Friday, December 17, 2010

Trip down south and some at-home-ness

Well hey there peeps! I've been away for a while because I got to go away down south (Christchurch - Maruia Springs - Nelson and around Nelson area - Canterbury) with the hubster for a whole week! yipee!
We went originally for Carl's old flat mate's wedding and made it worthwhile by also making it our anniversary holiday and also visited his brother - two of his kids we hadn't met yet so that was cool!

If you want to see all the pics check out this link.
There are like 104 so yeh I'm not gonna upload them all here obviously!!
I thought I had lost them actually when I compressed the only copy of them for uploading too small!! Lucky for me the camera guy in town retrieved most of them off the camera *phew*!! I good reminder to BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS!!

So now Christmas looms.
(I made these little treats for my neighbours seeing as I seem to be super organised this year!)

We are celebrating Christmas tomorrow with my family seeing as they aren't going to be around on the actual day. Also today has been hubster's birthday so I've been cooking my heart out!
(here's a pic of Carl with his present of 4kg of jet plane lollies!)

I tried to make a pavlova for Christmas day. FLOP. Big time. Totally burnt on the bottom! Needless to say I will be visiting the supermarket!

(I did manage to cook some yummy pork ribs/wedges/fresh beans for his birthday dinner! And a yummy Coffee Cake!)
Anyway that's what I've been up to - all refreshed from holiday and ready to take on the last little bit of 2010 :-)
I hope you're all ready for it too! xo

Sima J

Saturday, December 4, 2010

'Tis the Season ..

December is here and Christmas is just around the corner! Today I wrapped all the presents (bar one that I'm still waiting to be delivered) and put up our Christmas tree.

Okay, so the tree is pretty darn small but I actually really like it! It was only about $8 from memory but the perfect size to HAVE a Christmas tree and not have it dominate the house! It was actually originally bought for my old flat (about 4 or 5 years ago) - and still going strong :-)
Secondly I wrapped up all these goodies to go on the presents as little extras (I know - I AM organised this year - what's that about!?!)

This is what it looks like in the magazine I got the recipe out of:

It tastes GREAT (hey, I had to check and make sure before I gifted it right?!).
Even better - it is SUPER EASY to make!!
Here's how:

180g pink/white marshmallows, halved
70g Pistachio nuts (if you can buy pre-shelled it will save you a heap of time!)
100g dried Cranberries
50g thread Coconut (you can get this at Bin Inn)
375g packet white choc melts

1) line (or butter) a tin/dish about 20cm square
2) put all ingredients together except the choc
3) melt choc and pour over other ingredients
4) put in fridge (you may want to cut it before it sets too hard - Carl cut a finger trying to cut this stuff oops!!)

I wrapped mine in glad wrap and then in a clear cellophane and tied with ribbon. I'm leaving them in the fridge until the day because it's been so hot they may melt!

Have fun making easy sweets (p.s. you may want to double this, even though it's rich it's very more-ish)

Sima J

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A new colour and some treaties..

I may have mentioned that I love internet shopping in a previous blog (here).
Well there are even more sites that I have found since then that I check regularly now, two of which are dailydo and grabone. Sorry peeps who are overseas, these are for NZ (although maybe you could browse for a gift for someone in NZ??)
They have all sorts of deals for things ranging from half price dinners to cheap fishing trips to great coffee deals!
It was on such a site that I found a great deal for a haircut/colour/conditioning treatment for only $44! Since I figured I needed a cut anyway and would usually pay more I bought the deal and yesterday I got it done. This is the result:

View from the top:
I do like the colour a lot, although my fringe is cut not so much to my taste, but at least it grows out fast and I can go back to my old faithful hairdresser next time to get it fixed up!

On another note - I made this delicious treat for us the other day - It is layered with: Lime Icecream, Banana and grated choc and then repeated. Yummo.

So what are you waiting for .. go and make one for yourself!

Sima J

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's a love and hate affair ..

Ok, so I’ve pressed the “NEW POST” button a few times lately only for something else to come up and me not getting to actually writing the post! So finally I managed to get some time to write – YAY!

I have been inspired by blogs I’ve been reading and Mum brought me a Home and Living Magazine that I’ve been reading and this morning I looked around my house and saw things that I love and things I hate (well, maybe DISlike would be a better word – hate is pretty harsh!).

I feel like I don’t want to put too much effort into this house seeing as it’s a rental – I want to save my efforts for the house that I will own one day .. one day .. haha.

