Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Cheeseburger Casserole Experiment

I was feeling like a little bit of comfort food on Sunday night.  Seven straight weeks of fog, dull, dreary, wet, cold weather will do that to a girl! I don't have something specific that I consider to be must-have winter comfort food ~ sad but true.  I ended up deciding that the 1/2 kilo of mince in the fridge was the best inspriation and found myself wondering what hamburger casserole was all about.  After a little googling I decided that was fairly uninspiring and that I wanted some way to use up the leftover mozarella cheese I had in the fridge.  I googled my way around cheeseburger casseroles and found that was a little more interesting.  I had just one problem ~ I don't use tinned cream-of soups.  I've tried.  I just can't come at it.  So....my version of a Cheeseburger Casserole was high on comfort, low on colour & vegetables but contained no additive nasties.  A reasonable compromise on a Sunday night.

Cheeseburger Casserole

500g minced beef
1 onion, peeled & diced
mushrooms, roughly chopped
60g butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
2-3 cups milk
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
cooked pasta ~ about 3 cups raw pasta
grated cheese ~ enough to cover the top of the casserole
  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/400F (180C/350F fan forced)
  3. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan and saute the onion until transparent.  Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until softed.
  4. Add the mince and cook until browned, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add the butter and when melted, add the flour.  Stir the flour and butter together and through the mince mixture for about two minutes.  Pour in the milk and stir constantly until thickened.
  6. Add the chicken stock powder and stir until well combined.
  7. Combine the pasta with the meat mixture and pour into a greased casserole dish.  
  8. Top the casserole with grated cheese and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is golden and melted.
 Dh smothered his with sweet chilli sauce.  The kids were horrified, thinking such behaviour was sacriligious in the world of kid-friendly food.   They've requested this again, so I thought I'd better record it for the future!  If you wanted to redeem this meal's nutritional value you could add a fairly simple green salad and feel you'd done the right thing by your family.

Sorry I don't have a photo to show you ~ it was all gone before I even thought I might post about it.  The photo above gives you an idea of what our weather has been like around here ever since we got home from ou little summer respite.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Monday Menu Plans: Week Beginning 31 August

Food, Glorious Food!  Our Lower Primary students have had heaps of fun with this General Studies unit.  I wish I worked in those classrooms so that I could participate more than the odd little taste test here and there.  But I have benefited in other ways.  One of the teachers had a very scrumptious, healthy-looking slice of cake at morning tea this morning.  This afternoon I was handed the recipe thanks to a Melbourne Markets brochure on healthy lunches and snack for kids.  I've another baked apple dessert recipe in there I'd like to try as well.  Anyway, I tried the Banana, Carrot & Sultana loaf tonight and it's a keeper.  Not too much sugar, and yet sweet enough to satisfy your sweet-tooth.  Perfect!

Given that we're at the tail-end of the term, life in the kitchen has descended into survival mode ~ meals that don't take too much effort, but fill hungry bellies and provide some kind of positive nutrition.

Monday:  Honey mustard chicken, vegies
Tuesday:  Homemade tomato soup, spinach & ricotta pastries
Wednesday:  Sweet & sour pork, rice
Thursday:  Tomato & bacon pasta
Friday:  Gnocchi (hold over from last week)
Saturday:  Pasta bolognaise (make double)
Sunday:  Roast chicken, vegies

In the last week I've been having sweet potatoes, rather than regular potatoes.  In whatever manner potatoes are being cooked for the rest of the family, that's what I do with a sweet spud for myself.  I have to say, I'm really enjoying them.  I hated sweet potato as a child.  It was the very poor substitute for regular potatoes when they were unavailable to us.  I have to say, I've quite changed my tune.  There you go, mums, there is hope for those fussy little eaters at your tables.  I was once inclined towards such behaviour too and have come out the other side.

Now if only there was a glimmer of hope regarding Mr Busy's homework habits.  Do the temper tantrums ever subside and give way to diligence and self-motivation?  He's been quite a shock to this mother since the moment he was born and he continues to challenge everything I think I know about being the mum of my children.  The girls obviously go by a different textbook and no one has shown me the one for 'Boy Planet'.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Recipe: Chicken Wonton Soup

I recently mentioned about the Prep-Yr2's making Chicken Wonton Soup, thanks to my recipe and promised that I would post it here for you.  I'm finally making good on that promise.  Whenever we have this, I have the kids sitting on the other side of the bench doing all the wonton folding.  Partly because they love to be involved.  And partly because if they waited for me to fold them all dinner would take much longer to reach the table.  If I have some stashed away, I serve this with freshly made prawn crackers.  Because I avoid wheat as much as I can, I usually just use one packet of wonton wrappers and make little balls without wrappers and pop them in a separate saucepan of stock for me.

