Saturday, January 31

A month in Review - January 2009

What we did:
  • Had lovely family time in Christmas Break
  • Many days in the backyard wading pool and trampoline
  • Experienced very hot weather
  • Did a lot of farmgate trailing
  • Visited the Flying Fox park for the first time
  • Spent some time with cousins
  • Had a visit from Nine
  • Met Uncle Peter
  • Went back to Kindy
  • Daddy became a year older

  • Started pre-school (became a koala 06.01.2008)
  • First day in undies without an accident (30.01.2008)
  • First poos in the potty 24.01.2008


  • Started pre-school (became a koala 06.01.2008)
  • Started wearing undies part-time and pull-ups the rest of the time

Well actually we need to do some work with Eloise - her behaviour needs some work. I'm hoping by next month-end update I can report that the arguing, backanswering and domineering will improve. It's upsetting me greatly but I've probably not been as consistent as I need to be. She also needs to be separated from Evan at Kindy, he is a terrible influence, the latest is the word 'hate'. She knows now through many times in the naughty corner at home that is not a word I want her to use :(

Friday, January 30

Those good 'ol coming of age chestnuts..

I'm taken back as I lay here watching 'Little Darlin's' on TV. In the day when Kristy McNichol was cool and Tatum O'Neill was known as a sweet girl and talented actress. I remember watching this way back when and was horrified to wonder WHY these poor girls would subject themselves to such a bet, at 15 no less! I was SUCH a good girl. hehe.

What I did miss then which I'm appreciating now is the soundtrack, Supertramp and Blondie so far.. looking it up it has John Lennon, Ricki-Le Jones, and that old 'Let your love flow' by the Bellamy Bros.
I cried in the ending when I first saw it, I'm wondering if I'll do the same?

Now here's a little tidbit of trivia for you - if you are a fan of Sex and the City you should also recognise Cynthia Nixon (Miranda) playing the flower-child hippie.

Here she is bottom second from right (Next to Kristy McNichol)
Amand Assante is in there as a school teacher, so very nice before he started playing cops and gangsters, and Matt Dillon - looking very young with shoulder length hair !
Kristy McNichol went on to star in the Pirate Movie (rawrrrr Christopher Atkins in his blonde blue lagoon afro!!) and Tatum went on to star in the tabloids for a while there with John McEnroe.
Other coming of age flicks that I loved way in my teens - The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles (don't know if I was into John Hughes or Molly Ringwald!) and then there was St Elmo's Fire and Less than Zero.. The Lost Boys...The Outsiders....


Considering I'm not even working at the moment this seems a little silly to say it - but I love spending time as a family... the countdown to the Gold Coast Jaunt is on... this time next week I'll be in Sunny Queensland hopefully enjoying the pool and feeling in a real holiday spirit.

I'm feeling quite flat at the moment. The non-employed-status is starting to get to me a little if I'm honest. I'm bored at home! Money would be good! I mean, look, I've got a blog! I'm watching shows I would have normally shunned with disgust (aka why oh why am I into McLeod's daughters?!). I'm not sleeping well, argh. blah blah blah. feeling flu-ey yadda yadda yadda.

Positive attitude please! Chicken Caesar Salad for dinner should fix it (I hope).

1 Baby Cos Lettuce (or Cos, but Baby Cos is a little less bitter in my opinion)
1/2 BBQ chicken
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
1/2 cup croutons (I love toasted soda bread chopped up !)
3 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
4 rashers bacon grilled 'til crispy and chopped

1/2 cup mayo
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon worchestershire sauce
couple pinches salt & pepper.

Thursday, January 29

Movie Review: The Wrestler

I don't know what to say really. I was really looking forward to seeing this movie and maybe that's exactly why I didn't 'enjoy it'. I enjoyed the performances certainly. Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei certain deserve every last snippet of publicity about their performances...

