Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The soup morning

Today has been a soup morning!

It all started when I bought half a pumpkin from the markets.
I thought I'd better make soup with it before it goes off. Then I remembered I had some potatoes that needed using and some leeks that I'd bought. Then I realised I also had a HUGE turnip that hubby had brought home from off our land.
So .. one pumpkin soup, one potato leek soup, one vege soup. 
Having a chest freezer helps too .. otherwise we'd be eating soup for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Here is some of the turnip, along with onion and garlic frying up in the pan (having never cooked with turnip I did a little googling and made up my own idea of what to do with it!)

 The turnip - you can see how big it is compared to the pen - and this is with the bottom of it, and part of the side of it chopped off!

My vege soup ready to boil up and simmer.

I don't usually buy stock in these little cubes but they were on sale .. I LOVE the cute little individually wrapped pieces!

Pumpkin soup in one crockpot (slowcooker)

Potato leek soup in the other crockpot (slowcooker)

 The giant 3/4 of a bucket load of compost to go in my compost bin, ready to break down to feed my vege patch in future :-)

Hopefully they all turn out nice! I personally do not like potato and leek soup so I'll leave that one for the others to demolish .. pumpkin is my fav out of these three - though kumara bacon soup is my all time fav! I love how there are tonnes of veges in these soups and they are healthy AND yummy :-)
p.s. a tip that I do is to buy french sticks when they're on sale (they usually always are 2 for $3 at Countdown!) - make up some garlic butter (garlic + butter - easy!). Chop your sticks in half and then partway through like the bought garlic breads. Wrap them in foil and freeze - then you have garlic bread (for having with things like soup!) on hand when you need it! (great for taking to BBQs etc. too!)

Sima J

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Some Winter Beauty

I actually took these a while back and am pretty sure I never shared them.
Just some beauty for your day :-)

Sima J

Monday, August 26, 2013

Another Wheatie bag...

So I didn't actually make the Wheatie Bag for this one, but I did make the cover.
My lovely MIL made my sons one wheatie bag each a while back which is awesome!
I was having a riffle through one of my fav 2nd hand shops (the SPCA ones in Whangarei for those who live here! They are so cheap and heaps of awesome finds!) and found the most awesome pillowcase with a retro plane print on it. Nevermind that one side had holes in it because it was so threadbare .. the other side was fine. At 50c I couldn't pass it up so I bought it and made a new cover for the wheatie for my master 4yr. 
I think I might love it more than he does haha ..

Sima J

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Last Review .. Slowcooker Chicken Tacos

You can find the recipe here.

The last Slowcooker review from the giant list!

This one was another winner, with one alteration.
It was SO easy and it's the kind of thing you can throw together quickly if you have the ingredients in your cupboard too (or use from freezer, obviously even easier!)

I made this one with tortilla wraps - It got me confused as the title says Tacos, and in the recipe it says use Tortillas. I guess you could use either though!
We put it with some lettuce, tomato, cheese, sourcream, and avocado.

You could use the same chicken on Tacos, or even as a nacho kind of mix really!

The only thing that I would alter is that one amount didn't go far enough for us. Luckily we had an extra guest over for dinner so I chucked both of the dinners in (since I had doubled all the recipes) because it didn't look like much with just one. It fed us well, we made about 11 wraps out of it, and there was plenty of meat in each, but we didn't have any left over. I guess you could be more stingy on the meat and make it stretch further, or you could chuck in a can of beans too (probably near the end because they'd quite likely go mushy I'd think if you put them in for as long as the chicken?)

ALSO .. it did say 6hrs on high from frozen cook time - I had the 2 dinners in for that long from frozen and they were very well done. I'd say you could get away with 5hours but I guess it depends on your slowcooker and how hot it cooks.


Hopefully you've learnt from my mistakes and are inspired to make some freezer slowcooker meals too!

Sima J

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Slow Cooker Hearty Beef Stew Review

You can find the recipe here.

As per, no pic sorry! This was an okay dish. Not our favourite (in fact, the man thought some of the meat tasted weird and didn't like it because of that). It did taste a tad watery and not very flavour-full. 
I probably wouldn't make this particular recipe again - however I may make something similar with some kind of more flavour to it. 
So my verdict - okay, but not fantastic.

Sima J

Monday, August 5, 2013

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Review

You can find the recipe here.

Another winner (with a small alteration).
GAH I was SO going to take a photo this time .. before dinner I thought to myself 'don't forget to take a photo this time'. Unfortunately my hunger won over my memory.

The recipe calls for butter to be added 30 minutes before eating. I didn't add this and it was really nice. I don't think it needs the extra fat to be honest. 

We ate it on buns with salad ingredients - lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado - and some ranch dressing on one, Nando's lemon and herb sauce on the other. YUM :-)
I'm glad I've got another one in the freezer to make yet!

Sima J 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

2x partially finished quilt tops :-)

This is what I've been working on .. quilt tops.
This one for friends:

And this one for me:

Yay loving both of these - loving the white freshness of them both!

Sima J

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Rainy Day Easy Toddler Colour Activities

So I had a few minutes to do some activities with Master 4yr this morning so pintrest searched on some easy ideas that weren't messy or hard to set up.

This is what we did:

The first idea didn't work quite as well as I had thought. I got 3 glasses of water out, and put blue colouring in one, and yellow in another. Then I got 2 paper towels, rolled them up and put one end in a colour, and one in a glass of uncoloured water. The idea is that the colour transfers through the paper towel into the uncoloured water and then the colours mix, making a third colour. 
I found that the colour just went halfway up the paper towel though, so I ended up just squeezing it out of the paper towels into the colour-free water. Not as exciting as predicted! (also, I didn't get a photo of this, but this is the one from where I got the idea - you can click on the pic for the link)


Second, I got out 3 bowls and some tongs and got the kids to put all the same colour lego in each bowl using the tongs. (I just picked out the yellow/green/blue lego and used that)

Then I got a bag and put all the 3 colours of lego into the bag. Then we'd take turns pulling out a piece and telling me it's colour. If it was right, we'd put it in one of the bowls from before with it's matching colour.
(I didn't get a pic of this one either)

Then we focused on ONE colour - we chose green - and did a drawing with all sorts of green things that we could think of. Also, to get ideas we looked through a magazine and pointed out all the green things.

Lastly, I made them these mess-free finger paint sheets.

You just get a ziploc bag - put in 2 (or however many!) blobs of paint and zip it up. Then I masking taped on a piece of white paper underneath and the bag on top and they squished the paint around to make a third colour (kept with the yellow/blue/green thing for Master 4)

All in all a good bit of fun for a rainy day - and colour learning for my 4yr old who seems to be having a bit of difficulty with the names of colours :-)

Sima J