Saturday, November 11, 2017

Sunday Outing

Today the kids and I went into the city to the Museum of Brisbane to see two exhibitions.  The first one was called "Tastes like Sunshine" which started on the 12th August and finished today.  The 2nd one is called 100% Brisbane - Everybody has a story to tell.  I'm not sure when this one finishes.  I've been meaning to get into the Museum for the last couple of months and since today was the last day for one exhibition we went this morning.  Everyone must have gone into the city today because King George Square car park was full at 10.00 am and as one car left the ticket machine would let one car in.  It took us 13 mins of waiting to get in however it's $5 and the Museum is right upstairs so we just waited in the queue.  Here's some pictures of our MOB visit which is free and they always have great things there.

The Museum of Brisbane is located in the city hall.

Entrance to Museum.

Exhibition - Tastes like Sunshine.

Beautiful photos of backyard market gardens.

Story about one house at West End.

Details about the above photo.

All the fruit and veggie boxes.

Believe it or not this art is made up of toasted marshmallow skins.

This was fun smelling the different scents.  Frangipani, Sunshine, Mangroves and Thunderstorms.

James with the Marshmallow art.

Checking out a radio booth.

The 100% Brisbane Exhibition.

Brisbane in the hey day.

The old Brisbane City Skyline...the middle building at the back. is the T&G Building where I had my first job.

Beautiful arch window in the City Hall Building.

Sienna did some clay art work with legumes.

Touch screen information wall which was really fun.

Family selfie in the lift on the way down.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Hummus from scratch (really)....

A while back Emma from She Sews Seeds blog posted on her Insta-story a video of her making home made hummus from scratch.  She got so many questions that she put it into a blog post for us and you can read about it here.

I've made hummus a few times before however as my kids don't eat it so I don't make it often and have only used canned chickpeas.  Emma swears that making it from the dry chickpeas is far better and that her method makes the creamiest hummus around.  She freezes it in containers as they go through a fair bit so I decided to give this mystery of dried chickpeas a go.  I often refer back to my blog for recipes so I'm going to type it out here as well as Emma's link above.  Below is a summary first followed by the actual recipe.  PS...both my kids tried this on seaweed cracker biscuits and liked it.

At night time before you go to bed or after you clean the kitchen put the chickpeas into a bowl and top up with water about 1 inch (approx 2.5 cm or so) above the chickpea line.  Leave on bench overnight.

In the morning empty the water out of the bowl and place the chickpeas into a big pot of cold water (ie just tap water) add salt and bi-carb soda and bring the pot to the boil.  Simmer for 1 hr.

Drain the water and let the chickpeas cool to room temperature.

Last step is to mix it up in your Thermomix or food processor.  So basically it seemed a bit daunting but in fact was super easy.  You could also start in the morning and then whip it up in the afternoon if you wanted to.  

I am converted to this hummus as it's the nicest home made version I've made so I highly recommend you giving it a go.  Here is the actual ingredient list and instructions by Emma, the above is an overall summary.  Here is a link to another way to cook and preserve chick peas using the slow cooker which is a great idea.  Thanks Cheryl for the link to this method.  I've also found a recipe for home made Tahini which I will be having a go at.

2 cups dried chickpeas (available in the soup section at the supermarket)
2 teaspoons of salt1 teaspoon of bicarb sodaJuice of one lemon3 tablespoons of tahini5 garlic cloves (actually probably way more…I adjust to taste and always add in more garlic!)1/2 cup water (also can vary, depending on the consistency you want for your hummus)1/3 cup olive oil1 tablespoon ground cumin2 teaspoons paprika

Soak your chickpeas overnight in a big bowl of water, cover to about an inch (or more) above the chickpeas. No need to refrigerate, I just leave mine on the bench.
In the morning drain the chickpeas of all water, put them in a pot and cover with new water. Add in the salt and bicarb soda, bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour. Ensure that you have enough water and they don’t dry out.
Once the chickpeas are cooked they should be easily squashed between your fingers, but not be falling apart. Drain them and let them cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, place the cooked chickpeas, lemon, garlic and tahini in a food processor (I use my Thermomix) and blitz.
With the food processor running, slowly pour in the half a cup of water until you have a creamy texture and your desired consistency. More water may be needed.
Add in the oil, cumin and paprika and process until combined.
Adjust lemon/garlic/cumin/paprika flavours if needed, or more salt.
Chickpeas on the tray waiting to cool to room temperature.

Tastes great.

Beautiful creamy and smooth.

I filled smaller containers so they could go into the freezer and then I just need to thaw one at a time.  I've got some to give to my friend for her family as well as 4 small containers is enough for us.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Around Here

Around here we are into Day 6 of our "Week in the Life" for 2017.  I thought you might like to see a few of my favourite pics so far.

It all begins....

Woke up really early on Monday for some reason.

Menu Planning for the week.

Menu plan up on the blackboard.

Grocery shopping.

Sienna bought this for 50 cents at the school fete 2nd hand toy shop about 6 years ago still loves it.

Choc Chickpea biscuits....sounds weird but healthy and delicious.

NOT REAL....Sienna is making a fake cut for her Halloween Costume...tissue, glue and makeup.

This one turns 14 in 4 weeks....growing into a lovely teenager.

Friday afternoon slushie red tongue.

Self Portrait.

