Monday, September 28, 2009

Beef Stroganoff

I have been asked for this recipe by a few friends and family, so here it is! I came across this one while searching for recipes to make and freeze for my sister after she had her baby. It was so yummy that I made it the next day for our dinner and it quickly became a favourite.
Fast, simple, low fat and Yummy- what else could you ask for!!! (Recipe and photo from the Nestle Australia site)


(serves 4)

500 g beef strips

2 bacon rashers, sliced and trimmed

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 cup button mushrooms, sliced

375 mL tin Extra Light & Creamy Evaporated Milk

2 tsp Beef Stock Powder

1 tbsp cornflour

2 tbsp tomato paste
(Ive substituted tomato sauce when I didnt have any tomato paste)

1. Heat oil and brown beef in batches. Remove from pan.

2. Add bacon, onion, garlic and mushrooms to pan, cook for 2 minutes.

3. Combine Evaporated Milk, Stock Powder, cornflour and tomato paste. Add to pan with beef and bring to the boil.

4. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with pasta/rice/mashed potatoes

I double this recipe to feed my lot, and usually add extra mushrooms to bulk it up as well as some frozen green beans or peas near the end while it simmers.
Leftovers (if there are any) are yummy in toasties, wrapped in shortcrust pastry parcles, or topped with mash and heated as a stroganoff shepards pie! It also reheats well when it has been frozen.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

DQS sneak peek

I think I mentioned a while back that I had decided to participate in the latest doll quilt swap on essential baby. I never imagined it would be so nerve wracking creating something for some one else. Over the past week Ive started piecing the quilt top - Im currently working on version #3!

The first was an appliqued centre panel, while it was very cute, it just didnt work with the rest of my fabrics...I salvaged the pieces though and plan to incorporate them into my quilt label - if I ever get a quilt finished!

Take 2 was a series of pieced turning corner blocks - they came together nicely, points all matching up (after a little bit of unpicking LOL) but I just couldnt work it into something I loved - the prints are all quite busy, and it needed a little more of a colour pop - ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh back to the drawing board.
Here is it is as I was playing around with adding appliques, and sashings etc to try and bring it together - just a b&w pic though so I dont give all the fabric colours away!

Today I went back to the original design I had sketched and started cutting and piecing that together. There were so many distractions that it took me much longer than it should have. I had to re think, unpick, re sew, but in the end Ive come up with something I actually like. Im planning some applique to finish it off and then have to quilt it - thats the bit that is concerning me atm!!! The quilt is going to someone who in my eyes is quite an accomplished quilter - the pressure is on!!! So with out further a do here is a sneek peek of my day...
excuse the not in focus photo. I didnt want to use the flash!

I finally cut the binding strips for Jacintas quilt tonight and hopefully can bribe the boys to amuse the little ones long enough tomorrow to get it machine stitched on, ready for a few nights in front of the TV doing the hand stitching!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

19 months

To my sweet little princessLast week you spent your first ever night away from Mummy, in fact it was four nights. I went away with Sabine to celebrate her 40th birthday, and you and the boys stayed home with Daddy. I had people to take care of you each day while he worked and everyone said you were such a good girl. It was lovely to have a break, but it was also great to come home to your gorgeous smiling face. I didnt get in until midnight, and when I went in to check on you, you were standing up in your cot. The way your face lit up when you saw me just melted my heart. I love you so much sweetie!

The happenings of this month...

You walk everywhere now- its hard to imagine you crawling for so long. You love to try and run and chase Isaac around the house - much to his delight. You try to jump. You bend your knees and spring up looking so proud of yourself. I dont think you realise that your feet are even supposed to leave the ground. You can climb up onto the cubby house. You have a facsination with shoes and hats. You are always getting our shoes out and trying to put them on, I spend the whole day putting away odd shoes from around the house!
You are starting to play lots of little games now. Most of them are imitating what Mummy or Isaac are doing. You have such fun pretending to be a dog, zooming around like an aeroplane, being cranky the crane and putting the toys in the box, playing chasey, peek a boo and hide and seek. You love playing tickling games together. If you really want to annoy him, you just go up and grab handfuls of his hair and wont let go - he gets really upset, it must hurt him a lot....unfortunately you think its rather funny and it does the job of getting his attention very effectively. We may have a little work to do on your social interactions. Isaac starts pre entry kindy next term - you are really going to miss him.

You have just started to become a bit more competitive for my attention. If Isaac is up on my lap having cuddles, you want to be up there too. If he comes over and gives me a kiss, you are never far behind, lips puckered up wanting your turn in the spotlight.

Now that you are so mobile, getting some nice photos of you is becoming quite difficult. Luckily your not confident climbing down off things yet, so I can still sit you up on something and click away quickly until you get fed up with me.
We spent Fathers Day at Glenelg with Daddys side of the family. I tried to arrange a family photo while we were wandering around the marina after lunch - this is the best we could manage!

Mummy celebrated her birthday and we had a gorgeous cake made by Nathan and Isaac before you went off to bed. You definately know what cake is - you were very excited!

I got your cot quilt back from being quilted and Im about to put the binding on it. I popped it in your bed to see what it looked like and you loved all the little birdies on it - you kept trying to kiss and cuddle them, it was very cute.
You had your second haircut this month. You probably had about an inch off the back. Im going to start to grow it longer now that its thickened up and the sides are gettng some length to them. ( I dont always take my camera to the hairdresser - Isaac still loves taking photos and its a great way to keep him amused while we are there - he snapped this shot of you getting your hair cut.)

