Saturday, September 30, 2006

I am becoming food obsessed lately, I think. I am not persuaded that this is a bad thing. Pictured above are the remains of a Strawberry Sour Cream Streusel Cake, the recipe came from the September delicious magazine, and is a Nigella Lawson recipe. It was so easy to make, even with three children crowding our miniscule kitchen to watch. Hubby said it was the best cake he'd ever eaten, even better than the cheesecake from our local cheesecake shop. This is very high praise indeed! The cake is rich and buttery, and the layer of strawberry puree is sticky sweet. The perfect Friday night dessert after a very long week.

The butterrmilk roast chicken also turned out perfectly today. It was also from the Nigella section of the magazine. This is my modified version of the recipe:


2 cups of buttermilk
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
teaspoon of dried rosemary
2 tablespoons of honey
medium sized chicken, spatchcocked (as in cut the spine out and flatten the chicken)
salt and pepper.

Prepare the marinade by combining the buttermilk, garlic, rosemary, and honey and pour over the chicken. Cover the chicken and refrigerate for at least 8 hours (longer would be better, but I only had 8 hours). To cook the chook, preheat oven to 200C, and place the chicken on a rack over the sink for a couple of minutes to allow marinade to drip off. Line a baking dish with foil, put the chicken on skin side up and roast for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 170C and cook until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Allow the chicken to rest before serving.

This recipe would also be great on a barbeque!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Lamb Samosas (using up leftovers from Sunday's roast), green salad.

Tuesday: Spaghetti with homemade tomato sauce (packed with hidden vegies for my non-eating toddler)

Wednesday: Slow cooked beef casserole, garlic mashed potato, broccoli and carrots

Thursday: Salmon Rissoles, coleslaw, green salad

Friday: Buttermilk roast chicken, coleslaw, green salad, strawberry sour cream streusel cake.

Saturday: Homemade pizza - taco flavoured

Sunday: Homemade fried rice

It's school holidays here (spring break) and I have a little more time to spend on cooking than I usually do. It's amazing how much time the school pick up and drop off take! We don't have the luxury of school buses here. It's already Monday afternoon here, and I have the grocery shopping done. It was a challenge with all three kids, though giving the older two tasks helped. It was a surprisingly frugal shopping excursion. I can only thank the menu planning for that. I had an almost perfect list, and an eight year old determined to only purchase that which was on the list. He was uncertain at my spontaneous watermelon purchase "It's not on the list, Mum!" He was satisfied with the explanation that it will make a perfect afternoon tea outside on an already hot day. Now I am trying to coax them into waiting for afternoon tea time!

As usual, head over to Organising Junkie for more great menu ideas!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Saturday Night Dinner
Pumpkin, Fetta and Macadamia Pizza.
This combination was a hit at our house tonight.
The dough was prepared in a breadmaker. While it did its magic, I diced a quarter of a small pumpkin and baked it for about 20 minutes in a very hot oven with a sliced red onion and a drizzle of macadamia oil. I would have used olive oil if I'd had any in my kitchen.
To construct the pizzas I halved the dough and rolled out each half. For the children, I first added a little grated cheese (to hold the other toppings on), then the pumpkin mix, a little fresh thyme and lots more cheese.
The adult pizzza was a little more special, with a little grated cheese, followed by the pumpkin, coarsely chopped macadamia nuts, crumbled fetta cheese and fresh thyme.
This all went in the oven until the crust was cooked, and devoured with frightening rapidity.
I must never ever forget this combination ... it was soooo good!

Friday, September 22, 2006

This is the fabulous quilt my mother in law created for Joshua. She is so talented! All this was done in a Winnebago as they toured around Australia. I just love that she's made the Mum's Taxi look like our car. Joshua loves it, and we are using it to lure him out of our bed and into his own.
Here's a picture of the full quilt. See how green our grass / clover patch is compared with the inland!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Here are some more photos of our walk along the river.

We brought bread to feed the geese, and were delighted to discover two charming little goslings!
Fruit bats congregate together in a tree during the day to rest. It doesn't sound like much sleeping goes on! There are literally hundreds of bats all screeching and jostling for space in the overburdened tree.
An egret.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

We have been out in the great blue yonder this weekend, visiting family in Dalby, a small country town about 2.5 hours from our home. It was a lovely relaxing weekend, full of pleasant conversation and watching children play like they'd never been apart. It was sad to see how dry the land is in this terrible drought. Living on the coast we have been getting a lot of showers, which at least are greening the garden, even though it's not filling the dams. The inland areas are far drier than we are. I took a heap of photos of a walk we took the kids on. I hope you like them!

