Saturday, April 30, 2011

Food, Glorious Food!

Anyone who knows me and knows me well would be quite familiar with my love affair with food. I could possibly go as far as to say that eating is one of my greatest joys.
      The problem is - and if you've noticed the recipes I generally post on here you may have already guessed it - is that the food I enjoy eating the most is well, junk basically. I adore cakes, puddings, crumbles, muffins, slices, brownies, really anything that contains sugar will do.

So, it dawned on me quite recently, and I'm not sure if it was before or after my fifth chocolate biscuit of the day, that maybe my diet isn't the healthiest.

I'm very careful about making sure the children eat well. I'll chop them up a lovely fruit salad or make them a smoothie for breakfast, they only eat wholemeal bread, treats are limited to once or twice a week and their plates are piled high with veges at dinner time. I happily eat all of these things too but when the children are at school or in bed or occupied elsewhere I'll secretly scoff any sweet available all while consuming copious amounts of tea.
     If life was fair I should be the size of a house. But fortunately (or unfortunately depending on how you look at it) I closely resemble a toothpick. But as we all know that doesn't mean I'm healthy or fit or even remotely athletic. Hell no, I have a severe allergy to exercise. Honestly, I get all breathless, I start sweating, my heart rate accelerates......see what I mean? Obviously allergic. Worst of all it requires effort and it turns out I have a severe allergy to that as well.

When I did the dreaded grocery shop yesterday I bought a lot of wholesome and nutritious ingredients to make super-healthy meals. I bypassed the confectionery aisle, avoided the chocolate biscuits and turned a blind eye to the ice cream fridge.
Full of good intentions I went home, unpacked and then made a menu plan. I vowed to stick to this new, healthier lifestyle.......right after I polished off the rest of the Easter chocolate.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Pot Pie.....

I'm not really known for my savoury dishes. I do love making them and most of all eating them but mostly I love eating things that are irresistibly sweet. Yesterday, however we were all recuperating after a nasty bug and I felt like eating something warming, wholesome and wonderfully good.......

Chicken Pot Pie....
You can make one great big pie but I prefer to make a lot of little ramekins so everybody gets their own serving.

Firstly defrost several sheets of Puff Pastry (I used four) You could be clever and make your own pastry, it is delicious, but in the essence of simplicity I stuck to frozen sheets.

Grease 4-6 ramekin dishes.

Brown approximately 500 grams of diced chicken breast or thighs in a fry pan on medium to high with a tablespoon of olive oil & a tablespoon of butter (for flavour), season well. Add a diced onion and 2 cloves of diced garlic to the chicken and let these soften.
Add 1 cup chopped button mushrooms to the pan (and another tablespoon of butter if the mix is too dry) Add approximately 2 tablespoons of flour and mix in well. Pour in 1 cup of chicken stock, stir, then turn heat down to medium and let the mixture bubble and thicken for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of cream and season. Leave for a few minutes but observe closely, you want your mixture to thicken nicely. Add approximately 3/4 of a cup of grated tasty cheese and stir.

Line your ramekin dishes with the pastry, making sure you leave enough for the lids. Fill with your chicken mixture and place a pastry lid on the top. Use a fork to poke a few holes in the lid. Adding a little pastry love-heart to the top is a must. Wash the top of each pie with a beaten egg. Bake in your pre-heated oven at 180C for around 30 minutes.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not a private moment

When becoming a Mother one must survive several losses;

Loss of self,
Loss of libido,
Loss of brain cells,
Loss of pert bosoms.........

Needless to say loss of privacy comes up on the list as well. From the moment you produce your screaming infant to the world and the world gets a look at your "privates" the word "privacy" becomes obsolete, invalid, bloody non-existent.
     After all and sundry get a gander at your boobies while attempting to breastfeed and everyone has asked elaborate questions about your birth experience, you may feel that you have nothing more to "share". Surely, now that you have produced said child some infinitesimal amount of privacy may creep back into your existence.

Sorry to burst your bubble but the opposite is true.

I sometimes feel as though I haven't had a private moment in the past 9 years.
My children follow me everywhere....from the the the bedroom. They have no compunction about interrupting me at any time and place. They put no value on modesty or humility.
      Sometimes I find myself fervently wishing for a minute, or two of peace. Even when I'm sleeping they creep into bed with me, their little arms reach out for me and they snuggle into their Mother's embrace.

Who needs privacy?  Not me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

And then there were.............

First there was one; a girl that then met a boy. They got married and had a baby.
After a while the boy left.

And then there were two.

The girl and the baby continued on as best as they could. The girl grew into Motherhood. The baby grew into Toddler hood;
Happy, cheeky, naughty, funny Toddler hood.

One day the Mother met a man. A lovely man, a caring man, a man that made her laugh.
This man had a boy....sensitive, loving and sweet.

And then there were four.

A baby was needed; to bring them all together, to join them, to bring them joy.
And when he was born he bought with him peace, love and a sense of family.

And then there were five.

One Christmas a gift arrived; small and furry, he squeaked and whined. He did his business under beds. He nipped at fingers. He ate the children's underwear.

And then there were six.

Most at this stage would be done. But somehow, someone was missing. We weren't finished yet - there was room in our hearts for one more.
After losing one angel we soon had another. There she was; spirited, lively and funny.
Someone special to finish our family.

So then there were seven.........

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mums don't get sick!

This morning when I woke up I knew something wasn't right. My head ached, my throat was on fire, when I stood up the room dipped and swayed.

I had broken the "rule", the unwritten rule of Motherhood..............Mums don't get sick!

