Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our street

Posted by MANDI at 10:18 PM 6 comments
The street we're living on at the moment is quite long and reasonably busy at one end but it's leafy and green with acre and half-acre blocks and lots and lots of trees.
Just past our house the street quietens down to local traffic only and the blocks turn into 5 and 10 acre lots and right at the end of the street there is a big open piece of farmland. It is so pretty and such an amazing contrast to where we've spent the last two years.

The kids and I took a wander up the street after school the other day - the sun was shining brightly but there were still puddles from the previous day's rain and the afternoon sun was just giving way to cool dampness. The kids loved playing in the spashes of sunlight that brightened the road.
And they oohed and aahed over the big trees, the horses and the pretty wildflowers. I'm loving watching them explore my favourite part of the world - home.

Photo credit to Offspring #1 for the last pic - He took ages getting it 'just so' and I think it turned out great.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Posted by MANDI at 11:59 AM 8 comments

I have been trying to get a decent photo of myself for a while. Being a scrapbooker and a Mummy I'm usually behind the camera, and I rarely like photos of myself anyway so I try to avoid having them taken. I had Hubby take a few last week but they were all particularly unattractive, I took a few in the mirror but they just looked kind of stupid, and then I hit upon a great idea. Let the kids take some photos of me and see what they could come up with.

The results? Well.... I'll let you judge for yourself.
We let Offspring #2 have first go. She had a grand time yelling, "Cheese? Snap!" and madly pressing buttons so the enthusiam was definitely there. Now we just have to work on pointing at the object she's trying to photograph.

Finally Offspring #1 took over. He took his role very seriously and took a number of shots where I was almost centred in the frame. Blurry, but centred. He actually did a great job but they are just a little too 'honest' for me to be happy with them. I've been putting off learning how to use Photoshop for ages - I guess I'm going to have to now if I want a nice pic of myself!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ridiculously Easy

Posted by MANDI at 9:07 PM 5 comments
I saw this one in this month’s issue of Super Food Ideas and decided I’d save it for a night I needed an easy meal. Fast forward all of two days later and this morning I found myself shoving the whole page in my bag as I raced out the door. No niceties like a shopping list for this Mummy!

This was simple and tasted fabulous. Hubby was so impressed that he suggested I make it again for dinner guests and just not tell them how simple it is to put together .

Creamy Pesto Gnocchi
Super Food Ideas, May 2008

Serves 4

500g fresh potato gnocchi
1 cup light thickened cream
¼ cup sun-dried tomato pesto
150g char grilled capsicum, finely chopped (I left it in strips, it made it easier for the kids to pick it out)
150g baby spinach
½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Cook gnocchi in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain. Preheat grill on medium-high.
2. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add cream and pesto. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 or 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add capsicum and spinach. Cook for 1 minute or until spinach has just wilted.
3. Add gnocchi to cream mixture. Toss to combine. Transfer to a greased 6cm-deep, 8 cup-capacity baking dish. Top with cheese. Cook under grill for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Too Cute

Posted by MANDI at 8:54 PM 6 comments
Here's my little cutie-pie!

Monday, May 19, 2008

So... It's Been A While

Posted by MANDI at 8:25 PM 6 comments
Yeah, yeah. I know, I haven't posted in a while. Sorry.

Life has been hectic and somewhat mundane all at the same time. I was too busy to blog and didn't have anything interesting to blog about anyway. Add in dial-up, which has become my new bitch-fest topic, and it was just too frustrating. I did in fact try to blog a couple of times but got fed up with waiting for stuff to load so, again, sorry.

So, what has been happening?

My cooking ability appears to have withered and died since my arrival back in the big smoke. I even stuffed up scones the other day. Who does that??? I had some success over the weekend but am not convinced that any of the items I made (see further down the list for details) were as good as when I made them last time.

The batteries in my camera died and it took me 4 days to find the battery charger! I finally charged them today and will be aiming to take lots of photos to keep you all satisfied ASAP. (that said, I just tried to post some and stupid Blogger wouldn't let me move them around the post. Anyone know what's going on?)

Offspring #1 joined the local Auskick team. Auskick, for the uninitiated, is the pre-pre-pre version of AFL which is otherwise known as Aussie Rules or the Australian National Sport. It aims to teach the kids basic game skills in a friendly, fun atmosphere and if his grin on Saturday morning was anything to go by it well and truly succeeds! As most of you know he played soccer last year and loved it and I was keen to have him continue with it but most of the kids in his new class play footy so it seemed a no-brainer to let him join in.

The 'boys' took the boat out fishing on the river on Sunday and had a wonderful time. They did attempt a little fishing but it was mostly just an excuse to hang out together and be in the boat. #1 was thrilled to go under a bridge that had a train on it, see dolphins in the river and see his cousins who came down to the river to have a quick play.

