Friday, August 31, 2012

Midweek Chilli Con Carne- Tuesday's in the Kitchen



In our household there are nights where cooking is just too hard. I love pottering in the kitchen but I don't like doing it everyday. The baby bump is growing at 21 weeks I'm feeling kicks and movement, have bouts of tiredness and long to finally finish the great home improvement cleanup of the century so slow cooking is a godsend.
Chilli con carne is such a great, easy meal. I often cook up a batch and double the recipe for the slowcooker. Ads bought me a 7L Slowcooker so I can cook lots, freeze it and always ensure I have pasta sauce, casseroles, and Chilli on hand in the freezer.
Sally Wise's Slowcooker book has been a life saver the last couple of years, i have her whole collection of books. Well worth the investment.
The thing l love is I can prepare the ingredients throw it all in the slowcooker and leave it to cook all day. Miss two was a reflux baby and poor sleeper for the first 16 months and it took its toll on how much energy I had to cook. It's become a weekly ritual to use the slowcooker and enjoy the smells of it cooking away while I sit down at the sewing machine or get on the floor to play with Miss Two.

Ingredients
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 kg of beef mince
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 cups of diced fresh, canned tomatoes
1 red capsicum diced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp of chutney
3 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
5 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 x 410g can of red kidney beans, drained
3 tsp Cornflower (optional)

How to make
Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan and cook the mince until brown.
Peel and dice onions and garlic and cook for 2 mins. Transfer to slowcooker. Add all other ingredients along with 1 1/2 cups of water except for the kidney beans and Corn flower.
Place lid on slowcooker and cook for 3 1/2 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Add beans and cook for a further 20 minutes on high. Season to taste.
If the Chilli is runny, mix the corn flour with 2 tsp of water and use to thicken the mixture stirring in whilst Chilli is still hot. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

Serve with salad, with couscous, on it's own or with a baked potato.
It's fantastic with a cold beer or cider. We just bottled our home-brewed Pale Ale I can't wait to have some with a hot bowl of Chilli.
Try it it you won't be disappointed. For those Vegetarians out there try lentils, vegetarian mince or nut loaf pieces + bean mix replacing the beef mince. It should be yummy.
Enjoy!


X Mummafox

Monday, August 27, 2012

Colour that makes your heart sing- Monday Link Love


How much do you love the lush vibrant aqua blues, greens and pinks of today's Link love. I wish I had high ceilings in my house so I could use similar colours but alas with white walls my home furnishings need to give our little family nest personality. As I'm at home once again nursing Miss Two back to health from croup and a bad cold she came down with over the weekend 'again' today's Link love inspires colour, personality and life in the home something I've been thinking a lot about of late.

Be insired with modern Marrakech rooms
Rooms filled with colour + nature 
A Rabbit portrait + cupboard that would be perfect for the new nursery or the front entrance
Clothes by Misha lulu for Miss Two and our little people, I'm going to attempt a jumpsuit in size 3 with apple motif for Miss Two for summer.
And I'd love to make the time to attempt this DIY purse tutorial for Spring


Home improvement for August is underway we have started Spring cleaning the study, three bags of stuff went to the op shop last week, clothes, books and homewares we just weren't using. I've been ruthless. It's amazing how much stuff you accumulate over ten years being together. We are in the middle of washing the covers for our couch, it's amazing to see how white they have come up from a week's soaking.

Overhauling Miss Two's wardrobe, and realising just how much she's grown + starting a draw of clothes for our little boy. I went to a local baby clothes market on Sunday for an hour and attempted to shop for Tully. It's hard to get my mind into boy mode I'm use to dresses, tights + heaps of variety. I never knew how little variety there was for boys. I picked up ten pieces of pure baby things and some Bonds size 000 jumpsuits. I'm not going to buy up big but I have enough for the hospital bag. 
Miss two got a great Oriental cord jacket for $2, a new pair of cowboy boots and some pink glitter high tops. Perfect with a tutu for Miss Two I'm going to buy one or make one. She spent much of the afternoon on Sunday playing dress ups and jumping in her cowboy boots while we attacked the washing, ironing + shared Yum cha.

