Saturday, January 29, 2011

Homemade Hangi.

I LOVE hangi. No one in my family knows how to make a real NZ earth oven, so when ever there is a fundraiser selling hangi I'm there...first in line! When I was a little girl it cost $5 a parcel. These days its more like $7-9. I think it must be one of the only items that hasn't inflated too much comparatively. I only get one about once or twice a when I found a recipe for an at home one I just had to give it ago.

So if you love Hangi as much as's the easiest way to make it, all in your slow cooker.

Ingredients I used..this time.
Cabbage, sliced fairly thick
potatoes, kumara, pumpkin all cut into roughly the same size
Chicken pieces, skin on.

Lay foil on bench surface, two strips over lapping to make sure there is enough width and length to cover all food in a nice tight package.
Layer cabbage down first, then vegetables, finally chicken on top. Gather foil up from sides and form a nice tight parcel to prevent steam from escaping. If needed get more foil to ensure all food is covered nicely.
Place parcel in warmed slow cooker with 2 cm of water at the bottom. Cook on high for 5-6 hours. Or Low for longer according to your slow cookers requirements.

The layering

Nice tight parcel into slow cooker

All cooked and entire house smelling of hangi...mmmm

Even the young food critics liked it.

It worked a treat for a first attempt.The chicken was falling off the bone, the veges were delish. Missing was the stuffing (My favourite part) and some other type of meat (pork or mutton)...and of course the smokey flavour. So next time I will try and incorporate these.

Give it a go at yours xx

Thursday, January 27, 2011

When the kids are 18 and leave home...then life will be a little easier

Bubba (7 months) is at the learning to sit up stage. Pillows surround him, toys are arranged directly in front of him but his inquisitive mind wants the one just out of reach. Reaching, reaching, reaching...whoops overbalanced AGAIN and mumma has to come and rescue him, because he wants to sit up again...Waaaaaaa

Today I found myself thinking...when the baby can sit up and play by himself, life might be a little easier. Then I thought of all the "when thes" I often allow my mind to think.

When the baby sleeps through the might be a little easier... When the kids are at might be a little easier... When the kids are 18 and leave home...then life will be a little easier

When do the "when such-and-such happens, then I'll be happy" end?

I attend a Mums group with our local church and we often invite mums with older children to share something with us. An overwhelming number of them ALWAYS say..."I know these years with little ones are tough...but try and enjoy them anyway. Because before you know it they are grown up and leaving home!" A reminder I don't mind hearing every fortnight! Because I forget, all too easy I forget.
I want to enjoy every age and stage and not wish my life would fast forward to the parts that will only make me happy.

I watched the movie "Click" last week, which is probably why this is on my mind. Take out Adam Sandlers usual crass humour and the end message is really quite a good one.
We all need reminding that we should enjoy today.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Because sometimes peanut butter sandwiches just don't cut it

Master 4 is my little cafe buddy. His classic line is "can I try some of yours" And I'll say "you won't like it!". "Mumma I will!".
I love this about him...usually! Sometimes I just want to eat my delicious morsels in peace..but he is always willing to try new things. When faced with the decision McDonald's or Sushi its actually a difficult choice! In complete contrast Miss 7 who likes to stick to the tried and true.
So today I made him something a little special, tomato and rocket pesto (bought stuff) with smoked salmon on heart shaped crostini. Just because sometimes peanut butter sandwiches get a little bit old. And because I love the little fella.

Do your kids have daring taste buds?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hubby's Ratatouille making skills...

I sent hubby on this mornings Growers Market run. Most Saturday mornings one of us goes, and returns with the mandatory 2 mochaccino's and 2 fluffy's from our favourite cafe and the fruit and vege loot. After this morning's run, hubby was inspired to create some Ratatouille and a vegetarian Lasagna, neither of which we have ever eaten before. I don't think we have ever bought an eggplant...ever! I was instructed to leave the kitchen and him to it... Very hard for this kitchen loving control freak to do! He hardly gets the opportunity to cook in my kitchen, because...I prefer to ;)
So I was super impressed with the end result...

