Monday, April 29, 2013

I've turncoated for a toddler bed

I was all set to watch the Anzac Day match between Collingwood and Essendon. I'd positioned myself on our new reclining lounge, excited, watched the telecast leading up to the game, and then it happened. 

Brett suggested we go for a drive. To go shopping.

Brett has been itching to put Summer in a single bed for a couple of weeks. I have been stalling him because we needed to get a bed guard first, and well, she can get out of a bed, she can't get out of a cot. 

Quite frankly, I was getting a bit bored waiting for the match to start, and he mentioned shopping. So after a hurried check of the nappy bag and filling up of drink containers, we were off.

Three shopping centres later, we had a bed guard, a fitted sheet and a quilt cover set(marked down to $5), amongst other stuff. We didn't go too bat shit crazy, we did pretty good considering the amount of cheap, on sale and marked down bargains that were screaming at us, well me. I was proud of my restraint. 

Needless to say, Summer has successfully slept in her 'big girls bed' three nights in a row. The first time she got out herself and wandered into the loungeroom at 9:30 at night it was adorable, my little big girl. She went straight back to sleep after a quick rock and I layed her down again.
The morning after, Izzy climbed in when Summer woke up.

Thankfully it's been smooth sailing so far. Phew! I am sure it is going to all turn to crap at some point.

Back to the footy. I haven't sat down and watched ONE Collingwood game this year! What is going on here! I have however, watched EVERY Port Power game. I have looked forward to watching EVERY Port Power game, excited about it too. I am feeling a bit weird about it and am feeling like a total turncoat.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Singing in the car, like a three year old

The last CD of music I burnt for the car was back in the end of December, just before the new year. It's an awesome time of year, there's always great new songs that become summer season anthems.

This Summer was the year when Izzy started to sing along to her favourite songs. She had found her singing voice, for more than nursery rhymes.

This Icona Pop ditty is the first song I noticed her singing along to in the car, in fact the first song ever(except a nursery rhyme) that she had sung the words to.

She often sung along to this next song and has declared her love for it many times. 

This last song would have to be her absolute favourite. With it recently featuring in the Kmart ads, it has her singing "Bom, bom, bom!", out loud in the lounge room and me dancing, to an ad, like a teenager. It's my current ringtone too!

Just a few days ago I put a CD in the car with some new music. I am wondering what she will be singing along to next.

What have you been singing along to lately?

Who are you while belting out a tune in the car? A rock star? An idol, 'The Voice'? Would a Ricky Martin bobble head be great on the dashboard, that turned around when you started to sing!? 

Happy driving :)

Joining Cate at Life behind the purple door for Sunday Sessions

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Leek, bacon and potato soup

Again we come home from Mums with veggie goodness! Perpetual leeks from her garden(I have them too, but not as good looking as these ones!), and spuds from Kalangadoo, no doubt given to her by a good friend from the town I grew up in as a kid.

Real brushed spuds, grown in volcanic dirt,  unlike the ones from this story featured in current affairs telly this week.

The obvious creation was Leek and potato soup. So this was my lunch on Wednesday, with all the trimmings, and it was delicioso(thank you google spell). I may have Spanish heritage but I can hardly speak or spell a word of it!

2 Tblspn olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 medium leeks, sliced
3 rashers bacon, chopped
5 medium potatoes, large diced
1 Litre water, or stock, you choose
Leaves from a sprig of thyme
Celery salt (this is what I threw in because I didn't have real celery on hand. If you do however, slice a stalk and throw it in when you fry up the leeks) 

Heat oil, add garlic, leeks and bacon and saute for about 5 minutes.

Add potato, thyme and water, bring to the boil and simmer rapidly for 20 minutes.

Plug in your stick blender and whiz until smooth as you like.

A couple of serving suggestions - 

Croutons and a sprinkling of paprika

Easy peasy croutons

Butter sliced bread, both sides.
Sprinkle on flavour, both sides. In this instance, I used mixed  dry herbs(out the garden) on one slice and finely grated parmesan on the other.
Cut into cubes and place on baking tray.
Bake at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, or until desired crunchiness is reached.
Serve a small handful in middle of soup with a sprinkling of paprika. 
(any leftover croutons will store in an airtight container and are equally as scrumptious tossed in a salad!)