Your love of books has intensified. I bought you the book 'I went walking' from the airport on the way home from Perth. (I cant believe that over the past 2o ish years of collecting childrens books we didnt own that book!) I love the story, and even though I know it by heart as Ive read it SO many times over the years, I think after the past few days, Im probably quoting it in my sleep. You love the green duck and say 'cack, cack' every time that page comes up. Your other favourite book is 'Say goodnight', it was given to Caleb for his first Christmas by Auntie Helen - it always makes me smile when I think of how many times its been read to all of you over that time. You still only say a few words that are understandable, but Im noticing more and more that the babble is starting to form the patterns that will soon become distinguishable words, then sentences and then the non stop chatter of full blown speech.

I love you so much my sweet baby girl

Mummy xxx

.....and one last photo, just because! The weather has been a bit wierd lately, we get thunder storms, freezing cold nights, and then out of no where we had a 30 degree day - perfect for wearing the dress Mummy made. Only trouble was there were the biggest gusts of wind every now and then, you and Isaac thought they were very very funny, especially when they were nearly blowing you over!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Attempting to be Organised

After much searching last year for a diary/planner that would suit our family, I decided to make my own. I did it in publisher - just because I know how to use that programme with out having to think about it too much. The front & back covers are patterned cardstock, and have a protective cover over them of clear plastic.

It is set up in a weekly spread.
Public Holidays were all marked in yellow, and the school holidays in pink.
There is a space for each of the family, a meal planner and a few spots to jot down things to remember/do etc
At the beginning of each month there is a double page which includes a mini calender, things to do list, and a blank page to write 'stuff. There is also a full year calender inside the front cover along with some blank 'just in case' pages.
This is what it usually ends up looking like by the end of the week!'
I plan on dong the same thing again next year. It worked really well for us, and was SO much cheaper than any of the ones I looked at.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Today my beautifully machine quilted cot quilt was personally delivered home by the lovely Sharon from Patchwork on Parade .- now I just have to bind it...I had planned on binding it in the same pink as the backing fabric, but after seeing how pretty the quilting pattern on the back looks, I think I might use the other patterned fabric I originally got to be in the quilt. That way it will look prettier on the reverse side too!

After flapping around in the breeze while I tried to get a photo, I tried it on the cot - Jazz wanted to hop in, and was facsinated by the quilting and all the little birdies...she kept wanting to cuddle them...
...soooooo cute.

I also took the chance to get a photo of Calebs quilt that I made him way back when I started making quilts. I made it for his 5th birthday (in 2002) - he still loves it and will often curl up on it watching TV or playing his DS.

I also planned one for Nathans 5th birthday - well thats been a WIP ever since - only problem was I discovered scrapbooking (and had another two babies) and the quilt making took a back seat. The top has been complete, except for finishing a bit of the blanket stitching around the appliques, for really must get finished once I get the cot quilt and the DQS done. Im so enthused right now Im even going to have a go and machine quilt it myself!

I will leave you with this image of my little princess - Isaac let her outside to play with him the other morning. Like everyone of my kids the first thing she heads for is water ~ of course the muddier the better. Got to love that Id only dressed her about 20 minutes prior to this. The fine bark chips and dirt were all through her clothes and even inside her nappy, she was soaked through everything - it was a bath job ~ which excited her as that was more water to play in...needless to say she was not impressed when she realised that Mummy was just washing her down in the bath and didnt even put the plug in !
She was very proud of herself though - she was stomping in yet another icy cold puddle (with her bare little feet) she had discovered up there when I took this picture!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Vote to win

As I mentioned previously, this photo of Caleb & Nath has made the finals of the centro smile competition.

The next round of voting involves a peoples choice winner from each centre…online voting opened this morning, so for all of those asking how you can vote for them, here is the link

Alternatively if you are near St Agnes, you can also view the photos and vote there!

Hopefully Im going to take the boys down to see themselves on Saturday – what do you think the chances of them standing next to the enlargement in the middle of the shopping mall so Mum can get a photo are ? I think Im going to have to come up with some serious bribery to pull that one off LOL

Thanks for your support…This part of the competition is based purely on the public votes for each centre. I know the boys would be very excited if we could actually manage to collect enough votes to win – we really need all your help (votes) to even be in with a chance!!!

Let the voting begin

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

more inspiration....

some more favourites for inspiration for the dolls quilt swap - this time from etsy

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

HE sews

OK, this one knows the way to his Mummys heart. Last night we were chatting about a school project Nath has to do for technology - they have to design and make a toy, he had choosen a puzzle, but commented that he could have made a teddy or something like that, but he couldnt sew. Of course my ears pricked up.
I showed him some pictures of some softies and his face lit up "can you show me how to sew Mum?" Craig was out, Calebs on camp and the little ones were asleep - how could I refuse!
He looked through and drew a picture of one that he liked as a pattern. He cut it out from felt and I showed him how to hand sew - he did a great job, and sat stitching for about 45 min. I had to help a couple of times and it was tough going in a few places - we put a bit of glue on the pieces to hold them while he stitched - BAD idea...mental note to self - not easy to stitch through glue!!!!
He only had the stripe and the eye patch to go when he asked if he could try sewing the stripe with the machine - he did a great job with this too - after straight stitching the stripe, he then zig zagged it as well, and then managed to zig zag around the eye patch too.
While the machine was out he stitched around the outside, stuffed him, and closed him up - he started hand stitching around the outside and is going to finish that at school today. All up it only took him about 2 hours to get this far - pretty good effort I think. Im really glad he is going to hand stitch around the outside as well - there is something really appealing to me about the way kids stitch - its not easy to relpicate the look of the stitching of a child - its so careful, yet random - very cute! Oh and he still plans on making the puzzle as well!
I will post an updated picture of him when he is finished and when Nathan has decided on a name!