Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

It's been a great few weeks for Mr. Man. He's enjoyed all the new dinners I've made. He gave a huge thumbs up to this Lemon Butter Chicken on Sunday.

This Meatball Parmigiana was huge and is probably going to last us 2-3 nights! It's such a good idea to mix the mince meats, yummy extra flavour.

The addition of ranch sauce in these Bacon and Chicken ranch quesadillas was yuumo

I saw a photo of this last Friday afternoon while absent mindedly scrolling through things. I HAD to make it, and it was delicious. Apple Dumplings Cobbler, mmmmm.

A tasty and simple dinner in Caprese Chicken, was had this weekend.

This got the big tick from my old Aunties that came visiting. One even had to call me the night after their visit to get it as her husband liked what she took home so much! SOOOOO easy to make too!
No-Bowl Slice
Makes about 18

90g butter, melted
1 cup (100g) plain sweet biscuit crumbs
1 1/2 cups(285g) dark choc drops
1 cup (70g) shredded coconut
1 cup (140g) crushed mixed nuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Grease 23cm square slab pan; line base with baking paper.

Pour butter into the prepared pan, sprinkle evenly with biscuit crumbs, choc drops, coconut and nuts. Drizzle with condensed milk.

Bake in oven for about 30 minutes. Cool in pan before cutting into pieces.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Weekly 10

Much closer to a week this time! Lol I giggle each time I do it. If it wasn't called 'weekly 10' and simply something about being productive it'd be fine, but I love the irony behind the 'week' label.
I've been quite down this last week, lots of things that have been bubbling away have hit the fan. I feel like I'm coming out the other end now, but it ebbs and flows. I tell you think because I think it's important to highlight that even though I've been feeling rubbish, and not wanting to do anything, I have...and you know what? I feel better for it. No matter how crap you're feeling it's good to put your mind to something that's going to make you feel good. Ah, warm fuzzies.

1.  Post-it note my new cookbooks so I can use them without it being a chore.
2.  Do a 52 lists
3. Make some biscuits for Jake
Look at this happy boy! Recipe to be in a blog post coming your way shortly.

4. Do a restaurant blog post.
Not only have I done a restaurant blog... I've done heaps this week.
Restaurant update
30 before 30 - cocktails
My brush with the Backstreet Boys and...
Taking stock

For the family:
5. Invitations for Leah's birthday & food list.
6. Shopping list for Willow's birthday.
I haven't done this yet... Will get on to it this week.
7. Have a special outing for us all.
This didn't happen either. Although we had a lovely weekend together, we stayed home in the warm.

Just for me:
8. Send email about tattoo.
9. Have a relaxing bath.
10. Keep working on secret squirrel, special projects.

So all in all not to shabby really. Super happy with my blogging efforts. Well done me! For this week...

1.  Organise 5 stack drawers in spare room
2.  Cull books and organise book shelf
3. Post it note some more of my cookbooks
4. Make two of the dishes for the 5 course gourmet meal

For the family:
5. Have a lovely lunch with Aunty Sheryl and Glenice
6. Shopping list for Willow's birthday
7. Take Leah to the library

Just for me:
8. Practise making curls using the hot iron
9. Get all the teaching resources that are ready up on iKandy
10.Go to bed early and read 'Cross stitch'

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Taking Stock

I got this cool little idea from 'All in a daze' and I see she was joining in with 'Meet me at Mike's' to take stock. I really liked this as a once a month or once a fortnight kinda idea. A great mini-journalling exercise. It might even take over 'Things I'm loving', because try as I might, I can't rekindle my fire for that.

I'm home today with a sick bubba. I've also been sick myself on and off - more on than off though, mostly, I think, because I just won't stop. It's hard to slow down when it's not your nature. Battling along with a bit of a cold seems OK until it just won't go away. Rest, lots of fluids and lots of cuddles is the only thing for it. Couple that with not feeling so crash hot mentally and emotionally at the moment for a variety of reasons and I have somewhat of a shit storm!

These are the last 5 photos taken on my phone, thought that'd be a good way to start...

Making : An attempt at getting my blogging mojo back on point.
Cooking : Nothing tonight - origin night and I have no husband.
Drinking : Lots and lots of water to flush this cold out.
Reading: 'Cross stitch' Diana Gabaldon
Wanting: The next 2 1/2 weeks to pass very quickly and then the following 2 very slowly.
Looking: Forward to our trip away to Rotorua.
Playing:'The game'
Deciding:Whether to go to work tomorrow or be a good mumma for a borderline sick bubba.
Wishing: The perfect job would pop up.
Enjoying: Spending time with my smallest friend today.
Waiting:For the storm to pass.
Liking: This sunshine on a cold winter's day.
Wondering:How long Willow will nap for this time...
Loving: The stage Leah is at right now, such a cool age of learning and wonder.
Pondering:What's up next for me...
Considering: A major change.
Buying: Lots of things for birthday parties just around the corner.
Watching: Dr Phil, lol background noise.
Hoping:Willow does have a good long nap this time, she's knackered.

