Thursday, January 29, 2009

Seeking perfect fitting trousers - part 1

Posted by PicasaLast night I started work on a new sewing project .... a trial pair of Ottobre trousers which I am initially making as a 'toile' in gingham so that I can work out my fitting adjustments.



In order to achieve the 'perfect pair of trousers' (finger crossed!) I'm following the directions in "Pants for Any Body" by Pati Palmer & Susan Pletsch. They recommend a number of modifications prior to cutting out the pattern. Here are the modifications that I've made:

- Front has a 1" seam allowance to allow for large tummy alterations. I doubt I'll need this, but thought it best to have it just in case. "Pants for Any Body" actually recommended a 2" allowance, but I thought that was unnecessary for me.

- Front and back inner leg seams have a 2" seam beginning at crotch level and then tapering to a 1.5cm seam allowance 8" down. This extra amount is to allow for alterations required by full thighs or a thick body. I'm fairly sure I'll have to make some pattern alterations in this area.

- Front and back outer leg seams have a 1" seam allowance. This is to allow for curvy hips.

- Normal hemline has been extended to a 3" hem to allow for longer legs. I don't think I'll need this, but once again I've added it just in case.

-An extra 2" has been added to the crotch depth. The 2" is then removed by sewing a tuck. I then made two extra rows of stitching on the tuck, 1/4" apart. This will make lengthening the crotch easy as I'll simply need to remove a row of stitching at a time in order to lengthen the crotch in 1/2" increments. Unfortunately I forgot to add the extra 2" on the Pants Front, so I've sliced the fabric at the correct place and have inserted an extra 2" of fabric. They haven't gone back together quite so smoothly so I must have it a bit off-grain. I do hope that this won't cause me lots of extra problems in the future!!

Unfortunately my sewing attempts last night were dashed with my Elna Supermatic machine breaking down. The belt has been slipping for a while but last night it became so bad I could hardly sew. I have been gearing up to take it in for a service, so the time has definitely come! Thankfully my wonderful sister, who also has an Elna Supermatic, had loaned me her so that I don't have to go through sewing withdrawals while mine is being serviced. Needless to say, I swapped the machines around hoping to continue with my sewing. My sisters machine sounds very different to my machine. You can very clearly hear a spring moving while you sew. I do hope everything is OK with the machine ... I'd hate to be the person who breaks it. The noise made me a little nervous so I abandoned the sewing for the evening.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Kwik Sew 3299


This is the first time I've sewn something for Jeff. (He has been asking for one for about a year).

This t-shirt is really a test to check on sizing. I made up a medium.

The whole shirt went together very smoothly. I'll definitely be making it again. Next time around I'll shorten it a bit, and I'll possibly add more width around the tummy/hip region.



It is pulling strangely around the pecks ... However after looking at the photos I think the problem is caused by the shirt being a bit too snug around the hips. What do you think?

I am pretty happy with how the neckline turned out. Initially the two sides to the v were out of alignment and I had to unpick and resew. The sides still don't marry up perfectly, but I reason that if anyone notices then they are standing too close ;)Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 26, 2009

Menu Monday - 26th January


We are expecting a very busy week and won't be in much, so simple meals are on the agenda.



Fiona's No Pastry Quiche For the filling I'll do bacon, capsicum, spinach, and spring onion. I'll double the recipe and put one in the freezer.

Slow Cooked Lamb Chops

Chilli Con Carne (pressure cooker) - The rice will be cooked in a bowl, balanced on top of the meat mixture. Refer to recipe for photos and instructions.

BBQ Sausages, with a Mexican Corn salad.

Pan-fried fish & green salad

Spinach pie - Will double the recipe and with the surplus will be frozen in individual portions for easy school lunches.

Tomato Topped Macaroni Cheese (microwave)

For more recipe ideas, see I’m an Organizing Junkie.com

Friday, January 23, 2009

The game of Mummies and Daddies

Scrape me off the floor... the kids have been playing happily and by themselves for more than 1.5 hours. They broke a window blind, but other than that things have been going smoothly (if not loudly).

