Thursday, 5 October 2017

Front Garden Project

A few weeks back we finally finished our front lawn and garden. It's so great to see green grass instead of the endless red dirt when we look out the windows. Mum and Dad came to help and we got the job done.

Spreading the dirt around

Setting out the circle garden

Laying the pavers

The finished product

Welcome home!


Friday, 28 July 2017

Pantry Organisation

I have been doing so much lately that I have so little free time to sit down and blog about any of it. I have so many ideas and projects and only one hour of rest time to do much towards any of them. Today I am missing the buttons and stuffing I need to complete my latest projects so I feel uninspired to do anything else until I can finish them off.

Something I had wanted to do for at least twelve months was to sort out my Indian spices. They come in plastic packets from the Indian store and I was just snipping off the corners and using them straight out of the packet with a clothes peg to seal the hole. (Which works okay until there are more than a dozen packets laying around in the pantry making mess and taking up space and I never have enough pegs to hang out the laundry.)

So a couple weeks back I finally found enough glass jars to sort out my spice stash. 17 different spices, essential for the Indian kitchen: turmeric, coriander seeds, ground coriander, cumin seeds, ground cumin, cinnamon sticks, garam masala, ground fenugreek, kashmiri chilli powder, fennel seeds, black pepper, mustard seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, poppy seeds, star anise and hot chilli powder.

My little helper helped me pour the spices into their new containers and stick on the labels. Now I will be able to find my spices with searching through a huge pile of packets, the pegs are back in laundry where they belong, and the neat rows of jars sitting on my pantry shelf fill my tidy heart with such pride. A job well done.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Family Photos 2017

Life around here has been easing back towards normality since moving into our new house. The first months have been crammed with landscaping and gardening and painting furniture. Things are returning to a slightly slower pace as winter approaches and we can no longer do a huge amount of work in the garden.
We had a chance to go out and take some family pictures on the weekend. It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and we got some lovely pictures. I've been wanting some nice new ones to make a photo wall in our front room.


Friday, 10 March 2017

New House Finished!

Our house is done! We have been in for nearly a month now and are loving our new home!
Enjoy these pictures!

House on the day of handover

Our kitchen!

Handover with our builder, Geoff from Geoff Gibson Homes and site manager, Gary.

Working on the fence

Turf down

Another view of the grass

Out the back

Our mailbox... number 18!

3 weeks after moving in...

Front gate and fence.

Our turf all established. :)

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Making Christmas Paper for Toddlers

I was searching for something to do with Jeremy one quiet day before the Christmas holidays rolled around and came up with the idea of a printing craft. He loves to paint or get paint-y and so I thought that printing might be right up his alley.
I cut some Christmas shapes into a couple potatoes, pulled out the red, green and gold paint and we had a lovely time. Free fun for all... just a shame I had to spend the afternoon scrubbing excess paint off the deck. (Maybe I should invest in a big plastic mat for messy activities.)
We used the paper as wrapping for Christmas presents.


House Progress #3

Christmas has come and gone for another year and our house is steadily making its way towards completion. The builders are off on holidays for another week... so in order to keep things happening I thought I would post some pictures of where we are up to now!
We have only the painting and the final electrical and plumbing work left to go inside the house. Then the site needs to be tidied... all the dirt spread back in place and we are done! They are predicting early February now as the finish date.

Our amazing kitchen and walk in pantry!

The concrete path being poured around the house.

The driveway

Tiles and cabinetry in the main bathroom

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Mulberry Pie Recipe

Back in September, our mulberry tree fruited profusely. I picked mulberries every second day for about three weeks, living with permanently stained fingers and nails. We ate a lot of mulberries for the first few days but the sheer quantity of them became a little overwhelming. I started to freeze them and cook with them. Now, some two months on, I still have a freezer full of mulberries but I have come up with an amazing mulberry pie recipe that I will now share with you!

Homemade Mulberry and Apple Pie

Pie Filling
- 500 grams of fresh or frozen mulberries
- 2 apples peeled, cored and diced
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 2 tsp plain flour

Pie Base
- 1 cup plain flour
- 1/4 cup almond meal
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 60 grams butter
- 2 tsp coconut palm sugar
- water to mix

Cream Topping
- 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C and grease a standard size pie dish. Combine dry base ingredients and rub in the butter. Add enough water to form a soft dough. Roll out to 5mm thick and place in the pie dish. Trim the edges. Place the pie dish in the freezer for 15-20 mins to chill the dough. Transfer the pie to the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until the pastry is lightly browned. Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine the mulberries and apple in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Do not add water as mulberries give out a lot of juice while cooking. Once the fruit comes to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the apple in tender. Drain almost all of the liquid from the saucepan and then place it back on the stove. Add the maple syrup and the plain flour, mixing until the flour is absorbed and the pie filling has thickened.

Pour the hot filling into the hot pie base and return to the oven for another 15-20 mins. Remove and cool completely.

Combine the cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Whip until firm peaks form. Spread the cream over the cooled pie and serve! Delicious!

Removing the stems for freezing... labour intensive!