Wednesday, September 22, 2010

blog break

I'm going to have to take a little break from blogging while I sort out some health issues. Frustratingly I've got a lot of things I would love to be posting but it's just going to have to wait. Catch you all on the flip side...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Another week in the kitchen...

Eggplant and tomato hippie pizza, apple crumble, Ina Garten's sesame sugar snap peas, creamy spinach and parsnips, apple and oat mini muffins, broccoli pasta

Obviously I cooked a whole lot of other stuff as well but sometimes I'm just too hungry to bother taking a photo of our food before we eat it.

I've blogged about the pizza in the past but seriously peeps I can't recommend this recipe highly enough. I like to make a a simple tomato sauce from Bill Granger's Feed Me Now! to use on the bases. Aside from the pizza, my cooking highlight for the week was the broccoli pasta (recipe from The Silver Spoon) - it was lick the bowl good.

Turi loved the parsnips and the muffins best. Minty didn't like anything because she is two and given her own way would live on diet of milk and bread. Although she did enjoy licking the sesame seeds off the sugar snap peas (she then proceeded to feed all the peas to Turi).

Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you'd like any of the recipes I haven't linked.

In other non kitchen related news Turi has decided the best way to get back to the ground after standing up is to do the splits. Unfortunately a few times today I happened upon his sad little figure stuck in the splits sobbing quietly to himself unable to stand back up or return to a crawling position. I think we're all hoping coordination kicks in soon!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


If only all our nights could be this peaceful...

Photo taken by my better half and made fancy by me!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

In which we make husky ballerinas and I share some recipes...

Today we made dollies out of corn husks. This is a really simple activity and was a big hit. Basically you just give the husk a head and limbs by shaping it using rubber bands, then draw on a face and clothe the doll with a muffin case skirt. They have a bit of a creepy blair witch vibe but Minty didn't seem to pick up on this and decided they were ballerinas named Mrs. Husk and Mrs. Cob.

I had a few requests for the gobi masala recipe after I posted about it on Sunday. I basically used this recipe but I doubled the amount of cauliflower (because unless you are making this as a small side dish you are going to need a bit more volume) and increased the cooking time to make sure it was properly tender. Just make sure you add a little more water if it is starting to dry out.

I served it with rice, plenty of coriander, plain yoghurt and tomato salad.

The tomato salad is from Bill Granger's Simply Bill (LOVE this book!). This is a regular favourite at our house, usually as a side to dhal and rice.

500g cherry tomatoes halved (I just used regular tomatoes diced because it is what I had on hand)

1-2 green chillies finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A week in the kitchen...

It's been another busy week in our kitchen. On Monday night we had just finished dinner and I was about to settle down and write what was sure to be a riveting post when we received a text message. It was the veggie box people wondering why we hadn't come to pick up our box (…um because we didn't order one!?). Apparently there was an epic miscommunication due to an ambiguous text message to which there was no reply. So part of me was all 'hooray we got our veggie box', and the other part of me was all 'holy hell I just went shopping today and I just bought a whole swag of substandard veg, what on earth am I going to do with it all???' So we were drowning in a sea of produce. And you know how waste completely horrifies me. I literally had nightmares about throwing spoiled food away.

So this week I channelled my inner nut storing squirrel… I've been cooking and freezing vast amounts of fruit and veggie puree. In my opinion there really isn't such a thing as an over stocked freezer. While Turi pretty much eats family food now there are few things, like salad and spicy food, that he doesn't manage too well so it is nice to be able to stir some pureed veg through the portion of the meal he can eat to up the vegetable content.

The biggest hit of the week was probably the lime and honey banana chips - Minty loved them. The week also saw my mortar and pestle come out of hibernation (I confess I had been using it to store my onions) to make spice pastes for the gobi masala. If anyone wants more info or a recipe for any of these just shoot me an email or a comment.

