Thursday, May 30, 2013

Feijoa and Apple crumble cake

My sister in law stood in my kitchen, smelling the feijoas sitting in a bowl on the bench. As I picked up toys in the lounge I called over "They're feijoas". She knew what they were, taking in the beautiful scent, she told me she had a tree in the yard of their old house.

I thought it was only in New Zealand where just about every yard had a feijoa tree, and if they didn't they knew someone who did have, probably the next door neighbour! 

Mum had some given to her by a friend. It happens every year, and I don't say no when she in turn, palms some off on to me. 

If you're a My Kitchen Rules fan, you may remember when New Zealand couple Simon and Meg, made apple and feijoa crumble. I took it one step further and made this delicious cake. It is something special and sure to impress.

Fruit layer
4 apples and 4 feijoas, peeled cubed and stewed with 1 dessert spoon of sugar for about 5 minutes.

Cake ingredients
110g margarine
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups SR Flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon milk
1/4 cup custard powder
1 teaspoon vanilla 

1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
50 grams margarine

Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Line and grease a spring form cake tin.

Make crumble by rubbing all ingredients together until it resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.

Melt margarine, mix in all other cake ingredients for about three minutes until light and fluffy.

Pour into tin, place apple and feijoa on top in even layer and press down slightly.

Sprinkle crumble layer on top.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Serve warm or cold, with cream, custard or ice cream.
It really is delicious.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kiddlywinks and a few chooks ;)

Playing on Summers new bed

Dare devil Izzy

while I take selfies

These two have taken a liking to this seat in the garden

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

We've been marinading!*

*I was supplied with the four flavours of 'Marinade in a bag' from a PR company for this review, with a voucher for meat. This is my honest and truthful opinion.

Years ago,  the colour of our lounge room walls were a Dulux colour, called Marinade. It was red wine coloured and I loved it. When we built on, I wasn't ready to let go of the colour, it went so well with the space. I couldn't find the colour again and went with a colour called Murray Red. I died in the arse, when a four litre tin came to nearly a hundred bucks. Surely it couldn't have been true, but I was assured it was. Shite!

It was the best colour that went with the other colours in the space, 'WaxWay', a yellow and 'White duck', which is more of a grey!

When did paint become so expensive? I have never been such a princess on colour and price, but suck it up I did. Never looked back, I love our two feature walls in the big expanse that is our lounge/dining/ kid play area.

Recently I was asked to try out McCormicks, Marinade in a Bag. It reminded me of the wall colour in my previous, minute lounge room, and strangely enough, of a box of bladder wine. 

I have many memories of blowing up that bag to get every morsel of wine out. Those were the days. In my old age, I prefer to buy by the bottle. Especially when I have an image to protect, you know the image of wheeling a pram through the bottlo and not seeming like a total alco.

My favourite was the Terayaki flavour, when I got a whiff of this one as I opened the bag, I knew it was gonna be good, and it was. I chopped up some breast chicken into the bag and made kebab skewers. This was the most delicious of the range, but the others were just as awesome.

Izzy loved helping putting the chopped up breast chicken in.

Terayaki chicken skewers were tasty as!
Terayaki for chicken, pork, beef, fish and stir fries
The bags were very convenient, with a zip lock, however the seal was a bit hard to break open initially to get the meat into. Understandably so I suppose, so the marinade would not escape the bag. 

Once you have up to a kilo of meat in the bag, it is easily stored in the bag in the fridge, laid flat or just chucked in the door. 

If you are the kind of person who likes to be organised, it can be loaded with meat on shopping day, and thrown in the freezer for later use as a prepared meal ready to be defrosted for a BBQ or a family meal.

The marinades were very tasty and convenient. The meat is easily transferred onto a roasting dish, grill, BBQ or fry pan. There is some handwashing involved after this process though, depending on how much marinade you want in said roasting dish or grill, I had to get my hand in there and individually get the chops out the bag.

McCormicks Marinade in a Bag, is available to buy at Coles and Foodland supermarkets(RRP $2.99 each).

It is easy to throw in an esky for a BBQ or in the fridge or freezer for an easy tasty meal, using a wide variety of meats.

Chicken wingettes with Honey and Soy, der-licious :)
Honey and Soy marinade perfect on: chicken, pork, fish and stir fries.

Pork chops with Sticky BBQ :)
Sticky BBQ perfect on beef, chicken and pork.

Lamb chops with Red wine and garlic :)
Marinade perfect on beef, lamb and chicken.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Izzy loves getting a donut from the bakery. Ones with icing, usually chocolate, with sprinkles on top. 

