Tag: Recipes (Page 1 of 3)

The no-cash-bonus

There is something so decadent about managing to get Small Z to sleep before 7pm and having the house to myself. Yesterday I felt shattered. Today, I woke up at 6am, got into work by 7.30am, delivered my files, cooed over my boss’s new iPhone and Mercedes E Class coupe, and was back on the road by 8am. Did the grocery shopping and was home by 10am.

As I was leaving work in my now seemingly incredibly dated Mercedes 300D, my boss tapped on the window. He had raced down with two wrapped up bottles of wine and a little bag of chocolates! I was thrilled, and thanked him. As he disappeared back toward the office I pawed pathetically through the gift bag for an envelope…but no dice. The first year I haven’t got a bonus. Goddammnit. (Yes, I am aware I appear to be an ungrateful swine, but….waaaaaaaah!)

Have I mentioned before the strange powers that getting up early brings me? Astonishing. I did, of course, need to nanna-nap with Small Z at 11am, but that was fine. After a horror day yesterday with Small Z, she seems to have recovered from being dragged all around town and made to sleep in a weird hotel room. Today was far easier. I think another reason for my early-evening smugness is the sunlit stillness of the late afternoon, and the fact that I just successfully cooked a quiche. A QUICHE?! Do you hear me?

I have only attempted such a thing once before, and the person for whom I cooked it was kind enough to say it was lovely – but I knew they were lying. This time, I made one that I bought the ingredients for weeks ago – and today realised that the cottage cheese was about to hit its use-by date. Thus, I composed a Salmon Quiche, with the help of some Thomas the Tank Engine audiobooks I had nefariously downloaded. It went down very well with a glass of my non-cash-bonus Marlborough white.

And now I will away, to ponder the ongoing conundrum of whether to live in a house that our real estate agent is happy for us to lease in Tooradin proper, or endeavour to move a little further afield to Hastings. The former is closer to the boat, but has very little else to recommend it. The house is a long rectangle, scarily trailer-ish, with three small bedrooms, a big garden and a big shed. I will still have to drive everywhere in order to do the weekly shopping and take Small Z to playgroup and pool. Hasting, however, is replete with excellent library, shops, pool…but no accommodating real estate agents. Gah. Any suggestions gratefully received…

(Oddly – I just entered the location of the boat into Google Maps and Hastings, and it tells me that it’s a 39 minute drive. We must have managed it in 15 minutes the other day by some kind of magical transportation spell….)

My dhaling

Pregnancy has led me to obsess over a few kinds of foods. Hot thai curry is still on my wishlist – I keep making it from my Jamie Oliver app on my iPhone. It’s a killer recipe, but I can never get it hot enough, having spent my whole life being super-frugal with chili. I will persist.

My other desire is to jump face first, open mouthed, into a large bowl of this particular popcorn. Ahhhhhhh. You can generally only buy it from health food or organic shops and it’s stupidly expensive for the amount you get. But I am weakening and by tomorrow will probably spending my last few dollars on some.
Mmmm. Slightly salty, slightly sweet.

And dhal? The dish that I always forget how to spell and end up googling dahl, finding Sophie, Roald and all the dhal recipes by people who can’t spell either. I have only tried to make this once before and it was dire. This time I used this recipe with my confidence buoyed by it’s star rating.

It wasn’t bad!! I personally go for a creamier kind of thing, but it was a really good effort. Teamed with yoghurt and white rice, I give it 3.7 pregnant thumbs up. Next time I’ll add more coconut cream, a bit more ginger, more chili, and maybe some other lentils as well as the red ones? Any tips welcome…


I’m falling behind on my posting as behind the scenes I’m still writing about our trip away *sob*. You know. The one that feels like some faraway dream. Today washed all semblance of holiday sangfroid out of me.

‘Sangfroid’. How I have often read it, but never used it in a sentence myself. There you go.

sangfroid |sɒ˜ˈfrwɑː| (also sang-froid)
composure or coolness, sometimes excessive, as shown in danger or under trying circumstances.
ORIGIN mid 18th cent.: from French sang-froid, literally ‘cold blood.’