Ruby and Robert have been playing "Mummies and Daddies" upstairs by themselves, giving Laura and myself some rare one-on-one time doing jigsaw puzzles. She then joined in their game and I've been making dinner. Ruby and Robert are the Mummy and Daddy. Ruby tells me that they are married and are thinking about having babies, but she isn't sure if she is ready for some just yet!!!

Currently Ruby is paining Laura and Robert's toenails and fingernails with the nailpolish from her Christmas makeup kit. I am assured they are putting tissues underneath hands/feed (oh please....!!)

I do wonder how long this will last for and if I'll have to take anyone to Emergency for something!

Kreativ Blogger award



Teri at mermaids has been really generous to nominate me for the Kreativ Blogger award. I'm really honoured that such a fabulous blogger has given me this award. It is by finding Teri's blog that I discovered Ottobre designs. I really owe them a huge thank you for that! Teri writes incredibly well and creates some very inspirational sewing projects.




Here are the official rules:
1. Copy the award to your site
2. Link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate 7 other bloggers
4. Link to those on your blog
5. Leave a message on the blogs you nominated.

In no set order, here are the blogs that I am nominating:

Crazy Mom Quilts - Amanda Jean creates a large number of beautiful quilts. She keeps some for herself and gifts some to friends and charity. She also writes some wonderful tutorials. Amanda Jean has inspired me to 'give quilting a go'. I've only had a small attempt so far and have come to realise that quilting is a lot harder I was expecting! I am still trying to get my 1/4" seam perfected...

SewChic - Ruth and Jessica are a mother/daughter blogging team blogging about lots of things including sewing, quilting. They make such beautiful things!

The Genial Hearth - Homeschooling, crafting, baking, and family stuff.

OneGirl - Leslie, a fellow Aussie, blogs about her quilting and crafting pursuits, and also her very cute daughter.

Sew Christine - Christine designs and sews the most wonderful handbags.
U-Handbag - Lisa makes wonderful bags and has a vast number of 'handbag making' tutorials on her blog.
Tales from Labour and Delivery - I hesitated to nominate this blog as it hasn't been updated for a long time, however, the content is very amusing.







Thinking of UFOs



I've been thinking about UFOs. I have lots of them. I am the queen of dabbling in many different crafts and often, part way through one project I will start to research another new craft. That is a bad habit as I end up getting distracted and not completing the first project. I am getting more disciplined with age...

Here are some pictures of a UFO which I started about 15 years ago! I intended for it to become an heirloom, and I still would like that to happen. I really should start working on it again.

The project is a table cloth made from Bobbin Lace, linen fabric, and drawn-thread work. It requires four triangles made from Bobbin Lace. As you can see from the photos, I've completed one triangle (about 6 months of work in there) and have another triangle almost completed. Once the triangles are complete they are sewn onto a square of linen, thereby framing the linen square. A border of linen is then place around the perimeter and drawn-thread work is added into the linen. I have years of work ahead of me!





Bobbin lace is effectively weaving using threads that are wrapped around numerous bobbins. The design is created with the use of pins holding the weft threads in the correct position. As with knitting, the combination of two base stitches gives you many different effects. The flowers are woven 'free form' and are secured only at each point. The picot area is a four-strand plait. The braid area is created with two weft threads (horizontal threads) weaving over and under the weft threads.

I loved making the bobbin lace and used to do it in front of television. I really need to start up again, and if I get organised I'll try and post a tutorial or two.


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eyes-Closed Muffins recipe

These muffins are so easy that you could make them with your eyes closed (hence the name). They are versatile - you can add whatever fruit type of fruit you like. They freeze well and are great for lunchbox snacks.