During the week she whined at me as we drove past the bakery, I had no money in my purse. I said no. With more whining coming from the back seat, I said we would make some at home, hoping to hell we had the ingredients. She didn't let me forget either, reminding me we were making donuts when we walked in the door, bugger it.

It's been a little while since I made these ones, I have it hand written in my almost falling to bits, book of recipes. Lucky for me we did have everything, it doesn't require too much of the extraordinary, but some nicer jam on my part wouldn't have gone astray.

The only jam we had was something I made up a couple of years ago, all still good, but not very tasty. Crabapple and muntrie berry. It's ok, but not up there with strawberry or something equally as yummy.

Not sure whether she would go a donut with jam in the middle, we are not big jam eaters, I made some plain ones, with a hole cut out the middle. If I had icing sugar, dammit, I would have iced some when they cooled and added sprinkles. Another day.

Either way it was a bugger the diet day, they are freakin' deeeelicious. Better still Izzy was happy.

1 1/2 cups SR Flour
1 tablespoon margarine
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
jam of choice

Rub margarine into flour, stir through sugar.
Beat egg and milk together, then add to flour mix. Combine into a dough.
Roll out to a 1 centimetre thickness and cut into rounds, I used a 6.5 cm cookie cutter.
Put a teaspoon of jam in the centre, dampen edges and press another round on top.
Deep fry until brown. Drain.
Roll in cinnamon sugar(half a cup of caster sugar with a tablespoon of cinnamon mixed in)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Papaya Salsa

Half a papaya, diced
1/4 medium red onion, finely diced
1/4 green capsicum, finely diced
2 vietnamese mint leaves, finely shredded
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoons lime juice

Mix all together. 

Serve with seafood, chicken or pork.
It would be equally as awesome with a bit of pineapple added to it, or whatever else you fancy, tomato, cucumber. 

You could use coriander and a little chilli in the place of the vietnamese mint. I used the mint because that's what I have growing right now.  It has a corianderish flavour with a hot bite to it.

I found a plant in the bargain bin for $1 because it was on it's last legs at the nursery. It was sold under the name of 'laksa leaf'. Make sure if you buy some you put it in a pot, it will run rampant in the ground!

I never have a lemon or lime for that matter when I need one. What I do have is citric acid in the pantry. Brett once decided to make lemonade and it's been sitting there ever since. I drop the smallest pinch in a couple of tablespoons of water and voila, lemon juice! It's workin out for me at the moment anyway....

If you have any left over papaya, puree about half a cup and mix together with a tablespoon of honey for a refreshing face mask.

Papaya contains natural enzymes that remove dead skin cells and honey will moisturise. 

Leave on for 15 minutes, preferably in hot bath with a glass of your favourite bubbly, garnished with a chunk of papaya. Mmmm, bubbly......

Competition entry linked at Mummyhood101 and CRAP mumma

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Hunting for mushrooms

Monday we went for a short drive out of town, it's that time of year when mushrooms come popping up out of the ground. 

I remember Mum bringing me along this stretch of track when I was preggers with Izzy, and the mushrooms were thick, we got two shop bags full. 

I wanted to share the excitement of picking mushrooms with Izzy. We found some, we were about a week late, most of them were too far gone, the bugs had got there first.  We'll definitely will be coming back in a couple of weeks to creep along this track again, looking for mushies. Izzy still won't want a bar of eating them. 

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, May 20, 2013

A week off...

I've had a week off. It's been swell. 

I have come full circle back to Monday. Open slather.

I have nothing. I have lots, nothing to say. That's just me. Bursting with information with nothing to say. 

Boring as batshit, eh? I sometimes wonder about Jakes' aspergers,  and wonder if I am a little that way inclined. In the fact that I am not a great communicator. Not a big talker. And when I do talk it comes out all awkward. 

I go through the week, light bulb moments. Scenarios exploding in my head. I come to sitting down at the computer, I have zilcho mundo. 

I have a recording function on my phone. Why don't I just hit record and talk? Beats me. Note. to. self. press record.

There has been lots happening. 

I received an email from an elderly gentleman.  A photo of his wife at ten years old in front of a rotunda with her relatives in 1940. Trying to find the location of that rotunda. It looks like our town rotunda. Amazing old photo, has me intrigued, referred it to the local family history group. Interesting stuff.

