Wednesday, September 30

The surprising world of twitter...

Yesterday in my emotional haze (had a very personal guest post of mine published at Mamamia - very gratefully so) I was checking my tweets - and I received this one:

" I just noticed you do not follow me back, please follow me or I have 2 take you of my list as i have reached my follow limit "

Now this read a bit weird to me.  I haven't heard of this person, I don't know this person.  Perhaps they were following me, sometimes I don't have time to check who is.  Maybe I should?  I followed because I felt I had snubbed someone.. but then I had thoughts like 'hang on, this is stupid!'  I'll unfollow and then look them up later when I know who I'm following, do I want to follow people like this? All the expectation is why I don't do facebook!!

On a positive note, I received a lovely Direct Message tweet from Henry Roth on the weekend who I do follow (and now follows me without me even having threatened him!) and enjoy living vicariously through. 

1henryroth hey there, just looked up your blog AND how adorable are you and your family, henry x
I mean seriously, what a lovely thing to say right?  Warmed my heart and put a skip in my step for the rest of the day.

What's for dinner... Dahl....????

Now even if you're not a vegetarian, and you've never had Indian food, or the indian food you've eaten hasn't been your cup of tea, this might make you change your mind...  It's moorish, seriously.

Did you also know that it's National Vegetarian week?  Could you pledge to try veg?

I have been a long-time order-er of Dhal Markhani at Indian restaurants (oh I miss going out to dinner!) and I was so thrilled when I came across this recipe in an old Womens' weekly years ago, I tore it out and kept it ever since.. (don't sue me ACP!) - it tastes really authentic actually, and I'm super fussy! (No recipe mix in sight either!

It's mild enough for those non-curry lovers and my kids had seconds! 

3/4 cup dried split yellow peas
3/4 cup dried red lentils
1 420gram tin brown lentils
2 tb butter
2 medium onions,  finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced/finely diced
1 tb fresh minced ginger/ginger grated
2tb black mustard seeds (If you can't find at the supermarket try a large fruit market or deli, I got mine from fruit market for $2.49)
2tb ground cumin
1 tb ground coriander
2 tsp ground tumeric
2 x 420g tins crushed tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
100ml coconut cream
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped to finish

Soak your split peas and red lentils in about 1.5 litres of water overnight, you could get away with about 4 hours if you forget..

In a deep frypan, melt butter and add onions, garlic, and ginger until soft.
Add mustard seeds, ground coriander, cumin and tumeric until aromatic (about 1 minute)
Add drained red lentils,yellow split peas and brown lentils.

Add the tomatoes, and top up with roughly 250ml of stock, simmer until absorbed, and add more stock as needed.  Should simmer for about 1 hour.When that is done, stir through the coconut cream.


Lastly, cut ends of coriander leaves with scissors and stir through. 

This is how I served the girls, with white/brown rice combo and plain pappadums
(I so love that you can microwave them instead of frying!)

Word-to-the-wise-Wednesday - Live by the list

It seems these days we tend to expect a lot from ourselves.
Be a good friend, parent, sibling, son or daughter, employee, and citizen.

I'm terrible at remember to call people.  I think about it, and it then I get distracted.
There are weeks I let the housework get away from me.  It then makes me cranky and that's not good.

So I'm making lists every week.  5 things I want to achieve this week.

My tips
  • Make your to-do list achievable - if you have kids realise some things you might be dreaming!
  • If you put something significant (like weeding a big garden bed/cleaning out a pantry/garage etc) reward yourself!  A cuppucino, a movie, a facial!
  • If you are seriously overwhelmed, look at oursourcing, get your oven or your windows professionally cleaned, get pizza on a night you want to scrub the bathroom!
  • If you find it hard to get on top of every day housework, what I do is I set myself a few mini-daily goals
    • everyone up, breakfasted, kitchen cleaned, everyone dressed, beds made and first load of washing in the washing machine by 9am.
    • Wash towels on Mondays, Alternate linens 2 beds one Weds,other 2 beds other Weds, bathrooms Tuesdays and Saturday mornings,dusting Mondays and Fridays mop floors Wednesdays, Vacuum Tuesday, Friday, Sunday etc
    • If you have kids that are old enough to do simple or household chores, draw up a roster and share the load.

