Thursday, February 28, 2013


This is the recipe I use for lasagne. I made this one for my neighbours on the arrival of their third baby. My good deed done. Brett was very disappointed when I told him not to touch it! 

Beef mince filling
500 gr beef mince
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 Tspn mixed herbs
3/4 cup stock or just water
Brown mince and onion. Add rest of ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cheese Sauce
3-4 Tbsp plain flour
2 Tbsp margarine
120 gr grated cheese
2 cups milk
salt and pepper

Melt butter, and add flour, stir to combine.
Remove from heat and add a little of the milk at a time and whisk until it is smooth.
Put it back on the heat and stir until it thickens.
Stir in cheese, salt and pepper.

* If you can't be bothered with the cheese sauce, use a bag of grated mozzarella instead. 

You will need some lasagne sheets. I usually start with two boxes. Or if you're that way inclined, make you're own pasta, it is so much better, and worth trying just once.
You will need some extra cheese for the top and some bacon pieces

Don't forget when layering to leave a bit of the cheese sauce for the top.

Start by putting a ladle full of the mince sauce on the bottom of the dish. Cover this with a layer of pasta.
Add a layer of mince, and then a layer of cheese sauce. Cover again with pasta sheets.
Repeat the layering of mince and cheese sauce, ending with a covering of pasta sheets.
Spread the rest of the cheese sauce over the top.
Sprinkle on grated cheese and bacon pieces.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beach bums

Saturday we went for a drive down to the beach to meet some friends for a barby tea. It's only a 15 minute drive away to Southend, and then some to drive along the beach to where they were set up. We were half way round the Rivoli Bay beach, a 15 km stretch of sand in between Southend and Beachport.

Summer sporting the end of a black eye. She had a run in with a
table the weekend before.

It was a hot day, and perfect down the beach. The kids had fun in the sea, and the dog had a ball chasing flies.

We were only there for a few hours, the sunset was gorgeous as we made our way home about eight o'clock.
Both the kids had a quick bath when we got home and were straight to bed. They were well and truly tuckered out. Even I went to bed early.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Red sun sets

Thursday nights sun set was amazing, I stood outside mesmerised at how it just kept getting redder as it got lower to the horizon. There was no colour in the sky, it was all in the sun.

The day had a yellowy tinge to it as smoke from fires in Victoria made its way into South Australia. Apparently that is why we had a weird sun set. It was cool to watch.

Cockys in our trees, regular visitors in Summer. Front row seats for the sunset.
The birds seemed to be singing louder, and all the crickets and bugs were chirping at full noise too. It was one of those iconic balmy australian summer nights.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Peach Pie

I have had peaches coming out of every orifice, ears, arse, you name it. Our tree brought the goods this year, I love it. 

Me and Izzy have gone out and filled up bags and bags with peaches. Her on one side of the ladder and me on the other, and a shop bag hanging on the side. I have frozen several bags of stewed peaches, eaten heaps, made pie for the neighbours, made pudding and now I've made BBQ sauce too!

Peach Pie

1 Tbspn sugar

1 1/2 cups flour
salt and 2 tspns sugar, mixed into flour
3 Tbspn margarine or butter
2 - 3 Tbspn cold water

Rub butter into flour. Add water and form into dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
Peel and slice the peaches thickly.
Roll out dough and cover the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
Layer in the peaches and sprinkle the sugar over.
With remaining pastry, cut into strips and crisscross them over the top.
Bake at 200 for 15 - 20 minutes.

Instead of peaches, try other fruit. This is the recipe I always use for apple pie. To.die.for!

If this seems like too much fiddling around, you could always just layer the fruit into the pie dish and just cover the top with pastry. The following photo is just that. Pile up the fruit under the pastry top , the fruit will settle once it cooks down. Cook for the same amount of time.

Delicious with cream or ice cream!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My memories of Ash Wednesday

This month sees the 30th anniversary of the Ash Wednesday bush fires. On the 16th of February to be exact. It must have been a school day. It was already hot and windy that morning, as we were rushed out of the pool. 

Although we lived in Kalangadoo, my brothers and sisters went to school in Nangwarry, about 15 km away. I remember we were doing swimming lessons that morning at the Nangwarry pool when we were ordered out. 

The next thing I can remember is being loaded on our usual school bus, our usual driver Mrs Cram, was taking us home, along with the rest of the Kalangadoo kids. Well we made it half way there. The daylight turned to night with the blackest soot surrounding the bus. I sat in the very front seat next to the driver, I could sense her worry as the bus struggled to function with the sooty air. I couldn't see a foot in front of the bus, it was so thick. She was worried the bus would stall and we would be stuck.

