Well as you can see no photo today, why because the software I use isn't responding this morning. I get the feeling it is going to be the theme for today.
I am still waiting for a reply from TAC about having my damaged shoulder operated on, a simple request that was sent in January !
Yet I am still waiting for a reply, you ring them and the person you need to speak to is working from home !
What's the good of that if they cant be contacted.
So while I was frustrated and annoyed yesterday I thought I would ring the Insurance co about getting my car excess refunded, even though I supplied them with details they needed 5 yes 5 weeks ago they haven't even requested the police report to get the other drivers details. I ask you in ths day and age how can things take so long !
Well I am going to have to wait, but I am not very happy Jan.
I hope the weekend is better.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Why is it scrappy because I have used several hundred hand cut 2 1/2" squares to border the centre squares of muslin.
I was originally going to hand sew this but after sewing 4 squares together and realised that I had about 500 + more squares to put together I decided this was one for the sewing machine.
Now I designed the layout of the squares myself when I came to putting the rows together realised I had made a boo boo - or in the quilting world a technical decision. So I had to make another square to even out the rows.
Now I am not to interested in ironing but I will quite happily iron quilt blocks and tops.
This is the quilt back all starched and ironed ready to be clipped to my kitchen table.
Here is the backing, batting and quilt top all clamped to my kitchen table waiting for me to pin it together.
I put on a DVD and watched it while I pin the 300 odd pins into the quilt to make the quilt secure enough for me to quilt.
Here is the finished job the quilt is all pinned.
Now I only have to quilt it.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Well you would think that after 20 odd years we would be finished in the CLI household with Easter Bunny, well we aren't.
Miss Fish still believes and with a 9 year old niece, Mr Bunny is still hopping into our Easters.
One of my cooking traditions if I am home at Easter is to make hot cross buns. There is nothing better than the smell of baking buns with the kitchen filled with smell of cinnamon.
When mine are straight out of the oven I glaze them with a sugar glaze, this gives the buns a real shine. You then cut them in half while hot and slather them with butter.
Unfortunatly this won't be happening this year as we will be at my parents, well there is always next year.
Another of our family traditions is a Easter egg hunt, not with real eggs, but with chocolate eggs.
If my Mum is in charge of this we need to count the eggs and follow her as she leaves the, to see where they are, because we learnt the hard way one year for chocolate eggs are fair game for our doggie members of the family. We know this because one year later in the day after the hunt we found chewed tin foil wrapping from an Easter eggs and a satisfied looking dog !
So I hope you have some family Easter traditions you can pass down through your family, and you are getting ready for Easter weekend.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
I would make extra rice and as a treat I would use this rice and pour over some warmed milk and sprinkle it with brown sugar, this is what we would have as a dessert.
Now this recipe can be altered any way you wish, you can add what ever vegetables that you like. I will list what I use and you can add and alter it to suit your tastes, also you could leave the meat out totally if you wanted a vegetarian option, you would also need to change the stock to vegetable.
2 large skinless chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes, 1 red capsicum, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice, 1 stalk celery, diced finely, 1 large carrot, diced finely, 6 small button mushrooms, stalk removed and finely sliced, 1/2 cup peas, onion, finely chopped any quantity you wish to use - I only used 3 slices, 3 cups chicken stock, 4 tbsps butter, 1/3 cup plain flour, 2 tsps prepared mustard - I used dijon, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. salt and pepper to taste.
To Serve - steamed rice
Melt the butter in a large frypan add chicken, carrots, capsicum, celery and onion. Saute 5 minutes until the chicken is white all over and the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 - 5 minutes.
Push the chicken and vegetables to the edges of the frypan, the butter should pool in the centre, and the flour and using a whisk, whisk it into the butter. Then add 1 cup of stock whisk until a smooth paste forms.
Stir in vegetables and chicken, then add remaining stock, turmeric, mustard, salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, reduce heat simmer until the sauce has thickened and the chicken and vegetables have cooked through, 5 - 8 minutes. Add the peas let simmer 1-2 minutes.
