Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend off from kids and I spent it in the kitchen....I think I am mad lol

This weekend we had a child free Saturday from about 11.30am and I don't pick up the kids from school until 2.15 today (Monday is early dismissal for them). Hubby and I had planned a nice relaxing weekend, or so we thought lol.

Basically as soon as the kids left we got ready to go to the shops (Trust me I loathe the shops with a passion, I always seem to be at the shops and I hate it!)....but I desperately needed a haircut so off we went. While there we decided that we would have two meals that we love and the kids aren't so keen on for Saturday and Sunday night's dinners.

For Saturday night we decided to have marinated pork belly (I know I know that is really not good for you but its a once every so often treat lol) with singapore noodles....yuuuuummmy!!

For Saturday night we decided to have slow cooked lamb shanks with veggies.

Of course we then decided that we really should make another batch of Jam Scrolls for the kids lunch boxes, and then we just happened to also be running low on our home made chicken and vegetable soup which we love to have for lunch during the week. So we shopped for everything and came home and found we had no time left to actually make anything except our Saturday night dinner.

It turned out fantastic and was so tasty. Of course though that meant that Sunday then became our cooking day. We did enjoy a bit of a lay in till 9.30 which is a very rare treat in this house. Then proceeded to make a start on the jam scrolls and veggie soup. Once they were on we decided to finally rearrange our freezers. I bought my mum's fridge/freezer when she went into a nursing home last month and after bringing it down here it has sat in my alcove for the last 2 weeks. So we pulled out freezers and gave them a thorough clean out and the older of the two now sits in the carport defrosting and we will attempt to sell it off next weekend. My alcove looks so much bigger now that all the crap has been cleaned out of it. The alcove is a small area that joins out addition to our house. It is basically just the verandah roof which has been roughly lined out and the previous owners have put a sliding door on one wall and a normal door on the other which leads into our carport. So it kinda looks like a box with a door on each side lol. In this space we just have a small pantry cupboard which houses kids raincoats and things like potatoes and baking trays and then we have a large chest freezer and an upright freezer, which is now a fridge/freezer. It was my idea to try to save power, so hopefully it works. I had only bought a new fridge for my mum in February when hers died on her, so it seemed only logical for me to pay her the money and take over her fridge. Only thing is we have gotten rid of our second fridge and an upright freezer and consequently I am now a little short of freezer space as mum's fridge is only fairly small and the freezer is naturally only small too. Oh well I guess it should save us money in the electricity department at least. The fridge and freezer we have just retired are at least 15-20 years old each so a brand new fridge would have to be more economical.

Gee I got a bit off topic there didn't I lol...sorry! Anyway after doing all this I found a frozen jam roll cake at the bottom of the old freezer so decided to make a Jam Roll Baked Custard......these things are soooo nice. It has been a couple of years since I last made one and I am so out of practice lol. I made it but forgot that I used to double the custard mixture so the custard only came to half way up my dish.....but it did taste really nice lol!!

But our weekend without children saw us spending it all predominantly in the kitchen or at the shops, that was so not what I had hoped for lol. Next time I will have to plan better I think!! This week is the kid's final week at school as they come into their next lot of school holidays. I can see the next two weeks will involve a lot of cooking so I can stop the "what can we eat" questions that seem to spring up every hour on the hour lol and they can eat something other than chips and lollies that they naturally seem to gravitate towards. I will be stocking up on fruit and definitely making homemade biscuits and cakes I think!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Can anything else break down or break in this house????

I am so fed up right now. We just can't seem to get a little bit of luck on our side at all. Since we have been married it has been one thing after another.
We were married in October 2007 and since then the things that have happened (to life as well as household items) are as follows:
April 2008 - Hubby's kids are taken by their mother and we have to take her to court to get access re-established.
June 2008 - Had to track down Hubby's ex as she moved house right at the time when we had to serve court papers on her and didn't bother to give us a forwarding address (thankfully they stayed in the same suburb so we were able to find them!)
August 2008 - First court date which then was adjourned because the Ex was had just had a baby.
October 2008 - Finally something goes right and we get access of every second weekend granted effective beginning of November.
November 2008 - My mum collapses and is rushed to hospital where she is kept for 2 weeks and told that she will have to be fitted with a pacemaker.
December 2008 - Major blowup between my ex and me due to his new partner deciding that there is no way on earth that we should actually be on speaking terms with one another as her and her ex hate each other!
January 2009 - My mum collapses again and lands back in hospital where she then gets moved to another hospital for her pacemaker insertion.
February 2009 - My mum was out of hospital for 3 weeks only to have my brother go and visit her and find her unconscious because of having a hypo (diabetic). Thankfully ambulance guys were able to revive her and she didn't have to go to hospital
Late February 2009 - Mum is found unconscious by Meals on Wheels ladies and goes onto to spend another week in hospital.
March 2009 - Mum is sent home only to land back in hospital a week later after being unable to breathe at a follow up hospital appointment. She then spends another 3.5 weeks in there where they assess her as having some kind of non responsive style seizure so they place her on antiseizure meds.
April 2009 - Hospital sends her home, only to have her found 4 days later by the Meals on Wheels unconscious yet again.
May 2009 - She is placed into a nursing home and here we hare mid June still trying to organise to become her Power of Attorney as unfortunately she didn't have any appointed.
In the meantime we have had a list of breakdowns as follows:
Sandwich maker
Tyres on car
Fuel pump on car
Fridge played up
Playstation broke down
Dog has had ear problems which cost us almost $1000 in treatment
and now.....
Hubby and Mr12 were mucking around in the kitchen the other night and Mr12 fell backwards onto the open door of the dishwasher, totally buckling the door and rendering it inoperable. Of all the things in my house the dishwasher has been the best thing we have ever done as it has saved me sooooooo much time! In this house it works out more cost effective than handwashing as dinner time used to see me filling the sink 3 times a night, not to mention the breakfast/lunch/baking session washing up times. I am devastated as we just can't afford to get it replaced/fixed right now. We just laid out $1800 to buy mum's fridge and tv off her which of course if she hadn't had to go into a nursing home, we wouldn't have purchased, but I knew that if we had tried to sell them we wouldn't have got anywhere near what she paid for them and as these items are only a few months old there was no way I was going to let her loose money on them. So I bought them. At least I know that they will last for many years but right now I am not sure its something I should have done lol.
Please tell me that our luck will change soon lol, I am just so sick of every time I turn around something else has blown up or gone wrong!!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My first recipe......CHEESE AND BACON SCROLLS

