Monthly Archives: January 2012

Rain Rain Go Away

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It has been raining almost non stop for the past week, and the last 3 days have been especially hard. Towns are cut off, roads and driveways washed away, and thousands of mandatory evacuations. After the devastating floods of last year, the emergency services are erring on the safe side.

It’s a washed out Australia Day for sure, no beach or BBQ for me. Thank god the Triple J Hottest 100 goes on, rain hail or shine. I know loads of people who are flooded in, having ‘Island Parties’, to celebrate Australia Day.

This was the road that leads to the bottom of the high school

The bridge into town

Byangum Bridge, built in the last 6 or 7 years, as the old one kept getting washed out in floods...

Tumbulgum from the top of Tumbulgum Bridge

Tumby Pub... Not a bad place to get stuck!

The rains have eased off today, but are supposed to set back in again from tomorrow and last into next week… So I’ll probably be posting from a tinnie!

Need an ark? I Noah guy… :p

P.S I nicked most of these pics from friends on FB…

Roasted Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta

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It is raining cats and dogs here, and has been for the last 2 days. It really has been the strangest summer. I have my doona on my bed and have been sleeping in my warm jammies, as opposed to sleeping under a sheet with the fan cranked on ghetto blast, wearing only a t shirt! Poor M has gone camping at Hastings Point with his grandfather, I hope they don’t get washed out to sea!

During the summer holidays the local council puts on free movies in the evenings in one of the parks along the creek. The park is really cool, and is done in a pirate theme. There is a giant pirate ship that looks shipwrecked, and there are cannons and barrels and a cave with a map to treasure, instead of the usual slide/swings set up. Last week I arranged to take the kids down to watch the movie along with some friends of mine and their kids, and have a picnic dinner. Then M’s friends who live nearby asked if they could come too, and I could hardly say no. So us 4 adults (Jo, Sarah, Jade and myself) and all 6 kids cruised down and watched Happily N’ever After. The kids played in the park while the adults set up the blankets and picnic dinner, then we all munched out and enjoyed the movie. This Friday they are playing Aladdin, and I’m keen to take the boys down again, but this time I think I will try keep it to just the older kids. My friends with younger kiddies had their work cut out for them, trying to get the littlies to sit still and watch the movie, when there was this totally awesome pirate ship just behind us!

A few nights ago M hosted his first ever sleep over. The 2 boys who came to the movie with us, also live within our complex (or ‘The Plex’ to those in the know… Or me, anyway) and play together with M every day, whether it’s X-Box, riding bikes, scooters, kicking balls, going swimming, whatever. The boys had been talking about a sleep over for a while, but since I knew none of them had ever had a sleep over at a friends house before, I thought they were all talk. Apparently not. They came to me and asked if they could have a sleep over before the holidays ended. I said it was fine, but since the holidays are nearly over (school is back on Monday), and M was due to go camping, they should organise it soon.

*Whisper Whisper Whisper* ‘Can we do it tonight please?’ Of course I had to say yes, and there was never any question of them sleeping anywhere else other than the house with the X-Box, haha. I told them to have their dinner, bath or shower, and come over in their jammies, around 8.30. I said they could play X-Box for an hour before bed but that I would be turning it off at 9.30. My plan was that by the time the boys got here, I would have K and M bathed, and K asleep. Ha. Of course K never sticks to his schedule when I need him to, does he. It was 9.20 when I finally tip-toed out of the room, then headed down to check on the boys. You know what? They were all snoring! It was so cute, I couldn’t resist taking a photo. So it was not as bad I thought it would be. Since they were first timers, I was half expecting one or the other of the boys to change his mind throughout the night and want to go home. I figured, if that happened, at least their parents were only a few meters away. I told their dads when they walked the boys down, that I would call if there were any dramas and they could pop down and take them home again. But they were great. So I guess that paves the way for what is in store for the future.

