Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I'm in LOVE!

I have been bitten by the Paella bug.

It started a few months ago when I had a really bad one at a work function. We all said how sad it was to receive such a terrible dish seeing it’s usually so amazing.

Then at my work Christmas party I had another, and it was AMAZING!

Seeing my family love rice I thought it might be worth trying to get this one under my belt and break it out for special occasions.

So my first go was at our Boxing Day catch up with my family back in Adelaide. I’m not sure why I thought it was a good idea to make a dish I had never made before on this day when I had to cater to around 20 people. But I did and it was really good.

The next time was when we returned home to Melbourne and had the in laws here. Again it was seriously good. I love love love seafood and this just ticks so many boxes for me. I think you could do just about any combination and it would come up pretty tasty.

The recipe I used was off the SBS website (Paella) but I used chorizo, prawns, squid, mussels and baby octopus in the one below. I added the chorizo the same time as the onions and then all the other seafood when the recipe says to do so.

What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

And the New Year is here!

Last year I faced so many challenges and changes to my life. It seemed that all the things that made me happy were put on the back burner. I realised in October that it just wasn't working and I needed to do something's to change my/our life.

A few little things have happened but there are a lot of things that still need to happen and put in place for my little family to really thrive.

What I realised is that I had made many good decisions over 2013 and then some really bad ones. The bad ones effected the whole family and I see now how that is just not fair. Especially to the little people in my life and of course not to the hubby.

So this is the year for more "them time" as I got a lot of "me time" last year.

I have decided that Daughter E doing dancing is more important than staying late at the office. So I will finish work on time to make that happen.

I have decided that playing on the floor with Baby O is more important than rushing around the house trying to clean things that are going to be dirty in the morning anyway.

I have decided that having date night with Hubby must happen more than once a year. Even if it is just some time together once the kids are in bed.

I also decided that not going to University and studying was my biggest regret. So I enrolled in Teaching Period 3 last year and am now on my way.

So this is my starting platform from where I are going to leap into a great 2014 and beyond. I will continue on with my simple, healthy home cooked meals for my family and share all the good ones with you. I would LOVE to say I'm going to get fit and exercise this year, but I know that is never going to happen.

Hope you have had a fruitful 2013 and it has given you some things to reflect on and work with for this year.

Feel free to share if you have, I would love to know!

Thursday, 14 March 2013


We are by no means a well off, wealthy family.

We earn just enough to make it through to the next pay day at the moment.

Seems I forgot that going back to work part time meant I lost most of my wage...um der!!!

Anyway, as we are originally from Adelaide we have a huge love for AFL and our home team Adelaide Crows.

Even though we live in the home state of AFL we never get to go. We use to take Daughter E but now with Baby O on the scene there is no way we would actually see the ball with the amount of entertaining he currently needs.

So we had been playing with the idea for the past 2 years to get Foxtel, (as most of our Crows games are not played on Free To Air TV). We decided seeing we don't have buckets of cash to blow on Fox we would have to get a real basic package just so we could watch some sport!

Well Hubby was really sick 2 weekends ago (it was his birthday weekend of all things!), so I decided while he was in bed sick I would go ahead and get us Foxtel.

The most basic of basic packages..trust me!

When he was better I let him know and he seemed pretty happy I had bit the bullet.

So after a few attempts of failed installation we finally had it up and running.

The night it was installed we all sat around the remote and flicked away. What we did notice was that we had every channel. I thought seeing we were so nice to the guys who installed it maybe they hooked us up with some "extras".

So for the first few days we were watching everything I had every dreamed of watching....
Cake Boss
DC Cupcakes
Anthony Bourdain
30 Rock and the Kardashians (my guilty pleasure).
We were freaked out by Honey Boo Boo and Toddlers & Tiara's but none the less we had it all...

Daughter E & Baby O had Dora every morning and we could actually get ready for work without stress, crying and screaming.

But then just as it was here it was gone. 

Gone I tell you...did you hear me all gone!!!!!

Every good channel gone :(

So I am guessing that they do this to you so you have a mental breakdown and slight panic attack so you will call up and ask for every channel back.

Well played Fox, well played....

But no I wont fall for that (and cant due to the $$)

We have the sport channel and that's all we wanted (wipes a tear from eye).

So next weekend we will be happy in the comfort of our lounge room watching some footy finally!

Now on another note I mentioned on my Facebook page that I cooked an awesome meal the other night.

Well here it is...I was super inspired by Vegie Smugglers Salmon Piklets, but had to make some modifications to what I had in the house.

So I made Corn & Zucchini Piklets with Smoked Trout. It was rough measurements so please have a play with it and see what works for you.