Tuesday, September 29

KitchenCovets: Robert Gordon Australia

I used these cutest cupcake/muffin papers yesterday - what I love about them is you can use a regular baking tray - no need for a muffin/cupcake baking tray as they hold their shape when you fill them up.  They come in loads of cute colours too - I bought mine for $5.95 for 50.  I think they would be great for birthday parties because they are non-gender specific.  They also stock matching bunting for your parties too!

They have many designs, (polka dots for you 'Telle !)
 and I just adore these ones for an afternoon tea or a girls' birthday party.

And look matching high-tea platters!  I love these.  I'm not one for patterned china or platters but in this case, I would make the exception RRP $34.95


Try not to have a coniption like I did at this next picture.  I love the heart shaped baker. I already have a fluted pie dish that matches...the jug is a bit special too, though I'd want that to be white.
Jug1.6l $39.95
Heartshape baker $39.95
These all come in a range of colours (on right)

Oh, and this jelly mould MUST be mine. just must! $34.95

These are what I've coveting for every-day stuff.  Although I know it kind of looks like a dog bowl, I know it would be fabulous for some of Nigella's Union Square Nuts.(27cm diameter)
$69.95 each
And I desperately need some pasta plates (20cm diameter).
  I actually NEED tfhese.$16.95 each
A little bit of fantasy as I already have a perfectly good cake stand - but hey, I could use another right for the girls' birthday..?  There will be two cakes afterall?
RRP $49.95


I would really love this.  I could see me using it for christmas cupcakes - don't you think?  I would use it at other times too of course.. but red.. or white?
I think this is a bargain at $34.95 - holds 16 cupcakes or muffins

And for all my jams and pickles.. cute huh?
Pack of 36 os $4.95

These ones are not really my style but I know a certain someone who will probaby gasp when she sees them.

Fridge magnets$14.95 set of 4

 ceramic gift tags $7.95 each

Now, Aaron at Robert Gordon Australia, informs me all these items are available at their Pakenham store but if you don't live in Victoria, you can phone order these and other items by calling direct to the store on (03) 59413 302.  

Stay tuned for more kitchencovets next week!

Canape, Snack, Lunch, Breakfast - the humble corn fritter...

I remember corn fritters very fondly in my childhood, in fact my mum would make a fritter out of any leftovers!  Corned beef fritters were also a fave too.  I make zucchini and carrot ones, but these ones are by far the favourite of my girls who will request them any time of the year - if they want a warm-up or a 'special breakfast'.

They're easy to make and you don't need a lot of ingredients... fresh corn on the cob, tinned kernels or even frozen ones (like I used this time) all work well.  Looking forward to having our own corn this summer!

For a snack or lunch I serve these with tomato sauce
For breakfast  I serve with grilled peppered cherry tomatoes - great alternative to bacon!
For a canape - I make them smaller and serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Great news is these do freeze well and you can reheat in the oven when you want to eat!

1 cup self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 cups corn kernels \
3 shallots, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil

Combine flour, soda, paprika in a bowl; whisk through buttermilk and eggs to form a batter.

Combine corn, green onions, parsley and coriander in a large bowl. Stir through the batter; season with salt and pepper.


Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add tablespoonfuls of mixture into pan. Cook fritters for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden.

Top Five Tuesday: Animals at the Zoo..

We don't go to the zoo often enough, but in saying that,when we do it's pretty exciting! 

We all have favourites don't we... my girls just love anything monkey-like - the chimps, the monkeys the tamarins...

For me:

1. The Otters - they are SO cute.  Like little playful puppies, hyper!
2. Seals - just beautiful animals, so smart too!
3. The Hippos - they don't do much but they are just happy 'to be'.  I like that.  The baby pigmy hippo is sooo adorable at Taronga
4. Koalas - hey, I'm Australian!  They're not as cuddly as they may seem though!
5. Tigers - they are just so majestic

Monday, September 28

Were you single in the 80's?

