Monday, February 27, 2012

Menu Monday

Hi Cousin C!  It was lovely to have you over and make some Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with you!!!  (oops - sorry no pics of that one).

So, a bit more time was spent in the kitchen this past week.  It was a pleasant time in the kitchen.  On the menu board was Cinnamon Pull-Apart for an afternoon tea at a friend's house.  Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes made with the little ones.  Caramel Popcorn for a little self-indulgence.  And then German Pancakes, Aussie Meat Pies and Filipino Adobo - I went international this past week!  Also, we finished the last of our Farmer's Market steak cuts, so that will be the last of our steak indulgences until next month.

Sizewise - not really a party pie, and not really a four 'n' twenty pie; more like a muffin pie!  (Ps new recipe)

Cheesy ham and broccoli pasta - soooo yum!

Garlic and Basil pesto salmon with rice furikake - good for the body; good for the soul.  Yep - that's my "I need help and I'm really hungry" chopsticks.

German Pancakes - easy peasy in the oven - served with cream and homemade boysenberry jam. They were good!(Another PS. new recipe)

Tooth rotters aka caramel popcorn aka addictive
It's a bit cooler this coming week, so I'm thinking :-
- chili con carne
- spinach lasagna rolls
- chicken schnitzel (or do I up the ante to chicken parmigiana?)
- and some steamed fish, maybe?
And I have a yearning for some homemade bread .... hmmm yeah - freshly-baked, warm from the oven, homemade bread with a big slather of butter.

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Too organised?


This project has been a long time coming.  I started it a while ago, but I needed to tweak the design, which I did and the project just rolled on from there.  And now here - for your eye-rolling, you're-so-anal-Ag, viewing pleasure...

the disaster zone (or more corporately correct - the opportunity)

the design

the prototype

the implementation

the pat on the back
No - really - I don't miss working much.

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Menu Monday

The baking this month has slowed down a bit... how do I know that?  Well, my list for the "big shop" this weekend did not include the 4kg of flour and 1.5kg of butter that it would normally.  When I put it like that - that's quite a bit of baking, huh?  Rest assured, my baked goods are usually shared around and not just consumed in the Ag May household.

But, I'm feeling the baking thing coming on.  The cooler weather is definitely helping along in this department.  So watch this space in the next coming weeks...

But for the past week it has been slightly warmer and I've been focussing on some more non-edible crafting.  So very simple meals this past week :-

Poached chicken with salad and greens 
Spanish Tortilla with salad and greens
Taco Salad (own recipe - will include next time)
Steak (fresh from the Farmers Market) with 3-ingredient pasta and salad
Polvoron (filipino sweet treat)
Handmade breakfast - handmade scones with handmade jam (thanks Opa) and hand-whipped cream (it's so soft and airy)

We also treated ourselves to a dinner out at a new restaurant/diner - Kenji Japanese Dining.  A little gem of a place hidden within a tiny walkthrough shopping arcade.  It is one of the best Japanese - most authentic and delicious - that we've come across.  The sashimi and endamame was refreshing.  The crab croquettes wonderfully deep-fried.

The takoyaki was flavoursome.  

And the Oyoko Don (Teriyaki Chicken Rice with eggy sauce) - wonderful!  This, while quite an "ordinary and common" dish was executed perfectly.  I wouldn't normally order this as there are usually more exotic dishes that I would like to sample, but this was my Dear Husband's choosing.  Why was it wonderful?  It was eggy (as promised in the description) with a nice balance with the teriyaki sauce.  It was not overly saucy - it was for this reason, chicken and rice drowned in overly sweet teriyaki sauce that I have turned off Don dishes - and it was not overly sweet.  This was perfection in a bowl.

We will definitely be going back to Kenji Japanese Dining.

So, what's on our menu for this week?

It's looking like Meat Pies, Chicken and Pork Adobo, and some sort of pasta (preferably vegetarian).   Maybe some sort of simple meat and 3-veg combo as well.
I'm thinking some sort of sweet treat - like Chocolate Truffles or Caramel Popcorn.  Or maybe even some "real" baking.

What's on your menu this week?

Edited to add recipe links.  Enjoy!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

A mother's guilt

I have a confession to make...

Little Miss M is only 3 years old (no, that's not my confession.  Read on).  She's the sweetest thing.  Really she is.  And she just loves to talk.  She just can't seem to stop.

