Monday, June 30, 2008
Tuesday - the old fav, chicken and olive tagine, cous cous, some vege
Wednesday - Shepherds pie, peas & carrots
Thursday - Egg & cauli curry, dal, rice
Friday - Lamb tagine with pears, roasted root veges, sauteed cabbage
Saturday - Spag bog, salad (?)
Sunday - Toad in the hole, with something
I wanted to share a baking recipe this week. One of my special memories from my childhood involve an elderly lady Aunty MR. She wasn't everyone's cup of tea, being someone who didn't suffer fools so well, but she was special to me as a kind of grandma figure as my own g-ma didn't live in NZ at that time. We used to look after Aunty MR, and take her shopping, to church things and she spoiled me a bit. It's nice to have someone who thinks you can't do anything wrong! LOL!
Anyway, as she got older I used to take care of her at our annual church retreat because she needed help to get around. In the room where she was staying was another elderly lady called Dolly. Both Aunty MR and Dolly were excellent cooks and I think there was a bit of rivalry between them on this score. One day, Mum told me that Dolly wanted to give me a recipe for a Date & Ginger Slice. I wasn't especially interested at the time, but I went along anyway to their room and wrote it down.
Dolly recited it from memory. So here it is in her own words - a little bit of old fashioned baking from a lady who has long since left the earth, but whose slice lives on in my recipe book, and now on the "Internets". And maybe into your life too :-)
Dolly's Date and Ginger Slice
Melt in a pot, 1/4 pound (115g) butter. Take off heat. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar (pressed down firmly). Add 2 eggs, beat well. Sift 1 cup of flour, 1 tsp baking powder together. Add 1 cup crystalised ginger and dates (chopped). Mix with the butter, sugar and eggs. Pour into a greased tin (I use a sponge roll tin). Break caramello chocolate squares over the top (halve the chocolate squares). Bake at 180 degrees C until golden brown. Cut while warm.
In the photo you'll see I've used chocolate chips instead of the caramello squares. I must say the caramello squares are the better option. Truly.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thinks *But I'd rather spend my money on stamps*
Go to Mitre10 and get 2 speed brushes: $16.88 x 2
Go to Payless Plastics and get 1 spritzer bottle: $3.60
Go to Foodtown and get a Huggies Wipes Travel container: $2.70 (I think)
OK - so it only saved me something like $.300 but I thought it was a good idea at the time.
I put a very dilute solution of my Next Generation detergent in the spritzer. It works fine.
I actually was looking for some softer speed brushes that have a sticky back but they didn't have any in the store I went to. I was going to stick some plastic to the back so I could wash the pads when needed. The ones I got can be washed just fine, but they have a hard aluminium backing. I would have preferred the softer ones.
Since I had the stamp stuff out I did another one. Missy Moo also likes to sing. She picks up books or bits of paper (like here) and sings away just like we do at church. Hence the title. ;-) She also will sing grace to herself if we don't seem to be getting to the table to eat fast enough for her liking.
Again - I stamped the background paper and clear embossed it. Not the nicest of music stamps but it was the only one I have that had music on it.
The stamped element didn't turn out exactly as I planned. I needed my friendly stamp guru!
I wanted to stamp a butterfly stamp into some melted UTEE but I pressed a bit too hard and so it wasn't quite the "seal" effect I wanted. Since this was my second attempt at making it and it was 10.30pm I was getting a bit fed up with it and didn't want to do another one. (The first attempt stuck to the stamp because I left it on too long). So I filled the butterfly shape with beads, microbeads and some clear glaze.
The big butterfly is made from some shimmer sheet I've had for ages in my stash. Plus some sequins (from Lara) which Missy Moo had tipped out that morning and spread from one end of the house to the other. Bling carpet!!
I am loving inking my Cuttlebug embossing folders right now :)
NB: The original journaling had some info in it that I didn't want to share online, so I fudged it a bit in PS for the purposes of blogging. So I know it looks a little odd here, but IRL it looks fine.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I thought I blogged this from Flickr so hope I don't end up with a double post. Hmm.