Chicken Wonton Soup

500g chicken mince
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tin water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1-2 tablespoons cornflour
2 packets square wonton skins
2 litres of chicken stock (or water with stock powder)

  1. Combine the chicken, spring onions, water chestnuts, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Lay out the wonton skins on the bench in an orderly fashion.  Place a teaspoonful of meat mixture in the centre of each skin.
  3. Run a wet finger along two sides of the wonton skin (in an L shape) and fold into a triangle, pressing the edges to seal well.  Take the two corners of the folded edge and bring them out away from the centre of the skin and press the corners together.  This should make a little boat shape.  Place the prepared wontons on a plate. 
  4. Bring the chicken stock (or water and stock powder) to the boil and drop the wontons into the stock.  Bring the stock back to the boil and turn the heat down so that the soup is simmering.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the wontons look a bit ‘pruney’ and the edges of the wontons look cooked.

If you want to see pictures of how I fold my wontons, you can go here and scroll down to style 3:  samosa with a twist. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Roasted Pork Belly with Spiced Honey Glaze

Before I go and find a quiet place to be before I start cooking dinner, I thought I'd better get this recipe posted.  I mentioned that I was trying out a 'Better Homes & Gardens' recipe from the TV episode on Friday night and as it happened, it turned out beautifully.  Miss Mischief was thrilled that the crackle worked out and Dh and I enjoyed the honey glaze.

Roasted Pork Belly with Spiced Honey Glaze

1.5kg pork belly, deboned
olive oil
1 tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, roughly smashed
2 star anise
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, slightly crushed
2 fresh bay leaves

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and place the pork belly (with rind still on) in with about a tablespoon of salt and simmer for about 30-45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C/ 400F (180C/350F for fan forced)
  3. Lift the pork from the pot and score the fat.
  4. Brush with plenty of oil and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  5. Place on a rack over a baking tray and pour some boiling water into the bottom of the baking pan.
  6. Bake for about an hour.  If the crackle hasn't 'crackled' you can remove it and place under a griller, or turn on the grill elements in your oven.
  7. Slice the pork belly and arrange on a platter, and serve with glaze poured over.
To make the glaze:
  1. Place the honey in a small saucepan with the garlic, star anise, coriander seeds and bay leaves and bring to the boil.  Turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. When you bring the pork out of the oven, pour off the pan juices into the glaze and bring back to the boil.
  3. Pour over the sliced pork.
Of course, now you'll need to know how flexible this recipe is :)  I used a boneless pork shoulder and did everything as the recipe suggested, except for the coriander seeds.  I couldn't find any whole, so I just sprinkle about 1/4 teaspoon of ground coriander seed (which I always have in my pantry) into the glaze mixture.  It worked just fine.

In the end, this recipe took the same amount of time to cook as if I'd just put it in the oven to roast, however, it was much more moist and tender as a result of the boiling and then roasting process.  I did remove the rind and place it under the griller separately even after I'd had the griller element in the oven on and that worked much better so I would just skip the grill-in-the-oven step altogether.  Course, you have to watch it closely so it doesn't burn on you.  My hawk eyed crackle lover took care of that task for me!

I suspect you could cook the pork in the crockpot and do the crackle separate and I would think it should work out nicely.  If I ever try that out I'll let you know.  Or....YOU could try and out and let ME know!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

World Premiere Season

Production Set

I mentioned, on Sunday, that we had celebrated the Yr 3-6 Production.  It was a world premiere season that has now, sadly, ended!  Mr Busy's teacher wrote the script and the Yr 3/4 teacher wrote the lyrics for all the songs.  A talented pair, by far!

The Play was about some children who were not happy with the way they were made.  They suffered things like an inability to draw good pictures, being 'ugly', wanting to be popular with the in-crowd etc.  With a little bit of time travel thanks to a Hairy Godfather and his MSG stick (Modifying Situation Glitter) the kids travelled back in time to Israel.  They had a run in with some Sabbath Police (Pharisees) and overheard conversations that they were able to hear thanks to the Hairy Godfather's ESL stick (English as a Second Language).  They even had a long chat with Jesus.  When they returned to their own time, they took Jesus' words to heart, and decided to use their special gifts to help others.  Even the bullies.

