Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WCW- Chicken and Chorizo Rice Pot

Even though Spring has arrived, we are still having some chilly evenings and there is nothing I like better than some warm comfort food in a bowl!  Even better if there is minimal prep and clean up. This rice pot is perfect for family dinners when you want something without much effort that still tastes delicious.

White wine, chicken stock, chorizo, chicken and rice pair together perfectly in this combination. You can also use shrimp in place of the chicken if wished.

The chicken is cooked first, then the chorizo is cooked to allow the oils to release. This gives the red pepper such a depth of flavour, and allows the flavour of the chorizo to permeate through the entire dish.

Cooking everything in one pot means minimal clean up- always a bonus in this house!

As this mixture simmers, it emits a beautiful smell and makes my whole house smell welcoming and homey.

Best served in a bowl with some mixed vegetables (either mixed through or on the side) and some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. This goes great with some crusty bread and a glass of red wine for a dinner date, and is just as welcome during a busy weekend or cold evening.

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Chicken and Chorizo Rice Pot
  • 1 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 500 grams chicken breast fillets
  • 1, finely chopped red capsicum
  • 2, sliced chorizo sausage
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Tuscan seasoning
  • 2/3 cup white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups white rice
Heat oil in a large frypan. Cook chicken for 5-6 minutes until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate. Reduce heat to medium. Add capsicum to casserole dish and cook for 10 minutes, until softened. Add chorizo and cook for 2 minutes, until chorizo has released some of its oils. Stir in tomato paste. Return chicken to the dish with Tuscan seasoning, wine and stock. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Add rice and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes until the rice is tender. Remove from heat and stand for 10 minutes.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Eric Carle inspired Mosaic Spider

My four year old has really enjoyed The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle, so we thought we would make our own busy spiders! I love the mosaic-like look of the spider in hues of blues and greens, so we set about creating our own blue and green spider.

My son started out by sticking some green and blue scraps of cardstock to an 8x8" piece of white cardstock.

We kept layering the blues and greens until he was happy with the pattern.

I then took a side plate and traced around it, and cut out a circle from the mosaic pieces. I also glued down any loose pieces.

We added some googly eyes, and Adam chose the colours of popsicle sticks for the spider's legs.

Our finished mosaic spider is complete!

This was such a great activity for hand-eye coordination as well as an understanding of what a mosaic is. Of course, there was also the ever important practice with glue and scissors!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Frocktober Week One Recap

Every year, I participate in FrocktoberFrocktober is an annual philanthropic campaign held each October. The campaign invites anyone to take on one or all of the Frocktober challenges (yes, the boys too!) or simply sponsor/donate to those friends, family and colleagues who support the campaign. It’s all about having some fun with fashion with heart in order to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and help to fund research.

Day one started off with my simple black dress, paired with a floral kimono and tan shoes.

Day two as a bit chillier than expected, so I layered a grey tee under a grey swing dress and accessorized with flat sandals and a green beaded necklace.

Day 3 had my six year old as a photographer! Still experiencing some cooler weather so i put on some tights and boots with this floral dress.

Day 4 was off to a Christmas launch and so I glammed up my little black dress with a fun blazer and a statement necklace.

My navy boots came in handy again for day 5, where I paired them with my leopard print dress and a corduroy jacket.

Saturday evening was the opening celebration of my friend's cafe, so I wore this maxidress with some gold shoes and a cream bolero.

My LBD was worn again for a lazy Sunday scrapbooking, paired with a simple grey jersey, black flats and some bling.

Next week may be tricky as I have some medical appointments and physio scheduled, and I am finding that the wind leaves me with a few Marilyn Monroe moments during school pick ups! However, I still have a lot more dresses to wear and I look forward to showing you a few more of my favourites.

Friday, September 16, 2016

My Top Five Christmas Photos

There is something about photos that always makes me smile- I love flicking through my scrapbooks and remembering all of the things that have happened.

Christmas is a time where I tend to take a lot of photos- I document our daily Christmas activities and December also happens to be my son's birthday, so my camera is often out.

Sharing these moments every year with my family and friends in Christmas cards is also a wonderful way of keeping people up to date with what is happening in my life, and who doesn't love a Christmas card with a family photo?

Christmas 2009 was extremely special to me, as I had just welcomed my first son into the world! He was a week old on Christmas Day and even though he slept right through the celebrations, I still took a lot of photos.

One tradition that happens every year is that my father dresses up like Santa Claus, and I just love the wonder in my son's eyes in this photo. My Dad has also been known to dress up like Batman- he is such a kid at heart!

My son then had a big announcement to make on Christmas Day 2011, when we told the family that our second son would be making an appearance in July 2012.