And in case anyone was wondering, the tape and paper graphics in my collage come from

Saturday, September 11, 2010

hello, I love you

Turi can talk! OK that is a gross exaggeration but let me explain…

He has been saying mum/mummy/mumma for a while now and has started to mimic us when we say very simple monosyllabic words but today he purposefully said 'hello' . I was (and still am) somewhat shocked. I stared at him in disbelief waiting for his head to spin around and him to spray me with green vomit. But sure enough he said it again and waved at me! Admittedly the pronunciation is a little closer to 'harrow' but the intonation is spot on and in combination with eye contact, a winning smile and his tiny waving hand the intention is perfectly clear. He then spent the day pottering around the house waving and saying 'harrow' and 'hi' to anyone who would listen like a little parrot saying 'polly wants a cracker'. I'm finding all of this very bizarre seeing as Minty didn't say anything other than 'mummy' and 'daddy' until well after her first birthday.

Friday, September 10, 2010


If someone were to make a doll of me right now, it would come with pre ratted hair, two interchangeable outfits (pyjamas and a tracksuit) and when the belly was squeezed it would rotate between shouting the phrases 'what part of no don't you understand!', 'don't touch that!', and 'no, no, no, NO, NOOOO!'

A combination of a debilitating cold and a husband away on business meant that the family had spiralled into a level of sleep deprivation I wasn't even aware was possible. Minty and I were averaging around 3 hours of fitful sleep a night achieved only as Minty, fighting it every step of the way, succumbed to complete exhaustion at around 4am each night. But the wild horse has been broken. Last night Minty slept all night in her own bed, and for the first time in months she has had an afternoon nap today (albeit with the aid of some cold medication!). I am fully aware that we may go back to the horror of sleeplessness again tomorrow but I am basking in the peace and quiet today.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Moody Minty and a farewell to Mr Rabbit...

Far too tired to write anything sensical tonight, so instead I'll just share a couple of pics that the bro-in-law took at the weekend (love these shots of the kids so much - they really capture their raw little souls).

Finally, I just have to say that I am feeling more than a little relieved that Mr Rabbit will not be our PM... let's hope Jools picks up her game from here on in.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Happy Dad's Day!

choc mint cupcakes Minty helped me bake for her daddy

I hope everyone had a fantastic father's day. I didn't get a chance to visit my dad today so I just thought I'd send him a little love here...

What can I say about dad? He is the kind of dad who is equally a master in the laundry as in the shed. As a father of four girls he didn't scrimp on the fun stuff that's sometimes reserved for sons, taking us on countless camping trips, into caves, down mines and to visit power plants. He is always behind the camera capturing our lives on film and while I sometimes resent this at the time, it has sparked my love of photography and is a great source of inspiration. Nowadays dad makes a fantastic grandpa. Whenever I come to visit he keeps the kids entertained for hours to give me a much needed break.

I couldn't ask for a better dad. xx

Saturday, September 4, 2010

In which I eat cookies with a hole in my pants...

I've been a little scarce around these parts lately. I've mostly been hiding out in the kitchen. The weekly veggie box has been keeping me pretty busy. In an effort to keep our grocery costs down I aim to spend only an additional $50 on staple pantry items, dairy, and meat and then think creatively to feed us all for the week (the $50 includes toiletries, cleaning products, nappies etc. in case you were wondering). It is a bit of a challenge but I think we've all been eating really well and having lots of kitchen fun along the way. Amongst other things this week our cooking included pumpkin scones, banana pikelets, apple crumble, spinach and leek quiche, and morrocan stew. I was planning on giving you a more detailed peak inside a box this week but someone who shall remain unnamed forgot to order our box so we're back to traditional supermarket shopping for a week. It's amazing how disappointed and lost I feel about that considering up until a fortnight ago it is all we ever did.

I've also been doing a little work on Minty's quilt top. It is nearly finished but along the way I somehow managed to cut a hole in my favourite trousers (can you call pyjama pants trousers??) while I was pinking some fabric. I think I'm going to have to repurpose them into a couple of pairs of PJ pants for Minty. At least someone will benefit from my stupidity.

I snapped the above picture while I was sewing last night. The cookie is chocolate chip from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home. I like to keep balls of cookie dough frozen so I can have freshly baked cookies on a whim. This has the added bonus that other members of the family don't scoff all the cookies because they don't realise they are in the freezer and if they do have absolutely no idea how to bake them. This recipe is pretty fab. It has two kinds of chocolate (50% and 70%) and the cookies are deliciously chewy. You can find the recipe here.