Thursday, May 28, 2009

Morning Tea

Posted by MANDI at 8:19 PM 3 comments
I held my morning tea for the Cancer Council's Biggest Morning Tea today and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. As usual I forgot to take photos - I even had my camera on the bench to remind me. So, let's just pretend that there are about 15 ladies and a few little kids in the photo below. And that the table is groaning with lots of yummy treats. And that I took the photo during the actual event instead of this afternoon, after everyone had gone home and I'd tidied up!

I had about 15 people turn up which was just about perfect for my little house. They all fit in nicely but there wasn't a lot of space left over. Everyone bought a plate of yumminess to share and I had a range of teas and coffees, juices and hot chocolate-y drinks and am indebted to my lovely neighbour (aka Mrs-Across-the-road) for the extra cups and kettle.

I'd called upon my Tupperware lady and, somewhat cheekily, asked if she'd throw in a door prize for me. She very nicely offered up a fabulous prize as well as some little extras to give away. I sorted out some prizes for raffles and we were set to go.

We raised $70 for the Cancer Council and had a lovely time catching up over several cuppas and some very nice cakes, slices and cookies. Not a bad way to spend the morning. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Not An Army Tank

Posted by MANDI at 9:46 PM 2 comments
There was much excitement about the place on Saturday. Hubby and the kids were heading down the hill to pick up our newest purchase. It was something we'd talked about getting since we first bought this house. The talk became a little more urgent after the fire that went through the area 18 or so months ago and when the federal government bought in a rather hefty rebate it was just too good an opportunity to let pass by. Hubby hitched up the trailer, bundled up the kids and headed off. As they were heading down the hill he asked Little Miss to remind him what they were going to get.

And that's where the title of this post comes in. My poor baby had, without us realising it, spent the week thinking we were buying an army tank. Water tank? Army tank? Sure, I can see where the confusion occurred. They are both big. And green. And... um, yeah that's all I've got.

She was a little disappointed but Hubby and I thought it was hilarious! Oh and we love the water tank too...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Reduce. RE-USE. Recycle.

Posted by MANDI at 8:16 PM 1 comments
Some years ago Hubby built a wonderful cubby house for Mr-Six.

There's a trap door in the floor with a ladder that fits nicely and in the summer the kids pretty much live there. Depending upon the game being played it has been a fort, a pirate ship, a house, a stage and a terrific hiding spot. Both kids love it and they, and their friends, spends lots of time in it.

That means that the play house they had up in Red Dirt Central has, for the most part, sat unused since our return to the hills. Unused, that is, until Hubby had a bright idea.

Take the door off, put the dog's bed in it and wa-lah... the dog has a lovely house to keep him warm and dry as the cold, wet weather of a (okay, admittedly very mild) Perth winter sets in.

For a dog who has always refused to sleep in a kennel - even the spectacular monstrosity that Hubby built for him when he was a puppy - Max has taken to this very quickly. Like, we put his bed in it, walked away to look at something and turned around to find him laying on his bed very happily. The open doorway of Max's house faces our clear glass kitchen door so while I'm typing this he's in his house acting like he's busy guarding my house. If he wasn't snoring so loudly I'd nearly believe him!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Breaking Bread

Posted by MANDI at 9:07 PM 2 comments
We had my parents round to dinner last night so I was looking to try something new. I had decided to go with a chicken and pasta dish we've all come to love and a salad that used some of the baby spinach from my garden along with my tried and true apple pie for dessert. Hmmm... what else could I add in? Bread of course.

I found this bread recipe in an old issue of Australian Table at a junk sale a few weeks ago. I did have a couple of problems with it but they sorted themselves out in the end. I made the mistake of adding too much water - I didn't think the 200ml listed was enough but, you guessed it, it was. The initial mixing is quite difficult so keep at it, it does all come together after a while. Even without my extra splash the dough would have been very sticky - be sure and flour your workspace well and then have the flour on hand to keep adding it in. My bread needed a little longer in the oven than the suggested 30 minutes but it wasn't until we'd sliced into it several times that we discovered this so I'd suggest maybe 40-45 minutes cooking time.

The taste? Out of this world wonderful. It was bursting with flavour and absolutely delicious. Everyone from Miss Three up loved this and we all went back for more. I will definitely make this one again.