Zucchini and Eggplant layered lasagna (with chicken for protein!) and a crisp green salad with nuts and balsamic dressing.

Salting eggplants can be fun!

Thanks my love for a delish lunch!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I hate to be the one to say it....

But...there's only a week and half of school holidays left! Depending on high you are on the "slowly going crazy scale", this may be a good or bad thing. I have enjoyed these holidays and so have the kids. We are all recharging for another school year. Miss 7 will be in year3 this year. New class, new teacher and very exciting for our school, new high tech classrooms to learn in. Master 4 will be a master 5 in April so he is looking forward to the big milestone, starting school. Until then fun at morning Kindy.

Here are a couple of pics from our school holidays so far...

Camping in the back yard with Dadda. See his blog about it here

Friends over for playtime.

Trips to the beach.

Craft projects to deliver to little friends.

And my big new is I had a good first day back at work on Sunday. I was super nervous but while I was looking after my patients I had a real sense of..."I'm actually quite good at this nurse thing". After the thankless job of mothering only for the last 8 months, it was nice to have some sort of job satisfaction. I guess you really only get the pay off of tireless mothering when the kids move out and they realize how great you are. That seems way off!

How are your holidays going and how far on the "slowly going crazy scale" are you at the moment?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

25 random things about me.

I found this note from a couple of years ago from my Facebook page, where you write 25 random things about yourself . So just in case you wanted to know me a bit better here's 25 random things about me.

1) I am Indo/Fijian-European. Born in NZ
2) I grew up in Northland and therefore learnt to pronounce Maori words properly.
3) I have 3 half brothers, 1 half sister and a real brother. It is complicated as is my family relations. I am a middle child...I think.
4) I like to fill in forms. Census year is my favourite year.
5) I like a good mocchacino
6) I am married with children.
7) I have bungy jumped and sky dived.
8) I love theme parks with roller coasters.
9) Until this month I hadn't called in sick in 5 years
10) I don't like really hot(chilli) food.But I like curry.
11) I could cook a family meal when I was 10.
12) I used to spend my holidays (when I was 8-11years old) with an elderly couple on farm in Kaeo. She taught me to bake cakes and srub her back... And I liked to...maybe that's why I became a nurse.
13) I got married when I was 20.
14) I haven't found my niche love as a nurse.
15) I have been going to church since I was 7
16) I moved out of home when I was 17 to do my degree.
17) We have had the same car for 7 years.
18) I am very Independent
19) I am not afraid of public speaking.
20) I once played Judas in our school production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
21) I can understand Hindi but don't speak it very well.
22) I have never been a bridesmaid.
23) I am not a very good swimmer.
24) I like cheesecake
25) I find it hard to plan my life out in advance. Id rather live for today and let God lead me for the rest.
26) Sometimes I don't like to follow the rules...that is why I have added another random thing...just to be annoying and different. I like to be different... and annoying just for the sake of it.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What's cookin this week...

These cute little Hershey's kiss cookies look adorable and taste yum. I doubled the batch of cookie dough and also made mini M&M Cookies too. The kids enjoyed helping make them and eating them of course!

Check out my new Kitchen Whizz! I'm so stoked. I've wanted one of these for ages and my mum bought me one while we were out shopping together (my Christmas present). I used the grate blades to whip up these carrots, courgettes and onion. Done in no time! They were great in my lasagna last night!

If there is one canned item that is always in my trolley, its tomatoes. I love the flavoured range from Watties. My usual supermarket doesn't stock this flavour(I have no idea why not) so I stocked up on loads of these!.Most of my meals tend to have onion and garlic in them...Its the indian in me. I added these to my lasagna last night too! Delish.

And this little fella is the newest food critic to hit the family. Yes...he is now old enough for solids! So I have tried a few home made slop feasts as well as the bought stuff. He's sucking on a piece of green capsicum. I think he prefers the red...don't we all.