However, even though she loves to talk and can have quite grown up conversations, she doesn't really know how to "fight".  I don't think so, anyway.  I mean, I'm right in the throes of guilt at the moment, so that means my child IS AN ANGEL with a HORRIBLE mommy.

So, at this point in time, my dear sweet child is, in my mind and probably in reality as well, incapable of fighting.  

And when I report to my Dear Husband that Little Miss M and I had a fight, what really happened is that mommy (that's me) had a hissy fit.  That's right.  And if I report that I had a bad fight with Little Miss M, it probably means that I threw a tantrum.  Not an adult's equivalent of a tantrum, but a real screaming, hair-pulling (my own hair, mind you), make-any-3-year-old-proud, tantrum.  

It's my secret shame.

But it won't be a secret anymore.  And it won't be my shame anymore.  Because I am giving up my tantrums.  Cold-turkey.  No more.  

So that's my confession and my promise.  I hope I never have to confess to this again.

And, in the meanwhile, to assuage my guilt, I made this for my little one.  

I love you Little Miss M.  And I'm so sorry for my bad behaviour.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Menu Monday

Another week, another menu.  When I have the time, menu planning is a joy.  When I don't, it's a big sad sigh.  This week, with the fam being sick - self included, neither the mind nor the body were very much into food.  But looking back, it was not too bad.  

Honey Butter Pork with rice and greens

Steak with an Argentine Rub served with cheesy pasta and peas, corn and carrots.

Shepherds Pie (own recipe - will post next time)

Poached Pears with King Island Dairy Vanilla Bean Yoghurt and chocolate sauce

We also had some Arros Caldo (chicken congee - filipino style) - good for whatever ails you.  

And we served up a meal of potato pikelets (my sis called them blinis) with horseradish sour cream and smoked salmon (for entree) and roast beef and veg (for the main) to my darling sis as a housewarming meal.  Happy New Home, sis!!!  I'm annoyed that I forgot to take photos, but we were running late and I got hungry.

To stave of cabin fever, we did head on out for a bit.  We ended up at these two places where I had such a pleasurable time that I'm going to mention it here.

Carolina's in East Brunswick.  All the reasons why I liked it are already mentioned in this post by Mel from Mel:Hot or Not.

See the empty plate back there - again, too hungry to take a photo of the Tunisian-style brik pastry.

Kids had a great time exploring the courtyard out back.

And the other outing was to  It's fairly new (not sure how new).  The staff are still getting their act together, but it's definitely with a smile.  

I am by no means a coffee aficionado, but I can be a bit picky about my coffee, normally about how weak/strong/milky/burnt.  And so, I don't drink coffee unless I know that I am going to enjoy it.  This coffee, while not my absolute favourite, makes the grade for me.  And I love the place.  It's retro; it's fun and it's geeky new-ness (including the foosball table down the back) appeals to me.

So that was my food week...

The good thing is we are all better, just in time for me to plan my shopping list for our monthly "big shop".  I just love a well-stocked pantry, fridge and freezer!

Now what to have for this week...?  I've been a bit slack and I haven't been inspired.  Plus it's getting warm so my much-favoured hearty comfort foods will have to take a back seat this week.

Ok - so I'm thinking cold roasted chicken (maybe the buttermilk and maple syrup variety).
I'm thinking some refreshing tacos or taco salad.  Am I the only one that finds this refreshing?
A quiche or a spanish tortilla is just begging to use up the eggs in the fridge.
And, maybe a light-ish pasta dish.  Hmmm - the possibilities are starting to come through...

What's on your menu this week?

Edited to add some recipe links.  Enjoy!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 on 10

"Finding much life and beauty among the ordinary things of our day"...

10 photos over 10 hours - a snapshot of the beauty in my sometimes-ordinary-sometimes-hectic- sometimes-overwhelming-sometimes-good-sometimes-bad-but-always-filled-with-love life.  Thanks for dropping by!

Good Morning, mama!

Strong hands; precious cargo

Got to love me a well-organised, rubbish-free art box!

Good nap, lil' sis?  Wanna come out to play?

Let's get ready for lunch

Inspired to bake something yet, mama?

Sleep, my little one.  Rest well and get better soon.