Anyway - the dare requires stamps to be used on your background paper and on an element. I stamped a daisy stamp on the lower left corner and embossed it with clear embossing powder. Then stamped again with a purple colour. Then made some pop up elements with some more stamped daisies. I should have scanned this LO rather than photograph it because the light isn't the greatest (been a cold, wet day) and you can't see the blue behind the dots so easy.
Missy Moo is obsessed with shoes so I wanted to record this. She will try on any shoe around including my ugh boots which come up to her crutch. One of her first words was "shus" for shoes.
She also says "cacka" (cracker), car, "vish" (fish), "kit-teh" (kitty) and of course, NAAAOOOOO! She calls every truck, large car or van "Jarge" (George) after George the steam roller, one of DS's collection. This annoys DS intensely and he will correct her saying, "No Lydia! George has rollers! That one is a truck." Heh heh. I hope she keeps doing it.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Crafter in waiting
Missy Moo reading the Spotlight flyer.
drives me nuts likes to help when I'm scrap booking, stamping or card making.
Monday - Lamb chops and veges
Tuesday - Savoury vego tart plus this salad from Arfi Binstead (yum!). Bit of a "girls" tea but DH even suggested the tart as our weekly vegetarian meal so I took advantage of it! Think we will have sago for dessert. Somewhere I've seen a coconut sago pudding that I want to make.
Wednesday - G's coming to scrap with me all day so I am making Osso bucco in the crockpot and we shall have rice and some vegetables with it
Thursday - Chicken Cacciatore, taters, broccoli
Friday - Lamb shanks tagine, cous cous, yams
Saturday - Mussaman chicken curry, rice, some sort of suitable vegetable... just can't think of which one at present
Sunday - Fish cakes, salad/leaves from the garden
On Saturday I visited Eco-Organics and was impressed with the quality of their produce. I am hoping to try out their box scheme but I need to test how long a box lasts before knowing how often I'd need to get a delivery. The people there are friendly too and told me their boxes of vegetables are "guaranteed" so if there is any issue with them, they want to know.
I managed to get lost on my way there... stupidly I thought I knew where to turn off but instead of checking on the map like I normally do, I just got in the car and drove. And ended up halfway to Helensville. So... after some self-flagellation and mutterings about wasting petrol, I looked at the map and found where I was supposed to be. Got there in the end I guess. It should have taken me about 30 minutes. Still, can't get much more local than that in terms of vegetables. Unless you grow your own, which I do a bit.
Also on Saturday I went to Mum's Stampin' Up party. *deep breath* I want it all.
However, fiscal constraints meant I treated myself to 2 measly items while breaking the coveting commandment every second. I did consider having a party myself but a) my friend G is going to have one which I will probably go to and b)
BTW, the demonstrator was Rachel Knight and she was very nice. She demo'd 2 cards (beautiful) and we made another. The stamp set I bought was the Baroque Motifs one, and some of the Brocade Background paper. I so, so, so wanted the scallop punch but I just couldn't get it this time.
Mum got it though. Maybe it might like to have a holiday at my house doncha think?
Friday, June 20, 2008
Made this bag using this free pattern from Ottobre. I thought my Cuttle bug might fit in it but I'll need to adjust the pattern size a bit for that to happen. It does however, hold my dies, embossing folders and the sandwich layers at present.
Found this new magazine in the supermarket the other week. It claims to be NZ's first carbon neutral magazine. It's a very interesting read for me since I like to find ways to live more sustainably. One thing I found from this magazine is a vege box outlet up at Kumeu (i.e. 20mins drive from here) that grow their own vegetables organically. So I'm going up to check out their shop and hopefully sign up for a box of seasonal organic vegetables. :-) Wellington & Wairarapa folks can sign up for something similar through the CSA program down that way.
Wanting a worm farm now....