Eyes-Closed Muffins

1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 fruit, diced (for an extra quick muffin, use drained diced fruit)

Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Add the liquid ingredients and the fruit. Mix until just combined. (I mix mine by hand with a knife or a whisk, but you could use an electric mixer if you prefer). Use an ice cream scoop and scoop the mixture into muffin tins. Bake in a moderate oven (180C) until cooked and the muffins spring back when touched. 'Average' sized muffins take about 20 minutes to cook in my oven.

Motherhood is like...

Some days motherhood is like...

Walking along the beach in a sandstorm. You are getting blasted by sand. It hurts. You need to get home, so you put your head down, half close your eyes, grit your teeth and plough on. You know when you finally make it off the beach you'll find a little place away from the wind where it is calm, quiet and where you can breathe. You hope that place will come REALLY quickly!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Pizza Sauce recipe & Zucchini, Pumpkin and Bacon Pizzas

Last night I made Pizza and I didn't have many ingredients for the topping, so we ate Zucchini, Pumpkin and Bacon Pizzas. They were really delicious. I grated the zucchini and pumpkin and the kids couldn't pick out the bits that they didn't like.

This is how I make my Pizza Sauce. It really is the 'secret ingredient' in our yummy pizzas.

Pizza Sauce

1oz butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped finely
2 tablespoons tomato paste
pinch of dry mixed herbs

Melt butter, add onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and herbs. Cook for a few more minutes. Spread on top of pizza.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival



I've just discovered that Passionate Homemaking is running a Nutritious Freezer Meal Carnival today, 20th January. "With the use of Mr. Linky, come and link up to all your healthy family recipes that freeze well and any freez­ing tips that you would like to share....recipes should ideally use whole and nat­ural ingre­di­ents (we’re think­ing healthy!), nat­ural sweet­en­ers and the like..." Here is the preview post.

I am particularly happy that the directions are for natural ingredients. I'm looking forward to reading everyone's recipes and to adding my own recipes.

Mum's Rissoles

This is my Mum's Rissoles recipe, with my adjustments noted.



Claire's Rissoles

1 beaten egg

600g minced beef

1 onion, chopped finely

1/2 teaspoon mixed herbs

1/2 packet french onion soup mix

1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs or bran



My variations: omit the soup mix and add sweet chilli sauce or tomato sauce to taste (about 1/4 cup). Add finely grated carrot and/or celery and other vegetables that are on hand. You may need to use an extra egg if you are adding a lot of extra vegetables.

Combine all ingredients. Use your hands and shape into individual patties. Shallow fry until cooked.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menuplan Monday - 19th January

Ruby and Robert start school in two weeks, so this week I am going to start stocking the freezer with some freezable lunches and snacks. I also need to restock the freezer with pre-prepared main meals.

Lunches:

  • Zucchini Slice - freeze some for easy school lunches
  • Mini Pasties - freeze some for easy school lunches
  • Sandwiches with a spread made from Egg, Tomato, Mayonnaise all mushed up together
  • Sandwiches with a spread made from finely grated carrot, cheese, onion and mayonnaise
  • Sandwiches - cheese & chutney with salad
  • Sandwiches - curried egg and lettuce
  • Baked beans on toast

Main meals:

  • Chickpea Curry - doubling the recipe and creating a freezer meal
  • 7 Minute Risotto - I've planned to make this for the past fortnight and have failed to do so. This week we'll definitely be having it!!
  • Homemade Pizza
  • Fish Cakes
  • BBQ Steak & Salad
  • Apricot Chicken in the pressure cooker
  • leftovers or something from the freezer

Baking:

For other great menu ideas, check out Organisation Junkie

All-Bran Health Loaf

This is a great healthy, low-fat and TASTY recipe. I highly recommend it for a healthy snack - especially if you're trying to lose weight. It also freezes well and is a great school snack idea.

My Mum has had this recipe for a rather long time. I think the recipe originated from an All-Bran packet.