I've attempted to make an inventory of home improvement tasks to do before the new year. I have asked friends to babysit Miss Two over the next couple of months For a day or two so we can work uninterrupted and she can have her own adventures with those she loves. I'm hoping that as the weeks pass so will all the mess that comes with downsizing and minimizing ones belongings. Storage is such a big problem in our house.
Our stairs really need painting as they aren't stained yet and are getting dirty and marked from everyday use. I'd like to find a way to make statement with our stairs in our family nest and add some wooden bedroom storage to give some personality to our home spaces.

This week I'm going to devote my time to getting Miss Two well so she can visit the penguins with her friend Chloe and clearing the baskets of things we are downsizing in our lounge. It seems never ending at the moment. I hoped it would be done by now but I'm realizing at five months pregnant I not going to be as productive as I usually am and that's ok. I'm going to stop being hard on myself!
Friday I'm going to get to boxing class, finish Miss Two's new quilt, cut bunting pieces + make a new Annie dress for my munchkin. And if l don't get through all those things then that's ok too.

What are your plans for the week?



x Mummafox

Friday, August 24, 2012

My week in Instragram


A week filled with rest, 
food, housework, enjoying friendship, 
playfulness, conversation, taking time to smile + breathe, 
the growing baby bump, the baby kicks, being inspired, 
cups of tea and afternoon cakes, feeding chickens, 
seeing kookaburras, watching the wind stir nature, 
a girls night out, a lazy Thursday sleep in with Miss Two, 
a new clothing purchase to wear 4 Claire Bowditch in Oct + a boxing class.

What have you been up to?


X Mummafox

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Colour me wonderful- Link love


Today's link love is about vintage + colour.

I came across a pink paisley eiderdown for loose change op-shopping in Blackburn last week. It's got a couple of small holes in the fabric but I'm going to wash it, darn it, add vintage touches and have it as our summer outdoor quilt. I can just imagine picnics on the lawn, late night at the drive in, weekend at the beach.

The vintage daisy fabric was a present from Bec and will be the back of the patchwork quilt for Miss Two's big bed. I'm hoping to finish the quilt soon.
This weeks been busy with my ultrasound, going back to gym, hair appt and day with Nana so I'm not sure how much I'll achieve.
I'm keeping this week simple, if l can organise the market things for Saturday
then I've been able to do enough.

Looking at blogs this past week I thought it would be great to add old school touches to Miss Two's room with a wooden desk, chair or open cupboard. These kids bedrooms here Inspire creativity.
The bedroom still needs colour, I should attempt a colourful canvas perhaps for above her bed in bold strokes once the grey couch goes and a floor rug to encourage play.

Kit + Nancy recently explored a vintage store in Copenhagen that made my mouth water. Check out her blogpost. All that vintage loveliness in one store, amazing. Wouldn't you just love some vintage wallpaper to do a feature wall or frame a large panel in a large wood frame to hang. The possibilities would be endless.

What colours are you into right now?
Wherever you are have a great Monday.


X Mummafox



Monday, August 20, 2012

Tuesday's in the Kitchen- Thai larb salad : Asian weeknight street food

Ingredients

1 tbs peanut oil
500g lean pork mince
1 stem lemon grass, pale section only, finely chopped
1 fresh long green chilli, finely chopped
60ml (1/4 cup) fresh lime juice
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp finely grated lime rind
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh coriander leaves
2 tbs torn fresh mint
Baby cos lettuce leaves, to serve
40g (1/4 cup) finely chopped roasted peanuts, to serve

How to make
Heat half the oil in a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add half the pork mince, lemon grass and chilli and stir-fry, breaking up any lumps, for 3-4 minutes or until pork changes colour. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Repeat with the remaining oil, pork, lemon grass and chilli, reheating the wok between batches. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.
Whisk together the lime juice, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce and lime rind in a small bowl until well combined. Drizzle the pork mixture with the dressing. Add the onion, coriander and mint and stir to combine. Spoon the pork mixture among lettuce leaves and sprinkle with peanuts to serve.


