A little bit random :)

Here is a little bag I sewed to hold some arty goods to give to an aspiring artist…

…a very cute shop I happened upon in Bangalow called “A Little Peach” where I purchased a wind-up jumping bambi :)

…I’m loving roast beetroot and sweet potato salad, with baby spinach, goat’s fetta and pine nuts….and lamb cutlets!

…some little gifts I made…

What’s random in your world at the moment??

The week that was….

I have really enjoyed this first week of 2010 (despite being housebound with gastro:)!
The Christmas decorations are gone and it feels great to have a fresh start with a new year.

This week I have been loving a pile of Christmas reads….

We’ve had heaps of rain and I hope the seeds that Noah and I planted will start to grow…

….and this week Granny (aka Sandy, my mum) and Grandad John (aka John, my dad) came to stay for a few days which was lovely. Noah enjoyed forming a country western band called “The Tinky Toks Toks” with Granny (both playing guitar and singing) and cooking up a storm as well.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

ps. A big thankyou to my wonderful husband Dan for sprucing up my blog for the new year!

Moroccan Harira…

If you need a little something to nourish your body and tastes delicious…try some Moroccan Harira (Classic Lamb, Chickpea and Lentil soup with Cumin)…This soup is traditionally used to break fasts…its a great soup to restore strength to your body which I have been loving lately…

Gather the ingredients and after a bit of chopping and lots of boiling you will have a hearty soup to enjoy :)

2-3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 celery sticks, diced
2 small carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 garlic cloves, left whole and smashed
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
450g lean lamb, cut into bite-sized cubes
2-3 teaspoons turmeric
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons sugar
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 litre lamb or chicken stock
400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g tin of chopped tomatoes, drained of juice
100g brown, red or green lentils, rinsed
a small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
a small bunch of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, cut into quarters, to garnish

Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the onions, celery and carrots and cook until the onions begin to colour. Add the smashed garlic and cumin seeds and toss in the lamb.
Cook until lightly browned. Add the spices, sugar and bay leaves and stir in the tomato puree. Pour in the stock and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 1 hour, until the meat is tender.

Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and lentils to the pan and cook gently for a further 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the soup is almost as thick as a stew. Top up with a little water, if necessary, as the lentils will asorb most of it. Season the soup with salt and pepper and add most of the parsley and coriander.

Serve the soupy stew piping hot, sprinkled with the remaining parsely and coriander and with wedges of lemon to squeeze over it and plenty of bread for dipping.

From the wonderful book, Flavours of Morocco – Delicious recipes of North Africa, by Ghillie Basan (2008).

Rice paper rolls….

The other night while on the quest to make something really quick and healthy for dinner…
I unearthed a packet of rice paper sheets that were begging to be eaten…

…add a bit of avocado, chicken, carrot, cucumber, rice vermicilli and any other vegies or meat you feel like and….

….the result is a healthy mess but lots of fun making the rolls especially when your two!

A French country picnic….

The banners were hung to herald the milestone birthday of my sister Kim!

This weekend was my sister Kim’s (second from the right) birthday and loving all things French she celebrated with a French country picnic…

The food was delicious…there were quiche’s aplenty, terrine, french sticks, salads, pates, French cheese and wine….

…and to top it off my sister Luana baked the most amazing chocolate mud cake that had 2.5kg of chocolate in it!

What to wear to dinner??

Sometimes its hard to decide what to wear to dinner….

…like should I get really dressed up and wear a full suit or just go a little more casual and wear my cape?

….wearing a cape was a good option….the Sushi Train was a casual dining experience :)

…now what’s for dessert?

In the springtime…part 1

I love days full of simple doings… where there is no rush to be anywhere and the day is mine to enjoy with no expectations.
Tuesday was like this for me this week….I had a little more energy than I have had for the past little while so I couldn’t wait to make some things with Noah.
The first stop was to use up the browning bananas on the bench and make them into banana bread.

The next stop in my day of simple doings was to help Noah construct an aeroplane…

With a very jolly pilot :)

Our next stop was to enjoy some banana bread…

The Kabuki Bar

A few weeks ago Dan and I were very generously spoilt by two lovely friends, who treated us to a night at the Kabuki bar (Japanese barbeque) at the Stamford Plaza. It was hilarious – we had eggs thrown at us, we tried to catch flying bowls of rice and omlette – and the bibs were awesome!

The food was delicious and the facial expressions were priceless.

Our chef had Iron Chef qualities and had the fastest choppest action around!
Great memories….lots of laughs and Chris Isaac the musician was at the table next to us….we all tried to play cool:)