Serve on a bed of rice.
Monday, March 26, 2012
Well the big move is over, we went to Miss Le Coiffure's old house to help and return Miss Tieka, but what was meant to be an hour or two developed into a full day, but happily it is all over.
Everybody including Lola and Zara were in their new house by Saturday tea time.
So as a consequence there has been very little cooking over the weekend. I made cupcakes, using a packet mix, with Miss Fish yesterday. I even "gulp" iced them with bought icing.
I suppose it's not what you use to make these things but the fact that you cooked them.
So today the calm has returned, I have my car back Miss Tieka is in her new home and only the unpacking needs to be done.
So next on Miss Fishes agenda is Easter, she has finally realized that it is in a few days, so her excitement is building.
So till tomorrow happy baking and sewing.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Well instead of helping Miss Le Coiffure shift today I am minding Tieka her 3 year old tabby cat. If she was left at home with the doors being open she would disappear, not only that in recent weeks when she has been let outside she has proven herself to be a good mouser returning with her still alive treasures.
When I was there earlier this week Miss Le Coiifure and I were having a little lie down as we were hot and tired from packing, Miss Tieka returned from a little wander outside with mouse in her mouth.
Now that wasn't the scary thing what was scary was when she jumped from a bench onto my chest with her mouth about 5 cms from my face. I don't usually squeel at things but a live mouse right near my face was too much to bear.I now call her the Mouseketeer !
So on this very cold and windy day I will stay in the warmth and mind my little Mouseketeer.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
I knew I had a limited time to get the blog written because I had an osteo appointment, but before that I needed to take a coat to Miss Fishes work , because it had started raining and she didn't have one.
So there I was starting to type when I get a phone call from Mr CLI, with a question " is his laptop that he needs at work so he can work at home". I lean forward and what is propped up against the lounge room wall. I ask you !
"Well when would you like it dropped off" I enquire, "any time you can" was the reply, with an added statement "but I can't work till I get it".
Ok I will be there shortly, as I am looking at the clock there now was no time to blog, then be a delivery girl twice over then get to the osteo. Ok I thought I would blog when I got home.
Home I came at about lunch time. I had some lunch settled to watch a DVD while blogging only to fall asleep and not wake up till late afternoon !
This is the common thing at the moment as I am not sleeping properly still pain in my shoulder. I am finding that I am having Nana naps in the afternoon.
So now finally onto my Transylvannian dinner.
I have recently started to receice e-mails from Saveur magazine and one of them was entitled - A Transylvanian Dinner.
Curious I selected the link to the recipes and was quite surprised there was no goblets of blood or large teeth only recipes with very long names that I wasn't even going to try to pronounce.
Now the dish that I made was the chicken one it was served with polents, ah ha I thought I have polenta in the cupboard what a perfect recipe to use it.
So into the depths of the pantry I went, only to not find the polenta ! Strange as I said the other day there are many mysteries in the kitchen and the whereabouts of my polenta being one of them.
What I used instead was buttered noodles as I would have with Beef Stroganoff.
Csirkepaprikas (Chicken with Paprika)
1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces or 4 chicken breasts, 3 tbsps olive oil, 1/2 cup plain flour, salt & pepper, 4 cloves garlic peeled and grated, 2 red capsicums deseeded and finely chopped, 2 celery sticks finely chopped, 1 large carrot peeled and finely chopped, 1 medium onion finely chopped, 1 red chili finely chopped OR 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes, 2 tbsps tomato paste, 2 tsps sweet paprika, 1 tsps ground cumin, 3 cups chicken stock, 3 tbsps finely chopped fresh parsley
In a large frypan or deep saucepan, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, dust with the flour. Cook turning once till browned on both sides. Transfer to a plate.
Shift the vegetables to the edges put the tomato paste in the centre cook stirring for about 1 minute, then stir into the vegetables.
