29 June 2011

Recipe: Quick Thai Green Curry

On a cold winter's night, there's no greater comfort food than a delicious tasting Quick Thai Green Curry.


Ingredients:
Vegetables for stir-frying (courgette/broccoli/peppers - whatever is your standard fare!)
Bunch of spring onions (optional)
1 chicken breast chopped into small chunks (per 2 people), can double it - still works with the recipe
1 tsp crushed real ginger (we use a jar of lazy ginger)
Finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
1 tin of low-fat (or full depending on your preference) coconut cream
125ml chicken stock
1 tsp Thai green curry paste (or more if you like it spicier!)
Chopped fresh basil or coriander (for garnish)
Salt and pepper
1 cup rice per 2 people

1. Stir fry veges until just cooked
2. Add the chicken and cook for 3 minutes or until sealed




3. Add the ginger, lime/lemon zest, coconut milk, stock, curry paste, soy sauce. 




4. Heat until almost boiling. Cover and simmer on a low heat for 15-20 minutes.



5. Cook the rice on the stove or in the microwave using your normal methods.
5. Season the curry with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of rice.
6. Drizzle lemon/lime juice over the curry
7. Garnish with basil and coriander.




Yummo!

28 June 2011

{Nearly} Free Crafty Goodness!

I've been fortunate enough to get my hands on a few buttons for crafts.


Ha ha, just a few aye! After spotting some great ideas for buttons on Pinterest (my latest addiction!), I remembered that my work has some old stock floating around that we rescued from being dumped a few months ago. Then I got to thinking and wondering if anyone of you lovely people might also like some freebies (you just need to be able to pay the postage).


♥ Buttons 




There aren't so many buttons left as the other items and what's left is mostly the yellow and blue buttons.

Here's my real-life crafting using the buttons


There aren't so many buttons left as the other items and what's left is mostly the yellow and blue buttons, but if you'd like some, let me know how many (i.e. let me know amounts per colour or a mixture up to a maximum amount you're happy to pay postage on).


♥ Pegs 




We have hundreds (possibly thousands) of these!


♥ Foam pads 




Boxes and boxes of these - they make good Christmas decorations! See?


♥ Bananas/Carrots 




And plenty of these....not exactly sure WHAT you could do with these, but you crafty people are sure to have some ideas!

If you would like some for your own crafting, you just need to be able to pay for the postage for the total quantities/mix of what you would like (I can arrange the postage from this end and let you know the cost). If you're in Wellington, you can always arrange to swing by my work and pick up what you'd like.

To keep it simple, I've turned off the comments on this blog, so if you're keen, email me using the link at the top right of the blog page where it says 'Drop Us a Line' with the items/quantities you'd like and we can do business!

Glad to be of crafty service! 

26 June 2011

Lyrical & Wordless Sunday: Mid-Winter Christmas

If you're playing along with Lyrical Sunday, go ahead and read the words and the pics.


If you're playing along with Wordless Sunday, just pretend the words are a complete figment of your imagination, cos I hope once you read the poem, you'll forgive me  for being a little wordy! *wink*

In the bitter cold and dark
I need something more to warm my heart


When the days are short and the night is long
I must learn the words to a different song


Listen Oh my heart to the voice inside
The one that says 'embrace' not 'hide'


Fight off this gloom to gather cheer
Enough to surpass these winter years


Cheer allows my heart to soar
Surrounded by tinsel and snowflakes and festivities more


Among dear friends we raise a toast
As we celebrate this day, our Lord the gracious first host


Forget for a time wearisome winter ails
Simply enjoy this moment before resolve can fail


So be brave and true, stand firm O Tree
Allow us to so bejewel thee


Light up, light up, you twinkling lights 
And throw your light far into the cold, dark night




                                                                                        This week..not so......


25 June 2011

What you don't see....

We're all Mid Winter Christmassed out over here. Feeling full and fat and fair tuckered out! Full up of far too much good food -  2 roast chickens and a roast pork, roast veg, cheesy broccoli/cauliflower, with a pumpkin pie and sticky date pud to finish us off completely!


It was a lovely afternoon/evening celebrated with four other families - 10 adults and 6 kids, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to go mad with decorating the tree, and couldn't resist throwing festivity into a few other nooks and crannies around the place too :-)


The tree was up by mid-morning, gingerbread were baked by lunchtime, and carols were sung along to with great gusto on and off throughout the day.


