Wednesday, March 28, 2007

5 Quirks

I've been tagged by Mel... to share 5 quirks or eccentricities of mine.

1. I hate leaving dishes to be done later after a meal... they HAVE to be done as soon as we have finished eating and cleared the table.

2. I have this thing about flies. I stalk them with the fly spray. I know, I know... terribly bad chemicals etc but I just can't bear having them around.

3. My day doesn't feel properly started unless I can have a shower. And the shower has to be HOT. Like nearly stinging hot. If I don't have a shower I feel gross for the whole day.

4. I always eat my meat last at mealtimes. This stems from my mum telling me to eat my veges first.

5. I like to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom up. DH and DS squeeze in the middle. Ack!

Hmmm - not that interesting really!
I tag Amy and Heather if they have time and feel like doing this.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream

By request ;-)

310g bittersweet chocolate (best quality you can afford)*
2-3 dried chillies (to taste obviously. More chillies = more heat)
2 cups full fat cream
1 cup milk
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Kahlua
1/2 teaspoon crumbled, dried chillies (optional)
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted, cooled and chopped (optional)

*You can use a bit of sweetened dark chocolate if you wish as part of this amount

In a metal bowl (or double boiler) set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth. (The original recipe uses 170g of melted chocolate and chops the remainder which is then added to the ice cream during the freezing process. Up to you to do what you prefer). Remove bowl from heat.

In a heavy saucepan, combine cream & milk. Put the dried chillies in a small muslin/cheesecloth "bag" like you would make for a bouquet garni and add to the milk. Bring mixture just to the boiling point while stirring but don't let it boil. The chillies in the bag add the chilli zing to the ice cream and will release more heat if you occasionally give it a squeeze as you stir. Remove from heat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and brown sugar. Add yolk/sugar mixture to the milk mixture in a steady stream while whisking.

Return to the heat and cook this custard over a low heat, stirring until it thickens (or reaches 76 degrees C on a thermometer).

Strain if necessary through a fine sieve into a holding bowl and whisk in the melted chocolate, cinnamon and Kahlua. Let the mixture cool completely. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. If you haven't got an ice cream maker (like me), freeze in a container for 2 hours, take out and beat, then return to freezer for 2-3 hours, take out and beat, return to freezer. Add the remaining chocolate if you saved for this purpose, crumbled chillies and almonds during the last beating.

Good for serving to unsuspecting people. Looks like chocolate ice cream, tastes like chocolate ice cream but whoa! Has a surprising kick at the end of the mouthful!

If you like chocolate chilli, try Schoc's offering. Delicious. You can experience what Armande Voizin did in Chocolat by Joanne Harris! ;-)

Edited to add: For an eggless version you can do the following...
355g choc
3 cups cream
1/3 cup castor sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 Tablespoons Kahlua
1/2 teaspoon crumbled, dried chillies
1/2 cup blanched almonds, toasted, cooled and chopped (optional)

Melt the chocolate as above. Add the crumbled dried chillies, sugar, cinnamon (and almonds if included) and stir so the sugar dissolves. Whip the cream until stiff and fold in the chocolate mixture and the Kahlua. Freeze as above. Because you need to whip the cream you can't heat it and infuse it with chillies, so adding the crumbled chillies is necessary.

Hot tip

Turn this

... into this.

DH is a bit of "chilli-head" so every year we have to plant some sort of chillis just for fun. This means we end up having various kinds of chilli sauce, pickle and other chilli products.

Including Chocolate-chilli Ice cream which is very yummy. Seriously. It's good.

Although DH is usually the one to concoct the chilli sauce or pickle, this year I decided to use a recipe I got from my Dad. When Dad was a varsity student (back in the 60's), he was matey with an Indian chap out from Delhi. N brought his wife with him and complained to Dad that she was bored. So Dad suggested she teach him Indian cooking and consequently we grew up eating Indian cuisine when most of New Zealand thought "exotic" meant Pizza Hut. This is one of her recipes. I remember when Dad made it we all had to leave the house, (even the cats), because the chilli heat would catch you in the back of your throat. I can assure you that it still has that effect. But it tastes delicious!

2 lbs green chillis (I used whatever came off the bush, red & green)
4 oz salt
1 oz cumin seed
1 oz fenugreek
1/2 pint mustard or olive oil
1 - 1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 oz turmeric

Slit each chilli horizontally on one side and rub in salt. Don't rub your eyes or any other sensitive part after doing this unless you enjoy pain.

