Friday, December 30, 2011

Carrots & Cups

Amelia and I picked 2 kgs of carrots on Wednesday. They are the last for a little while as I am fiddling about with the beds and having a good think about them. Wesley and I blanched and froze the lot on Thursday afternoon so there is a good lot put away. I also pulled another heap of beetroot and pickled them. I think we should have enough now to last us the summer.
I bought these Eco cups about 6 weeks ago and have been using them everyday. They are made out of bamboo and are 100% biodegradable. They have the look of melamine and are not dishwasher safe though you can use them for hot or cold drinks. I paid $20 for the 6. It will be interesting to see how they go with long term use! Part of you kind of expects them to go soft sooner or later!!! Ha!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A First & Evan Almighty

Amelia received a small sewing machine from Santa. She wanted to make Aunty Megan a bag, so we used a 70's style cloth placemat and a leftover extra strap from one of my aprons. Here is Aunty Megan modelling her new bag!
And here is the bag by itself. I think she did a really good job and she is quite proud of herself too. This afternoon she sewed Wesley a bookmark that he had requested, its green as Amelia thought that green is more "boyish".

It's very nearly a smile... really it is! Master Evan is a bit tight fisted with his smiles so close enough is good enough. Look at him trying to flex his almighty muscles, what a strong nephew!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmassy Things

I love Christmas! I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it now - What's not to love?

I know some people find the jolly season a crazy time, full of stress and worry. A lady today told me that she just refuses to buy into all of it. She loves Christmas but she just refuses to ruin it with worry. Love that. This year has been very cruisey for me, whether its because a lot of the gifts are homemade or whether I had a very clear idea of what everyone was to get or maybe cause we have eased back on the kid presents too. Maybe its a combination of all of them but I am relaxed and really enjoying it all.

I do have one more pressie to make as I changed my mind and Im not making my new nephew bibs after all, I decided to make him some wetbags (really for mum but hey he is only 7 weeks old). And I have a little pack of boy face washer I got, 3 for $1.50.

I absolutely can't wait till my presents get opened!!! Specially the home made ones.

My niece Kelly got me this awesome recipe for a nibbly that she had at her Engagement party. I am the nibbles person for Christmas night so I am doing the blue cheese/pecan/fig thing, white choc and macadamia rocky road, a couple of dips and some very retro devilled eggs.

Just so you know what type of family I come from, we are all about the nosh. We are having FOUR desserts at Christmas dinner, yep four!!! We love our food, oh yes we do!

How's your Christmas preparations coming along?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Cleaning out the Fridge

Last night I needed to clean out the fridge so I got out the slow cooker! I went through and chopped up older vegies and tossed them all in with some browned mince. It cooked on slow overnight for tonight’s dinner – we love savoury mince!

Into the slow cooker went the last of the peas from Wesley’s Ag plot at school, from Mum and Dad’s place there was zucchini and green & yellow beans, our garden contributed carrots, onion, garlic, squash and capsicums. I’ve no idea where the tomatoes came from, either the market or
Coles I would say.

I have to say it is still gives a great feeling when the majority of a meal comes from the garden or rather gardens!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Is this the saddest zucchini in Australia? Way way too much rain has resulted with us actually wishing for zucchinis, if you can believe it! Usually the zucchini love is already waning for the kids but not so this year. Hopefully with a little sun one might actually get to the table!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Over Work

I don't know whether its because the year is winding down or because my work is going through some big changes but I am completely over it. I am sick of going, of having to go everyday.

I really like my job as it is now but due to changes I can see it evolving into a role that I am less than excited about. I hope I am wrong!

I like the money that comes with working fulltime but it does mean that everything else, everything I want to do has to be squeezed in at night or on the weekends and I am running out of time. Hmmm. I suppose it's the lament of every full time worker.

I think its good for your soul to have a whinge, so I am having mine here.

