Monday, January 31, 2011

Recipe: Sesame Crackers

We're now into the second week of Kindy for this term and I'm trying to get motivated to make my own snacks. One thing that Riley loves is crackers but I always have a hard time choosing crackers that are low in fat and salt and taste good plain. 

I was looking through one of my old recipe books the other day and I came across this really simple cracker recipe and thought I'd give it a go.

- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1tsp salt
- 50g butter
- 1/2 cup water (aprox)
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (I toasted them over a low heat until golden and fragrant. Be careful not to burn them)

You can use a food processor if you have one.

- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Mix in the sesame seeds.

- Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add water, a few drops at a time until the mixture comes together to form a dough. The dough should be a little softer than pastry dough.

- Roll the dough out thinly on a lightly floured board. Cut into squares, rectangles or other shapes using a cookie cutter.

- Bake at 190 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they are a pale golden colour.

When cold store them in an airtight container to help keep them nice and crisp.

These are really yummy and Riley loves them. This is a good base recipe and you could add all sorts of different herbs/seasonings for something a bit different.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Like a flower behind your ear .....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Things I'm Loving ....

Here are a few things that I'm loving this week ....

Riley being back at Kindy so that I have time to read my book.

Riley's new backpack which is a much better size for him than his old one and makes walking to Kindy a lot easier for him.

All the awesome veges that we have growing in the garden, yum!

Sitting down to a hot cup of tea at the end of a long day and the blissful silence of a sleeping child.

Experimenting with Photoscape (thanks Simone for getting me hooked!), what do you think of the rounded corners on my photos?

Lastly, I'm loving that its almost the weekend! But why is it that the weekend always goes way too fast ....

What are you loving this week? (Link up with Paisley Jade here)

1001 Book Reviews for Kids

A friend of mine has set up a blog ......

All you have to do to participate is:

Find a children's book and review it. Couldn't be simpler right?! 

All the reviews will be put up on the blog and it will become a great reference for parent's when buying books for their children, so the more reviews we can get the better and it takes no time at all to do.

What are you waiting for?! Head on over, check it out and spread the word.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Recipe: Fruity Pops

Riley loves these! They are super easy to make and healthy too. You can use whatever combination of fruit and yoghurt you like.

1 can peaches in juice
1 cup vanilla yoghurt

- Put everything in the blender (don't drain peaches) and blend until smooth.

- Pour into ice block moulds and freeze.

I got these little ice block moulds from Countdown and they are the perfect size for little hands and mouths.

Find more recipes here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Favourite Music

Riley's favourite song at the moment is 'Clumsy' by Fergie .....

Hmm yea, not really an appropriate song for a 3 year old so I'll blame that one on his father ..... well it was kinda his fault.

Before 'Clumsy' Riley's favourite was 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm' by Crash Test Dummies which is a little better. Phil started singing it to him at bedtime when he was just a little baby and he still asks for it now.

The switch to 'Clumsy' came about because Phil was sick of listening to 'Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm' in the car all the time so he decided to try something different and now Riley is obsessed! At every opportunity Riley wants to listen to 'Clumsy'. In the car, on the computer, he even uses my iPod  and sings it constantly!

I'm pretty sure that when he sings it no one else knows what hes going on about so hopefully this phase will be over soon and then maybe we can move onto something a little more age appropriate? I hope so.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Back To Reality!

First day back at Kindy for Riley and oh how I have missed having some time to myself. I'm writing this post to the sound of silence, bliss!

My blog has been a bit neglected over the holidays but now we are getting back into our old routine I'll have more time on my hands. I also have some craft projects that I want to get into very soon. Phil's brother and his fiancĂ©e are expecting their first baby in June and I'm planning on making them a few things. Sorry but I can't give too much away at this stage so you'll just have to keep an eye out as I'll definitely share the finished products on here.

The holidays themselves were LONG and uneventful. Riley has become rather fond of playing on the PS3 so its good to get him out of the house and socializing again. We even walked to Kindy this morning. Usually I take Riley in the pram but hes getting a bit big for it now so I'm trying to get him used to walking. I'll take the pram down when I pick him up as hes always shattered after Kindy so I don't think he could handle walking home yet and he walks so slowly.