Fry slices in 2 T oil and grind in 1/2 cup vinegar.

Heat the rest of the oil and when hot add chillis, cooking about 10 minutes. This is the bit where breathing apparatus is necessary.

Add all spices and cook 1 minute.

Cool and store in a jar.

It is hot of course, but not so hot that you can't taste the flavour. Unlike DH's Habanero sauce from last year which should be entitled Rod's Raging Inferno. Or Burns You Twice Sauce.

dozer layout

Made a layout for those dozer pictures. Am very pleased with it, especially the hand stitching.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Mel's funky bag

Mel kindly RAKed me with this felted bag she made! I'm luurve with it - it is very cool. Thank you so much Melissa!

If you would like a bag like this she is selling them on Trademe or you can contact her to order one.

Oh, and here is my missy-moo at 11 weeks. Must get some photos printed to scrap...

Monday, March 19, 2007

Little boy's dreams do come true

We went to watch some diggers and 'dozers at the site down from my Mum's house. Much to my surprise and DS's delight, one of the drivers noticed and invited DS to come and ride. He didn't need persuading. Sometimes he can be very shy and afraid of new things like this but this time he was in! The driver helped him in and they went and pushed some dirt around. I was kicking myself for not taking my camera, but luckily for us the Project Manager offered to take some photos which he then emailed to us.

I was so impressed with the driver and project manager. I'm sure OSH would have conniptions but there was one VERY happy boy who came home that day and I also have a some photos to scrapbook. :-)

Every time we drive by the site now, DS talks about the Katies which is his name for bulldozers, taken from the story Katy and the big snow by Virginia Lee Burton.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Conversations with a 3 1/2 year old

In an attempt to copy Trina I tried to interrogate DS:

What do you like?
What else do you like?
2 marshmallows
What are your favourite things?
This train
What else?
The train up here. The other trains are good.
Do you like diggers?
What else do you like?
Mowers. You write a mower name. [i.e. write down the word mower]
What animals did we see at the pet shop?
They was good ones.
What kind were there?
Rabbits and another one sleeping and another one coming out.
What else?
Petes? Oh you mean budgies. [Pete is the name of the budgie at Gran's house]
You draw me a fishy name. [i.e.write down fish]

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yessir, that's my baby

She's 8 weeks in this picture... or was it 7? Not sure. Anyway, she's doing well. Plunket weighed her on Monday and she's 5.6kgs. She has started sucking her thumb which is very cute but not really what I wanted her to do since it is so hard to wean the habit. I'm persevering with the dummy but thumbs are so conveniently located when you're in your cot and Mummy's not around to monitor it...

Did this layout for the SBO Elsie Flanagan Challenge A Day in your Life. I'm amazed at how much I can fit into a day sometimes but I have to confess that it's not everyday I'm that busy. I'm inherently lazy.

Mel has tagged me to reveal something about the book I'm reading. Yep - I do have time to read these days... breastfeeding time = reading time ;)

1Find the nearest book...

Got it.

2 Name the book and the author

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett

3 Turn to page 123


4 Go to the 5th sentence on the page and copy out the next 3 sentences onto your blog

Speaking of 3 small fireballs circling the witches fire. You could slay enemies with them, she'd said. They made the others uneasy. It was wizard magic, showy and dangerous.

5. Tag 3 more people

Hmm, is there anyone left? I shall tag Heather, Rebecca and Tami.

Actually - I like this quote from the book. You can guess why! Hee hee!
The librarians were mysterious. It was said they could tell what book you needed just by looking at you, and they could take your voice away with a word.

I can tell you that you get pretty good at identifying some of your clients.

Nursing & other health profession students always travel in packs, business students are usually in a hurry and dressed smartly, automotive students sneak in furtively (heaven forbid someone should see they are in THE LIBRARY) .. mind you, their overalls tend to give them away.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Somehow this doesn't work

From Popgadget
Instead of putting the belt around your waist, why not try your ankle?

I suppose it would be easy to find your phone when it rang, unlike me now ... I scrabble through my handbag trying to find the thing. If I had one of these I could just grab it off my leg... yeah right.

Does your dog like bubbles? Here's the toy for you then. The bubbles are even chicken-scented. *cringe*