Variations to recipe
If you don't like using pork mince you could substitute chicken mince. For vegetarians try bean mix, tofu, veggie mince or lentils.
Enjoy!

x Mummafox

The weekend happenings

Our weekend was spent-
In the garden, at a market, in the pool with Miss Two. Sleeping, being a family, watching toys being played with, catching up with family. Miss two hanging out with her godmother and friend on Sunday, enjoying some couple time over yum cha and ice-cream, doing some major housework and watching the ever-growing bump.
Today's a lazy monday spent doing nothing.
 Just lovely!
What did you get up to?





x Mummafox

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We're excited- 20 weeks, it's ultrasound time.



We had our ultrasound yesterday and we found out it's a boy. 
Tully's a boy! 
Ok, it's a surprise. 
His healthy and cheeky already. 
He waved during the ultrasound. Cheeky munchkin.
He looks so cute I think he has my nose.
Being five months pregnant might explain why
I have been really tired this week.
Now we know the sex of the baby, I have a mountain of girls stuff that needs to go.
Over the next two days I'll be busy ironing, tagging and packing 
Miss Two's things she's outgrown for the market. 
Come Saturday I'll be up to my knees in baskets and plastic bags
 of goodies to sell, I just hope it's a success.
A good spring clean in Miss Two's wardrobe planned for Sunday.
Miss Two has a playdate with her godmother and a little someone on sunday
so it's going to be great getting cleaning without the munchkin under foot.




x Mummafox

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The week that was

I spent all of last week doing nothing. I was recovering from the flu on monday after several days on the couch under a quilt weak. Had a shower and put my back out. I looked like a question mark and was in incredible discomfort. I blame pregnancy hormones and tiredness. It was a revelation how much guilt I felt at being sick and unable to do anything. We missed mothers group, Playgroup, hair appt + the long list of tasks I was meant to complete that didn't happen.
What do you do?
Well I just gave up.
I read three novels from the library resting on the couch, perfected a short soup recipe and saw more than a dozen pixar movies with Miss Two.
The couch, a hot water bottle and my codeine medication got me through but it was a huge lesson to let go and just rest. I couldn't do anything else.
I did enjoy all the cuddles. Miss two running around the house in a doctors uniform playing nurse. And the fire on as the hail fell. 
My garden looks very green and healthy from all the rain.
My hubby's car died Thursday night which will make things a little more interesting until we can afford to buy another.
Friday I started to move without much pain and enjoyed a play date and lunch with my friends and our little people. I was exhausted Friday night though. 
Toddlers seem to never tire.

After swim class saturday morning, shopping + yum cha with Nan, I took my time and weeded the garden for an hour. Built a bean runner with stakes and fabric selvage strips for the peas, snow peas and broad beans to climb on that are just coming up through the soil. I pulled the lower leaves of the broccoli and kale and layed hay down between the veggies to keep them warm. All the garlic has come up and the green shoots are taking on growth and height in the mulch.
Today our little family are going to plant lettuce seedlings if we get the time + Miss Two can watch them grow and harvest tonights dinner of carrots.

What adventures did you all get up to this weekend?


