A tiny slice of my life

This is a look at my life, and the many things I try to learn and do.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Irish Stew

Now my question yesterday "what to do with 6 lamb chops" these had been defrosted on Sunday because Mr CLI had decided that's what he wanted for tea, but when we got to tea he changed his mind. So they were left in the fridge.

Yesterday morning I told him as he was leaving for work that is what we would be having for tea, his reply "ahhh mmmm" now that is Mr CLI for "I don't want to eat that".

So I put my thinking cap on, what could I do with the chops that was easy but still tasty. Mmmmmm.

As the weather had changed and it was much cooler something cooked in the oven seemed appropriate. Light bulb moment Irish Stew, it is warming, filling and hopefully MR CLI approved.

Did it get the Mr CLI tick of approval, it most certainly did.

A sign of the times instead of recipe books, the ipad in action.

Irish Stew
6 large lamb chops = 1.5 kgs , I used BBQ chops, remove the edge fat and cut in half lengthwise, 1/4 cup plain flour. salt and pepper, 1/2 onion chopped,  2 tbsps tomato paste, 2 beef stock cubes, 1 tbsp chopped parsley, 2 tbsps cold water + 3 cups boiling water, 1 kg potatoes peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices. 2 small or 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into rounds.

For serving 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven 180.c

In a plastic bag place flour and season with salt & pepper. Place the chops in and shake, to give them a light coating.

You could even place flour on a large plate the dredge each chop. KEEP LEFTOVER FLOUR, you will need this to add to the sauce.

Layer 1/3 potato. 1/3 carrot, 1/3 onion 1/2 the chops, repeat once more, for final layer place the potatoes last. Season with salt and pepper on each layer.

Sprinkle with parsley.

 In a large jug whisk together leftover flour, cold water and tomato paste. Add stock cubes and boiling water. whisk together, then pour over stew.

Place on lid and cook for 2 - 3 hours, depending on your oven. For the last half hour remove lid this will crisp up top layer of potatoes and reduce the sauce.

Serve sprinkled with some chopped mint.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Caramel Pinwheels

Well I hope everybody managed to stay cool over the weekend, we certainly had our airconditioning running to keep us cool, because of thil I was able to use the oven and make these yesterday for afternoon tea.

Now I have been making these for many years. It is a recipe I invented by using a soft scone dough and adding butter and brown sugar to create the caramel.

When my girls were young they thought - and actually still do - that these are pretty special to eat straight from the oven.

Now the amount of pinwheels you make depends only on how much dough you make, the amounts given will give you about 20 pinwheels plus 2 that ended up in Miss Fishes tummy.

Don't do what I did yesterday and use patty cake cups use muffin cups which will contain most of the overflow when the butter and sugar bubble and make caramel.

Also these are cooked on quite a high heat so that the scone dough puffs up and cooks and the butter and sugar create a caramel.

Caramel Pinwheels
2 cups SR flour, 1 egg, 2 tbsps butter, melted, 1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

For filling - butter spread or softened butter  and brown sugar

Preheat oven 220.c Place muffin cups onto a tray.

Put the flour into a large bowl add egg and butter, using a metal butter knife stir in add 1/4 milk. Stir just enough to see if the dough is going to come together, if it isn't add more milk.

You want the dough to come together but still to be a bit sticky. This will give you a really light pinwheel.

Now tip onto a floured surface using your hands, you will probably need to flour them, flatten the dough into along oblong with the longest side facing you, about 10cm (3") wide and 1 cm (1/2") thick and as long as the dough will spread.

This is best done with yours hands as using a rolling pin will toughen the dough.

Now spread the butter thickly over the entire length of the dough, then sprinkle liberally with brown sugar  (about 1/4" thick) .

Now roll into a pinwheel by taking the long edge furthest away from you and rolling it out towards yourself. You should get about 3 or 4 rolls.

Using a knife cut into 2 cm slices place into muffin cups cut side up.

On the tray ready to go into the oven.

Bake in the oven 10 - 15 minutes. This all depends on your oven, I bake these in my smaller oven so they only take 10 minutes.

You will know when they are cooked as the will have puffed up and be browned on the top slightly and the caramel will be bubbling in the pinwheel.

Remove from the oven and eat. These really are the best when eaten straight from the oven and I must admit I pull them into halves and spread on a little butter not necessary but enjoyable all the same.
Just out of the oven with the caramel still bubbling.