Zucchini and Rosemary Bread
from Australian Table magazine, May 2003.

500g (3 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
200ml warm water
2 sachets (2 x 7g) instant dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt (I'd go with a bit less next time)
2 zucchini grated (I used about 1 1/2 and that was fine)
2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, plus extra (I used 1 big tbsp of coarsely chopped leaves)
80g goats cheese, crumbled (yeah... I used Feta. It was what I had)

Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a large loaf pan.
Place flour in a bowl and make a well int he centre. Pour in water, then add years, sugar, salt, zucchini and rosemary.
Gradually push flour into the centre mixing gently, until flour has been incorporated. Coat hands with flour, then knead dough on a smooth floured surface for 5 -10 minutes, until smooth.
Place dough in a bowl, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
Knock back dough with hands for 1 minute, then knead goat's cheese into dough, until well combined.
Place dough in prepared loaf pan, cover and leave for another 30 minutes, until it has risen again.
Place rosemary springs on top of bread an bake for 30 minutes, or until bread is cooked and golden on top.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Morning Tea... For A Cause

Posted by MANDI at 7:18 PM 1 comments
I never say no to a morning tea invitation. It's probably one of my favourite meals. Well, that and afternoon tea. Delicious cakes, tasty sandwiches, tiny savoury delights and lots of tea (or coffee if that's what you prefer). What's not to like?
With that in mind, and the Cancer Council Australia's Biggest Morning Tea event approachng, I've decided to host a morning tea.
Australia's Biggest Morning Tea is one of The Cancer Council Australia's foremost fundraising events and is the largest, most successful event of its kind in Australia. More than a million people participate in the event and last year it raised over 10 million dollars. The funds raised during Australia's Biggest Morning Tea are vitally important. Donations sustain The Cancer Council Australia's cancer research initiatives; education programs; and support services for those diagnosed with cancer, their families and carers. Bearing in mind that 1 in 2 Australians will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85 the work that the Cancer Council Australia does is vitally important to every Australian.
I'm hosting morning tea at my house next Thursday, 28th May, starting at 10am. I have door prizes and some prizes for raffles and will be doing some begging for donations from local businesses for more prizes. I'm asking guests to bring a plate and a gold coin donation as well as some change for the raffles.
So, a fun morning with my friends, neighbours and some of the mums from school, and we'll raise some money for charity. Sounds like a good plan to me.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vegies Galore!

Posted by MANDI at 2:04 PM 1 comments
Well, almost.

Remember my pics of the new seedlings in my vegie garden. Look how they've taken off.

Here's the cauliflower and broccoli, all in pretty rows.

And look. Right down inside is a teeny tiny head of broccoli, growing a little each day. We'll have him for dinner one night real soon.

Here's my lovely spinach. Yum.

Look in under those leaves. Some lovely beans. Again with the Yum.

Here's what we picked today to add in to tonight's dinner.

Little Miss is excited about having our beans with dinner. Now that's something I never thought I'd see.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pizza Rabbit

Posted by MANDI at 7:03 PM 1 comments
Little Miss has a giant pink rabbit that sits on the end of her bed. At first she loved him simply because he is pink. Then she came to love him for himself and named him "Wabbeeeet" aka "Rabbit". In the past few weeks she has taken to referring to him as "Pizza Rabbit" as in, "I just have to get Pizza Rabbit" or, "Mum, I need Pizza Rabbit to go to sleep with me." I went with it and didn't really pay too much attention until today when I heard her singing to him.
Finally it clicked. He's named after the song. You know...
"Little Pizza Rabbit had a fly upon his nose,
little Pizza Rabbit had a fly upon his nose..."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Just Stuff