I booked us a holiday today for a few days in January and am looking forward to my five day break over Christmas, I am hoping both these will recharge the old batteries.

Do you find that as the end of the year draws to a close you too become "over it"?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Around the Garden

Beware that some of these photos might be a bit off centre, my camera has decided to take pics but not show anything on the display screen so you dont know whether you have actually got the photo you wanted to take. Noice.These gardenia's smell absolutely lovely every time you step outside.
This is a dwarf pumpkin, it is more of a bushy type. It will be interesting to see how they go.
Cucumber growing. A few things such as this and the zucchini seem to have not grown as much as last year. I think it is to do with the huge amount of rain we have had. Hoping that now the weather is looking to get back to normal we might have a bit more oomph.
Beetroot. I always seem to have some.
Capsicums - both normal and purple varieties
Turning purple.
Beans have too been slow growers. They did get a lot of rain not long after planting which I know is not a great thing.
Cherry tomatoes - you can see out homemade fly traps.
Zucchini - I have for but not one zuc yet.
Lots of squash though.
The garden is looking good and with a bit more sun will be a lot better. Cross Fingers!


Yesterday we had a flying visit to Gunnedah, to deliver Christmas presents and see my new niece and nephew!

Both my sisters had babies last month, only 12 hours apart but they each still have their own birthdays. Too cute!
Here is Dave holding Ava Rose, she has just had a bottle and is in a milk haze I think.
Here is Wesley Patrick holding Evan Patrick! Both have the same middle name as their Pop. Evan has long arms and legs and Amelia swears he did a Superman move!
They were so lovely and happy babies. Love having them to spoil!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Rain

Over the past days we have had a LOT of rain. A real lot.
McIntyre River - it had broken it's banks
Trying to get a pic without getting drenched!
Drowned backyard.
Happily today is about 29 degrees and not a cloud in the sky.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I have been participating in Gavin's Great Kilowatt Challenge and we have been doing pretty well. On average we have been using 8 kw per day, i know this because even when it is pouring rain I have been standing out in it to get my daily readings. Such dedication!

Yesterday we even managed a day with only 7 kw usage, which was great. However, after five days of unrelenting rain last night I cracked and used the dryer. Yes I am ashamed. I havent used it for at least three weeks (maybe even four?) but last night I couldn't walk pass the mountain of washing without doing something. Dave reckons we minimised the usage by only putting it on late at night.

So it was on for two hours and I will just have to suck it up and deal with it. It will be interesting to see how much the usage will go up and whether it uses the phase three bit.

Yes I am doing more washing as I type but I am going to get Dave to string up a line in the garage. Which I am aware I should have done yesterday but I am telling you its a MOUNTAIN of washing!!!! LOL.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Vegemite & Cheese Scrolls

The kids last couple of lunchboxes have had their sandwiches returned in them. I think the heat is having a icky effect on the bread. So I found a couple of recipes and fiddled with them and made these tonight. They probably could look nicer but they taste delicious!!! The kids have approved them too! Yum!
Recipe -
3 1/2 cups SR flour
4 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 milk
Grated cheese
1 egg
Rub butter into flour til is crumby. Add milk and bring dough together, give a light knead on a floured bench. Roll out into a rectangle shape. Spread vegemite over pastry. Sprinkle cheese all over. Roll up from the long side and cut. Brush pastry with beaten egg. Lay on tray with cut edge facing up. In mod oven for 15 mins.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Great Kilowatt Challenge

Gavin from The Greening of Gavin is hosting The Great Kilowatt Challenge! I would suggest for everyone to click on the above link and participate. You will learn how to read your meter so when you put some energy saving actions into play you will be able to see how much you are saving!

Gavin explains it far better than me so pop over and have a squiz!

More Chrissy Presents!