The picture above is the set.  I'm sorry it's so dark.  But if you click on it you'll get a bigger view and it might make more sense!  Or you can just squint carefully.  The set was transformed from Losers Lane (our time) to Lepers Lane (Jesus' time) with the flip of a back drop and the changing of the street sign, and then to the Mount of Olives with the addition of some sylised cardboard trees.  The kids did most of the work on the set.  Painting tree canopies, and trees, and paper macheing the big tree on the left.  It was a messy week that week!

I was so incredibly proud of the kids.  They worked so hard and took direction so well. Many of the main characters suffered illnesses and absences in the weeks preceeding the performance and yet on the two nights they were all there and things went without a hitch.  The young boy who played Jesus is in Year 3 and did a mangificent job of learning huge chunks of the script.  He was SO cute!  The words and message, while encased in humour, were touching and made many of us parents tear up a little.

I feel a strange mix of relief and nostalgia.  I'm glad the busyness is over.  Everyone who works in those classes had extra tasks and details to take care of and it made for hectic days.  But at the same time, it's a little sad too.  It's a shame the kids won't have another time or two performing it.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Monday Menu Plan: Week Beginning 23 August

Oh my goodness....Blogger has changed the way my little post screen looks.  There a whole lot of new little buttons to figure out!  What a surprise!

We watched 'Better Homes and Gardens' the other night (actually, the next morning!) and decided we needed to try Karen's recipe for roast pork belly.  I have a pork shoulder....but still, it's boneless with the 'crackling' on so we'll see how it works.  It's in the process of cooking now.  If it turns out the way it's meant to I'll share it with you!  Well, not the meal...the recipe!

I feel like I've won something today.  I haven't really, it just feels like that.  The Prep-Yr 2's used my chicken wonton soup recipe for their cooking lesson today.  I typed it up and found pictures of how to fold the wontons and passed it on to the teachers.  They shared some leftovers from their cooking lesson with me after school, and I have to say they've done a very fine job.  It was delicious.  I've also just realised that I've not posted the recipe and shall remedy that some point this week.  It's a great recipe for getting your kids involved.  Mine do all the folding once I've laid out the wrappers and placed the meat mixture on it, in appropriate portions.

The rest of the week at our table looks like this:

Monday:  Roast pork with spiced honey glaze, vegies
Tuesday:  Meatloaf, vegies
Wednesday:  Honey mustard chicken, vegies
Thursday:  Crockpot beef & red wine casserole, rice (or mashed potatoes)
Friday:  Homemade pizza (a carryover from last week)
Saturday:  Gnocchi with roasted tomato sauce
Sunday:  Chicken & dumplings

What's on your table this week?

Sunday, 22 August 2010


Mr Busy's school production went beautifully with barely a hitch. And I revelled in the joy of sitting in the audience on the 2nd night as a parent, after having spent much of my time in the last week of practices and the 1st night backstage! They did an amazing job. I overhead a new parent to the school declare it the best children's production he'd ever seen. I'm hoping I'll get a picture of the set before it's dismantled so I can share it with you. That alone gives an indication of the quality!

Our other weekend celebration was going to visit my newest little nephew. He's cute and as chubby as any new baby I've seen....particularly compared to my stick-figure babies! His big brothers are very happy to have a new playmate and a none too impressed with the idea that they have to wait for him to have his meals!

Friday, 20 August 2010


Frances and PomPom have both commented about my having bought a new pillow. Because you wanted to know Frances......I bought a memory foam pillow.

My purchase was perhaps a little hasty, and because I was with my husband who harbours no issue whatsoever with spending money, I spent far more than I would have thought reasonable for a pillow. It's just a pillow, after all! I have discovered though, that not all pillows are created equal!

My old pillow was....old. It needed replacing, so I tried a very firm, high latex one. I ended up with sciatic nerve pain and ditched it very quickly. It became a 'show model' at Dh's shop! I switched back to the old pillow but found my neck and shoulders were so very painful every morning. And the children are less accommodating when I request a neck and shoulder rub. They're very good at them, when they are inclined to indulge me!