Add the paprika & cumin and cook stirring for 1 minute. Add the stock stir, then return the chicken and any juices on the plate. Spoon some of the sauce over the chicken. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce to a simmer. Simmer till the chicken is cooked through 20 minutes for breasts or 40 minutes for pieces.
When cooked remove the chicken to the serving plates. Now the recipe says to strain the sauce, but you could just use it as it is. What I did was to squash the pieces with a potato masher then pushed this through a sieve over the chicken to give you a thin smooth sauce.
Serve with polenta, buttered noodles or mashed potato.
I sliced the chicken then placed it onto the noodles, so we could eat it with a splade.
Polenta Recipe - Mamaliga Cu Smantana (Polenta with Sour Cream)
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Well don't you love technology, I had just finished my blog for today after I previewed it all of it disappeared, so I am starting again.
I am not shifting but Miss Le Coiffure is on the weekend, so I am off to her house to help her pack. :p
So I am just writing a short blog today, and tomorrow I will talk about my Transylvanian meal when I have more time.
So till tomorrow stay cool today.
Monday, March 19, 2012
A bit late but I hope everyone enjoyed their St Patricks Day Celbrations , on Saturday if you attended any.
I must say I was a bit concerned on Saturday nights news when there had an article about the different celebrations and they showed a coffee shop turning their lattes green with coloring, it might put some people off drinking their coffee.
Also on a funny note I always wonder every year about the people that over indulge on the green dyed beer, what a surprise they must get the next say when they go to the toilet ! Lol
We another busy weekend was had a friend came over for me to hem 7 silk scarves I think there was more but it turned into a mammoth sewing session, leaving me quite sore and worn out yesterday.
I am still putting together my Nanas Garden quilt top, but realized I have laid it out wrong so will need to make 4 large half square triangles for 2 corners.
A lesson learnt you should always check your design/ drawing before you start sewing.
That's it for today tomorrow I will be talking about Transylvania !
Friday, March 16, 2012
Well technology is getting the better of me today, every site I am visiting or even opening my emails has been going in sloooow motion.
So while things are working I am writing a quick blog.
I have entered my blog in the Sydney writers 2012 blogger awards. I don't expect to win or even get many votes but if you aren't out there no one will know about your blog.
So if you are reading this please vote for my blog, and if you have entered your blog let me know and I will vote for you.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Today's picture is cute and cheery, something I feel I need today.
Now what are the mysteries of the kitchen, here are a few -
- Why is it when you use the microwave, it doesn't matter we're you place the item in the microwave or how long you microwave it, it always ends up at the back of the turntable .
- How come when you know you ave a certain food item in your pantry/fridge and you construct your meal around it, only to find that it a/ is missing or b/ most of it has been eaten.
When you question the other members of the house no one knows anything about it being eaten.
Mr Nobody strikes again !
- Mr Nobody seems to find a lot of dirty dishes AFTER you have asked for them so that you can a/ set of the dishwasher or b/ wash the dishes.
A bit of a side line he seems to do the same with the clothes washing, when asked for all the dirties to be put in the laundry basket ( now this is for only one member of my house, 2 of us put out dirties in as soon as we take them off. No hints for guessing who the take them off and get them in the basket later is.)
They all appear after the basket has been emptied !
- Why is it that Nigella can have interesting leftovers in her fridge that can be revamped into another meal, yet when I look in my fridge my leftovers usually consist of a cold sausage yuk or bit of pasta.
I never see anything exciting that I can have as a midnight snack or turn into another interesting meal. Lol
- This isn't really a mystery of the kitchen, but it relates to cooking. When asked for meal suggestions you get the reply "anything will do", so you cook anything you get pulled faces and comments like " I really didn't fancy this " it's times like this that I need interesting leftovers .
There are a few mysteries in my kitchen, do you have any others in yours ?
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Well we're did the time go since since last Friday. Mr CLI and on the spur of the moment went away overnight to Geelong, on Saturday. We were sitting in our dressing gowns and having a morning cuppa, Miss Fish was in respite, Mr CLI lamented that's it's such nice weather he would love to go for a motorcycle ride.