This tree is actually on the bank of a currently dry creek.

Five gorgeous children with sticks.

A beautiful Queenslander home. When I grow up I want a house like this!

A blue winged kookaburra ignoring us intently.

Monday's Menu Plan

Monday: Chicken Tacos

Tuesday: Hubby's Pasta Bake

Wednesday: Stirfried lamb, noodles and vegies (carrots, bok choy, shallots, beans, baby corn)

Thursday: Chicken baked rice

Friday: The fish burgers we never had last Friday

Saturday: Pizza

Sunday: Roast chicken, baked potato and sweet potato, steamed broccoli and carrots

For more delicious menu ideas, check out Menu Plan Monday over at Organising Junkie!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Monday, Monday, Monday. A fresh day in a new week. I actually like Monday. I start the week with a million plans of the things I am going to get done. Monday is the only morning of the week that I never have commitments at the children's school, and I like to get in and do a fair bit of housework to clean away the debris of a weekend full of kids. This morning is beautiful, rainy and peaceful. The perfect day to achieve stuff!

I do have sick children again today. Joshua has had a lingering chest cold, and Christopher has been suffering with a cold that has set off his asthma. They are both snuggled on the couches with blankets, watching a movie. Contented children, in spite of the sniffles.

I am planning a menu for the week today. I used to do it all the time, and have always found it a very successful way to be frugal and take good care of my family's health. I am concerned that we have all been so sick lately, and I have to admit that I have been slacking off in the kitchen. So here's my plan for the week:

Monday: Beef casserole, potato bake (layered potato, onion, french onion soup mix and cream - a winter time favourite!), broccoli and carrots.

Tuesday: Minestrone (slow cooker, because we are at ballet in the afternoon), toast.

Wednesday: Roast chicken, mashed potato, steamed beans, carrots and cauliflower, gravy.

Thursday: Mince (ground beef) and tomato baked rice (Choir night, so I need something hubby can easily finish cooking and serve)

Friday: Fish burgers, salad, on turkish bread. Home made chips for the kids.

We don't really have leftover nights here. I freeze most of the leftovers in individual serves for hubby to take to work for lunches. I also don't need to plan this weekend as we will be visiting family for the weekend. For a lot more great menu plans, check out Menu Plan Monday over at Laura's blog, "I'm an Organizing Junkie".

So that's my Monday in a nutshell! I am going to rush off and do some more cleaning so that I can curl up and stitch all afternoon with a free conscience!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I have finally completed a little bit of cross stitch today. This little butterfly is to be a quilt square for a friend. Next I think I had better get in and start finishing some of my larger projects. I have a Teresa Wentzler that is almost done, and I'd like to have it finished by November. That sounds a long way off, but really it's not!

I have not been stitching much. Just too tired, with too many sick bodies in the house. Joshua's ear has healed, but now he's caught the virus that Brett had last week, so he's running another fever right now. Poor lamb is sleeping at the moment. I am sorry there is nothing really to read here at the moment. I am not really on the ball here. Hopefully things will pick up soon.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My Dad

It is my first Father's Day without a Dad to call. He taught me pretty much everything I know, I think. I had planned to write a long post about his amazing life, but I can't think of the words at the moment. Suffice to say, I will always be proud that he was my Dad.

Dad is oictured here with my lovely Mum.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Another exciting day at our house. Well, not exciting on a grand scale, but certainly not the monotony that I secretly dream of! I spent a few hours last night at the hospital. Joshua has an ear infection. It took three hours to get a script and a bottle of ibuprofen. But sitting there, wishing I'd thought to bring my book, I saw so many sad little kids and I was thankful that I had a healthy(ish) happy family. I also gently steered my overly friendly toddler away from any child holding a dish or bucket. We don't need those germs walking back in the house!

Today at school the kids are celebrating book week. They had to dress up with a cruise theme. My hula girl and tourist were the cutest children there, naturally, but some of the other kids looked great too. Though I don't think I personally would be signing up for the Pirates of the Caribbean cruise that the older kids were dressed for. Give me a well shaded chair, a beautiful view and a good book any day!

The little birdy pictured at the top of this post is Neddy Seagoon, the surviving chick from the clutch I posted about previously. He's grown into a sweet little thing, as friendly and curious as I could have wished for. We have just put the nesting box back in his parents' cage, and are hoping for more babies.