So last week Dh came shopping with me and we went on the hunt for a pillow for me. I was looking at the $20 Target and Kmart version, but nothing seemed to suit my idea of what I needed. We ended up in this little out-of-the-way homewares/manchester kind of store and in the back corner were these soft, cuddly memory foam pillows. I thought they were all bricks (like the one Dh had bought a few years ago), but this one begged to be snuggled. The lady let me put my head on one, while lying on the display bed to try it out. It still felt good, so Dh instructed me "don't look at the price, get it if you think it you like it". He's good for me, that man of mine! I tell you, I've not had a single night since, where I've been uncomfortable. Even on the nights where I've not slept well, I've been content to stay in bed...and I don't think that only because it's cold if I get up!

I sink into that pillow at night and it holds my head "just right". It's soft and comfy but firm enough to be supportive. Do I sound like an advertisement for these things? LOL If so, it is with good reason. Just goes to show that the right pillow IS worth paying for, after all. Dh was right!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Mid Point

Today officially marks the very middle point of our 3rd school term. Can it really be that our holiday ended over four weeks ago? It seems hard to believe, particularly in the light of all that has happened during the term and all that has yet to come.

This week has been and will continue to be really busy. I'm putting together documentation to receive Recognition of Prior Learning to finish my Certificate in between preparations for a production at school, and beginning to prepare for our last camp for the year. If you don't hear much from me for the next few days I'll be somewhere between school and my bed. The new pillow I bought last week has solved all my neck and shoulder problems and created a new problem. I don't want to get up! Or is that because I'm still feeling a bit lack luster in the energy department? Whatever the reason, that new pillow is the most magnificent thing ever and I'm feeling inclined to spend as much time with it as I can!

You're probably wondering what a ladybird has to do with this post? Nothing. Nothing except that I adore ladybirds. They're cheery looking little bugs, don't you think?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

I miss...

...two things from our trip to the US. Two things I can't get on my regular shopping trips. I don't even know if I could get these things from Costco in Australia (not that I have a membership!). What are those two things I hear you ask?

Bison burgers. Oh boy were this a hit with us. There weren't that cheap by American standards but my we enjoyed each mouthful. I've looked...we don't get Bison in regular supermarkets.

The second thing I miss: My after-dinner sweet thing....Cashew Clusters. As you can see from the image, it has almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Yep, I'd take out a Costco membership and drive all the way in to Docklands to get my hands on these babies. And if I could get the burgers....and some Tide stain remover tablets I suspect I would think all my Christmas's had come at once.

One thing I do prefer from home is our marshmallows though. Those jet puffed supersized marshmallows are like eating foam rubber. Our marshmallows are smaller and more dense. And I truly prefer them.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Monday's Menu Planning: Week Beginning 16 August

It's still raining. This morning it would have been very tempting to have just stayed all nice and cosy and slept in. Certainly, the children tried! But alas, school calls and we must head out shortly.

This week's menu plan is perhaps reflection of the fact that I am feeling tired and uninspired. I think some sunshine and a tiny bit of warmth might be what is needed to feel more alive. Having those three weeks of perfect summer has me longing for Spring. Most unusual for me...I normally enjoy the frosty storms of winter.

Monday: Beef & rice noodle stir fry
Tuesday: Chinese corn soup
Wednesday: Bacon wrapped chicken, vegies
Thursday: Pasta bolognaise
Friday: Minestrone
Saturday: Roast (lamb or pork), vegies
Sunday: Homemade pizzas

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Week's End

It feels like this has been such a long week, swinging between must-do obligations and resting whenever possible. It's been stormy and blustery outside, reinforcing my thoughts that August is truly the deepest, coldest part of the season.


I had a little bit of garden delight last weekend when I discovered some self-sown savoy cabbages down by the back fence. They were only tiny ~ one was barely the size of both my fists. But still. There they were with no effort required on my part. And our lemon tree is fruiting away happily down in the back corner too. Perhaps lemon slice or lemon meringue pie (or both!) might bring some cheer to otherwise dreary-looking days.


I'm off to have 'High Tea' with some ladies from church this afternoon. I confess to feeling quite conflicted. Somewhere between really looking forward to the afternoon....and wishing I could just climb into bed and sleep for a year. Perhaps I'll go with excitement for now and do the snoozing tomorrow. I seem to be quite unenergetic at the moment.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Of Work and Rest

Thank you all for your well wishes. My nose has stopped running and besides feeling a little unenergetic I am well enough to go to school today. I daresay I'll be coming home at lunch time, rather than taking something to do there. Anne of Green Gables and the Ingalls family have been fine company over the last two days. Anne needs to finish her story though.