All-Bran Health Loaf

1/2 cup raw sugar
1 cup All-Bran Original
1 cup sultanas (or dried fruit of your choice)
1 cup milk
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
pinch salt

  1. Combine sugar, All-Bran, sultanas and milk. Cover and allow to stand for half an hour or more. (I tend to refrigerate mine overnight).
  2. Add four and salt. Combine well.
  3. Pour into a greased loaf tin. Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Note: Also makes nice muffins. If cooking muffins, reduce cooking time accordingly.

Chickpea Curry recipe

Chickpea Curry
serves 4

This recipe came from my friend Kath's vegetarian recipe book. Unfortunately I don't recall the name of the book...

2 onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon tumeric
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 x 440g cans chickpeas, drained
1 x 440g can diced or crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala

  1. Heat oil in frying pan. Add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add chilli, salt, tumeric, paprika, cumin and coriander powders. Stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add chickpeas and undrained tomatoes. Stir until combined. Simmer covered over low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Add garam masala. Simmer covered for another 10 minutes.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quest for the perfect t-shirt

This is really part 3 in my ongoing quest for the perfect t-shirt pattern. (See here for Part 1 and Part 2). Part 3 (pictured below) is Ottobre 02/2006#2 size46, made up in 100% cotton 'Vera' knit from http://www.knitwit.com.au/ with a self-binding. It is a little too large across the shoulders, is a good fit in the bust, and is miles too large in the waist/hips. I'm going to take in the sides tonight.


I mucked up the neck a bit. (After making 3 t-shirts in a row, you'd think I'd have the binding nailed by now!) The binding strip was a little too small for the neck opening and you can see some puckering around the neckline as a result.



You would think that I could select the correct size based on my measurements ... and I should be able to! Unfortunately I've had a few people measure me and everyone is coming up with considerably different measurements. After having made up a size 42 and a size 46, I've come to the conclusion that I'm a size 44 ... so, off to trace off yet another t-shirt pattern!! Another contributing factor to the sizing problem is that the fabric I used in Part 2 and Part 3 of my t-shirt quest have been 100% cotton, while the pattern calls for cotton/elastane, which is a lot stretchier.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bolting furniture to the wall

Some people have been interested in how we bolted Robert's chest-of-drawers to the wall. (We did that after the whole thing fell on top of him). The issue with OUR chest-of-drawers is that if it tips even slightly, ALL of the drawers slide out quickly, thereby shifting the weight of the chest-of-drawers and causing it to overbalance.

I have to say, I am really appalled that a piece of furniture designed for kids doesn't have an anti-tilt mechanism. To be safe, you should only be able to open one drawer at a time. If you are looking at purchasing a chest-of-drawers for your kids, I'd recommend purchasing something with that feature.

Disclaimer: This might not be the best approach for your furniture and/or your situation. These pictures are simply showing how we did it. It is your responsibility decide if this approach would be safe for your situation! We take no responsibility for the outcome of your decision.

Here is how we fixed the problem. We used a hook system - the idea was to make it easy to move the chest-of-drawers for cleaning/toy retrieval. The hook cannot be reached by the kids, so there is no chance of them undoing it.


The chest-of-drawers is on the left and the wall is on the right.


Closeup of the fitting we used on the back of the chest-of-drawers.


Closeup of the fitting that we used on the wall.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

Cooking themed 5th birthday

Ruby turned 5 today!


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We threw a 'cooking' birthday party. 6 guests came to our house for 1.5 hours, played party games and decorated cupcakes. (Note: if you try this, have the child decorate one cupcake for each member of their families. I hadn't thought of that until the party, but thankfully there were enough cupcakes).
All of the guests received their own apron to keep. I made the aprons myself during the week. They are based on this pattern. Originally I intended to make chef hats too, however I decided the aprons were sufficient.
The favorite game was probably "What's the time Mr Wolf?". We also spent some time making paper dolls, which are a free printable from www.activityvilliage.co.uk .
Didn't she do a good job on her cupcakes?
Unfortunately the cake was a disaster. It was meant to be a trampoline. Not that anyone could tell that! Never mind - it still tasted wonderful. I made it using my Basic Cupcake Recipe, using orange juice and orange zest. Orange and chocolate is such a wonderful combination!
All in all the party was a success and the girls had a lot of fun. The cleanup wasn't too bad either!