Buzz has gone on to another home. After the fourth time escaping the fence, Brett let the pound find him a new home. I was in two minds. He is such an active dog, he needs more room. He was bloody marvellous with the kids, but he is a farm dog, an intelligent, working dog. We love him but realise he is the wrong dog for us, right now. When it comes to the crunch we had to seccumb to reality and not sentimentality. He already has a new suitable home. I hope they have a basketball for him, he's a bloody good dog.

The council dog catcher referred us to and rightly so,  for the next time we want a new dog, we will be most certainly be following this advice. 

About receive my first parcel in the mail for review. Excited plus. 

I am in the process of writing up a disclosure/PR page. No friggin idea what I am doing. But I'll keep thinking, piece of piss, and trogan on as per usual!

I haven't been totally slack, you will surely notice I have spruced up the place :) 

What's been happening with you?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Muzzas Day

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child
Sophia Loren

Muzza is what my brother calls my mum. I suppose it's what most Aussies do to people names. Take these for example; Darren = Dazza, Sharon = Shazza. Karen = Kazza, Mother = Muzza, you get the drift.

As usual, and I don't expect much more, I didn't get my sleep in for Mothers Day, but geez, it would have been nice! I did get pressies in bed. A pair of earrings from Summer, and a mug from Izzy. 

In true Brett style, all bought from the local cheap shop, god love him. At least the earrings don't hurt my ears, and how could I not love them, the kids were as happy as larry at how much I loved them. I think they loved the boxes they came in more, just quietly.

Izzy couldn't keep the secret(a trait she gets from her dad), she let me in on what I was getting a couple of days before. It went something like this, "We got a present, earrings and a tea towel with pink on it. But we not tell you". 

What she meant to say was "tea cup". The next day(Saturday) she told me again, but added that Summer got me earrings, and she got me a tea towel with pink on it. Too bloody cute! I didn't tell Brett, but someone who saw it on facebook did.

Jake came to stay the weekend. He got me chrysanthemums and some hand lotion. Love that kid. Even though he'll turn 21 this year, he's still my boy. The boy that went fishing with his nanna on Saturday. 

We had lunch at my mums, and as usual it was more like an all you can eat buffet. Get togethers at Mums always are.

My home is in my mother’s eyes George Nance

We looked through old family photos and Gran told stories that went for longer than they should have because she would forget what she was talking about. We sat in the shed with the fire going, the footy was on the telly, Gran was happy the Crows were winning and the kids had a ball. 

Gran and Summer girl

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Kims' dash

I attended the funeral of a friend today. I had felt so guilty when I had heard that she had passed away. I hadn't gone to visit her for such a long time.

She was my neighbour twenty years ago, when I was pregnant with Jake and was a big part of our lives as he grew up. I was reminded of her kindness, her hospitality.

Even with more than her fair share of problems, she was the first to ask how my family was and if I was OK. 

It has brought back to home the fact that we never know when our time is up. I wish I had of visited her more in the past few years, been a better friend. It comforted me to know that the last few weeks had been her happiest in a long time. 

The celebrant read a poem at the end. I hadn't heard it before, and it really made me think about how I live my life.

The Dash

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?

Linda Ellis

Do you have a friend you haven't made the time to visit for a while? 

  • pick up the phone
  • send a text to say you thought of them.
  • post them a short letter with a fancy tea bag inside

How are you spending your dash? 

  • be a better friend
  • let people know your thinking of them
  • be a great host when people come through your door
  • be kind
  • be generous
  • be patient
  • be tolerant

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Allsorts at the chook house this week

Fucshia ballerina

A little bit early for Jonquils?

New big girls bike

Hopscotch in the driveway

Soccer playing super dog

Monday, May 6, 2013

MND awareness week

This is Daphne Elizabeth on her wedding day in 1953. Newly wed wife of John O'Brien.

Daphne was the daughter of Jean and Arthur Skeer.

She was one of five sisters. 

She was a mother of five.

She is the grandmother my girls never had the opportunity to meet.

She died in 1981, aged 51, from the effects of Motor Neurone Disease.

This week is national MND awareness week, May 5th to 11th, 2013. It is a week to acknowledge people living with the disease, and remember those that have died. 

MND is a terminal neurological disease. Sufferers lose the use of limbs, ability to speak, swallow and breathe as nerve cells die. There is no known cure and no effective treatment, most dying within five years of diagnosis.
Each day two people die, and two are diagnosed with MND, it is estimated there are 1500 sufferers in Australia.

The symbol for MND Australia is the fragile, yet hardy, blue cornflower (Centaurea cyanus). It represents the strength people living with MND have, coping with such a debilitating disease.

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