I am thinking 'light duties' over dinner tonight might be the way to go. The girls are doing such a marvellous job of cooking! Miss Sunshine made Potato & Leek soup the other night and Miss Mischief did indeed make dinner last night. I never thought it possible in the days when my children were tiny, but Mum can be unwell and truly rest without having to take care of everyone else as well. I am definitely reaping the rewards of having children who can cook!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Monday Menu Plan: Week Beginning 9 August

It's still me and the tissue box. My nose is still running. Best I keep my germs to myself, I think.

I'm hoping at some point today, that I'll feel capable of doing battle with my TAFE college. I'm having some pretty big issues with getting my course completed. Issues that the college has not resolved within itself and have become obvious because the books I need to do the last five subjects are not available. One must wonder how that can be possible!

Otherwise, for today, I might get myself into making some chicken soup with the leftover meat on a carcass from the roast we had the other night. Surely it can't be too taxing to chop a couple of carrots and some celery? Can it?

For the rest of the week the plan is:

Monday: Oven Fried Chicken, vegies
Tuesday: Spinach & Feta parcels, vegies
Wednesday: Spicy pork spare ribs, rice, vegies
Thursday: Tomato & bacon pasta
Friday: Chicken Cannelloni, salad or vegies
Saturday: Chicken wonton soup
Sunday: Beef & rice noodle stiry

Miss Mischief might get the job of cooking tonight.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

I have Succumed

image from somewhere on google images!

This is me today. For just one day I will succumb and submit to the fact that I have a cold. It's only a little one...but every time I move around my nose runs like a tap. I need to be still.

On Thursday my throat felt dry and a little tickley. Yesterday I had a tiny sniffle. Tomorrow I will be fine. Because that's what I've decided! Because Day 3 is the worst and then you get better.

But today...it's me and the tissue box.

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Jamie's Food Revolution

Channel 10 is currently airing Jamie's 'Food Revolution' series on a Friday night. Being the avid food-TV lovers that we are, we sit ourselves down and watch.

I sit with tears in my eyes through much of each episode. It is heartbreaking to see kids dealing with the very real and scary consequences of obesity. It makes me angry to see what kind of food kids are being fed in their schools. I sit and silently applaud what Jamie is setting out to do.

What has been very interesting is my kid's reaction to the show. We chat a little as it goes. We chat throughout the week as we eat our dinner. My children were horrified that there are other kids their age who don't know the names of vegetables, let alone what they taste like. Before they could get too big-headed about how superior they might feel, I stopped them. I explained to them that the reason they know anything about vegetables or fruit or good food is because it is important to me. I want my kids to believe it is normal to cook good healthy meals at home from fresh ingredients. I want them to know the skills required to make those meals. I want them to enjoy eating those meals. And I want them never to have to struggle with their weight, or the avoidable health problems that are the result of obesity.

I hope my kids think twice before asking for chicken nuggets ever again, as well!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A Morning with Dr Julianna Slattery

Last Friday a small handful of ladies from my church piled into my car at a very unearthly hour of the morning to head off to Geelong so we could spend the morning hearing Dr Julianna Slattery speak. We looked at Juli's book 'Beyond the Masquerade' for our Women's Retreat earlier this year, and this was the topic Juli was addressing.

I had a few take-home points to consider. I thought I'd share them with you, so you could reap the benefits of my day-long outing.
  1. Juli talked about Max Lucado's book "You are Special". Specifically how we assigned 'grey dots' or 'gold stars' to people. And how we take those judgements about us and make them who we are, rather than believing God's opinion of us. What struck me is that often what we say to people is simply moving them up or down the line between stars and dots, rather than hopping off that line altogether.
  2. A great illustration Juli used to show how we need to be connected to God to understand our worth was the humble light bulb. If we do not connect to the power source (God) we are useless. When we are connected to God we are able to do and be all that God created us for. The brightest halogen lamp is no better than a humble incandescent bulb if neither are connected to the power source they require!
Juli also shared with us some things she will miss about Australia:
  • We have morning and afternoon tea, and often supper...not just breakfast lunch and dinner. And often, we do stop. I've heard this observation in years past and I was surprised by it. I'd not thought it such a noteworthy way of life, but apparently it is.
  • She also mentioned toilets!!!!!! She was impressed with our dual flushing loos and the fact that they work 100% of the time.
As if to indulge Juli in the very thing that she was about to leave behind, we stopped half way through our morning to have morning tea: scones with jam and cream, and dip with carrot & celery sticks and crackers.