 

Makoa, Vili and Zavier, fast asleep

 

I have a new recipe I would like to share with y’all… Yes, yes, I do understand that constantly posting recipe’s of what I cook for dinner is not quite what this blog is about, however I really had to share this one! I came across this dish on FatMumSlim, she really does crank out some goodies for not being a food blog! She posted it in relation to a post about cooking within a budget – in this case, $5. Well, I think I managed this one for under $5, since I had most of the ingredients already. I only had to buy 1, and it is something that I usually buy anyway when I do my groceries, but I actually used it last week when I made a lasagna to take along to the picnic. I have written down approximate measurements, adjust to suit your personal tastes and how many people you need to feed.

 

So… Roasted Cherry Tomato & Garlic Pasta!

 

So freaking good, man!

 

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Garlic, sliced (I used 3 large cloves)

1-2 punnets of Cherry Tomatoes (Sarah left a huge container of cherry tomatoes here when she made a salad to take to the picnic, so I probably used about 2 punnets worth… Sooo could have gone for 3 if I was feeding any more people!)

Ricotta Cheese (I used half a small tub, around 2/3 cup)

Pasta noodles – I used curly

Fresh Basil & Thyme (from my friends garden)

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170 c.

Peel and slice the garlic, slice a few of the cherry tomatoes in half. Throw the tomatoes and garlic into a roasting dish, and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Roast in the oven for around 10-15 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes start to look squishy and collapsed.

While the tomatoes and garlic are roasting, boil the pasta and wash the herbs.

When the pasta is cooked and the tomatoes are roasted, drain the pasta and toss together with the ricotta and herbs.

Serve and smash!

 

You can see how easy and versatile this dish is, and is whipped up and on the table in around 15-20 minutes.

In fact, it’s so good, I think I might go eat some more right now!

 

A cutie-pie pic of K to send you off with:

 

A-Z of Me

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I came across this post tonight on another blog and thought it would be fun, and a nice little time waster for myself. I would love to see some other people’s answers, too. If you do this, tag me or comment to me or something so I can check it out!

 

A- Make a list of 5 things that are in reach: My mobile phone (or cell for you yanks :p), TV remote, 2 sofa cushions stuffed behind my back, laptop charger

B- What is your favourite holiday? Don’t know if I could pick just one, I have great memories from every one. But one recent trip to spend time with my oldest sister in Vegas definitely stands out.

C- What is your fashion style? I don’t think I have a ‘style’, I mostly wear jeans and tops, or shorts/skirts in summer. I don’t wear much makeup unless I’m going out, and any day I bother to brush my hair is ‘schmick’ day, haha. I wish I could afford to have a style, though! It would be inspired by the inside of Penny’s apartment on Big Bang. It’s so colorful and pretty!

D- Whats your occupation? Right now I’m an at home mumma. Before that I was a destitute student/waitress, before that an international playgirl and before that I worked in admin.

E- What do you hear right now? The ceiling fan making an annoying click, and background music from a movie on TV

F- Who was the last person you hugged? K, who I just put back to sleep. Before that, M, when I put him to sleep.

G- What random song just popped into your head just now? Regina Spektor’s cover of ‘Real Love’ by The Beatles. It’s so beautiful, it’s running on The Biggest Loser ads, which has the potential to kill the song for me 😦

H- What did you do today? Laundry, vacuuming, dishes, cleaned my bedroom, took the boys for a swim, chatted to my mom briefly on skype. Pretty much what I do every day.

I- What was the last text message you received? From one of my best mates, Scotty: ‘I wonder if deaf schizophrenic people still hear voices in their head?’ Hang on he just replied to my reply (‘bahaha wtf where do u come up with this shit!’): ‘Haha a mate sent it to me I laughed so hard, sent it to heaps of people got funny as replies! Yep they still hear voices but they sound funny like deaf people talk, n nah they dont, they just see furious hand signals haha’

J- What websites do you always visit when you go online? CrackBook (of course), GalaDarling, FatMumSlim, Daily Nibbles, PostSecret, Letters of Note, my email account.

K- What is your next big, planned purchase? New front tyres for the Meh-Mobile. Exciting, ya?