Our afternoon home from school pickup.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Flat Bread

Last night I got Sienna to make some "Flat Breads" to go with our dinner which are so quick and easy and taste amazing.  The recipe is from Rhonda's last book called "The Simple Home".  I purchase all my books from The UK Book Depository which has free shipping worldwide and great prices.  I've been using them for the past 8 years. 

The Flat Breads are made up of Self Raising Flour, Salt, Baking Powder and Natural Yoghurt (I used Greek).  So quick and easy.  All the ingredients go into the Thermomix or you could use a food processor to mix it together to form a soft dough.  The dough is soft and a bit sticky so we just put some flour on the bench to roll it in and pat it.  There is no need to knead it (ha ha).  Just divide it up, and roll each piece thinly and cook for 2 minutes each side.  They are so soft and yummy and would be great to serve with dips.  If you haven't made these before I recommend you give them a go.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Week in the Life 2017

I'm really excited that tomorrow is the start of documenting our 2017 Week in the Life photo project.  It's a snapshot of your life for 7 days from routines to food to house decor to sitting in the car driving your kids everywhere.  I've done this project for many years and have spoken about it in this post and every year what seems "ordinary everyday life" changes before our very eyes.  I wish I had started a few years earlier however it's amazing when I look through these photo books at just what has been documented over the years.

I think about how wonderful it would be to see a photo book of when I was 7 from the breakfast cereals we were eating, the wallpaper that was trending, the types of cars that were driven.  There were no mobile phones, internet, google and I remember the milkman delivering milk each morning in glass bottles.   There were no CD's or DVD's it was cassette tapes, vinyl records and the family usually had a big piece of timber furniture in the lounge room that housed the record player. There was usually one TV and maybe a little portable B&W tv and with 7 people it was always a negotiation about which show was going to be watched on the B&W tv while my parents were watching the 7pm news which we, as kids found extremely boring and couldn't understand why they wanted to watch it.  There was no extra rooms for a study, 2nd lounge or media room.  A house with 3 bedrooms was typical of a family of 7 and bear in mind the parents had 1 of the 3 figure out the math.  These days most kids have their own bedrooms, 2 lounge rooms and 2 bathrooms.  Oh how the time have changed.

We (all the neighbourhood kids) rode our bikes all over the suburb where we lived and went out in the morning and maybe came home for lunch and were home for dinner.  We explored the local creek with buckets and nets and caught tadpoles and on a Friday night we would catch all the cane toads in buckets and build a 3 brick high fort in our neighbours front yard and put all the toads in there and then release them in the morning if they hadn't jumped out during the night....ahhh life was fun.  Oh how I wished I had photos of some of those activities we did at the time.  My kids will appreciate these books when they are adults married with their own kids and they can use the age old phrase that starts like "when I was a kid" or as my kids refer to my stories always start with "back in the day"....a standard family joke which always makes us laugh.  

Kids grow up and move schools and have different interests and hobbies.  This is a chance for a sort of "time capsule" of what life is like for us in 2017.

Here is a short video by Ali Edwards who is the creator of this project explaining about how it came about.  Ali has been doing this project since 2005 and I started in 2008 and document the same week as Ali and thousands of people around the world do it at the same time.  This year Ali did the Week in the Life in May however I couldn't do it that week and chose to do it in October since 2016 was done in May I thought I would to document a different time of year.  At least all the beautiful Jacaranda's are out at this time so I want to take some pictures of these to include in the book this year.

I take all my own pictures and get in the frame as well using a tripod or just placing the camera on the table or bench top.  This year I've purchased a little Joby Gorilla 3K SLR kit so I can place it on a table or wrap it around a tree to get a photo.  Fun to have a new toy and my first photos will be of me having a coffee in bed and the tripod will sit on top of the bedside table.  I have a Canon camera and apart from using a $20 remote and self timer this has a WIFI function so you can use an app on your phone to control the camera and see what will be in your pic which makes life a bit easier.

It's an exhausting project but one that is well worth it so excited for the week ahead.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Taking Stock - October 2017

I thought I would do one of these taking stock posts this month.

Making: A video of Sienna jumping on the trampoline doing back flips.

Cooking: Healthy meals from scratch and making extra to freeze for the following week.

Reading: Tutorials on how to make family video films. 

Wanting: To live on acreage not too far from here.

Deciding: On spending an hour a day cleaning out the garage for the next few weeks.

Wishing: I was on a plane going overseas on a world trip instead of/or with my sister.

Hoping: That I get through the month of October without having any diet coke.

Enjoying: The rain which has turned our brown grass into beautiful green lawn.

Loving: That I am a Mum to two amazing kids. 

Listening: To the Today Show each morning.

Buying:  Birthday presents for James who turns 14 at the end of November.

Watching: The Block, Doctor Doctor, The Wrong Girl, Landline and Gardening Australia.

Marvelling: At Sienna's persistence in learning how to do a proper back flip on the trampoline.

Needing: To go to sleep earlier each night.

Smelling: The jasmine in the backyard which is flowering at the moment.

Admiring: People who are great at putting together family video films.

Opening: The box over the weekend with our new Aldi TV in it. 

Feeling: Like this year has gone by too fast.

Dreaming: Of winning lotto (I only buy about 3 tickets a year lotto though!)

Celebrating: Getting featured on "Self Portraits of Motherhood" blog.

Pretending: That my housework is done every week to perfection.

Embracing: Good days and bad days.