Monday, January 31, 2011

Back to School and Unbearable Heat

Why does the beginning of the school year always start off so darn hot!!!!  I have to admit that here in Adelaide we have had a pretty mild start to summer but geez why did it have to hit us all in one hit this weekend and today when the kids are having their first day back at school!!!!

The kids went off without too many dramas this morning, I have to say compared to previous years this one was bliss, although I am a little scared of what the afterschool pickup may bring.  The eldest two Mr16 and Mr14 went off no problems (I just can't believe they are in Year 11 and Year 9 this year!!!,,,,,my babies are growing up wayyyyyyy too fast, I'm so not ready for this!!).  The younger two Mr10 and Mr8 are in Years 5 and 3 this year.  These are the two I am worried about.  Mr10 wasn't concerned until he got to school and then said he was pretty nervous, but he went in with just a kiss and a hug so I will see what happens (he is my main concern though).  His teacher is a real no nonsense type of woman who doesn't smile much.  The older two both had her in year 5 as well so I know how hard she can be......I'm nervous too on this one!!!  Mr8 should be fine, he is in the same room, with the same teacher who he adores and half the kids he had last year so very little change.  He was the one who had me concerned last night though as he cried for 2 hours when he went to bed.  He kept saying he didn't know why he was crying and my patience was running out.  Finally he told us that the kids at school keep calling him fat.  Why do kids have to be so cruel?????  He was always a tiny little thing but then over the last 18 months he has put on quite a bit of weight and yes he is on the chubby side but then his older two brothers both went through a chubby stage too and then got to about the age of 12 and thinned right down.  But he is insisting that he start walking/running on the treadmill to lose weight anyway.  I will keep an eye on how this goes and talk to the teacher if he comes home upset again tonight.

OK off I go to the shops,,,,,have put it off long enough lol and it is only getting hotter out there!!!

Friday, January 21, 2011


All I seem to post about in the recipe section is sweets it seems (lol probably the reason why I am currently dieting!!!).

So today I decided to share a recipe I discovered at christmas time last year.  This salad is just divine and so simple to make.  I got this recipe from the Coles Christmas Magazine of 2010.  That free little magazine has so many recipes that I want to try!!

Coriander Parsley and Lemon Cous Cous Salad

3 cups Chicken Stock
3 cups uncooked Cous Cous
zest of 1 lemon
2 lebanese cucumbers peeled seeded and diced finely (I used a continental cucumber and left the peel on)
1 cup sultanas
1 bunch of shallots
1 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
4 spring onions, cut into 4mm pieces on an angle

2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp Italian Red Wine Vinegar
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

In a large saucepan, heat stock over medium heat and bring to simmer
Add cous cous and lemon zest, and stir.
Turn off heat, cover pan and let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove cous cous from the pot and fluff with a fork, then put on a baking tray to cool.
To make the vinaigrette:  Place lemon juice and vinegar in a mixing bowl and slowly add the oil while whisking.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a separate large mixing bowl combine cooled cous cous, cucumber, sultanas, shallots, herbs and half the spring onions and mix well.
Add enough vinaigrette to lightly coat salad, toss once more and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spoon salad into large bowl and garnish with remaining spring onions and serve.

This salad really is simple to make and sooooo yummy.  The best thing is it keeps for days in the fridge without losing its taste or look, unlike so many salads.  You can easily make this a day before a party knowing it will keep well.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Mr10 and I were feeling a little bored yesterday so we made his favourite chocolate cake.  This cake is fantastic for large families as it makes a huge, and I mean huge cake.  You can either cook it in 4 loaf tins or as I did yesterday in a baking tray.  My baking tray is a bay moree tray (that ain't the right spelling lol but right now I have a total brain malfunction and cannot for life of me remember how to spell it correctly lol,,,,I am referring to the trays they uses in the warmers at a smorgasbord/buffet lol).

I got the recipe for this one from my sister-in-law a few months ago and it has been a regular on my baking list since then.  Every time it has come out light, moist and fluffy.  In this picture we sprinkled it with caster sugar just to add a slight crispness to the son was a little heavy handed lol, but once I cut it up to freeze some, the excess sugar came off.