Cooks treats the overflowed caramel I let it set for a second them scraped it off. Yum !

Friday, January 27, 2012

The First Bakers Challenge for 2012 - January Scones

Well I hope everyone had a good Australia Day yesterday.

We took Miss Fish, fishing we didn't catch anything but she was happy with the couple of nibbles she got and the fact that she got to go fishing.

Afterwards we got fish and chips for lunch and Mr CLI suggested that we go to the Botanical Gardens to eat it. What we didn't realise is that there was Australia Day celebrations on there.

It didn't matter we found a car park and ate our lunch under a very large tree. As the weather was beautiful not too hot with a nice breeze it was a very pleasant experience.

Now for the first daring Bakers Challenge I made to batchs one plain which we had with jam and cream, as you should and also a cheese batch.

To the basic recipe I add 1 cup grated tasty cheese, 1/2 tsp dried english mustard and 1/2 tsp paprika.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens!

Basic Scones (a.k.a. Basic Biscuits)
Servings: about eight 2-inch (5 cm) scones or five 3-inch (7½ cm) scones
Recipe can be doubled
1 cup (240 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (10 gm) (⅓ oz) fresh baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1¼ ml) (1½ gm) salt
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) frozen grated butter (or a combination of lard and butter)
approximately ½ cup (120 ml) cold milk
optional 1 tablespoon milk, for glazing the tops of the scones
1. Preheat oven to very hot 475°F/240°C/gas mark 9.
2. Triple sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. (If your room temperature is very hot refrigerate the sifted ingredients until cold.)
3. Rub the frozen grated butter (or combination of fats) into the dry ingredients until it resembles very coarse bread crumbs with some pea-sized pieces if you want flaky scones or until it resembles coarse beach sand if you want tender scones.
4. Add nearly all of the liquid at once into the rubbed-in flour/fat mixture and mix until it just forms a sticky dough (add the remaining liquid if needed). The wetter the dough the lighter the scones (biscuits) will be!
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board, lightly flour the top of the dough. To achieve an even homogeneous crumb to your scones knead very gently about 4 or 5 times (do not press too firmly) the dough until it is smooth. To achieve a layered effect in your scones knead very gently once (do not press too firmly) then fold and turn the kneaded dough about 3 or 4 times until the dough has formed a smooth texture. (Use a floured plastic scraper to help you knead and/or fold and turn the dough if you wish.)
6. Pat or roll out the dough into a 6 inch by 4 inch rectangle by about ¾ inch thick (15¼ cm by 10 cm by 2 cm thick). Using a well-floured 2-inch (5 cm) scone cutter (biscuit cutter), stamp out without twisting six 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, gently reform the scraps into another ¾ inch (2 cm) layer and cut two more scones (these two scones will not raise as well as the others since the extra handling will slightly toughen the dough). Or use a well-floured sharp knife to form squares or wedges as you desire.
7. Place the rounds just touching on a baking dish if you wish to have soft-sided scones or place the rounds spaced widely apart on the baking dish if you wish to have crisp-sided scones. Glaze the tops with milk if you want a golden colour on your scones or lightly flour if you want a more traditional look to your scones.
8. Bake in the preheated very hot oven for about 10 minutes (check at 8 minutes since home ovens at these high temperatures are very unreliable) until the scones are well risen and are lightly coloured on the tops. The scones are ready when the sides are set.
9. Immediately place onto cooling rack to stop the cooking process, serve while still warm.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Honey and Soy Chicken - not using honey

Now if I didn't use honey what did I use, well I used rice syrup.

I had bought this a while ago to use in cooking instead of sugar, and as you do sometimes things go to the back of the cupboard and my mind for that matter.

On the weekend because it was so hot Mr CLI cooked some meals on the BBQ ,one of the marinades he wanted was honey soy.

Now this is a good thing to cook on the BBQ because you don't have a messy tray to clean.

Instead of honey, which I didn't have anyway I used the rice syrup. Did it make any difference ? Not that I could taste it made a very good marinade.

Honey/Rice Syrup Marinade
Enough for 3 chicken breasts cut into tenderloins
2 tbsps honey/ rice syrup, 2 cloves garlic grated, 2 tbsps olive oil, 3 tbsps dark soy sauce.

Place all marinade ingredients into a non metal bowl, mix together then add the chicken.

Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

Cook on your pre heated BBQ plate. Griddle pan or frypan. They will only need 2 1/2 minutes on the first side then 2 minutes on the second side. This should give you very moist and tender pieces of chicken.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Chinese New Year ...

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Well this meant to be the year of the water Dragon, for me I think it will be the year of the Health Dragon.

There was no blog yesterday because I was back to the surgeons to find out the results of the MRI. What was the results , he wants to do "minor" surgery to remove calcification and perhaps shave one of my shoulder bones. Don't ask me what the bones name is it is the one that goes over the top of the shoulder joint.

Now he says that it will be only key hole surgery and I will only be in hospital for the day or at the most overnight. Now this doesn't worry me, what does when he says finding the calcification will be like " finding a Teddy in a doona".

Now as he has not only X-rays but an MRI that shows were he needs to go his comment is a bit of a concern.

I don't now when the surgery will be as he is going on holidays and won't be back till mid February, also the TAC have to give permission .

So as you can see, I am only in the fourth week of this year and I have had to have two teeth removed , one of which had an abscess, now I am looking towards surgery.

Now on a lighter note I have managed to finish four of the 200+ blocks for the Dear Jane quilt. I will iron them and post photos tomorrow. So till then Happy Chinese New Year.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Oh no I am stuck ....

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You may well ask where I got stuck and how. Weeeeelll I had to go and have an MRI on my shoulder yesterday. Now I have had MRI's before so I wasn't worried, but little did I know that the new MRI at my local hospital is smaller than the ones I have been in years ago.

So I literally got my shoulder jammed, now I am not a very large person but I do have wide shoulders. The first attempt for me to be slide in jammed my shoulder, so back out again I came. Then the girl put my arm over my chest, back in again she sent me only for my arm to be compressed onto my rib cage so hard that I couldn't breath.

So back out again I came, not only was I panicking because I get claustrophobia, but I was literally getting squashed. In the end I had to put my arm up above my head in a straight line. So back I slide and luckily I fitted, even so my arm that was above my head was jammed up against the side of the MRI.

So the question I ask is why oh why in this day and age when people are getting larger would you create a machine that is smaller, and if any of you know how big an MRI is an extra 10 cm of width is not going to make much difference.

Now onto a different note I have decided to set myself a quilting challenge this year I am going to attempt to make a Dear Jane quilt, now ths quilt has over 200 blocks in it but I believe if I work on some blocks every week I will get it finished.

From what I have seen on the various websites dedicated to this quilt the blocks are small so it should be easy. Famous last words.

I am thinking of doing it in bright Kaffe Fassett fabrics, of which I have plenty.

So every now and then I will post the blocks as I make them.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Emperors House - Warrnambool - Victoria

Now a quick blog today, as I have to dash off shortly for an MRI on my injured shoulder.

Now I didn't think I would be writing about this restaurant as when Mr CLI and I visited it a couple of weeks ago to have the yum cha, it was to worst experience ever.

Admittedly this restaurant is only new, but if you are going to offer yum cha you must A/ have enough staff so everyone can be served & B/ have enough food so that people can be fed.

After sitting for an hour we had received one portion of dumplings, we left after I voiced my opinion on this matter.

Well this week after having another tooth removed all I felt like, as I was hungry because I hadn't eaten all day, was some fried rice and dim sims soft comforting food that I could eat.

So we decided to try their take away. We arrived not long after they opened and ordered special fried rice, dim sims, lemon chicken and beef with cashews.

I believe if a restaurant can get these dishes right, everything else should be good.

What was the verdict well the dim sims were large and home made, the lemon chicken was a whole chicken breast in the lightest batter and the beef and cashews was full of lovely crisp yet tender vegetables.

So will we be going back again, yes but if we go for the yum cha I will be going as soon as the restaurant opens and checking first that they have enough food ready.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Duchess Potatoes

Now after my blog the other day about not cooking mash potato very often, it got me to thinking about ways to use mash potato.

Now I must admit these really are only mash potato piped into rosettes, but for some reason when you bite into them they are crunchy on the outside and very soft and creamy on the inside.

This is a dish you can get ready earlier in the day then pop into the oven closer to your meal time.

Also you can make a smaller amount of mash potato go a long way.

I do try to pipe these while the potato is hot as it will pipe much easier, if your piping bag is too hot for you to handle wrap a tea towel around it.