X Mummafox

Monday, August 6, 2012

Inspiring- Monday Link love


While I sat at this little cafe 'the peddler' having a coffee last Thursday cherishing a hot coffee and catching up on some blog reading I was inspired. Miss Two's Gran was babysitting so l could attend an appointment so l took an extra few minutes to have some much needed r and r. Oh it was lovely. I loved the peddler's retro chairs l think they would have been great for my kitchen table but alas if l want to see them again it will be while I'm out for breakfast with my Miss Two and Ads.
Electric colour, splashes of creativity on white walls and lots of comfort. The natural palate of birdie's nursery at Bleubird Vintage, softie toy inspiration and using artwork to make a statement. So many ideas to incorporate into our little family nest.
I would love to get the apple poster or pear poster for Miss Two's new toddler bedroom wall it's featured in many blog design posts but l just love the hint of vintage goodness. I plan to move Miss Two's teepee into her room once the couch goes into the study/nursery. The book rack and sheepskin floor rug here was a great idea for making a little nest for my little one. And I still haven't made a move to adorn the lounge room wall with photos or artwork but l think a collection of frames would look great.

Have you seen anything that you have been inspired by?
Let us know.



x Mummafox


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Nettie's Bacon, breadcrumb and sundried tomato pasta- Tuesday's in the Kitchen



Today's recipe was created by the wonderful Nettie who made this last night for a dinner party. It's great to have the opportunity for my friends who are great home cooks to share their recipe secrets you just never know what you'll find. This dish was inspired by Donna Hay's terrific 'standby pasta' and l think you will enjoy it. I'm defiantly going to give it a try and it's pregnancy friendly too which is great for those of us who need to watch what we eat. It serves 1-2 but easily doubled to feed four. You could add a salad and grilled Ciabartta dressed with pesto or grilled Parmesan to it and serve for a great family feast during the week or catch up with friends. For this recipe you need to invest in some top grade Parmesan cheese, bacon and Olive Oil as it will make all the difference to the dish.







Ingredients

4 rashers of short cut bacon
2-3 slices of sourdough or other stale bread
Few lugs of garlic olive oil (or basil/chilli oil)
1/2 dozen Sundried tomatoes
Parmesan cheese, grated (make sure it's a good quality cheese)
Pasta of your choice (2 serves)



How to Make

Cook pasta as per packet directions. The rest will be done by the time the pasta is ready.
Roughly chop the bacon and sundried tomatoes, remove crusts from bread.
Blitz bread to chunky crumbs in food processor.
Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add bacon, stir occasionally for 3 - 4 minutes.
Throw in the breadcrumbs and an extra lug of oil so crumbs become coated and turn golden. (I used a little oil from the sundried tomatoes to underscore that flavour.) The ratio of crumbs to bacon should be pretty even.
Add chopped tomatoes and toss through. Turn down the heat and watch that the tomatoes don't burn. Cook for another minute or two. Take off heat.
Drain pasta well, place in a bowl and sprinkle with a grated Parmesan cheese. Top with bacon, breadcrumb, tomato mixture, add your fave herbs or just a crack of pepper, more cheese and you're ready to tuck in! It's simple and satisfying.

Variations to the recipe

You could add anything to the dish to give diversity. Try a little lemon zest to the pasta to give it a freshness reminiscent of Springtime. If Sundried tomatoes aren't your thing then try cherry tomatoes and olives. If you don't want to add meat try dried porcini mushrooms along with some fresh button mushrooms, broccoli, leeks. It's the season for broad beans, mushrooms, leeks, broccoli, beetroot leaves so use them in your dishes. Buy locally too or grow your own. For those who love meat try organic bacon it has less water and cooks better, pancetta, a few anchovies, red onion or use what's in the pantry. I suggest buying an garlic infused olive oil or make your own. It changes recipes and makes them taste incredibly tasty and fresh. Place 4-6 organic garlic cloves in a new bottle of olive oil, place it in the pantry for a good month and then it will be ready to cook with. I do this 3-4 times a year and at Christmas make Garlic Olive Oil for presents. Recipes should be versatile and easy to make especially as we all live busy lives.



Enjoy!