I suggested if we could find some cheap accommodation in Geelong we could go there and visit friends, then come home the next day.
Well after much searching we finally found a Motel that had a vacancy so we booked it. The Aristocrat in Waurn Ponds.
Now you would think that hopping on a motorcycle and leaving would be a quick thing, oh no. Mr CLI had to get the bikes ready, I had to pack, then you have to get all your bike gear on. Think the Michelan Man, but in black.
Then Mr CLI remembered he had left his wallet at work an the bikes needed petrol. Ok I thought simple we will go get petrol at the servo across the road from his work he will then get his wallet and of we would. Simple !
It would have been if he had his credit card in is wallet, so back home we went to get that. So as a consequence of all these comings and goings we didn't get n the road till nearly midday.
After a stop for lunch we finally got to the accommodation at 3.45 pm. Time to unpack have a cuppa then leave again.
On the Sunday Mr CLI decided it would be nice to ride thought the Brisbane ranges then on too Ballarat, where we had lunch at our favorite Chinese Restaurant , the Golden Mountain.
I even thought ahead and got extra for tea that night, clever thinking 99.
After finally getting home late in the afternoon on Sunday, the great bike wash began.
Mr CLI doesn't believe in putting the bikes away without washing the bugs off. So I sat and talked to him while he did that with special washing liquid. To say Mr CLI is fastidious with the bikes is an understatement.
So when I got to Monday I completely forgot that it was a day for a blog, then yesterday I was so busy catching up with the washing that yesterdays blog slipped by as well.
So I hope everyone had a safe and fun long weekend.
Friday, March 9, 2012
Now as the mornings are getting much cooler and the nights are getting darker, it is time to turn our thoughts to warming comfort foods again.
This an easy recipe it only requires a bit of chopping, whisking and stirring. You don't even have to make pastry, as it only has a sheet of puff pastry as a lid.
I don't make big pies like this with a pastry base for one reason to much pastry gives Mr CLI heartburn and 2 it is a lot of palaver to get the pastry to be crisp and not soggy. I would rather have no pastry if it is going to have a soggy bottom.
As with many of my recipes you could add vegetables if you wish. If you do I would blanch them first so that they finish cooking by the time the chicken has cooked through.
Also you don't need to add the cream, but as it is such a little amount it doesn't really hurt, but does give the pie filling a creamy texture.
Also the ham doesn't have to be anything special I used leftover ham from making the pizzas the other night some of it was shredded and some was finely sliced honey ham. I wouldn't use a very smoky flavoured ham as the flavour will take over the rest of the filling.
Chicken and Ham Pie
2 skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1cm pieces, 250 gm ham cut into small pieces, 4 -5 medium button mushrooms, cut in half then thinly sliced, 3 cups chicken stock, 2 tsps dijon mustard, salt and pepper, 2 tbsps finely chopped parsley, 2 tbsps butter, 2 tbsps plain flour, 1 tbsps sherry/brandy/port, 2 tbsps cream
1 -2 sheets puff pastry
To Serve - Mashed potato.
Melt the butter in a large frypan whisk in the flour, whisk for 1 minute. Add the alcohol, let most of it evaporate, then add 2 cups of the chicken stock, whisk to form a smooth paste, if very thick add more stock you want the sauce to be thick but not too thick as you will be cooking the chicken in it. Add the mustard, salt and pepper to taste.
Add the chicken , parsley and mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium, simmer stirring every couple of minutes till the chicken is cooked. This will take 5 - 8 minutes.
Add the cream and ham, simmer 1-2 minutes.
Taste it may need more salt or pepper, if the sauce gets to thick add a little more stock or boiling water.
Place into you pie dish. Mine was 25 cm wide. Leave to cool before putting on the pastry.
Preheat the oven 200,c.
Cover the pie with pastry, cut 3 vent holes in the centre. You can brush with either milk or a little beaten egg. I didn't brush mine with anything and got a very browned and crisp top. Grind over some salt and pepper.