Anyway, here are some love/hates of my life in my house at the moment…

Love .. my 'eat sheet' - menu planning is awesome!

Love .. organisation. I'm mostly a beaver (don't know what I mean? see here: personality test)

Love .. my coffee machine.

Love .. the view out my window.

Dislike .. the toy mess. This was even after I'd put away half the toys! BUT - Love .. the Toy Library!

Love .. having plants in my house BUT - Dislike that the orchids on this one have shrivelled up and died!

Dislike .. this messy corner. There's no love goin on here! (although I guess I DO love books!)

Love .. this canvas print of a shot from our wedding.

Love .. this cool frame I got @ The Warehouse - a good way to display a lot of pictures tidily (there's that tidy beaver trait again!)

Dislike .. my dirty cobweb windows. Although they're kinda pretty in this shot!

Love .. our plain coloured walls and curtains that show off these dried roses.

Love .. food! This is dinner in the process of being made - a lamb couscous salad. (It was okay but needs refining)

This is quiche (it's so quick and easy to make!)

This GIANT piece of home-kill schnitzel!

What are you loving and Disliking today?!

Sima J

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

at home ..

Hi there.
Well I thought I'd better post about SOMETHING seeing as I haven't posted anything in a while so here are some random things and thoughts around and about my house.

Today I have been eating like a queen. My wonderful husband went out fishing last night and caught a snapper which he then cooked for breakfast - YUM. (I never used to be a fan of fish until I tasted it the way he cooks it! - in butter crumbed in breadcrumbs and yummy herbs n spices).
I didn't take a picture but here is a picture of lunch which was also yum..Fried egg on toast with avocado and tomato and a glass of coke.

Whilst I ate that delicious lunch I managed to squeeze in a couple of pages of the book I'm reading (in between feeding the kids!)
It's quite a good book - I love Ted Dekker's books :-)
Here is a book review on it:

This week and last week has been great for cooking dinners thanks to Kristy over at PaisleyJade for recommending these free printable lists!
It got me all inspired to organise my dinners for 2 weeks
(we'll see how long it lasts ...)

After all that organising I thought maybe I should get back into this list making stuff so I made a list of stuff to do for the day and it actually really helped me be motivated to do more!! Yay!

So after feeling all organised and had the house all clean I was SO pleased to see K helping to clean the window with his slobbery hands and face .. not.
This is a picture of said window. The blurry bit is not the camera, but where the window is so smudged you can't actually see out it clearly haha!!

And the mess continues.. it was tidy that morning I promise!!

So anyway that's my random blog on house stuff.
Also, in case you're interested during my clean up I put a couple things on trade me, a skirt (size 6)and some car mags. (as in tyres, not magazines)

Sima J

p.s. Roast chicken for dinner too .. YUM what a yum food day! :-)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brief Post on Sprouts...

Hi there.
Thought I'd better blog seen as I haven't in a while!
Just a short one mind you - on growing SPROUTS :-)

Apparently my mum used to make them, and my mother in law still does make them. She inspired me to start my own growing of sprouts! It's super easy - all you need is a preserving jar, a sprout lid (mine is from Bin Inn in Kamo, I'm not sure if all Bin Inn's have them?) and some sprout seeds.

You just put some seeds in the jar, let them soak for about 10min, then let the water out the lid (which is cleverly designed to keep the seeds in). Then you rinse the growing seeds twice a day for about 3-5 days and wa-la - sprouts :-)

I used about 2 Tablespoons of seed which made far too much for me (since I'm the only one who likes them in my house) so I'll be using less next time haha!!
SO .. go grab yourself a lid and some seed and get growing!
(fun for the kids to watch them grow too!)

Sima J

Also, here is a shot of my car with it's new mags on. I like them :-)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

SPRING .. uh oh!