Crispy, Chunky, goodness.

Before blitzing soup, reserve a couple chunks of potato and leek per bowl.
Fry off a few strips of bacon until crispy good.
Serve in middle of bowl. Kapow!

Yumtious stuff right there peoples!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Canunda National Park

Saturday was a beautiful Autumn day. Canunda is only 14 km to the south of town. If you hear a local saying "Goin' out the back" this is where they are headed. It's no go swimming, because of the undertow, you might say it is one big mofo rip. But it is as popular as flies on shit for fishing and four wheel driving.
I love coming here. I came down here and walked and walked when I found out I was pregnant with Izzy. Sitting here on this beach, listening to the thunder of the waves, looking at the horizon, knowing there is nothing until you hit the south pole, makes all your problems go away. It is so cathartic, for me anyway.

The view on the walk from the car.

The native muntrie berry groundcovers were still in fruit.
I was very glad to get my yearly fill.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Soup n swings

My brothers own a scrap metal recycling business. Brett works for them. When collecting the scrap from the recycling centre, this little beauty didn't make it back to work! It came straight round to our place. It's in perfick nick!

The two outer swings were intact, we already had the blue and green one, it's been attached to the rafters in our patio for the last three years. Not anymore.

The next day, because I'm a determined biatch when I get an idea in my head, I got busy in the shed with a saw and drill and whipped up a swing in no time.

They love it! 
Later in the day, the girls made some 'soup'. Dirt, crabapple and parsley consumme to be exact. Good clean fun. At least somebody made something with the crabapples this year!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Cumquat and Kaffir Lime Marmalade

Mum offered me some cumquats. Along with the deal were a few kaffir limes and leaves. People are always giving her stuff. 

I am always up for a challenge and love learning and trying new things. After much deliberation and surfing of the gastronomic net, I opted for marmalade. Never made that before, now I have five jars of toast tantalising gold. 

I am enjoying a tea spoon of it in my black tea as I type, delish. 

Cumquat and Kaffir Lime Marmalade

1 kg cumquats
5 kaffir limes 
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 litre of water
900 grams sugar

Slice cumquats and limes very thinly into a large pot, collecting and keeping the seeds in a cup. Finely slice the leaves and chuck them in the pot too.

Tip the litre of water over cumquats, cover and leave to soak overnight. Fill the cup of seeds with boiling water and leave overnight too.

Strain the liquid from the seeds into the pot, it will be like jelly. Bring the pot to a gentle simmer and leave until the skins are soft, about 30-45 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are.

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve, turn up the heat a little and gently boil for about 30-45 minutes, stirring often. Place jars in the oven at 150 degrees to sterilise them now.

To test if the jam is ready, place a small amount on a cold saucer(I put it in the freezer beforehand), if it is gelling(like jam) then it is ready. You should be able to run your finger through it without it running back into one blob, if not keep boiling and test again after 10 minutes. It should be ready now, the marmalade will thicken up when it is cold.

When it is ready pour into hot jars and seal. Be careful, I use a dry tea towel to hold the jar and a ladle to pour the jam in. 

Ways I will be enjoying my marmalade
  • on toast(no brainer)
  • in black tea
  • in marinades for pork and chicken
  • in sauces for fish
  • salad dressings
  • swirled in yogurt
  • in cakes and puddings
  • glazes for cakes
  • with cream cheese

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Buying Australian made

It's always sad to hear of Australian businesses going bust, especially when it comes to Australian produce.

I am guilty of buying the cheapest brand on the shelf, I still do sometimes, our family budget only stretches so far. A while ago I made a conscious effort to check labels and buy the Australian owned or made equivalent.

SPC Ardmona is owned by Coca Cola Amatil, an Australian company. The tomatoes they use are Australian grown. 

Three Threes is an Australian owned company. I have bought their version of vegemite 'Mighty Mite' for as long as I can remember. Although it tastes a little different from proper vegemite it is a darn sight cheaper, and made from Australian ingredients.

Sanitarium, probably best known for Weet Bix cereal, is an Aussie company. Uncle Tobys, maker of Vita Brits is not, however they are Australian made. 