Thursday, June 19, 2008
In Lightroom I used a pre-set called Matt's Vividity for the 2 main photos - something that isn't really evident in the picture of the layout. I wanted to give them a bit of extra punch. I thought at first I would make them a bit grungy but decided against it after seeing the effect on screen.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
“Thirty five is a very attractive age;
London society is full of women who have of their own
free choice remained thirty-five for years.” ~Oscar Wilde
1. Where is your cell phone? Handbag
2. Your significant other? Rod
3. Your hair? dark Blonde/light brown
4. Your skin? Winter "pink"
5. Your mother? Is using a space chamber... she's got bronchitis and asthma poor soul
6. Your favorite thing? Only one!!?
7. Your dream last night? Oh dear... a bit censored I fear.
8. Your favorite drink? Coffee or ginger beer
9. Your dream/goal? To stay sane
10. The room you're in? Lydia's room which doubles as a computer room
11. Your ex? There's 2 of 'em... no idea where they are now
12. Your fear? Of failure
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Still around
14. Where were you last night? In my bed.
15. What you're not? Patient
16. Muffins? Blueberry bran
17. One of your wish list items? New Cuttlebug embossing folders
18. Where you grew up? Auckland
19. The last thing you did? Bath the kids
20. What are you wearing? Moleskin
21. Your TV? Don't have one
22. Your pets? None at the moment.
23. Your computer? PC
24. Your life? Fine, bit stressed
25. Your mood? tired, want to read my book in a bath
26. Missing someone? nope
27. Your car? Mitzi
28. Something you are not wearing? Wouldn't you like to know.. oh ok, a hat
29. Favorite store? Millys (but I have many others)
30. Summer? Love it
31. Where? At the beach
32. Like someone? yes (Doh)
33. Your favorite color? Red
34. When is the last time you laughed? At Lydia's grumpy face
35. Last time you cried? Last week?
36. Who will/would re-post this? Dunno
37. Whose answers are you anxious to see? Anyone’s!
And Beverley tagged me with this one:
You'd think since I've had this menu planned from last week, that I'd get it up in time. But no. Next time I'm going to pre-post it!
Last week went well. I remembered how much I like vegetable gougere so I'll post the recipe later in the week.
Monday - beef & beer casserole I got from Nigella's How to Eat book, mashed potatoes and leeks, spinach salad
Tuesday - chicken curry, rice, some sort of cauliflower curry
Wednesday - Corn and bacon chowder (recipe here), home made bread rolls
Thursday - Lamb steaks with garlicky tahini, roasted veges (eggplant, courgette, capsicum), pita, yoghurt
Friday - Roast pork and the normal roast accompaniments. Plus apple sauce I think depending if I do the Fennel/rosemary/garlic one I normally do or not. Or maybe I'll do it anyway.
Saturday - Mussaman curry, rice, stir fried veg
Sunday - oxtail soup, home made bread, some sort of dessert
Hmmm... all very carnivore this week. Will have to bear that in mind for next week.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Originally uploaded by pdugmore2001.
Papers, card stock and ribbon are from the SBO kit I won :-)
I had to laugh when I discovered this little scene.Lydia was crying and Tim decided she needed some milk, so he tried to feed her himself. Although it is funny, I do love his sense of empathy for his sister's needs.
I struggled with a title for this one because all that came to mind was that saying, "Useless as tits on a bull" which I didn't think was appropriate! LOL!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
The River Wife by Joni Agee
A family saga set in 19th century Missouri. The story begins with a young lass being chucked out of home because she's pregnant to her lover. They get married and as she begins to discover more about her husband's family history, she sees many parallels with her own situation. Apart from the irritating "history repeats" side of the story I enjoyed this book. A kind of interesting ending, and not one I quite expected. Strong women are featured in the book plus some intriguing twisty men.
Maps for lost lovers by Nadeem Aslam
This is one that I couldn't finish. An ill-fated couple are murdered because they break Islamic law and live in sin. This book is about love, Islam and the background/after-math of their choice. It also seemed to me to be about the restriction of women's freedom and living in an alien culture. The author writes some beautiful passages. In the end I couldn't finish this book because there seemed to be so many hopes crushed and lives ruined because of repressive belief that it got a bit much for me. I imagine for some women that this story would be a reflection of their reality.