L- If you could afford to go anywhere in the world, where would you go? Um, everywhere!! If I had to pick one, it would be to visit my sisters in Hawaii. If it had to be a new somewhere, I think I would go somewhere like the Maldives or Rome or New York, somewhere really luxe and expensive 😀

M- Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Hopefully I will have a degree under my belt, working at a job I love. M will be 13 and K will be 6, so probably still here in Currumbin because M wants to go to PBC High School.

N- Where’s your tattoo/where do you want one? On my left shoulder, it covers my whole shoulder blade.

O- What are you doing this weekend? My friend Jo may possibly be coming to stay, so depending on the weather, probably beaching it with the kiddies.

P- If you could play any instrument, which one would it be? Hmm, never really thought about this, although the other day I momentarily wished I could play guitar.

Q- Whats the one thing you need the most right now? Some money! Ha ha. So I could spend it on tyres, school shoes, uniforms, and a car service. Exciting.

R- Are you a creeper? I have no idea! Like, as in on FB? No, couldn’t be bothered. I’m a blog creeper, I guess.

S- What is your dream job? I would love to be a travel writer or presenter. Doesn’t really gel with my family and lifestyle though, I couldn’t leave the boys constantly. But I would love to be paid to travel.

T- What’s the last good movie you saw? Hmm… Not sure? I saw Happy Feet 2 a few weeks ago, which was not as good as the first. I guess one recent movie I have seen that I enjoyed was watching Bridesmaids with my little sister last year, we laughed our asses off.

U- What’s your favourite quote? Not sure that I have a favourite, but one I read last week has stuck with me: ‘Live in the present and make it so damn beautiful that it will be worth remembering’ and another one that is sort of similar that I do like but not sure if I would say is my favourite: ‘And above all, be a love letter to the universe’.

V- What is your favourite color? I don’t really have a favourite color, but most of my house is sort of done in a red/yellow/deep brownish maroon color. Starting to think it’s time for a change up though, and if I do change up, was thinking maybe tan/blue or tan/green.. Hmm.. What do you think?

W- Give us 3 styling tips that work for you: Haha. Styling. Ok: Shower every day, Wear deoderant, brush ya teeth.

X- What do you love to do when it is drizzling? It would be my idea of heaven to kick back with a good book and some yummy food and maybe a movie after that, but more than likely I’m kid wrangling.

Y- What inspires you? I love GalaDarling, she is very inspiring, so is Sarah Wilson. Steve Pavlina is also great, he always makes me think (He recently posted on FB: If your website attracts anything less than 1000 hits a day, then my brown rice article gains more traffic than your entire page’ haha). If you want to be inspired, go to YouTube and Look up ‘Seth Godin Purple Cow Moment’. That’s not the actual name of the video but that will fo’sho find it for you.

Z- Why the hell isn’t there a Z? Damn, maybe I skipped one! Oh well. Ya get that.

 

Regina Spektor Live JTV XL Real Love

 

Avocado & 4-Bean Pasta Salad Recipe

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yummehhhhhh

 

So I don’t know how it is for those people living in the northern hemisphere, but down here in Australia, summer finally decided to join us. The last few days have been hot hot hot! Here on the Gold Coast, the temp last night was 28 degrees celsius, and today it was 31. I have had all the fans cranked on high, the blinds drawn, the windows and doors open, and still sweating. I have A/C but don’t want to use it all the time, I hate being in the house with all the doors and windows closed up. I would much rather go for a swim down at the creek or jump in the pool, but the heat has been so intense I didn’t want to take the boys out into the sun. Plus, the creek gets packed out on days like this. Instead, I filled a tub with cold water and K splashed about for a bit outside. I looked away for 1 second and looked back… and the water was all yellow and chunky. all up today we have had 3 ‘splosions’, as M calls them. Charming.