The story in itself is pretty depressing, I don't know why but I was expecting to get something more out of it like being uplifted or something, I think I had some parallel-type-expectation to Million Dollar Baby. Don't know why really.
But really it was sad. A bit too violent for me and the pace at times was a little painful. It focussed on the wrestling and violence of wrestling too much I believe. Yes, yes, I know it's called 'The Wrestler' but I would have liked to see more of his history, what made his life tick and indeed what the end was all about. In short I think it's a failing of the director in my eyes, and at times some pretty poor editing.

I would still recommend people see it, for the performances, but not one you'd want to see if you a) don't particularly take kindly to violence or b)feeling a little low or feeling 'down and out'. Apparently the story is based on real-life. I think I'll have to look into that a bit more.. might give me some more peace with the ending.

Mickey Rourke really did give the performance of his life. Not sure if he's up for an Oscar though. A very brave performance from Marisa, she really is mostly naked (and looks fantastic) for the duration. Her character like Mickey's is very three dimensional.

Next Movie on my list is 'Milk'.

Wednesday, January 28

Not a record I'd want to break....

Apparently Australia is heading towards breaking the heatwave barrier with the warmest temperatures in heatwave fashion (i.e. series of days - I think four?) since records began. We've had our share of the heat last week and it's still mighty humid in Sydney but poor South Australia, 47 forecast today in Ceduna (for those farenheit people that's close to 117degF..)

For those going over 40 today (Melbourne, Adelaide for example)
I feel for the pregnant, elderly and furry pets on days like these.The official recommendations are:

  • Reduce physical activity
  • Stay indoors
  • Keep hydrated (no alcohol)
It's too hot to cook, so it's days like these the only recipe I'd be trying out is new iced tea or a cordial! Maybe a salad prepared early in the morning?
Boston Iced Tea: (makes 2 litre)
  • 1.5 litres water
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 8 tea bags (personal favourite Twinings' English Breakfast)
  • 500ml Bickfords Cranberry Juice
This is a salad I made in the wee hours for my hubby for his lunch today - tasted good to me! Good source of protein.
Egg Salad
  • 5 eggs, boiled in 'furious water' for 4 minutes (i.e. boil water first)
  • 1 stick of celery, finely diced
  • 1 spring onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon mayonaise
  • sprinking sweet paprika
  • couple of pinches of fresh (or dried if you must) dill

Tuesday, January 27

Could the end be nigh?

I almost can't believe I'm writing this but our day-nappy-days are almost over. 4.5 years of constant nappies, 1.5 of that with 3 children in nappies (like in the days of photo at right!), that's a lot of wipes, disposables, cloth nappies, washing, changing and disgusting odours!

Our little girls are almost nappy free. Olivia will have the occasional accident but mostly we are there! It almost seems like some surreal world - the world without nappies and a final departure from having small children. I'm excited but totally unprepared!
I'm so proud of my girls. On the weekend on our little roadtrip, 2 hours down the road I took them all into a public toilet - they all proceeded to relieve themselves, and wash their hands like a little production line and no accidents in sight! They were so proud of themselves - and I am a very proud mummy!

Monday, January 26

Celebrating the Inner Ocker...

It's funny how the more you travel, the more patriotic you realise you are. Back before I started my worldwide travels many years ago I used to look upon Australia Day as a mere public holiday and a day off school/work/extra night at the pub.

My first Australia Day overseas was in 1993. I had just moved to London 4 weeks prior and went to an expat Aussie Day BBQ with a friend who worked across the road from where I did.
It was I think a top of 6 degrees that day and as we made our way on the tube to Earls Court (of course!) I thought about the Manly Ferry Race, the sunshine, the outdoor recreation mecca that was home. I felt a little homesick but still excited about the adventure I was on. Everyone had affected Australian accents and I indeed would be destined to have over the coming weeks and months.
The actual barbeque was a small disposable type-affair in a rocky backgarden with no grass, and it generated so much smoke I couldn't see, and eventually went inside because it was so cold! The burnt pork sausages didn't really cut it either but hey, I wore my aussie rugby jersey, I attempted a barbeque, I went to an aussie pub afterwards and I had an Australian beer (yes, Fosters - blergh!) I felt Australian, I was proud to be an Aussie.
This year was a family affair with my Mum still visiting and my Sister and her family and my Nan... yummy food, great company and bearable weather.