Down here in lil ol' NZ Spring is officially here (and has officially been here for nearly a month). I love that the cold of winter is over, I love new lambs, new calves and pretty fresh flowers. You may think this picture is pretty and love it - and I do actually like the picture but ...
...if I was looking at it in real life I would freak out because I get MAJOR hayfever :-( Which makes me kinda hate spring!! I have to stock up on these:
Although the hayfever starts with grass pollens, once I get it - everything else that usually doesn't set it off .. does! So Spring is also the time when I stop using perfumes and change my usual shampoo and conditioner from this delicious smelling Herbal Essences:
To these, eco friendly though not so luscious eco store shampoo and conditioner:

Also, I say goodbye to my Lux body wash that is fragrant and delish:
and say hello to my Living Nature nourishing body wash. Mine is from their old line of stock which you can't buy anymore. This may have to do with them changing from their old smell of weird minty smells to a new fragrant smell. I love the new smell, however, my hayfever does not. So, luckily I managed to stockpile a whole lot of old stock before it sold out *phew*.
Anyway, that's my exciting change of season for you. New, less fragrant and a lot more sneezy!
Sima J

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Easy Curry on Rice

Hey there peeps! Haven't been on here for a while so I thought I'd better post something! Here is one of my fav recipes that is unhealthy but easy (one of those packet dinners pretty much!) that we eat usually once a fortnight!!
I am NOT a big fan of curry - however, my tastes have evolved over time and I do enjoy a good butter chicken and even enjoy a mild curry (as long as it's not too 'curryish!').

SO here's what you need:

So far so good - although there are a few missing ingredients in this photo - oops. The meat was busy being defrosted - you need some chicken. You can also use lamb or probably even beef. If you don't like meat (WHY?!!) you could use veges (EWW) :-) Big ups to you for being healthy. I can't help it - I love meat.
Notice how I buy homebrand (saving $ here!!) - you don't have to, but why spend more than you need right?! ALSO NOTE: The type of coconut cream you buy DOES matter! (so I found out) I usually use the type in the picture - some weird one in a can with writing I can't understand which is found in the oriental section of my supermarket (Countdown).
I tried Trident the other day because it was cheaper - EWW. It smelt like that coconut butter lotion you put on as sunscreen. YUK it made the whole dinner taste gross!!
As you can see in the photo, I used Patak's Tikka Masala. Yum - you can also use this:

It's super yum - there are also others like Tandoori which is also yum and Rogan Josh. Go for gold. I found the pastes are cheaper than the pre-made sauces. (they also have this new packaging shown above which threw me a little!)
Chop up chicken (either breast or thigh - and don't get tricked into buying thigh with bone in!! AGH I have done this SO many times - I try to make a point of making sure it is not only skinless but boneless also.) Fry up the cubed chicken in some oil until it's browned and generally cooked through.

Below is a photo of a couple of the ingredients I missed - butter and garlic (and bread for the toast, not in the pic). Mmm mmm for making garlic toast to go with it.
While the chicken is cooking you can chop off a hunk of butter and soften it. Then use a garlic crusher to squish in a garlic clove (or two if you like it super garlicy)
Also, make your rice. I usually use 1 1/2 cups rice to 3 cups water and put it in the microwave, uncovered for 5 min. stir. then in for another 6 min or so and then maybe an extra min or two if it's not done yet. But you probably have a fancy rice cooker that does it for you right? :-)

Once the chicken is done you add your tin of chopped tomatoes (or real ones chopped if you are being healthy and have time or have a whole lot of tomatoes that need using!) and the can of coconut cream. - then take a blurry photo really quick for your blog before stirring it in:
Stir in and take a better non-blurry photo for your blog:
At this stage I usually fill the coconut tin with water and put that in too to make it nice and saucy.
That's about it. Leave it to simmer. You can put a lid on the pan if you want because it splatters everywhere although I found it overflows if you leave it totally covered, so I just sit the lid mostly on, but with a little space for the steam to escape :-)
Then I toast my bread and quickly steam some broccoli for my token healthy bit.
It should look like this:
My kids LOVE this (as you can see - K trying to get at it before it's ready to eat haha)
And a final shot with the toast, garlic butter, dinner and some juice. Yummo.
Quick, easy and delicious (and full of calories, but who cares - go for a run after haha!)
Here is the recipe in easy 'copy, paste, print' form:

Sima J

Chicken (breast or thigh) - cubed (I usually use about 500ish gm
Pataks paste (butter chicken, Tikka Masala etc. - you choose!)
Coconut Milk (nice stuff - not Trident!)
Can of chopped Tomatoes
Hunk of Butter (for garlic butter)
Clove of Garlic
Bread for toast

1 Brown cubed chicken in pan
2 Add paste, coconut milk, tomato and water (use empty coconut milk can)
3 Simmer.
4 Make rice (1 part rice to 2 parts water)
5 Make garlic butter (butter + garlic)
6 Make toast
7 Steam broccoli if you want to be healthy :-)