I now have 5 different taste buds to cater for...and quite frankly I would appreciate it if they all just ate pretty much anything just like me. Not so far!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Operation Triathalon...progress report.

It's been a while since my last post about Operation Triathlon. See here for the background story.

Big new is... I bought a new bike for Christmas. Skeptical hubby rather reluctantly let me buy one after I assured him repeatedly..."I will totally use it more than once!". I have been getting out on the ROAD (!) at least once a week. I'm slowly building my fitness and distance. And of course getting more confident riding on the city roads.

She's so pretty! A real girly bike. All I need now is a pink helmet!

For the running leg I found this really fun free pod cast from here. A fellow blogging friend had steered me into the direction of a "couch to 5K" programme which works by interval training, walking 90 seconds..running 60 seconds etc. I thought to myself, who's going to be looking at their watch every few seconds. Then I came across the MP3 version of it. It has music playing then has a little hooter that alerts you its time to walk..or jog. Very cool! Great way to start running.

The swim leg training however has been sadly lacking over the last few weeks. The (free) swimming pool I want to train at has been closed, so I'll have to bite the bullet and go the other one.

On a another positive note...Hubby started doing training too and is a little inspired to try a sprint triathlon at some stage too. So its a bit tricky trying to fit it all kids...other parts of life...but I'm positive we will get there in the end!

How are you "getting fit and healthy" for the new year?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The New Year...

Well 2010 was a good year for me. 2009 tanked just a bit, so I was ready for a better year. Highlights were finishing off some post-grad study (challenging, but ultimately rewarding) and the other big event adding the little man to our family. The last 6 months on maternity leave have been the most relaxing period of my life for a long time...but alas its back to part time work next week. Shift work makes me a little tired...add a baby who doesn't quite sleep through yet and I think life might start to get a little harder. Any hoo you gotta just keep on keeping on!

Its taken me a few days to figure out what my new years resolutions would be. You have to think long and hard about these things! But this year I wanted to find a cool verse out of the BIBLE to help me meditate on and keep things in perspective. And I think this is the one for me.

But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, That I may declare all Your works.
Psalms 73: 28

This year I want to;
  • Love more
  • Eat less
  • Exercise more
  • Yell less
  • Pray more
  • Facebook less
  • Sing more
Here's to a fantastic New Year, and the challenges we will overcome .

Friday, January 7, 2011

10 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch the Super Mum Syndrome

Well my computer hard drive is completely full and a balloon bubble thing in the corner of my screen keeps reminding me I need to make some room. So while I was busy deleting some files I came across this article I had copied and pasted for something a few years ago and thought you might like a read and start the new year with a fresh perspective.

10 Reasons Why You Need to Ditch the Super Mum Syndrome

By Peggy Porter

For any of you Moms out there that are doing it all, attempting to gain Super Mom status, let me give you my own personal opinion. It's not worth it!!!

The pursuit of the Super Mom is an endless search that will be of great cost to you in the end. Here are 10 reasons why you need to put an immediate halt to this pursuit.

# 1-There is no such thing as a Mom who can do everything perfect because as far as I am concerned, perfection comes at a very high price. Seemingly perfect to other people, is often not the way things really are for the perfectionist.

#2-The Super Mom Syndrome is literally killing women. Stress related diseases are on the rise and the demands that women place on themselves today directly contribute to the stress in their life. This stress is often all consuming.

#3-There are far too many roles in our life today. Trying to keep up with the different hats we wear on a daily basis is sometimes impossible. Feeling the need to be perfect in them all is exhausting.

#4- Our children miss out on some precious experiences with us that they can't get back. We are frequently so wrapped up in our to-do list that we forget to put the really important things on the list at all.

#5-It's exhausting!!! Having to do everything that you feel society expects of you, as a mother is overwhelming.

#6-It's no fun. How much fun has anyone really had attempting to do everything perfect???

