Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dinner at Mine : Quinoa, Lentil & Carrot Stew

Mum sent me this cookery book for my birthday. 
Awww. Thanks mum! Despite it not being my birthday for another couple of weeks I had to have a crack at one of the recipes. The ingredient list on this one included quinoa, red lentils, carrot, red capsicum, onion, garlic, coriander (fresh & ground) and cumin. So so yummy, and dead easy. A perfect end to an autumn day of bird nest spotting! 
What did you have for dinner tonight?

Photo Safari : Lego Launceston

In the last school holidays (yup, it's taken that long for me to post this) I took the big kids along to a Lego exhibition at a local high school. The place was completely chokers, it was kinda bonkers!
Who knew that I was going to go on a tour of some of the worlds most remarkable buildings and monuments. I mean, check this out!
Can you imagine acually sitting there and building these. Wowsers. But even more amazing was that someone had made a complete replica of the Launceston CBD. Out of Lego. Really. 
Seriously, the detail was absolutely amazing. The signage on the shops, trees and gardens.  They even remembered to put the que of people out onto the street outside Service Tasmania.
Robbers were being handcuffed outside the cop shop, and the locals will recognise the busses. Yes, we have tiger busses in Launceston. 
The library in town is located in Civic Square. Also in Civic Square is a statue of 3 Tasmanian tigers. Look closely in the pictures below. Can you see them?
What? "You can't wait to come to Tas-Vegas?" I hear you say! Sure. They had that covered too!!
Are you a Lego fan? What's the most amazing thing you've built??

Thursday, May 15, 2014

On Climbing Mt Everest

Disclaimer: this post isn't actually about climbing Mount Everest. It's about climbing Mt Washing. Which is nearly the same thing in this household. And if I had written "About Washing" in the header, you wouldn't have clicked through to read this literacy masterpiece about what a shitty day I've had (literally). 

So a couple of days ago I read this post about washing. Which I thought about this morning, as we collectively as a family went through a load of washing. Before we even left the house. Yup. It can be done. So, it goes like this...
The two big kids collide while assisting with setting the table this morning. Milk all down the front of Ingrid's uniform. Usually I would grab a handful of baby wipes and 'fix' the solution. Only today is school photo day. Of course. George also requires clean trousers. 
Arthur proceeds to eat baked beans by the handful, artfully covering his cream coloured jumper. He needs a new jumper. 
All good. Nearly ready to walk out the door when Arthur does a poo. Which travels out the side of his nappy, down the inside of his trouser leg and onto the floor. Giving the older children specific instructions NOT to stand in the poo (which is conveniently located in the main thoroughfare of the house) I go off to change Arthur's outfit. Again. George steps in said poo, then helpfully walks to the bathroom to wipe it off with toilet paper. Humf. 
Poo cleaned up, kids all cleaned up. Reach for the baby who has been patiently sitting in the high chair the whole time. Poo. EVERYWHERE. A number 3, as my friend Zoe calls it. Another entire outfit change. 
Right. Rupert is cleaned up. As I whisk him off the change table - blurgh. Vomit. I was wearing black. Of course. Yet another outfit. 
They day continued quite uneventfully after that. Until I took the 2 little boys to Spotlight. As I took Rupert out of the front pack he reached for the bag full of new fabric, put it in his mouth and blurgh. Yup. He vomited in the bag with my new fabric. Quite talented really. I'm thinking of getting him into golf. 
It really is no wonder that I once googled 'washing tips for large families'. I was pregnant with our 4th child, and the biggest concern I had was the washing. When the results came up I noticed there are an extraordinary large number of families who have 17 (or more children). Wowsers. I eagerly searched through their blogs looking for tips which I could implement. Of note was the fact that their kids all possessed only 3 t-shirts and 2 pairs of shorts. Hmm...nope. Not going to cut the mustard in a Tassie winter. 
Next, they don't ever use the washing line. EVER. Everything goes through the dryer. Some have even installed washing machines and dryers in the children's bedrooms, so that the clothes are either on the kids backs, in the washing machine, in the dryer or in the cupboard. I should note that most of these women are in the U.S. where power is much cheaper than it is here. The last time I spent an entire winter in Tassie our power bill was $2,987.35. (I'll never forget opening that baby). That was with 2 kids and minimal dryer use. Oh well, it's the washer woman life for me. 
How was your day? Better than mine I hope?

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How to Renovate a Cubby House

1. Get the kids involved. 
2. Choose your paint. Be adventurous, always wondered what a hot pink floor would look like? Give it a crack.  It's not you're living room. 
3. Don't be too precious about your traidies skills. Our kids painted half the window as well as half the wall. We scraped if off, but the paint work does leave a bit to be desired. 
4. Make some personalised art work. I made these initialled squash racquets ($2 at vinnies) using the left over wool from the pom poms the kids made for the ceiling. 
5. Use the kids art work to dress the walls. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

][ recipe \\ gluten & dairy free rustic almond macaroons ][

How good are these babies?
Yup! Yummy. And sooo easy - there are only 4 ingredients involved! Here's what to do to get some rustic macaroon action happening in your kitchen...