Some of today's recipes:
Yummy Salsa:
This is seriously devine. I serve with natural cornchips.
  • 3 large vine ripened tomatoes finely diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 red chilli (I remove the seeds, leave them in if you like really spicy)
  • Juice of one lime or 2tb prepared lime juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped coriander
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Chickpea Salad

  • 2 cans of drained chickpeas
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 tb olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, 7-8 large leaves of mint, handful of italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 3tb red wine vinegar
  • sprinkle cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

Sunday, January 25

Lazy Sundays..

Today has been really just recovering from the heat of the last couple of days - had one of those de-hydration headaches-from-hell this morning so my hubby was heroic and let me sleep in, until of course he got restless and decided there were things he needed to do (like mow the backyard, yes agreed!)

Finished off the lamingtons - and they aren't as 'spong-y' as I would have liked them. I ended up using double the sponge mixture and had enough of the icing mixture and coconut to cover them. I'm guessing if my sponge had risen as much as I would have liked, that wouldn't have been the case. They do look and taste the real deal though. All ready the fridge for tomorrow - Australia Day.

My culinary success for the day was making beef and bean chilli and serving them on soft tacos and mini-nachos-style for dinner tonight. No taco mix for me - I did this from scratch, tastes delicious and also means you can control the chilli or 'hotness' content for the kids. It was a huge success and I think I might actually make the spice mix up for a couple of batches next time and keep one in tupperware in the pantry for a quick-fix dinner. You could also use this with chopped zucchini and refried beans instead of the beef if you wanted to go vegetarian/vegan.

Liss' Taco Seasoning
1tb plain flour
1/4 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 stalk fresh oregano, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano if storing

Liss' Chilli Con Carne
1 tb olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 clove garlic, finely diced
1kg lean beef mince
1 x Liss' taco seasoning
1 cup water
420g can red kidney beans, drained
420g can diced tomatoes
3tb tomato paste


In a large frypan (preferably with high sides) fry off the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft. Add the mince and brown, ensuring you keep stirring and separating. Once browned, stir in the seasoning and add the cup of water, mix well and keep stirring over medium heat. Once well combined, add the kidney beans and 1/2 the can of tomatoes, and tomato paste. Simmer for 15 minutes, and add the rest of the tomatoes. A further 10 minutes, it's ready to serve.
Serves 6 adults - so enough for two meals for 2 adults and 2 children, freezes beautifully.

Serving Ideas:
  • Nachos -on a bed of corn chips with grated cheese, diced tomato and lettuce, sour cream/guacamole
  • On rice - good on a cold night - if not serving the kids, add a little more fresh chilli or powder.
  • Tacos or Fajitas.

Telemarketers' nightmare

I came across this today - a sure-fire-way to get rid of those telemarketers. Obviously they're into offering a lot more than a holiday in the US - I am SO doing this during the week!

Telemarketer: Hi you have won a free brand name laptop computer and an LCD T.V. or printer. Please press one to take advantage of this opportunity.

Genius:*who am I to pass up a free computer I press 1, beep*

Telemarketer: Hello ma'am and thank you for taking advantage of this opportunity, first off can I...

Genius: (in best southern accent) Oh my goodness, ya'll I can not believe this is happening to me, I have NEVERRRR won anything in my life, I am beyond thrilled. This is so exciting, baby I just won something on the telephone, a computer Oh My Goodness, this is just like a dream come true....

Telemarketer: Ma'am, ma'am hold on just a moment I have to tell you......

Genius: This is such a wonderful thing I am so excited to be getting a computer, you know this is the only time I have EVERRRR won anything. I will be the first person in my family to get a computer, thank you so much for calling me.....

Telemarketer: Ma'am please hold

*boring hold music*

Automated Message: Thank you for selecting our automatic number removal option good-bye.