A rare interest in corpses by Ann Granger
A typical "gothic" Victorian detective/thriller story. I confess I did enjoy it despite the predictability of the plot. It was quite fun to think to myself "Any moment now and she'll find some diary of the murdered girl" and lo, the next chapter she did! Heh heh!
The Island by Victoria Hislop
On the verge of making a big decision, Alexis heads to Greece and while there manages to find out about her mysterious family past. She discovers the history of her grandmother and how love, leprosy and exile has affected her family. Not much character development in this novel, and some of the events are rather contrived/convenient. I did enjoy it though - it is a romantic sort of book and good for a relaxing read.
Kitty by Deborah Challinor
Banished to the other side of the earth because of an indiscretion, Kitty finds herself in Paihia, Bay of Islands, New Zealand with her aunt and uncle (a minister). Set during the period when the Treaty of Waitangi was being established, Kitty tries to settle down into her new life of sobriety and teaching the local Maori children how to be good, decent Christians. (Said with tongue in cheek). Naturally there is a hunky man in the picture with whom things get off to a bad start. Owing to circumstances outside their control, they are thrust (inevitably) into each other's company having to flee to Sydney, Australia. I do like reading stuff set in New Zealand - especially places I've been to. Again, not much in terms of character development but a nice, romantic read for a Sunday afternoon.
Burning Bright by Tracey Chevalier
A family of chair makers end up in London after being commissioned by a circus owner to make some furniture for him. A "sideways" story about William Blake (he lives next door) and the period where England was feeling jumpy about the Revolution over the Channel. The son of the chair making family makes friends with one of the local girls and the main story is about their personalities, reactions and relationship. I liked the settings, the local flavour and descriptions of the period. A good read. Loose links with Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience. The ending is a bit up in the air but in a good way.
Stalking the green fairy by James Villas
A "foodie" type book. This is the other one I didn't finish. I got fed up with the author's attitude actually. Didn't enjoy his repetitive style of writing either. It's difficult for me to respect someone who "disses" folk who seek quality food, promotes bulk buying but then admits that most of it goes to waste because he doesn't use it up in time and chucks it out.
Yeah yeah yeah - I know it's Thursday but I was a bit busy yesterday with cleaning my house so the folks coming for Bible study didn't think I was a sloth. Just as well they didn't look in the kid's rooms huh?
1. My Big woo hoot is that DH's photo got honours on Monday night at his photography club, and the judge is a director at the National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries at the Uni of Auckland. The ultimate accolade was that she said she would be happy for any of the honours images to be in her gallery. So DH felt quite special about that.
This was his image. It's out at Anawhata.
(c) Rod Dugmore 2008
2. Have made 3 of the eco-bags. Yay!
3. Got a great pattern to make some trousers for DS and it has adult sizes too, so I can make DH some as well. Plus some material I'd been eyeing up which was down to $5.00/ metre from $14.99/metre. Woohoo!
4. My sister is baby sitting an ice cream maker so we have some plans for Saturday to put it into use. Heh heh.
Think I'm getting a lurg. My voice is croaky and getting deeper (almost like Aunty Helen's) and I'm getting that tight chest feeling too.
Right, DD has been suspiciously quiet for a while now. Better check her out.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
With 30 odd entries it must have been difficult to choose. :-) I think my style is possibly too simple for design calls, and not unique enough. But that is okay. I scrapbook for me, my family, my stories and for the creative fun. Not fishing for sympathy or compliments here, just stating what I think.
Paper Pesto do some awesome kits and it would have been fun to play with them in a "designer" capacity. But I'm trying to persuade the whanau that I need a sub to the kits for my birthday..... I'm hoping that will work! LOL!
Moving right along!
These were my entries.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The lovely kit from SBO that I won turned up and much to my delight it contained a mini-album suitable for the little book I wanted to make for DS about our train trip to the museum. Thank you very much Andrea! DH took the photos.
Although the photo doesn't really show it, DS was delighted to find that drawer of mantids. Did you know that is the plural of mantis? No? Well I didn't either until I read the label on those drawers...
