Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Growing Up

Boy #1 has finally reached his first height goal - to be taller than his grandmother!

My mum is not the tallest lady in the land, and J hasnt yet his teen growth spurt...but he is getting there.

There were many cheers of delight when we did our latest measure and he was taller than mum!

Oh - yet another milestone reached!

x S

Monday, May 30, 2016

Meal planning - the super edition

We are planning a family drive trip soon into the great Australian outback. No fancy hotels, just tents and swags for us (tent for me, swags for the fellas).

Hubby has been planning the schedule, which is amazing, and between us we have planned the food. There will be minimal hotels for us to dine in and just as few pubs so there is alot of pre-planning, pre-ooking and vacuum sealing to happen.

We have had to plan breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day, with only a few days where we can have a pub meal or eat in a restaurant!

The list is currently looking something like this:

The ones highlighted in green have been pre-done. Still alot of work to go though!

Wish me luck!

x S

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mid-week winter warmer

You may remember our super-duper-easy-peasy tomato soup. A speedy, never fail meal option, the edition of a half a boiled egg was a cute twist.

Recently, we found ourselves with some chorizo in the fridge, and some tins of tomatoes in the cupboard, and a bevy of hungry boys to feed.

Following the basic tomato soup recipe, we added some macaroni (but any small pasta would work) and quickly pan fried the chopped chorizo, sprinkled with Parmesan and hey presto, Tomato & Chorizo soup, in about 20 minutes flat - winning! xE

Monday, May 23, 2016

Meal planning Monday - the Balmy weather version


As we head into Week 5 of the second school term of the year, and the evenings are coming down earlier, life is starting to feel like we have entered what I refer to as the "long haul" part of the year - school/work/sport repeat.

But the one thing that is holding the Haul ever-so-slightly at bay, is the unseasonably warm weather (whats with that Sydney?? we are still enjoying weekends of 25 or 26 under very sunny skies - beautiful, but a touch unnerving at the same time!). The warm weather, but dark evenings has lead to a slightly schizophrenic meal plan this week....we have already pulled out the slow cooker, as this is a worthy work horse to manage the 6:30pm walk-in-the-door-after-training-pick-up...but we are still flirting with the summery joy of the tasting platter and the Chicken Burger.

Hence, our meal plan this week is shaping up like this:

Monday: Shredded Beef Wraps (Slow cooker!)

Tuesday: Homemade Chicken & Bacon Burger

Thursday: Chicken stew (hello there again slow cooker)

Friday: Family dinner out!!

Good luck with the week Peeps, hoping it's a good one xE

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dishes n stuff

We have a shared pool of household tasks that the boys do each, every day/week. We swap them over from time to time just to shake things up.

One of those jobs is emptying the dishwasher. Neither of the boys love this job, but whatevs. Its all a part of being a family, and as I say to them, if they dont want to empty it then dont make all the plates and glasses dirty!!

The problem, though, is that although the bulk goes in the dishwasher, some things clearly get washed by hand. Or taken out and stacked on the dish rack to dry. Yeah - cheating right? This rack does NOT tend to get cleared, and I just cant be bothered yelling about it...so often although the kitchen is tidy, it doesnt look it because..well...MESS!!!

This quietly drives me mad, but I have decided to do an Elsa and just let it go (sorry for the Frozen reference!).

What drives you mad?

S x

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

When dinner is not well received....

This is a picture of a recent dinner that, ummm, let's say just didn't go that well.

Do you have a dish that you really enjoy and find super simple to whip up, but that your family just don't, no way, nuh ugh, never ever feel the same way? Risotto is that dish for me.

I mean, really.....warm, creamy and comforting. It can take on just about any direction or flavour you feel like and it is as simple as anything to pull together. What's not to like??

Well, my kids have just never been fans. Not when they were little, not when they were medium sized and still, not now, when they are heading toward big. I try it ever now and again, but no, no love.

I had another attempt recently - the base was simple and tasty, chicken stock and Parmesan, and I had made this super yum crispy bacon, broccolini and bread crumb crunch-sprinkally-business to have on top.....and yep, still no love.

I think I am just about ready to embrace the fact that my little guys just aren't risotto kind of people! xE 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Here's one I prepared earlier....

I learnt a while back, that one of the sure fire ways to get my boys to eat a "reasonable" amount of dinner with a reduced whinge factor, was to serve it all up in the middle and let sibliging rivalry kick in.