Saturday, January 24

The feat to beat the heat

Well unless you haven't been in Sydney this week, and you haven't read my blog this week (shame on you!) aaaand you haven't seen any Australian news this week - it's been FRRREEAKING hot.

Today being no exception... 38.2 degrees when we got home from a trip out to Richmond this morning - which I am positive was well over 40 degrees.

We went out to a new shopping centre we felt might give us a break from the heat (yay for airconditioning) but found the only airconditioning was actually in the comfort of our car! The highlight of the day for my husband was actually the carpark believe it or not. (I know!) It had sensors above each carspace so you could see from a distance which were free (green light) and occupied (red light). It does ease a lot of frustration.

Anyhoooo... so we did our shopping and then headed home, dropped off some of our farm-finds to my Nan and sister and then headed down to Manly for an unscheduled dinner at one of our old haunts Wood and Stone. It's pretty reasonably priced, and good for sharing. Even better if you have an Entertainment book (Yay for 25% off!) The kids enjoyed colouring in their menu and we enjoyed the southerly breeze that flowed through the restaurant and cooled it down 15 odd degrees.

Then we headed to Royal Copenhagen for yummy ice-cream. A well-earned treat and again, thanks for 2 for one Entertainment book! Would recommend it to anyone - we've got at least 3x the value of initial purchase back, and there's still 5 months left to use it! We'll be getting it again! If you fundraise for any organisation, it's a good little earner too - I prefer to buy it from a charity (like the Cancer Council for example) that way you're doing it for a good cause

Anyhoo I had choc mint and devils chocolate, Adam had Royal Copenhagen flavour (like a malty toffee) and maple macadamia which he raved about. The little ladies had strawberry or vanilla... enjoyed it immensely, even right down to cleaning their filthy hands in the nearby water fountains.. oops.

Friday, January 23

Festival of Aussie LIfe...

Well with Australia Day Weekend upon us, culminating on Monday with Australia Day public holiday I've been giving some thought to some treats to make.

As we're in the middle of a heatwave it does somewhat curb the enthusiasm to get baking but the nights are a bit cooler so tonight I'm going to give Lamingtons a whirl. They can stay in the fridge.

So here's the recipe I'll be using:

1st stage - prepare sponge cake:


  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/4 cup cornflour
  • 15g (1/2oz) butter
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
Beat eggs until thick and creamy. Gradually add sugar. Continue beating until sugar completely dissolved.Fold in sifted SR flour and cornflour, then combined water and butter.Pour mixture into prepared lamington tins 18cm x 28cm (7in x 11in).Bake in moderate oven approximately 30 mins.Let cake stand in pan for 5 min before turning out onto wire rack.

After sponge has cooled
(I will probably do this tomorrow night actually)

3 cups shredded (or dessicated if you must!!) coconut
2 cups icing sugar1
1/3 cup quality cocoa powder (I like Cadbury Bourneville)
15g butter
1/2 cup milk

Sift icing sugar and cocoa into heatproof bowl.Stir in butter and milk.Stir over a pan of hot water until icing is smooth and glossy.Trim brown top and sides from cake.Cut into 16 even pieces.Holding each piece on a fork, dip each cake into icing.Hold over bowl a few minutes to drain off excess chocolate.Toss in coconut or sprinkle to coat.Place on oven tray to set.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 22

Favourite TV shows as a kid...

Just surfing the net here on the couch and I stumble upon 'Brady Bunch Re-cast in Hawaii'... on the Travel channel (seems odd but meh!) They still after all these years act like a family.. !!

Got me thinking how much I used to love watching the Brady Bunch - I liked Cindy - I think it was the pig-tails, I always loved wearing pig-tails (and so do my daughters I now realise..hmmm)

Another favourite of mine was Little House on the Prairie. I have the whole book series. My daughter Laura is Laura because of that show. I fell in love with the name way back then!