It was a long day, from my end of the world. I left home at 6.30am and arrived back in Our Town to pick the kids up at 3.20pm. It was a day packed full of all things good. Great teaching and perspective, wonderful conversation with some amazing women, as we travelled. We even found (amazingly!) a nice little cafe for a quick bite of lunch before heading home. My zucchini fritter with sour cream and draped with smoked salmon was divine!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Colourful Meals So Far

Hey, you'll never guess what! Yep. My camera has lived on the bench for the last few days and I've remembered to take a quick photo before the food has disappeared! So I know you're wondering what 'colourful' looks like in our house, after my post yesterday. Actually, you probably don't care. Sorry...you're stuck with this post anyway.

On Monday I was lamenting the fact that I'd not gotten a photo of dinner. I later remembered the leftovers I'd tucked away for lunch and snapped a photo of that instead. Below is my version of Honey Soy Chicken (drumsticks in this case), with stir fried vegies and basmati rice. I used the chicken pan juices over the rice and vegies. (This was Sunday night's dinner, actually).

Asian Chicken, Rice & Vegies

On Monday night I stayed after school to help out the Prep teacher prepare her room for Preschool visits. This was the perfect no-time-to-cook meal. Nachos ~ over the top we had grated cheese, diced fresh tomatoes, mashed avocado, sour cream and lettuce.


Tonight it was Chicken Schnitzel and Vegies. We were out and about at the time I would normally cook, so in the time we were home between school and dashing out I prepared all the vegies ready for cooking. When I got home at 6pm we were only the 20 minutes of cooking time away from eating. I made sure I cooked enough vegies for lunch tomorrow. Toasted sandwiches just aren't cutting it at the moment. But vegies are doing me pretty well.

Schnitzel & Vegies

Monday, 2 August 2010

Monday Menu: Week beginning 2 August

Ugh! I forgot again! I remember reading a blog post not so long ago where the author posted a picture of her meal. She had declared it amazingly wonderful. I'm not sure I could describe to you how I felt. The meal looked bland and unbalanced to my way of thinking. So I determined that at some point I should take some photos of what we typically eat. And tonight I forgot again.

One of the things I have remained determined about, no matter how busy I become, is the importance of cooking meals from scratch that are healthy and delicious. Unless a plate has three different colours of vegetables on it, I am not satisfied. Something looks a little bit wrong, to me anyway. Tonight, for example, our vegetables were sauted and included carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms. A riot of colour! I need to put the camera on the bench if I'm to remember to take photos of food before the hungry natives this side of my picket fence devour it!

This week's colourful menu will include the following:
Monday: Nachos
Tuesday: Chicken schnitzel, vegies or salad
Wednesday: Leftover lasagna and salad
Thursday: Ants Climbing Trees
Friday: Homemade Hamburgers
Saturday: Roast chicken, roast vegies
Sunday: Potato & leek soup, something to go with it ;)

Considering the cold winter blast it's a little surprising to see salads on my menu. Even to me. Perhaps a little piece of my SIL came home with me!

Sunday, 1 August 2010


Every now and then I remember to check the number of those 'following' my blog. Over the last couple of months it has s-l-o-w-l-y crept up to 39!

I just wanted to say welcome to all those new followers! Don't think you've snuck in completely unnoticed!

Our 'UP' Moment


We don't have squirrels in Australia. We have other cute little things that will scratch your eyes out in a heartbeat....but no squirrels. The first time we met this little fellow was quite early in the morning as he had his daily saunter along the back fence. And on that first day we all yelled out "Squirrel!" whilst pointing excitedly.

Later that day or the next we were reading Miss Mischief's teacher's blog. She had travelled to the US for a conference and also had an 'Up' moment, yelling "Squirrel!" when she saw her first one as well. We laughed and laughed when we realised our reactions were identical, apparently quite random to those around us and we were immediately reminded of the movie 'Up'. Miss Mischief's class has a bit of an 'Up' theme going on.

My SIL declared these little critters a bit of a pest. When I asked her what mischief they got themselves into her response was "They eat my birdseed" (you can see her birdfeeder in the picture). I don't know. I reckon eating birdseed isn't so bad. Our wildlife gets into way more mischief! The cockatoos eat houses and fences...and anything else made of wood, and the kangaroos and wombats try their darndest to wreck your car by popping out in front of you quite suddenly. In the dark.

What surprised me was how small squirrels are. They're teensy weensy. A fraction of the size of a possum.