Monday, June 09, 2008
My online friend Amy is having a five-minute shower challenge which I've joined. You would think that water in New Zealand was not a resource we have to be concerned about when it seems like most of winter is a constant rain shower - at least here in Auckland anyway.
But anyone visiting the dams up in the Waitakere ranges can see that they are not full to the brim. Anyone living in the Waikato this past summer, or the South Island can say that water is something that is not a resource we can afford to squander.
According to The Big CleanUp Newsletter (my enbolding):
Last year, our daily water use in Auckland region was 303 litres gross per capita. Since 2003 we have increased the amount of water we use by 6 litres per person/perday. Individuals typically use between 130-230 litres per person per day. We only use 3% of this water for drinking or cooking even though it is treated to a drinkable standard. Other water use includes flushing our toilets, washing clothes, dishes and watering the garden.I know that our water consumption has increased from last year - it's on our water bill. I think it's because we've got another child, and I wash my cloth nappies. It may go down a bit once DD is out of naps. In the meantime, I'm trying to cut down some of our water use by doing this challenge.
Other ways to save water can be found at New Zealand Water and Wastes Association or sustainability.govt.nz. One way could be to install a tank to catch rain water. Some local councils (e.g. Waitakere City Council) will give you a rebate on your water bill if you do this. Another way is to not over fill pots or kettles; only use as much water as you need. Use the microwave to steam your veges instead of the stove - not only do you use less water, but there is less nutrient loss in this form of cooking.
I will point out that Amy is in the other hemisphere so while the challenge is a "summer" challenge I am doing it in the winter. I just thought I would point that out. Because you know it's kind of cold here right now. So I'm not having nice hot, long showers anymore because of this challenge. Just so you know okay?
Actually, my normal "clean-only" shower is about 3 minutes. If I'm washing my hair it takes about 6 minutes so I need to work out how to cut that down. Turning off the water to do the lathering is not attractive, not to mention how much water it wastes because my shower takes a while to come back to the right temperature.
And it's winter you know.
Which makes it pointy-nipple cold if I turn off the water.
I think leave-in conditioner might be the answer.
Ugh - last week I didn't get to post my menu plan and it all got mucked around anyway. The fortnightly shopping experiment is turning out to be a bit tricky because I find myself running out of things unexpectedly (e.g. balsamic vinegar) and I dislike waiting 2 weeks to get them again.
But I'm not giving up. I think these kinks can be ironed out with time.
Monday - hamburgers plus the normal fixings & oven baked wedges
Tuesday - Lemon and rosemary chicken (a Julie Buiso recipe), fettucine, kale from the garden.
Wednesday - Lentil soup and vegetable gougere
Thursday - Hannah's Lamb Shanks, mashed tatoes, steamed broccoli
Friday - Merguez* sausage, couscous, spinach
Saturday - Roast chicken plus the usual accompaniments
Sunday - my "can't-be-bothered-meal" of whole grain pancakes (from Kristen), bacon and some sort of vege
* I have found an awesome butcher who makes sausages in house and they are delicious. Proper sausages not these weird meat-flavoured bread ones, or those other that say it's 75% meat... but you don't know what sort of dodgy "meat" product is included. The butcher is the Westmere Butcher (131 West End Rd, Westmere, ph 376-5954) in Auckland. I can recommend their pork and fennel, and Toulouse sausages. Going to try their Merguez this week.
I'm having dreadful cravings for winter desserts - rice pudding, chocolate self-saucing puddings, pies, apple and rhubarb crumble... you know the sort. Nigella has a raspberry chocolate pudding cake I'm going to try this week. I'm also going to poach some pears in wine some time too.
I'm trying to resist the cravings because I have a mere 3 kgs to go and I'll be into my goal weight range! My motivation is on the wane though so any advice on how to keep that going would be welcome.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
My marshmallow post generated quite a few interested comments so I'm making an illustrated version to submit to the blog carnival Make it From Scratch.
Here is the recipe again.