Nettie can be found @ blogspot at http://founded1967.blogspot.com.au/

We're excited- 19 weeks and counting


Coming up to 19 weeks this week.
It's gone quickly.
I have been trying to live a simple life and learning each day that less is more.
Enjoying picking snow peas, coriander and broccoli for soup for lunch from the garden.
Sipping my tea and savouring the taste.
Creating bedlinen for Miss Two's new room.
Being inspired by other people's creativity.
Watching Miss Two creating these amazing family drawings (notice the mummy with a baby in her tummy) just beautiful.
Watching the sunlight dabbled on the floor through the blinds.
The wind moving the gums and making them dance.
I have relished rest when nauseous.
I have stayed on the couch in my PJ's getting over the flu this weekend/start of the week. I've now put my back out which gives me more reason to rest.
And not felt guilty that l'm too weak to do much else.
It hit me Saturday morning and Ads has been great playing with Miss Two, cooking and keeping my alive.
I simply stopped doing everything else.
I rested.
I enjoyed cuddles and kisses with Miss Two.

Watching Ads and Miss Two exploring their creativity with Lego.

Being camped out on our lounge room floor by the fire staying warm.
Sharing morning cuddles in our big bed under our Winter's Nest Quilt in the mornings, talking.
Sharing special moments with Ads + being our little family of 3.

Two weeks and we will find out if we are going to have a little girl or boy.

I wonder what we are going to have?

What do you think?



x Mummafox

Friday, August 3, 2012

Crumble Goodness- Tuesday's in the Kitchen

This is a crumble in reverse. That’s to say there’s a layer of fruit on top with lots of crumble underneath. And for those of us who think that a crumble’s golden, crunchy topping is the best bit… then you won't be disappointed.
The crunchy golden topping is what I enjoy the most during winter with warmed custard especially while sitting on the couch watching telly late at night.
Truly, this is a great crumble to make with your little people as it can handle lots of handling and as long as you get the quantities right, it will always end up tasting beautiful. You will love it in warm little slices served with some pouring cream or vanilla custard with a pot of T2 tea. I'm really looking forward to the next time I make this that there's leftovers for breaky.

One Cup Raspberry and Pear Crumble Cake

Ingredients
1 cup wholemeal self raising flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup porridge oats
200g cold unsalted butter, diced
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup mixture of linseeds, pepitas or other little seeds ( these are optional if you're not into them)
2 eggs, beaten
1 large pear (or 2 small pears) sliced cored but unpeeled
1 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
(if you want more crumble just double the recipe)

How to make
Preheat the oven to 180C (fan forced) and line a 24cm spring-form cake tin or a lamington tin if you prefer to make this as a slice with baking paper. I like making it jn a slice tin as its easier to cut and keep. Make sure you grease the sides too.
Combine the flour, sugar and oats in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and with your fingers, rub it into the flour mixture. Keep going until you have a coarse, sand-like consistency.
Stir through the coconut and linseed mix and separate about one cup’s worth of the mixture, set this aside for later. Mix through the eggs, again this can be done with your fingers.
Press mixture into the tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Press the pear and raspberries in a pretty pattern and top with reserved crumble mixture. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden on top and firm in the middle.
Let cool on a wire rack and serve with ice cream, cream or custard.

Variations to recipe
You can use blueberries, strawberries, apples, plums, peaches or apricots. Anything in season or you could use frozen fruit if you desired. You could add toasted museli to the recipe instead of a mix of seeds. Crumbles are great desserts because anything works as long as you keep the quantities the same.

Enjoy!



x Mummafox

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home Happenings

Over the last three days
Miss Two sick with croup + chest infection
Adam home sick
 Both under quilts on the couch resting
Lots of couch time and cuddles
Not much sleep l'm afraid
Five loads of washing done and folded 
Carpets, floors and tiles vacuumed, washed and clean
The kitchen is spotless
Started Robin Hobb's new book
Pumpkin soup simmering on the stove from my garden
Two double bed doona's finished for Miss Two's bed
Vintage floral with matching pillowcases ready for her bed
A Single bed quilt top sewn
It's been a busy time
I'm exhausted
Tomorrow
Will be whatever it will be




What's been happening in your little family nest?



x Mummafox
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