Then there's Sigmund the Sea Monster, Hey Hey it's Saturday, The Super Fun Flying Show, the Love Boat (oh yes tragic!) and I thought I was so grown up when I could watch Sons and Daughters at 6pm! It was cool that it was set some of the time in Manly where I lived and went to school at the time!
Then into my Teens - New Faces, A Country Practice - how I wanted to wear Vicki the Vet's wedding dress one day! (Could you imagine? eeek) Comedy Company (she goes, she goes.. she just goes!) oh man... I shouldn't watch TV this late!

Whose smart idea was that?

Oh my goodness, why oh why in 35 degree heat did I decide that making a cottage pie was a bright idea? I really thought at one point I was going to pass out!

Just learned from Mike the weather-guy that last summer we only had 2 days over 30, compared to so far, we've had 10 - and I think we're in for a good few more... bring on autumn! I cope much better with cool temperatures than warm.

Wednesday, January 21

A new marketing ploy for Pizza Hut?

Eloise just stumbled upon something that finally could earn her keep in this house. She just (mistakenly) asked for Dalek bread (I think that means Garlic Bread). Watch for that coming soon to your latest Pizza Hut along with Dr Who merchandise.
Gave us a giggle anyways!

Summer days..

Well it was HOT today. Which I don't mind as long as it only is moderately humid.. today was positively tropical though. The girls had a lovely day with their cousins Maya and Eva.

Water-play was definitely a great plan, they had a wonderful time in the wading pool - even watering poor Aunty Becky's feet to see if they would grow (how did they know she only takes a size 7?!) I got a few waterings myself and it was quite nice actually!

The girls are so lucky to have cousins living nearby again and even luckier that they are in such a close age range - something that I didn't experience myself. I was the eldest in my family by 8.5 years and then my cousins were 14&16&19 years younger than me.

Maya in fact is only 13 days older than Laura and Olivia. Eloise is 18 months older than the three of them and Eva is 2 years younger than Maya. (4 of my parents 5 grandchildren's birthdays fall within a 2 week timeframe) So top-to-bottom only 3.5 years and 5 GIRLS. That's a lot of Grease and Barbie we have to get through!

It's amazing how much you can love your nieces and nephews. I just think they are amazing... I love getting to know them, which I feel I'm doing. It's wonderful to think I'm going to know them for a lot of their lives. I'm going to see them grow up and have adventures of their own one day.

Maya is so articulate, so inquisitive, so determined. I know she's going to do great things with her life. Can't explain why, just can. Eva is developing into a little larrikin, she's seemingly turned from a baby into toddler overnight and I was just saying today it's like she's always been here. She gives me the giggles. I love, love LOVE those chubby legs of hers - I so miss that with my own girls. Bless!

The afternoon was a little less enjoyable as everyone was a little overtired and irritable due to the heat - I was just praying for a hour of quiet to have a cat-nap myself (stayed up to watch the US presidential inauguration - yawning as I type!). Eventually this happened.

Laziness rules now as southerly blows in accompanied with some rain - with much gratitude from us and the garden!
The lovely Maya - she looks like an angel here.Watering Shennanigans here
Enjoying the pool and the cool water. (Cool look too Auntie Becky!)

Tuesday, January 20

Molten Chocolate Baby Cakes success

Exactly how luscious and sinful are these? Pretty quick too. I did however do a substitution - I only had 100grams of club 70% dark chocolate, so I put in 3 tb premium powdered chocolate, and also used regular flour instead of Tipo 00 (which I only just ran out of - dang!) but the result was still scrum-diddly-umptious.

The batter could be made ahead - it turns out like very thick and airy paste, doesn't drip off the beaters (so you best lick them :) )

And now I think about it, as I made 3 mini-ramekins for the little ladies, it was probably best that I made that substitution, it might have been too rich for them. Definitely on the 'make again' list.

Happy birthday to my GSH

My Gorgeous Sexy Husband is 37 today. We are the same age again for 6 months!

