Monthly Archives: February 2012

Homemade Muesli!

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Here it is, as promised – my next installment in ‘New Years Resolution Recipes’: Muesli!

I decided to make muesli because I figured it was something that I could make a largeish batch of and it could last us throughout the week, it is a basic staple, and I was hoping that it would prove to be a money saver for me.

Well it does look like the batch could last us a few days, but I’m not sure about the money saver. After buying all the ingredients (and I actually forgot one), I spent around $16. I could buy 3 boxes of fancy pants granola for that! Oh well. Lesson learned. At least I know exactly what is going into it. Although I will admit that I did not use up all of the ingredients, so perhaps it will work out to be cheaper. Another issue with regards to the ingredients was that I actually had a stupid bug invasion, weevils had taken up residence in my cupboard. Efforts to remove them was just not working – I threw away anything that was open, or looked suspect. I wiped out the entire pantry and cleaned it with eucalyptus oil (hoping the strong smell would deter them). I killed any bug I saw. And then I repeated it. Several times. Finally I gave up the battle, I admitted defeat, and had the exterminator come around. And I threw out three quarters of the food in the house. The final quarter was the food left in the fridge. My point is, if I had not had to throw out all of the food, I probably would have had most of the ingredients in the house and ready to go, as most of them are basic pantry items.

Anyway, I’m rambling, I know. The recipe. I researched a few different recipes, and then decided to kind of wing it.

Muesli.

Ingredients:

2 cups rolled oats

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp salt

3 Tbspn honey

2 Tbspn golden syrup

3 Tbspn vegetable oil

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence (which I forgot to buy, so I just skipped it)

1/2 cup your choice of dried fruit and or nuts (I used sultanas, apricots, dates, pear, apple, pineapple, almonds, walnuts & sunflower seeds… OK actually I just bought some trail mix)

The ingredients... Notice how everything is Coles brand, cos I'm a frugal bitch

Method:

Preheat the oven to 175 c. Unless you’re fan forced in which case I don’t freakin know, for reasons which will become clearer as you read.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, cinnamon and salt together. In a smallish bowl, mix together the honey, golden syrup, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla essence until well combined.

wet ingredients mixed together

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together really well.

Spread out on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and bake for 10 mins. This is the point that I burned and threw out my first batch. Stupid ovens. I keep forgetting how it burns pretty much everything the first time.

Remove from the oven, stir, add the nuts, then put back in the oven. Bake for another 10 mins.

Nutssss

Remove from the oven, stir, then put back in for another 5 mins.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool competely. Break into small clumps or teeny tiny clumps if you don’t like clumps at all, then add the dried fruits.

Keep in an airtight container, should be good to go for a week.

Enjoy with icy cold milk. Yummehhhh.

 

It was pretty good. M gave his tick of approval too, which was nice of him considering he is strictly a toast with vegemite or weetbix kid. Next time I make it I think I will try apple and cinnamon, or even maple syrup and banana. There are obviously umpteen variations you could do. I also think a berry combo would be really nice. I’m looking forward to eating this muesli with yogurt and banana.

 

And now, to send you off, a few photos from the past few weeks..

 

Pretty sunset

 

My poor, stupid empty pantry

 

The heffalumpasaurus

 

swim-date at the creek last week with my girl Jade

 

The big man on his first day at school for the year

 

 

 

 

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Rhyme Time Trouble

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Today has been a busy little day.. Well, not really, but for me it has been. In an earlier post I spoke about my New Years resolutions, about putting myself out there more, and about expanding my cooking abilities. Sort of. Well this week I have really been focusing on getting these things rolling. I have already started on the cooking aspect, and have some new dishes I plan to do some time this week. Nothing fancy, but hopefully they will turn out nicely.

The putting myself out there side of things has had a little kick up the bum so to speak, when I decided to take K to the local library for Baby Rhyme-Time. The Slacker suggested recently that I check out my local library to find out about story time, etc, which I did, and found they had a little half hour class dedicated to singing nursery rhymes. I had booked my car in for some new tires today so I arranged them to coincide so K and I would have something to do while we waited. Lucky the library and the tire place are only about 400 meters away from each other.

When we walked in the door and K saw all the other people there (there were actually heaps of other people, I thought there might be around 8-10 other mums there, but there were more like 15-20!) he freaked out a little, turned into me and held on really tight. He has never been around that many other babies before. We sat down at the back of the room, where there were floor cushions and some chairs set up in a large U, so he had a good view of everything going on. The next half hour we sang some nursery rhymes and did the actions. He did not want me to put him on the ground, but by the end of the half hour he had started to warm up a little and loosened his grip a bit. If we keep going regularly I am sure he will get into it. I didn’t mind it, especially since it is free, but truly, it was kind of lame. I guess I had higher expectations for Baby Rhyme-Time hahaha. I was disappointed though because I was hoping to see some other youngish mums there, but I was most definitely the youngest, most of them looked to be in their 30’s, some even in their 40’s, and one, I’m pretty sure, was the Grandma. If not, well, I feel for her haha.

After that we went and explored the library a little. I had been there once or twice while I was still studying, just to check and see if they had access to any scholar journals on their databases, but they didn’t and for whatever reason I never went back. This time I decided to sign up for a library card. Can you believe I have been here for over 2 years and only just did this now. Crazy. Anyway, I ended up having a nice chat with one of the librarians, which I guess made up for the fact that the Rhyme-Time was full of old mums. Then I borrowed a book for myself from a writer who I used to like reading a few years  ago called Sujata Massey. She writes a series of novels about a Japanese American woman named Rei, who is an antiques dealer in Tokyo, and ends up getting involved in solving crimes, usually associated with whatever antique she is working on. I like her writing because I have always been attracted to asian art, furniture and design. The book I picked up was called ‘Shimura Trouble’, which actually takes place in San Francisco and Hawaii, exploring a mystery around land ownership and Rei’s family, some distant cousin discovered living in the islands. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m enjoying reading about her again.