Cook 30 - 40 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is crisp and brown.
Serve with mash potato.
Thursday, March 8, 2012
This is a very versatile recipe you can add anything you like, char siu pork, cooked chicken, steamed vegetables, whatever happens to be handy.
In this one I used 1/2 a red capsicum finely chopped, 1 small carrot grated & 3/4 cup peas.
I always put egg in. This can be added two ways if you wish large pieces of egg, before cooking the fried rice
Egg 1- Heat 2 tbsps of oil in the bottom of the work or frypan add the egg and cook like an omelette, drain on paper towel.
If you wish small pieces all through the rice
Egg 2- After you have added the rice and sauces and the rice has separated and started to heat through, push it to the edges and pour the eggs into the centre, let the eggs to start to cook on the bottom then move them about allowing the remainder of the egg to cook then stir into the rice. This will give you little flecks of egg all through the fried rice.
Also included in this recipe is a tablespoon of finely chopped pickled vegetables. Now these are from another Kylie Kwong recipe Goong Goong's pickles. I made a batch of these pickles many years ago, even though the vegetables colors have faded in the vinegar they stir are sweet and vinegary. I always add these to my fried rice.
Fried rice is always best made with cold steamed rice, if you use freshly cooked rice all you will get is a gluggy mess.
4 cups cooked rice, 3 - 4 eggs beaten together with 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 - 2 cups chopped vegetables, 1/2 red onion finely chopped, cooked meat of your choice, 1 tbsp chopped pickled vegetables, 3 tbsps light soy sauce, 2 tbsps oyster sauce, 2 tbsps shao hsing wine
Cook Egg 1 recipe now.
Heat 2 tbsps peanut oil in a wok or large frypan. Add the onion, stir 1 minute, add the remaining vegetables and meat if using. Stirfry fry for 1 - 2 minutes. Then pour the wine around the edges, let sizzle until partially evaporated, add the rice. Carefully stir the rice, as it heats it will separate, ensure that you keep stirring otherwise the rice will burn.
Cook Egg 2 recipe now.
Once the rice has separated add the soy and oyster sauces and egg if cooked earlier. Stir fry till hot and the egg has been broken into smaller pieces.
Serve up and enjoy.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MISS FISH
She will be 23 years young today, and is very excited about it.
So yesterday and today I am in Birthday mode, she busily went to our friends last night and invited them for tea tonight.
Luckily I am making pizzas so I should be able to stretch to 2 extra people.
This slightly blurry photo, I don't know what I did, is of the stir fried noodles with chicken and vegetables.
Now I used fine dried egg noodles, but you could use any noodle you like, and you can add anything, prawns, no meat more vegetables the choice is yours.
Stir Fried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables
1 chicken breast cut into thin bite size pieces, 2 cup of chopped vegetables, make sure they are small enough to cook quickly, noodles I used 5 bundles of dried egg noodles, 2 tbsps oyster sauce, 2 tbsps light soy sauce, 2 tbsps shao hsing wine
2 tbsps light soy sauce, 2 tbsps hoisin sauce, 1 tbsp shao hsing wine
Mix together in a bowl and add meat. Leave to marinate while you chop the vegetables.
Preparing the noodles - if all ready cooked, place into a large bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for 2 minutes, the drain and rinse under cold water. If the noodles are dry cook in boiling water for 3 minutes for fine egg noodles or 4 minutes for hokkien noodles. Then drain and rinse under cold water.
In a hot wok or frypan heat 2 tbsps peanut oil, Add the vegetables and strifry for 2 -3 minutes.
Push the vegetables to the edge then add the chicken draining off the marinade BUT keep it to add as part of the sauce. Stir fry chicken till it changes color the stir together with the vegetables.
Add the noodles marinade , soy sauce, shao shing wine and oyster sauce, stirfry till the noodles are heated through and coated with the sauce. Serve and enjoy.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
I did however manage to do quite a bit of cooking over the weekend, and you will see over the next few days all the recipes had a distinct Asian feel.
