Wednesday, August 31, 2011

works for me wednesday

We are weekly library visitors and each of us having our own book bags works for us.  It limits the number of their books I have to carry and (mostly) restricts them to the ones they can fit.  Auntie(s) Katie and Charlotte made awesome bags for the boys a few years ago but they've finally given up.  So I went though my fabric bits and pieces and sewed up these easy tote bags (the same pattern as my one) adding a little pocket for their library cards.  I would have used zips but I haven't faced that sewing fear yet... I keep promising myself I will.  
I've told the boys to put the books back in their bags when they've read them so that we know which ones are ready to go back.  So far so good.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

dairy free

It has occurred to me that most of my recent blog posts are food related.  Well here's another one.  Just a few pix of the little chef making pizza.  I'm still a little nervous with him using the adult knives (he is five) so I stay within hovering distance.  We made biscuits at the weekend and I realised why things don't taste quite as good as I remember them growing up... it's the butter.  Or to be accurate the lack of butter.

I wish sometimes I could use butter and cream and condensed milk in my baking.  Condensed milk is oh so delicious!  I remember eating it straight from a can with my friend Annabel when we camped in her back yard as kids.  It was our midnight feast and I'm pretty sure we weren't supposed to be having it.  Oh those condensed milk memories. Mmmmmmmmm.

Monday, August 29, 2011

switch off sunday

Daddy B was away on a boys weekend (fishing) and so we found ways to keep busy without him.  Little chef made up a batch of pancakes.  We poured the mixture into squeezable bottles (actually designed for icing) and the boys took turns making pancake shapes in a hot pan.  Do you use cast iron?  For a weird reason I felt like maybe everybody did, wondering if it's just us now.  They're heavy and take a bit of looking after but last forever and are pretty much non stick.
They were awesome at taking turns and helping each other out. 

 The downside of letting the boys cook is that they sometimes have to learn through making mistakes.  Ouch!

The trick to getting faces to appear is to pipe/draw the features first, then the outline and then fill in the space in between.  That way the first bits are a little bit more cooked than the last bits.  Here's the recipe we use (click on it) for a super easy pancake mix that we keep in the pantry.

 Little chef cut up the fruit and plated the dishes (teehee).

 The pancakes were gobbled up lickety split.

Here are our favourite books about pancakes...

Friday, August 26, 2011

this moment

{this moment} -  A single photo  - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Thanks SouleMama for the inspiration.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

works for me wednesday

Can you figure out what's going on here?
This empty tin can is what allows us (as grown ups) to watch our favourite TV programmes such as True Blood (vampires), Dexter (serial killer) and The Walking Dead (zombies) without risking the innocence of our sweeties.  When the can clangs to the floor we pause the programme and go and see who needs assistance.  I really wouldn't feel okay with watching these programmes otherwise, as the boys could sneakily see the television without us knowing.  Must protect the children!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

once again... allergy allert!!

Just another warning about Pope Jam... I wrote this post last year and had been assured by NZFSA that they were getting it sorted... ie that the extremely dodgy Pope Jam would need to include "butter" on their ingredients list.  I found it in the supermarket yesterday "NEW PRODUCT" proclaimed the sign.  It is labelled exactly the same as last year.... grrrrr makes me so mad.  I have had so many conversations and emails to sort this over the past year and Mr Owen Pope has done absolutely nothing.  I could go into much more nasty detail but I will hold my tongue, email NZFSA again and see what they're going to do.  Kinda tempted to give Fair Go or Campbell Live a call...  here's my old post anyway.

Okay so I'm a label reader.  It goes with the territory when you have a kid with a serious food allergy.  So when I fed this raspberry jam to our four year old recently I checked the ingredients.  Raspberry and sugar, sweet, no dairy in that... or so I thought (cue ominous music).  He had a number of pikelets with jam for afternoon tea and then didn't feel like his dinner (not like him, he usually is asking for seconds and thirds!).  Later that night I found him asleep in a bed covered with vomit, oh lovely.  Anyway a couple of days later I notice that on the top of the jam it mentions that it's made with a "knob of butter"!  Now I can't tell if that's what caused R to throw up or not that night.  There's no way to tell without trying it again... which we won't be doing in case he has a much worse reaction.  Bloody sneaky labelling if you ask me.  Not impressed with Pope Jam.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

octopus for dinner!

DaddyB went fishing today and came home with this suction cup covered beast... for our dinner!

We were all fascinated how the suckers still sucked long after it was dead.  It was weird and freaky.

It was very, very chewy at first after B had cooked it. But after mincing and pan frying it was much yummier (and edible yay!). I think I'm still in shock that the four of us ate it for dinner.

Photos by the awesome photographer DaddyB


I'm learning that my sourdough bread can come in many different shapes and sizes.
This one was from last weekend.  Tonight's bread is black on top. 
I should really take a photo of it but I'm feeling kinda lazy,
and cranky too if the truth be told.
I'm going to do two posts though tonight... because I have some crazy photos from today! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

our daily bread

The sourdough is getting better and better...
I'm baking it about three times a week, for sandwiches and toast.

This pathetic looking thing was how we started back in February!  Turned out our oven was baking things at 70 degrees higher than it was supposed to.  But the purchase of an oven thermometer fixed all of that.  I just bought a second tin yesterday too, so I can bake two loaves at once (will save on power).  We tried it as baguettes at the weekend and it worked well too.  Even back when the bread was looking freakin ugly it still tasted okay (this picture is of the inside of the ugly loaf).

The thing I like best is that this bread has only three ingredients!  Flour, water and salt.  That's it.  I know it takes time to make, but as I'm not in paid employment and both kids are at school, I have time for bread.  It makes me feel good too, to be able to nourish my family in such a traditional way.  And it's tasty too!
The thing the boys like best is using the bread slicer.

If you're interested in making your own sourdough... this is the book which I used  to start with.
Taste - Baking With Flavour
Problem is that the bread is pretty complicated, heaps of steps.

Now I'm making a modified version of this one
River Cottage Sourdough

Let me know if you give it a try... or if you're in Auckland and want some starter :o)

Monday, August 8, 2011


You know if I kept looking I could probably find a few more... 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011