makes it tricky when traveling overseas. I'm the one checking for the existence of the barf bag.
2. I love words but hate crosswords! I like looking at dictionaries and etymology.
3. I like to play Cranium, Trivial Pursuit & Pictionary. But only with intelligent people.
4. I used to do karate.
5. I would like to swim naked in the sea. (heh heh) Clear the beach!!!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Our break away was great and so was Christmas. The kids got spoiled but that is the prerogative of grandparents and aunties! I ate entirely too much but it is Christmas. Slugs and lettuce leaves for the next few weeks will counter act this. LOL!

Nothing too exciting happened but it was great to be with family and enjoy some time out. Here is a slide show of some selected photos!
View slideshow

A bullet point summary of the week or so past:
  • DD is standing and has taken a few steps. Yay!
  • My baby is growing up and will be 1 soon. Boo!
  • I got a Cuttlebug font half price in the Boxing Day Sales. Yay!
  • The plum tree is too tall to be netted so the birds are going to have a feast. Boo!
  • DS loved staying with Gran and Grandad. Yay!
  • Our alarm's back up battery failed on the day we left for our holiday. Boo!
  • We got back and were able to find a battery. Yay!
  • The lug had rotted away so DH had to jury rig it. Boo!
  • DH got a new lug and fitted it. Yay!

MIL has given me her albums for DH and SIL to do something with. Should be fun. I have to say my kids look so much like their father it is scary. I hope some of me comes through one day!

Right. I've been tagged by 3 people, and with 3 different tags so I'd better get my thinking cap on and do some posts.

And... contrary to my previous post I DID get published in the SBO's e-zine reader gallery! So chuffed about that. Not so chuffed that Xtra managed to muck up Andrea's email telling me about it.

Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous New Year with the fulfilment of your goals and joy with your families.