As it's a 'school day' it was business-as-usual getting everyone out the door by 7am so no special breakfasts but we did have time for cuddles and some card opening. I finally also got to spill the beans by way of finally divulging we are going on holiday in just over 2 weeks to the Gold Coast - everything was paid for some time ago - Bargain flights (5 of us return for $620), 3 bedroom self-contained apartment 1 street from the beach booked and paid for, car hire paid for, tickets to dreamworld, paid for. I bought all of these mid-way through last year when I was working thank goodness. So let the ticker begin !

I'm off today to meet some friends for lunch - but before I head off I'm going to pre-prepare dinner: My hubby being a proud carnivore loves his steak so I'm going to marinade/tenderise some blade steak, and some kind of Vege offering - probably roast diced veges with garlic and rosemary from our garden

My Blade steak marinade:
  • Juice and zest of one largish lemon (heat in microwave for say 30 seconds first - you get more juice out of it - I promise!
  • 1/3 cupolive oil
  • 1 finely diced spring onion
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Good grind of pepper
My hubby isn't big on birthday fanfare but I will make him a cake - kind of. The man loves chocolate so I'm going to make Nigella's Chocolate Molten Babycakes:
OK, better get my butt into gear!

Monday, January 19

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Yes a few of my favourite things combined tonight.

Wooohoooo to Top Chef New York starting (as I type!)

I love this show - and New York being on the desperate-to-travel-to-destination-of-choice-list.,,Oh bliss!! I'm expecting Tony Bourdain will make a few appearances too - love him! Ever since reading Kitchen Confidential 10 years ago I'm a big fan. Love his No Reservations show too. A couple of things stand out from Kitchen confidential his discription of 'No it's not butter' was hilarious and his utmost hatred of garlic presses left a lasting impression on me. I can't use one without feeling very guilty!!

Back to Top Chef.... drool... Gorgeous shots of the NY architecture Tom Colicchio yummy food and here's to the 'culinary boner' hehe. Padma I speculate either spends every other minute she's not on show either at the gym or with her fingers down her throat to keep looking so svelte!
Mmmm peeling apples with a potato peeler? Not even I do that! Takes too much time! Not sure I'd be able to brunoise (finely dice) an apple to perfection like they were asked without either cutting my fingers off in frustration or taking 2 days to do it though.
Stay tuned for my review and who I think is going to win, who I love, who I don't love and any fave recipes/unusual ingredients I may become obsessed with.. hehe

Sunday, January 18

Nummy Nokki

This is what Laura calls Mummy's Yummy Gnocchi. It's all made and ready for the oven but I will share my recipe here:

  • 2 packets of gnocchi
  • 300mls runny cream
  • 1 cup white wine (I use semillion)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 leek, finely diced
  • 1 spring onion bulb and stalk, finely chopped
  • Proscuitto (3 slices) or bacon (2 rashers) diced finely
  • fresh shaved parmesan about 70gr.
  • 10 medium button mushrooms
  • 2tb olive oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley
  • pepper and salt to taste.
My method: (or madness)
Boil in stockpot water with a little olive oil and a pinch of salt - when boiling, add gnocchi, making sure it's completely covered. Turn down heat a little until it's gently boiling and boil for about 15 mins or until when you pierce it with a fork it's soft all the way through. Gnocchi should rise to the top of the pot when this happens.
Whilst your gnocchi is gently boiling, grab your frypan and heat oil and add the leek, onion, proscuitto/bacon, garlic and white wine, when all is soft, add mushrooms.. heat until they are soft and add pepper (I actually do this quite generously) and salt and the cream. I then add the parsley and simmer for say 5 minutes. Don't worry if the cream is a little runny.

By then your gnocchi should be cooked, so drain, and transfer to a corningware/oven dish, and pour over your cream mixture and mix well. I then shave 3/4 of the parmesan over the top and stir that in. Shave the remaining on the top, cover with aluminium foil and then pop into a moderate oven for about 15-20mins... the last 5 mins I take the alfoil up to let it brown a little.

A great dish to prepare through the day or on the weekend, and reheat later. Enjoy! (we will!)

Flying Fox Park Adventures...