I don't remember being overly scared myself, I was worried. I was being extremely brave for a ten year old. A girl, a year younger than me cried, I remember trying to console her. I think she was worried for her family. A lot of the kids were getting upset at this point. I can remember it was hot, I was drinking a lot from my water bottle, probably out of nervousness more than anything. At that age I would have had no idea the seriousness of what was happening, how devastating a fire like this was capable of being.

Mrs Cram turned the bus around and we were taken to the Penola high school. At the time she had possibly saved our lives. I am not sure of the time frame, it could have already happened or was close to happening, on the other side of town, tragedy had struck Kalangadoo.

I cried in my pub squash reading this piece tonight. When I graduated primary school, I won the first Williams scholarship, in memory of John Williams' wife and kids. Such tragedy. The fire was so fierce and came so fast.

We were looked after in the library of the highschool, all I can really remember is being given fruit boxes and food from the school canteen. This is where I first saw the book "Where did I come from", I suppose they didn't have it in our catholic school library! 

Mum and Dad came to pick us up in the early morning I think. It was dark when we drove home, all I could see was the purple and orange glow of burnt tree stumps, and I remember the smell. 

When we got home our veranda had fallen down, with the wind I suppose, and I recall all us kids being concerned about the cat. Mum had a patch on her eye, she had got dust and soot in it and had been to the doctor. She must have been beside herself with worry, going through this and not knowing how her kids were coping, and not being able to get to us.

I can still see the burnt remains of the old Rogers mans house, just the chimney stood. A little further down the road, seeing dead bloated cows laying with their legs in the air, in the paddicks. They excavated mass graves and just pushed the cows in and covered them up.

I hope to never have to go through this again, to smell those smells, to see blackened smouldering trees on a sea of ashen ground and dead animals that had no where else to go. Just so devastating.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Potato Bake

This is the potato bake, or scalloped spud recipe I have been using for the last month or so, since I am trying to lose weight. There is no cream in sight, using low fat milk and fat reduced cheese. One sixth of this dish is 136 calories. I use a small casserole dish, so one sixth is bugger all, but I still get a taste.

Potato Bake

4 potatoes, sliced 
1 onion, sliced
1/2 cup low fat milk
3/4 cup fat reduced cheese, grated

Arrange potato and onion in layers in a casserole dish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour milk over.
Scatter cheese and paprika on top.

Cook covered in a microwave on high for 6 minutes.
Cook uncovered on medium/50% for 10 minutes.
Put the lid back on and give it another 5 minutes on high.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Peach sponge pudding and lavender custard

Peach Sponge Pudding

stewed peach halves, enough for the bottom of your pan
Spray oil
3 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1 tablespoon low-fat milk, hot

Give your dish a spray with oil. Place fruit in the bottom of the pan, cut side down.

Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer for 4–5 minutes until very thick and creamy. With a spatula fold in flour and hot milk as lightly as possible. Pour over fruit to cover and bake for 25–30 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Serves 6.


The custard is nothing fancy, but the result is. It's just custard powder made up to how it says on the packet. 

Before you make the custard, take two cups of milk, drop in 4-5 lavender flowers for 30 minutes. Don't do it for longer than this, it will be too strong. Discard the flowers before you make custard.

I have put in a few strips of orange rind for 30 minutes into 2 cups of low fat milk, and has turned out quite flavoursome too, for something a bit different.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentines day

Brett asked me to marry him on Valentines Day, 11 years ago. All I remember is thinking how soppy, he's asking me on valentines day, and that I knocked a glass of red wine all over the white table cloth! I felt embarrassed as he knelt next to me in the restaurant and everybody was looking, I was blushing. On our honeymoon years later, due to my finger shrinking while diving, I lost that original ring in the drink. It's at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, or in a fishs guts. Luckily travel insurance paid for a new one, exactly the same. 

Here is just a few suggestions to give some food lovin' goodness for your special person this Valentines Day. I will say it, even though it has been quoted to death, the way to anyones heart is through their stomach. Who wouldn't be totally chuffed if these dishes were served up in front of them? It would make me feel all warm and fuzzy, alas, my chances are slim to none, unless I made it myself! 


                                                                             Source: via Alicia - on Pinterest

Even if you are challenged in the cooking department for that one. This one would bring a smile to anyones face. Besides it looks just as freakin' delicious!

                                                                        Source: Uploaded by user via SZEMEM on Pinterest

You could get cute with fruit. I must admit a chocolate dip (particularly white) would be awesome  for dipping strawberry kebabs into. Yum! 

                                                                         Source: via Alicia - on Pinterest

                                                                          Source: via Alicia - on Pinterest

Do you celebrate Valentines Day, or does it just make you say "meh"?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What the? rose

It is beyond me, what he heck this rose is. As far as I know this rose started out as 'First Prize', or 'First Kiss' or 'First Love" or something like that. It has transformed or mutated into whatever the heck it is now!!! I have no idea, but it doesn't look like any of them!

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