1C of Wholemeal SR Flour - Sifted
3 Free Range Eggs
3/4C Soy Milk
1 Cob of Corn - cooked and cut off the cob
1 Zucchini - Grated and squeeze out excess liquid
1 Handful of Coriander - chopped up
S&P to taste
Rice Bran oil for shallow fry
1 Smoked Trout - take all the flesh off and keep aside.

I placed everything into a bowl and mixed away. If the mixture is too runny add some more flour is its too dry and another egg or some more milk.
Heat up a pan and add a couple tablespoons of oil to fry the pikelets. I just used a soup spoon and spooned the mixture into the hot pan. For the adults I used a couple spoon fulls.
Cook for about 1-2  minutes each side and drain on some paper towel.

Then just pop the pikelets onto a plate and top with some smoked trout. For the Adults I then poured over some sweet chilli, natural yogurt and big squeeze of lime.

I just wish I made more as the kids loved them and asked for them again the next night!

Super good any night of the week
Oh and check out these photo's....
Daughter E wanted to make her dad a Star Wars Cake for his 30th....With no time to plan that seeing she told me about an hour before we were going to cut this beautiful store bought mud cake, this is what she came up with.

Cute hey!?
Add caption

Thursday, 7 March 2013

MIA but with good reason.

I know I have been very absent from my blog of late, but it is with good reason....

Well actually not good, pretty bad to be honest.

Baby O is still recovering from Pneumonia and is also being treated for Asthma (not diagnosed though).

It has been tough times...seriously tough...like never before tough.

And to be honest I'm over it!

I know it's not his fault and try not to get too angry around either of the kids, but I'm tired and stressed most of my days.

To make matters even worse this heat is killing me!

Summer you can now be gone!

So the simple home cooking has been a bit non exsitant too.

We have had many a roasted chook, done every way possible. And a lot of pasta with pesto!

But I am hoping after next week when this insane heat goes away (fingers crossed) I can get back into the swing again.

I did have the hankering for a Curry though the other week. And I saw a really good one on Good Chef, Bad Chef (Yes I have been watching even after I said never again when the dropped Janella Purcell).

So below is the link to the curry, it was pretty darn good. It is not a thick heavy, creamy curry, it is more soupy...well that's how mine turned out.

Sri Lankan Style Chicken Curry

Forgive the messy bowl...but it was so yum!

Friday, 8 February 2013

Living in the land of the lost

Over the past few weeks thing's have been mental!

We got through the Christmas School holidays..just!

We had many nights of little to no sleep.

We had 2 VERY tired kids...and 2 VERY grumpy parents!

We had a dreadfully sick little man and a daughter feeling a bit unloved!

We have had very little good food, due to all of the above!

So now I am hoping we have turned a corner and we can get back on track. 

Below is a story of a spanner that was thrown in our works last week:

After 7 weeks of a sick little man I decided to see another Dr as the first one didn't really do much.

Baby O had been coughing all night for about 7 weeks upon our change of Dr's and I basically told him there is something not right and we need some help.

Dr was great he sent us straight off for a chest X Ray. That was on a Friday....on the Monday I came out of a meeting to have a message on my work phone to call the Dr back ASAP.

So this is when the initial panic set in. I called the Dr back he asked me to get my husband and go the see him straight away.

By the time my husband and I got to the Dr we were both a mess...crying the works!!!

Finally we go in and get told the Baby O has Pneumonia.

We didn't know if that was good news or not...but would take it as we had something more horrible in our heads!

So now we are on some hardcore antibiotics to help get rid of it...in saying that we are back to the Dr today to get new meds and he cant take the one we were given.

So I really have been living in the land of the lost. I feel like I have been a walking zombie for the better part of those 7 weeks. 

It really put hubby and I to the test...again!!! And poor Daughter E was unintentionally put on the back burner while we just tried to make it through a day.

Back on the up and up now (fingers crossed).

Daughter E has started Grade 1 and is so super proud that she can walk herself to school.

Baby O has started walking or should I say running around.

And hubby and I are still just trying to make it through each day!

Ah the joys of it all.....

Anyway...here are some pic's from the last few weeks!

Sibling love
Some park time
Flying Fox time!
First day of Grade 1
Baby O trying to get in to Daughter E's room
He waits patiently
My Australia Day Egg...it looks like the map doesn't it!?

This is what my street looked like for the past 3 weeks!
Busted out a Veg Lasagne one night!

Crumbed A LOT of Flathead
But it was delish!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Date Night was a bit of a fail. BUT A for effort!

My in laws have just left with our Daughter after staying with us for the past few days.