 Here is the recipe.  Originally it was taken from a little newsletter or recipe book printed by the Renmark Marching Girls Club way back in 1985.


4oz margarine
2 eggs
2-3 dessertspoons cocoa
1 cup milk
2 cups sugar
2 dessertspoons golden syrup
3 cups of SR Flour

Mix all ingredients together.  
Once thoroughly mixed add 1 cup of boiling water to which has been added 1 teaspoon of bicarb soda.

Bake in a moderate oven for 45 minutes  (my oven takes more like an hour).

Makes 4 log tins or 1 large tin

How easy is that!!!  Very little effort for such a large cake which will feed the family for quite a while.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The things you do when boredom hits..... and it ain't even the kids that are bored lol

Yesterday I was bored beyond belief.  The kids were all entranced on various computer/tv games.....not great I know but yesterday I really couldn't deal with any complaining other than that of my autistic stepson so I let them go for it on their chosen activities.  You see, my stepson has not liked me much lately.  He can't express this verbally as he cannot talk so he does it in ways that make me feel like utter crap.  I can honestly say that the way he carries on when his dad goes to work, is like a child who is terrified of being beaten.  That is how it feels to me as he only carries on like this when his dad leaves and I have to care for him myself.  If I have one of the other kids with me it isn't so bad, he is reasonable but the second they walk away he is literally screaming.  I have exhausted all avenues.  I have tried to console and be extra nice and gentle.....he just screams louder.  I have tried the firm way of talking to him, once again screaming....I have now resorted to traditional "time out" type punishment.  I turn off his beloved dvd/tv, if he continues screaming the computer which has his music on it gets turned off, if he still continues he sits on the couch and if after all that he still continues he is sitting on a chair in the middle of the kitchen.  Yesterday it was just a continual cycle.  I would allow his things back again and within 5 minutes he would start up again, crying, yelling, screaming, throwing himself on the floor, hitting things, tearing the curtains (yes he did that).  Today is no better but I am determined that this child will not beat me.  I cannot let a 10 year old rule my life and that of the other 5 kids in the house to such an extent.

So yesterday, since I was chained to the kitchen/dining area (this is everyday occurrence when said child is here because if I disappear from view he will ransack the computer desk trying to find discs, I decided to get a little creative and made this little guy....(I know the sewing sucks, my machine decided it would not longer do zigzag stitch and also refused to reverse) and I should have just hand sewn the eyes and nose because I am hopeless at sewing circles lol but oh well he got made nevertheless.  He was a pattern I made ages ago for some little "alien men" as my son called them then.

Ok here goes, I cringe at sharing this but hey I did say I would share everything I try didn't I lol.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gone at the speed of light

Here I sit wondering how the time as flown since my last post.  We have seen Christmas and the New Year fly by so fast!!  The kids only have another couple of weeks of school holidays and I really, really don't want them to go back to school (did I say that??? lol).  Now normally school holidays seem to drag on and I have way to many "I'm Bored" whines coming from the kids.  Well these school holidays they have been different.  Maybe they are just older and more content to stay home varying between Xbox, Wii, Board games, bike riding and general mucking around I don't know.  For me these holidays have been one of guilt and frustration at not being able to afford to really do anything with them.  So far in the 4.5 weeks they have been home we have gone out for dinner for Mr14's birthday, taken a trip down to Horseshoe Bay near Victor Harbor for a day and that is about it.  The rest of the time they have been home "just filling in time".  I feel terrible about that.  To make matters worse, I have been absolutely clueless as to what to do with them.  The weather has been warm, a little too warm to do much outside (doesn't help that I hate the heat!!).

This year I really want to stop procrastinating and JUST DO stuff.  There is so much we want to achieve and I have been feeling overwhelmed and swamped by it all for almost two years now.  I think I try to do everything and be everything for everyone and somewhere I have lost sight of the true meaning of life and how to just get on with the things that make life enjoyable (I know I probably don't make sense do I lol).

The kids are growing up way too fast and I feel like I'm somehow not making the most of their childhoods.  I have no I idea what I am really trying to say today so think I will just end it there and hope that someone, somewhere can make some sense of it all.