Macaroni Cheese Pie - recipe

This is a family favorite and features pasta, tomato paste, bacon and parsley.

Macaroni Cheese Pie
Serves 4

8 oz (225g) macaroni
4 oz (120g) grated tasty cheese, grated
8 1/2 oz (225g) tomato paste
8 oz (225g) bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
black pepper (to taste)

Cook macaroni; drain. Mix half of the grated cheese with half of the macaroni. Press the macaroni and cheese mixture into a greased pie dish.

In a bowl, mix tomato paste, salt, pepper, parsley, water, bacon and remaining macaroni. Pour into pie dish on top of the macaroni & cheese layer. Press layers down. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake in a moderate oven (180C) for 30 minutes.

Pressure Cooker - Chilli Con Carne recipe


Here is my Chilli Con Carne & Rice recipe which I've adapted for the Pressure Cooker. The rice is cooked using a 'Pan in Pot' approach, which involves placing the rice in its own bowl, balancing it on top of the meat mixture and then pressurising the pressure cooker.

IMPORTANT: Be careful not to overfill your pressure cooker. Refer to your manual for further information.

Chilli Con Carne

(modified from recipe on tin of Masterfoods Red Kidney Beans)
Serves 4

Meat mixture:
440g red kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons freshly crushed garlic
500g minced beef
425g can crushed or diced tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 beef stock cube (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

Rice
1 cup white rice
1 1/2 cups water

Prepare the Meat Mixture:
  1. Heat oil in pan of pressure cooker, then add onion and garlic and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add meat and cook until brown. Drain fat.
  3. Add remaining 'Meat Mixture' ingredients and stir.

Prepare the rice mixture:
  1. Rinse the uncooked rice under running water. Then place the rice in a
    bowl which will fits in your pressure cooker with clearance of a few centimeters between the bowl and pressure cooker. (I use a Pyrex dish).
  2. Add water to the rice.
  3. Make a 'sling' from aluminium foil. This is used to lower and raise the rice bowl from the pressure cooker. To make the sling, cut a long piece of aluminium foil, then fold it in half and then fold it in half again. You'll end up with a long, skinny piece of aluminium foil.
  4. Place the bowl on the 'sling'.
  5. Carefully lower the bowl into the pressure cooker, fold down the ends of the 'sling' so that they are out of the way.
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Cook the meat and rice:

  1. Bring the pressure cooker to pressure. Once at pressure, turn the cooker down to the lowest possible heat whilst maintaining the pressure. Keep at this setting for 8 minutes.
  2. After 8 minutes, turn off the heat and let the pressure cooker depressurise naturally.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Menuplan Monday


I just survived my daughter's 5th birthday party. There were 7 5-year-olds present and it was fun ... in a chaotic kind of way. Each guest received an apron (made my moi) and we sat down together and decorated cupcakes. We also played "What's the time Mr Wolf", which was a big hit.

The birthday girl gets to choose what we eat for dinner tonight. She has selected pasta (she loves it so much she would eat it without pasta sauce). Instead of eating plain pasta we're going to eat Macaroni Cheese Pie.



Our menu for the week:

  1. Macaroni Cheese Pie - Easy family meal which involves pasta, tomato paste, bacon and parsley. Freezes well.
  2. Sausages - either as a BBQ with salad, or grilled indoors with mashed potato and veg.

  3. 7 Minute Risotto- I'd planned to make this last week but didn't get to it, so we'll have it this week instead.

  4. Chilli Con Carne - pressure cooker. In this recipe I illustrate how to use the "Pan-in-Pot" cooking method, which allows the rice and chilli to be cooked at the same time without mixing them together.

  5. Beef Stew - pressure cooker. I'll post this recipe later in the week.

  6. Chickpea Curry - stove top. I'll post this recipe later in the week.

  7. Leftovers

For other menu ideas, check out Organisation Junkie.