Just think about it.. you could have hooked up with one of these winners!  (Hilarious, keep watching!)

30 minutes or less: Pasta Bascaiola

Just what we need on a Monday right?  Domestic Monday-itis sufferers will love this recipe - it's actually my Mums - I might have fiddled with it - but this is how I remember it and my kids love it.  It takes about 30 minutes to prepare and is a great lifesaver for those busy days.

1tb olive oil

2 rashers bacon sliced/diced
1 onion, finely diced
1/4 tsp black pepper
10-12 medium mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup cream (you could use evaporated milk, but it will need thickening with 1/2 tsp cornflour)
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (I prefer Reggiano)
Pasta of choice (Ravioli, fettucine, spiralli etc.) - about 5 cups cooked.

Put your water on to boil  to cook your pasta, if you have none leftover.
In a deep frypan, heat oil and add bacon, onion, garlic and pepper.  Saute until soft.

Add wine, then mushrooms, fry again, until soft

Add cream/evaporated milk mixed with cornflour, wait to thicken, then turn the heat down or off.

Add pasta and parmesan, sprinkle with parsley and combine well.  serve!

Meal Plan Monday - Debutantes and Old Faves

Back to normality!  Hubby is home and will have some time off... so I'm going to get cracking on some recipes I haven't made for a while and a few I've been dying to make.. wish me luck!

Tonight:        Sausage hotpot
Tuesday:      Portuguese chicken burgers
Wednesday: Beef Stroganoff
Thursday:     Salmon Rice loaf
Friday:         Homemade Pizza
Saturday:     Beef Ravioli Napoletana
Sunday:       Dhal (Indian Lentils)

Sunday, September 27

Peppa Pig, I've got a bone to pick with you...

Can you PLEASE change the ringtone on your phone!!??

Whenever you are on, whether it be on TV or DVD at home or in the car I'm am constantly looking for my phone when your phone rings.  My hubby has also been caught out telling me to answer my phone and stop letting it ring (yes I do that when I'm cooking but hey).. 

My kids are now thinking I am funnier than you as a result of this confusion.

Mummy to three frills.

Some Sunday baking.... Norwegian Cinnamon Buns

I was on the hunt the other day for some yummy baking but couldn't quite put my finger on what - so I went to my failsafe inspiration handbook:  Nigella Lawson - How to be a Domestic Goddess and there I found these.

I'm very pleased to say mine look much like hers, which is what I love about Nigella, it's all achievable, right?

This is a great one to divide up (I cut my big one) into two loaves and freeze one and eat one - perfect for an afternoon tea with friends.  The smell of it cooking is just amazing, please try it!

for the dough
600 grams plain flour
100 grams white sugar
3 sachets yeast powder (yes, as Nigella says, it is REALLY THREE!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 grams butter
400ml milk
2 eggs

For the filling
150 grams soft unsalted butter
150 grams white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg, beaten to glaze

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and sugar, stir to combine

Melt butter, and add to it the milk and eggs, give a quick whisk with a fork and add to flour mixture.   Turn out onto a floured surface and knead out for a few minutes until well combined, no need to go to should be elastic-like.

Place in a clean glass bowl, sprayed with kitchen spray and cover with clingfilm.  Place in a warm place for about 20-30 minutes or until it roughly doubles in size.

Meanwhile, whisk all filling ingredients together until well combined.  Preheat oven to 230 degrees c

Grease a lamington tin or baking tray with at least 4 inches at side (I used a casserole dish!)

Take out 1/3 of the dough and roll it out toform the base -so aim for the same size as the base or just a little bit bigger so it fills out the bottom of your dish.

Take the next third, roll it out about 15 inches wide and 6 inches long, then spread half the filling with a knife over the majority of the surface.

Roll up the dough to get a long sausage.  Cut at 3-4 inch intervals and place upright on top of base.

Brush with beaten egg and place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until brown.  Check the base is cooked and if not, turn down the heat to 150 and bake until done.

Photos don't really do them justice as to how wonderfully delicious looking, smelling AND tasting they are!



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