Our Family

Our Family

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Kirilee's Birthday Party

A couple of Saturdays ago we did get around to hosting a birthday party in Kirilee's honour ...aah, that makes an idea to fill another blog post...

Her whole class was invited (though a number could not make it) and between consuming lots of food and drink they enjoyed many games too.  The all -time favourite game was the bidding-for-food game.  It was an absolute hit (thanks for the recommendation, family members).  Just in case you want to know how it works... 

Before the day of the party I filled 10 or so containers (from emptied yogurt containers, to Tupperware containers, to mini oreo pots, to mini sultana packets) with different edible (note:  edible does not equate to delicious) items (I used things such as pickled onions, dry weetbix, lollies, celery, etc).  Then I put a piece of paper around the container (to hide its contents if necessary) with the points written on it that the challenge was worth (between 1-10 points).

On the night the kids were split into three teams (can do more or less) and were told they had to bid (silently) on one of the items.  The bid was actually the amount of seconds they thought it would take their team to consume the contents of the container (of course, having no idea what was in the container).  The lowest bidding team won the item and had to eat what was in the container (as a team, that is, they could all eat at the same time) within the time they had bid.  Failure meant no points; success meant they received the points as written on the container....  Here are some photos from the game:
Team 1 (eating dry wheet-bix)

Team 2 

Team 3 - discussing bidding tactics

Team 2 excitedly collecting their next challenge...

and trying to eat it all...

What a load of fun and a bundle of laughs, especially as the teams got crazier and crazier in their bids (3 seconds to eat a container full of dry meusli!!!) just to win the challenge!

They played  a lot more games but this is the only other one we have photos of:

The wrapping in toilet paper game...




Kirilee had a great night... and we survived did too!  Thankfully the rain stayed away just for the party (It poured briefly just before they arrived and started again as they left...phew!)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

dresses and some bla bla...

So Kirilee's had this post ready for ages, that is, she's dutifully added the photographs ready for me to add my bla bla blurb.  But I've kind of resisted, as posting this post means adding a dreaded photo of myself.  Kirilee took the photos of me a little while back, and I told her to get some nice shots, knowing deep down that whatever she took I wasn't going to be happy with them.  Problem?  Me, on them.  My vanity and pride can't handle the extra bits and obvious flaws that photos reveal and seem to throw in my face. Oh, to still the pride of my heart and to keep reminding myself that working on prettying up that pride-filled heart inside of me is of far more worth!

Well the purpose of this post is to share a pattern with you, that we have really loved.  It's very versatile and would be a great addition to anyone's collection of patterns...  It is a McCalls pattern number M6031 - easy, and full of different options.  Here are two of them (similar, but the front - underneath the band - is different):




..and the other one...



...and just some more photos for good measure...



I am happy to put up photos of my kids :)  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

14 years old

Kirilee...
Is now 14...
We love her...
We thank God for her...
We know that He is ever faithful, always trustworthy, and unfathomably merciful...
And so we pray that, through His Grace, He'll always be her All, her Highest Joy, and her Greatest Desire...



She was duly and generously gifted...much to the delight of her always-ready-to-help (when it suits them) siblings...




This one was one of her favourites...


Perhaps a party post will follow one day when we actually get around to hosting one in her honour...





Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lasagna, using my Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master

Ever heard of a Thermomix?  So have I, but I don't have one.  Instead I have the cheapo (comparatively) Target version (Bellini Intelli Kitchen Master) and since nothing momentous has happened in our family worth recording in this here blog, I'll resort to the old I've-been-busy-in-the-kitchen kind of post.  Of course, in fact, I haven't been that busy in the kitchen at all, but sometimes we have such an abundance of certain vegetables in the garden, that I have no excuse to grab a jar or can out the cupboard to ease the meal preparation routine.  And a bonus is that I can tell my self that I am really being such a healthy habit inspiration to my family by doing the whole organic, preservative free, fresh out the garden thing.  PLUS, I have the added bonus of justifying my Bellini purchase, whilst silently gloating that I didn't spend a fortune on a thermomix.  Yeah, I know, the thermomix is better, stronger bla, bla, bla.  Buy my version is cheap, and mine hasn't broken down (yet!) and Target is so great about returns anyway and when one of my blades was playing up I rang the repair/problems/information guru Mr Harry and VOILA within 3 days I had a new blade, no questions asked...

Enough said.  I love my Bellini - unashamedly.... and I love doing things like this...

Making Lasagna from start to finish:
                                  
Throw in some onions (halved) and garlic cloves (whole). 

A few (well maybe 6 or 10) seconds on speed 6 or so and then throw in some oil and fry on 100 degrees for a couple of minutes...


Get some more vegies ( Zucchini, celery - including the leaves, capsicum from the garden and carrots from, um, the fridge) and chop roughly...


before throwing in the Bellini and chopping on about speed 5 for 10 seconds till it looks like this:


Take some ripe tomatoes from the garden and halve them... and then throw them in to the Bellini and chuck it on speed 5 or so for 5 or so seconds (you'll have to imagine the picture of that one)


Then add some home-made (in the Bellini on another occasion and frozen, but that's another story) tomato paste...



...and some bay leaves, salt (tsp), sugar(tsp), red wine (about 1/4 cup), beef stock powder (2 tsps), vinegar (1 Tbsp), some Italian dried herbs/mixed herbs to taste (or some fresh herbs of your choice).  Put the lid on and cook for around 25 minutes (ignore it and go off and do some work, or check your emails, my blog - or a much more interesting blog, read a book or whatever!)


...Just before the 25 minutes are up, grab a frying pan and brown about 500g of minced beef.


...when that is good and brown the Bellini should be finished its job, so throw it all in together (I also add some salt and freshly ground pepper to taste at this point), and let it simmer while you make the pasta!


Grab 5 eggs, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and 500g of flour (you can adjust the amount, but there is always 1 egg to 100g of flour...oil and salt don't really vary).  Anyhow, throw them in the bowl...


...and blend first on about speed 7 or 8 for 5-10 seconds to combine and then knead on speed 2 for about 2 or 3 minutes....


...then turn it onto some cling wrap and pull it together as you wrap it up and rest for about 20 minutes or so.


...while that is resting it's time to make the white sauce.  I only have a picture of the final product, but melt between 20-50g of butter (depending on your taste and fat-liking-content) in the thermomix bowl on 100 degrees, speed 2 till melted (about 1 minute or so).  Add the butterfly/mixing tool thingy, then 500g of milk, some salt and pepper and then sprinkle 50g of flour on top.  Put it on speed 2-3 at 100 degrees for about 10 - 12 minutes, or until thick.]

This is what it comes out like... 

                                     

...thick and creamy....

                                   

Then onto the pasta... 

Roll out using a pasta maker (this is just a cheapo Kmart one)


...until it looks like this...


...then start layering...


...I love how you can just cut the pasta to size...


...ready for the oven (with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese spread on top)


Yum!  Lasagna (after about 45 minutes in moderate oven)!


That was a pathetically long post and, no doubt, as pathetically boring as it was long.  However, I have updated my blog again after suffering the pangs of guilt for neglecting it for a longer than usual period, and after suffering the nagging of my eldest daughter who, incidentally, turned 14 today.  

By the way, to make the lasagna/spaghetti, etc making more easy, I often make loads of the tomato/pasta sauce in advance and freeze it...so instead of grabbing a jar or sauce I pull it out of the freezer (just as easy), and admittedly I don't always make my own pasta -  just when I am in the mood!