I got a lovely surprise for Mother's Day: a new computer! Hubby says it wasn't a surprise because I got it the day before but I say it was because I didn't know about it until I got it. Either way I'm thrilled, especially with the 19 inch screen!

We had our across-the-road neighbours from our real house (who will henceforth be known as the-across-the-roads) to dinner on the weekend and it was so nice to be with them again. With my culinary skills on the decidedly dodgy side I made the decision to go with dishes I'd tried before. I made the pull-apart bread but this time did a basil pesto and feta filling - it was okay but not as tasty as the red onion and parmesan - chicken, leek and mushroom pot pies with a salad and fig and mascarpone sponge for dessert. Like I said at the beginning of this apparently-never-ending-list they turned out okay but not as well as I remember them being the other time(s) I made them.

Hmmm... what else?

I had my hair done today and love it! It had got quite long (for me) and was just brushing my shoulders. Now it's in a Posh Spice kind of concave bob and I had a bit more dark colour put through than I usually do so it's a nice change. I'll try for some photos soon.

Oh, the trip to Red Dirt went well. Work-wise it was fine, got everything done that needed to be, did a bit of team-building carey/sharey stuff and had a terrific dinner with my friends. Okay, dinner was the best bit but I had to work either side to get there for dinner ;-) Besides the fabulous company, the meal was delicious and the wine was pretty darn good too! It helped a great deal to know that Mrs-across-the-road was helping Hubby with transporting the oldest offspring to and from school and that the youngest offspring was loving her new daycare.

Offspring #2 is being impossibly cute, that's when she's not living up to the reputation of all two-year olds and is being just plain impossible. She has decided not to take the traditional route of asking 'why?' about everything. No, she's settled on pointing at everything and asking 'what's that?' And I do mean everything! I should add that she gets most upset if not given the correct answer so I can't even bluff my way through. When I got the camera working again this afternoon she was standing near me and began begging to have her photo taken. I got a really cute one but alas, blogger won't let me position it on this post, so you'll have to imagine a cheeky little face with an extra cheeky big grin.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

So... About The Job

Posted by MANDI at 10:06 PM 3 comments
As you know the job I was planning to have when we came back to the hills fell through. Meanwhile I was trying to recruit staff at my old job and, more specificially, trying to recruit someone to take over my role. As it became clear that my role would be left empty my boss asked me if I'd be interested in some contract work with them. The conversation went a little like this:
Boss: You know how a while ago you were joking around and said you'd keep doing the Team Leader role up here as a fly in-fly out kind of thing?
Me: Mmmm?
Boss: So... you wanna?
Me: Mmmm?
So I have a contract for the next three months to continue in my role leading my team up there, from down here, and flitting up and down as needed. I'll only be up there three or four times in that time (which is less travelling than I was doing while I lived there!) and it should only be overnight each time.
So... guess where I'm going on Monday? Yep, Red Dirt Central.
I get to see my team, finish off some projects we have on the go and plan some new projects. I also get to have dinner with three of my favourite people (Hi F, R and Nomes, see you soon!).
Funnily enough, and yes somewhat strangely, I'm kind of excited.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Posted by MANDI at 9:59 PM 5 comments
This is the easiest version of meatballs I've ever made. To be honest, they weren't something I'd serve at a dinner party (but would I serve meatballs anyway?) but for a quick weeknight dinner they were great. I timed them and it took 27 minutes from opening the fridge for the ingredients to putting this on the table. Like I said, great for a quick weeknight dinner.

Baked Tomato Meatballs
from Australian Table, April 2008

650g lean beef mince
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 green onions (shallots), chopped
2 tablespoons chopped oregano, plus extra leaves to serve
2 garlic cloves, chopped (this was missing and you could tell)
1 x 700g bottle tomato passata
1/2 cup grated tasty cheese
mashed potato, to serve

1. Place beef mince, breadcrumbs, green onion, oregano and garlic in a large bowl and season to taste. Mix well to combine. Roll mixture inot 16 balls.

2. Spray a non-stick frying pan with cooking oil spray and heat on medium-high. Cook meatballs for 10 minutes, until browned and cooked through. Meanwhile heat passata in saucepan for 5 minutes, until warm. Transfer meatballs to a greased baking dish. Pour over passsata and scatter with cheese.

3. Place under a hot grill for 5 minutes, until cheese melts. Top with extra oregano and serve with mashed potato.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Making Pretties

Posted by MANDI at 1:15 PM 3 comments
I had some time to myself last night - Hubby was out and the kids were in bed - and I couldn't resist a little scrapping time. I made a little something for each of the kids and, while these have absolutely no practical use, I love 'em.

Each chipboard (*edited to add, Hubby has informed me it's actually MDF) letter is about 17cm/6.5 inches high and about half an inch wide so they are nice and sturdy, and heavy enough to stand up on their own.

Here they are looking pretty in the dining room but really they're for their bedroom.


On The Sunny Side Copyright © 2010 Designed by Ipietoon Blogger Template Sponsored by Emocutez