As I was saying. Last night, in amongst the probably four or five feeds for Small DB (it’s not so bad – I roll over, she feeds, we both go back to sleep) I had to change her nappy at 1am. At 2am M staggered in, wildeyed, and said he couldn’t take sleeping with Small Z anymore. He flounced off to the caravan.

I went in to Small Z, who drank a bucketload of water and went back to sleep. I lay there for 45 minutes. Small DB woke. I went and got her and brought her in with Small Z and I. Gack. Small DB awoke for the day at 5.30am and I had to whisk her into the loungeroom (instead of lying there playing dead for half an hour) so she didn’t wake the Other One. Yes. I have two children. Why, I am not sure….

Small Z was up by 6.45am and by 7.15am she had breakfasted and coerced me into making a cubby with her in the front yard out of a sheet, a curtain, a rake, a pram and a tree. The rest of the day was spent with me trying to function and remain both vertical and pleasant. We visited the park and cafe in Balnarring, came home and made some stupendously healthy (and quite tasty) muffins*, survived two huge face-offs with Small Z, ate too many of the aforementioned muffins and…

…just before I imploded I remembered the key to fatigue-ridden sanity. Change your environment. So we went outside. Small DB had a swing and picked clover, Small Z played in the treehouse and I savaged some dead tomato plants. Due to teething and her age and the aspect of the sun and the angle of the moon, Small DB was hard to get down tonight – and the laksa (the recipe is crap) for which I had held such hope, slowly became mutinous glutinous soup. And that’s the charitable description.

M just walked through the door, nude – as he does when he strips off his fibreglass ridden clothes at the front door (no neighbours have said anything yet, but I am patient) and said, “It was a bit lonely at the boat today.” I fixed him with a look that spanned millennia and told him not to complain about the thing I crave. A little bit of loneliness would have gone a long way today… until I fell asleep and forgot to relish it.

*Added 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 cup applesauce instead of vegetable oil. Plus handful of raspberries. Only 1/2 cup sugar.


It is such a relief to me when I find a food thing – a recipe – or just an edible invention that Small Z likes and I know can become a staple for a while. My repertoire in the kitchen is not large, and my Small Z repertoire is even less so.

Her staples? Roasted chicken drumsticks, baked potato chips, what she calls “Jen’s Trees” – which is broccoli with olive oil, salt, butter and a squeeze of lemon juice (thanks Jen!), sweetcorn, brown rice with soy sauce, mashed potatoes, fried brown rice with chicken, soy sauce and peas in it, um… tiny roo burgers with secret spinach mixed through, cous cous with tuna and peas through it…oh – and when we’re feeling moneyed, she gets flathead tails.

That’s it. I have belatedly realised that she eats no other coloured vegetables. Just broccoli and peas. Won’t do carrots (even when cooked in OJ), red capsicum or cucumber. Actually, she will do sweet potato and/or pumpkin if she is very hungry. But mostly? It’s brown rice and chicken all the way. Occasionally a lamb chop – but I am anti-lamb in the same way that I am anti-calf (veal). And she won’t do spag bol. Tomato is only acceptable in sauce form – or on a rice cake with tuna.

I am always looking for easy things to adopt and try. The other day on Play School they were doing seasons, and for spring – they made Vietnamese spring rolls. Small Z was rather enchanted with this idea, so when we did our weekly shop we got some rice paper, cucumber and snow pea shoots.

On Tuesday we made them. I realised that she wasn’t going to go for the red capsicum, cucumber, corriander, carrot ones I was assembling. So I improvised. I had some of those vermicelli noodles in the cupboard and some already made brown rice in the fridge (our staple, if you hadn’t noticed). She loved the brown rice, avocado, snow pea and mint combo. And the same again but with the brown rice swapped for noodles.

It was a great way to do her vegies for dinner (our rule is at least One Green Thing). Two big spring rolls plus the required two chicken drumsticks and she was good to go. I’m going to have another attempt at them this week. They are a bit time consuming to make, but I think if I have all the things sliced up and ready, it should cut it down timewise…

We made spring rolls!

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