Friday, March 30, 2012

Feed Me Friday: Broccoli & Mushroom Pasta

Easy peasy.

Saute garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.  Do the mushrooms in batches if you think you'll be crowding your pan as otherwise your mushies will be mushy.

Steam or microwave a head of broccoli florets.

Cook your favourite pasta shape.

Add drained broccoli to pan and sprinkle with stock powder and salt to taste. Squeeze some lemon to taste over the top.

Add pasta with a little of the cooking water.

Toss.  Serve.  Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts or untoasted poor-man's pine nuts (sunflower seeds).  Add more lemon juice or generously dust with parmesan (off the block I recommend as opposed to shaken from the can).

I almost insult you with writing out this delicious recipe as it is pretty obvious from the photo but what isn't obvious is its yumminess!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday's WIP Out :: Bunny

Ok so I may have a new bug for sewing but good results come from practise and stretching boundaries.  Don't they?

I've always wanted to make a softie. 

And whilst in Hervey Bay last year, I bought then promptly burnt this top on the stove when I was cooking dinner. I was a bit peeved but then had a thought . . . what if I chop it up and make Dean a little bunny?  Looking back, I'd like to say it was the inner, burgeoning crafter that thought to stash it  . . . . but really, it was the hoarder in me.

Nonetheless, here it is progressing.

I think my biggest challenge will be how to make a head.  Mmmm. . .

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


My boys go to kindy now which is why I can get some crafting done.

Liam loves it, goes twice a week.

Dean doesn't love it but seems to tolerate it.  This makes me sad and I don't know how long I should persevere.  He goes only once a week. 

But aren't they cute?  Mmm, I'm so in love with my toddler terrorists.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Made It Monday :: Circles Quilt

Ta daa!

Ok deets are:

circles - Amy Butler Love, supplied and cut by Jen (go and see what she made my Liam!)
sashing - Kona Cotton White supplied by aforementioned Jen.
binding - Lisette Lawn bought at Spotlight
back - Britten Haus from Ikea

We used this tutorial and then I did my own thing.

Thanks Jen for not only the fabric but for starting my new obsession! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Feed Me Friday: Snakes in Red Sauce

Sometimes I just want to cook from a jar.  But at least I go for several jars when this mood strikes so that I feel like a little bit of culinary flair has gone into it.

You will notice that this recipe isn't anything new, it appears in almost every recipe book I own and you would perhaps make it at home too.  A word of warning, this recipe does contain hairy fish but it is so worth eating it despite their look, smell and reputation!  So here is my version.

First up, what's with the name I hear you ask?!  Spaghetti Puttanesca is apparently translated as a pasta a whore would make.  Perhaps due to the original having chilli in it (mine doesn't as I make it for the kids) or because it is a little cheap and nasty with the ingredients coming mainly from jars . . . or perhaps because it is quick and can be made and eaten between tricks . . . who knows, it just wasn't the right name for it my house.

Without asking, my 3.5 year old Liam, decided to call it "Snakes in Red Sauce".  Still sounds a little wicked . . . suits us fine!

2-3 cloves garlic (to taste really), finely chopped
fresh oregano, finely chopped (or dry or not)
2-3 large spoons of spanish olives, roughly chopped
1 Tbl capers, rinsed and finely chopped
2-3 anchovies, roughly chopped (to taste - don't worry about finely chopping as anchovies tend to melt into the sauce)
3 Tbl tomato paste
1 can tinned tomatoes
pasta of choice

Take the garlic, oregano, olives, capers and anchovies and gently saute them in olive oil.  Add the tomato paste and cook for at least 30 seconds before adding the tinned tomatoes.  Keep the heat med-low and put the lid on. 

Meanwhile, sort out your pasta according the packet instructions or your awesome cooking instinct.  Our family are die-hard fans of angel hair pasta, but one of our boys has an intolerance to wheat now so we have switched to glass noodles aka bean thread vermicilli with amazing success.

For normal pasta, save a little of the cooking water and stir it through the sauce to liven it up.

And you know what to do from here.  Mix and serve etc

I kid you not, this gets eaten every week.  Not because of the jar compulsion, but because it gets requested by the little people more often than it is supplied.

Nom nom nom

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday's WIP Out: Circles Quilt

This is the quilt that started it all  . . . but it will be my third.

For my birthday back in 2010, Jen gave me the circles, all neatly cut out from Amy Butler's gorgeous fabric and said "I was going to make you a quilt for your birthday but I thought you'd might like to make it yourself, I will show you".  How fantastic!  And how scared was I?  I didn't even own a sewing machine then. 

I have since purchased the goods, done a couple of trial runs on other quilts and am finally ready.

Here's the work in progress:

I have been loving every stitch of this quilt and will not look forward to the post-quilt-completion-deflation that I have felt on my other two quilts . . . this must be what drives one to create another.

What makes you quilt?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Even though I have welcomed 2012 with open arms and some abandonment for the year that was, I have met two challenges.

Liam has been showing some sign of food intolerance.  Stomach cramps, loose bowels, dark shadows around eyes.  So I began what I thought would be a long process of elimination and re-introduction.  I started with wheat, and it appears that wheat is indeed the culprit.  Since we have removed, all but eliminated it completely from his diet, Liam has improved tremendously.  However, when he does get the odd amount it affects him far worse than before.  Hmmm, down side of dealing with intolerances I guess.

But that is not all that Liam has to deal with.  Back in January, Liam suffered a seizure at his kindy.  No fever, no over heating, no obvious trigger.  He was simply falling asleep and then twitched and shook for 3 mins, turned blue, frothed at the mouth and stopped breathing.  He regained his breathing and went into a deep deep sleep for 30 mins. 

I have since realised that he has had other seizures prior that I thought were bad dreams caused by last year's stress.  He has also had at least one more at home although we didn't see it, just the strange aftermath.  It seems they are happening in his sleep.  Luckily, at kindy they see him when he is sleeping.  When I put Liam to sleep at home, I leave him in his room alone otherwise he wouldn't sleep (highly distracted 3.5 year old!)

MRI and EEG have both come back showing no signs of tumours or vascular problems.  There was a worry that his haemangioma on his face could indicate that there was one on his brain also.  They don't know what is wrong.  So far it is no big deal but it does scare me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Monday's Made it: MJ's Quilt

Goodness me.  How do you start a conversation with someone you haven't seen in ages and perhaps have neglected?  That is how I am feeling about my little blog.  Some of you have moved on, and I don't blame you, I had moved on too.  But here I am back again, with so much to tell you!

2012 is not without its challenges but it has been a lovely fresh start.

And to kick it all off, I'll share with you my second ever quilt made for my first ever grandchild!  What?!  Grandchild?  But I am in my early 30s with two little boys . . . true.  I am blessed to be step-mother to three.  Step-friends really.  The eldest is expecting his first son in April.  So I thought I would sew with love and abandon, as much as a newbie can and this is the end result!

*sings* "one of these pins is doing his own thing"

Tres pleased with myself.  During the making of this quilt something happened.  A little tiny light of creative inspiration that has been locked away, held firmly by years of negative internal dialogue . . . shone a little brighter.  A ray of it has escaped and is filling my mind with ideas and inspiration. 

To the seasoned crafter, this may sound a little pathetic or overly dramatic.  But that is how it may be for you and not how it is for me. 

Being creative is fun and sadly addictive.  Another thing to balance but factoring it in to the day-to-day is challenging and rewarding.

How do you manage it?
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