As a Mother getting nurtured when you are sick is a thing of the past. We are the nurturers and that role does not come to a grinding halt when one feels like death.
      Remember the days when you were sick and you rested, I mean actually rested.
No one asking for a drink or a snack or to have their bottom wiped. No one asking you to play with them - who has the energy or inclination to make Lego towers or play tea parties when you're running a temperature of 39C and having trouble keeping your lunch down?

It is solid fact that it's impossible to rest when at home with a two year old. She bounces off the walls, eats sultanas off the floor, (the 10 second rule is alive and kicking in this house) sticks her finger in my ear while I try to rest on the couch and plays with the water in the toilet while I'm in the other one........nice.

All I can say is thank goodness for television. It is times like this that the "idiot box" comes into it's own as the ultimate babysitter. I am also incredibly thankful for the packaged frozen food in my freezer. For some reason I actually bought some the other day although I'm more of a "make it from scratch" kinda girl. Tonight it will be my saviour.

Then I'll tuck them into bed and I may finally get some rest to try to recover before tomorrow. Motherhood.....don't you love it!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Chocolate and condensed milk truffles.

These are so yummy, so easy and this recipe makes so many that you'll be eating them for a week - although I eat so much of the mixture while I'm cooking that they only last a day or two at my house. You could add all matter of different ingredients to this, my girlfriend adds sultanas, for adults you could add a splash of alcohol. Do with it what you will!

250 gram packet of biscuits ( I use Milk Arrowroot)
1/3 cup of cocoa
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 can (395 grams) of condensed milk

Process biscuits in a food processor ( or else smash them up in a zip lock bag with a rolling pin - it's surprisingly fun & therapeutic!)
Pour the crushed biscuits in a bowl, add the cocoa and the half of the coconut.
Make a well in the centre, add the condensed milk and mix well. Now put the mixture in the fridge to chill for 20 minutes or so. This will make rolling them so much easier.
Put the remaining coconut on a plate. Roll the chilled mixture into balls, roll in the coconut and put in a airtight container to store in the fridge.
Kids love to help with the rolling part, although it can get a little messy!
This is a lovely treat to share for afternoon tea when the kids get home from school or even better, to have with a sneaky cup of tea and keep them all to yourself!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Venturing out....

My husband bought home an invitation the other day. It was of the fancy, swanky invitation that just screamed stylish, fashionable, chic - everything that I am not.

I used to get excited about flashy invites. I would dash out to the shops and buy myself some fabulous concoction that inevitably consisted of sequins, stilettos and a whole lot of cleavage. I would buy the latest shade of lipstick and book myself in to get my hair done before the big event. This was obviously before the word "budget" was in my vocabulary.
     On the day I would spend hours primping, preening and perfecting. Once I was at the function I would be sparkling, confident and eloquent (or that could have just been all the champagne.)

My, haven't things changed? Highest on the list of priorities is now the children. I request my babysitter weeks in advance - my wonderful girlfriend, busy with her own two children...what's four more?

At the very last minute - after organising all the children and Hubby - I reach to the forlorn depths that is the back of my wardrobe and dig out a dress that's several years old and that I probably bought at Target for $30. I slap on some makeup and brush my hair. I wear a shabby pair of heels and hope no one looks at my feet......... I feel weary.

Once I'm at the event it's hard to be eloquent and witty. I attempt rhetoric with other people and fail miserably. During the years of pregnancy, feeding and sleep deprivation  my brain has turned to mush. I find it hard to converse about anything that doesn't revolve around school duty, children's birthday parties and the colour, smell and consistency of my toddler's poo.

My eyes glaze over, I think longingly of my nice, warm bed and a hot cup of Milo.

So, when I attend the latest "do" that my Husband deems necessary to drag me along to, I'll attempt to be sparkling and funny (although I'll probably come off as weird and slightly hysterical) I will try not to converse with strangers about my children's bowel habits and I will have a good time.....I promise.

Friday, April 1, 2011

It's War!

The time has come....after four years of peaceful co-existence it is up to me to take control. I have interrupted and shattered my laisse-faire attitude to certain duties and reclaimed my inner housewife (I know she's lurking in there somewhere). The concordant days of mess making are over my friends......I have declared war on my house.

Up until now we've had an amicable agreement; you see I'm not all that fussed on house keeping and my house (dirty little trollop that she is) is happy to oblige. She's definitely been looking worse for wear but neither of us were particularly bothered about this. Until recently. My lovely husband came home and announced that we needed to move. To me that means one Well, two things actually - cleaning & packing - both are as bad as each other.

So then I walked from ramshackle room to ramshackle room making mental notes of what needed to be done. From little hand prints on walls, (which I've never cleaned off because they're "cute") to mould on the ceiling, (I can't reach up there!) from dirty blinds, (if I close them you can't see the dust) to cupboards full of crap...Oops! I mean stuff.

Out came my seldom-used cleaning apparatus and the peace was broken, I attacked my filth-encrusted house. She was bewildered, distressed, mortified. What terrible atrocities was I subjecting her to? So, she put up a good fight. Everything was stuck-on, stubborn and elbow grease resistant. I was cleaning like a mad woman and making virtually no impact.

Of course it didn't help that as I cleaned the children messed (secretly I think they were on her side.) As Little Miss not-quite-two smushed an apple muffin into my freshly vacuumed carpet I could feel hysteria begin to rise;

"Can't you keep things clean for more than 5 minutes?!" I shrieked as the children watched me frantically vacuum up the mess. I bet they were wondering what had happened to their messy, muck-about Mother.

So, after a couple of days of relentless cleaning I haven't gone very far. But I will not give up - it may take weeks but I will have a pristine house. And then I'll have to move out.....

Why am I doing this again?