The only real trick in making these is when you mash your potato make it stiffer than you normally would so that it can be piped, to do this you will need to add less milk.

Now there is now real recipe quantities you boil your potatoes drain them add butter, season with salt and pepper, then mash. Once you have mashed in you butter check if it has formed a cohesive mash, by that I mean all the potato has come together and there isn't any lumps it needs to be smooth but firm enough to pipe, if not add about 1- 2 tbsps of milk then mash again.

You pipe using a 1cm wide star nozzle, and make your rosettes about 3 cm high.

Pipe them onto a baking paper lined tray.

Now to get the crispy outer coating you will need to spray them with a little oil or melt some butter and drizzle it onto them.

Bake at 180.c for about 15 - 20 minutes , or until they are crispy and browned.

Guide to quantities
2 large potatoes, salt and pepper, 2 tbsps butter, if needed 1 - 2 tbsps milk

oil or butter for topping

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Easy Peasy Shortbread

Now I am all for an easier life when it comes to cooking and this recipe provides me with that. It is one from a Women's Weekly cookbook that I have had for many, many years, and it produces the most buttery and sweet shortbread for very little trouble.

You can have this in you oven within about 5 - 10 minutes and in your tummy in about 45 minutes.

So it is a good recipe to keep for when you have unexpected guests or just what something to eat with your cuppa.

Melt and Mix Shortbread
250 gm unsalted butter , melted, 360 gm plain flour, 40 gm custard powder, 55 gm caster sugar, 35 gm icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180.c. Line a 18 x 28 cm (7" x 11") tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl place all the dry ingredients, mix together with a wooden spoon. Add the melted butter, stir until it is well mixed together. Place into the tray and using your hand, the best piece of equipment, flatten in the tray.

I then use a spatula to make the surface smooth, then cut into slices and using a fork prick each piece.

If you want to make them even more special you can sprinkle them before baking with a little bit of caster sugar.

Bake 20 - 30 minutes, depending on your oven, until lightly golden. Remove from the oven but leave to cool in the tray. While still hot recut into slices. When cold remove from tray and store in an airtight container.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Fattoush Salad

Now I must admit I do like salads, I actually don't mind them in winter with something warm of course. Like chicken satay skewers and rice with a simple salad. As I try to have at least one serve of vegies everyday, a salad is a good way of eating many types of vegetables at once.

I really don't like being bored with food, I went through a stage for quite a long time. that I had refused to make mashed potato. When the girls were young and the house interest rates had hit 18%, yes 18% I had to streeeetch our food and mash potato was one thing that was filling and didn't cost a lot. Therefore I don't cook it often.

Even now Miss Fish will come up with things she would like to eat for tea and I baulk at cooking the same thing over and over again. This is why I am always looking for different ways to use the same ingredients. Some of the ingredients in this salad are the same as a greek salad, so you can start with similar ingredients and extras and alter the dressing and tadah an interesting and versatile salad.

Now some recipes use special breads, I just use pita bread. Some recipes also use radishes, I don't make a special trip to get them for this salad, but if I know that I want to make this salad and radishes are available I will buy them

The radishes add a nice warmth or if they are large you will get more heat.

One of the must have ingredients in the dressing is sumac, the fruit of the sumac plants are dried and ground and give a lemony flavour to the dressing.It is used often in middle eastern food.

I sometimes add it to olive oil and lemon juice for a quick marinade for chicken to go onto the BBQ. You can also sprinkle some on your homemade hummus.

Ground Sumac

1 pita bread pulled apart into two halves, baked in the oven at 180.c for about 5 - 10 minutes until crispy, Break into bite size pieces

1/2 iceburg, torn into 3 - 4 cm pieces, 1/2 Lebanese or 1 whole normal cucumber, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise the into 1 cm slices, 3 - 4 radishes cut into thin slices, 1 whole red or yellow capsicum cut into 2 cm squares, 2 medium tomatoes diced, 3 spring onions finely sliced. 1/2 cup each chopped mint and parsley

3 cloves garlic crushed or grated, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsps sweet paprika, 2 tsps sumac, 2 tbsps olive oil, 2 tbsps lemon juice

Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a large bowl add the salad ingredients and broken pita bread. Toss together and serve with some BBQ meat, chicken skewers, marinated chicken breasts or even some freshly cooked fish.