They have taken Daughter E back to Adelaide then off to Port Elliot for the week.

Ahhh. Bliss for mum and dad for the next few days.

So last night the in laws offered to babysit while we had a night off! Ahhh..Bliss again..double score.

Hubby was in charge of booking us in at Gold Class.

I did remind him for the last few days that he will need to call ahead and book us in.

But it got to lunchtime yesterday when he started his calls and everything was full for what we wanted to see.

When he broke the news to me I wasn't too fussed. I would of been happy to spend the last night with Daughter E on the couch before she left us for a week. PLUS we are dead broke till pay day and we didn't have cash to splash around at a fancy restaurant.

But he said we don't have this opportunity often so he was going to arrange something.

I started to worry a little.

By dinner time he started doing shifty little things and loading the car up with bits and pieces.

After dinner he stuffed me in the car while I was asking a million question's about what the hell was going on.
Talk about not being able to be wooed....

So he whacked an address in the GPS and away we went.

About 40 minutes later we arrived at Kangaroo Ground.

He had arranged what he called a "Night Picnic" at this amazing lookout point.

He had a big rug, our big pillows off our bed, a candle (probably not so great with all the bush fires we are having), a big box of Krispy Kreme and then a bottle of veuve clicquot!!!!

Well played mister well played!!!

Anyway, we have a walk around, go all the way to the top of the lookout, we got asked by another couple if we had any weed and then set up our little picnic to watch the sun set.

It was truly lovely. And I had nothing to do with it.

So we enjoyed the sunset and were having a nice chat when a lady yelled out she was shutting the gate in 15 minutes and we all needed to leave.

What a pain...we hadn't even popped the bubbles yet!

So we packed up our little camp and drove out in search of somewhere else to go.

Just over an hour later and a near miss with an actual Kangaroo we called it and headed home.

It was lets say a very interesting Date Night. At least we have an awesome bottle of bubbly on hand though for next time.

Please let me now if you have had any failed attempts of date night also. Would LOVE to hear them!

Beautiful Melbourne

Amazing views!


Kangaroo Ground

Did I mention the views!

Evil in a box.

At the top of the lookout!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

With all good intentions.

One of the main things we miss from Adelaide is having a good beach at our door step. 

We lived across the road from the beach and probably didnt realise just how good we had it!

I decided since our return from Adelaide at Christmas that I would make more of an effort to get our family back to the beach for swims and sand castle fun during this summer in Melbourne.

So yesterday was the day we were going to explore Torquay!

It is about an hours drive from us but I had heard good things about this beach so I didn't mind the drive at all.

Now Baby O is teething like a MOFO at the moment and Saturday night bought us very little sleep. And to add to that it was 40C most of the day/night. JOY!

There were a few signs in the morning that made me think this day isn't going to go to plan.

We were all walking around like zombies from the lack of sleep.
The screaming baby.
The daughter who was glued to cartoons and not wanting to put her bathers on.
And my favourite the husband who was now grumpy because he strolled into the bathroom while I was trying to have a shower and asked for sex. When his request was denied we had a grumpy hubby on our hands for the entire day!

So the drive out to Torquay was great; baby still screaming and no one talking.

When we arrived we things got a little better. We set up camp and headed for the water.

Daughter E had he second go at snorkeling and really enjoyed it. there was heaps for her to see too and not that far out.
Baby O cheered up a bit too when he got in the water, made a few sandcastles and ate a lot of sand. I think he enjoys that the most actually.
Hubby & I barely talking.

I liked Torquay and would like to go back when it's not so windy. But I still want to try out as many beaches as possible this summer to see if we have anything here that stacks up to the Adelaide beaches.

So after a few hours of beach side action we packed up and headed home.

When we got home we were all starving, so we knocked up some BLT's (while not speaking). But Daughter E has decided again she is vegetarian so she requested hot chips. Which we did, and I promised her I would make her a pasta for dinner a little later.

Hubby had his volunteering last night so left before dinner time. As soon as he walked out the door Baby O started his night time routine of screaming, so we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. By the time we got back it was bed time for all of us. But at 10pm last night I realised that Daughter E had only had hot chips for "dinner" and I forgot to make her a pasta...oops!! She seemed to survive!

Overall my attempt to have a day at the beach with the family and have fun is sitting at about a 6 out of 10. Better luck to me next week hey! 

Oh and hows the situation with hubby you ask???
Hubby is still fast asleep so we still haven't spoken!
Sand eater!!!
Emelia having a rest.
Every time Emelia gets out the ocean she rolls in the sand like a dog. Don't know how she does it!
Happy times!