A little Iced Coffee, sweetened with life's elixir - sweetened condensed milk - to get me through the rest of the day

New skills and new discoveries

An organized toy bucket - be still my anal obsessive heart
For a glimpse of beautiful lives across the world (thanks to digital cameras and that wonderful sharing community that is "bloggers"), please head on over to Rebekah's - A Bit of Sunshine

Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Performance Appraisal

Now... before I replace my Creative Commitments for the year, I thought it might be a good idea to see how I actually fared last year (2011).  My Creative Commitments for 2011 were : -
- 1 blog post per week
- 1 new recipe every two months
- 2 sewing projects per month
- 2 knitting projects per year

Here's a snapshot of the year that's been...

Sewing - 25 things sewn in total, a majority of which made it into other people's homes as handmade gifts.

Knitting (and crocheting) - 5 things knitted/crocheted up.  I loved learning about crochet and making the gorgeous amigurumi figures.

Cooking/baking - 18 new recipes reported on this blog.  I did have a few more recipes that I tried out, but I mainly reported the baking side of things.  All in all, most of these recipes have made it into my personal recipe book, ready to be made again (and again and again).

Blogging - 59 blog posts for the year.

All things considered (i.e. we had a baby!), I don't think I did too badly.  What do you think?

You know what is truly ridiculous (and a testament to my optimism and, more accurately, my greed)... I have committed to ONLY 4 knitting projects for the year 2012, but look at all the yarn I actually have!!!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Menu Monday

There's something about blogging that begs for alliteration.  Corny, I know.  But, I like.
Menu Monday, 'cos I talkin' about menus on a Monday.  And not Monday Menu because that just looks like I forgot my "apostrophe s" and this post is not only about Monday's menu.

So, here's to Menu Monday!!

Al-righty then.  (Hmmm... too Jim Carey-ish you think?  Whatevs.)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand...

Here's a snap shot of last week's menu (meals and snacks) here at the Ag May household.  

Sausages and chips (made from our home grown potatoes)

Lamb and Haloumi Braise with mashed potatoes

Garlic and Pesto Salmon with Furikaki rice and vegetables

Sour Cream Pound Cake (I'm still addicted to this!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (can you smell it?)

Granola Bars (ohh - is that a healthy snack you see???)

We also had some divine (and I mean DIVINE) eye-fillet steak, rubbed with an Argentine Steak rub accompanied by greens and a glorious 3-ingredient pasta.  But I was so hungry and it was so good, I pretty much finished my first serve before I sat down at the dinner table and just forgot to take a photo.

For this coming week I'm thinking Shepherds Pie.  I'm thinking Aros Caldo (chicken rice - Filipino style) or maybe a Chicken curry (again Filipino style).  I'm thinking Honey Butter pork.  I'm thinking of a fish dish - maybe try a new fish recipe.  And what to have for vegetarian night?  Hmmm....

What's on your menu this week?

Until the next time - Guten Appetit!

Friday, February 3, 2012

New Year's Resolution

eh - for the next 11 months anyway.

I'm a bit late starting this year.  I've had my break from my reality - a wonderful break filled with family, chaos, emotions, food, activities and general awesomeness...

And now it's time to head back to my reality.

And, while my reality is also filled with family, chaos, emotions, food, activities and awesomeness, it is also filled with personal goals and achievements driven by my obsessive, addictive and anal personality (yes, my poor, poor family).

I have my personal goals - like always having a visitor-ready home in the most efficient, stress-free manner.  Or making wonderful homemade food at home, including snacks.  Or not having more than 2 notebooks happening at any one time.

I have my financial goals - like sticking to my budget and finding new money-saving ways.  Or like saving for a holiday.

And I have, more relevantly to this blog, my Creative Commitments for this year.  And these are ... (insert trumpet sounds here.  Oops - hold on.  Where's that damn notebook I had written my goals in?  No, not that one.  I think it was the one with the blue cover.  Oh - here it is.  Ok, maybe it wasn't that one.  Anyone seen the one with the purple cover?  Alright, here we go...)

- 4 knitting projects per year
- 2 sewing projects per month
- 1 new recipe every two months
- 1 blog post per week
- 4 of my own creations per year

*deep breath out*  And so that is it.  I've made the commitment and it's written in stone, or in blogsphere.

Did you think I was joking about the notebooks?