The choice is yours as to what you would like to serve it with.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hooten Nanny

Well I settled down this morning to do a post on last nights tea, minestrone soup, but I had an uneasy feeling so I checked old posts and low and behold I had already done a post on minestrone soup.

So I will do a post on the quilt and table cloth I made Miss Le Coiffure for Christmas.

Now that I have given it to her I can show some pictures.

Last year in September, Noel and I went on a short stay to Lorne. As it was Miss Le Coiffure's birthday she came down on her motorbike and stayed with us on her birthday. She was due to go home the next day but ended up coming with us to Ballarat.

While in Ballarat we went to my favourite patchwork shop - Gail's Patchwork Emporium - which unfortunately met with a fire at the start of November last year. I am unsure if Gail is going to rebuild.

Miss Le Coiffure had a ball selecting fabrics to make cushion covers with. With my help she has made 2 cushion cover. With the leftover fabric and some more I bought I thought I would make her a quilt to drape over her lounge and a small tablecloth for her coffee table.

Now at the moment there is a craze about all things owls, Miss Le Coiffure loves them too, so I found this quilt using strips of many fabrics and appliqued owls on it. For the tablecloth I designed it around central large owl and used solid squares and squares like in the quilt using strips.

The quilt and tablecloth are nice and bright and cheery.

Well that's all for today. I have started another quilt top this week using fabric bought - wait for it in 1999 when we went to LA. I think it is about time it got turned into an quilt and make room for more fabric. lol

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In darkness we sit ...

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Well what a start to the day, we woke up to no power, which has set Miss Fishes mood for the day as she wanted custard for breakfast. The only thing I cold make was porridge because Mr CLI was able to heat water on the BBQ.

So I am unable to post what I was going to today as the photos I need are on my laptop, which needs charging, sothey will have to wait till tomorrow.

As for meals today I am unsure as the power is meant to be back on later this morning !

Well the next hurdle for the day is to try and have showers in the dark. Lol

Till tomorrow adios.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kung Pao Chicken

Well I am finally back in the kitchen I am able to chew and I have an appetite again.

This is a recipe that I altered slightly from the one in Feast - Issue 5.

I added vegetables I love vegetables in my stirfries, so in they went. It was thoroughly enjoyable the only problem was I slipped when I went to put the dried chilli flakes in and instead of putting in 1/2 teaspoon I put in a whole teaspoon, so the dish had some parts that really warmed your mouth.

szechuan peppercorns

Now the recipe might look complicated it really isn't I have just broken down each step so it is easier to follow.

Kung Pao Chicken
Marinate - 3 tsp rice wine (shaoxing), 2 tsps sesame oil, 1 tbsp light soy sauce & 2 tsps cornflour

2 large chicken breasts cut into 2 cm cubes.

Mix all marinade ingredients together added the chicken , stir then leave 30 minutes.

Chicken waiting in its marinade.

1 1/2 cups mixed vegetables cut into a 1cm dice - I used yellow capsicum, broccoli florets and stalk, celery and carrot.

Blanch the vegetables in boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain.


Remaining Ingredients
75 gm (1/2) cup unsalted peanuts, 1 finely sliced fresh chilli or 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes, 2 tsps szechuan peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2 spring onions sliced on the diagonal into 2.5 cm pieces

Sauce Ingredients
1 tbsps light soy sauce, 2 tsps sugar, 60 ml (1/4) cup chicken stock, 1 tbsps chinese black vinegar,

To Serve - steamed rice

Heat 2 tbsps oil in a wok or large fypan, using a slotted spoon drain chicken and add to frypan. KEEP remainder of marinade you will use it to make the sauce.

Stirfry the chicken 2 - 3 minutes or until white and cooked through. Add vegetables , peanuts, spring onions, garlic, chilli and peppercorns. Strifry another 2 minutes.

Add sauce ingredients to remainder of the marinade, mix well, Pour over the chicken stir quickly until the sauce has thicken, this will only take about 30 seconds.

Serve with steamed rice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Tran Tran Restaurant - Richmond - Victoria

Well on Boxing Day my parents and I took Miss Fish shopping as she loves to get vouchers for presents and then going to spend them, so off to Millers and Target we went.

She had a lovely time trying on skirts and tops and walked with a very full bag of clothing. The following day Mr CLI took her to visit his parents as she wanted to show them what she got from Millers as they gave her the voucher.