I hope everyone has had a good holiday and heres a smile to brighten your day (well mine anyway).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Its Been One of THOSE Days ....

You know, one of those days when you head out to the shops to get a couple of things and end up spending way too much money on things that weren't even on todays "to do" list.

Ok so we didn't go out with the intention to go fridge shopping but it happened anyway and we actually found one that we liked, that was on sale and now I can't wait to have it delivered so I can start filling it up with food. It fits all Phil's requirements because it has an ice maker .....

It turned into a rather long and expensive day not helped by the fact that we went to McDonald's for lunch but everyone deserves a treat now and again right?! We certainly don't make a habit of going out for lunch.

We did complete the rest of my "to do" list which was to get some shoes for the boys, a new backpack and lunch box for Phil and to do the all important weekly fruit and veg shop.

'What did I get?' I hear you ask ..... nothing, which isn't helping me to fulfill one of my New Years resolutions of spending money on myself. This year I refuse to have my needs/wants pushed to the back of the queue because they are actually just as important as Phil and Riley's. Wish me luck, I can be a bit of a stinge when it comes to spending money on myself.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

"Look Mummy its a ....."
C, sure its backwards but full points for effort. Isn't he clever?!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Meatballs with Zucchini

We have an over abundance of zucchinis at the moment ....

My usual way of using up zucchinis is to make zucchini slice which is so yummy but its also getting a bit boring, so I've been thinking of other ways to have zucchini. When I make up a recipe I usually just rattle off a list of ingredients that I want in it and Phil puts it together. These meatballs turned out so good, moist and really tasty with hidden veg for any fussy eaters.

Sorry I can't be more specific but just use a standard meatball recipe and adjust as necessary with a few added extras.

1 medium zucchini, grated and juice squeezed out
500g mince
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 egg
a dollop of sour cream
fresh mint, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper

I like to pan fry my meatballs first to give them some colour and finish them off in the oven. They were really good the next day too. We had them in wraps with lots of yummy salad (lettuce from the garden).

If anyone has any good zucchini recipes for me to try then I'd love to hear from you!

Find more recipes here.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Record Bowls

Record bowls were something that I was really keen on making but I never got round to getting any old records before now. They're cheap to make and would make a unique gift.

Yesterday we headed down to the Super Shed and what do you know they had heaps of records so I grabbed a couple which they gave to me for free at the checkout when Phil bought a bag of plant pots for $1.

It was our fist time going to the Super Shed and they have all sorts of things ranging from books, computer parts, bicycles, vacuum cleaners, toys, crockery, paintings, plant pots, furniture, bricks, pretty much anything that is re-usable. Don't they say that one man's trash is another man's treasure? Thats what springs to mind when I think of the Super Shed. I was a big fan of Trash Palace back in Porirua which is the same idea - recover, reuse, recycle - and I've had a few good finds there.

One of the records I picked up was Westside Story, which my class performed for our 3rd form musicals. It brought back all sorts of memories just looking at it and remembering all the songs.

It took all of 10 minutes to transform these records into funky bowls following this tutorial here. No idea what I'm going to put in them yet but I think they look really cool. They were a bit difficult to shape but the great thing is if you don't get it right the first time you can just put them back in the oven to soften up and then try again.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking: HOF and LOTD

Today has been quite an exciting one for me. I have achieved a couple of personal goals to do with my digital scrapbooking and both in the same day!

This LO, that I put together last night, was inducted into the DSP Hall of Fame:

And another of my LO's was chosen as Layout Of The Day:

I have a few scrapbooking goals that I'm aiming to achieve this year, whether I will get there or not remains to be seen but all I can do is try my best.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Kiwi New Years

Admittedly we didn't make it to the beach on New Years day as planned but for the sake of tradition we'll pretend that its still 1.1.11.

For the last couple of years we have headed to the beach on New Years day. Here are some pics from this year:

It was insanely hot (top temp for Christchurch today was 31 degrees!) and really windy so we didn't stay long. We also had a little run in with the tide which caught us by surprise as we were sitting with our backs to the sea. We had just enough time to jump up before it swamped us. Would've given any spectators a good laugh! Riley got a huge fright (hes not a fan of the sea).