Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blackfellows Caves in the Limestone Coast

Just down the road from our holiday house is the small village of Blackfellows Caves. We call it Blackfellas, for short.

The caves have eroded into the limestone bluffs and it makes for great viewing. As I walked around the edge of the caves I could hear the echoing of the waves thundering into the caves below me. 

We like this spot, it has a playground and barbeque area as well as places to fish. Isabel is becoming a keen fisherperson.

We did try some fishing after we took Summer back to the house to stay with Dad, while he put the roof on our new pergola. She'd had enough. Isabel caught two undersized salmon that we threw back. Looking forward to more fishing with her, I enjoy it too.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunrise and sundown

We stayed at our holiday house by the sea over the weekend. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day, with some warmth in it too.

I am always commenting on other people's photos of sunrises, that I wish I was out with the camera at that time of day. I happened to wake up at the right time, squished in between Summer and Izzy in our queen size bed. Brett had vacated, or been kicked out sometime during the night. They were all still asleep, so I snuck out to enjoy the sunrise.

The sun rises at the back of our house and sets(the last three photos) at the front. 

Our little stone house is located away from the beach, thank goodness, because in rough weather those that are on the foreshore end up with seaweed in the front yard!

We have farm land behind us and across the road at the front of the house. There's usually cows in those paddocks. There is a heap of water at the moment from the amount of rain we've had. We are lucky we are up a little higher and the yard is dry. Our neighbours have a huge pond puddle at their front gate!

All my life's a circle
Sunrise and sundown
Moon rolls through the night time
'Til the daybreak comes around.

All my life's a circle
But I can't tell you why
Season's spinning round again
The years keep rollin' by.

Monday, August 22, 2016

What I cooked with evaporated milk

A neighbour of Mum's friend is eligible for food parcels from AC Care. She gets tins of evaporated milk in them and with no idea what to use them for she hands the tins to mum's friend, who gives them to Mum, who in turn hands them to me.

I am sure my mum lives for giving away food. If it's not homegrown veggies from her abundant garden, it's packets and cans of stuff she wont use.

I am not one to knock back free food. So I happily brought them home with me and they sat in the pantry until I hit google up for some ideas.

One of my pet hates is when hubby stands at the pantry, fridge or freezer proclaiming to all who will listen that he thinks we are running out of food. It gives me the shits! 

To prove that no, I don't need to go to the shops, it gave me the perfect opportunity to use up the three cans of evaporated milk keeping the pantry shelves warm, for weeknight dinners. I did not hear any complaints, from hubby anyway. The kids are a whole other kettle of fish, that continue to make me want to throw my hands in the air and order takeaway every night.

Bacon and egg pasta.
I used this recipe for ham and egg pasta on the Taste website. Instead of ham I used bacon. It's cheaper and I had in the freezer. It's a quick and easy recipe, tasty too.

Bacon, broccoli and sweet potato quiche 
This was another Taste recipe which I changed to use up ingredients I already had. 

The broccoli was from the garden, I substituted ham for bacon again, and instead of using tinned corn, which I didn't have, I cut up sweet potato in small cubes, about a cup, and microwaved them until soft.

Pumpkin and pea risotto
When you have a particular brand of food stuff that you have no ideas for, a great tip and one that I didn't do myself at first, is to head to the brands website for recipes. I found this recipe on the Nestle website, for Pumpkin and broccoli risotto

Of course I'd used the broccoli in the garden in the quiche, so used a cup of peas instead. 

This makes a fair bit of risotto, so if you have lots of left overs, you can try making arancini balls! I didn't, I just ate risotto for lunch three days in a row!

Here's how I made my risotto. You will need -

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped
2 cups short grain rice 
4 cups water
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
600 grams cubed pumpkin (about 1-2 cm cubes)
375ml can evaporated milk
1 cup frozen peas
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add onion and garlic for a minute, add rice and stir to coat the rice with oil.

Pour in water, add thyme and pumpkin. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the can of evaporated milk and frozen peas, continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

August in the garden

Yesterday I forced myself to get outside in the garden with the camera. It feels like it's been a long winter, definitely a cold, wet one, and sometimes it's just easier to stay inside where it's cosy. 

I  ended up taking over 80 photos! I spent a good part of last night editing them, so you can see what's happening in the garden right now. Spring is nearly here, and we've had a few nice sunny days this week, so the flowers are starting to come out, along with the bees too.

I am trying to keep up with Toni's photography challenge and I am using these photos I took yesterday for the 30th week prompt, which is Nature.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Three ways with Beetroot

I love beetroot.

Mum grows way too many veggies for her and Dad. I secretly think she loves to just grow stuff, so she can give it away.

If I was as good as growing veggies as her, I want to grow it all too. 

Beetroot's the latest thing she's sent me home with. I've said I love it, haven't I? I don't think I have said how crappy I am at growing it myself though. I am trying.

I made a couple of jars of beetroot relish with it. A beetroot and ricotta tart too, based loosely on this recipe, which was delicious by the way. A little ugly to look at, like something you'd serve at Halloween, but delicious all the same. I might use less beetroot next time, or even try it with pumpkin or some other veggie. I will blog the recipe when I get it right.

I still had beetroot to use and a brain wave to bake with it. I went to google for a recipe for Beetroot and chocolate cupcakes and found this one for muffins.

I ate these over a few days. Summer helped. After a couple Izzy cottoned on, and mentioned that the chocolate tasted funny. Dang! No fooling her. 

I thought they were fucking amazing! I was in heaven with every bite, and seriously, you would hardly know there was beetroot in there.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

Lake Mountain ski resort, Victoria

It's been two weeks since we returned from our holiday in Healesville. Two weeks! Where is the time going?! The whole purpose of our holiday, was to head up to the Lake Mountain ski resort, about an hour away.

We were here two years ago, and it was just as much fun as last time. It makes for a fantastic day out in the snow, for the family. We love it.

Our neighours joined us on holiday this time, we enjoyed sharing the experience with them. They had a ball too.

The weather was a little rougher than our last time at Lake Mountain. It was the wind chill factor that got us, it was so cold. 

While we started out on the resort toboggan slopes, a staff member from the resort told us to head to Leadbeaters. It was a toboggan run that was protected from the wind, etter for littler kids. It was in a secluded spot amongst the trees and it was there we stayed, for the rest of the day.

When it started snowing, it was magical. Even though there was lots of noise from other people having lots of fun, it was so peaceful amongst those trees, with the snow softly coming down. I was in awe. It was the first time I had caught snow in my glove and could SEE actual snowflakes. 

As we made our way back to the resort to leave, it was obvious how protected we had been at Leadbeaters. There was a full on blizzard happening, we had chosen the right time to go.

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