After our morning travels we got home and I tidied up, wasted some time playing with K, and stealing a chapter or two of the book. Then we headed off to pick up big bro from school, during which K finally decided to pass out and have his nap, which worked out just fine for me since I got to sit in the car while he slept, and read some more.

When we got home, one of M’s friends from a few doors down, Vili, came over and asked him if he wanted to come to a footy club bring a friend day. M was totally excited and keen as mustard to go. I was sweet with him going until I realised it was actually a recruitment day, designed to encourage more kids to join the team, and that I would have to go. After being out all morning I was kinda keen to park on the couch reading until I had to start dinner, but alas, it was not to be. When M’s friend told me how much it would cost to join the club, I was even less keen, but M was a snowball rolling down a hill at that point and for me to stop him from going would have meant catastrophe. Then at the last minute, as I was strapping K into the car, M decided he wanted to go with Vili’s dad in his car. When we got there, Vili ran straight onto the field with his team mates and started training, while M hung back waiting for me. I took one look at his face and knew what was up. ‘Off you go’ I told him.

‘Don’t wanna’ he replied.

‘Why not?’

‘Don’t wanna go anymore.’

He got all shy and shame cos he didn’t know any of the other kids. Their other friend Zavier, who lives in between our house and Vili’s, was supposed to be coming for a ‘taste test’ too but he hadn’t arrived. Vili’s dad ended up taking M on the field and making sure he got introduced to the coach and settled in with the other kids. K and I sat back to watch. Well, I sat back to watch but that quickly turned into chasing after K as he tried to run onto the field, onto the road, across the other field, in the path of the men practising, and eventually stole a ball from a couple of guys who were playing with a 5 year old on a field further away. I think I got more of a work out than M did in the end. Zavier and his mum showed up, watched for a bit, then headed home, without Zavier joining in. They realised that since Zavier only turned 8 this January, he would not be in the same team as the boys, even if he did decide to join. But he was just keen to be doing something with the boys, so he was pretty disappointed. So cute. Vili’s dad said I could go home if I wanted and he would bring M home, but then they started bringing out the big pads and getting the boys to start tackling and barging or whatever they call it, through rows of the dads holding the pads up against them. I stood around and watched for a little longer, then headed home to get dinner started.

When M got home he was so happy, and definitely keen to join. I’m not sure how I will make the $150 joining fee, nor the boots, shin pads, helmet and mouthguard work, but I called his dad to see if maybe he could help out with it. I recently found out how much he makes a week and I figure he can flipping well afford to fork out a whole lot more than he has been! That call didn’t go badly but I didn’t really get an answer either, as he was in a bad mood and on his way to work. Fingers crossed he does pay, and toes crossed that Vili’s dad offers to drive to all the games hahaha!

 

M's first shot at the pads. Vili's dad is standing on the left, with a big cheesy smile.

 

Anyway, hopefully things will work out. And I hope to surprise you guys with an interesting dish sometime this week.

Family Vacay, Anyone?

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So. After the last time I invited y’all over to spend some time at my holiday house, I decided to make a few changes. I really enjoyed everyones company, but I gotta admit, I really got sick of hearing a certain scratchy voice call out ‘Pauliieeeeeeeeeeeee!’ constantly. Wouldn’t have been so bad, except it was punctuated with a sickly sweet ‘Maa-arrrrrrrrrkkkk!’.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still keeping my leaf house. But next time there is a get together, I will be hosting at my palm house instead.

It's shaped like a palm leaf so it matches my other place. I'm clever like that.

That way everyone can have their own space.

Don’t worry, I have shark nets.

And I still have the Help.

He knows how to cook, this one. So I’m keeping him.

My villa is the one furthest out on the water, cos I need my privacy.

Everyone has their own spa bath, I got real sick of sharing last time.

And their own lounge too, since SOME people don’t like playing the All-In portion of pictionary. They can go to their own lounge and be lame.

And before you start asking, yes, there is a TV in that cupboard there, for anyone who might freak if they don’t watch Spicks & Specks.

You guys are allowed to come to my villa for sunset drinks on the balcony. But then you have to leave.

I will admit, though, sometimes I get a bit over the whole sun/sand/salt thing. Mucks up my hair. Thats when I cruise back to my forest villa. It’s actually where the help stay, but cos I’m pretty grounded and a totally awesome boss n stuffs, I don’t mind slumming it with them every now n then. But they still hafta deliver me cocktails.

See that fresh water in that pool there? Don’t splash, that shit don’t just fall from the sky you know. If you keep splashing you’re gonna hafta bring a bottle of replacement water with you when you arrive.

And since there is only so much I can handle of you guys fawning over me and carrying on about how much ya love me n stuffs (just trying to scam your way into my will, I’m sure of it), I have this restaurant sorted out so we don’t have to share meal times n stuff.

Hey look dad, a boat!

This chick’s job is just to stick fresh flowers in the water of whatever villa I happen to be on my way to.

I think these chicks might be twins or something, I dunno hey. I don’t pay them to chat.

In fact, this is starting to sound more and more like my kind of family vacay!