Now this recipe was quite easy because I used a bought curry paste, what wasn't easy was the fact that when I went to check to see if the potatoes had cooked they not only had cooked, but they had boiled dry and burned to the bottom of the pan.
Why does things like that go wrong when you really can't be bothered cooking. So I had to start again with a new frypan and more potatoes.
I served this with plain steamed rice.
Madras Beef Curry
750 gm piece rump steak, all fat and sinew removed then cut into thin strips, 4 large potatoes peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes, 1 dstsp madras curry paste, 1 cup chicken stock, 1 onion cut into wedges, 1 tbsp soy sauce.
To Serve - Steamed rice.
In a large frypan heat 2 tbsps olive oil, add potato and onion, saute 1 -2 minutes. Add water curry paste and stock, reduce heat and cover. Simmer till potatoes are tender. Add soy sauce and beef stir till beef has cooked through, 2 -3 minutes.
If sauce too thick add more stock/water or if not thick enough let simmer for 2 - 3 minutes til it has thickened. Serve on a bed of steamed rice.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Not only did he have one large serving he then asked for and ate another huge portion.
As I have never made this before it was very gratifying that he liked it so much. So this recipe will be another one add to the mental collection of recipes we all liked.
Now you can make this earlier in the day, or even the day before, then pop it in the oven closer to tea time. The only thing is you will need to cook it longer to heat it through.
I made mine a hour or so before I put it in the oven, it took 20 minutes till the filling was bubbling then another 15 minutes till the top was lovely and brown and crispy, which is a must for a Shepherds Pie a crispy potato top.
Chicken Shepherds Pie
2 skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1cm cubes or 500 gms chicken mince, 2 medium carrots finely diced, 1 stalk celery finely diced, 2 large tbsps chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 red capsicum diced. 1/2 red onion finely diced, 2 large garlic cloves finely diced, 2 tbsps tomato paste, 3 tbsps Worcestershire sauce, 1 can crushed tomatoes or 500 ml tomato passatta, 1 cup water, salt and pepper
Topping - Mashed potato, but make it with less milk, if it is too soft it won't crisp up in the oven
Preheat to 200c. I used a 20 - 25 cm pyrex dish.
In a large fypan heat 2 tbsps olive oil add carrots, celery, onion and capsicum, cook 2 -3 minutes. Add chicken and garlic cook till the chicken has turned white, if using mince make sure you break up the lumps.
Push the chicken and vegetables to the edge of the frypan put the tomato paste in the centre let cook for 1 minute, then stir into the chicken and vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce heat to medium and let simmer till the sauce has thicken 15 - 30 minutes.
Once cooked and the sauce has thickened put into your baking dish.
The filling awaiting is cloud of creamy mashed potato. After topping the filling with the mash score it with a fork, the ridges you create will crisp in the oven.
Spray the the top with olive oil spray this will help in the crisping. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is brown and crispy. Serves 4
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Well here is Miss Fish all dressed to go to the gym, modelling one of the aprons that I have been busy making.
I am going to put them on the internet to sell.
They are quite easy to make the main body of the apron is a teatowel and I add to rather large pockets.
I do love an apron with a pocket, when I was a child is was for your hankie. Nowadays you would probably put your iphone in it. lol
I have also been sewing hundreds of 2 1/2 " squares cut from my scrap basket, together. This is for another quilt top. For a pattern called Nana's garden.
Miss Fish keeps looking at the little squares and admiring them even though she has 2 quilt already, made for her by her Nana, my Mum.
When this quilt is finished I might see if she would like. it.
Well back to the sewing machine while I am captured in the house today - no car it is around at the mechanics because somehow all the brake lights have failed, and as I was injured in last years big bang I don't wish another bang by someone not paying attention while driving and hitting me up the rear.
So till tomorrow happy sewing or cooking or eating or resting or whatever you are doing.