2 Tablespoons gelatine *
1/2 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint essence
coconut or icing sugar (powdered sugar if you're Stateside)
1. Combine gelatine and first measure of water. Leave to swell for 10 minutes.
2. Place sugar and second measure of water in a large saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves.
3. Dissolve gelatine over hot water.
4. Pour gelatine into sugar mixture and bring to the boil. Boil steadily for 15 minutes. Allow to cool until lukewarm.
7. Add vanilla or peppermint essence.
11. Turn out of tin. (I find I have to cut it into squares first, and lever them out with my fingers). Cut into squares and roll in coconut or icing sugar. Keep chilled.
*Note about gelatine: The most common form of gelatine in New Zealand is the granulated form that comes in a box. I know other countries mostly have a sachet form, so the amount you need will be 2x15ml=30ml (the size of the Tablespoon measure used here in New Zealand). I haven't tried this recipe with sheet gelatine or the various vegetarian gelatines. I think agar would be too firm but I stand corrected on this one. My vegetarian friend struggles to find good vegetarian gelatine here, but she got some sent to her from the UK once to make marshmallows and they were delightful.
CW did an interesting meme and I am copying her.
Spotted this some time ago on John Dupuis’s blog - an interesting post about reading material categorised by when and where it’s read. (John’s inspiration came from this blog.)
The breakfast table read: The newspaper. I usually get the world section first because DH grabs the main section before me. I also get the Viva first. On Saturday, he gets the Canvas first.
The to-go read: This is the sort of thing you'd read in a waiting room. I tend to go for the mags like Next, or some other sort of read with a bit of substance. Or, I'll just wait and people watch instead. When I stop for coffee beans at Atomic I sometimes read the Organics NZ magazine.
The bathroom read: I no longer have this luxury! With little people barging in to see what I'm doing, offering me toilet paper and playing with the toilet brush, this is not a good time to read for me. No - we don't have a lock on the door at present because the kids might lock themselves in.
The read-aloud: Uh... kids books mainly. Occasionally I'll read stuff from my fiction book to DH if I think he'd be interested. Sometimes I read him stuff from the Songs of Solomon - you know the stuff... "my beloved is a graceful hind" etc etc. He reads me the bits about eyes like the "pools of Heshbon" and the booby bits. Heh heh.
The main read: It has to be fiction I must say. I do read non-fiction though. My non-fiction choices tend to be things about food, crafts and arty stuff, the occasional travel book. But fiction is my main choice because I read to relax and escape. My taste has changed a bit since I was a teenager and I tend to go through phases where I read more of one genre than another. I used to read a lot of fantasy but mostly I don't these days. I do still read crime and mystery which is a genre I consistently have read since I was young. Many of my choices will include historical fiction, romance, and saga type stories.
I also like to read food magazines.
The work read: I echo CW's comment here that it is a common mis-conception that librarian's have time to read while at work. My professional reading is sadly lacking at this point. I read the NZ Libraries journal because that comes to my letter box as I'm a member of the library association who produce it. The rest of my reading is library blogs, and even then I'm pretty slack at looking at them right now. I know if I was employed it would be a different story.
When I was at work, there was a benefit of being able to read the new journals before they got put out on the shelf. I would flick through the journals in my subject liaison area because you get a feel for the subject doing this. Also you can sometimes find stuff that your "people" are interested in or have published. At MFPOW we also subscribed to a number of main stream periodicals like NZ House & Garden and Listener, plus some other arty/design journals that I liked to read at lunchtime. I also liked to read the Organics NZ magazine and some of the other horticultural journals.
The travel read: I tend to take popular novels that don't require any deep thinking with me. Things that I don't mind if I lose or if it gets dirty. I can't read in the car or on a plane so any reading gets done at night.
However, if it's PMT time then the good old soppy romance comes out with the chocolate and I can lose myself in that for a while.
If I'm feeling down, then I tend to read easy, happy ending stuff.
Reading I avoid: (my category) I think it's the stage I'm at but I find it very hard to read about bad things happening to kids so I avoid reading both fiction and non-fiction that has that as it's focus.