But what these pictures don't show you is...

Poor Mark has had a really bad back since Thursday morning. It seems to flare up about once a year and so it picked a great weekend to hit - but he battled on cooking all the roast meat and veg dosed up to the hilt on painkillers - that's my hero!.

Mylo clung (somewhat unusually) like a limpet to my leg throughout the entire proceedings crying 'cuddle, cuddle' which made it near impossible to entertain and engage in more than a quick conversation here and there.

One of our life group crew had to have 3 hours of emergency dentistry during the day today, and very nearly didn't make it, but in the end battled on through the pain and numbness - we salute you!

And another of our crew came along despite not feeling very well, then decided to go home early, but didn't get far before throwing up out in the street. Get well soon love!

Ah yes, the best laid plans.....

Despite the various challenges and setbacks, I'd do it all again tomorrow.

Well maybe not tomorrow...yawn......

24 June 2011

Things I'm Loving 24.6.11

♥ Toothless 

Noah's new nickname for himself is Toothless now that he's lost both his front teeth. I have a feeling he might have got this name from the dragon on How to Train Your Dragon.

The tooth fairy has been a busy girl these past couple of weeks. Two bottom teeth at $2 a pop = $4 for one happy toothless kid who is not even five yet! Mind you, he's not really even toothless as the two adult teeth are growing quickly into place. Did anyone else think they look massive compared to the baby teeth beside them when their kids fell out...!


♥ Pinning in Real Life 

Loving the sharing of creativity that is going on at Pinterest right now. Loving having new crafty ideas to try out. Loving that I attempted my first Real Life Pin this week! To be sent to a special someone with love!




♥ The case of the disappearing Meghan 

Oh dear what disaster has befallen the wearer of the yeti boots?


Fear not, there was no alien abduction here,  just a super quick exit from the pyjamas that left them still attached to the boots! Ha ha!

I looked down at what had happened and it looked so funny I just had to take a picture!


♥ Rainbow Wristies 

What can I say? Love love love love love. I so WANT me a pair of these. This is another of my recent pins from my latest addiction to Pinterest. I wonder if I wink longingly enough someone might take pity on me and knit me a pair? Nana, Grandma, any takers?



 ♥ Camera Simulator Site 

Do you get as confused as me about the effects of aperture, shutter speed, ISO and how to magically work them all together to create amazing photos? Well here's a little online tool where you can play around with all the various combinations and see the results on the same pic. Ace, I tell ya!
http://camerasim.com/camera-simulator.html


♥ Project Pinata 

Project Death Star Pinata is go! We're now four layers into this, and now the next task is to pop the balloon (eek!) inside and then create the famous inverted superlaser bit. This is the real-life attempt so far:


Hoping the finish product will look even vaguely like this by the end!



♥ 10,000 Bags of Hope ♥

I saw this via Great Fun 4 Kids today and I love the commitment and belief this church has that they can do something positive to help out. And I love that they are doing something NOW, now is when it's important. When the initial rush of support and fundraising has died down as it inevitably does, THIS is when it's most important that the people in Christchurch KNOW they're not forgotten.



"Bags of Hope" might not remove the silt or fix the water supply. But it does send a message of solidarity to these stricken families from the rest of us. It says, we haven't forgotten youwe give a damn.
The artwork contained in the bag (in the red and black Canterbury colours) will be a visual reminder of that.


Each cellophane bag will contain:

A block mounted art piece (with sponsors name and town/city on the back)
A block of Chocolate
4+ Coffee/Hot Chocolate sachets

People can sponsor one bag or hundreds. Each bag will cost around $NZ5. A sponsor's name and hometown will be on the back of the artwork so the recipient knows it comes from a person, not just an organisation.


Here's the Facebook page if you want to show the people of Christchurch we're still here and we still care. Go on, join me in getting the word out there - Like it on your Facebook page and spread it people!

♥ Mid-Winter Christmas 

This time last year, we were battling with the change in routines as I'd just gone back to work full-time and winter sickness was upon us, so June was a pretty dire month for us all. So we said to heck with it, let's have a mid-winter Christmas Party to have some fun as a family and forget for a day how crappy we were all feeling. By the way, it worked a treat!


This year, we've widened the "circle of trust" (to copy Jack Byrnes on Meet the Parents) to include our nearest and dearest life-group friends in the occasion. Watch this space for a hearty celebration of all that there is to love about Winter Solstice. Celebrating that we've made it past the darkest week of the year, and it's gonna be getting lighter from here on!