One of my New Years resolutions was to try and cook some new dishes. Sometimes I notice I get stuck cooking the same old things, week in week out. I rack my brains and try to think ‘I’m sure I used to cook other stuff! What else can I cook??’. But it always ends up being the same meals, whether it is out of convenience, allowing for the kids tastes, or just getting stuck in the same old shopping list items. So I decided to try and cook at least 1 new meal a month. I will post the results, good or bad… Here’s hoping to mostly good!

My first new recipe was an easy one. M and I wanted something light and cool, since it has been so hot, but still satisfying and filling. After 2 bites, M turned to me and said ‘Mum, this one’s a keeper.’ Haha. So cute. And K munched his down, too.

 

Ingredients:

1 packet of spiral pasta

1 T olive oil

1 can of 4-bean mix, drained and rinsed

1 medium tomato, sliced into wedges

1 avocado, cubed

1/2 a medium red capsicum, julienned

1/3 cup of cubed cucumber

1 & 1/2 cups of baby spinach

1 cup of slaw mix

Balsamic vinaigrette

 

Method:

Cook the pasta according to directions on the packet, drain, and rinse thoroughly under cold water. Place in a serving bowl and mix in the olive oil. If you feel that the pasta is still a bit warm, pop it in the fridge for a half hour. I rinsed mine for several minutes, so it was fine.

Throw in all the other veggies, the balsamic dressing, and toss to combine.

Put back in the fridge for at least an hour, to allow the flavours to do their thing.

Eat, yo!

 

 

 

We had this for dinner tonight on it’s own, but this would also be an awesome dish to take along to a bbq. You could even add pretty much whatever you like to it.

I made about 3L worth of pasta salad.. I filled a 2L and a 1L tub after tossing it together.. And M even had 3rds!

 

Oh and yay, now that Survivor: South Pacific is over (shut up, I will watch whatever reality trash I want to after 9pm), I get to watch American Horror Story! The ads have been killing me (har har), it looks awesome, but I couldn’t bear to not finish watching the Survivor season.

Zooper Doopers and American Horror Story, hells yeah!

Black Forest Trifle Recipe

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Black forest trifle

The actual finished product

This is best made at least a day in advance, to give the flavours time to strengthen/mould/mix/whatever you wanna call it. The chocolate pudding needs 4 hours to set, so keep this in mind when arranging your timeline.

This will feed anywhere from 10-12 people, maybe even more if you have less piggy servings than I do.

Ingredients:

1 large chocolate roly-poly log (you could use chocolate cake; instead of slicing it, cube it and throw into the base of the dish rather than layering up the sides)

1 680g jar of morello cherries in syrup, pitted

1 480g can of cherries in syrup, pitted

1 package of instant chocolate pudding (I used Cottee’s)

1 Tbspn icing sugar

1 large tub of thickened cream

1 small block of dark chocolate

A handful of fresh cherries, to decorate

Optional: some liqueur to make an adults only version (traditionally in Black Forest cake, Kirsch is used), enough to taste

Method:

Make up chocolate pudding according to packet directions. Put in fridge to set for 4 hours.

Place half the block of chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted, and dip the fresh cherries in, using their stems. Place on some baking paper and set aside to cool and set.

Slice the roly-poly log into approx 1 cm slices, and line the base and up the sides of your serving dish.

Drain the cherries and reserve approx. ¼ c of syrup. Mix the liqueur with the syrup, if using. Sprinkle the syrup over the roly-poly slices on the base and sides. Place the cherries in the base of the dish.

Top the cherries evenly with the prepared chocolate pudding, and smooth.

Whip the cream with the icing sugar, and smooth over the top of the pudding.

Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. This step is not necessary, but helps the flavors develop.

Lightly grate the chocolate bar over the top of the trifle, and decorate with the chocolate dipped cherries.

Serve and enjoy!

* Note – I used an enormous, deep fruit bowl for this, and it filled the entire bowl.

I was not able to take a picture of the one I made for christmas that showed the insides, but rest assured it is a big hot mess of cherries, cream, cake and pudding. yum.  I kindly made you a picture, though. Cos I’m pretty awesome and talented like that, yeah.

An artists rendering, a cross-section of the finished product