Posted by MANDI at 8:18 PM 0 comments
If you're on Twitter you might have seen that I've become a little bit addicted to it. Much like Facebook I couldn't see what all the fuss was about and then got suckered right into it. As a result the blogging has suffered somewhat. Sorry.
The vegie garden is growing beautifully. I've been picking spinach as needed and have even given some away to the neighbours. I think I'm going to plant some more even though I'm not sure we really need to. Nothing from the rest of the plants yet but they are getting bigger so it's just a matter of playing the waiting game. I used some of the spinach in a fab dinner the other night - chicken breasts stuffed with olive tapenade, bocconcini and finely shredded baby spinach. It was delicious and went down a treat here. I did give Little Miss some plain chicken but Mr Six polished off the real deal and went back for seconds.
The knitting is coming along nicely. I have now pulled my scarf apart close to 15 times. In the end I decided to give up on the pattern I bought - it was way too hard for my beginner-ness - and am just knitting it plain knit one row, purl one row. However, since we know I don't do things by halves, I have made a very pretty (actually kind of crappy) pink scarf with purple felt love-hearts sewn on the ends for the Little Miss. She loves it and wears it EVERYWHERE. Which makes me feel pretty special. I've started on a nice navy blue one for Mr Six. Sorry no pics yet but I'll see what I can do on the weekend.
Well I'm off to watch Grey's. It's my Thursday night guilty pleasure. That and the block of chocolate Hubby brought home for me.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

He Loves Me!

Posted by MANDI at 8:29 PM 3 comments
Hubby got back late-afternoon on Saturday and, although the trip he was on had been on the cards for a while the actual 'when' of it happened quite quickly so he wasn't quite as organised for Mother's Day as he might usually be. He did manage to buy my M-Day cards from him and the kids but asked if I would very much mind picking out my own pressie. That's not quite as bad as it sounds - I wanted a new apron and pot-mitts and knew exactly what I was after so probably would have had to point him towards them anyway and I did pick up some very pretty tulips that I decided could be from him and the kids. I was happy - I was getting new stuff that I wanted and he'd be home in time to cook my special M-Day brekkie.
All went according to plan and, after accepting all offers of help with unwrapping presents, at Mr Six's insistence I ate breakfast in bed. Alone. They all ate breakfast at the breakfast bar, like we do every day. It was very funny, even through Mr Six didn't see what his Dad and I were laughing about.
Monday rolled around and Hubby wasn't particularly well. He has some tummy troubles and these trips seem to exacerbate them. He took himself off to the doctor for some help and then to do some chores that couldn't be put off. He arrived home some time later with a surprise. A pretty surprise. A surprise I'd had on my wish list since before Christmas. He gave me a big hug, told me how much he loved me and gave me a beautiful Pandora bracelet. It only has one charm at the moment; L for Little Miss. The B for Boy Child is on back order and I'll have that very soon. Then he's going to add charms for birthdays and Christmas, anniversaries and special occasions and just because he loves me. Yep, he loves me. Which is pretty lucky really. Because I love him too. A lot.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Enjoying My Flowers

Posted by MANDI at 4:33 PM 2 comments

Sure I bought them for myself as a Mother's Day present but if Hubby had been home in time to get them I'm sure he would have. And it's the thought that counts, right?

Hope you're having a lovely Mother's Day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Posted by MANDI at 8:24 PM 3 comments
Hubby flew out early yesterday morning so of course I heard a mouse last night! Isn't that always the way? The mouse-catching partner flits off - okay he's working his butt off in the very far-north of the state where it's rather warm - and leaves the non-mouse-catching partner (ie lily-livered great big chicken) home alone, unprotected, with two small children to care for. Luckily I have the best neighbours in the whole entire world and when the mouse in question (at least I'm hoping there's only one) was safely shut into the nice humane trap I'd set in the bottom of the pantry my chicken-ness kicked into high gear and I called for Mr-across-the-road to come dispose of it. He laughed at me but lived up to his 'best neighbour' tag and disposed of said mouse. I've reset the trap because I don't entirely trust that there was only one mouse. If you hear yelling from this end of the world it'll be me or the mouse scaring each other silly.

In other news, I'm learning how to knit. Actually I'm teaching myself. From the internet. So far I've undone my casting on four times. I can't get the tension even so it's a little sloppy but I'm getting there. I picked up a pattern today and am starting with a nice easy scarf - I grabbed an 'intermediate' pattern by mistake so I've trawled through the net finding sites that provide lots of diagrams for slip knots, casting on, knit and purl and I'm off to find out how to add in a second ball of yarn in a different colour. Here's what I've got so far...

I'll give you an update when I'm a little further along.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bedtime Reading

Posted by MANDI at 8:08 PM 1 comments

Hubby and the offspring, reading before bed. For a man who says he doesn't like to read he does a pretty good job most nights!

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