By Christmas 2012 we were a family of four in our new house. This photo was the header for our family newsletter, which was sent all over the world.

Spending Christmas Day with my boys and husband is important, but I also get my other family members involved. I absolutely love this photo of me and my sister on Christmas Day last year, and once again I wanted to share it with my friends overseas.

 Family photos are a must in my family on Christmas Day, and  putting my favourite photos from the year on our Christmas cards and letters is one thing I love to do each December.

I have family and friends all over the world that receive my cards, and I have recently discovered that I can send photo cards or even online cards with minimal fuss that will still allow me to share my photos and Christmas greetings. I do take a specific family photo each year with the intention of sending it out to people, and so to have it on the front of a card is the perfect solution. My favourite design this year is a toss up between the Christmas Finestra or the Happy Happy Joy Joy for multiple photos for my overseas friends, as Paperless Post ships to the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

Do you send out Christmas cards every year- or even a newsletter? I would love to know your traditions on this!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Dinosaur Week for preschoolers

Continuing on my weekly themes for my four year old, we recently spent a week looking at dinosaurs.

Adam loves art and craft activities, so we made our own triceratops. We started by painting a small egg carton piece with green sparkle paint.

We used a cupcake liner for the ruffle, googly eyes, and a popsicle stick cut into three pieces for the horns.

As you can see, green and dinosaurs are popular in this household!

We also excavated our own dinosaur from an egg (purchased here) and it took us a good hour to retrieve the dinosaur from within- a great way to keep the boys occupied although I had a go too!

We then washed the excavated dinosaur and talked about which species it could be.

Some dinosaur dot-to-dot printables were a fun activity for both boys to do after school.

I cut out some different shapes from green cardstock and we played dinosaur Tangrams.

My six year old really enjoyed this activity, and spent ages making different animals from the shapes. Yes, he has dinosaur pajamas too!

Our family movie night was The Good Dinosaur, and I had purchased a kid's magazine that luckily had this Dino-Flake activity included.

It also had a dinosaur Peppa Pig workbook, which came in very handy!

We read the Dinosaurumpus book together and played the Listen & Move game during a wet day.

Dinosaur week was a big success with both boys!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

WCW- Tropical Lunch Buns

I love creating quick and easy recipes to replace sandwiches in the school lunchboxes. The same old ham and cheese in between two pieces of bread can get boring after a while, and so I have changed it up a bit with these Tropical Lunch Buns.

Cheese, bacon and pineapple is such a classic combination, and always a winner in our household!

The rolls can be made bite size, lunch size or man size depending on who you are feeding.

These rolls are also great for picnics or as a welcome to the neighbourhood gift!

Someone couldn't wait to try one.....

Delicious warm with butter, or cold in a lunchbox, and even better with soup for lunch!

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Tropical Lunch Buns
  • 250 grams bacon
  • 4 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 500ml milk
  • 1/4 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/4 cup extra grated cheese
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.Cook the bacon for 3-5 minutes until crisp and chop into small pieces.In a bowl combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the bacon, first measure of cheese and pineapple. Add the milk and stir until the dough comes together.Knead on a floured surface for 1-2 minutes or until smooth. Shape into 12 balls. Place on lined tray, just touching. Sprinkle rolls with the extra cheese and cook in the oven for 35 minutes.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

WCW- Gluten Free Lemon Loaf

I have been trying my hand at gluten free baking, and I have come up with a way to use my bounty of lemons at the same time.

This lemon loaf is perfect for those with coeliac disease or gluten sensitivity- but everyone who sampled this loaf did't realise it was made with gluten free flour. That is a win in my book!

Here is what is needed to make the lemon loaf. If you do not have lemon oil, feel free to substitute normal vegetable oil and add in one extra lemon.

The batter is so fluffy and yellow, with beautiful chunks of lemon zest shining through.

Out of the oven, it made my entire house smell delicious!

Most of this loaf was gone before I had the change to take a photo, but here you can see the lemon glaze and the light, moist inside.

Totally good with coffee, for 3pm nibbles or even for breakfast!

print recipe

Gluten Free Lemon Loaf
  • 1 2/3 cups gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 lemons
  • 1/3 cup lemon flavoured oil (can sub with vegetable oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150 grams lite sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Chelsea lemon icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.Zest the three lemons and place in a mixing bowl with the salt, sugar and oil. Mix lightly then add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Add the sour cream and milk to the mixture, as well as the juice from the three zested lemons.Fold in the gluten free flour and pour into a loaf pan.Bake in the oven for 45-55 minutes.When the loaf is cool, mix together the icing sugar and hot water then spread over the top of the loaf.
Yield: 1 loaf
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