I've always heard the locals rave about the Flying Fox Park and Cafe at Bayview about 10 minutes drive from our house... so when we were looking for something new to do with the kids and enjoy the good weather we decided to give it a go. I'm so glad we did! It's FANTASTIC and would recommend it to anyone who even wanted a day-trip from anywhere in Sydney.

It's a fully fenced park with playground areas split into sub-2's 2-5's, 5+ and a real flying fox which is about 50m long. All areas except the centrepiece 'spider web' is covered by shade sails.

Adjoining the park is a cafe where you can get takeaway to go to nearby picnic tables inside the fenced area of park, and there's also a seating area for those with dogs - because the dog excercise area and beach area of pittwater is only about 3 minutes walk, and another 3 mins walk beyond that is bayview beach and futher picnic areas which is where we take our kids to swim... it's lovely and warm water and shallow so no worrying about them falling off a deep shelf!
On the other side of the fenced park, there's also umbrella-shaded picnic tables - perfect for that family BBQ/birthday celebration - but I think you'd have to get in early to secure your place, the picnic tables are right on a huge stretch of grass, perfect for bikes and an impromptu game of backyard cricket I reckon!
I love discovering these gems of places - even better when they are on your back doorstep!

Eloise's first ever turn on the Flying Fox:
Pep talk from Daddy

On we hop and off we go!

We're off! Daddy jogging to keep up!

And back to the beginning!

Saturday, January 17

Lovely times make lovely memories

Flying visit or not, it's lovely to catch up with family. When we got home from Farmgate Trail adventures quickly made my salad (Sweet potato and bean - always a winner) and tried some new recipes for nibblies.

Babaganouj - Eggplant dip, Warm Bean Dip and Mild Mexican Salsa. All delicious - I'll share these recipes this week... (I'll re-make and show the pics)

A little behind schedule, luckily Nan came to the rescue by arriving a little early and helping me out in the kitchen - bless! A lovely afternoon watching the kids play in the garden and the trampoline - poor little Eva, 13 months was DESPERATE to go on it, and quite disgusted with us that we allowed her three-year-old sister Maya go on with her cousins. It must be tough being the baby of the family...!

My hubby took some lovely pics - I'm sure we'll look back at these in years to come with much fondness.

Today's Farmgate Trail Reconaissance.

Well after a later start than intended (well ok, only by 45 minutes) we set off solo on our farmgate trail expedition.

First was Riverview - Got some gorgeous baby eggplant today for $2 a kilo - which I made into Babaganouj dip this afternoon for family gathering. Other bargains of the day was enormous bunch of silverbeet for 50c and huge plant of sage for .75c. Truss Cherry tomatoes $2 a kg. 2 weeks' fruit, veg and eggs + small box of offerings for my sister and grandmother cost a grand total of $57.10 - that's 2 big boxes for us and 2 small boxes for Nan and Becky. (Pictured in back of car here)

Looks can be deceiving. From the outside it just looks like an ordinary tin shed - and inside you will find trestle tables in a cool room with prices written on the wall in various whiteboard marker colours - the quality is fantastic.

Next we were off to Wiberforce to M&A Butchery stocked up both for our family meals but our annual Australia Day BBQ.
Day-to-day inventory: 2kg blade steak $12, 1kg topside mince $6.80, 1.2kg lamb leg $8.60, 500gr carved smoked ham (for sambos) $3.90, 600g tomato, garlic and rocket sausages $4.10, 1.5kg Chicken Wings $4.25, 2 smoked chorizo sausages $2.40
Aussie Day BBQ: 1kg thin sausages $5.80, 2kg Pork Ribs $18, 2.2kg T-bone steaks $23.25, 1.5kg chicken wings $4.25
The butchery has an abbatoir attached and appears on the side of paddock road.

All the Aussie Day BBQ stuff was deposited at friends' house - she has an un-used chest freezer in her garage - excellent! That is a must-invest-for-us this year.
Another successful trip! Love the farmgate trail!


Frills in the Hills Copyright © 2009-2015