Marvelling:At how happy wee people are when they're sick - I feel like rubbish!
Cringing: At my own downfalls.
Needing: A huge pick-me-up.
Questioning: The sincerity of others.
Smelling: Mango body lotion.
Wearing: My Bunnies jersey, Glory glory.
Following: Bowl full of Lemons Book Club
Noticing: A lot of negative stuff - need to make a point of looking for positives.
Knowing: 'This too shall pass'.
Thinking: This passing shit is taking too long.
Admiring: A husband that always knows how to make me feel better, even if he doesn't realise it.
Sorting: Out my spare room - decluttering, again!
Getting: Sleepy this afternoon.
Bookmarking: oh no, pinning, always pinning.
Coveting: My old self's confidence.
Disliking: Feeling like I'm at the bottom of the pit.
Opening:a package from the mail man, hopefully....hopefully...
Giggling: At Leah's great questions and her, 'What you say mumma?'
Feeling: Tired.
Snacking:Oooo, no thank you, full from breakfast.
Helping: yourself is truly one of the hardest things to do.
Hearing: The sky moving outside.. rain soon?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tasty Tuesday

It's winter and all I want to do is EAT! Comfort food central at the moment at my house. Sauces, gravies, hot things, puddings... naughty eating if you ask me, but so worth it. Nom!

I gave this 'Cookie in a mug' thing a go. I used to make a lot of puddings in a cup - vanilla ones with jam at the bottom when I was a kid. It was my favourite recipe in my 'Edmonds Kids Cook Book'! The ones that I keep seeing popping up all over the internet just seemed so much more elegant though. So I gave one I try. It may have been my skills, but I didn't particularly like it. Luckily it hasn't put this sweet tooth off, and I'll try some more over the winter I'm sure.

I found these Skinny Sour Cream enchiladas absolutely delicious. I don't think there was anything particularly skinny about them but the calorie count on them is lower than your average so I was super satisfied and super happy.

Mr Man was quite upset that I'd used his fancy rum for this Roasted pineapple rum chicken, until he tasted it that is. This was super yummy, if not a teeny weeny bit sweet. It was definitely a nice saucy number to lap up with some dinner rolls. Scrumptious.

And on par with that was this Roasted Mustard Chicken. Nom.

The mince in this taco lettuce wrap recipe was super taste - another thumbs up from Mr. Man! 

This is Pulled Pork currently in the slow cooker getting itself all nice and yummy for tonight. There's no way this is going to be gross. So excited. Gotta love the smell of dinner cooking when you get home from work.

Have a lovely week everyone.

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Tell me..the words to say, the road to take to find the way back to your heart..."

When I was 10 I was a massive pop music fan. I wore fluffy clips in my hair ala Britany Spears in 'Hit me baby one more time', I pestered my parents until they played my CDs in the car and I plastered my walls with posters from TV Hits.

The stand out boy band in my eyes was the Backstreet Boys. I spent a good chunk of my day searching for picture of them on the internet - and waiting for dial up speed photos of appear on the screen. I knew every members full name, age, musical influences, hobbies, favourite foods, what they liked in a girl, blah, blah, blah, blah - you name it, I probably knew it. I listened to their albums (I owned ALL of them) on repeat all day errr day and I bought every bit of paraphernalia, no matter how big or small.

Unfortunately for 10 year old me, they never toured New Zealand in their height of fame, BUT fortunately for my 29 year old self they came a few weeks ago. I was skeptical. I've hardly listened to an album by them for years and I hadn't listened to any of their new stuff. Plus, as much as my sense of humour hasn't progressed, I'm no longer 10 years old.

Even with those set backs the concert was AMAZING! And I don't say that lightly. I've been to a lot of concerts and my musical tastes have completely changed over the years.

Even so, I'm happy to say that this was THE BEST CONCERT ever, like ever. They played a great mix of their old stuff that I remember - around 90% of the songs I knew. They were insanely interactive - coming out into the crowd and posing for photos on the stage. My best friend and I danced all night. It was awesome. I would totally go if they toured NZ again!

