Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lamingtons for Australia Day

Since it is Australia day I thought that I would make lamingtons for the family.  I don't think our children have eaten them before and I have never made them either.  So I braved it and once they were tucked up in bed I gave it a go.  I followed the Woman's day recipe.  It was very easy.

My conclusion: very messy and very yummy.

Not sure that I would get great marks for presentation but I think they taste yummy.

All the family is getting together to celebrate.  My BAM's mother is receiving an Australia Day award.  I am not sure what sort of award as she has been very shy about it.  I guess we will find out.  She has told us all to dress in our best and to PLEASE make sure her one and only granddaughter wears a pretty dress and not the Ben 10 shorts and sneakers.  However her granddaughter is very stubborn and if she doesn't want to wear the dress she won't.

To  finish off the day the kids will play totem tennis, jump on the trampoline and Mummy and Daddy and Auntie Cathy will sit under the pergola cooking the BBQ for tea. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making quick quilts for boys

Over at Retromummy's blog she was asking for people who wanted to help make some quilts for the people affected by the QLD floods.  Well she has been inundated with offers of help from people to make 12" blocks.  One of them was me.

So last Sunday I went off to procure some supplies from the "S" shop (Spotlight).  This is the place I most hate to go to but "have" to since there is so little choice or few economic alternatives (please can some one give us some choice in this area).  I love material shopping in fact I could shop for materials all day.  (There is only one other better activity - which is eating chocolate watching a dark and broody good looking male on DVD (Colin Firth - Pride and Prejudice, Richard Armitage - North and South....etc)).  Needless to say that the group that runs the "S" shop has ruined that experience for me (well at least in their shops).

I decided to focus on mainly boys quilts.  Having two boys I know how hard it is to get good boys fabrics and I luckily found some.  The theme is fishes (I'm sure the irony wont be over looked....but they were very cute and good boys colours).

I have decided to make the whole quilt top.  So for the last three nights I have been cutting cutting cutting, now I am ready to start sewing.  I am making 4 quilt tops.  All various sizes and styles. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Back to work.....

I returned to work this week.  I have had three weeks away and today (day two back at work) it feels like I never left.

Over the break I manged to achieve quite a lot.  I spring cleaned.  This is the first time AC (after children) that I have had a chance.  So you can imagine that after 5 years, three children and a house extension there were some areas needing significant attention.  Aggie and Kim from "How clean is your house" would be proud of me.  I have listened to their advice and I removed from the house so much clutter.  I am now taking their advice further and I aim to further declutter my house by removing a shopping bag of clutter.  They recommend to do it each day but I think I will be getting ahead of myself with this - so I am doing one a week and hopefully it is a garbage bag full each time.  Well that's is my aim.

The other big achievement was removing the mail pile from the kitchen counter (am I alone or does everyone have one of these?).  We used to have all the current mail, magazines, children's forms, bills etc all piled up on the kitchen counter right next to the dish drainer (I am a visual person and I need to see all these things otherwise they get forgotten about).  It caused my BAM so much stress that he had a "major discussion" with me about it.  We have since found a solution.  He built me some shelves (which in male speak was code for a bookcase - a story for another day) and I now have in-trays on top of the freezer out of the way of the cooking.  Best of all my BAM is happy.

I have also got back on the wagon - so to speak and I have recommenced eating well.  I have had salads each day for lunch.  I have resisted the biscuits at work and have been portion controlling my dinners.  Need to lose some of the Christmas holidays that now resides on my waist.  My goal is too loose 8 kilos.  See my ticker tracker below (well that's what I call it).

Friday, January 14, 2011

Meal Plans

So I have finally done it.  I have finished collating all my recipes which were spread out all over the house and put them into the one spot.  I have also photocopied all the recipes from my cook books that I like and ones that I want to make.  I have categorised them according to how my brain thinks.  I have also assembled a second folder of my favourite recipes for quick reference.  I can now put away all my recipe books and use the one source.  

So now I am able to tackle my monthly meal planners.  Having this planner will allow me to shop online with all the ingredients at my finger tips and hopefully keep to my budget.  Last year I saved lots of money shopping on line and keeping out of the supermarkets.  But this year I will have the meals I'm going to cook all decided before I log on to the computer shopping.

On top of all this I have just bought the Womans Weekly "100 Family Meals" cook book.  Just about every recipe in the book looks great and would be eaten by us (meaning three fussy kids).  So I have decided that I will try and cook my way through this book this year.  Tonight I made the lamb rissoles.  Everyone loved them.   Success (yeah!!!)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

So much food

The last two weeks "Auntie Kate" and Bob have been visiting.  She always comes with a recipe file and she cooks up a storm while she is here and she inspires me as well.

Auntie Kate

So much food was consumed.  New recipes for nachos, burritos, panzanella salad, citrus tiramisu, meringue cheese cake, lemon lime and nut rice salad, three bean salad, sushi, Vietnamese rolls, Nigella's salmon rice, creamy salmon pasta, vegetarian sausage rolls, tabouli, butterscotch pudding and sauce.

Citrus Tiramisu
Cheese Cake

We also made home made pizza, lasagna, ginger bread houses x2, Mexican chicken, chicken and corn chowder, roast turkey.

On top of that we had three bbq's and many fish and chips.

We also went raspberry picking (annual Christmas ritual).  15 kg of raspberries were picked by us all and I made coulis,smoothies, ice creams, and then froze the rest.

I have developed a whole new set of skills called fridge and freezer organization...  and I am in love with my rice cooker.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drowning in white hexagons....

2011 is the year I complete some of my UFO's.  Well thats the challenge I set myself.  So I have been working on my grandmas flower garden quilt (or my version of it).  I am now hand sewing all the white hexagons.  I am attaching 24 white hexagons to each block and I have 25 blocks in total.  I have completed ten. 

To help me in moving through this part of the sewing (and being the mathematician that I am)  I thought that it would be a good idea to work out exactly how many hexagons are required for this part of the quilt. 


I did say that I thought that it would be a good idea didn't I?

So I have commenced the countdown from 600.  I am not even half way yet. 

360 to go