Dinner is served, communal style, on large platters and the boys then serve themselves their preferred amount/combination etc. the days of compedative eating are behind us, but the boys are still happiest when dinner is served up this way.

Last week, I used this method with Baked sweet potatoes, served with bolognese mince, cheese, veggie etc. The sweet potatoes took about 50 mins in the oven, but everything else was super fast to pull together - winning! 

We have a busy week on the cards this week, with H-for-Husband away at a conference for most of the week.

Dinners are going to look a little like this:

Monday - Crunchy Chicken wraps

Tuesday - Chinese dumplings with veggie & rice

Wednesday - Slow cooker Chicken Curry

Thursday - Lasagna

Friday - I'll-be-tired-and-eldest-son-has-a-basketball-game-so-I-am-guessing-we-might-just-hit-the-take-away-button

Have a good week Lovelies! xxE

Friday, May 6, 2016

To My Boys: What I really want for Mothers Day

I was reading this article in bed the other night which brought me to thinking about what I want for Mothers Day (this Sunday in Australia). Here is my list, if only my boys would actually read it and make it all happen!

1. A cup of tea in bed. Not breakfast in bed, I'm happy with just a cuppa. I hate the thought of crumbs in my lovely sheets!

2. Any kind of card that has something more in it than just "Dear Mum, Love xxx". Some actual sentences would be great.

3. If you're getting me a present, it doesn't have to be expensive, just chosen with love.

4. PICK UP YOUR CRAP!!!! I am soo sick of seeing crap all over your desks & your  bedroom floors,

5. When I do a "Consuela" (ie super dooper clean and re-arrange) of your bedroom, please respect that and try and keep it that way for more than a DAY!

6. Put your clothes away. Properly. Straight after you are told to do so. The living room is not a laundromat. The couch doesn't need to be spread with your clothes for two weeks.

7. Respect (and love) each other. If your brother asks you nicely not to touch something of his, don't. You would expect those rules to apply if the roles were reversed. Your brother will be your longest friendship in life.

8. I do not want to hear "I'm bored". Ever. You have multitude of toys, games, outside activities. Explore. Ride your bike. Build that tower out of Lego.

9. Just say thank you. Also, "I'm sorry" goes a long way.

10. Hugs and kisses. Every. Single. Day. Even if I am cranky with you.

So that's it. My wish list for this year.

Oh - and one of those handbags that dispense wine....that would be cool.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Winner Winner! Chicken Dinner

I made a decision on the weekend to go through some more of my cookbooks and use different recipes from them. I have a great Womens Weekly slow cooker cook book that I currently use for one ONE recipe (a great slow cooker lamb curry). Now that the weather is starting to turn a tad colder I thought it was high time I got the slow cooker out, so this book was the first on my pile.

When I use the slow cooker I just want to chuck all the ingredients in, then turn it on to do its stuff. None of this browning nonsense. I usually get it all ready the night before so in the morning I just pop the bowl into the cooker and turn it on. I love coming home to the lovely smells of dinner wafting through the house without me having had to do much at all!.

The two new recipes that I found ticked that box. First was a Moroccan lamb tagine recipe with green olives and harissa and the other was a Chinese chicken hot pot. I did the chicken recipe just the other day, and boy was it a success. And sooooo easy. Such yummy flavour, a tasty broth and the goodness of chicken and veg. One thing to note, if you dont have Chinese cooking wine just substitute with sherry!

Thumbs up from the whole family - I highly recommend you give it a go! It served 5 of us (my mum was over) plus some extra for lunches or a dinner for two.

S x

Monday, May 2, 2016

Best. Bacon. Ever

We eat lots of bacon in our house, it its many forms. My darling husband loves nothing more than bacon and eggs on a weekend, we put it in quiche, in pasta...you name it..it may just have bacon in it!

I usually try and get my bacon from the butcher, but sometimes that just doesn't happen. I do find the packet bacon from the supermarket can get a little watery, especially if you freeze it. So there I was, rushing into the supermarket for some last minute bacon and I spotted one I hadn't seen before. I decided to just grab it as it seemed to cover all my criteria (bacon, thinly sliced).

WOW! It was so yummy. Just had a great smoky flavour, was thinly sliced so crisped up nicely (it got the "crispatus" as my boys call it!). I have now gone back about bought about half a dozen packets for freeze for our upcoming camping trip.

Do you like bacon? Do you have a favourite?