* 1 cup of almond meal
* 2 egg whites (Scuzzy lays whopper eggs, so I only use one of those)
* 1/4 cup sugar
* a few drops of vanilla essence

* preheat oven to 150 degrees
* combine almond meal and sugar
* whisk egg white with vanilla
* mix the everything together 
* form balls, pop onto trays lined with baking paper and bake until lightly brown!!

The only other thing I would mention is that you may need a double batch!!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

][ stocktake \\ {belated} april 2014 ][

Loving: sunshine. Every bit counts!
Wishing: I could have a crack at this
Reading: this, written by the lady who writes this blog. It has already changed my perspective, and I think it may have changed my life. 
Hoping: I win this, this, or this for my friends
Bookmarking: The Paleo Providore. They deliver Australia wide!
Working: on a really exciting proposal. Wish us luck!
Listening: to George and Ingrid tell a story. They are taking turns to each make a line up. It's adorable. 
Hearing: rain. Our gutters need cleaning out. 
Seeing: George sprout before my eyes. Again. 
Smelling: gluten free, dairy free gingerbread baking. 
Trying: to fend off the winter blues. 
Feeling: cold. 
Dreaming: of a tropical paradise. 
Cooking: hot lunches. One of the nice things about school holidays.
Eating: soup for dinner. This Thai pumkin soup was divine. I added ginger, chilli, lemongrass and coriander to my normal recipe and swapped cream for coconut cream. Serve with chopped coriander,lime wedges and papadums! The kids loved it. 
Making: the most of my husbands newfound love of cooking. Which masterpiece are you whipping up this time darl?
Enjoying: the school holidays. No, I'm not going crazy, so far so good. And it's especially good going as we've pretty much been locked inside the whole time!
Forgetting: stuff, all the time. Ingrid has started calling me Mrs Forgetfulhead. 
Worrying: about the asthmatics in the family as the weather cools even more. 
Hunting: down things for our garage sale. We're downsizing. Can't wait!
Watching :Call The Midwife. I'm hooked. 
Jumping:in the winter sunshine!

Want to play? Here's your list:


Sunday, May 4, 2014

][ dessert at mine \\ gf,df crumble ][

We had a lovely BBQ at a friends last Saturday. I wanted to take a dessert that was gluten and dairy free that the kids would eat. Having never made an apple crumble before I decided to convert one. I made the filling in the normal manner - 2kgs of Granny Smith, sugar, cinnamon simmered lightly then popped in the dish with the topping and baked. The topping is usually the bit with the gluten and dairy in it. I mixed coarsely ground almonds, nuttlex, brown sugar and coconut. It was really yummy. Of course, Mr TBT enjoyed it smothered in icecream!!
What's the best desert you've had recently?

][ if you could live anywhere.... ][

You may have read my autumn post. I talked about the challenges of young children with asthma when the weather turns. Little Arthur, not yet 2 has been sick since that post. That's 5 weeks of struggling for breath. Have you ever tried breathing through a straw? That's what it feels like. 
He is on the maximum amount of steroids, 2 hourly ventolin, nebulisers at bed time. We've seen the gp numerous times, the last trip resulted in a course of antibiotics in case it's a chest infection. It's not. 
He's not acute enough for a hospital visit (yet) but you can feel the mucous on his chest when you rub his back. The slightest exposure to wind or cold air and he goes down hill rapidly. He coughs all night. I'm sleeping on the couch outside his room just in case I sleep through an attack. We've spent the school holidays housebound. 
Arthur's 6 year old brother also has asthma. His is more acute, we need the ambulance here in 10, or it's curtains. George has only ever had attacks in winter. They both go off all medication over summer - save for the odd bit of ventolin if they catch a virus. And little Rupert, only 7 months old was hospitalised twice for bronchiolitis before he was 8 weeks old. The doctors call it bronchiolitis before the kids are old enough to be formally diagnosed with asthma. Ingrid is fine. Not a wheeze in sight. 
The only thing left to try for Arthur is to remove his triggers. Only I'm not a weather god. So now it is time to consider a move to warmer climes. We are so lucky, that while Mr TBT is away at work we have an amazing network of family and friends who drop everything and come round to care for the other 3 healthy children. The thought of leaving that help is more than a little daunting, however we're hoping the warmer weather will mean healthier children. 
We are lucky that because Mr TBT is a FIFO worker we can pretty much live anywhere on the east coast, preferably within hitting distance of an airport though. 
We need a hospital nearby, good schooling (I'm in love with the kids school. Education is going to be a sticking point), and a good community feeling. Oh, and they're allergic to mould. So Weipa is probably off the list (at least in the wet season). Country of beach - or both?
I find the idea of choosing somewhere off the map a little surreal. It's not like we have to be anywhere for work reasons. So, how do you choose where you belong?
At the moment I feel part of something. Part of a community. I have awesome taste in friends. Tassie has good food, great wine, affordable housing and crap weather. 
So, where would you live, if you could live anywhere? Why?