#7- Your friends will like you more when you can laugh at your imperfections along with theirs.

#8-Your quality of life will immediately improve. When you make the decision to give yourself a break and do your own personal best instead of 100% perfect, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders. Anxiety and depression can be an end result of unrealistic standards that you consistently place on yourself.

#9-The Super Mom never enjoys the moment. She is always multitasking and thinking of what needs to be done next. Life will pass you by before you know it.

#10-Continuing to admire women who can do it all will continue to place unrealistic demands on mothers to do it all. Let's start to admire the mothers who take time to nurture themselves. Let's admire the women who can enjoy the time with the kids at the playground and be really present when they are reading to their children. Let's toast the Moms who admit they can't do it all, all the time. Let's congratulate women on their honesty and ability to ask for help. Let's start to celebrate our imperfections instead of beating ourselves up over them. Let's stop judging each other and offer support instead.

We are not perfect creatures nor were we meant to be. So why are we trying to be??? Wouldn't Motherhood be a lot more fun if it didn't have to be perfect?

© Peggy Porter, 2005-present

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Swing and a miss....

I don't know what it is about Christmas presents...but me and my hubby can't seem to get it together when it comes to giving each other gifts. I'm not sure if its the pressure of the season but it always seems to come up...well.. swing and a miss.
It's so weird. He knows me like no one else. We have the same sense of humour and have even developed our own language and in-jokes that no one else would get. And last night we discovered he has started finishing my sentences. After 9 years married we are in sync. Except when it come to gift giving!

Take last year, for instance. We actually bought each other the exact same present! We had to have a laugh at each other when we both opened up a Texas Holdem Poker set. Maybe just a little too in in sync?!

One of the first presents I got him was a subscription to a fishing magazine. Except I hadn't bothered to buy him the current magazine. Instead he got to open up (in front of his family) a card that I had lovingly prepared and decorated with pictures of fishing stuff on it. I got the response no one wants to hear..."What is it?"

The year before that he bought me a new frying pan and some bananas. Admittedly it was to make me some Pancakes with bananas and bacon for breakfast, but it was funny opening up bananas in Christmas wrapping.

And this year was no different. I thought since we were going to the beach for the week at Christmas a new snorkeling set would be ideal. I must have asked everyday..."You gonna go out for a snorkel today?". Until finally he revealed he hates snorkeling by himself, and is just a tad fearful of sharks, and probably won't be using it anytime soon.

And although I wasn't expecting anything this year because I bought myself an early Christmas present (A new bike for my triathlon), I was happy to open a gift from my love. A couple of CDs (not quite my taste) and a pack of my favourite brand of coffee.

I really don't want to get to the stage where you buy your own Christmas presents and wrap them up just to open something up on the day. But wasting money is a big downer. How do you all get on with getting the other half a Christmas gift?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

7 days off the Grid...

Happy holidays blogger friends! Hope you are all having a great time with family and friends.

We spent a week away at a beach on the Tutukaka coast, Matapouri. A lovely big house for the 5 of us plus the inlaws. 8 of us all up. Who knew it was out of cell phone coverage! Seriously there can't be that many places that are these days. So a whole 7 days with no facebook, reading blogs, no googling, no texting and no TV! It took me several days to unwind and forget about how much I missed it and then it was time to come home again. Addicted much?!

Instead I did stuff like this.
Put together my first lego project with master 4.

Enjoyed Christmas morning champagne and chocolates

Enjoyed watching the kids open their presents. And finding their Christmas (heres when I made them) sacks on their beds Christmas morning.

Bubba's first Christmas...quite oblivious at 6 months old.

The kids went to the beach at least 2 times a day...the weather was not my kinda swimming weather, quite cloudy and a bit drizzly.

We managed to do a couple of "WASJIGS". Good fun doing it between four adults.

Fishing off the wharf. 6 little fish caught!

And the rest of the time relaxing with a glass of bubbly.
A great holiday.