And not of course forgetting that it's another opportunity (despite being 180 odd days early!) to remember and celebrate what Jesus' birth on this Earth means to us all - and I'm sure He wouldn't want us to limit ourselves to celebrating his arrival to just one day a year!

Happy Weekend!



button2


22 June 2011

Recipe: Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake

This is a crowd pleaser, to be sure.

After making Simone's Tiramisu a few weeks back, there was still a fair bit of Baileys left in the bottle. And whilst I could quite happily drink it all (although maybe not in one sitting) it's always nice to find other recipes to give it an outing.

Enter the Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake.

We got this recipe from Mark's brother years ago, and to be honest it had slipped to the back of the memory banks until now. If I didn't already count myself lucky to have a hubby who is fantastic in the kitchen, well I count myself doubly lucky to have a brother-in-law who is as good if not better!

Mind you, I'd better be careful what I say here, otherwise World War 3 could erupt over who takes the title of 'Best Chef' in the wider household, since Grandma & Grandad are pretty dab hands themselves too. Nevertheless James (Mark's bro) is a definite contender for the title. Made more extraordinary when combined with the fact this is a lad who harks from the West Country now living in Wales, teaching kids, a  rugby-lover, gadget whizz, but yet still manages to fit in 'chef extraordinaire' into his 6 foot 3 package as well. I think his lovely wife Ann-Marie will agree that makes a mean combination ;-)

Anywho...back to the cheesecake recipe thanks to James.

Ingredients:

Base
100g gingernut biscuits crushed
50g chopped hazelnuts
65g melted butter

Filling
225g dark chocolate
25g soft brown sugar
175g extra light cream cheese
225ml cream (whip a little until still runny but twice as thick)
50ml Baileys\

1. Mix together the biscuits, nuts and butter and press into base of a cake tin (with a removable bottom if possible). Chill in fridge.



2. Melt chocolate in a bowl over simmering water. 
3. In another bowl beat sugar and cream cheese until smooth, then fold in cream.


4. Fold in the Baileys and melted chocolate.


5. Add mixture to cake tin, level the surface and chill for 4-5 hours.


6. Remove from tin and decorate with grated chocolate.


7. And thank your lucky stars you have a great brother-in-law willing to share such yummy recipes!

20 June 2011

Giving it away.....

Right now, I really wish I had twenty-one giveaways as I'd love to have given it to each and every one of the lovely people who entered. Reading all of the wonderful comments you left has given me such joy, and reinforced my belief that I am completely surrounded by loveliness. By the loveliness of you all.

In the end I drew this the old fashioned way, names in a hat, it somehow felt more authentic than pushing a button on random.org. which is what I've done in the past.

So without further ado....the winner of the Heaven is for Real book, Living Hope Center bracelet and Black Forest Chocolate giveaway is.........................


Nikki

I cannot believe (but it's true!) that of all the 21 names Noah could have drawn out of that bowl, he drew out his dear friend Nikki - far out unreal! The funniest bit was that he asked me before I tasked him with this most important job he asked me "But how will I know the name that is written on there?" to which I replied "Mummy will help you read it out". But as he opened up the piece of paper, he took one look at it and said "Nikki!" recognising her name instantly despite my scrawly writing!

And thank you to everyone who participated. You're all total winners in my book!

I thought I'd leave you with a story from the weekend, a song and some photos....so nothing new there right LOL!

The weekend itself started with the usual shopping trip to Pak n Save with the boys on Saturday morning. As it was pouring with rain, we'd parked in the underground car park. As I got out of the car, I heard Alex Lloyd's song Amazing playing on the supermarket sound system. I hadn't heard this song in years. And oh the feel-good memories this song brought back of ten years ago, memories of me in my twenties in London living the young person's OE life. Not too many cares in the world other than working hard, loving my man, travelling the world and trying not to be too homesick for my true country back here in NZ.

It's hard for me to fathom that exactly ten years on, here I am, a married mama of two, living THIS beautiful life and blessed beyond belief. It truly is AMAZING!

These pics are all my favourites that I've printed out to update the Bobby Robin polaroid photo boards I made last year.

Enjoy xx




19 June 2011

Wordless Sunday: The Very Rocks Cry Out


My favourite from the weekend. For the other lovely pics and the full story, read Take a Chance below.






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