Yes more aprons - that is the theme this year! I will add jars of jams, jellies and relishes to go with as well! I can only post the pressies of the people I know don't read this blog!This one is for a workmate and she will love it. She loves homemade stuff - which is very lucky for me!
The one above is for a guy. I found the proper straps at the sewing shop and the ties wrap around the body like a chefs apron.
This one is cute! Amelia slyly hinted that this one could be hers!
So I have had a busy week with sewing and sick children. I loathe high tempretures for no reason!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Strawberry jam is done. Smells and tastes delicious, I wonder if it tastes even better because we, as a family, picked the fruit ourselves this morning? I think so! I love jam making so much and can't understand how anyone could not. It is fun, rewarding and easy. And as long as you are using seasonal produce its pretty cheap too! Love It!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Another Apron

Yes its ANOTHER apron and no it won't be the last! I am having way too much fun making them. This one is for someone in particular and I think will appeal just to them. Amelia is being my model though it is a bit big for her.
Here it is laid out. The bows are stitched on so they aren't going anywhere. My fashion consultant (Dave!) and I thought it needed a little bit of something extra so we decided on bows.
See how lovely the colours are in it? I very nearly made a skirt with the material instead!
This weekend we are hoping to do a little Christmas shopping since we only have about 42 days! Our list seems bigger every year though alot of presents are homemade. Sunday we will be strawberry picking again as I will be making jam in the afternoon. Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Done and Finally Done!

I have finished off one of my Xmas presents. It is the blue and green half apron.
Wes kindly modelled for me as long as I didn't put his face on here in the apron! Ha! I am sure he will happily be modelling on Tuesday afternoon when his braces come off!
And here is the fruit and vege bags that I was going to make...oh about a YEAR ago! I have had the mesh since then patiently waiting for me in the cupboard. They are really light - 4 to 9 grams depending on the size and much stronger than the plastic bags provided in the stores. Looking forward to using them this week!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Strawberry Delights

Of course I just had to whip up some strawberry goodness with all that fresh produce to use!
These are strawberry and passionfruit muffins. This is the first time I have made them and they are delicious! Definately will make these again.
I also made this strawberry shortcake. First time making this recipe too and this is divine. Absolutely glorious.
Don't you just want a piece? The cake part is rather scone like in a very very good way and the strawberries are so flavoursome.

Sunday Strawberry Picking

In Friday's local paper there was an ad inviting people to come and pick their own strawberries this morning for $6 a kg. Yep only $6 a kilo! Well we went out this morning (minus Wes who had important teenage boy stuff to do) and it was really fun!Strawberries everywhere! Yum!

Amelia was picking, she restrained herself - we all did - and didn't have any taste tests!
Dave started loading up his shirt at one stage!
The smell is so gorgeous - really strong.
We ended up with 2.8kg of strawberries. You bring your own containers and they weigh them empty so that you don't pay for their weight. Not that they care too much as she only charged us for 2.5kg.
Thinking strawberry shortcake or strawberry muffins or strawberry milkshakes/smoothies or pavlova or any yummy strawberry thing. We will head out next Sunday and get another lot as I will make a batch of jam with them!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Mad Millie Mozzarella

This is my SECOND attempt at making mozzarella cheese. This first one was a complete disaster, though I do know why and it was completely my double boilers fault! I don't have a proper double boiler so I just stuck two pots together and unfortueately the pot slipped insided the other and brought the bottom of the top pot in contact to the water. Oops!!!Today was MUCH more successful. But there is room for more tweaking. The unhomogenised milk tastes awesome, and as a treat I would suggest everyone to buy it just to taste it! It is pricey though.
Here is my Mad Millie weapons of mass cheese constructions!
Cutting the curd. It went really well, though I think next time I will leave it another 15 mins or so to firm up.
Here is my curds draining. I got a bit too swish happy with my spoon and my slotted spoon was a bit small so the curds separated by falling off the spoon. But its all good.
My hot and cold salted water waiting to go!
My very unglam mozzarella ball.
But it taste's yum!
Also a happy welcome to the world to Evan Patrick!