When it came to lunch my parents and I decided that we couldn't face anymore leftovers, don't you find that they can loose there appeal after several meals.

So my Mum suggested we go to Tran Tran restaurant, now this is a restaurant that my parents have been going to for many years, so long that the owners know them by name. I unfortunately have only been twice before, many years ago. This is one of the disadvantages when you live 3 1/2 hours away.

So off we went and the food didn't disappoint we started with a combination of their spring rolls chicken, meat, vegetable and prawn, served with Vietnamese mint leaves, cold and crunchy iceburg lettuce and a milder dipping sauce. I just love the combination of hot spring rolls and cold and crunchy lettuce.

I unfortunately missunderstood and thought that the combination meant the filling so didn't select from different parts of the plate so only got the vegetable ones, never mind.

They have a lunchtime specials you can select from a certain number of dishes and you get a portion with fried rice, this it what we did. Which wasn't actually running , but my Mum asked and the owner said she would do it for us. My Mum had her usual which is lemon chicken and my Dad and I decided to share we got beef with cashews and satay chicken.

The beef was meltingly tender and the vegetables were cooked but still crunchy. The satay had a little warmth but was very yummy. The lemon chicken was a whole chicken breast cut in half lengthwise then cooked in a light batter, sliced then topped with the lemon sauce.

As this restaurant has been open for 19 years, I don't believe you would be disappointed if you went there for a meal.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Woooooo Hooooo

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Well I am now the proud owner of a new car ( well new to me), so no more relying on others to drive me.

Mr CLI was toying with the idea last year of selling his car and only having one car nothing I said could make him understand how impractical it would be but this real life demonstration has proven to him they we really are a two car family. When he thinks about retirement in a few years will probably be the next time that he brings this subject up.

Well the car saga is finished the tooth saga is nearly over so I can now concentrate on cooking again. You really do loose interest when your mouth is half numb and you can' t chew.

So what on the menu for this weekend I don' know, after I drop Miss Fish off at her holiday program this morning I am coming home and studying my new recipes and deciding.

So. When I have made a new recipe I will have to then work out how to upload it onto my iPad and into my blog, another technical challenge .

I hope you all have a very good weekend, we will be off to get new seat covers for the new car.

Mr CLI left after telling me his current mantra " watch we're you park the new car" I think I will beheading that for some time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

At last a technical break through

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Hello all why the monkey photo, well he has the same facial expression as me, why , because I have been struggling to work out how to paste pictures into my blog from my iPad.

My present for Christmas from Mr CLI. Well apparently it is for me but it is quite often in Mr CLI's hands. It originally had a pink cover, but during the Optus saga the man at the shop removed the back cover and cracked and as I had bought the very last pink back cover, I had to settle for a blue one, which put a smile on Mr CLI's face.

Have I been cooking since Christmas, the short answer is no. When your face is sore and swollen it is hard to think about cooking.

During the last few days of heat and while Mr CLI has been home from work he has been cooking chicken marinated in a variety of things for him and Miss Fish. Slowly my mouth is starting to feel better then I can get cooking together.

I am anxiously waiting to try a recipe from the cookbook Miss Fish gave me for Christmas( she did have little help in picking it out ) . It is Zumbo by Adriano Zumbo.

Well enough for today talk to you tomorrow.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012

Well was my family glad to see the end of 2011, we have had sudden deaths, illness, injuries, money problems and to see me out a head on collision 1 1/2 weeks before Christmas and 3 days after Christmas and abscessed tooth needing removal.

So what did the CLI family do on New Years Eve, well Miss Fish went to bed early and snored through the New Year Mr CLI also went to bed early, it is very tiring being the care giver, and was fast asleep at midnight when I came to bed.

What did I do well I fell asleep on the lounge in a pain killer induced state and burned up and sweated all night, obviously my body was getting rid of the poison from my tooth, I awoke and headed to bed to only discover as I was clambering into bed that is was midnight, I then woke up Mr CLI and wished him a happy New Year.

What was also a blessing that nearby neighbours known for noisy parties went out last night so there was quiet in our neighbourhood.

So we had a very quiet end to the old year and I hope a wonderful start for the new year, hopefully I will be getting my new car this week so I can be back on the road again and the pain in my mouth passes.

So I hope you all had a very happy and safe New Years eve last night and your 2012 will be a happy and prosperous one for you and your family.