These last photos are my two absolutely favourite shots of the night...
 One of Brian posing for my photo on stage.
 And one of me getting the bestest hand shake ever from my favourite backstreet boy. Yay!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cocktails! Because no great stories start with someone drinking water...

Goal number 28 in my '30 Goals before 30' is to Learn how to make 5 cocktails.

I'm not even much of a drinker, which is funny. Cocktails are just cool though right? Mr Man laughed his head off when I said I wanted a more prolific alcohol cabinet so I could feel like more of an adult. I always associate a knowledge of alcohols and drinks with a together, hip adult. Haha, how sad is my outlook on the art of being an adult, right?

 Whether I'm right or not, our alcohol cabinet has been fluffed out a lot in the last few months, and is looking quite healthy. Which is what you need for cocktails! Yay.

I'm also two fifths through this goal. I have a huge list of cocktails I'd like to make, but am taking it slowly - like I said, I'm not a big drinker. So far I've made the classic 'Cosmopolitan' and a very tangy 'Japanese Slipper'.

It's been a fun experience. A couple of side goals I'd like to work on is enjoying the cocktails with someone else (Mr Man isn't terribly interested), my best friend has been begging to come over and cocktail it up with me - I owe it to her to oblige, and to make them look more pretty - garnishes etc - as I like to go over the top with anything I do and presentation is never my strong point so it'd be good to improve here.

In any case, here are the cocktails and their mix ratios for you drinking pleasure.

2oz Vodka
1/2oz Triple sec (cointreau)
3/4oz Cranberry Juice
1/2oz Lime Juice
 Fill a cocktail shaker with ice then add vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and lime juice. (We like the extra bite of extra lime juice, so we use 1/2 an ounce in our cosmopolitan cocktails. However, use what is best for your taste).Shake the cocktail shaker for about 30 seconds until well chilled. Then, strain into a martini glass.Garnish with orange peel/twist. For an extra burst of flavor, peel the orange twist over the filled cocktail glass. This way, the orange oils spray into the glass.

Japanese Slipper:
1 part Triple sec (cointreau)
1 part lemon juice
1 part midori
Mix together in a shaker with ice. Strain into glass, garnish and serve.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New Restaurant Update

Ain't that the truth! Goal #22 in my 30 before 30 is to try a new restaurant every month. I've tried a tonne already and instead of going for one a month I'm just trying to knock out as many as I can. Every time I'm planning on eating out. I try to go to a new place, if it's feasible (read: it's always feasible to eat).

There are still some definite places that I'm dying to try and I want to make a plan to make sure I get there - fancy schmancy places!

For now, here's where I've been to in the last little while.

Paasha Turkish Cafe ticked a lot of boxes for me, heaps of people from around the area love it, it was a cuisine I don't normally have (or have ever possibly...?) and it was an excuse to get out with my book club, talk about books, and just have a general chin wag.
Everyone at the table was super impressed by the size of their meals and thought it was good value for money - definitely a place I can take my husband where he won't moan about big plates and small meals. The atmosphere and environment was lovely (those pretty lamps!) and allowed the book club to have their much needed chat, when we weren't scoffing food in our mouth that is.
I had a seafood casserole and it was YUM. Big flavours, lots of seafood and very hearty - warmed me up on a cold night. Dessert was a lovely chocolate hit. It was a great place to pop my Turkish cherry.

Keeping along the local (to me that is) theme, the next place is the Karaka General Store & Cafe. We stopped here for Mother's day lunch last month and I was certainly happy with my meal.
It's not fine dining, but it's nice enough, and (must be the theme of this post) the meals are HUGE and well priced. Since going on Mother's day I've stopped in to get a hot chocolate and hubby has stopped in for breakfast and loved both. Here is my seafood platter from our first stop. Too many hot chips for even me to eat!

Last but not least was China Yum Cha in Auckland City. A great place to go if you are heading to Vector Arena for a concert (FYI - Backstreet Boys was AMAZING, thanks for asking...I may need to do a blog post on this...). I like the tapa style of yum cha dining and all of our meals delivered on flavour. I was super stuffed by the end of it, opting out of something sweet. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that's a feat. The best dish of the night was the pork belly, picture below. NOM! Apologies for the bad photos - yucky lighting.

My school holidays are coming up shortly and I'm planning on dining out at a few fun and funky places during that time. Mr Man and I are having a childless weekend in Rotorua so there might even be a gem there for my next restaurant update. SUPER excited to be going to The Auckland Fish Market for a tasting platter and wanting to plan some trips to fancy restaurants too.

God I do love food.