These are my famous (well in my house at least lol..) Cheese and Bacon Scrolls. I use these to put in the kids lunchboxes and they really do go down a treat. They are so easy to make and are a bit of a weekend tradition in this house.

I use my breadmaker as it is so quick and simple.

1.25t dry yeast
3C plain flour
1.5t bread improver
1T skim milk powder
2t sugar
1t salt
1T margarine
290ml water

Pop all ingredients into your breadmaker pan and pop it on the Pizza Dough setting and push start. On my breadmaker it takes 1hr50min.
Once the dough is done, simply tip it out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out so it is a rough rectangle shape (I am in no way precise with this, I just roll it until it looks about right and is about 1cm thick).
Spread it with a think layer of tomato sauce.
Sprinkle with bacon pieces and grated cheese (I have also added capsicum occasionally for a more "pizza" like flavour.
Simply roll it up, so you end up with a long sausage.
Then it is just a matter of lightly flouring a couple of baking trays and cutting approximately 1 inch wide pieces off the dough. Place them onto the baking tray so that they touch one another, forming a rough circle shape. I normally get approx 10-12 on each of my trays.
Cook them in the oven at approx 160 degrees (Fan forced oven) for approx 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
This recipe normally makes about 22 scrolls.

They taste beautiful hot but are equally as nice cold. I normally freeze individually and the kids get one each in their lunchbox. They make a great alternative to sandwiches.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Drowning in a house of clutter - Oh boy do I have clutter lol

Well here I was thinking that my house was pretty cluttered and was planning ways to declutter without the kids getting too upset about my thoughts on a few of their bits and bobs lol, I shouldn't have ever thought my house was cluttered before, really I shouldn't have.......NOW it is cluttered.

After moving my mum into a nursing home a couple of weeks ago, my brothers and I have gone through her house, well most of it at least and thrown out the junk stuff and boxed up alot, marked a bit for a garage sale and gone through her clothes working out what she will need and won't need. Of course all this sorting leaves me with a dilemma. I am a really sentimental person and as I am also the youngest child in the family by a 13 year age gap, I have memories attached to so many of mum's things. You should have seen the pile of stuff that I had to bring home courtesy of my nostalgic mind!!!!

My sisterinlaw wanted to toss the clothes that mum won't need, I said no we will give them to the Salvos,,,,,well now I have rethought and decided that I will list them on Oztion to make mum a little extra money (where I will find the time to do this when I have a carport oozing with decluttered items from my own home to list on Oztion I have no idea!).

So here I am with a loungeroom that now houses a huge box of ornaments, 3 boxes of clothing/handbags to list on Oztion, a suitcase and two washing baskets with mum's clothing that needs to be stored and rotated to the nursing home, a suitcase full of photo albums with a stack of photos still to be gone through, and other bits and pieces. I also scored a sleeping bag, blankets and two quilts...these things can be used straight away on the kids beds etc so that bit isn't quite so bad.

Oh boy though my house is just screaming out wanting to be set free and I am just dreaming of the day that I can actually properly clean the place. It takes me so long to clean as I have to move so much stuff. I have told me Hubby that this weekend, the toolshed and carport is being gone through from top to bottom. We are tossing the crap we no longer use/need and going through all the boxes I have sitting there waiting to listed on Oztion to make sure that I'm not holding onto it for nothing.

My new mission is to only keep the things we use and/or love to bits, everything else can to put this plan into action!

Wish me luck!!!!!

OOOOOHHHHH yeah I forgot to mention, I am so happy, we are getting a solar electricity grid on our roof in November (sooo far away, but the best this poor inundated company can do lol). After getting a quote of $9500 a few months ago from another company, we are getting it done for the princely sum of $550 (plus the cost of a new meter box which is approx $430, but we would have needed that regardless of who we went through. I am so happy that we will be doing our bit for the environment and also helping ourselves out a little with the cost of our power. We are only getting 6 panels but it is a start at least.