Hit by balloon whilst icing cake....

... My cake decorating skills suck. Ruby's 5th birthday cake was already looking pretty dodgy before I had to fend off a balloon whilst piping chocolate. Not happy Jan! I have salvaged things somewhat. Photos tomorrow so you can laugh at it with me!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Oh the sweet pain!

My back is killing me ... and all for the love of sewing. I've just spent the last 2 hours tracing off Ottobre patterns. Watch this blog as the next couple of weeks will see a flurry of sewing activity. So far I've traced:

- Basic o-neck and v-neck t-shirts (Ottobre 2/2006#2, size 46) - After the last t-shirt (a size 42 made up in an interlock that didn't have much stretch) being way too tight I rechecked my measurements and have decided to go up two sizes. Fingers crossed that this will be the right choice. I reason that it will be better to have the t-shirt too big rather than too small.

- Wide legged trousers (Ottobre 2/200#13) - I'll make this up in a gingham check and work out how the pattern needs to be altered before making the trousers up in nice fabric. Fitting could be a little tough by myself, so I may have to call on my lovely sister Splanky (grovel grovel).

I have more tracing to do, but I can't face any more tonight. I'm going to be a cripple as it is! (I really have to raise my cutting table to make it more ergonomic). I've promised hubby a t-shirt and Ruby really needs some short-sleeved t-shirts. She keeps dressing herself in tracksuit pants and long-sleeved t-shirts, despite Perth being in the middle of a heat wave.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A handbag for Mum

Now that Christmas is over, I can share some photos of the bag that I made for my Mum. The bag is based on the Ottobre Designs "Dotted Dream" bag. The pattern is available from the "Print for Free" secion of www.otttobredesign.com.

I did made a number of modifications:

  • Widened the bag by about 10cm.
  • Lengthened the straps. Increased the seam allowance for the straps to make them stronger. Sewed two rows of reinforcing when anchoring the straps to the bag. (On my original bag one handle has begun to pull out due to the fabric fraying).
  • Added a zippered internal pocket.
  • Added a fabric divider to split the bag into two sections.
  • Added a zippered closure to the top.
  • Instead of trimming the bag with ribbon I made hot pink canvas piping. I also added three buttons to each side of the bag. The buttons were from my grandmother's button stash (my Mum's mother).



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Best Ever Bolognaise Sauce recipe - modified for the pressure cooker

Yesterday it was hot and I didn't to have my cooking heating the kitchen up for a few hours. Solution: use the pressure cooker. My Best Ever Bolognaise Sauce recipe normally takes 2.5 hours to cook. In the pressure cooker it will take 8 minutes at high pressure and then will sit at room temperature until the pressure releases.

I needed to adapt the Best Ever Bolognaise Sauce for the pressure cooker. Here is how I did it:

  • Omitted the water. The tomatoes and wine will provide enough liquid.
  • Cooked the mince for 8 minutes at high pressure and allowed the pressure to release naturally (ie The the cooker cool at room temperature until the pressure has naturally released).
  • Added 2 grated carrots (don't tell the kids!). If was going to add some frozen spinach, but the freezer was bare!

Result tasted just like my original recipe, plus I finished the cooking while Playschool was on AND got the dishes washed up. The recipe yielded enough for two family sized meals. We ate one last night and froze the other one.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Microwave Egg & Cornflour Custard recipe

A custard recipe without added artificial colours or flavours. It makes a delicious custard and as it is made in the microwave you won't end up with a scorched saucepan. There is minimal cleanup too!