I had thought Edgell was australian owned, but it is not, and was even more shocked when I noticed their tinned beetroots were from the USA. I will be looking for an alternative when I can. They still use aussie made veggies in some cases, for example chick peas.

This week when I did our shop I made a point of buying something made by Spring Gully Foods. I had no idea this was a South Australian family owned company, until the news of their business going into administration hit the news last week. I do hope they can recover. 

With a campaign from South Australian Foodland and IGA stores, and I guess the shock of the news, Spring Gully Foods are overwhelmed with the response from consumers. They also manufacture a few of the Dick Smith branded products.

Another Australian icon you are not likely to see for much longer is Rosella. The brand originated in Australia, and after foreign ownership for many years, were purchased by an australian company but could not survive, closing operations last month. Receivers are looking into selling the brand.

It is sad that the big supermarket chains are pushing out small producers in favour of boosting their profit margins with their own brand products.

Please when you next go shopping, see what you can do to keep Australian businesses and jobs ticking over. Purposefully look where you can make at least one change, and buy Australian owned and made. If not for me, then for the future of our wonderful country and jobs for future generations.

If you are scratching your head as to which companies are aussie owned, here are a couple of resources you could look at. A very interesting site is Shop ethical.

Also the Ausbuy Guide is available at some supermarkets for a small price. They apparently have them at our local Woolies, so I will asking for one when I am there next. It is a small price to pay for an opportunity to keep the dollars in Australia and save aussie businesses.

What will you do? What will happen when our country, the country the ANZACS fought so hard for, can't stand on it's own two feet?

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Autumn roses

The roses have come into a flush of flowers before they 'sleep' through Winter. I'll give them a prune then, before they come back to life in Spring.

I have left links to the original posts in the photo captions if you want to see more.


Just Joey


I don't know the name of this one! It smells divine though.

Princesse de Monaco

Princesse de Monaco

Double Delight

Chicago Peace

Blue River

Pierre de Ronsard

Miniature rose - dunno the name

Pink Fairy Rose 

Crystal Fairy Rose

Monday, April 15, 2013

Oh No she di'int!

Mum took us out in public with pajama tops a friend of a friend made! embarrassing ><

Izzy: Seriously, I am not coming down that slide until you put that camera away!
Summer: Help! I am coming back up, she is not getting this photo of me in this get up, OMG!

Looking like total catalogue models!

No photos!

She took us to the playground!

She then paraded us through the bakery and on to the park for a donut at the Rotunda.

That looks good. I want some.

Mum! Where's mine?

I got some!!

Mmmmm! I wonder if she will give me more.

*disclaimer - Seriously Izzy wanted to wear hers, so being the type of mum that encourages individualism, I thought why not. I must apologize to Summer, you were going along for the ride, because it was so damn cute for both of you to be wearing the same thing. 

They are very cute jumpers, Summer loves the ducks and chooks on them. Perfect for cold nights that will be coming our way very soon :)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Veggie Pancakes

I've been getting a little bit over thinking of new things for lunch for the girls. It's getting close to our big shopping day and there is not a heck of a lot of variety in the pantry or the fridge.

I had a flick through my recipe book, it has hand written recipes in it and of late just sticky taped in print offs from the web. This recipe is written in there, it's been on my mind for a while, just haven't got around to making it.

Veggie pancakes

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 cup grated cheese
salt and pepper
Veggies of choice eg carrot, zucchini, peas, corn, spinach.

Combine egg and milk. Mix in flour until smooth.
Add cheese, seasoning and veggies.
Use 2 tablespoons full to make small pancakes, and fry off in a little oil.

I used a grated carrot, a grated small yellow squash, some silverbeet and parsley.
I dipped the cutters in oil first so the pancakes didn't stick. 

With the fabulous Yvette providing fantastic ideas on her Little Bento Blog, when I saw these cutters at the market in Port Fairy I had to buy some. It was an awesome market stall, with cutters laid out in front of me in the shapes of just about everything! Two young teens sold them while the metal craftsman made more on the sidelines. Amazing! I wish I had of bought more and will from the Bisk Art website soon. 

I tricked her into eating vegies!! Sucker!

She loves her salad, but hasn't eaten a cooked veggie for donkeys ages, except for corn cobs. 

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