Microwave Egg & Cornflour Custard
1 egg
3 or 4 tablespoons white sugar (to taste)
2 tablespoons cornflour
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

In a large microwave-safe jug or bowl, whisk egg and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Add cornflour and whisk until well combined. Gradually add vanilla essence and milk, stirring to remove lumps. (I find the lumps are minimal if I whisk whilst adding the milk). Place jug/bowl in microwave and microwave on HIGH for 5 minutes. Stir. Microwave at 1 minute intervals on HIGH, stirring each time, until custard has thickened. Refrigerate custard when it has cooled sufficiently. (Note: custard will thicken as it cools. If you prefer a thicker custard, add increase quantity of cornflour in the recipe).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Menuplan Monday - 5th January


This week I need to restock the freezer. I'll be doing that with the Risotto, Spag Bol, Quiche and possibly the Curry.

With school lunches in mind, I am also going to try out some new lunch recipes.

Dinners:
7 Minute Risotto
Best Ever Bolognaise Sauce
Buggered Lamb Chops either in the slow cooker or pressure cooker.
Apricot Chicken in the pressure cooker. I'll try out a new recipe.
Curry in a Hurry
No Pastry Quiche
Curried Sausages - an old recipe of Mum's. I'll try and post the recipe during the week.

Lunches:
Zucchini Slice
Mini Vegie Pasties
Potato, Corn & Tuna Patties
Ham, Pineapple & Cheese Pizza Scrolls
Savory egg sandwich & salad
Peanut paste sandwich & salad
Tatziki dip, savory biscuits & salad

For other menu ideas, check out Organisation Junkie

Friday, January 2, 2009

Memories of 2008

What did I do in 2008? Good question. I'm finding it a bit frightening that I've had to think really hard to remember things of significance. Let's see....

  • Celebrated my kids' 4th, 3rd and 2nd birthdays. This may not sound that significant, but raising children is where a rather large chunk of my time has gone.
  • Rediscovered my love of sewing. If my memory is correct I made 1 x kids jeans, 4 x kids t-shirts, 2 x kids skirts, 1 x kids dresses, 2 x adult t-shirts, 1 x adult skirts. Hey, that sounds like quite a bit :)
  • Discovered Ottobre Designs - a great source of patterns. (I know I keep mentioning them ... they really are that good).
  • Learnt how to make dichroic jewellery. Sold 1 of my handmade pendants. Found a retail outlet that would sell my jewellery but didn't follow through and didn't leave anything with them to sell (they were going to charge 50% commission).
  • Learnt how to sew handbags. Have visions of selling handmade bags and dichroic jewellery.
  • Lost around 8kg.
  • Discovered blogging. Is that an achievement? I'm not sure ... but it is significant ;)
  • Made my first block of patchwork.

I really feel that there should be more to this list, but I'm stumped. One of my goals for 2009 is going to be having more achievements!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflections on 2008

I haven't made any New Year Resolutions as such ... I resolved a number of years ago not to make New Year Resolutions. :) However, I would like to have some goals to work to for 2009 and I'll be working them out over the next few days.

Simple Mom has a good list of questions to use when reflecting on the past year. I haven't worked through the list yet, but I will. Might be a good thing to do during the 5 hour drive home from our holiday. I think it will help to focus me to decide on some goals for 2009.

Developmental freight train

Warning: This is a proud mum post! All three kids have made huge developmental leaps over the last week or so.

Ruby (who will be 5 in a few weeks) has switched from nappies to knickers at nighttime. She is very excited and proud (as are we!) We were about to get her into the Bedwetting clinic at the local kids hospital, and have her wait-listed for a bed alarm. No need! Woohoo.

Robert (3.5yrs) has
- Stopped soiling his jocks. (We were quite concerned by this as he will be doing 2 days of Kindy each week in 2009).
- Started riding a two-wheeler bike with trainer wheels. He has been able to ride a two-wheeler for a while and has just chosen not to. All of a sudden he is interested in riding one and is having a brilliant time.

Laura (27 months) has:
- Started toilet training herself. She is still wearing a nappy, but frequently removes it and takes herself to the toilet.
- Started riding a tricycle by herself.
- Started riding a two-wheeler bike with trainer wheels by herself. She developed this skill less than a week after starting to ride the tricycle.

Love my kids, and each new developmental milestone makes life that much easier!!
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